Creation and Evolution

I Think, Therefore God Is

We probably all know the phrase, “I think, therefore I am”, even if we can’t remember who said it and what exactly they meant. If the 17th century could have memes, then this line by René Descartes must count as one of the world’s best. Descartes said that his thoughts were themselves satisfactory proof of his own existence, in the face of philosophical doubt about the nature of reality.

Now, I’m interested in Descartes’ premise, “I think”, but with a different conclusion in mind. In the modern context of the debate between Christianity and atheism, “I think” is a profound premise for Christianity.


Thoughts on “The Greatest Show On Earth” — chapter 5 — Before Our Very Eyes


In chapter 5, Dawkins continues with a point that he began in chapters 2 and 3: we can see evolution in action even on a short time-scale; if such changes can occur on such a short time-scale, then an ancient earth gives evolution the time it needs to work its wonders. Dawkins presents several cases of change within a short time (just a few decades). He includes the famous Lenski long-term E. coli experiments.

Thoughts on “The Greatest Show On Earth” — chapter 4 — Silence and Slow Time


Chapter 4 turns to the topic of time. Here Richard Dawkins is targeting young-earth creationism and its denial that Earth has an ancient history. Ancient time is essential for evolution to be believable. On the other hand, Christians are divided over whether the earth and universe is young or old, depending on Scriptural interpretations.

Thoughts on “The Greatest Show On Earth” — chapter 3 — The Primrose Path to Macro-Evolution


In chapter 2, Richard Dawkins talked about artificial selection. In chapter 3, he moves on to natural selection. The title of the chapter is the intriguing “The Primrose Path to Macro-Evolution”, which led me to believe he would discuss my criticism of the previous chapter—namely, where new genetic information comes from. But no, the chapter doesn’t go there, but goes in a direction I didn’t expect. As far as I can tell, his objective in chapter 3 is to make one main point: natural selection is essentially the same mechanism as artificial selection, even though the selecting agent doesn’t consciously choose to do so. Oh, and ipso facto, evolution is true.

Thoughts on “The Greatest Show On Earth” — chapter 2 — Dogs, Cows and Cabbages



Chapter 2 starts by offering an unexpected reason that the theory of evolution took so long to appear. As Dawkins says—since it is such an elegant and enlightening theory, why not earlier? I fully expected him to blame entrenched religious thought about divine creation. Instead, he blames essentialism. Just as a triangle drawn in the sand is a crude representation of a perfect triangle, so all life is a crude approximation of its essential ideal.

Thoughts on “The Greatest Show On Earth” — chapter 1 — Only a Theory?


In chapter 1, Richard Dawkins lays out a contextual framework for the book, which serves as his introduction to the what and why of the book. Interestingly, the framework isn’t a scientific one, but a philosophical and an emotional one.

Thoughts on “The Greatest Show On Earth”


One visitor commented that, if I’m really interested in a better understanding of the creation/evolution debate, I should read “The Greatest Show On Earth” by Richard Dawkins*. It’s a good idea for a Christian of this era to have a working knowledge of evolution. Given that Richard Dawkins has gone to the trouble to write the book to make the essentials of evolutionary theory accessible to the everyday person, this book is a good chance to hear it argued by a passionate advocate of atheism.

Young-Earth Creationism and “No Death Before the Fall”

Young-earth creationists teach that the doctrine of “no death before the fall” is an important argument for a young earth. That means, they say, that before Adam and Eve’s first sin of taking from the forbidden tree, there was no death of animals. Consequently they see the fossil record as presenting a problem for old-earth creationism: there couldn't have been millions of years of death before that first sin took place. Is this Biblically sound?


Young Earth Creationism and the Plain Meaning of the Bible

One of the arguments of young earth creationists, in defence of young earth creationism vs old earth creationism, is that YEC stays faithful to the “plain meaning of scripture”. They say, any other variety of creationism is a compromise that leads inevitably to loss of faith. I admire the desire to stay faithful to God’s pure word. For that reason, I was once attracted to Young Earth in the first place. However, now I think that the “plain meaning of scripture” is actually something other than what YEC thinks.



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