Skip to comments.Essays for Lent: Creationism or Evolution?
Posted on 02/22/2012 10:03:14 PM PST by Salvation
Creationism or Evolution? Is it possible to know that God exists even though we cannot see or touch Him? Well, we believe that radio waves exist and we cant see or touch them. And we believe it because the evidence allows for no other conclusion. We turn on a television and we see and hear someone who is many miles away. Adjusting the antenna changes the quality of the picture. Disconnect the antenna, and there is no picture. Obviously the television is receiving the pictures and sound from the air. Thus
by Sebastian R. Fama
Is it possible to know that God exists even though we cannot see or touch Him? Well, we believe that radio waves exist and we cant see or touch them. And we believe it because the evidence allows for no other conclusion. We turn on a television and we see and hear someone who is many miles away. Adjusting the antenna changes the quality of the picture. Disconnect the antenna, and there is no picture. Obviously the television is receiving the pictures and sound from the air. Thuswe can know that radio waves exist even if we cannot see or touch them.
Similarly, we can know that God exists because the evidence allows for no other conclusion. For instance, the fact that we exist is an indication that God exists. But, you might ask, what about the theory of evolution? Couldnt that explain our existence? No, not at all. A look at the evidence will show us why.
Honest evolutionists will admit that evolution is not a science. It is nothing more than a theory, an assumption that the universe and living things created themselves by a totally naturalistic, materialistic process. Creationists claim that a look at the facts rules out the theory of evolution. Evolutionists reject the idea of a Creator because they claim that facts must be observable by the senses. Thus, this would exclude God. However, it would also exclude radio waves. As we saw earlier, radio waves are not observable by the senses - their effects are. Likewise, God is not observable by the senses, but His effects are. Thus we can know that God exists even if we cannot see or touch Him.
The theory of evolution contends that billions of years ago the elements which the universe is made up of were packed into a dense mass at an extremely high temperature. The mass exploded (the Big Bang) and over millions of years this mother of all chaotic events formed an orderly solar system with planets and stars. After our own planet cooled down, a variety of complex and delicately balanced ecosystems consisting of tens of thousands of species of animals, fish, plants, and bacteria were formed by chance. All of this supposedly evolved from a burnt rock, which is all the earth would have been after cooling down. Now, if life could come into existence by chance chemical reactions, why cant the process be repeated in the laboratory with deliberate actions, millions of dollars and the brightest minds?
But what about the fossil record, isnt that evidence of evolution? Hardly! Just how old the fossils are, is itself a matter of controversy. But more important is the fact that the fossil record contains no transitional forms. Transitional forms are not important to evolution - transitional forms are evolution. No transitional forms means no evolution!
What is a transitional form? Imagine that you are watching a cartoon illustrate how a fish evolved into an amphibian. At the beginning you would see a fish. As the cartoon progresses, the fishs fins begin to shrink and change shape until they have formed legs. Each frame of the cartoon would be a transitional form. If evolution takes millions of years, then there should be billions of transitional forms for each evolved group. But we find no such thing in the fossil record. Even in the earliest fossil layers we find completed, complex life forms, such as clams, snails, jellyfish, sponges, worms, etc. No one has been able to find fossilized ancestors for a single one of them.
Another problem arises when we realize that even the so-called "simple" life forms are not really simple. Today we know that a cell is one of the most complex structures known to man. In a book titled "The Evidence for Creation" by Dr. G.S. McLean, Roger Oakland and Larry McLean, we find the following on page 113:
"The cell has turned out to be a micro universe containing trillions of molecules. These molecules are the structural building blocks for countless complex structures performing chains of complex biochemical reactions with precision a single cell surrounded by a cellular membrane exhibits the same degree of complexity as a city with all of its systems of operation, communication and government. There are power plants that generate the cells energy, factories that produce enzymes and hormones essential for life, complex transportation systems that guide specific chemicals from one location to another and membrane proteins that act as barricades controlling the import and export of materials across the cellular membrane."
In the nucleus of every cell is the DNA. DNA contains millions of bits of coded information information necessary for the building and development of our bodies. The function of DNA is more complex than a computers. Is it not reasonable to conclude that something this complex had an intelligent designer?
Within the human body there are a number of irreducibly complex systems. That is, systems that would not function if they were any simpler. One example is our digestive system. Microvilli, which line the intestines, are microscopic bristles that somewhat resemble the bristles of a hairbrush. The spaces between the bristles are wide enough to allow nutrients to pass through to be absorbed and digested. However, the spaces are narrow enough to block the passage of bacteria, bacteria that would kill you if they were allowed to pass. This in itself refutes the theory of evolution, which contends that when a need presents itself, the body adapts by gradually changing (evolving) over millions of years. In this case millions of years would be too long. As soon as the deadly bacteria appeared, the body would have minutes to hours to design and evolve a system to block them. Failure to do so would result in immediate extinction. Our continued existence rules out the evolutionary premise.
But, some may wonder, what about the alleged ape-men? The answer is simple: no one has ever found a fossil that indicates a link between man and ape-like ancestors. Fossils are either pure ape or pure man. Except for Neanderthal Man, the skulls of the alleged ape men were not found intact. They were pieced together from fragments and given the desired look.
Neanderthal Man had been traditionally portrayed as being chimp-like. However, in recent years he has been upgraded to human status. He had, on average, a larger brain size than modern man. He cared for his sick and elderly, buried his dead, employed art and religious rites, appreciated agriculture, clothing, and music. He is not that different from a number of cultures existing in recent centuries.
Nebraska Man was supposed to be half man and half ape. This was all based on the finding of a single tooth. Years later it was found that the tooth belonged to a wild pig. Piltdown Man was also supposed to be a great evolutionary find. The upper part of a skull was found in a quarry. Within the same quarry there was found, among many other types of bones, a broken lower jawbone. The two were put together and we had Piltdown Man. Decades later it was found that the skull was human and the jawbone was that of an ape. The teeth had been filed down to simulate human teeth. Piltdown Man was a hoax, an outright fraud.
Some propose the idea of theistic evolution. The idea that God created everything in a primitive state and then evolution took over. But there are no laws of nature to support this. However, we do have observable laws of nature, which refute such an idea. For instance, we can infer the following from the Second Law of Thermodynamics: (1) Natural processes always tend toward disorder, (2) the simple will never produce the complex and, (3) the universe is running down. Nothing has been observed to break this law. Evolution would have us believe that all the observable laws of nature are false. By the way, if the universe is running down (stars burning out), that would make the universe finite. Consequently, the elements that make up the universe could not have always been there. With time being eternal (there was always a yesterday and there will always be a tomorrow), all finite processes should have been completed in the past. This would be true no matter how far back in time that you went. So now we are left with two choices: Either an intelligent being created everything out of nothing, or nothing created everything out of nothing. Which do you suppose is more likely?
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Essays for Lent Ping.
In that case, for God to be able to do all the wondrous things God does, God must be complex and intelligent. Who designed God? How can God's complexity arise from nothing?
If God is eternal, how does God choose a moment to begin Creation? The Infinite Regress becomes a problem, if it truly is a problem.
If God is outside Time, then how could God produce a change in the circumstances, given that change requires Time to pre-exist and elapse, in order to allow the change in the circumstances? If Time were a "created" thing, then the situation changes from one without Time to one with Time operating it. How can a demarcation exist to separate the two situations, if Time were yet to be "created"? In other words, without Time, the situation without Time and the situation with Time running in it would be super-imposed, in other words, the two situations would be simultaneous, which is a self-contradiction. You cannot do something and not do the same thing, simultaneously. Likewise.
Points to ponder, no doubt.
Creation idiots. Radios are sensing radio waves. The theory for electromagnetism is understood and intact, and it allows engineers to arrange and size components to SENSE the f'n radio waves. Why this crap again. If the creationists think sensing God is equivalent, what is the theory that permits Muslims? How do you calculate it?
Perhaps time is more of an illusion than anything else just as time and space are. All is digital information. All things are made by the Word of God, or in other words the Information of God.
Benedict XVI also says humans must listen to the voice of the Earth
They are presented as alternatives that exclude each other, the pope said. This clash is an absurdity because on one hand there is much scientific proof in favor of evolution, which appears as a reality that we must see and which enriches our understanding of life and being as such.
The argument about transitional forms is not an argument against evolution per se, it is an argument against gradualism. If evolution proceeded (as Gould and Lewonton argued) by long periods of stasis and short bursts of rapid change--punctuated equilibria--then it stands to reason we'd see very little in the way of transitional fossils.
Microvilli, which line the intestines, are microscopic bristles that somewhat resemble the bristles of a hairbrush. The spaces between the bristles are wide enough to allow nutrients to pass through to be absorbed and digested. However, the spaces are narrow enough to block the passage of bacteria, bacteria that would kill you if they were allowed to pass. This in itself refutes the theory of evolution, which contends that when a need presents itself, the body adapts by gradually changing (evolving) over millions of years. In this case millions of years would be too long. As soon as the deadly bacteria appeared, the body would have minutes to hours to design and evolve a system to block them. Failure to do so would result in immediate extinction. Our continued existence rules out the evolutionary premise.
Not at all. Any sexually reproducing species has a measure of genetic variability in the population to begin with. That's the point of sexual reproduction. So, in this model, when this bacteria struck, it would wipe out a large proportion of the population except those individuals who had the correct distance between microvilli.
Some propose the idea of theistic evolution. The idea that God created everything in a primitive state and then evolution took over.
Look, here's what we know. We know that the geologic strata contain what looks to be a succession of living things deposited at different times. Living things, I might add, which are different from the ones alive today. Now if our author here rejects evolution, then he must be willing to posit a *miraculous* special creation for every single one of those organisms. That's of course possible. But responsible theologians remind us that if we start positing miracles as an explanation for anomalous data we have just destroyed the scientific method. Miracles can occur, but they are not the ordinary means of God's operation. The ordinary means of God's operation is nature.
People need to stop thinking about it in terms of "creation OR evolution", and need to consider whether this is a case of "creation BY evolution". We know God created. That is a fact. What no one has really been able to explain is exactly how. In my opinion, evolutionary theory offers us, for the first time, a glimpse into *how* God actually put together different organisms from the slime of the earth.
Yep, that was a very bad analogy.
You are assuming that 'time' has always existed. Ever hear of the "big bang". That is when God created 'time'. God indeed is eternal but eternity is a concept that man can not imagine since we exist in time and not outside of it.
Read on ahead of that part of my previous comment: If the Big Bang is when God “created” Time, then how is it possible for God to cause the change in the circumstances where it transitions from one without Time into one with it? If God’s realm is “timeless” then both these phases of reality are simultaneous because Time is the only demarcating entity of change and Time “doesn’t exist” until it is created.
By the way, recent discoveries in astronomy point to what is known as the Flat Universe, and this is one that allows a Cyclic Model to be feasible. Dark Matter and Dark Energy are other phenomena supporting such a model. So, there is no substantiating proof that Time “began” with the Big Bang - as if a prior Universe didn’t exist before it.
For my part, I don’t need to know whether the universe just happened or was created. I know that there is an objective reality independent of me. I base my morals and ethics on reason based on that reality. Yes I believe in a creator, but it would not change anything morally or ethnically either way. There are natural laws governing man according to his nature and they are not difficult to reason out.
I don’t need to know if there is life after death either. I just want to live every minute of my life as a gift and I know that some day I will find out as we all will what happens next.
Ethnically was supposed to be ethically.
So the fact that a meaningless, random, utterly coincidental universe just happens to objectively exist leads inevitably to morals and ethics?
Who'da thunk it?
Since the position of the author of the essay is permitted by the Catholic Church, what are you complaining about? If both positions are permitted, the author has every right to hold and defend that position.
This website is misleadingly called 'staycatholic' while the essay is NOT consistent with Catholic teaching on the subject of creation and evolution.. it is more in line with young earth creationists who still insist the earth is 6,000 years old.
You mean this belief isn't permitted? But I thought you just quoted an "authentic" Catholic source that said it is? Since when does "both positions are permitted" mean "one position is forbidden?"
Just how long do you think it's been since the Catholic Church itself was "young earth creationist?" If a religion is "unchanging" as Catholicism claims to be, then nothing should change . . . should it?
No. Morals and ethics are a choice whether based on objective or subjective reality. Did you not see that I used the word “reason” in there. Of course if you reject reason then we have nothing more to say to one another.
Oh, excuse me. I was not aware this was still the eighteenth century. Where's my powdered wig?
The problem is, "reason" is 100% amoral. It can be used for any purpose, moral or immoral. A mass murderer can use "reason" every bit as well as you do, sir (or madam).
The only "natural laws" are those that say things like "if you jump off a cliff you will fall." There is no "natural law" promoting morality or ethics.
I thought they looked good too. So that’s why I posted the first one. This is not my area of expertise, so I’ll let everyone else discuss it.
Personally, I’m a creation person.