I’m not sure how to address this rather delicate topic, so forgive me if my introduction is a bit clumsy. It’s not my desire or intent to be inflammatory, and yet I find myself wanting to talk about a topic that few people seem to be able to discuss rationally. I will site the american political theater as an example.
I have never understood why some people insist that creationism and evolution are incompatible. To me the conflict only arises when people over reach the perspective they are supporting and try to assert dominion over the opposing theory. For example, when the creationist says that we were created by God and so did not evolve from monkeys, they are claiming to know the methods used by God to create man and all of the steps in the processes and all of the forms of man between dust and what we are now. The last time I checked the bible does not go into such detail. Even if we were “fashioned from dust” or made from a rib, there is not a lot of description to suggest how that fashioning occurred. This is precisely where the conversation gets interesting to me and the point at which most people assert inherent incompatibility where neither belief supports it.
Now, the contradictions and inconsistencies in Genesis have been argued to the point of absurdity, so I wont dwell on this, instead I am going to focus on the argument that because there is so much evidence to support evolution, creationism cannot be true. I find this argument to be, well, overreaching and absurd. And so to show how there is really no contradiction here, I’m going to delve into a little science fiction.
Growing up, I always loved Star Trek, and if you are a fan, you may already know where I am going with this. On the show, there was a device, which while not talked about often was the single most important device in all of Star Trek. More so even than the warp engine, the replicator is the key to all of Star Trek. This device supports the Federations economy freeing them so spend seemingly endless resources on space exploration. So even in those simple terms, its of monumental importance.
The idea of the replicator seems to make sense, even from a Scientific perspective. The idea is simple. Everything is made of atoms and molecules, and therefore with sufficient power and an understanding of how the molecules are arranged in an item, it could theoretically be constructed from raw energy. The idea reasonable, and while well past the scope of modern technology, the logic certainly follows. If you understand all of the parts of a thing, what it is made of and how those parts are ordered and held together, than you can replicate that thing. Pretty straight forward and its easy to suspend our disbelief when talking about this device.
Now, if you are still with me, I would like to present as an example, not a watch — that’s been done, but rather a cherry pie. “Computer. Cherry pie. Hot. Ala mode.” Yummy. Too bad we are not going to eat this cherry pie. We are going to bring it to a lab and let some scientists analyze it. That is after all what scientists do.
We are careful to select a team that has never heard of a replicator and we ask the scientists, to tell us everything they can about this cherry pie. The scientists take our cherry pie and first analyze it for content. They find all of the ingredients of the pie and create a list of each component in the pie. As long as they are naming these parts, they seem right on track. They tell us about the chemical composition, the arrangement of the atoms and the molecules and how all the pieces work together to form, not just any pie, but this particular cherry pie. The information we get is of a first rate quality and we are pleased.
Now, we ask the Scientist, "can you tell us anything else about the pie?" and here is where things get wonky. Having passed the point of quantifying, categorizing, measuring, weighing, and deducing, if they are to continue they must a step into the realm of inductive reasoning. At this point the Scientist stops sharing data and begins to tell us the story of the cherry pie. Their story, may include, bakers, ovens, pie plates, cherry trees, fields of wheat, chickens farms, salt mines and other things that a rational mind is likely to invoke when telling the complete story of the origin of the pie. Moreover they tell us a story that occurs in time and offer a suggestion about the age of the pie they are examining.
We, however, know that this pie came from a replicator and is little more than an arrangement of molecules put together in a way that duplicates some specific cherry pie recipe. We know the exact age of the pie, because we were there when it was replicated and we know that contrary to the very sound inductive reasoning telling us the story of the pie, the story quite simply does not match the true story of the pie, because the pie was created as whole, all at once, and did not evolve over time from a collection of parts —even if the pie steams and continues to under go change once it comes out of the replicator.
The argument between Creationists and Evolutionist is much like the confusion over the origin of our replicated pie. Even though there is an overwhelming amount of evidence to support the idea of evolution, there is nothing in that evidence to preclude the possibility of creation. Any story extracted form the evidence is inductive and goes beyond the deductive information gained from science method.
More over, if you accept the concept behind the replicator, the possibility of creationism stops being so controversial and becomes a matter of scale. “Magical,” only in that the “technology” is so far advanced. In sort, there is no real conflict between these two ideas so long as the evolutionists stick to the deductive data and don’t delved off into story telling and the creationist don’t claim to know the methods by which the universe was created.