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March 19, 2011

Christianity — the religion of human (IV)

Filed under: The World in Fei's Eyes — Fei @ 4:19 pm

First, I’d say God want to create an intricate, self-sustained world. God will not create a broken world that require His every attention. This, is the assumption I make. (If you think the world is broken, you don’t need to read any further.) In a self-sustained world, the method to “evolve” from the most primitive living cell to the most complex human exists. However, the method exists does not mean God did not create all the living beings. The key is time. 

We say the existence of high intelligent beings on earth is a low probability event. We don’t know how low the probability is because we don’t know how large the whole set is. However, by searching neighboring planets and stars, it seems the probability is low. The evolution from one family to another family who fits the environment better is also a small probability event. The probability may be so small that each step in the evolution takes millions or billions of years following the conventional evolution mechanism. God, on the other hand, may have His own schedule. He may not be willing to wait for billions of years to see the evolution outcome. Thus, God periodically injects some minute perturbation to the world, which make small probability events become large probability events, following His discretion. If you believe the evolution process takes too long (some consider several evolution steps take too long), you can use the same argument to explain the long evolution process. 

Thus, the evolution theory and creation theory can be united. From science side, different families of animals are indeed evolved because each family of animals is only slightly different from the family it is evolved from. On the other hand, without God’s injection, we may not see such a fast (or slow) evolution, or we may not see an evolution following the current direction. In this sense, species are “created”.

Now the question becomes: how does God inject the perturbation. If the injection is too abrupt and at a large scale, it may undermine the intricacy of the world. I think the injection is in a very small scale, so small that the modern physics cannot detect the turbulence of the injection. And the nature provide a perfect means for such injections. It is at the atomic level. Remember in the previous chapter I mentioned that quantum mechanics, which is the theory to describe subatomic particle behaviors, only provide data of statistical importance? God may well change the probability of a sequence of events at subatomic level, making possible an evolution with extreme low probability (or reverse). 

Now, the controversy between creation and evolution are mitigated.

March 6, 2011

Christianity — the religion of human (III)

Filed under: The World in Fei's Eyes — Fei @ 4:56 pm
Here I use another example to illustrate that a middle way may be found between science and Christianity. It is the well known creation-evolution controversy[1]. I don’t want to make a judgment whether creation or evolution is wrong. I just want to emphasize that creation does not prevent evolution, and evolution also leaves room for creation. 

Evolution theory was widely accepted in the 18th century, after Charles Darwin found the connections between different species. It requires that the difference of neighboring species be small because the environmental change is slow. Thus, species “evolve” gradually. The fossils of animals need to present similar characteristics alone the time line. Most Christians believe that evolution theory has some limited success in explaining the subtle difference between neighboring species at different locations. However, they do not believe families with totally different characteristics can be evolved from one to another, such as bird and fish. More importantly, they believe that human beings were created by God as it is clearly written in Bible. Thus, they reject the evolution theory because they believe human beings are separated from other primates. [An analogy for evolution theory and creation theory is going up hill via a slope and via stairs. The height difference of two neighboring points in a slope is small, but over distance, the accumulated difference can be significant. The height difference of two neighboring points in the stairs are either negligible, or significant.]

In the early days, evolution theory was frequently attacked by the creationists that the transitional fossils (fossils transitioning from one family to another) were seldom found. However, as time goes by, more and more transitional fossils were found. It seems that evolution theory has won; creation theory has lost. 

However, creation theory directly derived from the Bible never claims that the difference among species has to be large. Only later do humans make analogy between God’s creation and human’s creation, and assume that the difference between species has to be large, because humans cannot create intricate artifacts with minute difference using his dumb hands. To me, this assumption is wrong. When God create a self-sustained world (assume the world is created), He cannot be stupid enough to leave such an obvious trace that the species are created. If species cannot evolve from one to another, the world can easily obtain a symmetric harmony. I personally believe that the Garden of Eden was such a world. In that world, time does not exist (or have no meaning). 

The Christians would disagree: you just give up creation and admit evolution, which is directly against the Bible! Don’t worry, I would say, let me show you the middle way hypothesis.

[1] Wikipedia: Creation-evolution controversy.

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