What is the debate between Evolutionary biology and Creationism?

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The debate is whether living things developed by random causes, or whether God created them.

Here are some arguments for Creation or against Evolution.
These point to Divine Creation:
  • The staggering complexity of every organ and every cell in the human body.
  • The vastness of our minds and emotions.
  • The fact that the universe has definite design, order, and arrangement which cannot be sufficiently explained outside a theistic worldview. (This is how Abraham, without benefit of teachers, came to reject the chaotic world-view of idolatry and the possibility of atheism.)
  • The laws of the universe seem to have been set in such a way that stars, planets and life can exist. Many constants of nature appear to be finely tuned for this, and the odds against this happening by chance are astronomical.
1) The glaring lack of transitional fossils has been noted by the evolutionists themselves, such as this statement from the famous paleontologist and evolutionist George G. Simpson; quote: "The regular lack of transitional fossils is not confined to primates alone, but is an almost universal phenomenon."
"The lack of transitional series cannot be explained as being due to the scarcity of material. The deficiencies are real; they will never be filled" (Nilsson, N. Heribert).
"To the unprejudiced, the fossil record of plants is in favor of special creation" (Corner, E.J.H., Contemporary Botanical Thought).

2) Instances of falsifying of evidence by evolutionists, such as Haeckel's drawings, Archaeoraptor, the Cardiff "specimen," and Piltdown Man.
"Haeckel exaggerated the similarities [between embryos of different species] by idealizations and omissions, in a procedure that can only be called fraudulent. His drawings never fooled embryologists, who recognized his fudgings right from the start. The drawings, despite their noted inaccuracies, entered into the standard student textbooks of biology. Once ensconced in textbooks, misinformation becomes cocooned and effectively permanent, because textbooks copy from previous texts. We do, I think, have the right to be both astonished and ashamed by the century of mindless recycling that has led to the persistence of these drawings in a large number, if not a majority, of modern textbooks (Stephen Gould).
Dr. Jonathan Wells published a book in 2002 entitled Icons of Evolution. Dr. Wells states that the book shows that "the best-known 'evidences' for Darwin's theory have been exaggerated, distorted or even faked."

3) Creationists see the "survival of the fittest" and the dating of rock layers by fossils as being perfect tautologies.

4) The fact that some qualified, educated, normal scientists do not believe in evolution. Or at least question it, even if they still preach evolution: "Nine-tenths of the talk of evolutionists is sheer nonsense, not founded on observation and wholly unsupported by facts. This museum is full of proofs of the utter falsity of their views. In all this great museum, there is not a particle of evidence of the transmutation of species" (Dr. Etheridge, Paleontologist of the British Museum).
"To postulate that the development and survival of the fittest is entirely a consequence of chance mutations seems to me a hypothesis based on no evidence and irreconcilable with the facts. It amazes me that this is swallowed so uncritically and readily, and for such a long time, by so many scientists without murmur of protest" (Sir Ernest Chain, Nobel Prize winner).

5) The fact that there is a shared, worldwide tradition among every ancient society that the world was created.

6) Evolving of new organs or species has not been witnessed during known history.

7) Mutations are harmful, not beneficial. One of the tasks of DNA and of long-term breeding is to avoid or repair any changes brought about by mutations. This means that our genetic apparatus is programmed to resist change.

8) Mutations, even if beneficial, do not create new organs.

9) The fact that a great number of fossils have been found in the "wrong" rock-layers according to what evolutionary paleontology would require.

10) The fact that you need DNA to make DNA. No genetic code can be demonstrated to have arisen by chance, together with the ability to read that code and carry out its instructions. Information does not arise spontaneously; and there is an incredible amount of information in even the tiniest cell.
"A living cell is so awesomely complex that its interdependent components stagger the imagination and defy evolutionary explanations" (Michael Denton, author).
"The astounding structural complexity of a cell" (U.S. National Library of Medicine).
Concerning a single structure within a cell: "Without the motor protein, the microtubules don't slide and the cilium simply stands rigid. Without nexin, the tubules will slide against each other until they completely move past each other and the cilium disintegrates. Without the tubulin, there are no microtubules and no motion. The cilium is irreducibly complex. Like a mousetrap, it has all the properties of design and none of the properties of natural selection" (Michael Behe, prof. of biophysics).

11) The problem of the impossibility of abiogenesis in general. "The concept of abiogenesis is not science. It's fantasy" (J.L. Wile, Ph.D.).

12) The fact that evolution was once used as support for the belief that Blacks (or others) are less than highly-evolved humans. "Darwin was also convinced that the Europeans were evolutionarily more advanced than the black races" (Steven Rose, author). He also "reasoned that males are more evolutionarily advanced than females" (B. Kevics, author).

13. The first and second laws of thermodynamics point clearly to a Creator, since things undergo entropy rather than get more orderly over time.

14. "Radiometric techniques may not be the absolute dating methods that they are claimed to be. Age-estimates on a given geological stratum by different radiometric methods are often very different. There is no absolutely reliable long-term radiological clock. The uncertainties inherent in radiometric dating are disturbing to geologists and evolutionists." William D. Stansfield, Ph.D., Instructor of Biology, California Polytechnic State University.

15. "Even total rock systems may be open during metamorphism and may have their isotopic systems changed, making it impossible to determine their geologic age." Prof. Gunter Faure (Department of Geology, The Ohio State University, Columbus.)

16 a). At current rates of erosion the amount of sea-floor sediments actually found do not support a "billions of years" age for the Earth.
b) The amount of Sodium Chloride in the sea, also, is a small fraction of what the "old Earth" theory would postulate.
c) The Earth's magnetic field is decaying too fast to extrapolate a long age for the Earth.
d) The rate of accumulation of Moon-dust has been measured; and the amount of dust on the Moon was found to be vastly less than what scientists had predicted before the Moon-landings.
e) Helium is generated by radioactive elements as they decay. The escape of this helium into the atmosphere can be measured. According to the Evolutionary age of the Earth there should be much more helium in the atmosphere, instead of the 0.05% that is actually there.
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For centuries, theology had the stage all to itself: everyone simply knew that God created the world in just six days, only a few thousand years ago. Then with advances in scientific knowledge, this all began to fall apart. Biblical literalists were aghast to see that there was an alternative explanation as to how the world and life on earth came about. This is exemplified by the reaction of the wife of the Bishop of Worcester, after she heard about Darwin's book, Origin of the Species: “Descended from the apes! My dear, let us hope that it is not true, but if it is, let us pray that it will not become generally known.”

Thus began the debate between evolutionary biology and creationism. Creationists had to undermine public confidence in the science of evolution, and the best was to do this was to start a debate on their terms. While scientists preferred to focus on research and study, creationists set about announcing misleading statements about science, either because they misunderstand the science or because they are actually unconcerned what the facts are.

It was basically Dawrwinism, natural selection survival of the fittest that sort of thing, vs. God creating everything.  The best place to start is with some definitions. The most common usage of "Creationism" is the position that God created the various "kinds" of life, largely in the same form as we see them today.

The scientific meaning of "Evolutionary biology" is that life changes and over time, that harmful changes will die out and that beneficial changes will be preserved and multiply, and that all of the life we see on earth today can be traced back to a common ancestor billions of years ago.

Note that evolutionary biology does not make any claims about the origin of the universe, just as chemistry doesn't make any claims about the origin of the universe, it does not even make any claims God, just as chemistry makes no claims about God, and evolutionary biology makes no claims about the origin of life, just as chemistry makes no claims about the origin of elements. Evolutionary biology starts from a point with life already existing and describes how life changes, just as chemistry starts from a point with elements already existing and explains how those elements interact. The origin of elements is explained by the theory of nuclear fusion, and the field of abiogenesis attempts to explain the origin of life. Abiogenesis is currently a poorly developed and poorly supported field of science.

The definitions of Creationism and Evolutionary biology above pretty well define the two sides in the debate. The central point of argument is whether God individually and separately created "kinds" of life in largely their current forms (perhaps allowing lions and tigers to have a common "cat kind" ancestor), or whether dogs and birds and whales all came from a common ancestor. Note that while some on the Evolutionary biology side are atheists, the vast majority are Christian believing that God created the universe and that evolution merely describes "how" God created the various species just like optics describes "how" God created rainbows. People who believe God created the universe and used evolution are generally not considered Creationists, "Creationism" normally means the special separate of each kind of creature with limited change.

There are many conflicting claims and conflicting arguments in this debate.
Setting aside such claims and arguments, the unarguable fact is that every national or international science academy on earth with an official public position statement on the subject has the position that evolution is valid science supported by the evidence, and that all of the claims against evolution are false and all the arguments against evolution have been scientifically refuted. Over a hundred major science academies have issued such statements, and every single one confirms the valid scientific status of evolution and the unscientific and erroneous status of the Special Creationism claims.

Rounded to the nearest full percentage point, 100% of biologists confirm evolution. If you want to go into decimal percentage points, it's about 99.9% of biologists on the evolution side vs about 0.1% denialists. There is a public debate over evolution, and a political debate over evolution, but scientifically there is no actual debate over evolution. Every scientific body with a public position is on the evolution side, and the tiny handful of evolution denialists in the scientific community are considered unscientific and considered to be No as credible as the holocaust denialists.
 According to Atheist Michael Ruse this debate is not between science and religion but between two different religious views. According to Ruse evolutionism involves more than the agreement with the scientific theory of evolution. It is ''the whole metaphysical or ideological picture built around or on evolution.'' 1 To Ruse, this constitutes a secular religion which then puts it is conlfict with the Christian creationist view.

1. (Science,22 July 2005, p.560)
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