Creation and Evolution
The BreakPoint article answers the question: Isn’t it possible that evolution and creation are both true?
The BreakPoint answer: People are kidding themselves when they think they can believe in both creation and evolution. What’s at stake is not merely the details of evolution versus the details of Genesis in the Bible. Rather, the issue is the stark, fundamental claim that life is the product of impersonal forces versus the claim that it is the creation of an intelligent Designer.
As discussed in another page (about attitudes) a person’s world view is typically from one of two major perspectives (there are no doubt others but these would be at the opposite poles). One can choose to seek understanding of the natural processes in the universe and in society. Alternately a person can choose to believe that everything is happening by the unseen hand of God, that we are all players in God’s master plan for the universe.
The BreakPoint offers this comment: As the famous evolutionist George Gaylord Simpson put it, “Man is the result of a purposeless and natural process that did not have him in mind.”
I disagree with such a perspective. When studying the archeological record, it is readily apparent that over time the natural processes at work in the universe tend toward increasing complexity. The earliest life forms found in fossils are very simple organisms. Later, more complex life forms can be found. As plants developed, their life force of photosynthesis would have changed affected the atmospheric content. Dinosaurs were replaced by mammals. As the constellation of life grew in complexity, eventually hominids appeared. If conditions were different (another mix in the atmosphere, a different degree of gravity, etc.) the most complex organism would be different. My perspective would be that man is the outcome of the natural processes but it would not have been preordained but rather subject to the processes. It could be inferred that, barring man’s destruction of the world that would destroy this natural complexity, more sophisticated life forms than people could eventually develop on this planet.
Even in works by a libertarian author like Murray Rothbard, many have noted that evolution exists in mankind. Early hunter/gatherers would have a very simple understanding of life, suggesting they would see natural events as the handiwork of unseen forces. As civilization advanced, bringing with it specialization and division of labor as each person could become proficient at certain skills, our understanding of natural forces evolved, with those so inclined able to investigate such matters. The ancient Greeks, Egyptians and others were able to address astronomy and mathematics. As civilization advanced into the Industrial Revolution, philosophy and many advanced sciences became part of the human experience.
The emphasis by various people (either in science, like Darwin, or in religion, like Chuck Colson) that evolution is a slow process is not really born out by the archeological record. For example, the book Earth in Upheaval by Immanuel Velikovsky (published long ago in 1955) attempted to document how global catastrophes affected the evolution of life (the subtitle uses the phrase cataclysmic evolution). Over the years, others have seen that as well, to the point that now the transition from dinosaurs to mammals is commonly theorized to have been triggered by a major meteor impact, causing worldwide devastation. The archeological record is long but the changes in life occur in a relatively short time.
Recognizing such influences on the evolution of life and the conditions on earth, it would be readily apparent that evolution is not a ‘master plan’ but rather a natural process of increasing complexity.
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created - Mar 2005
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