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LBST 2231April 16, 2004Everybody knows the great debate about how the world became what itis and how the earth was created. Even though we are living in thetechnology age, there are still no certainties about how everything came tobe how we see it today. This is mainly due to the obvious fact that therewere no humans alive at the time earth was first created to record data onthe earliest years of Earth.
What we do know however, is that everythingcame about by something known as “evolution.” Although theories conflicteach other, and there are many different views on evolution, one thingagreed upon is that it has taken time to get to where we are today.The word “evolution,” derived from the Latin evolvere, means to rollout or unfold (The Fantasy). According to The Merriam-Webster Dictionary,evolution has a few different definitions.
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The first refers to evolutionas “a process of change in a particular direction.” The second definitiondealing with the actual theory of evolution states the following: “atheory that the various kinds of plants and animals are descended fromother kinds that lived in earlier times and that the differences are due toinherited changes that occurred over many generations.” (Merriam-Webster)The main debate about evolution is being fought between religioussectors and scientists.
The science side of evolution is taken fromevidence in rocks and other earth materials. The religious end of theargument believes God had more to do with the earth than anything else.There are two parts to the scientific perspectives of evolution, they areOrganic Evolution and Biological Evolution.
Based on the definition of evolution, organic evolution deals onlywith plant and animal life and is referred to as the process of organismsto “roll out or progress through a succession of changes from simple tomore complex conditions” (The Fantasy). The concept implies that llanimals and plants are descendants of some primordial substance, which haveevolved through a slow, gradual process of mutations into higher forms.This theory includes the evolution of man and requires millions, evenbillions of years to be carried out. Organic evolution assumes thattransmutation has taken place to get where the world is today, andcontinues to take place for future generations.
Although this conceptseems to be valid so far, there is much controversy over the actualvalidity of the evidence behind organic evolution. Most refer to the ideaof organic evolution as more of a fantasy than a scientific presumption.It is believed to be totally discredited and unscientific without anyevidence or basis of fact.Even though most believe that there is no validity to the ideas ofDarwin, Malthus and Wallace, the creators of organic evolution, it hasbecome a basis for many religions. Atheism, and humanism have both beenformed through the ideas of organic evolution. These religions are basedon a system of faith in the doctrine of materialism.
It has been designedby the “master of deceit” to spread the seeds of doubt and evil. Thefollowers of these twisted religions believe in a denial of God and HisWord. They live their unseemly lifestyles by manifestations of the heathenmentality. Christians view organic evolution totally different though.
They believe that God is the first cause for everything, he always has beenand always will be first in the eyes of a Christian. Quoting John 1:3-4,”All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made thatwas made. In Him was life and the life was the light of men” (TheFantasy). Christians are taught and believe that the greatest display isnot creation, but the cross. It is the power of resurrection and Godhimself that changed everything, not by transmutation, but bytransformation into the creation of Jesus Christ.Another religion affected by the questions of organic evolution andits validity is the Islamic faith. The Christians have an outlook thatwhatever God says, goes.
Islamic followers are not as accepting of theidea of believing something that has not been proven true. They are toldto listen to Allah’s teachings, since they can not find out for themselvesin the observable world. “We are asked to believe in life after death, yetno one has returned from the dead to tell us about this; we are asked tobelieve in resurrection and the Day of Judgement without any evidence; weare asked to believe in the life to come, and its eternity, when we reallydon’t have the capability to understand what eternity means” (OrganicEvolution). The Islamic community does not have anything to base theseassumptions on. Although they are more cautious than the Christianfollowers, they still believe in these teachings because they are told to.The people involved enough in their religion to believe in somethingthat can’t be proven just because their leader says so, have very strongfeelings for what they believe.
When scientists began poking around at thepossibility that these teachings may not be so true, many people were setoff. The Qur’an teaches that things should not be accepted based only onthe theory, in order for ideas to be accepted you must be able to prove it.When scientists could not experimentally reenact what happened millions ofyears ago, the battle between the scientific sects and the religious sectsbegan. The scientists were highly persecuted by the churches, as avengeance to this, scientists began taking a negative stand toward anythingreligious. They rejected anything that was unseen. Of course thereligious sect was very adverse to this behavior of the scientific world,but they came back by replying this: “But we know we are surrounded bymany unknowns and that these can only be revealed to us by divinerevelation” (Organic Evolution).
Their example for this was life afterdeath, which to me is a contradiction of previous statements aboutbelieving the unknown.The Roman Catholic society, on the other hand, is becoming more andmore accepting of the scientific beliefs concerning organic evolution. OnOctober 23, 1996, Pope John Paul II announced that evolution was ascientific theory acceptable by the church, and that Catholicisms acceptsbiblical inerrancy. He also announced that “Evolution is ‘scientific,’ andthe Bible is not infallible when it comes to science” (Evolution’s Role).Christians and scientists have come to a Theistic Evolution Compromise,stating that both sides are not entirely right about evolution.
In aconference held in Southern California in November 1996, the scientistsagreed that Darwin’s theory is not totally right in that God actually didplay a role in evolution, and the religious sect confessed that sciencealso played a large role in evolution. This new theory is know as”theistic evolution” (Evolution’s Role).Organic evolution is obviously a huge part of life in today’s societyand always will be. The fact is, this is how we, as mankind, came about.There are many veils and theories as to how humans were created. Onepopular theory is what we all know as the “Big Bang” theory.
Looking backat fossil discoveries, it is quite obvious that man has changeddramatically over the years. The evolution of mankind is thought to havehappened in adaption to their needs. In early times it was necessary tohunt and gather to have food to eat, some tribes were also scavengers.Drs. John Hawks and Milford Wolpoff have studied this theory quitethoroughly, and have made the interpretation about the evolution of humans:”Body size is a key element in these behavior changes, (hunting, gatheringand scavenging) because of the locomotor changes that large body sizedenotes, and the increased metabolic resources it requires” (The Big BangTheory). They have also created a chart that outlines the growth andevolution of man, and how long ago each species was derived (see attachedtable).
Regarding the concepts and beliefs of organic evolution, everyone isentitled to their own opinion. Because of this there will always beconflict amongst people and their differing beliefs concerning organicevolution. I, like anyone else, have an opinion too. Although my thoughtsare not very thorough or elaborate I have my own belief on this debatebetween religious and scientific theories. Although I would not considermyself a religious person, I don’t not believe in anything religious. Yes,I believe that many religious-based theories are a bit far fetched, but ifthat’s what one person wants to believe, let them.
Me, on the other hand,would agree more with the scientists on the topic. There is just moreevidence to back up a scientific theory. I can’t just believe somethingbecause somebody told me to, or simply because God, or any other higherbeing, said that’s the way it happened. All in all, I guess I am just likeany one else in that I don’t have completely concrete opinion on whathappened 4 billion years ago.
But I differ from some in the respect thatwe really never will know exactly what happened, and how we arrived onearth and why. I can accept this because we are, who we are and to me,that’s all that matters.