Monday, May 11, 2020

Does Evolution disprove Christianity?

One of those Bambi meets Godzilla debates:

In addition to Jonathan's performance, a few observations of my own:

1. Jonathan McLatchie is well-qualified to discuss the issue. That said, the title is ambiguous. It could mean does evolution, if true, disprove Christianity. Or it could mean evolution fails to disprove Christianity because evolution is false.

2. A couple of issues:

i) Lim thinks disease is incompatible with God's existence, but diseases perform a necessary function in maintaining that balance of nature. In addition, most organisms were never designed to be immortal. 

ii) Lim fails to understand that there are constraints on what an omnipotent God can do by natural means. In many cases, God can bypass natural processes to produce a result directly, but if God is creating a cause/effect world, and God is using a physical medium, then that's a self-imposed limitation on God's field of action.

3. We also need to distinguish between Christianity and generic theism or perfect being theology. Even if we posit that disease is incompatible with an abstract concept of God that's a philosophical construct, the existence of disease in no way disproves the existence of the Biblical God. In Scripture, God coexists with disease. So disease in no way counts as evidence against the existence of Christian theism, but is entirely consistent with the God of the Bible.

4. Lim acts like the Genesis creation account indicates that God made all the species from the outset. But Gen 1 doesn't detail the species. Gen 1 doesn't preclude adaptation. Gen 1 refers to a few general taxonomies based on their natural habitat (land animals, freshwater or marine organisms).

5.  Since the issue of how best to interpret Genesis came up, here's a free, recent book: 

6. Lim constantly raises hypothetical objections to Christianity, but ignores al the evidence. He mentions prayer, but there are countless examples of answered prayer. The fact that many prayers go unanswered doesn't cancel out the evidence for the prayer requests that God does grant.

7. Lim then trots out Sai Babba, but from what I've read, there's lots of evidence that he's a fraud.

8. There are multiple problems with Lim's appeal to alleged pagan parallels between Jesus and hero archetypes:

i) You can't legitimately compare a well-documented historical figure with fictional characters in pagan mythology. Jesus is a historical figure. We have 1C historical sources documenting his life. 1C sources about a 1C individual. 

ii) You also have to take into account the chronological gap between a historical figure like, say, Buddha, and the dates of our earliest sources. 

iii) In addition, you have to take into account the Jewish worldview of the NT, which precludes pagan syncretism.

iv) Did the NT writers even have access to the pagan sources? 

v) How specific are the alleged parallels?

1 comment:

  1. In the book I recently read on Buddhism, it pointed out that the works written down about Buddha were 400 or so years after Buddha lived. When textual criticism from the West met Buddhism, Buddhists responded by saying it didn't matter if Buddha were real or not. Quite a bit of difference.