Youth New Evangelization & Spiritual Renewal Seminar Series
The Foundations of Faith:   Seminar 2


 

Evolution or Creation? Or perhaps... both?

During the last 200 years or so, heated debates about our origin on Earth, and whether God does indeed exist were taking place. Relatively recently a renowned astrophysicist Stephen Hawking received a substantial media coverage thanks to his statement that "God did not create universe". And then he continued, "Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists and why we exist. ....It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set universe going" (The Gazette, Sept. 3, 2010).

In this discussion I present scientific facts, and paradoxically, using evolution I will prove that God does indeed exist. Interestingly, in 2010 during his interview to media Dr. Hawking has not explained how did the law of gravity come about. Yes, we know we have all these laws, which are responsible partly or wholly for the process of evolution, yet, we fail to recognize who might be behind them.

God is a reality and we should learn to live with this reality and hopefully, according to His will. The Bible discusses creation in simple terms. This is understandable when we realize who were the prophets through whom the scriptures were written. As far as we know, none were astrophysicists nor molecular biologists. For us the important facts about God's creation are written in the Bible. It is gratifying however that what is written in the Bible is neither contradicting our today's scientific knowledge nor our fossil records. Finally we must remember, the Bible does say that God created the world. It does not elaborate on how He did it!
 

Creation of the Universe

The Big Bang theory was first proposed by Georges Lamaitre in 1927. According to this theory, 13.7 billion years ago the universe existed as a "singularity", a compact cluster of sub-atomic particles possessing an extremely high energy density, extremely high temperatures and pressures. This state existed indefinitely, and was marked with quark-gluon plasma and other elementary particles which under extremely high temperatures of about 109 oK (1oK = 273.15oC) were constantly in random motion, and particle-antiparticle pairs were constantly being created and destroyed in collisions. At some critical point, an unknown reaction now known as baryogenesis violated  the conservation of baryon number leading to excess of quarks and leptons over antiquarks and antileptons. This resulted in predominance of matter over antimatter and continuum of growth of matter in size, and falling temperatures. As thus created universe continued expanding and cooling, galaxies began to form and cluster. First stars began to form.

Our Earth formed 4.54 billion years ago as a part of solar system which was formed out of solar nebula - a disk shaped mass of dust and gas left over from the formation of the Sun. Initially molten, the outer layer of Earth cooled to form a solid crust. Outgasing and volcanic activity produced the primordial atmosphere, and condensing water vapor together with ice, and liquid water delivered by asteroids produced the oceans (see also Gen. 1:1-2).

All planetary and stellar systems are born from the collapse of dense interstellar clouds. These clouds may be extremely large and possess angular momentum. If such a huge cloud collapses to the size of much smaller solar system, the slight rotation at the level of an interstellar cloud increases dramatically in all planets of the solar system. The resulting planetary rotation around the Sun therefore resulted in a periodic illumination of all the planets in our solar system (see also Gen. 1:3-5).
 

The Evolution of plant and animal life followed

Current research points to a rapid initial growth of continental crust followed by a long-term steady continental area (see also Gen. 1:9-10). This was followed by a long lasting evolution of plant and animal life on land and in the oceans.
 
 
Era Period Millions of years ago Major biological events Biblical record
Precambrian 4600 Primitive aquatic life only
Origin of photosynthetic organisms, bacteria, eukaryotic cells, and first invertebrates
Genesis 1:6-7
Paleozoic Cambrian 600 Primitive marine algae, invertebrates, trilobites Genesis 1:6-7
Ordovician 500 Marine algae,  invertebrates, first fishes Genesis 1:6-7
Silurian 435 First land appears
First vascular plants on land, expansion of fishes
Genesis 1:9,11
Devonian 400
Expansion of vascular plants, fishes dominate seas, first insects, amphibians move onto land
Genesis 1:20
Carboniferous 350 Land covered with forests of coal-forming plants, amphibians abundant, first reptiles Genesis 1:20
Permian 280 Forests of primitive vascular plants, expansion of reptiles Genesis 1:20
Mesozoic Triassic 230 Land dominated by gymnosperms, first dinosaurs appear Genesis 1:20
Jurasic 180 First angiosperms (flowering plants), age of dinosaurs, first birds and mammals Genesis 1:20,24
Cretaceous 130 Spread of angiosperms, decline of gymnosperms, extinction of dinosaurs Genesis 1:20,24
Cenozoic Tertiary 65 Dominance of the angiosperms, rise of modern mammals and insects, primates Genesis 1:20,24
Quaternary 2.5 Rise of herbaceous plants, hominid line leading to Homo erectus Genesis 1:26
200000 years ago Homo sapiens - mtDNA analysis confirms existence of Eve, a single woman ancestor of today's humanity Genesis 1:26; 2:7


 

The Evolution of Adam & Eve

The Bible also says how God created human beings "Then the Lord God took some soil from the ground and formed a man out of it ..." (Gen. 2:7). Obviously, due to their simplicity and limited understanding God's prophets had to use quite a bit of symbolism and approximation in their biblical statements about creation in order to convey God's message to primitive society of 3500 years ago. Yet, the statements are remarkably accurate.

We know the composition of bodies of all higher organisms. They are made of organs, tissues, and cells. The major constituent of all cells is water (80%), macromolecules and smaller molecules which in turn are all made of individual atoms (elements).

There are 14 elements which all living matter is made of : H, C, N, O, P, S, Na, Mg, Cl, K, Ca, Fe, Cu, Zn. All of these elements are freely available in the soil and water around us! Thus from dust we came, into dust we shall return! And indeed, we are formed from the soil of the ground.

As the evolution progressed, in late Quaternary the primate line was split into a hominid line of apes. The hominid line today is divided into two families. Family Pongidae (apes) and the Family Hominidae (humans) We know that evolution works through the process of natural selection and it occurs in all species gradually. In order for a different trait (a change) in an organism to be fixed in the population, an individual has to be subject to the selective pressure of its environment where the change would become somehow advantageous. This change must in turn translate into the individual's increased fitness (more children). We know that such a change had the same mathematical probability of occurring in all the related hominid apes under the given circumstances and environmental conditions. It did occur in only one.

Why were our closely related members of super family Hominoidea (apes such as Chimpanzees, Gorillas and Orantgutans) arrested in their original evolutionary state of development while their hominid cousin was permitted to evolve into a more evolutionarily advanced stage?

GOD does exist - PROOF ONE
The observed evolutionary development of only one Hominid line into a more advanced evolutionary stage is without the involvement of Higher Power unlikely.

From mitochondrial DNA analysis of a representative human sample drawn from individuals around the world, we also know that all members of our today's society arose from one ancestral "grand mother" Eve just as the Bible tells us. This is another piece of evidence which confirms proof one.
 

GOD reveals Himself and speaks to us

The species Homo sapiens (the modern man) which arose as far back as some 200000 years ago had one peculiarity separating it from other higher organisms. It is genetically pre-disposed to search for GOD. In other words, we are "wired" to long for, and to look for our creator. Since to us, our GOD is an invisible spirit, it led our ancestors to make their own substitutes for GOD in form of statues made of wood and stone. They worshipped these gods instead. This practice we call "Idolatry". The men who perform these acts of idolatry are called "Pagans".

GOD does exist - PROOF TWO
There is NO WAY, that the behavioral trait of searching for GOD could have evolved in Homo sapiens solely through the natural selection, as there is no selective pressure existing in this physical world to instill such genetic trait. Thus GOD's involvement must have been present.

Needles to say, that GOD did not like the development of paganism. Throughout human history He revealed Himself to humanity through chosen people - "Prophets". Through prophets, He instructed us how to live so we make our lives as pleasant and as meaningful as possible, and we would recognize Him as the only GOD and creator. He also reveals Himself in our private lives through daily events and conversions (St. Augustine of Hippo, Tertullian, and many of us).


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