Mission statement and welcome

Hello. My name is Tom, and I'm a recovering young earther.

I grew up a young earth creationist. Along with this belief came a whole culture of religion where I was happy, had beautiful friends, and a world that had direction and meaning. I took up the study of evolution to challenge my faith and to adequately challenge evolutionists. What I found was that evolutionary theory made sense!

My world turned upside down.

For the fundamentalist, even though there is a degree of picking and choosing which parts of the bible really do apply, the creation story was not to be tampered with. Even if it wasn't a literal 6 day creation and the earth was a million years old, God still created us in His image, right? But evolution says that all creatures grew out of pond scum.

Which do I more likely want to believe?

  1. That I am a hand-crafted person by the creator of all the universe and that He has a master plan for me filled with love and meaning forever.
  2. I am the agglomeration of molecules that have occurred through random, naturally cooperative and competitive interactions and these molecules have been able to develop systems to form ever-more complex structures and to replicate themselves.
Option 1 sounds good. It has the answer already in place. You accept it, live it, and enjoy it. End of story. And you can bet people are going to want to protect that.

Option 2 sounds empty, hopeless, and meaningless.

Here is the dilemma. Can you believe in both evolution and God at the same time? Probably so for the non-fundamentalist. But the fundamentalist view is more binary. If evolution is true, then what does it mean to be created in God's image? Was there an Adam and Eve? If not, then what is original sin? If you do not have original sin, then who was Jesus?

This forum is not intended as a way of bridging evolution and fundamentalist Christian beliefs. No. It is to expose the issues and to have clear communication on the fears and frustrations with accepting each and to explain why they are diametrically opposed.

For me, I wanted to debunk evolution. When I could not ignore evolution, I found I could not substantiate a belief in God either. This left a hole. I had a whole culture that was upended. This blog will be my story, how I rationalize atheism, and what I hope will be a good discussion of how people can find the world makes a lot of sense when viewed through the eyes of evolution. Moreover, it is a forum to discuss the pursuit of life's meaning and purpose after shedding a belief in God.

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7K said...

I was an atheist until I was 19, had a dramatic conversion experience, and later worked my way through the mazes of Pentecostal, Charismatic, and Fundamentalist Evangelicalism. It's been a long, strange journey.

My wife, a few years back, fell into that area of "the dark night of the soul." It was very educational for us. I also have a friend who introduced me to the concept of ultimate reconciliation, and so I even began wrestling with the problems surrounding our Augustinian concepts of hell. Then I also began to realize that God and evolution could co-exist. So I'm a complete mess.

Anyway, I'll be checking out your blogs with interest. You can find mine at www.bloodspawn-7K.blogspot.com. Thanks

BobC said...

You said "Option 2 sounds empty, hopeless, and meaningless."

To me option 2 is totally fascinating. Just imagine, our solar system formed naturally, life appeared naturally, life evolved naturally, and now, more than 4 billion years after our planet formed, and more than 13 billion years since the universe began, there is a species that has actually found a way to travel to and walk on our planet's moon, more than 200,000 miles away, and I was alive when it happened, watching it on TV. We did this all on our own, this massive effort requiring massive intelligence, and we are just animals, just a small branch on a vast tree of life. That sure doesn't sound empty, hopeless, and meaningless to me.

Susan Ramey Cleveland said...

You can most certainly believe in both evolution and God at the same time. I do. I just don't believe we know everything there is to know about either one.
There is a happy medium between "young earth" fundamentalists and atheists. I'm praying for you to find that happy ground.

Tom said...

Thanks for the comment, Susan. I'm reading Lamoureux at the moment and can't find a compelling argument for how theology melds with evolution. That will be the subject of future posts.

Ned - the Origins Activist (NOA) said...

A quick apologetic::