Creation: Gotta Be This or That?
On May 9th, 2007 actor-turned-evangelical Kirk Cameron and minister Ray Comfort (both of Way of the Master fame) debated atheistic members of the Rational Response Squad on an episode of ABC Nightline. Cameron stated that in his opinion, “the number one reason…people don’t believe in the existence of God is because of evolution.”
Cameron and his partner, Ray Comfort, then went on to attack what they felt were the major flaws of the theory of evolution. Their complete lack of knowledge regarding evolutionary theories aside, it is important to note that although they voice problems with evolution, they did not provide any separate, positive evidence for creationism—at least, no evidence more complex than the “creation-proves-a-creator” gem. I would have been more interested to see some carbon dating that proves the earth is only 6000 years old, or fossil records which clearly show no change between early and later forms–or even a talking snake. Perhaps Cameron and Comfort hoped that if they simply poked enough holes in the evolutionary theory, their viewers would automatically fall back on creationism as stated in the bible.
But one would have to be terribly myopic to assume that if evolution were proven false, creationism must be true by default. Here are just a few of the non-Christian alternatives to Darwinian evolution.
Orthogenesis is the theory that members of an evolutionary series become increasingly changed in a single direction which does not deviate. This is usually thought to happen because of some internal or external “driving force.”
First suggested in a scientific paper by J.E. Lovelock in 1965, the Gaia hypothesis states that the earth is a living being that began transforming the planet into its own substance about one billion years after its formation.
Interference by Extraterrestrials
This is the idea that aliens (mistaken for gods by primitive human beings) deliberately created all life in earth. This is the point of view held by followers of the Raelian Movement. (rael.org)
Various Creation Stories from other Cultures/ Religions
The ancient Egyptians believed men were created from the tears of Ra. The Wakaranga people (of what is today Zimbabwe) told stories of Moon making love to Eveningstar, thus producing men and women. According to Japanese Shinto mythology, in the beginning there was one chaotic mass, like an egg or a thick cloud, which eventually separated to form heaven and earth. Why should a talking snake and a magical garden be taken more seriously than these stories?
Another, Currently Unknown Theory
Theists are always telling me that there are many things we don’t know about our universe. I couldn’t agree more—so why not wait and see what else science comes up with? We may not have all the answers now; that doesn’t mean we won’t have MORE answers somewhere down the line.
Please note, I am not condoning or condemning these alternate theories and ideas; only pointing out that Christian creationism isn’t the only game in town.
Although I can’t speak for every atheist, I can safely say that I did not lose my faith in God because of the theory of evolution. If evolution were to go away, I wouldn’t go back to being religious. I, like most skeptics, would simply continue to research the mystery of our origins until such times as another valid possibility could be established. I’d rather say “I don’t know,” than “I don’t know–so I guess I’ll go with this other, completely unsubstantiated claim.”
- Does God Exist? The Nightline Face-Off
- Gaia Hypothesis
- From Myth to 21st Century science
- Index to Creationist Claims
- Shinto Creation Stories
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