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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Evolution vs. Creationism?

OK, I'm going to say it. I'll probably get blasted for it. But I'm going to say it.

Someone left me a comment on a previous post that re-opened this can of worms. It's my blog, so I'm going to say it.

I have a real problem with Christians who insinuate that others cannot really be Christian if they teach/believe in evolution.

Let me make it perfectly clear: I am not preaching evolution, here. The verdict is still out on that one. If you are interested, here is the Catholic Church's stance on the subject of evolution.

I have also not banned the mention of evolution from my home. My children understand that not everything they read in books is substantiated fact. Some of it is hypothesis. We are explorers in God's universe, hoping to understand and appreciate as much of it as our limited beings will allow.

But evolution vs. creation? Black or white. We're right and you are wrong. Why is it in human nature to see everything that way? What if we are all wrong? Let's not forget that we are seeing creation and, yes, even the Bible, through fallible human eyes, pulled in one direction, then the other by our physical faults and weaknesses.

And beyond that, we often are not even talking about the same thing.

You can't have an argument about anything unless everyone knows exactly what they are arguing about. And yet the word "evolution" gets thrown around as if it means the same thing to everyone. It doesn't. Even Darwin knew that.

The next time someone says the word "evolution" to you, ask them: "The evolution of what?" And see what they say.

Sometime I'll write about why Darwin is not evil incarnate (no, he's not a saint, but he's not evil).

And why Lincoln is no saint.

If I still have any readers.

14 comments:

  1. I've always believed that you can't debate any topic, without having a good grasp of both sides. It would be difficult to teach creation effectively if you don't teach evolution as well. Thanks so much for this post, it stated exactly how I and my children feel.

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  2. Well said! Well said!

    If you hide information from your children then when they find out about it from outside sources it will most likely be warped and twisted. It is much better for children to learn about things from their parents who can present it in a way that can best show God's love.

    I get so exhausted by parents who refuse to even consider things from another point of view.

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  3. Thank you for the encouragement:-)

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  4. Jessica,
    Ditto. It can be very trying at times.

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  5. I don't know exactly what you mean when you say "expose them to both sides". My kids know that some people believe the world began with a Big Bang, and "evolved" from there. They also know that the Bible teaches Intelligent Design in six days. As we explore our world, we take the time to observe that the "facts" we can see and touch around us support the Bible's teaching.
    I guess what I'm trying to say is that I teach my kids "the opposing side" but I also point out why the Bible is true. I don't believe that both sides are valid, but I agree that they need to learn what the "other side" believes in order to effectively argue against it.

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  6. I found your post very interesting and articulate. I do have to contend, though, that it is not 'human nature' to see things in black and white. It is 'God nature'. After all, it is humans that believe in such things as tolerance for anything, sin as lifestyle choices, truth is relative, etc.

    There is such a thing as right and wrong.

    However, I 100% agree that we should teach our children what evolution is, what the theory is and why people believe the things they do. We should also point out the different kinds of evolution, micro evolution, macro evolution, and evolution within a lifecycle. (I.E butterfly metamorphosis)

    You should never try to hide your children from something as prominent as evolutionary theory.

    I do find it startling, though, that you would base your convictions on a church leader or official declaration. I base my convictions on one thing and one thing only. The Word of God, and his truth spoken to me in my heart.

    I agree with what Spesamore Academy said. She put it very nicely. :)

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  7. Patriots:
    Point 1: I do not base my convictions on an official declaration, I included that link for informational purposes. Btw, did you read the "declaration" as you call it? The gist of it is this: The Catholic Church does not teach for or against evolutionary theory, but reminds us to be mindful that God is the creator of all things and our convictions should be in line with that.

    Point 2: Yes, there is a right and a wrong. I didn't say that there wasn't (in fact, I think I made it pretty clear that there is). I'm talking about the kind of arrogance that thinks we can easily put aside our human nature and make no mistakes about discerning what that right or wrong is.

    There are those who would ignore what is right to cater to their earthly desires. I don't deny that. But we cannot forget that even those of us who are pursuing God's truth are not immune to mistakes.

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  8. Spesamor Academy,
    I'm not sure what you mean, either, as nobody used the phrase "expose them to both sides", and that's not really what I'm talking about...but words are limiting, aren't they? We communicate in real life with so much more than words.

    For the record, I agree with most of what you said.

    My frustration comes from the lack of dialog on both "sides" and the erroneous perception that there are only 2 sides to the issue. And if you are not on my side, you are on the wrong side. And you can't really be a Christian. And, yes, I have encountered that. What I see most is that 2 people are coming at the argument from 2 entirely different understandings of what they are arguing about. Case in point.

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  9. See, told you I would get blasted. That's ok...I know I have plenty of room to grow.

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  10. For the record, I didn't blast you.
    I shouldn't have put those words in quotes, though. My bad. :) That was the gist of what I thought you and your first commenter were trying to say. But now I'm not sure what it was you were trying to say...
    You didn't make it clear that you believe in a right and wrong and you left a fairly strong impression that you are against black and white. Right and wrong is generally considered the same as black and white. And I agree with Patriots about human nature. :)
    I am curious though, what is the 3rd side to this issue?

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  11. Spesamor-
    The blast comment wasn't address to you and apologize if it came across that way. I should have said that I felt blasted. I was feeling a bit surrounded and was reminded of a quote from Karl Popper: Always remember that it is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood: there will always be some who misunderstand you.

    My mistake was in writing a short post about a fairly complex issue with various shades of meaning that are easy to misunderstand. But, in my defense, I could have written at length and still have been misunderstood. This is not a blast or criticism of my critics, merely an acknowledgment of my own weaknesses as a communicator and the limitations of communication itself. You can never be privy to the unspoken thoughts, the ongoing internal conversation of anyone else. And this goes doubly so on the internet, as you are not even privy to their facial gestures, tone of voice or other nuisances that would be present in a face-to-face conversation.

    The post title, Evolution vs. Creationism?, is important here. There's a reason for the question mark, and that's really what the post was intended to be about. Obviously I have failed in getting that across. Not the first time, and certainly not the last.

    As this will be a rather lengthy response, I'll pause here for a moment, and get a drink of water.

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  12. Let me first answer Spesamor's observation on black or white.

    I agree that black or white can be used to depict good vs. evil, right vs. wrong, and so on. Think of the chess pieces on a board. It's one side against the other.

    But the original post wasn't about good vs. evil. It was about the debate going on, not between secular evolutionists and Christian creationists, but between Christians who teach evolution and Christians who dismiss them as not being Christian. Quote:
    I have a real problem with Christians who insinuate that others cannot really be Christian if they teach/believe in evolution.

    The next 2 paragraphs are my way of saying: look I'm not making an entry into the debate of evolution vs. creationism. In fact, I didn't even say whether or not I believe in evolution...not going there, though I do talk about evolutionary theory in my home. That's not what the post is about.

    Evolution vs. creation? This is a question for a reason. What I am talking about here is not absolute truth, but the perception of truth.

    An aside here---One of my main points was also the lack of understanding...there are many definitions of the word "evolution," and many understandings or perceptions of what that word means. It does not mean the same thing to everyone (hence the need to ask: "The evolution of what?"---see the end of my original post).

    I think you'll agree that the evolutionist believes evolution to be true, just as the creationist believes creation to be true. You would probably say: I'm right, and he's wrong. You might be absolutely right. But how we see truth is not the same thing as actual truth.

    Let me give you an example, and forgive me if it comes across as being stupid and irreverent, it's just for illustrative purposes.

    10 people witness a car accident and a policeman takes their eyewitness accounts. 2 of those people's accounts do not concur in any respect. Black and white. You might suspect that one is wrong and the other is right, or that one is lying. But then you read all the other accounts and find that each has some corroboration from at least one of the other witnesses, but not whole corroboration. There are all these shades of gray.

    There is a truth, the truth of what really happened. But all we have, in the case of the accident, is the perceptions of 10 different people. And all of them are right, to some degree. But none are wholly right.

    Ok, I have to pause, because google is saying my comment is toooo long, lol.

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  13. I think this is a good time to raise your question: I am curious though, what is the 3rd side to this issue?

    My response is that there isn't a 3rd side. And that this isn't chess (OK, it is Chess to some secular evolutionists---the type that deny the exist of God and want to replace belief in a higher power with belief in randomness and primordial soup, but, again, I wasn't talking about them).

    Remember all those shades of gray in perception? Who is 100% right? Is it the person who believes that the universe and everything in it was created just so (not as it is today, but as it was then, I know that doesn't make sense, but I hope you know what I mean)? Is it the person who believes in intelligent design being a long process with the Creator gently guiding it along the way (this would be a type of evolution, just not the random evolution depicted by Darwinists)? Or another shade of gray? Maybe one we haven't even considered.

    Some might say the Bible says X, so I believe X. There are numerous translations of the Bible and understandings of what those translations mean...see Popper's quote in my previous comment. God may speak to us perfectly, that does not mean that we hear him perfectly.

    I'll close with a final observation. Ultimately, each person needs to decide what they believe for themselves. I can tell my children what to believe, sure...but the belief doesn't really come until our God given reason combines with divine inspiration and opens us to the truth. Even then, we are limited in our understanding and our ability to grasp the truth. Hence the mystery of our faith.

    And now, I will be quiet.

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