A Pastor and a Philosopher Walk into a Bar

Evolving Creationism

December 16, 2020 Randy Knie, Kyle Whitaker Season 1 Episode 12
A Pastor and a Philosopher Walk into a Bar
Evolving Creationism
Show Notes Transcript

Did humans come from monkeys? How old is the earth? Should we interpret the Bible literally? Does any of it matter? In this episode, we discuss creationism and evolution, a recurring topic at Randy and Kyle's church Q&A's.

The whiskey featured in this episode is Driftless Glen bourbon.

If you're local to Milwaukee, check out our friends at Story Hill BKC.

The books and resources for further reading that we recommend at the end of the episode are:

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/apastorandaphilosopher)

00:00

[Music]

00:14

welcome to a pastor and a philosopher

00:16

walk into a bar

00:17

the podcast where we mix a sometimes

00:19

weird but always delicious cocktail of

00:21

theology

00:22

philosophy and spirituality

00:29

so i googled creation versus evolution

00:33

and 278

00:37

million results came up that's a lot of

00:40

results that's a lot

00:42

of debates and conversations about

00:45

creation and evolution and friends we

00:47

are excited to add

00:49

another one a 278

00:52

and 1 million i don't know if that's

00:54

even the right way you say that

00:55

but we're going to do it we're going to

00:56

add to the 278 million

00:59

conversations and we're talking today

01:01

about creation

01:02

and evolution how they work do they work

01:04

together

01:05

all that business it's gonna be fun

01:08

exciting

01:10

elliot yeah i got the drinks today all

01:12

right let's do this

01:13

tell us about it so i picked this up

01:15

because i i think i had it

01:16

uh with a friend and enjoyed it but

01:19

maybe this isn't the same one so either

01:21

it's

01:21

either it's really good or maybe it's

01:22

just like yeah this might be really bad

01:24

too we'll see this is this is driftless

01:26

glenn

01:27

uh which is a wisconsin-made bourbon

01:32

which uh isn't real common or

01:36

possible do you know what part is

01:37

wisconsin baraboo baraboo so this is

01:40

the glaciers kind of pushed through

01:41

wisconsin they flattened most of the

01:43

state and

01:44

and baraboo is the part where it all

01:46

wrinkled up

01:47

and so there's there's a lot going on

01:49

and now you don't really believe that

01:51

elliot do you

01:52

that uh millions of years ago glaciers

01:55

were in wisconsin

01:56

there was a no no no no this was there

01:58

was a flood

01:59

there's a flood sea

02:00

[Laughter]

02:03

oh boy i didn't really think about

02:04

glaciers in the bible

02:07

it begins so this is a bourbon uh this

02:10

is

02:11

uh 48 alcohol says 96 proof

02:15

color is really dark really really oaky

02:19

really inoffensive on the nose yeah yeah

02:21

it is it's not

02:23

super outstanding nose or complex but

02:26

good

02:31

yeah okay not a lot of complexity but

02:37

tasty it has all the standard uh flavor

02:39

notes that you want in a bourbon

02:44

it's a it's a burnt wood for me it's

02:47

like there's a there's a

02:48

yeah almost a charcoal type of yeah

02:51

i like that and last time i chewed on

02:53

some charcoal i remember this flavor

02:54

emerging

02:55

no yeah i mean distillers will vary

02:58

their toast on the inside of the barrel

03:00

so that makes sense

03:01

it is very oaky i gotta take another sip

03:05

yeah it's got some sweetness on the back

03:07

of the tongue a little bit new it's got

03:09

some good spice to it

03:10

actually um yeah i was trying to it's

03:12

not it's not like black pepper though

03:13

either it's a

03:15

no but close i would say i mean it's

03:17

just

03:18

it's almost like effervescent on the

03:20

tongue after it goes down

03:22

and that's where you feel the spice

03:24

that's good excuse me

03:25

i don't love it but i like it and it's

03:28

fun that it's local

03:29

yeah i put a little bit of water in it

03:31

and it seemed to help

03:33

okay i like that actually the bottle is

03:37

probably my favorite part

03:38

it's this kind of squat squared bottle

03:40

like really thick glass and then on

03:42

either side there's a

03:43

the fingerprint of of the founders what

03:46

do you call edge

03:47

or embossed or something it's like in

03:49

the class oh that's cool

03:51

really really pretty yeah yep awesome

03:53

well

03:54

support baraboo distilleries and

03:57

purchase some driftless glenn yeah

04:01

thank you elliot yeah thanks healthy

04:02

pour too appreciate that

04:03

[Laughter]

04:04

[Music]

04:09

so when i was a kid i grew up in

04:13

rural kentucky and everybody in rural

04:16

kentucky is a creationist

04:18

i probably knew two or three people as a

04:20

kid that weren't creationists but i

04:22

didn't know they weren't

04:23

until until later uh there was

04:26

yeah well you know be careful with that

04:28

language but i mean honestly there is

04:30

something like that kind of experience

04:32

around this issue in the rural south

04:35

uh if you have if you have doubts about

04:37

creationism you keep them to yourself

04:40

if you want to be accepted in the

04:42

evangelical church community

04:44

or sometimes even by your family uh you

04:47

keep those doubts to yourself

04:49

and in kentucky there's actually a huge

04:52

creationist presence because of

04:54

an organization called answers in

04:56

genesis

04:57

and they for whatever reason chose

04:59

actually i know the reason

05:00

tax breaks were the reason they chose

05:02

kentucky

05:03

for their ark encounters what they call

05:07

it so

05:07

you know christian capitalists yeah they

05:09

built a life-size

05:11

replica a life-size based on these very

05:14

specific dimensions

05:16

of the ark that you get in genesis so

05:18

they built a life-size

05:20

replica and a whole park to go along

05:22

with it so you can go and tour this

05:24

thing i haven't done so but

05:25

complete with uh animatronic dinosaurs

05:28

and

05:28

humans and long detailed explanations

05:32

of how everything fit on the ark and how

05:36

humans and dinosaurs lived at the same

05:37

time and how that all worked out

05:40

i don't mean to laugh they have gone to

05:42

great uh

05:44

astonishing lengths to make it all make

05:47

sense and to

05:48

answer all the skeptics and this is the

05:50

environment i grew up in and

05:53

then i went to college and it took one

05:56

no

05:56

not even one it took half of one biology

05:59

course

06:00

to completely dismantle that view

06:04

really it was that easily so so easily

06:07

uh now it helped that my uh biology

06:11

professor had written a book

06:13

uh on evolution specifically and was

06:16

well acquainted with the creationist

06:18

arguments

06:18

and so took explicitly took time in his

06:21

lectures to rebut

06:22

some of them so that was probably a part

06:24

of it like a good catholic school

06:25

probably

06:26

so this was a liberal arts state school

06:29

yeah these are the ones they warned us

06:30

about yeah for sure

06:32

but he was very nice about it i mean he

06:34

wasn't mean or

06:35

vindictive or anything like that so that

06:37

helped um and then just talking about it

06:39

with some thoughtful friends and

06:41

and so i remember very specifically it

06:44

raised all these questions in my mind

06:45

and i thought man i need to get to the

06:47

bottom of this because

06:48

if you listen to the creationist side of

06:49

things

06:51

there's so much importance placed on

06:53

this topic if you

06:54

if you give up the specific view of

06:57

creation

06:57

then you give up the whole thing you

06:59

might as well you know if we call this

07:01

part into question

07:02

what about the rest of it jesus all of

07:04

it goes away and so

07:06

i was kind of struggling with that for a

07:08

little while and so i remember i

07:10

i asked my creationist friends which

07:11

included my pastor at the time

07:13

for a reading list i said give me the

07:15

best books that you know that argue for

07:17

the creationist point of view

07:19

and then i emailed two or three

07:21

professors

07:22

in the biology department and i said

07:24

give me your best books

07:26

on evolution and if you know anything

07:28

specifically about evolution and

07:29

creation give me your best books on

07:31

those

07:31

and i remember sitting in my room in

07:33

college with two stacks of books on

07:34

either side of me i had this beanbag

07:36

chair that i would sit in to read

07:38

and i had one stack on my right side of

07:40

creationist books and one stack on my

07:42

left side of evolutionist books and i

07:44

would read those all summer long

07:46

what a eager beaver holy mother i mean

07:48

it was important to me and i remember

07:50

i had a roommate at the time who

07:53

very well meaning pulled me aside one

07:56

day as i was sitting there reading

07:57

through my evolutionist books

07:59

and gave me a quote word from the lord

08:02

that i love that that this was a

08:04

dangerous path

08:06

and that i needed to repent and stop

08:10

that that was the culture i grew up with

08:14

it's one of a handful of words from the

08:16

lord that i got in that time frame

08:19

and uh it's interesting that one of them

08:20

was about

08:22

this issue what to believe about

08:24

evolution

08:26

so this has been on my radar for a large

08:28

part of my my christian life

08:30

but it hasn't been important to me

08:34

for a long time but because of how

08:36

important it was at one point i think

08:38

it's an important issue that we need to

08:39

to address

08:41

every time you and i do a q a at our

08:43

church this comes up

08:45

people are still grappling with it for

08:47

sure

08:49

absolutely and i wouldn't say you know

08:52

it's creation or evolution i would

08:55

i would guess that all of us believe in

08:58

creation that

08:59

god created the world it's the method

09:03

at which that happened and the when that

09:06

happened and how that happened

09:08

yeah but i would say probably i would i

09:10

would guess kyle that you agree that

09:12

if you believe in evolution you believe

09:14

that god

09:15

set in motion the process of evolution

09:17

for it to in and that's how he created

09:19

the world

09:20

yeah so i think what um what my sincere

09:23

christian friends were worried about

09:27

is that i would reject the idea that god

09:29

had anything to do with nature

09:31

that somehow it all happened and there

09:34

was no explanation for it and isn't that

09:36

just atheism

09:38

but if you read the nicene creed for

09:40

example

09:41

you don't see anything in there about

09:42

how god did anything

09:45

that he created the world is in there

09:46

and that's a doctrine that all

09:48

christians hold

09:49

if you're not an atheist if you're a

09:50

theist of any kind you think god had

09:52

something to do with nature

09:53

he's responsible for it in some way but

09:56

the methods

09:57

well that's a different question right

10:01

yeah and so i mean it was a huge part of

10:04

your journey and your process

10:06

in being able to reconcile the science

10:09

with what you've

10:10

what you grew up with what you were

10:11

given and for me as a pastor this is

10:13

a very constant question this is a very

10:16

regular question of

10:18

maybe people coming out of

10:20

fundamentalism in a

10:22

young earth you know uh world view

10:25

and being having that challenged or

10:26

maybe people more and more people

10:29

basically are

10:30

just can't buy and think young earth

10:32

creationism is silliness

10:34

and they they pick up this little

10:37

tension between christianity and science

10:41

and that's my my issue that's where i

10:43

get a little

10:44

i i feel tension in there is that

10:48

there is no need for tension between

10:50

christianity

10:51

and the science scientific community the

10:53

reason that it's there is because we

10:55

christians have put it there we've

10:56

introduced this hostility we've we've

10:58

become so insecure

11:00

probably because of the enlightenment

11:02

and we live in a post-enlightenment

11:03

world

11:04

where we feel like we have to have an

11:05

answer for everything if science comes

11:07

with a different answer it's dangerous

11:08

right and that insecurity is so

11:11

unhelpful

11:12

and i would say younger people

11:15

particularly are so done with that

11:17

narrative there there are some there are

11:19

many people who have

11:21

tossed the whole dang thing done the

11:23

opposite of what the christians say

11:24

they've tossed the whole dang thing

11:25

because if you

11:26

believe that the earth is really 10 000

11:28

years old or whatever they say

11:30

that is a farce and i can't believe it i

11:31

just can't do it i know my

11:33

11 year old son who's very into science

11:35

dreams of being a scientist

11:37

if i were to tell him that the earth is

11:40

10 000 years old he'd think i'm crazy

11:42

and he's just in fifth grade right like

11:44

he i think we have a whole

11:46

large group of people in a growing group

11:49

of people who that just doesn't sit well

11:50

with they can't deal with it they can't

11:52

they can't swallow it and we need to

11:55

actually talk about this because i don't

11:56

think it's in our bible

11:58

yeah i don't think that's what genesis

11:59

warns cards a little bit here

12:02

but if you don't think this is a

12:03

necessary tension why do you think it

12:06

persists

12:07

why is this still an issue for so many

12:09

christians

12:11

well i think we've many christians have

12:14

been groomed and

12:15

grown and taught in this world that that

12:17

is insecure

12:19

that says evolution in textbooks and

12:22

science books is of the devil

12:24

and we need to do what we can to get

12:26

intelligent design in

12:28

in science books right so we've grown up

12:30

with this combative world view

12:32

and we put so much stock into this

12:33

argument that we've made it so that

12:36

if we if you take that away it's

12:38

everything goes away and everything

12:39

slides away

12:40

which is a really i'm just not

12:43

comfortable with that argument that

12:44

our interpretation of this ancient text

12:48

is actually what everything rests upon

12:50

yeah yeah and we're definitely

12:52

going to talk more about that kind of

12:53

literal approach to things

12:55

um so maybe it's best because i know

12:57

some listeners are

12:59

wondering so maybe it's best if we just

13:00

lay out right at the beginning what our

13:02

current views are just just put our

13:04

cards on the table

13:05

be transparent so people know where

13:07

we're headed here so what would you say

13:09

is your current view about this issue

13:10

randy and has it changed for you and if

13:12

so in what ways

13:14

oh yeah absolutely it's changed i

13:16

definitely grew up in

13:18

a young earth creationist home

13:21

always held that went to a lutheran

13:23

school for the most part

13:25

so i had that affirmed i didn't read the

13:27

public school

13:28

stuff similar to you in kentucky and

13:30

then went to university and

13:32

i kind of thought it was all i was very

13:35

skeptical of the evolution in biology

13:37

classes i was not like you i didn't

13:38

i didn't swallow it but yet i was

13:40

uncomfortable with it and then in

13:42

college

13:43

ministry i had a couple of friends who

13:45

believed in evolution

13:46

and that really intrigued me

13:50

and what it did to me it didn't actually

13:52

introduce this

13:54

crisis it actually said oh that's

13:56

interesting that christianity

13:58

i can have like i know this guy's a

14:00

christian he's beaut he's a wonderful

14:02

man

14:03

and he believes in evolution that's

14:05

that's kind of cool like first of all

14:06

that's gutsy of him i remember thinking

14:08

that

14:09

and the second of all interesting so

14:11

that was my gateway into just

14:13

allowing myself even to imagine a world

14:16

view that doesn't involve a young earth

14:17

creationism

14:19

and then i would go and morph and say oh

14:21

i believe in microevolution not

14:23

macroevolution you know that's

14:24

you can't deny what does that mean

14:26

microevolution being that of course

14:28

things change slowly over time that's

14:31

like christians can allow that into

14:32

their

14:33

creationist worldview macroevolution

14:35

that it's

14:36

you know everyone came from a species

14:38

similar to a monkey

14:39

that's a bunch of hogwash you know and

14:41

then eventually it just

14:42

but of course as as we all know micro

14:44

evolution is the gateway drug to macro

14:46

evolution

14:47

exactly it was for me so it was halfway

14:50

in like

14:51

micro to macro evolution but it was also

14:53

in i started

14:55

to understand the bible a little bit

14:57

more in a critical fashion

14:58

and not critical in critiquing it but

15:02

actually unders

15:02

we started understanding the bible as an

15:05

ancient text

15:06

that an ancient people group who thought

15:08

way differently than i do

15:10

and would have read this way differently

15:12

than i did and and

15:14

filter it way differently than i do that

15:17

was the thing that put me over the edge

15:19

was actually let's think about what the

15:20

original listeners the original audience

15:23

the people who the

15:24

this text was talking to how they would

15:26

have taken it

15:27

and that really just kind of said okay

15:29

this is not what i thought it was

15:32

and so now i'm basically if you ask me

15:35

what i believe about the origin of the

15:36

universe i would say

15:38

i believe the big bang was an explosion

15:40

of divine love

15:41

that set into events

15:44

this beautiful process of the love of

15:47

god being shared

15:49

and and creating this universe and the

15:51

cosmos and

15:52

in all things out of nothing

15:55

and all things that exist exist because

15:58

god created them because he wanted them

16:00

to

16:00

to be created but that that process

16:02

happened through

16:04

what we know as evolution yeah

16:07

what about you kyle uh so

16:10

for my own part i mean i i would happily

16:12

describe myself as

16:14

an evolutionist i'm much happier with

16:16

that language now than i am with any

16:18

kind of creationist label in fact i

16:20

prefer not to add the creationist label

16:22

at all if i can help it

16:24

just because it has so much baggage it

16:26

brings so many connotations

16:28

along with it and there's so many

16:30

different kinds of creationists and

16:32

everybody's wondering which kind you are

16:33

if you include that that term we'll talk

16:35

about that in a minute

16:37

so for for my part i'm just happy saying

16:39

you look i accept the

16:40

the consensus the overwhelming consensus

16:43

of the scientific experts on this issue

16:45

for the last 150 years there's no reason

16:49

to question it as far as i can tell

16:51

all the all the reasons to question it

16:53

come from the bible

16:55

and in my view none of those are good

16:57

reasons anymore

16:58

and we're definitely going to dive into

17:00

that so

17:01

i prefer to just avoid the label

17:03

creationist altogether

17:04

uh and just say that i accept accept the

17:07

theory and see no tension whatsoever

17:09

between that and my christianity

17:11

but it took me a long time to get to

17:12

that place several years

17:14

and i like you i went through stages

17:16

right for a while i was

17:18

an old earth creationist because i

17:19

realized well oh man the

17:21

the the physical and geological evidence

17:24

and physical by physical i mean

17:26

the evidence from physics and

17:27

astrophysics and such it's just

17:29

overwhelming i mean the earth is

17:30

obviously billions of years old

17:32

but i need to hold on to the creationist

17:34

thing i need i need

17:35

the bible to be accurately describing

17:37

nature and so there's all sorts of

17:39

interpretive tricks

17:40

and exegetical tricks that you can do to

17:42

to make genesis fit

17:43

an old earth model and so for a while i

17:45

was an old earth creationist

17:47

and then i was a a different kind of

17:49

creationist for a while and

17:50

eventually you just get tired you get

17:52

tired of jumping through the hoops

17:54

and you say well maybe i'm trying to

17:56

make the bible be something it's not

17:58

yeah so that's that's kind of where i

17:59

ended up yeah and

18:01

god bless you i can't do it i love the

18:04

the word creationist way too much and

18:07

the idea of

18:09

god creating the universe in love it's

18:11

just too intoxicating for me to get so

18:13

there's a there's a group of people

18:14

that nowadays call themselves

18:16

evolutionary creationists

18:18

and their view is probably almost

18:21

indistinguishable from my view

18:22

yeah i'm done with that i just don't i

18:24

don't like the label

18:26

and and part of it and we'll get to this

18:28

later part of it is

18:29

uh i i tend to think that science and

18:32

religion

18:33

should be kept apart but we can we can

18:36

talk more about that not entirely but

18:37

there's a there's an important sense in

18:39

which they should be kept apart and so

18:41

that's kind of why i don't like the

18:42

label so much all right well kyle can

18:44

you

18:45

you you're you're way more well-versed

18:47

you little eager beaver with your stacks

18:48

of books on each side of you

18:50

that's so cute um but think praise the

18:52

lord you did it maybe that was divine

18:54

providence i'm not a calvinist but maybe

18:56

the lord was like you're gonna need this

18:57

for that podcast that you do

18:59

you know in 15 years oh that was for us

19:01

exactly

19:02

exactly so um go into the science of it

19:05

a little bit

19:05

kyle yeah now i should say i'm

19:07

definitely not a scientist i'm certainly

19:10

no

19:10

biologist and there's so many volumes

19:13

excellent volumes on this and at the end

19:15

we're going to recommend some so

19:16

but a good philosopher nitty gritty a

19:18

good philosopher does think he's an

19:19

expert at everything right or she

19:21

well can i just say you're you're next

19:25

an expert about abstract things it says

19:27

you're good at

19:28

putting together a whole picture but the

19:30

minutia that's

19:31

that's somebody else's job it's so

19:33

refreshing to hear somebody acknowledge

19:35

that they're not a scientist

19:39

especially these days it's so rare yeah

19:42

so here's my non-expert

19:45

perspective on what evolution is

19:48

basically

19:49

this is the 40 000 foot view basically

19:53

when darwin came along uh he was not the

19:55

first to think up evolution so

19:58

the idea that humans developed that

19:59

nature itself developed over a really

20:01

long process of piecemeal steps is a

20:03

very old idea it goes all the way back

20:04

to ancient greece

20:06

but darwin was the first to be able to

20:07

confirm it with experiment and

20:09

really flesh out the theory and also

20:11

propose a mechanism

20:12

for how it happened so evolution in the

20:15

darwin

20:16

sense is very simply all living things

20:19

have a common ancestor

20:21

which means if we were to get in a time

20:23

machine and just sort of trace their

20:25

development back to the beginning

20:27

we would find the same beginning for

20:29

everything that is alive

20:30

so anything that's currently living on

20:32

the earth started in one place

20:34

that happened a very long time ago about

20:37

four billion years ago

20:38

and here was darwin's unique proposal

20:42

he said i can tell you how that happened

20:44

i can explain how it happened in a way

20:46

that explains why everything looks like

20:48

it was designed for a purpose

20:50

but actually was natural natural meaning

20:53

it didn't need to be guided to be that

20:55

way

20:55

it didn't need anyone to reach into the

20:57

system and make it that way

20:59

it happened on its own and that is the

21:01

theory of

21:02

natural selection so that's what darwin

21:04

contributed

21:05

that's why he's famous uh and that was

21:08

very controversial for a while but

21:09

eventually

21:10

it won over pretty much all the

21:13

scientists

21:14

and today all the biologists as i

21:16

understand it will recognize that

21:18

some some version of natural selection

21:20

still has a huge role to play

21:21

in evolutionary theory but we also have

21:23

to be honest about the fact

21:25

that biology has left darwin behind a

21:27

long long time ago

21:29

so one thing i realized when i was

21:31

reading those two stacks of books is

21:33

that

21:33

the creationists were often objecting to

21:36

a version of evolution that had been

21:38

given up decades before

21:40

they were poking holes in specific

21:41

arguments of darwin when modern-day

21:44

evolutionists had recognized those

21:46

problems and then solved them

21:48

a long long time ago so just like any

21:51

other

21:52

scientific theory it progresses in

21:54

stages and there's falsification and you

21:57

do

21:57

experiments and you find more evidence

21:59

in this case you find more fossils and

22:00

then you develop genetics and everything

22:02

changes

22:03

so while all evolutionists today all

22:06

evolutionary biologists today would say

22:07

yeah darwin was super important

22:09

and really right about a lot of stuff he

22:11

also missed a lot of stuff

22:13

so the the the average person's

22:15

understanding the average christian's

22:17

understanding of evolution is usually

22:18

pretty weak

22:20

uh so you you see you know claims like

22:22

well do you really believe that humans

22:24

came from monkeys isn't that stupid

22:27

don't you i mean look at that monkey you

22:29

think you think that turned into you

22:31

but that was never that was never part

22:33

of evolutionary theory not even darwin's

22:35

version

22:35

and if human beings came from monkeys

22:37

why are there still monkeys yeah right

22:39

exactly they turned into us gotcha

22:42

yeah um when of course the theory was

22:44

always that

22:46

they had a common ancestor that a long

22:48

time ago there was something

22:50

that had a little bit of what they have

22:52

now and a little bit of what we have now

22:54

and over

22:55

long periods of time through lots of

22:57

natural steps

22:58

it became the things that we have that's

23:00

hard to believe i understand why that's

23:02

hard to believe

23:03

but the evidence is just overwhelming

23:06

sure

23:07

it's genetics alone

23:10

is sufficient to establish this beyond

23:12

any

23:13

any reasonable doubt but even prior to

23:16

the development of genetics we had all

23:18

sorts of independent lines of evidence

23:20

to confirm this many of which weren't

23:21

even available to darwin

23:23

and then on on that evidence we were

23:25

able to make predictions

23:27

about what we would expect to find in

23:29

the genetics once we did develop

23:31

genetics and what do you know

23:32

those are exactly the sorts of things

23:34

that we found when we looked into the

23:35

genetics so the genetics really just

23:36

helped us to flesh out

23:38

the so-called tree of life in a great

23:40

deal more detail than we could prior to

23:42

it but we didn't find anything to really

23:44

surprise us the basic story that we

23:46

already had was confirmed more or less

23:48

by

23:49

genetics so we could do a whole separate

23:51

episode on specifics of the science but

23:54

just very basically evolutionary theory

23:56

tells us that everything alive came from

23:58

a single

23:59

common ancestor and that that was a

24:03

natural process

24:04

there are lots of different mechanisms

24:05

that drove it

24:07

things that darwin didn't foresee but it

24:09

was a natural process

24:11

and that the raw material of that

24:13

process

24:14

is what's called genetic mutation so

24:16

when genes replicate themselves

24:18

sometimes they do it perfectly sometimes

24:20

they do not when they do not that's

24:22

called a mutation

24:23

most mutations are neutral meaning they

24:25

make no difference to

24:27

the expressed characteristics in the

24:29

offspring

24:30

sometimes they're negative which means

24:32

they make the offspring

24:34

less fit which means less able to

24:37

reproduce themselves

24:38

and those tend to die out and then

24:40

sometimes those

24:41

genetic mutations are adaptive which

24:44

means

24:45

the the creature with that mutation does

24:47

a little bit better

24:49

at something than the other creatures

24:51

that didn't have that mutation

24:53

and because it does it a little bit

24:54

better it's a little more successful

24:56

than the other ones at passing on its

24:58

genes

24:58

in other words at mating reproducing

25:01

itself

25:02

so from a purely scientific perspective

25:04

the point of evolution if we can

25:07

use that phrase is simply to reproduce

25:09

yourself successfully

25:10

and sometimes genetic mutations help

25:12

with that and when they do

25:14

they continue in the species and then

25:16

you extend that story

25:18

to four billion years and you get

25:20

enormous complexity

25:22

and that's what we see around us and

25:24

it's super well confirmed in the fossil

25:25

record

25:26

the idea that we don't have transitional

25:28

fossils is just a myth

25:29

go to any museum that has a natural

25:31

history section and look at all the

25:33

transitional fossils

25:34

so super well confirmed no serious

25:37

biologist doubts it

25:39

haven't for 100 years and

25:42

if that's all true then the christian is

25:45

left in the awkward position

25:46

of uh wondering how this squares with

25:49

their understanding of the biblical text

25:52

right which means we need some we need

25:55

some different science

25:56

yeah all right that's a good way to go i

25:58

suppose that's the way some have gone

26:00

you know they set up their own

26:01

quote unquote creation science

26:02

institutes many yeah

26:05

do their own version of science yep

26:06

absolutely homeschool that's what it's

26:08

all about um

26:10

run away from culture that's why i look

26:11

at elliott left because

26:13

they're homeschooling their kids

26:17

nothing against home there are better

26:18

and worse ways to do homeschooling

26:20

absolutely

26:21

yes uh so so because of this

26:24

overwhelming consensus

26:26

and just the weight of the evidence for

26:27

evolution often

26:29

you will hear scientists refer to

26:31

evolution as a fact

26:33

and then sometimes the creationists will

26:34

say well whoa

26:36

it's a theory and sometimes they'll say

26:38

it's just a theory

26:39

which unfortunately is not how

26:41

scientists actually think about what

26:43

either fact or theory

26:45

means so within a scientific perspective

26:48

a theory is simply a story that we tell

26:52

that accounts for all of the data that

26:55

we have

26:56

and we get data through observation and

26:58

experiment we literally go out and we

27:00

dig in the dirt and we find these bones

27:02

and then we use our microscopes and we

27:03

look at genes

27:04

and all this stuff we gather all this

27:06

data and then we try to tell a story

27:07

that makes sense of all the data

27:09

and there are always competing theories

27:11

in science what darwin did was give a

27:13

theory

27:13

and it's a theory that so here's the

27:15

thing that a lot of a lot of

27:17

creationists don't

27:18

quite seem to get when you get a theory

27:21

in science

27:22

your response is not to go oh finally

27:24

we're done

27:25

we've got our theory we've understood it

27:28

we can move on

27:29

that is the beginning of the process you

27:32

get a theory and then your goal as a

27:34

scientist

27:34

is to show that that theory is false so

27:37

this is called

27:38

falsification and it's a huge part of

27:41

doing

27:41

science you come up with an explanation

27:43

of your data and then you design

27:45

experiments to prove that explanation

27:47

wrong

27:48

why would you want to prove your own

27:50

explanation wrong well because

27:52

if you fail to prove it wrong if a bunch

27:55

of smart people in a lot of different

27:56

contexts try really hard

27:58

and they can't prove the theory wrong

28:01

then that gives you pretty good reason

28:02

to think the theory is true

28:04

and people have been trying to prove

28:05

evolution wrong

28:07

for 150 years and it is still

28:10

universally ascended to be

28:12

the best account of what we have to the

28:14

point that

28:15

every biologist is willing to say

28:18

this is established this is a fact

28:21

now technically speaking the

28:23

creationists are kind of right

28:25

you can never prove and in the strict

28:27

sense of proof

28:29

a scientific theory but that's not the

28:31

point of scientific theories

28:33

the point of them is to try to falsify

28:35

them until you can't anymore

28:37

and then you say it's confirmed to the

28:39

point

28:40

that we might as well accept it as a

28:42

fact and that's where we've gotten to an

28:44

evolution and that's why a lot of

28:45

scientists speak that way

28:47

they think it is just an objective truth

28:48

about the world because we've tried for

28:50

so long to prove that it's not

28:52

and we have failed

28:53

[Music]

28:55

so that's the science but the science

28:58

is not really the main reason that

29:01

creationists

29:02

are creationists if they weren't already

29:05

committed to a particular reading of the

29:07

bible

29:08

there just wouldn't really be any reason

29:10

to question the scientific

29:12

consensus so randy you're you're a

29:14

pastor

29:15

you know more about the bible than me

29:16

what is it that what is it about the

29:18

bible

29:19

that leads people to want to be

29:21

creationist that that

29:22

that makes them want to reject this

29:24

scientific consensus that i just

29:26

described

29:27

[Music]

29:28

well i mean that's a big question i

29:31

would think

29:32

you know our holy sacred text has a

29:35

creation story

29:36

in it and so we've just said well this

29:38

is the answer and not just well this is

29:39

the answer

29:40

for a vast majority of human existence

29:44

we took creation stories you know ours

29:47

being

29:48

in the book of genesis in the hebrew

29:50

hebrew scriptures as being

29:53

it this is the explanation this is how

29:54

the world came to be and

29:56

science you know in the last 150 years

29:59

150 years sounds like a lot to us

30:01

that is a heartbeat in the history of

30:04

the world and so we've just

30:05

as humanity have been trained to think

30:08

that this is this is the

30:10

this is the science book this is how

30:11

things worked this is how exactly how it

30:13

went

30:14

and therefore it was incompatible to

30:16

hear this word that

30:18

actually there's a different process

30:19

behind it and that might not be literal

30:22

um we had no grid for that and then all

30:23

of a sudden you have

30:25

all of this data coming in from the

30:27

scientific community and the

30:28

enlightenment so the church gets really

30:30

constricted and says nope we gotta we

30:31

gotta come up with

30:32

our our own science and we've gotta

30:34

counter what they're telling

30:36

us with what's really true and so you

30:37

get really defensive and then you

30:39

that's when you're it's really easy to

30:40

form these little like

30:43

weird beliefs about the scriptures and

30:45

that's when you start putting this

30:47

inerrancy thing on the bible to say

30:50

everything it says is true 100

30:52

as it as it lies you know and that's

30:55

when you start getting these

30:56

these ideas and really what i would say

30:59

has happened is people have

31:00

turned the bible into something that it

31:02

is not the bible is not

31:04

a science text it's just not it's not a

31:07

science book that's not why god

31:08

wrote it that's not why people got their

31:11

hands all over it that's not how the

31:13

that's just it's just not that at all

31:15

and so when we put that

31:17

on the text then all of a sudden we get

31:18

into all sorts of troubles and we got

31:20

eggs on our face and we haven't done the

31:23

good biblical reflection as well that's

31:25

what

31:26

that's what brought me to this point of

31:28

saying oh

31:29

that's not what this is talking about

31:30

because the ancient people had

31:32

very different sort of understandings of

31:35

what even the word creating something

31:37

meant right so if you talk about

31:39

creation when we think about creating

31:41

something

31:42

we think about the course of making it

31:45

like i'm

31:46

creating this music or i'm creating this

31:49

chair and all of the the work that goes

31:53

into it is part of the creation and

31:55

there it is it's done i've created it

31:57

for an ancient near eastern person

32:00

to think about this and i didn't come up

32:01

with this i'm not i'm not smart enough

32:02

but i've relied on biblical historians

32:04

and just historians of ancient near east

32:06

in general

32:07

when an ancient near eastern person

32:08

would talk about something being created

32:10

they didn't talk about it as when it was

32:12

materially

32:14

created that's when it existed they

32:17

would say actually

32:18

when it's when something becomes

32:19

functional

32:21

that's when it's actually been created

32:24

when it's functional when it's useful

32:27

and when you look back

32:28

on genesis 1 it makes perfect sense

32:30

because when you get to genesis 1

32:32

even in genesis the first two verses of

32:35

genesis you find that there was a

32:37

formless

32:38

chaotic world that already was in

32:40

pre-existence it already existed

32:43

as our sacred text jumps into it right

32:46

and then it goes on and tells how the

32:49

story isn't about

32:50

god creating it out of nothing because

32:52

it was already there

32:54

it goes on and tells about how god

32:56

brought function

32:58

in order to this function-lesson

33:01

orderless

33:02

chaotic world that he already had

33:04

created does that make sense

33:07

yeah it's so interesting that uh when

33:09

you when you read

33:10

genesis with a creationist background it

33:12

just seems obviously to be the case

33:15

that god is starting out of nothing

33:17

brand new doing it in six days day

33:20

obviously means 24 hours what else could

33:22

it mean

33:22

but when you try to set aside that

33:24

framework and rec

33:26

and just really read the text read the

33:28

first verse

33:29

right and ask yourself what it means now

33:31

the earth that's not the best

33:32

void yeah it's where everything begins

33:35

and every time i say that whether it's

33:37

in a sermon

33:38

or in conversation people's eyes get

33:40

wide like

33:41

i never actually read that like richard

33:43

rohr would say it's their hiding in

33:45

plain sight right so

33:47

it just that there is enough to tell me

33:49

that there's something to this idea that

33:51

the ancient near eastern people groups

33:55

saw creation as bringing function and

33:57

order

33:58

to something and so that's what the

34:00

story of genesis 1 really particularly

34:02

in genesis 2 even

34:04

is about the ancients would have seen

34:06

and read

34:07

genesis 1 as both bringing function to

34:10

to god's world but also they would have

34:13

seen it as a temple narrative

34:15

if you really get into it yeah what what

34:18

does that mean

34:18

a temple narrative i mean this is not

34:20

unique to the

34:22

hebrew scriptures this was something

34:24

that was common to the in the ancient

34:25

near eastern

34:26

creation narratives that and that might

34:29

be hard for some people to understand or

34:31

to

34:31

to reckon with but our creation

34:33

narrative is similar to other religions

34:35

ancient near eastern religions

34:37

creation narratives ours is unique and

34:39

it's beautiful the imago day just blows

34:41

my mind continually

34:42

but there are other ones and the temple

34:45

motif when a

34:46

when an ancient near eastern person

34:48

would have read that god created the

34:50

world in six days

34:51

right and brought function and order to

34:53

it and then rested on the seventh

34:55

they would inherently the scholars would

34:57

say and again i get this from scholars

34:59

not myself

35:00

they would inherently say oh that you're

35:01

talking about a temple there

35:03

he rested on the seventh day you're

35:04

talking about god's creating a temple

35:07

oh and then you read genesis 2 and god's

35:10

putting humanity this

35:12

man and this woman adam the human one

35:14

and eve

35:15

in his temple in kind of a priestly role

35:18

right he they're they're there to

35:20

to steward it to care for it so to love

35:23

it to name

35:24

things to to really be priests

35:27

in this temple actually and then all of

35:30

a sudden you get this really big

35:32

beautiful like

35:32

whoa there's something way more to the

35:35

creation narrative that i

35:36

ever imagined and this is where some

35:39

peop some christians get

35:40

get a little hot and bothered when you

35:43

look at the

35:45

creation narrative as myth

35:48

that word myth trips everybody up all

35:51

the

35:51

all the good christians and says well

35:53

that means you're saying it's not

35:54

literal it's not true

35:56

and no there's actually something to

35:58

myth where there there's something

35:59

that's

35:59

so big so cosmic so otherworldly so

36:02

mysterious

36:03

so unknowable and unimaginable that myth

36:06

is the

36:07

only way you can communicate the deep

36:09

truths of it

36:10

and that's what i think we have in

36:11

genesis one and two is

36:13

the deepest some of the deepest truths

36:15

you can ever imagine the foundations of

36:17

the cosmos

36:19

and so of course it's going to be spoken

36:20

in a way that the ancient near eastern

36:22

people

36:22

understood and it would awaken their

36:24

imagination and they would see their

36:26

role as a priestly role

36:28

in god's good creation that he's

36:29

declared as good over and over and over

36:32

again that he's delighted himself in

36:34

and that's the story that makes me fall

36:37

in love again you know what i mean

36:38

yeah starting to preach a little bit

36:40

here sorry

36:42

so i noticed you said when you mentioned

36:45

adam and eve you didn't say adam and eve

36:47

you said something else can you can you

36:50

flesh out why you did that why you

36:51

why you said it a little bit differently

36:53

than most well because that's the hebrew

36:54

right i mean the

36:56

atom we have is a nice

37:00

white person's name for their children

37:02

um

37:03

but in hebrew it's adam the human one

37:06

and so again to me that's pointing that

37:09

this

37:09

is a story that god is telling

37:13

about humanity and his relationship with

37:16

humanity that he's

37:18

put hit god's image i won't say his but

37:21

god's im

37:22

god's own image in the human one

37:25

and and poured himself into and it's

37:28

talking about god and humanity in

37:30

bigger levels than just this guy named

37:32

adam i also and i'm not a hebrew scholar

37:34

here so i could be wrong about this but

37:36

i remember reading that

37:37

it also has kind of a connotation of

37:39

being of the earth

37:41

so i saw a scholar one time say we could

37:43

kind of translate

37:44

adam or adam as earthling something like

37:47

that

37:48

from from the dust kind of and then eve

37:50

you know has the connotation of life

37:52

so i heard about a theology professor

37:55

one time who

37:56

when he was teaching through genesis

37:57

with his students he would start

38:00

the class by reading an excerpt from

38:02

like a science textbook

38:04

so they'd get a feel for that style and

38:06

then after he did that

38:08

he would read the beginning scroll from

38:11

star wars

38:12

nice long time ago in a galaxy far far

38:14

away

38:16

and then he would read genesis 1

38:20

and instead of adam he would say the man

38:24

and instead of eve he would say life

38:27

and then he would ask his students which

38:29

does that seem more like to you

38:32

is it more like the science text or is

38:34

it more like the star wars stuff super

38:36

interesting

38:36

and any reasonable person who presented

38:39

it in that way you know would say

38:42

it's a little more like the poetic uh

38:46

i mean you you almost have to be primed

38:49

to not see it that way

38:50

right right you have to be given a

38:52

framework in which it seems scientific

38:54

yeah yeah i mean it just it just makes

38:57

sense to me i mean if we're talking if

38:59

we're using

39:00

genesis as science

39:03

the bummer is is that 2000 years ago

39:07

they had really bad science right like i

39:10

mean like really bad

39:11

they actually thought the atmosphere

39:13

this firmament

39:14

quote unquote was actual thick physical

39:17

layer

39:18

above the sky they thought that that's

39:20

where water you know comes from they had

39:22

all sorts of bad science they thought

39:24

that like the

39:26

your what your thinking comes from your

39:28

guts they thought i mean

39:30

they they had all sorts of crazy science

39:33

because

39:34

they were ancient people and if we were

39:37

married to the the bible as a science

39:39

book then science goes got to stop there

39:41

there is no room for scientific

39:42

development because that's

39:44

which is funny because this is a

39:46

pre-scientific culture so

39:48

exactly if we want to be really precise

39:50

we'd have to say they didn't have bad

39:51

science they had no science

39:52

because science is a methodology that

39:54

wasn't invented until the 17th century

39:56

sure

39:57

they just had a really bad one what they

39:58

had was they had a metaphysics that

40:00

wasn't very well fleshed out yeah um

40:02

until at least the scholastic period so

40:06

yeah looking to that for our

40:07

understanding of human origins or

40:10

the cosmos or you know nature

40:13

itself i mean those concepts literally

40:15

didn't exist when the bible was written

40:16

but looking at it as this beautiful

40:19

story

40:20

this parable like jesus here's another

40:23

reason why

40:24

this always shocks me why christians

40:25

can't handle myth

40:28

when we're talking about truth is that

40:30

same god

40:31

who i believe created the universe in

40:32

the cosmos and all that's in them

40:34

and used this parable or this myth to

40:37

tell us this beautiful story about

40:39

how what was in god's heart and how he

40:42

brought function and order to this

40:43

chaotic world that he created all that

40:45

stuff

40:46

it makes sense to me that that same god

40:49

who created the universe and told this

40:51

beautiful

40:52

story about his god's relationship with

40:54

humanity

40:55

that god then comes in jesus christ in

40:58

the men jesus and the incarnation

41:00

and how does he communicate the truths

41:03

about the kingdom of god

41:05

but in stories in parables he just tells

41:07

parable after parable because to me

41:10

in my mind god himself jesus is saying

41:13

you can't you don't get it like if i

41:15

told you really

41:16

in just brass tacks terms about my

41:19

kingdom and what god's like

41:21

your mind would explode i have to tell

41:23

you in stories

41:24

it doesn't make it less true the parable

41:27

of the prodigal son

41:28

is the truest story about who god is

41:32

even though it's a parable do you know

41:33

what i mean so for me that

41:35

it's not therefore a jump to say that

41:37

same god when he's talking about the

41:39

creation and origin of the universe is

41:40

going to tell this beautiful story to

41:42

draw us in

41:43

it's romantic it's poetic it's beautiful

41:46

that's good so so one way that that some

41:50

christians today who accept evolution

41:52

some of them would call themselves

41:54

evolutionary creationists one way they

41:56

like to describe this and get your

41:58

thoughts on this

41:59

is they say it's like god gave us two

42:01

books

42:02

he gave us the bible and the bible had a

42:05

specific purpose the bible's purpose was

42:07

something like

42:08

giving us all the information we need to

42:10

be right with god

42:11

interpersonally but that's not the only

42:14

book he gave us he also gave us nature

42:16

they call it the book of nature that's

42:18

very franciscan of you

42:20

really i don't know anything about that

42:22

well yeah that's where they drew it from

42:24

i don't know

42:24

franciscans call nature the natural

42:28

world

42:29

the second creation story or the the

42:31

second scriptures basically the other

42:32

scriptures because you get to see who

42:34

god is through his creation

42:36

interesting i went to a jesuit school so

42:38

i don't know anything about

42:39

they're great too they're great too so

42:42

that's cool maybe that's where they get

42:43

this i don't know

42:44

and then they'll say the books need to

42:46

be compatible

42:48

god gave us both of them they shouldn't

42:49

conflict and

42:51

we shouldn't put all the weight on one

42:52

at the expense of the other

42:55

so if if reason and nature tells us one

42:57

thing

42:58

about god's creation and the bible tells

43:01

us a fundamentally different thing about

43:02

god's creation

43:03

then god has contradicted himself and

43:06

that's a problem

43:06

which might make us wonder if we're

43:08

reading the books accurately

43:10

does that make sense yep yep so i i

43:12

think a lot of uh creationists have

43:14

found that helpful

43:15

uh helpful way to frame things the the

43:17

challenge of course is to see nature and

43:19

science

43:20

as equally authoritative or

43:23

as comparable to the biblical text

43:26

that's going to be a struggle i think

43:27

for a lot of creationists

43:29

yeah but it helps to point out as you

43:31

have done

43:32

that you don't have to reduce your trust

43:35

in the bible you don't have to think

43:36

it's less authoritative

43:38

you just have to read it as it was

43:40

intended to be written right

43:41

you have to read it in its historical

43:43

context don't expect more from it than

43:45

it was intended to give

43:46

yeah i mean the idea that the ancient

43:49

people

43:50

the original audience thought the same

43:53

things

43:54

that we think when they read genesis 1

43:55

and 2 is absurd it's just actually

43:57

actually absurd because of what we know

43:59

and what they didn't so

44:01

so i think we can see then that what a

44:04

lot of creationists

44:06

and and honestly a lot of atheists it's

44:08

funny that that they kind of agree about

44:10

this

44:10

they they claim that religion

44:12

specifically christianity

44:14

is incompatible with evolution the

44:16

creationists and the atheists seem to be

44:18

agreed on that point or some of the

44:19

atheists anyway seem to be agreed on

44:21

that point

44:22

that if you believe science you can't

44:23

believe the bible and vice versa

44:26

uh so hopefully we've begin to drive a

44:28

wedge into that kind of view

44:30

hopefully we've got some reasons now

44:31

that we can see maybe they're not

44:33

necessarily incompatible

44:35

maybe if we read the bible appropriately

44:38

and carefully

44:39

and in its context we don't have to come

44:42

up with a view that is fundamentally at

44:43

odds with what science tells us

44:45

absolutely so

44:49

maybe this is because maybe this is

44:51

unique to me because of my particular

44:52

philosophical

44:54

perspective the type of philosophy i do

44:56

is called epistemology

44:57

which means i write about knowledge

45:00

and a large part of that is how

45:03

confident should we really be

45:04

in the knowledge that we have something

45:06

i think a lot about

45:08

and so a huge aspect of this debate if

45:11

you want to call it that

45:12

to me that is often overlooked is

45:15

that most of the people having the

45:17

debate and

45:19

i'm confident in saying most because i

45:20

spent a lot of time reading

45:22

and watching this debate most of the

45:24

people in the debate

45:26

do not know what they're talking about

45:29

the people on the creationist side

45:31

defending particular views of the bible

45:33

are not biblical scholars most of the

45:35

time absolutely the people

45:37

the people even on the atheist side the

45:39

people

45:40

saying that the bible and christianity

45:42

are false because

45:43

evolution they're almost always not

45:47

evolutionary biologists serious

45:49

evolutionary biologists by and large

45:50

don't care about this and many many of

45:53

them are christians

45:54

a minority but many of them are and the

45:57

the ones who are like outspoken atheists

45:59

or a tiny tiny minority

46:01

and so a huge part of this for me is

46:04

well what do the actual experts on both

46:06

sides

46:07

the biblical interpretation experts and

46:10

the evolutionary biology experts what do

46:13

they

46:14

think about their domains of expertise

46:17

i'm not an expert i'm not a biblical

46:19

scholar i've read them and i kind of

46:21

understand what they say

46:22

and i'm not a scientist i've read them

46:24

and i can't understand what they say

46:26

but at the end of the day my

46:27

responsibility it seems to me is just to

46:29

believe what the experts say

46:31

where there is a consensus and it turns

46:33

out on this issue

46:34

there is a consensus on both sides

46:37

there's an overwhelming consensus on the

46:38

scientific side

46:40

and there's a pretty strong scholarly

46:42

consensus on the biblical side to

46:44

support the sorts of things that you

46:45

were just describing about

46:46

appropriate ways and inappropriate ways

46:48

to read the bible

46:50

so it seems to me that as an individual

46:52

if i'm wondering what i should believe

46:53

about this

46:55

the answer is just given to me i should

46:57

believe what the experts say

46:59

and then i should ask are they

47:01

compatible

47:02

and we're in the happy circumstance that

47:05

they are compatible

47:07

they might not have been it might not

47:08

have turned out that way

47:10

it might have turned out so that they

47:11

would be incompatible and then i would

47:13

be in a real bond we got trouble

47:14

as a christian that's just not what

47:16

happened uh

47:18

the experts said one thing about nature

47:20

the experts said another thing about the

47:21

bible

47:22

and there's just no conflict and it

47:23

works yep absolutely

47:25

that's encouraging that's that's

47:28

extremely encouraging yet

47:31

friends before we continue we want to

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if you're in milwaukee you'll thank

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yourself for visiting story hill bkc

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and if you're not remember to support

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local one more time that's storyhillbkc

48:07

there is still some theological

48:10

concerns some theological worries that a

48:12

lot of christians might have

48:14

and these these are what i would

48:16

consider legitimate worries

48:17

so they're not the result of reading the

48:19

bible poorly for example

48:21

not necessarily anyway if we accept that

48:24

the evolutionary picture of nature is

48:25

true

48:27

and we accept that the bible tells us

48:30

the truth about god and our relationship

48:32

to god

48:32

there are still some outstanding

48:34

theological concerns

48:36

that we might have so randy what do you

48:40

think

48:40

some of those concerns might be some

48:43

legitimate

48:44

theological issues that christians might

48:46

have to

48:47

wrestle a little bit with if we accept

48:49

evolution as true

48:51

sure i mean some people probably see

48:54

hear what i had to say about the

48:57

scriptures in about genesis 1 and 2

48:59

being

49:00

a story a parable myth even

49:04

a story about god bringing function in

49:07

in order to a functionless and orderless

49:10

creation

49:11

then the question is what about adam and

49:12

eve like we were talk taught a lot about

49:14

adam and eve adam and eve are really

49:15

important people to christians

49:17

if they aren't real then what does that

49:19

mean right that's that's a theological

49:21

issue but i don't think it's a

49:23

insurmountable issue

49:25

i i have a i have space for

49:29

believing or maybe making room for that

49:31

the reality that adam and eve were real

49:33

people i can do that

49:34

i really can't i don't i don't believe

49:36

it but i think you can believe that and

49:38

not be crazy

49:39

i think that's okay i i happen to

49:42

believe that adam and eve were

49:44

names and in part of the story that god

49:46

used to tell the story of god and

49:48

humanity

49:49

there's something about humanity that

49:51

has this beautiful

49:52

imprint of god in them and god wants to

49:55

have this

49:56

his story connected with humanity in a

49:58

unique way

49:59

that's bigger than just two people for

50:01

me and that's fun

50:02

and then adam and eve become like when

50:05

you talk about paul okay well then if

50:07

paul's come talking about jesus as the

50:09

second adam so if adam wasn't really

50:10

real then what does that mean about

50:12

jesus you don't have to go there

50:15

adam can be an archetype right adam

50:18

adam an archetype for humanity and jesus

50:21

coming as the second adam

50:23

romans five is one of my favorite

50:25

passages of all the new testament

50:27

talking about jesus is the new adam and

50:30

death came through adam now life has

50:32

come to

50:32

through jesus paul is using adam in an

50:35

archetypal way there

50:36

in a way that's using adam symbolically

50:40

for all humanity and then jesus right so

50:43

i don't think

50:43

that i don't think that really creates

50:45

any unsurmountable issues

50:48

what are some other issues that kyle

50:50

that you think it could bring up

50:52

yeah so speaking from sort of a more

50:54

philosophical point of view

50:56

philosophers for a long time have been

50:57

discussing the problem of evil

51:00

uh and probably eventually we'll have a

51:01

whole episode on this but

51:03

specifically the problem of natural evil

51:05

is a really hairy aspect of that

51:08

that issue and that would be evil that's

51:10

just part of nature that's not caused by

51:12

any person

51:13

so you can't explain it away with free

51:15

will so for example

51:16

an earthquake happens and kills 100 000

51:19

people in haiti and

51:20

nobody chose to do anything that caused

51:23

that earthquake to happen that's just

51:24

how

51:24

nature works and it causes all this

51:27

needless

51:28

point seemingly pointless suffering

51:30

right and so if we accept the

51:31

evolutionary picture of the world

51:33

we have to admit that that kind of thing

51:35

has been happening for

51:37

four billion years that

51:40

that there's been death and suffering

51:43

for four billion years

51:45

prior to humans even existing and it

51:48

just seems to magnify that problem

51:50

uh just makes makes it a little more

51:52

difficult to understand than it was

51:54

before

51:55

why god would have chosen to do it in

51:56

that way so that's a sincere theological

51:59

and philosophical problem that you could

52:00

really wrestle with and

52:02

eventually i hope we'll have an episode

52:03

about that i'm not certainly not going

52:05

to answer it here

52:06

and then also related to that really

52:09

is the idea that death somehow

52:13

precedes god giving life to humans

52:16

in genesis now

52:19

going back to what you just said kyle i

52:21

mean to me again

52:23

there's a lot of answers in genesis 1

52:25

and 2 just

52:26

in and of themselves in the beginning

52:28

god created the heavens and the earth

52:30

now the earth was formless and void

52:33

empty

52:34

darkness was over the surface of the

52:36

deep and the spirit of god was hovering

52:38

over the waters

52:39

other translations call it chaotic right

52:43

for me i think the bible is setting up

52:46

the story of

52:48

chaos and functionless

52:51

and purposeless and

52:55

void in the spirit of god is hovering

52:57

over it all and

52:58

and you can that can be a beautiful

53:00

metaphor for

53:01

all of life in some ways so i don't

53:04

think we again have to

53:05

divorce that natural evil like god is

53:08

bringing order and beauty and life

53:10

to a disordered world that he created

53:12

and and it's going

53:14

along this trajectory towards order

53:16

towards life

53:17

towards beauty and i think that's

53:19

compatible both with the scriptures and

53:20

with

53:21

evolution so that that's that's a fair

53:23

point uh it won't solve the

53:25

philosophical issue of

53:27

evil itself like how we can square

53:28

square that with good god

53:30

but it's definitely helpful in pointing

53:33

out that that problem exists in the text

53:35

too

53:36

that the text itself is aware of that

53:38

and includes it in its

53:40

in its framework yeah it's incredible

53:41

when we recognize the truth of evolution

53:43

we're not recognizing something that's

53:45

not already in the text yeah

53:46

so you mentioned kyle this you know

53:49

rebut that creationists say that

53:51

death can't lead to life that that's not

53:53

godly that's not in scripture is if

53:55

death you know

53:56

and that's what evolution does again for

53:58

me

53:59

that is not a problem scripturally

54:01

because

54:02

i follow a god who was perfectly and

54:05

fully revealed in the man jesus christ

54:08

who accomplished salvation and

54:11

redemption

54:11

for all of humanity through death

54:15

and that death brought life and this is

54:17

this is a

54:18

motif you see throughout the scriptures

54:20

not just in jesus

54:22

but all over the place that death comes

54:24

and life comes from it

54:26

death comes and life comes from it this

54:28

is what god does he turns

54:30

he turns takes ashes and he makes them

54:32

beautiful this is

54:33

this is the one of the most beautiful

54:35

common themes through

54:36

all of the scriptures that actually yes

54:39

life comes from death

54:40

jesus the most possibly the most common

54:43

thing that he said

54:44

while he was on earth in the gospels is

54:46

if you want to live you're gonna have to

54:48

die

54:48

you're gonna have to die to yourself

54:50

you're gonna have to doubt yourself in

54:51

all the ways

54:52

if you want to follow me you're gonna

54:53

have to crucify people and crucify

54:55

yourself and then

54:56

pick up your cross and follow me so for

54:58

me

54:59

i just say have you not read the bible

55:02

like don't you don't you see this theme

55:05

that jesus preached

55:06

that jesus lived and died and then rose

55:08

again that

55:10

that paul talked about death into life

55:14

death and resurrection that's just the

55:16

way of god that's the way that god is

55:19

to me it's just like the way god has set

55:21

things up

55:22

life through death yeah and then i guess

55:25

lastly an issue that comes to mind i've

55:28

i kind of wrestled this myself when i

55:30

was making the transition from a kind of

55:32

creationist to

55:33

accepting evolution i wondered for a

55:36

while if it would make god seem more

55:37

distant or uninvolved or something like

55:40

that

55:40

because you know in genesis you have he

55:44

forms humans out of the dust of the

55:45

earth and then he forms eve out of the

55:47

rib of adam and it seems very intimate

55:50

and then he walks with them in the

55:51

garden and that seems very intimate

55:53

and taking this billion-year-long view

55:57

of humans developing through a natural

55:59

process can seem distant

56:01

it can seem more like deism almost than

56:04

than christianity

56:06

what do you think about that i hear you

56:09

um and i hear that but

56:12

again genesis 1 and 2 are

56:16

beautiful and also authoritative texts

56:18

for me and so i look at genesis 1 and 2

56:21

and it tells me that if science is

56:24

telling me

56:25

and it's not dissonant with the

56:26

scriptures that evolution

56:29

is a court is a thing that is real and

56:31

has happened and we can back that up

56:32

then genesis 1 and 2 is telling me

56:36

god was intimately involved in that

56:38

whole 4 billion years

56:39

god was god was breathing his creative

56:43

imagination into these molecules

56:47

separating and and at atomic things

56:50

going on and

56:51

in the marriage of quan you know all of

56:53

these things that are happening

56:55

that the scientists can tell us about

56:57

genesis 1 and 2 is telling me that that

56:59

was an act of love that god was right in

57:01

it the whole time that that was

57:04

very intentional very celebratory

57:07

very very fun for god that's what i hear

57:10

in genesis 1 and 2

57:11

and i have to take that and say okay

57:13

that's that's got to be the way that god

57:15

created the world through that

57:16

evolutionary process with a lot of fun a

57:19

lot of joy a lot of celebration a lot of

57:21

a lot of intentionality and intimately

57:24

involved and then when i think of the

57:25

story of

57:26

human beings that like you reference

57:28

walking with

57:29

adam and eve in the garden and talking

57:31

and this beautiful connectedness and

57:34

talking about the trees to me that's

57:36

just the story that god has been

57:39

enamored with human beings since the

57:41

very beginning

57:42

and and it's a story of god and his

57:44

people and he has this dream in his

57:46

heart and

57:47

again it doesn't have to make it more

57:49

distant or less real

57:50

it's actually just talking about how god

57:52

is saying i've been with you

57:54

guiding this thing the whole time

57:56

pouring my intention

57:57

pouring myself pouring my life it just

58:00

might not look

58:01

like exactly the way you thought it did

58:03

right and that's okay

58:06

for me that's that that works for me

58:09

so kyle i keep coming back to the stacks

58:12

of books that you had

58:13

i've got to believe that among those

58:15

stacks along the course of time you came

58:17

across a couple of books that you think

58:18

would be helpful for our

58:21

amazing listeners to dig into

58:24

sure yeah i'm going to keep it real

58:26

brief i don't expect everybody to dive

58:29

in in the way that i did

58:30

so the book that i normally recommend to

58:32

people who want

58:33

a kind of introduction to the scientific

58:35

evidence for

58:36

evolution itself as a theory and this

58:39

might be a surprise to some of our

58:40

listeners but the book that i recommend

58:42

is called the greatest show on earth

58:44

it's by richard dawkins

58:46

that's funny anything about richard

58:47

dawkins you know

58:49

that he is a hostile atheist and he

58:53

he has no time for christians he thinks

58:55

we're all irrational or immoral or

58:58

dumb or whatever um but he is a talented

59:02

biologist and he's a talented writer and

59:06

when he's writing about biology he's

59:07

very compelling

59:09

now you will have to put up with some

59:11

snark in this book

59:13

he cannot resist taking the occasional

59:15

jab at christians

59:16

but if you want a compellingly written

59:19

and really

59:20

vividly imagined story of

59:23

the history of evolution this is an

59:26

excellent text it brings together all

59:28

the different strands of evidence that

59:29

we have

59:30

and presents them in a way that the

59:32

average person can really get into so

59:34

that's what i recommend on the science

59:36

side uh knowing that you'll have to take

59:38

some of it with a grain of salt on the

59:41

theology or biblical side there's a book

59:43

called the evolution of adam

59:45

by peter inns an old testament scholar

59:49

yep

59:49

also one of the creators of the bible

59:51

for normal people podcast which we both

59:53

love

59:53

absolutely and this is a this is a great

59:55

book it's it's very good at explaining

59:57

the whole issue with adam for sure and

59:59

how we can deal with that theologically

60:00

but also primarily at setting up

60:02

the ancient near eastern context that

60:04

you were describing

60:05

earlier on and how the bible fits into

60:08

that whole historical context very

60:09

excellent

60:10

but probably the place that i would

60:11

recommend a listener who is still

60:15

still hung up on some of the the

60:17

creationist stuff still want

60:19

still isn't willing to quite let go of

60:20

some of the interpretations of the bible

60:22

that they've been given

60:24

by their tradition the place i think

60:26

they should start

60:27

is a website uh so you don't have to

60:29

commit to a whole book

60:30

just go to this website biologos.org

60:34

that is b-i-o-l-o-g-o-s

60:36

dot org and we'll have that in the show

60:38

now so many yeah we'll put all of this

60:40

in the show notes

60:41

so many resources on that website now

60:43

these are this is run by people who call

60:45

themselves evolutionary creationists

60:47

which is not a label i would use but

60:49

they more or less overlap with my view

60:51

and there are many serious scientists

60:53

and several serious biblical scholars

60:54

and even a philosopher

60:56

on their staff and all of their articles

60:58

are good they have lots of video

61:00

resources they really really make it

61:01

accessible

61:02

and they try to be super friendly super

61:06

irenic which means peace building

61:09

they're really friendly to all the other

61:11

sides of the debate so i would recommend

61:12

starting there

61:13

i love biologos really really good and

61:16

my recommended reading would be two

61:18

books by the same guy john walton

61:20

john walton is basically widely

61:24

seen throughout evangelicalism in

61:26

christianity really

61:28

as the i would say the foremost scholar

61:31

uh on genesis he's brilliant he's

61:35

historian he's a biblical scholar and he

61:38

wrote two books one called the lost

61:39

world of genesis 1.

61:41

and that is just brilliant

61:44

it's so so good in the second book is

61:46

the lost world of adam and eve

61:48

and in those two books he just goes into

61:50

how an ancient person would have read

61:51

this and how

61:52

how an ancient person would have

61:53

processed this and what did certain

61:55

terms

61:55

mean in the ancient world and the it's

61:58

it's mind-blowing about how

62:00

how myopic we are when we read the bible

62:03

when we

62:04

when we approach the scriptures we do it

62:06

completely from our perspective

62:08

and that's not the way these this was

62:11

written

62:11

so john walton he's just a rock star i

62:14

love him i'd love to have him on the

62:17

podcast one day but the lost world of

62:18

genesis 1 in the lost world of adam and

62:20

eve

62:21

so as we began this episode

62:24

realizing that there's 278 million

62:27

search results for creation and

62:29

evolution hopefully this just starts a

62:31

journey

62:32

or continues a journey or is a little

62:35

point

62:35

in your journey thinking through this

62:37

for yourself

62:39

pondering having questions with friends

62:40

this is sacred stuff that we're talking

62:42

about

62:43

that we're thinking about that we're

62:44

processing through in prayer so

62:46

as you do that dear listeners we bless

62:48

you

62:48

[Music]

62:58

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63:00

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63:35

philosopher

63:36

walk into a bar