Lets be honest. It’s not about creation vs evolution. The real issue is whether God exists or not?
If you are looking for God. This is probably the worst place to start, because many creationists believe in evolution and many evolutionists believe in creation.
In fact many agnostics (no faith), even atheists acknowledge intelligent design. Evolutionists believe in design and other faith types believe that the universe is capable of making decisions. Particle physicists say that the universe should not exists, it’s far too interesting, so why is it here?
To complicate it even more, like creationism, evolution has a bunch of sub-groups that disagree. So you could say, “I’m a creationist,” but what type of creationist are you? Young-Earth, Old-Earth or Theistic-Evolutionist Creationist? (try say that five times fast).
Many people get uptight about this issue and take it very seriously. Others try to avoid the conflict and dismiss it, thereby offending those that take it seriously. This is the textbook no-win situation.
No matter what we believe, if we hurt people and mock them for their belief, we are simply common bullies and probably less evolved.
I’m right, you are wrong and you should be like me.
Seriously? Has this attitude ever achieved anything worth while? Members of both sides adopt it, if this is you, ask yourself: why? it’s probably more about you than the issue.
Even if you do not believe, scriptures show that God never violates our freedom to choose. Even to choose badly. Steamrolling or alienating those that disagree with us is not Godly or rational.
Evolutionists think that Creationists are freak-show morons and Creationists think that Evolutionists are arrogant sons of the devil. Both are convinced they are 100% right. Disappointing but not surprising.
If you enjoy conflict entertainment, put these two types in the same room and see what happens. Sell tickets, it may be profitable.
Thankfully, besides the very young and gullible, people are far better informed than earlier generations. While the randomites and creationistics exchange cheap shots, the rest of humanity seeks fact and authenticity without all the posturing.
Remember that no-one is perfect, therefore no-one can be 100% right or 100% wrong, meaning that part of what you believe to be true, is probably not.
There is no conspiracy.
Some creationists are convinced that science is populated by atheists, out to disprove God and make us worship the devil (please note, some; not all). I understand there’s medicine for that type of thing.
I attend scientific conferences. I have never seen the conspiracy room or exchanged secret handshakes. Scientific conferences, whether they are agricultural, engineering, medical or economic are all about research findings. There is very seldom debate, sometimes disagreement, however, it’s 90% charts, curves and data. Lots of geek stuff.
Yes there will always be a vocal and obnoxious minority pushing their version of atheism or faith. Unfortunately the squeakiest wheel gets the most oil. Good Science and good scientists however, do not care one way or the other, its about moving forward and gaining knowledge.
In fact, if a scientist found verifiable proof that planet earth was made in six minutes, they would jump on it with both feet. Game changing discoveries very often translate into fame and fortune (rock stars in lab coats).
Please note: Real science has almost no similarity to what we see in the movies.
So what’s the big deal?
If you believe in God, someone is going to laugh at you. If you do not believe in God, someone else is going to laugh at you. Winston Churchill said: “You have enemies? Good, that means you’ve stood for something in your life.”
However, its probably not wise to invest too much in the status quo, it tends to move.
Church history has a sad, even horrifying history of proud people refusing to adapt. People were tortured, rejected even burnt to death because they dared to challenge the status quo.
I sincerely hope we’ve moved past that. It’s interesting to note that God did not vanish and the Church did not die when someone proved that the Earth is round not flat.
Besides the whole – does-God-exist? debate; just about the entire Evolution vs Creation conflict depends on how Young Earth Creationists read the bible.
Young Earthers’ believe the Earth is less than 10 000 years old, mainly because they believe that the day written in Genesis one is a solar day, 24 hours long. Thus, when geologists, cosmologists, paleontologists and many other ‘ologists show that Earth and the Universe are billions of years old, their faith is threatened.
It comes down to this.
- Is the Day spoken of in Genesis 1 a 24 hour day? or.
- Is the day a metaphorical day?
It’s obvious that the Young Earthers’ reject both the scientific and metaphorical explanation.
Literalists or selective selectivists selecting?
Most Young Earthers’ take the Bible literally. Technically this is not possible because the Bible is absolutely jam-packed with metaphor, symbol and parable. Sadly, this implies that bible literalists ‘cherry-pick’ what they deem to be literal.
The Bible was written before modern logic or the scientific method existed. Its accuracy cannot be measured in the same way we understand accuracy. This is not a bail-out, it’s just fact. Its like trying to use the metric system with imperial instruments.
Regardless; if you believe that the Genesis 1 day was 24 hours, good for you, I salute your faith.
However, consider the following.
Its all about the day.
- The word ‘day’ in Genesis 1 is the Greek word Yowm which can mean 24 hours as well as a period of time. Yowm also has a temporal reference like phase or period. This means that the Bible and Science do not necessarily disagree, people do.
- This is a bit of a hairsplitter, but, how can the sun rise and set on day 1 – 3 if it was not made until the fourth day? Some argue that the earth was covered in clouds so the sun could not be seen until day 4, (however, this argument does not allow for literalism). Others say it’s a known temporal reference to the previous three days, (this argument then supports the metaphorical argument).
- Why did the sun not rise or set on the seventh day? The Bible says that God rested on the seventh day. The bible also says that God is still resting. How so?
- When scripture capitalizes a word, it relates directly to God. For example, a person is written as he, whereas God is written as He. In this way the word My, a possessive pronoun or adverb speaks about God if it’s capitalized as My in a sentence. Using these simple rules, examine the following:
- Psalm 95.11 “So I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest.’ ”
- Is 66.1 “Heaven is My throne, And earth is My footstool. Where is the house that you will build Me? And where is the place of My rest?”
- Heb 3.18 “And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey?”
- Note. in these scriptures, two Greek words are used for rest. They speak about resting and the place where God is resting.
- These references and the no sunrise-sunset in Gen 2; strongly suggest that God was resting, when the Israelis crossed the desert, when Isiah wrote the prophecy and Paul wrote to the Hebrews.
- Its tempting to try find alternative meaning to justify our current thinking. However, my car is my car, not yours. My holiday is my holiday, not yours. You can ride in my car or join me on my holiday, but the car and the holiday remain mine, hence possessive pronouns and adverbs.
The good news is that this allows those who wish to, to understand the word day in Gen. 1 as something other than 24 hours.
- The theme of Genesis 1 is not the creation but the Creator. Brighter minds tell us that Genesis 1 says, ” it was God that created all this stuff and this is how He did it.” It was written in a poetic style that would make it easier to remember and recite. Many gods compete for the title of creator, like the Ogdoad, Zeus, Aspu, Odin and so on. It was important that the Hebrews knew who their God was.
- Additionally, Heb 4. 4 – 8 speaks about the above-mentioned days in terms that do not easily accommodate literal 24 hour days.
- The Bible tells us that a fact can only be established by the evidence of two or three credible witnesses. In other words, your must produce evidence to support your statement. Science is the same. Anything that is not measurable and repeatable is rejected (data is evidence).
- So what about the libraries and libraries of research in unrelated disciplines that point towards an old universe? For example, geological dating is completely unrelated to astrophysics, however, both find similar ages for the earth and the universe (remember, there is no conspiracy).
- Good science does not exclude God, unfortunately it does exclude how young earth creationists read one word.
So what do I tell my kids?
- Tell your kids that science and opinion are very different things. They are entitled to their opinion but they are not entitled to the facts.
- Many people gain their understanding from places like church, politics, TV or the internet. There’s nothing wrong with YouTube or your local pulpit, however, we must understand that these platforms often use Rhetoric (persuasive speaking, debating and anecdotal evidence (word of mouth evidence) to convince their audience.
- Being persuasive and winning debates is a skill, like in a competition. It has its own set of rules. Winning arguments has zero, repeat zero to do with Science (or courts of law). Science measures stuff and reports the results. Look at a scientific journal or website, you will see hard research and findings. Go to a young earth or old earth creationist publication or website, you will find opinion, argument, anecdotal evidence and pseudo science. All legal but irrelevant and meaningless in a scientific context. Here’s a silly example of the difference:
- Science: how much do you weigh? climb on scale, take reading. You weigh 50 kg.
- Rhetoric, debate & anecdote: how much do you weigh? I weighed myself two weeks ago and I weighed 110 pounds, how is this possible? A friend of mine used a scale like that once, as a result his doctor prescribed the wrong medicine and he nearly died. It’s discriminatory to categorize people according to their mass.
- Tell your kids that God is not limited to the way other people read the bible. Also, tell them that Science is not limited to the way Scientists understand the universe at the moment, it could change tomorrow.
- Tell your kids that not all evolutionists agree on how evolution works. Tell them that not all creationists agree on how God created everything. First teach them how to think, not what to think. After they know how to think, show them all the C vs E arguments and let them choose for themselves.
- Tell your kids that certain creationists try to be scientific without using science. Some creationists argue about carbon dating and blame everything on the flood, but they never present any real evidence. Making a convincing argument is not science (nor biblical).
- Tell your kids that criticizing other people’s evidence does not prove you right. It just proves that you disagree. Evidence makes your right, not disagreement.
- Tell your kids that just because something cannot be measured, doesn’t mean it’s not real. Science does not have all the answers and science has not measured everything their is to measure. In fact there are many things that science does not know how to measure.
- Most of all, tell your kids that science is no threat to God. Whenever scientists find that the universe is more complex, or bigger or older than we originally though, it simply points to an amazing Creator.
I cannot be a Christian because I believe in Evolution.
A friend of mine told me this. Many think that God and evolution are mutually exclusive (one or the other, not both).
Many evolutionist, non-believers are repelled by God, not necessarily because they dislike God, but because of the way some creationists manage the disagreement.
It’s easy to blame creationists. The truth is that it’s irrational to reject a hypothesis based on insufficient data or a poor presentation. God is easily found by a determined seeker.
That being said, if all of humanity finds God despite the creationists but one soul is lost because of a creationist position, we have lost the entire plot.