Theories of Originsby Rit Nosotro
Compare theories and facts concerning the origin and development of life on earth.
Teach Theory as Theory, Not as Fact
The field of education, particularly in the natural sciences arena, has a tendency to many times present increasingly accepted theories as facts, resulting in such thoughts and opinions to be unchallengeable truths to students. This is not a new phenomenon, but rather has been an unrelenting challenge for scholars since the very beginning of time. Some of our most respected historical scholars were ridiculed for challenging so called “truths” that the earth was flat, or that the earth was the center of the universe. One of today’s high-profile teachings is the topic of how the universe, and our world, was created. There are numerous theories and beliefs about the origin of life that fall under two main factions: evolution or intelligent design. Clearly, in the United States and other Western education institutions, the primary belief for creation is focused through the Darwinian explanation of evolution. Most public school graduates accept evolution as the origin of life, never knowing that any other theories even exist. In fact, the evolution “truth” has some serious flaws. There are many “holes” in evolutionary theory, places where real world evidence does not match the claims of the evolutionists. Yet, teachers conveniently fail to publicly address such issues to their students in schools. As a result, students are being fed “half-truths”. There is a corrective action that can be taken. Evolution and intelligent design should be taught in schools, not as fact, but as theories, and the weaknesses as well as strengths, should be readily recognized for each.
While the intelligent design theory has existed for thousands of years, Darwinism evolution became popular in the late eighteen hundreds. Evolution is a theory that states all living things resulted from an event billions of years ago, such as a big bang, and that the organisms that arouse from the event evolved to their modern forms. According to evolutionists, humans were one of the last organisms to evolve, developing all the way from simple one celled organisms over millions of years to the multi-trillion celled organism they are now. The belief in intelligent design has been around since man’s beginning. The first historic traces of belief in intelligent design are derived from the Bible, where a story of God creating the earth in six days is part of the foundation of Judeo-Christian belief. Additionally, many cultures and religions have also believed that they were created by some supernatural force, for some purpose, and intelligent thought went into their creation. Intelligent design was the primary belief of almost all people until the late 1800’s in the United States. Likewise, many civilizations before that time believed in a creation by a god or many gods. Darwin had developed the theory of natural selection. This theory stated that the strong survived and the weak died off, and the traits in the strong animals were passed on, thus creating or eliminating traits in animals. However, this theory was blown out of proportion from micro evolution to macro evolution, small adaptations to species overlaps. For the first time, naturalists had an explanation for life that made sense; they no longer had to believe in supernatural intervention. After the discoveries by Darwin, the belief in evolution became wildly popular, while the intelligent design theory that had been the primary belief system for thousands of years was ridiculed. Now, in the twenty-first century, with new evidence constantly questioning the validity of evolution, intelligent design has begun challenging evolution to once again claim the title of “primary belief system” in the United States.
Individuals supporting intelligent design say the world is too complex to have been created randomly. An example of this complexity is the incredibly complicated organism known as the eye. An eye is made up of many separate parts, all working together to produce one result: sight. In order for an eye to function correctly, all the parts must be in place. Just a few of the many parts of the eye include the retina, cornea, iris, lens, macula, and the transportation to the brain, the optical nerve (Menton, par. 8.). Many evolutionists will say that all these objects evolved separately and somehow happened to work together by chance. However, the chances of this happening are astronomical. There have been many comparisons to the eye, and one of the most striking compares a supercomputer and an eye.
To simulate 10 milliseconds of the complete processing of even a single nerve cell from the retina would require the solution of about 500 simultaneous non-linear differential equations one hundred times and would take at least several minutes of processing time on a Cray supercomputer. Keeping in mind that there are 10 million or more such cells [sic] interacting with each other in complex ways it would take a minimum of a hundred years of Cray time to simulate what takes place in your eye many times every second. (qtd. in Menton, par. 8)
If the incredible number of calculations would take a supercomputer over a
hundred years to calculate sight for just one second, there is no way chance
could have developed the eye, let alone an entire body, in just a few billion
When asked about the gargantuan odds of the creation of the world by chance, evolutionists will often use the analogy of monkeys using a typewriter. They say that, given enough time, a bunch of monkeys could create the entire works of Shakespeare (Perloff 31). However, this information is false: it wouldn’t take millions, it would take billions, if not trillions or more years for just one book of Shakespeare to be created by monkeys.
If one billion planets the size of the earth were covered eyeball-to-eyeball and elbow-to-elbow with monkeys, and each monkey was seated at a typewriter (requiring about 10 square feet for each monkey, of approximately 10 [to the sixteenth power] square feet on each of the 10 [to the ninth power] planets), and each monkey typed a string of characters 100 letters every second for five billion years. The chances are overwhelming that not one of those monkeys would have typed the sentence correctly! Only 10 [to the forty-first power] tries could be made by all those monkeys in that five billion years.… There would not be the slightest chance that a single one of the 10 [to the twenty-fourth power] monkeys (a trillion trillion monkeys) would have typed a preselected [sic] sentence of 100 letters (such as ‘The subject of this Impact article is the naturalistic design of life on the earth under assumed primordial conditions’) without a spelling error, even once. (Gish 3)
If trillions of monkeys cannot even write a single sentence in billions of
years, there is no possible way that blind chance could alone create an entire
universe in the same amount of time.
There are many other large cracks in the foundation of evolution that do not get addressed in classrooms. One crack has to do with the structure of planetary rings. Scientists estimate the planet Uranus is five billion years old; however, they also estimate that its rings can only last for one billion years (Ham 108). The fact that Uranus’s rings could not have lasted that long has come up recently, and now evolutionists are scrambling in an attempt to find explanations for these contradictory findings. Their current claim is that the rings regenerate themselves because of particles that are created by the constant grinding of the rings together (Ham 106). This is only one of the many problems evolutionists face when trying to prove our solar system’s age. There are other flaws, such as the sun shrinking at a rate of 5 feet a day. If this solar system is really three billion years old, and the sun has been consistently shrinking at a rate of five feet a minute, now losing about four million tons of mass a second, three billion years ago, Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars would have all been engulfed by the sun (Perloff 7; “Sun Facts”, par. 1, 13). Scientists are still unable to explain how the formation of the universe could have occurred with the size of the sun.
Another flaw in evolution that scientists have to address is the slow formation of the Grand Canyon. Evolutionists hypothesize that the canyon was created over millions of years from a tiny trickle of water, now know as the Colorado River, and this theory is still being taught in schools. However, after much research, many evolutionists now believe floods eroded the canyon over millions of years, not the tiny stream of water known as the Colorado; ironically a branch of the intelligent design theory, creation scientists have believed that a large, worldwide flood formed the Grand Canyon for a long time (Ham 140). There are many areas evolutionists have changed their minds about, and many of those changes now support what creationists have been stating all along.
Additionally, the dating systems used by evolutionists to date rocks and fossils are constantly contradicting themselves. Carbon dating is probably the best known of the many methods used to date objects. In a nutshell, carbon dating analyzes previously living things, and can tell how old they are by the amount of carbon they contain (Perloff 139). However, there are many flaws in this dating method. When using these methods, scientists are assuming that, thousands of years ago, the carbon levels in the atmosphere have remained consistent for the entire history of the earth; however, there have been many reports published stating that the level of carbon has been rising, making fossils and rocks seem older then they really are (Perloff 139-40). The lower carbon level an object has, the older it looks; hence, if there was less carbon 5,000 years ago, the lack of carbon could make a 5,000 were old object look many millions of years old. In addition, carbon does not always stay within an organism. Carbon can be stripped off the object if it has come in contact with contaminants (Perloff 141). Even the director of a radiocarbon laboratory, Gordon Ogden, recognizes the inaccuracies of the current dating method.
I find myself increasingly distressed that users of the radiocarbon dates fail to understand or appreciate what the quoted figures really mean…. All that a date represents, is a ‘best estimate’ of the radiocarbon content of the sample received by the laboratory. It includes none of the sampling or physical and biological errors mentioned earlier…. It may come as a shock to some, but fewer than 50 percent of the radiocarbon dates from geological and archaeological samples in northeastern North America have been adopted as ‘acceptable’ by investigators. (Ogden 73)
In addition, preliminary research has found that most fossils lose any traces
of carbon about 100,000 years after they die, making the assessment of those
objects over that age completely unreliable using this method of dating (Lubenow
257). If the study eventually confirms this finding, scientists will have to
find another approach for dating supposedly older samples.
Given the examples, the education system should offer a choice to students on the theory of human and earth history they learn in schools. However, many schools in the United States teach only evolution: in fact 31 states require that evolution be taught in high school (“Charles Who”, par.1). Although students have displayed their dislike over this arrangement, things rarely change. Some students such as such as Vicky Cho express their dislike of the current system. “‘On tests, I always give the answer they want, even if I don't believe it,’ she says” (Carnes, par. 20). Vicky is not the only student that feels this way. There are many more students that just want to be taught themes that are not degrading to their own beliefs or ethics. In fact, many polls taken over the past few years have shown that the general American public does indeed want alternative theories to evolution to be taught in schools. Results of one Gallup poll report that 68 percent of the population believes both evolution and creationism “should be taught in schools”, and another poll conducted in 1997 showed that over 45 percent of American adults believe humans did not evolve, but were already in their current modern form (Scott, par. 6, 17). There are many parents that do not believe in evolution, and also think that other theories then evolution should be taught, so why is it not?
In addition to teaching more than one theory in school, the weaknesses and strengths of each theory should be exposed. In the current system, there are many students that have the same convictions as Jerry Won. “‘It’s frustrating because they teach evolution as fact, but we know it's not true,’ he says. ‘They [the high schools] never teach the flaws [in Darwinian theory]’” (Carnes, par. 20). If taught in schools, all theories should be treated with a “false until proven true” approach. The doubts and holes in the system should not be kept a secret from students, but should be taught alongside the facts. In addition, all textbooks should have disclaimers included, stating that the information included in the textbook has not been one hundred percent proven, and should be considered with discretion.
However, even with all this evidence, there are still those that cling to evolution, and dismiss intelligent design because they say that intelligent design is a religion. They claim that church and state must be separated, and since a creator was needed for intelligent design, the theory is a religion. However, isn’t evolution also a religion? Evolution fits all the definitions. “[R]eligion 4: a cause, principal, or system of beliefs held with ardor and faith [sic]” (Britannica, n.p.). Now, evolution is a system of beliefs, and it has faith, as the definition states here. “[B]elief 1: a state or habit of mind in which trust or confidence is placed in some person or thing [sic]”, and faith is defined as “faith (1):belief and trust in and loyalty to a person, object, or idea [sic]” (Britannica, n.p.). According to evolutionists, religious theories should not be taught, but what about evolution? According to a dictionary definition, evolution itself is a religion. It is a system of beliefs held with faith, because there are no eyewitness historical accounts of evolution. Evolution cannot be proven; there were no eyewitnesses intelligent enough to document changes until man supposedly evolved. So, if intelligent design should not be taught in schools just because it is a “religion”, neither should evolution, since it also meets that definition.
After hearing the arguments against evolution, many people wonder why it is taught in schools at all. The theory of evolution, like all theories including intelligent design, have faults; if they didn’t, such interpretations really would be called facts, not theories. When all the aspects of evolution are examined and when there is more concrete evidence, parts of evolution really may be facts.
However, this is not to say that the entire principal of evolution is wrong. In fact, Darwin’s natural selection theory, before it was blown out of proportion to become full-fledged evolution, is a very valid theory. Organisms are able to adapt to their environment, to a certain degree. Plants and animals may be able to adapt to their environment and develop important survival skills. This fact is summed up beautifully in Mr. Taylor’s book, The Great Evolution Mystery.
But today, a century and a half since Darwin’s conception was born, it is becoming increasingly doubtful whether natural selection explains more than a part of the evolutionary story. It accounts brilliantly for the minor adaptations which living organisms make to meet the challenges of the environment but it is by no mean clear that it explains the major changes in evolution: the change from spineless jellyfish to with fish with backbones for example [...]. (13)
Scientists are finding more and more evidence disproving evolution, and are
becoming more skeptical of the theory, but continue to believe in it because
they cannot believe that there was “supernatural” intervention for
creation. Even Darwin came to doubt his theory as he continued thinking about
it (Haught, par. 3). Some thoughts held by evolutionists may be true, but evidence
is constantly disproving species overlaps.
The teaching of inaccuracies should not be allowed. The truth needs to be a priority in education; the controversies should be discussed, not hidden. People have a right to know all the choices before having to make a decision. There should not be bias in the field of science. The state of California continues to teach evolution because the say “There is no scientific dispute that evolution has occurred and continues to occur; this is why evolution is regarded as a scientific fact” (Ostling, par.3). However, the facts from the previous paragraphs raise serious questions about this statement. Currently, school systems are contradicting themselves with what they say and teach. The questioning of theories will only help to strengthen science and all of its branches.
1. When did Darwinism become popular?
A. The 14th century.
B. The 16th century
C. The 17th century
D. The 19th century
2. Why is there a problem with carbon dating?
A. More carbon now then there was in the past.
B. Less carbon now then in the past
C. The same amount of carbon as there was in the past.
D. Answers A & B
E. All of the above.
3. Over 60% of Americans believe that only evolution should be taught in schools regarding a previous Gallop poll.
4. Which is incorrect?
A. Evolution is a religion.
B. Evolution “accounts brilliantly for the minor adaptations” in nature.
C. Scientists are beginning to believe floods eroded the Grand Canyon.
D. “If one billion planets the size of the earth were covered eyeball-to-eyeball and elbow-to-elbow with monkeys, and each monkey was seated at a typewriter (requiring about 10 square feet for each monkey, of approximately 10 [to the sixteenth power] square feet on each of the 10 [to the ninth power] planets), and each monkey typed a string of characters 100 letters every second for five billion years,” they could type to complete works of Shakespeare.
1. D, 19th c.
2. D, inconsistent and unknown carbon
3. B, false
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