Faith and Science
A Research Paper
Why are we here? How did we get here and what are we supposed to do now? There are many religions, ideas, theories and concepts that seek to answer these questions. The bottom line is that the universe is here so either someone made it or it made itself. So which one happened? The two dominant theories that try to answer these questions are Creationism and Evolution. Keep in mind that they both are only theories. At this point there is no provable answer to these questions. To believe either theory takes faith. Each person must examine the evidence and decide for themselves what is true, but there is not enough solid evidence for either theory to be believed without faith. So, what are the facts?
Creationists believe that the Bible is the literal word of God and that the account of creation in Genesis is how we came into existence ("Statement of Faith"). Creationism teaches that God created the entire universe and that man was created to serve and worship Him. This gives humans a purpose and keeps us from becoming materialistic ("Statement of Faith").
Evolutionist, however, believe that God had no effect on any aspect of the universe or how it came into existence. They believe that the universe and everything within it happened by chance. Since everything happens by chance then humans can have no true, defined purpose. Each person must decide for themselves what is right and wrong ("Statement of Faith").
These two theories are diametrically opposed to each other in almost all aspects. Evolutionists say that Creationism is not a science but a faith. Creationists point to the many troubles that the “Survival of the fittest” attitude can cause. There are literally thousands of arguments on either side of this debate that has raged for over one hundred and fifty years.
Suddenly, into the middle of this debate springs Intelligent Design. The recently revived theory argues that some things are best explained by an Intelligent Designer ("Pubmed.gov" 55-77). The proponents of Intelligent Design say that this belief in a Designer helps tie up some of the loose ends left by Evolution (Gerdes 15). This theory aligns itself with creationism on the topic of the purpose of man; since it proposes that there is a God. It also says that Evolution is too materialistic.
Oddly, Intelligent Design is caught in a crossfire between Evolutionists, who say it is just a watered down version of Creationism and Creation proponents who claim that it accepts too much of the Evolutionary theory (Purdom 1). The very fact that this controversy exists is evidence that this theory contains elements of both theories.
Any merits the Intelligent Design theory holds are also contained in Creationism. The name itself insinuates that there is an intelligent force and it designed (created) something. After I reached this conclusion I have decided to abandon the efforts of other Intelligent Design proponents and accept the fact that although the theories have some strong differences they are essentially the same theory on the more arguable points.
What image do the terms Intelligent Design and Creation bring to mind? For most people they should bring to mind images of an all knowing all powerful God guiding the process of life. For many people this idea is not difficult to believe (Chart). But the beginning point is a belief in God and that takes faith. Faith and Science do not mix and therefore how can Creationism be a science (Lovitt)?
On the other hand Evolution brings to mind pictures of a fish struggling to walk on land, or a Cro-Magnon man crouched over his very first fire. One of the strongest images of Evolution is the chart depicting the evolution of man from a monkey. This is how the theory of Evolution claims we humans eventually arrived on this planet. So is this science or a faith?
The definition of science is something that is testable, repeatable, observable, measurable and a natural explanation for the existence of life (Gerdes 7). By this definition Creationism is not a science because it is not observable and it is a supernatural explanation of how we came into existence.
Evolution on the other hand is a science, or is it? Is it observable? Is it testable? Is it measureable? Can it be reproduced? Is it a natural explanation of life? What exactly do Evolutionists propose? There are actually six kinds of evolution involved in the theory of Evolution: Micro-Evolution, Macro-Evolution, Organic Evolution, Stellar Evolution, Chemical Evolution and Cosmic Evolution (Hovind).
When Evolution is divided into those different categories it becomes much simpler to put it to the test of science. Micro-Evolution, for example, is observable because it is continuing to happen. Micro-Evolution is simply adaptation by any particular animal. Pigeons are observed to change and even new types of pigeons evolve from the cross breading of different types of pigeons. This is just one example of Micro-Evolution but there are many available.
In addition to these principals Macro-Evolution would require that pigeons eventually become an entirely different animal. Macro-Evolution is when one kind of animal, such as a pigeon, becomes another kind of animal. A pigeon, no matter how much time it’s given, will never become a bald eagle. Macro-Evolution has never been observed and there is no evidence that it ever happened.
Undoubtedly most people have heard the argument that if one animal became another then there should be an intermediate species. Evolutionists tend to dismiss this argument with a wave of the hand but it is a valid point. Why is there not a goat-cow, or a pigeon-eagle? The very idea of such creatures seems ridiculous to the point of laughable. The fact is, if one animal became another animal then there should be a transitional species either living or in the fossil record but there is neither. Macro-Evolution fails to meet the criteria for science.
The next type of Evolution that fails the “is it science test” is Organic Evolution. Organic Evolution is the theory that living matter evolved from non-living matter. The commonly held belief is that four billion years ago there was a great sea of “primordial soup” that contained many complex chemicals. This soup was eventually exposed to energy (perhaps a lightning strike) and life was formed (Schirber 1). Scientists believe that there was no oxygen in the atmosphere and this allowed amino acids (the building blocks of life) to develop. Eventually life forms developed that produced oxygen and the atmosphere became more hospitable (Hawking).
This is, however, very problematic for several reasons. In order for life to spontaneously generate there would have to be amino acids. Amino acids could not have formed if there was oxygen in the atmosphere, but if there was no oxygen then there would be no ozone and any life exposed to the sun would be killed by radiation (Hovind). We all know that any life that produces oxygen needs exposure to the sun to do so.
It is also true that no matter how long is given there still had to be an instant where life came from non-living matter and that is scientifically impossible. In fact life from non living matter is prohibited by the Law of Biogenesis which states that life must come from life. Furthermore even the simplest forms of life consist of billions of interworking parts that are necessary for the basic functions of that organism. The simplest of these life forms are far too complex to have happened by random chance but are better explained by a designer (Hovind). Organic Evolution has never been observed or recreated and never will be. It is a mathematical law that something cannot come from nothing. Organic Evolution is not science.
Next on the list is Stellar Evolution, or more simply, the Evolution of stars and planets. Stars would have to evolve from chemicals and then energy would have to cause them to form into the ball of burning gas that we see now. Unfortunately no one has ever seen the birth of a star. Science has seen stars die but never be born (Hovind). This means that Stellar Evolution has never been observed. It cannot be tested and it cannot be replicated. Stellar Evolution is not science.
In order for Stellar, or Organic Evolution to even occur there would first have to have been chemicals. According to the theory of Evolution to get Chemicals they would have to evolve. This is scientifically impossible. That would mean that the periodic table of elements evolved. One chemical becoming another and then another is quite simply alchemy (Gerdes 47-56). If four atoms were removed from a lead molecule, that would then become a gold molecule. This would be a quite lucrative process but any scientist would say it is impossible. If it is impossible to change lead into gold now then why was it possible for one to evolve from the other? Chemical evolution has never been observed and cannot be replicated and is therefore not science.
The last, and probably most crucial, type of Evolution is Cosmic Evolution. This includes the big bang theory and other theories on the development of the universe. Although the big bang is still just a theory it is most often presented as a fact. The theory is, that billions, possibly even trillions, of years ago all the matter in the universe was contained in a small dot smaller than the period at the end of this sentence. This dot was spinning very fast and began to heat up. It spun faster and got hotter until it finally exploded and formed our universe (Hawking).
This theory, however, is very problematic. First of all, to force our entire universe into an area the size of a pin tip is impossible according to the laws of physics. Anyone would know that in order to make a baseball the size of a pin head the atoms would have to be made smaller in order to make the molecules smaller in order to make the baseball smaller. If this problem were multiplied by a trillion that would just be scraping the surface of how difficult it would be to shrink everything in our universe into a tinny little dot. It is, quite simply, forbidden by the laws of physics.
This isn’t the only problem with the big bang theory; in fact it gets even more difficult to believe. The common belief is that not only all matter was inside this dot but all of space was also inside of it (Hawking). If all of space was wrapped up inside of this dot then that means there was no space for the dot to exist in. If there was no space then the place that this dot supposedly existed in would have been ticker and more concentrated than concrete. It is another physical impossibility that stands in the way of the big bang theory.
In other words before the big bang there was absolutely nothing and this nothing was the thickest thing that has ever existed but it didn’t exist because it was nothing. Then, into the middle of this rock hard nothingness there appeared a dot. Again science has something coming from nothing which is mathematically impossibility. Zero always equals zero and nothing always equals nothing.
In addition to these problems there is also the conservation of angular momentum. This is simply a law of motion that states if an object is spinning clockwise and a piece breaks off of it then it will also spin clockwise (Hovind). If this dot was spinning one direction then everything within the universe would have to spin the same direction. Unfortunately that is not the case. There are eight moons, two planets and one galaxy that spin the opposite direction of everything else (Hovind). This means that either the big bang theory breaks the laws of physics multiple times or it is simply wrong.
It is true that the universe is expanding, and scientists point to this as proof that the big bang happened, but it isn’t proof or even evidence. The only thing that an expanding universe proves is that the universe has been expanding for a period of time. No one knows when it started to expand or what started the expansion. It is simply conjecture to say that the universe has always been expanding and therefore was once infinitesimally small.
Despite all of these problems scientists still argue that because of the incredible concentration of matter that the laws of physics broke down and ceased to exist prior to the big bang (Hawking). That would mean that this small little dot of matter, which broke all these laws of nature, was beyond natural explanation and therefore falls into the realms of the supernatural. At this point the theory of Evolution starts to look more and more like Creationism. This dot was unfettered by the laws of physics not unlike the Deity that Creationists believe created the universe.
Besides all of this is the simple fact that the big bang theory is very easily tested. If an explosion were set off an under all the materials needed to build a house, the explosion would never produce anything that resembled a structure. That is not an accident that is the Second Law of Thermodynamics. This law states that “All things in the Universe are undergoing a continual process of decay.” (Thomson 1). That means that all things in the universe are decreasing in complexity (Thomson 1). The entire Evolutionary Theory flies in the face of this fact. Evolution relies on gradual improvements and therefore breaks one of the most significant laws of physics over and over again.
Consequently the theory of Evolution does not meet the standards that good scientific theories are required to meet. It does however meet the criteria to be called faith. The dictionary defines faith as “A firm belief in something for which there is no proof.” ("Faith”). There is no more proof of Evolution than there is proof of God’s existence. Both of these ideas are accepted on faith in something. Evolutionists have faith in their theory and Creationists have faith in God.
Creationists, moreover, will not dispute this fact and even embrace it, but Evolutionists will violently deny this and claim over and over again with all the vehemence of a fanatic that Evolution is science. They do this even though it is absolutely unobservable. They will point to Micro-Evolution and loudly proclaim that it is proof of all the other types of evolution but it is not. Micro-Evolution only proves that dogs will always have dogs and pigeons will always have pigeons. No matter how varied they may be each animal always brings forth its own kind. There is absolutely no solid evidence to the contrary.
Moreover, any educated person has to admit that in order for Evolution to work the way they claim, it would take a very large dose of luck. This is like a man believing that the faces on Mount Rushmore were caused by erosion. The sculptures are so obviously designed as to preclude chance. When something appears to be designed the obvious conclusion is that there was a designer.
Again proponents for Evolution will point to the fossil record as proof that things evolved and that the earth is millions of years old. First of all, a fossil is only proof of one thing; that animal existed and that it died. There is no proof that any fossils ever passed on their genetics (Hovind). That is simply conjecture.
Secondly, there is no solid proof that fossils are as old as Evolutionists claim. It is a common misconception that a fossil’s age is established with carbon dating. Carbon 14, however is only measurable up to about sixty thousand years (Moore). The way they are dated is by dating the rock strata they are found in and around (Moore). This means that scientists merely guess at the age of the fossils even though they have no solid evidence that they are as old as the rocks they are found near and there are many cases of how flawed this theory is.
For example, there are several places on the earth where there are petrified trees running through several strata of rock (Wise 62-3). According to Evolutionists each of these strata represent millions of years. It is difficult for them to explain these petrified trees that apparently just stood there for millions of years while the rock strata formed around them.
The third problem with popular dating methods is that when the same rock is tested several times the outcome should be several dates of about the same age. These methods, however, usually produce completely different and non-overlapping dates (Wise 62-3).
Fourthly, when carbon 14 dating methods are used to find the age of tree rings it is a reasonable assumption that this date would match the date given by counting the rings of the tree. This is not the case though. Tree rings start to diverge from carbon dating around 1000 B.C. (Wise 62-3).
The fifth and largest problem, is the assumption necessary for radiometric or carbon dating to work. This assumption is that the levels of carbon, and other isotopes that are used for dating methods, have always been constant. That is to say, that in all of history there has never been a fluctuation of these levels. That would be extremely fortuitous if the earth really is billions of years old. This assumption is similar to assuming that the ice caps have always existed because they have always been observed to exist. Although nice in theory, is not provable and in the case of the ice caps has been disproved. The assumption needed for the dating methods to work is extremely flawed; therefore the dating methods are extremely flawed.
On the other hand, what is it that Creationists postulate? The Creationists standpoint is not to argue that the theory of Creation meets the current qualifications for science. These qualifications were written in such a way to exclude any theory beside the Evolutionary theory but Creationists should not mind this. They have known for a long time that it takes faith to believe in an all knowing all powerful God who is the creator of the universe.
And yet, just because creation takes faith does not mean there is no evidence to support it. Many Evolutionists will argue that if God created the earth only about six thousand years ago then why does it appear to be so much older? A key component to the Creation theory is a worldwide flood. It is a fact that a worldwide flood and the ensuing period of warm weather and heavy rainfall would affect nearly every dating method used. A worldwide flood can account for everything from the ice caps to erosion rates (Wise 66-7).
Undoubtedly, the strongest evidence for a young earth is geomagnetism. It is actually not known what causes the earth’s magnetic field but Evolutionists theorize what is called the dynamo theory. This theory allows for the earth magnetic field to persist for billions of years. The common theory, before the advent of evolution and its need for a very old earth, was that the magnetic field was created when a current of electrons circulated in the outer core of the earth Wise 69-70).
This theory (called the free decay theory), however, would mean that the magnetic field was weakening due to a decrease in the energy of the electrons, caused by friction. This rate of decay would suggest that the earth’s magnetic field is not older than twenty thousand years (Wise 69-70).
Furthermore, both theories allow for reversals in the magnetic field because there is evidence that they have occurred in the past. Although both make allowances for these reversals the dynamo theory would require thousands of years for a reversal to occur. The Creationists module on the other hand would only require a couple of weeks (Wise 69-70).
There is a possibility to prove that these very rapid reversals can occur. This proof lies in basalt lava flows that are a couple of feet thick and take a few weeks to cool. The lava cools and hardens from the outside to the inside. In the liquid state tiny iron particles orientate towards the magnetic pull and then as the lava cools they are frozen in place. When they are frozen into place they point in the direction of the magnetic pull. So if the magnetic field reversed between the hardening of the outer part of the lava and the inner part of the lava then these iron particles would be point in different directions (Wise 69-70).
Amazingly there are at least two such lava flows that have been discovered. This is not proof of creation but it is evidence for a young earth. It could be argued that just because there is evidence that the earth is young that does not mean there is evidence of creation. Although this is true, a young earth is a lot closer to the Creationists account than that of the evolutionists.
As I have repeatedly stated there is no proof of either theory. Whichever theory one believes they still must accept some ideology. The Creationist accepts the ideology that the biblical account is accurate and God created the universe. Evolutionists accept the ideology that God cannot alter or effect the natural progress of life (Geedes 57). Each choice takes faith. It just takes less faith to believe that everything was created and set in motion by a supreme deity than it does to believe that our amazingly complex universe simply happened by chance.
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Gerdes, Louise. Intelligent Design Versus Evolution. Farningtin Hills, MI: Greenhaven P, 2007. 1-108. Print.
Hawking, Stephen. A Brief History of Time. Updated and expanded tenth anniversary edition. New York, NY: Bantam Dell Pub Group, 2006. Print.
Hovind, Dr. Kent, Prod. Lies in the Textbooks. Creation Science Evangelism: DVD.
Lovitt, Zane, Prod. The History of Evolutionary Theory. VEA: 2007, DVD
"Faith." Merriam-Webster Online. Merriam-Webster, 2010. Web. 21 Jul 2010
Moore, Zachary. "How are Fossils Dated?" Evolution 101. Web. 16 Jul 2010.
Purdom, Georgia. "The Intelligent Design Movement, Does the Identity of the Creator Really Matter?" Answers in Genesis (2006): 1. Web. 29 Jul 2010.
Schirber, Michael. "How Life Began: New Research Suggests Simple Approach." Live Science 09 Jun 2006: 1. Web. 21 Jul 2010.
Thomson, Ker C. "Physical Laws Support Creationism." At Issue: Creationism vs. Evolution. Ed. Bruno J. Leone. San Diego: Greenhaven P, 2002. Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. Web 20 July 2010
United States. Pubmed.gov. , 2009. Web. 6 Jul 2010. ("Pubmed.gov" 55-77)
Wise, Kurt P. Faith, Form, and Time. Nashville, TN: Broadman and Holman, 2002. 3-245. Print.
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