MrSpock wrote:Here is my short answer to the OP
I think the TOE bullies people to "have to" believe it in order to not appear backwards, stupid, and weak minded. Does this keep people from examining the word of God? Probably, but chances are these people wouldn't be interested anyhow in what God has to say (at that point in time, maybe later).
I can't help but believe many people in the TOE camp need this theory because they want to totally remove God from the picture. Or, at the very least, they want people to admit the book of Genesis are all nice fairy tales to read at night to your children, much like Cinderella.
As for theistic evolution, while it may sound like a nice compromise, to me it is totally unsubstantiated and two, it forces one to conclude the book of Genesis is not to be take literally. I for one find the latter totally unacceptable. I'm convinced God wants to communicate his word and will to man and inspired Moses to write that book. I see no reason to not believe Adam was a real person as was Eve and their beginning was that abrupt and not from primordial soup. To support this for me, Paul cites Adam in his writings (book of Romans). Do you think he would site Adam if there were no such Adam? I don't think so.
I hope this helps.
A theory of course does not bully anyone. But that technicality aside, I am sorry if you feel bullied. As an atheist in a Xtian nation, i kinda get the idea.
There are of course a great many Christians who do not have any trouble with the ToE.
And some Christians who feel that to get a life saving transfusion for their child is against God's law.
But to the pressure. One would feel some of it if he held that various obsolete ideas are true (astrology, say) or that others, well established, like say, plate tectonics are not acceptable to them.
The place where looking uneducated and cultish would come in would be if, say, one were a Mormon and insisted that the cities of the BoM are really really there, waiting to be found.
Here is another: it is fine, recommended even, to be skeptical.
But if you said "I dont believe in germs coz I cant see them". that would not be something that would get respect. Invites ridicule, really.
If one wants to dispute some or all of the ToE, that is fine too! Even recommended.
But if a person doesnt know what they are talking about, and says they dont believe it for no better reason than the one given for germs, well...
that is a way to look stupid, uneducated, backwards, or what have you.
If people make use of the bible to justify slavery, or make use of ToE to justify their idea that there is no god, or use atomic theory to blow up Nagasaki, none of that has the least to do with the validity of theory, or the bible.
Nobody takes the bible literally, of course, so that seems a non-issue to me.
As for there being no reason you see not to accept the sudden creation of all, including full grown adam, it may be because you dont see any. Its not because there isnt any.
Id think that a good compromise between "literal or lie" and tossing it all out might be to at times cross check ones interpretation
of the bible against outside sources.
The KJV for example says Paul was bitten by a viper on Malta. Well, there are no vipers on Malta. So maybe it wasnt a viper and maybe its not Malta.