Which side has the most evidence?
Crime scene evidence is extremely important. A skillful detective can use fingerprints, DNA, clothing fibers, etc., to recreate the crime and identify the perpetrator. Our legal system also relies on evidence. The law defines evidence as "material objects and verbal statements admissible at trial." In a more general sense, evidence, when properly used, leads to the right conclusion or to a judgment that brings one to the truth.
In the origins debate, the evidence leads to one of two conclusions: evolution or creation. These two basic views are completely at odds and admit no middle ground. Evolution relies on pure random chance without any outside intelligence to, over time, assemble matter and energy into living systems with all their mind-boggling complexity. It is a process, we are told, and that requires billions and billions of years. Creation, by contrast, relies on the “mechanism” of an outside intelligence which we define as the Creator, the One who made from nothing a universe exhibiting order and design. Vast stretches of time are not a prerequisite for creation.
Matter + Energy + Time (billions and billions of years) = Life
Mechanism: Randomness and Chance
Matter + Energy + Outside Intelligence = Life
Mechanism: Design and Plan
The evolution/creation debate centers on events in the past. It is an inquiry that seeks to detect and assemble evidence, just as a detective investigates a crime scene. In both cases, the evidence collected will introduce clues to help us understand what happened in the past. As in a court of law, the evidence used in the origins debate can be verbal or material. That evidence must be qualified and have integrity so that it will be admissible to all who are in a position to make a judgment. Because there is a danger that the final verdict will be erroneous, if based on falsified evidence, the evidence submitted must be highly reliable to make its conclusions compelling to all who examine it with an open mind.
The evidence is employed by both sides. In the origins debate, both the advocates of creation and of evolution rely on the same physical evidence to prove their case. The origins debate is unique because it seeks to explain a one-time event. Therefore, historical data are relied on for clues as to what happened. Evidence from rocks, bones, stars, and living systems are interpreted to understand what happened in the past. The acquisition, processing, and analysis of evidence is always subject to error, and since no human was present to observe the origin of life, there is no verbal evidence of how everything came to be. How, after all, could we observe the Big Bang or see first hand as God created the universe? The only way to understand these one-time events in the past is to sift through the evidence left behind—just like detectives at a modern crime scene.
Here are some important ideas to remember as you consider origins evidence.
1. Both sides use evidence.
2. We are limited in our capacity to assess the evidence because we are finite, biased,
sinful, and unable to revisit the past to witness what took place at creation.
3. The creation/evolution debate is an historical inquiry that examines material and verbal
evidence. The material evidence includes:
The Fossil Record
Complexity of Living Systems
Biological Molecular Structures/DNA
Appearance of Heavenly Objects
Movement of Heavenly Objects
Formation of Light
The verbal evidence is contained in the Genesis account in the Bible, the Word of God.