Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Religion & Evolution: an unanswered cliche

Just my thoughts for the day, I don't really expect answers, but if you have them... please share:

Many thoughtful believers have, over the past century or so, deemed evolution and religion not in conflict. God is behind evolution. Many theist biologists see God working through the intricacy of evolutionary processes. There are no supposed conflicts. Ok. I like it.

That being said, I have a few questions/potential conflicts that remain unanswered in my head… they may be unanswerable, but I’d like to throw them out there:

1. A fundamental quality that comes with belief in evolution is that the line between species is a very blurry one. There is no “first human” that could be easily delineated from non-human. It was a gradual process that took tens of thousands of years, with as many as three or four species of humans coexisting in different corners of the world. In an anthropocentric religion like Christianity, in which humans are the only creatures with souls, how do we define humanity? How far back do we reach before salvation offered by Jesus is not applicable? Is there one generation in which mom & dad don’t count, but son and daughter do?

2. If our lineage is lucky enough to continue for another million years, our ancestors could very likely be not “human”. Evolution didn’t stop with the arrival of Homo sapiens, at what point does the soul take another step, either forward or back??? How far forward does salvation reach?

3. Most importantly: Do all dogs go to heaven? Why didn’t Jesus come to save the whales? :)

3 comments:

John Kamman said...

These little-folks only missed the birth of Judeo-Xtianity by a few millenia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homo_floresiensis

sbowe said...

"Wicked, tricksey, false. We ought to wring his filthy little neck. Kill him. Kill him. Kill them both, and then we take the Precious and we be the master." -Gollum

Obviously Gollum doesn't think they deserve to go to heaven. :)

John Kamman said...

"Short people got no reason to live" - Randy Newman

It seems the unlikely duo, Randy Newman and Gollum, are in agreement.