Part 3: Creation vs. Evolution—who’s right in the origin of life debate?
(This blog is part of a series. You can start the series by going back to the September 1, 2014 Introduction called A Case for Christianity: Why do we need one?)
“In grammar school they taught me that a frog turning into a prince was a fairy tale. In the university they taught me that a frog turning into a prince was a fact!” – Ron Carlson, U.C. Irvine Professor and Author
“The creation-evolution debate is not about religion versus science or the Bible versus science—it’s about good science versus bad science. Likewise, it’s not about faith versus reason—it’s about reasonable faith versus unreasonable faith.” – Norman L. Geisler and Frank Turek, I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist
In my journey towards acceptance of Christianity I struggled with many questions because I was not willing to believe something based solely on blind faith. I wanted to know that what I believed was really true and had concrete evidence to back it up. I guess that comes from being a science teacher. The problem was that I had been taught throughout my secular public education that humans over time evolved from lower life forms based on the theory of evolution first presented by Charles Darwin back in the mid 19th century. How do you reconcile this so-called ‘science fact’ with what the Christian Bible teaches about God being the one who created us? Did God create through evolution as some compromisers say? Or, was God out of the picture because science had now proven that He had nothing to do with the origin of life? If I was going to give my heart and life to following Jesus I needed to know how to rectify this question, so I began to investigate more closely what I had been taught and was now teaching in my high school biology class concerning the theory of evolution. What I discovered was shocking and I think I’ve been deceived!
Let’s start by first looking at what evolution says as it relates to the origin of life:
Who was Charles Darwin and what is the theory of evolution?
In the mid 19th century Charles Darwin, an English Naturalist using the idea of evolution, wrote two books called The Origin of Species and Descent of Man. In these books Darwin took his studies from the Galapagos Islands and transferred observable changes he saw within species (kinds) to the theory of the origin of species (kinds). This theory takes an awful leap of faith from the observable microevolution to the unobservable macroevolution.
Evolution is a misleading term because it is overarching and broad in its scope and definition.
This is where evolutionists play a bait and switch game. They begin by discussing microevolution and end up transferring it to macroevolution. When discussing the question of origin of life it is important to be specific as to what type of evolution we are talking about:
The type of changes we see in the diversity within species (e.g., different types of plants, dogs, cats, horses, etc.). These are measurable and observable types of evolution we can all see. It is also known as adaption, natural selection or survival of the fittest.
But does this observable evidence lead to the conclusion that there are unobservable progressions or jumps between species (major kinds)?
Taking the evidence of microevolution and inferring that the major kinds of species we see today evolved through a gradual series of changes, or even jumps, that became new and more advanced species (e.g., humans and monkeys came from ancient ape-like creatures; amphibians came from fishlike creatures; or birds came from reptiles or dinosaurs). Taken back far enough we all began as a single cell bacteria-like organism in a primordial fluid jump-started by a non-living chemical reaction.
The problem is that macroevolution is unobservable and untestable. It has never been duplicated. It is a theory touted as fact but it is not based on the highly esteemed scientific method used as the basis for all other scientific inquiry. Evolutionary theory for the origin of life is a philosophical presupposition. Phillip Johnson, U.C. Berkley Law Professor and Author of Darwin on Trail said, “Darwinism is based on an ‘a priori [prior] commitment to materialism, not on a philosophically neutral assessment of the evidence. Separate the philosophy from the science, and the proud tower collapses.” Evolutionary Biologist and Harvard Professor Richard Lewontin admits, “We take the side of science in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises…because we have a prior commitment to materialism…Moreover that materialism is absolute for we cannot allow a divine foot in the door.”
In addition to evolutionary theory’s philosophical presuppositions, and contrary to popular belief, it does not even possess the required evidence in the areas that it claims to such as the highly regarded fossil record—we will examine this and other evidence in the next few posts.
See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ. Colossians 2:8 (NIV)
Let me know what you think: Do you have questions like I did trying to reconcile current science with the things taught in the Christian faith?
Come back next week for: Who are we, where did we come from and why are we here? Part 4: Creation vs. Evolution—Is Darwinian Evolution a belief or a fact of science?
Over the next several blogs I am going to continue to present logical reasoning and sound scientific evidence not found in the public school textbooks.
Always be ready to give an answer for the hope that you have in Christ Jesus as Lord.
1 Peter 3:15