Friday, January 14, 2005

Evolution, the Bible...why bother?

(from weblog)

Evolution Discusssion/Debate

It would seem that the overal consensus of the Christian users on the blog I've linked to (and I've noticed this of many otherwise "conservative", but not "fundamentalist", Christians) is that the evolution of the species, an old earth, etc. is a matter of fact. This ostensibly contradicts the plain import of the ancient history of man and this world provided by the Bible.

Said Christians get around this snag, by discussing that the "offending" passages are allegories, or of a poetic genre of Biblical literature, and were not meant to be taken literally - their spiritual/moral import is what is important.

However, this raises some questions for me...

1) Since there is nothing more "poetical" about these passages (pertaining to the "six days of creation", age of the human race, etc. etc.) that I can see than there is about other Biblical narratives, what's not to stop the reader from taking them allegorically as well?

2) Conservative Christian types persuaded by scientific observation to believe in an "old earth" and the evolution of the species, still maintain a surprising sense of superiority about their creed, and it's claims. Yet, is how they do all of this allegorizing that different than what many many contemporary Hindu pandits would say about the Puranic mythos pertaining to their various deities? I've noticed it's typical for Christians to point to the falsity of religions like Hinduism on the grounds that their mythos is so "obviously" at odds with mundane reality as we know it. "Oh, a god having an elephant's head...absurd!" Isn't this attitude a tad hypocritical?

In short, if we can "de-mythologize" the Bible (which is really what these folks are doing) and yet still hold it's import in reverence, why not with other religious traditions/mythos? What's good for the goose...


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