Evolution and faith
Advocates of “theistic evolution” say that their opponents lack faith. But they are the ones who lack faith—in the Truth of the Bible.
“Theistic evolution,” or “evolutionary creation,” or “progressive creation,” mean the same thing: evolution happened, in the exact way and for as long a time as conventional science says it happened, but with God, not chance, as a guide. Those who hold to this theory begin by disconnecting the Bible from real events, as if the Bible has nothing to say about them. They then say that those who oppose the theory of evolution are denying their faith!
This post on an e-mail discussion list is a prize example. Like so many articles like this, it makes several errors of logic, among them:
- It appeals to authority, in this case The Rev. Billy Graham and Dr. Francis Collins.
- It assigns guilt by association, in this case to Ellen G. White of the Seventh-day Adventist movement, which many Christians think of as a fringe cult.
Aside from that, it declares that several new techniques in medicine, genetics, and epidemiology (the study of diseases and how they spread) could never work if evolution did not happen as its advocates describe—but gives no evidence to back this up. The one example that the author gives is from Collins’ work in finding the genes for several diseases, like cystic fibrosis and Huntington’s disease. But though Collins might have used insight from natural selection to find these genes, he still found them by looking at selection among human beings. Whether human beings are a created kind by themselves, or whether they and the great apes came from a common stock, would make no difference to Collins and his team. They still would have found those genes either way.
The author makes a common-enough mistake: Natural selection discards information. To produce one species from the stock of another, one must add information. This leads to another problem that evolution advocates miss: no system can self-inform. Any new information in any system must come from outside. Just as even a grocery list, let alone a computer program, can never write itself, neither can a gene. (In fact, one human cell has enough information in it to fill ten Libraries of Congress.)
When the author says things like this:
Attempts by Christian anti-evolutionary theorists to pit the Bible against science are insulting to the creator, harmful to people, display a lack of familiarity with science and the Bible and, perhaps most importantly, demonstrate a lack of faith.
he reminds one of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” Recall that the two con artists posing as tailors in that story said that they could produce a cloth that was
invisible to any man who was unfit for his office or unpardonably stupid.
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Your editor is quite familiar with science and the Bible. Your editor’s science teachers repeated all parts of conventional evolutionary theory, from “billions of years” to the single “tree of life,” but never proved them. They typically asked their students to take on faith that several processes, like radioactive decay and erosion, happened at the same rate over time, and never could have sped up. When Mount St. Helens erupted and created deep chasms in weeks that were as deep as others that geologists typically say take thousands of years to carve, those same geologists ignored the findings. Have they no shame? When Alburger (1986) and Falkenberg (2001) found that radioactive decay rates change with the seasons, no one followed up on this. When Austin (1996) discovered that the same laboratory got five different answers for the age of a recent lava deposit, all of them ridiculously wrong, observers cried “Foul!” and accused him of sending in samples he knew to be old and lying about them having come from Mount St. Helens, which had erupted ten years earlier. (If anyone wants to talk about lying, your editor could cite Piltdown, Peking, Java, and Nebraska Men as prize examples of outright lies that people have told to support the evolution of man, that the “peer-review establishment” did not catch for years.)
At least the author gets the Answers in Genesis Statement of Faith right:
Scripture teaches a recent origin for man and the whole creation, spanning approximately 4,000 years from creation to Christ.
That it does. The author repeats that as if it couldn’t be true. But it is. In fact, by good scientific observation, it has to be true. More than that, by saying that the above couldn’t have happened as the Bible says, the author shows his own lack of faith in It. He prefers the conventional explanation, but has never checked it out, as your editor has. And if he has checked out anything beyond The Genesis Flood, he gives no sign. Nor does he realize that Sir Isaac Newton accepted creation, too, as did every scientist until Charles Lyell argued for “deep time” with nothing better than a “just-so story” to back that up.
An “honest truth seeker” will not accept on faith a set of assertions that no one has ever proved, and no one could ever prove. He will check out the truth claims of the Bible, and the truth claims of “science,” and see which ones measure up. And when he does, he will see that the Bible keeps Its Story straight, while conventional “science” does not.
Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.
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You make the claim that evolutionists make claims without supporting them. Then you claim that observation will tell you that the world is young, without sharing what exactly this evidence is. What observations are these that support a young earth?
Don’t worry. I’ll furnish the proofs in future articles in this category. If I tried to put all my proofs in one place, it would probably fill a book, and you would never be able to scroll down to see it all, even if you used a monitor in portrait mode instead of landscape mode.
As a Young Earth Creationist, do you at least accept that the earth is in orbit around the sun? Or are you also a Geocentrist?
Do you accept the story of Noah’s worldwide flood and the entire human race condensed down to one family in a wooden boat only a few thousand years ago?
I’m just trying to get a handle on the level of scientific illiteracy here.
Ah, Paul. There you go with that condescending and elitist attitude. Perhaps that is why the public’s faith has eroded in the scientific estblishment? You go so far out of your way to insult anyone who disagrees with you. No critical evaluation, no counter arguments, just insults. Instead of investigating both sides, you immediately formed a bias and closed your mind off to the possibility that the other position may be right. How very scientific of you. You are a bitter old man who will more probably than not meet his end soon and be proven so very wrong. I say all this, and yet you will still not listen. Your religion and vanity will not permit the possibility you could be wrong. You are more deadset in your beliefs than any religious nut. Ironic, considering that is a charge you accuse others of. Pity.