Creationism & Evolution

February 14, 2011 - Programming

It’s impossible to not have heard about the great “debate” about Evolution and Creationism; particularly in the United states, where fundamentalists are pushing an agenda to have Creationism taught in schools alongside evolution, under the pretense that “Evolution is a theory, Creationism is a theory, they should both be taught”.

The thing is, this doesn’t hold water. Evolution is a theory supported by incontrovertible evidence. Creationism is supported only by metaphysical religious dogma. What makes this even more interesting is that it isn’t truly supported, as they might claim, by the bible; after all, the entire thing is a long-running metaphor and theirs is only one of innumerable interpretations of the text; a person’s interpretation of a metaphor, simile, or other literal device will depend on that persons personality and their experiences. The creationists hold that evolution is false, and we were made exactly as we are today; they move forward and claim that anybody claiming otherwise is asserting the non-existence of god. That is simply preposterous. The fact is evolution and divine creation are not mutually exclusive; It merely means an interpretation of the translations of the translations of a text that has gone through several languages is incorrect.

Oddly, in many “debates” on the subject, a religious zealot brings up how “the bible says the earth is round”:

They quote things like “He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth…” (Isaiah 40:22,NIV).

Yes- that, on it’s own, might be a good, compelling argument. Except, even acknowledging the lack of a hebrew word for circle (which is an odd thing to mention (they always do) since that particular portion, from what I can find, was written in greek) there is no doubt  that it’s still, as always, open to interpretation.

Consider standing in the middle of a field. It stretches out to the horizon in all directions. What do you see?

a Great circle. It appears indisputably to be a great circle; without knowledge of the earth’s curvature, that is what it is. And this is forgetting the fact that many other cultures had already reasoned that the earth was round long before; Eratosthenes proved it years before. repeating known truths hardly makes those truths divinely given.

Additionally, they conveniently forget such passages as:

Rev. 7:1: “…four angels standing on the four corners of the earth” & Daniel 4:10-11

Now, Anybody with a basic understanding of geometry can tell you that neither a sphere- nor a circle- has corners. Therefore one can surmise that whomever wrote this passage did indeed believe that the earth had corners, in which case it had ends, and was therefore not a sphere. Clearly this passage is figurative; interpreting the bible as if it was a science textbook is utterly ridiculous. The best way to identify what the Bible is is by emphasizing what it isn’t, and high on that list is that the Bible is not a science book. You don’t read the Bible looking for answers to why rain falls or how clouds form or whether the Earth is round. If you want to perform science, you use the scientific method, not “it sez in this book”. Besides, this is more a case of reinterpreting old text to fit modern day scenarios. We can’t know wether they meant sphere when they wrote circle. We can’t know how a sphere or circle can have corners. That is not explained.

If you want to get your science from a bronze age book written by ignorant barbarians trying to understand the world thats fine but just stay the hell away from heavy machinery. It is not a science textbook.

In that light, it’s important to note that since it is in fact not preaching science- it’s preaching faith, most christians I have no doubt would agree- then there is no pretense for science to contradict the bible; Science is for answering the “How” questions, faith and religion is what people turn to when they feel they need a “Why” There is no conflict, and where conflicts are said to be observed it’s no trouble to simply change those passages; or, more likely, find a more fitting interpretation. My only problem with the bible is when it is used as a science textbook; some people claim “the bible says this is this way, so we shouldn’t explore it, or question it” But that isn’t the case. That is merely their interpretation that says it’s that way; If the bible said that we were made of chocolate and need to eat vanilla nougat to stay alive, nobody could say “that’s true” without following blindly. In that sense, it isn’t so much faith that I personally have issue with, it’s blind faith.

Now, this hardly is exclusive to established religions. I know many people who claim not to be part of any religion (atheists) but are in fact part of one- they are anti-theists. Atheists simply don’t believe there is a god; but will accept and understand those evidences that are brought forth; they reject the idea of “if we can’t explain it, god must have done it” explanation provided by many fundamentalists. anti-theists, on the other hand, reject the very idea that there is any god as ludicrous and impossible. They label christians, and those following any religion as ignorant fools. However, what makes this particularly funny is that they are no different. They are blindly following a faith in something they cannot know- they cannot possibly conclude, with any sort of confidence that there is no god; just as nobody can know for sure that a god did indeed cause the big bang, Anti-theists cannot possibly know that there was not. In that sense their “crusade” is no different then those whom they claim to be wrong; they can cite various instances where they are wrong, but then they draw from those conclusions that any other things they say are also wrong. This is utter nonsense.

Personally, I don’t believe there is a god in the abrahamic sense- in that sense, some could label me a deist; but a more apt description might be a agnostic deist. I don’t believe he would intervene in our lives or the progress of civilization as is described in the various books of the bible; in that sense I believe that the stories themselves are more lessons about what is good and bad, not what god did, did not do, or would do; that is, he will not turn you into salt, for any reason; that was a metaphor. For what? I don’t know. However, unlike many people I know, I don’t claim to be more “enlightened” then any christians; they believe, I more or less do not. but I do not think their belief is any more wrong then my own. Like me, they are simply people looking for answers. Many atheists seem to have this superiority complex that they are right because “science backs them up” sure, it’s  been noted that god would be unnecessary, but so are fancy dresses, and they still exist. So get over yourselves, you don’t have any more evidence of a diety’s nonexistence then anybody has that they do exist, particularly when you consider that most people seem to be looking for evidence that he exists, but we can only judge existence through our own senses; generally through common sense. The thing is, Common sense is useless in science, if something, or someone, surpasses time can they not also surpass a provable existence in our reality? militant atheists and anti-theists need to pull their head out of their overly smug “science is on my side” asses and actually realize that the questions they purport to have answered are not something that can even be answered with science. That is the crux of the problem.

Evolution is something that can be proven. You don’t need fossil records; the DNA of a human being has so much in common with that of a primate that it would be utterly foolish to simply deny that evidence. In fact, the entire theory of ‘creation science’ seems to rest of finding holes (often fabricated) in evolution, many of which are merely misconceptions, and those can be found explained here

Truly, there isn’t a whole lot I can say myself that isn’t covered in that video.

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