This document assumes that the reader, like the author, was raised in a predominantly Christian environment and that as a child, the Biblical legends were presented as facts. A further assumption is that the reader has become agnostic when the mentor could not satisfactorily answer the questions of the pupil. Uncertain what to believe, the reader may be suspicious of the supposed factuality of the Bible in whole or in part, and may be ready to look objectively at the true history of the document once presented as the unquestionable "word of God".
The purpose of this document is to contest recent rulings in Kansas, Oklahoma, and other states to exclude the teaching of true science in public schools in an attempt to preserve the myth of divine creation. In the case of Oklahoma's schools, it may be required statewide that all textbooks 'acknowledge' the Earth as having been created by one universal God! Legislation to enforce ignorance is mediaeval and in direct violation of our constitutional rights. Such an outlandish ruling will only succeed in stunting the intellectual growth of the central mid-western student body and will force the rebellion (and expulsion) of their best and brightest. Will Oklahoma next rule in support of a state inquisition? If such a ruling can actually be passed in the United States of the 21st Century, then the time has come for another Monkey trial.
The following presents only a portion of the evidence that should be presented on the part of those contesting forced religion.
Currently, there are two dominant theories regarding the origin of life on Earth. One is the perception of the evolution of species through gradual processes over extensive periods of time. This concept is based on the studies of anthropology, astronomy, geology, genetic biology, paleontology, and a host of other sciences. Every relative science supports the required precepts of the evolutionary processes and all of the new data acquired in any related field continues to add support to an already indomitable conclusion. Evolution is not "just a theory", nor is it a religion in any context. It is an established fact that is easily evidenced in a growing number of ways with multiple examples. Evolutionary Theory is the speculative part of the science. For example, we now have a detailed understanding of how genes mutate and how certain species evolve and adapt to new conditions and environments. Genetic biology and cloning could not occur were the processes and mechanics of evolution not present. The theory of evolution is the speculation of certain aspects for which no hard proofs yet exist, such as whether the polar bear is a descendant of another bear species, or an ancestor to all of them. No matter how it is related, the fact of evolution is that the polar bear is a relative of some genetic lineage to all other varieties of bear and more distantly to dogs, weasels, cats, and even seals.
Another point of speculation is the origin of first living organism on Earth, the progenerative living cel that is the parent organism of all other life on this planet. While it seems unlikely that non-living material could ever have come to life by any set of circumstances, that certainly must have happened, because there is a definite relationship between every living thing on Earth. As incredible as that idea may be, it will seem much more reasonable once it is compared to the alternative.
The alternative to the evolutionary process is the belief in an immortal super being or beings said to have created the entire universe in a week-long flurry of pure magic and resting forever afterward. It is the basis of this latter theory that will be examined more closely in the following pages. it is based on the literal translation of the first and most questionable chapter of the Bible which requires some drastic assumptions and extreme rational as we improve our understanding of the universe.
This belief system also involves speculation, but the supportive evidence is limited to analysis of documents chronicling the stories and myths of ancient civilizations as well as the personal speculations of specific individuals throughout history. Thus theology means the study of theories and is essentially limited to the hearsay of a perilously few witnesses, all of them questionable. Yet somehow, the larger percentage of humanity embraces these many varied and conflicting myths despite an utter dearth of any supportive evidence and certainly no modern activity on the part of any omnipotent deities. It is interesting to note two possabilities should God exist; The first is that God is so reclusive that he created the miraculous processes of fossilization to conceal his own existance. The second is that he must have provided them to show us the way to the truth.
It is human nature to somehow incorporate a human involvement in all things. This is why the gods were created in a human image. The sun was said to rise and set because a god in a human image towed it across the sky with a chariot. The vast immeasurable expanse of the universe was created only to benefit humans on Earth, and thunder was the result of an immortal human with a red beard wielding a powerful hammer. The Earth itself is still believed to have been created for human purposes exclusively and will eventually be destroyed as God's punishment of humans. The dinosaurs couldn't have existed unless we were there too and the universe could not have existed unless a God in a human image constructed it for humans.
Although these beliefs are unrealistic, vain, infantile, and enormously ignorant, they are still embraced by the greater global population as valid. This is partly because religion has been revered so dearly for so many generations, partly because so many remain ignorant of scientific revelations and largely because people just want to believe in magic. Recent polls suggest that only 35% of the American population believes that species evolve, the remaining 65% are creationists. It is interesting to note that 30% of that majority still believes that the sun orbits the Earth and a very small percentage of them still insist that the
Earth is flat! Most of those who argue for the existence of God use the same rationale and zeal arguing for the existence of extraterrestrials, the Loch-Ness Monster and the continuing immortality of Elvis Presley.
The greatest strength of religion is the idea that any attempt to question the existence of God will result in an eternity of torture in the underworld of the dead called Hell. The threat of being mercilessly punished for all eternity for any uncertainty, indeed any deviation from the human-written "word-of-God" has kept the religions of the world alive and at war with each other since their inceptions. Any deviation from one specific secular perception to another might equally be punished in theory so one congregation or cult regards all of those who believe differently as either 'deceived' or in league with the powers of evil. As history has progressed, there have been few who have pronounced that the local faith needed to change. Fewer still survived the response to that suggestion, but those who did, persuaded a following of believers and thus one religion ultimately evolved into many slightly different confrontational factions. This text is intended to look at the origins of the dominant theologies past and present and examine the evolution of Creationism.
The main conflict between the two ideologies appears to be the origin of the human species specifically. The creationist theory indicates that man is unique and unrelated to any other species on Earth and that he is not even an animal. However, this is not the case. There has never been evidence of any kind to imply a soul that would distinguish humans from any other life form. Apart from the indignation of the arrogant, there is no reason to presume that humans have some magical distinction that other animals do not. If there were such a thing as a soul, humans would not be the only life forms to possess it. Dogs, flowers, insects, and trees would also, just as the ancient Druids.
Of the five major kingdoms of life on Earth, being plantae, animalia, fungi, protista, and monera, clearly humans would be included in the animal kingdom being the only classification of organisms that consume other organisms for sustenance. This first point of taxonomy, surprisingly, is argued by theologians who believe that there is no relationship between humanity and any other life form on Earth. These people believe that there is a supernatural component to humans that does not exist in any other organism and that even if other creatures did evolve, man was to have been created by an act of sheer magic.
Logic and the evidence at hand would further define the human being in the phylum of vertebrate chordates being those animals with spinal chords. Then into the class of mammalia. Humans indisputably have spinal chords and vertebrae just as we have a hemothermic metabolism, hair, lactating glands, and give live birth. Some theologians will concede that humans are indeed mammals, but still insist that there is no lineage to any other mammalian species. Religious folk arrogantly insist that man is similar to the other animals only because they were to have been created by the same supernatural entity and derive some insult in associating human kind with the apes.
But apes we are. There are no more significant differences between humans and chimpanzees than there are between gorillas and orangutans. All of the surviving apes use language and tools, and share physical traits identical to all other apes exclusively. There are features in our eyes, teeth and hands which are not present in any other animal and yet are exactly the same in humans and all other apes. Those who attempt to defend the fundamentalist faith would rather believe that these traits are identical because their god is unimaginative than to believe in the true wonders of the biological mechanisms responsible. Biology is enormously complex and as such, much more impressive than any of the gods conceived by men.
The theory of man's evolution is that we and the other modern apes evolved from a common ancestor that no longer exists. One of the facts of evolution is that we are still apes and share with our closest biological cousins every distinction that was once believed to be unique to the human race. Some of the proposed evidence of man's supposedly unique traits are shared not only with the other apes, but by many other primates as well. It was once believed that only man had the capacity for language, but it has now been revealed that spoken words are used by some collective groups of baboons. These primates have been shown to use a small vocabulary of nouns, each of which is used to specify exclusively leopards, snakes, or food. Each such sound is used only to alert the other individuals of one specific subject. I.e. the sound for "Leopard' is only used when a leopard is near and at no other time. Some gorillas and chimpanzees have even learned a working understanding of the English language and have been able to communicate original thoughts, ideas, and compelling stories. Computers or hand-signals compensate for the inability to vocalize the complex phonetics to which humans have become so adept.
Chimpanzees are our closest biological relatives and as such are alarmingly similar in that they reveal not only a clear intelligence, but share our worst attributes as well. They use tools and fashion them as needed in the most basic attempts at technology. Contrary to popular belief, there are some animals that kill for sport. Cats, wolverines, and one species of non-predatory bird have all done this. Chimpanzees have an understanding of their own mortality and do not kill for sport, but they are the only species besides mankind known to engage in the act of war. Unlike other animal societies in which uninvolved individuals of the group will be no more than spectators to any quarrel for dominance or rights, chimpanzees will rally allies to divide the group into factions. Chimpanzees also organize raiding parties and invade the domains of other chimpanzee groups, attacking them with fists and clubs to steal food. Humans and chimpanzees are the only species known to do this. Beyond the physical similarities, there are cultural and behavioral parallels so common to the great apes as to make a common lineage obvious and indisputable. And as we age, that resemblance becomes even more clear.
In lieu of any supportive evidence, Creationists cling to thier beliefs by a sheer desperate desire to believe in a magical entity that they can relate to. Regardless of that desire, many will concede that the Earth and certainly the universe must be
considerably older than a few thousand years. Some Creationists admit that evolution occurs, but they don't call it evolution. That is a moot distinction as there never was evidence to specifically eliminate the possability that species might evolve according to intelligent disign, only the nessesity that it did. The only important point is that new species can occur and have occured in living memory. Those who continue to contest the natural processes of evolution do so because their mythology dictates the magical origin of everything in the universe almost simultaniously. Another reason to defend this belief is the false notion that humans lack the ability to "do the right thing" without the fear of an inescapable punishment. They assume that Genesis, the first chapter of the Old Testament of the Bible is an historic account of actual events and that the characters actually existed exactly as told in the legends. In fact, if there were a God, evolution might be considered miraculous. Other miracles might include the ability to discern the truth of our origins through the miracle of fossilization and other clues left behind by a supreme intelligence! But, Creationists continue to believe that the current version of Genesis is the uncorrupted original and that it is somehow relatively unaffected by human intervention, but this of course is certainly not the case.
Since the first edition of either the Old or New Testaments of the Bible, words, phrases, and whole books were deleted from it and added to it by unauthorized authors and editors throughout history. Human interpretation and motivation have had a profound impact on translation and continues to corrupt the document to date owing to more than ninety conflicting versions of the Bible currently in circulation. Genesis itself is an adaptation of a much older religion's mythology. This plagiarism cannot be dismissed. The more a story is retold, the further it strays from the original and there is at least one thousand years of retelling after the original document and an undeterminable period of word-of-mouth mythology to precede it. The authors of Genesis were quite ignorant of the universe outside their tiny circles and so the Bible makes no mention of the insignificance of the Earth on a universal scale or its existance until we needed it.
These people believe that the entire inconceivably vast expanse of the Universe was created soley in preparation for a human habitat on Earth and that nothing at all existed anywhere until a magical god decided that we needed a universe. Believers remain forcibly oblivious to any realism presented that conflicts with their mythos and will frequently rationalize data that cannot be disproved because they believe that their questionable documents must remain the holy and inarguable truth. These various truths are in themselves unsupportable by any evidence that would be permissible in a court of law and reflect a very limited scope. Religion survives only because so many people must believe that there is some mystic destiny making them important than they are.
The conflicts between the two philosophies erupt whenever a new scientific revelation is discovered that has no prepratory fable in the primitive pages of the Bible. The properties of the universe were mathematically revealed by Egyptian scholars early in the 5th century, but they were slaughtered and rediculed as heretics by the opposition sect. Although a spherical Earth was common knowledge to most educated men, the world would still be represented as flat by the force of the church until the renaissance. Such religious resistance to unfolding truths continued at the discovery of the pre-human world of the dinosaurs, and the discovery of DNA dispite enormous subsequent breakthroughs in genetics, none of which would be possible were the evolutionary process not a fact.
Religious theories vary wildy between the myriad cults and diocese that contiue to form each contesting the other and all continuously weakened in the light of scientific discovery. Until recently, the Catholic church restricted all learning and forbade early sciences as witchcraft, but still could not shroud the truth. On the other hand, had the Bishop of the opposistion and his church not succeeded in bringing about the dark ages and the current conflict in the light of discovery, the Egytpian mathematicians would have brought about the end of theism. If no supportive evidence of Gods is actively saught by thier desperate believers, none will ever be rationalized to exist and the secrets of the universe can continue to unfold unhindered.
Most of the Biblical 'teachings' conflict not only with the scientific data, but also with each other and are all quite dubious in origin. The most recent of the independent monotheistic beliefs are those of the Bahá'í, founded by the Israeli prophet
Bahá'u'lláh and the Mormons by Joseph Smith, both in the 1800s. Both men having claimed to be prophets of the same god by communicating directly with the almighty supreme being, yet both taught conflicting doctrines of that same god in the same century, neither one lending credence to the other. The dominant theology on Earth is the Islamic faith introduced by
Muhammad in the 7th century AD as the worship of Allah. The various and often inter-conflicting forms of Christianity compose the dominant religions of Western Europe and the Americas and are based on the worship of Jesus, (the Christ) of Nazareth. The Christian religions began after the unjust execution of Jesus promoted him to martyrdom. He was considered by his worshippers to be the supposed son of God by immaculate conception, born in 4 BC. Each of the above groups worship the same ultimate deity as Judaism, the original Hebrew god, Ya-weh, first described in the Torah.
This single compilation of five books believed by many to have been written by Moses between 1500 and 1300 BC, is the foundation for each of the modern monotheistic religions in power today. Each of the religions based on the god of Moses believe that their deity created the entire universe only 6,000 years ago. These worshippers of God by whatever name also believe that this version of the creation story has been retold across barriers of generations, languages, and distances without any deviation from the original stories literally from the beginning of time until Moses finally wrote it down approximately 25 centuries later. This in itself is already unlikely in the extreme for several reasons. Even in today's world of instant recording, a great deal of data is corrupted in just one re-telling as anyone who has been depicted in the news media can attest.
Most of the believers of these religions utterly refuse to seriously investigate other ideologies at all and others are forbidden to. Relatively few of the faithful have even read their own Holy books in their entirety much less compared them to another faith's. Most of the global populace are like sheep, still giving credence to word-of-mouth teaching and revering the speculations of whatever holy leader they hear on their Sabbaths. Thus the Torah and the books to follow in the Bible, the Talmud, and the Kabbalah, the Quaran and others have been examined intensely word by word by fanatically devout supporters of a God since each was first put to print, but little attention has been paid to relevant documents that existed before the time of Moses.
The prevalent religion in Egypt from 2134 to 1668 BC was the first monotheistic religion in history, the worship of Amen who's name is still chanted in churches today. Also known by the name Amon and associated with the sun-god as the combined deity, Amon-Ra, this first unigod was also referred to as 'He who is unseen'. Moses himself was said to have once been a priest of this religion which does poccess many similarities to Ya-weh as described in the Torah. The only organized religions proven to predate monotheism are those of Sumer and Babylon. The Sumerian story of creation is now referred to by the first words of it's first sentence, Enuma Elish, which means; "When on high" and was written before 1700 BC. This story of creation from a polytheistic perspective is composed in cuneiform, the earliest written language to use abstract text characters as opposed to ideographs and may be the oldest text document on Earth. This oldest story of creation contains some surprising similarities to the stories which would later be included in Genesis and almost certainly served as it's inspiration. Supporters of the teachings of Moses refuse to accept this possability only because there is no mention of God by any acceptable name and the origin is pagan. Most of these collected tablets document the life of Gilgemesh, Mesopotamian king of Urok and the first indevidual mentioned in recorded history, but are preceded by a dramatically different version of the story of creation. Any of the myriad differences between the cuneiform and the Hebrew texts is cited by theologians because the many distinct similarities in the Sumerian creation story are profound evidence that Genesis is an innaccurate adaptation of an originally pagan myth.
This document was copied faithfully by hand using a technique of pressing wedge-shaped tools into a wet ceramic surface. The word cuneiform means "wedge-shaped" and these tablets were as common among literate Sumerians as the Bible is today. They have been found by the thousands all over Iraq and surrounding areas throughout history.
Slight variances exist with regard to different geographic locations as well as the original 'press' dates between the
12th and 17th centuries BC. There are also minor discrepancies in translation as well as interpretation, but the context remains surprisingly consistent regardless of the author, or origin of the cuneform tablets. Subsequent translations into sanskrit and other forms have been so distorted from the original stories as to lead to the evolution of whole new religions including those based on Genesis.