evolution


The scientific method is an objective way to study science and refine theories.

  1. Come up with a hypothesis based on some observation and information.
  2. Figure out a way to test whether the hypothesis is true.
  3. Do the test, with a control group to make sure the data is accurate.
  4. Refine the hypothesis based on the results of the test or experiment. Eventually, after more than one group of scientists go through this process several times, you can start to call your hypothesis a theory.

When discussion of theories of origin come up, many people start to say that those who believe in Creation have “religious” ideas, whereas those who believe in Evolution are talking about a “Scientific” theory. They then take one step further and start to either state or imply that “religious” people are somehow against science.

Recent test results show American students are not performing well in Science, and there has been some discussion that this is related to the debate between creation and evolution that rages in our nation.

I could not disagree more, and I’d like to state my opinion on this subject in a clear and concise manner. But first I’d like to state some facts about me, so you’ll know where I’m coming from.

  • I believe in a literal 6-day creation, as stated in the Bible.
  • I am a conservative born-again Christian and was, until recently, a homeschooler.
  • I attended public school in New York state and got A’s in all of my science classes. In fact, I got a 100% on the Biology Regents exam (despite the teacher saying no one got 100%) and I still know all of the biology answers on Jeopardy. I say this to prove my interest in science.
  • My younger son, who is in 7th grade at our local public school, just got an A on his science test that covered Evolution, despite the fact that the first two bullets, above, are also true of him.

So, here’s my opinion on religion and science:

If science is practiced as noted at the beginning of this article, the conclusion is that Evolution is a theory. The reason for this is twofold:

  • The circumstances and environment that existed “in the beginning” cannot be replicated; nor do we, indeed, even know for sure what those circumstances are.
  • The process that brought about the variety of species of life on planet Earth were not observed by scientists.

Despite this, scientists and those who teach science want to label the theory of Evolution a “fact.” I am not saying that there is not evidence to support that theory. What I am saying is that there is evidence to support another theory, the theory of Creation.

There are scientists who believe in Creation. And of course, I’m sure there are scientists who believe in Evolution. All the time, we are reading about new scientific discoveries that don’t support an aspect of the theory of Evolution. There are lots of problems with the Evolutionary theory, and it’s not only Creationists that are pointing this out.

The truth is this: there is no way to prove either theory, and there is evidence that supports both. Creationists are up front about the fact that it takes faith to believe in a Creator God. Evolutionists don’t want to admit how much faith it takes to believe everything just evolved by some random process. Neither of these positions are pure science.

Those who believe in Creation are not anti-science. Far from it. We want to know the truth of science, and we applaud the study of science. We happen to believe that

  • The Bible, being the Word of the God who created us, the God who was there when it happened, is a true and reliable source for learning about creation.
  • Physical evidence supports the theory of origins as stated in the Bible.

Those who believe in Evolution have other beliefs.

It’s a matter of two conflicting belief systems. It has nothing to do with a conflict between “religion” and “science.”

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Scientists digging in Poland found footprints of a supposed early land animal. They were surprised to find the footprints showed the animal was much more developed than they expected.

They expected to find extra strong paired fins of an animal whose parents had been fish. But what they found had fully developed toe digits. Further, the trail of footprints showed the animal had true legs, not super-fish-fins-on-their-way-to-developing-into-legs. And also of note, the footprints may indicate that if this animals ancestors were indeed water-dwellers, they dwelled in saltwater, not the fresh water scientists had hypothesized for the first transitional form of land animal. Even more puzzling is that the time frame is off: the date for these animals is earlier than they expected.

I guess they’ll have to re-think their theory just a bit.

Bumper sticker: Neanderthals are people too"

Neanderthals may have lived in caves, but they were fully human. http://www.flickr.com/photos/niravameen/ / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Archeologists digging in southern Spain have unearthed evidence  that Neanderthals wore make-up or body paint. They used seashells as containers to store various colors, which they created using complex recipes. There is also evidence that they sculpted other seashells and wore them as jewelry.

The significance of this discovery is that it shows higher level thinking and creativity that many scientists assume was not present in Neanderthals, whom they consider to be a sub-human evolutionary link between humans and apes, or a branch of the supposed evolutionary tree that died out.

But creation scientists believe neanderthals were fully human, a tribe of descendants of Adam and Eve.

Other Neanderthal-related fun facts to know and tell:

  • Neanderthals had brains as large as “modern humans,” and maybe even larger.
  • Some of them may have engaged in medical procedures to save the lives of other Neanderthals. There is evidence of at least one amputation of a Neanderthal man’s lower arm, which healed and did not cause his death.
  • They were skilled hunters and toolmakers, and they cooked their food.
  • Examination of their skulls indicates they could talk.
  • They buried their dead, sometimes holding flowers.

Apparently some scientists have been studying evolution on a molecular level and have come to the conclusion that evolution is not reversible — it can’t go backwards. What that means is, they think we evolved from a common ancestor of apes, but our great-great-great-great-great grandchildren won’t evolve back into apes.

That’s a relief, isn’t it?

Creationists agree with this. Creationists believe in microevolution — small changes that take place within the boundaries of a “kind” so that there are Dobermans and German Shepherds and Poodles that all came from one dog ancestor. But they don’t believe in macroevolution — meaning that dogs will always give birth to more dogs, there won’t be a dog some day who gives birth to an ape.

Creationists also believe that any genetic mutations result in loss of genetic information. So Adam and Eve’s descendants have many different skin colors and facial features. But if you take two very dark skinned descendants of Adam and Eve and study their descendants, you probably won’t ever find a really light skinned one. Unless one of their descendants marries a light skinned person and the genes come from there. As time goes forward, we lose genetic information, we don’t gain it. So, we can’t go back. We might not ever see a dog that looks exactly like the original dog as God created him.

I just heard the fascinating story of Dr. Carl Werner. Someone challenged him to prove evolution, when he was in college. He thought about it for a long time, trying to devise an experiment that could give evidence as to the truth of the theory of evolution. He finally figured out a way to perform such an experiment, and he and his wife traveled around the world interviewing scientists and visiting archeological dig sites. Somewhere along the way, Dr. Werner changed his mind; he started out believing that evolution was true and ended up believing in creation.

He has written two books on the subject and also has a DVD available.

On the page at New Leaf Press where you can find out about his book, you can also download 3 audio files where he talks about the project in more depth. Click on the “podcasts” buttons (though they’re really not podcasts in the sense that it’s not a regularly recurring episodic type of show, just three recordings you can download).

Students are often taught about some observable change in a population of animals, and told it’s an example of evolution. An example would be moths changing color based on the color of the trees they are sheltering on. The idea is that moths which are closer to the color of the tree trunk are less likely to be eaten by birds, so they are more likely to be the parents of the next moth generation. The next generation has more moths that are this safer color, because of genetics, and then soon most or all of the population has virtually changed color.

This is not the same as evolution.

Here’s why:

The moth example shows moths adapting to their environment. The genetic information for a full range of moth colors already exists in the moth’s genes. The moths don’t turn purple, they just shift to a shade that is within the range of colors already specified by the moth DNA.

Evolution, the way the theory explains it, is a different animal. Evolution calls for new genetic material to be introduced. A fish is born with legs, where all previous fish didn’t have DNA for legs, for example. This is not something that has been observed, either within living populations or in the fossil record.

We see examples of natural selection, which is a better term than micro-evolution, all the time, and it doesn’t contradict the Bible. The Bible says God created plants and animals “according to their kinds.” (Genesis 1:11, 21, and 24). No one knows for sure what “kinds” are, exactly. Science classifies living things according to groups: the largest groups are kingdoms, such as the plant and animal kingdoms; then there are phyla, classes, orders, families, genera and species. But these are artificial classifications, devised by man. Are “kinds” the same as “species” or not? We don’t really know.

In high school biology, I learned that species was defined as organisms that had the same characteristics and could produce fertile offspring. An example, to clarify, was given: a horse and a donkey can apparently have a baby, but the offspring won’t be fertile, so it’s not a new species. Dogs are all one species, because different breeds can still, well, breed.

But, again, these are artificial distinctions made by man. Where do you draw the line between two populations of moths who look the same but can’t interbreed because one lives in Europe and the other lives in America? They are isolated by geography, but they could interbreed if brought together. These are the kinds of questions biologists face, but God already knows the answer. He created the various kinds to reproduce after their kinds. That doesn’t mean all the grandbabies will be identical, but it does mean that an elephant momma won’t give birth to a baby zebra. And it does mean that a blond woman can give birth to a dark-haired child. The variation will be within the genetic differences for that kind. The baby will be the same kind as the momma. No new kind will arrive that has characteristics that are not in the genes of the parents.

This is the kind of distinction we need to explain to our children, so when someone teaches them that moths changing color is an example of evolution, they understand why it’s not true.