Evolution is one of the great scientific theories, a binding force of biology. Creationism is based on the Bible, which clearly lays out how everything came to be. The two concepts are, for the most part, incompatible. So naturally, there is a fierce debate raging between the two. The debate probably began when Charles Darwin first published his book, On The Origin Of Species. Contrary to popular belief, Darwin was not the first to suggest evolution. Instead, he revolutionized it, just like Henry Ford revolutionized the automobile. Darwin was also the first to recognize natural selection as a mechanism for evolution. And of course, he famously (or infamously, depending on your point of view) came up with the evolution of humans. However, these ideas were mocked. After all, the dominant worldview at the time was that of the Bible, beginning six thousand years ago when God created the heavens and the earth. One of the most famous examples of this mockery lies in this political cartoon:
However, the evolution controversy reached its first turning point during the 1925 Scopes Trial, where a small-town substitute teacher was sued for teaching human evolution. With a creationist judge and a wildly misguided law on the side of Bible literalism, the whole thing was practically rigged. However, the teacher got off with a hundred dollar fine. But this trial would represent the creation/evolution debate for years, until the dawn of creation science.
In the 1960s, The Genesis Flood was published. The book would turn out to be the forerunner of creation science, a creationism-based form of so-called scientific theories. Written by John C. Whitcomb and Henry M. Morris, the latter of whom is now deceased, the book describes the apparent evidences for the Flood of the Bible, such as fossils and the Grand Canyon. These so-called “theories” were so convincing, laws were established to make teaching creation science mandatory. However, these laws were overturned in the 1980s, when two court cases in Arkansas and Louisiana kicked creation science out!
However, creationism didn’t stay down for long: the Dover/Kitzmiller trials of 2005 showed us that. Basically, a Pennsylvania school district had a statement read to their science classes that included mention of intelligent design (a “brand-new” theory that suggests design in life, although it doesn’t specify who the designer is), and made the ID textbook Of Pandas and People available to the science classroom. Fearing that ID was in fact religious, several parents took their case to the American Civil Liberties Union, and faced down the giants of ID in state court. They won, and helped to prove that intelligent design is in no way science.
However, the battle rages on to this day. Creationism and intelligent design giants like Creation Science Evangelism, Answers in Genesis, and the Discovery Institute keep fighting evolution. Meanwhile, me and dozens of other amateur and professional science bloggers are fighting them back. For more information about evolution and creationism, watch this blog!