So this is probably a question that all of you have either asked yourselves or been asked by others. I've had conversations multiple times about this subject since the first time that I came online.
I know of three versions of how Genesis can fit with evolution. GAP, Day-age, and allegorical.
GAP to me is a joke. It proposes that between the versus in genesis ( between 1:19 and 1:20 if I remember correctly) the bible leaves out millions ( or billions) of years. Besides the fact that this makes god out to be a deceiver, it also still doesn't explain why the rest of creation is out of order. Like why the earth and plants are created before the sun.
Day-age makes an attempt to explain things by turning day into some indistinguishable period of time. Mainly by using versus like 2 Peter 3:8.
Again we encounter the same problem as the first though. The arrangement of creation is out of order.
The last attempt is by saying that Genesis is allegorical. This is probably the best attempt at making things fit. Mainly that of making it so that it doesn't matter what order the Genesis account is in because that is not the point of the verse. They aren't suppose to be taken literally.
One problem with this, and this includes the above versions as well. On what basis are we determining that Genesis isn't meant to be taken literally. Why should we drop the one interpretation for the others?
The main answer that I've gotten for this is that if we want science to fit with Genesis then we need to change Genesis in order to make it fit with our understanding of science. An example of this can be found here.
So this leads me to ask. Should the bible determine reality or should reality determine the bible? Because if Genesis is taken as non-literal so that we can fit it with science, then does that not mean that we create a precedence when it comes to how we look at the world? Wouldn't that mean that when science determines whether an event/object is good or bad for us then the bible takes a back seat? And if the bible takes a back seat, wouldn't that undermine the idea that it is the inspired word of god? I say it does.
Between the moderate Christians and the fundamentalist I always go with the moderates. I would rather have people who are pro rather then anti science. Still, on this subject I have come to realize that I cannot agree with moderates. Not with what has been presented. I can no longer tell a fundie directly that I see no conflict with science and the bible.
What are your thoughts. Do you think that these two can reach some reasonable ( if not god written) consensus on the matter? I would be interested in hearing what you have to say.
As a side note, I really enjoy Robert Ingersoll's Some Mistakes of Moses.
Great read if you find the time.
I've never heard of people asking if Star Wars and the theory of evolution can co-exist, or if Greek Mythology and evolution can co-exist...
why is that?
It's basically none-sense wanting to mix science and mythology, unless you want to create some original fantasy, or science-fiction stories.
You just can't bring in fiction, if you want to explain things rationally. The two things are, by definition, mutually exclusive.
This recent Talk of the Nation debate is about the same question you are posing. How can they believe in genesis and evolution at the same time? Much of what they say does not make logical sense but i guess that isn't so surprising.
HAGERTY: Right, right. The stakes are really, really high in this debate, Neal. Many conservative Christians say, look, if you don't have an historical Adam and Eve, then you might as well throw out Christianity and Jesus, for that matter. Because if there's no Adam and Eve, they say there was no original sin, no fall, no choice to disobey God, to eat the apple, no need for a savoir in the form of Jesus Christ. That's what they say.
HAGERTY: "...Many conservative Christians say, ... then you might as well throw out Christianity and Jesus, for that matter."
A great idea, except it stops short of throwing out all religions.
I believe that the the story of Genesis, as it is written and understood today, cannot coexist with evolution. In order for Genesis and evolution to completely coexist, Genesis would have to be completely rewritten (we can't rewrite evolution). I don't know how Genesis may be rewritten to include evolution, but I do know that if it was, many followers in the Christian and Islamic faiths would not accept it.
I find it strange that most creationists assert that the Earth is 10,000 years old (or however old they say it is) when the story of Genesis, to my recollection, doesn't reveal how long ago these events supposedly took place. Calendars hadn't been developed at that point in time yet.
I understand the age of the earth claimed by creationists to be the result of multiplying a lifespan by the begata (Did I, with a typo, just create a word? Read it as "begats".)
I'll bet you a nickel that a sci-fi writer I know could rewrite evolution. I might take a swing at rewriting genesis. I will certainly add some fan-fic and p-o-r-n.
Fil, you just had to post something, didn't you?
Post it to the guy who did the arithmetic.
Why do I see a lot of bestiality porn coming from Genesis?
(oh crap, what is this message going to do to the ad banners of the page it's on?)
Do the Jewish writings include those famous lines from the Song of Solomon?
Hm-m, I'm feeling a need to parse "They were nothing if not earthy!"
I get "Unless earthy they were nothing."
Which famous lines? The original name of the document was Song of Songs, and it is the one book of the writings that I read in full, LOL!! The sexuality is obvious, and in no way does it represent the love of Israel for god. For one thing, god doesn't have breasts!!!!!
That's why I don't condemn the Jewish writings -- they are the library of the Jewish people, have a wide diversity and mixture of mythology which merges into history, and NOT intended to convert anyone. They DO reflect the theism of the people who wrote them, but the emphasis is on how to behave in the here and now (even though the moral stance was primitive), and there is no concept of eternal punishment. It's folklore, pure and simple. We don't have to behave the way they did, simply because we HAVE learned something in the interim.
The Christian writings, on the other hand, are pure propaganda, intended to convert first, the Greeks and Romans, and later, others to the new religion, and the twisted representation of the Jewish people is very hard to witness.
That's the reason I have trouble with the word, Bible, because there is such a fundamental difference between the Jewish part and the Christian part. I feel that, as an ethnic Jew, I have every right to enjoy my own mythology and records of ancient culture as any other ethnic group. That doesn't mean I believe them or take their instructions literally. For me, the writings are simply a window on the history, literature and ethnology of my ancestors. Good enough.
And by the way, of course Genesis and evolution can coexist. One is a mythology, just like the mythologies of other groups, and the other is a scientific fact. Astrology and astronomy the same way. The existence of mythologies, acknowledged as such, doesn't change science in any way! Each in its own sphere -- who doesn't enjoy a good fiction novel?