Monday, February 16, 2009

The Stronghold of Creationism

I will return to the God & Evil series; a post at a friend's site prompted the following ...

I recall a conversation I had with a friend about two years ago. I had recently read Francis Collins’s wonderful book, The Language of God, and I was in the middle of Gordon Glover's Beyond the Firmament. My friend had expressed his astonishment that I accepted the evidence for evolution. I told him that in five years, maybe ten, he too would come to accept evolution, as would most Christians. Wow! How wildly optimistic I was!

I now tell people that I do not expect to live to see the day when most conservative Christians accept evolution, and that it may take another fifty to one hundred years before Christendom abandons its anti-evolution stance. This year marks the 150th anniversary of the publishing of the Origin of the Species. The last time Christians had to adjust to the theological and bibliological implications of unsettling science (following Copernicus and Galileo), the church took 200 years to come to terms. If my 50 year projection is accurate, we're just about on schedule.

Steve Douglas has just posted Why creationists are creationists, an excellent piece detailing the reasons for the solid resistance to evolution in the conservative wing of the American church. I recommend it for those who seek to understand why this resistance is so unyielding. 

Your comments are welcome.


welshwilderness said...

What Atheists fail to understand is that Darwin only challenged the literal belief of the story of Genesis, Darwin didn’t put forward any convincing theory to disprove the divine completely. This is the reason why leading scientist Sir John Houghton, who is an evangelical man of integrity, could say: ‘Creationism is an incredible pain in the neck, neither honest nor useful, and the people who advocate it have no idea how much damage they are doing to the credibility of belief.’

Personally I have no problem in believing in miracles. If God created the world in six literal twenty-four-hour days then it was a miracle. The problem with creationists like Ken Ham and the people over at Answers in Genesis is that they try and use the laws of science to “prove” the literal story of Genesis. But if they ever succeed (which they won’t) the only thing they’ll accomplish is not prove God but rather to disprove God’s miracle!

Cliff Martin said...


Thank you for your comment. The Houghton quote is exactly what I have been trying (mostly without success) to relate to my creationist friends ... that the church is rapidly loosing credibility, and as a result, survivability in our culture.

Good point about attempts to rationalize a "miraculous" creation. I'd never looked at it that way.

I jumped over to your website and left a comment this morning. I'm sure I'll be back!

Psiloiordinary said...

Thank you welshwilderness for the unambiguous and sweeping summary of my views.

(100% wrong btw)

- - -

It might not take that long Cliff - If you look into the history of Creationism - I find it fascinating - It all happened very quickly and not that long ago - although I know that YEC's deny even this.

Heartfelt thanks from the UK for this unusual export from the states - we have had beautifully and expensively produced DVD's sets full of crap sent to every single school and college in the UK ;-(

I think that the money may have saved many lives in Africa, but they would rather try to save souls in the UK.



Isaac Gouy said...

cliff > ... the church is rapidly loosing credibility ...

Perhaps for other reasons - unChristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks about Christianity... and Why It Matters