How does creationism vs evolution impact how a person views the world?
Creationism and evolution sit on opposite ends of a spectrum of views about the origin of the universe and life. While there are many different positions within both creationism and evolution, the pivotal point upon which all the theories are based is the role a divine being plays in creation. Whether or not God created the universe and continues to be involved in creation is a question of the utmost importance. Where one lands in the creationism vs. evolution debate greatly impacts how he or she views the world and, resultingly, lives his or her life.
Creationists view the creation of the world as intentional and influenced by a supernatural being. Young earth creationists believe in a literal interpretation of the biblical account of Genesis. This account states that God created the universe in six days around six thousand years ago. He created man in His own image and gave him dominion over the animals (Genesis 1:26–28). God created man in order to have a personal relationship with him and He defined the difference between good and evil. He made a way for all people to be redeemed not through themselves, but through the blood of Jesus Christ that they may enter into an eternity with Him (Ephesians 1:7). Ultimately, those who adhere to creationism believe that God's fingerprint on creation is undeniable: "For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So, they are without excuse" (Romans 1:20).
Evolutionists believe that the world came about through a naturalistic process. The theory of evolution states that all species are related, sharing the same origin. This is known as universal common descent. Evolution posits that the first signs of life appeared randomly and over time changed and adapted to the environment through genetic variation. Eventually life branched into various species. Many adherents to the theory of evolution are agnostic or atheist and take the stance that there is no God and, therefore, no divine involvement in the origins of the universe. However, some people believe that God created the world through evolution. Although the roots of the theory of evolution go back to ancient Greece, it developed into the concept taught today under the guidance of Charles Darwin and Alfred Russell Wallace in the 1700s.
How one views creationism vs. evolution greatly affects his or her worldview. Creationists' and evolutionists' worldviews vary most in the areas of organization, morality, and purpose. From an evolutionist viewpoint, life originated from random genes which order themselves by choosing the strongest traits to pass on. Those with genes unfit or less fit for survival go extinct. The concept of morality is logically inconsistent with evolution; there is no good or evil, only what is helpful to survive. Life is driven by an instinct to survive. The purpose is to reproduce to pass on the most advantageous genes to the next generation of offspring. After death there is nothing. From an evolutionary perspective, then, life is essentially a survival act void of apparent deeper meaning.
However, from a creationist viewpoint, God is in control. He is the Alpha and Omega, all-knowing, existing before anything else. As creatures of a sovereign Creator, everything must submit in obedience to God. His creation was made to worship Him and reflect His glory. The concept of morality follows logically; morality is defined by God. What is of Him is good and what is not of Him is evil. From a creationist viewpoint, life has order and meaning.
From a Christian creationist perspective, humans are created in God's image, designed for relationship with God and with one another (Genesis 1:26–27). Humanity was also told to, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth" (Genesis 1:28). God gave the first man and woman a choice of whether to trust Him or go their own way. He told them not to eat of a specific tree in the garden He'd placed them in. But they ate of the tree, breaking the close relationship they'd had with God and with one another, and introducing death to the world (Genesis 3; Romans 5). All of their descendants, meaning all humans, would be born into a state where this death reigned. But God provided a means of salvation, for our rebellion against Him to be forgiven and for us to be restored to spiritual life (Genesis 3:15). That salvation is available through Jesus Christ. All who put their faith in Him—that is, trust that Jesus is who He claimed to be (God in human flesh), that He lived a perfect life and died on the cross as a sacrifice for sins, and then He resurrected proving Himself to be victorious over sin and death—are forgiven for their sins, restored to relationship with God, and given eternal life (John 3:16–18; Acts 4:12; Romans 10:9).
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