Creationism is defined as a literal interpretation of the Bible and the rejection of Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. Creationists believe that the world is not billions of years old, but rather thousands. Christian Creationists believe that the world was created in six days by a god, and that at one point and time humans co-existed with dinosaurs.
A specialist on evolutionary theory and worldviews says that the world needs to be very concerned about the literal belief in religious texts such as the Bible and the Qur’an.
Dr. Nidhal Guessoum, a Middle Eastern physics and astronomy professor, says critical thinking, freedom of thought, and even human rights come under threat when hundreds of millions of people literally believe that God created the universe in “six days” and Adam from nothing.
According to Dr. Guessoum, the majority of people in such Muslim countries as Pakistan, Indonesia, and Turkey strongly reject the idea that man evolved over millions of years on planet Earth, as determined by science. Add all those people to the tens of millions of Christians in North America who believe in Creationism, and you have a growing number of humans from different religious backgrounds who are rejecting science and basing their worldview on mythology.
In September, a conference focusing on the problems of Creationism was held in England according to The Vancouver Sun. Titled, The Uses and Abuses of Biology, the conference was held at Cambridge University, and featured speakers from all over the world documenting the worrisome spread of Creationism. It was emphasized from the outset that the conference was not being held to remonstrate religion; in fact, many speakers touched on the idea that it’s not necessary for Christians and Muslims to believe in Creationism to be genuine people of faith.
As widespread as Creationism is, it’s not infecting certain religions to the extent that it is Muslims and Evangelical Christians. Roman Catholics, mainline Protestants, Jews, Hindus, Sikhs, and Buddhists generally embrace evolution, and Creationism makes up a mere fraction of their orders.
So, what’s the problem with Creationists? Why worry about them? How can they affect freedom of thought and human rights?
First off, believers of evolution in some Muslim countries are decried as heretics and targeted for attacks. A literal translation of the Qur’an leads Muslims to believe that men are superior to women in all facets of life, and that the education of boys and girls together in a school is blasphemy.
Things haven’t gotten that bad just yet in the West. However, the rise of Creationism in the United States leads to schools doing away with science classes that teach fact in favor of Creationist classes that teach the literal translation of the Bible. The result, of course, is that if Creationism becomes too widespread, generations of American’s could be ignorant to scientific fact and research, and angle our country back into another Dark Age where religious zealotry prevails while academic illumination is frowned upon.
Though fears of Creationism are certainly valid, the total numbers of those affiliated with any religion — much less Creationism — are decreasing rapidly. According to the Daily Telegraph, over a third of all 18- to 29-year-olds in the United States affiliate themselves with no religion. That doesn’t mean that they identify themselves as Atheists (though Atheism is on the rise worldwide as well — especially in ranks of those educated at the university level), but they hold no affiliation whatsoever when it comes to religion.
What do you think about the battle between Creationism and science? Comment below.
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