Creation and Evolution: An Eternal Debate
Join now to read essay Creation and Evolution: An Eternal Debate
Creation and Evolution: An Eternal Debate
Many people have tried to reconcile the differences between creationism and Darwinism but few have succeeded. Any religious debate is seen as a very sensitive subject and the discussion about the foundations of certain religions generally becomes difficult. Darwinism, in relation to religious beliefs can become controversial; some say they can coexist and some say they cannot. Darwinism was not intended to be anti-religious, but religious activist have criticized the belief since On The Origin of Species was published in 1859. Common ground between the two subjects is a very rough place, but it can be achieved. Reconciliation between the subjects has been achieved but few are standing by it because even the compromise is controversial.
The beliefs of Charles Robert Darwin, as shown in his book On the Origin of Species, are controversial religiously and have been debated since its’ publication. Darwin writes “I see no good reason why the views given in this volume should shock the religious feelings of any one” (Darwin 329). This was not how religious activists saw the book; they attacked Darwin’s beliefs and stated it is in opposition of some religious beliefs.
Darwinism is based on the basic belief of ‘natural selection’ and ‘survival of the fittest’. These are not separate thoughts when it comes right down to it. According to Darwin, the idea of ‘natural selection’ states that animals adapt slowly in accordance to their environment, and their DNA adjusts throughout generations. At first glance, this seems like a logical, non-controversial topic, but Creationist believe that “…all species were created by God and had not changed biologically” (Hirschberg 321). This is where the conflict comes in to play. Darwin believes that genes can mutate and change over generations to better adapt to environment. This belief has since been overturned by modern evolutionists. Hirschberg put it this way: “Today, evolutionists believe that mutations in genes produce the variations that natural forces select for survival. And, indeed, geneticists have traced ancestral relationships among species from the presence of similar molecular structures and DNA patterns” (Hirschberg 321). Instead of only bettering the species, the DNA shifts and the stronger of the species usually survive and pass on the strong gene; and thus, survival of the fittest. Although this change was unveiled, it did not calm the hearts of creationist. This still contradicts their belief that God made all species and that the DNA of each individual species would stay the way God intended it.
The religious beliefs on the subject differ quite a lot when the interpretation of the Bible is taken into account. Protestant fundamentalist use the literal translation of the Bible to state that God made all animals and human out of earth and breathed and immortal soul into him (Bible Gen 2:7). Also, creationists use the scripture of God to prove that God does not change His mind: “God also bound himself with an oath, so that those who received the promise could be perfectly sure that he would never change his mind” (Bible Heb 6:17). Therefore, using a literal translation of the Bible, there would be absolutely no sort of gene mutation, creation of new species, or survival of the fittest. According this thought process, the evolutionary theory would therefore be proven faulty. “Darwinism implied that God had ‘then abandoned the universe to itself to be controlled by chance and necessity without any purpose on his part as to the result, or any intervention or guidance’ . . . thus Darwin was virtually atheistical” (Davis 2).
Religious beliefs do not affect the content of scientific theories. The theories of science are the same for all scientists but the rules of science are perceived and therefore in their eyes, the world came to be a different way for Christians than scientists. This suggests that something very significant, the creation of the world, is perceive differently among people. Creationists and evolutionists both have strong views on the subject and neither are willing to budge their understanding. This is why there is so much strain between the conflicting groups. Creationists, rather than provide positive evidence for their own position, they mainly try to find weaknesses in natural selection. So they have no more proof for creation other than the Bible. The religious are strictly viewing the way things are as a result of the creation by God of all living things and nothing has been changed throughout time. “The only Christian religious groups that have problems with evolution are the Protestant fundamentalists, who insist on literal interpretation of the Bible” (Berra 124). This takes the view that the conflict is Protestant fundamentalists versus the world.