Creationism vs. Evolution: Why?
Why does there appear to be such a degree of animosity between people who believe the natural world is a product of intelligent design by an omnipotent creator, and people who believe it is the product of an evolutionary process that continues to shape the natural world to this day?
In this context, why can we not respect one another's difference of opinion? It is an interesting topic to debate, but at the end of the day, I wonder why more people don't allow others to remain entitled to their beliefs, one way or the other.
Good question that could be applied to just about any topic. There is a third group, you know. Those of us who believe in both options: a world created by an omnipotent creator but with an apparent age. In the Bible Adam wasn't created as a child, but as a full grown man. Scientists want to trace trees back to the first acorn, What if the first tree was created was a mature oak tree?
The wording of my question does not seek to dismiss the existence of those who reconcile between both, rather, for the sake of this discussion, to focus on the often pervasive issue of vehement contention between both opposing camps.
Kathleen, when you say you believe in both options I think you are misunderstanding the scientific approach. Evolution does not allow for the spontaneous appearance of fully grown trees, or men.
Fertile Forest: My point exactly.
SpongyOllama: Sorry for chasing the rabbit down the hole.
I in no way say that you have to believe as I do. You have the freedom to believe and worship in any way you please. As long as it does not harm or infringe on anyone else or you do not use it as justification for committing heinous acts.
That being said, it seems to me that every evolutionary theory (Key word, theory) begins with an ocean full of organic material, but they never quite explain where that material might have come from.
To me, you have to go back to the point when there was NOTHING and explain how SOMETHING came to be. How even did the vast void come to exist? If the Big Bang did occur, some physical thing had to start it, right? Two molecules hitting together? Something. So where did those two molecules come from?
These are questions I ponder.
To which evolutionary theories are you referring? I am only aware of one thoroughly developed theory of evolution and the corresponding postulations and further development by which it is defined.
Evolution is a scientific theory meaning it is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that is acquired through the scientific method, and repeatedly confirmed through observation and experimentation.
Fertile - You are expecting us to believe that a god "created" everything out of nothing., including "creating" himself. Basically, ALL of the building blocks have ALWAYS existed. They were never "created".
Aside from the obvious answer of the HUGE egos in science wanting to always prove themselves correct and their detractors incorrect
The naturalistic explanation is the foundation of atheism, and many atheists and ex-atheists claim it was their acceptance of Darwinian evolution that led to their atheism. So creationists have an incentive to convert/prevent atheists by debating the topic. And atheists believe religions are the cause of many atrocities in the world, thus have an incentive to convert/prevent theists by debating the topic
And because the competing hypotheses are so radically different, and both sides can't possibly be correct, therefore one side of the debate must be wrong. And it is human nature to want to come to a definitive conclusion on a topic that has a split opinion.
Why would anyone want to believe a blatant lie (besides politically correct liberals) just because it makes them feel good?. Most people search for truth on a constant basis, and God will judge people that do not diligently search out the truth
Why do you think creationists feel the need to convert atheists? Why don't you think they can hold to their own beliefs while respecting that other people hold different beliefs?
Because creationists believe atheists will go to hell in their current state of belief. There is a spiritual war taking place and creationists are not to sit idly by as the enemies of the word of God evangelize their belief system
I understand missionary work is carried out with the best intentions, but in modern society, I believe it is only appropriate for people to respect one another's difference of opinion.
I don't feel the need to force anyone to believe the way I do. I will happily share what I believe with you, and even explain why, but what you do with that is up to you.
My faith tells me that God is a gentleman, and would never force you.
I think the reason that these two viewpoints butt heads so often is because they're playing two different games. Say, for example, your house caught on fire. You were forced to evacuate while the firemen showed up. Your burning house is then covered on the news that night. Should an equal amount of news time be dedicated to people who don't believe your house burned down? The evidence is there, your house is ashes, friends and family witnessed it, and the firemen put it out. But that one guy doesn't believe it happened. So, his opinion is now considered equal to your actual experience. Years after, the 'controversy' surrounding your burnt house still isn't settled and we'll never know if it was true or not. You, on the other hand, know with certainty that it did happen and can't understand why someone wouldn't believe it. In this scenario, you are the evolutionist, and the guy who doesn't believe your house burnt down is the creationist.
Science and evolution are a series of conclusions based on observation and testing. If you see bird poop on the ground then you can reasonably assume that a bird flew over that spot at some point. Teaching the scientific method and it's emphasis on problem solving is an important skill that anyone should learn as a way of functioning in the modern world. And the things we've learned because of it are just facts, not opinion.
So, the people who have dedicated their lives to finding truths in our world, are understandably upset that creationism, which is not based on facts or evidence, is suddenly considered 'equal' to the hundreds of years of scientific discovery. It would be like an intern showing up at your place of employment and suddenly everyone says that intern is just as good as you. Never mind that they don't have the knowledge or experience for your position, everyone says that intern is now your equal. Wouldn't you be upset too?
I believe that any scientist would reasonably accept that people have differing beliefs than him. But, it starts to become a problem when prominent people suggest creationism be taught as an alternative to evolution for school children. It would be like saying, lets teach writing instead of math. World mythology is an entirely different subject than science; the two are not interchangeable. And, like writing and math, they require completely different skill sets.
People are entitled to their beliefs. that doesn't mean they are entitled to have their beliefs harm others. If someone believes they can fly, then all the power to them, but if they push me off a cliff thinking all people can fly, then that would suck, and I'm terribly sorry if it hurts their feelings but I would no longer have much respect for their opinion.
Same thing with creationism. If someone doesn't want to learn science that is fine, but don't try to turn our kids into morons who think fairytales are science. There is no reason those people should be given any respect.
It isn't a vehement contention between beliefs, it is a vehement contention about what people do with them.
M T Dremer has a great point. I love the illustration about the burnt house. The evidence tells the story to anyone who wants to see the truth. The key phrase here is, "wants to."
I have spent my life reconciling the difference between the faith I was raised in and the facts presented by science, after being confronted with the irrefutable method of observe, hypothesize, test, repeat.
It took me a while (I have a Hub or two about it, pardon the plug) but I see some middle ground here. It is possible to keep your eyes open to the Creator and his creation. It's not either/or, it can be both/and.
To answer the original question, I believe the animosity from the religious folks comes from the biological response to threat: fear.
Some people of faith (I deeply love, respect, and cherish my community of faith, though I don't agree with all of them) assume that the words in the Bible are inerrant. That's a nice thought, but I believe it's better stated that the stories in the Bible point to the TRUTH. The "facts" in the stories aren't really facts, but broad brush strokes to set the background. How else can an infinite Person reveal himself to a tribe of stone age shepherds except by speaking to them in their context?
Contrary to today's Information Age, ancient peoples did not have the same obsession with precision that we do, so the details in these stories will be smudged at times. Just like you can still tell Mona Lisa is a classic, these discrepancies don't take away from the deeper truth: God loves people and wants them to know it.
People of faith fear the dismantling of "facts" thus they respond as they have. My encouragement to believers: God is big. No matter how big you think he is, he is bigger. Our metaphors can't contain him.
Fear is a lousy motivator. If you try to approach someone who's in a fear frame of mind, you will encounter defensive behavior. Without knowing what's going on, that defensive posture comes across very offensively.
So my take on the science side of the aisle is that this explains the anger towards religious folks. It may be deserved, but it's still sad to see.
Knowing that "I'm mad, you're scared", is it possible to change your approach towards creationists? Not condescending, not defensive, but understanding. Why not say "Thank you, but no, I'm not interested" to the evangelism even while allowing that there's no way to know whether God is? Try to build bridges with people of faith; let's learn from each other!
Creationism VS. Evolution debates are pointless. You can't believe in God because someone else believes in God. YOU have to prove to yourself that he exists. It is possible to Scientifically prove that God exists, but you have to do the experiment, not someone else.
Lets say I, a creationist, debate an evolutionist. I get destroyed in the debate. I'm completely speechless and the evolutionist keeps going on with proof. Later on another smarter creationist comes and beats him. The evolutionist is speechless and the creationist keeps going. After a while both sides are going to have support and will point out the mistakes of the other side.
Here's an experiment, that if you do it. You have your answer regardless of what others say.
You take the scientific method and apply it to religion.
There is actually a religious book that invites it's readers to scientifically prove religion. That book is the Book of Mormon.
The scientific method at a glance
Repeat the experiment
The scientific method in The Book of Mormon (Moroni 10:3-6)
3 Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts.
In this verse we see an invitation to "read these things" (research) and ponder (hypothesis)
4 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
This verse invites us to ask God (an expert). He would have to exist in order to answer the question. There's also an experiment IF you ask with a sincere heart, THEN he will manifest the truth. Experiment with that IF THEN statement.
5 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.
Here is the result of your experiment. The power of the Holy Ghost works through feelings, not words. Happiness and peace means the answer is right.
6 And whatsoever thing is good is just and true; wherefore, nothing that is good denieth the Christ, but acknowledgeth that he is.
This book says that Christ is real. If this book is true. Christ is real.
Wow! This actually works. With a sincere heart and and real intent I asked the great purple elephant god Fluffybutt if he was truly true and I felt a tingling in my pants. Hallelujah! His great spirit is in me.
Snowman, how is it possible to SCIENTIFICALLY prove that God exists?
As an atheist it seems like the animosity stems from the fundamental basis of creationism; which is to say that they have the answers. They know who created the universe. It came to be because HE wanted it to.
Science cannot reconcile this and so you have conflict. Science is, in essence, the process of answering questions through testing. So to say that we already have the answers eliminates the purpose of science. Especially if there is nothing we can test to support or reject the idea.
From science's perspective we just have to take the word of a book written thousands of years ago before so many discoveries were made. Science's purpose, the reason for its existence, is so that we don't have to take anyone's word for anything. We can test what they say and see if it is true or not.
The fundamental principle Creationism stands on is the reason science came to exist. So we have conflict.
To reverse engineer the problem, Creationists believe they have the answers. So a process which exists to answers questions is essentially challenging what the creationists know.
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