Sunday, April 26, 2015

Origins of the Universe: Creationism

While most scientists believe that the origin of the universe came in the form of a bang, there is also creationism, which is the belief that the universe, earth, and everything on it originated from specific divine acts. Creationists believe that a supernatural deity intervenes or at some point has intervened in the physical world. Creationism comes in two forms. The first is Young Earth Creationism (YEC) and the second is Old Earth Creationism (OEC).

Young Earth creationists believe that the Earth is approximately 6000 years old. These Young Earth creationists are the least scientifically minded among creationists because today we have evidence of life from millions of years ago and 6000 years is definitely not enough time for evolution to occur. They argue that scientific evidence can be used to support their own claims as much as it can be used to support evolutionist claims. YEC states that the Earth as we know it was created in six 24-hour days and that all people are descendents of the first two humans created, Adam and Eve. As the Bible states, the sins of Adam and Eve led to their expulsion from the Garden of Eden; eventually there was a flood where only the beings on Noah’s ark survived. YEC do argue that scientific evidence can be used to support their views and that this same evidence is actually just being interpreted unreasonably by evolutionists. They do believe in speciation but they think that it occurs much faster than what evolutionists think. They also argue that since our human history only spans a few thousand years, the world cannot be billions of years old because civilization would also be nearly as old. Also many different cultures throughout history have recorded evidence of some sort of big flood happening. They say because of this, the Great Flood must have actually happened.

The second form of Creationism is Old Earth Creationism. OEC states that God created the universe and the Earth billions of years ago. OEC actually uses modern science to help to prove their claims that the Earth is so old. Some Old Earth Creationists believe in something called the Gap Theory. In the Bible the first verse describes God creating the heaven and the earth, then the second verse describes the earth being formless and dark. Those that believe in the Gap Theory believe that there was a gap in time from the first verse to the second verse. According to the Gap Theory there was a battle between God and Lucifer that destroyed the surface of the earth causing it to be formless during this gap in time. This is also their explanation for the extinction of the dinosaurs. Obviously OEC takes into account more of modern science. Today we know that dinosaurs did in fact exist because we have found solid evidence. OEC takes evidence like this and offers an explanation for it which is something that YEC could not necessarily do. Other Old Earth Creationists believe in Progressive Creationism, which means that the six days that are referred to in the Bible were not actually 24-hour days but much longer than that. Each day can be interpreted as thousands or even millions of years. The popular belief is that God created the universe and the earth and then either just let evolution and natural selection run its course, or actually guided this evolution to where it is today. This of course parallels the scientific evidence we have for evolution. Although there is a lot of scientific evidence out there, there will always be religious people that believe that God is what created the universe. However some of these people try to incorporate modern science into their ideology and actually accept a lot of it. On the other hand some of these people do not believe that a lot of this scientific evidence actually tells us anything and do not accept a lot of scientific facts. 

- Eric Chow