Evolution vs Creationism:
:: The argument as we have seen it so far ::
It is a classic clash. The evolution vs creationism debate has raged for over one hundred years now. Evolutionists claim that they have reason and evidence on their side. Creationists claim that they have faith and revelation on their side. Evolutionists see an old universe with natural selection grinding progress forward. Creationists see a young earth with God creating by fiat.
Or so the mainstream media would have you believe. Because from where I sit, the issue is a lot more complex than that. With creationism you have young earth creationism, old earth creationism, evolutionary creationism, theistic evolution, etc. And since evolution is a scientific theory, new ideas are always being put forth on the mechanisms of adaptation, speciation, genetic drift, etc.
But why does the media do this? It always seems like this complex issue is boiled down to just two points of view. I think part of the answer is that it is not the media’s fault, per say. Everyone likes a simple narrative. And if something does not fit into the pre-established storyline, we get confused and stop listening. So classic grudge matches and white verses black always seem to fill the airwaves – if only to keep our attention.
But with evolution vs creationism, there are a host of theories that people subscribe to. And with it comes different ways you can look at creationism and evolution. So I would like to define what the media means when it talks about the evolution vs creationism debate and then add a few closing thoughts.
Young Earth Creationism:
Young Earthers believe that the creation days in Genesis are six consecutive 24-hour periods and the earth was created approximately 6,000 and 10,000 years ago. The genealogies from Adam to Abraham contain few if any gaps and the Biblical flood was global in scope. They also believe that all land animals and all humans alive today are descended from those species that were on board Noah’s Ark. There is no macroevolution.
The Theory of Biological Evolution is the change across successive generations of species in their inherited genetics by such processes as mutation, natural selection, and genetic drift. It is this process that gives rise to the diversity at every level of biological organization. As the theory states, life on Earth originated from a single celled organism that existed approximately 3.7 billion years ago. Repeated mutation and speciation resulted in the diversity of life that we see today with no help from God.
Evolution vs Creationism: The Pope Weighs In
In 2007, the Pope gave an address in Northern Italy on evolution vs creationism in which he said:
“They are presented as alternatives that exclude each other,” the pope said. “This clash is an absurdity because on one hand there is much scientific proof in favor of evolution, which appears as a reality that we must see and which enriches our understanding of life and being as such.”
The Pope rejects any form of evolution that rejects any role by God in the creative process. But he sees no reason why Christianity cannot accept some form of evolution in their cosmology. Apparently the Pope would take odds against the Young Earthers and their hardline stance of a literal 6 day creation.
Evolution vs Creationism: Where Does That Leave Us?
I bring up the Pope’s quote to illustrate one point, if you are a Christian, it does not automatically mean you are a Young Earther. And for that matter, if you believe in evolution, you are not a de facto materialistic atheist. If we are to have a real discussion about faith and science, we need to put all the theories on the table and let the peer review begin. The evolution vs creationism debate is not a one size fits all proposition. And the sooner we have earnest discussion about it, the better.
If all we do is get mired down in the same old story line, we will never see the mysteries of God revealed. Weigh in on this and let’s get the conversation rolling.