Evolution - Science or Faith?
to the Evolutionist:
In the beginning there was nothing. And nothing said to itself, “Let us become something, explode, and become an ordered universe that is governed by laws of science, physics, and mathematics. Let us become a universe that is able to sustain life. And it happened. All of the universe was created. Nothing became something, exploded, and became everything. And this all took billions of years…
Then the earth said, “let us make life from the primordial soup.” And it was so; many chemical reactions happened over time. These chemical reactions became more and more complex, and became a living cell that could reproduce and grow. From this single cell came all of the different animals; the birds of the air, the fish in the sea, and the animals on the ground. All of this happened through chance, random processes and mutations. And this all took billions of years…
And there was a special group of animals, the primates. And they said, “Let us make man in our image,” and it was so. Over time, through chance mutations, the primate became a man. This man was special. He formed a much more complex brain than the primates before him. He could reason. He had a conscience that could tell right from wrong. He formed emotions, human dignity, and reason. And man was able to, through His intellect, find his purpose in life… Nothing. And this all took billions of years.
What do you think about when you hear the word evolution? The word has many meanings. It can simply mean “change; a process of formation or growth.” Here are two more common definitions given today:
“Evolution is the process by which a species changes or adapts to its environment through time...”5
“the descent of different species from a common ancestor over many generations.”7
When we think of the word, we are usually drawn to the third definition, which is usually referred to as Darwinian evolution. But we will see in this lesson that evolutionists like to blur the lines as much as they can when it comes to defining evolution. We are not going to do this. We are going to define our terms properly and show some of the clear differences between them.
Is Evolution true? Many smart people tend to think so. You may have noticed that a good number of scientists today no longer talk about evolution as a theory, but as a fact. My biology textbook does not even call it the “theory” of evolution. It introduces it as a fact that has been happening since the origin of life!
A very outspoken atheist and evolutionary biologist, Richard Dawkins, made this statement about evolution:
“One thing all real scientists agree upon is the fact of evolution itself. It is a fact that we are cousins of gorillas, kangaroos, starfish, and bacteria. Evolution is as much a fact as the heat of the sun. It is not a theory, and for pity's sake, let's stop confusing the philosophically naive by calling it so. Evolution is a fact."1
Many scientists agree with Richard Dawkins and go as far as saying that if you question evolution, you are questioning science itself. If you question it as a scientist, you aren’t even a real scientists in the eyes of some scientists. The debate usually turns to being in between science vs. faith, with many unbelievers saying that science is the winner by default. Then the next step is to call theists irrational and illogical because they believe we are contradicting known, observable science.
Is evolution really a fact? Has it REALLY been observed? The answer to these questions is “Yes and no.”
This debate is all about defining our terms, as we have already done. Evolutionists try to mix definitions of the word “evolution” so they can say we have observed it in a laboratory. Many scientists are not willing to make the distinction that I am going to make between two definitions because it kills their beloved theory. The difference I am talking about is the difference between microevolution and macroevolution.
Evolution is True: Micro-Evolution
Micro-Evolution is the observed reality of variation within a kind (, ). This might better be called variation, or adaptation. You and I have observed micro-evolution. For example, how many different types of dogs have you seen? You have the Great Dane and the Chihuahua. Both dogs, but clearly different. The differences in dogs can be explained by breeding over hundreds and thousands of generations. Micro-evolution has been observed. Examples are Darwin’s finches, fruit flies, peppered moths, and many others. This has been observed. No rational person can deny micro-evolution is true. Micro-evolution is from God. And the Bible allows for it. God created every animal after its kind. We should expect to see over thousands of years changes within the different kinds of animals, such as the dog example we just talked about.
We see changes within a kind in scripture, even something simple as what we see in where Jacob gets Laban’s flocks to mate so they would bear flocks that were striped, speckled, and spotted. As simple as this is, it is an example of differences within a kind. It is an example of microevolution. Microevolution is from God. It is a fact.
Evolution is False: Macro-Evolution
Macro-evolution is a different story. Macro-evolution is the teaching that through small changes, organisms and animals can jump from one species to another, such as a primate becoming a human over long periods of time through natural selection and chance mutations. Scientists use micro-evolution to prove macro-evolution. There is a huge difference between adapting to your environment and becoming a whole different kind of animal. It is nothing more than speculation to say that many small changes within a species can lead to one animal becoming a completely different animal. To say it can happen is not science, but a statement of blind faith. Macro-evolution has never been observed in a laboratory.
If it has not been observed in a laboratory, it doesn’t qualify as observable science. It does not qualify to be a hypothesis, let alone a theory. To be classified as a hypothesis, it must be observable and testable.5 But the fact remains, an animal becoming an animal of a completely different species through adaptation or chance mutations has never been observed by a human eye. It can only be a statement of faith.
Every example of macroevolution that evolutionists have pointed me to have been examples of microevolution; whales becoming whales, plants becoming plants, etc.
Scientific Problems with Evolution
There are also scientific problems with evolution. I will mention two:
1. The origin of life problem. For Darwinian Evolution to be true, life had to come from non-life on its own at some point billions of years ago. This has never been observed in a lab. No one has seen non-living matter become alive on its own. The probability that such a thing can happen is beyond the realm of possibility. Science has shown that life does not come from non-life on its own. It takes life to make life. When I made this point to an atheist in a debate on twitter, he was quick to send me an article that proved that scientists created synthetic life.6 I don’t know if this is true or not. Even if it is, it does not help the case of the evolutionist. It would only prove this point: Making life requires an intelligent mind. This in no way proves life can miraculously come into being on its own by chance. Yes, atheists believe in miracles also.
Life coming from non-life on its own actually contradicts known science. I have been taught in my biology class this semester that the simplest for of life is the cell. There is a theory called Cell Theory, that is based on observation, that says that all cells MUST come from other cells. In other words, life comes from life! This is what we all have observed, including scientists.
Evolutionists will do all they can to try to not talk about this issue. Their beliefs about the origin of life used to be called “chemical evolution,” but over the years they removed the word evolution from it because they saw the issues with it. Without this event, without life coming from non-life on its own, you cannot have evolution.
2. There is no known observable process by which an animal can become a different animal over time. This cannot be stressed enough. It has been observed repeatedly observed by everyone, including scientists, that animals only change within their species. A bird always evolves into a bird. A cat always evolves into a cat, and a primate always evolves into a… primate; not a human. Many people have used their imaginations to think of how this could happen, even getting artists to draw many great illustrations to show how an animal can become another completely different king of animal over time. These drawings and stories, that are in many textbooks today, are nothing more than inferences and displays of faith.
For this to happen, an organism would have to add information into it’s genetic code. This has never been observed. But scientists have observed that over time organisms lose genetic information. They don’t gain it, and there is no way for a fish to become an amphibian without adding new information.
Chance mutations do not explain this leap from changes within a kind to changes into a completely different kind. There is no denying that mutations happen within species. They can be beneficial at times, and that they even at times are passed down to the next generation, but this does not prove macro-evolution to be true. The majority of mutations are not beneficial. They usually lead to disease, birth defects, and making an animal weaker.4 It has never been observed that an animal can become a completely different animal through chance mutations.
If evolution were true, it would demand millions of chance mutations that are conveniently passed to future generations without ever reverting back to its original form. Evolutionists accept macro-evolution by faith. It is only speculation. No matter how many times they may say evolution is true does not prove it to be so. It is begging the question to say that micro-evolution is proof of macro-evolution. They are assuming that it is true without proving it to be so.
Disagreement Between Worldviews
Both sides in this debate point to evidence to prove their beliefs. We look at the same evidence and come to two different, opposing interpretations of the evidence. There is one main reason why we as Christians and evolutionists come to different conclusions on origins. The reason is not scientific in nature, but philosophical in nature. Christians look at the evidence with the presupposition that the Bible is from God and that no known, observable science contradicts Biblical teaching. The Evolutionist, on the other hand, looks at the evidence based on their philosophical beliefs of naturalism and materialism.
Naturalism denies that there are any spiritual or supernatural realities. There are, that is, no purely mental substances and there are no supernatural realities transcendent to the world; or at least we have no sound grounds for believing that there are such realities or perhaps even for believing that there could be such realities. It is the view that anything that exists is ultimately made up of physical components.2
What this means: Naturalists do not believe there is a spiritual realm; the material world is all there is. There must be a naturalistic explanation to everything that happens in life. But here is the interesting thing about the philosophy of naturalism: it cannot be proven using the scientific method. Just try it. You cannot prove that the natural world is all there is. You cannot prove there is not a spiritual realm. It is not a scientific statement to say that the natural and material world is ALL there is. It is a statement of faith.
Also, you cannot prove naturalism to be true without being illogical and irrational. The only way to prove that the natural world is all there is is by looking at the natural world. You cannot prove naturalism by looking at the natural realm without begging the question. They consider it to be true by default. It is not scientific and cannot be proven to be true, but it is a belief that scientists base their claims on and examine all evidence with.
I don’t know haw an atheist or a scientist that believes in naturalism can look at anyone with a straight face and say that they do not have a theological and philosophical bias that they use to examine evidence. They dismiss God as a possibility before they even start. Even if God was the answer to questions regarding origin, scientists who are naturalists would not allow Him to be the answer. One atheist said this:
“Materialism is an absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.”3
Why would an atheist say such a thing? Well, let’s look at the rest of the quote to find out.
“Our willingness to accept scientific claims that are against common sense is the key to an understanding of the real struggle between science and the supernatural. We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door. The eminent Kant scholar Lewis Beck used to say that anyone who could believe in God could believe in anything. To appeal to an omnipotent deity is to allow that at any moment the regularities of nature may be ruptured, that miracles may happen.”
Here is a summary of what this guy says: “Even if God is the answer, we are NOT going to allow it.
Do not allow someone who claims to be a scientist, no matter how many letters they have after their names, persuade you of their philosophical beliefs about the world. Just because they say “evolution is a fact” does not mean that it really is. They in reality are giving you a faith statement based on their philosophical beliefs. Just saying evolution is a fact does not prove it is.
Paul says in
“See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.”
All that evolution is, in my opinion, is a way for sinful men to justify their rejection of God, which they have no excuse for. Unbelievers are always looking for ways in which they can suppress the truth so they can do what they want. They make up some of the most extraordinary theories, label them as true science, just so they can suppress the truth of God’s existence. They go through great effort to suppress the truth.
There are many other philosophical problems with evolution that I don’t have too much time to go into. I have articles on my website that look at these things in more detail:
· Evolution cannot account for reason and logic. If our minds are nothing more than products of chemical reactions, we cannot know that we are reasoning correctly or coming to conclusions that are sound and logical. Darwin spoke of this dilemma that evolution brings.
o “…with me the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man’s mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey’s mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?”8
o How can we trust our thoughts if our brains are the products of time, chance, and mere natural processes? We can’t.
· Objective Morality: If evolution were true, there is no reason to believe in any objective morality. It cannot be accounted for from a worldview in which we are nothing more than animals or matter in motion. If evolutionists were consistent, they would reject all notions of morality. If we are just glorified primates, it would be just as “moral” for a human to kill another human than it would be for an ape to kill another ape. It would be just as acceptable for us to eat our neighbor instead of loving our neighbor. Why does the evolutionist make a distinction? We are related to apes, and have no extra inherent value than any other primate if evolution were true. It is all about survival of the fittest. Might makes right.
· Truth: If evolution were true, our thoughts would be the mere by-product of the chemical reactions in our brains, i.e. "brain fizz." You do not get truth from chemical reactions. It would be like shaking up a bottle of Pepsi on one table and a bottle of Mountain Dew on another table, opening them up, and then deciding which chemical reaction is giving you true fizz and which one is giving you a false fizz. You cannot have truth or be certain of anything without God.
· Evolution cannot account for anything that is immaterial, such as the laws of logic, science, mathematics, and physics. These are transcendent laws. They are universal, unchanging, and immaterial.
· Evolution cannot account for science. Science is based on the belief that nature will be uniform; the future will be like the past. But the evolutionist has no reason to believe that such will be the case. The unchanging, universal laws that govern nature cannot be accounted for in a world that is based on change and chance material processes. Evolutionists do science based on faith in the uniformity of nature without any justification for their belief (blind faith). To do science, you must begin with God, who says that He is holding all things together and keeping the universe running until the day where He ends it all.
Before I close, I would like to give a couple thoughts on those who claim to be Christians that want to accept macro-evolution. The Bible does not support it. You cannot reconcile evolution with the creation account in Genesis. Theistic Evolution is not a possibility. It is like saying you believe in theistic naturalism. It is like trying to mix oil and water. It is nothing more than a compromise of truth based on false faith-statements of atheistic scientists who are examining the evidence with theological and philosophical biases.
Don’t allow yourself to be fooled by the vain and darkened thinking of those who do not have a love for the truth. You must submit your thinking to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. The treasures of wisdom and knowledge are found in Him (), and the beginning of knowledge is found in fearing the Lord ().
1. Natural History article : The Illusion of Design, by Richard Dawkins
2. Kai Nelson. “Natural Explanations of Theistic Belief”
3. Richard Lewontin, “Billions and Billions of Demons.” The New York Review, p.31, Jan 1997
4. from www.answersingenesis.org/articles/cfl/mutations
5. Mader, Sylvia, and Michael Windelspecht. Human Biology, 12th ed. pg. 9
8. From http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/entry-13230