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MisterBlueSky85's avatar

What do evolutionists "get" that creationists don't? (and vice versa?)

Asked by MisterBlueSky85 (892points) April 22nd, 2008

I think evolutionists are awful at recognizing that creationists are usually not experts in biology (since it’s not their field), so the best way to prove a point isn’t by citing science. It’s much better to try a logical or even philosophical approach. Mentioning specific studies just confuses and frustrates—showing a logical process is something both parties can follow.

I think creationists are terrible at researching the other side’s perspective. I know a lot of friends who have, being the little scientists they are, tried to research creationist arguments, some of which are really fascinating. But rarely have a come across a staunch creationist with a clear understanding of even basic evolutionary theory.

And both are awful at recognizing that evolution and creationism aren’t mutually exclusive theories.

I understand this question is a little divisive by nature, but let’s run with it and see what happens. What doesn’t the other party understand?

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12 Answers

8lightminutesaway's avatar

Well, its obvious they won’t be in agreement. It would be nice if they would agree to disagree, and keep church seperate from state and let students learn their science in school, and religion at church.

The basic problem is that evolutionists are scientists and require evidence, logic, and reason to believe something. A creationist requires only faith, and therefore there is a fundamental difference between the two. So an evolutionist, expecting reason to prevail in an argument, uses evidence and logic to support his views, not all realizing that these things mean little to the creationist. This will never dissuade a creationist, because then he would changing his fundamental belief system; switching from faith to reason. Think about it, a scientist may switch views according to what is more logical, what is most supported by the evidence. A creationist may switch views based on what is more faithful to his religion, not what is more logical. Make sense? It does to me, can I clarify?

Why a creationist would not research the evolutionary theory is little more cloudy.. at least I think so. He might feel it against his faith, because by simply attempting to learn more about another way of viewing the world, that act is questioning his faith. A scientist rarely comes upon this predicament, he always follows reason and logic, no matter what. Also, people are always afraid of what they don’t understand (this statement goes for both sides) So think of someone brought up their whole life believing God created the Earth and man. So you look at the world as someones creation, and man owing his existence to God. Then a scientist comes along and tells you everything you were told is not supported by evidence and that you were lied to. Imagine what thats like. Likewise, the scientist does not understand blind faith at all, as he has always understand life as action/reaction, cause/effect, and requires some tangible thing to hold on to, to believe in an idea.

A scientist finds it difficult to support his claim without reason, logic and evidence. He has never had to do so. A creationist doesn’t understand the need to question everything, his religion requires his faith alone, and he will be rewarded. However, there are some creationists who try to support their faiths by quoting various religious texts, or historical event and present them as “evidence” when it really isn’t so. These things don’t prove anything to a scientist. These are the biggest problems with situation, I think.

Myself, I am a scientist (can you tell?) and believe in evolution. I don’t judge the creationists, I just see them as having a different belief system than I. Thats fine by me, they get to walk through life without needing a reason for things! That can be stressful. I am only kidding, of course. To put the two theories together is difficult for most people, because they’re quite contradictory, mostly because of the points I cited above, not because of the theories themselves.

Great question, though! I never thought of it this way until you brought it up.
Hope I didn’t offend anyone, its too late to proofread this.

nocountry2's avatar

Great answer 8 – much along the lines of what I would type out had you not saved me the effort ;)

What I don’t understand about Creationists (being an Evolutionist, obviously) is why evolution can’t be considered to be part of creation. This, to me, would seem to find the “happy medium”, but the other day my husband and I were on a road trip when on a remote roadside there was a huge billboard featuring a series of silly images of a man shot-by-shot turning into a chimpanzee – the caption exclaiming, “Would you have them make a MONKEY out of you??”, clearly funded by Creationists and playing on a macho self-image. I just don’t understand why Creationists seem to look down on the concept of evolution – it really seems like a superiority complex to me, rather than a genuine want to understand and celebrate the amazingness of how we came to be here.

8lightminutesaway's avatar

Thanks, nocountry :)

I suppose it could be put together, but do you mean that creation would involve God creating monkeys and having them become man? Or do you say that perhaps natural selection is God’s hand in the matter? and how does that all fit in with the Genesis and all that?
That kind of propaganda is quite annoying, and I find it disturbing that they stoop so low. I guess, unfortunately, religions attack those who don’t believe in the same ideas. And I suppose people in general do it too… But seriously, that sign is just low. I mean, why would it bother you that 10 million years ago, man was monkey? It does seem like a superiority complex, because they can’t bring themselves to question their own faith. But I guess thats what faith is about, not questioning it. I just wish they’d respect others belief systems as well. And when they try to the take theory of evolution out of schools… it makes me go crazy. (On a side note, you know a school in Texas tried to ban the book Fahrenheit 451?? If you’ve read it you’d know why thats horribly ironic. But I digress)

nocountry2's avatar

hahahah – digression is Fluther’s middle name, my friend.

I guess from what I understand of the Creationist argument, man is supposed to have been created in God’s image, and it’s absurd to even think that men could have come from monkeys – we came out just as we are, spick ‘n span. But why can’t the process of evolution be considered holy, or something to celebrate being part of – would that be insinuating that God is not perfect, that having to go through an evolution rather than arrive presto-perfecto is somehow un-divine? I’m at the point in my argument where I need a Creationist to bounce off, I guess.

sndfreQ's avatar

“What do evolutionists “get” that creationists don’t?”
The distinction between logic and superstition; and

”(and vice versa?)”
Valuing faith above science, and that a profound, unseen force in the universe exists, inexplicable in human terms, but capable of being felt by all willing to suspend disbelief.

gorillapaws's avatar

Great points by everyone involved, nice to see such a rational discussion on such a divisive topic. I firmly believe in evolution, but have not ruled out the possibility of God’s existence. The way I reconcile the two is I see natural selection (as well as the other laws/properties of physics/nature) as being sort of a “hands-off” approach to a divine will. In other words, if God does exist, then he was the architect of the universe itself and all the rules it follows. Under this view, studying science and learning about our universe in a rational manner would bring me closer to understanding God’s will if it exists, and if not, then I am simply studying science.

Furthermore, knowledge is considered the sacred thing that separates us from the animals (via the tree of knowledge). I’ve always taken this to mean that pure reason is one of the most sacred of all our human attributes and that pursuing science, logic and philosophy is not only healthy from a spiritual perspective, but it brings us closer to God (again should he exist). Of course my personal beliefs necessitate a less literal approach to the Bible, but I think there are many arguments for that position as well (not that this is the place to get into that though).

kimmielittleone's avatar

SoOo, I would be a “Religist” ?

I have reason to believe, both exist, as intended. Harmonically divined. Whisperin’ thank Y/you for teachin’ me.


kimmielittleone's avatar

Thank Y/you ALL, again. This has great answers and Q’s. It was answered in the spirit I took it to be asked in. It’s hard for us to find that sort of give-take without being condemned by one or the other, side.

Many of my friends, enjoy science…but when it comes to evolution and religion, we hit walls…especially about the ape thinggie. We don’t want to offend our family members…yet, we seek answers.

I hope you know what I’m trying to say.

sacaver's avatar

Throughout history, you can follow this struggle between religion, or perhaps more correctly “faith,” and science. Think of science and faith as two circles, one inside the other with science the outermost circle and faith the innermost. These two circles would then represent their respective contributions in providing society with an explanation for the world around us. Initially, faith is the larger circle with science perhaps the thinnest of lines on the outside. Here, faith explains everything around us: storms, birth, death, illness, the heavens, the earth. As time progresses, science starts to make inroads in the explanation of the world. Storms aren’t the result of some angry sea god; birth and death are explainable concepts; illness is not the result of “vapors” but caused by things so small we cannot see them with the unaided eye; etc.

During each of these major upheavals, faith gets pushed further and further down, and explains less and less of the world. Faith’s circle gets smaller and smaller. To a person who holds their faith close, this is understandably a serious invasion. Science seems hell-bent on destroying all of your beliefs and supplanting them with tidy explanations. Unfortunately, during each of these upheavals, it appears that science, to some extent, loses. Think about this: how long did it take the Catholic church to finally admit that Galileo was right? The Catholic Church, the “prevalent (?)” faith at the time, effectively silenced a radical way to think about the universe and Earth’s relationship to it. What is the “prevalent” faith in today’s world? And what radical concept is currently under fire?

My personal belief is that we have now come upon another paradigm shift. Science is moving in so many directions that take it deep into the very core of what it means to be human. Genetics, stem cell research, gene therapy… all of these things strike at the heart of what it means to be human. And none of these concepts are easy to understand. Some of them are even frightening, if you think about the full ramifications of research… we now hear talk about a “god particle.” Scary stuff if you don’t really keep up with science.

I went to Baylor University, a most conservative school here in the South, and I studied geology. There were many students on campus at the time who did not like us (geology majors), thought we were totally wrong, and wanted us off campus. I got in long discussions with many of my friends there on how I could possibly think that the world was 4.6 billion years old. And we never once got into the evolution argument! Every time, they would bring the Bible into the discussion. And every time I would try so hard to make my case that the Bible never was, is not, and never will be a book of science. It can’t be! To bring science into faith destroys one of the most beautiful and mysterious components of humanity—faith! Science puts measurements and limits and rules onto everything it touches. How can this work with faith? During a heated argument one evening, I finally came up with the following belief:

The Bible is an instruction book not for how life LIVES in this universe but for how to LIVE life in this universe.

That point is what creationists don’t understand. They don’t understand that it’s OK for faith to be pushed down because for all of science’s might and rules and measurements, science cannot ever get into the heart of faith. And that’s LIFE and HOW TO LIVE IT. Faith explains what happens at the end of science… the end of life.

Oh boy. I really went off on a corker of an reply here. I’m done.

Critter38's avatar

Great answers. To put it another way, creationists and evolutionists disagree because creationists put arguments from authority ahead of arguments based on evidence. As long as creationists see their religious texts as infallible accounts of the nature of the universe as written by god, then conflict will result when the scientific evidence amasses to say it isn’t so.

I do suggest though that depending on what you mean by creationism, they are in fact mutually exclusive theories. Life either evolves or it doesn’t, species were either created in their current “types” or they weren’t. However, if you are suggesting that creationism can just be defined as “god kicked the whole thing off” and then left the stadium, then essentially “creationism” is no longer in conflict with evolution simply because it is now defined as an alternative to abiogenisis, rather than evolution.

sls48's avatar

What do evolutionists “get” that creationists don’t? (and vice versa?)
EVOLUTIONISTS: ......................................................................CREATIONISTS:
(1) EV’s get visible evidence from hard work..(1) CR’s get invisible evidence from hard work.
(2) EV’s consider the SCIENCES involved…..(2) CR’s consider the SYMBOLISMS involved.
(3) EV’s base their conclusions on FACTS….(3) CR’s base their conclusions on FAITH.
(4) EV’s follow the many THEORIES…..........(4) CR’s follow the many STORIES.
(5) EV’s watch Fossil Records & Findings…..(5) CR’s watch the Predictions & Forecasts.
(7) EV’s believe in EVOLUTION OF THINGS…(7) CR’s believe in CREATION OF THINGS.
(8) EV’s believe there is NO GOD NEEDED….(8) CR’s believe ALL NEEDED IS ONE GOD.
(9) EV’s want to KNOW MORE EVOLUTION..(9) CR’s want to KNOW MORE ABOUT GOD
(10) EV’s die without any Hope or Heaven…..(10) CR’s die with the Hope of Heaven to come

gorillapaws's avatar

@sls48 please define what “invisible evidence” means.

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