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Evangelical Christians accepting science
#1

Evangelical Christians accepting science
Being accustomed as I am to the science denying tactics so many Christian apologists employ I was very impressed when a physicist professor shared his power point presentation given to a section on the origins of life at an evangelical website.  Where God/creation are mentioned at all his intent seems to be to assure them that they can still hold the view that whatever happened was God's will.  He is a professor at Regent College, a private religious school founded by Pat Robertson.  He regretted that the slides weren't more informational but recommended the book ASSEMBLING LIFE: How Can Life Begin on Earth and other Habitable Planets? by David Deamer which just came out this year.  Seems like an interesting read.

What impressed me was how in depth and fair it was.  Certainly I didn't have any familiarity with most of the research included in the survey but it was an interesting pathway and I wonder if Nova has made any documentaries on this.  Knowing him as a moderator on a forum, the openness to the science didn't surprise me.  But I thought that it might surprise some of you, if the only Christians you cyber meet are those who come here to proselytize.  (I often forget that many of you live places where people wear their religion on their sleeve but for some of us online and family gatherings is the only place religion comes up at all.)

A slide titled "Darwin's First Life":
Quote:
  • “There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.” - Darwin in the end of the Origin of Species
    • In a private communication Darwin later expressed regret that he had attributed life’s origin to a creation event but never changed the statement in later editions of The Origin of Species
    • Nor did his published works ever write about abiogenesis again

"Talk nonsense, but talk your own nonsense, and I'll kiss you for it. To go wrong in one's own way is better than to go right in someone else's. 
F. D.
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#2

Evangelical Christians accepting science
Unfortunately, the bigger role you give to nature, the less God's nurture seems necessary or even relevant. I expect a lot of resistance in that direction. Look at the way Hugh Ross is viewed by many fundamentalists.
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#3

Evangelical Christians accepting science
The god of the ever-diminishing gaps!
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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#4

Evangelical Christians accepting science
(10-23-2019, 04:53 PM)Dānu Wrote: Unfortunately, the bigger role you give to nature, the less God's nurture seems necessary or even relevant.  I expect a lot of resistance in that direction.  Look at the way Hugh Ross is viewed by many fundamentalists.


What I like about most of the mods at least and many of the posters is that they don't go in for apologetics and do not think any good argument can be made one way or the other.  Either God did or did not create the world and the rest.  But they choose to believe on faith and admit sometimes to being less confident.  I like a little realism thrown in with the faith along with a some actual humility.

Their mission is basically to bring real science to fundies and those raised, as many of them were, in YEC households where the beliefs were served up along with meals and everything else.  Because they have made that transition they reach out to those who haven't yet.  Sounds kind of familiar.  Frankly this is enough for me.  If the fundies can be brought not to deny the science and be less hell bent on getting everyone into a church in a suit on Sundays, I'll give them a hallelujah.  Unfortunately my YEC brother has 'heard of them" and isn't interested.  My home schooling cousin who now teaches at a xtian high school never returned my email pointing her to their online resources for interweaving faith with real science and math.  I"m guessing she is satisfied with her coloring books depicting kids riding on saddled dinos and cubit math activities centered on the real ark.
"Talk nonsense, but talk your own nonsense, and I'll kiss you for it. To go wrong in one's own way is better than to go right in someone else's. 
F. D.
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#5

Evangelical Christians accepting science
(10-23-2019, 05:46 PM)Mark Wrote:
(10-23-2019, 04:53 PM)Dānu Wrote: Unfortunately, the bigger role you give to nature, the less God's nurture seems necessary or even relevant.  I expect a lot of resistance in that direction.  Look at the way Hugh Ross is viewed by many fundamentalists.


What I like about most of the mods at least and many of the posters is that they don't go in for apologetics and do not think any good argument can be made one way or the other.  Either God did or did not create the world and the rest.  But they choose to believe on faith and admit sometimes to being less confident.  I like a little realism thrown in with the faith along with a some actual humility.

Their mission is basically to bring real science to fundies and those raised, as many of them were, in YEC households where the beliefs were served up along with meals and everything else.  Because they have made that transition they reach out to those who haven't yet.  Sounds kind of familiar.  Frankly this is enough for me.  If the fundies can be brought not to deny the science and be less hell bent on getting everyone into a church in a suit on Sundays, I'll give them a hallelujah.  Unfortunately my YEC brother has 'heard of them" and isn't interested.  My home schooling cousin who now teaches at a xtian high school never returned my email pointing her to their online resources for interweaving faith with real science and math.  I"m guessing she is satisfied with her coloring books depicting kids riding on saddled dinos and cubit math activities centered on the real ark.

I agree that this is progress, but it's limited. It only address one aspect of the christen predicament, in simple terms, how did we get here.

What can be done to get them to change their thinking about where we go? If that can't be changed I don't see them really giving up on creation.
Being told you're delusional does not necessarily mean you're mental. 
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#6

Evangelical Christians accepting science
(10-23-2019, 08:54 PM)brewerb Wrote: I agree that this is progress, but it's limited. It only address one aspect of the christen predicament, in simple terms, how did we get here.

What can be done to get them to change their thinking about where we go? If that can't be changed I don't see them really giving up on creation.

I think what is necessary is for them to change their epistemological approach, and that is utterly forbidden / anathema / blasphemous. In other words they would have to not totally disparage "mere human wisdom" as if it's some dirty thing, and stop elevating dogma to a virtue such that when it conflicts with available facts, knowledge and logical argument, dogma supersedes those things.

You might peel some of them off temporarily with a gentle entreaty about science, but once they figure out the implications they will bolt anyway. Further, once their handlers identify the threat, it will be dealt with.

So I'm not optimistic. Their catchphrase / aphorism here is, "let god be true, and every man a liar".
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#7

Evangelical Christians accepting science
(10-23-2019, 09:31 PM)mordant Wrote:
(10-23-2019, 08:54 PM)brewerb Wrote: I agree that this is progress, but it's limited. It only address one aspect of the christen predicament, in simple terms, how did we get here.

What can be done to get them to change their thinking about where we go? If that can't be changed I don't see them really giving up on creation.

I think what is necessary is for them to change their epistemological approach, and that is utterly forbidden / anathema / blasphemous. In other words they would have to not totally disparage "mere human wisdom" as if it's some dirty thing, and stop elevating dogma to a virtue such that when it conflicts with available facts, knowledge and logical argument, dogma supersedes those things.

You might peel some of them off temporarily with a gentle entreaty about science, but once they figure out the implications they will bolt anyway. Further, once their handlers identify the threat, it will be dealt with.

So I'm not optimistic. Their catchphrase / aphorism here is, "let god be true, and every man a liar".

This approach (OP) will be more effective for the youngsters than those already committed. So be optimistic. We are seeing the change already, just look at PEW.
Being told you're delusional does not necessarily mean you're mental. 
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#8

Evangelical Christians accepting science
(10-23-2019, 02:06 PM)Mark Wrote: Being accustomed as I am to the science denying tactics so many Christian apologists employ I was very impressed when a physicist professor shared his power point presentation given to a section on the origins of life at an evangelical website.  Where God/creation are mentioned at all his intent seems to be to assure them that they can still hold the view that whatever happened was God's will.

Unfortunately for this perspective, if you give credit to evolution, the whole Jesus story falls apart because it is predicated on the fall of man.  And many fundamentalists know it.
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#9

Evangelical Christians accepting science
Is this where I post my advertisement of the bridge I'm looking to sell? Unsure
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#10

Evangelical Christians accepting science
I recall being very surprised when I read the Origin of Species to find that Darwin was a creatard.  But he was educated in church schools so obviously he absorbed too much of the bullshit.
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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#11

Evangelical Christians accepting science
(10-23-2019, 11:05 PM)Alan V Wrote:
(10-23-2019, 02:06 PM)Mark Wrote: Being accustomed as I am to the science denying tactics so many Christian apologists employ I was very impressed when a physicist professor shared his power point presentation given to a section on the origins of life at an evangelical website.  Where God/creation are mentioned at all his intent seems to be to assure them that they can still hold the view that whatever happened was God's will.

Unfortunately for this perspective, if you give credit to evolution, the whole Jesus story falls apart because it is predicated on the fall of man.  And many fundamentalists know it.


They don't seem to look at it that way.  Evolution would be the proximate cause but they'd say God's will was behind it.  Doesn't make total sense to me either.  I only know I'd have been happier about my YEC brother if he were able to come even this far.
"Talk nonsense, but talk your own nonsense, and I'll kiss you for it. To go wrong in one's own way is better than to go right in someone else's. 
F. D.
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#12

Evangelical Christians accepting science
(10-23-2019, 09:31 PM)mordant Wrote: I think what is necessary is for them to change their epistemological approach, and that is utterly forbidden / anathema / blasphemous. In other words they would have to not totally disparage "mere human wisdom" as if it's some dirty thing, and stop elevating dogma to a virtue such that when it conflicts with available facts, knowledge and logical argument, dogma supersedes those things.

Not only do they embrace mere human wisdom but they're promoting doing so to fundies.  


(10-23-2019, 09:31 PM)mordant Wrote: You might peel some of them off temporarily with a gentle entreaty about science, but once they figure out the implications they will bolt anyway. Further, once their handlers identify the threat, it will be dealt with.

So I'm not optimistic. Their catchphrase / aphorism here is, "let god be true, and every man a liar".

The YEC'ly inclined folks who come around do have all these worrisome reactions but then these science friendly guys will point out what they have in common.  Conversions happen there but not usually.
"Talk nonsense, but talk your own nonsense, and I'll kiss you for it. To go wrong in one's own way is better than to go right in someone else's. 
F. D.
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#13

Evangelical Christians accepting science
(10-23-2019, 10:32 PM)brewerb Wrote:
(10-23-2019, 09:31 PM)mordant Wrote: I think what is necessary is for them to change their epistemological approach, and that is utterly forbidden / anathema / blasphemous. In other words they would have to not totally disparage "mere human wisdom" as if it's some dirty thing, and stop elevating dogma to a virtue such that when it conflicts with available facts, knowledge and logical argument, dogma supersedes those things.

You might peel some of them off temporarily with a gentle entreaty about science, but once they figure out the implications they will bolt anyway. Further, once their handlers identify the threat, it will be dealt with.

So I'm not optimistic. Their catchphrase / aphorism here is, "let god be true, and every man a liar".

This approach (OP) will be more effective for the youngsters than those already committed. So be optimistic. We are seeing the change already, just look at PEW.

I think the Pew results are due to young people leaving home, going to college, and experiencing reality. And those kids growing up and having their own kids, etc. It is higher education and the Internet and free and easy access to hard data that is peeling them off. Also good old-fashioned peer pressure and mass media have created a social force that their family religion is no match for. I would say that their ultimate demise was set in the 1960s, if not the 1950s, and their increasingly ineffectual flailing has been going on ever since.

Another factor people overlook is that the shift in the 1980s to seeking / buying political influence (the Moral Majority, the Family, the Robertson campaign, etc) transformed them from a strictly religious movement to primarily a political movement. And that has gradually eroded their moral credibility, culminating in it being strangled and beheaded by Trumpism.

I have never doubted that the gig was up for them, it has just been an open question whether in the process of their death throes they would take us on some dystopian detour for a few decades. Whether or not that is the case is still quite uncertain.
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