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Science and Religion Collide

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Religious beliefs about creation have and will affect evolution theories in science. Much time, effort, and money has been spent on trying to prove and disprove theories about the beginning of the world. As scientists dig deeper, some answers seem to rise to the surface while others slip farther into the unknown. There are three main evolution and creation science belief systems: scientific creationism, theistic evolution, and naturalistic evolution. (Three np)

The creation theory, or scientific creationism, is the belief that a supreme being, God, created the entire world and all living in it. This is the most accepted belief among the general public but the least accepted among scientists. (Three np) This belief tells that the world was completed in six days and God rested on the seventh. On the first day, the heavens and earth were created and day and night were separated. The waters separated to make the sky, on day two. By the end of the third day, dry land was created and vegetation began growing from the land. On the fourth day, the sun, moon, and stars were created and placed in their appropriate places. Sea creatures were placed in the waters and sky creatures were released into the skies, on day five. On the last day of creation, all animals were created and humans were given authority over all of the animals. (Moses 1-2)

The creation theory has been around for a long time. It originates from the first two chapters of Genesis in the Bible, but it is also passed down from one generation to the next. Creation scientists help to keep the creation belief alive. They are like any other scientist except that they believe that God created the world and work to prove so. The creation theory is both supported by their work and the Bible. (What np) Science has also supported the creation theory by finding many truths in Bible stories. (Bernitt np) It has been reasoned that if the evolution theory is disproved, the creation theory will be accepted as the truth. Therefore, creation scientists work to point out the falsities and weaknesses of the evolution theory. (What np)

The problem with the creation theory is the many controversies mingling inside of it. One of the more technical is the debate over how long a day was in Genesis. Both creation scientists and the religious community are unsure if a day in Genesis was equal to 24 hours. Some even believe a day could have been equal to a thousand years. Theistic evolution brings up another controversy. It is the belief that God uses evolution among species as a tool for survival. It is believed that species change gradually over time becoming more and more fit for living. For example, in England, peppered moths come in both light and dark colors. About 150 years ago, there were more light moths than dark ones. By the 1950's, the opposite was true in urban areas. Scientists hypothesize that the Industrial Revolution caused the bark of trees to become darker. More dark moths existed because they could blend into the bark and not be seen by their predator, the bird. (Gardner 30)

Throughout time, many naturalistic evolution theories have come and gone. Many are only popular among select groups or during a short amount of time. One, though, is the most prominent theory: the Big Bang theory. This theory has been around for years and is still supported by scientists. They believe an explosion about 15 billion years ago started the expansion of the universe. The explosion caused all of the matter and energy of space to be condensed at a single point. Scientists do not know what existed before this event, but many speculations surround it. The Big Bang did not cause the galaxies to be clumped together, but it laid the foundations for the universe. Edwin Hubble originated the Big Bang theory by observing the patterns of the galaxies. He noticed that the velocity of a galaxy is proportional to its distance from one point. Also, the universe is expanding in all directions, meaning it has taken each galaxy as long to move from a starting point to its current position as it has taken another. Another piece of evidence is the noise heard by two astronomers, in 1964. They were attempting to pick up on microwaves but actually heard a noise coming from every direction. Both men are confident that what they heard was radiation from the ends of the universe left over from the Big Bang. There is no real proof that what these astronomers heard is what they say. In fact, the Big Bang theory changes constantly as more observations are made and even conflicts with itself at times. (Big np) There are so many other evolution theories but the common thread between them all is the lack of a role of a supreme being.

Science backs up the evolution theories by proving that constant gradual change does occur everyday. Plus, outer space gives scientists insight to how the universe operates. It is individual scientists that put these observations into theories or they come up with theories and make observations to back up their theories. There is not a single theory that is without unanswered questions. (Matzen np) These questions may never be answered causing people to be unsure of what to believe. Each individual must use his/her own judgment to find personal answers.

Controversy surrounds the topic of creationism vs. evolution. This topic brings up the question of whether or not science and religion are compatible. Many scientists do not believe the two mix. They say that science needs evidence and religion cannot provide proof. Those believing in the supernatural "have in effect rejected the use of logic and experience." (Bender 23) A big part of "revealed" information about the nature of the world and man has been disproved by science. Some even go as far as to say that the Bible is the ignorance of man at the time it was written, and Jesus, Confucius, and Buddha did the best scientific explanations they could at their time, but scientists know better these days. Therefore, "science nurtures inquiry, the supernatural stifles it." (24)

On the other hand, there are those that believe science and religion are compatible. "Archaeology is always backing up biblical signs and stories." (Bernitt np) For example, archeologists have found proof of Noah's ark. This, along with other evidence, shows that there is truth to the Bible and it should be considered as evidence that creationism is real. Also, though many may say otherwise, science does require some faith. Ronald H. Russell experienced such faith. "My conviction on the existence of Euglena in a drop of water depended on faith until January 1956. Before that date I had read about them in books. I had been told by people that such organisms existed. But during that month I looked through a microscope and saw a Euglena.



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