Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Why I Believe in God: Part III - The Church of Evolution

(to start at the beginning of this series, click here)

If there is one single overriding factor that gives evolution presumed validity over creation, it is that evolution is based on science, whereas creation is based on superstition and ignorance.

In ancient times, it is supposed that people didn’t understand the things that happened in the world around them. They knew that things did happen, and they also knew that they were not the ones that caused those things to happen, and so they assumed that someone or something had put those events into motion. They called these unseen – and obviously very powerful – things “gods”.

Science, on the other hand, establishes fact based on cause & effect, not wild speculation. Science is non-judgmental. It is unbiased. It is rational. It seeks the truth.

“Creation” says that the earth, stars, mankind – everything – was created by an unseen entity of incomprehensible power. “Evolution” says that it all came about through natural causes, random chance, and progressive evolutionary growth. Religion is based on wishful thinking; Science, on the other hand, is based on fact.

It certainly sounds like evolution – backed with the authority of science – has a legitimate argument. Until you realize that science doesn’t really have any facts at all, and evolution is, like Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, etc., merely another religion.

How could I believe that?

Well, start with the concept of evolution, or more to the point, the theory of evolution, because despite all of the pomp & circumstance, that’s really all that it remains – a theory.

While evolution is “widely believed to be true” by the scientific community, it has not been proven by any stretch of the imagination. If it had been, you can bet the very first thing scientists would have done would be to trumpet that particular fact to the world.

But they haven’t. All they have done is to simply stop referring to evolution as a theory and forge ahead under the assumption that it is true.

Personally, I have never been presented with any “proof” of evolution, only a “preponderance of evidence”. The problem with that is that there is also a “preponderance of evidence” for the existence of God – a creator – as well, though, like evolution, there is no “proof’ of God either.

People believe in God by faith, and faith, by definition, is belief without proof. That poses a big problem for evolutionists, because evolution is based on science, and science is supposed to be based on fact, not speculation. But regarding evolution, there are no facts and there is no proof, and without those, evolution is just as surely a faith-based religion as any other.

Make no mistake about it, evolution is a religion. It all boils down to which church you choose to enter; the church of God, or the church of man.

In fact, the only thing that even remotely resembles “proof” of evolution seems to be time, or more specifically, the dating of fossils and artifacts.

Looking at the Biblical record, there certainly appears to be roughly 6,000 years from the time of Adam to the present date. Scientists, through several different means, have dated things back millions of years. How to account for the huge discrepancy?

Some people fault the methods that scientists use to date objects, saying that they are loaded with assumptions (which they are) and that their results cannot be validated (which they can’t). But though there may be some anomalies with the various different dating methods used, I have no doubt that they are essentially correct. Even if they are not 100% exact, I would have to guess that they are at least “in the ballpark”.

The “time” issue is without a doubt a massive hole in the argument for creation. It’s a huge disparity, and it is that disparity – from all that I see and hear and read – that seems to be the one single horse upon which almost all information about evolution is riding. If there was ever anything at all that provides legitimacy to the theory of evolution, “time” would have to be it.

But what if “time” was not an issue? What if there was no disparity? If “time” were taken out of the equation entirely, is there anything left that would truly lend any sort of factual, scientific validation to evolution?

Those were some of the questions that I asked myself, and once I started looking at time as a separate entity, I realized that there could actually be a very plausible explanation to account for it. Not proof mind you, but certainly something that I think casts plenty of “reasonable doubt” on the issue.

If you’re following my train of thought, I’ll need you to humor me at this point and suspend your belief about the disparity of “time” as I did; I’ll address it at a later date. And please remember, I’m not trying to convince you of anything; I’m only trying to share how I came to believe that God is real. You can believe whatever you want. You will anyway.

But if you have followed me to this point, let me summarize where I found myself:

1) There either is a God or there isn’t, and I either believe in Him or I don’t.
2) Evolution is just as much of a religion as Christianity.

Once I truly understood what I was dealing with, I was finally able to get down to some real searching.


Catherine said...

Thought-provoking but personally I feel there is room for both thoughts. With Earth as old as it is, certain things would have evolved (or perhaps "changed" is a better word) over time from different states of being (there is no way that the rocks around us are 6,000 years old, and how do you explain fossils of ferns found 2 miles below the earth in a West Virginia mine shaft? We have some that a neighbor brought us embedded into coal as E. collects rocks).

In other words, everything on the Earth today in terms of natural elementals was likely not here at the start of creation (eg. oil was made from compressed materials in the Earth).

For an example of "evolution" that we can actually see in our lifetime, just look at how viruses can mutate and change within a year. It is on a micro scale, yes, but an example all the same.

What of early man? We clearly progressed along a chain of change. We share many similar traits with apes. We can't escape that our DNA is almost exact. Why apes and not elephants for example? Or dolphins?

However, all of that said, why could a creator not have set all of that in motion in a big-bang with things emerging over time in a natural course of change and progression--and in their own time. And the seven Biblical days could also be epochs and vast spans of time. Afterall, time is really irrelevant to God.

I don't see that it has to be an either/or proposition. While we can believe in God, or not, we can't disregard science--it is more provable than God to most people. Therein lies the conflict and the dilemma. Just because one might follow Darwin's positions doesn't necessarily negate a God or creator.

Just where I'm at in the whole Darwin vs. Creation deal, but then again I've always been more gray about things than black or white.

Blaine Staat said...

Great questions, Catherine. The fact that you're asking them tells me that you don't need any help from me! Just keep looking for the answers; if you truly want to find them, you will.

Crystal Mudgett-Epley said...

Personally, I think too many people get hung up on Creationism being a litmus test for True Christians. It is possible to still believe in God without being a Creationist, Evolutionist, or even Christian. I am only a Creationist in that I do believe a higher power (who I believe to be God) created all this. As to the how's and why's - we are human, not god's and aren't necessarily meant to know. Wasting so much time on the matter is just that, wasting time.

My Rabbi, along with his advisors, actually tried to fit it all into the 6000 year time frame. I have a copy of what they came up with if you'd like it. One of the anomalies was that Methusaleh would have lived at the same time as Noah. Since Noah took his family on the Ark with him, why didn't he take Grandpa?

I enjoy reading your posts. Talking about religion or politics, though, as you well know, is a good way to lose friends. If so, they weren't real friends to begin with.

Father Leopold used to wear two pins on his habit that said, "If 2 people are thinking the same thing then 1 isn't thinking." And "Don't open your mind so far that your brains fall out." Wisdom from one of the wisest I have known. <3

Catherine said...

I enjoy your posts, too, Blaine because you are thinking about deep, often divisive issues between people, as Crystal pointed out, and you aren't afraid to say what you think!

I agree that there is mystery, too, that keeps us on our toes and that all will be revealed one day. It seems that matter is neither created or destroyed once it is created! So that said, I believe our human spark and soul must go elsewhere. How could it not?

I used to drive my Sunday school and religion teachers nuts with questions (some actually liked them!) and was a regular "Doubting Thomas" (still can be). It's not that I don't believe or suspend my faith, it's that I do believe but I still have questions, if that makes any sense.

What makes it upsetting is when people put people off from Christianity by being one way and saying someone else's way might not be "the way" -- I think as long as we are all climbing the same mountain and treat each other as best that we can, that it's all good.

Have a blessed Holy Week!