[Originally published as Paleontology Presuppositions]
People can and do believe anything. The way they believe is the result of their stated or unstated presuppositions concerning reality.
This is true regarding the science of paleontology as well. Most of the paleontologists of today work under secular (atheistic or deistic) presuppositions. That this is true is clear when one reads the books and articles that they publish in the field of paleontology. It is also clear from the museums which they fill with fossils and evolutionary interpretations. In many cases, the secular presuppositions are not stated, but the presuppositions are clearly there nevertheless.
Creationist paleontologists operate under a completely different set of presuppositions. The presuppositional differences have nothing to do with paleontological evidence because everyone has exactly the same evidence.
Since the study of fossils is in large part presented as a historical undertaking, and since no humans were writing history when the universe began or when the fossils were formed, the paleontologist must operate under his presuppositions about what happened.
It is helpful to understand the differences in conclusions reached by the evolutionary and the creationist paleontologists to know what the presuppositions involved really are. Here follows my opinion of these presuppositional differences as developed after many decades of my personal observation and study:
Evolutionary Paleontology Presuppositions
- There is no God, or, God is irrelevant
- Everything came from nothing due to the chance interactions of matter over vast ages
- All lifeforms evolved from a common ancestor over billions of years
- Homology alone proves the evolution of all extinct and living lifeforms
Creationist Paleontology Presuppositions
- In the beginning, God created the earth and life
- The Bible is God’s true Word (revelation) to mankind
- God created in six ordinary days only a few thousand years ago
- A worldwide flood destroyed all land animals and humans, except for those on Noah’s ark some 4500 years ago
Both sets of presuppositions are taken on faith since they cannot be proven or disproven by the scientific method. This is because (as mentioned above) no one witnessed what happened or knows from first-hand knowledge when it happened. The evolutionist has a faith called naturalism, with atheism as its foundation, while the creationist normally has a faith based on biblical Christianity.
Today’s secular culture and its mainline media mouthpieces have in great measure accepted the evolutionary presuppositions without much evaluation or study. Thus, society is continually inundated with articles and programs on evolution and millions of years which are all stated as fact which they clearly are not, rather than as philosophy or religion which they truly are.
Christians who try to mix the creation and evolution presuppositions will end up with at best an inconsistent faith and at worst will end up leaving the faith. Creationist and evolutionary presuppositions are inherently opposite and logically incompatible.