Survey: U.S. Protestant pastors reject evolution, split on Earth's age
January 10th, 2012
04:18 PM ET

Survey: U.S. Protestant pastors reject evolution, split on Earth's age

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

America’s Protestant pastors overwhelmingly reject the theory of evolution and are evenly split on whether the earth is 6,000 years old, according to a survey released Monday by the Southern Baptist Convention.

When asked if “God used evolution to create people," 73% of pastors disagreed - 64% said they strongly disagreed - compared to 12% who said they agree.

Asked whether the earth is approximately 6,000 years old, 46% agreed, compared to 43% who disagreed.

A movement called Young Earth creationism promotes the 6,000-year-old figure, arguing that it is rooted in the Bible. Scientists say the earth is about 4.5 billion years old.

The Southern Baptist Convention survey, which queried 1,000 American Protestant pastors, also found that 74% believe the biblical Adam and Eve were literal people.

“Recently discussions have pointed to doubts about a literal Adam and Eve, the age of the earth and other origin issues," said Ed Stetzer, president of LifeWay Research, a division of the Southern Baptist Convention, in a report on LifeWay’s site. “But Protestant pastors are overwhelmingly Creationists and believe in a literal Adam and Eve.”

The phone survey was conducted in May 2011, sampling ministers from randomly selected Protestant churches. The survey had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.2 percent, LifeWay said.

A 2010 Gallup poll found that 40% of Americans believe God created humans in their present form, versus 54% who said humans developed over millions of years.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • Science

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soundoff (6,504 Responses)
  1. Trevor

    Poll shows 7 out of ten pastors are idiots.

    January 11, 2012 at 9:40 am |
    • DB


      January 11, 2012 at 9:51 am |
  2. Fried Green Tomatoes

    *** fred

    Religion only survives due to ignorance
    Exactly what are most Christians ignorant of? Just one please......

    1) True nature of Republicans.

    January 11, 2012 at 9:39 am |

      What he said!
      2) The obvious, undeniable, implausibility of it all..............................

      January 11, 2012 at 9:46 am |
  3. ReligionIs4Dolts

    "God" is such a genius that he forgot to stop implanting hair follicles when "he" got to the insides of our nostrils and our ear lobes. What the h&|| do old people need hair in those places for? Just so we can be annoyed by yet another maintenance routine? Sadist god!

    January 11, 2012 at 9:38 am |
    • blah

      filtering out debris. You may need some on the inside of your mouth.

      January 11, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • ReligionIs4Dolts

      Seems to me that babies and children need that filtering crap more than grown adults, but then the problem doesn't arise until we become adults, does it? You like having to clip those hairs every couple of days, do you?

      January 11, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  4. hippypoet

    ok, here we go, nice and easy, the earth is 4.5 billion years old and we came down from the trees at around 6 million years ago thats a time span of 4.4 billion years and some odd 994 million years where many other creatures ruled this earth for longer and in more harmony then us. We are just babies. Heres an excerpt from something i worte years ago – "It helps to underline how unimportant we humans really are in the overall scheme of things. In the sense of geological time, we have only just drawn our first breath." Creating this illusion that we are as old as the planet and rule it due thanks to a god that which created all things but we are special above all for it gave us its image – thats a god complex to the T ... and not to mention how conceded of anyone to believe that we are special...the cone snail of australia is far more special then us... how about the trees that live for thousands of years while we have a mere average of 80 years to live but yet spend the time doing things that knowingly shorten our lives – we aren't only not special but a rather destructive and ignorant species that will if the planet doesnt kill us off first destroy the world in which we live.

    January 11, 2012 at 9:38 am |
  5. Spagati

    I read "7 in 10 Pators are idiots and those that follow them are too".

    For having all the oppotunities we have in this country it is really scary how so many people are completely clueless and ignorant without even a desire to learn. They don't even want to hear about evolution allowing them to make their own decisions, they would rather put their fingers in their ears and blabber like a 3 year old. They feel as it is a sin to even consider listening to the other side, complete and utter idiocy.

    January 11, 2012 at 9:37 am |
    • OldNews

      The fact that you use school yard name calling really doesn't lend much credibilty to anything you might have to say.

      January 11, 2012 at 9:47 am |
    • Spagati

      Just call em' like I see em'. Idiots.

      January 11, 2012 at 9:52 am |
    • OldNews

      So, is everyone you don't agree with an idiot? Not very healthy thinking dude. Not very healthy at all.

      January 11, 2012 at 10:04 am |
    • Spagati

      No, I think anyone who just takes a simple answer and doesn't even take the time to learn all view points is an idiot. That is the definition of an idiot.

      January 11, 2012 at 10:15 am |
    • OldNews

      As much as I agree with your last comment, I don't see that being the case here. I see it as they are listening to it, they just don't agree with it. I'm not trying to be difficult here, but all I see is a difference of opinions. I don't see anyone ignoring anything. Oh well, maybe it's me. Anyway, peace to you.

      January 11, 2012 at 10:25 am |
  6. David Johnson

    What is funny to me, is how the Evangelicals and born againers are now starting to work evolution and an old earth into their beliefs: "God used evolution to create all the kinds of animals" and "It wasn't an actual 6 days. Each day could have been millions of years... in spite of the bible defining "a day".

    Believers use theological gymnastics to keep the god myth "alive".

    Believer's Rule of Thumb:
    If a bible verse furthers the cause, it is to be taken literally. If a bible verse is detrimental to the cause, it is either: taken out of context; is allegorical; refers to another verse somewhere else; is a translation or copyist's error; means something other than what it actually says; Is a mystery of god or not discernable by humans; or is just plain magic.

    Odd, that an almighty god would have to be "defended" in this way. The Christian god is said to be all knowing, all powerful and all loving. Yet, there are about 38,000 different denominations of Christianity in the world. Over 1000 in North America. With all those superior attributes, you would think this god would have inspired a bible that was not ambiguous. A bible that everyone would interpret the same way.

    The Christian god is very unlikely to exist. His demigod son was a myth.


    January 11, 2012 at 9:37 am |
  7. Tom

    No wonder the Republican candidates have to stoop so low and make things so simple for their base. This article really saddens me as these are the people who are instructing children. One does not have to reject proven science (and certainly it is proven the earth is over 6000 years old (as is mankind) to have faith. How and what are these simpletons taught?

    January 11, 2012 at 9:36 am |
    • David Johnson


      Better be careful with these religious nuts. They are fun to poke fun at, for sure. But they have a terrifying "wish list".

      Christian Right Agenda = Christian Theocracy

      Theocracy = A government ruled by or subject to religious authority.

      Christian Right = Predominately Evangelicals

      The Texas history books are rewriting history to give the conservative slant. The objective of this effort, is to create a Christian Nation, a theocracy with Jesus as Head of State.
      The recent article about the letter to the Jews, from George Washington, must sting like a son-of-a-gun. We are a secular nation. Thank god!

      A huge campaign is underway, to convince the American people, the founding fathers never intended a separation of church and state. Thomas Jefferson's role as a founding father is played down. In some cases Jefferson is smudged.

      Expect an attack on the 1st and 14th Amendments. The founding fathers will weep.
      Most of the Tea Party are for a Christian Theocracy. The Tea Party is in bed with the Christian Right. A vote for any Tea Party candidate, is a vote for Christian Right domination.

      The Republicans are the puppets of the Christian Right and Rich White Men. If you aren't rich or if you aren't white, then this is not your party. Remember Rand Paul's wish to have limited government that should not force private businesses to abide by civil rights law? Isn't that a tad racist or is it just me? Can you say: "You want me to sit where on the bus?"

      You will see an amendment defining marriage as between a man and woman. Existing Gay and lesbian marriages will be dissolved. Gay rights will dwindle and die. A major Ron Paul supporter favors the death penalty for gays.

      Roe Vs. Wade will be reversed. Even victims of ra_pe or incest, will be forced to carry the child to term. Women will once again be forced to seek back alley remedies.
      The rich will send their loved one to another country. One more perk of being wealthy. No filthy back alley for them.
      People may be forced to buy contraceptives on the black market. You will procreate! Or you will be abstinent! It is not up to you! Land of the Free?
      Stem cell research will stagnate. The hopes of damaged and sick people will be dashed. Little Billy better get used to that wheelchair. If he prays with all his might... he may get a motorized wheelchair for Christmas.

      All scientific research will be scrutinized by the Christian Right. "Whether or not a theory is in agreement with the Evangelical's interpretation of god's will", will be the new metric. Get use to hearing "God Did It". No one will dare question otherwise.
      Science classes will be much easier. Much less to remember or think about. 90% of the answers will be "D" – God did it. 30% correct will be passing. 50% will be Valedictorian.

      Education doesn't matter! Jesus is coming soon. When Perry told of his p_oor academic performance, The Republicans (Tea Party?) applauded.

      Let's glorify ignorance and stupidity!

      You say you've developed a vaccine that will prevent women from getting cervical cancer? No, Mr. Scientist. You will pour it down the drain! And you will make drugs that prevent STDs no more! So sayeth the Lord...According to the Religious Nuts.

      "Giving the HPV vaccine to young women could be potentially harmful, because they may see it as a license to engage in premarital $ex. Abstinence is the best way to prevent HPV" – Bridget Maher of the Family Research Council

      I would much rather my daughter was lying there dying of cancer, rather than having taken a shot that might have made her sleep with a boy. I certainly believe she would never have considered this, without that demon vacination.

      There was a recent article on the Religious blog about how Evangelical young'uns are not waiting for marriage.

      Little Betty is not praying so often, because she is so devout. She is praying for her Aunt Flow. Amen!
      The word hypocrites comes to mind, for some reason.
      P_ornography will be illegal. The Religious Right will decide what is p_ornographic , as well as what is art. You will watch television programs approved by the Evangelicals. Lots of reruns of "Growing Pains", starring that Evangelical darling Kirk Cameron. Thank you Jesus!
      And plenty of Creationist docu_mentaries! Oh, Mama! Get the popcorn! Were gonna have us a fine time in Jesus tonight!

      Will museums exhibiting transitional fossils and other evidence of evolution, be deemed po_rnographic and closed? Their exhibits burned?
      Didn't the Taliban destroy the Buddha statues in Afghanistan?
      Creationism will be taught in public school, most likely alongside evolution rather than instead of, but no guarantees. Creationism/ Intelligent Design will consist of 10 chapters. Evolution will be mentioned on the book jacket cover.

      Vouchers will enable parents to send their child to religious schools. Funds to public schools will dwindle. Quality education will be out of reach for the masses. The finite amount of money, will be spread too thin. Destroying the public school system is the purpose of the voucher system.

      If each faith attends their own school, interacts only with children who believe as they do, Might this not interfere with the melting pot, we often brag about? Won't this increase prejudices? The Catholics once told their children that Jews have horns. *sigh*

      Segregation, is not beneficial. We need to learn to get along, and work together. Toddlers are really good at playing well with others.

      Little Johnny will believe in talking snakes and Zombie Messiahs. He will spend his free time watching the heavens, waiting for Jesus to return. The rest of the world is spending their time learning real science and math. Good luck Johnny. Can you say: "Would you like fries with that?" And you Betty! Lots of jobs overseas. With your qualifications, there is a pole with your name on it, waiting for you.

      State-sanctioned Prayer will be in our schools. The Christian Right think they know better than the Founding Fathers and want to tamper with the Bill of Rights. They want to amend the U.S. Const_itution, so that the Government would legally sponsor and take over the activity of prayer. Only the one true god, the Christian god, will be given homage. The god(s), of all other faiths, will be subservient to the Christian god. Muslim parents will need to make this clear to their children. Will the Catholics and the Mormons be Christian enough? What about the Jehovah Witnesses? The Evangelicals / Jesus will determine this.
      The non-Christians will be allowed to put their heads down on their desks, during the morning worship. They can contemplate their damnation, for not accepting Jesus.

      $ex education will consist of abstinence only. Studies have shown it is a worthless concept. But, it will please the religious fanatics. Why did little Betty have her purity ring reshaped into a tongue stud?

      The war against unions, commenced during the Reagan administration, will continue. Labor will be humbled. They will accept the wages they are offered and should be grateful to get it. The Mexicans won't come here for jobs, anymore. The rate of pay won't justify the effort.

      Say goodbye to enti_tlements. Medicare will be changed to a voucher system. When Grandma is out of vouchers, she is out of luck. Social Security is a Ponzi Scheme! We will reduce Grandmas' pension a % for each, predetermined, increment of life.

      Our elderly will die earlier than they would like. But, they have the promise of an afterlife to comfort them. Unless of course, they haven't accepted Jesus. Then, they will burn in a place created by an all loving and all just god, for all eternity.
      Best for them to concentrate on the pie in the sky. Works better than opium for a lot of people.

      Go toward the light, Grandma... Grandpa is waiting for you.
      We love you Grandma. But, the Republicans have taken away Medicare and cut your Social Security. Go to sleep, now.

      The government will turn over Medicade and the rest of the programs for the p_oor, to the Christian Right. They will decide who will receive help and who will not. No longer will the criteria for receiving help, simply be income. Every dime given, will have "strings". The p_oor will be beholden to the Evangelicals.

      The Christian Right has embraced Paul as the moral lawgiver. Paul's First Ep_istle of Paul to the Thessalonians, is often quoted by the Republicans. You never hear them quote Jesus' advice to the rich. You don't bite the hand that feeds you. Jesus will understand.

      The Republicans applaud the executions, of human beings. The more the merrier. They will be a burden to the state, no more! If it turns out some were actually innocent, god will set it right... Providing they have accepted Christ.

      Perhaps trials aren't necessary. Send the accused directly to god's justice! We are a Christian nation!! Are we not the hand of god?

      The accused are of another faith, you say? Give them a chance to pray the Sinners Prayer, and send them to judgment.

      The Republicans screamed, "YES", when asked if an uninsured man should be allowed to die.
      If you read the Good Samaritan parable told by Jesus, you might come away with the idea that Jesus wouldn't agree.
      But, I bet Jesus will change His mind once the Evangelicals rule in His name.

      Could be, Jesus will feel compelled to rewrite the entire bible, leaving out those obviously unclear parts. The Evangelicals will help Jesus clear them up. Guaranteed!

      Jesus will be the Head of State! He will be represented by an empty chair at the head of the leadership table. Only the Evangelicals will be able to hear His voice. They will tell the rest of us His will.
      Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!
      The Evangelicals will rule in the name of a mythical demigod.

      "Theocracies generally do not tolerate freedom of expression. They believe their dogma is divine; that it comes from divine revelation (directly from God as in Moses on Mount Sinai) and therefore, no dissenting opinion can be accurate or helpful. This often leads to widespread abuse of basic human rights."

      WoW! If the above quote doesn't make you wanna puke...

      The Evangelicals are not content to run their own lives. They want to get, by political means, what Jesus never has and never will give them, by returning.

      Vote for the Dems in 2012. There are a lot of things I would like to see changed in the Democratic Party, but at least they are not insane.

      Thank God, this country is a secular nation.

      Remember, Jesus won't really be in charge. It will be an Evangelical idiot.


      January 11, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
  8. AndyInAtl

    Wow, reading these comments, it's amazing how ignorant people choose to believe a sad little old man's delusion, rather than age old truth in the Bible. The current state of theory of evolution is Darwin's babble, embraced and tweaked to manipulate the "science" behind it to show the "proof" that they go hand in hand. USSR tried this before (i would know, I lived there) where they would try to jail every Christian, not allowing kids attend church etc. but they failed miserably. Now I see liberals here try to justify their delusions (some of which can no doubt be attributed to drug ridden past) and present the fiction as fact and then shove it down everybody's throat. Not going to happen. There are billions of Christians on this planet. Many of them have seen miracles (myself included) that cannot be explained by science. Science can't explain everything, and there are plenty of people in scientific circles that would stoop to anything just to make sure they got everything covered and pretend that it's already been explained.

    January 11, 2012 at 9:36 am |
    • KCXPat

      I'll bite. What was the miracle you saw?

      January 11, 2012 at 9:43 am |
    • Lacking Evidence since 14 Billion BCE

      At least he didn't bring up Hitler, it's not an argument until Stalin or Hitler are invoked .

      January 11, 2012 at 9:46 am |
    • A

      "(some of which can no doubt be attributed to drug ridden past)"

      I'm a flaming liberal with many flaming liberal friends. Most of us, myself included, have never touched a drug in our lives. What a hateful and pointless thing to say.

      I'm a scientist. I'm also a Christian. Science explains how. Religion explains why. Quit getting the two confused. Evolution, which the fossil record and other research strongly supports, does nothing to undermine my faith.

      You make a lot of assumptions about science with apparently very little knowledge of it. At least scientists always present proof. I see you have presented no proof for your accusations of wide-spread data manipulation by scientists for personal gain.

      January 11, 2012 at 9:49 am |
    • Spagati

      What's liberal got to do with anything? Here is a text book example of someone trying to tie religion with politics, what an idiot you are. I'm a right winger that thinks all you creationists are batty as hell. Just becuase your religion makes up museums trying to brainwash kids into believing your nutty ideas doesn't mean you are correct, you have museums with people riding dinosaurs with saddles and tell your kids this is how it was...I hope you are proud of your ignorant culture.

      January 11, 2012 at 9:51 am |
    • David Johnson

      If I had a dime for every miracle that some Christian witnessed, I'd be in that 1%.

      No evidence of these miracles is ever presented. It is all illusion, delusion or fraud.

      Prayer does not work. Miracles are the result of random chance and coincidence.

      Jesus was a myth. Just like Mithra and Horus.

      Evolution, with its evidence of transitional fossils, geological column, DNA evidence, vestigial organs etc., is very damning to the biblical Creation Story.

      If god created all the organisms on the planet, then He must have created even the diseases that have caused and are causing so much death and misery for humans and animals. He would have had to fashion the tick and the flea. The mosquito and blood flukes. And worms that bore into a child's eye.

      How could an all good god do such a thing? Why would He spend His time creating gruesome things to cause human suffering? Yet, these horrors exist. And if god didn't create them, who did?

      Evolution explains the diversity of the planet's organisms, including the pathogens and the parasites that have caused so much human death and misery.

      If the Creation Story is a fable, then Adam and Eve did not exist.

      If Adam and Eve did not exist, then there was no original sin.

      If there was no original sin, then it cannot be the reason god allows so much suffering in the world. Instead, there are natural causes for earthquakes and floods and other disasters.

      If there was no original sin, then there was no need for a redeemer.

      If there was no redeemer, then Christianity is a based on a false premise.

      "If we cannot believe in the First Adam, why believe in the Last [Christ]?" 1 Corinthians15:45

      If the Creation story is a myth, then there is no reason to believe any of the bible, for the entire bible is based on Genesis.

      If we evolved, there is no soul –> no afterlife –> no need of a heaven or hell.

      LOL, which is why the Creationists fight so hard against evolution. And why many Evangelicals are reinterpreting Genesis to encompass an old earth. Their reasoning is that everyone before them, interpreted the Creation Week, incorrectly. *snicker*
      Let's see... "And there was evening and there was morning, one day." – Umm... That's millions of years to you and me!

      The Christian god is very unlikely to exist. Or do you have evidence that He does?


      January 11, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
  9. OldNews

    I think it would be fair to say that there are millions and millions of species on this planet. Some similar, some not so much. Here's where I find a "monkey wrench" (no pun intended) in the evoloution theory......

    Out of all the millions and millions of species on this planet, what is it that humans were the ONLY species to advance to the physical and mental heavyweights of this planet? Even our closet relatives are not even close to what humans have "evolved" in to. How is it that we far, far, surpass everything else on this planet?

    Most of these species have been around far longer than humans, yet, we've passed them up in a blaze of glory, leaving most at the bottom of the food chain. I mean come on, considering the law of averages, out of all the species on this planet, we should have something pretty close to where we are.......be we do not.

    I don't think this to be a "fluke". Science cannot explain it. They may pose theory, but there is no proof to explain this fact. On a beach of many grains of sand, humans stand out like a sore thumb. We took over and control this planet.

    Now, am I saying that "God" made this happen? It's a possibility if you believe in that sort of thing. Many scientist believe there may have been some "extraterrestrial" intervention. Call me nuts if you want, but I didn't make the claim, scientist have. I'm all about facts. But sometimes, the facts are not truly what we think they are. I believe that evolution exist to a certain point, but I cannot see how it is responsible for our world and it's inhabitants today.

    January 11, 2012 at 9:36 am |
    • Paul

      Unfortunately, credit to animals for have intelligence is a relatively new revelation. When I was growing up, I was always taught that only man had intellegence; animal had only instinct. I observe animals, domestic and wild, and the arrogance of man has misled many people.

      January 11, 2012 at 9:41 am |
    • Lacking Evidence since 14 Billion BCE

      There were other intelligent humanoids in the past but they died out and some were absorbed back into the human population since they hadn't evolved enough for speciation to have taken place. Now the the human population mixes so much we probably won't turn into two species since we'll never be segregated long enough for it to happen.

      January 11, 2012 at 9:51 am |
    • Chuckles

      I've honestly thought about it, not necessarily as a monkey wrench in evolution, but why there isn't some animal that could compete with humans at the top of the food chain to a greater degree (I like to think of it as orcs to our race of man) but here's the deal. We did sort of have that with neandrathals, however we killed them. The reason we're at the top and the reason we aren't in a land war with chimps or at war with dolphins at sea is because of our extreme hostile nature. Our brains have been refined as our greatest asset on this planet and one of the first things we learned was that if you want to win, you could make the other player lose which would set up another fight in the future, or take him out of the game altogether. When threatened, we don't just beat other species, we annihilate them so we aren't threatened again.

      January 11, 2012 at 9:51 am |
    • JJC

      Science can explain it my friend. Read a book on it. Don't just say things like "science cannot explain it" simply because you have not heard the explaination or because they are too complex to put on a bumper sticker.

      January 11, 2012 at 9:53 am |
    • OldNews

      Chuckles......although I agree with much of what you say, I'm not looking at this from a "survival-king of the mountain" standpoint. I look at this as a "if we are building spacecraft, why aren't chimps building bicycles or cars?" sort of thing. And to my knowledge, man has no intention to eradicate chimps because they are our closest species.

      January 11, 2012 at 9:58 am |
    • OldNews

      JJC......this is something I'm very passionate about and do quite a bit of reading on. Now I've read many theories, but I've not read any proof to what I ask. And for the record, it's kind of feeble minded of you to assume so much about what I read and what I assume.

      January 11, 2012 at 10:01 am |
    • Chuckles


      From an evolutionary standpoint, EVERYTHING is a "king of the mountain" situation. We've killed off (or as @Lacking pointed out, absorbed) any species that could compete with us in our given evolutionary survival trait: intelligence. Bear in mind there are apes like Coco who can sign and have shown to have emotion, thought and sentimentality. Apes, dolphins, elephants, they have memories, they have attachments to certain places or things, but what do all of these species have in common? They pose literally 0 threat to us. Sure, each one of them have survival tactics that if a human found themselves in these animals environments, the smart money would be on the animal instead of the human (this is considering only hand to hand combat), but none of these animals are attacking humans to change the food chain, to dethrone humans at the top. None of these animals are even particularly violent.

      January 11, 2012 at 10:07 am |
    • OldNews

      Chuckles.....now I'm sorry if I'm misunderstanding, but are you saying that we are far superior to all other species because they don't pose a threat to us? Sorry man, I just can't buy that. Interesting though. Peace to you. 🙂

      January 11, 2012 at 10:13 am |
    • Chuckles


      Misunderstanding you are. We are superior, or rather top of the food chain (I don't want to use far because that doesn't really mean anything) because of our brains. I'm saying we don't try to completely erradicate any species because they don't pose a threat to humanities survival, they stick in their niche of the food chain. Now, if this started to go planet of the apes style and they started forming a serious threat, you better believe we'd bomb the hel.l out of them before allowing it happen.

      January 11, 2012 at 10:47 am |
  10. A4mrtheist

    If god/creator is so intelligent why would it create a mosquito with an anti coagulant so it could suck our blood? It must have a sense of humor to antagonize us. Why would an intelligent being create us humans so complex that we have to have so many nutrients to live and stay healthy. Why would it make us so fragile and susceptible to sickness. Bad design not intelligent.

    January 11, 2012 at 9:34 am |
    • OldNews

      Assuming God knows as little as we all do and doesn't see a much bigger picture than what most people do, that would be a good question.

      January 11, 2012 at 9:38 am |
    • AndyInAtl

      How are human beings with so many feelings, with their 5 senses (and perhaps more senses that haven't been discovered yet), with so many parts and organs working together in harmony can have evolved from a single cell amoeba? Wasn't it part of biology that said that single cell oranisms can split but not grow more cells? The easiest explanation thrown by science is to throw billions of years at everythign. Hey, we can't explain it, but it was ummm, ummm, 5.... no 6 billion years. Surely something must've happend throughout 6 billion years....

      January 11, 2012 at 9:40 am |
  11. Gingeet

    Evolution is a fact. The age of the earth is a fact. There are volumes upon volumes of evidence from multiple disciplines that agree with it by coming to the same conclusions.
    A Scientific "Theory" is not a hunch or idea and they are not elevated to "Laws".
    People that do not understand this are just simply ignorant.
    How can people in this day and age not understand this? This is another reason why our education system needs to be improved.

    January 11, 2012 at 9:33 am |
    • marko

      Science is about "observation" and while micro-evolution has been observed, macro evolution hasn't. You can't just throw a statement out there like "oh well, it took millions of years" and suddenly that makes it a fact. Until it can be observed, it's nothing more than a theory. A fantastic theory, but a theory none the less.

      January 11, 2012 at 9:41 am |
    • Jacknyd

      Excuse me but if your going to "Quote" Theory, then it would be nice to complete it's scientific meaning if full. IE ( a scientific theory can be wrong, as shown by experiment or observation, since one of its hypotheses might be wrong or the reasoning might be flawed or new data might come along that disagree with it. Or its validity might be limited )
      It is NOT an absolute and yes it can be wrong which means there is still an opening in this case for opinion.

      January 11, 2012 at 9:51 am |
    • Lacking Evidence since 14 Billion BCE

      We have indeed observed macro evolution. And even if we hadn't the conclusion is still sound since micro times micro time micro eventually gets you to macro.

      January 11, 2012 at 9:55 am |
    • AndyInAtl

      Yeah, evolution is a "fact", until new fact that is "undisputable" overturns the first "fact". Then process repeats again. I think by amount of fervor that atheists use to justify evolution there's something to hide. I mean it's getting to the point that not only are they misled, but they want to push those "facts" on everybody else and pretend it's hard truth, when in fact it's only been ebraced for a short period of time, by people that are trying to quiet their conscience.... "If i repeat daily that there is no God, maybe it'll materialize and I can do whatever I want without any consequences" kind of thinking.

      January 11, 2012 at 9:59 am |
  12. Doc Vestibule

    Evolution is fact.
    Even the Catholic church accepts that!
    There is an ever growing mountain of evidence from different branches of science accu.mulated over more than a hundred years that verify evolution.
    Creationists have yet to advance a single shred of evidence to support their assertions.
    As a matter of fact, the leading rabble rousers in the Creationist world – The Center for Science and Culture (sponsored by the Discovery Inst.itute) openly admit that their goal isn't to teach what they think is fact. An internal memo known as the “Wedge Docu.ment” leaked in 1999 described the Discovery group's objective in pushing for creationism to be taught in schools as "to defeat scientific materialism and its destructive moral, cultural and political legacies". They want to use Intelligent Design as a "wedge" to separate science from its allegiance to "atheistic naturalism".
    In other words, they fear that teaching FACTS to children will drive them away from religion.

    January 11, 2012 at 9:31 am |
  13. Doc Vestibule

    There are 5 laws in the Theory of Evolution.
    1) Evolution as such.
    This is the understanding that the world is not constant, nor recently created, nor cycling, but is changing; and that the types of enti.ties that live on it also change.
    2) Common descent
    This is the understanding that every group of living enti.ties that we know of on this planet descended from a common ancestor.
    3) Multiplication of species
    This is the understanding that species either split into or bud off other species, often through the geographical isolation of a founder species.
    4) Gradualism
    This is the understanding that changes take place through the gradual change of population rather than the sudden production of new individuals.
    5) Natural selection
    This is the understanding that individuals in every generation are different from one another, or, at least some of them are. In every generation some individuals survive and reproduce better than others. Their genes multiply.

    January 11, 2012 at 9:31 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Double post!

      January 11, 2012 at 9:32 am |
    • Vupra

      You are missing radical mutation, which does occur at times. Otherwise a very nice list.
      If there are more omissions, I can't think of them right now.

      January 11, 2012 at 9:38 am |
  14. James M

    I don't believe that the Bible is meant to be a science book. If you look to the Bible for science or an accurate history of the world then you are missing the bigger point. The Bible is a collection of stories about people's relationship with God, and ultimately God's relationship with His people through the saving grace of the body and blood of His only son, Jesus Christ. I don't really think that the question of how we got here is all that important in either science or religion. I believe that God knowingly created us through the process of evolution based on the Laws of Nature that He authored. The fact is that we are here now and the question becomes how will science and religion move us forward.

    January 11, 2012 at 9:30 am |
    • Vupra

      Science is a rational examination of our universe.
      Religion is a delusional mindset that prohibits rational examination and demands that you do not question anything.
      They are diametrically opposed and you are a fool to think otherwise.

      January 11, 2012 at 9:42 am |
    • Tom

      The bible is the number one fiction book of all time. It is a fable with no basis in fact and no proof. It was written by man yet true believers say it was written by god. Religion is a philosophy of life and nothing more. You can tell the true beliefs of its followers simply by reading the paper. Support for war and the death penalty, hatred (and passing legislation) aimed at their enemies, and intolerance are the watermarks of religion. What happened to "love thy neighbor"? Forgotten in the religious organizations inexhaustable quest for money and power.

      January 11, 2012 at 9:45 am |
  15. Simple Math

    Infinite Universe – zero is not equal to one (there is a point where matter can't be divided – God is Something that can neither be created nor destroyed that is dependent on nothing.) An infinite universe lacks a beginning, so there is no one set past or a given future.
    In all other cases, Newton used the phenomenon of motion to explain the origin of various forces acting on bodies, but in the case of gravity, he was unable to experimentally identify the motion that produces the force of gravity. Moreover, he refused to even offer a hypothesis as to the cause of this force on grounds that to do so was contrary to sound science. He lamented that "philosophers have hitherto attempted the search of nature in vain" for the source of the gravitational force, as he was convinced "by many reasons" that there were "causes hitherto unknown" that were fundamental to all the "phenomena of nature". These fundamental phenomena are still under investigation and, though hypotheses abound, the definitive answer is yet to be found. Gravity is a force that lacks activation, since it is constant and the only way that we know of to produce gravitons uniformly from a surface is to make that surface have a lot of mass! Moreover, Newton's second law states that an object must have mass in order to produce a force. Matter is defined as anything that has mass and takes up space. Why is gravity being used as evidence for this universe? The infinite Universe supports the view that all particles considered to be energy have mass or substance; that there is one fundamental particle which accounts for all the diverse forms of matter in the Universe. It is the ultimate example of team work, since it fundamentally has no reason to destroy itself. So, why does evil exist? Free will and without freewill, God would lack choice. Balance is the nature of perfection in the Infinite Universe. In an infinite Universe the total amount of something remains constant. When an atom is divided it no longer has the characteristics of the original element. There is a point where matter can't be divided and at this point something and nothing are distinctly defined. In the infinite Universe, the term infinite is used to describe the difference between something (1) and nothing (0). There is an infinite difference between zero and one.

    January 11, 2012 at 9:27 am |
  16. Simple Math

    Finite Universe – zero and one are equal (matter can be infinitely divided into nothing – God is Nothing that created everything out of emptiness) "At the Planck distance and the Planck time all physics, as we know it today collapses. This is the reason we call the beginning of the big bang a singularity. You cannot apply ordinary reasoning there. Zero and one have no sense there.OK?" J-P Burri .BigBang.)org There should be no doubt in anyone’s mind that the Big Bang views one and zero as being equal, since it states that zero appeared out of the absence of zero; then zero created something. Many scientists believe or have faith that light does not have mass, thus they believe the Universe is Finite. Religion promotes the most commonly accepted idea of the group. If light does not have mass, then it would be impossible to move an electron. Light described as a particle means nothing, if it has no mass since it would be impossible to distinguish from nothing because no mass means void of substance. If it has no substance, then nothing is present to distinguish the particle from other particles.
    The Big Bang theory prevents any condition where something has always been. Infinity is defined as the difference between one and zero. Once one and zero are the same according to the big bang, the definition of infinity as stated above is no longer valid. If the big bang occurred, all math's must deal with the proof of 0=1.

    January 11, 2012 at 9:25 am |
    • JJC

      I love scientific pseudo-speak. Exactly what does "because no mass means void of substance" mean? You are saying that because light has no mass that it cannot move. Ever hear of a wave? So waves don't exist? Phrasing things using scientific sounding speech does not make for sound logic. You sound like Depak Chopra (sp?)

      January 11, 2012 at 9:41 am |
    • Vupra

      The poster is pretending to understand physics, probably in much the same distorted way they understand their religion, thus we get pseudo-science gibberish to "prove" that a 'god' created the universe. This is what malnutrition and religion does to children. They grow up to be confused adults with a mental instability made worse by badly developed brains.

      January 11, 2012 at 9:47 am |
    • WASP

      ok obviously you haven't studied physics close enough. matter can be created and destroyed.....what do you think an atom smasher is? it detroys matter. the first law of thermodynamics states " energy can not be created nor destoryed but merely changes form from one to the other; energy to matter, matter to energy.

      January 18, 2012 at 11:10 am |
  17. Brad

    It has been more than 150 years since Darwin's "Origins" book and the missing link is still missing, in fact, there is absolutely ZERO evidence of what is referred to as "vertical" evolution, which is a species transforming into another species. People confuse "horizontal" changes of a single species as evidence of evolution and this is clearly not the evolution that Darwin and the rest of the evolutionists need to support the "theory" as a scientific fact. Evolution continues to be a "theory" folks because the proof is still and will always be missing.

    January 11, 2012 at 9:24 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      A theory is what one or more hypotheses become once they have been verified and accepted to be true. A theory is an explanation of a set of related observations or events based upon proven hypotheses and verified multiple times by detached groups of researchers. Unfortunately, even some scientists often use the term "theory" in a more colloquial sense, when they really mean to say "hypothesis." In general, both a scientific theory and a scientific law are accepted to be true by the scientific community as a whole. Both are used to make predictions of events. Both are used to advance technology.
      There are 5 laws in the Theory of Evolution.
      1) Evolution as such.
      This is the understanding that the world is not constant, nor recently created, nor cycling, but is changing; and that the types of enti.ties that live on it also change.
      2) Common descent
      This is the understanding that every group of living enti.ties that we know of on this planet descended from a common ancestor.
      3) Multiplication of species
      This is the understanding that species either split into or bud off other species, often through the geographical isolation of a founder species.
      4) Gradualism
      This is the understanding that changes take place through the gradual change of population rather than the sudden production of new individuals.
      5) Natural selection
      This is the understanding that individuals in every generation are different from one another, or, at least some of them are. In every generation some individuals survive and reproduce better than others. Their genes multiply.

      January 11, 2012 at 9:29 am |
    • Lacking Evidence since 14 Billion BCE

      Apparently you aren't up to date on the science. We have the fossils, we know evolution happens. People just don't grasp the time scale involved and the segregation of population not just by location but by time.

      January 11, 2012 at 9:29 am |
    • VelvetElvis

      Yes - but it's based on scientific research. Would you dismiss Einstein's theories about the universe because they cannot be absolutely proven beyond a mathematical calculation?

      January 11, 2012 at 9:32 am |
    • steve

      well, it is quite clear that you have not evolved.

      January 11, 2012 at 9:32 am |
    • Primewonk

      The very first thing you need to do is define what you mean by "missing link".

      January 11, 2012 at 9:37 am |
    • KCXPat

      It's a theory based in a lot of evidence. What would you call your idea of Creationism? What evidence is there?

      January 11, 2012 at 9:37 am |
    • Brian the T

      By missing link I assume you mean "transitional forms" between species? Well, if that's what you mean you are flat out wrong. Modern paleontology has found scores of transitional forms in recent decades and all of these are predicted and explained by evolution. Just to name one of the top of my head: Tiktaalik roseae, a "missing link" between fish and amphibian. I still continue to be amazed by those who insist on denying evolution. Evolution is a fact, not a theory. Look around: the overwhelming evidence for evolution is everywhere from the fossil record to DNA. Evolution EXPLAINS what we see there, among countless other things from why birds on remote tropical islands have lost their ability to fly (yet they still have wings...wow why would an "intelligent designer do that???) and numerous other vestigial traits, to our very own embryonic development in the womb. Creationism/"intelligent design" explains NONE of these things...in fact, it explains NOTHING period because all it says is "goddidit" which is not an explanation at all.

      January 11, 2012 at 9:43 am |
    • JJC

      We have found many missing links. The problem is that with people like you who will not believe no matter what, that when an intermediate form is found you then say "look! we now have TWO gaps!" We have found more evidence for evolution than just about any other theory. What evidence do you have for your beliefs? Are they back by indipendant research in multiple fields of study? Then you are more likely to be wrong.

      January 11, 2012 at 9:44 am |
    • pat

      So no animal is the result of evolution, or just man?

      January 11, 2012 at 9:46 am |
    • Brad


      Actually, it is fairly easy to produce and observe events that are considered pivotal in speciation – e.g. karyotype changes and changes in gene order by large scale chromosomal rearrangements.

      BTW, I'm a Christian, but I would not tie my faith to gaps in understanding about the natural world.

      January 11, 2012 at 9:49 am |
  18. MissusPowell

    "I'VE GOT IT RIGHT" mentality is just ridiculous. It isn't about FAITH, it is about POWER. I am not talking about scientist in this comment, but so-called ministers! GIVE ME A BREAK!! It doesn't matter, folks. If you have a FAITH in a GOD, as a Creator of all, isn't it possible it is ok that GOD MIGHT HAVE CREATED IT ALL to work just this way-evolutionary!!! HOW CAN YOU BE THREATENED BY THAT? DO TRY to get the whole picture and stop the nonsense over the individual puzzle pieces. GET OVER YOURSELVES! go away...

    January 11, 2012 at 9:23 am |
  19. cecilia

    the most intelligent statement about this issue was made in my 8th grade class (about a hundred years ago) by a Catholic nun who said you can believe in both. Accept evolution and understand that at some point, God slipped a soul into the evolutionary creation and called it man. makes sense to me and it solves the issue. But the religious right would rather demonize the Liberals by calling us names.

    January 11, 2012 at 9:23 am |
  20. Izzy

    Evolution and a 5 billion year old Earth are non-negotiable. If you reject these, you are not sane, much less fit to lead a flock. They may well eventually be disproven. That's the way science advances, for the most part, by proving that previous scientists were wrong. But to reject them based on 2000 year old scribblings is absolutely indefensible.

    January 11, 2012 at 9:23 am |
    • Lipityloo

      There are as many scientists that claim all you have stated to be wrong and mis guided theory..So which scientists do we believe?

      January 11, 2012 at 9:31 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Can you provide an example of a scientist who rejects the above stated facts?
      Names would be nice – what papers have they submitted for peer review, and in what discipline?

      January 11, 2012 at 9:34 am |
    • Lacking Evidence since 14 Billion BCE

      there are hardly any scientists that disagree with evolution and those that do aren't really in sciences to find truth but to support a view they already had.

      January 11, 2012 at 9:36 am |
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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.