I have been trying to explain evolution to my stepmother who believes god created everything.  She does halfway understand that evolution is a fact and it took billions/millions of years.  But for some reason she does not understand that there may have been dozens of different types of bacteria living in the primordial sludge not just one.  I have tried to explain that perhaps not everything evolved from the same one celled lifeform.  I have tried to explain that when the conditions for life were right, it is possible that many different types of bacteria grew.  Or maybe a meteor from another plant had some bacteria on it that introduced other forms of life to ths one.  My point is just because life is diverse does not mean god made it that way.  Who knows maybe some ancient astronaut came here and relieved itself and we all evolved from the bacteria in that poop.  The presence of bacteria is not proof of the existence of god. 

She also claims that God created the Big Bang.  First off, points to her for even knowing or trying to understand the big bang.  She says before the big bang, there was god.  So I asked her who created god?  God was just first.  Okay, but if everything has to be created by something, doesn't something have to have created god?

She's the diversity of life and the evolution of intelligent beings is proof of god.  I said there is more than one intelligent lifeform on this planet.  There are several animals out there, I would say are fairly smart.  In fact, many animals are pretty intelligent for what they are, where they live and how they live.  Maybe it doesn't require a 10 pound brain to be a worm. However, dumb worms get eaten or die too young to reproduce.  It's a everything eats worm world out there for worms, so maybe for the life that they lead, they are pretty smart.  Maybe intelligence and life are the rule not the exception.  Maybe the universe is teaming with life, we just haven't gotten out there to see it. 

How do I explain to her that life evolves regardless if there is a god around or not?  I'm not trying to steal away her sky friend, just trying to explain he doesn't do everything and he's not in charge of everything.











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Susan,

Yeah, it gets a little complicated.

Things like age, location were one was raised, teaching from parents, etc. play a part in ones

belief system.

Younger theists (at least in my area) tend to be a little more open minded, but "faith"

is a very powerful thing, and requires constant "backing up" in the form of things like going

to church, which is like group theropy with the re-assurance of an authority figure (minister, preacher, etc.)

The first thing I'd point out is that you don't have to be an atheist to accept evolutionary theory.   In Europe the majority of Christians do just that.
A bit like abbreviation,  that's an ironically long word.  :)
It'd likely be far easier to deconvert her entirely, than to try and make her a deist. Trying to believe that what they'd thought was an all loving deity attendant to their every move is just an apathetic life giver would be like telling someone their father wasn't dead, but just a deadbeat.

Show them this:

http://primaxstudio.com/stuff/scale_of_universe/

Not for creationism or anything, I just think people lack perspective.

Potholer54's "Made Easy" series on Youtube does an excellent job of explaining everything the origins of stars, planets, life, and the evolution of life:

 

http://www.youtube.com/user/potholer54#p/c/DB23537556D7AADB/0/wg1fs...

I have found that if someone believes that there is a god that created the whole world, then they do not value scientific data as proof of or disproof of anything. They believe what makes them feel good. So, instead of trying to help them understand the truth behind science, you need to stress the results of science and how they have changed that person's life as well as how science has changed society's standard of living. If you are a fair person or a detailed type person, you may feel the need to include the bad in with the good that science has done, but that would not follow the religious methods that trained that person to believe in a god that created the world.

 

Have a great day! 

Short answer, you dont. It is among the primary tenets of theism to eschew doubt; to shun questions of one's faith, which is why theists don't fuckin listen. Leave em to it, as far as I'm concerned. More discoveries for me, just stay outta my way, lol. The only time it's necessary to explain evolution to a theist is when you naturally select to shut their loud mouths for them. JK, sort of.

In an attempt to resubscribe me to their magazine, Skeptic Scociety sent me a very nice little

booklet titled "Top 10 Myths About Evolution".

It's a 4 x 4'' foldout, well written, and very concise and readable to the theist or person who knows nothing about the subject.

Each myth is answered in a few short paragraphs, so great quick reading for someone who wants to hear the answer, but does not want to get their faith "dirty" by investigating details,

for fear of having some of Satan's EVILution contaminate their soul :)

I was going to through it away, but my christian cousin once asked me about evolution (after first being shocked that I actually believed it), so I will give it to her.

 

I am sure if you go to their webpage, you can find it.

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