How do creationism and evolution compare and contrast, consider: How important is this debate right now in the halls of education and the community of faith? Which will win out for the hearts...

How do creationism and evolution compare and contrast, consider:

    1. How important is this debate right now in the halls of education and the community of faith?
    2. Which will win out for the hearts and minds of future generations?
    3. Which is more important to understand the truth of reality?
    4. Can we integrate faith and evidence, or do we need to choose only between two extremes?
    5. Are their other approaches (e.g. Kuhn, Hartshorne, or others)?
    6. Think about how Occam’s Razor applies to any of these approaches.



Asked on by cathy-cobb

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tamarakh's profile pic

Tamara K. H. | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

As we are limited in space, below are a few ideas to help get you started.

The debate between whether or not creationism should be taught in schools alongside evolution is certainly longstanding and even increasing in intensity. The debate has especially reached new significance in light of the new science standards schools are adopting along with the Common Core standards for English. The new science standards take a very clear stance on the issue of teaching evolution, saying that children absolutely must be taught evolution because evolution has become the "centralized organizing idea in biological sciences for more than a century" ("New Guidelines Call for Broad Changes in Science Education"). But, more importantly, just like the Common Core standards are geared towards teaching children how to think critically about subjects, the new science standards are also aimed at teaching students to think critically by showing them how scientific ideas are developed through investigation, specifically, "how ideas are developed and tested, what counts as strong or weak evidence, and how insights from many disciplines fit together into a coherent picture of the world"("New Guidelines"). Last year, controversy was stirred up in the Texas State Board of Education when a textbook was chosen that some felt presented both evolution and climate change as scientific fact when some in Texas find the existence of both evolution and climate change debatable. What's becoming more prevalent is the desire to see science textbooks point out there are weaknesses in the evolution theory, wanting students to think critically about the data and make their own decisions. The publishers of the textbook of course disagree with the challengers and view their textbook as presenting both sides of the coin. As a spokesperson for the publisher said, "Our book has been honest that evolutionary biologists don't have all the answers nor does evolution provide all the answers" ("Creationists on Texas Panel for Biology Textbooks"). Hence, one reason why the debate concerning teaching creation along with evolution is a growing concern is that it has been acknowledged that the evolutionary theory has its flaws and doesn't have all of the answers.

In addition, creation theory does pose answers based on scientific fact that evolution theory has had to leave out. For one thing, as scientist Dr. Duane Gish points out, evolutionary theory opposes the laws of thermodynamics. As Dr. Gish asserts, the First Law of Thermodynamics "states that the total quantity of matter and energy in the universe is constant" ("Summary of Scientific Evidence for Creation Part I & II"). The Second Law of Thermodynamics states that "matter and energy always tend to change from complex and ordered states to disordered states" ("Summary of Scientific Evidence"). One problem with evolution is that fossil records indicate life materialized suddenly, and there are huge gaps in records between different species. These gaps could not exist if the species continued evolving because, according to the First Law of Thermodynamics, matter and energy remains constant. What's more, evolution assumes that DNA and RNA molecules evolved into living cells, but if based on the Second Law of Thermodynamics, matter and energy tends to move from order to disorder, than moving from the disorderly state of molecules to the more orderly state of living cells would again be a scientific contradiction; it is also a theory that has proven to be nearly impossible to recreate in the laboratory and any success has been dependent on "artificially imposed and extremely improbable" laboratory conditions ("Summary of Scientific Evidence"). Therefore, creation theory works with the laws of thermodynamics, while evolution theory works against the established laws. Hence, those who push for creation theory being taught in the classrooms alongside evolution theory rightly do so seeing that both theories have their problems and both theories demand an equal amount of faith.

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atsuzuki's profile pic

atsuzuki | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted on

I will try to answer according to the several questions posed:

  1. How important is this debate right now in the halls of education and the community of faith?
  2. Which will win out for the hearts and minds of future generations?
  3. Which is more important to understand the truth of reality?
  4. Can we integrate faith and evidence, or do we need to choose only between two extremes?
  5. Are their other approaches (e.g. Kuhn, Hartshorne, or others)?
  6. Think about how Occam’s Razor applies to any of these approach.
The importance hinges on the fact that since this controversy has to do with one's worldview, it will affect his/her whole life. It is not only a question of ``halls of education and community of faith'', but one's worldview, and therefore his/her values, principles, outlook on life, etc. and ultimately his/her purpose in life; for what he/she is here for, and his/her destination in the future. The question on this controversy is not which or who will win in the end, but the controversy should be looked upon as something like: given this controversy, which will be mine decision concerning which worldview is more sensible to me. The truth of reality is way beyond our reach in many areas, given the limitations of our human nature. Reality as perceived by science is different from the truth, they are not the same. The reality as perceived by scientific method is limited to measurableness and laboratory confirmation. Truth is beyond that, because it also includes revelation from God, to say the least. We always need to integrate faith and evidence, even for the most scientifically minded. So the question of faith and evidence - they always go together, be it for creationists, be it for evolutionists. Basically, in essence, there are only two classes: those who believe God is real - the One who created everything (Creator) - and those who do not believe God exists - everything came across by chance.  If one accepts the principle of Occam's razor, then he/she should accept that none of the positions (creation or evolution) is testable, because the event is not possible to repeat. However, if one accepts the fact that the simpler versions of a theory are more sensible and acceptable, then it will follow that the Creation model will be more acceptable to him/her because it will call for less untestable evidences. 

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