Monday, February 9, 2009

Look, I like Christians, okay?

I truly do like Christians. I was one for the first half of my life (or 'until I reached the age of reason' as I've heard it put). I would really, really like to learn about Christians, their individual reasons for believing the things they do, etc. So I read Christian blogs when I can.

But I can never take it for long. Because of things like this: Greg Koukl on Theistic Evolution. In sum: God didn't use evolution because evolution would be highly inefficient, as compared to just poofing things the way God wanted them. Actually his card-playing metaphor makes a lot of sense, assuming that there is some sort of omnipotent, infinitely intelligent force that can work magic ("miracles", "creation").*

Herein lies the problem. The theory of evolution is very, very likely to be a very, very close approximation to the truth. There is a lot of evidence, actually.

I absoutely agree with Greg Koukl that a god with all of the characteristics of the modern Christian idea of God would probably not have used evolution to create life. (I also don't think He would have created such a damn inhospitable universe for His Chosen Life-forms - so far as we can see, God only created life as a very thin scum on a rather small rock around an unremarkable star in a boring arm of an average galaxy in an otherwise completely indistinguishable area of the universe, and almost all of it completely uninhabitable. But that's tangential.)

The thing is, that we do see lots and lots of evidence for evolution. And as the very first commenter points out:
"When we dig up 3.5 billion years worth of ice cores in Greenland or observe 12 billion year old stars and galaxies on the other side of the universe, why are we supposed to then say 'ah, but of course God created these things with age.' Do we believe our science and logic or not?"
So unless you have some reason to rule out the metric buttload of evidence for evolution... and you also argue that your God would not have used evolution... the logical conclusion would be that, since evolution was in fact the process by which complex life arose on Earth, your God probably didn't create everything.

Okay, okay, or maybe also that God did use evolution. There's no way to absolutely rule out that possibility.

But the way you're doing things, Greg, is just... well... wrong. And I can't put up with it. It's not even internally consistant. I can deal with fractal wrongness, but this is something else entirely.

* The words "infinitely intelligent" hurt me to type. I'm training in the cognitive sciences and... arrgh... rrgh... ooh... intelligence is not a thing that can be quantified. But I'm putting on my Christian glasses, so I will speak as if "infinite intelligence" is a meaningful concept.


  1. OK, I like some christians, too.

    Christianity, not so much. It's that "made-up by Saul of Tarsus" thing.

    God, creator of the universe, is made-up stuff, too. Made-up by people who knew the Earth was flat and the night sky was a bowl with holes in it. That's where heaven is, on the other side of the bowl.

    So sometimes the christians say things that go too far?? Of course they do, the whole belief system is irrational. Some just get more irrational than others.