Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The Origin of Life: Evolution vs Intelligent Design vs Creationism

A newspaper columnist made the following statement yesterday, "It is absurd..........................that he does not have to explain how, in this day and age, he does not believe in evolution."

Look at these definitions and descriptions according to Wikipedia:

The origin of life is a necessary precursor for biological evolution, but understanding that evolution occurred once organisms appeared and investigating how this happens, does not depend on understanding exactly how life began. The current scientific consensus is that the complex biochemistry that makes up life came from simpler chemical reactions, but it is unclear how this occurred. Not much is certain about the earliest developments in life, the structure of the first living things, or the identity and nature of any last universal common ancestor or ancestral gene pool. Consequently, there is no scientific consensus on how life began, but proposals include self-replicating molecules such as RNA, and the assembly of simple cells. Despite the uncertainty on how life began, it is clear that prokaryotes were the first organisms to inhabit Earth, approximately 3–4 billion years ago. The eukaryotes were the next major innovation in evolution. These came from ancient bacteria being engulfed by the ancestors of eukaryotic cells. The history of life was that of the unicellular eukaryotes, prokaryotes, and archaea until about a billion years ago when multicellular organisms began to appear in the oceans. Soon after the emergence of these first multicellular organisms, a remarkable amount of biological diversity appeared over approximately 10 million years, in an event called the Cambrian explosion. Here, the majority of types of modern animals evolved, as well as unique lineages that subsequently became extinct. About 500 million years ago, plants and fungi colonized the land, and were soon followed by arthropods and other animals. Amphibians first appeared around 300 million years ago, followed by early amniotes, then mammals around 200 million years ago and birds around 100 million years ago (both from "reptile"-like lineages).

Evolution is the change in the inherited traits of a population from one generation to the next. These traits are the expression of genes that are copied and passed on to offspring during reproduction. Mutations in these genes can produce new or altered traits, resulting in heritable differences between organisms. Natural selection is a process that causes heritable traits that are helpful for survival and reproduction to become more common, and harmful traits to become more rare.

Intelligent Design is the assertion that "certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection." It is a modern form of the traditional teleological argument for the existence of God, modified to avoid specifying the nature or identity of the designer. Its primary proponents believe the designer to be God. Advocates of intelligent design claim it is a scientific theory, and seek to fundamentally redefine science to accept supernatural explanations. The unequivocal consensus in the scientific community is that intelligent design is not science. The U.S. National Academy of Sciences has stated that "intelligent design, and other claims of supernatural intervention in the origin of life" are not science because they cannot be tested by experiment, do not generate any predictions, and propose no new hypotheses of their own. The National Science Teachers Association, an organization of American science teachers and the largest organization of science teachers in the world, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science have termed it pseudoscience. Others have concurred, and some have called it junk science.

Creationism is a religious belief that humanity, life, the Earth, and the universe were created in their original form by a deity or deities (often the Abrahamic God of Judaism, Christianity and Islam), whose existence is presupposed. In relation to the creation-evolution controversy the term creationism (or strict creationism) is commonly used to refer to religiously-motivated rejection of evolution. Such beliefs include young Earth creationism, which takes Genesis literally, while Old Earth creationism accepts geological findings but rejects evolution. The term theistic evolution has been coined to refer to beliefs in creation which are more compatible with the scientific view of evolution and the age of the Earth.
So what do you really believe? The assertions of smart scientists or the Word of the Almighty God?


XtianDoctrine said...

I'll choose God's WORD anyday, anytime. The big-bang theory is nothing but the imagination of men. And I'm not at all fascinated by the proponents of Intelligent Design either. Any attempt, by finite minds, to try to explain the wonderful works of an infinite God is to me like a man hitting his head against the wall.

john said...

Simple minds like me would rather stick with the bible narration....

Gospelpsych said...

As a believer, my choice is the word of God. Let every man be a liar and God be true. The beauty of being a believer is that we have God's infallible word, which is encompassingly whole in every way. There are so many hypothesis out there, it is crucially important for us to be careful about the stuff we allow into our minds and into the minds of our children(Ref Rom 12:2;3). The creation story is far more credible compared to the Darwins or any other.