Theistic Evolution & Evolutionary Creationism: Combining Evolution & Creationism

[Originally posted at: About.com]

Creationism vs. Evolution:
Creationism does not have to be incompatible with evolution; there are many who believe in a creator god(s) and who also accept evolution. They may have deistic beliefs and believe a god started everything then let it run without interference. Theistic Evolution encompasses theism, some system of traditional religious beliefs, and the idea that a god or gods used evolution to develop life on earth.
 
What is Theistic Evolution?:
Theistic evolutionists vary in how they believe their god intervened in the evolutionary process because those beliefs are connected to subtle details of other theological positions. They accept modern science on the fact that evolution occurs and how it occurs, but they rely on their god to explain things currently unexplained by science (like the origin of life) or outside the purview of science (like the origin of the soul).
 
What is Evolutionary Creationism?:
There is little difference between Evolutionary Creationism and Theistic Evolution — the only reason the term seems to exist is the theological importance of emphasizing the term “Creationism” rather than “Evolution.”

[Read the rest of this post at: About.com]

For the record, I do not buy into the arguments presented in this, because there is no attempt at evidence… I posted it as an example of the unscientific folly of creationists, even those who attempt to be conciliatory towards evolution…

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About Rodibidably

Jeff Randall is a frequent volunteer for free-thought organizations, including the Center For Inquiry – DC. Having been blogging since January 2008, he decided that a community of bloggers would be an interesting new experience (or at the very least a fun way to annoy his friends into reading his posts more frequently). Since finding out about about the existence of, and then joining, the atheist/skeptic community in 2007 he has been committed to community activism, critical thinking in all aspects of life, science, reason, and a fostering a secular society.
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9 Responses to Theistic Evolution & Evolutionary Creationism: Combining Evolution & Creationism

  1. bobxxxx says:

    What is Theistic Evolution?

    It’s bullshit.

    What is Evolutionary Creationism?

    It’s bullshit.

    Also, theism and creationism is bullshit.

    Evolution is a natural process that doesn’t require magic god fairies.

  2. Rodibidably says:

    True.

    True.

    And… True.

  3. writerdood says:

    I’ve been surprised that very few religious organizations appear to be adopting this view. They don’t seem interested in combining creationism and evolution. Rather than adapt themselves to the landslide of evidence supporting evolutionary theory, they decide instead to completely reject the idea and claim biblical literalism and creationism.

    From the perspective of religious social evolution, this seems extremely interesting. One reason for clinging to creationism might be found in answering the question: “how do churches evolve over time?” Most established churches seem to cling to their doctrine because it helps them cling to their members. If they changed their doctrine, they’d lose some (perhaps a majority) of their members. Their members (their flock) represent their income, and their authority. Without members, the leader of a church (minister, preacher, priest) has no sanction. But with members, a religious leader seems free to claim the belief of his followers as reason for his or her authority.

    Perhaps it is that in order for a church to evolve changes in doctrine, it must become a heresy first and split off, forming a new religion or “cult” first. Historically, this appears to have been the case. And, if a Christian church were to adopt some kind of evolutionary creationism form of belief, then it would be viewed by mainstream Christianity as a heresy for quite some time. Until, of course, it gained a big enough of a following to legitimize itself.

    • Rodibidably says:

      writerdood,
      You would hope that every person and every organization would allow science, reason, and evidence to guide them.
      But when you claim infalibily in your sources, it’s hard to backpeddle quickly when proven wrong. It actually leads to digging in more firmly than before in many cases.

      What is needed above all else is for people to admit that no matter how firmly they hold a belief, they can be wrong.
      From there, the rest should come naturally.

  4. writerdood says:

    I’m not sure if they will admit they’re wrong though. This has become a fight in their minds. They hold fast to their beliefs because they think that giving up creationism means giving up religion. Or they hang on to it because they have a need to be stubborn.

    I don’t expect the human race to accept atheism. I expect it to evolve into an understanding of its place in the universe. That will take generations. Atheism is a step for individuals, but it can’t be a step for an entire society because entire societies can’t take “steps” like that. It would be a paradigm shift, and it would require a catalyst of some kind that I can’t even imagine.

    What I do expect is that more and more people will drift away from churches and religions that insist on holding to literal interpretation of the bible, particularly where it applies to evolution and creationism. Already, there are a lot of people who understand evolution, and still attend creationist churches because there is no good alternative for them. When that alternative arrives, and goes mainstream (as I expect it eventually will), there will be an exodus from the existing churches. These will primarily be the youngest members.

    The older churches, holding true to their beliefs that now are obviously incorrect and unaccepted by the majority, will begin to corrode. Some will hold out forever as sects. But once the critical mass has been reached, they won’t be able to hold back the migration of followers.

    I could be wrong, of course, but this is my prediction and what I expect to see. Sooner or later, the creationism vs. evolution debate will come to a head, and there can only be one way this will go since creationism has absolutely no evidence to back it up. Only those who want to believe in it will continue to believe it.

    We’re not to that point yet, though. It may be another decade or two. Or even longer. Waiting for societies to change can be glacial, but once the change hits, it goes fast.

    • Rodibidably says:

      writerdood,
      You’re possibly (ok probably) correct that the overwhelming majority of people are going to be unwilling to admit their religious beliefs are false.

      But I think that there is hope. In the way that people are almost looked down upon today if they are open about being scientologists (due to people knowing more about the ridiculous nature of the tenants of their cult, sorry I mean religion), I hope that some point down the road people will look upon christians, and other people who believe in superstition, in the same manner.

      If reason, logic, rules of evidence, critical thinking, real science, etc are taught to our children as not just ideas, but as the best way to know and understand the world around us, then in time it will become the expected norm, and those who deviate from that norm will be seen in much the same way that today we look upon “flat earthers” and others of similar types of beliefs.

  5. Rand says:

    We need to follow where the facts lead. I have nothing against spiritual exploration, but religion is not science, i think we can consider that an axiom. Willful ignorance for whatever reason, will not lead us to any greater understanding of reality.

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