Lesson 4 w/AnswersCreation Theories
Before we continue with our study of God creating the heavens and the earth, let’s take a moment to consider some of the worldviews held by others relating to origins of earth and mankind. The most well known of these are (1) "The Big Bang Theory", (2) "Intelligent Design", and (3) "Evolution"; and we will be addressing each of these worldviews in this lesson.
There are many resources available to you, either in printed form or on the internet, which you should consider as we study these three worldviews. As Christians, and as believers that God created the heavens and the earth and everything in it in six literal days (and rested on the seventh); we should be prepared to respond to these popular worldviews.
Consider the following:
- Locate and note a definition for each of three worldviews in the spaces below:
- The Big Bang Theory
- ANSWER: An approach to understanding the universe which recognizes that stars and galaxies appear to be heading outward from a central starting point at rapid speeds; and that galaxies at extremely far away distances seem to be moving away even faster. Based on this theory, the assumption is made that everything known can be mathematically brought back to its original point; which would have been a very hot and extremely dense initial condition from which a nuclear-scale explosion occurred, probably around 13.5 billion years ago. It does not attempt to explain how the matter that started it all came into being, nor what set off the big bang in the first place.
- Intelligent Design
- ANSWER: An attempt to counter the teaching of evolution in classrooms by offering an alternative "science" for the explanation of creation. It essentially uses a creationist approach, but does not call out God specifically. Instead it attempts to redefine science to accept supernatural explanations within science. Its goal is to have the concept of Intelligent Design mandated in classroom curricula as a counter, or alternative view, to the teaching of evolution.
- ANSWER: This theory is specifically based on the process of change. The associated "science" attempts to study the changes in the features (traits) of living beings, and the mutations in genes that introduce new offspring for an organism. The process of "natural selection" describes how species with similar features developed from their ancestors with similar features.
- The Big Bang Theory
- Describe and identify where William Paley’s "watchmaker analogy" would fit within these three worldviews?
- ANSWER 1: Paley’s argument, or analogy, asserted the existence of God in the creation of the world based on the observation that the sheer compexity of creation implies there was a designer. His analogy, first stated in 1802, has now been embraced by the Intelligent Design movement.
- ANSWER 2: In addition to being embraced by the modern-day Intelligent Design movement, his "watchmaker" analogy was actually first stated in order to counter the arguments for Evolution, and to support argument that God created the universe and everything in it.
- What is the "modern evolutionary synthesis"?
- ANSWER: In evolutionary science, this is the explanation given for how all life started from a single cell and then evolved into complex cellular structures. It was derived by analyzing the intermediate steps required for pre-cellular life.
- What is the basic position of "Hoyle’s fallacy" (aka, the "junkyard tornado"? relative to the evolution of cellular life as an explanation for creation?
- ANSWER: Fred Hoyle’s analysis regarding the odds of cellular life actually evolving postulated that the likelihood of this occurring was about one-in-10 to the 40,000th power. Based on this he stated that "the chance that higher life forms might have emerged in this way is comparable to the chance that a tornado sweeping through a junkyard might assemble a Boeing 747 from the materials therein".
- What explanation is given by the Big Bang Theory and Evolution for the creation of the first molecule or the first cell?
- ANSWER: No explanation is provided. While both will argue that Christians are ignoring all the "science", the reality is that no one theory, beyond accepting the literal Biblical account, provides a reason or a source for the beginning of all that has been created. There is only one beginning, and God created it in Genesis 1:1.
- Why do many "creationist" Christians reject the Big Bang Theory as an explanation regarding the beginning of creation? Could not God have created the Big Bang?
- ANSWER: The difficulty with accepting the Big Bang Theory as the method that God used for starting the creation process is that it then supposes that the six days of creation in the Bible were ages and not literal days. Thus those who hold to God using the Big Bang Theory to "kick things off" in creation inherently hold to an "old earth" theory, i.e., that the earth is billions of years old and that creation occurred over a lengthy process, and not six literal days.
- What is the "Day Age" Theory, and how does it apply to our study?
- ANSWER: This theory postulates that the six days of creation referred to in Genesis were not literal days, but much longer periods of time, or ages. This allows for cosmic evolution to explain much of creation and allows for any number of other theories to be built. Preeminent in this approach is "Theistic Evolution", which propounds that God created everything using evolution.
From this lesson’s study, we observe that man has developed several complex and even scientific theories and concepts to explain how creation came about, without acknowledging God. In the end, only one explanation provides us with a reason, a plan, a beginning and a destiny for creation and all of mankind; and it is found in the Word of God. Only a literal interpretation of the six days of creation fits with the God of the Universe having a plan and carrying out that plan all in six literal days.
In the next lesson, we will explore some additional reasons to believe that God created all of His creation in six literal days as we look at how he finishes creating the earth and begins to populate the earth that will become mankind’s home.
Thanks for studying with us.
Yours in Christ,