What is the problem with Creationism?
Creationism fails to qualify as good science or as good theology.
Creationists deny evolution over time - that is, they deny the development of one
species from a previous species, a process known as macroevolution.
Creationists insist that all species were created at the beginning of the
world, and the lines between species have been inviolate ever since. To support
this claim, creationists provide scientific arguments such as the alleged
non-existence of transitional forms, specifically, winged reptiles to mark the
transition from sea and land creatures to birds. However, fossils for such
transitional forms have been found in abundance. The evidence supporting
evolutionary theory is overwhelming on nearly every count. The creationist
position fails when measured by scientific evidence.
Creationists sometimes provide a theological argument to support their
position. Principally, they argue that the Bibles depiction of creation in
Genesis 1:1-2:4a describes God fixing reality at the point of origin. When God
creates the different kinds of creatures and asks them to multiply according
to their own kinds, he denies the possibility of modification through
descent. Creationist interpreters find ten kinds in Genesis: (1) grass;
(2) herbs; (3) fruit trees; (4) sea monsters; (5) other marine animals; (6)
birds; (7) beasts of the earth; (8) cattle; (9) crawling animals; and, finally,
(10) the human race. Creationists identify the biblical word kind with the
scientific word species. Then they argue that God intends for each kind to
remain within its own particular structure. One species should not transform
itself into another species. Many different varieties can emerge within the
basic framework of each kind or species, but at the same time such variations
can never extend beyond that framework. The creationist conclusion is that God
permits no descent with modification, no overlap between species.
We do not believe this is a proper way to interpret the Bible. What the
creationists read is certainly not literal. To identify kind with species
is arbitrary. Certainly, more than ten species exist in nature. In addition, a
more literal reading of the Bibles creation account suggests what looks like
an evolution from sea creatures to birds. NRS Genesis 1:20 And God said, "Let the waters bring forth swarms
of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the dome of the
More importantly, creationists fail to acknowledge the kind of God that is
responsible for the creation. The God of the Bible is a promising God. God
promises to do new things. NRS Isaiah
43:19 I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth. Or NRSJeremiah 31:22 For the LORD has created a new thing on the earth.
Or, NRSGalatians 6:15 a new creation is everything! Essential here is
that God did not fix everything at the beginning. Nor, did God stop creating.
What is vital to the message of the gospel in the Bible is the promise of
redemption, the renewal of creation. The Bible gives us a vision of a divine
future that will take us beyond the world order we have inherited. By trying to
squeeze all of created reality into some sort of already completed and
unchanging origin, creationists prevent the ongoing creativity and redeeming
promise of God to shine through. So, for this reason, we believe the
creationist position fails theologically as well as scientifically.
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| Contributed by: Martinez Hewlett and Ted Peters