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Creation-Evolution Debate


This debate is often seen as:


1.  Something utterly ludicrous that should be ignored

This view is often (but not always) held by those already strongly in favour of one side of the debate or the other, and are fed up with the argument.


2.  Something extremely important that should be hotly debated 

Again, this view is often (but not always) held by those already strongly in favour of one side or the other.  But these people (on both sides) feel the need to ‘put things straight’.


3.  A minefield too complex (or too silly) to be negotiated

This view tends to be held by those who have grown up with one side of the debate or the other, have then tried to see it from the other side, from hearing and/or reading the debate (either sketchily or in detail) and have given up.


Each of these views is understandable because the debate often goes nowhere!  In the past, one of the most frequent reasons for the debate going nowhere was that on one side of the argument there were theologians with little knowledge of the sciences, and on the other side there were scientists with little knowledge of the Scriptures.  This inevitably ended with both sides feeling somewhat contemptuous of the other, and the division deepened.


Fortunately, in recent years, this has happened less often.  Theologians actively entering the debate have tended to have a greater understanding of some of the basic scientific principles, and scientists actively entering the debate have tended to have a greater understanding of the Scriptures. 


BUT . . . the debate still often goes nowhere!  And still either side can be left feeling rather disdainful of the other. 


One of the reasons for the debate still going nowhere, is a tendency towards sweeping statements, made by either side against the other, ie:  Scientists will tell you . . .’ or ‘Bible-bashers/Christians/Sky-Pilots will tell you . . .’ and then proceeding to mention a stand-point that members of the opposite side do not necessarily hold!  No wonder antagonism exists.  No wonder it can be seen as a minefield.  No wonder it can be seen as ludicrous.  No wonder people give up.


The debate is no longer as clear-cut (if it was ever clear-cut) between theologians and scientists.  Many theologians feel that the biblical story of creation is an allegory, and believe that there is actually no conflict between the pattern of the evolution theory and the pattern given in the Creation Story of Genesis.  The important fact for these people is not HOW the earth was made, but WHO made it.  On the other hand there are many scientists, some with multiple doctorates in the relevant fields (ie: geology, biology, chemistry, anthropology, palaeontology, sedimentology, dendrology etc) who are not necessarily Christians, and yet are convinced that the theory of evolution is badly flawed, that the earth could very well be a young earth, and that the universe is a product of some kind of intelligent design.


Strangely enough, the complexity that now exists has actually made the debate a whole lot more interesting!   If you have ever thought that believing in Creation would be little more than an intellectual embarrassment, click onto the ‘Creation Ministries’ link at the end of the page and be prepared to be fascinated. 


On the other hand, it needs to be remembered that the Creation Narrative is, in fact, a known Hebrew poem.  This too is fascinating, particularly as it is an accepted point among most bible scholars.


Ancient Hebrew poetry did not need to follow the same sort of guidelines as poetry today, with metre, rhythm or rhyme.  Much Hebrew poetry was written in prose form.  This type of poetry followed various traditional patterns, forms and shapes, and used repetition and expansion of themes, ideas and concepts.  The Creation Narrative of Genesis is one such Hebrew poem, and a brief part of the shape and theme-expansion is shown in the chart below.


Each of the first three days describes a principle, and the next three days expand on these same three principles.  Day Seven is God’s declared day of rest.




However, just because the Creation Narrative is a poem does not mean that it is not true.  Alfred Tennyson’s ‘Charge of the Light Brigade’ is just a poem, but it does not mean that the Crimean War did not happen.  Tennyson’s poem graphically describes a small part of the large overall event.  In the same way, the Creation Narrative describes, in poetic form, a small part of an enormous overall cosmic event – the creation of the universe with its dimensions of time and space.


Whatever your verdict . . . enjoy the exploration!




Creation Ministries

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