Young People Ask . . .
How Can I Defend My Belief in Creation?
“When evolution was brought up in the classroom, it challenged everything I had been taught. It was presented as a fact, and I found that to be intimidating.”—Ryan, 18.
“When I was about 12, my teacher was a staunch evolutionist. She even had a Darwin sign on her car! That made me reluctant to speak up about my belief in creation.”—Tyler, 19.
“I was terrified when my social studies teacher said that evolution would be our next lesson. I knew that I’d have to explain in class where I stood on this controversial issue.”—Raquel, 14.
PERHAPS you, like Ryan, Tyler, and Raquel, feel uneasy when the subject of evolution comes up in class. You believe that God “created all things.” (Revelation 4:11) You see evidence of intelligent design all around you. But the textbooks say we evolved, and so does your teacher. Who are you to argue with the “experts”? And how will your classmates react if you start talking about . . . God?
If questions like these worry you, relax! You are not the only one who believes in creation. The fact is, even a number of scientists don’t accept the evolution theory. Many teachers do not either. In the United States, as many as 4 out of 5 students believe in a Creator—despite what the textbooks say!
Still, you might ask, ‘What will I say if I have to defend my belief in creation?’ Rest assured that even if you are timid, you can take a stand. However, it will require some preparation.
Test Your Beliefs!
If you are being raised by Christian parents, you might believe in creation simply because that is what you have been taught. Now that you are growing older, though, you want to worship God with your “power of reason,” having a solid foundation for your beliefs. (Romans 12:1) Paul encouraged first-century Christians to “make sure of all things.” (1 Thessalonians 5:21) How can you do so with regard to creation?
First, consider what Paul wrote about God: “His invisible qualities are clearly seen from the world’s creation onward, because they are perceived by the things made.” (Romans 1:20) With those words in mind, take a close look at the human body, the earth, the vast universe, the ocean depths. Examine the fascinating world of insects, of plants, of animals—whatever field interests you. Then, using your “power of reason,” ask yourself, ‘What convinces me that there is a Creator?’
To answer that question, 14-year-old Sam looks at the human body. “It’s so detailed and complex,” he says, “and all of its parts work so well together. The human body couldn’t have evolved!” Holly, 16, agrees. “Since being diagnosed with diabetes,” she says, “I have learned a lot about how the body works. It’s amazing, for example, how the pancreas—a little organ that hides behind the stomach—does such a huge job in keeping blood and the other organs working.”
Other youths look at the matter from a different angle. “For me,” says 19-year-old Jared, “the greatest proof lies in the fact that we have a spiritual side, as well as an appreciation for beauty and a desire to learn. These traits are not needed for survival, as evolution would have us believe. The only explanation that makes sense to me is that we were put here by someone who wanted us to enjoy life.” Tyler, mentioned at the outset, has reached a similar conclusion. “When I consider the role plants play in sustaining life and the mind-boggling complexity of their makeup, I’m convinced that there is a Creator.”
It’s easier to speak up about creation if you have thought it through and truly are convinced of it. Therefore, like Sam, Holly, Jared, and Tyler, take some time to consider the wonders of God’s handiwork. Then “hear” what these things are “telling” you. No doubt, you will reach the same conclusion as did the apostle Paul—that not only God’s existence but also his qualities can be readily “perceived by the things made.”*
Know What the Bible Really Teaches
Besides taking a closer look at the things God has made, to defend creation you also need to know what the Bible really teaches about the matter. There’s no need to make an issue over things that the Bible does not directly comment on. Consider a few examples.
▪ My science textbook says that the earth and the solar system have been in existence for billions of years. The Bible does not comment on the age of the earth or the solar system. What it says is compatible with the thought that the universe may well have been in existence for billions of years before the beginning of the first creative “day.”—Genesis 1:1, 2.
▪ My teacher says that the earth could not have been created in just six days. The Bible does not state that each of the six creative “days” was a literal 24-hour period. For more information, see pages 18-20 of this magazine.
▪ Our class discussed several examples of how animals and humans have changed over time. The Bible says that God created living things “according to their kinds.” (Genesis 1:20, 21) It does not support the idea that life arose from nonliving matter or that God started off the process of evolution with a single cell. Still, each “kind” has potential for great variety. So the Bible allows for change to take place within each “kind.”
Be Confident of Your Beliefs!
There is no reason to feel awkward or ashamed because you believe in creation. Considering the evidence, it’s entirely reasonable—indeed, scientific—to believe that we are the product of intelligent design. In the end it is really evolution—not creation—that requires a huge leap of faith and miracles without a miracle maker. In fact, after considering the other articles in this issue of Awake! no doubt you will be convinced that the evidence supports creation. And once you have thought the matter through using your power of reason, you will feel more confident about defending your belief in the classroom.
That is what Raquel, mentioned earlier, found. “It took me a couple of days to realize that I shouldn’t keep my beliefs to myself,” she says. “I gave the book Life—How Did It Get Here? By Evolution or by Creation? to my teacher, with certain parts highlighted that I wanted to bring to her attention. Later, she told me that the book gave her a whole new perspective on evolution and that in the future she would take the information into account when teaching the subject!”
More articles from the “Young People Ask . . .” series can be found at the Web site www.watchtower.org/ype
Many youths have benefited from reviewing information contained in such publications as Life—How Did It Get Here? By Evolution or by Creation? and Is There a Creator Who Cares About You? Both books are published by Jehovah’s Witnesses.
TO THINK ABOUT
▪ What are some ways you can comfortably express your belief in creation at school?
▪ How can you show your appreciation for the One who created all things?—Acts 17:26, 27.
[Box on page 27]
“THE EVIDENCE IS ABUNDANT”
“What would you say to a young person who was raised to believe in a Creator but who is being taught evolution at school?” This question was posed to a microbiologist who is one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Her reply? “You should view it as an opportunity to prove to yourself that God exists—not just because that is what you were taught by your parents but because you have examined the evidence and have come to that conclusion. Sometimes when teachers are asked to ‘prove’ evolution, they find that they cannot do so, and they come to realize that they accept the theory simply because it is what they have been taught. You can fall into the same trap with regard to your belief in a Creator. That’s why it is worth your while to prove to yourself that God really does exist. The evidence is abundant. It’s not difficult to find.”
[Box/Picture on page 28]
WHAT CONVINCES YOU?
Below, list three things that convince you that there is a Creator: