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Creation: Religion vs. Science

One of the final entries in my ongoing series about atheism- this time addressing some of the differences between the Christian religious view of creation compared to the atheist view. It is by no means a comprehensive post- more of a handy overview of some of the key points of contrast- but I will link to more detailed posts at the end if you are interested in investigating this matter more thoroughly.

Atheists and the religious often differ on the subject of creation- both of the universe and of humanity. Although Christians hold such beliefs to varying degrees, the acceptance of “creation science” has been a hotly contested topic between believers and non-believers since the advent of modern science brought about plausible new theories as to how the world was created.  At the basest level, Christians would argue that the universe and everything in it was created by God- which is not a position which is fundamentally at odds with science. In theory, if God is all-powerful He could have set into motion the means by which the world was created- for example, the Big Bang or evolution. However, some Christians may present a false dichotomy by arguing that the world was created either by God or by science- and as science has not answered every question about the origins of the universe, then there must have been a divine creator. This is not necessarily true, as any combination of the two or a number of as yet undiscovered possibilities may have been the catalyst for the creation of the universe. In addition to this, many scientists would argue that religion is simply irrelevant to creation as God was not necessary- there are well-tested scientific theories which can explain the origins of life without the need for a deity, and it is perfectly possible that the universe occurred through pure chance. The application of Occam’s razor would suggest that due to the abundance of evidence in favour of the scientific explanation of creation, it seems more rational than attributing creation to God.

In terms of the Christian view of creation, it is also widely believed that humans were created in the image of God- the “imago Dei”. Although other creatures may reveal the glory of God through their own intricacy and the sophisticated mechanisms by which they exist, humans were uniquely created in the image of God, with no other living thing sharing this crucial trait. It is through the grace of God that humanity was endowed with the ability to reason at a level that other beings cannot. However, according to the atheistic worldview with its Darwinian foundation, there is no divine cause of humanity’s ability to think at a higher level- and no fundamental distinction between humans and animals. The fact that people can think, reason, emote and establish an almost universal system of morality is no more than the result of millions of years of evolution and chance- and science can explain away such seemingly divine symptoms of humanity.

If you wish to read more, please peruse at your leisure-

The Cosmological Argument

The Teleological Argument

– which offer a more complete explanation of both the Christian and scientific explanations for the existence of life and the universe.

Is there a theory of creation which you most strongly prescribe to? Is there an argument for or against the existence of God as a creator which particularly frustrates you? If so- comment below!

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1 Comment

  1. September 10, 2013 at 2:26 pm —

    Argument from fine-tuning drives me nuts. An understanding of homeostasis or steady states demonstrates the worthlessness of the argument.

    In fact, I’ve mini-ranted about it before (only somewhat articulately). It fails on every level, but I keep hearing it announced as some great triumph for the likelihood of a god figure.

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