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|The theory of evolution: What is it? What does it mean? Why is there
controversy surrounding it? What are the affects on our society and humanity?
A theory is an idea supported by many observations (Pinkston 681). A theory is not a law. The difference in a law and a theory is that a law can be tested with experiments, but a theory can not or has not been tested. Evolution as a theory can not be tested like the law of gravity.
Evolution is an ancient idea that life began due to a slow process of simple things automatically becoming more complex. Evolution is broken down into three different main categories. The first is microevolution. Microevolution is the change within a species over time. Microevolution is not controversial. It is the basic idea that a species has variety. Macroevolution is controversial. Macroevolution is the theory that there is change that occurs among species over time as new species evolve and old species become extinct (Johnson and Raven 1040). The last is the philosophy of evolution. This, like all other philosophies, is controversial. The philosophy of evolution states that everything is progressing toward a future perfection. Several worldviews and philosophies have been derived from this basic idea (Fite 793).
Creation is the counterpart to evolution. Creation states that a higher being designed and built the universe. Creation is also controversial. Some scientists believe that creationist do not take in account scientific evidence and label them as religious extremist or scientifically ignorant.
The theory of evolution has been, for a major part, attributed to Charles Darwin. However, "evolution was not a new idea, even in Darwin's day. Long before the time of Christ philosophers had explained the great variety of plants and animals by proposing 'natural' ways they could have developed" ("Evolution").
Darwin was born 1809 and died in 1882. Darwin started his higher education in Edinburgh University to study medicine then moved to Cambridge University to prepare for the ministry. Darwin was not interested in either subject, but wanted to become a naturalist ("Evolution").
In 1831 came the event that shaped Darwin's life. He was appointed as an unpaid naturalist on the exploring ship HMS Beagle. During the five years on the ship, there were many side trips to land. Darwin examined geologic formation, collected fossils, and studied plants and animals. This is when he began to doubt that many species of living things had come into being at one moment. In 1837, he began to collect information and to form his ideas of evolution. Darwin wrote a short sketch of his theory in 1842 and a longer one in 1844. In 1859 Darwin published his famous book, "On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection". From this book the theory of evolution is based ("Evolution").
The natural evolution of Darwin's own thinking led him away from his love of poetry, music and literature. In his last forty years of life, he observed the same routine each day. His work was rigorously organized for economy. In his own words, his mind "atrophied to a kind of machine for grinding general laws out of large collections of facts". He regretted this "loss of happiness" and said that " a law ought to be passed against unhappy endings to novels" (Adler vi; Combee 375). When Darwin's theory of evolution was published it was very controversial. Today the theory of evolution is widely accepted as if it is true.
Evolutionists believe that the diversity of life on earth is the outcome of a genetic process of natural selection without purpose, undirected and without intelligence (Anderson 2 of 6). Evolution is a widely accepted theory by secular organizations including the National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT), the Supreme Court, the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the National Educational Association (NEA) (Phillip Johnson 13, 38).
The controversy behind evolution is that many people do not accept evolution theory as truth. They argue that there are many flaws in Darwin's theory and it is not scientifically sound. They are called Creationists.
The major reason why evolutionary theory must be scrutinized more carefully than any other theory is because its adherents claim that it is central to our understanding of reality (Anderson 1).
Evolutionists claim that the theory of evolution has many advantages to a society. Evolution provides an scientific origin for the the universe. A world without a Creator is desirable for those who want to believe there is no God. Evolution offers biology teachers an easy answer to the hard questions, "When and where did life begin?" They don't have to worry about teaching anything that is "religious".
Macroevolution appears to be a false theory. The biochemical evidence indicates the cell is irreducibly complex, which means evolution was impossible and the cell could only have been formed by an intelligent designer. Molecular evolution has never addressed the question of how complex structures came to be. In effect, the theory of Darwinian molecular evolution has not published, and so it should perish. No one at Harvard University, no one at the National Academy of Science, no Nobel Prize winner - no one at all can give a detail account of how the cilium, or vision, or blood clotting, or any complex biochemical process might have developed in a Darwinian fashion. But we are here. Plants and animals are here. If by Darwinian fashion, then how? (Behe 186-187).
Another indication that the macroevolution theory is false is that fossil record provides very little evidence to support Darwin's theory. Evolutionists reject the Noahic flood and believe that "the present is the key to the past." This is labeled as the principle of uniformitarianism (Gish 36). Uniformitarianism is a big word for a simple idea. Uniform means "the same", tarianism means the belief in. So uniformitarianism is the belief in the same. When geologist use this word they mean that early geological processes are no different from the ones observed now. For example, evolutionary geologists use this principle to develop new dating methods to give them the age of the earth that they sought. Evolutionary geologists classify sedimentary deposits according to the type of fossils in the deposits. This is known as "indexed fossils" which are used to identify and date rocks. Any rock containing fossils of a certain type of trilobite (small animal) is designated as Cambrian sedimentary rock assumed to be 600 to 800 million years old (Gish 40).
Creationist contend that to account for most of the geological formations is impossible according to the uniformatarianism principle. There are many examples that record rapid transformation events: the herring fossil bed in the Mioncene shales of California where a billion fish died within a four square mile area; the Columbian plateau in Northwest U.S.; a lava bed several thousand feet thick covering 200,000 square miles; the Tibetan Plateau, 750,000 square miles many thousands of feet thick now at an elevation of three miles (Gish 40).
Many other methods disprove uniformitarianism. One example is from the Moon Shot Program. NASA was concerned about the expected depth of moon dust to be encountered by the first manned landing. NASA scientist, trained to think that the solar system was billions of years old, expected a large amount of moon dust. When the LM landed, there were only a few inches of dust which corresponds with the young earth theories (Kennedy).
The observable evidence to support macroevolution is so scarce, actually nonexistent, that it should remain only an idea until true scientific data is found to support its elevation to a theory (Behe 186). But why is the contradictory evidence suppressed in the media and in school biology texts? The answer is not related to true science but to philosophy and theology. Evolution-based philosophies are now the centerpiece of other worldviews (Fite 792-793). Materialism and naturalism are essentially the same thing. Materialism means matter (fundamental particles that make up both matter and energy) is all there is. Naturalism means that nature (as derived from matter and energy) is all there is. Advocates who desire elevating evolution to the level of a theory desire their world view of materialism to prevail in society (Behe 250; Brown 44-54). "Materialists tend to think the only alternative to a materialism is some form of primitive superstition, where science is subject to the whimsy of capricious gods" (Johnson 96).
The naturalism worldview that says since nature is the source of everything, why is God needed? It is an attack on faith in God, the authority of the Bible and the truth of Judeo-Christian religion. Thus, evolutionists are unwittingly, and in some cases intentionally, attacking the fabric of Western civilization (Hallman 5-19). One reason they want to eliminate this particular religion is to escape its broadly established standards within society, e.g., the Bible, and behavioral norms which condemn certain types of irresponsible choices, e.g., uninhibited sexual liberty, accountability to others, divorce, pornography, etc. ( Johnson 15-19, 97-107; Barton 207).
Darwinism supports and encourages several other anti-God world views including secular humanism and pragmatism (Hallman 12). Evolutionary concepts have affected science, religion, law, history, education, economics and most aspects of American intellectual life . "Darwinism has attacked super naturalism (belief in a supernatural being) and absolutes in every form (Fite 792-3)." Religion was most impacted. In law, no longer is the U.S. Constitution considered as something absolute and fixed. This change in view of the source of all law encouraged attacks on the basic principles, the wisdom and intent of the founders. In 1963, prayer in school was challenged by the U.S. Supreme Court, which began a process of neutralizing the effects of religion in the public arena. This was exactly opposite the intent of the founders. Immorality and crime have gone up 300 to 400 per cent as a direct result of attempts to eliminate "natural law". Divorces, sexually transmitted disease, teenage pregnancies, and the legalized killing of the unborn are direct results of these worldviews (Barton 193, 207-220). Educator John Dewey and philosopher William James taught that truth was not absolute or final, but evolutionary and changing (Hallman 5). It was not something handed down from God, but something man found for himself by experience. Historian James Robinson saw human history evolving out of a class struggle between common people and the upper class (Fite 793). Karl Marx said communism was the perfection of this struggle and that religion would not be needed once his vision of a perfect state was achieved. Seventeen million Soviet people were murdered by Stalin and Lenin (Combee 454-460). Ironically, Darwin believed the God of the Bible was cruel tyrant because he allowed people to suffer (Combee 374).
Evolution is a sophisticated attempt to separate science from its Christian heritage by denying the role of God as Creator and Sustainer of the universe. Many scientists who believe in God are unable to be open, honest and objective about their work in the face of potential ridicule from evolutionists. This is called scientific chauvinism (Behe 251; Combee 375).
The false idea of macroevolution and its resulting anti-God world views have captured many modern minds. These evolutionary philosophies still are having tremendous negative effects upon society. Only when a person understands the irrational, absurd and chaotic events of world history through Biblical truths does the world make any sense.
Macroevolution as a theory has had over 140 years to prove itself. In spite of remarkable improvements in the biological and geological sciences and in analytical technologies, evolutionary scientists still are unable to find compelling factual data to support it at any level: molecular, genetic, live species or with fossil records. Yet it is widely accepted on a "philosophical basis" by some people who presuppose anti-theistic world views and by many people who trust the scientific establishment who have led them to believe it is true. Darwin's evolutionary theory must be studied more carefully than any other theory because of its claim that it is important to our understanding of reality. The evolutionary theory has had many detrimental effects on our society. All the world views supported by evolution has a strict anti-God, anti-Bible view on reality, therefore a direct attack on God, the Bible and its standard of morality. As a result, religion is thought of as "unscientific". Without absolute truth, everyone will do what is right in their own eyes while Western civilization disintegrates.