Saturday, 8 October 2011

Evolution Is...True?

I've written a good deal about the Bible, here on the blog, since (in my view) its measure of reliability is of paramount importance, when it comes to discussions about the truth or falsehood of Christianity.  It would be almost impossible to over-emphasize this point.  It's not that Christians "worship the Bible" (as I sometimes hear it said, sarcastically).  This certainly isn't true.  But they do worship the God that the Bible supposedly describes.  Additionally the Bible is, by far, our best source for the life of Jesus...and there are about 2 billion people, on earth today, who believe that Jesus was synonymous with the very creator of the universe!  That's kind of a big deal.

But for these next few posts I'd like to take a left turn, so I can delve into a couple of issues that are certainly connected, but admittedly not directly related, to the Bible or even the claims of Christianity.  When one experiences a dramatic shift in their worldview, like I did, there really isn't anything in that person's life which doesn't get re-considered.  And sometimes when you change your mind on one (major) issue, it causes you to think, "wow, if I could be so spectacularly wrong about issue a), perhaps there are other things I've been really wrong about all this time??".

For me, there were two such issues, especially, that played what you might call a side dish role in my de-conversion...evolution and sex.  (It could be argued this is just one topic, but I'll treat them separately anyway)

It had already become clear to me, by this point in my journey, that the book of Genesis is terrifically inconsistent with modern science.  Naturally, this caused me to speculate, anew, about the whole evolution thing.  I'd noticed that, for some reason, it seemed to be pretty convincing to most non-Christians (especially those who were really "big into science"). 

My first foray, into this area, came via youtube videos (lots of them).  I started with the huge "Why do people laugh at creationists" series, from this guy I'd never heard of before (named Thunderf00t), followed by many, many, many others (such as the "Foundational Falsehoods of Creationism" series, by AronRa).  Initially, I was just taken back somehwat by the sheer volume of evidence that seemed to exist, in favour of evolution.  I was also surprised to see the evolutionists take on the creationist arguments so directly and forcefully.  These youtube users weren't unaware, for example, that creationists say carbon dating is unreliable...rather, they seemed to be keenly in touch with what the other side was claiming (and had little difficulty in showing why it was misguided).

Slowly I began to realize that, as a Christian, I had really only rejected evolution for one doesn't jive with what the Bible says in Genesis.  When properly understood, evolution isn't the ludicrous idea that many Christians think it is.  Also, many of the things that (creationist) Christians believe about evolution are patently false (ie. that humans came from monkeys, or that evolution is in question since it's "just a theory").

Maybe evolution is, actually, true?

If so, what a tragedy that I had never really paid much attention to it. 

These youtube videos planted the seed in me (to use a Biblical analogy) but, next time, I'd like to talk about a book that sealed the deal.  By the time I closed its pages, and in combination with everything I had learned up to that point, it had accomplished the nearly unthinkable...taken me straight from a "young earth creationist" to someone who embraces evolution.

More on that and, eventually, some thoughts on sex as well over these next few posts.


  1. RA - sounds like we have had very similar journeys. My thoughts on evolution have really changed in the past several months as well. Not sure if you have had the chance, but visiting the Smithsonian in D.C. will really help confirm a lot of what you saw in the videos. When you see literally dozens of skulls that have been excavated that show a clear evolutionary pattern, it's pretty damn convincing! (unless they are all well done fakes :P)

  2. David, I agree, our journeys are indeed pretty similar.

    The evidence for evolution is truly overwhelming, once one stops to investigate it objectively (open mind not optional). I only wish I had done so sooner. No, I've never been to the Smithsonian, but I would for sure love to go sometime.

    I'm sure you are overwhelmed with reading material, right now, but when you get the chance I highly recommend Jerry Coyne's book, "Why Evolution Is True". Any lingering doubts you may entertain, about the truth of evolution, will be gone by the time you finish it.

    I feel for you David, I can see that you're under some very heavy pressure right now. Your intellectual integrity is priceless (and nobody can take that from you) so just keep being honest with yourself. Not everyone has the sort of courage that you have already displayed in great measure.