I’ve heard this claim more times than I can mention, and I think that it’s a feeble attempt to bring the theory of evolution down to the level of the accuser. If they believe in a religion, and they have faith that their god is the divine creator, then by the same standard any opposing theory must also be a belief, require faith, and slot into the category of religion. The first mistake that they usually make is not researching evolution enough to understand it, and fail to recognise that a scientific theory is based on gathered evidence, as opposed to a standard theory which is an idea, or a suggestion to explain an event. The second mistake is thinking that the scientific method requires faith, as it’s deeply rooted in scepticism and doubt, and unlike a religion it’s able to adapt upon discovery of new knowledge, and/or evidence.
I read a preposterous article on Answers in Genesis where the authors, both claiming to be doctors, suggest that there’s no observable evidence for evolution, but creationism has observable evidence in the Bible, as it’s the word of god. There are many examples of observed evidence for evolution, and nothing except words from the Bible and speculation on divine creation. Young Earth creationists believe that the Earth is approximately 6,000 years old.
“2,000 years from Adam to Abraham, 2,000 years from Abraham to Christ, and 2,000 years from Christ to today. – Source
Here’s the scientific version.
“By dating the rocks in Earth’s ever-changing crust, as well as the rocks in Earth’s neighbors, such as the moon and visiting meteorites, scientists have calculated that Earth is 4.54 billion years old, with an error range of 50 million years.” – Source
As you can see there’s a tremendously vast difference in the age of the Earth from both parties and it’s actually a four billion five hundred thirty-nine million nine hundred ninety-four thousand difference. So when you accept how creationists blindly believe the words of the Bible over science, then it’s of no surprise that they think that evolution requires faith to must logically be a religion, but that’s assuming that creationists are able to apply logic in the first place. The way the creationist mind works is obvious, and it’s a fear of uncertainty. The Bible maps the birth of the universe and the start of life as an encyclopaedia, a pseudoscientific one, but all of the answers that they require are there. Whereas science whilst in the search for knowledge, being derived from the Latin word ‘scientia’, literally meaning knowledge, it’s about applying reason and doubt. Both of these processes go back as far as the archaic Greek philosophers, mainly the skeptics.
“Well I am certainly wiser than this man. It is only too likely that neither of us has any knowledge to boast of; but he thinks that he knows something which he does not know, whereas I am quite conscious of my ignorance. At any rate it seems that I am wiser than he is to this small extent, that I do not think that I know what I do not know.” – Socrates
Having the honesty to say ‘I don’t know, as the evidence is insufficient’ is a frightening concept to them, and it’s rare to find a sceptic person of faith, as gods require absolute belief and obedience.
Scientists claim that they think unicellular to multicellular is in principal the same as a ‘ratcheting mechanism’, in that it can only go one way. What this means is a scenario is created where it’s only beneficial to a group, and destructive to anything alone, meaning there is no reversion to the state it was in before. In other words unicellular life banded together as a group and became reliant on each other, so there was no chance of a mutation to turn multicellular life back into unicellular life. In a group state, mathematically there’s more chance of mutation, but a mutation to go forward, and not backwards. This is Microevolution at work when there are small, but significant changes at a molecular and cellular level, caused from selection, genetic drift, gene flow and of course mutation. This is certainly a possibility of how life went from unicellular to multicellular. Biologists have been studying evolution for centuries are there are several key areas, and they include:
• Anatomy- which shows that species that are similar in structure ie: humans and chimpanzees. Dogs, whales and humans all have similar bone structures in the forelimbs, which suggests that not only did the whale once walk on land, which will explain why mammals live in the sea, but the development of the related bone structure developed in a common ancestor.
• DNA – genetic coding that’s shared throughout species that prove a universal common ancestor. This includes the building blocks of life; amino acids.
• Resistance – this is how a species evolves to survive ie: bacteria vs antibiotics, and insects vs pesticides
• Fossils – that provide evidence of our long extinct relatives.
• Natural selection – is the change of biological heredity of a population through generations. Considering bacteria mostly has such a short life span, then several generations can happen very fast. Some microbes can live for hundreds of years on a surface, and some, like HIV only last seconds, but most don’t last very long at all.
• Convergent evolution studies how significantly distinct species have evolved the same way through evolution. The strikingly similar features of a shark and a dolphin, despite one being a fish and one being a mammal. To look at they are similar, but anatomically they are very different. A shark has gills and cartilage structure, whereas a dolphin has bones and breathes fresh air. Physically they are very similar in that they have evolved for a common goal. To swim fast and efficiently through water.
• Divergent Evolution takes us back to unicellular life, and how the diversity of modern life came from it, and how life can develop from a common ancestor.
• Real time observation – watching species evolve over time, and a great example of this is the Florida green lizard who over several generations evolved its feet to climb higher up trees to narrower branches to avoid competition.
• Vestigiality – this is organisms that have retained redundant body parts. Did you know that snakes have pelvic bones? Creationists will argue that was god’s doing as he punished the serpent in the garden of Eden.
• Biographical relations – put the same species of animals in two different environments and over time they will change to suit the habitat. This is what inspired Charles Darwin to study finches at the Galápagos Islands.
“The fact is that evolutionists believe in evolution because they want to. It is their desire at all costs to explain the origin of everything without a Creator. Evolutionism is thus intrinsically an atheistic religion. Some may prefer to call it humanism, and New Age evolutionists may place it in the context of some form of pantheism, but they all amount to the same thing. Whether atheism or humanism (or even pantheism), the purpose is to eliminate a personal God from any active role in the origin of the universe and all its components, including man.” – Source
The above quote is taken from another creationist organisation, and this time it’s the Institute for Creation Research, and as you can see, they are as delusional as Answers in Genesis. This article, however, is extremely bitter and is a direct attack against atheism, in which because we can’t prove there’s no god, then we must have faith, thus making it a religion, and they also claim that evolution isn’t promoted as a science, it’s promoted as a secular religion. So that means that I not only practise the religion of atheism, but I also practise the religion of evolution. How do these people genuinely expect to be taken seriously when they manufacture things to suit their agenda? Because scientists can’t fully explain naturalism, or provide evidence of abiogenesis, does this mean that because we’ve an incomplete picture, then it’s obviously false? And by their standards, believing something that they claim is without evidence is a religion, then surely it’s a two way street and they are being hypocritical?