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 Science » Science and Religion

Evolution or Genesis?
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The theory of evolution, although long accepted as fact by almost all accredited academic institutions world wide, remains an anathema to many Bible believing Christian. By asserting that all living forms are linked together through a long series of common ancestors stretching back to the beginning of life on earth some 3.5 billion years ago, the theory of evolution refutes such simplistic myths as those found in the Book of Genesis rendering them irrelevant in the search for human origins. Therefore, the entire Christian community was astonished when on October 22, 1996 in his message to the Pontifical Academy of Science (an oxymoron if ever I heard one) Pope John-Paul II proclaimed (on what evidence I don't know) that between ancestral apes and modern humans, there was an 'ontological discontinuity' — a point at which God injected a human soul into an animal lineage. So, after many years of tenacious and unyielding opposition the Roman Catholic church, in an abrupt and somewhat dramatic about-face, relented and endorsed evolution.

In the face of the huge and growing body of scientific evidence supporting evolution the church had no recourse but to concede defeat. The pope, relying I'm sure on the advice and his assistants, thought he had figured out a way to, in effect, have his cake and eat it too. But, in reality the pope may have done irreparable harm not only to Bible credibility but to the Christian religion itself because by endorsing evolution he rejected the Genesis account of creation and all that followed from it including the doctrine of original sin.

The Christian belief system rests firmly on two biblical concepts: the fall and the redemption. The fall refers to Adam's disobedience through which sin and death entered the world. It is known as "original sin," the state into which each human being is allegedly born. Although the human condition (suffering, death, and a universal tendency toward sin) is accounted for by the story of the fall of Adam, the Old Testament says nothing about the hereditary transmission of sin from one generation to the next. The main scriptural affirmation of the doctrine of original sin is found in the New Testament. In Romans 5:12-19 the Apostle Paul establishes a parallelism between Adam and Christ, stating that whereas sin and death entered the world through Adam, grace and eternal life have come through Christ who through his personal sacrifice, i.e. the redemption, exonerated all humankind from the burden of original sin. Because these two basic concepts are inextricably connected, if either is removed, the entire Christian edifice comes crashing down.

The lesson here is that the theory of evolution and the Genesis accounts of the origin of Homo sapiens and all other species are not only incompatible, they are mutually exclusive. If the one is true, the other is not.

Published in the September/October 2003 issue of the American Rationalist ©

 Po przeczytaniu tego tekstu, czytelnicy często wybierają też:
Dygresje starotestamentowe: Genesis
E = MC whaaa?

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« Science and Religion   (Published: 19-09-2003 )

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Louis W. Cable
Essayist (The American Rationalist).
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