The Creation Explanation
|Man in His World|
Creation And The Study of Man
A believer in creation reasons that the world of nature must have been produced by an intelligent Creator independent of the forces or causes found in nature. Otherwise nature could not have had a beginning. A creationist is one who chooses to believe that the world of nature and of man did have a beginning. To say that there was no beginning would also be a matter of choice, so at this point a choice is the basis for belief rather than scientific data or proof. When the evolutionist says that all events in the past took place in the same way as events we observe today, he has made a choice that makes any real idea of the origin of the world of nature impossible, because nothing can create itself. Many technologically unsophisticated peoples have met this problem by understanding their world to be without a beginning.
As one well-educated Dakota Indian said, "You see, we Indians lived in eternity." In contrast, the scientist who believes in creation does not try to discover by science how the world and the things in it originated. As a scientist he limits his investigations to the events and order that he can see, record, or measure in some way. He recognizes that such extraordinary order and design as scientists have discovered could not have formed itself.
The scientist tries to learn about the world he sees by asking "how" questions. He observes what happens in laboratory experiments and seeks to explain the "how" of these events. The historian can only observe the world of the past from some distance in time. He is also interested in how things happened, but in terms of particular events, such as the bombing of Pearl Harbor or the assassination of President Kennedy. These events can happen only once in time. The historian asks at least two other questions--"when" or "why." The latter question is the "why" of moral, religious, sociological, and other factors of history. If the scientist asks the questions "when" or "how" about some supposed prehistoric event, he must recognize that, apart from historical evidence, i.e., eyewitness testimony, the evidence he adduces in support of any answers to his questions will be circumstantial. This is because his answers are interpretations of the evidence which, if wrong, cannot be conclusively falsified by experimental test. Consequently the answers are unscientific, even though some of the evidence may have been obtained by scientific means.
The historian studies past events through written records of these events. The archaeologist investigates the events of prehistory through the objects that man in the past has made. These items, usually found buried in the ground, are called artifacts. The questions and methods of the historian and the archaeologist tell us much about man that the "how" questions and methods of natural science generally do not. But man asks still other questions, such as "What is man? and "Who am I?" The subjects of learning pursuing these problems are usually labeled "humanities." Such disciplines as philosophy and religion pursue these questions and develop different methods from those of science and history. Closely related to the question of "What is" is the question of "Coming to be." Philosophers speak of these kinds of questions as existential because they concern the problems of existence.
Since believers in creation and evolution are agreed that man has not always been, they both must meet the problem of origins. The creationist does not try to offer a scientific explanation of origins for two reasons. First, it would not be logical to explain how nature came into being by the things that he now sees in nature, for this would be saying that things made themselves, an obvious impossibility. Second, creation means that a Creator exists outside of nature.
When the evolutionist asks the difficult question "How?" concerning origins, he is compelled to pursue this question by using only the things he can perceive. Since he did not and cannot observe these kinds of events in the past, he must go outside the scientific method and use the eyes of his imagination along with his physical eyes. For example, he sees what is closest in appearance to man and then imagines how a similar ape-like animal became man. He explains the entire living world as developing from less complex to more complex. He collects fossils of extinct animals and, arranging them in sequences by form, adduces the sequence as evidence for an alleged historical process of evolution from simple to complex. He must even imagine how life "could have" come into being from non-living matter.
The evolutionist's search for origins begins in nature but cannot lead beyond nature; therefore he can find no first or real origin. The creationist sees origins as necessarily beyond nature; therefore his concern begins and ends with the Creator who, he believes, brought all things--man and his world--into being. His "how" questions are asked only regarding the world which he observes, the real world of science.