Evolution Essay, Research Paper
For decades, all the rhetoric on how man came to be aroused a debate. This has been a constant cause of disagreement between evolutionist and the Catholic Church. Evolutionists believe that modern man’s existence on earth is the result of evolution, while members of the church argue that God created modern man. This thesis aims to resolve the ancient argument of evolution vs. creation by proving that the concepts of evolution and creation can be reconciled. This “reconciliation” is not synonymous to the absolute integration of Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution and the Bible’s Story of Creation. It illustrates how the two basic concepts can be mixed together to counterbalance for each concepts deficiencies and to produce a convincing explanation of man’s existence on earth. It is important to note that the word evolution and creation, as used in this paper, pertain specifically to human evolution and the creation of man respectively.
How did modern man come to be? Did God create him in the same form in which he appears today or did he undertake his present state as a result of evolution? The answers to these questions and to the age-old debate of evolution vs. creation are truly difficult to arrive at and remain unresolved today. Both explanations contain several believable ideas but both are also subject to loopholes, which prevent them from becoming the accepted explanations of modern man’s existence. Each theory explains clearly the specific idea but does not support these ideas with proofs. Therefore they stay as a theory. Science was able to explain and prove many theories; it is rather simple to believe that science could be correct with this theory.
In scientific labs, special scientists were able to create creatures using the deoxyribose nucleic acids from previous existing creatures to form another of its kind. They are even able to clone creatures and possibility the human race. If scientists are able to do this, it is likely that evolution did occurred. Missing facts are needed to complete this search for the answer to the origins of life. Until these facts are found, tested, and proven evolution is rather convincing.
God, a man who no one has ever seen or encountered, is thought of as the creator of mankind. This can be true but the question is how; how was he able to create man? Using what tools and materials? Can it be proved that this figure exists? Most people would agree that these questions can not be answered therefor why should someone believe in this theory of a mysterious magical figure and his creations.
Devout Christians view the First Chapter of the Book of Genesis or the Creation Story as literal history and Revealed Truth. They consequently believe that God created man in his own image and likeness and that man did not evolve. The main reason why people believe the Creation Story is the fact that it appears in the Holy Bible. For them, the Bible is the Word of God—the infallible truth. People also tend to believe that creation occurred because they find it hard to believe that life, with all its complexities, just began on its own and was accidental. They assume that there must have been something or someone behind it and for Christians, this someone is God, the Creator.
The primary basis of creation is the Bible. Believers tend to take the scriptures literally, forgetting that it is actually a literary work, which is more concerned with meaning than the fact. Bible readers must not only look at the obvious meanings of the words, but also at the deeper meaning which they convey. It must also be remembered that people who lived in a different time and environment wrote the Bible. This fact will surely pose a problem in interpreting the Bible since the modern day interpretation of the Scriptures is bound to be considerably different from the actual message, which the writer intended to convey. Even if it is insisted upon that the Bible is the work of God, it has to be considered that the Bible as it is known today is not the original text. It has undergone several translations and has been made into several versions that differ from each other in some ways. This alone is proof that discrepancies exist between the current Bible and the original. If today’s Bibles were exactly the same as the original, differences between versions should not exist. Yet another point for consideration is the lapse between the time that the first man appeared on earth and the time that man learned to write. This lapse was equivalent to several centuries. Thus, it is unlikely, if not impossible, that the writer of the Story of Creation had actually experienced it firsthand.
Evolution may be defined as the process through which all living things have developed from primitive organisms through changes occurring over billions of years. The concept of human evolution revolves around man’s gradual transformation from an ape-like creature to the state in which he appears now. Much of what is known about evolution is based on Charles Darwin. In fact, the modern theory of evolution relies heavily on the Darwinian concept of natural selection. According to this concept, favorable variations occur in nature and these are preserved and multiplied from generation to generation at the expense of the less advantageous ones. Natural selection may occur due to competition; the organism may capitalize on traits that will help it become an effective competitor. This may also be a response to changes in the environment; the organism may adopt certain traits so as to adapt to the environment.
Though how evolution occurs is still a subject of debate, it has already been established that evolution is a scientific fact. Another reason to believe in evolution is the fact that it is supported by primary evidence, namely, the remains of early man. Since the middle of the nineteenth century an impressive series of ape-like and human fossils have been unearthed. These finds support the theory that a sequence of modifications has transformed an apelike creature to man. There is sufficient evidence that modern man is evolving today. If so, how can it be ruled out that he evolved in the past? The missing link used to be considered as evolution’s greatest flaw, yet if man’s evolutionary chain is closely observed it will be noticed that the missing link occurs so early in the chain that it cannot substantially mar the evolutionary theory. The missing link which anti-evolutionists often refer to is the common ancestor of man and ape. As of yet, none of its remains have been found and very little is known about it, but intensive comparison between modern man and extant apes supports the belief that they did come from a common origin.
Why is evolution taught in school and not the bible? That is because many people have different religions. The theory of evolution is a scientific fact and science is a part of the education process. It is easier to explain evolution than God s creation. With evolution, artifacts found from the past support it. Science over the years aided to the understanding of many things. Evolution is part of that. The bible may bring faith to people but to believe in something impossible to see is quite difficult. The bible was a way of understanding the world in the past when science was not as complex. Now, science has improved and more research shows evolution as a possibility.
Though evolution is a scientific fact, its mechanics remain unclear. The concept of evolution must be sufficiently understood before it can be fully accepted. The Theory of Evolution is incomplete. Man’s origin can only be positively traced to the Australopithecus. What comes before that is unknown. In fact, Darwin’s book, On the Origin of the Species by Means of Natural Selection, failed to live up to its name since it leaves readers unenlightened about the actual origin of modern man.
The solution of the long-standing debate on whether man was created or evolved has come. It is no longer a question of one or the other, it is both—creation and evolution, integrated. Combining the two will lessen, if not eradicate their respective flaws and capitalize on their strengths.
God initially created the common origin of man and apes. Through the course of evolution, this common origin diverged into man and apes. Over the years, man gradually evolved into his current form. This evolution was the result of natural selection or man’s adaptation to his continuously changing environment and his adoption of certain traits in order to be able to compete effectively. The theory of creation sprouted from God s creation to evolution.
The primary basis of the Creation Story is the Bible, which is also the sole basis of the Christian’s negation of the Theory of Evolution. Christians claim that evolution does not coincide with what is stated in the Bible, but they are mistaken. If the Bible is closely examined, it would be observed that there is nothing in it which directly contradicts the concept of evolution. Catholics seem to have a mistaken premise regarding this topic. Saint Augustine admitted early on that the biblical account of creation is symbolic rather than literal and that organisms created at the beginning may have evolved since.
The Story of Creation states that God created man in his own image and likeness. If man first appeared in an apelike form, does this also mean that God resembles an ape? The answer to the question is no. The fact that man began in an apelike form and that he was created in God’s image and likeness does not necessarily mean that God is apelike. This assumption would certainly be unacceptable to the majority of Christians. The clause on man’s being created in God’s image and likeness is figurative and is subject to interpretation. Therefore, it should not be taken literally.
Another thing to consider is the fact that the bible is not absolutely the work of God. It does not contain his exact words. He inspired the human authors by placing in them the light of ultimate meaning and moving them to express themselves freely. The faith in God led people to write in place of him. Consequently, the bible is the work of man and since man is imperfect, it is not the infallible work that people believe it to be.
In conclusion, man’s existence on earth is the result of evolution and creation. God initially created him in an apelike form and he gradually evolved into his present state. This is a plausible argument, which is not negated by the Theory of Evolution or the Bible. The Theory of Evolution does not rule out that man was created by God because it does not even tackle man’s true origin while the Bible does not state that evolution did not occur or could have not occurred. Combining evolution is not a new idea. St. Augustine had admitted early on that evolution may have occurred after creation and that creation account is actually more symbolic. Incidentally, this proves that believing in evolution does not mean that you have no faith in God, neither does the Theory of Evolution undermine God’s significance as the Creator. Yes, He created man. He simply created him in a different form.