Under Construction

Contents: Overview | Background-history | Viewpoints Beliefs | Issues | Arguments for Creation or Intelligent Design | Books | Organizations | Links

Overview:

A search of "creation and evolution" books on Amazon produced 6,300 hits. These range from books like "Adam When" which claims Noah's flood was caused when the solar system went through a gigantic rain cloud in space to " Finding Darwin's God: A Scientist's Search for Common Ground Between God and Evolution" by Kenneth R. Miller.

Surveys show public belief in creation as described in Genesis from 29-44%.

Books by the "Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse", prominent atheists Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens, are on the best seller lists.
Harris, Hitchens and Dawkins have also been labeled the "The Unholy Trinity".
Books like "Darwins Black Box", from Intelligent Design proponent Michael Behe try to prove the Creation Story.

They all have flawed arguments.
The arguments which reconcile God and Evolution are most appealing to me.

I've tried to list the most referenced texts on the subject with a balanced list. I'll admit my personal bias is towards Theistic Evolution, but I've tried to show a variety of views.

After reading several of these and looking thru reviews of many others I came to the conclusion that there are too many missing pieces on all sides to come to any conclusion. Despite all the modern knowledge regarding DNA and microbiology, the answer for the evolution vs creation question is still the same as Blaise Pascal's analysis in 1669, (We can't prove it either way). There are no articles in the peer reviewed scientific journals on either side of this argument.

The creation/evolution controversy centers on five main issues (Eve and Harrold 1991):

  1. The origin of the universe was divinely created, or has it always existed, or did it come into existence without any supernatural causes;
  2. The age of the universe and of the earth - thousands or billions of years old; See Bible Dates.
  3. Origin of life - created out of nothing, or from chemical processes;
  4. Biological evolution - modification of species;
  5. Human origins - evolve from other life-forms or distinctly created.

Background-history

Although much is made of the 17th century conflict between Galileo and the church over the geocentric model of the solar system. Galileo did not see himself as attacking the Church. He seemed to think once he had his beliefs out that many would understand and just accept them. Historically there have been more efforts to reconcile religious beliefs and science. Back in the 13th century Medieval scholars like Thomas Aquinas merged Aristotelian and Platonic ideas onto Christianity to produce a marriage of reason and faith. "Natural Theology", the study of the attributes of God as revealed thru the study of nature, was in vogue during the 17th and 18th centuries.

After the initial shock of Darwinism, where clerics like Bishop Samuel Wilberforce made fools of themselves with their anti-scientific claims - Christian churches settled down to peaceful coexistence with sciences new worldview.

The voice of scriptural fundamentalism got stronger in the early 20th century. See fundamentalism. It has become a political war as much as a religious one with issues like teaching creation in schools.

1669 Blaise Pascal
a French mathematician, physicist turned to the study of religion after a mystical experience. In Pensées, Pascal states:
"This is what I see, and what troubles me. I look on all sides, and everywhere I see nothing but obscurity. Nature offers me nothing that is not a matter of doubt and disquiet. If I saw no signs of a divinity, I would fix myself in denial. If I saw everywhere the marks of a Creator, I would repose peacefully in faith. But seeing too much to deny [Him], and too little to assure me, I am in a pitiful state, and I would wish a hundred times that if a God sustains nature it would reveal Him without ambiguity."

1802 - "Natural Theology", Rev. William Pauley argues that just as finding a watch would lead you to conclude that a watchmaker must exist, the complexity of living organisms proves that a Creator exists.

1844 - Robert Chambers publishes "Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation" anonymously.
He speculates that the Diety created a marvelous machine and let it run. Some consider it the first proposal for "Theistic Evolution".

1859 - "The Origin of Species", by Charles Darawin
In his book on Intelligent Design, Darwin on Trial, Phillip Johnson states: "In his own era, Darwin's most formidable opponents were fossil experts, not clergymen."
In Finding Darwin's God, Kenneth R. Miller, says "By the turn into the 20th century, both scientists and theologians were increasingly inclined to accept Darwinism as revealing God's purpose. Both were concerned with the search for an orderly, harmonious universe, but neither excluded the other."

However, in the early 20th century, the fundamentalism movement in America evolved as a defensive response to the threatening social changes brought about by the Industrial Revolution, and to the cultural diversity brought about by increasing immigration. The southerners felt that the industrial north was part of the problem of the emergence of evolution.

1920's - Radiometric dating
Prior to the 1920's the earth was assumed to be 10's of million years old, based on Lord Kelvin's calculation on the rate of cooling (He didn't know about radioactive decay which added heat). After the understanding of Radiometric dating the earth was determined to be billions of years old.

1925 - Scopes Monkey Trial

In the 1925 "Scopes Monkey Trial" where William Jennings Bryan and Clarence Darrow faced off over the teaching of Darwin's theory of evolution in a Dayton, Tennessee high school. Bryan and the prosecution won, and Scopes was convicted of violating Tennessee law by teaching evolution. The conviction was overturned on a technicality, much to the frustration of the defense, and never heard before the Supreme Court.
H. L. Menken's reporting of the trial made fun of creationists.

Marvin Olasky's and John Perry;s, 2005 book "Monkey Business: The True Story Of The Scopes Trial" refutes a number of myths that continue to flourish about the trial.

Fritz R. Ward wrote a review of Olasky's book "Monkey Business: The True Story Of The Scopes Trial" called "Debunking Debunkers: A Solid History of the Scopes Trial" where he says: There were a number of myths that continue to flourish about the trial. Scopes was not a science teacher and in all likelihood had never taught evolution in the classroom. Indeed, the whole trial resulted from an effort on the part of some citizens in Dayton to bring national publicity to their town in the hopes of revitalizing the local economy. The ACLU, which "defended" Scopes, was in fact simply looking for a test case on the question of teaching evolution, largely because the organization had lost its main rationale for existence (defending opponents of the draft in World War I) and needed publicity to continue.

1938 - The Origins of Life

In "The Origins of Life", Russian biochemist, Alexander Oparin, published a theory of how chemical reactions with simple gases could have produced building blocks of life. See Evolution

1953 - Miller-Urey Experiment
While doing graduate work under Harold Urey at the University of Chicago, Stanley Miller conducted the first experimental test of the Oparin model.

Scientists still have not been able to show how self replicating cells were originally created, but they are getting closer. John Sutherland's paper "RNA world easier to make", (Nature, 13 May, 2009), describes his discovery of a route for synthesizing nucleotides from prebiotic chemicals.
See more at Evolution

1950's - DNA
Gergor Mendel had described inheritance in "Experiments With Plant Hybrids", but no one knew how it worked. After the discovery of the DNA molecule, a whole new area of analysis opened up allowing species to be compared at the level of the gene.

1987 - Edwards v. Aguillard
In the early 1980s, the Louisiana legislature passed a law titled the "Balanced Treatment for Creation-Science and Evolution-Science in Public School Instruction Act". The Act did not require teaching either creationism or evolution, but did require that when evolutionary science was taught, the "creation science" had to be taught as well.

In Edwards v. Aguillard, 482 U.S. 578 (1987) The Supreme Court struck down Louisiana law that required creationism to be discussed with evolution in public schools because the law lacked a legitimate secular purpose.

Within two years a supplementary textbook, "Of Pandas and People", had been produced which referred to an "intelligent designer" rather than "creator" to explain the creationist view.
See: Wikipedia

1991 - Intelligent Design - Darwin on Trial
Phillip E. Johnson's 1991 book popularized the term "intelligent design" in its current sense in his 1991 book, Darwin on Trial,

See: Intelligent Design

2005 - Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District
Eleven parents of students in Dover, Pennsylvania, near York, sued the Dover Area School District over a statement that the school board (newly elected with several religiously conservative members) required be read aloud in ninth-grade science classes when evolution was taught.
The Statement specified that "Darwin's Theory is a Theory and not a fact" and offers the reference book, "Of Pandas and People" for students who might be interested in gaining an understanding of Intelligent Design.

The Judge ruled that the Dover mandate was unconstitutional, and barred intelligent design from being taught in Pennsylvania's Middle District public school science classrooms. The eight Dover school board members who voted for the intelligent design requirement were all defeated in a November 8, 2005 election.

2009 - Sutherland article in Nature
John Sutherland, a chemist at the Univ. of Manchester reported in Nature his discovery of a route for synthesizing nucleotides from prebiotic chemicals.

See Wikipedia.

Viewpoints - Ranges of Creation/Evolution Stances:
The views are more than a dichotomy between Darwinian Evolution and Biblical Creation. Scott lists the following Creation/Evolution Continuum:

  • "Flat Earthers" being the group most adherent to a literal interpretation of the Bible.
  • "Young Earth Creationists" (YECs) who believe that the Earth is merely thousands of years old and that the "days" described in Genesis were actual 24 hour events. They explain the different levels of fossils on rearrangement during the flood to make them look like they were created at different times.
    This view rose to prominence in the middle of the 20th century.
  • "Gap Creationists" - Believe there was a gap between Genesis 1 and 2. Creation was done initially then rearranged some time later as described in Genesis 2.
    See gap theory.
  • "Old Earth Creationists" (OECs) (Progressive Creationism) and related groups who believe that the Earth is ancient, that the "days" of Genesis were not necessarily 24 hour events (thus accounting for the Earth's antiquity), that "microevolution" - change within an existing group - can occur, and that mankind was made by God in His image
  • "Theistic Evolutionists" (TEs) who believe that the world is ancient, that God has created all life through evolution, that Genesis is an allegorical account of creation, and that God has provided a guiding hand during the process of evolution (especially when it comes to the development of man). This is the version taught at most seminaries for mainline Christian denominations.
  • "Materialist Evolutionists" accepting a completely non-theistic explanation for the origins of life
Alan D. Gishlick has 10 categories.
Gap creationists believe there was a gap between Genesis 1 and 2. Creation was done initially then rearranged some time later as described in Genesis 2.
See gap theory.

See: Scott EC: The Creation/Evolution Continuum. Reports of the National Center for Science Education 1999, 19(4):16, 17, 21-23.
Evolution vs Creation: An Introduction, Eugenie Scott, 2004

In Evolution: An Entirely Different View they say:
"One of the most misunderstood aspects of Darwin's theory is that it is atheistic in intent. Not so. But the perception of his theory as being atheistic, by virtually everyone, is surely understandable.
Darwin's original stated claim was only to disprove the previously held religious notion that a Creator was continually intervening in the affairs of the planet, and in kind of a "tinker-toy" fashion, keeping a suitable spectrum of species available for the use of mankind.

Alfred Russel Wallace, who proposed evolution in a paper he sent to Darwin before Origin was published, belived that God (or some Spiritual Force) created evolution itself, and thus there was no need to tinker with things along the way.


In The Lost World of Adam and Eve: Genesis 2-3 and the Human Origins Debate: John H. Walton, N. T. Wright. 2015, they explain,
The ancient Near East (ANE) mindset wasn't interested in questions of scientific or material origins, as we moderns have. Rather, ancient people thought in terms of functional origins. The various ANE creation accounts (Gen. 1-2 is just one) were only concerned with the ordering of the cosmos and the assigning of functions and roles.

For example one can create a computer which involves a lot of materials, electronics, ... or create an organization, which is about rolls, responsibilities.

In Material or Function in Genesis 1?, John Walton says,
"The illustration that I have grown fond of using is that that building a house is one way to tell an origins story, but the origins story about making a home is just as legitimate. Think of the difference of having a tour of the house done by the home inspector before it is purchased (material focus) and the tour of the house you give once you have everything moved in (usually a more functional focus...you showcase how you have set up or organized the house to live in it)." -


Beliefs

Public Beliefs:
Gallup has polled people periodically from 1982 to 1997 and in 1997 44% said "God created man pretty much in his present form at one time within the last 10,000 years". Among college graduates (in the 1991 survey) 25% believed in creation, 54% believed in theistic evolution and 16.5% believed in natural evolution. See results at ReligiousTolerance.org.

A 2007 Belief net survey showed beliefs as:

The universe was created in six days as described in Genesis:  29%
          Evolution is true, but God began and/or directs it:  43%
   Evolution is true, and religion has nothing to do with it:  28%
A Science survey of 34 countries in 2005 showed only 5 countries (Latvia, Lithuania, Cyprus, US and Turkey) which had less than 50% who believed in evolution. In most western European countries more than 75% believed in evolution.
See "Public Acceptance of Evolution". Science (11 August 2006) 313 (5788): 765-766.
At LiveScience.com

Scientists beliefs:
The Gallup poll showed only 5% of scientists were creationists but 40% were theistic evolutionists.

In 1987, Newsweek reported: "By one count there are some 700 scientists with respectable academic credentials (out of a total of 480,000 U.S. earth and life scientists [0.15%]) who give credence to creation science, the general theory that complex life forms did not evolve but appeared 'abruptly.'".

In Darwins Autobiography; In 1825 after dropping out of medical school he wrote:

"I liked the thought of being a country clergyman. Accordingly I read with care Pearson on the Creed and a few other books on divinity; and as I did not then in the least doubt the strict and literal truth of every word in the Bible, I soon persuaded myself that our Creed must be fully accepted."
Later, 1836 to 1839, he said:
"I had gradually come by this time, to see that the Old Testament was no more to be trusted than the sacred books of the Hindus or the beliefs of any barbarian."

Creationists like to say Scientists are wrong in not accepting miracles; If scientists are wrong why have they contributed much more to the well-being of society than the church? See 20th century progress.

Church beliefs:
Anglicans, Catholics, most Protestant Christians, and Conservative and Reformed Jews believe that God is the Creator, but that he works through the process of evolution, Theistic Evolution; Individual congregations within the mainline denominations (especially among the Baptists, Lutherans, and Presbyterians) may have more conservative views.

In Long War Against God (1989), p. 44, Henry Morris, writes:
"The seminaries and colleges of the major denominations (Catholic, Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian, Episcopalian, Lutheran, Reformed, Congregational, Disciples, etc.) have almost all been committed to evolution for many, many years. Nevertheless, in almost all of these denominations there are still significant numbers of creationists among their members." The conservative denominations tend to be creationists (Intelligent Designers).

"The charismatic churches (Assemblies of God, Pentecostal, etc.) are an enigma. Most have held to the Gap Theory, and a significant number of their colleges (e.g., Oral Roberts University, Evangel College, CBN University) have a mixture on their faculties with a goodly number teaching progressive creation or even theistic evolution .

"Independent churches, especially the so-called Bible churches and independent Baptist churches, are almost all at least nominally creationists, through some still hold to the Gap Theory.
"The Southern Baptists and Missouri Synod Lutherans are partial exceptions to the general trend of compromise." -Ibid., pp. 105-106.

In "God?s chance creation", an Aug. 2005 article in the Tablet, a Catholic magazine George Coyne, Director, Vatican Observatory, says:
"If they respect the results of modern science and, indeed, the best of modern biblical research, religious believers must move away from the notion of a dictator God or a designer God, a Newtonian God who made the universe as a watch that ticks along regularly."

Pope John Paul II said in 1981 "The Bible does not wish to teach how the heavens were made, but how one goes to heaven".

In 408 St. Augustine wrote De Genesi ad literam, which suggests that when the Bible is at odds with empirical observations that the spiritual meaning of the Bible should not be questioned because the Bible only teaches things necessary for salvation. This leaves the door open for understanding nature outside the context of the Bible. Augustine took the view that the Biblical text should not be interpreted literally if it contradicts what we know from science and our God-given reason. He did not see this as a conflict.

Middle Ground:

In "Finding Darwin's God", 1999, Kenneth Miller analyzes several earlier arguments regarding complexity in cell biology, and shows how certain complex structures can evolve. He convincingly argues that science and religion offer different, but compatible, ways of viewing the world (Theistic Evolution). In taking this position, he is supported by the leaders of most of the world's major religions.

He says (P. 267):
"As a Christian, I find the flow of their logic [missing intermediate species and suspect mechanisims for evolution implies it is wrong.] particularly depressing. Not only does it teach us to fear the acquisition of knowledge, which might at any time disprove belief, but it suggests that God dwells only in the shadows of our understanding. I suggest that if God is real, we should be able to find Him somewhere else - in the bright light of human knowledge, spiritual and scientific."

Francis Collins, evangelical Christian and head of the NIH says "One of the great tragedies of our time is this impression that has been created that science and religion have to be at war."
See his Stanford Talk.

Rob Bell (former pastor at Mars Hill Bible Church and featured in the NOOMA videos) says, "Trying to argue about the dates and times when the world was created is wasting our time. The kind of Christian world that wants to argue about that is trying to make absolutes out of the abstracts in Genesis."

At Looking for the Missing Link Bell says, "Whenever you have people transcending and including to a higher level of maturity and growth, there will be people who push even harder for their particular positions. It's too low a view of the Bible. It turns the Bible into something it's not and misses some of the big things the Bible actually is.

See Also:
The Creation/Evolution Controversy in America
Creation Science (Arguments from a creationist perspective)
Creation-Evolution Headlines at CreationSafaris.com


Issues

The creation/evolution controversy centers on five main issues (Eve and Harrold 1991):

  1. The origin of the universe was divinely created, or has it always existed, or did it come into existence without any supernatural causes;
  2. The age of the universe and of the earth - thousands or billions of years old; See Bible Dates.
  3. Origin of life - created out of nothing, or from chemical processes;
  4. Biological evolution - modification of species;
  5. Human origins - evolve from other life-forms or distinctly created.

Did Creation occur in 7 - 24 hr. days?
Biblical passages like [Psalms 90:4], ("For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday ..." ) and "But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day." [2 Peter 3:8] were used to reconcile the two.

The hebrew word for day, yom (), can mean a literal day (24 hours), or an "extended period" or "age" to be defined by associated words.
See: What does "yom" mean in Genesis 1 and "The Days of Genesis"

Arguments for Creation or Intelligent Design:

Intelligent Design:

The concept probability originated with The Mystery of Life's Origin, Thaxton et al, 1984, which first proposed the origin of life was unexplained through natural causes.
It gained more publicity starting in 1989 with the publication of "Of Pandas and People" in an attempt to put a scientific spin on creationism, so it could be accepted in schools.

Phillip E. Johnson (born 1940) is a retired UC Berkeley American law professor and author. A born again Christian, Johnson popularized the term "intelligent design" in its current sense in his 1991 book, Darwin on Trial, and he remains one of the best known advocates for intelligent design, and is considered the founder of the intelligent design movement.

Intelligent design asserts that body design is direct, while theistic evolution asserts that body design is indirect, although somehow guided by God under His authority or thru the natural laws he created in the beginning.
See: Some Objections to Intelligent Design

Irreducible complexity
In Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution , 1996, Michael Behe presents the case that the essential randomness of natural selection can explain evolutionary development only at the macro level, not at the micro level. Within the biochemistry of living cells, he argues, life is "irreducibly complex." I.e. they could not have evolved from a simpler structure, because there is no simpler structure which is functional. He uses the example of bacterial flagellum (appendages used for motion). This is the last black box to be opened, the end of the road for science.
However, he accepts the idea that species have been differentiated by the mechanism of natural selection from a common ancestor.

There are scientific articles and books who refute this argument.
See Irreducible Complexity.

Missing Fossils
The lack of transitional links and intermediate forms in either the fossil record or the modern world is another argument for creation.

The review of "Darwin on Trial" at amazon says:
In his own era, Darwin's most formidable opponents were fossil experts, not clergymen. Even today, according to the author, the fossil record, far from conclusive, does not support the presumed existence of intermediate links between species.
Doubting the smooth line of transitional steps between apes and humans sketched by neo-Darwinists, he cites evidence for "rapid branching," i.e., mysterious leaps which presumably produced the human mind and spirit from animal materials. This evidence, to Johnson, suggests that "the putative hominid species" may not have contained our ancestors after all.

In a project to map our church's graveyard in New Jersey, I interviewed a retired pastor who presided over moving some 120 year old graves to make room for a church expansion. He said the only thing they found was some metal (belt buckles, buttons, hinges, ...) no bones or other human remains.
It takes a very special environment for fossils to survive. Not only must they protected from scavengers to avoid being torn apart, but they must be in a generally hot dry climate to be preserved. It's a wonder we find as many as we do.
New intermediate links are being found all the time.
In 2006 paleontologists found species, Tiktaalik roseae, has a skull, a neck, ribs and parts of the limbs that are similar to four-legged animals known as tetrapods, as well as fish-like features such as a primitive jaw, fins and scales.
See:
Newly Found Species Fills Evolutionary Gap Between Fish And Land Animals at ScienceDaily.com
Rebuttal to "The Fake Ape-Men The Evolution Conspiracy" - YouTube

There have been over 6,000 fossils found representing 18 species in the human family tree (tribe = "Hominini"). 25% of the new fossils were found in the last decade. They are all extinct except homo sapiens now. As you go back in time toward a common ancestor for humans and chimps (our closest relative. 98.8% similar DNA) the fossils become more and more similar.
See: Missing Link in Evolution.

Vision - The eye
Both Darwin and Dawkins (1986) use the eye as an example of evolution.
"To suppose that the eye, with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest possible degree," Darwin wrote in On the Origin of Species.

Behe (1996) p. 38 says "Dawkin's explanation is only addressed to the level of what is called gross anatomy." He asserts they can't explain the details.

In the 90's Walter Gehring produced flies sprouting eyes on their wings, their legs, and their antennae. What they found was a control gene (Pax-6), a gene that could tell a tissue--perhaps any tissue--to be an eye.
Other expreiments found that there is the same underlying genetic basis in all animal phyla.
They also have provided strong evidence that, contrary to common belief, the eyes of animals as unrelated as vertebrates and invertebrates evolved more than half a billion years ago from a common ancestor. Walter Gehring, Science March 1995

God of the Gaps
Some people refer to arguments like Behe's as "God of the Gaps" arguments, which associate things not explained by science as one of Gods miracles. Most theologians find these arguments demeaning to science and religion. As gaps are filled by science, God becomes smaller.
See more at Why Christianity?

The Sidney Harris cartoon to the right © 2003 The New Yorker Collection at cartoonBank.com Is often used in these debates. It is available at ScienceCartoonsPlus.com

Theistic Evolution
A belief that religious teachings about God and creation are compatible with some or all of the modern scientific understanding about biological evolution. The view that God creates through evolution.

This is the version taught in most main-line seminaries.

Some say it is similar to Intelligent Design, but William Dembski says:
"Design theorists are no friends of theistic evolution" (1995)

Probability Arguments
Can something as complex as the human genome occur at random even in 3 billion years?

There have been several probability arguments against evolution put forward.
Gish 1976, Morris 1974, Perloff 1999.
Recent insights into the complexity of the human genome indicate that it is highly unlikely that random mutations alone can account for our creation.

Biophysicist Hubert Yockey calculates that natural selection would have to explore 1.40 x 1070 different genetic codes to hit upon the universal genetic code found in nature. At that rate it would have to evaluate about 1054 codes per second since life began here 3.8 billion years ago. (See: I.D. IN DNA: Deciphering Design in the Genetic Code, by Fazale Rana at www.reasons.org
This is not an argument against evolution only that it was unlikely that process was completely random.

Second law of thermodynamics:
"The opinion that evolution was contrary to the second law of thermodynamics was pushed by scientists who did not accept evolution. In the twentieth century this alleged conflict has been a favorite theme of the Biblical creationists and of the creation-science advocates.

The second law states: Entropy (a measure of the unavailability of a system's energy to do work. Entropy change has often been defined as a change to a more disordered state at a molecular level) of an isolated system which is not in equilibrium will tend to increase over time, approaching a maximum value at equilibrium.

It's a misunderstanding of the second law that leads creationists to the wrong conclusion. evolution is not based on increasing order, it is based on increasing complexity. "Energetically, the second law of thermodynamics favors the formation of the majority of all known complex and ordered chemical compounds directly from their simpler elements, because these compounds have less energy in them than the elements of which they are composed.

Darwin, Racism and Hitler:
A 2001 Bill "To provide relative to racism and education about racism" introduced by Louisiana Legislator Sharon Weston-Broome says,

"The writings of Charles Darwin, the father of evolution, promoted the justification of racism, and his books On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection: or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life and The Descent of Man postulate a hierarchy of superior and inferior races;"
In the 2008 independent film "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed" directed by Nathan Frankowski and hosted by Ben Stein, contends that the mainstream science establishment suppresses academics who believe they see evidence of intelligent design in nature and who criticize evidence supporting Darwinian evolution and the modern evolutionary synthesis as a mainstream conspiracy to keep God out of science laboratories and classrooms. The scientific theory of evolution is portrayed by the film as contributing to fascism, the Nazi Holocaust, communism, atheism, and eugenics.

The first edition of Mein Kampf, indicates that Hitler was a young-earth creationist.
He based his ideas on a "divine right" not Darwinism.
On several occasions he said, "it recognizes the higher and lesser value ... and feels obligated to promote victory for the better... in accordance with the eternal will that dominates the universe."


More History:
Edward O. Wilson, Harvard professor and winner of two Pulitzer prizes started his life, like Darwin as a Christian believer. He maked the following comments in Intelligent Evolution, an article in the Nov. 2005 Harvard Magazine:

Thus it is surpassingly strange that half of Americans recently polled (2004) not only do not believe in evolution by natural selection but do not believe in evolution at all. Americans are certainly capable of belief, and with rocklike conviction if it originates in religious dogma. In evidence is the 60 percent that accept the prophecies of the Book of Revelation as truth, and yet in more evidence is the weight that faith-based positions hold in political life. Most of the religious Right opposes the teaching of evolution in public schools, either by an outright ban on the subject or, at the least, by insisting that it be treated as "only a theory" rather than a "fact."

Yet biologists, particularly those statured by the peer review and publication of substantial personal research on the subject in leading journals of science, are unanimous in concluding that evolution is a fact. The evidence they and thousands of others have adduced over 150 years falls together in intricate and interlocking detail. The multitudinous examples range from the small changes in DNA sequences observed as they occur in real time to finely graded sequences within larger evolutionary changes in the fossil record. Further, on the basis of comparably firm evidence, natural selection grows ever stronger as the prevailing explanation of evolution.

...

Darwin began his voyage on the Beagle as a devout Christian who trained for the ministry. "Whilst on board the Beagle I was quite orthodox," he wrote much later in his autobiography, "and I remember being heartily laughed at by several of the officers (though themselves orthodox) for quoting the Bible as an unanswerable authority on some point of morality."

So, will science and religion find common ground, or at least agree to divide the fundamentals into mutually exclusive domains? A great many well-meaning scholars believe that such rapprochement is both possible and desirable. A few disagree, and I am one of them. I think Darwin would have held to the same position. The battle line is, as it has ever been, in biology. The inexorable growth of this science continues to widen, not to close, the tectonic gap between science and faith-based religion.


After a cursory review of the material my conclusion is trying to prove or disprove creationism is like trying to prove the existence of God. It can't be done.
There are no articles in the "scientific journals" on either side of this argument. There are surely some holes in Darwin's theory, but you can't prove or disprove evolution. 3.5 billion years since the first signs of life on earth, even 500 million years since the Cambrian explosion of species is a long time that I can't comprehend.

I don't believe that scientists are out to support evolution because of they want to be accepted by supporting a popular "worldly view".
I think both sides are influenced by human nature. Scientists have a need to explain things in scientific terms.
Creationists want to have respect and with the "Bible on their side", they feel empowered to hold up "biblical truths" to a secular world and science they don't trust or understand.

All of the arguments on both sides have holes. There does seem to be some agreement on common ancestors. Even Behe (2006) (known for the concept of Irreducible complexity) concedes a common ancestor.


Glossary
  • Allele - One of the alternative forms of a single gene (that is, a particular nucleotide sequence occurring at a given locus on a chromosome).
  • Creationism - The doctrine that life was created by God, usually with the belief that species have existed unchanged since their creation.
  • Evolution - a change in genes that can produce new species of plants and animals over time. This occurs through natural selection, genetic variation, genetic drift, viral colonization, epigenetics, punctuated equilibrium and other mechanisms.
  • Gap Theory - There is a great gap in time between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2. Billions of years ago God created the spacemass-time universe. The life forms, whos fossils we find were created over many ages. Then the earth underwent a great cataclysm. God then re-created or reconstituted the earth in the six literal days of creation recorded in the first chapter of Genesis.
  • Gene - A sequence of consecutive base pairs (or Nucleotides) along the DNA. Provides a specific function to an organism. See molecular biology.
  • Genetic variation - Changes in genes that give rise to "superior" traits that better assure reproduction.
  • Genetic drift - Random changes in genes accumulating over time that don't give rise to superior traits but still lead to new species.
  • Genotype - The genetic constitution of cells or individuals, often referring to alleles of one or more specified genes. Provides the hereditary information necessary for phenotypic development.
  • ICR - Institute for Creation Research
  • Answers in Genesis
  • Coral Ridge Ministries: Dr. D. James Kennedy
  • Intelligent design maintains that we can infer from evidence in nature that some features of the universe and living things are better explained by an intelligent cause than by unguided processes. See Darwin on Trial.
  • Irreducible complexity - A system which would stop working if any of its components was removed. The idea that structures could not have evolved from a simpler structure, because there is no simpler structure which is functional. (Behe)
  • macroevolution - Large-scale changes in gene frequencies in a population over a geological time period (i.e. consisting of extended microevolution). The difference is largely one of approach. Microevolution is reductionist, but macroevolution is holistic.
  • microevolution - Small-scale changes in allele frequencies in a population, over a few generations, also known as change at or below the species level.
  • Natural selection - Charles Darwin's concept that plants and animals with better survival and reproductive traits will overcome others to pass on their characteristics.
  • Natural theology - Theologian Thomas Aquinas said nature's orderliness suggests a divine architect, an early argument for intelligent design.
  • Neo-Darwinism - The origin of species only through natural selection and genetic variation.
  • Phenotype - The observable properties of an individual - how big they are, and so on. This is the result of both the environment they grew up in, and their genotype.
  • Phylotype (phylotypic) - A proposed stage in embryonic development that characterizes some basic features in the body plan of a phylum.
  • Phylum - The major taxonomic category below the level of kingdom. See taxonomy.
  • Punctuated equilibrium - Concentrated outbursts of new species tied to sudden isolation of daughter species from original species, unlike the slow changes predicted by traditional evolution. (Gould)
  • Theistic Evolution - God has created all life through evolution. See above.
  • YEC - Young Earth Creationism

Glossary at USA Today
Glossary of Terms for the Creation/Evolution Debate at EvC Forum
An "Intelligent Design" Glossary & Phrasebook

Books - Timeline

Articles
- Darwin, Charles and Wallace, Alfred (1858) THE DARWIN-WALLACE 1858 EVOLUTION PAPER, Published in Journal of the Proceedings of the Linnean Society, Zoology 3: 45-62. 20 Aug 1858
- Morris, Henry M. & Gish, Duane T. (Editors) (1976) The Battle For Creation: Acts/Facts/Impacts (Vol. 2), Creation-Life Publishers, 321
- Morris, Henry M. (1974) The Troubled Waters of Evolution, Creation Life Publishers, San Diego, CA, 217
- Gould, S & Eldridge, (1993) Punctuated Equilibrium comes of age, Nature 366
Morris, Henry M. (1974) Many Infallible Proofs: Practical and useful evidence of Christianity, Creation-Life Publishers II + 381
- Scott EC: The Creation/Evolution Continuum. Reports of the National Center for Science Education 1999, 19(4):16, 17, 21-23.
- Dembski (1995) "What every theologian should know about creationism, evolution and design, Center for Interdisciplinary Studies Transactions 3 (2): 1-8
- Dawkins, R. 1994. The eye in a twinkling. Nature 368(April 21):690.

Organizations:
The Discovery Institute a Seattle think tank best known for its advocacy of intelligent design, also has a Technology and Democracy Project (TDP) that advocates freeing technological advancement from government regulation. (See: Summary at Wikipedia)
National Center for Science Education (NCSE)
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
Americans United for Separation of Church and State (AU)
The Foundation for Thought and Ethics (FTE), publisher of "Of Pandas and People"
American Scientific Affiliation: A Fellowship of Christians in Science

Movies:
Expelled: Not Intelligence Allowed - Ben Stein's movie about scientists expelled because they advocated Intelligent Design.
  Expelled Exposed: What Ben Stein's movie isn't telling you about intellligent Design

What's in Highschool text books:
"Modern Biology", the Holt, Rinehart and Winston textbook Teacher Edition(2006-2008?) says this about evolution:
"Tell students that this chapter will present hypotheses, theories, and evidence about early Earth and about ways in which early forms of life may have developed. Tell students that scientists may disagree about many specific ideas, but most scientists agree that earth formed billions of years ago and that conditions on early earth were different from conditions today."

The principle of biogenesis, which states that all living things come from other living things, seems very reasonable to s today. Before the seventeenth century, however, It was widely thought that living things could also arise from nonliving things. This seemed to explain why maggots appeared on rotting meat and why fish appeared in ponds that had been dry the previous season.

If spontaneous generation does not happen on Earth today, then the question remains: How did cell-based life arised in the first place? The key to answering this question lies in schentific hypotheses that conditions on early Earth were very different from present conditions. Scientists continue to form and test these hypotheses by modeling conditions and processes that could have given rise to the first cellular life on Earth.
...

The estimated age of Earth, more than 4 billion years.
...

Look at the bones in the forelimbs of humans, penguins, alligators and bats (figure in book). Each limb has a similar structure. One explanation for the commonalities is that an early ancestor was shared by these vertebrates.
...

As in all areas of science, hypotheses and theories about evolution continue to be formed, challenged and revised. Many aspects of evolution remain poorly understood, and some observations remain unexplained. Although modern evolutionary theory like all theories in science, can never be "proven" it is widely accepted and applied by scientists because it explains the broadest range observations and makes useful predictions.

It never mentions creation.

A friend sent me a link to the Institute for Creation Research.
I looked at a couple of articles. In "What Really Swallowed Jonah?".
They claim it was a ketos, a sea serpent.

The same people say you can't believe evolution because of missing links several million years ago, yet they believe in a sea serpent 2,800 years ago, for which there are no fossil remains.

My problem is that a lot of Christians believe this stuff. They make all of us all look bad and confirm the following definitions of faith. :-)

"Faith is something you believe that nobody in his right mind would believe." - Archie Bunker
"Faith: is believing something you know ain't true." - Mark Twain
"Faith: not wanting to know what is true." - Friedrich Nietzsche

Links:
Irreducible Complexity.

St. Augustine on allowing science to inform how we read Scripture - Christian Forums

August 24, 2008, New York Times Article "A teacher on the front line as faith and science clash" about including teaching of evolution in more state education standards.

Science And Faith: The Hominid Fossil Record at Southwestern Adventist University presents the facts and states that faith is required for whatever position you take, creation, evolution of something in between. It then examines the leaps of faith you have to take with each model.

A Primer on Science, Religion, Evolution and Creationism at the Smithsonian

Tracking How Evolution Theory Came to Be at NPR.
The Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture (http://www.discovery.org/csc) is a program which supports research by scientists and other scholars challenging various aspects of neo-Darwinian theory
  The Scientific Status of Intelligent Design at the Discovery Institute.
  By Design: A Whitworth professor takes a controversial stand to show that life was no accident by Stephen C. Meyer
Paul Tillich, German-American theologian, said: "Doubt is not the opposite of faith; it is one element of faith." Transitional Fossils of Hominid Skulls
Talkdesign.org responses to the arguments of the Intelligent Design (ID) movement.
Institute for Creation Research - Recent Impact Articles, Evolution and Compromise
Learning About Evolution in a Climate of Science Denial | Science Education on the Edge
How, and how fast, did the human brain evolve? C Why Evolution Is True
Timeline: Remembering the Scopes Monkey Trial
Evolution Resources and reviews of "Finding Darwin's God," at Kenneth Miller's site
Progress in Complexity at the International Society for Complexity, Information, and Design (ISCID)
Susan Phillips, R-Kansas City-North, co-sponsors House bill 911. The bill requires teaching "biological intelligent design" in science classes.
Slate's Explainer: Creationism v. Intelligent Design
EvC Forum - Creation/Evolution Debate
Talk.origins is a newsgroup devoted to the discussion of issues related to biological and physical origins with lots of Evolution vs Creation discussions.
Fundamentalism.
The Creation/Evolution Controversy in America
Creation Science (Arguments from a creationist perspective)
Creation-Evolution Headlines at CreationSafaris.com
Scientists of Faith
Why Darwin was right--and why it matters
Was Darwin a Christian?
God vs. Science (Interview with Dawkins), Time mag, Nov. 6, 2006
The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief, Francis Collins
The Creation: An Appeal to Save Life on Earth, urging believers and non-believers to unite over conservation, by Edward O. Wilson
Top Evidences Against the Theory of Evolution
Gallup polls
Creationism vs. Evolution: 6 Big Battles
Brief History of Creationism -- From the Middle Ages to "Creation Science"
Darwin's Great Tautology: Discussion Of Two Fatal Defects In His Theory Of Evolution
Defender's Guide to Science and Creationism
Books On Creation Science/Evolution
Science and the Bible
Evolution Misconceptions


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Last updated 20 Feb 2010