Taken from an article I posted on Helium.com and written on an old blogspot page.
Religion divides people, communities and entire countries. It is an unintentional result of what psychologists call, group think. Members in a group, using group think, minimize conflict and often reach consensus without critically testing, analyzing, and evaluating ideas. Many members of the group avoid promoting viewpoints outside the comfort zone of consensus thinking. I believe many religions, including Evolutionist, make hasty, irrational decisions. Individual doubts and questions that would normally be asked are left unanswered and set aside. This is dangerous but also unavoidable. I propose to remove this group think, for the most part, and hope that members can come to realize that all creation theory’s can hold the same weight.
Both science and religion respond and react to needs. Science responds to a need to understand the meaning of all life. Religion responds to a need for life to have meaning. From these positions, one issue is clearly present in both science and religion. Both, in ways, describe reality. This reality may feel different for a Creationist or an Evolutionist but until we have indisputable proof that one or the other is correct it is that person’s reality. Following is research detailing the similarities between each creation theory. The first story of creation was told many thousands of years ago. It was started from small communities and passed on verbally until it spread around the world. Each community took essential parts of that story and made it their own. The Beginning I will give a short synopsis of several creation stories to show similarities. The Greeks: “In the beginning there was only chaos. Then out of the void appeared Erebus, the unknowable place where death dwells, and Night. All else was empty, silent, endless, darkness. Then somehow Love was born bringing a start of order. From Love came Light and Day. Once there was Light and Day, Gaea, the earth appeared.” (Hunt, J.M.) The Phoenicians: The Phoenician story of the creation came from Taautus, the god of writing. It supposes that all things consist of a Dark Mist of an ethereal nature, the Breath of dark mist, and of a turbid Chaos black as Erebus; that these were boundless, and for many ages remained without a boundary. But when the spirit fell in love with its own principles, and they were interblended, that interweaving was called love; and this love was the creation of all things.” (Azize, Joseph) Apache: In the beginning nothing existed-no earth, no sky, no sun, no moon, only darkness was everywhere. Suddenly from the darkness emerged a thin disc, one side yellow and the other side white, appearing suspended in midair. Within the disc sat a small bearded man, Creator, the One Who Lives Above. As if waking from a long nap, he rubbed his eyes and face with both hands. When he looked into the endless darkness, light appeared above. He looked down and it became a sea of light. To the east, he created yellow streaks of dawn. To the west, tints of many colors appeared everywhere. There were also clouds of different colors. Creator wiped his sweating face and rubbed his hands together, thrusting them downward. Behold! A shining cloud upon which sat a little girl.” Evolution “About 15 billion years ago a tremendous explosion started the expansion of the universe. This explosion is known as the Big Bang. At the point of this event all of the matter and energy of space was contained at one point. What existed prior to this event is completely unknown and is a matter of pure speculation. This occurrence was not a conventional explosion but rather an event filling all of space with all of the particles of the embryonic universe rushing away from each other. The Big Bang actually consisted of an explosion of space within itself unlike an explosion of a bomb were fragments are thrown outward. The galaxies were not all clumped together, but rather the Big Bang lay the foundations for the universe.” “Since the Big Bang, the universe has been continuously expanding and, thus, there has been more and more distance between clusters of galaxies. This phenomenon of galaxies moving farther away from each other is known as the red shift. As light from distant galaxies approach earth there is an increase of space between earth and the galaxy, which leads to wavelengths being stretched. ” (LaRocco, Chris and Rothstein, Blair) In the beginning there was only chaos. Although worded differently within each story these words ring true. There was then life whether created by a heavenly being or through the Big Bang. After some time there was world annihilation both the Ice Age and the end of the dinosaurs, or the Flood. After the annihilation new societies were created. New creatures emerged from the wasted land and flourished. The church and each religion cataloged each event carefully. Taking time to ensure the details were correct for the present period. Science through the same period of time also cataloged each event and ensured the details were correct compared to the knowledge they had gathered at that point. Finally, the church and each religion preach of the end of the world. Science also has theories that dictate the end of the worldi.e. meteoroids, global warming and others. Charles Darwin, the man that wrote The Origin of Species was not a devout Christian at the end of his life but he attended a Church of England school and studied Anglican theology in hopes of becoming a clergyman. Even after that fateful trip on the Beagle to the Galapagos, Darwin still held the belief in Biblical creation. He even wrote, “little world within itself … we seem to be brought near to that great fact – that mystery of mysteries – the first appearance of new beings on this earth”. On returning from the Galapagos, Darwin developed his theory of natural selection fully aware that it conflicted with the predetermined Christian theory. Darwin contemplated the Christian meaning of morality and concluded that the religious instinct evolved with society. Only after the death of his daughter did Darwin’s faith falter and he struggled with life in a Christian civilization. This is only my guess but I believe Darwin struggled to find a median between religion and science. Albert Einstein, one of the world’s greatest minds took several positions on religion and science. Pointed Quote- “After religious teachers accomplish the refining process indicated, they will surely recognize with joy that true religion has been ennobled and made more profound by scientific knowledge.” Albert Einstein grew up in a Jewish family. By his accounts he began to read popular scientific books and soon reached the conclusion that many of the stories in the Bible were false. He was crushed with the realization that he was being deceived by through lies. He began to mistrust authority and became skeptical toward these religious convictions. Einstein states that his attitude never changed but became tempered as he became older. He was never completely comfortable with the choice but he states that he never regretted making the choice. (Einstein, Albert) “It is quite clear to me that the religious paradise of youth, which was thus lost, was a first attempt to free myself from the chains of the “merely personal,” from an existence dominated by wishes, hopes, and primitive feelings. Out yonder there was this huge world, which exists independently of us human beings and which stands before us like a great, eternal riddle, at least partially accessible to our inspection and thinking.” Theories There are several different theories, including creation and evolution. Some combine evolution and creation accepting a portion of it and some don’t . Below is a short definition and short explanation of each. Evolution: “Evolution is the change in a population’s inherited traits from generation to generation.” The Origin of Species was submitted to the Linnaean Society of London on July 1, 1858 by Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace thus starting the raging controversy between creation and evolution. Creationism: The belief that humanity, life, the Earth, and the universe were created in their entirety by a supernatural deity. (God) As I stated earlier there are several stories of Creation. Most starting with darkness and chaos and then developing into the creation of life. Evolutionary Creationism or Theistic Evolution: Some individuals have the opinion that some or all classical religious teachings about God and Creation are compatible with some or all of modern scientific understanding about biological evolution. (Wikipedia) Intelligent Design: The belief that certain processes of the universe and living things are explained by an intelligent cause and are not an indirect process such as natural selection.” (Wikipedia) Progressive Creationism Similar to Intelligent Design but Progressive Creationism accepts mainstream geological and cosmological estimates for the age of the Earth. Progressive Creationism states that the new “kinds” of plants and animals represent instances of God directly intervening to create those new types. Some scientists resist the theory that science ennobles religion, as Einstein believes, but believe religion ennobles science. Dr. Michael J. Behe: A professor of Biochemistry at Lehigh University tries to clarify his views in a book titled Darwin’s Black Box. I did not purchase this book so I was limited to reviews and notes Dr. Behe posted on his site. Instead of taken up the scientific majority Dr. Behe states that intelligence was required to create the complexities of life. Darwin’s theory on random mutations and natural selection cannot be tested and therefore could be incorrect. Dr. Behe states that the theory has to be tested by “observing contemporary change in the wild, in the laboratory or at least reconstruct a detailed pathway that might lead to a certain adaptation.” He states, but for a few exceptions, Darwin’s random mutation and natural selection theory cannot account for all life. At the end of the essays he explains that life maybe beyond scientific explanation and leans toward Intelligent Design. (Behe, Michael, J, 1996) Conclusion According to a CBS news poll 55 percent of respondents did believe in the theory of evolution at all. (Roach, John, 2005) Therefore that puts all their faith in one theory. I believe this is dangerous. Not that it could cause harm to the individual but that it could cause the individual to be unresponsive to new discoveries within that theory. Both the theory of creation and the theory of evolution are valid theories. Both have holes but that is why they are not claimed as fact. Once we start believing one theory over the other we begin to shut down the progressive human tendency to discover things. I believe there is a happy median between evolution and creation. What’s wrong with replacing facts that are unknown with theories that make sense at this particular moment? As long as when facts do come up they can be critiqued and analyzed until it is confirmed by a majority that it is true. I doubt we will ever know the absolute truth about any of these but, of course, we still have the progressive human tendency to discover things. So one day we may find out.
References Wikipedia- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intelligent_design http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theistic_evolution Perry, Roger- http://www.darwinfoundation.org/en/library/pubs/jour nals/br15049803 Einstein, Albert- Autobiographical Notes, pp 3 & 5, http://www.einsteinandreligion.com/freethink.html Robinson, B.A.- Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance, http://www.religioustolerance.org/sci_rel.htm Hunt, J.M. – http://www.desy.de/gna/interpedia/greek_myth/creatio n.html Azize, Joseph – , “Phoenician Solar Theology: An Investigation into the Phoenician Opinion of the Sun Found in Julian’s Hymn to King Helios”, http://phoenicia.org/creation.html LaRocco, Chris and Rothstein, Blair- The Big Bang, http://www.umich.edu/~gs265/bigbang.htm Atkins, Peter- http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/peter_atkins/ behe.html Behe, Michael, J- Darwin Under the Microscope, http://www.arn.org/docs/behe/mb_dm11496.htm Roach, John- National Geographic News, http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2005/04/0427 _050427_intelligent_design.html