I agree with Dan that this could be an interesting topic. However, I have my doubts as to the true value that this discussion can bring. The reality of the situation is that attempts to explain or accept others explanations of the origin of mankind, the universe, etc. will all be based on conjecture. Furthermore, this is quite a convoluted topic as the question can not be answered by one theory. As such I must preface the rest of my response by stating that I am rather agnostic when it comes to the issues surrounding origins. While I find it fascinating fodder for debate, I see no real value either theologically or pragmatically.
Contrary to Dan’s broad almost bigoted over generalization I do not actually find myself drawn to evolution as a convincing model for the origins of man. I am sure this will disappoint some as I am probably the only hope for a liberal evolutionist that can be tarred and feathered in the pseudo scientific world of argumentation.
While I would love to be the enemy of the group on this topic I cannot bring myself to ascribe to evolution based on, what I deem to be, a plethora of holes in the logic and facts.
I will not mention all of them, however, the biggest issue for me with this theory is the apparent lack of evidence involving the “missing link” and the presence of modern paleontology that suggests that mankind in his present form has existed for several millenia making the time table for evolution astronomically higher than most are willing to accept.
Before I continue on with the revelation of which conjectured theory I prefer, I believe it wise to identify the various sub topics that must be addressed in this debate. I do this not only for myself but also others who plan on posting on this topic as it might serve as a blueprint for further discussion. When discussing theories of creation there are four basic sub divisions that must be addressed. While these will sometimes overlap depending on which theories one ascribes to, they are all important and should be individually addressed. The four sub divisions as I see it are Mathematics, Science, Religion, and Mythology. While some of these can be mixed and matched many of the theories within these divisions require a mutually exclusive response to the questions surrounding our origins. While each of these divisions hold theories which deal with the entirety of human origin, mathematics is unique in that it focuses almost entirely on sustenance and often avoids conjecture of the actual originating event. As such I will save that topic for the end of this post.
Within the world of science lies the much maligned theory of evolution. While this theory is often coupled with another scientific theory known as “the big bang”, the reality is that these are two distinct theories. While I have no affinity for evolution in as much as it tries to explain man’s origins, I do appreciate some of the aspects of “the big bang theory”. In as much as all of these theories are conjecture this one makes the most logical sense within the current frame work of human knowledge. While this theory by itself seems logical to explain the originating event for the universe, it is inadequate to explain to progressive existence of mankind. This is why it is often pared with evolution, and this is where my affinity for this theory wanes. Also within this sub division are various theories produced by the field of paleontology as well as astronomy specifically equinoxical processions. Many of these theories are extremely intricate and difficult to fully comprehend, and many in my opinion fall short of providing a holistic answer to the various questions of origins.
Many of the theories within the worlds of mythology and religion are seen as similar. However, there is a distinction between these two divisions. While mythology speaks metaphorically of creation, religion speaks literally to the issues much like science. The many theories of mythology are not attempting to reveal the facts of creation but rather using creation stories as a mechanism for relaying other truths about the world. One of the biggest attributes of mythologies is there tendency to be political in their approach. Theories within this division include: Adam and Eve, Gilgamesh, Hermeticism, and many Native American and tribal creation stories. Since non of these theories attempts to provide facts for debate in regards to creation I find no need to choose one over the other. Each is distinctive and representative of the culture from which it originated. As such they should be seen more as wisdom proverbs than explanation and are often similar in the messages they portray.
Within the world of religions lie many theories which attempt to offer a logical presentation of argumentation and facts outside of the world of science. This is not to say that they are reactionary, rather science is a reaction to them. Theories within this division include: creationism, intelligent design, UFO seeding, and other divine interventionist models. I find these explanations often difficult to accept. While science attempts to align itself with information which can be verified and validated, these religious answers often throw proof to the side and instead require faith to believe. This isn’t to say that they are opposed to being backed by facts, but they do not use facts as a barometer for validity. This makes it nearly impossible to evaluate and distinguish between the various options as one is left to arbitrarily choose based on preference. While I do not discount the entirety of these positions, I find many of their tenants to be troubling for my analytical mind to accept.
I am not opposed to the existence of an intelligent God figure, in fact I am strongly in favor of inclusion of this character to the equation. However, this predisposition for me is based on desire more than conclusion and as such I find it difficult to choose a specific divine representation.
The final and most confusing of division is that of mathematics. As I previously stated most of theories within this realm seek not to answer the questions surrounding origin but rather those surrounding sustenance. While many within the religious answer camp are threatened by mathematics often attaching it to the world of science, this is often an unnecessary fear. Because mathematics focuses primarily on sustenance it can easily be attached to either the religious or scientific models of explanation for origins. There are too many theories within this field to list them all. however, the four most prominent are the chaos theory, Ellie’s theory (which was the basis for the movie the Matrix), sacred geometry (otherwise known as fractal geometry), and the holographic universe theory. There is also a wide range of theories surrounding dimensional mathematics which are more and more popular among those attempting to marry mathematics with religious theory.
I am aware that I have done an inadequate job of fully presenting each of these theories, although this was not my goal. I hope, however, that this shows just how large and confusing this topic really is. As I said at the beginning of this post I am truly agnostic to which of these theories one chooses. My personal affinity is for a theory which aligns itself with man’s current knowledge while still leaving room for an intelligent designer. I look forward to seeing where each of you land and your reasoning for excluding some of these theories.
Sorry about the long post 🙂