Contrarian Viewpoint on Hot Topics

Evolution vs. Creation

 

by Brian Worley

"In the beginning God created"... ..so says the Bible. That first verse settled everything in the believer's mind until science came along and questioned it. Science in its purest form cannot be argued with, facts are facts. But in the evolution vs. creation battle, it is most difficult for a nonprofessional to get the unadulterated facts or to know whom they should trust. Its hard to know when a scientist is being objective or if they are being subjective with information due to their position upon religion.

 

No matter what viewpoint you hold, the fact is none of us were around "at the beginning"  6,013 years ago (if you are a creationist Christian) that follows Bishop James Ussher's chronology of the Bible; or roughly 4.5 billion  years ago at the "Big Bang." If one of these is correct, the other has to be wrong!

 

What is a kid in grade school going to learn in science classes when they are bombarded with a message that either their preacher or secular science teacher is an idiot? Should a kid have to carry this burden? Caught in the crossfire they observe key figures in their lives being undermined. Think about this next time you are about to say that kids today don't have respect for authority.

 

The divide between creation vs. evolution has never been wider than it is today. We all know that this has filtered down to science vs. religion with little to no middle ground allowed! A contrarian with my background will probably look upon the controversy differently than what you are accustomed to. But before you write me off, let me ask you how successful have the other approaches you have known about been?

 

THE PRESENT DAY TOWER OF BABEL

 

The first thing that needs to occur is to get everyone speaking the same language! When most Christians speak of evolution, they are referring to the colloquial usage of the term evolution, which in reality is abiogenesis. Say what? Christians are primarily thinking about the origin of life question rather than how groups of living things change over time. Evolution and abiogenesis need to be distinguished because they address different things! Wikipedia is helpful here:

 

Wikipedia  Abiogenesis

In the natural sciences, abiogenesis, or origin of life, is the study of how life on Earth could have arisen from inanimate matter. It should not be confused with evolution, which is the study of how groups of living things change over time.

 

It is disturbing that some would distort the fact of evolution, groups of living things do change over time, and the fossil record verifies this! The controversy shouldn't be about evolution; the battleground when rightly identified concerns abiogenesis vs. creation (a.k.a. evolution vs. creation colloquially speaking.)

 

Abiogenesis would be a "foreign" unnecessary term for creationists since they wouldn't entertain any other explanation for origins other than "God's act of creation." For Christians, there is nothing about inanimate matter to study and just call anything other than creationism... evolution. I laughed when a Christian blogger referred to abiogenesis as if it were a proper surname of an individual rather than a field of scientific study.    

 

NOW FOR THE CONTROVERSIAL PART

 

Although the fossil record verifies changes over time, how one interprets the data is legitimately disputable. This dispute shouldn't tarnish the fact of evolution. There isn't much I could add here except to say that the controversy surrounds the amount of time in which those changes occurred in and how that fits in with the view one takes. Having acknowledged the legitimacy of the controversy of the fossils, can we move past the accusations that all Christians are against evolution just because they hold to a different interpretation of the fossil record?

 

Pardon the pun, but the colloquial usage of the term evolution needed to evolve into the more precise term of abiogenesis lest one wanted to throw the baby (evolution) out with the bathwater (abiogenesis) in the same heave. Sure, the non-creationist knows what the colloquial usage of evolution meant all along, but they needed to keep something in reserve to scoff at when someone dared to challenge the party line of the Big Bang theory which is at the heart of the question of origins.

 

HOW DID WE GET HERE?

 

Christians answer this with the Biblical assertion of creation. Most non-theists would assert the Big Bang theory. Me? I can't subscribe to either one! Why? Because both views are falsifiable.

 

Knowing the Bible like I do, the creation story it proclaims has no credibility with me. For one thing, there isn't a chance that the universe is anywhere near the 6,000 year range like the scriptures claim. A falsifiable book like the Bible shouldn't be used as a science book seeking to explain origins! I realize the sad state of our economy, but Christians need to quit trying to get by with using one book to teach two subjects!

 

It would astound many to know that the secular version of origins (the Big Bang) originated from a Belgian Roman Catholic priest named George Lemaitre. He presented the theory as his "hypothesis of the primeval atom" and it later became known as the Big Bang. Equally as interesting was that Lemaitre avoided the "Galilio treatment" from the Roman Catholic church!

 

Yes, the arch enemy of creationism was born in the church! Rhawn Joseph, Ph.D. has written in his article "The Myth of the Big Bang: When Religion Masquerades as Science" that:

Lemaître believed it his duty as a Christian, Catholic, and soldier of Jesus Christ, to defend his religion against the inherently atheistic doctrine of an infinite, eternal universe. Thus, Lemaître used math and a flawed understanding of physics to make his religion scientific. The theory of the "big bang" is in fact, religion masquerading as science, it is the Biblical story of Genesis, dressed up in the language of science.

Intelligent Design and the Big Bang both have "interesting connections" with theology; this would explain why such passion is expended by way of response when one questions the underlying science of the proposition.

But the questioning of the Big Bang doesn't stop with Rhawn Joseph. The late Tom Van Flandern  wrote about it as well The Top 30 problems of the Big Bang .  I could list plenty more than these two (1 & 2) but the point is that the non-theist Big Bang version of origins is just as falsifiable as creationism is! I find this to be hilarious! Especially when you think of how both have so enjoyed all the badgering upon each other over the years!

How do I think we got here? Answer: Hell if I know, I'm just an ex-minister and you should ask a professional this question rather than myself (with laughter.) Now that I've ducked that question (more laughter); one thing I do know is that we are here and the quest for answers is one of the things that make life interesting! 

Humanity can live a satisfactory life without having to know the answer to the question of origins. Both the theist and non-theist alike need to examine their motivations and expectations about science. Should we be asking science to "kill or to verify" God? Science education and our kids will continue to be the loser until we "unplug" from this type of behavior.

 

Brian Worley   Ex-Minister.org     July 31, 2009    All rights reserved.

 

  




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