From: Finbar McMullen, FSC
I took Steven Breyer’s suggestion to drive down to Westby a month ago to take in the creationism conference. Since I write in favor of evolution I decided it would be a good thing to listen to their ideas first-hand. It was a pleasant experience. They made a point of saying that disagreeing with them was not a matter of salvation. It was a surprise to hear from the person who spoke about the Flood say that it happened before the continents had been formed. It is true that the Bible states that God separated the dry land from the water. But his claim that all fossils on earth were formed before the Flood is suspect. Fossils take many thousands of years to form, not just 1,600. I was so impressed by Jay Seegert’s presentation of Intelligent Design that I bought one of his books.
It turns out that Creationism is set in opposition to atheistic evolution, which is a false dichotomy. A third option is God in evolution.
What theism and atheism have in common is that neither can be proven. In any belief system, people will look for evidence to support their claim. When I took chemistry about 70 years ago the book referred to the “Atomic Theory of Matter.” No real proof, but lots of evidence. With the electron microscope we have been able to see actual molecules, but no atoms.
Adherents of Creationism look for evidence to support their position, and incessantly quote the Bible as established fact to support their claims. They neglect the reality that taking the Bible as the inspired word of God is an act of faith, for which there can be no proof. You simply cannot say: “This is true because it is in the Bible.” The Hebrew Bible, written around 500 B.C.. needs to be evaluated as any other book written around that time.
Atheists who use evolution to support their position are in the same position. Proof of no God is equally impossible. Positing chance as the explanation for the huge diversity in living things, the origin of life by chance, the mathematical order in the universe as well as the intricate processes that go on in the human body by chance, is just plain ridiculous. There are two physical constants of matter, one of which is the gravitational constant, and for both of them to have happened by chance is one in 100 million, trillion, trillion, trillion. trillion, trillion, trillion. If those constants were off by one or two percent, nothing would have persisted.
Just as atheists who support the big bang theory, but won’t go one step earlier and explain how it started, Creationists also ignore things that are staring them in the face. Claiming that all fossils were formed before the Flood, they completely ignore the five mass extinctions of animals for which there is evidence. Creationists also ignore continental drift which would have had to take place after the Flood. Given their time scale, (4,400 years since the Flood), the 3,500 miles separating South America from Africa would have happened at a rate of 4,200 feet a year. The current rate of continental drift is 2”– 5” per year.
The speaker who covered the Flood said that all that water of 40 days and nights came from outside the universe, but failed to explain why it did not evaporate while going through all that empty space. If water covered the mountains to a depth of 20 feet, it was the same depth all over the world. Where did it all go? There was no “downhill” for it to go to.
What bothers me most about the Creationists is that I do not have any evidence that they are in the forefront of the environmental movement. More than anyone else they should be working to preserve God’s wonderful creation. We are in the midst of the sixth mass extinction, and people are causing it.
I have no idea where the Creationists fit the Neanderthals, the Cro-Magnons, the four-foot-tall “Hobbits” of Indonesia, or the more recent Denisovans, with a genetic makeup just like ours, into their Adam and Eve story.
The faith story of God in creation is for another time.