Reframing Evolution: Part 1 – Introduction

by / Wednesday, 15 May 2013 / Published in Evolution vs. Creation


Debates between evolutionists and creationists often begin on the premise that Evolution is the position of science and reason while Creationism is simply dogma. Framing the debate in those stark terms forces creationists into a defensive posture from the start. By emphasizing the scientific basis of Evolution, evolutionists shift the burden of argument onto creationists, who, in response, must either reconcile their beliefs with evolutionary science or attack that science.

Creationists who opt for the former essentially concede the debate. Creationists who pursue the latter all but guarantee their own failure. Nothing can come of a strategy of attacking the scientific merits of Evolution. This is simply because the amount of scientific work surrounding Evolution is extensive.

A Tight Spot

A creationist who rejects the validity of the scientific work surrounding Evolution forces himself into one of three uncompelling positions:

1. Either he must believe that the tens of thousands of scientists who have worked on Evolution over the course of the decades have been pitifully ignorant of what science is and that he understands that science better than all of them.

2. Or, he must believe that those scientists are all part of a massive conspiracy to prop up Evolution despite their knowledge of its falsity.

3. Or, he must believe that the scientific community is not ignorant or deceitful, but that there is a general problem with science itself such that it can systematically lead otherwise intelligent people to embrace falsehoods about the world.

Position 1 is as arrogant as it is preposterous. Position 2 is an outlandish and defamatory accusation. Position 3 has some gumption, but if science as a whole is the problem, then Evolution is the least of our concerns. In this way, the Evolution vs. Creation debate ends before it even begins.

Any Hope?

Things indeed look quite bleak for Creationism. It is no wonder that so many thinkers and lay persons alike have abandoned the position while so many others enjoy a good chuckle at its expense. Ultimately, the lesson here is that how one frames Evolution is crucial to shifting the burden off of creationists and evening the playing field.

The first step in reframing the debate is to understand that the theory of Evolution is not a seamless whole but is actually a composite of two separate theories. In their arguments, evolutionists will often employ a subtle bait-and-switch maneuver where they shift emphasis between these two theories as is convenient. By understanding the two theories, creationists are in a better position to articulate their critique of Evolution while also avoiding equivocation and red herrings on the part of their opponents.

In Part 2, we will take a closer look at what Evolution is in terms of these two central theories. Later, inshaAllah, we will further elaborate, investigate, and refute each of them in turn. ♦

One Response to “Reframing Evolution: Part 1 – Introduction”

  1. Peace brothers and sisters I would like to invite you to read the article “God and the theory of evolution: Dispelling the confusion.” at

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