Evolution May Explain the Problem of Evil and Suffering


You passed. On the other hand, the site Science Meets Religion, has this interesting article (also, the second one is good, from another site):

What are the theological advantages to an evolutionary worldview?
God’s Creation Through Evolution and the Language of Scripture


Actually, I don’t know of anyone who thinks that. What some do think is that a belief in creation by God as recorded in Genesis is inconsistent with evolutionary theory. Those who subscribe to a young-earth theory (that the earth is less than 10 thousand years old) believe so. But that is by no means universal. Many people believe both, by assuming the “days of creation” were long periods of time (known as the “day-age theory”). Around 1920-1950, a significant number of Christians subscribed to the “gap theory”. They were able to accomodate evolution by assuming that there was a gap of millions or billions of years between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2—plenty of time for evolution to have occurred. (They “translated” verse 2 as “and the earth BECAME without form and void.”)


Yeah nobody actually thinks that science doesn’t exist, science being “the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.” It would be absolutely unreal to deny that that exists.

At the same time, to be fair to Gabe, there are an alarming amount of people who basically do phrase it like that, despite them obviously believing that science exists - people who quite happily take many of the results and positives of science but then slag off the whole mechanism when it appears to give evidence for something the person doesn’t like (e.g. the evolution of man).


Paidion, I am puzzled why you always seem to take a statement of mine and read into it literally or in a way not intended. I am also puzzled as to how you have never heard that phrase before. I have personally had this conversation many times with people in the real world.

debate.org/opinions/can-scie … on-coexist

FYI- 36% say it cannot coexist as the question is understood. You can even read their responses and it should help you understand what the question/statement means. Clearly, you don’t get out much and converse with people who are not religious.


And now for something completely different.

Recently, I have the opportunity to watch reruns of the TV series Kung Fu. While his science is outdated, If I were to embrace Christianity and evolution together, it would be with the vision of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin in The Phenomenon of Man. Teilhard talks about an endpoint of evolution in Christ.

Let’s work on the hypothesis that we are created in the image of God (where we will take the Eastern Orthodox view).

Could we in the garden of Eden all use 100% of our brain capacity and were really like the crew from The Big Bang Theory?
Could we do the mystical stuff we see on the Kung Fu series, like the Shaolin monk walking through walls? Or any of the mystical stuff we read about in the church saints (i.e. Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox), as well as saints and holy people from traditions like Islamic Sufism, Indigenous native traditions and Eastern traditions?
As we go towards the end point of Teilhard, would evolution, the Holy Spirit and God’s grace re-empower more people with these gifts and abilities, found in the garden of Eden?


As I said to Cindy in a post above, I think evolution is still occurring in humans, as well as in other species. We cannot easily see recent or ongoing evolution in us because our long generation time means such changes are inevitably slow. Given that much of what separates us from other species is our intellectual capacity, that capacity may be where we will see many future evolutionary changes, such as the ones you alluded to above. So, evolution, I think, should not be seen as a static process that is finished in species, even humans. In fact, that evolution is dynmanic could be said to be a major reason why God could have chosen evolution to accomplish his purpose: it does it better than the alternatives.

When one thinks about this issue more than superficially, one can easily envision God’s choice of evolution as way to create humans, and other species, to be based on the fact that evolution allows living things to track environmental change. If God had created all species de novo, or even just humans de novo, we would be static entities needing constant tweaking to keep in tune with environmental change, which is inevitable. Every time a period of cold, hot, dry, or wet climate-change occurred, tweaking would be required for survival and flourishing in the world. And that holds not just for environmental change we can reasonably predict. What about other, less predictable ones? In the history of the world, there have been periods of tremendous increase in cosmic events that could be lethal or near-lethal to us, e.g., increases in harmful radiation. In addition, our own species creates environmental change, some caused by population increases and some cause by advances in medicine and technology. For example, I mentioned the increase in C-sections, which will likely favor larger babies with larger brains. All of these environmental changes could be tracked by evolution. But in the absence of evolution, God would have to intervene often or we and many other species would go extinct.

Thus, evolution is advantageous because it’s so dynamic, always capable of keeping life abreast of the latest environmental changes, without constant intervention by God. That is not a commonly held view of the advantage of evolution as a tool used by God to continue to perfect life in this world.


You know Lancia, what you are saying makes sense. Evolution in the vision of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin in The Phenomenon of Man, would explain some things.

At one time, in the garden of Eden, I believe they could do the mystical stuff and were as smart as those on the The Big Bang Theory. We lost that during the fall. But the Eastern Orthodox had the correct perspective, in how we were created in the image of God. It would explain things like the book Psychic Gifts in the Christian Life: Tools to Connect by Tiffany Snow on Amazon. It would explain the mystical stuff you can read about in the saints of the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches, as well as the holy people from traditions like Islamic Sufism, Indigenous tribal religious traditions, and eastern traditions. And as we go towards that end point, we can truly envision the words of Christ literally:

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But here’s the catch. This was once explained to me by a Native American elder. In order to have God’s gifts and power flow though you, you must become as empty as a hollow flute, so God can play his music through you.


Well, I tend to assume that people mean what they say. But if they don’t, how can I know in what way their statements were intended?


Why do you think that I’ve never heard it before? I simply stated, “Actually, I don’t know of anyone who thinks that [religion and science cannot co-exist]”. Thanks for the link. I read some of the comments of those who affirm that they cannot co-exist.

I know what it means.

Why have you stated this opinion? That fact that you have, seems to indicate that I have irritated you in some way. That was not my intention. I will endeavour to be more cautious in the future.



I always thought the faith statement made by Jesus was to show the object of the faith is what mattered. For example, two passengers on a plane… One is scared the entire time. He does not have faith in the plane or pilot. The other guy is sleeping soundly, he has faith in the pilot and plane. The plane lands. Did the faith save either of them? No, but the person who had faith was at peace with himself. I think this analogy might be a glimpse as to why it is better to believe in this life. Our faith doesn’t change what God does, but it allows us to be at peace with it.


To be honest, Paidion, I have a great deal of respect for you and your positions, but am often frustrated by some of your responses. For example, I have created many threads where I EXPECTED you to comment, but you didn’t. Then, you tend to quote some obscure single sentence of mine and run off course with it in a way I would have never guessed. Your style sometimes has me wondering if you are completely sarcastic or serious in your replies. I know you are a good person, so I don’t doubt that aspect. I’ll make every effort to overlook what appears like sarcastic statements knowing that it is not your intent. Perhaps some of this is because I have not spoke to your in person. Sorry for the derail. God Bless.


That’s a great analogy.


I can’t take credit for it. Back when I was an ECTer, the Young Adult pastor/leader gave that example. It really stuck with me. That is why I think Jesus used the mustard seed example, how could faith be any less than that size? :slight_smile:


It does raise the question regarding the object of faith. What should be the object of faith? God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, the sacraments of the RC and EO churches, the ceremonies of the Native Americans, relics of saints, holy water, the miracles of some TV evangelist, sacred RC, EO and Native American sites, holy people, saints, blessed objects, etc.? Actually, all these can be a focus point to trigger a miracle.

As an inclusivist (i.e. like Roman Catholic inclusivism), I believe that Christ is working in a person’s life - regardless of the religious traditions. As long as the adherents try to follow the golden rule. Many Christians claim to have faith but can’t follow the words of Christ literally. Many in traditional Protestant Christianity claim the age of miracles ended with the apostles.

Yet I know a Roman Catholic priest, who has the gift of healing and hearing the voice of God. Many healing miracles happen through him. I know through reliable sources that many miracles happen through the Eastern Orthodox monks of Mt. Athos in Greece. I have seen healing in charismatic groups, as well as among the Native Americans, Eastern holy people and Christian Scientists (i.e. I’m personal friends with a Christian Science practitioner in Australia). The last three mentioned don’t have a specific faith in Christ but they do believe in God. Sometimes the healing is where the doctors say the person is terminal and there is nothing more they can do. And there have been healing for things like financial situations, no children in a marriage, etc.


I’m Eastern Orthodox, and I would be foolish to posit that God works miracles only within the Orthodox Church. Correct theology does not monopolize miracles or grace. :slight_smile:


Neither does incorrect doctrine (in non-essential things) :smiley:


Which always begs the question, who or what determines “correct” doctrine? :smiley:


I’ll be glad to. I’ve got some free time! :laughing:


Well, I’m ready to go to the argument clinic. Which door should I enter into? How much money will it cost me? :laughing:


Well, I just argue in my spare time… :laughing:


“To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible.” - Thomas Aquinas