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Sunday, December 12, 2004 CE

How to explain human evolution to a creationist in seven simple steps.


In order for a creationist to understand what we are talking about, first we have to make sure that understand the following concepts: fossils, methods of dating fossils, animals, primates, extinction and slow change.

Once they understand, which should not be very difficult, we have to go back 10 million years in time. Fossils dated 10 million years old do not show human remains, i.e, no humans existed 10 million years ago. There are animal fossils, of species we know and of species that are extinct. However, there are fossils of primates (creatures that are similiar to apes and humans) which have some humanoid characteristics, although they do not look human at all.

The next step is to take them 5 million years ago. They cannot deny that there is a fossil dated that age which has been given the name of "Lucy". Lucy was a primate, very ape-like, and, because of the characteristics of her pelvis, is thought to have been walked upright most of the time. There are still no humans at that time

The fourth step would not be to bring them to a specific point of time. It would be to explain them that from 5 million years ago till 2 million years ago, the fossils that have been found have a progressively larger skull and they look progressively more human, although they still look more like apes.

Our fifth step will introduce them to a species called homo habilis, 2 million years old. Still very similar to apes, but this time its fossils were found close to the first tools, made of stone. They are considered the most primitive form of human beings.

The sixth step would be to show the homo erectus which lived until about 400,000 years ago. Now, more human than ape and as similar to homo habilis as they were to homo sapiens.

Homo sapiens, as we know ourselves, exists since 400,000 years ago. The oldest fossil is very difficult to differentiate from an homo erectus one. From then onwards, the skulls and skeletons look modern. This is the seventh and final step

When talking to creationists, remember these important things.

- Do not let them interrupt you until you complete the seven steps.
- This is not a debate, you are explaining them science found by archaelogists, not your own point of view.
- Although you are not mentioning it, keep in mind that there is genetic evidence of our closeness to apes. This will only reinforce the explanations if necessary.
- Remember that human evolution is probably more complicated than the seven steps, these are only a simple way of explaining it
- Reassure them in the sense that thay can believe in whatever they want, just ask them not to deny the seven steps. You should let them know that by denying any of the seven steps, the are denying the concepts that thay already have accepted in the first step.

11 Comments:

Blogger Puma said...

Well, I wish you luck. Logic has never worked for me. I have found that I can cite science until I am blue in the face, and still am unable to penetrate their level of denial. I will never understand why the concept can't just as easily be explained as: "God created the Universe yes. God created Man, yes. And obviously, he did it over several million years." So what's so dang difficult about that? Who knows. I do not understand the level of fear that requires a person to doggedly suspend all mental (God-given) capacity and steadfastly refuse to believe anything except what was scribbled in a book by some dead white guy. Remember that in order for someone to believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible, they must already suspend rational thought in order to do so, since the Bible so profoundly contradicts itself in so many ways.

10:47 AM  
Blogger Puma said...

If you are interested, I have an ongoing debate with a conservative Christian here:

http://rebootd.blogspot.com/2004/11/you-wont-see-this-in-ny-times.html#comments

11:01 AM  
Blogger Gindy said...

Interesting site.

11:58 PM  
Blogger Schmootzie said...

You are just giving facts that evil scientists have made up to suit their agenda. See, there was NO EARTH a million years ago. The Bible says so, and that is the truth. All of the fossils are recent and there are studies that prove it. Dinosaurs were on Noah's Ark. And all this rambling about Homo this, Homo that, it is clear where YOUR agenda is!

The Earth is flat and in the center of the universe. There are unicorns and talking donkeys. You just have to believe in the word of God. Don't let the scientists' lies and deception fool you. The Bible gives facts, they come from God. He makes no mistakes. Science comes from humans, they make mistakes. Debate over!

Ok, I'm pulling your chain. A nice treatment of a timely subject. I agree with you 100%, and I also agree with the other comment that you can't use logic and science with people that don't embrace logic and science. Thanks! The Schmootz. nwodor001.blogspot.com

10:53 PM  
Blogger Doctor Marco said...

Nice comment! For a second I thought you were meaning your first 2 paragraphs! Yes, believe firmly that we should let the believers in creationism believe what their want, provided that they acknowledge it is a belief based on faith and not in logic. And this is why I dislike so much the idea of intelligent design, because it tries to put a science mask on a religious belief.

6:57 AM  
Blogger Paul V said...

I firmly believe that God created the heaven and the earth. How did He do that? Who cares. I do not know, and neither does anyone else. Ultimately we have been given brains, and common sense (which by the way is not so common). So we have to make up our own version of that part of our history. Because the Scripture is not clear on how it happened. One day is like a thousand years to God.

Do I believe that evolutio nof species exists and occurs? Yes. Who created us? God. How? We've been there.

My theory is that these debates, and whether aliens exist, and such like, are just there to take away our precious thinking time (we only use 5% of our brain capacity) from the real questions: Why are we here? If Jesus really died and rose again, and through God's grace is the only way we can have eternal life (which is something I want, by the way), what should we do about it?

I am not trying to push my viewpoint on anyone, I am merely stating what I am really thinking currently.

Regards




Paul

9:57 AM  
Blogger Adam said...

Heya Paul. I admire your honesty in your response. I know they're honest because I used to believe exactly the same thing. I can't help but point a few things out though.

The Bible says it took God 6 days to create the heaven and earth. Now I know the excuse is that god days might be millions of years but that just means you can't tell me anything in the bible should be taken literally. There are numerous examples of similar absurdities all throughout the book.

You claim that these debates take away our brain from precious thinking time about saving ourselves the way the bible tells us to. Though that's not really thinking, that's being told something over and over to make you believe something. Another example of that is nearly every other religion, and even some places like North Korea. If you use that common sense to look at the bigger picture, you'll see that Christianity is just another religion. People in every religion believe just as strongly as you do that they are right and your beliefs are wrong. The problem is you all put so much emotional investment into your beliefs, that you're willing to die for it in war.

It took years for me to slowly accept the fact that my common sense was right all along and that it wasn't a bad thing to question things about my belief that didn't make sense. Now I feel so much smarter and liberated. It's the spice of life, enjoying the wonders and observations in life, accepting that we just don't know it all and that's just the way we were made, however that came about.

2:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hello. i go to a really christain school. lets just put it this way, if you are an evolutionist, your basically an atheist. they take everything in the bible literally, and their way is the only wa to heaven. and you can't be saved by just living a good life and being a good person. what about the people on death row who "save themselves" right before they die, when they have been killing people their whole lives. also- are people born gay? i think so. theyre argument is: why would God make someone gay, if its a sin....? but im a strong beleiver in evolution and i think it makes perfect sense. so can someone give me a good argument to prove my point? thanks-

7:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So evolutionists believe that molecules came together by chance right?

Well then where did those molecules come from in the first place? The first molecules had to be created. Something cannot come from nothing. I believe that God had to have created everything for this very reason.

11:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As you say Mr. Anonymous poster that you believe that something can't come from nothing. So where did God come from then?

Evolutionists are likely to admit that there is no satisfying answer for the appearance of time, matter, and energy in the universe. Anything residing outside the scope of existence can't be studied. So, all that science can do is reverse engineer the universe down to mathematical principals and construct theories about how it came into being. Sure, God could be the answer and he may have designed our reality in such a way that it hides the nature of his own, but the idea that God can be the only answer is presumptuous and fails to observe the limitations of our reality.

So, instead of trying to apply reasoning based the limitations of our reality to things that rest outside of our reality, just accept that God may not be the only answer even though it's metaphysically possible that it is.

9:26 PM  
Blogger Turkey Joe said...

I believe in evolution....My next door neighbor went from being a human to a butt hole...And it didn't take millions of years...

1:06 PM  

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