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Author Topic: A question of religion
Evo
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hi, i'm a long time reader of Orson Scott card's books, and the Ender series is by far my most read series. I have loved every second of every book i have read. But i've never found myself to post on the forums.

My problem is more on a question of religion, and since in you're books you write an awful lot about religion i was hoping you could help me figure out a way for me to over come a problem i have.

To write science Fiction you obviously must have some foundation of scientific knowledge. Science has been close to my heart ever since i could read. I am a christian, and truly believe in god, jesus and all the saints and everything, But one area i have never believed is in humans decent. I went to a christian primary school, before having to leave england for singapore, due to my fathers job. In singapore i was introduced to a theory i had never heard of, Evolution. This theory just struck me as the only true way god could create a true and perfect universe.

Anyway whether you believe in Evolution or not is not important. I have a long time girlfriend we're planning marriage but we've hit a problem and it's all religious. She is a devout christian, and as such every word of the bible is god's own written language, thus for me to believe in evolution, to her, means i cannot believe in god or jesus.

i have explained to her my views on evolution, and why, to me, it makes the whole much more believable, But she's got it into my mind that i hate my god and i'm destined for a life in purgatory.

I have tried everywhere, but every priest, minister i find just says "Evolution is not real" i find the blinkered ness impossible to deal with, and would hate to lose a religion, because the religion would not accept me. But more importently i would hate to lose the love of my life.

Being a highly scientific mind, i have to have proof, of which i can test and obtain a common answer, before i can ever truly believe something. and no body can come up with any proof to say evolution is false.

I'm at my wits end and i'm hoping someone somewhere can give me a way to prove to my girlfriend that i do believe in our god and jesus and 99% of the bible, and that the 1% i don't believe is the 1% that most commonly causes conflict with science.

Am i lost? Am i going to have to say its science or religion, in which case i would have to choose science.

I know maybe this isn't the forum to bring this up on, and i will respect if it is removed due to being off topic. But reading your books you are a scientist and a religious man, and while you may not subscribe to the evolution theory perhas you can direct me in a way that can solve my canundrum (Sorry spelling was never my strong point in school)

I will be very grateful for replies from anyone on this.

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AC
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I don't mean this to sound condescending and antireligious (though it will) but if you are of such a scientific disposition that you must have evidence for everything, how did you arrive at being a devout christian? What compelling evidence do you have that Jesus ever rose from the dead, or even he did, that he was the son of god?

Back the main point of you question though. How much does this disagreement really affect your life together? Do you get into fights on a daily (or even more often) basis over evolution? After one of these arguments are you quickly reconciled? Or is there lasting bitterness? If this is something that often causes hostility between you two, and prevents you two from devoting yourselves fully to each other, then she may not be The One.

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Evo
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sorry, I did not claim i was a devout christian, And yes i admit sometimes, i NEED to believe when in my mind i acknowledge it cannot be possible (jesus rising from the dead to use your example). A total hypocrit. maybe. I fear to give in to my girlfriend would be to live a lie.

On the other note it doesn't affect us on the whole the problem arrises when we start to talk about children. I want the children to learn everything so he/she/they can grow up to from their own opinions. My girlfriend wants to limit all knowledge to that of the bible and anything outside of the bible which doen't contradict the bible in anyway. (eg. evolution)

we live together fine as is, but i watch alot of discovery channel and everytime evolution is mentioned i hear her scoffing and it starts the same fight about our future children

While i understand its probably very early to be thinking about children. Its had me up all night since i just re read 'Seventh Son' and since it was that book that got me back to thinking about it, i thought here would be as good a place as any.

To be honest i'm not sure what i want from the boards, i was hoping Mr Card might be able to direct me to some sort of biblical page that could help me.

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Promethius
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I honestly do not see how evolution and the Bible cannot exist together. Reading Genesis I see a description that sounds a heck of alot like the big bang and evolution. Genesis describes there first being creatures of the sea and air, followed by creatures of the land, and finally god creating man to rule over these creatures.

Can someone explain to me how exactly evolution is not compatible with the Bible? Maybe evolution is true, maybe it isnt, but how does evolution cancel out creationism? The Bible never says exactly how God created creatures, I see no reason why he couldnt have created through evolution.

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Evo
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Adam and eve would suggest that humans were created separate of other primates.

So evolution can be true except for humans, which, ofcourse, we're unique by being created in the image of god. At least in the eyes of my Girlfriend and all the priests i can find.

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AC
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--EVO--
I got the devout from the "i truly believe in Jesus . . . etc"

--Pro--
Most of the fundamentalist religious opponents to evolution say it must be false because the bible does not specifically say "Life evolved from bacteria into fungus and then plants etc", it says god created, meaning he willed it, and these creatures suddenly came into existence fully formed and exactly the way they are now.

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signine
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God created all that is in seven days.

Of course, this was before the sun and the earth for the most part. I imagine what's a day to God is probably quite a long time to us. Relativity and all that.

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Epictetus
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Of course God, not being confined to time, could take as long as he wanted to "create" Adam and Eve. And still the method through which God created Adam out of the "dust of the Earth" or Eve from Adam's rib are not explained.

Also, one must consider that the first books of Genesis were not written by Adam or Eve or directly by God. It is likely they were written some thousands of years later. The writer's social, political and historical setting is also not known.

To add to the argument against fundamentalism, one must consider that there are references in the Bible to books and pasages that we do not have. For example, Matthew's reference to a prophesy that says that the Messiah would be a Nazerene. This passage was apparently widely known at the time, as opponents of Jesus used it to denounce him because he was born in Bethlehem, but it cannot be found in today's bible.

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Evo
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ah sorry i do truly believe, i would just never call myself a devout. My mistake, maybe they're one and the same, but to me they are different. To be devout one must, in my eyes, believe the bible word for word, and give their lives to the pursuit of god and the 'correct' life, for want of a better word, and to try and convert people to their religion and their beliefs.

I personally just Beleieve and try and follow to the best of my ability. I would never attempt to convert anyone who did not specifically seek it.

i don't know, i'm pretty sleepy right now it being 641 am, and not having slept properly for a few days. maybe i'm just going crazy from sleep deprivation, and my posts are incoherent blubber. in which case i appologise profusely.

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Promethius
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why is that so hard to believe? If God can create the whole universe and every single animal on the planet why cant he create man? Humans have found no fossile record or skeleton showing the missing link. I find myself arguing in support of Christianity a whole lot, but I myself am not Christian, although I imagine I will be in the near future. One time I listened to a sermon by Lon Solomon, which can be found online for free at
This Website

It is about the validity of the Bible. There is a specific sermon called, "Darwin Vs. The Bible" although I found part three to be particularly informative about the historical legitimacy of the Bible. If you are going to listen to this click on the one that has the guys face next to the title, that way you can pause the sermon if you need to. Hope that helped in some way.

Just to add, this guy is a pretty famous Pastor in the DC area. I think he speaks very well.

Edit: I wanted to say that I do not really understand how important this can be in the relationship? I realize it is important to her, but in reality isnt the focus of Christianity a belief in Christ dying for your sins and you accepting and acknowledging that? This evolution thing seems fairly trivial when it comes to Salvation. Your girlfriend mentions purgatory, but is purgatory mentioned in the Bible? I dont remember reading about it. But I admit, I am no Bible scholar or anything like that, so I am not challenging you and saying she is wrong. I am truly interested in reading about it.

[ May 01, 2005, 06:51 PM: Message edited by: Promethius ]

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Evo
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Epicteus,

I follow the way of thinking you have written there.

i have explained that way to priests and still get the whole evolution is not true speach.

I think my main problem isn't with my girflfriend maybe its with my church. I listen to my preists and try to understand everything they say to me, yet when i bring up a subject like evolution all i get is "its not true"

i may need to rethink this whole business. again maybe it isn't a problem with me and my girlfriend. maybe it has deeper roots...

then again i'm going to have to sleep now.

thank you all for you're posts.

i hope i can find the topic tomorrow.

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Evo
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No promethius, there is no "missing link" fossils. you're right, but how does the bible account for the staggering changes in fossil records from period to period? from simple 1 cell organisms in the first recordable period, to the current period, each period produced newer bigger organisms, before some suddenly spurted legs and decided to walk.

Are we to assume this is gods trial and error? surely not that would make our god fallible. so what?

my only answer is that of evolution.

Got created the simpleist life, and in that life he breathed the laws of evolution, maybe there was some other law we have yet to discover, but those laws god created, knowing, in his infinite wisdom, one day a creature would arise in his image to rule over every other crature on earth.

and the first of our kind to evolve was what we have come to call adam and eve.

That is how i have come to associate the two. but i cannot get any guidance on this. from anyone.

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Epictetus
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I've been having problems with my religion/people in my religion too so I understand how you feel. I hope things work out for you.
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Lady Future
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What confuses me most about this situation you have is why your girlfriend has so much of a problem with giving her future children a choice of religion. I should hope she's able to keep in mind that they will be people of their own and have their own personalities to develop and explore. Thinking from the point of view I suspect she has, it makes sense that she'd be concerned that the religion they would choose might conflict with hers. However, I think it would be better in the long run if she didn't keep them from something that builds a huge part of a person's self.

I've generally found that when it comes to disagreeing with a person about something concerning religion, it helps to ask them very calmly to, for just a second, look at things from your standpoint. It might take some convincing (I know that far too many deeply religious people don't take me seriously since I have a different faith than they do) but if you prove to your girlfriend that you understand where she's coming from, she might feel more comfortable, and thus have an easier time doing the same and looking at things from your beliefs. Plus, does it feel tense when you're discussing it with her? It's always easier to come to a decision when it feels more like a friendly debate and less like a heated argument.

I wish you luck with this, since otherwise it sounds like you've got a good, strong relationship with her.

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Promethius
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I really think you should listen to the three sermons I linked to, they provide some interesting insight about this sort of thing. I am not a pastor, and I feel like I know very little about the Bible in comparison to someone who has studied it. for their life.

Evo, I think you should speak with a pastor from a church that will attempt to answer and discuss your questions with you. I have been in contact with a pastor from my girlfriends church(and hopefully future fiance's church if things go how I think they will over the next 4-6 months) I think we are in a similar situation, my girlfriend will not marry me unless I am Christian. Anyway, I ask him questions like this all the time, and if he cant answer them he talks with the head pastor of the church and they discuss my questions and have always answered them in a way that makes sense to me.

I believe me and you think in very similar ways, because these are some of the exact questons I have been struggling with. Another source that you might find helpful is a book called, "The Case For Faith" and "The Case For Christ." Both of these books were written by someone who was once an atheist and it talks about his reasons for belief in Christianity. I found both of these books in my public library, they are written by a guy named Lee Strobel.

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signine
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Prometheus: I personally find it all hard to believe in the basis that we've seen evolution in action (the Galapagos islands, where Darwin formed his theory, has such species diversity that you can see major genetic traits evolve in a matter of decades). The fossil record all points towards evolution, some creatures still have vestigal traits of their ancestors pop-up (like reported cases of whales with leg-like appendages that were useless to them, the fact that an x-ray of a dolphin's fin looks very much like a hand). I won't discount the idea that God could have made all of creation in seven days, I just find it difficult to believe that He would deliberately mislead us to believe that He didn't exist by providing us with false evidence and the faculty to analyze it.

Additionally scientific thought generally operates on the premise that the most feasible explanation that matches observed conditions is likely to be the true explanation. For scientists to prove the Earth and humanity were engineered in seven days, we would need experimental verification proving the existence of God. This is extremely unlikey.

What we do have, however, is a mound of evidence to the contrary, and the theories we have now do match observed conditions and are useful to us. It's kind of like saying, no offense, that the Sun revolves around the Earth. You can argue your point all you want and try to dig up evidence for it, but the simple fact is it's neither a useful theory nor one that matches observations of any kind.

PS: I believe God does play dice with the universe, but that He also has a Plan.

[ May 01, 2005, 07:17 PM: Message edited by: signine ]

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X12
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quote:
I just find it difficult to believe that He would deliberately mislead us to believe that He didn't exist by providing us with false evidence and the faculty to analyze it.
This is where Faith enters.

quote:
For scientists to prove the Earth and humanity were engineered in seven days, we would need experimental verification proving the existence of God. This is extremely unlikey.
If God created the Earthin what seemed like 7 days to him, and might be 3-5 Billion (can't remember exactly the number) years, then havent they proved something already?

We will never prove the existance of God,for that is what Faith is for, and until the Rapture, you wont know for sure (and at that point, it is likely that it is too late).

quote:
What we do have, however, is a mound of evidence to the contrary, and the theories we have now do match observed conditions and are useful to us. It's kind of like saying, no offense, that the Sun revolves around the Earth. You can argue your point all you want and try to dig up evidence for it, but the simple fact is it's neither a useful theory nor one that matches observations of any kind.
I assume that in "You can argue your point all you want and try to dig up evidence for it", "it" is either the current theories you just mentioned, or our theories about God.

If "it" is God, I will, once again, bring up Faith, and, I might add, that the "theory" of God is the l;ogest running "theory" to date that is not proved or disproved (see Faith).

And, what if all our current theories about many things, say evolution, the Big Bang, etc., are...
like the theories in the past that have been disproved (i.e. "world is flat," "Earth is center of Universe," or "Earth revolves around me") and might be disproved one day?

God made us imperfect for a reason, he gave us Choice, and we use it.

Peace,
Aphotic

P.S.- I dont mean to be offensive to you, signine, by only replying to you, but your's is the most recent and the one that I am most capible of replying to (plus, it would take too long just to repeat everything...)

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King of Men
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About missing links, ridiculous. Hominid fossils are all missing links, except of course that since we've found them, they're not missing anymore. This is a creationist strawman : Every time a link is found, another is demanded between that one and the next bit. "There's still no missing link! Therefore goddidit! Hallelujah!"

If you want some nice missing links, you might take a look at the last post on this page. Which ones are human, which ones are ape? Go on, classify 'em.

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Rose the ____
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As for the Author... no, not you Mr. Card...

how much of a faithless prick would I be if I said - maybe G-d told a lil' fib or two in creation?

that a heavenly creator is capable of telling a neat, clean, easy story to his creation until it figures out the truth about it's origins?

I mean, really. if we're all going to get so worked up about the Genesis story maybe not being based 100% in fact, we might as well start hating with a passion all the parents who tell their 4 year old child he was brought to them by a stork. Humanity needed many centuries of backround and philosophical thought to divine many essential lessons from the bible. we continue to understand things our fathers could not and our children will comprehend things we could never imagine. so is it so terrible to think that Genesis is, in some ways, a creation story to tell children?

and please don't counter with Sodom and Gommororah and all that - really. a young man 4000 years ago could understand rape far better than he would be able to understand the essential matters of biology, one-celled organisms, and the like.

so... maybe G-d, omnipotent, omniescient, omnipresent as he is - has every right to tell his children a fib once in a while. he knows it'll work out alright now, doesn't he?

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Occasional
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For the life of me, I really don't understand your question. Is it about Evolution? Is it about how to deal with major differences between you and your girlfriend? Where does OSC come in to all this?

Interesting enough, OSC's religion doesn't have just one Creation account. It has the one in Genesis (or would that be two), plus at least two or three others. For whatever that is worth.

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Geekazoid
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as i look at the beggining of the bible it seems to me that the beggining of creation is not of the universe or of earth instead of life on earth. according to my bible it says
" In the beggining...When the earth was empty and bare...God said let there be light..."
at the beggining The earth had no life for a long time then the first major leep was made the first plant like cells made oxygen making are ozone layer. therefore making it possible to to see the light and not die.

i'm pretty sure you all no the order so

for the second day could be the acual creation of the ozone layer

day 3
The new oxygen enabled tons of plants to live on the bare land therefore the land became vissible

day four
as animals started coming out of the water they suddenly had something new in their life, the sun and moon and stars the mysteries of the sky were open

day 5
perfect evolution idea water creature came to aniphibians to reptiles to birds.

day 6
mammals and other animals came on the seen and started taking over witch soon evloved to humans who had so much knowledge that their decisions would affect the entire world and it was their job to protect life with their knowledge.

try using that on them and if that doesn't work just say then why do whales have a bone which proves they walked on land before

[Sleep] boy it hard thinking of theological theorys on a moments notice

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Will B
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What denomination are you? Since you say "priest," Catholic is a possibility. The Catholic Church has stated that evolution is OK. I think it's mentioned in the catechism, but I'm not sure.

This might have an effect on your girlfriend.

If you believe the Apostles' Creed or the Nicene Creed, then it's not reasonable for her to say you don't believe in Jesus because you don't also accept something the creed doesn't mention. She'll have a contradiction there she'll have to resolve.

Good luck.

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ricree101
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Promethius, I listened to the Darwin sermon, and have a few problems with it. I think that the biggest issue I had was that he never did anything besides trying to discredit darwinism.
I definitely agree that there are some serious holes in evolution, but that does not tell us that a literal interpretation of the bible is correct. This is not an either/or circumstance. Invalidating evolution is not the same as validating creationism, yet the preacher seems to say that it does. I can agree with the argument that evolution is flawed. Nevertheless, until I hear the creationists give a convincing scenario for how life actually was created, I will not be convinced.

[ May 02, 2005, 12:54 AM: Message edited by: ricree101 ]

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signine
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X12
quote:
I assume that in "You can argue your point all you want and try to dig up evidence for it", "it" is either the current theories you just mentioned, or our theories about God.

If "it" is God, I will, once again, bring up Faith, and, I might add, that the "theory" of God is the l;ogest running "theory" to date that is not proved or disproved (see Faith).

And, what if all our current theories about many things, say evolution, the Big Bang, etc., are...
like the theories in the past that have been disproved (i.e. "world is flat," "Earth is center of Universe," or "Earth revolves around me") and might be disproved one day?

God made us imperfect for a reason, he gave us Choice, and we use it.

Unfortunately those previous theories were not based on the Scientific Method, which didn't arrive fully until the Royal Society in Britian in the 17th/18th century. I'm sure that a fair amount of biological theory is imperfect, but just because it's imperfect doesn't mean that you toss it out. What was the old adage "don't throw the baby out with the bathwater?"

I wasn't referring to the existence of God (I personally have never doubted that) I was referring to the latest creationist science craze that's been hitting the nation. It drives me insane that people are foolish and ignorant enough to believe that evolution should no longer be taught in schools because it conflicts with their faith. Well I'm not Christian but when I was I remember there being a great number of things that made me question my faith, but just because they made me question my faith I wouldn't deny that they were true.

Yeah there's work that's being done, sure people have found some inconsistencies in the fossil record. Yet we'd have to re-write all of what we know of physics, geology, and biology today to make the observations fit with the story told in the bible. I'm sure there are quite a few people who'd love to see that done, but I distinctly recall one of the biggest things you learn in any true science course is that if your observed data does not fit your theory then your theory is most likely wrong. It doesn't mean God doesn't exist, it just means that Genesis might not be a perfect account of the creation of the universe. It might also, as another suggested in a different way, that what God did to create the Universe was far more complicated than we could throw in a short book.

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Frangy.
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It is something that I was learning in the school since I can remember (always I've been present at a Christian school). The first persons to whom God dictated the Bible could'nt understand the theory of the evolution since scarcely they could write. So, God made clear to them that He had created them, independently of the process necessary to do it.

The same thing happens across the whole former testament. When the reality is too much complicated God uses symbols about transmitting His messages. It is neither truth nor lie, they are symbols, metaphors, to transmit the truth.

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ricree101
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It's too bad that more christian schools aren't like yours frangy.
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Frangy.
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why?
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Frangy.
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Sorry, I thought that you was saying that our way of thinking was bad.

Mmm, I have been in two Christian schools and both were saying the same.

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dkw
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quote:
I have tried everywhere, but every priest, minister i find just says "Evolution is not real"
I would suggest that you haven't tried everywhere, since a large number of Catholic and Anglican/Episcopal priests and Protestant pastors have no problem with evolution. If you really think you need clergy support for this, keep looking.

However, I agree with other posters in thinking that the issue with your girlfriend is probably more complex than just "is evolution compatible with Christianity?"

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Stephan
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Its funny how they say evolution is not real because the bible says so. The Genesis stories are very contradictory. First G-d makes animals on the 5th day, and makes man on the 6th day. Next it tells us G-d made man, and then made animals to keep him company.
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Will B
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It's not at all clear that the account says God "then" made the animals. It does mention it again after the creation of Adam; but then, flashbacks are legal!

[ May 02, 2005, 11:14 AM: Message edited by: Will B ]

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Antony
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I find it rather upsetting and distasteful that your girlfriend would tell yoou that you "cannot believe in god or jesus," surely you would know in your heart better then she whether you do or not.
There are many interpretations of the bible, and so naturally, whether you and your girlfriend, and the Christians you know would like to admit it or not... the interpretation you believe in is largely the one you have been brought up, or taught to believe.

You must find the true interpretation inside yourself because no single man can claim with absolute certainty that they are the authority on these matters, no man is God. Trust your feelings.

Antony

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Frangy.
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Welcome Antony [Wave]
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Antony
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oooh thankyou kindly!
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Boothby171
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Evo,

I'm an evangelical atheist, married to a nice Roman Catholic woman (lapsed and relapsed), and with some very religious, opposed-to-(the theory of) evolution Christian friends.

My first thought was to send up the warning flares, but then I started thinking about that couple we know--the wife had been a biologist, and is currently home-schooling her kids with lessons that (as far as I can tell) oppose the theory of evolution. The husband is far more centrist, though to be honest he and I have never discussesd evolution. They get along fine (as far as I can tell). They're both very devout, very active in their church, intelligent, well-respected, etc., etc.

But there's obviously been some compromise between the two of them. It sounds like, from your first posting, that your long-time girlfriend in unwilling to compromise, and that she wants you to do all the accomodating.

That will drive you mad. Mad as in "crazy," as well as mad as in "angry."

Think through the next 5 or 10 years. Think through the raising and teaching of the kids. Is she going to let you present your world-view to them, or will it all be hers? Just the same, the other way around would not work, either.

Just some thoughts.

[ May 02, 2005, 12:28 PM: Message edited by: ssywak ]

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Promethius
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Ricree101-

Did you listen to the sermon above the Darwin one? I really enjoyed that one the most. It was about the historical accuracy of the Bible. I felt the Darwin sermon was the weakest part of that series of sermons I linked to. I think that pastor does a very good job of answering objections to his sermons someone like me who is searching and examining the faith might ask.

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Antony
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"if that doesn't work just say then why do whales have a bone which proves they walked on land before"

Fundamentalist Christians argue against those things by saying god put those things there to test our faith.

I don't think it's a realistic argument and possible insulting to the God in question.

Are we to believe that god is some sort of prankster hiding dinosaur fossils to test our faith?
"heh heh heh, We'll see who believes in me now!!"

I doubt it.

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ricree101
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Promethius-

No, I didn't listen to them yet. I'll try to get around to it eventually, but at over 30 minutes each I don't have time to do it in one sitting. I really disagreed with his interpretation of some things, and some other things that he said were not particulary correct. That said, it was a fairly well thought out sermon, and I'll make sure to get a chance to listen to the others.

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Promethius
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Yeah, I understand that. As a college student ive got more free time than I know what to do with, im well aware the rest of the world does not have my handy situation.
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0range7Penguin
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Heres a theory I thought up to twist your mind aroung. when an author writes a story he/she never starts at the beggining of creation but at the same time he/she does. In EG Mr. Card does not write about Graff's entire life, and Dink's entire life etc., etc. But at the same time they did not exist untill written so they were created partially into the story. If I haven't lost you yet take it a step further. What if God didn't start at the beggining either. what if at the Biggining of creation he created an 8 billion year backstory. So the story starts with the first people and the rest never actually happened but at the same time did. Just as Dink in EG had time with his parents when he was little but never really did at the same time. Get it?
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ricree101
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0range7Penguin-

Is it possible? I suppose so. That said, there is no evidence to back this up. By that same reasoning you could argue that the world may have been created 1000 years ago or a hundred, or whatever. Short of time travel, I don't think taht we can prove your idea wrong, but there is no reason to think it is correct either.

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Epictetus
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And yet Penguin makes an interesting point. As some of you know, I believe God to be unrestricted by time. As such, not being omnipresent per-se, he could exist simultaneuosly in all time periods.

All speculation aside, I've always felt that trying to determine the nature of God, while fascinating, is ultimately fruitless as I think God is immortal and thus understanding the experience of being such is beyond our grasp.

Just as we can never fully understand the experience of being an elephant or a platypus. We can watch their behavior, their lives, but as far as knowing what it really is like to be one, who can really tell.

I think I'd like to be reincarnated as a platypus. [Big Grin]

edited for spelling

[ May 02, 2005, 04:47 PM: Message edited by: Epictetus ]

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HandEyeProtege
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Evo, as a Christian that is soon to be married I can empathize with your situation. My fiancee have had to work through a number of religious type issues, even though we beleive 98% the same thing.

So I commend you for the effort you are putting into this. As someone said earlier, five and ten years down the line a disagreement on this would have much harder consequences. It's not as though you can work out every issue before marriage, but for anything you're aware of, you should at least make sure you can agree to disagree. It sounds like evolution isn't quite there for you yet.

This is one thing think about, a point that recently came to my attention and that I found rang true: there are many things that Christians disagree on, and those things should not be a point of conflict or division. There are certain key points that are fundamental to being a Christian, of course, but for those things that there is no clear right answer - like what to beleive about creation - we should respect each other's views and practices. The prominent example of this in the new testament is circumcision - Paul vehemently says that it is not a necessary ritual, yet he has Timothy get circumcised because he knows that otherwise it would be a barrier in ministering to the Jewish Christians.

I hope this is something you and your girlfriend can work out. Good luck!

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Frangy.
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ricree101

If gone with a time machine, we would come. Because this time was, though it did not manage to happen. As the thoughts of Peter and Val when Ender creates them. When you believe something it becomes true. It is so difficult to explain...

But I do not believe in these theories. The time is too secondary when one sees from out. The past existed like the present exists, though it hadn't happened time.

Definitively, I desist from trying to explain...

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Rose the ____
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actually, aren't there theories already that posit that every bloody moment is a new universe? like, a picosecond from now, all that existed now will no longer exist, and there's a new universe. then bing! another one! bing! another one. giving us the illusion of time.
gosh I wish I could remember where I read that.

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Rose the ____
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as for G-d testing our faith - I believe a Creator who cares about his creation - and we can't really understand such a being, 'cause G-d's the creator and the moment you think someone omniescient and omnipotent thinks enough like a human being to be understood - is the moment you have to call him an egotistical, self-serving selfish prick - woah. sorry for the rant. anyway, I'd prefer to think that with the World of Facts and incomplete quantifiable knowledge and with the Bible and incomplete knowledge of the spiritual soul, G-d tests our intelligence, and how we go about the journey of finding truth in our lives and a way of life that works.
wow. I'm'onna put this in my LJ, definitely.

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Rose the ____
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I must apologize beforehand for being a whiny prick. if anyone's offended I hope this dissapears from the forum quickly.

<sigh>. I know I'm not the only Jew who reads these forums. and I know I'm being way to touchy about this - but is there a way that Christians could refer to my religion's foundation that doesn't sound like they're saying it's no longer valid? I have, probably like most Jews, far more Christian friends than Jewish ones, and - I dunno. for a while it's irked me every time I hear Old Testament, or Former Testament, and New Testament and Renewed testament.

The books of the Tanakh and the books of the Christian faith were finalized within, what, a hundred, two hundred years of each other?

so why's it gotta be such an essential part of the biblical vernacular that even my Jewish professors call it the OLD Testament? it's as young as the "New" one and we're still figuring new stuff out from it today.

[Frown] . sorry for being such a killjoy and a jerk.

and yes, I did just read Constantine's Sword: The Church and the Jews: A History.

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Rose the ____
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and - wow. I'm sorry I didn't notice Antony's post. at least half of what I wrote was a total waste, he'd already said it. sorry Antony.
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King of Men
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If it makes you feel any better, I consider the Jewish faith precisely as valid as the Christian.
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Boothby171
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Here's a puzzler:

How do we know that God didn't just create us all, hmm...let's see..five minutes ago?

He could have given us all a unique back-story, the whole world pre-history, the buried fossils and the books written about digging them up. All the birds and fish and cars and planes in motion.

The whole thing.

I mean, it's certainly within his power, right? And he's certainly within his rights to do such a thing. And He could make it so that we'd never know, right?

So why do you think that your mom is your mom, or your dad is your dad? Or your wife, or your children? God's created your relations, and your emotionsd, and your loves, and your hates. He's created your knowledge and your skills and your desires, and...

Wait a minute, this sounds like the plot from "Dark City"...

So: 5,000 years ago, or 10,000 years, or 5 minutes. If one makes sense, then they all make sense.

There's a sale on e-bay, for nice, off-white canvas coats with sleeves that tie in the back. See you there.

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