April 16, 2004
Everybody knows the great debate about how the world became what it is and how the earth was created. Even though we are living in the technology age, there are still no certainties about how everything came to be how we see it today. This is mainly due to the obvious fact that there were no humans alive at the time earth was first created to record data on the earliest years of Earth. What we do know however, is that everything came about by something known as “evolution.” Although theories conflict each other, and there are many different views on evolution, one thing agreed upon is that it has taken time to get to where we are today.
The word “evolution,” derived from the Latin evolvere, means to roll out or unfold (The Fantasy). According to The Merriam?Webster Dictionary, evolution has a few different definitions. The first refers to evolution as “a process of change in a particular direction.” The second definition dealing with the actual theory of evolution states the following: “a theory that the various kinds of plants and animals are descended from other kinds that lived in earlier times and that the differences are due to inherited changes that occurred over many generations.” (Merriam?Webster)
The main debate about evolution is being fought between religious sectors and scientists. The science side of evolution is taken from evidence in rocks and other earth materials. The religious end of the argument believes God had more to do with the earth than anything else. There are two parts to the scientific perspectives of evolution, they are Organic Evolution and Biological Evolution.
Based on the definition of evolution, organic evolution deals only with plant and animal life and is referred to as the process of organisms to “roll out or progress through a succession of changes from simple to more complex conditions” (The Fantasy). The concept implies that ll animals and plants are descendants of some primordial substance, which have evolved through a slow, gradual process of mutations into higher forms. This theory includes the evolution of man and requires millions, even billions of years to be carried out. Organic evolution assumes that transmutation has taken place to get where the world is today, and continues to take place for future generations. Although this concept seems to be valid so far, there is much controversy over the actual validity of the evidence behind organic evolution. Most refer to the idea of organic evolution as more of a fantasy than a scientific presumption. It is believed to be totally discredited and unscientific without any evidence or basis of fact.
Even though most believe that there is no validity to the ideas of Darwin, Malthus and Wallace, the creators of organic evolution, it has become a basis for many religions. Atheism, and humanism have both been formed through the ideas of organic evolution. These religions are based on a system of faith in the doctrine of materialism. It has been designed by the “master of deceit” to spread the seeds of doubt and evil. The followers of these twisted religions believe in a denial of God and His Word. They live their unseemly lifestyles by manifestations of the heathen mentality. Christians view organic evolution totally different though. They believe that God is the first cause for everything, he always has been and 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 that was made. In Him was life and the life was the light of men” (The Fantasy). Christians are taught and believe that the greatest display is not creation, but the cross. It is the power of resurrection and God himself that changed everything, not by transmutation, but by transformation into the creation of Jesus Christ.
Another religion affected by the questions of organic evolution and its validity is the Islamic faith. The Christians have an outlook that whatever God says, goes. Islamic followers are not as accepting of the idea of believing something that has not been proven true. They are told to listen to Allahs teachings, since they can not find out for themselves in the observable world. “We are asked to believe in life after death, yet no one has returned from the dead to tell us about this; we are asked to believe in resurrection and the Day of Judgement without any evidence; we are asked to believe in the life to come, and its eternity, when we really dont have the capability to understand what eternity means” (Organic Evolution). The Islamic community does not have anything to base these assumptions on. Although they are more cautious than the Christian followers, they still believe in these teachings because they are told to.
The people involved enough in their religion to believe in something that can’t be proven just because their leader says so, have very strong feelings for what they believe. When scientists began poking around at the possibility that these teachings may not be so true, many people were set off. The Qur’an teaches that things should not be accepted based only on the theory, in order for ideas to be accepted you must be able to prove it. When scientists could not experimentally reenact what happened millions of years ago, the battle between the scientific sects and the religious sects began. The scientists were highly persecuted by the churches, as a vengeance to this, scientists began taking a negative stand toward anything religious. They rejected anything that was unseen. Of course the religious sect was very adverse to this behavior of the scientific world, but they came back by replying this: “But we know we are surrounded by many unknowns and that these can only be revealed to us by divine revelation” (Organic Evolution). Their example for this was life after death, which to me is a contradiction of previous statements about believing the unknown.
The Roman Catholic society, on the other hand, is becoming more and more accepting of the scientific beliefs concerning organic evolution. On October 23, 1996, Pope John Paul II announced that evolution was a scientific theory acceptable by the church, and that Catholicisms accepts biblical inerrancy. He also announced that “Evolution is ‘scientific,’ and the 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 a conference held in Southern California in November 1996, the scientists agreed that Darwin’s theory is not totally right in that God actually did play a role in evolution, and the religious sect confessed that science also 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 society and 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. One popular theory is what we all know as the “Big Bang” theory. Looking back at fossil discoveries, it is quite obvious that man has changed dramatically over the years. The evolution of mankind is thought to have happened in adaption to their needs. In early times it was necessary to hunt and gather to have food to eat, some tribes were also scavengers. Drs. John Hawks and Milford Wolpoff have studied this theory quite thoroughly, and have made the interpretation about the evolution of humans: “Body size is a key element in these behavior changes, (hunting, gathering and scavenging) because of the locomotor changes that large body size denotes, and the increased metabolic resources it requires” (The Big Bang Theory). They have also created a chart that outlines the growth and evolution of man, and how long ago each species was derived (see attached table).
Regarding the concepts and beliefs of organic evolution, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Because of this there will always be conflict amongst people and their differing beliefs concerning organic evolution. I, like anyone else, have an opinion too. Although my thoughts are not very thorough or elaborate I have my own belief on this debate between religious and scientific theories. Although I would not consider myself 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 if thats 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 more evidence to back up a scientific theory. I can’t just believe something because somebody told me to, or simply because God, or any other higher being, said that’s the way it happened. All in all, I guess I am just like any one else in that I don’t have completely concrete opinion on what happened 4 billion years ago. But I differ from some in the respect that we really never will know exactly what happened, and how we arrived on earth and why. I can accept this because we are, who we are and to me, that’s all that matters.