Thursday, April 2, 2009

Creation vs. Evolution (Part 1)

Creation vs. Evolution - A Question of Origins
The creation vs. evolution debate is a question of origins. How did we get here? Were we created or did we evolve randomly? Are we the product of purposeful intelligence or are we merely the end result of countless cosmic accidents? Does it even matter?

Creation vs. Evolution - Reason vs. Religion
The popular media often portrays the creation vs. evolution debate as science vs. religion, with creation being religious and evolution being scientific. Unfortunately, if you don't agree with this label, you too are labeled. Regardless of whether you're a creationist or an evolutionist, if you disagree with the stereotype, you're condemned and "exposed" as a religious fanatic who is secretly trying to pass religion off as science or, even worse, trying to disprove science in order to redeem a ridiculous, unscientific, religious worldview. The fact is neither model of origins has been established beyond a reasonable doubt (otherwise, the theory of evolution wouldn't be called the "theory" of evolution). Whether we like to admit it or not, those of us who subscribe to the theory of evolution do so by faith. And while the recognition of design in biology may have theological implications, it is not based upon religious premise - it's based upon empirical observation and logic.

Creation vs. Evolution - Why Does It Matter?
Why do we even squabble over creation vs. evolution? Does it really matter what we believe about where we came from? Absolutely. Our views on morality, justice, purpose, self-worth, humanity, obligation, and destination are all closely tied to our views on human origins. For example, without affirming or denying the veracity of evolution theory, let's take a moment to consider what the theory of evolution teaches about human origins and what impact this teaching has had upon human behavioral patterns.

Evolution teaches that as species evolve they eventually reach ideal population levels. As species advance, superior species eliminate inferior species -- "survival of the fittest." Weak and inferior members of a species should be eliminated for the preservation of superior bloodlines and for the conservation of essential resources. "Nature" doesn't desire "the mating of weaker with stronger individuals, even less does she desire the blending of a higher with a lower race, since if she did, her whole work of higher breeding, over perhaps hundreds of thousands of years, might be ruined with one blow." "Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows." And as humans are merely a species of animal, we have no intrinsic value and are therefore by no means exempt from "the war of nature." Thus, we have Adolf Hitler (1889-1945) asking the rhetorical question, "should I not also have the right to eliminate millions of an inferior race that multiplies like vermin?" Hitler, of course, is remembered for murdering more than 6,000,000 individual human beings, all of whom he deemed to be inferior members of the species. Was Hitler wrong? Did he misinterpret and misrepresent the theory he claimed to cherish so much? Apparently not. Renowned British evolutionary anthropologist and anatomist Sir Arthur Keith (1866-1955), who was knighted in 1921, came to Hitler's defense, "Hitler is an uncompromising evolutionist, and we must seek for an evolutionary explanation if we are to understand his actions" Keith reassured us, "The German Führer, as I have consistently maintained, is an evolutionist; he has consciously sought to make the practice of Germany conform to the theory of evolution." Joseph Stalin (1879-1953), another ardent evolutionist, surpassed even Hitler in zeal, murdering at least ten times as many "inferiors" (estimates range from 60,000,000 to 100,000,000 people). Was Stalin wrong? What about Pol Pot? Well, not if you subscribe to the evolutionary worldview. In fact, to the philosophically consistent, uncompromised evolutionist, Hitler and Stalin ought to be considered role models.

And so we see how a worldview can impact human behavior. Here, we see murder, a most disapproved human behavior, not only condoned, but encouraged. So, does it matter what we believe about where we came from? Absolutely. However, even more important than what we believe to be true is what actually is true. Someone might not believe in gravity, for example. Nevertheless, if that person were to step off a tall building, that person would splat on the ground below, regardless of what they believed. And so, once again, we have the question: are we the product of purposeful intelligence or are we merely the end result of countless cosmic accidents? Don't rely on hearsay. Investigate the evidences for yourself.

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