Friday, April 24, 2009


Let me tell you a little story...

Locally, there has been a big creation/evolution debate. The local college recently brought in a prominent atheist scientist (his self-definition, not mine), to discuss his views on how the world came into existence.

He talked about the reason that he doesn't believe that the Creation Story is a legitimate story because of an old latin law of science that basically says, "Out of nothing, nothing comes." He said that since there is no explanation for how God came out of nothing, he can't believe in God. I found his comments to be interesting, because from my perspective, the ONLY explanation for our being here that makes sense is the creation story, because of the very same latin law.

Take, for example, the Big Bang Theory. In the BBT, everything on earth is said to have come from Hydrogen. Now, I didn't used to think much of that until I took some chemistry classes in college, and learned that Hydrogen is NOT eternal. Therefore, how did it get there in the first place to then create the rest of the world?

Now, the same goes for Evolution (and PS, I believe that Evolution and the Creation Story can co-exist)--if the entire earth were created by evlolving from exoskeletal beings, where did those exoskeletal organisms come from? In fact, more and more often, scientists are discarding evolution as the initial means for creation, and instead coupling it with something like the Big Bang Theory. Here's a snippet from Wikipedia's entry on Evolution from the "Origins of Life Section":

The origin of life is a necessary precursor for biological evolution, but understanding that evolution occurred once organisms appeared and investigating how this happens does not depend on understanding exactly how life began. The current scientific consensus is that the complex biochemistry that makes up life came from simpler chemical reactions, but it is unclear how this occurred. Not much is certain about the earliest developments in life, the structure of the first living things, or the identity and nature of any last universal common ancestor or ancestral gene pool. Consequently, there is no scientific consensus on how life began, but proposals include self-replicating molecules such as RNA, and the assembly of simple cells.

So for me, personally, the only explanation that has ever made sense was The Creation Story--the God created the Earth and all that is in it. Christians believe that unlike Hydrogen, God IS eternal, and so in basic principle, he wasn't created out of nothing--he always was and always will be. It's a tough thing to grasp, I know. And there isn't a scientific explanation for it. I've long felt that the spiritual realm supersceeds the scientific realm, and that things can be explained through religion that couldn't possibly be explained through science.

Now in the comments section,
what do YOU believe in terms of the story of how we came to be on this earth? This is a flame-free comments section--any comments that are disrespectful or make fun of another commenter's point of view will be deleted, period. Debate to your little heart's content, but keep it clean folks!


  1. I've been planning on writing a post about this on my own blog...funny how when I start thinking a lot about something, I suddenly see it popping up everywhere!

    First of all, I believe in Creationism.

    Second of all, I do NOT believe that evolution and Creationism can coexist. (At least, not evolution on a macro level...micro is a different story, but it's not what most people are referring to when they talk about the theory of evolution).

    I've been doing a lot of research on the topic because I wanted to decide for myself what I believed, rather than just regurgitate what I was taught growing up. And I just do not see the scientific evidence to back up evolution that the media would lead you to believe is there.

  2. Kristal--You're right, I should have clarified! I don't believe that evolution and creationism exist on a macro level, but on a micro level :)

  3. I also believe in Creationism, that God created the Heavens and the Earth in 6 days, according to Genesis 1.
    It's funny, Jon and I just watched an episode of The Simpson's last Sunday, and the the episode was the debate between Creation and evolution. Its always interesting to hear people explain why they believe in something, but for me, my basis of reasoning has always been the Bible.
    Kudos to you for talking about such a controversial topic! I'll be back to read others comments too. =)

  4. My debate bug has long departed me during this pregnancy . . . maybe somewhere along the time of the elections, so I'm totally going to cop out and say that I agree with you, Kristal and Leslie.

    It's a simple straight forward belief, because it's the only one that makes sense to me. It'd take more faith to me to believe in evolution than it takes me to believe in God.

  5. This is exactly what I believe too- a combination of creation and evolution. Clearly there is physical evidence showing a small bit of evolution, and it makes sense. BBT just doesn't to me.

  6. This is so funny, because I was talking to DH last night about this article that I found.

    I grew up Catholic, so I grew up "believing in" creationism. Funny thing is though, is that I remember being in a biology class in high school and the whole creation vs. evolution coming up and it was a shock to me that you pretty much had to pick one or the other. I guess even growing up I always could see the science side of it all.

    In all honesty, I think the Bible and all these "how the universe came to be" are all nice stories and that's about it. Being a chemist, it's hard for me to NOT believe in evolution, but then that non-practicing Catholic side of me starts to feel guilty.

    I told DH last night that I really have no idea what to believe in anymore. I mean can scientists know how the universe came to be some billions of years ago...impossible! I just don't know anymore.

  7. I definitely believe in Creationism. Simple as that, it's spelled out in Genesis.

    The evolution theory only magnifies the existence of God. For example, when you were talking about hydrogen and the BBT, that hydrogen must have come from somewhere. I think everyone pretty much covered everything before me though. :)

  8. Well. I'm an atheist, so it goes without saying (although I'm writing it anyway) that I absolutely do not believe in creationism. And evolution seems to be the best theory so far for explaining how the myriad organisms on Earth came to exist in their current forms. So, before I launch into the "whys" of my beliefs, a couple things I want to throw into the general discussion:

    As to the Big Bang Theory: The BBT attempts to explain only how the universe developed from an initial state of extreme density and heat, with all the matter in the universe compacted together. It doesn't attempt to explain how that state itself came to be. Since scientific is based on observation, it'd be impossible to do much more than attempt to mathematically model such a state and made wild-ass guesses as to its origins.

    The basis for BBT then are observations that indicate the universe is expanding, that most things in it are in motion relative to the (conjectured) center and that they are getting further away from each other. Scientists can tell this largely from looking at how the light reflected and given off by these objects (other galaxies and such) is altered by their motion (look up "redshift" on Wikipedia if you want to know more 'bout that).

    Interestingly, there are indications that the universe's expansion is accelerating from the influence of some unknown force rather than decelerating from gravity, as originally believed, so ideas on all this are still changing pretty significantly, but BBT in its general form is largely accepted by the physics community.

    The part of BBT that is open to the most interpretation is the state of the universe before its previous hadron colliders. Like I said, physicists can only guess at how it came to be or what, if anything, existed before it, since the light it gave off would be at the edge of the expanding universe and therefore unobservable to anything inside the universe. They use particle accelerators like the Large Hadron Collider that the interwebz thinks will end the world to try to replicate in miniature such conditions, though, so maybe someday we'll have a better idea of what's going on.

    Onto another topic. I'm rather of the belief that evolution and creationism can coexist, if you are religiously inclined; like South Park said, can't evolution be the "how" and not the "why"? (I've heard, but cannot find the citation, that, in the United States, most evolutionary scientists--biologists and what not--are Christian, and they don't seem to have much problem reconciling their faith with their scientific work. Indeed, the scientist who first put forth the BBT was Georges Lemaitre, who was also a Roman Catholic priest) If evolution is at its base a process of nature and conditions existing therein, then, if you believe in a god who controls nature and its processes and conditions, isn't evolution then just a term for god's observable influence? Species survive because they are better adapted or better able to adapt to the conditions that god sets.

    If you believe in a literal reading of Genesis and the six-day creation myth, then I can see how evolution would be a definite problem. A non-literal reading, however, seems to me to be a description of evolution: god creates the different animals in stages, culminating with humanity, packaged into a metaphor that people in the 10th-5th centuries BCE could better understand.

    A lot of Christian sects nowadays don't go with a literal reading of many parts of the Bible; hell, some groups (including mainstream Lutheranism pre-WW2) maintain(ed) that Jesus's teachings on pacifism and love were perfect ideals, not something he actually expected his followers to aspire to in their lives. I once had a conversation with a rabbi who pointed out that in the Jewish tradition, the six-day creation story in Genesis is viewed as a metaphor whose chief importance is to establish the seventh day as the sabbath. (I'm not sure whether he was speaking only for his sect of Reform Judaism or for Jewish tradition in general.)

    As to why I don't believe in god(s) in the first place... I guess, like you who believe the world doesn't make sense otherwise, I don't think the existence of god(s) makes sense. I've always felt that way, ever since I was a little kid going with my mom and brother to Catholic Church. Studying the Holocaust probably helped grind what was left of any belief I might have had out of my. I don't really see how the god everyone talks about can exist after the mass atrocities of the twentieth century--certainly, it either can't be a benevolent god or it must be so devoted to free will that it lifts not a finger to influence the slightest event on Earth, and neither fits the descriptions of most gods I'm familiar with. I'd be lying, though, if I said it was solely because my history major depressed me out of it--I just never really believed.

    That said, atheism is a religion of itself, since it's scientifically impossible to prove a negative, so I guess I am religious, in my own way.

  9. Holy crap, my comment is massive!


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