now it’s time for me to go out on a limb. I don’t know how sturdy the limb is, but let’s find out.
. What is it? The study of how living organisms adapt over time to their environment.
This is what one dictionary says:
I. A gradual process in which something changes into a different and usually more
complex or better form. See Synonyms at development.
1. The process of developing.
2. Gradual development.
1. Change in the genetic composition of a population during successive generations, as a result of natural selection acting on the genetic variation among individuals, and resulting in the development of new species.
2. The historical development of a related group of organisms; phylogeny.
III. A movement that is part of a set of ordered movements.
IV. Mathematics The extraction of a root of a quantity.
In short, how something vis-à-vis anything develops or changes or adapts over time.
So let’s apply this to religion. Let’s us Christianity.
Originally the “father” of Christianity is a man we today call “Jesus” who lived about 2,000 years ago. He was supposed to be Jewish. I believe there were three “tribes” or sections or branches of the Jewish religion at that time. In short, he caused an uproar and as a result, was killed.
His teaching were not written down until about 100 years after his death. It seems that there were numerous other stories very similar to this going back many years. That’s not the point of this article.
His followers were called “Christians” and were at the outset, considered a “cult.” Later it would become the official religion of such places are Rome. But until that time, Christians suffered as I’m sure other such “cults” suffered. That is a discussion for another time.
Eventually, Christianity took on a stronger position in Western culture. I was informed by a college professor of mine that the structure of the Roman Catholic Church is a copy of the Roman government. Instead of having an Emperor or a Caesar, you have a Pope.
Eventually the Church broke in two. One being the Eastern Orthodox and the other Roman Catholic. Both had their “Popes” and their seats of power in two separate places.
The Roman Catholic church eventually moved to a position where it’s Priests could not marry. The Eastern Orthodox Church allows it’s Priests to marry.
From the Roman Catholic Church you have groups break off. One such group is the Church of England or the Episcopal Church. Another that broke off is the Lutheran religion named after Martin Luther. Other such break offs are the Baptists, Calvinists, Mormon Church, Presbyterianism, Methodism, and so on.
What I’m trying to show is the change that one religion, Christianity, has gone through over the past two thousand years. I’m not trying to pick on Christians, or Christianity or any Christian organization or single them out.
What I’m trying to do is apply the concept of EVOLUTION
to a religion and show how it changes over time, to adapt to it’s environment.
Now granted to show each change that has taken place in Christianity would take at least a semester of study. But let’s just look at the “high” points I’ve listed. The “Great Schism.”
The Great Schism,
divided medieval Christendom into Eastern (Greek) and Western (Latin) branches. These two became known as the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church. The effect was far reaching. Because of this, the Church split along doctrinal, theological, linguistic, political, and geographical lines, and the fundamental breach has never been healed.
Ok, so what’s my point
. It’s simple: EVEN RELIGIONS EVOLVE!
Ergo, they adapt as time passes. Today’s Christianity is not the same “Christianity” that it was 500, 1500, or 2000 years ago. Remember, at one time, the Church believed and taught that the Earth was the center of the universe.
So, what is the point of all this? Well, with the Intelligent Design people, or "Creationists" who are trying to slide religion into the schools (and not doing a very good job at hiding it..) you’ll be able to point their religion and say, “Hey! Your religion has been evolving since it was first created. And since it’s been “evolving” throughout it's life, evolution works and is real."
What say you all on this?