Kenneth Gilmore

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References and Citations in this wiki

Exodus 20:8-11
John 10:34-35
Acts 17:24-28
Romans 5:12-21
Revelation 22:1-2,14
"thou shalt surely die"
"Two Books"
Beliefs about "Appearance of Age"
Beliefs about Dinosaurs
Beliefs about humans before Adam
Beliefs re the Age of the Earth
Beliefs re The Flood
Beliefs re the Origin of Death and Predation in Nature
Christadelphian Commentators and Authorities
Comparing the two accounts of the Creation in Genesis
Composite References
Creation in six days?
Did the Bible anticipate modern science?
Evolutionary Creationism: A Christadelphian Perspective
Literal Reading
Qms:Disproving the Science
Qms:Lists of "scientists who reject evolution"
Reconciliation challenge: a literal single male ancestor, or modern science? (Acts 17:26)
Scientific evidence that people are not descended from a single male ancestor
Theistic Embryology


At Evolutionary Creationism: A Christadelphian Perspective Ken responds in detail to many public-facing Christadelphian criticisms of evolution, for example:

Critique of Stephen Palmer's talks at the Coventry Creation Day

The following links take you to the sections of Kenneth's critique in his blog.

  1. Fifty years ago . . . 
  2. A half-century of retreat
  3. Misreading the 1966 statement by Watford ecclesia
  4. Paul on Mars Hill – Epicureanism is not the same thing as evolutionary biology
  5. Fideism, scientific epistemology, and the ‘shifting sands of science’
  6. The Burden of Proof
  7. Denial of common descent and distortion of Scripture
  8. Peppered moths, speciation, and mechanisms of evolutionary change
  9. Common descent, not common design
  10. Correcting Creationist Abuse of Probability
  11. Puncturing the ENCODE hype
  12. Palaeoanthropology – more than just a few fossilised teeth
  13. Australopithecus and onwards
  14. Shooting the messenger, demonising biology, and the failure of fundamentalism

Kenneth Gilmore's story, as he tells it himself

I wasn’t born when the Watford arranging brothers, in the wake of the excommunication of bro. Ralph Lovelock acknowledged that “problems that undoubtedly exist should be frankly admitted by us as a community, for we do naught but dishonour to the word of God by pretending that these problems are not there” and recognised that our community bore “a responsibility to those in search of Scripture truth, and especially to those of tender years, to turn its attention to the solving of these difficulties in an atmosphere of calm, sincere, conscientious study, unhindered by the rumours, mistrust, suspicion and hasty judgments that have been all too prevalent among us in recent times.” Unfortunately, in the ~32 years since my baptism in 1985, our community as a whole has failed to acknowledge these problems, let alone make any substantive effort to confront the avalanche of scientific evidence confirming evolution that has emerged in the last half-century since the Lovelock incident.

As for the responsibility to those of tender years to solve these problems in an “atmosphere of calm, sincere, conscientious study”, that has in my experience been completely ignored, and here I speak from personal experience.

I nearly lost my faith in 1985 when as a first year engineering student and a convinced YEC, I threw myself into the university library for some extracurricular reading on evolution, convinced I would be able to easily handle the anti-creationist material for which I was looking. Instead, i found myself severely rattled when I read someone pointing out that [if] the flood was global, the multitude of bacteria and viruses would have swiftly wiped out the humans and animals. I could see the power of the argument, but I found absolutely nothing from our community that could help. In fact, problems of that nature weren’t even *acknowledged*.

I regained my faith partly by accepting a local flood, but mainly by ignoring the problem until it bubbled up again in the early 1990s. I dealt with it by refusing to read anything that was threatening, but after a few years of denial, I could no longer live with the self-dception, and opted to look at the evidence and follow it wherever it lead. Shortly before I became a mature-age medical student in 1999, I discovered that humans and apes shared many pseudogenes (broken genes) and endogenous retroviral elements (remnants of an ancient viral infection) and recognised that common descent was the only credible way of explaining this. I took my questions to the online Christadelphian community, and found that nothing had changed in the intervening 14 years since my first crisis of faith. I received no substantive help other than an off-hand suggestion to talk to a Christadelphian scientist. In fact, one comment suggested that I was unwise to pursue the question. After that, I gave up turning to our community for help as it was obvious that it was unable and unwilling to face those hard questions. My medical studies confirmed the reality of evolution (the evidence from embryology, genetics, and comparative anatomy alone was compelling) while my independent reading showed that Genesis needed to be read in its ancient Near Eastern context, and was not intended as a literal description of creation, but was rather both a polemic against competing ancient Near Eastern religions, and an account of functional, rather than material origins, as scholars such as John Walton have pointed out.

I was lucky in that the rare convergence of educational opportunity, a tolerant ecclesial environment, and a personal recognition that the risen Christ, rather than a wooden literal reading of the creation narratives was the foundation of my faith, allowed me to save my faith. Nonetheless, it was a painful ordeal I would not wish on anyone, which is why I help where I can those who are grappling with these issues, and who as current events show, are *still* living in a community where open, honest, informed discussion of evolution is the exception rather than the rule.

I should note that the problem is not just one for young people, but also for those whose professional background means they are well aware of the evidence for evolution, and who are put in the position of having to deny on Sundays what they know is a fact Monday to Friday. For me, as a medical professional, denying evolution is no more possible than denying the Earth is a sphere that orbits the sun. I know that I am not the only Christadelphian professional who is in this position. The bizarre spectacle of Christadelphian laypeople telling professionals in the life sciences and medicine that they don’t know what they are talking about would be laughable if the implications were not so tragic.

Finally, given that the spectacular findings in palaeoanthropology and genomics are common knowledge, I fear that this drive towards making a fact of science a “doctrine to be rejected” will badly impact on our ability to preach the gospel. While Augustine’s doctrine of original sin lies at the heart of this theological imperative to deny evolution, he did recognise the folly of science denialism:

“Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other elements of this world, about the motion and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and the seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth, and this knowledge he holds to as being certain from reason and experience.

“Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn. The shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but that people outside the household of faith think our sacred writers held such opinions, and, to the great loss of those for whose salvation we toil, the writers of our Scripture are criticized and rejected as unlearned men.”

I pray our community will have the maturity and wisdom to discuss this problem in an informed, mature, Christlike way. If it doesn’t, I remain pessimistic that out community will have a long-term future.

— by permission of Kenneth Gilmore

Reading list

Kenneth's reading list of books about Scripture and Science as of June 2021 is here.