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Mon

19

Jan

2009

Teaching Creation or Evolution? Or Both?
Monday, 19 January 2009 11:25
by Roland Michel Tremblay

Let’s be controversial. When I lived in Los Angeles, there was this huge national debate about what to teach those children in school all over America: creation or evolution? It seemed that there was no place for both, as if we could not trust our children to make their own mind out of several possibilities. As if there was urgency at an early age to brainwash them into something, by presenting them a ready made set of beliefs for them to take as the absolute truth. No one should choose what should be taught. Everything should be taught. This is the sign of great nations.

I used to only believe in evolution, but no longer, isn’t this a miracle? Before you call me a traitor, let me explain. I’m not sure why creation and evolution are supposed to be at such opposite ends. In my mind there could easily have been a creation, followed by an evolution. Creation never had to be instantaneous, or do we have to take the Bible literally and creation could only have been spontaneous? And even then, is it not possible that a spontaneous creation could still show all the signs of a proper evolution? It would be a first requirement, if this reality was to make any sense at all.

I was already asking questions about the universe when I was 4 years old. I asked my dad many times what the stars were, how they came to be, what was the Moon and the Sun, and this Solar System. He never had any satisfying answer to offer, but he certainly always invited my questions, and took the time to answer them to the best of his abilities. He gave me the chance to explore further and eventually find my own answers.

Can you imagine my mom turning around and shutting me up instantly by answering: “God created the whole lot, that is final, there is no need to ask any more questions!” Here’s an end to any research, or trying to figure out what this universe is all about. I’ll become a civil servant, I will obey orders, I’ll never ask a question again. Close enough to the truth, I am now a submissive civil servant, I obey orders, I don’t question anything. Is this what you really want for your kids?

Funny, my mom who was always there when I asked all those questions, I believe, never answered one. And yet, my mom has university diplomas and is as bright as any of us in the family. Has she got no curiosity then about how this universe came to be and our purpose within it, if any?

I am sorry, but the long era of the dark ages, where ignorance was imposed by religions, is long gone. Children today are clever enough and have the right to ask questions, and all possible answers have to be provided so they can make their own mind about it all. Only then can we hope to move on within this world.


This is the mark of great civilizations, ones questioning and finding answers to everything. This is ontology, it might actually make your children brighter to investigate and find answers to these questions. This is the whole point of having universities in the first place. Or else, let’s just abolish education altogether, if it is just to be a tool to brainwash the next generations into what we believe they must think the universe is.

It never occurred to me, no matter what was stated by religion, my teachers and even my grandmother, whatever they said about creation, that there was a God somewhere and he created it all one day that he was bored and had nothing better to do. Never occurred to me that it could be true.

In fact, it took me decades to come to the conclusion that creation was perhaps not so crazy after all. It took me to observe computers, virtual worlds being created within them, sophisticated simulations of the world like “Sentient World Simulation”, this pet project of the US government where every single one of us exist in a virtual reality, just to see how we will react to any of their big decisions:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/06/23/sentient_worlds/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synthetic_Environment_for_Analysis_and_Simulations

And how turning the screen on or off could create new worlds and make them disappear at the touch of a button. It is this idea of a virtual world which is key. Virtual world as in ideas and dreams. And once you accept that reality might be as virtual as any virtual world created by a computer, or an imagination inventing a world of ideas, then perhaps there was a creation after all. At least, it is possible.

Just read this, about how likely it is that we are living in a virtual world right now, and after that, it is unlikely you will still think this is not a creation and/or an artificial world (warning, this is philosophy, you might not want your children to read this, it might cause them to start thinking for themselves, it might give them ideas):

“Are you living in a computer simulation?”
-By Nick Bostrom, Oxford University
http://www.simulation-argument.com/simulation.html

So why could I not accept that concept of creation even as a valid hypothesis when I was a child and a teenager? Why did it seem so alien to me? Had I been brainwashed by my dad’s ideas concerning evolution and Darwin’s theories? Is it possible? I don’t think so.

For me to accept creation, a big change in my perceptions of the whole universe was necessary. I could only accept creation once I started to question reality as something not so concrete and tangible. Once you feel that everything could simply be a trick of the mind, something your brain interprets, and that might not even exist. Then anything is possible. I know reality is flimsy, I have seen it changed overnight by my will alone. I can change this reality at will. I have written a book about it, you might want to read it, it’s free:

Another major problem of creation, once you are ready to consider the possibility, is that the main source of information is religion, the Bible, Genesis. And then it is the free for all, because they have no worthy argument to offer, even, their rhetoric is more about fighting evolution than proving creation. I found none of their arguments convincing. It was like it was written in the Bible, and then no one attempted to research the topic, to develop it further, or prove it scientifically or otherwise. Just like my mom: “Shut up, it’s in the Bible, take it as fact, don’t question it!”

Of course, religious leaders would never find one scientist ready to study the subject, most of them believe in evolution, and so never considered creation. Some scientists are religious in nature, quite true, I don’t know how they reconcile their beliefs in creation and evolution, unless they turn a blind eye and avoid thinking about it too much. Even the Pope recently admitted that Evolution could no longer blindly be rejected:

“Pope: Creation vs. evolution clash an ‘absurdity’” Evolution can coexist with faith: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19956961/

Here comes a Pope who agrees with me, this is a first. Finally a Pope with some sort of intelligence? A Pope who does not consider that ignorance is bliss? Unlike American authorities on the subject, unlike my mother? “Shut up!”

No, I won’t shut up, and hopefully, neither your children will shut up about such questions. They have a right to explore any question in this world, or else, they might as well be plants and vegetate until death. Ignorance is not bliss, ignorance is the mark of backwards nations who no longer think or discuss anything. Great civilizations are built on philosophy. How healthy is your country? Well, are its inhabitants still allowed to think and debate questions? Or has total censorship taken over?

I believe also that what I found unattractive about creation, was that to believe in it, you first had to believe in God. God… this is quite a red pill to swallow. And perhaps here lays the whole problem to this question. And so, I never considered that perhaps creation was possible even without the God of Christianity to crown it all. It is high time that creation, as a worthy topic of debate, exists on its own, outside of Christianity. Then it might actually become a worthy topic to debate, to teach in schools all over America.

So, to believe in creation, you needed to believe in God. To explain creation, you needed a God creating the universe and everything in it. That God needed to set all the physics and mathematical laws of nature in order for life and awareness to come into existence. And I won’t go right now into God possibly being a computer programmer somewhere at another scale universe larger than our universe, whatever, I feel I have exhausted that topic in other of my books.

I tried to explain God before, that he could be anything really, but I guess I never convinced myself of anything on the subject. And now, well maybe there is a God, maybe there are Gods, as long as we keep the definition as being the beings who created this universe, who created us, assuming that we have been created in the first place.

Well, actually, perhaps I should explore that avenue. Let’s leave religion and God outside the equation, and let’s take creation all on its own. Let’s assume the universe was created out of nothing. And again, I don’t want to use the analogy of the computer and monitor creating worlds out of nothing when you switch the button on and finish programming the whole thing like in a computer software. We would then need to explain the creation of that computer and TV screen in the first place, like we need to explain how God came to be in the first place.

It is all very well to explain creation by stating that God created everything, but who created God? That was my most famous question to everyone when I was a child, and I believe the answer went something like this: God has always been, he has created himself out of nothing, he is all powerful, no one created him. In that case, the universe could be the same, it has always existed, it is all powerful, no one created it.

Could there be a creation of this universe without God? Yes, there could be. I can create universes in my mind every day. Computers and programmers do it all the time. I suppose we could call those programmers or myself gods. Our virtual creations could call us gods. So the term is unimportant.

If there was a creation, it is likely that we will never learn of its origins, what is at the back of that creation, the circumstances or sort of reality or realm from which such a creation emanated from. Unless of course the creators ensured we could find out. In that case, perhaps they should be clear about it, so we are not left wondering what happened here, and what might be. Because then, well, we can never be certain, and here come hypotheses about all that this could be and mean. And so far, there is no proof about anything this universe might be all about.

Actually, this is quite a fascinating mystery, perhaps even more than explaining the universe and exploring it. Evolution, after all, does not answer anything but how life evolved over million of years. And evolution does not answer how the first cell came to be. Not that it matters that much anyway, because explaining how the first cell or sign of life came to be is the same question as how the first particle of non living matter came to be originally. It is reasonable enough to believe that whenever non living matter came into existence, living matter came into existence at that some moment, or the material for it, at the very least.

The more I think about it, the more I cannot understand the link between creation and evolution. These two concepts seem so unrelated, not even in opposition to one another. I believe the fight all over the schools in America about teaching only one or the other is simple misunderstanding of what these concepts truly are.

Evolution does not prevent a creation at all. Evolution is simply the history of the origin of life as it evolved through time. It can completely coexist with creation. Except that the Bible states that the whole process happened in seven days, and that’s where religious people, taking the scriptures so literally, cannot accept hearing anything about evolution. I read somewhere that those seven days could be taken less literally and finally each day could mean million of years each. I guess this one was thought out by a bright cookie, but religious leaders are not prone to compromise, and they rejected the idea forcefully.

I’m not sure if I have much to say about evolution. Explaining the origins of life is certainly a worthy topic, but once you heard Darwin’s theories, there is not much more anyone could add. Yes, it is important, and everyone should learn about it, but is there a mystery to explore beyond that evolution? Seems reasonable enough, convincing enough, and then remains the question: does evolution explains how the first spark of life came to be? No.

I don’t think it was meant to, that is the fundamental difference between evolution and creation. Evolution was simply to explain how from the first primordial ingredients life came to be. It never pretended to explain how the first primordial ingredients came to be in the first place. That is the job of creation, and whether I would like to dismiss creation or not, this matter, this primordial soup, had to come from somewhere. At the very least from some sort of universe capable of creating such matter, or was it always here and there, floating around, since before the beginnings of time?

I read again on a website that there could be only two explanations for that problem. Either it was spontaneous generation of living matter out of nothing, or there was a supernatural God who created it. Well, none of this answers the question. And note that evolution was not there as some sort of explanation to explain how all matter, living or not, came to be in the first place.

The Big Bang is however some sort of explanation to this conundrum. It is also a much debated topic for religious people. Why am I not surprised? The Big Bang was supposed to explain where all matter came from, living or not, and how out of nothing came this huge universe over our heads. I realized quite early on in my youth that it was not quite true, we still don’t get the why. The Big Bang explains nothing. The Big Bang is just like the evolution, and once again does not threaten any religious concept whatsoever.

The Big Bang does not explain where matter comes from, or even the origins of life. The Big Bang is simply the history of matter, and how it possibly came to be that one small ball of matter exploded to give us the universe we see out there today. And like evolution, there are a few problems with it, and we still don’t have all the answers.

Many even doubt now that there was a Big Bang to begin with. Much data point towards the fact that it was not necessary to explain the distribution of matter within the universe as we see it today. I could not find a good link for this on the Internet, I can only suggest you read “The Final Theory” of Mark McCutcheon, which states and explain that perhaps there was no Big Bang, that it seems that matter might have appeared like that out of nowhere one day. It also explains how possibly we could be living in a simulated world, since, according to this Theory of Everything, this world could all be an electronic world, easily reconfigured, just like computers do every day, since the smallest indivisible particle in the universe could simply be the electron:

“The Final Theory: Rethinking Our Scientific Legacy” by Mark McCutcheonhttp://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1581126018/ref=cm_pdp_arms_dp_1

So, the Big Bang is the history of the distribution of matter forming the universe, and evolution is the history of how living matter evolved in time. So where does creation come in, to destroy those two theories? Nowhere, creation is unrelated to how matter formed or evolved to create the universe or life. Creation is about how it all came to exist out of nothing in the first place. Read that paragraph again, it is highly important for the debate at hand. It justifies why both evolution and creation have to be taught in schools all over America, how these two concepts are not mutually exclusive.

So now, is there a need for a creation? I was after all able to swipe the concept away under the carpet for many years of my life. I ignored the idea completely, and it is well known that most scientists reject the idea entirely.

Here is a big dilemma. If you need God to create matter, you need to explain what or who created God. No help there. There is no need to explain how the first spark of life came to be, it is the same question as how the first particle of non living matter came to be. Is there a need to explain where matter came to be in the first place? Religion never found a need to explain where God came from, he always existed. Then perhaps matter always existed as well, and there is no need for a creation.

There is however a need for an explanation as to how the whole structure of the universe came to be, answered by the Big Bang theory and evolution, but beyond that? Multiple Big Bangs, baby universes within larger ones. Science today will tell you that the Big Bang was not an isolated incident, there could be millions happening right now outside our universe and within our universe.

In the end, it seems to me that the real question is, was matter always there, or was it created out of nothing? Considering how fickle our minds are, how shaky reality seems anyway, compared with our dreams and our imagination, that our brain cannot even make the distinction between both worlds…

More people will need to debate all this, in our universities perhaps. Since psychology might need to get mixed up in the equation in the end. I hear there are wonderful pills on the market that can make you see the world in a totally different light. Many suggested to me that I needed to take some.

We also need to consider that schizophrenic people and drugs can make you hallucinate and see things that are not there. That in the end everything could simply be energy, and as Einstein stated, energy and matter are interchangeable and are perhaps the same thing, then I guess there could most probably be a creation. There are many questions at the moment in theoretical physics circles, about if Einstein was even right to begin with.

However, I do not necessary believe that God created everything. Someone else perhaps, some other awareness or consciousness dreamt us up out of nothing, or even an artificial intelligence, whatever. But most likely perhaps I am the own creator of my universe I live in, just like you are the very creator of the universe you live in. This concept will be hard to grasp for anyone who never played video games, but there can be many players, and they can all create their own universe living alongside the others. Or, what drug am I on?

So yeah, I believe creation to be a worthy topic for debates, however, only if debated outside the religion sphere of influence. As for evolution, I feel I have nothing to say on the subject. It is not related to creation, it does not negate creation, it should be taught to all children worldwide completely separated from the topic of creation.

We have all seen The Matrix movies, it had a huge impact upon our existence. It has certainly thrown many philosophers into an existential crisis, it is now debated seriously in all the most respectable philosophical circles.

So, maybe there was both an evolution and a creation, maybe we’re just living in a virtual reality, and it is not excluded that each of us are the creator of our own bubble universe in which we live in.

So, what would you like this world and your existence to be? Perhaps you do have an influence over the world you exist in, maybe you can think up the dream world you always wanted, if it is all a reconfigurable simulation. Is this not what people who pray to God hope to achieve, changing the world somehow, influencing and changing the future at will? And how can they succeed?

Let’s debate it all, we have a long way to go in order to figure out what this universe and our purpose within it is all about.

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Clive Graham Smale said:

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...
I'm sorry but I think you are totally misguided and bamboozled with wishful thinking and pseudo science. There is no place in the science classroom creationism. If such teaching is what you want then then it belongs in the Religious Education classroom - totally estranged from the verifiable scientific method by which evolution has passed from hypothesis, to theory to accepted truism. The difference is just that: Evolution can be proved by the fossil record, the geological record and the DNA record - it is not a belief system it is fact. Creationism on the other hand is a belief system with not one iota of proof or provable base; in short it is a religion and whose beliefs are beyond the scientific method and so cannot be compared, in any respect, to the truths of evolution. To proclaim that each has a valid place in the classroom beside each other is to assume that pupils are as confused as you yourself. You seem to be in a no-man's land of 'is it or isn't it', straddling the fence. This growing fear of true science is going to do untold harm to our civilization as is shown by the extremist Green (ex-reds) who are bestowing a religious cult-like aura around the totally bogus Anthropogenic Global Warming (or is it Climate Change or is it Global cooling - even thy are changing their tune to accomodate the true data which would otherwise destro their belief system. Creationism? Go to Church. Leave Evolution to those who understand it and its truths.
 
January 19, 2009
Votes: -1

Gary S. said:

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Clive,
You said evolution is provable by the scientific method. The scientific method states 1. Observe some aspect of the universe. 2. Invent a tentative description, called a hypothesis, that is consistent with what you have observed. 3. Use the hypothesis to make predictions. 4. Test those predictions by experiments or further observations and modify the hypothesis in the light of your results. 5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until there are no discrepancies between theory and experiment and/or observation.
Evolution had to start with the big bang. Is there an experiment where nothing somehow explodes and order follows? Every explosion I have seen results in chaos and a loss of material. The fossil record has not one transitional fossil. How do we get fossils? Billions of dead things (fossils) buried in rock layers laid down by water all over the Earth. This is exactly the evidence we would expect to find based on what the Bible says about the Genesis Flood. The geologic column that is in our text books is not found anywhere on the planet. I don't know what you mean by the DNA record. Maybe if I sprout a rose pedal or a pig grows feathers...
Not one iota of proof or provable basis... creations say that things reproduce after their own kind. I see daisies reproducing daisies, salmon reproducing salmon, antelope reproducing antelope. I don't see plankton reproducing shrimp, shrimp to frogs, frogs to gila monsters, to ostriches. Yet this is what we are told happened with no evidence, no repeatable experiment.

 
January 21, 2009
Votes: +1

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