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What's Your Story?

skhemka's picture
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Everywhere we look, we find a story. Sometimes we don’t even have to look and we see stories. We are always trying to accept one story over the other and in this struggle we sometimes lose the connection between the stories and the question whether we really need to choose between stories. In the following paragraphs I will discuss the similarities between stories of creationism and evolution, just as stories, and whether there should be and is there really any tension between them and that have we totally misplaced our inquiries?

We, humans, right from the age of understanding language are told stories about us as humans. The stories have been told for many generations with little modifications. There are many stories we are told not to believe but there are many which we are asked to believe without doubt. These stories come in various languages, forms and plots but they all have one thing in common, they demand unquestioning faith. These stories talk about God, humans and their world and God’s plan for humans and their world. They talk about the creation of the world we live in and how being a part of God’s plan adds meaning to our lives. These stories of our creation is what we go on believing till you find out that there is another story competing with the one that we have been told and this one is universal and not divine. It is the story of evolution. It wipes out meaning and plays on chance. It is the story that rivals your own and asks you to question the one you have believed for so long. But after a certain point you have to choose one but what I want to explore here is the difference between the stories and whether there is any point of choosing between them.

People have always believed that evolution and creation stories are opposing ones which in my opinion is false. I think that Evolution and Creation stories are like two different routes ending in the same destination. Creation stories and story of evolution start differently but end in the same place which has the same significance in our lives. Stories of all kind are always related to our human understanding of time. Time helps us relate to stories that we are told. Like with time we have stories from past, present and future with past being the start, present the middle and future being the end. So, creation stories in this respect are from the start and Evolution from the middle but both have the same end. Being a story from the start gives it a meaning and a plan but removes all control because if the start is not in the hands of humans then how can the middle and the end be under our control? Creationism takes away free will and leaves nothing in our hands. With evolution there is no plan just some random play forces at work which also eliminates any interference from us and leaves us without control in the big picture. We have no control over anything other than the miniscule amount of manipulation of our lives that we indulge in. Neither story gives us any control only ideas of possibilities, they both end in eliminating our will and role in the big picture.

Evolution and Creationism are not in competition with each other as reality but as fictional bestsellers. We don’t get any explanation of “us” in these stories. These two types of stories don’t explain Human will and Intelligence. One story ignores it and the other puts it as a gift from the superior!  But the biggest problem common to both of these stories is that they start from something existing prior to the start. As said above evolution already starts dead in the middle but even creationism starts with the existence of something complete called God who participates in making things inferior to itself without any mention of the creation of God. There is always an actual start missing from both of them.

I would like two put quotes here, one regarding the Evolution and Big bang theory and another regarding the most famous creation story. "What is a big deal - the biggest deal of all - is how you get something out of nothing.
"Don't let the cosmologists try to kid you on this one. They have not got a clue either - despite the fact that they are doing a pretty good job of convincing themselves and others that this is really not a problem. 'In the beginning,' they will say, 'there was nothing - no time, space, matter or energy. Then there was a quantum fluctuation from which . . .' Whoa! Stop right there. You see what I mean? First there is nothing, and then there is something. And the cosmologists try to bridge the two with a quantum flutter, a tremor of uncertainty that sparks it all off. Then they are away and before you know it, they have pulled a hundred billion galaxies out of their quantum hats.
"[1]  This other quote is from Genesis, “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.  And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made”.[2] Now this quote too demands a “Whoa!” because it is just as presumptuous as the first one.

As far as I can see Evolution and Creationism are stories that are on the same side and have more similarities than differences. They both leave us powerless and choosing to believe one over the other is of no importance. So much “time” and “energy” has and is being wasted on this controversy. So I think that maybe it’s time we found another story to believe in, one that isn’t as restricting as the ones already told.

[1] David Darling - 1996. On creating something from nothing. New Scientist 151 (14 September)


Paul Grobstein's picture

another story ...

Sounds like an excellent idea.  Have a candidate in mind?