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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Let's be clear about Evolution

Nationally syndicated columnists, local columnists, and letter writers have had their say recently in the Times in the never-ending debate over evolution. Never one to shy away from this issue, I would like to add to the current discussion.

I’m taking a bit of a different approach with this column. I would like to point out some misleading arguments that are often used by both sides in this debate.

Perhaps the most glaring, and dangerous, mistake made by many is trying to reconcile the Bible with Darwinian evolution. Decades of compromise within the church when it comes to the Word of God is what has gotten Christians where we are in this matter. If one accepts the Bible as the infallible and undoubted Word of God, there is no sound, logical way to accept Darwinian evolution as fact.

In other words, if one believes that God used millions and billions of years of life and death to create man, he or she is in direct conflict with what the Bible teaches. An atheist who completely denies God and the Bible and holds molecules to man evolution up as absolute truth has a more logically defensible position than the Christian who wants to mix evolution with Scripture.

Let me give just one example of how Scripture is incompatible with Darwinian evolution. Consider Romans chapter 5: “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man (Adam), and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men…Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness (Jesus’ atoning death) was justification that brings life to all men.” 

Here we have Paul, the author of Romans, making reference to a literal Adam and a literal “Fall” through which sin and death entered the world and from which Christ came to save us. Darwinian evolution teaches that millions of years of death and struggle led to more and more variations in the plant and animal kingdom, and ultimately produced human beings, et al. This directly contradicts the Bible, which teaches that everything was created “good,” with no death, and death then entering the world through the sin of Adam (and Eve). The gospel message of Jesus is rooted in this. Anything that teaches otherwise is a lie.

One writer recently pointed out that the Bible “is not a science book.” This sounds like another common mistake: believing that evolution is only about science and that creation is only about religion. This is nonsense.

The writer is correct, of course, that the Bible does not reveal many specifics when it comes to “operational science.” However, the Bible is a history book, accurately dealing with real people and events. In fact, the Bible does as much (if not more) to contribute to “historical science” than most biology books. As the renowned archaeologist William F. Albright put it, “the picture in Genesis is historical, and there is no reason to doubt the general accuracy of the biographical details.”

Another tired argument that evolutionists should avoid is that bacterial resistance to antibiotics proves evolution. The genetic information for these resistances was already present in some of the bacteria. These bacteria then reproduce more resistant bacteria. This is an example of “natural selection,” which gives us variation in all types of creatures (dogs, horses, etc.), but is not an example of one kind of creature changing to another. In other words, “natural selection” is not Darwinian evolution.

There are also several faulty arguments that Creationists should avoid when it comes to this debate. One such argument is that, if humans evolved from monkeys, why are there still monkeys? Darwinian evolution doesn’t teach this. It teaches that humans and monkeys have a common ancestor—the ever elusive “missing link.”

Another popular myth is that Darwin had a deathbed conversion. Sadly, given the weight of the evidence (click here to read more), Darwin renouncing his theory and accepting Christ seems an unlikely occurrence. One thing that is likely (more like certain) is that, just as Darwin does now, one day we will all know the truth.

Copyright 2009, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World

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