Added May 7, 1998
You seem to advocate the theory of Darwinian evolution, held through the belief system of atheists, instead of accepting the biblical theory that God created us in his own image.
Why shouldn't people be taught both theories and let THEM decide which theory to accept?
You have posed a number of misconceptions that must be clarified before the fundamental issue, EVOLUTION vs CREATIONISM, can be addressed.
Evolution is the process of nature through which new qualities and characteristics, shapes, sizes, forms, colors, behavior, propensities, etc., which hitherto had not existed, either newly or recurrently come into being, i.e, emerge.
In the absence of a theory of evolution, there could not be a coherent explanation of the diversity and similarities in nature.
Even if there were no theory of evolution, its absence would not verify the existence of your incorporeal, unknowable (according to the Bible) God.
The theory of evolution answers questions which religion and theism are not qualified to deal with since they insist that empirical evidence is not always needed in acquiring knowledge and are willing to accept unverifiable claims and analytic statements, i.e., truth by definition, on blind faith.
No claim or presumed explanation is a theory unless it is supported by an abundance of empirical evidence.
Many evolutionists believe in God, claiming evolution was His method of "creating" life.
However, WHY one believes what he believes must be examined.
Most of us grew up believing what we were told to believe by our parents, teachers (rote learning), clergy, the government, etc., without benefit of evidence or its possibility.
Like Pavlov's dogs, we were conditioned to believe through the use of words, threats of punishment, promises of reward and the like, and in our case, without benefit of accompanying analytical explanations or evidence.
Scientific and knowledge beliefs are derived through inquiry, method, predictability, evidence, absence of contradictions, verification, and much more all of which are lacking in the creation STORIES of the Bible.
However, one's beliefs are verified only if the beliefs are supported by evidence.
The biblical account is not a theory, but a STORY, without evidence or even the possibility of evidence.
Darwin's explanation of "descent with modifications," i.e., biological evolution, is a THEORY supported by mountains of evidence even if biologists do not agree on every aspect of the theory.
Progress in science and in acquiring knowledge thrives on the examination of disagreements.
Assuming that God does exist and that He did create us, He certainly did not create us in "His own image" which is evident by the fact that He is defined to be UNKNOWABLE, ETERNAL, INCORPOREAL, PERFECT, ALL-KNOWING, ALL-POWERFUL, ALL-GOOD, ALL-PRESENT, AND FIRST-CAUSE CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE in stark contrast to us who are MORTAL and FRAGILE physical entities possessing NONE of those characteristics.
Few people, especially including believers in creationism, are qualified to distinguish a THEORY from a STORY or a mere CLAIM because our schooling establishments (most teachers) fail to teach and are not capable of teaching our citizens to think analytically.
Much of the confusion in understanding these concepts rests on the creationist's failure to emphasize that God is said to have created EVERYTHING in the universe, not just life forms: "And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good." (I, 31), see Genesis 1 and 2.
In Genesis, I, 27: God created male and female together: "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them."
But in II, 7, "the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground. . . ."
And, in II, 22, "the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman. . . ."
Creationists, incapable of offering evidence for the above claims of creation, and insisting that we blindly accept the claims "on faith," will cry "Metaphor! Metaphor!" which explains nothing.
A major part of the lack of understanding is caused because Darwinian evolutionists and creationists both tend to ignore the implications of EMERGENT evolution in their disagreements with each other.
Creationists give God, without being able to verify His existence, credit for creating diversity and change not through evolution but by a snap of his incorporeal fingers, i.e., by fiat.
Darwinian evolutionists concentrate, at least publicly, mainly on organic and biological change, variations, and adaptations in sentient populations some of which survive in the course of time and some of which do not.
Creationists seem not to concern themselves with the origin of non-living forms of existents, i.e., quarks, electrons, positrons, atoms, molecules, (without which sentient beings could not exist), quantum particles, gold, lead, copper (the elements), and so on, all of which can be shown to have evolved.
None of them existed at the first nano-second of the Big Bang.
Nowhere in the Bible does God or creationists speak of the emergence of quarks, electrons, positrons, atoms, molecules, carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen, nucleic acids, amino acids, all of which must interact with each other to evolve into DNA, RNA, genes, chromosomes, and the emergent qualities we call seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, feeling, life, and mind.
Apparently creationists have not heard of EMERGENT evolution (See link: Spectrum of Minds) which clearly explains evolutionary processes from nano-second one of the big bang.
The argument that the theory of evolution is predicated not on evidence but on a mere belief system that Nature is all there is, implying that there is "something" that "transcends" nature, i.e., is supernatural, is utter epistemic nonsense.
By definition, what is supernatural is unverifiable, i.e., unknowable in the past, in the present, and in the future.
If "it" is supernatural then "it" transcends nature, is beyond nature, and cannot be verified.
Knowledge of anything is predicated on the existence of evidence, not on an appeal to
We DON'T and CAN'T KNOW, i.e.; we are ignorant, because no evidence is possible, as to whether there may be something other than nature, i.e., the universe.
In the absence of evidence to the contrary or the possibility of it, there is no epistemic reason to believe that anything other than the universe exists.
If we insist on appealing to ignorance, then anything becomes possible including the possible existence of an infinity of explanations for the existence of the universe, such as the DEVIL created the universe, or each sentient creature in the world does in its individual experience, i.e., possesses its own reality.
The evidence that evolution is a fact of nature as much as "a theory," which is our linguistic description of those facts, is so compelling that only an uninformed or close-minded person could or would deny it:
A few examples:
water and peroxide emerge (evolve) from hydrogen and oxygen,
a multiplicity of substances emerges (evolves) from carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen depending on quantitative combinations,
sulfuric acid emerges from hydrogen, sulfur, and oxygen,
sight emerges from the "right" quantitative and qualitative combination of matter,
hearing emerges from a different amount and kind of matter,
different forms of life evolve from different amounts and kinds of matter,
different kinds of brains, hence "minds" (See link: Spectrum of Minds) evolve from different amounts and kinds of matter in different kinds of animal life,
different kinds of mental activity from different kinds of brains,
in embryology, the process by which genes become higher and diverse forms of life,
human beings with all their complex qualities and characteristics emerge from the fertilization of a female egg by a male sperm,
the wrong number of chromosomes' affect on living creatures,
changes in offspring in interracial marriages,
environmental influences causing mutations,
with man's interference, growing ears on the backs of mice,
and so on beyond counting.