The Bible teaches us that God created the heavens and the earth and all that is on and in them.
By the Word of the Lord the heavens were made, and by the breath of His mouth all their host. ~ Psalm 33:6
For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast. ~ Psalm 33:9
For Thou didst form my inward parts; Thou didst weave me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to Thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Thy works, and my soul knows it very well. ~ Psalm 139:13-14
We live in a day and age where all of this is questioned, and not only questioned, but if you believe this you are thought ‘backwards.’ Our culture teaches that evolution is the only way to believe, the only theory that is credible, and that those espousing creation science are not ‘real’ scientists.
As a Bible believing Christian, one of my goals in teaching my children is for them to understand that all learning starts with an understanding of God’s Word. The Bible clearly and repeatedly teaches that God is our Creator; God as the Creator flows throughout the pages of Scripture. If we deny this vital aspect of God then we are not adhering to the whole of God’s Word; we are picking and choosing what we want to believe based on societal norms rather than the absolute standard of God’s Word. There is an absolute truth, everything isn’t relative, and what we believe about God and His Word should affect every aspect of our learning and our teaching. It is important that we instill in our children an understanding of who God is, in all His majesty and magnificence.
In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” John1:1-5
As we see in these verses, God’s light shines forth brightly, but the darkened world does not see it.
Why would we believe the word of man over the Word of God?
Not only has God revealed Himself to us in His Word, but He has also revealed Himself to us in His creation.
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful. ~ Romans 1:18-21a (You can also read the Psalms where David praises God over and over for His magnificent works and Job where God questions Job about all He (God) has done.)
Again after these verses, the question looms forth “Why would we believe the word of man over the Word of God?”
This brings us to the question of Creation vs. Evolution. Where is the truth in this issue? Creationists are sometimes mocked as not being ‘true’ scientists, so let’s start with the definition of science. Science is:
- The observation, identification, description, experimental investigation, and theoretical explanation of phenomena. ~ dictionary.com
- knowledge or a system of knowledge covering general truths or the operation of general laws especially as obtained and tested through the scientific method and concerned with the physical world and its phenomena ~ merriam-webster.com
In other words science is observing things, processes, etc. and trying through observation and controlled experimentation to understand our world and our universe. As a scientist observes, he postulates different hypotheses as to why things are as they are.
Philip Stott in his book Vital Questions says: “Science, as Mendeleyev, Mach and Einstein pointed out, deals with what can be measured, everything else is speculation. Recorded human history goes back approximately five thousand years. No scientist can go back in time to take measurement of what happened before that, so when scientists make statements about anything that happened more than five thousand years ago they are dealing inevitably with speculation.” ~ Philip Stott
When a scientist postulates his hypothesis, he then begins testing in a controlled manner and this testing either finds the hypothesis true or false or finds that more testing is needed. Once a hypothesis is thought to be proved true, it still doesn’t become a theory until much testing is complete.
“If the data continue to support the hypothesis, it eventually becomes a theory. If it does not, it must be altered or discarded.” ~ Wile, Jay L., and Durnell, Marilyn F., Exploring Creation with Biology
With Evolution you have several different hypotheses and theories that you are dealing with. Following are a few examples and some key issues surrounding them.
In the 1800’s, Charles Lyell came up with a theory that basically says the present is the key to the past.
In this theory, we look at what’s happening today and project these processes back through time to understand our beginnings. Part of this idea is the theory of gradualism, which is:
‘Slow processes gradually going on through immense spans of time are assumed to be the only cause for virtually everything in nature and in the universe.’
With this belief comes the idea of evolution, i.e. given enough time anything is possible.
The truth is gradualism is true, but only in part.
There are other ways things happen besides the slow change over time method. Think of Mount Saint Helen’s. With the eruption of that volcano, scientists were able to observe geological phenomena that were supposed to take millions of years to occur, happen in seconds. This view, where geological phenomena occur in seconds, is the catastrophic view of how things came/come about. We see both of these processes occurring around us today. Some creationists would attribute most of the geological structure we see today to a catastrophic event, such as a great flood, where a gradualist would attribute most of what we see today to change that has taken place over vast amounts of time.
Next we have Darwin, who in his study of animal life noticed amazing similarity between animals.
As he observed, he came up with what to him was a plausible idea, creatures adapted to their environment by changing their characteristics and over time due to the survival of the fittest theory, the ‘new’ animal would be better suited for the new environment and the old would pass away. For example, given like species, those in a desert climate would learn to adapt and be able to survive with little water, where those in a rainforest would need more water to survive. When you compare the two you would see many similarities, but at the same time many differences.
The truth is there is truth in Darwin’s observations and ideas.
Animals do change over time, they do adapt to their environment. God has created this magnificent ability within them; it’s programmed into their genes. This process is called micro-evolution and we can observe it and verify that it does indeed happen. The thing is it happens within a species; a species doesn’t become a whole new species. Look at all the variety of dogs, cats, horses, frogs, and even people you see in the world today. (If all mankind came from Adam and Eve, then all the races had to come from them too – amazing huh?)
Where Darwin’s theory goes haywire is with the idea of macro-evolution.
Macro-evolution is the theory that says one species brought forth another.
Darwin, in his speculations assumed that if a species could change within that species then, given enough time, species could change into a whole new species. He believed that as scientists researched this idea, they would find in the fossil record many transitional species, which would show the slow gradual change of one species into another (i.e. back to gradualism – over enough time anything is possible), but to his dismay, in his own studies he could not find the numerous intermediate links he believed would be there.
“Geological research, though it has added numerous species to the existing and extinct genera, and has made the intervals between some few groups less wide than they otherwise would have been, yet has done scarcely anything in breaking the distinction between species, by connecting them together by numerous, fine, intermediate varieties; and this not having been affected, is probably the gravest and most obvious of all the many objections which can be raised against my views.” (The Origin of Species, 6th ed, 1962, Collier Books, NY, p. 462) (Wile, Jay L., and Durnell. Marilyn F. Exploring Creation with Biology, 286)
Scientists have continued to search the fossil records for these transitional species, but still haven’t found the proof they seek. With the lack of evidence, you would think that the ‘theory of evolution’ would be called an unproven hypothesis rather than a theory. Today, scientists have come up with a new theory/hypothesis to explain how evolution can be true given the lack of fossil proof, it’s called punctuated equilibrium.
“… in 1972, evolutionary scientists Stephen Jay Gould and Niles Eldredge proposed another explanation, which they called “punctuated equilibrium.” That is, species are generally stable, changing little for millions of years. This leisurely pace is “punctuated” by a rapid burst of change that results in a new species and that leaves few fossils behind.” ~ PBS Evolution Library
Basically, punctuated equilibrium says that there are no transitional species, but that one species births a totally different species without all the intermediate steps.
Scientist in their desire to prove that creation did not happen, have sought many ways to prove evolution true. So far they have failed, and yet they hold on to their beliefs and come up with new hypotheses and then test and research.
As Christians, we need to set the precedent in the study of God’s truths and do so with a vigor that rivals the evolutionist in his search to prove there isn’t a creator.
Scripture teaches us about God but so does His creation. We need to hold fast to God’s Word while learning the truths that are around us. In Darwin’s day, many denied Darwin’s theories and threw out the good with the bad. In their defense of the Bible, they were unwilling to look at any scientific evidence that would contradict their view of Creation. It was widely believed in that day that God created each animal unique. Today we have learned much about genetics and can see how God created the ability to change and adapt within the genes. Does this mean God did not create? Of course not, it just means His creation is much more complex than those in Darwin’s day thought it was.
As a Christian, I believe that God’s Word is true and that I cannot pick the parts I like from it and throw out any that I may have a hard time grasping. When modern science and the Bible seem to conflict, I need to take a harder look at what science is actually teaching. We must never fear to glean all the truth we can from the scientific community, but we must look at all we glean in light of God’s Word to us and make sure we are getting the truth. This principle holds true for all aspects of our study, science is just one example.
By Tami Munden
An excellent site for more information about Creation and Science is Dr. Jay Wile’s blog: http://blog.drwile.com/ . He also has a helpful list of websites/blogs for people who want to delve more deeply into the subject.