Discussions of Evolution and Creationism Around the Blogosphere

Discussions of Evolution and Creationism Around the Blogosphere January 23, 2012

Here are some links to discussions around the blogosphere which connect with this blog in some way, shape or form.

First, let me link to a post by Sam, a former student of mine, whose blog post “Redoing Theology” reflects what so many of us have experienced: our views change over time, and it is appropriate for them to do so.

Next, Tony Breeden has a post that seems to be in several places around the internet. It is supposed to be a response to a post of mine about the Ark Park, but in actual fact it does nothing other than mention side issues (the shape of the ark, for instance) and repeat misinformation (the fossil record, he claims, is compatible with a global flood – which it would not be even if plants could run, which they cannot).

The news is circulating that Kentucky’s budget provides tax breaks for the Ark Park by cutting funding in education, and so the state is doing double damage to education. This led Hemant Mehta to make this cartoon:

Joel Watts discusses that and a number of other topics related to Genesis 1 and evolution, including whether reading Genesis as Western-style history is antisemitic. Pete Enns wrote an article for the Huffington Post on the fact that the issue for Evangelicals regarding evolution is their mistaken expectations about the Bible. Fred Clark discusses how Ken Ham and others like him are driving people away from Christianity.

There is a great video about some misconceptions about evolution:


Jim Kidder posted about antievolution legislation in Missouri, and there has been some discussion in various places of my op-ed piece about the proposed legislation in Indiana. Also, the NCSE has begun to focus more attention on climate change in addition to evolution.

Also about something not entirely unlike creationism is David Fitzgerald’s attempt to defend his book Nailed. He and I have had previous discussions about the subject, and his post didn’t change my impression. He continues to approach the matter in the manner of an apologist, not a historian. It remains unlikely that Josephus invented the entire Testimonium Flavianum, and that Christians writing in Syriac and Arabic quoted it from memory managing to conveniently forget precisely those details suspected of being Christian additions. There are other issues with the blog post, but the key point is that nothing he posts there even if correct makes the mythicist scenario seem more probable than that of mainstream historians. Click through and judge for yourselves.

Finally, Sabio continues his series on big and little gods, this time focusing on the relevance of what he’s written thus far for attempts to attack or defend religious beliefs.

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  • James Snapp Jr

    I would question whether it is really justified to regard as “news” a secularist’s blog-post with a simplified comparison of a reduced education-budget alongside the tax-breaks and highway-improvements for the Ark Park.  Such generalized comparisons should be questioned before being characterized as “news.” 

    But lately a few more basic questions have occurred to me.  I hope you can diverge from the present topic to satisfy my curiosity, so that I may perhaps understand where you are coming from when you cover the present subject and other subjects: 
    (1) do you believe in God,
    (2) do you believe that Jesus rose from the dead (not as a hallucination, but in the ways described in the Gospels and Acts), and
    (3) do you believe that you (not memories of you, and not your contributions to society, but you as an individual person) will continue to exist spiritually after physical death?  

    Yours in Christ,

    James Snapp, Jr. 

    • Thanks for your comment, James. I found your questions less than self-explanatory. For instance, in #2, you lump the Gospels and Acts together, while the NT Gospels include our earliest account, which describes no appearances and thus gives no information of the sort you ask about, later ones which have the disciples either go to Galilee to see Jesus or remain in Jerusalem to do so, and so on. You also seem to ignore Matthew’s reference to even those who were present doubting, and nonetheless seem to think that someone today could be in a position to believe without such doubt despite our distance in time and space. You also neglect Paul’s testimony which does not distinguish between his experience of seeing Jesus and that of others.

      Could you clarify what you are asking? Are you asking whether I can find a way to harmonize all of the above information? Something else? 

      • James Snapp

        Wow; it took a long time to find this page again!  Here are the questions again, with the first and second question rephrased so as to possess more clarity:

        (1) do you believe that God created the physical universe? (2) do you believe that Jesus appeared to Peter, Thomas, and the other disciples and spoke to them and ate with them after being killed via crucifixion?(3) do you believe that you (not memories of you, and not your contributions to society, but you as an individual person) will continue to exist spiritually after physical death? 

        Yours in Christ,

        James Snapp, Jr.

        • Gary

          Actually, your question to James is rather interesting from my POV every Sunday. James said, “Could you clarify what you are asking? Are you asking whether I can find a way to harmonize all of the above information? Something else?”….I’d be interested in the harmonizing of the above. When I sit down in a Sunday school class, I always feel like I have to justify a more liberal, scientific view of the bible….and I have to decide, OK, is this even worth bringing up, or should I just keep my mouth shut when I don’t agree with something said in terms of the literal interpretation of the bible. I’d be interested in whether James harmonizes the above, when in a Sunday school class environment. Not from a PhD teaching at Butler. Then I wonder if he feels the same way I do when I go to church. Everyone looks at me like “OK, here comes the flaming liberal. Better not talk doctrine”. My alternative is to go to a more liberal church. But then if going to a Unitarian Church, I would probably be viewed a flaming conservative. I guess we just “live with it, and shut up”. Please ignore this as rambling, since I don’t really expect an answer….I think I already know the answer. Live with it.

  • James, you pointing out my birth state’s Ark project, slashes in education, just made my stomach turn.

  • rmwilliamsjr

    K.Ham replied on is FB page to the HuffPost article in part with:
    quote:” But, because the Ark Encounter is a Christian project, then the truth gets twisted to imply something that is simply not true.”

    playing the victim/persecuted card.
    in fact, it is a rebate of sales tax and a state grant to make the interchange bigger, money the state doesn’t have, using it to support the ark-park.
    the reason people oppose the money spending is because it is supporting an organization that lies about the real world, the opposite of what education is supposed to be about.