Who or what really is our greatest of great ancestors? Most major religions and early groups of people have an answer to this common question. The Greek myths declare that only Geia (the Earth) and a great sea of Chaos were in the beginning, and in a soap opera fashion the gods eventually came forth, who eventually created humans (Bierlein 47-8). The Chippewa/Algonquin Native Americans believe that the great Earth Mother had two sons, a good one and a bad one that ended up creating the plants, animals, and humans (61).
In the Christian, scientific Western Hemisphere, we believe in two possible answers; one, that we descended from Adam, who was created from the mingling of the dirt of the ground with God's breath into his image or two, that we evolved from monkeys which evolved from bacteria, which evolved from non-living chemicals and lightning. These two theories both have credibility - the Bible is one of the oldest and most extensive historical documents we have, recorded with great precision, while evolution is very logical and builds on numerous scientific disciplines.
Yet creation and evolution seem diametrically opposed. If we were created randomly and purposelessly, as evolution suggests, then the creation account of a sculptor molding his clay to make man appears erroneous. So scientists often call the Genesis account a "myth" a story conceived by early man to explain away his questions. Christians are often offended by implications like these, and end up attacking science's claims. In turn, many scientists feel distaste for people who don't accept their elegant theory and their mounds of evidence, and thus reject the others' view. Though a war has been established pinning these two theories against each other, this dichotomy is actually a false one. Christians do not need to give up their faith and scientists can start believing in God. These two clashing but persuasive theories, creation and evolution, can be reconciled. First, these theories need to be defined.
Evolution is the theory that all living organisms can be traced back to a common ancestor, which came into being from non-living elements, by natural laws. Darwin's contribution to this theory was the mechanism by which species could evolve natural selection. This mechanism says that certain factors in an organism's environment can cause a change to occur from generation to generation. There are three types of natural selection: stabilizing selection directional selection and disruptive selection.
The Biblical account of creation, found in Genesis chapters one and two goes something like this. In chapter one God creates the heavens and the earth. Then the earth is waste and void and darkness is "upon the face of the deep". So God fixes it up and populates it in six days by his speaking. He first speaks forth light and darkness, which he calls Night and Day. This is day one. Then he divides different levels of water on top of each other, one of which he calls Heaven. Day two. Then he makes dry land appear, which he calls Earth, and the waters he calls Seas. He tells the earth to make grass, seed bearing plants, fruit bearing trees and these plants spring forth. Day three. Then God makes the sun, moon, and stars. Day four. Then God makes creatures in the sea and birds in the sky. Day five. God then makes the cattle and the beasts of the earth. Finally God makes man and woman "in our image, after our likeness". This man is given rule over all the all the earth and animals. Day six. Chapter two begins with day seven....