Skip to comments.Creationism or Evolution?
Posted on 11/18/2012 6:18:07 AM PST by GonzoII
Creationism or Evolution?
by Sebastian R. Fama
Is it possible to know that God exists even though we cannot see or touch Him? Well, we believe that radio waves exist and we cant see or touch them. And we believe it because the evidence allows for no other conclusion. We turn on a television and we see and hear someone who is many miles away. Adjusting the antenna changes the quality of the picture. Disconnect the antenna, and there is no picture. Obviously the television is receiving the pictures and sound from the air. Thus we can know that radio waves exist even if we cannot see or touch them.
Similarly, we can know that God exists because the evidence allows for no other conclusion. For instance, the fact that we exist is an indication that God exists. But, you might ask, what about the theory of evolution? Couldnt that explain our existence? No, not at all. A look at the evidence will show us why.
Honest evolutionists will admit that evolution is not a science. It is nothing more than a theory, an assumption that the universe and living things created themselves by a totally naturalistic, materialistic process. Creationists claim that a look at the facts rules out the theory of evolution. Evolutionists reject the idea of a Creator because they claim that facts must be observable by the senses. Thus, this would exclude God. However, it would also exclude radio waves. As we saw earlier, radio waves are not observable by the senses - their effects are. Likewise, God is not observable by the senses, but His effects are. Thus we can know that God exists even if we cannot see or touch Him.
The theory of evolution contends that billions of years ago the elements which the universe is made up of were packed into a dense mass at an extremely high temperature. The mass exploded (the Big Bang) and over millions of years this mother of all chaotic events formed an orderly solar system with planets and stars. After our own planet cooled down, a variety of complex and delicately balanced ecosystems consisting of tens of thousands of species of animals, fish, plants, and bacteria were formed by chance. All of this supposedly evolved from a burnt rock, which is all the earth would have been after cooling down. Now, if life could come into existence by chance chemical reactions, why cant the process be repeated in the laboratory with deliberate actions, millions of dollars and the brightest minds?
But what about the fossil record, isnt that evidence of evolution? Hardly! Just how old the fossils are, is itself a matter of controversy. But more important is the fact that the fossil record contains no transitional forms. Transitional forms are not important to evolution - transitional forms are evolution. No transitional forms means no evolution!
What is a transitional form? Imagine that you are watching a cartoon illustrate how a fish evolved into an amphibian. At the beginning you would see a fish. As the cartoon progresses, the fishs fins begin to shrink and change shape until they have formed legs. Each frame of the cartoon would be a transitional form. If evolution takes millions of years, then there should be billions of transitional forms for each evolved group. But we find no such thing in the fossil record. Even in the earliest fossil layers we find completed, complex life forms, such as clams, snails, jellyfish, sponges, worms, etc. No one has been able to find fossilized ancestors for a single one of them.
Another problem arises when we realize that even the so-called "simple" life forms are not really simple. Today we know that a cell is one of the most complex structures known to man. In a book titled "The Evidence for Creation" by Dr. G.S. McLean, Roger Oakland and Larry McLean, we find the following on page 113:
"The cell has turned out to be a micro universe containing trillions of molecules. These molecules are the structural building blocks for countless complex structures performing chains of complex biochemical reactions with precision a single cell surrounded by a cellular membrane exhibits the same degree of complexity as a city with all of its systems of operation, communication and government. There are power plants that generate the cells energy, factories that produce enzymes and hormones essential for life, complex transportation systems that guide specific chemicals from one location to another and membrane proteins that act as barricades controlling the import and export of materials across the cellular membrane."
In the nucleus of every cell is the DNA. DNA contains millions of bits of coded information information necessary for the building and development of our bodies. The function of DNA is more complex than a computers. Is it not reasonable to conclude that something this complex had an intelligent designer?
Within the human body there are a number of irreducibly complex systems. That is, systems that would not function if they were any simpler. One example is our digestive system. Microvilli, which line the intestines, are microscopic bristles that somewhat resemble the bristles of a hairbrush. The spaces between the bristles are wide enough to allow nutrients to pass through to be absorbed and digested. However, the spaces are narrow enough to block the passage of bacteria, bacteria that would kill you if they were allowed to pass. This in itself refutes the theory of evolution, which contends that when a need presents itself, the body adapts by gradually changing (evolving) over millions of years. In this case millions of years would be too long. As soon as the deadly bacteria appeared, the body would have minutes to hours to design and evolve a system to block them. Failure to do so would result in immediate extinction. Our continued existence rules out the evolutionary premise.
But, some may wonder, what about the alleged ape-men? The answer is simple: no one has ever found a fossil that indicates a link between man and ape-like ancestors. Fossils are either pure ape or pure man. Except for Neanderthal Man, the skulls of the alleged ape men were not found intact. They were pieced together from fragments and given the desired look.
Neanderthal Man had been traditionally portrayed as being chimp-like. However, in recent years he has been upgraded to human status. He had, on average, a larger brain size than modern man. He cared for his sick and elderly, buried his dead, employed art and religious rites, appreciated agriculture, clothing, and music. He is not that different from a number of cultures existing in recent centuries.
Nebraska Man was supposed to be half man and half ape. This was all based on the finding of a single tooth. Years later it was found that the tooth belonged to a wild pig. Piltdown Man was also supposed to be a great evolutionary find. The upper part of a skull was found in a quarry. Within the same quarry there was found, among many other types of bones, a broken lower jawbone. The two were put together and we had Piltdown Man. Decades later it was found that the skull was human and the jawbone was that of an ape. The teeth had been filed down to simulate human teeth. Piltdown Man was a hoax, an outright fraud.
Some propose the idea of theistic evolution. The idea that God created everything in a primitive state and then evolution took over. But there are no laws of nature to support this. However, we do have observable laws of nature, which refute such an idea. For instance, we can infer the following from the Second Law of Thermodynamics: (1) Natural processes always tend toward disorder, (2) the simple will never produce the complex and, (3) the universe is running down. Nothing has been observed to break this law. Evolution would have us believe that all the observable laws of nature are false. By the way, if the universe is running down (stars burning out), that would make the universe finite. Consequently, the elements that make up the universe could not have always been there. With time being eternal (there was always a yesterday and there will always be a tomorrow), all finite processes should have been completed in the past. This would be true no matter how far back in time that you went. So now we are left with two choices: Either an intelligent being created everything out of nothing, or nothing created everything out of nothing. Which do you suppose is more likely?
Copyright © 2001 StayCatholic.com
For Further Study
Early Church Fathers on Creation out of Nothing (Free)
Books - The Catholic Church & Science by Benjamin Wiker and Creation Rediscovered by Gerard J Keane and Science and Evidence For Design in the Universe by Michael Behe, William Dembski and Stephen Meyer.
DVD - Incredible Creatures That Defy Evolution 1 and Darwin's Dilemma
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Why is it “Creationism” and not “Creation”?
Why is it “Evolution” and not “Evolutionism”?
Framing the argument the way the author did implies a bias.
Isn’t the most logical explanation that it is both
As I read the article, I realized the author believes that God created.
However, we who believe that God created must not succumb to the terminology of the evolutionists.
Creationists often slam evolution as being "only a theory." But in science, isn't a theory an assumption that is backed by considerable evidence, such as the theory of relativity or the atomic theory?
> Isnt the most logical explanation that it is both
The universe was created, and evolution is an ongoing process within that creation.
> an assumption that is backed by considerable evidence
With evidence, interpretation is everything.
Well, if I read the article right, it is stating there is no evidence for the "theory" in this case.
"Giving due weight to the data of faith and to scientific discoveries about the evolution of species, Catholic theology is not opposed to the idea that God could have infused a soul into an already-existing being, having previously prepared a body to suit it, thereby making it a 'man'. This way of explaining things is called 'moderate evolutionism'.
"In this connection, John Paul II, in his 22 October 1996 message to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, after recalling the teachings of Pius XII's 1950 encyclical Humani generis, pointed out that recent advances in scholarship 'lead one no longer to regard the theory of evolution as a mere hypothesis'.
"But at the same time he said that there is not just one 'theory of evolution' but a number of such theories, and he indicated which ones are contrary to faith: 'The theories of evolution which, in line with the philosophies which inspire them, regard the spirit as something that emerges from the forces of living matter or as a mere epiphenomenon of that matter, are incompatible with the truth about man'".
No. The theory of evolution is clearly contradicted by Scripture.
The Bible teaches that suffering and death came about as a result of sin, and the fall of man. Evolution teaches that bloodshed, pain, and death existed for millions of years before mankind showed up.
Humans are a relatively recent arrival on the evolutionary timetable. But in the book of Matthew (19:4-6), these are the words of Jesus:
Havent you read, he replied, that at the beginning the Creator made them male and female, and said, For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.
If both, which came first? While I semi-agree with you, it also lends itself to the chicken-egg type arguments - every living things needs a way to reproduce before it can endure/evolve else it would expire during the first generation. For evolution without creation, the odds against a grand accidental mixing of heat and chemicals grows substantially in that life would have had to have arisen from the mixture with the built-in ability to reproduce.
Given also the fact that every living thing goes through the same process (seed to germinaton to plant, and etc), it's hard to believe that evolution is not a fact.
Just because stars form through natural processes doesn’t mean that God did not create those stars. The author of this is a small minded blind fool setting up propaganda and straw men arguments because his faith is a small and weak pitiful thing that demands that God did things the way he can easily imagine.
False dichotomy, or reason?
I think you went off the map. I didn't see any thing of the kind.
I think this author makes a lot of unsupported assumption. The example of the microvilli is an example. Isn’t it possible that the humans with the closer spaced microvilli survived and the ones with further spaced ones died out. Also new bacteria are evolving all the time and the intestines are not the only way they can enter the body. When a new strain of bacteria develops it is sometimes more lethal and then it changes to be less lethal otherwise it would kill all of its hosts. And those people who’s immune systems are unable to fight it off die while those with better immune systems survive to pass on their genes.
As for there being no transitional fossils, I saved this from another thread on this subject when someone else provided it.
I don’t see why it has to be either/ or. Many people see evidence that the universe was created by an intelligence and there is also lots of evidence for the process of evolution. Why can’t both be true.
And maybe the scripture is wrong. Will you consider that? How does a book written thousands of years ago and full of arbitrary claims become the standard by which science is judged?
But isn't that a natural fixed process whereby each species produces its kind, where do we see the fish produce or evolve into bird or whatnot?
Their extreme bias against supernaturalism and immaterialism causes them to have an irrational skepticism of all the testimonies of individuals who have personal experiences of God's saving power in their lives.
" How does a book written thousands of years ago and full of arbitrary claims become the standard by which science is judged?"
It's not just another book; its unique accuracy is demonstrated in many different ways. Some of those include scientific accuracy, in which some of the principles of modern science were recorded and described (though not in technical language we know today, of course), and its singular historical accuracy. This is a quote from Dr. Nelson Glueck, an expert on Israeli archaeology:
"No archeological discovery has ever controverted a Biblical reference. Scores of archeological findings have been made which confirm in clear outline or in exact detail historical statements in the Bible. And, by the same token, proper evaluation of Biblical descriptions has often led to amazing discoveries."
Lastly, but perhaps most importantly, is the fact that many prophecies have been specifically fulfilled----300 Old Testament prophecies alone were fulfilled when Christ came. Another example is the rebirth of the nation of Israel. The Jews are the only ancient people to have been scattered throughout the world and yet gathered together again as a nation, after thousands of years. This was all clearly foretold in Scripture.
albionin, I took a glance at your posting history (hope you don't mind; I often do that, and I don't mind at all when folks check mine). I see you believe that there's enough evidence to believe in UFOS. If that's your view, then certainly it would be a wise thing to take into account the overwhelming evidence that the Bible is true.
If it took God seven days to create Earth and the universe, wouldn’t you call that an evolutionary process?
If you didn't see it it was because you didn't want to see it. This guy, if he is a Catholic, should listen to what the Pope has to say on the subject - the Pope is much more educated and smarter than he is, as well as being a much better writer.
You're talking about a fetus growing into an infant, then an adult, all of the same species. That isn't evolution, it is growth. The fertilized human egg will grow into an adult human every time. An antelope fetus grows into an antelope, not a giraffe.
Oh, now. Explain the cargo cult known as "dark matter" under the auspices of such high-minded physics, then.
It's the modern equivalent of the old "There they be dragons" at the end of the flat world map.
Creation doesn’t explain new species evolution doesn’t explain the moon maybe someday God will tell me otherwise until then I’ll believe in both
Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?
Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me. Where was thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? Job 38:2-4
The passage goes on to include the angels, verse 7.
Atheistic and Theistic Evolutionists think they know all about it. The latter claim God did it by evolution. Just a theory, they weren't there. The passage includes the angels, did God create them by evolution also? Little baby angels growing into full grown angels? No, of course not. Same with Adam and Eve. Same with the trees in the garden. Trees have growth rings. They were created supernaturally by a supernatural God bypassing natural process. He doesn't need natural processes to create. The problem with Theistic Evolution, though they claim to believe in God, they really don't.
That's right, and humans alone are supposedly predestined to live on after something like crossing the Styx to Hades.
God decreed that all animals would reproduce after their own kind, and so they have. One kind cannot change into another; changes over time are a result of variations within their God-created kind, which stays the same. This is not evolution.
Interestingly, and as an aside, evolution cannot be a fact because it contradicts the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. Simply put, it says that everything falls apart and disintegrates over time....left to themselves, chemical compounds break down; they do not become more complex. This natural law would have to be completely disregarded and/or disproven for one to believe in evolution.
"doesnt explain the moon"
Not sure what you mean by that?
" maybe someday God will tell me otherwise until then Ill believe in both"
He already has; it's right there in Scripture for you. To believe in evolution means that Jesus lied when He said man and woman were created in the beginning, and we know He doesn't lie.
Creationism would have it that it is Angels holding the universe together? Is that preferable to your way of thinking than a material physical provisional explanation subject to experimental evidence and refinement?
There they be dragons. Magic dragons. Or turtles. Yep, that’s it, turtles. All the way down.
That's the point at which I realized this article wasn't going to have anything useful to offer. Anyone who can say that a theory is by definition "not a science" doesn't know what he's talking about. And that's a fact, not a theory.
AGREE. The author has no idea what the scientific definition of theory is.
Evolution is a fact. We are evolving even now. In fact we are participating in and directing in our own evolution right now.
Prosthetic limbs, gene manipulation, cloning, are all part of the evolutionary process. GOOGLE “transhumanism” and see what the future holds for future generations.
Everything changes. We conservatives can only hold back the tide for a few decades. But change will come for good or ill and we will all be long gone just ssh our ancestors are long gone.
Prosthetic limbs are evolution? People have been wearing hats and shoes for many thousands of years, yet nobody is born with them. I'd say the same for prosthetics.
Just Google transhumanism. You’ll see what I am talking about.
I think “both” is a possible position. (We have to still be careful what we mean by evolution since the field has a wide range of theorists and some go far afield in their conclusions.)
It could be both in that evolution is the God implemented creation. As, I believe, Galileo said mathematics is the language of God (in nature) regarding his astronomy; mutation may be the language of God in species.
No one suggests pure chaos in natural science and there are close to an infinity of possible survivable niches, so positing a direction is not ruled out by the science of evolution. So far as we observe, the universe “evolves” self-conscious beings.
It could therefore, and also, be both in the manner of world views. The facts on the ground (so to speak) would be the same whether the large is the accretion of the small or whether the small is the result of the large. The first being the non-Creationist view, the latter being the Creationist view.
There is not one single cell of evidence for that mythical hot steaming pot of primordial soup. There is not even a shred of evidence it can be tested or recreated. Now the modern evolutionists claim through their screams that pot is not part of evolution. The pot has been relegated to a secret vault labeled abiogenesis... Well, without proof that hot steaming pot ever existed, the fairy tale/tail of evolution is a man made creation without evidence. Discoveries of similar functions and likeness in species does not equate to descent.
Evolution is a scientific theory. The creation myths are stories backed by no scientific evidence.
Interestingly, and as an aside, evolution cannot be a fact because it contradicts the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics.
Please amplify on this point. The 2nd law of thermodynamics relates to closed systems. Please provide your rationale for suggesting that the earth is a closed system.
Yeah, sure. Science has such a pristine record of perfection when it comes to creating theories. Some flesh beings will have to wait until their souls return to the Maker that created them and sent them to journey this flesh age to become educated.
OK, so we’ve established that the theory of evolution is a silly fairy tale. So which creation story should we choose? I kind of like the Iroquois belief that the universe was created on the back of a giant turtle.
If that floats your boat have at it. All souls created in the first heaven/earth age will get their one on one accounting to the Creator after this flesh age ends. Peter says there are three different heaven/earth ages, and this is the flesh age, wherein the first requirement to 'see' the kingdom of God is to be born of woman into a flesh body. All souls return to the Maker that sent them, the good the bad and the independent. The Creator is the perfect judge, quite unlike flesh beings, as the Creator knows the mind/heart of each and every one of His children. As it is Written, all souls belong to Him.
there are no known violations of the second law of thermodynamics. Ordinarily the second law is stated for isolated systems, but the second law applies equally well to open systems. There is somehow associated with the field of far-from-equilibrium thermodynamics the notion that the second law of thermodynamics fails for such systems. It is important to make sure that this error does not perpetuate itself.
Open systems go toward disorder/chaos just as closed systems, though there are exceptions. Crystallization is one of those, though crystals tend toward order while lacking complexity, and life is distinguished by its specified complexity.
Open systems exchange matter and complexity, but raw energy can't generate the specified complex information in living things, and undirected energy does nothing but speed up destruction.
I agree. The problem is not that evolutionary theory is a THEORY, it is that Evolutionists think that random mutation over time explains all evolutionary change. It is a theory that was developed before the discovery of DNA, and all the intricacies of molecular biology.There is an interesting dispute that’s been going on in evolutionary biology for the past several years because random mutation/natural selection over and over again does not adequately explain many things. The hard core evo devos create more and more complicated theories that are highly improbable or flat impossible. Most evolutionary biologists know this, even those who are unwilling to entertain ID.
The author's misuse of scientific terms is a certain sign of his scientific illiteracy.
This implies he is not making a scientific argument, but only expressing his religion-based opinions.
In fact: the broad term "science" includes
In short a confirmed theory is the highest form of scientific explanation, so saying "evolution is just a theory" is to misstate the science, and demonstrate the authors scientific illiteracy.
Fama's article: "Evolutionists reject the idea of a Creator because they claim that facts must be observable by the senses.
Thus, this would exclude God."
Some evolutionists are atheists and reject the idea of a Creator, but many are Christians, including leaders of Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox churches.
Fama's article: "The theory of evolution contends that billions of years ago the elements which the universe is made up of were packed into a dense mass at an extremely high temperature.
The mass exploded (the Big Bang)..."
Interesting to note that Fama considers astrophysics' cosmological "big bang theory" to be a sub-set of evolution theory.
Of course, Charles Darwin never intended any such thing.
Darwin made two very simple scientific observations: 1) descent with modifications and 2) natural selection.
These had nothing to do with a "big bang" or even, necessarily, with some "primordial soup".
Fama's article: "Now, if life could come into existence by chance chemical reactions, why cant the process be repeated in the laboratory..."
Scientifically speaking, there are several hypotheses, but no confirmed theories, about how life first began on earth.
Of those hypotheses, abiogenesis and transpermia are just two.
Efforts to confirm abiogenesis by reproducing "life" in a laboratory have demonstrated that "life" is a matter of definition, but that primitive pre-life organic molecules can be produced under conditions similar to early earth.
But the notion that billions of years of early cellular evolution can be reproduced in a matter of months, even under the most controlled laboratory conditions, is inherently ridiculous.
So all "origin of life" ideas remain unconfirmed hypotheses.
Fama's article: "Just how old the fossils are, is itself a matter of controversy."
No it isn't, not among real scientists.
The evolutionary time-line is well established and repeatedly confirmed through world-wide geological stratigraphy, dozens of radiometric dating techniques, DNA mutation rate analysis, and inputs from many other branches of science.
There is no scientific evidence challenging the accepted evolutionary time-line.
Fama's article: "...the fossil record contains no transitional forms.
Transitional forms are not important to evolution - transitional forms are evolution.
No transitional forms means no evolution!"
The question of "transitional forms" is a matter of perspective.
At its most basic level, every life, including you and me, is a "transitional form" between our ancestors and our descendants.
Research shows that every generation inherits a small number of more-or-less random DNA mutations, making the generation unique and "transitional" between ancestors and descendants.
Most DNA mutations are harmless, or get weeded-out by Natural Selection, and that is why species can live with little visible change for millions of years (the average is approx. one million years).
But when the environment changes (hotter, colder, wetter, dryer, new predators, etc.) and a species must either change or go extinct, then changes can be relatively rapid -- perhaps thousands instead of millions of generations.
As for the alleged absence of "transitional forms", in fact the fossil record is chock full of them, this being just one small example:
Fama's article: "The function of DNA is more complex than a computers.
Is it not reasonable to conclude that something this complex had an intelligent designer?"
By definition of the word "Christian", all Christians believe in an Intelligent Designer -- of the Universe, of its physical laws, of Earth itself, and of all life that has ever appeared here.
The scientific question is: what processes did God use to create everything we see?
The scientific answer, in part, is "evolution".
Christians and others who believe that God used evolution to create what we see are called "Theistic Evolutionists".
Theistic Evolutionism is the teaching of most Christian churches, including Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox.
Fama's article: "Within the human body there are a number of irreducibly complex systems.
That is, systems that would not function if they were any simpler."
This often repeated assertion is disproved by innumerable examples from both existing species and the fossil record.
In fact, every "modern" feature can be found in more primitive forms -- in living, fossils and/or embryonic development.
skipping down to Fama's conclusion: "Either an intelligent being created everything out of nothing, or nothing created everything out of nothing.
Which do you suppose is more likely?"
All Christians believe that God created everything out of nothing.
The question is whether He used evolution (as we understand it) to accomplish His purposes?
Those of us, including (if I understand correctly) recent Popes, who think God used evolution are known as theistic evolutionists.