Scientists say that humans are from apes. But the Bible says that God created adam and eve

Can somebody explain this controversy ?

  • 3
    Possibly God made Apes for the very purpose of making a 'monkey' out of science? – Mike Jun 2 '13 at 13:46
  • Welcome, Generally a question here needs a bit more that this to have standing. We prefer questions be directed a specific doctrines or denominations. Perspectives on this issue vary widely among Chrisitans. Please narrow your question and we can talk about reopening it. – wax eagle Jun 2 '13 at 18:04
  • Apes are not made in Man's image. Scientists that deny God and deny Jesus will profess all sorts of nonsense. – Matt Jun 11 '13 at 0:22

Disclaimer: # 1

The question is a bit broad, and difficult to answer fully in this format. One of the reasons to close a question as "not a real question" is "Your questions should be reasonably scoped. If you can imagine an entire book that answers your question, you’re asking too much."

Volumes of books have been written on this subject, and this site has many, many questions exploring it. However, I'm choosing not to vote to close the question because we don't have any "beginner level" creation/evolution questions that haven't been closed, and I think it would be good to have one.

Disclaimer #2

I'm also going to try not to take sides here, but to present the views of each side. I am not going to claim that one is true or the other is not.

Which view is true is not within scope of the site or of this question. Pointless debates of which view is true are discouraged. I am only going to try to, as accurately as possible, lay out the various views and arguments on each side at a beginner level.

The controversy isn't quite as cut-and-dried as you present it in your question. In truth, there are many scientists that reject the idea of evolution (more here) in the sense that is generally meant.

Also, not all Christians reject the theory of evolution. (As a matter of fact, the question "Can I believe in evolution and still be a Christian" has already been addressed here. Many denominations and Christians simply don't see a conflict.

For Christians that do believe in Creationism, @pterandon has already provided a good list of the various views. Your question seems to be addressing only the Young Earth Creationism views.

In addition, there are also many that believe that the Genesis creation account is allegorical, and not a historical account. Many believe the same about the flood of Noah.

On the evolution side, there are also several different views that can be wrapped into the evolutionary view.

By far the most commonly understood is the idea that mutation provides the changes to DNA necessary to introduce variations, and that natural selection weeds out the weaker and favors the strong. This provides a plausible explanation of how life evolves over time, but doesn't explain how life originated (abiogenesis).

There are a wide range of theories about how life originated, but we know nothing conclusive. The assumption is that abiogenesis must be factual because, well, there's life here on earth. For the pure naturalist - someone who rejects the possibility of the supernatural - aboigenesis has to be fact, because the only alternative to life originating naturally is that it originated supernaturally.

And that is the key to the idea that evolution is scientific, and creationism is not.

People who make this claim believe that "scientific" is synonymous with naturalism.

From Wikipedea:

Naturalism refers to the viewpoint that laws of nature (as opposed to supernatural ones) operate in the universe, and that nothing exists beyond the natural universe or, if it does, it does not affect the natural universe.1 Adherents of naturalism (i.e. naturalists) assert that natural laws are the rules that govern the structure and behavior of the natural universe, that the universe is a product of these laws.

Naturalists reject anything that does not fall within the "naturalism" paradigm as "not scientific".

I can see why they do, too. Science is supposed to be about knowledge that is discovered and verified in a rigorous method. It involves hypothesis that can be testable, experimentation, and results that are repeatable. We can't create a supernatural God in a laboratory. Even if the Genesis creation account is true word-for-word, as written, we can't perform experiments to prove or disprove it. It is very logical to say that creationism doesn't fall within the realm of science, because we can't apply the scientific method to it.

However, the fact that it doesn't fall within the realm of science doesn't mean it isn't true...

However, Christianity accepts a Supernatural Supreme Being (God). The idea of a supernatural creation of the universe, and of man is part and parcel of a belief that the supernatural is possible.

"Creation Scientists" such as Ken Ham, the guys over at ICR, etc. would be quick to agree that Creationism doesn't fall within the realm of science - just as the Naturalist would. "Creation Science" is a bit of a misnomer. If you dig int the literature, you find very quickly that they do not claim that the creation account is "scientific".

Rather, they claim that the Naturalistic explanation isn't scientific, either. We can't repeat the big bang. We have no real answers to the problem of abiogenesis - answering how life originated in the first place. We can't apply the scientific method to any of these. Even if we were to re-create life from organic chemicals in a test tube, that still doesn't tell us that life actually arose that way. (By definition, such an experiment would involve intelligent beings intentionally putting the right chemicals together. The best that could do is provide evidence for Intelligent Design)

Once you realize that neither the Naturalists approach nor the Creationist approach is repeatable, testable, demonstrable, and therefore not scientific, you realize that the key question - the one on which your entire worldview as far as the creation/evolution split does is "Do you accept the possibility of a Supernatural Creator?"

The entire creation/evolution debate hinges on that one question. Your answer to that is your root assumption.

  • If you accept the possibility, then either position is possible.
  • If you reject the possibility, then only the Naturalistic evolutionary view is possible.

Fromm that point, you can begin to truly understand and explore the differences between the views. From there, you can find many references on both sides of the debate, and all of the flavors in between the two extreme ends.

Beyond this, there are literally hundreds of books written on each side, and various websites dedicated to one view or the other. This site alone has a fairly large amount of material summarizing various different views or answering various questions that come up within the debate.

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  • Thank you, David. That was very, very helpful. Thankk you, also for teaching me the etiquettes for asking a question, as I'm a new user. God's peace be with you. :) – Raj Rohit Jun 3 '13 at 1:44

The controversy can be better understood by exploring the different views that Christians have held regarding how biblical revelation and science fit together.

Theistic Evolution holds that God is the creator, but set up a universe in which humans would evolve. Genesis therefore contains allegorical truths about the spiritual relation between God and man. Man evolved from apes.

Old Earth Creationism holds that the Genesis literally describes the fiat creation by God of increasingly complex life forms over several ages. God created apes, then God created man a few million years later.

Young Earth Creationism holds that the plain and simple meaning of the English translation is literal history, that God created over six 24 hour periods a few thousand years ago. Man and apes were created only a few 24-hour periods apart.

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