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 am so glad you use the metaphor of crutches. Of course, when one sprains an ankle, a crutch is not only necessary but more comfortable. When an ankle heals, the crutches go in the closet or to GoodWill. My closest friend is a quadriplegic confined to a wheel chair because of M.S. She can no longer feed herself, or even turn a page of a book. She is realistically and truly dependent for everything. Her family and we friends care for her, slow down our conversations so she can get a word into our chatter; she has strong opinions and voices them confidently, even though her voice is barely a whisper.
Crutches and wheelchairs are tools and worthy of respect, not contempt. Religion, especially if taught from infancy to only look outward for guidance or help very often fails when faced with grown-up, real world situations. Yes, some people find strength in belief in some higher power; for many it is not necessary and not sufficient.
The first time I said out loud that I am an atheist, the sun did not stop in the sky, bolts of lightning did not strike me dead, a flood did not inundate my world. Family and friends are horrified, convinced I am doomed, that I have no basis for a moral foundation, and am called lots of things ... selfish, misguided, predict I will even become an ethical and moral misfit!
Those who were the cruelest and most judgmental often are the ones who come to me in private and ask questions. There is something about thinking critically about a problem, looking at pros and cons, anticipating expected and unexpected consequences, making a decision based on my best information, and changing course if my thoughts and actions do not solve it. There is nothing wrong with making a mistake; there is something wrong if one expects answers to come from "out there", whatever that is. Sadly, some don't realize that. I certainly am not going to remain silent.
"...I no longer feel helpless."
Well said, Joan. Recently a man I work with in a volunteer activity, who like me went to Catholic schools, surprised me with "Once a Catholic, always a Catholic."
Because I see too hasty a protest as cover for denial, I replied merely "Nonsense."
He repeated his line and I wanted a more effective reply. I watched his way of working and found a reply I liked better: "Once a Catholic, always helpless."
I don't know, Maruli; tell us about it.
I almost replied that Grimm and the phone book can co-exist as doorstops.
I also sometimes use heavy books to hold glued surfaces together until the glue sets. Does that use qualify as co-existence?