Time’s Oldest Debate

Time’s Oldest Debate
Period 2
According to recent studies, planet earth formed approximately four and a
half billion years ago. Since then, the earth has undergone many evolutionary
changes. Earth began as a swirling gas which condensed to create an immense
land mass. The ancient earth was basically the same as today’s earth except for
the environment. The atmosphere of the ancient earth was quite different,
containing more carbon and nitrogen gases than oxygen. The former atmosphere is
where much of present day organic molecules such as proteins, lipids, and
enzymes were created in abundance. By chance or simply because of the laws of
nature, those life producing compounds bonded together to create the oldest
known life form on earth — a bacterium. Other life forms evolved from the
bacterium through natural selection. These microscopic organisms formed
symbiotic relationships with each other and produced larger, multicellular
organisms, such as man. It may seem like a gigantic leap, bacterium to man, but
given billions of years, it is certainly possible. It is true that The Bible
holds certain truths which would imply a reliable source of information; however,
some parts of The Bible are not true at all. According to science, life evolved
in the following order: bacterium to fish, fish to various land animals, and
animals to man. Coincidentally or divinely, The Bible states that God said,
“Let the waters teem with fish and other life…let the earth bring forth every
kind of animal…Let us make man” (Genesis 1:20-26). The Bible accurately
depicts the order in which life was established. But how could the primitive
people who wrote The Bible know the order of which life was created without
science to aid them? This evidence would stand to prove that The Bible truly is
the word of God Himself. However, evolutionists would prefer to believe that
the writer of The Bible was an incredible guesser. That is because many parts
of The Bible seem to be written based on conjectures of what people of the time
thought was correct. An example of this would be from Genesis, “God made two
great lights — the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to
govern the night” (Genesis 1:16). Obviously the greater light is the sun and
the lesser light is the moon; however, the moon is not a light, it is a planet
that reflects light. The people who wrote The Bible did not know that the moon
was a planet; nor did they know that other planets even existed. So, they
described the moon as a source of light just as the sun is a source of light.

The writers of The Bible made a good guess; nevertheless, they were wrong. This
is not to say that the entire Bible is completely inaccurate, but explanations
concerning the creation are a little vague. Such an unclear source should not be
held accountable to explain the origin of mankind.

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Other proof that the biblical account of creation is wrong lies within
the process of carbon and uranium dating, and fossil records. Carbon dating is
the process of determining age by counting the amount of radioactive carbon in a
fossil or corpse. When a creature is living, it has a certain ratio of
radioactive carbon in it. That radioactive material decays at a fixed rate when
the creature dies. Scientists know the fixed rate and can therefore determine
how old a carcass is by counting how much radioactive material remains inside
the carcass. Carbon dating is useful for dating remains less than fifty
thousand years old. Using carbon dating, scientists have discovered fossils of
animals that lived five times as long ago as creationists say is possible.

Uranium dating is similar to carbon dating except that it is used for dating
things much older than fifty thousand years, such as the earth. Using uranium
dating, scientists have accurately calculated the age of the earth to be four
and a half billion years old and the age of the earliest living creature to be
three and a half billion years old (Campbell 505). Carbon and uranium dating
furnish indisputable evidence that the biblical account of creation is wrong and
evolution has occurred. The most conclusive proof that man has evolved from
lower life forms lies within the physical characteristics of man and his
relation to other creatures. One physical example that man evolved is the
various stages of a developing embryo. For example, while a human is still in
early embryonic stages, it has gill slits. While the gill slits never fully
mature, they serve as evidence that man’s ancestors at one time had gills.

During another period of embryonic development, a human has a tail. Sometimes,
a human is actually born with a tail. The tail is evidence of a trait
previously owned by an ancestor, but was discarded thousands of years ago. This
is not to say that tails and other physical features are simply cast off, but
after years of disuse, a feature will grow smaller and eventually disappear.

This is also evident in the growth of certain animals as well. At certain
stages of development, the embryos of various mammals, birds, fish, and humans
are indistinguishable. Further evidence suggesting evolution is vestigial
organs (organs that are of little or no use to the organism). For example,
whales possess a pelvic bone which would serve a purpose for functioning legs,
and yet they have no legs. Millions of years ago sea creatures came onto land,
acquired legs, then returned to the sea where legs were not needed. The pelvic
bone is vestigial in whales because it no longer serves a purpose. Another more
familiar vestigial organ is the human appendix. It serves absolutely no purpose
and, for some humans, is even removed. Embryonic proof, and vestigial organs are
sufficient evidence that man has evolved from lower organisms.

While creationists may believe evolution is wrong in defense of their
belief in God, evolutionists have extensive evidence to strengthen their claim
that man is the result of evolution. Evolutionists say that man is a highly
evolved ape-like creature. There is scientific evidence to prove that claim.

There is also proof that evolution is occurring today. Modern apes are a
perfect example: they portray almost identical physical characteristics to that
of man, use tools, and are learning to speak using sign language. Apes are not
only similar to man physically and intellectually, but genetically as well.

Human and ape DNA are ninety-nine percent identical. In fact, genetically,
humans are more closely related to the ape than the ape is to the orangutan.

Regardless of this scientific evidence, creationists will continue to believe
that mankind was created by God. Of course, the creationist’s view only holds
if there is belief that The Bible is the true word of God. If mankind had no
belief in The Bible’s account of creation, the Book would remain a work of
mythology. The Bible requires no ordinary belief, however, but a gigantic leap
of faith because there is absolutely no evidence God created mankind. The only
evidence of creation is in the opinions of millions of creationists.But if
opinion or belief were to be the only basis for determining human origin,
couldn’t mankind believe in literally anything and claim it for fact? Humans
could believe the mythical god, Zeus, created mankind! It’s a sad truth, but
creationism is a relic in a world where the concept of evolution logically
explains the origin of mankind.

Works Cited
Campbell, Neil A. Biology Third Edition. California: The Benjamin/Cummings
Publishing Company, Inc., 1993.

The Living Bible: Paraphrased. 1971 ed. Wheaton, Illinois: Tyndale House
Publishers, 1971.

Wertheim, Margaret. “Science and Religion: Blurring the Boundaries.”
Omni Publications International, Ltd. October 1994: 36. Religion: SIRS, Vol.

4. 77.