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
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
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
Check it out. There is a lot more information to look at.
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