How Did We Get Here?
Where do we come from? How did the universe begin? Did humans evolve or were we created by God? In this study, we’ll look at and define the various theories of origins. One important point to remember is that because we cannot observe and measure the originating event, we cannot use the scientific method in proving if the event happened as claimed. We have to use the historical method of proof. This method gathers up all the relevant data. If it does predict an outcome, its beyond a reasonable doubt but not beyond any doubt. As we’ll see, all of these theories have their strong and weak points. None of them are beyond a reasonable doubt. None of them are ‘settled science’. While each theory can explain much, they all have many things they cannot explain. Some theories can explain more than others, but not one can satisfactorily explain most of reality. But first, let’s define these theories.
Evolution…I’m defining this to cover all naturalistic processes, from the creation of the universe to life on Earth. This definition covers naturalism and the chemical origin of life on Earth.
The Big Bang…this theory states that our entire universe began as a single, very dense point of energy, space and time. At some point in space and time, this singularity rapidly expanded outward. It would be like a balloon being blown up. Then some energy was converted into matter and this eventually formed into stars, galaxies and planets. Remember, time and space were also created in the Big Bang.
Currently, scientists have speculated that the universe is expanding. This means that space is expanding also. Expanding into what you may ask? We don’t know because all we can see is the space we live in. We don’t know what’s beyond that. We can’t even see to the edge of our space yet. It appears that we may never see it as some scientists think that the space is expanding at the speed of light.
Another frustrating thing is that we don’t know much about this singularity. We do know that it is so dense that our physical laws break down and don’t apply here.
The one thing that shocked physicists and astronomers was that it appeared that our universe had beginning. Up to this point, they thought the universe had always existed. The problem with this is if the universe had a beginning, then it must have had a beginner.
Darwin’s theory of Evolution…Darwin’s theory states that all life on Earth evolved from non-life chemicals. Groupings of chemical elements (like hydrogen, oxygen, sodium, ect.) mixed over time to form organic compounds (carbon compounds like methane, ammonia, etc.). Over more time, these compounds formed amino acids and proteins, leading to more complex molecules. These molecules eventually produced the first life forms in the ocean. Some of the life forms stayed in the oceans, other life forms migrated unto the land. Eventually, over millions and millions of years, this resulted in humans.
Theistic Evolution…also called evolutionary creationism. This theory is identical to Darwinian evolution, but it realizes that Darwinian evolution has many problems in its evolutionary process that are insurmountable. It is at these points that God stepped in and overcame what nature could not. In essence, God ‘helped’ the evolving process at certain points along the way.
Progressive Creation…also called Old Earth Creationism…this theory includes the day/age theory and the gap theory. These Progressive Creation theories believe in the long ages of evolution (billions and billions of years), but that God directly created vegetation, ocean life, animals and humans abruptly at certain times in the past.
Young Earth Creationism…they believe in the literal interpretation of the Genesis account, that the days of creation were 24 hour days, that God created the universe and everything in it in 6 literal Earth-time days.
Intelligent Design…ID is not a deduction from or an interpretation of a religious text but an inference from scientific evidence. It attempts to explain the observed complexity found in living and non-living structures. It does not identify the intelligent designer as the Christian God. It does say that there are systems in the universe (like the digital code in DNA, the miniature circuits and machines in our bodily cells and the fine tuning of the laws of physics that make life possible) that are best explained by an intelligent cause rather than an undirected natural process like evolution. ID is NOT a form of creationism.
Specified Complexity…Complexity can be either random or specified. A rock, showing multiple, mineral crystals is complex but doesn’t convey information because that complexity is not specific. On the other hand, a rock that has been carved into a particular shape (like Mt. Rushmore or the Rosseta Stone), is specific, conveying information. In our experience, all systems that demonstrate specified complexity and contain information have been made by an intelligent agent. The more complex the system communicating more specific information, like a computer, we associate with higher intelligence. In the human body, our cells have much more complex, specific systems than a computer does. Evolutionists would not attribute a computer to random chance, yet they do attribute a human cell to just that.
Irreducible Complexity…There are biological entities, like the human eye, where all its parts much exist at the same time and place for it to function. Take away any of its parts and it won’t function as an eye. You cannot build it up gradually or piece-by-piece as evolution requires. Another example would be the mouse trap. Take away any of its parts and it won’t work. You cannot build a mouse trap gradually. All of its parts must be there for it to function as a mouse trap.
Strengths of the various theories:
-Evolution explains the similarity of species
-Evolution explains the geographical distribution of species (why some animals are only found in Africa or Australia, etc.)
-Evolution is confirmed by the various radioactive dating methods
-Evolution is a falsifiable theory
-Evolution says it is confirmed by the fossil record
-It has made successful predictions
-Evidence against a recent creation is at https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Evidence_against_a_recent_creation.
At this time, evolution fits the data better than any other theory, but it is having more and more discrepancies with new facts.
Some proponents of it are: way too many to list
It has a lot of the positives that Evolution has.
Some proponents of it are: Dr. Francis Collins (M.D., genetics), Dr. Owen Gingerich (astronomy), Dr. Alan Sandage (astronomy) + many others.
-it has made some of the best fine-tuning probability arguments in existence (www.godandscience.org/apologetics/designun.html, scroll down to the “Fine Tuning Parameters for the Universe”).
-Explains the Cambrian Explosion (the recent, quick introduction of humans, animals, etc.) and the old age of the Earth and cosmos.
-It is a falsifiable theory
-It makes successful predictions
-It rejects the concept of universal common descent (it doesn’t believe in the molecules-to-man evolution)
-Believes in specified complexity and irreducible complexity
-Information theory supports it
-Some proponents of it are Dr. Hugh Ross (astro-physics), Dr. Rana Fazale (biochemistry), Dr. Robert Newman (astro-physics)
Young Earth Creation;
-There are no clear transitional evolutionary forms for humans, birds, animals & mammals.
-Fossils in the upper layer are very similar to modern day organisms. But these animals are different in, say Africa than in South America. But when you get down to the lower levels of fossils in both places, they are identical again.
-At some point, transitional forms would not be able to mate with each other.
-Vestigial human organs…according to evolution, body organs that used to be functional but no longer are because we’ve evolved beyond their function. The problem is that the more knowledge we gain, we’ve been finding out that these “useless (vestigial)” organs are very useful, like the appendix.
-Scientists used to think that 90% of our DNA was useless “junk” DNA that we no longer needed. That it was left behind by our evolution. Since the 1980’s, we’ve discovered that this DNA is very useful. It plays a key role in inheritance factors. This field is now called ‘epigenetics’.
-It is a falsifiable theory
-It makes successful predictions (https://answersingenesis.org/creation-science/successful-predictions-creation-scientists/….http://kgov.com/list-of-creation-science-predictions)
-The fossil record supports it as does the lack of transitional forms.
-It rejects the concept of universal common descent (it doesn’t believe in the molecules-to-man evolution).
-Genetics supports it
-Believes in specified complexity and irreducible complexity
-Information theory supports it
Some proponents of it are Dr. Jonathan Sarfati (Physical Chemistry), Ken Ham, Dr. Danny Faulkner (astronomy), Dr. Don Batten (biology, agriculture), Dr. Jason Lisle (astro-physics), Dr. Raymond Damadian (M.D., inventor of the MRI), Dr. Andrew Snelling (geology), Dr. Georgia Purdom (molecular genetics), Dr. Don DeYoung, Dr. Larry Vardiman, Dr. Terry Mortenson (history of Geology), Dr. Clifford Wilson (archaeology), Dr. Tommy Mitchell (M.D.), Dr. David Menton (cell biology and homology), Dr. A.J. Monty White (gas kinetics), Dr. Andy McIntosh (aerodynamics), Dr. David DeWitt (neuroscience), Dr. Joe Francis (biology), Dr. Steve Austin (geology), Dr. John Whitmore (biology), Dr. Alan White (organic chemistry), Dr. Gary Parker (biology), Dr. Andrew Fabich (microbiology), Dr. Elisabeth Mitchell (M.D.), Dr. John Hartnett (physics), Dr. Carl Wieland (M.D.), Dr. Russell Humphrey (physics), Dr. Jerry Bergman (M.D., biology, genetics, chemistry, biochemistry, anthropology, geology, and microbiology…he has 9 degrees including 7 graduate degrees)
-It has produced some of the best fine-tuning arguments in existence
-It has convincingly shown that evolution is statistically impossible
-It has proven some biological entities are irreducibly complex
-It is a falsifiable theory
-It has made successful predictions (http://www.ideacenter.org/content1156.html)
-It has proven that some systems are specifically complex
Some proponents of it are: Dr. Stephen Meyer (philosophy of science, geophysics), Dr. Michael Behe (biochemistry, biology), Dr. Jay Richards (business & economics), Dr. David Berlinski (philosophy, mathematics, molecular biology), Dr. Michael Denton (M.D., biochemistry), Dr. Guillermo Gonzalez (astronomy), Dr. Richard Sternberg (molecular biology & theoretical biology), Dr. Jonathan Wells (molecular & cell biology), Dr. Dean Kenyon (biophysics), Dr. Raymond Bohlin (molecular & cell biology), Dr. Charles Thaxton (physical chemistry), Dr. Henry Schaeffer III (chemical physics)
Weaknesses of the various theories:
– the pathway where these chemicals produce life from non-life chemicals hasn’t been found for any living entity.
-all of the past supposed ‘missing links’ have eventually been rejected. Not one of them has stood the test of time.
-evolution cannot explain the human capacity for language and speech.
-it also cannot explain our own consciousness or morality.
-it cannot explain how new improved information is made by the mutation of living cells.
-many scholars see the bible as being historically accurate but not scientifically accurate. Why the difference?
-new fossil finds overturned the hypothesis of a human/ape gradual transition toward bipedal walking, greater brain and height size. Our brains are more akin to a rodents than apes.
-radioactive dating inconsistencies
-mathematical improbabilities of life arising from non-life
-irreducible complexity… where a whole system must be in place for it to work (like the eye). The system cannot gradually develop. A mousetrap is a good example of irreducible complexity.
-don’t know the original composition of Earth’s atmosphere. The Miller-Urey experiment of 1952 has been discarded.
-the presence of oxygen would destroy organic molecules
-these organic molecules all form under different conditions, some of which would destroy the other ones.
-the DNA of the simplest known cell contains 159,622 base pairs in a very specified order made up of 182 genes. No process is known that could produce even the simplest cell.
-lacking any hard evidence as to how life originated, evolutionists say we are here, therefore life must have arisen naturally. All we have to do is figure out how this happened.
-as of right now, there is no consensus on how non-life chemicals turned into life chemicals.
-had to invent cosmic inflation, dark energy and dark matter because the Big Bang theory couldn’t be explained without these “fudge factors”. We don’t know why cosmic inflation happened or what turned it on or off and have never seen dark energy or dark matter.
-thinks everything as a naturalistic process, leaving no room for the supernatural.
-says that there was death before the ‘Fall’ in Genesis 3. Says that Romans 8:19-23 doesn’t refer to God’s curse on the whole of creation.
-says that there was no worldwide flood but that the waters did encompass all of humanity.
-redefines the length of a ‘day’ in Genesis, chapters 1 & 2 to mean long periods of time, not a 24 hour day or that its 24 hour days followed by long periods of time in-between Genesis 1:1 & 1:3.
-sees animal death before the ‘Fall” as good.
-has changing dates for when Adam existed as between 140-150,000 years ago.
– quotes highly technical scientific literature, but many experts disagree with DR. Ross’ interpretation of these evidences.
-doesn’t specify who the intelligent designer is.
-doesn’t specifically have a timeline yet. Some ID’ers believe in millions of years, some believe in 6 literal 24 hour days.
-is not a fully developed viewpoint at this time. Give it 5 years or more and it will be more fully developed.
Young Earth Creationism;
-cannot explain how it is that we’re receiving light from stars that are 13 billion light years away.
-cannot explain why a global flood didn’t leave more evidence than it did. Even the young Earth creationists points in favor of a global flood can be explained away without resorting to a global flood.
-cannot explain why a few radio isotope errors in dating objects should lead to doubting the whole process. The errors in dating usually don’t bring the final results anywhere close to 6-10,000 years of age.
-cannot clearly specify what processes are natural and which ones are supernatural.
-some of the evolutionists quote they use, those same evolutionists still believe in some type of evolution.
As you can see, there are several plausible theories of origin. We should be teaching all of them in our schools and universities. Only in an open marketplace of relevant ideas can we study, learn and grow our understanding of where we came from. Hopefully it will enlighten us as to where we should be going.
In any study such as this, much information will inevitably be left out. I apologize for that. If you know of any relevant data that should be included, please let me know and I will seriously consider it.
For His Kingdom,