"Creation as literally depicted in Genesis is indeed supported by faith, and needs to be, since it is not supported by anything else. Evolution, on the other hand, is supported by evidence." Richard Dawkins.

Any problem you perceive about the origin of life, or about the process of evolution after life began, can be avoided by calling upon a supernatural Creator, who was able to achieve by divine power something that (you think) could not possibly occur naturally. If indeed life was created here or anywhere else by a miracle, we as scientists cannot deal with it. Miracles, by definition, are naturally impossible events that require divine intervention and lie outside the laws of nature. No one but a divine being can produce a miracle, so scientists can't investigate miracles. We can only believe in them or not, depending on our level of "faith" in that particular divine being.

In most versions of the Christian religion, entrance to Heaven is open only to those who do believe in miracles: the divine status of Jesus as God's son, his birth by immaculate conception, his resurrection from the dead, the concept that the consecrated bread and wine at Communion are the body and blood of Christ, and so on. Many people manage to combine faith in these miracles with complete adherence to strict logic in their scientific work; others find the two activities so contradictory that they reject either science or Christianity.

Other religions are not so demanding of their adherents.

As far as I am concerned, I am completely convinced that life evolved and continues to evolve, under natural conditions. But don't take my word for it. There is plenty of evidence.

Micro-organisms are evolving all around us. Two examples of immediate concern to everyone are

Now frankly, I don't care whether you accept that evidence or not. I do care that doctors do, because if they don't, people won't get the best treatment. Fortunately, most people in the world can't understand why a few fundamentalist Christian religions, mostly based in the USA, have a problem with evolution, so this is not really a global problem. It is, however, a very real local problem for educators in the United States who are trying to produce students who can compete in the global job market in biological and medical science in the 21st century!

Web Sites

Page updated February 14, 2003.

Links checked September 29, 2005.

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