A number of the candidates addressed the issue of God, creation, and evolution, even delving into the issue of whether the “days” of creation are 24-hour days or longer periods of time. To which Mike Huckabee responded: “”It’s interesting that that question would even be asked of somebody running for president. I’m not planning on writing the curriculum for an eighth-grade science book. I’m asking for the opportunity to be president of the United States.”

In case you missed it, candidate Sam Brownback penned an op-ed in the NYT last week explaining why he does not believe in macroevolution.

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18 thoughts on “God and Evolution at the Republican Debate”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Almost all anti-evolutionists reject evolution because of a faulty understanding of Genesis and evolution, not because of lack of evidence. (The evidence that exists most creationists don’t even know about or don’t have enough scientific knowledge to understand.)

    Evidence won’t EVER convince someone who believes that believing evolution means not believing the Bible. One might almost say that God has to open their eyes first…

    Billy Bob

  2. Anonymous says:

    I am thankful these men are taking a stand for a God-centered, God-created creation.

    Sam

  3. hunt1140 says:

    Those who believe in an inerrant Bible don’t believe there *is* any evidence that contradicts the Bible’s version of creation. We believe such “evidence” would result from a misinterpretation of data. The central claim of evolution is that things evolved without direction, which is diametrically opposed to the Genesis account. The idea that evolution and Genesis can both be correct is absurd.

    To say that we aren’t able to understand the evidence is just a slap at our intelligence. It’s not an argument.

  4. Daniel says:

    Being an amateur, I don’t know all the details and I don’t know all the science. What I do know is this: the vast vast vast vast majority of scientists (people whom I’d otherwise trust without second-guessing myself) think the evidence largely supports the common ancestry of all living organisms.
    The (very very) few who don’t appeal to a certain interpretation of the Genesis texts which is quite debatable.
    So, I’m thinking the most reasonable position would be to side with the current consensus (which is also my view on everything else scientists claim to know about: the shape of the Earth, the shape of the solar system, the age of the Earth, the funky attributes of quantum particles, and so on).
    My two cents.
    -Daniel-

  5. Dr X says:

    hunt11140,

    Why was God surprised and angry that Adam and Eve disobeyed him? Didn’t God make them from a blueprint and didn’t he understand what kind of creatures he made?

    And why, before the flood, did God briefly regret that he made mankind? Didn’t he know what kind of creature he made and didn’t he know what would happen?

    And why was God upset with the extremity of his own reaction after the flood? Couldn’t he forsee how he would feel?

    The problem with fundamentalists is they don’t like the data, whether it’s biblical or scientific. If one really explores scripture as literature, literalism is shown for what it really is, a hollow approach to God and deafness to narrative meaning. Or, do you also believe that God is not as talented a writer as human literary greats who understand that that layered meaning is richer, more beautiful, meaning and that truth is sublime?

  6. Brian Hamrick says:

    Daniel,

    I think you highly underestimate the possibility and overestimate accuracy of untested cultural assumptions.

    Your statement historically would have meant you believed in a flat earth with a revolving sun, because it was a part of your culture.

    Truth is best discerned when we distance ourselves from the culture to consider the real facts.

  7. dave says:

    To All,
    The evidence for macroevolution does not exist. The evidence for microevolution does exist. Therefore macroevolution (everything evolved from a single simple lifeform) is postulation/theory. The evidence for design or intelligent design is quite available but is taboo because Darwinists immediately claim that God/religion is being invoked and therefore rejected out of hand. Animal and plant complexity was called “apparent design” by Darwin because he recognized that it sure looked like design, but design would blow a hole in his theory. The SETI (Search for Extra-terrestrial Intelligence) uses computer programs to distinguish between random signals and signals which may have some potential to be “designed” or communicating information. So science recognizes design in some areas. As far as the vast, vast majority of scientists accepting macroevolution, I would only say that most have accepted the dogma and have not looked at the data.
    Genetics in particular does not do much in support of random mutations producing new species. In the lab, random mutations produce loss of information not new/better information. So I as a biologist turned engineer have not been convinced by the Darwinists that they have an airtight lock on macorevolution.

  8. Bryan L says:

    Brian,
    You said,
    “Your statement historically would have meant you believed in a flat earth with a revolving sun, because it was a part of your culture.”

    It’s interesting that that very belief was held on to and supported using the Bible.

    Seriously though, science has come along way since those times. And you probably accept the conclusions of science as well with out really questioning them, until they differ from your interpretation of Genesis.

    “Truth is best discerned when we distance ourselves from the culture to consider the real facts.”

    What does that even mean? Do you really think your understanding and interpretations of facts or evidence is separate from your culture and worldview? Do you think you consider facts in a vacuum? Why don’t you consider the culture and the worldview of the author of Genesis (not to mention the other creation accounts in the Bible) and whether that had anything to do with what they wrote.

    Blessings,

    Bryan L

  9. Anonymous says:

    “The evidence for microevolution does exist.”

    Dave, do you believe that the creation story in Genesis should be taken literally? If so, don’t you think that has some effect on how you interpret the evidence?

    Billy Bob

  10. Anonymous says:

    I meant for this to be the quote: “The evidence for macroevolution does not exist.”

    Billy Bob

  11. Anonymous says:

    “So I as a biologist turned engineer have not been convinced by the Darwinists that they have an airtight lock on macorevolution.”

    Dave, did you graduate with a biology degree from a secular university? Or did you take a few courses of biology in college and then decided to change majors? In other words, how do you qualify as being called “a biologist”?

  12. hunt1140 says:

    Dr X– the Bible does not say that God was “surprised” that Adam and Eve disobeyed. Nor does it say he was “upset with the extremity of his own action” after the flood. God could be grieved at something he knew would happen. He has complexities of emotion that we cannot begin to fathom.

    The problem with lots of people who want to “read Scripture as literature” is that they throw out any possibility that it could actually be true and then try to preserve some nebulous sense in which it still matters. I believe Genesis, and the rest of Scripture, is great literature AND that the things it describes actually happened.

  13. Anonymous says:

    The great ugliness of “Evolution” is that the term is used to encompass a wide set of ideas, some of which are highly anti-Christian, others of which are perfectly compatible. But the most prominent pro-evolution writers often demand that all facets be accepted. Here are five major ideas that are almost always held under the term of “Evolution” by pro-evolution writers:

    1. Materialism as the only basis for scientific work.
    2. The micro-evolution of species over time.
    3. The macro-evolution of species over time.
    4. The common ancestry between humans and animals.
    5. The origin of life.

    Concerning #1: Almost all works in support of evolution begin by demanding materialism as the only valid worldview. This is highly anti-Christian and I believe the greatest point of objection for a believer.

    Concerning #2: Most Christians have no problem with micro-evolution, and enjoy their favorite breed of dog or cat as their pet.

    Concerning #3: Pro-evolution writers argue for macro-evolution as the logical extension of micro-evolution, and among evolutionists, there are many different flavors of how this occurs. Christians and non-Christians alike have challenged this logical extension in many various fashions and most often have done so without any reference to Christianity. In so doing, they have shown that the major reasons against macro-evolution are NOT because it contradicts Christianity, but because it is bad science. Unfortunately, macro-evolution is also frequently used to support logically unrelated ideas (#1, #4 & #5) that are contrary to Christianity.

    Concerning #4 & #5: Almost all evolutionists have a chief tenant that human life and animal life share a common ancestry. Also at its roots, “Evolution” still supports “spontaneous generation” as the manner in which life originally came to be. Christians and any other rational scientist ought to have real problems with these. Christianity states that just as God’s work, not random chance, is the origin of all life, God also created humans independently of animals, and in a fundamentally different manner: in His own image.

    In Conclusion, one must look at the details to discover those ideas within “Evolution” that are and are not objectionable to Christianity. I really don’t mind people teaching the concepts of micro and macro evolution (along with scientific objections). But it is very damaging when they sneak in materialism and other ideas that devalue the work of God in creating human life.

    john…

  14. Kate says:

    As a geologist (with her Master’s degree in geology from a secular University) and a Christian, I have, since the outset of my scientific endeavors, found myself swirling in this controversy.

    When you take a course that covers evolution at the University level (as I have in several forms including Paleontology, Evolutionary Biology and Paleobotany) you finally learn some of the MAJOR questions in evolution that have yet to be answered.

    So what can we say about a scientific investigation that is 150 years old that is still full of gaping holes? Macroevolution will always remain a theory – personally, I think it should be downgraded to a hypothesis – and, conscientious, honest scientists who consider the evidence tend to agree that there are unresolved problems that have no foreseeable solution.

    In short, what we teach students in high schools does not do justice to the complexities surrounding evolutionary science. It would be dishonest of me, as a scientist, to look anyone in the eye and tell them that I think macroevolutionary investigations meet the criteria as science. I think they should be taught in a philosophy class.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Kate,

    Thanks for your contribution. I would be curious what you think is a better scientific explanation of the evidence than theistic evolution. I agree not everything is explained, but I’ve never heard of a better explanation of the fossil record and genetic data.

    Billy Bob

  16. Kate says:

    I agree with Mr. Sam Brownback, that discussion of origins is, a priori, a discussion that is NOT scientific. Any alternative to macroevolution that I would present would be based on my faith (whether it is faith in the scientific endeavor to one day give an answer to origins, or faith in a Creator God). I err on the side of God, not humans, when it comes to questions of faith (like the Origins debate).

    So, long comment short, I cannot give a scientific explanation of for the concept of origins, because I believe that none exists and cannot exist based on the definition of science.

  17. Billy Bob says:

    “random mutations produce loss of information not new/better information”

    Dave: How then do you explain how bacteria and viruses become resistant to antibiotics? And how do they form in the first place if mutations can only “produce [a] loss of information”? Does God supernaturally create each disease and change it to resist our drugs?

  18. MrPete says:

    Readers might find it helpful to dig into a book, Origins of Life.

    It presents what I had previously thought impossible: a truly scientific, testable, set of hypotheses about creation.

    With full respect for scientists and the scientific method, it lays out hypotheses for evolutionary and creation-based origins of life (from nothing to life)… and then digs into current research to see which model has better support. The references used are impressive — the latest scientific journal publications.

    Those with a bit of science background will find it good reading. No science background? Probably tough sledding.

    Billy Bob, I think you’ll both appreciate this resource, and will be surprised by what you find.

    The evidence for evolutionary origins is SO weak, those involved in abiogenesis research have lately turned to ET sources because they’re unwilling to admit what the facts here on earth have to say!

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Justin Taylor


Justin Taylor is senior vice president and publisher for books at Crossway and blogs at Between Two Worlds. You can follow him on Twitter.

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