Donny's Ramblings

Thank God for Evolution

14 Comments

Put this on your reading list, fellow Christians:


“Thank God for Evolution: How the Marriage of Science and Religion Will Transform Your Life and Our World” by Michael Dowd

This book is on my reading list, as I feel it should be for every Christian who discounts evolution or for those who, like me, believe in Theistic Evolution and would like more information to use in our discussions.

Evolution and Creation are NOT mutually exclusive, my evolution-rejecting friends.

At the beginning of this book there is a list of the “Author’s Promises”. I decided to share four of them with you:

To those of you who have rejected evolution… I promise that the secular version of evolution you have rejected is not the version of evolution presented in these pages. Indeed, if the understanding of our collective past and the vision of our common destiny outlined here do not inspire you to be more faithful in all your relationships, to find new ways to bless others and the world, and to awaken eagerly each morning to a life filled with meaning and purpose, then please continue to reject evolution!

To those who accept evolution begrudgingly (like death and taxes)… I promise that this book will provide you with an experience of science, and evolution specifically, that will fire your imagination, touch your heart, and lead you to a place of deep gratitude, awe and reverence. You will also find here effective ways to talk about evolution to any friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors who are biblical literalists or young earth creationists.

To devoutly committed Christians… Whether you are Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, Evangelical, Anabaptist, or New Thought, and whether you consider yourself conservative, moderate, or liberal, my promise to you is that the sacred evolutionary perspective offered here will enrich your faith and inspire you in ways that believers in the past could only dream of.

To agnostics, humanists, atheists ad freethinkers.. I promise that you will find nothing here that you cannot wholeheartedly embrace as being grounded in a rationally sound, mainstream scientific understanding of the Universe. I also promise that the vision of “evolutionary spirituality” presented here will benefit you and your loved ones without your needing to believe in anything otherworldly.

Other “promises” are listed, but these are the ones I wanted to include for this blog post.

You can purchase the book on amazon by clicking the image above, or you can visit the official website here.

14 thoughts on “Thank God for Evolution

  1. Why do you choose theistic evolution over other theories? If you dont mind me asking…

  2. Why do you choose theistic evolution over other theories? If you dont mind me asking…

  3. Ryan,

    As there are many theories out there, I’d be interested to know which others you’d have me consider before answering this question.

  4. Ryan,

    As there are many theories out there, I’d be interested to know which others you’d have me consider before answering this question.

  5. Romans Chapter 1 says that God made himself evident through what He made, so that men are without excuse. When I first learned about evolution in middle school, it was clear to me that it directly contradicted the teachings of the Bible. How can God say that creation is “good” if there’s death and suffering? How can six days really be billions of years. I found some room for theistic evolution, but that didn’t seem to fit very well. It did the trick, but left some doubt. Then, throughout high school and college, I took a critical look at biological macroevolution, old earth plate tectonics/geology, and cosmology. The science itself pointed to God. Einstein was motivated to find out how God measured the universe. Evolution is fundamental to young earth creationism. it explains how Noah could have a pair of “each kind” of beast and still get all the species we have today (through devolution and loss of genetic variability in a given animal). If it wasn’t for the evidence, I most likely wouldn’t be a Christian today, and that includes explaining natural phenomena that appear to contradict the Bible (e.g. galaxies billions of light years away). The more I learned about science, the more evidence I saw that was consistent with a literal interpretation of the Bible. Science is constantly changing, and it doesn’t prove that Jesus is Lord in itself (the historical case is more useful for that). Nobody was there before Adam to record what happened, so there’s no way yet to definitively prove one side or the other how God measured the universe (I think God did this on purpose; it’s not a choice to love Him if he makes himself as evident as the Sun, and the reason a human can love while a robot cannot is choice). However, the points made by young earth creations are a necessary condition to get people who think like I do turn our eyes and minds on an opening in the narrow road. It’s not a salvation issue in the sense of being a requisite for salvation (Jesus’ grace is the route), but it is a salvation issue when it comes to pointing people toward the cross. Both young earth creationism and theistic evolution have a role toward that end.

    Science and atheistic evolution are incompatible. One argument: The 2nd law of thermodynamics states that a closed system (in this instance, the universe) has increasing entropy (“disorder”) and that mass (or its energy equivalent) is conserved in the system. When we think about cause and effect, we reach a point where the universe had a beginning because there is some order in today’s universe. There has to be something outside of the closed system, outside of natural phenomena, to explain where it came from. Some of my friends place their faith in nature; they believe there is an undiscovered natural cause for everything that just hasn’t been found. Such a position requires far greater faith in the unknown than is required of Christians.

  6. Romans Chapter 1 says that God made himself evident through what He made, so that men are without excuse. When I first learned about evolution in middle school, it was clear to me that it directly contradicted the teachings of the Bible. How can God say that creation is “good” if there’s death and suffering? How can six days really be billions of years. I found some room for theistic evolution, but that didn’t seem to fit very well. It did the trick, but left some doubt. Then, throughout high school and college, I took a critical look at biological macroevolution, old earth plate tectonics/geology, and cosmology. The science itself pointed to God. Einstein was motivated to find out how God measured the universe. Evolution is fundamental to young earth creationism. it explains how Noah could have a pair of “each kind” of beast and still get all the species we have today (through devolution and loss of genetic variability in a given animal). If it wasn’t for the evidence, I most likely wouldn’t be a Christian today, and that includes explaining natural phenomena that appear to contradict the Bible (e.g. galaxies billions of light years away). The more I learned about science, the more evidence I saw that was consistent with a literal interpretation of the Bible. Science is constantly changing, and it doesn’t prove that Jesus is Lord in itself (the historical case is more useful for that). Nobody was there before Adam to record what happened, so there’s no way yet to definitively prove one side or the other how God measured the universe (I think God did this on purpose; it’s not a choice to love Him if he makes himself as evident as the Sun, and the reason a human can love while a robot cannot is choice). However, the points made by young earth creations are a necessary condition to get people who think like I do turn our eyes and minds on an opening in the narrow road. It’s not a salvation issue in the sense of being a requisite for salvation (Jesus’ grace is the route), but it is a salvation issue when it comes to pointing people toward the cross. Both young earth creationism and theistic evolution have a role toward that end.

    Science and atheistic evolution are incompatible. One argument: The 2nd law of thermodynamics states that a closed system (in this instance, the universe) has increasing entropy (“disorder”) and that mass (or its energy equivalent) is conserved in the system. When we think about cause and effect, we reach a point where the universe had a beginning because there is some order in today’s universe. There has to be something outside of the closed system, outside of natural phenomena, to explain where it came from. Some of my friends place their faith in nature; they believe there is an undiscovered natural cause for everything that just hasn’t been found. Such a position requires far greater faith in the unknown than is required of Christians.

  7. Jeremy,

    Read this:

    http://www.godandscience.org/youngearth/six_days_of_creation.html

    There is even a section on “Death Before the Fall”.

  8. Jeremy,

    Read this:

    http://www.godandscience.org/youngearth/six_days_of_creation.html

    There is even a section on “Death Before the Fall”.

  9. Hi Donny,

    It’s not the exegetical support that’s a problem. In fact, it’s nice to have that so that people of various secular beliefs (young earth or old earth; neither prescribe a specific theology) in this regard can still find truth in the Bible. Evolution is very popular among some of the most intelligent people I’ve ever met, and it would be a shame to turn them away from the scripture on this knowledge and belief. However, if the Bible required an old earth and old universe, that would, in my opinion (and I know I’m a minority on this), present a stumbling block toward its validity because there is so much in nature that points toward the possibility (far from “proves”, but leaves open a wide possibility) of a relatively young earth. Some of these include helium decay, polystrate fossils, DNA decay, spiral galaxy structure, and countless other things. Some of the things that point to and old earth, such as K-Ar dating methods and visible matter billions of light-years away, are significantly weakened (in these two examples, by the assumption that K/Ar ratios are consistent along with known young formations that date to billions of years old and a theory that the universe is closed and shaped like a doughnut with respect to it’s forth-dimensional view.

    There’s a scientific case to be made for a young earth and a scientific case to be made for an old earth. Given the rate that science changes, we need to be careful not to unnecessarily marry theological views with scientific theories; this applies to creations and evolutionists alike. Either way, Romans 1 applies. God made himself evident through what has been made so that we have no excuse for disbelief come judgment day. I’ve found it more useful (only when relevant to the person I’m talking with) to tear apart evolution (along with corresponding old-earth views) because it so seriously undermines atheism instead of embracing a view in which we keep macroevolution alive. However, I can see where other people might be more turned off by this view rather than challenged by it. That’s where theistic evolution is handy.

    Someday, we’ll know how God measured the universe.

  10. Hi Donny,

    It’s not the exegetical support that’s a problem. In fact, it’s nice to have that so that people of various secular beliefs (young earth or old earth; neither prescribe a specific theology) in this regard can still find truth in the Bible. Evolution is very popular among some of the most intelligent people I’ve ever met, and it would be a shame to turn them away from the scripture on this knowledge and belief. However, if the Bible required an old earth and old universe, that would, in my opinion (and I know I’m a minority on this), present a stumbling block toward its validity because there is so much in nature that points toward the possibility (far from “proves”, but leaves open a wide possibility) of a relatively young earth. Some of these include helium decay, polystrate fossils, DNA decay, spiral galaxy structure, and countless other things. Some of the things that point to and old earth, such as K-Ar dating methods and visible matter billions of light-years away, are significantly weakened (in these two examples, by the assumption that K/Ar ratios are consistent along with known young formations that date to billions of years old and a theory that the universe is closed and shaped like a doughnut with respect to it’s forth-dimensional view.

    There’s a scientific case to be made for a young earth and a scientific case to be made for an old earth. Given the rate that science changes, we need to be careful not to unnecessarily marry theological views with scientific theories; this applies to creations and evolutionists alike. Either way, Romans 1 applies. God made himself evident through what has been made so that we have no excuse for disbelief come judgment day. I’ve found it more useful (only when relevant to the person I’m talking with) to tear apart evolution (along with corresponding old-earth views) because it so seriously undermines atheism instead of embracing a view in which we keep macroevolution alive. However, I can see where other people might be more turned off by this view rather than challenged by it. That’s where theistic evolution is handy.

    Someday, we’ll know how God measured the universe.

  11. “I also promise that the vision of “evolutionary spirituality” presented here will benefit you”

    I don’t believe it. I believe that if I bought this book, the one that would benefit most would be the author.

    For that creationist Jeremy:

    “There’s a scientific case to be made for a young earth”

    Hilariously ignorant

    “seriously undermines atheism”

    Fail

  12. “I also promise that the vision of “evolutionary spirituality” presented here will benefit you”

    I don’t believe it. I believe that if I bought this book, the one that would benefit most would be the author.

    For that creationist Jeremy:

    “There’s a scientific case to be made for a young earth”

    Hilariously ignorant

    “seriously undermines atheism”

    Fail

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