When looking for an answer of where we came from, there are two main beliefs: creation science and evolution. The term evolution basically means alterations through time – typically very slow changes over a very long time interval. Evolution is often casually referred to a person’s change during their lifetime. However, when used in a scientific sense, it usually relates to changes that extend beyond a lifetime, sometimes involving millions or even billions of years.
Creation scientists believe that a god created the universe by an act of will or by uttering a phrase, only several thousands of years ago. Creation scientists hold to a belief that includes an invasive deity – a god who intervened in history thousands of years ago and created the universe by an act of will. They are not scientists in the normal sense of the term, because they are not willing to accept the possibility that some future investigation or experiment will prove them wrong.
Their prime belief is the Biblical account of creation, which they believe must be absolutely true. Also, creationists hold differing interpretations of those passages. Creationists are often seen in public conflict with evolutionists. They use the creation story (Genesis 1:1) and the great flood (Genesis 6:1) as the foundations for their beliefs. Many look upon evolution as denying their God’s rightful role as creator. Also, if they abandoned their faith in the truth of their sacred texts, then many other traditional beliefs would be threatened.
This sequence does contain some problems. Light was listed as being created on day 1, but its source (the sun) did not appear until day 4. Birds were said to be created before other land animals, whereas the fossil record shows the opposite. Creation scientists believe that the first five books of the Hebrew Scriptures were written by Moses. About 4004 B. C. to 10,000 B. C. , God created the heavens and the earth, including the land and sea, plants and animals, mountains, rivers, sun, moon, stars, etc.
All species of plants and animals were in the beginning; dinosaurs and humans coexisted together on earth. In the Garden of Eden, God created the first person, Adam, out of the dust of the ground. From Adam’s rib, he formed Eve, with the intent that both would live forever and remain in an intimate relationship with God. When Adam and Eve disobeyed God by eating the wrong fruit, death, decay, and degeneration entered the world for the first time. Before that time animals did not kill each other for food. Death and decay did not happen.
This is a very important belief, because if Adam and Eve did not “bring sin into the world” by disobeying God, then some Christians feel that there would be no need for a savior, and Jesus’ mission would not have been needed. The flood during Noah’s time, when God killed the entire human race except for one family, caused most of the geological formations that we see today. Male and female samples from every from of life on earth were collected on board Noah’s ark so that they could survive the flood. This would include insects, birds, and land animals.
Not included would be sea creatures that most likely could ride out the flood. People originally had a single language. When they built the tower of Babel, God confused them by creating many languages and causing the people to disperse across the world. Since the Bible is without error, then the creation and early history of the world occurred exactly as the Bible states. All geological formations, astronomical observations and the fossil record must reflect these truths. An evolutionist, on the other hand, interprets the Bible differently.
They believe that the book of Genesis was written by a number of authors who assembled material from three traditions: the Yahwist tradition, the Elohist tradition, and the Priestly class. The creation myth adopted from the Babylonians contains a multi-step creation of the stars, sun, earth, seas, plants, and animals that vaguely resembles the findings of the Theory of Evolution. Evolutionists believe that Genesis includes references to a snake and a fruit as being involved in the “fall”. The fruit is not identified in the Bible, but is traditionally interpreted as an apple.
The apple and snake are two traditional Pagan symbols. When the apple is cut in half the seed core is in the shape of a pentagram (a symbol long associated with the Goddess). The snake, because it periodically sheds its skin, is a symbol of immortality. By associating Pagan symbols with the downfall of mankind, the monotheistic writers of Genesis may be attempting to bring disregard upon the previous religion of the ancient Israelites. The fruit that Eve and Adam ate was from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (Gen. 2:9). As interpreted by evolutionist, the tree becomes symbolic of mankind’s development.
At one point, many hundreds of thousands of years ago, animal life became human life. One of the fundamental differences between people and more primitive animals is our moral and ethical sense, our knowledge of good and evil. Thus interpreted, the eating of the fruit symbolizes our alteration from pre-human to early human. Also, the first clothes might be another symbol of the same transition. The Garden of Eden passage comes from a much earlier Babylonian text in which Gilgamesh achieved knowledge but lost immortality through the seductions of a snake.
The curse that God gave to the snake in Gen. 3:14 “ thou art cursed pon thy belly shalt thou go. ” Symbolizes the evolution of snakes. They once had legs but have since evolved into an animal without feet. The remains of hipbones still exist in modern snakes. The curse that God gave to Eve in Gen. 3:16 “ in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children” also has in turn, made human birth the most painful in the animal kingdom. Creation Science was the prevailing belief systems before the rise of geology in the late 18th Century. The early European scientists, from Copernicus to Galileo to Newton believed (as did most Christians in their time) in a literal interpretation of the bible’s account of creation.
Friction between science and theology increased when Darwin published The Origin of Species and The Descent of Man. An important event in the history of this conflict occurred in Dayton, Tennessee in 1925. John Scopes, a high school biology teacher was on trial for contravening a state law, which forbade the teaching of evolution in the public school system. The trial quickly degenerated into a circus, with debates by a leading religious spokesperson, former U. S. Secretary of State and Presidential candidate: William Jennings Bryan. Opposing him was a leading intellectual and lawyer: Clarence Darrow.
Although Scopes was found guilty, it was generally felt that he won a moral victory. Nonetheless, popular opposition to evolution remained high, with the result that most textbooks made little or no mention of evolution until the early 1960’s. Those that discussed it often omitted it form their index. Evolution is fragile, like all other scientific theories. A single finding can prove that at least part of the theory is false. The theory maintains that plant and animal evolution and the major geological changes to the earth unfolded over billions of years. Thus, the full theory cannot be demonstrated in the laboratory.
Creation Science, as it is promoted today, is based on a literal acceptance of the book of Genesis. It specifies a young earth – an earth and universe that were created 6 to 10 thousand years ago. This theory is also fragile, since a single finding that proves that the earth existed over 10,000 years ago will demolish it. In the end, the debate between “creationists” and “evolutionists” is whether or not the earth is less or more than 10,000 years old. To a Christian who believes that the Bible is free from error and who interpret the book of Genesis literally, there is no debate. Creation occurred as described, in 6 days.