The Evolution of God

The Onion had a piece about how the deity of humans evolved from a chimpanzee deity.

While comical, the piece deserves some serious comment.

First, in making a connection with biological evolution, it plays into the popular misunderstanding that human beings evolved from other primates which currently exist, whether chimpanzees or others.

Second, there is a serious theological point to note. Whether or not “God evolves,” there can be no real doubt that humans’ thinking about God has evolved.

On a related note, the Bible has evolved, and what people think the Bible literally says has evolved, as Karl Giberson’s recent piece on geocentrism explores.

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  • Great image – if God is a chimpanzee, he must look as wise and paternal as this one.

  • TomS

    While no one questioned Bible geocentrism, before the rise of modern science …

    No one suggested that the Bible taught fixity of species, during about the same time.

  • Gary

    Reading the monkey story, can’t help but think it’s all been told before.
    Apocryphon of John.
    “These are the names and the corresponding physiques:…
    The sixth is Adonin, and has the face of an ape…
    Yaldabaoth has many faces, more than all of these, so that he could show whatever face he wanted when he was among the seraphim…
    He named each of the powers, beginning with the highest:
    …Sixth is jealousy, with the sixth power, Adonin…
    When he saw creation surrounding him, and the throng of angels around him that had come forth from him, he said to them, “I am a jealous god and there is no other god beside me.”
    But by announcing this, he suggested to the angels with him that there is another god. For if there were no other god, of whom would he be jealous?”

    If the onion text is found 2000 years from now, a new gnostic movement will be defined. Something out of Futurama.