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Pick the response that most accurately applies.
I believe in evolution and I am not an atheist. 19%  19%  [ 15 ]
I believe in evolution and I am an atheist. 44%  44%  [ 34 ]
I am a young earth creationist. 13%  13%  [ 10 ]
I am an old earth creationist. 9%  9%  [ 7 ]
I believe in Intelligent Design. 5%  5%  [ 4 ]
I don't know what to believe. 3%  3%  [ 2 ]
Other. 8%  8%  [ 6 ]
Total votes : 78
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 06, 2004 10:42 pm 
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InterruptorJones wrote:
Anyway, I'd really prefer that you list some sources, here. Einstein's famous quote, of course, was "God does not play dice with the universe," but I'm not sure of the context.


I believe that has to do with the quantum theory of the time. I think he eventually changed his mind about it, too, but I'm not sure.

Didymus wrote:
The theory of evolution did exist in their time. Darwin's theory of natural selection did not.


I'm pretty sure it didn't become a theory until Darwin published his findings (actually, probably quite a bit after that). Before then it would have been a hypothesis. Remember that a scientific theory doesn't mean something that somebody just thought up, but it means it's as close to fact as you can get without it being law (to say "only a theory" is a gross misunderstanding, not that you said so). Of course, a theory may be erroneous but it's rare that an entire theory would be. Laws are based on mathematical or logical premises, which is why we don't have a "law of evolution"; we don't know any underlying mathematical formulae or anything. But for anything to be a theory at all it must first be accepted widely, and that did not happen with evolution until Darwin. Therefore, to say the theory of evolution existed before Darwin is erroneous.

Oh, by the way, to clear up terminology, "natural selection" is pretty much just "survival of the fittest", because it refers to nature "favoring" a certain alternative to others. Mutation doesn't really fit into that; you could have that principle based solely on, say, Gregor Mendel's simple genetic theory (using the term "theory" loosely here ;)), which doesn't take mutation into account.

Also, JoeyDay and I had a conversation on IRC, where I mentioned that microevolution was proven in laboratories, specifically with drosophila (fruit flies), and he decided to look it up. You following this, Joey? :)

- Kef


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 06, 2004 11:23 pm 
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This discussion, I believe, is sort of pointless.

Look at the perspectives of the people who believe one theory or another.

I can understand how someone who believes in evolution can think my belief that an omnipotent being just created everything in a week.

On the other hand, you sure have to see how I think there's no other answer than creation, because I truly believe that my God is powerful loves me and etc, etc. My belief in God is more than a belief, it's truth (to me).

Neither of us can dissuade the other of our beliefs, probably.

Uhh...did that make sense? I just think this debate is silly.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 06, 2004 11:35 pm 
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AgentSeethroo wrote:
This discussion, I believe, is sort of pointless.

Look at the perspectives of the people who believe one theory or another.

I can understand how someone who believes in evolution can think my belief that an omnipotent being just created everything in a week.

On the other hand, you sure have to see how I think there's no other answer than creation, because I truly believe that my God is powerful loves me and etc, etc. My belief in God is more than a belief, it's truth (to me).

Neither of us can dissuade the other of our beliefs, probably.

Uhh...did that make sense? I just think this debate is silly.


well said....nobody's going to be able to persuade each other of which is better/more believable...

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 Post subject: So this is what I think...
PostPosted: Fri Aug 06, 2004 11:48 pm 
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This topic. Creation vs. Evolution, is like Grapefruits and Watermelons...they're both fruit but are totally different. However, I shall share my own opinion with all who happen to read it.

I am a Christian, so I know (or rather believe, for those of you who would feel more comfortable if I said or you thought I said believe,) that the theory of Creation is in fact not a theory at all but the complete truth without flaw. Plain and simple.

We were made by the one living God. All people rebell against Him...even the most devoted of His children sin against Him. It's exactly the same way that we as children have rebelled against our own mom's and dad's...if we knew how much it hurt them when we screamed at them or told the how much we hated them, we wouldn't do that...but everyone does...even if you've never said it aloud...you've thought something ill against your partental unit, which is a sin.

Unlike our Mom's and Dad's though, God has never placed blame on you that wasn't yours, He's never punished you for no reason...so the only way for our human minds to justify turning against Him is to make up a story saying that He never did exist...there was an explosion or a bunch of OTHER things are using us for test subjects....blah blah blah.

As for humans evolving and how we are so much like apes and whatnot...yeah I accept that we are an evolving species and that there are mammals that are somewhat similar to us...but I know that these things are evident because they are divine in planning. God knew that we would corrupt the perfect Earth that He created for us, so He structured our DNA to to adapt accordingly. i.e. Some one decided to to start dishing out fast food...there are so many ways to get sick from fast food it's scary, but people that have grown up eating it and for those of us that 'live off of it' it doesn't bother us in any kind of terrible way...but people that have never or hardly ever eat it usually get sick when they eat it because they've not adapted...we adjust according to the environment we're in both locally and globally.

But that's just my .76 cents...so pardon the typos and whatnot and thanks for reading to the end of this.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 07, 2004 3:02 am 
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AgentSeethroo wrote:
Uhh...did that make sense? I just think this debate is silly.


I have to admit I wasn't too serious when I started this, hence the silly subject title (which Jones had to be mean and correctify :P ...hey, there's a new word!)

We probably can't change beliefs, no, but we can find out why we believe what we do, and maybe re-evaluate our positions.

- Kef


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 07, 2004 3:33 am 
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InterruptorJones wrote:
I seriously resent the implication. I didn't call anybody stupid. Nobody called anybody stupid. And somehow because I pointed out problems with your argument (some of which you effectively countered, some of which you did not), it's implied that I believe that scientists who believe in Creation are stupid and thus I'm a close-minded bigot? Ugh.


I did not say that. I simply asked the question. Jumping to this conclusion is just as bad as it would be if I HAD called you a closed-minded bigot (which I did not). You could have just answered, "Trying to correct some minor errors you made in your argument." I am sorry that I phrased my question in such a way as to give the impression that that was what I was doing. Next time, I will try to choose my words a bit more carefully.

furrykef wrote:
I'm pretty sure it didn't become a theory until Darwin published his findings (actually, probably quite a bit after that).

That's not true. As I stated, the theory of evolution has it's roots in the 1600's. In fact, a number of people in the 1700's theorized it, including Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, author of "Faust." The theory did not gain popularity until Darwin's time, and that mostly because of Thomas Henry Huxley. For more information, check out this link: http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/history/evothought.html

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 07, 2004 4:57 am 
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Didymus wrote:
As I stated, the theory of evolution has it's roots in the 1600's. In fact, a number of people in the 1700's theorized it, including Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, author of "Faust." The theory did not gain popularity until Darwin's time, and that mostly because of Thomas Henry Huxley


I believe I already made the point that if it wasn't popular, it's not a scientific theory at that time. Almost all scientific theories are generally accepted in some way by the relevant scientific communities, or it is not a theory, but a hypothesis.

- Kef


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 07, 2004 5:10 am 
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So what you mean is that it wasn't an ACCEPTED THEORY until Darwin's time (actually, not until Thomas Huxley's debates). When you first stated it, it sounded like you were saying it HADN'T EVEN BEEN CONCIEVED until Darwin's time. My point was that the the theory of Evolution predated Darwin by a number of years. What he contributed wasn't Evolution as a theory, but Natural Selection as a theory of how Evolution could work.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 07, 2004 9:02 pm 
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AgentSeethroo wrote:
I wonder...If we originally came from monkeys, why haven't we changed into something else throughout the past couple thousand years of recorded history?


Firstly, as Kef said, it wouldn't be long enough for any huge changes.

Secondly, actually, we have. In the past few centuries alone, people have grown a lot taller. Even in my generation, there's been an adaption: due to the mobile phone/video game era, our thumbs have become more powerful than any other generation's before us.

Anyway, it's evolution for me. Obviously, as an atheist, there's no reason for me to assume that creationism is true, and even as a Christian I (as well as most British Christians) dismissed it.


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 Post subject: I don't think...
PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2004 2:30 am 
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I don't think that adaptation is necessarily a strong enough foundation to support evolutionism. i.e. Dogs and cats have become domesticated enough to be left alone in our homes while we are away, adaptation not evolution.
Also, Pelicans that feed off of tourists' handouts will eventually 'forget' how to hunt for fish in the wild...Obviously it is easier to be fed than to hunt for one's own food. However, if the tourist cease to feed the Pelicans, the animals will not revert back to their instinctive nature to hunt but rather starve to death or be taught how (shown by example) to hunt again by Pelicans that have retained their instinctive nature to hunt...so if the once hand fed Pelicans learn how to hunt again does this support some theory that perhaps REVERSE EVOLUTION is in place on our planet...mmmm I don't think so....it's merely adaptation, which of course is something that I would expect an all knowing God to give us the ability to do.
That's my .26 cents...thank you for the little listen!

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2004 2:46 am 
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I don't think anybody claimed that simple adaptation of an individual is evolution.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2004 5:54 am 
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Also, evolution, as the theory is held by most theorists, is not really a progression at all. The theory of natural selection does not acknowledge a goal or a plan inherent in nature. It just happens. Creatures randomly mutate, and those mutations which better enable survival in new environments thrive, whereas those that are not beneficial eventually die out or adapt to new environments. There is no such thing as progress.

This is why the theory of natural selection is contradictory to the Christian faith. The Christian faith holds that God planned to create mankind. Even if He used an evolutionary process to "shape" man, you still cannot call it natural selection, but perhaps "divine selection."

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2004 9:25 am 
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Creationist. If we evolved from monkeys, then why aren't all the monkeys still becoming humans? Plus, thinking we evolved from monkeys which evolved from lizards which evolved from frogs which evolved from fishfrogs which evolved from fish which evolved from tadpoles which evolved from ameoba which evolved from air doesn't seem very realistic.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2004 10:00 am 
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Yoshibot, your logic is flawed. An evolutionist would simply respond by reiterating my own point that natural selection is based on random mutations. If the mutations are random, they cannot be uniform. Therefore not all monkeys will become men. Your argument is based on the assumption that nature works according to a predetermined pattern and that there is a standard of progress. Those who hold the theory of natural selection deny both of these premises.

I myself am a creationist, too. I'm just saying that it doesn't do much good to argue against evolution without at least understanding the basics of their system of thought.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2004 10:07 am 
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AgentOpaque wrote:
And I also have a question:
Why is it easier to accept evolution and not creation for those of you that do not believe in creationism?


Well, the most obvious answer is that I don't believe in God, and therefore me believing in creationism would be... well, nonsense. ;)

If you want me to go more in-depth... well, for one, there's the way I was brought up, not least the country: the UK is made up of a much larger proportion of atheists to America (in fact, I think the nonreligious might actually outnumber the religious, but don't quote me on that). Even amongst the Christians, creationism is widely disregarded and looked upon as a crackpot theory. There are very few creationists here in Britain. And for someone who, even when he was a Christian, thought the "six days" in Genesis was a metaphor, coming to terms with the idea as a legitimate belief is quite difficult.

There's also the fact that evolutionism has much more scientific backing; although there are creationist scientists, they're generally looked upon with some scorn. (It is my personal belief that one day science will completely override religion.) The Big Bang is such a widely-believed theory that it's hardly even thought of as a theory any more by many people. (In fact, I heard somewhere that Stephen Hawking proved the Big Bang to be true. Judging by the fact that there are still those who don't believe it, I have to assume that this isn't true, but does anyone have anything else on this?)

I've written far more than I intended, so I'll shut up now.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2004 6:16 pm 
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The number of semi-OT posts is piling up. Shouldn't we move them to another thread? I keep skimming them instead of reading them. :P


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2004 11:18 pm 
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PSA: The part of this thread that wandered severely off topic has been split into a new topic called Can God Be? at the request of the topic creator. Please take your thoughts on that issue over there.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2004 11:49 pm 
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Although there are creationist scientists, they're generally looked upon with some scorn.

Yes, they are. In fact, someone in the old thread even said they were stupid. My response was that this reaction is pure and simple closed-minded bigotry.

I'd like to see anyone try to tell Albert Einstein he was stupid.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2004 12:25 am 
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Didymus wrote:
I'd like to see anyone try to tell Albert Einstein he was stupid.


I wouldn't ever call Einstein stupid, but if I thought Einstein was wrong I'd surely tell him given the opportunity. I imagine that he'd be a wonderful discussor. But anyway, Didymus, you never made a citation concerning your belief Einstein was a Creationist. Einstein did say that he was convinced that many of the stories in the bible could not be true (his Autobiography).

I've spent awhile now Googling, and I can't find any indication that Einstein ever made any statements about Creation, and I have a sense of certainty that neither have you. It is known Einstein's concept of god wasn't a Christian one, so if he believed in any sort of creation, it certainly wasn't the Adam & Eve kind that you hold.

Your point is moot anyway, because I could quote scientists just as revered as Einstein contradicting Creation (e.g., "These laws may have been originally decreed by God, but it appears that he has since left the universe to evolve according to them and does not now intervene in it" -- Hawking, my emphasis) and say "I'd like to see you try to tell Hawking he was stupid."

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2004 12:30 am 
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Well, I suppose that depends on whether your definition of creationism is that of a literal 6-day event, or if it could include anyone who believed that God created the universe, regardless of literality or not.

It is clear that Einstein believed in both creation and divine providence. He is quoted often as saying, "God does not play dice with the universe." The assumptions behind that are: (1) God is the creator, and (2) God is in control. His conclusion was that there is no such thing as an accident (that excludes natural selection).

I do not know if he ever stated that he believed that Genesis 1 and 2 were literal accounts, though. But then, I might be operating under a more generalized definition of creationism than the one you use.

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 Post subject: Actually...
PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2004 12:47 am 
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Didymus wrote:
It is clear that Einstein believed in both creation and divine providence. He is quoted often as saying, "God does not play dice with the universe." The assumptions behind that are: (1) God is the creator, and (2) God is in control.


Erm. What?

This is the most frequently quoted statement that is used to prove that Einstein believed in God and/or creationism. And/or didn't believe in his own science. Making him right. Wha?

Firstly, even if this had anything to do with creationism or belief in God(which it doesn't, I might as well tell you), Einstein was a far cry from an expert in evolution or theology. He was the mastermind behind special and general relativity, and was one of the most intelligent men in the world - but was only, strictly speaking, knowledgable in the field he'd helped create. If he'd meant every word he said in the way you said it, he could say it and still be completely wrong, or uninformed. Intelligence does not make wisdom.

Secondly...

Einstein was not particularly religious - at least, not in the Judeo-Islamic-Christian-Greek-etc. sense of the word. Maybe in the Buddhist sense. He believed that everything in the universe had a definite cause and effect, and that it could all be understood via rules that formed a sort of mathematically beautiful logic. That's why he said "God does not play dice with the universe." He was upset by the implied element of randomness, which distorts the beauty and the perfection, making it an ugly, rather twisted mirrior, if you'll forgive the poetic language. The further he advanced in his theories, the less he believed in God religiously.

I don't even know where he got the whole 'Creationist' thing from. The quote simply doesn't imply that. No, not even remotely. It simply doesn't. I know orthodox Jews, for example, Jews who attend every service and say every prayer, Jews who believe far more in God than they do in the world around them, who believe totally in evolution and - though they would not scorn at those who believed in creationism - certainly think that they're wrong. What about being religious means, inherently, that you support Creationism? So even if he were a very religious Jew - which he wasn't - the quote described here doesn't imply that he was a Creationist. At all.

In fact, I don't believe he ever gave his stance on that issue - at least, not publically. He wasn't very active in the life sciences.

The quote, to put it in context, was aimed at proponents of the then-new and radical science of quantum mechanics. To be more specific, it was centered on Heisenburg's Uncertainty Principle, which states:
Heisenburg and Planck wrote:
pv >= 2PI / h

Where p = momentum, v = velocity, PI = 3.14159..., and h = Planck's Constant. What this states, essentially, is that there HAS to be some inaccuracy in both measurements. Meaning, in short, that as far as we're concerned we never know where anything is, or what it's doing. Really. This greatly upset Einstein, for the reasons stated previously about his view of the universe, and so when asked what he thought about it he responded - thoughtlessly, one might say - "God does not play dice with the universe."

There. That's it. The entire quote. The huge misconception that spawned out of it is... ugh. He's not referring to the God of the Christian sense; firstly, he didn't believe in that kind of God. Secondly, he was Jewish. When he was upset he tended to invoke the name of God, in reference to the workings of the universe. He in fact wrote a considerable amount, rather vehemently, concerning that very quote - in which he basically denied that it had anything to do with that God.

And that concludes my little rant. Ladies and gentlemen, you may argue creationism or evolutionism, but please do not invoke the name of Einstein wrongfully.

Thank you, and have a good day.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2004 1:00 am 
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Thank you for that enlightening exposition concerning Einstein's intended meaning in that statement. I did not know the full context of it. Thank you for sharing that.

However, I still stand by my earlier post, in which I stated that scientists should be respected according to their contributions to science, not by their theology, and that to call a scientist stupid just because they believe in creation is simple closed-minded bigotry. There were two microbiologists in my home church.

Also, I do not believe that science and theology are mutually exclusive. However, since science can only touch the realm of observable phenomena, it is ill-equipped to address the issue of God's existence.

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Didymus wrote:
However, I still stand by my earlier post, in which I stated that scientists should be respected according to their contributions to science, not by their theology


It was you who attempted to make a point in a theological discussion by listing off a whole bunch of scientists whose contributions to science had nothing to do with theology. But I digress.

Didymus wrote:
to call a scientist stupid just because they believe in creation is simple closed-minded bigotry.


I don't even remember who called who stupid, but I'm guessing that that person isn't participating in this discussion anymore, and I'm guessing that more or less everybody has gotten over it. And now everybody digresses. Could we get back on topic, please?

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2004 1:09 am 
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Ah, but that was the point. Their contributions to science didn't have anything to do with their theology. Therefore, you can't call someone stupid just because you disagree with their theology.

I don't remember who first made the remark, but Upsilon said something along those lines very recently, and I was responding to him.

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Didymus wrote:
I don't remember who first made the remark


I could be wrong, but I think it was you. And anyway, whether certain people think that scientists are stupid has nothing to do with Creation vs. Evolution, because those people are not participating in this discussion. Now please let's get back on topic (I can enforce it if it becomes necessary.)

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2004 12:04 pm 
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Here's a slant of both views that I had posted on the Relgious Affiliations thread.

I think that the Earth was created by natural cosmic causes helped by a divinity(Example:water). I think then God put the spark into whatever to make single celled organisms and then higher life forms.

I'm going the middle path on this one and personally I really like my theory.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2004 11:17 pm 
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See, I have no problem with the idea that creation occurred by way of natural processes. You know, the theory that God created the universe by bringing about the Big Bang. That theory makes perfect sense to me.

To me, the difference between creationism and natural selection is essentially whether or not God was in any way involved in the process, or if the process is just the result of completely random events.

BTW, I know that the term natural selection is primarily used regarding biological development, but I do not know if there is a term to describe the process of random cosmic development. If there are any astrophysicists in the house who can offer such a term, feel free to do so.

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I would call myself Creatilution ("Create-a-lution") For instance, God created the world in 7 days, but one day is not necessarily 24 hours.
And since God created animals before humans, that would mean evolution could have occured.


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There is that, plus it's kind of hard to read the first chapter of Genesis literally. It is essentially a poem (note the repitition of certain words and phrases) describing the creation, not a step-by-step account.

Now I do believe that Adam and Eve were real people, and that their actions were what placed all mankind in jeopardy and ruined the earth for the rest of us. But how did God arrive at them? That's a different story.

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Didymus wrote:
There is that, plus it's kind of hard to read the first chapter of Genesis literally.


It may be hard, but many Christians do. I don't have any actual figures, but you may well be in the minority.

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