Creation science contends that an intelligent designer was at work in the creation of the universe and life. A sizeable number on this side of the debate-perhaps even the majority-believe the Bible’s account of Creation-that is, that the universe was created over a span of six days about 6,000 years ago. (The age of the earth according to the Bible can be roughly calculated by adding the number of years Adam and his descendants lived, as listed in Genesis chapters 5 and 11 and other biblical passages, up to the laying of the foundation of the temple in Jerusalem by King Solomon in 967/966 B.C., a date most historians agree on, give or take a few years.) [Footnote: Edwin R. Thiele, The Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1951, rev. 1965) is regarded by many historians as the definitive work when determining biblical dates such as this.] Further to this, biblical creationists also accept the Bible’s account that a worldwide flood around 1,400 years after Creation cataclysmically altered the original Creation and that all humans and animals now inhabiting the earth are direct descendants of the occupants of Noah’s Ark.

The most popular atheistic theory as to the origin of the universe is the big bang theory. This theory goes through constant revision as new data is injected into the equation, but in essence it states that the universe began from a furiously spinning, infinitesimally small but immensely dense dot. The dot exploded in “the big bang” that threw out matter that expanded into all the astral bodies that inhabit the universe, which is still expanding.

Speculation is rampant as to when this occurred, but 20-40 billion years ago is the median time frame given. At some stage billions of years ago the earth, as it was then formed, was subjected to continuous rain for billions of years. This dissolved rock into the ocean, making what is commonly referred to as the primordial soup.

Due to some chance introduction of an energy force of some kind, life in the form of simple cells sprang forth from the various inanimate chemicals present in this “soup.” This life developed and became increasingly complex in nature, and through the intervening billions of years since that time has given rise to the vast diversity of life that abounds on this planet.

Creation scientists look at the cosmos and see the unmistakable hand of a designer at work. Evolutionists observe the same cosmos and view everything that is in it as the result of random chance.

It is important to understand that contrary to claims by evolutionists, belief in the biblical account of Creation is not diametrically opposed to true science. The proponents of evolution often try to cast believers in Creation as scientifically ignorant and unenlightened. Don’t let yourself be put in that position. Creationists can believe as firmly in science as anyone else. In fact, many scientists are creationists.

True science is based on what is known as the “scientific method,” by which knowledge is advanced by formulating a question, collecting data about it through observation and experiment, and testing a hypothetical answer. Only after such experimentation has proven a scientific theory to be true by producing observable and repeatable results does the theory move into the realm of scientific fact.

Because neither the big bang/evolution theory nor the belief in the Creation being wrought by God can be observed or repeated under observable experimental conditions, both are belief systems that remain within the realm of faith. It comes down to what-and who-you choose to believe.

Others try to sit on the fence. Many believe in the God of the Bible, but contend that the Creation was the result of evolutionary processes. These are the proponents of theistic evolution. A later chapter takes a closer look at the theistic evolutionist’s attempts to synthesize the polar opposites of the Bible and evolutionary theory, but in short this middle ground requires twice as much faith as the two other belief systems because it requires faith in both.

Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace-Popularizers of the Theory of Evolution

[Footnote: From the Creation Science Web site:]

Charles Darwin and his history-changing book On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, subtitled “The Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life,” published in 1859, are known around the world. As a young man, Charles Darwin was always interested in nature, but since his father saw no future in being a naturalist, he was sent to the University of Edinburgh to study medicine.

At 16, he left Edinburgh without a degree and enrolled in Christ College at Cambridge University to become a clergyman, since most naturalists of the day were clergyman. He received his B.A. degree in theology in 1831 and was recommended by the Reverend John Henslow, Professor of Botany, to Captain Robert Fitzroy of the HMS Beagle to participate in a surveying voyage around the world.

Darwin was 22 years old when they sailed from England in December 1831 with the primary mission of charting sections of the South American coastline. While the crew charted the coastline, Darwin observed the distinctive nature of South America and was puzzled by the geographic distribution of species. At the Galapagos Islands, Darwin came across several types of finches that, although very similar, had apparent adaptations to their particular environments. By the time they had sailed from the Galapagos, Darwin had read Charles Lyell’s Principles of Geology, and began to doubt the Church’s position that the earth was only a few thousand years old. Later Darwin would theorize that these new forms were the result of the accumulation of adaptations to a different environment (Campbell 1990: 428-429). By the 1840s, Darwin had worked out the major features of the theory of natural selection as a mechanism for evolution but did not publish it immediately. Incidentally, Darwin spent most of his adult life in a semi-invalid condition whose cause, either organic or psychological, to this day remains unclear, but he did nevertheless write extensively and pursued his research.

The idea of natural selection as a source of new species was later to be co-discovered by Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913). Wallace, unlike Lyell and Darwin, was raised in poverty and had no formal higher education at all, learning his knowledge of biology by extensive field experience in the Amazon and East Indies. At 21, Wallace was introduced to spiritualism and would later become a leader in the spiritism movement and write on the subject. Wallace wrote a two-part article on the subject and later the definitive textbook, Miracles and Modern Spiritualism in 1876 (Morris 1989: 171).

In 1855 Wallace published a paper on the origin of species, which made Lyell and Darwin realize how close Wallace was to Darwin’s research. While Darwin was procrastinating on the publication of Origin, Wallace made a very curious contribution to science while in the Malayan jungles:

“I was then (February 1858) living at Ternate in the Muluccas [part of modern-day Indonesia], and was suffering from a rather severe attack of intermittent fever, which prostrated me every day during the cold and succeeding hot fits. During one of these fits, while again considering the problem of the origin of species, something led me to think of Malthus’s “Essay on Population.” (Morris 1989: 172, quoting Wallace, The Wonderful Century.) …

“Then it suddenly flashed upon me that this self-acting process would necessarily improve the race, because in every generation the inferior would inevitably be killed off and the superior would remain-that is, the fittest would survive. Then at once I seemed to see the whole effect of this.

“The whole method of species modification became clear to me, and in the two hours of my fit, I had thought out the main points of the theory. That same evening I sketched out the draft of a paper; and in the two succeeding evenings I wrote it out, and sent it by the next post to Mr. Darwin” (op cit, p. 173).

At that point, Darwin was persuaded by his friends Lyell and Hooker to stop work on the “big book” and quickly publish an abstract, a shorter version, instead. Lyell and Hooker then presented Darwin’s 1844 sketch and Wallace’s 1858 paper to the Linnean Society on July 1, 1858. Darwin’s “abstract” of 490 pages was published in 1859 as On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection and the rest is history (Taylor 1991: 130-131). Had it not been for Wallace acting as a stimulus, Darwin may not have written Origins and the course of history could have remained unchanged. Morris summarizes this best:

“Herein was a marvelous thing! A theory that Darwin had been developing for twenty years, in the midst of a world center of science and with the help and encouragement of many scientific friends, was suddenly revealed in full to a self-educated spiritist, halfway around the world, alone on a tropical island in the throes of a two-hour malarial fit. This is not the usual route to scientific discovery” (Morris 1989: 173).