1. notleia says:

    I dunno, most church culture I’ve seen is as bleak as your ascribed version of evolutionary philosophy. The early-twenties are shunted off into extended youth-group-land until they marry/have babies, and then they finally have something in common with the little old ladies to make conversation about.
    Couples classes are almost entirely about child-rearing IN THA LAWD with some side forays into keeping your marriage intact under the pressure. It feels like just as much of a pyramid scheme as ascribed evolutionary thought.

    • Travis Perry says:

      Welp, I don’t completely agree that an evolutionary process is ugly–sexual selection is very interesting and I think the fact that it’s routinely equated as being the same as “survival of the fittest” is highly misleading. It is not the same thing. Even if there were no survival pressures–even if the number of creatures who die exactly matched those born and all could eat from non-sentient food like plants without any struggle for survival, sexual selection would happen anyway and create new species anyway. Because sexual selection isn’t directly connected to survival from what can be proved about it. And does produce some truly beautiful things.

      However, the idea that the entire universe is essentially purposeless, and that life just springs up for no reason, no purpose, and that life by its nature has to annihilate other life to survive, at least sometimes, coupled with whether a species lives or dies being largely random–yeah, that’s not a pretty idea at all. It’s much more comforting and beautiful to think of God having a plan, even when things seem bleak.

      As for Christianity, the most important thing it offers is direct connection to God, not church culture. Knowing the Almighty through study of the Bible and history and science and connecting to the Almighty in prayer. Church can be fun sometimes but it doesn’t provide what Christians really need. Nor can it. It should train people in the Bible and knowing God and some practical matters like family as a secondary thing. Collective worship can be very satisfying, but the primary worship of every Christian should take place in the heart in my opinion. And of course, the most important thing church offers is the opportunity to serve others.

      Church culture is not the be-all of Christianity, in other words. It’s just one element. But that element should not be bleak–there’s nothing bleak about serving others…in my opinion of course, but I think I’ve been blessed to do things in the right way and what you were exposed to when you were younger missed the point…

      • notleia says:

        lol, I guess you’ve convinced me you’re not a Calvinist if you don’t hammer on the importance of corporate worship.

        Side note: I think “survival of the fittest” has been corrupted in popular thought. It shouldn’t be “survival of the physically fittest, as in strongest” but more like “survival of the fittest to suit the ecological niche.”

        More on topic: The idea of direct connection to God is nice, but it’s a waaaaaaaaaaay abstract idea that has way less traction than the societal pressure to produce your 2.5 sproglets.
        Also no one seems to agree on what the heck that actually means. Is it an emotional high? Doing peyote is a more reliable way of getting what you’re after than reading the same 66 books of scripture for your entire life (while avoiding the scholarly approach that makes the orthodox pitchforks hungry for heresies).

        • Travis Perry says:

          I already told you I’m not a Calvinist. You just didn’t quite believe me.

          Not to say corporate worship has no value, it does, but individual worship matters most. Individuals matter most–the Gospel was preached to individuals and individuals either do or do not believe. Yes, the individuals assemble into a larger body with a purpose–but the most important part of that purpose, in my view, is serving one another rather than worship or anything else (like teaching, which is also good, but not as essential as serving–though teaching should be a form of service, actually).

          As for what people think about a connection to God–it doesn’t matter to me that people don’t agree. This is part of my daily life, something I experience often. I could describe in detail but won’t at this moment. But the connection with the Almighty is what Christianity is about–not church culture, whatever you seem to think is more powerful but actually is much less significant.

          That you haven’t experienced what I’m talking about is a strong argument that you are not a Christian and never were. Though I do acknowledge the possibility of someone having personal faith and not really connecting with God, I’m doubtful that happens much. The heart of faith IS the believer meeting God in one way or other.

          Peyote? Gimme a break. I don’t hallucinate God and don’t want to. I’m not talking about being doped up here…I’m talking about the human mind working the way it was designed to work, not lamely limping along propped up by chemicals we ingest…

    • Parker J. Cole says:

      Thank you so much for responding.

      I wasn’t sure how to respond to your comment because I have a different experience than what you’ve laid out here. The bigger emphasis was having a relationship with the Lord, not the church.

      As far as the evolutionary philosophy, the whole idea of not needing our bodies anymore because physical form limits is something I’ve seen numerous times in fiction and non-fiction. So it’s not something I’ve ascribed to it as much as what I’ve seen illustrated in various medium.

      • notleia says:

        Heck, I dunno your denominational background or what you/they mean by “relationship with the Lord” and how that might be different from the Southern Baptist background radiation I acculturated in. Congratulations on avoiding it, I guess?

        I’m familiar with transhumanist ideas, but it’s just the context you’re putting it in that I find issue with. Is it actually inevitable that we seek to become unbodied? Transhumanists are only a small subset of people who accept an evolutionary mindset (which is most of everybody, so that’s a lot of variety under the tent). Most of the peeps I hang around prefer the solarpunk or cottagecore vision to the cyberpunk vision, but they are the organic DIY weirdoes who handsew historically accurate poofy shirts and refer to themselves as aesthetic trash.

  2. Thanks Parker! I was looking for just this kind of creative thinking to stir some writing activity. I watched the NatGeo produced Cosmos series earlier this year hoping for more of the fantastic/creative and found it lacking in that department. As a kid, I had a well-worn copy of “The New Dinosaurs” that took a similar tactic: how might things have turned out if [circumstance] was [ changed in this way]? It didn’t impact my faith in a negative way, but certainly allowed the creative side of my brain to raise the same kind of questions (what if?) and brought me back to many of the same conclusions you came to about the nature of the universe as God created it and our attitude toward it.

  3. I really like documentaries that invent their own ecosystem/scenario for different planets, so thank you for sharing 🙂 Hopefully I’ll remember it for if I ever get a Netflix subscription.

What do you think?