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About origins, creation and evolution

Emails we have exchanged about evolution,
creationism, intelligent design,

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Three topics keep coming up among the Emails that we receive:

bulletThe definition of exactly who can be considered a Christian.
bulletThe use of CE and BCE in place of AD and BC to identify dates.
bulletWhy evolution, creationism, and/or intelligent design are right or wrong.

In the following examples, we have generally modified the incoming Email for clarity. The message after the blue burger dots are incoming Emails; the message after the yellow dots are our response. We generally take the opposite position to the Emailer. As it happens, the vast majority of incoming Emails are anti-evolution.

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Some exchanges:

bulletAt the core of the theory of evolution is the belief that life somehow arose out of non-life: that by chance the right combination of chemicals occurred and life happened by accident.

bulletNot really. The theory of evolution covers the interval that starts only with the first cell, and continues to the present day. It is the science of abiogenesis that deals with how the first cell came to be. The consensus among scientists is that this happened at some time between 4.4 billion years ago, when water vapor first liquefied, and 2.7 billion years ago, when the "... ratio of stable isotopes of carbon 12C and 13C ), iron and sulfur points to a biogenic origin of minerals and sediments and molecular biomarkers indicate photosynthesis." 1

There are many theories about how the first cell came into existence. Determining what actually happened over 2,700 million years ago may prove to be forever impossible because of lack of evidence. Even if scientists are able to create life in the laboratory there would be no proof that this is the method that occurred billions of years ago.

bulletEvolution claims that all of Creation is constantly evolving into more complex forms. This assumption, however, is directly contrary to a universally accepted, proven law of Physics known as The Second Law of Thermodynamics which states: "All processes (left to themselves) go toward a greater state of disorder, disorganization, disarrangement and less complexity." 2

bulletThat is close. It is a frequently used argument on creationist websites. Scientists have shown for decades that the argument is without merit. However, it is still promoted by those sites.

The error here is that the Earth is not left to itself. The Earth is not isolated, since it receives energy from the Sun, and to a much lesser degree, from our moon, planets, stars and comets. If we consider the Earth-Sun system we see that the entropy (degree of disorder) of the Earth dropping as the entropy of the Sun increases. Thus acorns become trees; seeds become plants, ova and spermatozoon become adult humans, etc. In the meantime, the Sun's entropy is increasing so that the overall entropy of the Earth and Sun continues to increase. Thus, the increase in complexity observed in the evolution of species from the single cell to human beings does not violate the Second Law.

bulletIf the Earth were any closer to the Sun, life would be impossible. If it were any further away, it would be too cold to support life. Either you believe in luck or God.

bulletIt is true that it is difficult to comprehend life forms on the planet Venus. It is just too hot to support life -- at least in the forms of life that we are used to. But it is quite possible that life forms exists and/or existed on Mars, particularly near the equator. Life evolved on Earth to adapt to the climate here. Life may have evolved on Mars to adapt to their different climate. It would not be human life, but it would be life.

bulletI do believe dinosaurs existed but i don't believe they evolved from a fish. If everything evolved why are there still fish and monkeys and other animals still un-evolved? ...I understand humans and Monkeys are alike but we still didn't evolve from them, monkeys have longer fingers than humans so how did our hands shrink? And how did humans learn to develop speech and create names, words and sounds, how did humans grow ears if we developed from fish?! How did fish grow skin from scales?

bulletI think that the best indicator that evolution actually happened is seen in a survey a few years ago by Newsweek. They asked many thousands of biologists and geologists whether they believe that evolution actually happened. Over 99% said that they did. More details.

You expressed a common question: if humans evolved from apes, how come there are still apes around? Actually humans did not evolve from apes, but scientists believe that apes and humans do have a common ancestor.

You might find it useful to study the concept of punctuated equilibrium. This is the belief that an group of a given species of animals will sometimes become isolated from the rest, and be subjected to different environmental conditions (drought, heat, shrinking food supplies, etc). Mutations happen randomly. Some are beneficial, give those animals a greater chance to reproduce, and become dominant throughout the isolated group.. The process can repeat until the new animals are of a different species from the original group.

Apes still remain on Earth because they are better adapted to life in the jungle, while humans still remain because they are better adapted to live in human colonies.

Darwin did not know the mechanism by which mutations happened and evolution resulted. Now, we know about DNA and things are much clearer. Scientists have actually observed the emergence of new species of fruit flies in the lab and fish in some African lakes.

bullet ...for all organisms to have the same DNA nucleotides and similarity in genes and structures between “related” organisms to actually be indicators of a single Creator. To me, it shows a master creator who has the profound intelligence and ability to reuse a simple and perfect idea. It would not be logical for God to make totally different nucleotides for each animal when He can use the same four.

bulletOn the other hand, parts of human DNA (for example) contain sequences identical to that of sponges, fish, etc. Many scientists believe that this is a good indicator that evolution really happened, and that the great diversity of living things on earth originated in a single cell.

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. "Abiogenesis," Wikipedia, at: http://en.wikipedia.org/
  2. Quotation apparently taken from "Treasures: Evolution Exposed!" The Family, at: http://www.thefamily.org/

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Site navigation:

Home page > Evolution v. creation science  > here

Home pageScience and religion  > here

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Originally posted: 2008-JAN-30
Latest update: 2011-FEB-12
Author: B.A. Robinson

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