An Irreverent Look at God, Sex & Design

Theists like to argue that design—especially the complex design we see in organisms—is proof there must be a Designer. And theists denigrate evolution precisely because it provides an alternate explanation for design. If evolution suffices, then not only does there exist a viable competitor to God, but it is a competitor without the contradictions and supernaturalism of theism.

It follows that the debate between atheism and theism is to a significant extent a debate about which viewpoint—God or evolution—provides a better explanation for the design we see around us.

One prominent observation about organisms is that they often come in sexes. Pretty much all complex animals have male and female sexual organs and engage in a variety of sexual behaviors. I will now proceed to look at which explanation—God or evolution—better addresses this aspect of animal design.

Does God Like Sex?

One thing about design is that it is a two-edged sword. Although design may be asserted as evidence of a Designer, it also follows that the design chosen reveals a lot about the Designer who chose it. So it is with sex and God.

Why did God create sex?

And in particular, since it is what most interests our species, why did God create human sex?

For the vast majority of animals, including mammals, sexual intercourse is closely tied to reproduction. Most mammals have sex only when the female is in estrus, that is, when the female is capable of getting pregnant. Not so with humans. Whereas the females of most species send out chemical signals that they are ready for sex only during estrus, women send out signals throughout their cycle: they are biologically ready for sex anytime, and so are men.

Why would God do this? Or more pertinently, what kind of a God would do this?

Quite obviously, a God who likes sex, and likes it a lot.

A sex God.

Because it is not just that humans are ready for sex anytime. Much more stands out about human sexuality: consider our preening and dating behaviors, our generous erogenous zones; our large, exquisite organs of sexual arousal & pleasure, the great variety of our sexual positions and practices, and (to top everything off) orgasm. All exist to tug humans into sexual wonderland even at those times when it is impossible for pregnancy to occur.

Why was God so into sex? And why—Catholic Church be damned—did God decouple human sex from reproduction?

Why is procreation part-time, and sex full-time?

The Evolution of Sex

But before we pursue this line of thought, let’s take a look at the evolutionary explanation for sex. This way we’ll have something to compare when evaluating the theistic outlook.

Prior to the evolution of sex, scientists tell us, reproduction occurred asexually, through mitosis (cloning) of the parent genome. Cloning allows rapid reproduction. But when organisms and their environments become particularly complex, cloning’s disadvantages come to the front. For one thing, mitosis tends to insure a relatively stable genome and therefore does not allow quick adaptation to changes in the environment.

Furthermore, copying errors can accumulate over time when the genome is cloned. A few of those errors or mutations will turn out to be beneficial, but most will not. And that is where another disadvantage arises: copying errors (good or bad) accumulate, but cloning provides no effective way to decouple beneficial errors from harmful ones.

Sexual reproduction does.

The evolution of sexual reproduction allowed complex organisms to adapt rapidly to a changing environment, a trait especially important in fending off bacterial and viral invaders. Sex accomplishes this, in part, because it creates greater genetic diversity within a species by seeding novel combinations of genes in each individual. (Such individual variability within species was one of Darwin’s key observations in developing the theory of natural selection.) Sexual reproduction, therefore, enhances the ability of more complex species to adapt and thrive over time. Indeed, moving from mitosis to sexuality was probably essential to their evolution.

Now let’s take a quick look at the evolutionary explanation for why sex is “always on” in human beings.

Human Sexuality

Bear in mind that, like evolution itself, evolutionary explanations are always evolving. That said, the current scientific picture of human sexuality focuses on the huge investment of time and energy which the human species must put into a relatively small number of offspring. A human baby requires a decade or more before reaching an age where it can survive on its own.

In other species which have small numbers of offspring which take years to reach maturity, pair-bonding has been observed to be a common solution. So it is not surprising at all that we find pair-bonding in humans. Indeed, it is evident to scientists that human sexuality is largely about forming relatively enduring pair-bonds so that children can be raised safely to adulthood.

It is also clear that in humans the pleasure and drawing power of sexual intercourse is used to make those pair-bonds enduring. Or to put it another way, orgasm is the glue that binds a couple together and creates a family.

But this is probably not the whole story, as we learn from observing our nearest genetic relatives, the bonobos. Bonobos, like humans, seem to revel in sex. And like humans, they engage in both straight and gay sex.

Bonobo sex, like human sex, is about forming pair-bonds, but bonobos also use sex to reduce conflict and tension. For example, when unacquainted bonobo groups bump into each other at a feeding ground, matters can become extremely tense. This tension is broken when a female or two from each group gregariously advance and begin having sex with each other. Afterwards they engage in sex with males from the other group, and—to be brief about it—a sexual orgy ensues.

As might be expected, this breaks the tension. The two groups of bonobos become friendly and the result is that they are able to coexist without warring over who owns the feeding ground. Bonobos, it seems, take to heart the injunction “make love not war”.

Although not to the same extent as bonobos, it appears likely that humans also use sex to develop group cohesion. Certainly, sex as a diplomatic tool is something which has been observed throughout human history. This brief survey shows us that from a scientific perspective, sexuality is something coherent and understandable.

God & Orgasm

So much for the evolutionary explanation. How well does God serve as an explanation for sex?

Many theists will say that the explanation is right there in the Bible, in Genesis. Men and women desire to have sex all the time, and find it so enjoyable, because sexual pleasure is one of the punishments God handed down for eating the apple. God condemned Eve to feel an “urge” for Adam.

Before the fall, presumably, the first humans were capable of having sex in order to procreate—after all, they had sexual organs. But it would have been intercourse without arousal or passion, and it would have occurred only when pregnancy was possible.

So we are told by Saint Augustine, who argued in The City of God that before the fall Adam could have mentally willed himself to have an erection without experiencing any feelings of desire or arousal. Furthermore, Augustine claimed that Adam would have ejaculated and impregnated Eve without the slightest drop of passion or pleasure in the process—no different than squirting ketchup on a hotdog. (That last is my analogy, not Augustine’s, who was not familiar with hotdogs or ketchup, I believe.)

To summarize: before the fall we were pure. Neither Adam nor Eve was capable of experiencing an orgasm. The vast network of blood vessels and nerve endings surrounding the genitals, although anatomically present, served no purpose. Penis and clitoris, although anatomically present, could provide no pleasure.

The orgasm, like desire itself, was God’s punishment for disobedience.

And until the very moment of that punishment, the clitoris lacked a purpose. It was a bit of Godly design with no reason for existing, no rationale.

What divine foresight, to realize He would need the clitoris in order to punish Eve!

Given such punishment, it’s little wonder humans are sinners. Indeed, if this is God’s approach to punishing people it establishes him as the most lenient and liberal of judges.

“I’m going to punish you by making your life pleasurable,” God apparently told Eve and Adam. “I’ll condemn you to ecstasy and orgasm. Yes, I will throw in the death penalty, but not until after you’ve had a long and fruitful life. And just in case you misbehave in the future, I’ll provide further punishment after you are dead, so be warned!”

It is remarkable that religious conservatives who complain about liberal judges and delayed punishment never complain about God’s almost unfathomably greater liberality.

In short, this particular Biblical explanation for human sexual pleasure doesn’t make much sense. Pleasure as a punishment for disobeying God is something that only someone with an odd outlook—someone like Saint Augustine—could find convincing.

The Biblical Origin of the Penis

Setting aside the theory of orgasm as punishment, let us ask if sex is the sort of thing we might expect the eternal God of the universe to invent.

The pre-requisite for sex, it goes without saying, is that there must be sexes. Yet God’s existence, obviously, is a sexless one. God has no penis or vagina, we can be pretty sure; no need for a companion, and certainly no need for any biological system of reproduction. For God, it makes no sense to talk about sex or gender. God is not He or She, but It.

Traditionally, theists refer to God as He. This has served, undoubtedly, as a support for patriarchy. But it serves also to disguise the gulf between God and sex. In order to strip off that disguise, I will from this point refer to God by the more accurate pronoun: It.

Supposedly, God is complete in Itself, and misses out on nothing of importance by being sexless. And yet when peopling earth with Its creatures, God put sex into the design. Why?

The Bible gives no clue. True, Genesis does tell us that after creating Adam, God realized that the first human needed a companion or mate. But neither Adam nor God appear to have recognized, at first, that the companion needed to have a vagina to match Adam’s penis. Thus God paraded all the animals of the creation before Adam, who named them, but found none suitable for a mate. Only then did God get the idea to create Eve, and bring a vagina and clitoris and orgasm—in short, human sex—into the picture.

Still, we must ask, why did Adam have a penis in the first place? Was Adam created in God’s image—is that why? But if God does have a penis, what for? Lacking a divine partner, does God masturbate?

We have to give up on the Bible for a coherent explanation of sex.

Yearning for Love

Yet we are forced to go further and admit that, Bible aside, God simply had no good reason to create beings split into sexes. The best that theists can do is to speculate that God wanted to provide Its creatures with love, and love takes more than one. But still, why the duality of sex? Why not 3 sexes, or 4, or a trillion? And why was sex necessary for love, anyway?

The implication is that God was not satisfied with Its own divine lot. That is really the only explanation that can be given. God was eternally lonely, bored, sick with yearning for something pleasurable and bodily, something carnal.

And there you have it: sexual organs and desire and arousal and orgasms, everything God yearned for.

But then, why didn’t God create sexuality for God? Why didn’t God transform from an It into Him and Her? Why didn’t God split into God & Goddess, and go to town? The Greeks said so, but modern theists deny it.

Instead, God bestowed sex on humans, and prefers to watch. A Divine Voyeur.

Conclusion

If you are scientifically minded, this quick look at sexuality has probably made you smile. You know that in the context of evolution sex makes perfect sense. You are aware that for any given species, its sex practices tend to fit well with its survival needs and reproductive strategy. You know that sexual reproduction replaced cloning in more complex animals as a means of staving off the cumulative damage to the genome which results from copying errors. You know that sexuality enhances a species’ evolutionary fitness by providing a means of decoupling good genetic mutations from bad. You know that in humans sex is always on even when pregnancy is not possible, and that sexual pleasure serves to draw humans into pair-bonds for the benefit of raising offspring who require a considerable number of years to become self-sufficient.

In short, you know that evolution makes sense of sex.

You also know that God doesn’t.

And that is where we end up. Theism cannot explain in any adequate way why sex is part of the human design. On the other hand, evolution provides a very cogent explanation.

This entry was posted in Articles Highlighted, Atheology, Non-Existence Arguments, The Bible, Unsacred Texts. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to An Irreverent Look at God, Sex & Design

  1. John says:

    sry, you’re explaining everything from a human point of view (e.g. sex god, devine voyeur, etc). you can’t put god in your human eyes and expect him to really be like that. besides, how do you know god really likes sex? plus you don’t even believe in a god.

  2. Rastaban says:

    No, I don’t believe in a god. But the point is this: which hypothesis about life (atheism or theism) fits best with the existence of human sexuality. Most animals only experience sexual desire when the females are in estrus and can get pregnant, but humans desire sex day in and day out. You can’t say this is punishment for the fall – sex is simply too pleasurable to be a punishment.

    So that’s the point. Evolution provides a very coherent explanation for sexuality, and the Bible doesn’t. If you think you can provide a “spiritual” explanation for the existence of sex which matches the evolutionary explanation in coherence, please have at it.

  3. Herr dr. Guttenberg says:

    Humans may have had a hormonal cycle similar to estrus in animals.
    In Genesis God had designed Adam and Eve to respond without emotion to fornication for the purpose of procreation.
    God saw it was good, and left the hormonal system to his creation of man and woman and their children eternal.
    It was in earliest times that Madison Avenue folks realized the great profit in covering genitals, and thus marketed clothing which prevented Gods gift of fornication – making it difficult, thus the excitment of removing clothing to procreate was established.

  4. Rastaban says:

    It was in earliest times that Madison Avenue folks realized the great profit in covering genitals, and thus marketed clothing which prevented Gods gift of fornication – making it difficult, thus the excitement of removing clothing to procreate was established.

    As I recall, lust was one of the punishments God inflicted on humans, according to Genesis. And clothing — in the form of fig leafs — seems to have predated Madison Avenue by a bit. But if we interpret God as just a plot device used by the author of Genesis, we see that its author seems to agrees with you: after Adam and Eve ate from the tree of knowledge they suddenly realized they were naked, they covered themselves with fig leaves, and one of the “punishments” (i.e. consequences) of this was the appearance of lust.

  5. Matthew says:

    Your question is fair enough. Which system of thinking best explains sex? Although I don’t think it’s the right question, it is certainly worth examining – from both sides. Since your analysis dealt with a straw man rather than the real Christian view, let me as a Christian give you a more accurate overview of the subject.

    First, let’s quickly go over evolution. You said that evolution accounts for sex in three ways.
    1. Sex promotes reproduction, which explains why it has survived natural selection. True, but the Christian God, with his repeated command to “be fruitful and multiply” provides an equally good explanation.
    2. Sex helps form bonds. So what? You’re assuming that such an ability promotes survival because, obviously, it has survived. But it can only have survived evolution if evolution is true. Unless you can show why natural selection would need it, you’re reasoning in a circle, not explaining anything. However, Christianity accounts for this nicely – more in a minute.
    3. Assuming that you’re facts are accurate concerning Bonbos, you have proven that they use sex to avoid conflict. That would make sense even if God designed them. But I’ve never heard of humans having sex to ameliorate inter-group tensions.

    Now let’s look at Christianity’s real view of sex.
    1. God likes it, a lot (read Prov 5: 18-19). He invented it. He made Adam with physical and spiritual needs for a female counterpart, and showed him all the other animals to demonstrate that they could not match the role. Then he made Eve from Adam, showing their unity. (Adam being created “in the image of God” does not mean that God had a penis. God is spiritual – John 4:24.) Yes, there were orgasms before the fall. The whole ketchup-squirting thing was an absurd attempt of Augustine to deal with his lust problem, but has never been accepted by the whole church, and is not indicated in scripture. Smart people don’t always say smart things. (Case in point: the article I’m commenting one.)
    2. Why does God like sex? Because it promotes “pair-bonding” (Gen 2:24). The fact that God created male and female (Gen 1:28) shows that God designed a wonderful union where two people complement each other. Since people are both physical and spiritual, the union takes place on both levels. When that union is formed, there is a family, an institution not only for procreation and protection, but also for training of children and mutual support.
    3. God is not “a Divine Voyeur.” In fact, He is the bridegroom. Although He does not have bodily functions as we do, the union expressed through sex is a symbol of the greater union between Christ and His church – a permanent love relationship (Eph 5:32).
    4. When Adam and Eve deliberately ignored God’s command, they introduced selfishness into their lives. Lust was a new possibility, because lust is the desire to use sex merely as a tool for physical pleasure, rather than an expression of love and commitment. It is longing after a person’s body, rather than the whole person. That’s why lust and fornication are condemned throughout the Bible. If lust replaces love, you get sadism, where people derive erotic pleasure from cruelty. You get sensuality, where people are so absorbed in physical sex that they can’t even think about God or real relationships. You get sexually transmitted diseases. You get the dissolution of pair-bonding, the destruction of the family, people without lasting relationships, and children without stable homes or parents to teach them about life.
    So there’s a primer on Christian sex. Which model do you think better accounts for what we see?

  6. Rastaban says:

    Thanks for your comments. I particularly appreciate you taking the time to lay out your objections and reasoning in detail. Nevertheless, we disagree, and I will try to hold up my side of the argument.

    You say that I “dealt with a straw man rather than the real Christian view.” Perhaps so, if you don’t consider Augustine or the Roman Catholic church to be real Christianity. Even today, unless I’m mistaken, the Church considers sex for a reason other than reproduction to be improper, which is why birth control methods like condoms, IUDs, and the pill are considered sinful. And though sex for reproduction within marriage is acceptable, the Church does not consider it to be as good as abstinence, which is why marriage by its clergy is forbidden. But obviously you take a more favorable view of sex than that institution does.

    Sex promotes reproduction, which explains why it has survived natural selection. True, but the Christian God, with his repeated command to “be fruitful and multiply” provides an equally good explanation.

    I think you have missed my point here. What is needed is not an explanation for reproduction. The question, rather, is why sexual reproduction rather than asexual reproduction? “Be fruitful and multiply” doesn’t answer that. Later on you say that sexual reproduction exists because “God likes it, a lot”, but this is not an explanation but simply an assumption. It doesn’t become an explanation until you provide God’s reason for liking sex so much.

    You do say that God likes sex because it promotes pair-bonding. But why are there pairs to bond? Why are there two sexes in the first place, if the creator is a single being? The Greek and Roman gods were already paired sexually, but monotheism is saddled with a sexless God, so why would that God like sex so much? That is the question that needs answering. (Obviously my facetious answer that God likes to watch is just that: facetious. No answer at all.)

    To your credit you do suggest an answer. You argue,

    [God] is the bridegroom. Although He does not have bodily functions as we do, the union expressed through sex is a symbol of the greater union between Christ and His church – a permanent love relationship

    Your answer is that God created two sexes so that their pair-bonding could stand as a “symbol of the greater union between Christ and His church”. In some sense, it seems kind of vulgar that penises and vaginas and sexual orgasms were created to symbolize the union between Christ and His church. Can such a profoundly important aspect human life really exist only because God needed a symbol?

    But the larger problem is that God separated humans into sexes thousands of years (millions, if you are not a young-earth creationist) before Christ appeared on the scene. There was no Christ and His church when sexuality came into being: there was nothing for it to symbolize for thousands (or millions) of years. It would make more sense to turn it around and say Christ and His church symbolize sexuality, since logically the symbol comes after what it symbolizes.

    As a comparison, consider the claim that God created the rainbow to symbolize his promise to never again flood the earth. That claim becomes incoherent if rainbows existed before the great flood. The symbol must come after, not before, what it symbolizes. Likewise, neither sex nor pair-bonding can be symbols for Christ and His church because both existed long before humans knew anything at all about Christianity.

    You end with a condemnation of lust, apparently seeing it as incompatible with love, and you argue that lust is due to the selfishness introduced by Adam and Eve’s disobedience. I take it that this is your attempt to explain “sexual desire” as a consequence of turning from God, rather than as a specific punishment imposed by God. But Genesis is quite clear that Eve’s “desire” for her husband is one of God’s punishments, along with painful childbirth, and being subject to her husband’s command. Note that it is not an urge for other men that Eve is condemned to, but an urge for her husband. It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that the author of Genesis sees sexual pleasure as a punishment. But if God thought that would be a good way to punish people, I’d say He miscalculated.

    So I still don’t see a theistic explanation of why God would have created sex. It seems completely out of left field.

    Sex helps form bonds. So what? You’re assuming that such an ability promotes survival because, obviously, it has survived. …Unless you can show why natural selection would need it, you’re reasoning in a circle, not explaining anything.

    Here I think you miss the boat. You agree that sex help form bonds. But apparently you can’t see why, from a biological perspective, forming long-lasting pair-bonds might be adaptive for humans. Imagine that women gave birth to a litter of 6 or 8 babies at once, and were left to their own devices to take care of all these babies until they could survive on their own. Because human children start out helpless at birth and develop slowly over many years, it ought to be clear that this would probably not be a very successful reproductive strategy in the wild. Having only one baby every year or two, and pair-bonding with a male who helps provide food and protection for the family seems likely to be a much better reproductive strategy for humans, given the great dependency of human babies. It makes it far more likely those babies will survive to adulthood and reproduce.

    I stick with my conclusion: sex makes sense in the context of evolution, but if you take away evolution and leave only God as creator, sex doesn’t fit the picture.

  7. Matthew says:

    Maybe neither of us understand each other. I don’t have time, but I’ll try to clarify what I think you missed.

    Perhaps so, if you don’t consider Augustine or the Roman Catholic church to be real Christianity.

    Being a protestant, I think that many Roman doctrines stray from real Christianity, and even Augustine was wrong about sex. Look at what the Bible says: it is the one reliable source of the core doctrines of Christianity that have never changed. The errors in the Roman Church’s teaching about sex have been derived from too-high esteem of Greek philosophers, who did not believe that the physical creation was “very good” (Gen 1:31).

    What is needed is not an explanation for reproduction. The question, rather, is why sexual reproduction rather than asexual reproduction?

    1. Pair Bonding. Pair bonding is good for two (or three or more) reasons.
    A. Companionship. Genesis 2:18 says “Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” “Helper,” or companion. Not “servant,” as is seen a few verses later: “a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” Review Genesis 2:15-25.
    B. Symbolism (Eph 5:32). I’m not talking about sign language type stuff. I’m talking about physical and living representations of deeper truths. The love that my parents have for each other and for me has profoundly taught me about my relationship with God and other people. And I know it’s taught them a lot too (see Eph 5:25). As a Christian, I believe in the trinity, so I believe that Christ has always been around, and people who put their faith in Him have always been His church. Galatians helps explain this a bit.
    C. Family. you really didn’t address what I said about marriage being the basis of the family, which gives protection and moral training to children. The family is always the basic unit on the Bible, not the individual.

    2. Pleasure.
    You said that the claim “God likes it a lot” was “not an explanation but simply an assumption.” You apparently didn’t read the passage I noted there, so I’ll paste it in here for you.
    “Let your fountain be blessed,
    and rejoice in the wife of your youth,
    a lovely deer, a graceful doe.
    Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight;
    be intoxicated always in her love.” (Prov 5: 18-19)
    If that’s not sufficient, just tell me; the Bible makes its approbation of sexual pleasure clear. As I said, God invented sex. A good God wants His creatures to have pleasure.

    “You end with a condemnation of lust… I take it that this is your attempt to explain “sexual desire” as a consequence of turning from God.”

    Lust is not the same as sexual desire. Lust is desire turned selfish. Lust is when sex becomes a mere tool of pleasure rather than an expression of love. Lust is when a man tells his wife, “It’s no fun to have sex with a fat woman; go lose eighty pounds.” At that point, he is using her, not caring for her. Although the Bible does not spell out the difference (it assumes its audience knows it), it is clear that fornication is not the same as sexual intercourse from passages like 1 Cor 7:1-8, where Paul encourages sexual intercourse to prevent fornication.

  8. Rastaban says:

    Thanks again for the response. It seems to me that our disconnect centers on the Bible. For you the Bible is definitive about God. For example, if the Bible has God saying “Be fruitful and multiply” then you take it as definitive that God directed humans to be fruitful and multiply. On the other hand, to me it seems obvious that the Bible is the handiwork of human beings. When the Bible quotes God as saying “Be fruitful and multiply” I take that as what the authors of the Bible assumed God would have said.

    Why did the Bible’s authors make that assumption? Because they looked around themselves and saw that human beings were fruitful and multiplying. They thought, why are humans fruitful and multiplying? Must be because God wants it that way. But this, you see, is not really an explanation; it is just an assumption by humans that something is that way because God wanted it that way.

    But sometimes the authors of the Bible go in the opposite direction (when they observe things in the world which they don’t approve) and assume these undesirable things exist because God did not want them. Hmm, the Bible authors thought, these bad things must exist because somebody disobeyed God.

    Biblical accounts of why the world is the way it is boil down to the “explanation” that things are the way they are because God wanted them that way or because somebody disobeyed God. For any particular item, take your pick cafeteria-style whether God ordained it or it resulted from disobedience. For example, you account for lust as disobedience and you account for sexual desire as ordained. (Although Genesis seems to disagree and say that women will feel sexual desire for their husbands as punishment ordained by God.)

    So that is why I don’t see quoting of scriptures as providing an adequate explanation for anything. The scripture authors are only noting the way things appear to be, and attributing those things to God or to disobedience.

    On the other hand, scientists have discovered that by studying the natural world itself, we can develop useful explanations for things: explanations which can be extensive and coherent. We can study the history of life and see why different species developed as they did, and what contingencies led them to develop the traits and behaviors which they have today. Science is explanatory and scripture, as I hope I’ve convinced you, is not. (Or at best, Biblical explanations are arbitrary: this (which I approve) exists because God wanted it, this (which I do not approve) because somebody disobeyed God.)

    So, to say sexual pair-bonding exists or families exist because the Bible says God wanted them to exist, that is not a useful explanation. Why did God want pair-bonding to exist? For example, why not create 5 complementary sexes instead of 2? Why not require the 5 sexes to join in an “intercourse circle” of love in order to reproduce? Or why have reproduction be a bodily thing at all? Why not have no physical sexes at all, and have people simply join their thoughts together in a very loving way, and have that engender a new soul, which then grows a body all on its own.

    Unless you or the Bible explain why God made the choices he made, you are not providing explanations for those choices. You are not explaining why sexuality is the way it is. You are simply saying “God” as if that was a magic answer, and “Disobedience” as if that was another magic answer. On the other hand, evolutionary biologists do have explanations (not definitive, but detailed and plausible) for why sexuality developed as it did.

    I hope this clarifies my perspective for you.

  9. Matthew says:

    When I posted this it was midnight and I was in a hotel, and I forgot two important points.

    1. The only explanation that evolution can give for sex involves survival. Sex can only be explained if it makes people more likely to survive. Creation can explain the beauty of sex as well. Relationships, pleasure, and family are not merely useful, they are beuatiful because God made them that way.

    2. your interpretation of Gen 3:16 (“Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.”) was strange. About every time I hear a Christian explain that verse, there is a different interpretation. I’ve never heard your idea of “desire” meaning specifically “sexual desire,” but I don’t think it makes sense with the “he will rule over you” part. See Genesis 4:7, where the same phrase is used of sin and Cain. A couple of plausible versions I’ve heard are these:
    A. Woman will want a loving relationship with man, but he will abuse her.
    B. Woman will want to dominate man, but will not be able to (This fits Gen 4:7).
    C. Woman’s affections will be toward her husband, and his actions will influence her emotionally. (This one has a lot of complicated Hebrew etymology behind it.)

  10. Matthew says:

    Sorry for not paying attention and overlooking your post. I’m actually glad that it has got down to our view of the Bible. I don’t want to have that debate right now, but I’ll just tell you why I disagree. We can reason clearly from proving a god’s existence to proving a personal god’s existence to examining the case for the Bible, and not any other religious book, being the work of prophets who were directed by that god. All that is a lot of stuff to prove, which I suppose is the reason for this site.

    I do not trust scripture just because I feel like it. I trust it because the evidence indicates that it is God’s word. Scripture provides explanations because it gives us a picture of a certain kind of God, and His motives for doing things. That’s why there is the “problem of pain.” Since the Bible teaches about a good God, evil must be explained.

    Science does not give the kind of explanations you’re talking about. One branch of science, natural philosophy, only finds patterns (laws), without explaining why they exist. The other branch, natural history, attempts to find out what happened in the past assuming those patterns have always held true. In this branch, evolution does what you are accusing the Bible of doing. It posits survival of the fittest, but if something is still around, it must have survived natural selection, so it is automatically defined as the fittest.

  11. Rastaban says:

    The only explanation that evolution can give for sex involves survival. Sex can only be explained if it makes people more likely to survive. Creation can explain the beauty of sex as well.

    You bring up an important question: can a natural process like evolution lead to the existence of beauty and related feelings and experiences? I wrote about this a few years ago and I intend to address it here at atheology.com in the near future. I think the answer is yes, but I fully understand why you might be skeptical.

  12. downunderwriter David says:

    What would it take for a man or woman to design a robot to have sex and experience an orgasm – not a one off, but for 70 years? It won’t ever be done. Such design is much more complicated than your flippant explanations of evolution designing sex. Even theistic microbiological evolutionists like Michael Behe realize this. Even a moderate amount of thinking makes a thinking person realize this. And by the way, at what point in evolutionary history did a non-human conceive a human?
    downunderwriter David

Leave a Reply