This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

← Evangelist Spurned for Supporting Evolution

Evangelist Spurned for Supporting Evolution - Comments

TwitterTribeVoltaire's Avatar Comment 1 by TwitterTribeVoltaire

Good news really. Christianity just continues to marginalize itself with its refutation of reason.

Fri, 16 Apr 2010 22:09:00 UTC | #460368

GodlessHeathen's Avatar Comment 2 by GodlessHeathen

I'm thinking of making a documentary about this and similar events. I'm gonna call it:
"Expelled: No Evolution Allowed"

Fri, 16 Apr 2010 22:11:00 UTC | #460369

MUNRO1's Avatar Comment 3 by MUNRO1

Christ said nothing of creation any way did he. Isn't Genesis a Jewish story?

Fri, 16 Apr 2010 22:15:00 UTC | #460371

TwitterTribeVoltaire's Avatar Comment 4 by TwitterTribeVoltaire

But the Christians swallowed the old testament as part of their own.

Fri, 16 Apr 2010 22:16:00 UTC | #460372

mjwemdee's Avatar Comment 5 by mjwemdee

"If the data is overwhelmingly in favor of evolution, to deny that reality will make us a cult -- some odd group that is not really interacting with the world," says Waltke.

That's it, dearie! There - didn't hurt a bit, did it?

Fri, 16 Apr 2010 22:26:00 UTC | #460375

Nunbeliever's Avatar Comment 6 by Nunbeliever

I had to check what year this article is from, just in case it was written in 1910 instead of 2010...

Fri, 16 Apr 2010 22:36:00 UTC | #460377

Wezzock's Avatar Comment 7 by Wezzock

mjwemdee, that was awesome.

If only we had a more widespread vaccination - but shush, HuffPo might hear you...

Fri, 16 Apr 2010 22:44:00 UTC | #460379

Rosie83's Avatar Comment 8 by Rosie83

A lot of Christians today, sound like the pharisees that Jesus opposed 2000 years ago. Honestly! We will never learn! There's always going to be some challenge to our traditions that we refuse to acknowledge. (I'm talking about humanity, here, not just religious people).

On a "happier" note, the same thing happened when Galileo demonstrated that the earth wasn't the center of the universe. The Christian traditionalists freaked out and did everything they could to keep the theory silent, but they eventually figured out that they could accept that the earth revolved around the sun and still be Christian. The same thing will happen with the theory of evolution. Both will survive.

Fri, 16 Apr 2010 23:32:00 UTC | #460387

mjwemdee's Avatar Comment 9 by mjwemdee

Sorry, Rosie, but none of that Christian revisionist thinking works without very strange mental acrobatics.
I'm not saying Christians don't think; Christians certainly do think, but they do it in a way that the rest of us could well not count as thinking. They invariably proceed from the conclusion. Anyone trained in the sciences or engineering (or in fact any walk of life) is used to being faced with problems for which they do not know the solution until after they've done some thinking. That's what thinking means for us - proceeding from something one already has to something new. Christians nearly always do it backwards – they start with what they ‘know’ to be true and decide what they are going to accept on the basis of whether it can be interpreted to fit.
As for the theory of evolution, they're going to have to come up with some very nifty sleight-of-hand to accommodate it into their theology. The idea that the Christian god used evolution by natural selection as his means of creating only raises bigger questions: why would he just happen to use the one process of achieving creation that doesn't require his existence to explain it? Is he TRYING to make it look like he doesn't exist? And why would he use a process that inherently guarantees maximum suffering?

Sat, 17 Apr 2010 00:07:00 UTC | #460390

Monkey Man's Avatar Comment 10 by Monkey Man

"I believe what he is saying ultimately undermines the authority of God's word."

You're darn tootin' it does!

Kind of like how Douglas Wilson defends the bible's support of slavery because if that was wrong, than being homosexual might not be a sin and then the gay conspiracy would probably take over the entire world...

Sat, 17 Apr 2010 00:32:00 UTC | #460394

The Schuermannator's Avatar Comment 11 by The Schuermannator

It's not like Ken Hamm is gonna come out and say, "Oh gee, that Waltke guy is actually right. I think I'll shut down my museum now."

I'm gonna make a museum for the Christians showing lakes of fire with atheists and scientists all burning in its depths, with a big Satan laughing and demons gnashing teeth and such. The price for admission? Your soul.

Sat, 17 Apr 2010 02:28:00 UTC | #460403

Eyerish's Avatar Comment 12 by Eyerish

At least this bloke had the guts and reasoning to admit that evolution is probably true against what his own community and faith believes. We know evolution is true; but for an Evangelical in the US to admit it is a big thing. Perhaps we should be at least giving this guy some credit for opening his eyes; because he is a person who still has the chance to maybe influence others taking a small step forward in reasoning - even if it only one step (acceptance of evolution), it is still a step in the right direction.

Sat, 17 Apr 2010 03:40:00 UTC | #460407

William T. Dawkins's Avatar Comment 13 by William T. Dawkins

It's a start!

Sat, 17 Apr 2010 04:50:00 UTC | #460415

Stafford Gordon's Avatar Comment 14 by Stafford Gordon

In Jerry Coyne's "Why Evolution is True" he points out that if the earth was only ten thousand years old one would be able to stand on the west coast of Spain and see the sky line of New York because it would only be about a mile away.


Because within only 10,000 years Continental Drift would only have had that amount of influence on Gondwana.

Sat, 17 Apr 2010 05:43:00 UTC | #460417

lswanson's Avatar Comment 15 by lswanson

Referring to the comments posted here and on the ABC website where the article was originally posted, why does a non-Christian have an opinion on what a Christian should believe regarding evolution? Or what the "statement of belief" requirements of a Christian seminary are for its professors? Why defensive of this Christian who possibly accepts evolution? Why is a story like this even newsworthy?

Rosie83, if you research properly, you will understand why evolution is incompatible with the gospel and why this issue is different from heliocentricity.

Munro1, Jesus and the New Testament writers referenced Genesis and the creation account extensively.

By the way, it's Ham, not Hamm.

Sat, 17 Apr 2010 05:59:00 UTC | #460419

huzonfurst's Avatar Comment 16 by huzonfurst

I guess you could call people who are fans of too much Ham real meatheads...

Sat, 17 Apr 2010 06:47:00 UTC | #460423

keddaw's Avatar Comment 17 by keddaw

Comment #481024 by MUNRO1

Christ said nothing of creation any way did he. Isn't Genesis a Jewish story?

As was Jesus.

Which is probably why he had such a hard-on for Moses: childhood indoctrination.

Sat, 17 Apr 2010 06:53:00 UTC | #460424

flying goose's Avatar Comment 18 by flying goose

3. Comment #481024 by MUNRO1

Christ said nothing of creation any way did he. Isn't Genesis a Jewish story?

Well Jesus was born a Jew, lived as a Jew, taught as a Jew, was executed by the Romans for claims about his being the 'king of the Jews and he died a Jew.

Its a picky point I know, but the history of antisemitism might have been different if Christians had remembered that. BTW I am neither accusing of antisemitism or christianity. But the point needs making whenever the opportunity arises.

4. Comment #481025 by TwitterTribeVoltaire

The Hebrew Bible is not the same as the the Christian Old Testament. They contain the same books, yes, but the Church rearranged the order to show that the whole thing pointed to Jesus. Also Christians treate the whole of the OT as being the inspired word of God whereas Jews do not.

Sat, 17 Apr 2010 07:03:00 UTC | #460427

Stafford Gordon's Avatar Comment 19 by Stafford Gordon

Comment # 15 Iswanson.

Everyone's entitled to their own opinion but not their own facts; were we able to live long enough we would in all probability look back on this argument as ludicrous.

Sat, 17 Apr 2010 07:27:00 UTC | #460428

Wadsworth's Avatar Comment 20 by Wadsworth

"9. Comment #481043 by mjwemdee on April 17, 2010 at 1:07 am

"Sorry, Rosie, but none of that Christian revisionist thinking works without very strange mental acrobatics."

Time to re-post my own thoughts on Theistic evolution:

Theistic Evolution

1. Recent research demonstrates higher semen viscosity in primate species that have a high degree of female promiscuity. In such species there is more intense sperm competition between rival male’s semen for the female’s attention. Natural selection encourages the evolution of increased sperm viscosity as an aid to preventing successful fertilisation of the female by subsequent male lovers. This means that promiscuity is a driving force in primate Evolution. If there is a God in charge of Evolution, then he is therefore condoning immorality by encouraging promiscuity.

2. 99% of all species that have ever lived are now extinct. If God is in charge of Evolution he is therefore either a monumental blunderer, or an evil sadist, or a squanderer of natural resources.

3. All animals, plants, and fungi live by murder and cannibalism,- ie- feeding off each other;- humans are not exempt either. Could God not do better then this?

4. Some animals exhibit deliberate blood-sports lust, by toying with prey, or by unnecessary overkill; eg cats, and foxes. Did God arrange this? New-born pups are carried off by Jackels, Hyenas , birds of prey etc.

5. It is known by animal breeders ,eg of dogs, that specific desirable traits of appearance and behaviour can be produced by Artificial Selection within a few generations. If there is a Creator God whose goal was to produce an intelligent, conscious Human. He would and could have done this likewise, within a few generations of planned Artificial Selection; instead it has taken about 70 million years, (starting from the first Mammals),-of haphazard, multiple- path random production of humanoids to achieve a small proportion of rational beings,-eg (Scientists and Philosophers), amongst an otherwise irrational Human species.

6. Chimps have been discovered to have rudimentary culture and language, and tool use, and not to have any qualitatively different attributes from Humankind, and even better short-term memory than humans. They also commit deliberate murder on their fellows. Capuchin monkeys break open nuts with rocks. Corvids also use tools.

7. The whole concept of the Natural selection of random variations ,ie. Darwinian Evolution is a cruel process, relying on violence, suffering, and enormous waste among living things,-including the obviously sentient and human-like “higher” social animals, eg Whales, Dolphins, cats, dogs, and of course primates. The Ichneumon fly lays its eggs in a live caterpillar, and its grubs devour the caterpillar from the inside out. There is the waste of unused sperms, seeds and fruits and massive infant mortality;--and then God encourages further waste in the case of Onan having to practice Coitus interruptus and “spill his seed on the ground”!

8. Theists try to suggest that there is a purpose, and that God created and guides Evolution. But as Evolution (the Natural Selection of random variations) is therefore a random process (proved by the 99% extinctions as above),-- and the changes in the natural environment which does the selecting are also random, eg solar flares, asteroid and comet strikes, earthquakes and volcanos, hurricanes etc which cause mass extinctions from time to time,- and which all have naturalistic causes,--how then can a God be said to guide such chaotic processes? It is a self-contradiction, and is made with the desperate hope of tacking “God” onto all aspects of Nature, because of the self-interest of the religious establishment. I always thought God was supposed to have created order out of chaos,-not chaos out of order. They ask the question “Why”? There is no “why?”,- no purpose. Blind naturalistic Evolution demonstrates that fully. “Why” questions are semantic trickery that can usually be resolved as part of “How “questions. If turns creation stories upon their heads to say in effect that God created chaos out of Order(his own self) so as to re-create order,- when the Bible states clearly that it was the other way round,--order came out of chaos. Although natural selection overall appears random, nevertheless, at a lower level of explanation, all evolutionary change is finely tuned by selective competition, sexual selection, and a kind of arms war among and between species.

9. If God set up Evolution then he knew what he was doing. If he set it up, and continues to “guide” it,-he has exhibited blood lust and lack of compassion for his creation. If he set it up then walked away and washed his hands of it,- then he just shows cruel indifference and irresponsibility.

10. About a million different species of beetles have been documented, and a
about thirty thousand species of Jellyfish. This is compatible with Evolution, but totally absurd if created by a God. One would have to ask him-Why?. Christians would no doubt assert that it is a demonstration of his power and love. So should I follow his example and tip a skip-full of live Cockroaches onto our living-room floor, and explain to my wife that I did it as an act of love?

11. We know that herbivorous animals like rabbits, sheep, goats etc can feed off vegetation and digest cellulose. So why did God find it necessary to create carnivorous animals who cannot digest grass etc, but instead tear each other to pieces and devour each other,-including we humans, who have to farm animals, fish and poultry and shoot and slaughter them for our food, thereby causing animal suffering and and the spread of parasitic, bacterial and virus diseases among animals and humans,--eg Bird flu?

12.A successful scientific theory is something that explains and predicts by itself,-it is self-sufficient. A theory which needs to be created and sustained and guided is not a theory at all; it is a contradiction.

Christians like to have their cake and eat it . For the reasons given above, Evolution implies Atheism, so Christians have to choose; they can either have Theism or Evolution, but not Theistic Evolution,- it is a nonsense.

Last edited by Reginald Le Sueur Monday 10th March.

Sat, 17 Apr 2010 07:39:00 UTC | #460432

epeeist's Avatar Comment 21 by epeeist

Comment #481074 by lswanson:

Referring to the comments posted here and on the ABC website where the article was originally posted, why does a non-Christian have an opinion on what a Christian should believe regarding evolution? Or what the "statement of belief" requirements of a Christian seminary are for its professors? Why defensive of this Christian who possibly accepts evolution?
Because evolution has nothing to do with belief.

Break it into two, evolution itself and the theory of evolution.

The first is fact, it has been seen both in the laboratory and and in nature. If you like we know that this is a fact (using know in the classical sense, i.e. justified true belief).

The second is a theory and is both contingent and corrigible, but there is much evidence for it and it has been tested extensively since it was put forward. The balance of probability is therefore in favour of the theory.

Belief that either or both of these is false is not only to dismiss substantial evidence and justification but also to claim that your belief is true and that the work of evolutionary biologists (and geologists, physicists, archaeologists etc. if you are a young Earth creationist) is false. It is to set your self up as knowing more than all the scientists in all of their respective fields, hubris however you define it.
Rosie83, if you research properly, you will understand why evolution is incompatible with the gospel and why this issue is different from heliocentricity.
No, it is the gospel that is incompatible with both evolution (fact and theory). In the same way the bible is false when it comes to cosmology.

I don't want to put words into the mouth of Rosie83, but a heliocentric solar system is one example of the principle of Copernican mediocrity - our world is not the centre of the universe. To take it further, neither is our sun, nor our galaxy, nor our galactic cluster or super-cluster and maybe not our universe.

If you want to apply the same principle to biology then one could claim that we are just evolved apes with opposable thumbs. Our particular niche in the ecosphere has come about because of our large brains. If you want to assert there is something special about us then you are going to have to warrant your argument.

Sat, 17 Apr 2010 07:50:00 UTC | #460433

jel's Avatar Comment 22 by jel

If you accept evolution then I cannot see how you can be a xtian. After all, xtianity is based on the concept of jesus being killed to save the rest of us from original sin. If we accept evolution then where does original sin come in? At what point does god go "that's a human and sinful" and what made that ape so different from it's parent that it has a soul and sin and the parent does not?

Sat, 17 Apr 2010 08:17:00 UTC | #460434

Roger Stanyard's Avatar Comment 23 by Roger Stanyard

lswanson says

Referring to the comments posted here and on the ABC website where the article was originally posted, why does a non-Christian have an opinion on what a Christian should believe regarding evolution£ Or what the "statement of belief" requirements of a Christian seminary are for its professors£ Why defensive of this Christian who possibly accepts evolution£ Why is a story like this even newsworthy£

Rosie83, if you research properly, you will understand why evolution is incompatible with the gospel...

Been researched and nowhere does the Bible say this. Your claim is by assertion.

Biblical literalism is nothing more than a derivative of Sola Scriptura, a Protestant 16th century political invention. If the Bible can be interpreted literally, there would not be 29,000 different Protestant sects and cults all with different interpretations. Instead there would be just the one.

Moreover, it may have entered your tiny little mind that Christianity pre-dates the 16th Century and most Christians simply do not accept that the Bible can be interpreted literally.

There are very good reasons why Christians and non-Christians should be interested in what has happened to this professor. The Bible believing literalists are highly politicised and want to get their "creation science" and other dogmatic views into public sector education. (See Texas State Board of Education.) We all pay for and use public education. When the religious right is calling for a theocracy, with them in charge, if affects everybody.

This man is a professor in a degree awarding institution (and accredited). It seems in the fundie world that such academics should have neither security of tenure or the right to express their own views (the two go hand in hand). That is very good reason to either strip the institution of its ability to award degrees or for the rest of the world to rightly conclude its degrees are bogus.

Sat, 17 Apr 2010 08:28:00 UTC | #460435

ev-love's Avatar Comment 24 by ev-love

Where does that 61% statistic come from?


Sat, 17 Apr 2010 08:38:00 UTC | #460436

legal9ball's Avatar Comment 25 by legal9ball

"Even though Waltke had the video that supported evolution pulled down, and repeatedly explained that he believes one can believe in both evolution and biblical inerrancy (the position that the Bible is accurate), the attacks have kept coming."

Waltke is wrong on this point it seems to me. He's playing with the universal acid.

Sat, 17 Apr 2010 09:11:00 UTC | #460441

keithapm's Avatar Comment 26 by keithapm

It says it all really...

Sat, 17 Apr 2010 09:13:00 UTC | #460442

F_A_F's Avatar Comment 27 by F_A_F

#481092 by atheistwars

Posts like this remind me of why I'm glad to have an education, and happy that I'm able to live my life without being angry....or use Depeche Mode videos on Youtube to defend my point of view :)

Sat, 17 Apr 2010 09:39:00 UTC | #460449

Mr-discovery's Avatar Comment 28 by Mr-discovery

this guy shouldnt be a allowed to advertise

hes not expressing a option and is simple copying and pasting stuff just so he doesn't have to think everytime he sees this site.

he even saying Einstein is wrong:P

so yeah since this guy clearly demonstrates no thinking process when he comes to this site he should be banned as it appears hes a bot program

Sat, 17 Apr 2010 10:49:00 UTC | #460456

nancy2001's Avatar Comment 29 by nancy2001

Bruce Waltke is to be commended. I wonder whether he might not be leaning towards atheism or at least agnosticism now. Perhaps someone like Daniel Dennett or even Richard Dawkins should contact him. Think of how powerful it would be to have a conservative evangelical Bible scholar confess he no longer believes God exists.

Sat, 17 Apr 2010 11:06:00 UTC | #460459

scottishgeologist's Avatar Comment 30 by scottishgeologist

Wadsworth - good set of questions for the thiesits, including the "TE" believers

Of course, many of them already have the answer:

Heres an excerpt from an infamous apologist:

"If there is no God and no creator then what we are saying is that this is just the way things are. ‘Mother Nature’ is cruel and vicious. There is no answer – only despair, death and destruction. But what about Darwin’s argument? He makes one big mistake – he assumes that the world as it is now is the world as God created it. But that is not the case. When you read Genesis One notice the repeated refrain, ‘And God say that it was good’. God did not create the world to have natural disasters, cancer and death. Something came into the world which has upset the natural order of things and polluted the whole environment. That is why, as Paul tells us in Romans 8, the whole creation ‘groans as in the pangs of childbirth’. We are faced with two choices – either the world is as it is because that is the way things are, or things are the way things are because sin came in and corrupted a good and perfect creation"

Which goes back to the old problem. TE is nonsense. And as the writer of the above quote makes clear: There can be only two options. Special creationsim or evolution.

Basically either Ken Ham is right or Richard Dawkins is right. They cant both be right.


PS: No prize for guessing who the author of that quote is. Incidentally, his church has a number of TE types in it. How they square that circle is beyond me.....

Sat, 17 Apr 2010 11:34:00 UTC | #460460