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Welcome to my blog, MB's Theological Thoughts. If you have a question you'd like me to answer, feel free to ask, either in a comment or an email. If it's a legitimate question, I'll do my best to answer it. Might take some thinking and some time, but again, I'll do my best.

12 March, 2011

Creation vs. Evolution: my thoughts

This is a touchy subject. A lot of you will be horrified by what I say. But nevertheless, in light of the recent debate with La Sierra University at the core, I decided I would share my thoughts regarding Creation and Evolution.

First, let me state what I believe. Then I will explain.
  1. I believe in six consecutive, twenty-four hour periods of work, followed by one twenty-four hour period of rest in which God shaped the blob of matter He that had just created into the planet that we call Earth.
  2. I believe that these one hundred and sixty-eight consecutive hours occurred approximately six thousand years ago.
  3. I believe that God created all the base forms of life, the unique ancestors of every genus that we see on this Earth today.
  4. I do not believe that certain forms of evolution are impossible, and I do not believe that God created every species that we see on this Earth today.
Yes, I believe in certain kinds of evolution. But before we continue, let me settle this little semantic argument. Evolution is a notable change observed over a period of time. It could be anything ranging from laptop computers to the myriad species of Galapagos Finches (one of the most commonly cited examples of evolution). In organisms, evolution is what we could call in music Variations on a Theme. The original species still survives (unless it has become extinct), but there are numerous variations within it.

Let's take a look at domesticated animals: dogs, cats and horses. Each kind of animal has a common ancestor, and yet there are many different breeds with unique characteristics within each. I have heard that some people who disavow evolution believe God created every sort of animal we see today. While I don't doubt that God designed for things like crossbreeding, God did not create Labrador retrievers as Labrador retrievers. He did not create Tennessee Walkers as Tennessee Walkers. Those are human-supervised variations in species due to selected breeding. This form of evolution has been going on almost as long as history has been recorded. It is documented, proven science.

Another form of evolution that is documented, proven science is something called adaptation. This is variation in species due to environmental factors. The aforementioned Galapagos Finches display numerous variations in beak size based on diet. This is due to inherited changes brought about by environmental factors. Natural selection plays a big role in survivability: if an organism simply cannot adapt enough to survive in an environment, it becomes extinct. However, if an organism can adapt enough to survive, it survives. I do, however, doubt that God makes these natural selections completely random. He designed the food chains and the systems of adaptation to be self-sustaining, much like the systems that make up any living organism.

One prime example of adaptation is people of African ancestry. They are primarily dark skinned (though still humans; I hate to use "race"), and the obvious reason is that the people that migrated to the deserts of Africa needed darker skin to avoid many of the problems associated with overexposure to the sun. This variation was inherited and is still seen today. I don't think it was a random mutation, either. It was God saying, "This is what they need to survive. Make it so, Number One."

Any demonstrable natural evolution is driven by the Divine hand. Similarly, any demonstrable unnatural variation is driven by human hands. It is not random mutation that gets the job done; if left unchecked, nature on this sinful Earth would be devoid of beauty and filled with chaos. The fact that a flower blooms is evidence that somebody has His hand in the harmony of the universe.

Now, shall we discuss the biggest argument between creationists and evolutionists? Yes, let's. The two biggest complaints Creationists have with the Theory of Evolution are abiogenesis and the common-ancestor theory. Abiogenesis is the formation of life in the primordial sludge of the young Earth, and the common-ancestor theory states that every form of life (at least within the animal kingdom) has a common ancestor in that primordial sludge. The most notable series of evolution are that of the horse and that of homo sapiens.

Let's start with abiogenesis. When you mention it to a run-of-the-mill evolutionist, you receive flack; they state that "Evolution has NOTHING to do with abiogenesis! It has to do with how life has changed over the years!" Oops, problem. You see, when a run-of-the-mill creationist thinks of Evolution, they automatically think of the old-style theory that contains abiogenesis, billions of years, asteroid impacts that ended the reign of the dinosaurs, etc., placing a heavy emphasis on the notion that God does not exist and had nothing to do with the origin of life. Current evolutionary theory, according to those I've spoken with, has almost nothing to do with origins and more to do with non-theoretical evolution such as intraspecies variation. Why, then, are people so vehemently opposed to teaching intelligent design in schools? Could it be that they are in the business of teaching things like adaptation, things which are not theories, but science? My biggest guess is that the reason ID is never really even brought up is that people automatically think "YOU'RE PROSELYTIZING OUR KIDS!" That, and they misrepresent ID as an explanation for our current variations rather than an origin theory, which is what it is. They make the same mistake Christians do in thinking that Evolution, which itself has evolved since Darwin's time, is an origin theory and not an explanation for the variety we see in life today.

Now let's talk about the common-ancestor theory. The theory that hominids share a common ancestor with apes is a subject of much debate since the Bible says God created man in His image. The Evolutionary Theory states that apes and humans are two different evolutionary paths of the same organism. This I must disagree with. Humans are the only sapient creature on the planet Earth. There are, I would argue, other sentient creatures, but as intelligent as they are, they still don't have the ability to philosophize. I think apes probably do have a common ancestor, but they do not share it with humans. I've heard people talk about the upright-walking gorilla Ambam as evolving before our eyes. I can't agree with this, though; his standing upright is obviously imitative of the people he sees at the zoo every day.

I could go for pages and pages about the reasons I don't believe in as broad of a common-ancestor approach as the evolutionists, but I think I've covered the topic well enough. I believe that God created life and the base forms of all organisms. I also believe that God set in motion processes which allow organisms to adapt to their environments. All the animals we see today are descended from versions of themselves, be the evolution divinely supervised or the cause of human intervention. Burn me at stake all you want; that's what I believe about the origin of species.

Your Brother in Christ,


  1. Michael, awesome explanation. No argument here. We need to get you as an admin on

  2. Michael, I've never raged harder in my life. You're a good kid and you're trying your best to make sense of the world, but you'd do well to re-check your facts on the theory of evolution. I'm going to address the most egregious errors in your argument:

    1. Your definition of evolution. There's no need to complicate it with comparisons to musical pieces. Evolution is simply change over time. Depending on selective pressures, a species may remain stagnant over a million generations or it could branch into several different, new species. It is only a matter of time before the latest generation looks completely different from the first.

    2. Your origins argument. You're right that creationists negligently label all the science they refuse to accept as "evolution," even if it has nothing to do with the actual theory. That doesn't give you permission to discuss abiogenesis as though it is a part of evolution. It never was; in fact, Darwin was careful not to offend the faith of his wife when he was writing Origins. The truth is, no matter where the first living cell came from, evolution happened. Whether life sprung up from magic beans, a wave of God's wand, or the serendipitous formation of the right proteins at the right time, the theory of evolution remains the same.

    3. Intelligent Design. Inexplicably, you jump from the subject of scientific theories to ID. Intelligent design is not a theory, it is not a hypothesis, and it is not testable. It's not science. It's a thinly-veiled attempt to teach creationism in schools and as such it has no place in public schools. Furthermore, I take great issue with the following sentence: "Could it be that they are in the business of teaching things like adaptation, things which are not theories, but science?" You do realize theories *are* science, right? It seems you're confused as to what constitutes a theory. I know you've been told before by at least one other evolutionist. Why didn't you listen?

    4. Common ancestor theory. First of all, there is very little debate in the scientific community as to whether all life (on Earth) shares a common ancestor; the consensus is resoundingly in the affirmative. There are a few hypotheses regarding the exact origin of this ancestor, but there's no question that it did exist. Second, your reason for disbelieving in a common ancestor between man and apes makes no sense. Sure, we're sapient, but so what? We evolved to be less hairy, less brutish, and more clever. Our cousins the apes evolved in another direction. There's no problem with that.

    You're welcome to believe whatever you want in direct contradiction to the scientific consensus, but please do not expect these beliefs to be taught in schools. And for your own good, learn your scientific terms. And theories.


  3. Dear Concerned,

    1) Why did you attack my musical analogy? I was trying to be artful and relate it to my area of study as I simplified it. Lighten up, will you?

    2) Did I not say that Evolutionary Theory has nothing to do with the origins of life, and that Creationism has nothing to do with variation in species over time? I was trying to point out that the Creation vs. Evolution debate is just like the debate over abortion. Each side is pulling against a wall; there is no common argument.

    3) Fine, I'll call it an explanation, then. Just like abiogenesis. Actual living organisms have never been generated in an experiment like the Miller-Urey experiment, and they never will. Abiogenesis is the natural explanation, and divine creation is the supernatural explanation. I will never call abiogenesis science until it is proven by the synthesis of a single-cell organism. Amino acids aren't enough. Oh, and by the way, according tho the Oxford English Dictionary, a theory is "A scheme or system of ideas or statements held as an explanation or account of a group of facts or phenomena". Your argument is weak.

    4) Christians see the single-ancestor theory as a load of baloney because it doesn't make sense that apes and horses are in any way related. Yes, they have similar bone structures and organ systems. But that doesn't prove anything to us. We interpret it as a common designer; you interpret it as a common ancestor. So far there is no evidence that will convince a Scientific Creationist like me that all species share a common ancestor.

    5) What makes it your duty to attack me and my beliefs? I tolerate your rejection of my ideas; why shouldn't you tolerate my rejection of yours? You see, many people like you claim to be tolerant and yet don't tolerate people like me. This makes you intolerant, and it makes you appear unenlightened. You treat me like a second-class citizen by holding "science" over my head. Your kind says that Intelligent Design is preposterous and that I should stop rejecting science. How INTOLERANT of you! I have a right to espouse my own beliefs as to the origins of life, and the fact that they happen to disagree with yours does NOT give you the right to attack me or ANYBODY else.

    I pray that you will have a good day, that the sun will shine where you live, and that many blessings will come your way.

  4. I'm sorry if you feel attacked, for that is not my intention. I have nothing to gain from attacking you. However, just as you reserve the right to run whatever you want in your blog, I reserve the right to be vociferous in my opposition to it. I'm not personally attacking you, it's just that I can't read an article like yours without speaking up.

    1. Fair enough, I just didn't see the analogy as clearly as you did, not being in that field of study.

    2. Ah, now I get what you're saying. The thing is, creationism (your brand of it, anyway) inevitably contradicts the theory of evolution, regardless of whether it addresses what happens to populations of species over time. If we were created a few thousand years ago from nothing, then we didn't evolve from another species. It also contradicts geology, astronomy, and a host of other fields of study thousands of scientists have dedicated their lives to. Creationism is like a slap in the face to science, insisting that everything we've painstakingly uncovered about origins is wrong because you think that's what the Bible says. You're not pulling against a wall, you're pulling against *all* the evidence.

    I'll say it again. Young Earth Creationism, any way you spin it, directly contradicts what we know about the world. You're free to espouse it, but how on earth can you justify teaching it in schools?

    3. Invariably I have to go over this with every creationist I encounter, so here's what you're missing about the word "theory." "1. Theory, hypothesis are used in non-technical contexts to mean an untested idea or opinion. A theory in technical use is a more or less verified or established explanation accounting for known facts or phenomena: the theory of relativity. A hypothesis is a conjecture put forth as a possible explanation of phenomena or relations, which serves as a basis of argument or experimentation to reach the truth: This idea is only a hypothesis." From Evolution is a theory in the technical sense of the term. ID is a "theory" in the non-technical sense. They are not on equal footing. Why would you invoke the supernatural when there's a natural explanation? Why do you assume synthetic life will never be developed? Scientists have already successfully synthesized DNA, injected it into a cell and watched that cell become what their synthetic DNA instructed it to. It's only a matter of time before we can construct that cell ourselves, too. So you want undeniable proof before you'll believe living matter can emerge from nonliving matter, but until then you're perfectly content to believe a (untestable, unfalsifiable) magical man in the sky is responsible for our existence? What is this double standard?

    4. It's not just bone structure that implies common ancestry, Michael. There are converging, independent lines of evidence all pointing to common ancestry, genetics being the most compelling. Do you need me to show you the articles explaining all this? I find it hard to believe that someone who makes arguments like yours has had a proper look at the facts, so let me know and I can link you to them.

    5. Tolerance. Sure, I have to tolerate your ideas. However, I don't have to tolerate my tax dollars being used to teach your ideas in school. If you want your kids to believe something that's not taught in school due to lack of sufficient evidence, don't petition the school to lower their standards of what is acceptable to teach. Teach them yourselves. If you find they're believing what's taught in school over what you're teaching, maybe you should examine the facts to find out why instead of accusing everyone who opposes you of "INTOLERANCE!!"

    Hoping you are well, sending good vibes your way.

  5. I suppose I can tolerate Evolutionary theory being taught as the only explanation in public schools as long as I can send my kids to private schools so that they can at least have both viewpoints. Kids should be able to decide for themselves. Like I did.

  6. Teach whatever you want in private school, and call the curriculum whatever sounds good to you. In my opinion, kids should be shown the facts and nothing else, but if you want to show them some alternative conspiracy theory, you're allowed to. Technically it's not child abuse (yet).