Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Darwin, Creationism and Evidence

from Stephen Law by

Here's something I have been working on. Comments please. It needs a final para. Warning - about 3.5k words!


Both the general theory of evolution and Darwin’s particular theory of evolution by natural selection are regularly challenged by people who describe themselves as “creationists”. There are several varieties of creationism. The focus here is on what is often called “young earth creationism”: the view that the entire universe is approximately six thousand (certainly less than ten) thousand years old, and that all living species were created within the first few days of creation. Henceforth, when I speak of “creationism”, it is young earth creationism I have in mind.

Why would anyone believe creationism? Typically, because they are Bible literalists. Creationists believe that Genesis provides an historically accurate account of origin of the universe and life. Their chronology is based primarily on the number and ages of the generations listed in the Old Testament.

Belief in creationism isn’t confined to a few religious cranks. Recent polls fairly consistently indicate that, currently, about one third to one half of all U.S. citizens are creationists.
Nor is creationism solely the preserve of the unintelligent or ill-educated. It seems that significant numbers of college graduates are drawn to Bible literalism. A Tennessee academic who surveyed his own students a few years ago found that about a third were creationists.
He complained that scientists like himself are having to fight the battles of the Enlightenment all over again. Medieval ideas that were killed stone dead by the rise of science three to four hundred years ago are not merely twitching; they are alive and well in our schools, colleges and universities.

Another 3,000 words from Stephen Law here.

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