Help with Creationism vs Darwinism


#1

I am having a difficult time with a guy I work with at the office. He has told me that I am a dolt and an automaton for believing in creationism and not believing in evolution. To my point I am not looking for arguments for evolution those are abundant and all flawed as best as my simple mind can determine.

What I am looking for is evidence of Creationism. I understand there was a scientific conference in China, I think it was a biological conference but it may have been something else, the point was that these scientists some of the brightest in the world and atheistic communists stated that evolution was not possible there had to be a first creator.

I have also read some of the “Blind Watch Maker” and I think for a genius Richard Dawkins lays out strong evidence but in the end it can not be tied together to support his theory. I am looking for a general way to with proof show where creation is at least as scientific as evolution and makes a more logical argument.

My over all goal is to provide solid evidence that creation has stronger scientific fundamentals than evolution. I also need to be able to concisely lay out this evidence to someone who has his ethos is tied to the assertion that there is no God therefore no ultimate right or wrong.


#2

I beleive yu are approaching this the wrong way. The HOW is not as important as the WHO1

[quote=roymckenzie]I am having a difficult time with a guy I work with at the office. He has told me that I am a dolt and an automaton for believing in creationism and not believing in evolution. To my point I am not looking for arguments for evolution those are abundant and all flawed as best as my simple mind can determine.

What I am looking for is evidence of Creationism. I understand there was a scientific conference in China, I think it was a biological conference but it may have been something else, the point was that these scientists some of the brightest in the world and atheistic communists stated that evolution was not possible there had to be a first creator.

I have also read some of the “Blind Watch Maker” and I think for a genius Richard Dawkins lays out strong evidence but in the end it can not be tied together to support his theory. I am looking for a general way to with proof show where creation is at least as scientific as evolution and makes a more logical argument.

My over all goal is to provide solid evidence that creation has stronger scientific fundamentals than evolution. I also need to be able to concisely lay out this evidence to someone who has his ethos is tied to the assertion that there is no God therefore no ultimate right or wrong.
[/quote]


#3

The best way to make your argument against moral relativism is to avoid evolution altogether. Get yourself a copy of C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity and read the arguments that Lewis makes in the chapters of Book I, “Right and Wrong as a Clue to the Meaning of the Universe”. This should give you more than enough ammo to demolish the idea that man is free to make up his own definitions of right and wrong.

You can find more ammo from Lewis in his book The Abolition of Man – How Education Develops Man’s Sense of Morality.


#4

Spend some time here:

Kolbe Center for Creation


#5

[quote=roymckenzie]What I am looking for is evidence of Creationism.
[/quote]

[quote=roymckenzie]I am looking for a general way to with proof show where creation is at least as scientific as evolution and makes a more logical argument.
[/quote]

[quote=roymckenzie]My over all goal is to provide solid evidence that creation has stronger scientific fundamentals than evolution. I also need to be able to concisely lay out this evidence to someone who has his ethos is tied to the assertion that there is no God therefore no ultimate right or wrong.
[/quote]

There is no scientific evidence of Creationism. In fact I believe that Creationism, by its very nature, precludes scientific evidence. Creationism requires a belief in some Creator (God), and such belief has to be the result of faith.

Please, have a look at Finding Darwin’s God a wonderful book on reconciling scientific eveidence and religious belief from the perspective of a devoutly Catholic scientist.

Because the Church has ultimate truth and because science, properly executed, is a tool to discern truth there can be no fundamental disagreement between Catholicism and Science.
There is nothing incompatible between belief in evolution and Catholicism. See here:

news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20051104/ap_on_sc/vatican_science_3


#6

Hello ~

I’m one of those Christians who believes that biological evolution is a very strongly supported concept in science, but that this in no way denies a properly understood faith in God as Creator. I can recommend a couple of books that present both sides of the so-called “creation/evolution” debate:

Robert T. Pennock, editor. Intelligent Design Creationism & Its Critics (MIT Press, 2002)
William Dembski & Michael Ruse, editors. Debating Design (Cambridge, 2004)

Also, three excellent books written by Christians:

Keith Miller, editor. Perspectives On An Evolving Creation (Eerdmans, 2003)
Karl Giberson, Worlds Apart: The Unholy War Between Religion & Science (Beacon Hill Press, 1993)
Kenneth Miller, Finding Darwin’s God: A Scientist’s Search for Common Ground Between God & Evolution (HarperCollins, 1999)

I encourage you to really educate yourself on the issues before engaging in such a discussion. These books will more than meet your needs to that end. Happy reading.

God bless,
Don


#7

I was never much into the whole debate (simply not my thing) but, I was given a book (which might or might not help but, what the hay) It is called The Evelution Cruncher which from the little I have read of it looks fairly good. I can’t remeber who wrote it but, I think it would be helpful. It is very creationist so I think it is just what you are looking for.

And a thought. I remeber hearing that whatever animal it is (I think it is a donkey) which is the cross breading of a hoarse and something else was always steril as are most cross species kind of things because of something to do with the DNA and how it is made. Which I thought was odd for a theroy that said that all creatures came from similar predecsors (i.e. us and apes) which would figure could allow for such things.
But, this is proboly where someone comes in and smashes that idea. But, it is just a thought.


#8

I am not a creationist so feel free to treat my words sceptically.

[quote=roymckenzie]What I am looking for is evidence of Creationism.
[/quote]

I suspect that you will find very little. Creationism is a theological position and not a scientific one. All the scientific evidence points towards evolution, which is why the vast majority of biologists support evolution. Creationism has no direct evidence in its favour, all it has are various arguments against evolution and the assertion that the only two alternatives are creationism and evolution.

[quote=roymckenzie]I understand there was a scientific conference in China, I think it was a biological conference but it may have been something else, the point was that these scientists some of the brightest in the world and atheistic communists stated that evolution was not possible there had to be a first creator.
[/quote]

Do not believe everything that you read in creationinst literature. At the very least consult the Answers in Genesis page of Arguments we think creationists should NOT use.

If you are going to continue arguing against your rather rude office colleague then you should also look up each creationist argument in the Talk Origins webpage of creationist claims. Your colleague will probably be doing this, so it is best for you to be prepared in advance to counter his replies to your arguments.

[quote=roymckenzie]I have also read some of the “Blind Watch Maker” and I think for a genius Richard Dawkins lays out strong evidence but in the end it can not be tied together to support his theory.
[/quote]

The theory of evolution is not Richard Dawkins’, though I suspect he might be flattered to see you attribute it to him.

Please also remember that Dawkins’ atheism is his own and is not required for supporters of evolution. Others have already mentioned “Finding Darwin’s God” by Ken Miller, who is a Catholic.

[quote=roymckenzie]My over all goal is to provide solid evidence that creation has stronger scientific fundamentals than evolution.
[/quote]

You have set yourself an extremely difficult task.

rossum


#9

I don’t think you are going to be able to use scientific evidence to convince an evolutionist of creation. What makes creation plausible is faith in God. Evolution does not refute Catholic claims, but science does not prove creation either (at least in my experience). My faith merely allows me to honestly reject unprovable scientific theories which contradict that faith.

Here are some alternative ideas for you:

  1. Ask him if evolution can disprove the existence of God. Of course it cannot. Then, ask for agreement that science by definition deals with observable phenomena and therefore the question of God cannot be answered definitively by science.

  2. Ask him if the theory of evolution rules out the conceivable posssibility that God had a hand in how the world came about. He needs to answer “no” if he has any intellectual integrity.

  3. You can study the theory and the claims made by evoutionists and you will find that the theory of evolution is a multitude of theories, one built upon another. Many of the fundamental prerequisite and intermediary theories are unprovable. An evolutionist will argue that “the preponderance of evidence suggests…” which is fine. But many of the theories are not proven without the possibility of error. That is a fact.

He will say you are splitting hairs with this line of reasoning, but let me continue: It is precisely because these theories can never be proven conclusively to be true, that I am justified in rejected the theory of evolution. “Why?” the evolutionist will ask “when all the scientific evidence points to evolution?”

To which I will reply, "because fortunately I am not bound to consider exclusively scientific evidence. I can consider all evidences, including philosophy, reason, human history, and even the evidence of miracles, all of which lead me to my faith in God…of which I have become certain. Because I am certain of my faith in God, and because I see the theory of evolution and Catholicism as contradicting each other, I choose to believe the more certain of the two contradictory beliefs (my faith in God). And creation is a part of that faith (not necessarily young earth, 7 day creationism).

  1. Ask him for evidence to prove that there must necessarily exist naturalistic answers for how the world came to be.

  2. Because he cannot answer #4, ask him why he chooses to have faith in Naturalism (a faith that there must be naturalistic answers) without evidence to support his faith.


#10

I agree with almost everything you said, rossum. But this statement left me unsettled:

[quote=rossum]Creationism has no direct evidence in its favour, all it has are various arguments against evolution and the assertion that the only two alternatives are creationism and evolution.
[/quote]

  1. Are you saying there exists no scientific evidence whatsoever in favor of creationism (i.e. evidence that would contradict evolution)?

  2. Are you suggesting there exists a third alternative to creation and evolution?


#11

I don’t see any conflict between the two. The Church recognises evolution but of course behind that is our creator.
Interesting article from the vatican this week (evolution is halfway into the article):

VATICAN CITY - A Vatican cardinal said Thursday the faithful should listen to what secular modern science has to offer, warning that religion risks turning into “fundamentalism” if it ignores scientific reason.

Cardinal Paul Poupard, who heads the Pontifical Council for Culture, made the comments at a news conference on a Vatican project to help end the “mutual prejudice” between religion and science that has long bedeviled the Roman Catholic Church and is part of the evolution debate in the United States.

The Vatican project was inspired by Pope John Paul II’s 1992 declaration that the church’s 17th-century denunciation of Galileo was an error resulting from “tragic mutual incomprehension.” Galileo was condemned for supporting Nicolaus Copernicus’ discovery that the Earth revolved around the sun; church teaching at the time placed Earth at the center of the universe.

“The permanent lesson that the Galileo case represents pushes us to keep alive the dialogue between the various disciplines, and in particular between theology and the natural sciences, if we want to prevent similar episodes from repeating themselves in the future,” Poupard said.

But he said science, too, should listen to religion.

“We know where scientific reason can end up by itself: the atomic bomb and the possibility of cloning human beings are fruit of a reason that wants to free itself from every ethical or religious link,” he said.

“But we also know the dangers of a religion that severs its links with reason and becomes prey to fundamentalism,” he said.

“The faithful have the obligation to listen to that which secular modern science has to offer, just as we ask that knowledge of the faith be taken in consideration as an expert voice in humanity.”

**Poupard and others at the news conference were asked about the religion-science debate raging in the United States over evolution and “intelligent design.”

Intelligent design’s supporters argue that natural selection, an element of evolutionary theory, cannot fully explain the origin of life or the emergence of highly complex life forms.

Monsignor Gianfranco Basti, director of the Vatican project STOQ, or Science, Theology and Ontological Quest, reaffirmed John Paul’s 1996 statement that evolution was “more than just a hypothesis.”

“A hypothesis asks whether something is true or false,” he said. “(Evolution) is more than a hypothesis because there is proof.”**

He was asked about comments made in July by Austrian Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, who dismissed in a New York Times article the 1996 statement by John Paul as “rather vague and unimportant” and seemed to back intelligent design.

Basti concurred that John Paul’s 1996 letter “is not a very clear expression from a definition point of view,” but he said evolution was assuming ever more authority as scientific proof develops.

Poupard, for his part, stressed that what was important was that “the universe wasn’t made by itself, but has a creator.” But he added, “It’s important for the faithful to know how science views things to understand better.”

The Vatican project STOQ has organized academic courses and conferences on the relationship between science and religion and is hosting its first international conference on “the infinity in science, philosophy and theology,” next week.


#12

I have to disagree with much of what I’m reading here. There is plenty of scientific evidence to support the theory of a creator. Try reading How Now Shall We Live by Chuck Colson which covers not only the staggering complexity of the universe but also the incredible complexity of human beings and the myriad of species on earth. The idea that our galaxy and that our environment and that our bodies could have come about by chance (which is what the majority of Darwinists believe) is simply not possible.

When combined with the gaping holes in evolution (read Darwin on Trail by Phillip Johnson) you can make a very strong case for creation and a creator.

Ultimately you cannot prove creation scientifically but neither can your friend prove evolution. The truth is that when compared side by side the creation theory is stronger than evolution based on scientific evidence.


#13

There is no proof, in the Euclidean sense, in science. There is, however, supporting evidence. And evolution (meaning descent with modification) has a mountain of it. But it could all be overturned in the future. Keep in mind that there were also mountains of evidence to support Newton’s concept of gravity until Einstein started tinkering with it due to conflict with special relativity. We now recognize Newton’s laws as a subset of a larger set of ideas on gravity. And guess what - we’re not finished yet !!! :stuck_out_tongue: Stay tuned, there’s more to come. That is the nature of science.


#14

Also check out **.“I Was A Teenage Darwinist”**Jack Cashill on ewtn in their audio library, listened to it this afternoon and he explains the assumptions of the “evolution” of the evolution theory. :hmmm:


#15

[quote=Chris W]I agree with almost everything you said, rossum. But this statement left me unsettled:

  1. Are you saying there exists no scientific evidence whatsoever in favor of creationism (i.e. evidence that would contradict evolution)?
    [/quote]

Yes, pretty much. Darwinian Evolution by Natural Selection is as close to a settled “fact” as exists in science. The concept is backed by mountains of evidence. The mechanism of natural selection has been observed and replicated in laboratories all over the world for over 100 years.

[quote=Chris W] 2. Are you suggesting there exists a third alternative to creation and evolution?
[/quote]

Creationism is not a scientific matter because it isn’t scientifically testable. Belief in a Creator can never be a matter of science. It can only be a matter of faith.

Furthermore, there isn’t a conflict between belief in God and belief in Evolution as a mechanism. Is there some reason that God couldn’t have chosen evolution as the mechanism for doing his work? Of couse not. But because God exists outside of physical boundries and constraints you can’t ever prove or disprove it. So it isn’t science its philosophy.


#16

[quote=Chris W]…I see the theory of evolution and Catholicism as contradicting each other
[/quote]

Why?


#17

SugarRay << Try reading How Now Shall We Live by Chuck Colson which covers not only the staggering complexity of the universe… When combined with the gaping holes in evolution (read Darwin on Trail by Phillip Johnson) >>

Do not read Chuck Colson, do not read Phillip E. Johnson, further do not read Lee Strobel for your science. They are not scientists.

Further, do not read Ken Ham, Kent Hovind, Gerard Keane, Bob Sungenis, the ICR, or the Kolbe Center for your science. Throw them out, ignore them, they are worthless. They distort the science in order to interpret Genesis as young earth, fixed earth, or flat earth. These books and ONLY these books are acceptable from a Christian and science standpoint: :smiley:

Finding Darwin’s God by Kenneth Miller (Catholic biologist, already mentioned)
Perspectives on an Evolving Creation edited by Keith Miller (evangelical geologist, already mentioned)
anything by Davis Young (evangelical geologist, author of a number of books)
Coming to Peace with Science by Darrel Falk (evangelical biologist)

“The fact is that Christianity has core beliefs that are not accessible to the scientific method…The resurrection, existence of the Holy Spirit and immortality are all beyond the realm of scientific testability. Even testing the power of prayer will probably not bring scientists to their knees. The history of life on earth, however, is in a much different category. It has been possible to explore this using scientific methods…For the past century and a half, thousands of scientists from disciplines as diverse as physics, geology, astronomy and biology have amassed a tremendous mass of data, and the answer is absolutely clear and equally certain. The earth is not young, and the life forms did not appear in six twenty-four-hour days. God created gradually…We now know more about the nature of divine action. We now know a little about how God created life, and any time we understand something new about the activity of God, it brings us one step closer to God.” (Darrel Falk, Coming to Peace with Science: Bridging the Worlds Between Faith and Biology, page 213, 214)

And of course the Catechism on creation and evolution, and these:

International Theological Commission on creation and evolution
Cardinal Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI commentary on Genesis 1-3
Cardinal Schonborn’s new lecture from October 2005

Jimmy Akin of Catholic Answers on the subject:

“When the Catechism speaks of ‘many scientific studies’ splendidly enriching our knowledge of ‘the development of life-forms and the appearance of man,’ [CCC 283-284] it is thinking of mainstream science. It is not thinking of studies done by the Institute for Creation Research or similar places. If the Catechism did have such groups in mind, it would be pastorally irresponsible to speak in such a manner, for the average reader of the Catechism would be certain to think that mainstream science was being referred to. In fact, one would be certain to regard this as some kind of positive comment regarding the theory of evolution – which it is…Until such time as the magisterium would either reverse its twentieth-century finding that human evolution is not precluded by the deposit of faith or would make a new finding that it is required by the deposit, human evolution as a matter that is free with respect to the sources. It is a matter that must stand or fall on its own scientific merits; it is not a matter of Catholic teaching.” (Jimmy Akin, Evolution and the Magisterium, This Rock, January 2004)

Finally, this article on Evolutionary Creationism from the Wikipedia should help you out in discussions with atheists. Many prominent evolutionary scientists have been Christians of some sort.

Phil P


#18

[quote=Chris W (post #9)]You can study the theory and the claims made by evoutionists and you will find that the theory of evolution is a multitude of theories, one built upon another. Many of the fundamental prerequisite and intermediary theories are unprovable. An evolutionist will argue that “the preponderance of evidence suggests…” which is fine. But many of the theories are not proven without the possibility of error. That is a fact.
[/quote]

Of course the theory of evolution is unprovable; all scientific theories are unprovable. The theory of gravity is unprovable, the theories of fluid dynamics are unprovable, the theory of electron flow in semiconductors is unprovable. Any scientific theory can only ever be the best explanation of the data we have available. It is always possible that new data will require the theory to be modified or replaced. The theory of evolution has a great deal of evidence in its favour and is the best explanation of the evidence we currently have.

[quote=Chris W (post #10)]1. Are you saying there exists no scientific evidence whatsoever in favor of creationism (i.e. evidence that would contradict evolution)?
[/quote]

I am saying that there is no scientific evidence that requires creationism. For example, it is a fact that chimpanzee DNA is over 90% similar to human DNA, (the exact percentage depends on the method of measurement). The evolutionary explanation is that humans and chimpanzees descended from a common ancestor that lived about 5 million years ago. The creationist explanation is that God made them that way. Both theories explain the evidence.

To date there is no evidence that cannot be explained by evolution and can be explained by creationism. Such evidence could potentially be found. For instance according to Genesis there were humans [Gen 1:27] and cattle [Gen 1:24] on earth during Creation Week with sheep [Gen 4:2] soon after. There was also human habitation such as cities [Gen 4:17] within the first 130 years [Gen 5:3]. If remains of humans, sheep, cattle or cities could be found in early rocks, say Devonian or before, then that would be powerful evidence for Young Earth Creationism and against the theory of evolution.

[quote=Chris W]2. Are you suggesting there exists a third alternative to creation and evolution?
[/quote]

There are many alternatives. Some are:
1 The universe does not really exist, we just think it does, so creation and evolution are both moot.
2 The universe is a human mental construct and is unique to each different human being so each can be true for different people.
3 The oscillating universe which has no beginning and no end so no creation is required.
4 The universe is unknowable so all theories about it are false.
5 The correct theory has not yet been developed; both are false.
6 Creation by YHWH.
7 Creation by Allah.
8 Creation by Vishnu.
9 Creation by [insert god of choice here].
10 The universe was created last Thursday with all its apparent history in place.

Because creationism currently has no evidence to support it, many creationists rely on the false dichotomy between creationism and evolution. They try to pick holes in evolution and declare creationism the winner by default. This is not science because the only allowed default position in science is “we don’t know yet”. In order to support creationism the creationists are going to have to produce some positive evidence such as I outlined above.

rossum


#19

[quote=roymckenzie]I am having a difficult time with a guy I work with at the office. He has told me that I am a dolt and an automaton for believing in creationism and not believing in evolution. To my point I am not looking for arguments for evolution those are abundant and all flawed as best as my simple mind can determine.

What I am looking for is evidence of Creationism. I understand there was a scientific conference in China, I think it was a biological conference but it may have been something else, the point was that these scientists some of the brightest in the world and atheistic communists stated that evolution was not possible there had to be a first creator.

I have also read some of the “Blind Watch Maker” and I think for a genius Richard Dawkins lays out strong evidence but in the end it can not be tied together to support his theory. I am looking for a general way to with proof show where creation is at least as scientific as evolution and makes a more logical argument.

My over all goal is to provide solid evidence that creation has stronger scientific fundamentals than evolution. I also need to be able to concisely lay out this evidence to someone who has his ethos is tied to the assertion that there is no God therefore no ultimate right or wrong.
[/quote]

Darwinism == evolution - it is one form of the hypothesis [in the technical sense the word has in science] of evolution in biology; but not the only one. The issue is as much (if not more) a metaphysical one as one of science.

And one can perfectly well find evolution to be a wonderful commentary on Psalm 8. The Psalms glorify God for His works in creation - evolution gives us some of the detail about those works. He is as truly Lord if one maintains that the universe was created 13 thousand million years ago, as if one maintains it was created a mere six thousand years ago.

Science is worthless for proving there is a God - for God transcends all created nature: He can’t be proved. That doesn’t matter in the slightest, for Christian faith is not based on the age of rocks, but on the Rock of Ages; not on brilliant dialectic, but on God’s gracious revelation of God made known in Jesus Christ. Nature can show forth the greatness of its Lord, but it can’t serve Him up to us all nicely labelled. It can’t reach back to Him or contain Him - it can only flow from Him, and acknowledge that it is nothing in comparison with His Glory.

Without faith, science can be no more than a set of phenomena - unless God gives us faith, we cannot see their full significance, cannot see how they glorify Jesus Christ. But for the person united to Christ by faith, even a five-dollar bill can preach to him of God; for nothing is so ordinary that it cannot show God forth; for it is His work, so it reflects Him, however distantly. Creation is sacramental - it points beyond itself to its Maker; which is why the hypothesis of evolution is nothing to be afraid of - for if true, it will point to it Creator Who presides over every detail of it.

God’s works can never prove His existence - they cannot mount up back to that from which they come; because they are finite, and God is infinite in Being. ##


#20

Hi roymckenzie,

The closest thing to evidence for creationism that I have come across is a book called:

“The Case for a Creator” by Lee Strobel

I think it’s a good book from the parts of it that I’ve read. It is the author’s efforts to show whether current scientific knowledge points towards or away from creationsism through his interviews with authorities in various scientific disciplines and I think his “Case for a Creator” is compelling.


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