Creation and Evolution: An Eternal Debate
Many people have tried to reconcile the differences between creationism and Darwinism but few have succeeded. Any religious debate is seen as a very sensitive subject and the discussion about the foundations of certain religions generally becomes difficult. Darwinism, in relation to religious beliefs can become controversial; some say they can coexist and some say they cannot. Darwinism was not intended to be anti-religious, but religious activist have criticized the belief since On The Origin of Species was published in 1859. Common ground between the two subjects is a very rough place, but it can be achieved. Reconciliation between the subjects has been achieved but few are standing by it because even the compromise is controversial.
The beliefs of Charles Robert Darwin, as shown in his book On the Origin of Species, are controversial religiously and have been debated since its’ publication. Darwin writes “I see no good reason why the views given in this volume should shock the religious feelings of any one” (Darwin 329). This was not how religious activists saw the book; they attacked Darwin’s beliefs and stated it is in opposition of some religious beliefs.
Darwinism is based on the basic belief of ‘natural selection’ and ‘survival of the fittest’. These are not separate thoughts when it comes right down to it. According to Darwin, the idea of ‘natural selection’ states that animals adapt slowly in accordance to their environment, and their DNA adjusts throughout generations. At first glance, this seems like a logical, non-controversial topic, but Creationist believe that “…all species were created by God and had not changed biologically” (Hirschberg 321). This is where the conflict comes in to play. Darwin believes that genes can mutate and change over generations to better adapt to environment. This belief has since been overturned by modern evolutionists. Hirschberg put it this way: “Today, evolutionists believe that mutations in genes produce the variations that natural forces select for survival. And, indeed, geneticists have traced ancestral relationships among species from the presence of similar molecular structures and DNA patterns” (Hirschberg 321). Instead of only bettering the species, the DNA shifts and the stronger of the species ...
... middle of paper ...
...; there are others that rebel against the compromise. Overall not many have gotten very far in the compromise process and it does not seem promising.
Berra, Tim M. Evolution and the Myth of Creationism: A Basic Guide to the Facts in the
Evolution Debate. Stanford, California. Stanford University Press. 1990.
Darwin, Robert Charles. Past to Present: Ideas That Changed Our World. Ed. Stuart and
Terry Hirschberg. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2003.
Davis, Edward B. “The Christian Century”. Chicago. Jul 15 – Jul 22. 1998. Vol 115,
Iss. 20; pg. 678.
Hirschberg, Stuart and Terry, ed. Past to Present: Ideas That Changed Our World.
Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall. 2003.
Holy Bible: New Living Translation. Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. Wheaton, Illinois.
Housley, Kathleen. “The Christian Century”. Chicago. Jun 19- Jun 26, 2002. Vol. 119,
Iss. 13; pg. 39.
Pope, Stephen J. “The Christian Century”. Chicago. Jul 13, 2004. Vol. 121, Iss. 14;
Click here to unlock this and over one million essaysShow More
Robert Root-Bernstein and Donald L. McEachron, “Teaching Theories: The Evolution-Creation Controversy,” The American Biology Teacher, Vol. 44, No. 7 (Oct…1982). This article, written by Robert Root-Bernstein and Donald L. McEachron sheds light on the controversy of evolution vs creationism in schools and the validity of each being called a scientific theory. The work was created to answer the questions, “Which of these theories is truly scientific and which is a religious belief? Which should be taught in schools?” The article concluded in favor of evolution as a valid scientific theory that should be taught rather than creationism, but also mentioned the worth of understanding the latter.
Charles Darwin, the Father of Evolution, was a British scientist who laid the foundations of the theory of evolution, transforming the thinking of the entire world about the living things around us (Charles Darwin (1809 – 1882)). After working on his theory for nearly 20 years, he published On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection in 1859. As soon as the book was released, the controversy began with each sides gaining followers until the climax on July 10, 1925. The idea that animals could “evolve” and change into new species, including humans, was one that challenged not only how people thought about the natural world, but challenged the story of the creation from the Bible itself. Even though Darwin himself never said that humans “evolved” from apes, everyone took it as a logical extension of his new theory. It went against the idea of argument for design that had unified theology and science for decades (Moran 5). This new threat to Christianity and the social culture of the time was one that would transform state laws on their educational curriculum.
In conclusion, it is possible for science and religion to overlap. Although Gould’s non-overlapping magisterial claims that creationism doesn’t conflict with evolution, it doesn’t hold with a religion that takes the biblical stories literally. Moreover, I defended my thesis, there is some overlap between science and religion and these overlaps cause conflict that make it necessary to reject either science or religion, by using Dawkins’ and Plantinga’s arguments. I said earlier that I agree with Dawkins that both science and religion provide explanation, consolation, and uplift to society. However, there is only conflict when science and religion attempt to explain human existence. Lastly, I use Plantinga’s argument for exclusivists to show that such conflict means that science and religion are not compatible. It demands a rejection t either science or religion.
On Thursday 24 November 1859, Charles Darwin published and made available to the western world his magnum opus, On the Origin of Species, a compilation of some twenty plus years of research regarding the human biology and its advancement. Darwin proposed in Origins that all life slowly evolved, biologically mutated over a period of time, to its present day form. Expanding on prior research in the field of genetics, Darwin theorized a "survival of the fittest" complex which forced basic animals to evolve new advanced traits to survive in their respective environments, in the process theorizing that humans also evolved from lesser creatures. Darwin's theory of evolution was meet with critical response, mainly negative, at the time of its inception, but slowly gained support in the years following. In particular at the time of Origins publishing, the western world was undergoing a religious revival of sorts thanks to the rise of Evangelicalism. Due to conflicts of interest between Darwin's proposed theory of evolution directly contradicting the biblical theory of creationism, much controversy was generated by the publication of Origins. Creationism which stressed the belief of one omnipotent God creating the world and all its inhabitants was the most widely spread belief during this time period. Across the western world different assortments of clergymen attacked, or surprisingly stood in solidarity with the theory of evolution. This brings into question, why were the responses to evolution so disparaging? This can be explained that due to prior established beliefs and knowledge of respective individuals, the reaction to the theory of evolution was at first quite negative, but overtime became more and more accepting as people grew t...
In Charles Darwin’s life he had helped make a significant advancement in the way mankind viewed the world. With his observations, he played a part in shifting the model of evolution into his peers’ minds. Darwin’s theory on natural selection impacted the areas of science and religion because it questioned and challenged the Bible; and anything that challenged the Bible in Darwin’s era was sure to create contention with the church. Members of the Church took offense to Darwin’s Origins of Species because it unswervingly contradicted the teachings of the book of Genesis in the Bible. (Zhao, 2009) Natural selection changed the way people thought. Where the Bible teaches that “all organisms have been in an unchanging state since the great flood, and that everything twas molded in God’s will.” (Zhao, 2009) Darwin’s geological journey to the Galapagos Islands is where he was first able to get the observations he needed to prove how various species change over t...
We humans have always thought of ourselves as being unique, whether by divine sanction or by a self-established belief in superiority. For some, this understanding is intimately tied to the traditional tenets that have long been held as fact, having only recently been challenged. For modern Christians, the literal interpretation of the Bible=s account of creation has come under attack by the development and widespread acceptance of Darwinian evolution. To some, undermining the credibility of Biblical creation directly calls into question the Bible=s authority on its moral teachings. As Ken Ham, from the WGBH Boston Video Evolution Series: What About God? states, AYwhat it [the Bible] says is what it meansYit relates to the authority of scripture and the gospelsYso, if the Bible got it wrong in astronomyYgeologyYbiologyYthen why should I trust the Bible when it talks about morality and salvation? [i]@ It is no wonder with sentiments like these that the backlash against evolution has been so strong and lasting; nonetheless, it has not been until the last few decades that such a debate has moved from the pulpit to the laboratory. With a more educated and well-informed army of Christians, who believe in creationism, the scientific evidence for evolution has now come under assault. With creationists and intelligent design advocates like Henry M. Morris and Michael J. Behe respectively, the attack on Darwin is no longer argued as religion versus evolution per se, but rather one Alegitimate@ scientific theory against another.
In Charles Darwin’s ‘Origin of Species’ the theory of evolution argues that the appearance of design in creatures are favourable chance mutations that have developed over time. Species have adapted to their habitats over a period, possessing many unfavourable traits that have slowly diminished over time due to not being able to survive in that particular environment (Darwin 1906: 97). Darwin’s theory has posed multiple problems for the Christian doctrine of creation, from the effect it has had on the concept of intelligent design to undermining the idea that humankind was made in the image of God. Nevertheless there are a handful of theistic counter-arguments to contest the theory of evolution but many lack legitimacy and evidence as it has
In the history of science vs. religion there have been no issues more intensely debated than evolution vs. creationism. The issue is passionately debated since the majority of evidence is in favor of evolution, but the creation point of view can never be proved wrong because of religious belief. Human creation breaks down into three simple beliefs; creation theory, naturalistic evolution theory, and theistic evolution theory. The complexities of all three sides create a dilemma for what theory to support among all people, religious and non-religious.
There is a difference between Darwinism and Creationism, one is based on data and the other is based on belief. Darwinism concerns itself as a science, that is explained by scientific methodology. Biological evolution concerns changes in living things during the history of life on earth. It explains that living things share common ancestors and over time evolutionary change gives rise to new species. On the other hand, the ideas of creation science is derived from the conviction of most Abrahemic religions that God created the universe-including humans and other living things-all at once in the relatively recent past. Creationists say that creatures started out as distinct and separate organisms when God created them and they do not believe that organisms change into complete differently and distinct animals through evolution. For example, Creationists do not believe that single-celled organisms evolved into more complex plants and animals, finally evolving into Homo Sapiens. Even though creationism is not a scientific theory, Creationists are using scientific evidence in supporting their argument that Darwinism can not be proven scientifically based on the fact that Darwinism goes against creationism. Besides criticizing evolution, Creationists are seeking scientific evidence of their own, to support the creation account in Genesis.
Perhaps the most common scientific argument against the evolutionary theory used by creationists is the mathematical impossibility for the occurrence of successful changes in the DNA that actually results in a development of a new or modified species.
Anyone with even a moderate background in science has heard of Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution. Since the publishing of his book On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection in 1859, Darwin’s ideas have been debated by everyone from scientists to theologians to ordinary lay-people. Today, though there is still severe opposition, evolution is regarded as fact by most of the scientific community and Darwin’s book remains one of the most influential ever written.
Laing, Robert L. "94. 37 Facts of Creation vs. 30 False Theories of Evolution." 37 Facts
My term paper is an exercise in an attempt to an intellectual analysis of ‘On the Origin of Species: By Means of Natural Selection’ written by Charles Darwin. Charles Darwin was born in England in 1809. Charles attended the University of Edinburgh where he aspired to learn about medicine. Charles decided that vocation was not the right one for him so he then enrolled at Cambridge University. It was at Cambridge where Charles Darwin earned a degree in theology. Darwin continued to study and learn about natural science.