By Nupur Dogra:
Disclaimer: I am neither an atheist nor an agnostic. I do believe in god. So before I begin “Oh lord, please forgive me if in any way I offend you in the following article”.
With belief in supernatural comes fear; with fear comes respect and certainty or absolute faith (that should not be questioned). And with the questioning of this unquestionable come debates, leading to conflicts, resulting in the ultimate controversy.Â Such is the case with evolution v/s creationism controversy. To understand this controversy we first need to understand creationism and evolution properly.
Creationism is the religious belief that humanity, life, the Earth, and the universe are the creation of a supernatural being or god, evolution on the other hand can be defined as something that happened, to the branching of species through time from common ancestors. Creationist perspective has existed amongst various religions such as Judaism, Hinduism, Christianity and Islam in various forms. Every religion has its own explanations and different theories on how a single god created the universe and the religious fundamentalist are busy proving other claims as hallucinated false theories and theirs as facts (everyone loves his own pet).
Creationists reject the evolutionist theories which advocate the process of natural selection and living beings sharing a common ancestor.
Creationist arguments are usually based on an exact reading of the Bible or other religious texts. The book of Genesis discuses how, in six days God created the universe. They call this creation science.
Evolutionists on the other hand claim that it was a long process over a million and billions of years. They also argue that creationism has nothing scientific to it, as it cannot be tested by the scientific method, whereas creationists argue that evolutionists do not take God into account and that evolution is just a theory and not a fact.
Creationists objects the teachings of evolution as an explanation to the question of “origin” in schools and also demand that creation science or what they call intelligent design to be taught either instead, or with evolution as two different theories .Whereas, science denies the existence of god or anything supernatural. Now coming to the question that is it a valid demand on the part of creationist?Â To answer this, I would use the following example:
There are so many words in English; there are some words that are my favorites. And each one of them has antonyms. That doesn’t mean that I should delete those antonyms because they are opposites of my favorites.
This is something that these hard core religious fundamentalist should try and understand. They cannot claim their religious text to be included or taught as science. Believing in god and religion is acceptable but claiming that to be the ultimate truth and forcing them on others as science is not. Also there are so many religions in the world with numerous theories on the “origin”, but is it practically impossible to accommodate each of them in the science syllabus as different theories on “origin” Just because a large section of people have blind faith in it?
Religion should be restricted to church and science to laboratories, itÂ wouldn’tÂ be a good idea for any of them to trespass each other’s territories.Â The anthropologist Ashley Montagu was right in saying that, “The scientist believes in proof without certainty, the bigot in certainty without proof” (Montagu 1984: 9). Both the opposites are here to exist; they neither can be isolated from each other nor can be merged.
In the end,
I am neither a scientist, nor a priest.
But I know that everyone has a right to opine and believe
Evolution has its evidences whereas creationists have their faith.
And hence, lord, I conclude this article in your holy name. Amen.
Image courtesy:Â http://triplehelixblog.com/2010/04/stranger-in-a-strange-land-a-scientific-review-of-the-creation-museum/