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Alternative Culture Articles

October 8, 2001

Creation vs. Evolution
By Royce Carlson

Although there are hundreds of beliefs and theories to account for the existence of life and the universe, for the last 100 years or so the most famous battle has been between creationists and evolutionists.

The New Earth creationists make up the majority of creation believers in the U.S.. They believe that the world was created by God less than 10,000 years ago. During this time, no new species have arisen. They base their belief mostly upon a literal interpretation of the Old Testament of the Bible.

Natural Evolutionists believe that the complexity of life that exists today arose via evolution. They subscribe to the Darwinian theory of natural selection. A long, long series of small, random changes produced the life forms we see today without the input of a God or gods. They believe the universe is as old as 10 to 20 billion years and the earth is 4 billion years old.

Needless to say, these two theories clash dramatically with each other. In order for one to be right, everything about the other has to be wrong. Paleontologists uncover fossils and come up with dates millions of years into the past. Creationists see the fossils as part of Godís creation that was completed no more than 10,000 years ago. One of them must be wrong.

Another theory has been arising in popularity is the idea of Intelligent Design. Intelligent Design theory falls somewhere between Creation and Evolution. The basic idea is that life is far too complex to have evolved from random mutations over a long period of time. They believe that there must be some intelligence behind the intricately interacting components that make up even the most primitive of living things. This belief in a pre-existing intelligence does not necessarily mean the existence of God or gods. It could be an inherent intelligence as a function of matter Ė which would fall closer to the scientific end of the spectrum. Or it could be that God created the universe 10 billion years ago and evolution is how He did it. This latter theory is often called Theistic Evolution and falls closer to the Creationist side of the argument.

So, who believes what? In the U.S. a Gallup poll in 1997 showed a huge difference between what scientists believe and what the general population believes. 44% of the general population believes that man was created by God sometime in the last 10,000 years. Only 5% of scientists believe this. On the other hand, only 10% of the general public believe in naturalistic evolution while 55% of scientists believe this way.

The poll also asked about belief in Theistic Evolution and both scientists and the general population polls agreed with each other with 39 to 40% believing this.

Apparently these huge discrepancies between what scientists and the general public believe are peculiarly American. In England a polling of Catholic priests, Anglican bishops and Protestant ministers revealed that 97% did not believe that the world was created in six days and 80% did not believe in the existence of Adam and Eve.

So, what do you believe? 
 

I got these poll results from a page at ReligiousTolerance.org http://www.religioustolerance.org/ev_publi.htm Check it out. There is a lot more information to look at.

 

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Thanks!

Royce Carlson