Invalidity of the Creationism Theory
Length: 1280 words (3.7 double-spaced pages)
Since I was a small child I have been interested in science, specifically the natural sciences. They have always intensely fascinated me. So of course being the curious child I was, I read many volumes on paleontology, paleo-archeology, and geology. During this same time, my parents were deeply involved in the church. They both had just graduated from seminary school and were thinking of starting their own ministry. This of course caused quite a conflict in me. Here on the one hand were all these famous authors telling me how the planet had evolved naturally over eons of time with no intervention from any deity. Then on the other, hand I had my parents and others telling me to trust in God for he was the creator of all. To settle these internal conflicts I read an extensive amount of literature on both creationism's position and that of main stream science. I settled eventually on one final conclusion. The three most common cases cited for the validity of creationism are unjustly founded.
The Great Flood
The great flood is, of course, the biblical story that tells of Gods judgment of man and His resulting punishment for what He saw as rampant wickedness. As the story goes, man had begun to multiply rapidly on the face of the earth, but to the Lord these men had become wicked. They had only evil thoughts in their hearts and minds. The Lord God decided he would obliterate all life on the planet, except for Noah's family and the two of every kind of animal and creeping thing (or seven according to the next verse) that they take with them on the ark. Creationists claim that this worldwide flood is responsible for the destruction of the dinosaurs. According to them, the flood is responsible for the extinction of thousands of species. They believe evolution never did occur and the earth is not billions of years old as claimed by main stream science.
Of course, the first problem with the global flood idea is the availability of enough water to cover the whole earth. Using current standards God would have needed 4.4 billion cubic kilometers of water to cover the highest mountains, which the Bible claims the Lord accomplished. One popular explanation by Creationists for the water problem is that a giant vapor canopy once surrounded the whole planet.
This had existed since the creation of the world and condensed during the time of the flood. To hold 4.4 billion cubic kilometers of water this vapor canopy would have needed to be 180,000 miles thick. Of course, a vapor canopy thick enough to contain that much water would have blocked all light from reaching the planet surface day and night. In addition, assuming this much water was thrown on the earth, where did it go once the flood had ended? The other problem is their explanation for the fossil record. If indeed it was created by the flood then we should find the remains of prehistoric creatures wildly intermingled with those of modern animals. Dinosaur bones should turn up next to those of deer or caribou for example. There should be no differentiation in the strata layers. However, that simply is not the case. Geology has shown us time and again that the strata layers follow a chronological order. Our ability to locate and exploit this worlds many coal, oil, and natural gas resources is based on this very understanding.
Evolution Has Never Been Observed?
There are two main arguments Creationists use to try and discredit evolution. The first is their claim that no transitional forms have ever been found. They say this proves that evolution did not take place. They also claim that speciation has never been directly observed. Thus, according to them, there is no proof for evolution. Their logic states life was either created or it evolved. If science can show a gradual transition from one form to another then a designer may be ruled out. But if science fails to show such transitions then design may be inferred.
The thing Creationists overlook when trying to prove their case for design is that evolution on the microscopic scale has been directly observed. Experimentation with bacteria has shown that antibiotic resistance can and does arise from beneficial mutation, rather than being already present in the bacteria. A scientist by the name of Joshua Ledenberg did an experiment in which he grew thousands of colonies of genetically identical bacteria from a single bacterial cell that was unable to survive in the presence of streptomycin. He then divided the colonies in half and grew one half with and one half without streptomycin. A few of the colonies survived on streptomycin, because they carried new mutations for resistance. Since the original bacterium from which the colonies were grown was not itself resistant to streptomycin, Ledenberg's experiment proves that resistance is generated by mutation and is not a quality that needs to be present from the start. In recent years, the development of antibiotic and pesticide resistance has been observed many times. For example, the fact that it occurs is the very reason a new flu vaccine must be developed every year. Another instance where evolution in action has been directly observed comes from Lake Victoria in Africa. Thirty-five hundred years ago, a small body of water became separated from Lake Victoria by a sandbar. There are now five species of fish native only to the new lake. They have apparently evolved from the original species in a geological instant. Two other examples are the rapid speciation of the Faeroe Island house mouse, which occurred in less than 250 years after man first brought it to the island, and the formation of five new species of Cichlid fishes since they were isolated less then 4000 years ago from the parent stock, Lake Nagubago.
The Big Bang Proves Creation?
Most creationism arguments depend upon the notion that the universe had a beginning. Their logic dictates that for there to be a creation, it must have been created at some point. They often fall back on the Big Bang theory to support this idea. While it is perfectly understandable to make such an argument, it is somewhat incorrect in its assumption. As we all know, Edwin Hubbell discovered that the universe is expanding in all directions at the same rate. This means if one were to go backward through time the universe would be getting smaller and smaller until it reached a point of infinite density. This, in general, is the basic Big Bang theory.
What many creation theorists fail to take into account though, and what many high school text books fail to make clear, is exactly what Einstein's Theory General of Relativity says. Using the general theory, one can infer from the data that the universe should be smaller and smaller the farther one looks back into the past. This only works up to a certain point, however. There is a point in time called the "Planck Time" (named after physicist Max Planck, a pioneer in Quantum Mechanics) before which we can no longer infer behavior about the universe using General Relativity alone. The problem is that prior to Planck Time the universe is so small that quantum mechanical effects become very pronounced. A correct description of the universe prior to this Planck Time therefore requires a synthesis of Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity. Although their are several candidates, no full theory of Quantum Gravity (also known as Unified Field Theory) has been developed. Without such a theory we cannot draw any conclusions about whether the universe had a beginning or not.