~~ Evolutionary Conclusion ~~
Whether we're looking at fossils or bacteria, evolution is all around us. Darwin's theory is stunningly beautiful in its ability to explain a great deal about life. Evolution allows life to adapt to an ever-changing environment. The real difference between evolution and creationism is that one is evidence-based while the other is belief-based. Either we believe the evidence suggesting that we evolved over a long period of time to the state that we find ourselves in today or we believe that God created man instantly from dirt and His breathe. The debate really boils down to those two choices. One deserves to be taught in classrooms. The other deserves to be taught in a church. The most ardent supporters of Christianity will deny evolution but will gladly talk about the infallibility of the Bible...which speaks of mythological creatures as if they were real and had roles to play.
A cockatrice is a mythical creature. It is a two-legged dragon with a rooster's head. It is also known as a basilisk and the New International Version of the Bible translates it to "viper". Jeremiah 8:17 in the King James Version says "For, behold, I will send serpents, cockatrices, among you, which will not be charmed, and they shall bite you, saith the LORD." Isaiah 59:5 says "They hatch cockatrice' eggs, and weave the spider's web: he that eateth of their eggs dieth, and that which is crushed breaketh out into a viper." Isaiah 11:8 and 14:29 also reference the cockatrice.
Cherubims are mentioned throughout the Bible and are the second highest rank in the Christian angelic hierarchy. God puts one at the entrance to the Garden of Eden with a flaming sword. Ezekiel describes them as having 1 head with 4 faces. On one side was a human face. The right side had a lion face. The left side had an ox face, and the back had the face of an eagle. Cherubims have the hands of a man, feet of a calf, and four wings - two extending upward and two downward. I think it's safe to say that if you saw one eating plants from your garden, you'd certainly be able to distinguish it from the average rabbit or deer.
In the King James Bible, satyrs are referenced in Isaiah 13:21 and Isaiah 34:14. You would be forgiven for not knowing what a satyr is as I'm confident that not many modern-day zoos keep them on display. A satyr is essentially a half man, half goat who loves to dance with nymphs and drink wine. Again, if you saw one sitting in your garden, it is easily distinguishable from other animals.
There are more than 20 references in the King James Bible to dragons. The Bible makes references to witches, which must have been real because God commands us to kill them. Of course, who can forget the talking animals in the Bible? There's the talking snake from Genesis and Balaam's Donkey from Numbers. I love that story by the way! Balaam's donkey sees the angel of the Lord in the road and tries to turn away from him three times, but Balaam beats the donkey each time. Then the Lord opens the donkey's mouth and the donkey says "What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?" Every time I read this story, I can just hear Eddie Murphy's voice as the donkey from the movie Shrek. It makes me laugh every time.
While some Christians tacitly agree that these mythological creatures exist, many more reasonably refuse to accept the literal interpretation of those passages. On more than one occasion I have heard a Christian say, "I can still believe in Jesus without believing in cherubims." I find that position to be untenable. It would be no different than someone saying that he/she believes in Santa Claus but not the elves or flying reindeer.
Evolution may be a difficult concept for creationists, but talking animals, cockatrices, satyrs, dragons, and cherubims are difficult for the rest of us to reconcile with reality. Admittedly, even though there are gaps in our historical account of evolution, we do not have a single shred of evidence for the creatures that the Bible purports to be real. We also do not have fossil records for the "crocoduck" or "fronkey" which creationists like Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort trot out to the uninformed masses as "evidence" against biological evolution. Only those with a misunderstanding of evolution would expect to see a crocodile-duck or frog-monkey. That's not how evolution works nor has it ever been presented in that manner.
Evolution is a scientific approach to explain how we came to be what we are today. It not only explains a great deal about us, it has incredible predictive power as well. It has been put to the test by thousands of scientists and has largely passed these tests each time. Creationism on the other hand does not seek to explain anything. It simply asserts its position. Evolution does not explain how initial life began nor does it ever make any attempt to do so. It simply explains how more complex organisms developed from earlier simpler ones. That's it. Belief in evolution does not preclude someone from believing in an ultimate creator of the universe, but it does prevent someone from giving honest intellectual weight to the accounts of creation put forth by our organized religions. Any religious account asserting that man and animal were created exactly as they are today simply has not earned the right to be put on equal intellectual footing. Evolution makes the Genesis account of creation less believable, and frankly, that's a good thing.