The Creation vs. Evolution Debate

The Creation vs. Evolution debates rages over the airwaves and the internet. Are we created by God or just the product of chance and time.  But what do we mean with Creation and Evolution? An attempt to define the terms and lift some of the confusion.

The Creation vs. Evolution Debate
Article Text

Creation vs. Evolution

Before mankind became “enlightened” there was never a question demanding proof for God's existence. However, over time, man has grown more impressed with himself at the center of the universe. In 1859 Charles Darwin published The Origin of Species, presenting an alternative theory to explain our existence. Darwin’s theory became the basis for a belief system -  evolution -  independent from God.

It has been said that Darwin has done more harm to the Christian faith than any persecution in history. The evolution model, largely due to its posture as the “scientific” explanation for the origins of life, caused many believers to doubt the creation by God and the truthfulness of the Bible. It planted a serious seed of doubt as to the credibility of the Bible: “If the first chapter of the Bible is not true, then likely the rest of the Bible is questionable as well!

We need to emphasize up front that – despite many claims – evolution is NOT a fact. Neither evolution nor creation is a natural law or a scientific fact, but each is merely a model. What does this mean?  The process of evolution, just as the act of creation, cannot be observed or repeated, so both models remain unproved by science. Therefore neither can be called a natural law (such as the law of gravity or the laws of thermodynamics, which describe well proved and observed behavior subject to laws of nature) nor a scientific theory (which requires the possibility and evidence of repeated observations).  So evolution – just as creation – is only a model used to explain the observations in the world as we know it. It is not a fact, not a natural law, not even a scientific theory, but just a model!

I would also like to emphasize, that there are only two possible models for the origins of life: creation vs. evolution. There is no alternative, and these two are mutually exclusive. Either our space/time based universe needed a Creator God or it did not.  This has an important implication: If we can prove that evolution is NOT a viable model/explanation, than we have indirectly found proof for creation and that God exists! Therefore in studying the evidences of creation vs. evolution we will focus both on evidence to show that evolution is a faulty model as well as evidence pointing to creation: the existence of a Creator God.

What is Evolution?

In the evolution model, the entire universe is considered to have evolved by natural processes and random selection into its present state of high organization and complexity. In this model the universe began in a state of pure randomness.  Gradually it has – by “survival of the fittest” – become more ordered and complex. In order for the complex structure of the universe to have been produced by present natural processes, a vast amount of time was required.

As taught in our public schools today, the Organic Theory of Evolution account for the origin of mankind goes something as follows:

“Life on this planet originated several billion years ago, when electrical disturbances caused reactions in the chemicals of the primeval ocean. These reactions produced amino acids, which organized themselves into living cells. In time, the descendants of these one-celled organisms at random began to mutate, developing into various multi-celled plants and animals. As each new organism appeared, a natural selection would occur.  Each life form was either better or less suited to its environment, and accordingly it would flourish or disappear.  Those species of plants and animals more adaptable to their environments developed; those that could not adapt simply died. Man is the highest product of this development. He descended from the same ancestors as did the apes; more remotely, from the same ancestors as all mammals. He is himself still developing; that process is stalled by our present lifestyle, but biologically ongoing evolution is inevitable.”

The concept of evolution is associated with Charles Darwin, who set forth evolution in The Origin of Species and further developed his ideas in the later The Descent of Man. These concepts have been applied to many scientific disciplines, and the theory has been revised along the way.  More recently its tenets have been upgraded with more recent scientific discoveries especially in the areas of genetics/DNA (usually called Neo-Darwinism).

The basic elements of the evolution model remain:

  • Change over long periods of time: entities/organisms change over time. These changes are random and are only based on pure chance.
  • Natural Selection: positive changes strengthen the organism and increase its chances for survival. Therefore (random) positive changes will be preserved and even favored over the original organism.
  • The only forces at work are random change (chance) and (long periods of) time: evolution is completely controlled by natural processes and the natural environment. There is no controlling power or other influence.

Simplified, evolution’s equation for mankind becomes this:

Change + Time  à  Mankind

Many education systems have spoon-fed and brainwashed us with these concepts. These ideas sound so reasonable and have been taught by many highly educated people, therefore many believe it is the truth. However, is it actually true? In the following chapters we will examine the concept to find if scientific observation does support this model.

What is the Creation model?

The creation model, on the other hand, postulates a Creator God or Intelligent Designer. Random chance and lots of time simply cannot combine to create life. Intelligent design or intervention is required. This occurs either by a comprehensive act of creation, bringing basic systems of nature into existence at once, fully functioning at the start, or by a process directed over time by the Creator God towards completion.

Among Christians there are different models on HOW God created our world. These differences largely relate to timing; that is, did God directly and immediately create the world, or did He only design and guide the natural processes? To simplify, we identify two main views:

  • Creationism (also called Scientific Creationism, Young Earth Creation, and Six Day Creation). This view believes God created everything in six literal 24-hour days. Everything was created by the direct act of God. The creative sequence is described precisely in Genesis chapter 1 and occurred 6,000-10,000 years ago. Proponents base this view on the literal reading of the Bible and support this interpretation by data from natural sciences interpreted to show a young age of planet earth. 
  • Intelligent Design (also called Theistic Evolution, Old Earth Creationism or Progressive Creationism). This view accepts the majority view of scientists that the universe is old; several billions of years old, in fact. Proponents agree with evolutionists that species of organisms formed over extraordinarily long periods of time, but dispute and deny that this happened only by random chance. Divine interventions and/or guidance over the course of time have brought about present life forms. There are a number of different approaches within this view.

Creation vs. Evolution - the role of the Creator

Creation vs. Evolution and the Role of the Creator

    • The Intelligent Design movement argues that certain features of the universe and living organisms can be explained logically only by an intelligent cause and certainly not by undirected natural forces. 
    • Proponents of the Gap Theory believe in direct creation by God, but also in an old earth, explaining the age of the earth by postulating a large time gap between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2.
    • The Day-Age Theory is probably the most popular view among Old Earth believers. To explain the age of the universe and earth, adherents translate the Hebrew word “yowm” as period or age rather than day. Thus God created the earth as described in Genesis, however each creation “day” lasted an entire age. 

Do not allow time to become the focus of discussion!

Unfortunately many discussions of evolution vs. creation end up being discussions over a young earth versus an old earth. 

The non-believer argues the earth is much older than the Bible claims; therefore the Bible is not true, and its God does not exist.  Often the believer starts to defend the Bible and the discussion quickly centers upon arguments about “time.”

A famous illustration of this is the 1925 “Scopes Monkey Trial.” Lawyers William Jennings Bryan and Clarence Darrow (the latter representing teacher John T. Scopes) tested a state law which barred the teaching, in any state-funded educational establishment in Tennessee, of “any theory that denies the story of the Divine creation of man as taught in the Bible, and to teach instead that man has descended from a lower order of animals.” This is often interpreted as meaning that the law forbade the teaching of any aspect of the theory of evolution. The state won, but the defense was made to look ridiculous defending – by only using scripture – the young age of the earth. On a side note, the Scopes trial was presented in a very distorted and biased movie titled Inherit the Wind that portrayed Christians supporting the creation view as scientifically ignorant and closed-minded.

The age of the earth is not relevant to the discussion of God’s existence or the creation vs. evolution debate. The evidence that the evolution model is not adequate to explain our existence is supported by scientific observations. As we will see, these scientific data are also consistent with the claims of the creation model.

Lastly, always keep in mind God created time, therefore He has total control over it and it can never limit Him in anyway.  But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day(2 Peter 3:8).

So there are multiple views on how God created human life. These views differ mostly on how to reconcile Biblical creation with scientific observations.  According to surveys over the last twenty years, Christians are evenly divided between the Young Earth and Old Earth views.

In our approach to creation, the question of “how God did it” will not be further debated as it is irrelevant to prove God’s existence. We will explore the proofs that support the existence of a Creator God/Intelligent Designer, not how the process worked.         

Note that all views of creation share these points in common:

  • The concepts of time and three-dimensional space are designed though creation by God.
  • God, the Creator, designed all natural laws to support His creation.
  • Life forms are too complex to come into existence just by natural laws. The Creator God was involved in their development/formation.
  • Mankind is a creation in the image of God, and not just a more advanced animal.

more about: Creation vs. Evolution and the Evolution Time Line

or start reading about: More about Creation vs. Evolution: Studying the Big Bang

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