A atheistic, naturalistic theory of the history of life on earth (this refers to the theory of evolution which employs methodological naturalism and is taught in schools and universities). The theory has ‘evolved’ drastically over the relatively brief period that it has been the ruling paradigm of Western thought, though changes are not usually broadcast to the general public. (See Arthur S. Lodge’s search for a definition.) Merriam-Webster’s dictionary gives the following definition of evolution: “a theory that the various types of animals and plants have their origin in other preexisting types and that the distinguishable differences are due to modifications in successive generations…” Currently, there are several theories of evolution, all of which rest on theories, not science.
Following Charles Darwin’s proposal of natural selection as the means to drive the process, it was a simple and very appealing hypothesis. Life was rather simple in those days. Algae, amoebae and such humble creatures were blobs of protoplasm which Darwin postulated might have just happened in some warm little pond by the chance coming together of chemicals. It was rather easy to imagine that a few relatively simple changes in this protoplasm could lead to developmental change, and that natural selection would ensure that better adaptation would be preserved. Changes which led to worse adaptation would die out as poorly adapted creatures would perish in the struggle for existence and fail to leave offspring with their inferior design.
The idea of natural processes bringing complex life forms from simple ones, which themselves came from dead matter, logically leads to the idea of all things having arisen by chance through purely natural processes. This way of looking at the world is reflected in the definition given in Evolution and Genetics by Julian Huxley, one of the most influential evolutionists of all time :-
“Evolution, in the extended sense, can be defined as 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 organization in its products. Our present knowledge indeed forces us to the view that the whole of reality is evolution – a single process of self transformation.”
For many years this was the accepted view. It is still the view put forward in popular literature, the media and school text-books.
But in “scientific circles” it has become an embarrassment. It contradicts the best established law in the whole of science. The Law in question is the Second Law of Thermodynamics. In language easily understood this law guarantees that any physical system subject only to natural processes follows a downward path to ever lower levels of energy, it becomes more disorganized – it suffers decay.
For many years supporters of the theory attempted to overlook the contradiction between evolution’s requirement (self transformation to ever higher levels of organization), and the Second Law’s exactly opposite requirement, by claiming that the Second Law applies only to “closed systems” in which no energy enters from outside. Few now try to support this discredited position, (see, for example, The Mystery of Life’s Origins) and changes in the definition of evolution itself have been brought in to address the problem.
Another difficulty for the theory has come from microbiology. As scientists have learned how to examine life in ever greater detail, Darwin’s picture of organisms consisting of a few simple chemicals has given way to one of mind-boggling complexity even in the most humble of creatures. The lowly E coli bacterium possesses not only miniature electric motors of outstanding efficiency, but also the apparatus to build, repair, maintain and operate them – as well as the electricity-generating system to power them.
As it has become possible to calculate the probabilities of evolution’s mechanisms producing evolution’s supposed results, ever growing numbers of scientists have become convinced that there are problems which the theory is unable to cope with. Many are now seriously considering intelligent design as an alternative.
A more modern text, an Introduction to Evolutionary Biology by Chris Colby shows the enormous change which has taken place in evolutionary thinking in the last century. My annotations are rather full and attempt to show what I see to be the weakness of much of modern evolutionary thinking. I recommend this annotated work as showing the case for and against the modern theory.
The antipathy between evolution and Christianity is sometimes denied. This idea is examined in “Creation, Evolution and the Christian” . The weakness of evolution as a “scientifically” defensible position and the truth that it is largely a religious question is very ably presented by Philip Johnson, professor of law at the University of California, Berkley.
Johnson’s position deserves some explanation. The “scientific” press is a tightly controlled unit which does not allow any neutral discussion of evolution, the time scale or Einstein. Any paper questioning orthodoxy, or submitted by a scientist known to be skeptical of orthodoxy, is simply denied publication. Any scientist questioning the orthodoxy is ostracized and outcast. Scientists are then able to set up a vicious circle to exclude debate. Such questions could only be seriously considered if they were discussed in the reputable journals. Any attempt to bring such discussion to the journals is prevented by editorial policy. The situation was brought into the spotlight in the chapter “The Scientific Mafia” in “Velikovski Reconsidered.” A recent example can be seen in Persecution of Richard Sternberg.
Philip Johnson is a highly respected professor of law. The secular humanist watchdogs apparently anticipated no danger from this field. They did not, apparently, set up a similar exclusion principle for lawyers. Johnson was able to question Darwinism by comparing the strength of the evidence put forward to support it with that required by a court of law – without the weight of his entire profession descending to crush and stifle him.
His position is expressed very simply in an interview with Citizen Magazine. Johnson’s examination of the stand of influential liberal Reformed Christian scientists can be seen in “The Hostage Takers.” The internet has many of his articles examples, one being “What is Darwinism,” a well reasoned account of what evolution really is – a philosophical necessity of atheism. “The Church of Darwin” is a look at Darwinists aims for education. “Shouting Heresy in the Temple of Darwin” and “Darwinism’s Rules of Reasoning” reinforce his analysis of the way Darwinists operate. Johnson has been involved in may debates -on the subject. An example (“How Did We Get Here?” with Kenneth Miller) reproduced here is typical. Many more of his contributions on the subject can be found on the Internet.
A major contribution to the question of the credibility of evolution was Michael Behe’s book “Darwin’s Black Box,” in which he drew attention to many marvelous micro-biological systems which exhibit what he termed “irreducible complexity.” The importance of irreducible complexity is that Darwin had stated that if any case could be brought forward where development could not have been achieved by small successive advances, then his theory would be disproved. Irreducible systems provide that disproof. Evolutionists have fought irreducible complexity fiercely, but many scientists have become convinced that intelligent design is an undeniable feature of living organisms, and a strong “Intelligent Design” group has emerged. Many articles by Behe and the Design group can be found on the internet. Behe explains his stand in Evidence for Intelligent Design. One of his colleagues, William Dembski’s “Still Spinning” illustrates the tricky tactics of the opponents of design and how they can be dealt with.
Non-biologists have increasingly entered the evolutionary arena. Examples are given from well know mathematician, and philosopher David Berlinski, (“The Deniable Darwin” and “Keeping an Eye on Darwin” ). Physicist Lee Spetner in A Scientific Critique of Evolution demonstrates an important point for anyone wanting to enter the arena. The claims of the evolutionist are expounded with intimidating authority, and a superior knowledge of the scientific literature is needed to show up their fatuous claims for what they are. Despite the evolutionist’s bluster and the total commitment of the scientific establishment to supporting it, I believe most would concede that evolution is in its weakest and most unconvincing state for many years. (See for example, Atheism In Decline Everywhere)
However weak or strong the orthodox evolutionist’s position may appear to be though, it would be unwise to be swayed simply by the strongest “scientific” argument. As can be seen by contrasting Darwin and Colby, “science” changes its mind – sometimes very quickly. Whichever side is considered to have the strongest arguments today may find itself discomfited by new arguments tomorrow. The Word of God though remains the same for ever. God is true though all men be liars.
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 civilized 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 harmonized 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 labor, 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 harmonization 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 rationalize 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 organization in its products”.
Has any scientist ever observed any such increase of variety or increase in organization 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 color 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 color 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.”
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