Evolution and Atheism

Human beings, you and me, love to define things. In fact, we are in love with definitions. While we despise following rules, we love making them for others to follow. Look at how we ‘define’ God. Omnipotent and omnipresent. Alpha and Omega. While I will not (and I cannot) give any better definitions of the Creator, I would like to point out that the Creator is above the description of anything the human language can come up with.

We cannot define God. We cannot set boundaries and say that God should operate within them. That would be foolish as it would constitute a reversal of roles. If one believes that a Creator exists (like I do), it should be the Creator that set the rules and not us, humans!

The same goes with evolution. First, the theory of evolution states that a species undergoes gradual changes to survive and reproduce in a competitive and often changing environment. Second, evolution also states that a new species is the result of change from its ancestral forms. Notice that none of the two sentences mentioned the word God.

Many people made a mistake when they thought that believing in evolution means that they embrace atheism or the belief that there is no God. This is a fundamental mistake in understanding the whole concept of evolution. Evolution does not prove that God does not exist as certain as evolution does not contradict anything that religion has to say about creation! Indeed, the title of Charles Darwin’s book was the Origin of Species and not the Origin of Life!

The difference is like night and day.

Two Sides of the Same Coin

The theory of evolution claims that organism compete for natural resources to survive. Any student of economics would know this to be true. All of us have unlimited wants versus limited needs which causes scarcity in the world. Because there is scarcity, we must compete for the rationing device that enables us to triumph and survive.

Moving on, survival of the fittest ensures that only lifeforms with features adapted to their environment are most likely to live long enough to reproduce. Having succeeded in reproduction, the fittest lifeforms pass on their desirable genetic characteristics to their offspring. As these features becomes more and more common over time, the population evolves.

The creationists on the other hand believe that creatures started out as distinct and separate organisms when God created them and believe the theory of evolution is flawed. Creationists stresses that there is no recorded history of one species becoming an entirely different, more evolved organism (monkey becoming man).

Furthermore, some creationists argues that there can be errors in carbon dating and other methods that are used to determine the age of all fossils and non-living objects. To add to that, DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid) and RNA (Ribonucleic acid) comparisons between similar and dissimilar species at times confirm evolution but is in other circumstances inconsistent.

The problem about evolutionists and creationists is that seldom do people realize that the two theories could coexist side by side with minor or virtually no friction at all. Why are we so sure that God did not create the world and all living things through evolution? Who are we to say what God can or cannot do?

In the book of Genesis, the story of creation did not happen overnight but over a period of six days. On the first day, God created light (energy). On the second day, the skies. On the third day, God separated the skies from the seas and created vegetation. On the fourth day, God created night, day and the stars. On the fifth day, God filled the seas and the skies with living creatures. On the sixth day, God created land animals and lastly man. God rested on the seventh day.

Why did God create the world in a period of six days? Why not in a sudden bang, boom and instant Earth? Why did God create the light first and man last?

Perhaps we will never know (this is my stand).

One thing is for certain is that God went through a process to create the universe (at least according to the major religions). While many people claim that God used just six days, the same people also say that God is omnipotent and omnipresent. If God is omnipotent (all powerful) and omnipresent (not limited by time), how can we equate six ‘God’ ‘days to six human days?

Therefore, there is no reason that absolutely proves God did not create the world through evolution. Similarly, there is no reason why evolutionists cannot synthesize its theory with creationists.

Evolution Proves God Exists More Than It Disproves It!

Evolutionary theory is supported by a huge body of ‘scientific’ evidence, including the fossil record and observations of organisms alive today. Yet we must bear in mind that ‘science’ is not always absolutely correct. The inductive, deductive and systematic approach of science has occasionally in history been wrong or inaccurate.

If the Creator created the world and the science of the world (this is my belief). How can the science of the world explain the Creator? However, the beauty in science is the ability to replicate the results of an experiment over and over again. Replication and in some ways reproduction, is the ultimate testimony of the validity of a theory or hypothesis.

Evolution that took billions and billions of years cannot be replicated in a lab!

While this does not mean that evolution should be chucked into a shoe box, it shows that evolution remains a mystery yet to be solved. Furthermore, evolution may explain the diversity of species through mutation and variation but not why life exist on Earth. In refuting evolution, people often make three mistakes:

  1. Evolution is atheism! We come from apes and apes come from amoebas and God does not exist!
  2. Evolution must be wrong because we do not see any monkeys changing into man (though we do see man turning into monkeys on a daily basis)
  3. If we believe in evolution, we must drop our existing religion

All three are misconceptions! First, evolution might be a process under the  will and hand of God. Second, evolution is a process of billions of years (so monkey into man in an instant ain’t happening, and since we are Homo-Sapiens, we are no longer monkeys!). Third, I am a Christian and I  still do not see why I cannot belief in evolution.

After knowing that the sun is the center of the solar system, Christianity  has continued survived. Why? The sun being in the center does not prove that God does not exist. Similarly, evolution proving the diversity of species does not mean the hand of God is not at work!

The Evolution of Evolution

610-546 BC:

  • Greek philosopher Anaximander suggests nature is ruled by laws and that all life-forms evolved from fish

1735:

  • Carl Linnaeus publishes his Systema Naturae, which lays foundations of taxonomy – classification of living organisms
  • He suggests that all plants descended from a common ancestor

Feb 12, 1809:

  • Charles Darwin born in Shrewsbury, England

1830:

  • Charles Lyell publishes Principles of Geology.
  • Central argument that the present is a key to the past influences young Darwin’s thinking

1831:

  • Darwin leaves on five-year journey around the world on HMS Beagle

1838-39:

  • Darwin develops his theory of natural selection which states that some kinds of organisms survive better in certain conditions than others
  • Such organisms leave a progeny and so become more common with time

1858:

  • Fellow naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace sends Darwin his own essay on evolution through natural selection, based on near identical theory

Nov 1859:

  • Under the pressure from Wallace, Darwin publishes On the Origin of Species – the book provokes great controversy

1865:

  • Czech Monk Gregor Mendel publishes his research on inheritance, but importance of his ideas are not recognized until early 20th century

1871:

  • In the Descent of Man, Darwin ties human lineage to primate ancestors
  • Despite outrage in some quarters, book wins favor among scientific community

April 19, 1882:

  • Charles Darwin dies aged 73
  • He is buried in Westminster Abbey

1925:

  • Scopes Monkey Trial in Tennessee US, finds John Scopes guilty of teaching evolution
  • Case is based on Tennessee state law prohibiting teaching of any theory that denies divine creation of man
  • Conviction is set aside on appeal because of technical difficulty

1933: Eugenics

  • 19th century pseudoscience aimed at improving society through selective breeding is adopted in Nazi Germany
  • In California, epicenter of eugenics movement, some 60,000 Americans are coercively sterilized and thousands barred from marriage

1953:

  • James D. Watson and Francis Crick discover structure of DNA, making it possible to study molecular biology of evolution

2005:

  • Genetic analysis show evidence of relatively recent human evolution over past 10,000 years

Feb12, 2009:

  • International Darwin Day

Source: Scientific American, UCMP

~

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Comments
8 Responses to “Evolution and Atheism”
  1. Samuel Skinner says:

    Wow, no responces? Okay, the incompatibility option is due to the horrific waste and suffering inherent in evolution. If your dieties are assholes (Greek) than it doesn’t make much a difference. For those with a loving God it doesn’t work quite right.

  2. jamesesz says:

    Sorry..I didn’t quite get what you were saying..Generally, the community over at my place is ok with the whole idea..But of course, give me your opinion on the whole thing

    Thank you

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