The Validity of Creationism and Evolution
Abstract: This paper discusses the validity of both creation and evolution and examines whether they can interact with each other. Besides doing my own research, I have chosen to interview four people extensively involved in either Christianity or biology. I specifically picked interviewees who strongly supported either evolution or creation to get both sides of the issue. Two of the people were from United Christian Fellowship (UCF): Andrew Larratt-Smith, leader of UCF, and Ricardo Dawkins, UCF small group member. I also interviewed two biologists: Paul Matsudaira, MIT Biology professor, and Bettina Bauer, a post-doctoral fellow in the HST department. Paul considers his religious beliefs in between agnosticism and Catholic. He was baptized in the Roman Catholic church but has not thought about God extensively. Bettina is neither religious nor anti-religious. She says that if God really exists, it would not change her life. From these interviews, I hoped to gain a better understanding of creation and evolution and examine whether they can co-exist.
Creationism is based on the belief that God is the intelligent Designer who created our universe and the natural things in it. It is derived from the two stories of Genesis. The first of the stories (Genesis 1:1-2:3) states that God created the heavens and the earth, light, water, vegetation, animals, and then man in the image of him. In the second account (2:4-2:9), God made the heavens and the earth, water, man from the dust, and then vegeta-tion and animals. Clearly these two accounts differ from each other in terms of order. The response I received from creationists (Andrew) was that the Bible must not always be taken literally. Genesis as a book is highly symbolic and was written to show God’s order and purpose in the world. The first account is poetic and chronological, while the second account focuses on creating humans and giving them authority over creation. This view would resolve the conflict between the two stories. However, more conservative creationists (Ricardo) believe that the Bible must be taken literally. To explain the difference of the two stories, they reason that the two accounts are indeed the same in order. Genesis 2:19 says, “the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air.” Although the creation of man from the dust had been mentioned before this verse, it does not imply that birds were created after man, because God had formed the beasts and the birds. Thus both Genesis creation stories do not necessarily contradict each other.
Those who do not support creationism (Paul and Bettina) do not see any basis for accepting it. As scientists, they need evidence and sufficient proof to believe such a theory. On the other hand, both Paul and Bettina are not vehemently opposed to creationism. They see the Bible as a contemporary publication, written centuries after the...