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I'll be a monkey's uncle!

March 10, 2009 - John Stack

 

There has been a lot of talk recently about evolution with the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth. Being a lifelong believer in evolution, I decided to see if there was any real evidence refuting evolution. What I found was a near complete lack of any evidence of creationism (not unexpected – creationism is based completely on faith, not evidence).

 

Many continue the belief that Moses wrote Genesis. Most scholars now actually subscribe to the idea that 5 different people (Known by J, E,P,D and R) ‘wrote’ the first 5 books of Genesis, or the Pentateuch. They used different names to describe God, and R welded together elements of J, E and P into the current Genesis. Even the names Adam, Eve, Jem Ham and Japeth derive from earlier Hindu stories of Adimo, Heva, Sherma, Hama and Jiapheta. So, the creation myth itself is somewhat cloudy.

 

There are a number of supposed contradictions that creationists, especially Young Earth Creationists (Those that believe the Earth is only 6,000 years old). One is the supposed lack of evidence in the fossil record. The YEC claim that there must be a gradual, transitional record in the fossil record to help prove evolution. but, the fossil record is not one of perfect sets of fossils every few thousand years. Conditions have to be near perfect for any fossil record to even exist! What is missing is the supposed ‘missing link’. But, there is a continually changing of the genus Homo, from Homo Habilus of a couple million years ago, through Homo georgicus, Homo erectus (Java man), plus others such as Rhodesia Man  ( a missing link?)and Homo Neanderthalensis prior to today’s Homo sapiens. This transformation wasn’t completely linear, and different groups changed over time in different places. The lack of the perfect 100 skeletons from 4 million years ago until about 250,000 is not evidence of the creation myth, not is it in any way a refutation of evolution. Rather, ‘the absence of evidence does not mean the evidence of absence’.

 

A damning tool against the YEC and their view of the Creation Myth  is the Catholic Church itself. The Catholic church, led by Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi, head of the pontifical Council for Culture, claims evolution is compatible with the Christian view of Creation, but that ‘Intelligent Design’, is neither a scientific nor theological issue, but one of a ‘cultural phenomena’. Further, the archbishop argues the idea of evolution can be traced to St Augustine (4th century) and St Thomas Aquinas (Middle Ages)! Even Pope Pius XII described evolution as a valid, scientific approach to the development of humans.

 

So, far from being an untested theory only espoused by atheists, evolution has been rigorously researched and debated. There have been mistakes, of which YEC and their ilk continually bring up. but, that is the very essence of science – with new evidence, old beliefs are thrown out, replaced by new. It also isn’t just the dogmatic secular  scientists the believe in evolution. In the case of the Kansas School Board trying to insert ID into classroom textbooks, 33 Nobel Laureates of medicine, chemistry and physics all urged the board not to take the action they were considering. These are not ideological secular atheists. They happen to be the greatest scientific minds in the world.

The theory of evolution is a theory. The same as the theory of gravity, but I wouldn’t be jumping off any tall buildings because you didn’t believe that theory…

 

 

 

 
 

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