Time's Oldest Debate
According to recent studies, planet earth formed approximately four and a half billion years ago. Since then, the earth has undergone many evolutionary changes. Earth began as a swirling gas which condensed to create an immense land mass. The ancient earth was basically the same as today's earth except for the environment. The atmosphere of the ancient earth was quite different, containing more carbon and nitrogen gases than oxygen. The former atmosphere is where much of present day organic molecules such as proteins, lipids, and enzymes were created in abundance. By chance or simply because of the laws of nature, those life producing compounds bonded together to create the oldest known life form on earth -- a bacterium. Other life forms evolved from the bacterium through natural selection. These microscopic organisms formed symbiotic relationships with each other and produced larger, multicellular organisms, such as man. It may seem like a gigantic leap, bacterium to man, but given billions of years, it is certainly possible.
It is true that The Bible holds certain truths which would imply a reliable source of information; however, some parts of The Bible are not true at all. According to science, life evolved in the following order: bacterium to fish, fish to various land animals, and animals to man. Coincidentally or divinely, The Bible states that God said, "Let the waters
teem with fish and other life...let the earth bring forth every kind of animal...Let us make man" (Genesis 1:20-26). The Bible accurately depicts the order in which life was established. But how could the primitive people who wrote The Bible know the order of which life was created without science to aid them? This evidence would stand to prove that The Bible truly is the word of God Himself. However, evolutionists would prefer to
believe that the writer of The Bible was an incredible guesser. That is because many parts of The Bible seem to be written based on conjectures of what people of the time thought was correct. An example of this would be from Genesis, "God made two great lights -- the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night" (Genesis 1:16). Obviously the greater light is the sun and the lesser light is the moon; however, the
moon is not a light, it is a planet that reflects light. The people who wrote The Bible did not know that the moon was a planet; nor did they know that other planets even existed. So, they described the moon as a source of light just as the sun is a source of light. The writers of The Bible made a good guess; nevertheless, they were wrong. This is not to say that the entire Bible is completely inaccurate, but explanations concerning the creation are a little vague. Such an unclear source should not be held accountable to explain the origin of mankind.
Other proof that the biblical account of creation is wrong lies within the process of carbon and uranium dating, and fossil records. Carbon dating is the process of determining age by counting the amount of radioactive carbon in a fossil or corpse. When a creature is living, it has a certain ratio of radioactive carbon in it. That radioactive material decays at a fixed rate when the creature dies. Scientists know the fixed rate and can therefore determine how old a carcass is by counting how much radioactive material remains inside the carcass. Carbon dating is useful for dating remains less than fifty thousand years old. Using carbon dating, scientists have discovered fossils of animals that lived five times as long ago as creationists say is possible. Uranium dating is similar to
carbon dating except that it is used for dating things much older than fifty thousand years, such as the earth. Using uranium dating, scientists have accurately calculated the age of the earth to be four and a half billion years old and the age of the earliest living creature to be three and a half billion years old (Campbell 505). Carbon and uranium dating furnish indisputable evidence that the biblical account of creation is wrong and evolution has occurred.
The most conclusive proof that man has evolved from lower life forms lies within the physical characteristics of man and his relation to other creatures. One physical example that man evolved is the various stages of a developing embryo. For example, while a human is still in early embryonic stages, it has gill slits. While the gill slits never fully mature, they serve as evidence that man's ancestors at one time had gills. During another period of embryonic development, a human has a tail. Sometimes, a human is actually born with a tail. The tail is evidence of a trait previously owned by an ancestor, but was discarded thousands of years ago. This is not to say that tails and other physical features are simply cast off, but after years of disuse, a feature will grow smaller and eventually disappear. This is also evident in the growth of certain animals as well. At certain stages of development, the embryos of various mammals, birds, fish, and humans are indistinguishable. Further evidence suggesting evolution is vestigial organs (organs that are of little or no use to the organism). For example, whales possess a pelvic bone which would serve a purpose for functioning legs, and yet they have no legs. Millions of years ago sea creatures came onto land, acquired legs, then returned to the sea where legs were not needed. The pelvic bone is vestigial in whales because it no longer serves a purpose. Another more familiar vestigial organ is the human appendix. It serves absolutely no purpose and, for some humans, is even removed. Embryonic proof, and vestigial organs are sufficient evidence that man has evolved from lower organisms.
While creationists may believe evolution is wrong in defense of their belief in God, evolutionists have extensive evidence to strengthen their claim that man is the result of evolution. Evolutionists say that man is a highly evolved ape-like creature. There is scientific evidence to prove that claim. There is also proof that evolution is occurring today. Modern apes are a perfect example: they portray almost identical physical
characteristics to that of man, use tools, and are learning to speak using sign language. Apes are not only similar to man physically and intellectually, but genetically as well. Human and ape DNA are ninety-nine percent identical. In fact, genetically, humans are more closely related to the ape than the ape is to the orangutan. Regardless of this scientific evidence, creationists will continue to believe that mankind was created by God. Of course, the creationist's view only holds if there is belief that The Bible is the true word of God. If mankind had no belief in The Bible's account of creation, the Book would remain a work of mythology. The Bible requires no ordinary belief, however, but a gigantic leap of faith because there is absolutely no evidence God created mankind. The only evidence of creation is in the opinions of millions of creationists. But if opinion or belief were to be the only basis for determining human origin, couldn't mankind believe in literally anything and claim it for fact? Humans could believe the mythical god, Zeus, created mankind! It's a sad truth, but creationism is a relic in a world where the concept of evolution logically explains the origin of mankind.
Campbell, Neil A. Biology Third Edition. California: The Benjamin/Cummings
Publishing Company, Inc., 1993.
The Living Bible: Paraphrased. 1971 ed. Wheaton, Illinois: Tyndale House Publishers,
Wertheim, Margaret. "Science and Religion: Blurring the Boundaries."
Omni Publications International, Ltd. October 1994: 36. Religion: SIRS, Vol. 4. 77.
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