Friday, January 29, 2016

The Questions of Faith – Is there any place for evolution at all if God is real? (Part 1)

Below are the notes from the twelfth session of a study entitled "The Questions of Faith." This 15-session series attempts to answer some of the questions raised by participants from our last study. This week we started to work on the question, Is there any place for evolution at all if God is real?  You may listen to a podcast of this session on the Cove Presbyterian PodBean page. We'll finish the lesson next week.

If you found this study meaningful, please consider sending an offering directly to Cove Presbyterian Church, 3404 Main Street, Weirton, West Virginia or through PayPal.

The Very Basics of Evolution
  • Life forms reproduce and therefore have a tendency to become more numerous.
  • Factors such as predation and competition work against the survival of individuals.
  • Each offspring differs from their parent(s) in minor, random ways.
  • If these differences are beneficial, the offspring is more likely to survive and reproduce.
  • This makes it likely that more offspring in the next generation will have beneficial differences and fewer will have detrimental differences.
  • These differences accumulate over generations, resulting in changes within the population.
  • Over time, populations can split or branch off into new species.
  • These processes, collectively known as evolution, are responsible for the many diverse life forms seen in the world.

The Very Basics of Creationism

  • Young Earth Creationism – Young Earth creationists believe that God created the Earth within the last ten thousand years, literally as described in the Genesis creation narrative, within the approximate time-frame of biblical genealogies.
  • Old Earth Creationism – Old Earth creationism holds that the physical universe was created by God, but that the creation event described in the Book of Genesis is to be taken figuratively. 
    • Gap creationism – Gap creationism, also called "restoration creationism," holds that life was recently created on a pre-existing old Earth. 
    • Day-age creationism – Day-age creationism states that the "six days" of the Book of Genesis are not ordinary 24-hour days, but rather much longer periods (for instance, each "day" could be the equivalent of millions, or billions of years of human time). 
    • Progressive creationism – Progressive creationism holds that species have changed or evolved in a process continuously guided by God, with various ideas as to how the process operated-though it is generally taken that God directly intervened in the natural order at key moments in Earth history.
  • Neo-creationism – Neo-Creationists intentionally distance themselves from other forms of creationism, preferring to be known as wholly separate from creationism as a philosophy. The intelligent design movement arguably represents the most recognized form of neo-creationism in the US. 

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