2.1 American Fundamentalist Protestantism
2.2 Court Cases
2.2.1 Scopes v State (in favor of creation)
2.2.2 Epperson v. Arkansas (creation – evolution balanced)
2.3 Arkansas Act 590
2.3.1 Definition of creation
2.3.2 Definition of evolution
2.4 Facts falsifying evolution theory
2.4.1 Random mutation against Bible
2.4.2 Fossils and the world flood
Evolution has always been one of the world’s dilemmas. One of the questions every human being wants to find the answer to is where we came from and what is the aim of our life. We are not aware of the purpose of our existence and many of the scientists as well as theologians have tried to find the reliable answer. When we think about the appearance of life on earth, the name of Charles Darwin is probably the first to come to our mind. He developed the theory of evolution which traces the evolution of homo sapiens from the Australopithecus. However, for most of the people it is very hard to believe that monkeys can be our parents. The design of the world demonstrates that there should be the designer and the humans are the key source of information to support this idea.
The first movements in favor of creationism were defined as American Fundamentalist Protestantism. They started early in the nineteenth century as an opposition to the theories of Charles Darwin. His theories were perceived as a direct threat to the Biblical writings and were thought to lead to the moral decay. The movement re-appeared in the after World War I period and creationists demanded the passage of the law to prohibit public school instruction about Darwin’s evolution (Larson, 19).
The manifestation of the movement in favor of creationism was the famous Monkey Trial (Scopes v State, 1927). It was the first time the evolution-creation arguments were presented in the court. The ruling was against the biology teacher who was convicted in teaching evolutionism. For the next 20 years, scientists have failed to provide enough arguments to gain the dominance in the court. As the result, publishers of the biology books have taken out all of the information about evolution, Darwin’s theory was not taught at schools, and even the name of the theory was avoided.
However, after the Soviet Union has launched its first satellite in 1957 the evolutionists awaked and managed to pass the National Defense Education Act (1959) under which the Biological Sciences with chapters on evolution and Darwin’s theory were placed in the books again. Moreover, the teacher Susan Epperson has appealed to the court with the request to turn down the ruling in Scopes v State. In the case Epperson v. Arkansas the court has ruled in favour of evolution. The ruling was based on the idea that prohibiting teachers from teaching the theory of evolution (doctrine that man ascended from the lower order animals) and exclusion of the textbooks containing chapters on the theory was unlawful (Gilkey, 48). The fact that the theory of evolution has contradicted the belief in the lines written in the Book of Genesis does not make the Bible the exclusive source of doctrine on the origin of human kind.
In addition, the First Amendment prohibits the requirement to teach subjects of any religious dogmas in public schools. However, it is important to understand that students should be aware about the evolution theory of Darwin as well as about the Biblical version of creation. The question is not whether or not evolution should be taught at school, but rather which story has valid basis. As the result, the creationists have succeeded in requiring the equal time for Biblical and scientific studies.
Interestingly, until the passage of Arkansas Act 590 named “Balanced Treatment for Creation – Science and Evolution- Science Act” the definitions of creation and evolution have never been referred to. Paul Ellwanger, the head of the Citizens for Fairness in Education, has provided both definitions. Thus, the creation –science is scientific evidence and related inferences that (a) universe was created suddenly, (b) insufficiently of mutation and natural selection to bring all living creatures from a single organism, (c) the ancestry of men is separated from apes, (d) the earth geology is explained by catastrophe including the world flood described in the Bible (Follette, 162)
Evolution is the theory stating that (a) universe emerged naturally from disordered matter and life appeared from non-life, (b) the present livings things developed through mutation and natural selection (survival of the fittest) from the single organism), (c) men developed from apes, (d) the current earth geology is the result of the uniformitarianism, (e) Earth is several billion years old (Follette, 163).
As it is clear from the above two paragraphs, the definition of creationism and evolutionism are completely opposite to each other. So which story of human development is more trustworthy? It is impossible to identify which theory, creation or evolution is completely true, however, most of the recent findings and researches tend to be in favor of the creator. Some of the facts that falsify the evolution theory are impossibility of the spontaneous creation of life from non-life matter, random genetic mutation, taxonomy and fossilization.
For example, according to the law of probabilities and statistics chance cannot cause anything and order (our body has perfect order in all processes and structures) cannot be the result of the random process. Order is the result of the direct causes. According to the creation theory, humans and all animals were intentionally created by God, and the laws of probability support this idea. Moreover, the living matter is impossible to be generated spontaneously from non-living matter (Ruse, 115). There have been thousands of experiments and not once scientists have managed to receive something alive from non-living matter. It is scientifically impossible. Only the creator with unnatural powers could bring non-living matter to live. The factual information is found in Bible: God has created Adam (living organism) out of the mud (non-living organism).
According to the theory of Darwin, the humans evolved from apes due to the random genetic mutation. Again, not once scientists could show that benign abnormalities are positive in any way (Ruse, 117). There have been only negative results. The human body is so much complex and systemized that could not be the result of random mutation. Moreover, the modern genetics are also in opposition to the evolution theory. They claim that animals are based on the coded information that is already there and a similarity of apes with humans does not imply ancestry. Almost each scientific attempt to explain emergence of human kind fails while the writings in Bible have not been questioned. In addition, it is believed that all of the writings in Bible have factual background (other books re-tell the same stories found in Bible), the places mentioned are proved to be present at that time, events described did happen in reality, so why to question the story of creation in Genesis?
The fossils do not support evolution either. The fossilized animals seem to appear abruptly, as if being buried alive and very suddenly, in the result of some catastrophe, such as flood. Biblical story about the world flood is more reliable in the situation with fossils (Ruse, 120). Moreover, the current methods for identifying the age of earth are based on assumptions rather than factual information. On the contrary, the more studies are conducted, the more factual information arises that the earth is not billions but thousands years old, just like it is written in Bible.
In conclusion, science is limited to studying the natural phenomena and is insufficient in deciding on the issue of creation or evolution. However, the fact of creation is obvious – there are human beings. The debate over evolution vs. creation will go on, nevertheless, there is overwhelming evidence pointing to the creation and falsifying the evolution theory. Historically, people tried to understand which theory is more trustworthy; there have been several cases in courts, numerous movements favoring each side, however, the answer is yet to come. Currently, creation theory has more factual background compared to the evolution.
Aguillard v. Edwards, 765 F.2d 1251 at 1253, 5th Cir. 1985.
Follette, Marcel C. Creationism, Science, and the Law: The Arkansas Case. Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press, 1983.
Gilkey, Langdon. Creationism on Trial: Evolution and God at Little Rock. Minneapolis: Winston, 1985.
Larson, Edward J. Trial and Error: The American Controversy Over Creation and Evolution. New York: Oxford University Press, 1989.
McLean v. Arkansas Bd. of Ed., 529 F.Supp. 1255 at 1258, E.D. Ark., 1982.
Ruse, Michael. The Evolution-Creation Struggle. Harvard University Press, 2005.