Spiritual Perspectives


 

CREATION VERSUS EVOLUTION AT UCF

Gary W. Summers

          An editorial appeared in the Central Florida Future on Monday, February 2, 2004, with the ambitious title, “'Evolution' Debate Needs Compromise.”  It begins with a discussion as to whether or not the word evolution should be used in schools (evolution by any other name would still take billions of years).  The article then turns to the main issue—whether or not it should be taught at all.  Some portions of that article follow.

 

A lot of conservative parents are causing a stink about the teaching of it in science classes. According to the religious community, it goes against the concept of a God who created everything on Earth in one week.

 

People have been calling for the elimination of evolution teaching in schools since it was implement-ed….

 

The debate on the conservative side is essentially attempting to slow the march of science, just as the Catholic Church tried to excommunicate Galileo Galilei for saying the Earth revolved around the Sun. It took the church hundreds of years to forgive him for that one. That was also hundreds of years after his theories were proven to everybody who didn't attempt to forcibly blindfold their entire culture….

 

Regardless of the outcome of the creation versus evolution debate, we're just going to be laughing at the dead idea years from now. The evidence of an evolutionary biological history has been piling up for more than 100 years. It may eventually be superceded by a more precise theory, but until then, it's the best scientific theory we have to explain how we came to be….

 

     One of our first-year college students, Michelle Walker, wrote a response to this one-sided presentation of the topic.  Her letter follows.

 

 

“Christianity Does Have Scientific Support”

 

As a Christian who is well aware of the evolution versus creation debate, I was appalled by the bias in your recent article “Evolution Debate Needs Compromise.” You insinuate that Christianity and science have nothing in common and that the conservative side is “attempting to slow the march of science.”

 

I find this ironic, because over 90% of all the technological breakthroughs that have benefited humans came from the 30% of people who claim some belief in Christianity. I’ve listed just a few for your benefit: Sir Isaac Newton (Physics, Calculus, Mathematics, Astronomy, Gravity), Johann Kepler (Founder of Astronomy), Blaise Pascal (Theory of Probability, Hydrostatics, Differential Calculus), Robert Boyle (father of modern Chemistry), Louis Pasteur (Germ Theory), Gregory Mendel (Gene-tics), Sir Ambrose Fleming (pioneer of electronics), The Wright Brothers (airplanes), and Michael Faraday (experimental physicist).

 

The example citing the Catholic Church’s persecution of Galileo was a poor example of religion “forcibly blindfolding” society. First, the Catholics were not the only ones who opposed his theory. At the time his theory was an affront to the popular “scientific” opinion by Aristotle and Ptolemy, the theory that the earth is the center of the universe and that everything revolves around it. The Catholics had misinterpreted the Scriptures. Nowhere in the Bible does it say the Earth is flat or the center of the universe. In fact, it says the opposite in Isaiah 40:22, where it mentions God as “he who sits above the circle of the earth.” The word circle here comes from the Hebrew word chuwg, which literally means “roundness” or “sphere-like.” There are plenty of examples of science catching up with the Bible, not vice versa.

 

Evolutionary theory is full of errors, and if people would actually look at the “evidence,” they will see that. Check out:

 www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v19/i4/galileo.asp or www.apologeticspress.org/examinetheevidence/index.html and see for yourself. 

 

     We certainly commend Michelle for a well-written, well-thought-out, concise reply.  As one might expect, there were responses from others.  One was from Luther Setzer, titled “God Doesn't Exist.”  Below are a few excerpts from his message, which was published: Monday, February 16, 2004.

 

 

God is fiction, not fact. Man invented God in his own image. Christians such as the author claim that God is the Creator of the Universe.

 

To quote Atheist author Charles Schisler: "The infinite universe is eternally uncaused! We should not look under every rock or behind every galaxy for an ultimate creator, or for any other logical contradiction such as square circles. Gods are simply the product of defective thought. We need not remain lifetime fools; we must begin affirming that that religion is not only false, but morally repugnant and harmful."

 

     The second letter, published the same day, is by Charles Eugene; excerpts are provided below from his editorial, “Science Versus Religion.”

 

Of the three scientists that the author mentions [the newspaper deleted all but three that Michelle had listed, gws] (all of which were strongly indoctrinated as children), two of them denounced their religion during adulthood and none of them were able to use their scientific knowledge to support religion.

 

Science is a method of reason and study that requires testing and verifiable proof. The great thing is that all scientific theories are open to being proved wrong. The longer a scientific theory is able to stand up against challenging theories, the stronger it becomes. The scientific theory of evolution has stood a long test of time, and to this date offers the best explanation of our origin.

 

Religion requires no testing and no proof. Also, religion will not tolerate questions or investigation of itself. There is no scientific evidence or proof supporting religion. This is why religion is based on belief and faith.

 

The Bible…is nothing more than a story, a fairy-tale that should be rated "R" for violence, adult language and sexual content. The Bible is full of errors, contradictions, and absurdities.

 

     Here certainly is a prime example of someone who speaks words without knowledge.  Michelle responded to these letters in one final column.

 

“More Scientific Christian Evidences”

 

Due to the strong written responses regarding my article, I felt the need to explain my point further. I was saddened by the arguments made. One student felt that God does not exist and the other that Christians follow a book of errors. In today’s society I’m not surprised by their doubts; religion is constantly portrayed as a pointless pastime in all branches of media. Even people who claim to be Christians don’t always follow God’s will. But to say that it’s “morally repugnant and harmful” is over the top.  A book that contains passages about loving your neighbor, respecting parents, etc., is not evil. Nevertheless, like the website quoted, any passage can be taken out of context, and be misunderstood.

 

However, upon further examination and proper context, Biblical “errors” are easily explained. The point that religion is based on faith alone is wrong. No one in or out of the Bible has been asked to believe in the absence of evidence. What do you think all those miracles and signs were for? John 20:30-31 states: “And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe....”

 

I do agree with one point made—that all scientific theories are open to being proved wrong. So why should evolution be any different? The Creation theory has never been given a valid chance, due to many misconceptions and prejudices against religion. Therefore, I challenge anyone who wants to be truly objective to seriously consider our scientific arguments (www.apologeticspress.org)....

 

     Michelle’s response was excellent.  She had only so many words allowed her that the paper could print.  Fortunately, we are not so restricted here.  Therefore, we would like to add a few comments about the allegations made in these two student responses.

 

God Is Fiction, Made in Man’s Own Image

 

     This charge is so trite and obviously false on the face of it that it scarcely needs a response.  If the writer had ever read Romans 1, he could have arrived at the truth of the matter, instead of parroting some professor.  Romans 1:18-20 explains, first of all, that we created beings can use the reasoning ability that God gave us to come to a knowledge of the existence of God.  The vastness and orderliness of the universe demand an intelligent Creator.  Not a product comes forth but what, when we look at it, we know that an intelligent designer was be-hind its inception.  Yet when it comes to the universe, the response is, “Oh, that just happened.”  How logical is that?

 

     Not only does the Creation itself proclaim the existence of God, so does the Revelation that God gave to us.  He explains how things really happened and how we got to where we are now.  The facts verify the truth of His revelation.

 

 

 

     Romans 1, speaking of the time after the Flood, states that, “although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened” (v. 21).  Man did not invent God; He already knew Him.  Unfortunately, he did not like what he knew about Him—namely that He was pure and holy.

 

     So, “Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed beasts” (vv. 21-22).  In other words, they did not like God the way He was; so they decided to change Him.  They invented idolatry.  Why would they do that?  Man has a need to be religious; He will worship some-thing, whether it is the true and living God, an idol, nature, money, power, or himself.  All manmade religions have one thing in common: they allow people to do certain things that a Holy God would not sanction.  Cited in Romans 1 is the sin of homosexuality. 

 

     For this reason it is ludicrous to assert that man in-vented the God of the Bible.  When man creates a god, he is as corrupt as his author.  Consider the antics of the gods in Greek and Roman mythology: they behave just like human beings, only they are assigned greater powers.  Such is typical of human design and desire.

 

     Even with the Bible, look at what has happened in the past fifty years.  Divorce was once relatively rare, but those claiming to be Christians do not have enough backbone to tell people that divorce is unauthorized and that adulterous unions are wrong.  We have a society of people who are consumed by alcohol, and who dares to suggest that there is something sinful about it?  Immodest clothing seems to be the norm; how many have stood against this trend?  Thirty-two years ago abortion was not legal (as a whole) in this nation.  Even today many “Christians” think that God is not all that upset with the slaughter of innocent lives in the womb.  Living together outside of marriage has be-come commonplace and even some so-called famous “reverends” refuse to condemn that sin.  And now those following the homosexual agenda have just about got what they want.  Religious denominations refuse to condemn the sin and are even ordaining practitioners as “priests.”  MAN HAS DONE ALL THESE THINGS IN THE FACE OF GOD’S REVELATION!  When one considers how our culture has influenced “the church,” the charge that man invented a holy God is absurd.  The facts tell us that man wants Divine approval for all the sins he enjoys practicing.

 

Atheistic Logic

 

     Concerning Schisler’s quoted statement, “The infinite universe is eternally uncaused!”—is this what is passing for intellectual genius today?  It is nothing more than romantic nonsense.  Such a statement violates every principle we know and, if applied consistently, would destroy scientific inquiry.  Are we supposed to suspend belief in “cause and effect” upon his word?

 

      Pasteur certainly believed there was a cause for the appearance of organisms.  How sad if he had simply concluded, “I guess they were just eternally uncaused.”  We are inquisitive souls; we want to know why things are the way they are—why things happen the way they do.  For that reason, science was developed in the first place.  Schisler is only ready to depart from logic be-cause it brings him to God, a conclusion he does not want to reach; therefore, he will choose to be irrational over the Truth.

 

     Gods (the manmade variety) are the product of defective thought, but the one who rejects God is the fool, not vice versa (Ps. 14:1).  While false religions exist, they do not negate the possibility or the reality of true religion, just as false scientific theories of the past do not invalidate true science.  Schisler should also ex-plain how something can be morally repugnant without God’s objective system of morality.

 

Length of Time

 

     Mr. Eugene says that the longer something stands without being disproven, the greater the likelihood that it is right.  How long was putting leeches on people to suck out the bad blood practiced as science before it was disproven?  Evolution has never been proven, which a few of its honest proponents have even admitted.  After nearly 150 years, some still go to sleep each night dreaming (we would say praying, but…) that they will be the one to find the definitive evidence for it.

 

     Perhaps Mr. Eugene should consider that people in the first century believed the evidence for the Deity of Christ {John 20:30-31).  In 2,000 years Christianity has not been disproved.  If we are to go by length of time, then Christianity is much more sound than evolution.

 

Investigation

 

     Where did Mr. Eugene get the idea that “religion will not tolerate questions or investigation of itself”?  He did not get it from the Bible, in which God said, “Come now and let us reason together” (Isa. 1:18).  When Thomas required physical proof, Jesus showed it to him (John 20:27).  To the charge that there is no proof supporting religion, has he ever heard of the empty tomb?  Between that and the appearances which Jesus made to various ones after His resurrection, disciples in the first century virtually feasted on evidence.  Mr. Eugene also misunderstands faith, which is based on evidence.

 

     Since the Bible deals with human behavior, it does describe violence, but it is not glorified.  Language does state certain facts, but the difference between it and pornographic prose is obvious to MOST people.  Sexual misconduct is mentioned but not in a lurid manner, nor is it ever endorsed or included to titillate the reader.  If the Bible was as raunchy as Mr. Eugene pretends, more people would be reading it.  These charges pro-vide nothing new.  To even discuss them is like chewing on stale bread.  We much prefer the true manna from Heaven.

 

 

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