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Pope praises science but stresses evolution not proven
BERLIN (AP) â Benedict XVI, in his first extended reflections on evolution published as pope, says that Darwin's theory cannot be finally proven and that science has unnecessarily narrowed humanity's view of creation â but stopped short of endorsing intelligent design.
In a new book, Creation and Evolution, published Wednesday in German, the pope praised progress gained by science, but cautioned that evolution raises philosophical questions science alone cannot answer.
"The question is not to either make a decision for a creationism that fundamentally excludes science, or for an evolutionary theory that covers over its own gaps and does not want to see the questions that reach beyond the methodological possibilities of natural science," the pope said....
Bravo, It's Fri.-good morning. "Ex. 20:8-11 is not the best place to base our understanding of the physical world in my opinion". The entire problem of trying to make evol. compatible with the Bible is interpretation. Improper hermeneutics is the cause of this false doctrine. The orthodox natural reading of scripture in its context along with the common principles that all bible-believing protestants use and have always used(taught in Bible seminary)give an obvious and logical reading to the Gen. creation account. There is no reason whatsoever for you to arbitrarily choose to pick Gen. 1 and 2 as "just stories"! The entire Bible affirms the direct creation by God as Ex. 20 does. God of course did not have to take an entire 6 24 hr. days to create everything(could have done it in 1 day, etc.)but He always has a purpose. Sabbath means rest and the Lord wanted man to observe one day of rest in his work week as God gave an example in His creation work week.
"What does it mean exactly for God, a spirit who cannot become tired to rest?" Basic Bible theology tells us that God does not tire like man(God is omnipotent)but rest obviously means that the Almighty stopped from his creative work. Matthew 19:4
I guess what I'm trying to say, Bravo, is; the evidence that you say you require, in order to your belief, is only there... if you are a believer. If you weren't a believer already, it wouldn't be evidence to you. It becomes evidence. Therefore, your belief isn't grounded upon evidence. You may answer your own question. What role does evidence play in supporting what you now believe, that no amount of evidence would have convinced you of, before?
Sorry to post again before you had a chance to respond, Bravo, but I may not be able to answer for a couple of days. You said '... but if I didn't see any of that evidence and the Bible was full of claims (scientific or historical) that couldn't be supported by evidence...' Where is the 'evidence' that God created anything; or that the Jews were led by a pillar of fire by night; or that Jesus fed five thousand people with a minimal amount of food; or that He walked on water; or was resurrected from the dead? Where is the evidence for thousands of physical claims that the Bible makes, that billions of unbelievers have been looking for, over centuries, but cannot find? They all claim to be unbelievers, because there is no 'evidence' to support a belief in God. What 'evidence' they are looking for, that they say would convince them of the reality of God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (the only one we are concerned with), you and I both know, they will never find. People and places existing, is just that. You may find 'evidence' with regard to your claims pertaining to that which we already believe in... but it wasn't 'evidence' that made you a believer. With all amicability.
Hello! âThis similarity is an impossible barrier for mutations (random changes) to cross.â
â â...there is no way that mutations could bridge the gap between chimps and humans.â â
I will try to check out this book youâve recommended. In response to the passage youâve quoted it is only a flat statement of belief and has nothing to do with science. Theyâre simply stating absolutely that their belief IS true and that nothing can convince them otherwise. Likely the chapter this quote comes from is full of examples of bad mutations and a discussion on how random chance canât be responsible for complex biochemical structures like DNA or proteins because there are so many possible combinations of the building blocks. Itâs the monkey at the typewriter analogy.
Evolution is not a process that randomly guesses at complex biological improvements until it gets something right. That would be like a combination lock where it is possible (though unlikely) you can guess the numbers of the combination correctly. But with combination locks if you make even one mistake you get the whole thing wrong. You get no âpartial creditâ for the numbers you got right. Evolution works because the universe gives partial credit for small beneficial changes.
Bravo, Hi! I know it's not Fri. but I have some time. This similarityu is an impossible barrier for mutations(random changes) to cross.This is all taken from A.I.G. "Answers Book", pp. 114-117, and they state "Furthermore, even if we accept the data as legitimate, there is no way that mutations could bridge the gap between chimps and humans. Chimps are just animals. We are made in the image of God(no chimps will be reading this). They say that morphological or biochemical is of no consequence to this lack of logic. "If humans were entirely different from all other living things or indeed every living thing was entirely different, would this reveal the Creator to us? No! We could logically think that there must have been many creators rather than one. The unity of the creation is testimony to the One True God who made it all(Romans 1:20)."(direct quote) "If humans were entirely different from all other living things then what would we eat?" "If animals and humans did not share similar biochemistry, there would have to be separate plant kingdoms for animals and humans to eat." I have sliced out parts here for brevity sake. It would benefit greatly if you were to visit the A.I.G. creation museum in Kentucy which just opened.
My apologies, Bravo I should have said, no impression 'on me'. The God of the Bible dismantles other 'belief systems', by the claims He makes. When taken absolutely, in their fullest expression, encompassing all of reality; it takes no effort all to gainsay everything that's 'out there'. As far as evidence, you know as well as I, there are a myriad false religions and cults that couldn't care less about contradictions. They don't need evidence, so there is no evidence to lack. What do you say to those who just wiped out a village, and tell you that their god gave it to them to do so; or to that religion whose numbers keep growing in spite of the evidence; or a people with no grasp of; 'Man', 'Universe', or the most elementary notions of 'right and wrong', as you and I know it? How do you tackle those people? Don't get me wrong, Bravo; I believe evidence confirms, but that comes in later, for me. When Peter said to always be ready to give a defense, I don't think he was talking about archaeology. I'm sorry... am I rambling?
âThe reason other 'belief systems' make no impression, is because the God of the Bible dismantles them; not me, and not the lack of evidence (spiritually).â
How does the God of the Bible âdismantleâ gods of other religions? I donât think I know what you mean here? I think itâs all about a lack of evidence both spiritual and physical. Those religions make claims that no physical evidence supports.
Bravo, If I believe the Bible because of what it says, then I determine the truth of it, by virtue of its agreeableness or reasonableness to me. I have found the Scriptural assessment of my understanding and knowledge of truth, to be accurate in the extreme. The reason other 'belief systems' make no impression, is because the God of the Bible dismantles them; not me, and not the lack of evidence (spiritually). Concretely, everything that crosses my path, must bear the scrutiny of all of my knowledge of God and His word. The extremely obvious, is trivial. Notice that I have not categorically stated that I believe you are wrong in your evolutionary bias. God owns the cattle on more than just a thousand hills. However He has created what is, will be borne out by Scripture, notwithstanding all of our interpretations to the contrary. For right now, I only find more problems with your scenario, than mine. For the record (not you, For the Record), I am somewhere in between the completely literal and the hyperbolic.
Itâs cool. I donât think you were being presumptuous. I do find this statement a bit odd though:
âIf I believe and obey the Bible because of what it says, then I am the arbiter of truthâŠâ
I wouldnât say we are our own arbiter of truth but we are the arbiters of what we are willing to believe. I canât believe anything that lacks evidence. Thatâs the reason I donât believe in Zeus, Vishnu, Muhammad as Godâs prophet, the 24 Tirthankara of Jainism, the Hawaiian god Lono, Quetzalqoatl of the Aztecs, or that Joseph Smith was called by God to return Christianity to its original Mormon form. I believe in the God of the Bible because I have seen his work in the lives of people around me as well as my own. I believe in him because I see evidence that he is active and alive, but if I didnât see any of that evidence and the Bible was full of claims (scientific or historical) that couldnât be supported by evidence then I wouldnât take the Bible any more seriously than the rest of the worldâs religious texts. Wouldnât you do the same?
No, Bravo; for me it is not both. If I believe and obey the Bible because of what it says, then I am the arbiter of truth; if I believe and obey the Bible because of its Author, then I am submitting myself to an authority that is not me. Just as we can see in the reverse; all of the 'evidence' in the world, nay, universe, will not convince me that the God of the Bible is a reality that I personally need to deal with; even so, the lack of it will not convince me to the contrary, if the Spirit of God has revealed Him to me. Only my own blindness will concern me, if there are things which I cannot reconcile. Mind you, none of this is pointed; that's merely the way I think. Perhaps the Lord has successfully controverted me enough, that I may be able to keep this in mind. Thank you for answering what I hope was not a presumptuous question.
âDo you believe and obey the Bible because of what it says, or because of Who it is that says it?â
Both I suppose. Donât you? Why does it need to be an either or situation? The Bible contains the history of the ancient Hebrew people and the names of various world leaders, locations, etc. Archeology tends to verify these Biblical accounts. Cities actually existed where the Bible places them and so forth. If, however, this were not the case I wouldnât take the Bible very seriously and I donât think many of us would no matter how pious we wish to sound. That is exactly the reason I donât believe the Book of Mormon. It tells this incredible tale of a civilization for which no physical supporting evidence actually exists. Nothing but blind Mormon faith could support belief in those stories and I donât think blind faith is a good thing. Blind faith is what causes people to drink poisoned Kool-aid, or fly planes into buildings.
ââŠFri. nights and Mon. aftâŠâ are good for me too. The fully sequenced Chimp genome was first published in Sept. 2005 (Nature, vol. 437, pg. 69) by researchers at the Broad Institute in Massachusetts.
âOne must always take the Bible as âhistoricâ realityâŠâ
I know many people feel this way but I donât quite see why that is necessary. For instance, the word âmustâ implies that there are negative consequences if one doesnât believe every story in the Bible as history. What are those consequences? Do they affect oneâs salvation?
ââŠmany false beliefs done in church historyâŠthey "spiritualized" God's Word."
Interesting. Which to which beliefs do you refer?
Exodus 20:8-11 is not the best place to base our understanding of the physical world in my opinion. What does it mean exactly for God, a spirit who cannot become tired, to rest? What does it mean for him to âspeakâ creation into existence? God the Father (a spirit) has no lungs so what does âGod-breathedâ mean? I believe God created, I just donât think Genesis tells us how. I agree âdayâ most likely means 24 hours; my point however, is that it doesnât matter what it means in context because Genesis 1 is a story.
Bravo, First, you said you did not believe the whole O.T. as literal history(wouldn't fit your belief system in evolution). This is an error. One must always take the Bible as "historic" reality(especially there is not reason not to take Genesis that way) unless there is contextual reason to "spiritualize" it. "ALL" the Word of God is God-breathed. There are many false beliefs done in church history in the past and they "spiritualized" God's Word". For instance most the. evo. simply choose to "ignore" Bible truths. You still have not answered Exodus 20:8-11 ??? I will engage with you on Fri. nights and Mon. aft. from henceforth. Time is of the essence. Also, I will answer the chimp/man example. Caution:beware of skeptical scientists misleading you as has been done many times in the past through purposeful deceit. We cannot jump to conclusions as is also most common and not so-called proof. Evolution is actually proofless (unlike the Word of God). I'm curious: the DNA has over 3 billion nucleotides. When was the chimp DNA "fully" sequenced?
"The future is God's business, and we have no right to know it, apart from a few small details he has revealed."
Actually the Bible is full of prophecy. The Book of Revelation is completely about the last seven years on earth before Jesus comes back. Much of Daniel is the same. There's much more besides, throughout the Scripture, especially about the Tribulation, what to expect.
Not to mention the many prophecies about Jesus throughout the Old Testament, all fulfilled to the letter.
Scripture gives examples also of dreams and visions given to prepare people for certain events to come, and promises that in these last days this will also occur.
This is not the same as fortune-telling or occultic revelations such as the predictions of the demonic "Mary" apparitions, and things such as this.
ââŠyour belief is in the inspiration of Holy Scripture?â
I believe what the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul affirmed regarding scriptural inspiration. 2 Tim. 3:15-17
15 and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
In my opinion scripture is âGod-breathedâ (though I donât think anyone knows fully what that means) and is able to make me âwise for salvationâ and âthoroughly equipped for every good work.â Thatâs what I believe about scriptural inspiration. Thereâs nothing in 2 Tim. about belief in 6 literal days being a condition of my salvation.
ââŠAlmighty God is faithful and honestâŠâ
I donât believe God is deceitful either which is why I believe I can trust that the physical clues he's left behind can help me understand how God created.
âWhere is all this "absolute proof" that apes and man have 100% DNA?â
We donât share 100% of our DNA otherwise we would be apes. After sequencing both the chimp and human genomes we know that we share about 98%.
Dear Bravo, You must consider the verses seriously you cannot have it both ways. The N.T. clearly confirms the historical truth of Genesis 1-11 and as foundational to the rest of scripture. I am still wondering as a professed Christian what you belief is in the inspriration of Holy Scripture? Also, if the creation week was not a literal 6-24 hour days, then you must have the Jews working billions of years each "day" instead of 24 hrs. Incomprehensible. The Almighty God is faithful and honest and actually the ones to be found in deceit concerning this topic have been the skeptical scientists(piltdown man, etc.) Personally, this seems like another skeptical scientist "jump to a conclusion" affair. 1. Where is all this "absolute proof" that apes and man have 100% DNA? There has never been "water" found on Mars but the skeptical scientists who are trying to "leap" again assuming that if they can convince(notice I did not say prove absolutely)the public there was water then "of course" every thinking individual will believe there was also life. Bad science, indeed! Skeptical scientific logic: don't believe in a world-wide flood even though the earth is about 70% water but believe there was water on Mars even though there is 0% now.
âThen I guess I don't follow your demand of verses to support what I said concerning jeopardizing one's salvation.â
Do I detect sarcasm here or am I mistaken? If it is sarcasm I assure you it isnât necessary. My question was not a jab at you in any way; it was a real question and I am very interested in the answer. How does doubting our human interpretation of Genesis 1 & 2 (as opposed to the truth of scripture in general) put my salvation at risk? Thatâs a major claim to make without appealing to scripture itself to provide the requirements for salvation.
If you are really interested in the subject of evolution (even if you remain unconvinced) it would be worth your while to explore more deeply my chromosome example. Itâs fascinating. As for the typing monkey analogy I have heard that for many years and it is easily answered when one understands that evolution doesnât work that way. Richard Dawkins does a good job of explaining why the typing monkey analogy isnât a good critique of evolution. Hereâs a link to his 1987 Horizons documentary âThe Blind Watchmakerâ on YouTube. Try not to let his atheism put you off of the biology.