If God and Darwin were in the same room together would they fight it out to the end? This would truly be the ultimate celebrity death match. But who would win? This battle over evolution versus creationism has been going on for over 100 years and the question still stands? who is right? And what should we teach our children?
I am a believer in the truth; I look for cold hard facts that have been proven to be true. I also look at who is giving me these facts to confirm their validations. By looking throughout the internet, you can find thousands of sites for and against the theory of evolution. Many of these sites give valid data provided by reputable sources. Some provide sloppy information from god knows where (no pun intended). I found that the web site “Unmasking the False Religion of Evolution”, author Kent Hovind (teacher), (http://www.royalse.com/scroll/evolve/cover.html) is an extreme, almost comical, view of creationism. And, in the other corner, we have “Creation ‘Science’ Debunked”, author Lenny Flank (biologist), (http://www.geocities.com/CapeCanaveral/Hangar/2437/) providing believable, logical, information explaining evolution.
The difficulty with evolution is that it is only a theory. It is not known to be absolutely true but seems to be the most reasonable explanation. After all, gravity is also only a theory, we know what the effects are and what gravity does but we cannot explain why. So far, there have not been any complaints about the theory of gravity. Flank tells us, “Every conclusion reached by any scientist must always include, even if it is only assumed, the unspoken preface that ‘This is true only to the best of our current knowledge’. Science does not deal with absolute truths; it deals with hypotheses, theories and models.” So evolution is not proven, does that mean that the creationists are right? First, we must look at the facts and then determine which are more reasonable.
Let us look at where the two sides are coming from. Creationists have formed their view based on the bible, the “word of God”. A pretty credible source if you ask me. Evolutionists are ignoring god and are out to find answers for themselves through science. These scientific answers are found through experimentation and physical observations. Evolutionists and creationists differ in a number of arguments dealing with the earth and it’s past.
One of these arguments concerns the age of the earth. Creationists feel that the earth was created by an all powerful god 6000 years ago. This is what it says in the bible. Creationists must believe this concept in order for them to believe that the scripture is true. The entire bible is based on God’s relationship with man. Therefore, the earth’s history is only as old as man’s is. In order for this belief to take place, countless pieces of hard scientific evidence must be ignored.
The scientific community has believed for over 150 years that the earth is actually 4.5 billion years old. This opinion has been determined through countless observations of the earth and universe. Scientists have obtained this information primarily by looking at geological formations and fossil records. Scientists have hypothesized, in the past, that certain geological formations, such as the Grand Canyon, must have taken millions of years to form. Scientists have also hypothesized that dinosaur fossils must also be millions of years old because of their location in ancient rock layers. All this can now be proven through the accepted method of radioisotope dating, such as carbon-14 dating. These highly advanced and perfected methods can verify the date of just about anything by determining the atomic decay of the matter, like carbon from biological material.
Another controversial argument between creationists and evolutionists is that dealing with human evolution. The bible has it’s Adam and Eve theory. Science believes we evolved through a series of hominids dating back over one million years ago. The solid evidence is there. We have fossil records that show obvious human evolution dated from that time period. Through these records we can see just how the human body slowly developed into what we see today. We can also determine the origins of the earlier humans and follow their expansion throughout the world.
As far as the creationist view is concerned, no physical evidence has ever been found related to Adam and Eve or the Garden of Eden. The creationist’s explanation for this is that the great flood destroyed all evidence. So why is it that we still can find fossils dating back millions of years but some from just a few thousand years were lost?
Reading through Kent Hovind’s web site, I came across some outrageous theories that I had never heard of before. These are going against everything that science has proven in the past. Some of these theories deal with the dinosaurs. He not only believes that dinosaurs lived along side humans in the past, he believes that some may still be alive today, going solely on word of mouth and outrageous tales. He blames us believing the extinction on the devil stating that “God ought to get the glory for the dinosaurs, not the devil!” He goes on in the site, denouncing physics and chemistry laws, and even relating bar codes and security strips in money to the devil.
With all the attention regarding this controversy, we must be observant of what is being taught in our schools. Currently we are teaching evolution in schools. Creationists feel that creationism should be taught instead.
Schools have a certain curriculum that must be followed. This curriculum includes biology, chemistry, and physics. Many of the controversial topics are agreed upon facts in the science community. Many of these facts provide a basis for the major science fields, especially biology. By denying students this data they could never get a full understanding about these fields and how science actually works.
By pushing creationist views into the school system, creationists are bringing religion into our schools. This is going against our government’s separation of church and state and this situation has been brought to the courts many times. The verdicts have all come in favor of evolution. Lenny Flank even mentions a certain case, “Ray Webster v New Lenox School District No. 122″, where “a US Appellate Court upheld a school district’s right to prohibit the teaching of creation ’science’ (citing the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause) and to fire any teacher who refuses to comply with this policy”.
A false assumption that many creationists have made is that all believers of evolution are atheists. This can not be more untrue. Many strong believers in evolution including biologists and other scientists are devoted Christians, Catholics, Jews etc. Darwin himself was a very devout Christian. These people are strong believers in god and in the values the bible teaches.
Believing in evolution does not mean that you are denouncing the existence of God. People must realize that the bible was written thousands of years ago by people with a poor understanding of the world around them. These people found ways of explaining things that they did not understand. The advanced knowledge should not be demeaning towards God, rather we should see it as a better understanding of the extraordinary ways in which God works.