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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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