My Take: Jesus would believe in evolution and so should you
The most compelling evidence for evolution comes from the study of genes.
April 10th, 2011
01:00 AM ET

My Take: Jesus would believe in evolution and so should you

Editor's Note: Karl W. Giberson, Ph.D., is vice president of The BioLogos Foundation and is the author or coauthor of seven books, including The Language of Science and Faith.

By Karl W. Giberson, Special to CNN

Jesus once famously said, “I am the Truth.”

Christianity at its best embodies this provocative idea and has long been committed to preserving, expanding and sharing truth. Most of the great universities of the world were founded by Christians committed to the truth—in all its forms—and to training new generations to carry it forward.

When science began in the 17th century, Christians eagerly applied the new knowledge to alleviate suffering and improve living conditions.

But when it comes to the truth of evolution, many Christians feel compelled to look the other way. They hold on to a particular interpretation of an ancient story in Genesis that they have fashioned into a modern account of origins - a story that began as an oral tradition for a wandering tribe of Jews thousands of years ago.

This is the view on display in a $27 million dollar Creation Museum in Kentucky. It inspired the Institute for Creation Research, which purports to offer scientific support for creationism.

And it’s hardly a fringe view. A 2010 Gallup poll indicated that 4 in 10 Americans think that “God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years or so.” (http://www.gallup.com/poll/145286/four-americans-believe-strict-creationism.aspx)

While Genesis contains wonderful insights into the relationship between God and the creation, it simply does not contain scientific ideas about the origin of the universe, the age of the earth or the development of life.

For more than two centuries, careful scientific research, much of it done by Christians, has demonstrated clearly that the earth is billions years old, not mere thousands, as many creationists argue. We now know that the human race began millions of years ago in Africa - not thousands of years ago in the Middle East, as the story in Genesis suggests.

And all life forms are related to each other though evolution. These are important truths that science has discovered through careful research. They are not “opinions” that can be set aside if you don’t like them.

Anyone who values truth must take these ideas seriously, for they have been established as true beyond any reasonable doubt.

There is much evidence for evolution. The most compelling comes from the study of genes, especially now that the Human Genome Project has been completed and the genomes of many other species being constantly mapped.

In particular, humans share an unfortunate “broken gene” with many other primates, including chimpanzees, orangutans, and macaques. This gene, which works fine in most mammals, enables the production of Vitamin C. Species with broken versions of the gene can’t make Vitamin C and must get it from foods like oranges and lemons.

Thousands of hapless sailors died painful deaths scurvy during the age of exploration because their “Vitamin C” gene was broken.

How can different species have identical broken genes? The only reasonable explanation is that they inherited it from a common ancestor.

Not surprisingly, evolution since the time of Darwin has claimed that humans, orangutans, chimpanzees, and macaques evolved recently from a common ancestor. The new evidence from genetics corroborates this.

Such evidence proves common ancestry with a level of certainty comparable to the evidence that the earth goes around the sun.

This is but one of many, many evidences that support the truth of evolution - that make it a “sacred fact” that Christians must embrace in the name of truth. And they should embrace this truth with enthusiasm, for this is the world that God created.

Christians must come to welcome - rather than fear - the ideas of evolution. Truths about Nature are sacred, for they speak of our Creator. Such truths constitute “God’s second book” for Christians to read alongside the Bible.

In the 17th century, Galileo used the metaphor of the “two books” to help Christians of his generation understand the sacred truth that the earth moves about the sun. “The Bible,” he liked to say, “tells us how to go to heaven, not how the heavens ago.”

To understand how the heavens go we must read the book of Nature, not the Bible.

The Book of nature reveals the truth that God created the world through gradual processes over billions of years, rather than over the course of six days, as many creationists believe.

Evolution does not contradict the Bible unless you force an unreasonable interpretation on that ancient book.

To suppose, as the so-called young earth creationists do, that God dictated modern scientific ideas to ancient and uncomprehending scribes is to distort the biblical message beyond recognition. Modern science was not in the worldview of the biblical authors and it is not in the Bible.

Science is not a sinister enterprise aimed at destroying faith. It’s an honest exploration of the wonderful world that God created.

We are often asked to think about what Jesus would do, if he lived among us today. Who would Jesus vote for? What car would he drive?

To these questions we should add “What would Jesus believe about origins?”

And the answer? Jesus would believe evolution, of course. He cares for the Truth.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Karl W. Giberson.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Bible • Christianity • Culture & Science • Culture wars • Opinion • Science

soundoff (3,562 Responses)
  1. Dan

    Great points! And here are two scriptural references: "In the beginning was the Word: the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning," (John 1:1). As the Father and the Son are one in the same, he fully understands creation. Second reference for those sola scriptura literalists: "But there is one thing, my friends, that you must never forget: that with the Lord, 'a day' can mean a thousand years, and a thousand years is like a day," (2 Peter 3:8). You bring to this discussion a very good viewpoint that Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI, and Cardinal Christoph Schonborn have discussed many times.

    April 10, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  2. James Vond

    I'm sorry but the author is an idiot. Would Jesus believe in Evolution? Are you insane? Is this even a question to be asked? Why would the creator of all things believe in evolution.

    April 10, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  3. Emkaeultra

    If Jesus were around, He would certainly not have time to waste on meaningless Human Inquiry of the How's of Life. Particularly when such inquiries lead to the segregation between tongues and nations to the point of the Higher Evils of Life. For those with an ear to hear, let them hear, and they shall know Truth of the Systems and Laws in place that govern Life. To those who know, they already know that Humanity did not begin within the Garden in Eden. Life existed before that as God gave 'Man' charge to subdue the Earth and bring about bountiful harvest in it. Evolution can only fundamentally exist only if the most basic principle remains true, namely it being; the mutation that an organism adopts indeed stands it out as superior. Unfortunately, this is hardly ever the case. Seeing as how anyone can be made to be forgotten under the sands and stars. Church v. Science is without a shadow of a doubt the stupidest argument anyone can ever reason through, since the old argument of Church v. State. They're interrelated with the Church as its origin and the state as a manifestation.

    April 10, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
  4. beth

    God, you gave them brains to think and they can't even understand that Genesis was an allegory!

    April 10, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
  5. Dale

    The core of this is not a conflict between evolution and Christianity. It's a conflict WITHIN Christianiity: How should we read and understand the Bible? There remain groups of Christians who cannot accept, or even conceive of, a Christianity that is not dependent on a literal reading of the scriptures. Those who assert that Christianity cannot be Christianity without literalism, have no choice, really, but to either abandon their faith entirely or to reject science. Painting themselves into that corner, you get people in 2011 who think that the planet is less than 10,000 years and, confronted with evidence to the contrary, they decide either scientists are conspiring, or God is testing them. The sad thing is that they won't allow themselves the idea that there is a perfectly rich and fulfilling Christian faith possible without literalism. That one can love the scriptures without believing, necessarily, that an actual serpent tempted an actual Eve.

    April 10, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
  6. AtheistSteve

    By Thor's Hammer if I hear one more uneducated simpleton spout "but evolution is just a theory" I'm gonna gouge out my own eyeballs. One more time. Try to wrap your head around the idea that in science the word "theory" means "model". Weathermen use climate models to predict tomorrows weather and compared to evolution the climate models are far, far more chaotic and unpredictable. Millions of pieces of evidence and data from a dozen different scientific disciplines conform exactly to what the theory of evolution predicts and to deny it's validity is pure lunacy. Evolution did happen, mankind is decendant from a common ape ancestor and despite what you may believe the evidence is everywhere you look. Take for example EVERY single vertabrate creature on the planet(everything with a spine) whether it's a salmander, fish, mouse, bird, turtle, deer, giraffe, ape, buffalo or elephant EVERY last one is bi-laterally symetrical with 2 eyes, a nose, a mouth, 4 limbs and a tail. Some snakes have vestigal limb bones, some whales have vestigal hip bones and we have a remnant tail bone(which are in themselves perfect examples of adaptation by evolution). Not a single deviation from the same body pattern. That alone speaks to a common ancestor. If God had truly made each creature in it's "kind" then why aren't there many varieties of body pattern such as 1 or 3 eyes, 6 or 8 limbs(if someone tries to mention bugs here remember that I'm talking only about vertabrates) or any other physical characteristic that doesn't fit this pattern. You can't find even one....because it doesn't exist.

    Or do one of you creationists have an example of such a creature that nobody has ever heard of? I think not.

    April 10, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
    • burns

      but evolution is just a theory!

      April 10, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  7. truth

    Here is one truth, to which all should hold–all christians are fools!!! Nothing else to say.

    April 10, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
  8. bill

    the issue is the lack of humility that science touts. how can someone claim truth beyond reasonable doubt when it comes to the complete biological development of all life? if there's one thing science has shown us and that is certainty is rarely certain. try a little less pomp and a little more meekness.

    April 10, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
  9. MandoMan23

    Yes, I firmly stand behind many of Galelio's teaching on how the Bible and the book of science coexist. Sadly science is rapidly changing every year where as the Bible remains the same while crooked theologist change it's interpretation. Science is a truth as we know it, but we as humans have our faults. In the past 20 years we have been through maybe 5 diffferent models of the atom and its set up. In the next 20 years I'm almost certain it will change at least another 5 times. The Bible will never change and all scientific discoveries must be in line with what the scripture says. In my opinion if the Bible is read in a normal fashion and it says the world was created in seven days, then what ever discovery is made must coincide with what Bible says about our history. Yes the biblical story must be forced on to science; because if the big man upstairs is the best chemistry, physics, and biology specialist in the universe then there must be something we, as rookies and novices in science, must be missing that He clearly sees.

    April 10, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
    • Casey

      HUmmmmm.... well, I've been studying the Bible a bit, and I think our understanding of it is very much a contual process.

      April 10, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
  10. Edward

    Psalms 19 says the heavens declare the glory of God. Psalms 14:1 The Fool says in his heart, "There is no God."

    April 10, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
    • PraiseTheLard

      And who wrote these psalms?

      Fiction for the psimpleminded...

      April 10, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
  11. Humm

    Just read the comments and remember – creationists and members of Intelligent design will not defend their beliefs in a court of law (case: Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District).
    Real scientist, who use their brain to figure out the mysteries and problems of our world dont entertain these nuts anymore than they would entertain someone wanting to debate if the earth was flat or the idea that the earth was the center of the universe.
    These creationist ideas are a detriment to science and attempt to hinder our knowledge of our world. The scientific method by which ideas and theories go through rigorous amounts of scrutiny doesnt need to be hindered by the muck spewed from the mouths of ID'ers.
    If you argue about evolution , you may as well argue for alchemy over chemistry and magic over engineering.

    April 10, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
    • PraiseTheLard

      Courts of law? Just wait a while while the evangelists work to populate the judicial branch with nothing but creationists... then you won't be allowed to introduce any evidence that doesn't have the Creationist Stamp of Approval...

      April 10, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
  12. 21k

    and such a crappy god to believe in! created everything in the whole universe, but didn't think to stop hitler. little heart attack, slip on the stairs, stray bullet, would have been so easy. instead he left it up to fdr to outwit the isolationist republicans the in the us congress.

    April 10, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
    • Proud to be a Christian

      you're making a critical mistake that most non-christians make. God created the world pure and perfect. He gave man the responsibility of caring for the Earth. He also gave man this crucial thing that we all value so much called FREE WILL. Man chose to disobey God, and that's how sin entered the world. Sin corrupted the perfect Earth that God had created – because of OUR choices. And so we live in the consequence of that sin: a corrupted and decadent world inhabited by people that are born with a sinful nature. Theres no question that God could stop bad things from happening. He WILL do that when he comes again to judge the Earth. Being forgiven doesn't mean getting rid of the consequences of our actions.
      In short, these things you listed happen because of man's sinfulness, and in spite of this we can still come to God through Jesus. Let me know if you have any questions on what I've just said.

      April 10, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
    • Skeptical Analysis

      @PBC – you're making a critical mistake that most Christians make. Your premises are invalid, your logic is flawed, and your conclusion is irrelevant.
      1. "god created the world" – how do you know?
      2. If god had created the world pure and perfect, none of the creatures (even the ones with free will) would be capable of sin.
      3. "god will come to judge the Earth" – how do you know?

      April 10, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
    • Proud to be a Christian

      Well your first and third points are valid. It takes faith to believe those things happened as I said.

      Your second one is not, however. Human beings were created perfect AND were given free will. They CHOSE to disobey God. There was a choice between following God's commands and deviating from them.

      April 10, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
    • Skeptical Analysis

      @PBC – you can't be helped... I'll say it again differently so you might understand your failed logic. A perfect creation would not be capable of making a bad decision, free will or not.

      April 10, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
    • Skeptical Analysis

      Or do you mean "perfect" in a way that redefines it and therefore renders it useless to the conversation?

      April 10, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
    • Proud to be a Christian

      Perhaps i should be using the term 'pure' rather than 'perfect'.

      Being pure does not necessitate the impossibility of contamination. Pure human beings were contaminated by sin of their own volition. That is what I mean, sorry for the confusion with the terms.

      April 10, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  13. A Modern-Day Believer

    Well, sixteen hundred and eighty-some responses in, I'm not sure anyone will read this, but why must we limit God's abilities to only what we understand? God says He created man, and I believe Him. But evolution (which also explains how similar-looking plants and animals are related, a system of explanation which seems to make pretty good sense even to creationists) also appears to be true. Why must one be wrong so the other can be right? As I've read the Bible (You HAVE read the Bible, haven't you?) I've found that some of the most profound truths are found by thinking about concepts I thought I knew and understood in ways that enhance their meaning. In other words, the more I study the Bible, the more I realize that studying parts of it can change my understanding of other parts of it. God is not bound by time, so who is to say what HE meant by "a day"? Remember, it's not important what we believe He meant; it's important that we trust Him, and have faith that what He said will ultimately turn out to be true from His perspective, not ours.

    April 10, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
    • 21k

      one small item. god didn't write the bible, men did. so it was men who said that god created man.

      April 10, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
    • burns

      Why would I want to read the bible? Then I would have to read the Torrah, the Qu'ran, and whatever the buddhists use. The problem is that i hate bad fiction.

      April 10, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
  14. Proud to be a Christian

    I agree with this article in a couple aspects: Jesus IS the way, the truth, and the life; the Bible is an ancient text that outlines how Creation took place, and that Jesus is all for the truth (he can't contradict himself, can he?)

    Evolution and Christianity do not go together. In fact, it takes just as much faith to believe in evolution as it does to believe in God, since it's been calculated that the probability that evolution has led to the biodiversity we see today is about 1 in 1.89 x 10^23. For those of you who don't understand what that means, it basically means that evolution leading to the modern world we see today is about as likely to have happened as that a McDonald's cheeseburger made in a back alley in Tokyo was stolen by a 8-year-old girl from Somalia, placed inside the briefcase of an english businessman who flew it to Bristol and found it in his bag while in a meeting with Donald Trump. A.k.a., it's not "the truth".

    Evolution is mostly made up of conjectures and unlikely explanations of assumed patterns. It's like saying if i left a bunch of empty soda cans in my cellar they'd turn into a supercomputer if I give it enough time. Even the carbon dating methods used by scientists has been proven to be inaccurate.

    Most people dont realize that bones are not dated themselves – they are ASSUMED to be as old as the rocks around them. So when the rocks they're embedded give a reading of 2 billion years, it's assumed that the bones are just as old. FALSE. In the late 1990's there was a study done to determined the accuracy of carbon dating, and so they tested a rock taken from the italian volcano Mount Etna. The rock was formed during the eruption in the late 70's, and so there was no doubt that the rock was no more than 30 years old. Carbon-14 dating, however, concluded that the rock was over 700,000 years old. Wow, no discrepancy there at all, right? Again, FALSE.

    Jesus said "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me". America needs to return to the creator of the world and the redeemer of humanity. I am not a doomsday prophesier, I am not holier than thou, I am nowhere near perfect. But I do know that one day we will all stand before the God of the universe and give an account of how we lived our lives on this Earth. And whoever doesn't have their name written in the Book of Life – whoever has never accepted the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross – will be thrown in the lake of fire. There is only one condition for getting into heaven, and just being a good person isn't enough. Jesus IS the way, the truth, and the life.

    April 10, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
    • Bill

      Man, this is pretty serious crap. You obviously don't understand science and evolution. This is the smaller part of the problem however. The bigger is that you don't even want to. It's not even worth arguing with these kind of arguments. I just have one recommendation for you. When you are ill, don't go to see a doctor and don't take antibiotics as they are a results of understanding evolution. Obviously, since you don't believe in it, you should not need it. Don't even consider modern medicine. Rather you should just pray and hope Jesus comes and saves you.

      April 10, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
    • Grammie in Williamsburg

      I am a Christian and I fully believe in evolution – I don't understand the math and the physics, but I do not doubt the reality. Not all Christians see evolution as anti-God. Take a look at the universe through the prism of quantum physics and tell me that our God isn't awesome for creating such a marvelous place....

      April 10, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
    • Dysert

      It is not possible to carbon date rocks. Carbon 14 dating is based on the absorption of atmospheric carbon by living things. When the thing dies it no longer takes in carbon from the atmosphere through processes such as eating or respiration and levels of C14 in the body deplete due to the natural process of radioactive decay. By seeing how much C14 remains it is possible to see how long it has been since that animal died.

      And, even if you could date rock using C14, 30 years is to early to get an accurate date, since C14 is based on radioactive decay.

      Read more: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Is_it_possible_to_Carbon_14_Date_a_rock#ixzz1J9gtt6Rp

      April 10, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
    • burns

      Evolution is made up of established patterns. We know what genes are and understand the mechanisms that cause them to change. Breeding bigger cows – evolution, virus becoming immune to antivirals – evolution. 1 in 1.89 x 10^23 to get where we are, do you understand how they got that number? I assume not, but yes things happeneing exactly as they are doesn't mean god. I keep noticing that you hate on scientists quite abit in your post, who did the volcano carbon dating? A pastor? To say that soda cans could turn into a super computer by themselves shows that you have never read a text book and clearly should be locked up in a church for the rest of your life.

      There is no god

      April 10, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
    • Tyler

      So much is wrong with your comment. As a soon to be graduating biology student I would go back and answer and correct all you got wrong in your little unintelligent rant; however, you do not merit one. You have just managed to tell every biologist, chemist, geologist, and physicist that they are all wrong. And I'm willing to bet you don't have ONE college course in ANY science under your belt. I live and let live with religion as long as you leave the science to the scientists.

      April 10, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
    • Bryan

      @ Proud to be a Christian: Ok, uh, your whole post was so utterly filled with crap it's beyond wrong. It takes no faith whatsoever to "believe" evolution. It requries no belief at all, just acceptance, or rejection (combined with a better theory, one that explains everything that evolution explains, and more, and still withstands the veracity of scientific inquiry). Your probability calculation is absurd. Such a calculation cannot even be done, and since life did evolve here, the probability of it happening on Earth is exactly 100%. If you understood statistics, which you clearly don't, you would know this. Your silly briefcase analogy is just as absurd as the 747 building itself when a tornado hits a junkyard. Ridiculous strawman, ridiculous conjecture on your part. And THEN you say this:

      "Evolution is mostly made up of conjectures and unlikely explanations of assumed patterns. It's like saying if i left a bunch of empty soda cans in my cellar they'd turn into a supercomputer if I give it enough time. Even the carbon dating methods used by scientists has been proven to be inaccurate."

      Evolution is not made up of conjectures and unlikely explanations etc. etc. You haven't even a basic understanding of evolution obviously, much less science, and you think that this statement of yours has some basis in reality? Carbon dating? Really now? Carbon dating is an excellent and reliable means for testing the age of objects up to roughly 60,000 years. Beyond that, it's no use. You'd never use it on rocks, as you seem to think in the rest of your post. It's accurate normally to within 40 years. By the way, when scientists actually measure the age of something they often use multiple methods and multiple iterations to verify. It's a very well developed science.

      "Most people dont realize that bones are not dated themselves – they are ASSUMED to be as old as the rocks around them. So when the rocks they're embedded give a reading of 2 billion years, it's assumed that the bones are just as old. FALSE. In the late 1990's there was a study done to determined the accuracy of carbon dating, and so they tested a rock taken from the italian volcano Mount Etna. The rock was formed during the eruption in the late 70's, and so there was no doubt that the rock was no more than 30 years old. Carbon-14 dating, however, concluded that the rock was over 700,000 years old. Wow, no discrepancy there at all, right? Again, FALSE."

      Unbelievable. Pick up and read some science books. A lot of them, and start with the basics. *Carbon-14 dating* confirmed a rock's age as over 700,000 years? Really now? Might want to factcheck yourself a bit. Use legitimate sources, not Creationist scam websites.

      "Jesus said "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me"."

      No, the Bible says Jesus said that. There's a huge difference. I wonder if you understand why?

      Seriously, man, educate yourself on science. Your post is utterly ignorant, and if you actually know better then you're lying. Either way, I don't think your God would approve. You have so much to learn about science that it's hard to know where to begin. If I were you, take your statements above and check actual science sources online and see what they say about them. If you have the cajones to do so, you will be very surprised, and rightfully embarrassed.

      April 10, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
    • Proud to be a Christian

      Well I don't know if you'll accept the New York Times as a reliable source but here are some quotes from the article they wrote on exactly what I was saying about carbon dating:

      "New research shows, however, that some estimates based on carbon may have erred by thousands of years"
      "Scientists have long recognized that carbon dating is subject to error"
      "Scientists at the Lamont-Doherty Geological Laboratory of Columbia University at Palisades, N.Y., reported today in the British journal Nature that some estimates of age based on carbon analyses were wrong by as much as 3,500 years"

      And that's just on the front page.

      I am not in the least against science. I welcome science and all the facts that scientists uncover. Microevolution, like the virus immunity mentioned and the genomes, are perfectly true and factual. I believe in it wholeheartedly. MACROevolution, i.e. saying everything came from random atoms bonding together followed by billions of years of random miniscule mutations that were selected by nature for their advancements, is not FACT. It is a conjecture, and that's why it's called the THEORY of evolution. I can't prove 100% that creation happened – it takes faith to believe it. But you can't prove 100% that evolution happened either – it takes faith to believe it.

      And for your information, I did take biology in college, thanks.

      April 10, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
    • ...

      So God put the bones in the stone too, huh?

      April 10, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
    • Tyler

      II have read a lot of posts today in between the lab report I'm doing. I've stayed away from the religion arguments and tried to concentrate on correcting invalid arguments on evolution and some of the misconceptions and misinformation people have regarding it. I'm sure some of them were trolls, but statistically some had to be devout anti-evolutionists. Sad to say, but it is an act of futility to convince these people otherwise. I don't care what religion people have, I just don't want people to not except reality; people shouldn't choose to reject a fact just because they want to keep a particular faith. But they do, and I can't stop them. You can't reason someone out of an argument they didn't reason themselves into.

      April 10, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
    • Proud to be a Christian

      @ Tyler
      Way to pull out the ad hominim argument, one of the most common fallacies in the debate over evolution. You're resting your reply on the proposition that I am ignorant and hard-headed, not on any scientific fact.

      And I think it's safe to say a NYT article is more reliable than a WikiAnswers post.

      Like I said, I am not against science in the least. I don't disbelieve the Theory of Evolution simply to disbelieve it. I disbelieve it because I believe in the God who created the universe and even created you just the way you are.
      The Theory of Evolution has many perfectly sound and factual points, as i mentioned before. There is much that is right about it, and much that I accept completely. But the crux of this Theory is what I disbelieve, and this is not out of ignorance, but rather the opposite.
      In fact, it's quite ignorant to assume that the Theory of Evolution is a proven fact since any self-respecting scientist will realize that it is not. That's why it's still the THEORY of evolution and not the law, postulate, or fact of evolution. It takes faith to believe it is real just as it takes faith for me to believe that the Bible and creation are true.

      April 10, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
    • Tyler

      Okay Mr. or Ms. Proud to be a Christian, you have to ask yourself one very important question. Is there anything someone could say or show that would change my belief/ position on something including faith? If your answer to that question is no, than I'm right about wasting my time.
      Secondly...you...you just don't get it. You do not understand science. I'm so angry because you are not even getting the definitions of BASIC scientific terminology right, so how can I accept any argument you put forth? Here is what you think is important from least to greatest: Theory/opinion, Fact. That's okay for everyday usage for us, BUT in science theory means something ALL TOGETHER DIFFERENT. Scientific theories are models and state mechanisms for observed phenomenon (facts). Laws are simply situations that nature doesn't violate. So for scientists the order of importance from least to greatest: Opinions (not necessarily intelligent so practically useless), Facts, Hypothesis (educated guess explaining fact) Laws, Theories. Evolution is a fact. Gravity is a fact. They and many others have a Theory that accompanies them. As you correctly stated, micro evolution is real. It has been observed. By definition, you can't observe macro evolution the same way. But you can observe the evidence for it. In many ways it works like gravity. You see the effects of gravity, not the graviton itself (if they have even found that particle yet). Oh and since you mentioned it, we always assume random error in all experiments, so you might say we can't prove anything 100%. It's called a confidence interval. Professors generally don't accept anything lower than 90% from students, but with the right lab equipment you can reach what amounts to a de facto 100% certainty. Wait, I'm off topic
      Lastly, with all due respect to that newspaper The New York Times is not a scientific journal. I certainly do not mean to sound like a snob, but it can be easy for people without a lot of background in science to misconstrue something including wiki answers/Wikipedia. I think that is made evident by me explaining definitions to you. It isn't because someone is dumb, they just are not familiar with aspects of how things are done, and what terms mean. Honestly guy, I don't usually read scientific journals either unless it's like today, and I gotta look up info from credible sources for a report, so how about I recommend National Geographic or Discovery Channel. The evidence is there, but I can't make you accept it.

      April 10, 2011 at 8:04 pm |
  15. David Scott

    I suppose you can explain the resurrection scientifically as well. God is a miracle worker and creation was a miracle.

    April 10, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
    • PraiseTheLard

      God is a fictional character invented in order to control the behavior of the simple-minded.

      April 10, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
    • Humm


      God is a fictional character invented in order to control the behavior of the simple-minded."

      This essentially is the truth. However, jesus was a real person and the way of life he spoke of (the christian model) was one of peace, love and all the other hippie junk that does make for a better functioning society.
      However the 'god said it, & god did it' answers are always a cop out for 'i dunno' lack of knowledge.

      April 10, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
    • Skeptical Analysis

      Here is the scientific examination of the resurrection: There is no scientific evidence that it occurred.
      Here is the legal examination of the resurrection: There is no first hand evidence that it occurred.
      Conclusion: It is not at all reasonable to believe that it occurred...

      April 10, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
    • Proud to be a Christian

      @ PraisetheLard

      You can tell that to him face-to-face on the day of judgment

      April 10, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
    • Skeptical Analysis

      @PBC – and you know this how? A book told you? Words written by men? Ignorant men from millennia ago?

      April 10, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  16. Kim

    The author of this article is either a fool or worse !
    How can Jesus agree with something that negates the very essence of what he is all about?
    That God is a god of creation and does not need evolution. He SPEAKS THINGS TO EXISTENCE !!!
    I'm sick why CNN allows such fols to have a platform to spread their lies !

    April 10, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
    • Ourkie

      Does your ignorance know any bounds? As a Christian it is clear that God initiated the first spark of life and let evolution unfold as His plan. To oppose evolution is to put a limit on God's abilities. Of course Jesus would believe in evolution, He is the Son of God and knew exactly how his Dad created the world.

      April 10, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
    • Justin

      It's called the First Amendment which guarantees freedom of speech, press, and religion, all in one convenient sentence.

      April 10, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
    • HeyWhatsCrackin

      They're not lies if you realize it's the truth.

      April 10, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
  17. Weird conclusion...

    Yes...maybe all creation shares the same genes. But...If I make a television case with plastic, a bottle with plastic, desk with plastic...would you say they inherited the same ancestors ???? I would just say, they share the same components. A suggestion, you need to source up to the very beginning, when the creation are created before they were "given birth". Maybe you will have a different idea.

    I see genes as a materials, and there is so much more theories or hypothesis to this topic; maybe you jump to the conclusion too fast.

    April 10, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
    • burns

      You have jumped to a weird and wrong conclusion.

      April 10, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  18. AMay

    Regardless of how you feel about evolution, Creation makes a lot more sense than "the big bang" or the idea that we came from nothing. This equation for this (nobody + nothing = everything) doesn't make sense in any rational sense – even if one doesn't believe in God.

    April 10, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
    • Jon Voisey

      Good thing that's not actually what the Big Bang theory says. That's just the Creationist strawman version.

      April 10, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
    • Hmmm

      Even if that were an accurate depiction of the Big Bang theory exactly how is that less believable than an all powerful being willing the universe into existence (out of nothing).

      April 10, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
    • Humm

      Thats not what the big bang theory is. But your argument is that 'Magic Man in sky + waves wand = life!' and it would be more valid?
      This comment thread is exactly why my parents raised me to never talk about 3 things with people of lesser intellect: money, politics, & religion!

      April 10, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
    • Casey

      Well... I'm a Christian and believer, and also a person of science... and I see that the Big Bang theory aligns well with my spiritual beliefs. This is a well written article, and outlines a lot of how I feel. Science and Christianianity are both looking for Truth... albiet from differing approaches and perspectives. While th two may appear to diverge from time to time... as we learn more, ultimately, they will converge, coincide, and support each other. That being said, since they both search for truth in different ways, we shouldn't allow one, or the other to block progress, or free, clear thinking in the other. They are two parallel paths, and once we get them right, will converge to a singularity.

      April 10, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
    • El Kababa

      The BIg Bang scientists don't say that the universe came from nothing. They say that all traces of whatever existed before the Big Bang were destroyed by the Big Bang. Maybe it was nothing, maybe it was something. There is no way to ever know.

      April 10, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  19. Alan Meyer

    Personally, I don't believe that God exists and therefore certainly don't believe that he created the universe or guided evolution. I have a reasonably good understanding of molecular biology and I know very well what it means to say that common genes indicate common descent from a common parent organism, and what the evidence is for the truth of that statement. What I don't understand is how any non-physical "supernatural" force can either set the evolutionary process in motion or guide it. It seems to me that it's all biochemistry and there are no non-physical "levers" in the process for a supernatural being to work on.

    Nevertheless, I appreciate Dr. Gilberson's separation of belief in God from belief in evolution. He is obviously a believer in God, yet he is able to believe in God without having to believe that every word in the Bible is literally true. Millions of other genuinely religious people agree with him. I believe that we of today and the authors of the Bible 2-3,000 years ago, have a common humanity and a common need to find a "higher" way to live. The principles that they laid down for the people of their day are still instructive to us today. That they associated those principles with a pre-scientific view of the world is not surprising, but doesn't take away from the value of the principles themselves.

    I would encourage religious believers to abandon the supernatural aspects of their religion and study science. If they do, I think that, like Dr. Gilberson, they will find that all of the really important and valuable parts of their religion can still remain and still satisfy them. Believing in the false pseudo-science of creationism does *not* enhance their religious life. It detracts from it.

    April 10, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
    • Humm

      Correct –
      Jesus depicted a way of life that exudes peace, love, forgiveness,compassion and honor. No need to take metaphorical stories and interpret them literally! I think Jesus would be sad at those of you who would take a 2,000 year old, rewritten , re-translated, 'king james' bible literally. He would be sad at how his words have been twisted and used for control and would let you know to be kind to each other, love one another, and be happy with your life. His messages serve as uplifting words to help you through tough times and keep life positive NOT AS A SCIENCE BOOK!

      April 10, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
  20. Christian Scientist

    Cheers to you Mr. Giberson. To create the universe I believe God first created Math and Physics as the tapestry on which to paint his grand creation. God was the ultimate scientist, doesn't that mean we as Christians need to embrace science to better understand our creator?

    The bible is a 'who' book, not a 'how' book. God meant for us to discover the 'how' through the science which he so lovingly created. The Bible tells us the 'who' in that it was God who created it in the first place. Faith and Science aren't just compatible, they go hand in hand.

    April 10, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
    • marie

      SO TRUE. Science is just another piece to the puzzle.

      April 10, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
    • dafadfa

      I have the feeling that a lot of us here are not really against God or creation or the bible, but against many Christian's views on the absolute 'inerrancy' of the bible. The bible as we know it today went through many generations of alteration and are NOT infallable. We are humans, NOT God, and therefore we DO NOT know all there is to know about GOD. The same goes with science.
      We need to understand that we are still learning and searching, for GOD and for science. Christians and non Christians need to stop acting like you have all the answers. No one have all the answer. We are all doing our best to understand why and where to our being here.

      April 10, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
    • John Faile

      I propose a challenge to all of our confused scientists. Go into your laboratory and create something from nothing; because all you can do is rearrange the pieces that God created. In your wildest dreams, you have no idea how to create something from nothing. I would say you could start with Hydrogen, but alas, God also made Hydrogen. What about that brain that you think so highly of? Oh yes, God made that to. And for all of you evolutionists. If we evolved from monkeys, why are ther still monkeys. And if a Lion is still evolving, what is it evolving into? I can say the same thing about an eagle. How is it that flowers need insects to promilgate. This is surely a strange phenomena. How can a flower evolve unless it can propogate, Oh yes, it does need bees. What if bees were to evolve into something else, Oh yes, the flowers would die. If you can not see the glory, majesty and beauty of God's creation, made perfect as it is, then you are truely blind.

      Brother John

      April 10, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
    • Humm

      John 'FAIL'e is right
      your arguments are those of someone who has never done any research or learning or even seen a science book. Read about Darwin and his observations, his finches and the things that he saw and now we study on the Galapagos islands.
      Why must you creationist revert to the 'since i dont know – god must have done it' argument? I literally feel sorry for your ignorance. Tis truly sad.

      April 10, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
    • Snow white

      How can anyone with an ounce of common sense believe the fairy tale that is the Bible. If a God did exist, with all the things that have gone horribly wrong and continue to go wrong in the history of man, who would want to pray to such a so called God?

      April 10, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.