c is for cat

Rules for Anchorites

Letters from Proxima Thule

  • 1
Most of the early evolutionists were also creationists. I try to explain this to my classes all the time. One of the problems is that these days, the most vocal people are those on the extremes.

There are variety of theories that deal with different evolutionary concepts, what they all have in common is "change in populations over time." There are likewise a variety of creationist beliefs; they all have in common that a supernatural entity (God/gods) created life. These two are LOGICALLY not incompatible. As you pointed out, one can believe that life was created by a god and that it then evolved.

One of the problems is that two other concepts tend to get mixed in with this discussion.

1) Abiogenesis: these are scientific theories that deal with the origin of life by natural means only.
2) Fixed species concept: this is the idea (which can be scientific) that species do not change. It has later been modified to argue that certain upper level categories (e.g., families) do not change.

It is difficult to see how abiogenesis and creationism can coexist, likewise how a strict fixed species concept and evolution can coexist.

Since some of the more vocal current advocates of evolution also believe in abiogenesis, there is a tendency to blur the distinction between them. Likewise the most vocal advocates of creationism also support a fixed species concept or at least a modified fixed taxon concept.

I have no trouble with abiogenesis and divinity--it's all in what you call divine.

Abiogenesis is not opposed to divinity, but it is harder (not impossible) to mesh with biological creationism (a supernatural entity creates life) [as opposed to a creationism that merely states a supernatural entity that creates the universe, but not necessarily life.

In any case my point wasn't that abiogenesis has to be opposed to divinity, but rather that many people arguing about "evolution" are actually arguing about abiogenesis, which is a logically different idea.

  • 1

Log in