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Creation, Evolution & the Christian
by Philip Stott
Chapter 11 of "Make a Difference"
A Christian Action Handbook for Southern Africa. Africa Christian Action. Cape Town
Creation and evolution are both very old ideas. They are both profoundly religious ideas. The Bible has spoken of creation by the word of God’s command since the most ancient of times. Pagan religions back to at least the time of Babylon have taught some version of evolution. Believers in the more modern religions of atheism and secular humanism have no alternative but to accept it. There is no other foundation for their faith.
After the tremendous advances brought about by the spread of the Gospel in the civilised world, secular humanism was held in check for many years by the clear evidence that the amazing complexities of life demanded a designer. But Charles Darwin, a persuasive and skillful Bible hater (who knew better than to allow his anti-Christian leanings to show in public!), succeeded in producing arguments persuasive enough to convince many that there was a scientific basis for evolution. The secular humanists, who desperately wanted to believe in it, hailed Darwin’s work as proof of the theory. In fact it was nothing more than a set of clever arguments based on supposition, guesswork and unwarranted extrapolation, but in the light of the biological knowledge of his day it was convincing to many. Thomas Huxley, a resourceful scholar, skillful debater and father of a line of influential secular humanists, took it upon himself to convince the intelligentsia that evolution was a fact, that the Bible was wrong in its statements about origins, and the notion of God was unnecessary. His diligent campaigning earned him the name “Darwin’s bulldog”.
Since then, evolution has taken an ever stronger hold of the “respectable” scientific press and the media. In academic circles one is almost certain to be ridiculed and rejected if one says that one does not believe it. And yet, the case for evolution - weak in Darwin’s day - has been getting steadily weaker as new discoveries have shown more and more of Darwin’s assumptions to be wrong. The theory of evolution has had to change drastically - many of the things evolutionists claimed as firmly established twenty or thirty years ago are now rejected and replaced by exactly opposite hypotheses. The theory has undergone several complete about faces. Surprisingly the evolutionist still proclaims as loudly as ever that evolution is an established fact, yet as the well known geologist Derek Ager noted “it must be significant that nearly all the evolutionary stories I learned as a student … have now been debunked.”
The secular humanist has to believe in evolution, so we can understand why he is prepared to promote nebulous hypotheses to support his belief. But we might ask, what about a Christian?
A Christian has the authority of the Bible to stand on. The Bible is, in fact, the Christian’s ONLY authority. The Bible is clearly not compatible with the idea of evolution. This fact is so obvious that the secular humanist has repeatedly used the anti-evolutionary stand of the Bible as evidence that the Scriptures are in error and can be disregarded. Many Christians, not wishing to appear as fools for the Gospel, are intimidated and convinced by the confident claims of highly acclaimed scientists. They have adopted the position that evolution must be true, therefore the Bible must be interpreted in a different way.
But is that actually possible? Can the Scriptures be conformed to the theory of evolution? The Genesis account of creation has God speaking into existence the unformed earth on the first day, and the firmament of the heavens on the second. On the third day we see Him creating dry land amidst the waters and then speaking into existence grass, fruit trees and plants of various kinds. On the fourth day God commands the sun, moon and stars into existence. On the fifth He commands sea creatures and birds into existence On the sixth day, following the creation of land animals, He finally forms man from the dust of the earth and breathes the breath of life into him.
Theistic evolutionists, convinced by the wisdom of man that evolution must be true, have suggested that the Bible can be harmonised with the theory of Evolution. Thus, they say, when the Bible says “day” it really means vast ages of time. This is not very convincing, and is contradicted by Scripture. In Exodus 20:8-11 God commands that the seventh day be kept as a day of rest:
“Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work… For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.”
God gives the reason for man working for six days and resting on the seventh as the fact that He created everything in six days and hallowed the seventh. There is no way that this can make sense in terms of one day meaning vast ages - it has to mean what it clearly says - one day.
Even if one does accept long ages instead of days, one is no closer to a harmonisation to the wisdom of this world. Evolution cannot accept fruit trees being on the scene before life in the sea, birds before land animals, or the land and sea of our earth before the sun, moon and stars.
But there are ways out of believing what God says if one is prepared to look hard enough and devise clever enough “interpretations”. It is a situation that has existed for thousands of years. Jesus faced the problem with the theologians of His day - the doctors of the law - the scribes of whom He said in Mark 7:7-8:
“Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men.”
One way of accepting the ideas of men and rejecting the fact that God commanded creation into existence in just six days is to say that in Genesis chapter 2 there is a different account of creation with a clearly different order of events, and therefore Genesis one can be interpreted anyway one pleases. Until evolutionists convinced theologians that evolution was true, Genesis 2 had been taken for what it appears to be, a recapitulation of some salient points relevant to the story just about to unfold, grouping events by focus rather than chronological order - a situation which often happens in Scripture - and in other writings too.
Continuing his line of reasoning the theologian is forced to conclude that from chapter 1 to chapter 11 of Genesis is a fairy story. What does the Lord Jesus Christ say of such a situation?
“… If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead” (Luke 16:31).
“For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?” (John 5:46-47)
Again, the doctors of the law are not without an answer, the theologians of today say that Moses did not write anything in the Bible. They even claim that the written Hebrew language was not invented until long after Moses died, and the books attributed to Moses were actually written much later - probably by unknown scribes during the time of the exile to Babylon. They can even rationalise away Exodus 17:14 “And the LORD said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book …” and Exodus 24:7 “And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people.”
What can we say of someone who refuses to accept the Scriptures on Jesus’ terms and concocts devious interpretations instead? It brings to mind His warning in Matthew 2:21-23:
“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
Jesus specifies the will of His Father in John 6:29:
“Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.”
Those who refuse to do this are workers of iniquity in his sight, even if righteous in their own. They will be amazed when He says to them “I never knew you, depart from me”. Their crime - refusing to believe His words, and believing instead the wisdom of fallible men, perhaps the wisdom of critical theologians and humanist “scientists”.
How does the theory of evolution stand up to close scrutiny of its evidence? How does it compare with the findings of science?
How Persuasive is Evolution from a scientific perspective ?
Science deals with measurements and observations. Mendleev made the famous remark “science begins with measurement”. Einstein made the even more famous remark “What can be measured is science, everything else is speculation”. What measurements support the theory of evolution?
None, that is, as long as one is thinking in terms of evolution as it is sold to the public. The idea that life progresses from simple to complex, from molecules to man. The idea that new organs and structures appear because “good” mutations generate new information in the DNA. The idea embodied in Julian Huxley’s definition of evolution:
“…a directional and essentially irreversible process occurring in time, which in its course gives rise to an increase of variety and an increasingly high level of organisation in its products”.
Has any scientist ever observed any such increase of variety or increase in organisation happening?
On the contrary, observation shows that if structural changes occur they are changes for the worse - loss of function, damage - never advance or improvement. Many thousands of mutations have been observed. Not one has ever led to the kind of progress that evolution demands. The evolutionary texts in desperation point to one mutation which they claim to be “good” - a mutation which damages the blood and causes a disease called sickle cell anaemia. This is a serious, debilitating disease, so how can it be held up as a “good” mutation. The fact is that the blood cells are so damaged that a parasite called Plasmodium cannot live and multiply in them. Plasmodium causes malaria, so if you have sickle cell anaemia you are unlikely to die of malaria (though more likely to die of almost any other disease!). A better description would be a harmful mutation with one good side effect if you happen to live in a malarial region.
In order to get over this difficulty evolution has to be redefined (though the public is not told about this!). The definitions used today by evolutionists have to be very carefully phrased and utterly lame. Take for example that of Chris Colby in “An Introduction to Evolutionary Biology”:
“Evolution is a change in the gene pool of a population over time. A gene is a hereditary unit that can be passed on unaltered for many generations. The gene pool is the set of all genes in a species or population”.
Note that it says nothing about progress or development, just change. So damage to a gene is now evolution (it gives a change in a gene pool) so it is possible to claim that this lame kind of “evolution” has been observed because both degeneration and change without increase of complexity have been observed. Also, note that this definition does not allow for the origin of life, since there is no gene pool without a living population to start with. The lame definitions of today’s professional evolutionists cause confusion and enable them to hide behind a smoke-screen whenever it suits them. In what follows the term “evolution” is used, not in this weak, emasculated, lame form, but with the normal meaning as used in the media, all school text-books and most university text-books.
Not all professional biologists are up to the sleight of hand that the leaders of the theory have come to adopt. Colbe notes:
“very few people - the majority of biologists included - have a satisfactory grasp of it … People who have a general interest in science are likely to dismiss evolution as a soft science after absorbing the pop science nonsense that abounds. The impression of it being a soft science is reinforced when biologists in unrelated fields speculate publicly about evolution.”
So here we have one evolutionary biologist calling the statements of other evolutionary biologists “nonsense” and dismissing their pronouncements as mere speculation. I certainly agree with him on that, but wonder on what grounds he exempts himself from the same criticism! A point that needs to be noted is that professional biologists know perfectly well that the evolution stories being told to the public - and found in most college textbooks - are totally untenable. I challenged one such scientist, Dr. Joel Duff, on this after a meeting in Chicago. His response was that they could not tell the public the truth (i.e. the current theory believed by the majority of “experts” at the present moment) about evolution - the public would not understand and would be confused.
Now it is certainly true that variation is observed in species. In practically any population there are different variants of some genes (called alleles), and different combinations of them occur at each mating. Also changing the arrangement of genes on the chromosome causes differences in such features as colour of hair and eyes, length of feathers and size of ears. Considerable rearrangement occurs at each mating. But such variation is not the kind needed for evolution, evolution does not call for a range of possible size of feathers, length of ears or colour of eyes, it requires the appearance of feathers, ears and eyes in the first place by chance mutations. It does not call for the rearrangement of existing information, it calls for the accidental generation of information - extremely complex information! No such event has ever been observed. Even observed resistance to poisons, often cited as evidence for evolution, seems to be produced by duplicating existing genes, not producing new ones by random chance events.
On the first requirement of science for a theory or hypothesis - measurement - any meaningful formulation of evolution fails.
To be taken seriously any theory of science must make serious predictions, and those predictions must be borne out in practice. Darwin made serious predictions about his theory. One of the most important was this:
“ … the number of intermediate and transitional links, between all living and extinct species, must have been inconceivably great. But assuredly, if this theory be true, such have lived upon this earth.”
He predicted that they would be found in the fossil record.
No such intermediate and transitional links have been found.
That fact is borne out by statements from many famous and highly qualified evolutionists. Dr. Colin Patterson, for example, in charge of one of the most famous fossil collections in the world at the British museum said:
“…Gould and the American Museum people are hard to contradict when they say there are no transitional fossils … I will lay it on the line - there is not one such fossil for which one could make a watertight argument.”
That fact is such a serious blow for evolution that evolutionists have had to find ways of not admitting it. One way they have devised is to re-define the words used in evolutionary theory to mean something else - without making this clear to any but a small minority who know the new definitions. Often these new definitions come from two techniques used in systematics - phenetics and cladistics. These techniques compare creatures but do not even try to identify ancestors, descendants, or anything actually relevant to evolution. But they use words like “intermediate” which evolutionary dogma uses, with new definitions having nothing to do with descent. It is then possible for evolutionists to say there are many intermediate fossils known, to give the false impression that this means what Darwin meant, and leave the dishonest impression that his prediction has been fulfilled.
Besides using devious definitions evolutionists often use simple dishonesty in pretending that there are intermediate and transitional links. One famous example is the story about the evolution of the mammalian middle ear. The story is illustrated with drawings of skulls, quite similar, but with a gradual change in size, shape and position of two of the bones of the jaw which end up as bones of the middle ear. It is made to look like very convincing proof of evolution. But what we are not told is that two of the most critical stages are purely hypothetical (there are no fossils at all to back them up); others are reconstructions from fragments of fossils in which the very bones in question are missing; the sequence jumps backwards and forward in geological time; and the illustrations are drawn at various scales - some of the skulls are actually very large, others very small. And to cap it all, the original paper in the Journal of Morphology from which the story was embroidered actually states that there is no possibility of this sequence representing a genuine line of descent. When evolutionists have to use tactics like this to bolster up their tottering hypothesis it is clear that it is untenable.
Another requirement for a scientific theory is that it should be consistent with well established laws of science. The best established law in the whole of science is the second law of thermodynamics. It is also known as the fundamental law of science. The famous atheist Isaac Asimov gave a picturesque definition when he said.
“The universe is constantly getting more disorderly! Viewed that way, we can see the Second Law all about us. We have to work hard to straighten a room, but left to itself it becomes a mess again very quickly and very easily. Even if we never enter it, it becomes dusty and musty. How difficult to maintain houses, and machinery, and our bodies in perfect working order: how easy to let them deteriorate. In fact, all we have to do is nothing, and everything deteriorates, collapses, breaks down, wears out, all by itself - and that is what the second law is all about.”
In other words the second law is directly opposed to evolution. Evolution says that all by itself inanimate matter spontaneously became organised into complex living organisms, and subsequently into vastly more complex ones.
The only way open for evolutionists to try and get round the second law of thermodynamics is to claim that it only applies to “closed” systems (systems where no energy comes in from outside), and then to point out that the earth is not a closed system, the sun’s energy comes in from outside. Well informed evolutionists themselves admit that this is not so. As Dr. John Ross of Harvard university noted:
“…there are no known violations of the second law of thermodynamics. Ordinarily the second law is stated for isolated [closed] systems, but the second law applies equally well to open systems ... there is somehow associated with the field of far-from equilibrium phenomena the notion that the second law of thermodynamics fails for such systems. It is important to make sure that this error does not perpetuate itself.”
The claim that the theory of evolution does not violate the second law is an error being perpetuated by evolutionists unwilling to face reality. The theory of evolution (at least in any meaningful form) is not only unscientific, having no measurements to support it, but is also anti-scientific, it runs counter to the best established law in the whole of science. The well known atheist scientist Arthur Eddington stated the consequence for the theory of evolution:
“If your theory is found to be against the second law of thermodynamics, I can give you no hope; there is nothing for [your theory] but to collapse in the deepest humiliation.”
It is only the philosophical prejudice of the secular humanist which stops the humiliating collapse which honest science demands for the theory of evolution.
Perhaps the most powerful device used by evolutionists in putting forward their theory is relying on public ignorance so that they can “blind one with science”. How does a member of the public respond when a professor of biology tells them there is a clear case of evolutionary descent from Mesonochid via Pakicetus, Ambulocetus, Rodocetus, Indocetus, Protocetus and Basilosaurus to modern whales. Most have heard of whales, but for the rest? Who would dare to question such an impressive sequence? Now the biologist who tells the story knows that there are two fairly well known types of Mesonochids, they are called Dissacus and Ankalagon. No biologist believes that either could have been part of a line of descent towards whales. There are three other Mesonochids (called Dissacusium, Hukoutherium, and Yangtanglestes) which have been reconstructed from just a few fragments of skull. There is too little evidence to connect any of the three with a line of descent towards whales. So which Mesonochid did the whales evolve from? It must have been some unknown variety not yet discovered - a figment of the evolutionary imagination. In the technical literature it is clear that the evolutionists know this, Robert Carroll for example, stated in “Patterns and Processes of Vertebrate Evolution”:
“All known Mesonochids are excluded from the actual chain of descent by the evolutionists’ own criteria.”
The other steps in the sequence are no more impressive - the line from Pakicetus to Protocetus suffers from the same kind of problem, also many authorities note that they may have lived at the same time or even in the wrong time sequence. None of the specimens actually known is a credible rung in the ladder of descent. The final step, to Basilosaurus, is even more unconvincing. All the previous creatures were about the size and proportions of a walrus (about 3 metres long), but Basilosaurus is suddenly a 20 metre long giant with the form of a sea serpent! Without knowing all this how will a member of the public be able to challenge the impressive but fatuous claims of highly qualified but less than honest scientists?
There are many demonstrations that evolution is scientifically untenable.
For example, another of Darwin’s conditions:
“If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.”
This has been met in microbiology where many cases have been found of “irreducible complexity” which could not have evolved piecemeal. It is also met in cases that Darwin should have been aware of. The lungs of birds, for example, are so specialised, and so different from any other kind of lung that no sequence of small changes could have produced them.
And yet evolutionists continue to close their eyes to the evidence and defend their theory, ridiculing all who dare to question it and putting forth devious and dishonest support which is little more than “smoke and mirrors”.
A Christian should not be taken in by this. He needs to take to heart the warnings of Romans 1:21-23:
“they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,” and of 2 Thessalonians 2:10 “…they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie.
A Christian should not believe the lies that humanists are compelled to believe because God has sent them a strong delusion.