This is a conversation that I have had with the girls numerous times over the years. It’s a particularly interesting topic to Angelica and she is the one that asked me to write about it next.
This could easily turn into a runaway post and I don’t want it to… so I am going to stick to really high level thoughts that I have and maybe answer specific questions in other posts.
If you don’t want to read all my science rhetoric, then feel free to skip to the conclusion at the end.
In general I think the debate between evolution and creation is pretty much a waste of time. But seeing as it’s the topic of this post, I will admit that I think evolution as a theory is absurd. The main reason for that is I believe in God, which makes contemplating Him doing some or all of the work make sense. If you don’t believe in God, then nothing could be more absurd than some sort of creation fairytale. That is the issue for me; it’s a lot more about philosophy and spirituality than science.
In order for actual science to be involved it would need to follow something close to a scientific method, which is:
The overall process involves making conjectures (hypotheses), deriving predictions from them as logical consequences, and then carrying out experiments based on those predictions to determine whether the original conjecture was correct.
Some have tried, but as of yet nothing has been proven or dis-proven with any logical scientific process. I’m sure someone would love to debate this… feel free.
The Bible is not a scientific text. God gave us the Bible (happy to debate this one too) as a series of books explaining some history, some prophetic writings, and some instructional letters that help to show us an overview about who God is, why Jesus came, examples of how principles in life work and ultimately that everything is supposed to lead us to a profound, all encompassing, deeply loving relationship with Him. He gave us all that we need for that, and didn’t throw in a bunch of stuff that we don’t really need to know. The Bible does not address if there are aliens, if time travel is possible, what the deal is with dinosaurs or, believe it or not, how the earth and humanity were created.
Lots of the older texts in the Bible follow an old storytelling pattern of Summary, Brief Explanation, Detailed Explanation. So “In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth.” That’s the summary… not how; just that He did it. Then it goes on to give seven days of creation, which may refer to 24 hour days, may refer to 1000 year days, may refer to ages of time, may refer to steps taken in order. Moses, who wrote Genesis, could not have predicted that we would get so hung up on this detail. On that topic, the sun was not formed as a stand alone unit until the “3rd day”, so what were they measuring a day with anyway, and who was measuring it??? Adam didn’t hit the earth till the “6th Day”. That’s all the Brief Explanation. Then the real point of the story has some context and that is when Adam is introduced and goes on to explain what God’s and Adam’s relationship was based on. See that’s the point. The creation stuff might give us some interesting insight, but the point is God’s and Man’s relationship.
The Bible does not in any way say how He did any of it, except that he made man out of the dust of the earth, and that may even be referring to the fact that we are made up of a handful of elements that if separated and water removed would amount to a pile of dust. The only actual account we have from the good book of something being made where there were witnesses is Eve. God put Adam to sleep, took a rib from Adam and formed Eve. There are a lot of interesting sciencey things about that but my point for this paragraph is that God took something that was in one form and made a new “iteration” using part of the old. God does a lot of things in patterns, so who knows if God didn’t start with a small micro-organism, then systematically make iterations from one creature or plant to the next using a part of the old??? Or what’s to say that He didn’t snap His finger (or speak it into being) and make everything happen in the blink of an eye?
The main point here is that Creation people don’t have much to cling to that proves that God did it.
That’s not to say that there isn’t science in scripture. There are loads of anecdotal stories that align with what we know about science… that is science that can be proven. The Bible discusses alternate dimensions – something beyond the reasoning of the ancient world. It refers to stars that sing, which was not proven until quite recently. There are a handful of the miracles of Jesus that show His control over atomic phase, and bunch of other quantum physics principles. The Bible confirms actual science and actual science never disagrees with anything in the Bible.
The Bible says that there was a flood that covered the whole earth (as does the writings of EVERY other ancient religious text). It also says that when God created the earth to start with there was a solid layer of water above the atmosphere and a solid layer of water under the earth’s crust, and that on a specific day that was all released. Very recently a large amount of water was found under North America’s tectonic plates… enough water to replace all the water in the world’s oceans. If these two things were the case, then a rupture the size of the Marianas Trench would release an ocean of that magnitude in a fountain that would go high enough to destabilize the outer water layer and all would crash down and cover the earth. Then the greenhouse environment that would have kept everything even temperature would go away and ice caps would draw enough water back, fairly quickly, to reveal enough inhabitable earth to live on… which also explains sedimentary anomalies like denser elements are on the bottom, fields of dinosaurs buried in instant mud slides, palm trees in Greenland, and a host of other observable phenomenon.
So what’s my issue with evolution?
I have a number of scientific issues with an evolution that does not include God (because as far as I am concerned, God could have directed evolution by prompting genetic adjustments in the womb).
I could go really in depth on any of these issues, but… I won’t at this point. “The Big Bang” could very well have happened, but even Stephen Hawking in a Brief History of Time, says that everything can be quantified back to a single super dense atomic particle that could have burst into all that we know and see, but the problem with all those equations is that the particle would be inert. That means that it can’t blow up on its own… someone or something has to pull the trigger. Later he goes on to theorize that some inverse of gravity might be the trigger, but these are only theories to explain what had to happen when the answer “can’t” include God. (By the way, I loved that book)
Dead things don’t evolve. Science has been able to see that species have survived because predators always go after the weakest, meaning that the strongest – and purest – genetics get passed on. In order for evolution to happen, animals would have to go through a transition from one functioning set of parameters to another, and in the middle neither set of parameters would function well… making it weak… meaning its going to be prey. Some of the adaptations would kill the animal if not done perfectly the first time. The bombardier beetle is a good example of that. It creates two chemicals in its abdomen that when sprayed together creates an explosion that can blow a spider far away. It sprays these chemicals in a finely tuned set of minuscule drops because if they were steady streams, they would propel the beetle to kingdom come. Imagine all of the attempts that evolution must have had to make to get that formula right, and if its not just right, then boom. Which means that the genetic trial would not be passed on to any offspring and that would mean evolution would have to try again. Lots more examples of this, but like I said, dead things don’t evolve.
We can’t make it happen. 600+ (its well over 700 now) and 10,000+ lifecycles trying to force fruit flies and bacteria to mutate and not one singe generation benefited from a mutation, and the predominant end organism was exactly the same as the first generation. This isn’t just exposing them to environmental anomalies, but actually introducing genetic changes, and still nada, and the real atmosphere and environment has never put any of our world’s critters through anything like that. If we can’t do it to one or two species under those circumstances, then how am I to believe that it happened billions and billions and billions of times to create the “successful” (because remember, unsuccessful adaptations = dead animals = they don’t evolve) changes that resulted in all that you see on the earth today?!?
I’ve seen a number of evolution / creation debates, and I have yet to see evolutionists find religion after being proven wrong; they go back and figure out logical answers to the questions they couldn’t answer and carry on. I have seen people come face-to-face with a love and peace and deep inner knowing that they are desired by God, accept and follow Jesus, and then turn almost immediately to believe in one form of God directed creation or another. I have seen people receive miracles, arms grow back, ears open, instant healings, observable things, and accept the message that comes with those… mainly that the reality of Heaven is within arms reach (the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand), accept and follow Jesus and almost immediately turn and believe in creation as well. Conversely, I have seen people that are not set in their faith, get exposed to some good arguments that make them challenge their ideas of the existence of God, and when God gets explained away, they turn and almost immediately turn and begin to believe evolution.
It is a product of your philosophy and your belief in God… and your belief in God is not a product of your view of creation. I believe in God, and I believe in creation, and I believe all the stories in the Bible, and I am a curious scientist, and all those things are compatible.
And to the Christians out there that want to see the world a better place, put down your need to be right and your need to have all the answers and your need to know all the rules, and just get really good and letting a love that you couldn’t have produced on your own flow through you, and let Him take care of the rest.