This is inspired by an exchange I had today with another blogger as well as the CARM survey that I filled out awhile back. These are three questions that I would ask of any fundamentalist or young earth creationist. They are as follows:
1. According to a 2014 Pew poll, 64% of Americans don’t believe in Darwinian evolution.
I decided to look at this through a different lens, and I have a statistic that I would like to throw into the mix here. According to a National Geographic survey, 77% of all Americans “believe there are signs that aliens have visited Earth.” That would seem to suggest that 77% of Americans believe aliens exist. If the Pew poll was accurate, shouldn’t that number be a lot closer to 36%? Because if you do not believe in Darwinian evolution, then either a) aliens shouldn’t exist, b) life comes about through neither God nor evolution, or c) God also created aliens. The latter two options are not supported by young earth creationists like Ken Ham. So if we combine the two statistics, we’re left with 13% of Americans that believe that God created aliens or some other variation on the two popular explanations for how life came to exist.
I would argue that these two statistics are reflective of the fact that it isn’t as simple as either “you believe in Darwinian evolution or you believe that God created man as outlined in x religious document.” To me, these two statistics would suggest that religious/spiritual and scientific beliefs lie on a wider spectrum.
How would you, as a person who interprets scripture literally, explain these two statistics?
2. Let’s talk about cosmic expansion or inflation. In this sense I’m not talking about inflationary theory–that everything suddenly expanded at a distant point in the past but after the big bang occurred. In this sense, I’m talking about the fact that things in the universe are moving away from each other.
This is observable by anyone. You can look into a telescope and observe the red/blue shifts that denote movement. The Doppler effect has been scientifically demonstrated to accurately explain such shifts in relation to movement. Again, we can verify this in a lab.
This is my question to fundamentalists: if x religious text is a literal document–it historically and scientifically represents an accurate account of how the universe came to be and why it is the way we see it (this last part is particularly important)–can you provide evidence in scripture that supports the expanding universe that we see?
3. This last question deals with evolution. A common criticism leveled at scientists who support evolution is that it has never been observed. But just because something has never been observed does not mean it can’t happen. Saying something did not happen is NOT the same thing as saying something can’t or won’t happen.
So consider the following. Organisms can physically change in response to their environments. We can and have observed this happening: appendages/sensors/etc. can change length, color patterns and the like can change, etc. While this is not in and of itself “proof” that evolution is a real process in nature from the standpoint of a young earth creationist or other fundamentalist, in that light it WOULD be proof that God created the creatures on the earth so that they may physically change in accordance with a change in their environment.
If this is true or at least possible, is it not then possible that God designed the creatures on the earth to be able to change to such an extent that they become a “new” creature if necessitated by future environmental changes?
I honestly am curious to know how religious fundamentalists would answer these questions. This is of course open to anyone to answer, regardless of faith, background, or scientific training. Feel free to answer as many of the questions as you wish. Thank you for your participation!