Evolution

February 9, 2009 at 6:30 am | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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This year, many people will be celebrating the 200th anniversary of the birth of a man whose ideas have altered the way many people view the world. On February 12th, 1809, Charles Darwin was born in Shrewsbury, England. Darwin is most famous for his ideas on evolution. While many of the ideas existed for some time before Darwin, it was Darwin’s book Origin of Species that brought things together. Darwin believed that natural processes brought about everything that we see. He believed that this took extremely long periods of time (which he got from Charles Lyell). His views go directly against the idea presented in the Bible. Darwin said that Christianity was a “damnable doctrine” because it meant that many of his unbelieving family members and friends would go to hell. It was also his explanation for death and struggle because Darwin had a problem with an all-powerful God allowing his 10-year-old daughter Annie to die.

 

When most people hear the word evolution, they think of biology and how man came to be. In reality, evolution is used to explain the origin of all things, including stars and galaxies. It is the idea that everything we see (stars, planets, trees, plants, animals, humans) has come about exclusively through natural means. The main driving factors of evolution are time, chance, mutations, natural selection and death.

 

While there are numerous scientists that support the idea of evolution, there are many who do not. Many of the people who support evolution are atheists and secular humanists who need an explanation for life that excludes God. Many, like Richard Lewontin, choose to follow evolution even though it is a bunch of “just-so stories” and fails to live up to the promises it is supposed to provide because they start with an apriori assumption of materialism. In other words, they assume from the beginning that the only possibility for the origin of the universe is exclusively naturalistic. They do this because, if they didn’t, they would be allowing “a Divine foot in the door”. Many of those who push the evolutionary idea consistently say that evolution is all about facts. This is far from true. In honesty, evolution is about interpretations of facts that stem from their materialistic bias. Those who push evolution also constantly try to tell the public that they aren’t on about religion like creationists are. That’s not true either. By promoting evolution, they are pushing an atheistic/secular humanist belief that is not founded on anything but assumptions about the past. While they fight to keep critiques (even purely scientific ones) out of the schools, they spend millions of dollars to push their own religious views.

 

Those who promote evolution would like the public to believe that evolution is a fact and as good as proven. Unfortunately for them, it’s not even close. Evolution is often called a theory. I don’t think that calling evolution a theory is justified. A scientific theory is something that is a well-founded explanation of data. In reality, evolution is just a lot of talk and conjecture that is based on very little evidence. There are a number of issues, both general and specific, that evolution has yet to even begin to provide answers for. Some of the general issues are things like scientists taking the fact that things exist today being proof that evolution got them here the way that they are. They often say that they know that certain things have taken place because we have them today. Another issue is that because of the way that evolution has supposedly taken place, if one of the steps cannot happen, evolution cannot happen. Also, evolutionists claim that their ideas and hypotheses are based on “real” science. In actuality, they’re not. They are based on assumptions that things happened the same in the past as they are happening today. They also assume a number of things that there are absolutely no way of knowing without eyewitnesses who were there to see it. They are talking about the origins of the earth. None of the things that they claim to have happened are testable or repeatable.

 

One of the big problems with evolution is that there is no real explanation on how things began. Before evolution could take place on Earth, there had to be an earth. Because evolutionists will not allow supernatural events, they must come up with an explanation of how everything came about. Although it seems that it’s popularity is waning, the prevailing view of how things began is called the Big Bang “theory”. The Big Bang supposedly started with an intensely hot and dense point (called a singularity) at some point in the finite past. At another unknown point of time, this singularity exploded and all the energy and space rapidly expanded outward. While the expanding took place, the universe cooled down and some of the energy was supposedly converted into matter. This matter was in the form of hydrogen and helium gas. These gases coalesced to form stars and galaxies. Some of the stars are believed to have created some of the heavier elements in their cores and when they exploded, the heavy elements were spread across the universe. These elements then began to stick together to form planets. While all of this might sound feasible, there is no real evidence for this. Not only that, but there are a number of issues that scientists still haven’t resolved. Things like monopoles, flatness, the amount of matter versus antimatter, and the horizon problem still plague the theory, even though evolutionists will say that they are well on their way to solving them. Unfortunately, the ways that they are claiming to solve them are just as wobbly as (if not more so than) the original theory.

 

Even if we give evolutionists a pass on how everything got started, there are more problems with the idea of evolution. Another major problem is how life got started on Earth. In evolution, there are a number of hypotheses on how life started on our planet. One of the most common models of life proposed is the “primordial soup” idea. This idea basically says that our primitive earth had a different atmosphere. That atmosphere was made of methane, ammonia, water vapor, and hydrogen. Then, lightning flashed and the energy caused the gases to create the first amino acids. This was shown to be possible through the Miller-Urey experiments, or so they say. But, there are problems with these experiments. First, the entire experiment was supposed to show how the first amino acids could have formed on a primeval earth through random processes. Ironically, the experiment was created by an intelligent scientist who based everything he did on years worth of chemistry studies. It was designed and nothing was random. Next, Miller assumed that the atmosphere of early earth had certain concentrations of each gas used and those gases were just as pure as the ones used in the lab. The problem with this is that no one knows what the concentrations might have been if it actually happened like this. He made the assumption that the atmosphere was a reducing atmosphere (no free oxygen present) because the presence of oxygen would have prevented the amino acids from forming. There is no physical evidence to support the idea that the earth ever had a reducing atmosphere. Also, another problem arises. If there were no oxygen, then ozone wouldn’t be present either. This would mean that there would be no protection from the cosmic radiation. Miller also isolated the amino acids that were made because had they been in water, which would have broken down the amino acids not long after they formed. Another problem with the experiment is the type of amino acids that were created. Amino acids are either right-handed or left-handed. All of the amino acids found in living things are created from exclusively left-handed amino acids. In the experiment, there was a mixture of both types. This is bad for life because the types tend to bond with each other making them useless in creating the building blocks of life. All of this means that the Miller-Urey experiments proved nothing concerning the beginning of life on our planet.

 

There are other ideas that scientists have presented to explain how life originated on earth including the RNA world hypothesis (RNA was the first molecule of life – not possible because RNA requires proteins to be created and translated) and the clay hypothesis (DNA was created on the “backs” of complex crystals). Another hypothesis is the “bacteria first” idea. This says that bacteria came first, but where did they come from? A professor of biophysics from Yale calculated that the probability to create one E. coli bacterium in the universe by random processes is 1 in 10 –100,000,000,000. It is generally accepted that anything outside 1.0×10-50 is impossible. One newer idea, put forth by Francis Crick (one of the co-discoverers of DNA), is called directed panspermia. This is the idea that aliens came to earth and “seeded” life on our planet. This idea doesn’t resolve the problem; it just moves it to a different location (not to mention that the aliens would have been intelligent life forms…).

 

The cycle continues as you look at every major stage of evolution. The idea of evolution is riddled with problems. It happens at the boundary between unicellular and multicellular organisms (was it symbiosis, colonies, or cellularization; and where is the proof?). There are a number of ideas on how things “evolved” but none have much evidence to support them and a lot of conjecture to fill in the blanks. There are also problems with the development of plants and animals. How the first plants evolved the traits to overcome gravity, to keep from drying out, and to reproduce on land is unknown. The information on how invertebrates evolved into vertebrates is also a large gap with little evidence to support it. When and how did the internal skeleton and other vertebrate features evolve? This also applies to the transitions between fish and amphibians (skin that helps them breathe, better lungs), amphibians and reptiles (scales so they don’t dry out, even better lungs, an amniotic egg), reptiles and birds (feathers, countercurrent circulation system, different lungs, hollow bones), reptiles and mammals (hair/fur, warm bloodedness, milk production, organ of Corti), and primates and humans (language, logic, DNA differences). Evolutionists start with evolution as fact and then use this as the basis for their assumptions. Since we see things a certain way today, it means that evolution that had to happen, because they exist.

 

Other Contentions

 

One familiar contention is that the fossil record proves that evolution has happened. The fossil record supposedly shows a natural progression of transitional forms. The public is told that the fossil record is a history of evolution. What most people don’t realize is that this is far from true. In what is called the “Cambrian Explosion”, the fossil record shows a majority of fossils appearing all at once. These fossils are fully formed examples of animals, some of which still exist today. There are only a handful of disputed examples of transitional forms. Before the Cambrian explosion there are few fossils found. There are no examples of animals with 10% wing – 90% arm, 20%wing – 80% arm, etc. If the fossil record is “full of” examples of transitional fossils, surely there would be some examples of this? Evolutionists claim that similarities between fossils are evidence of a common ancestor, but that’s not the only way to look at similarities.

 

Another major contention has to do with information. If the evolutionary story is correct, it has no way of showing how the information necessary for life came about. DNA is the molecule that tells our cells who we are. It is a code that describes everything we need to live. If evolution is true, where did the information come from? Because it’s a code, it needs to be translated to be useful. For DNA, this is accomplished by special proteins that unwind the DNA, others that copy it, and still others that wind it back up. But, this presents a problem. The proteins that perform these jobs are encoded on the DNA they are copying. This means that the DNA would have had to be read, copied, translated, and transcribed in order to create the proteins that are doing the reading, copying, translating and transcribing. For what we see DNA doing today to actually work, it all had to exist at the same time. Evolution can’t account for this. Also, as I said above, DNA is a code. We have never seen a code or information come from anything but an intelligent source. Intelligence only comes from intelligence. Evolutionists would point to mutations and natural selection as the process for this, but that’s not possible. It doesn’t explain where the information came from to start with and natural selection and mutations can only work on existing information. In addition, scientists have yet to find a mutation that adds useful information into the genome.

 

Evolution says for a single cell (which somehow came from non-living matter) to evolve into a human being, it would have had to have millions of information adding mutations take place. The single cell didn’t have any information other than what was necessary for itself. There is absolutely no evidence that any of these mutations actually took place. If there is no way for mutations to add information to the existing information of the single cell (which itself still needs to be explained), then evolution is impossible.

 

While there are a number of other contentions (“junk” DNA, bad design of things like the eye, vestigial organs, etc…), until evolution can explain how information arises through natural processes and show that information can be added to the genome through mutations (with proof that this actually happened), it is only a fairy tale.

 

The Biblical View of Origins

 

According to the Bible, God created everything in six, 24-hour periods of time, about 6,000 years ago. He created things in a specific order and with a specific purpose. He created light and the heavens and the earth. He created plants of different kinds; plants bearing seed and trees bearing fruit. He created the sun, moon, and stars as signs for seasons and times (after the earth and plants…). He created different kinds of birds and marine animals. He created different kinds of land animals (including terrestrial dinosaurs!). And He created man. At the end of the sixth day, God saw that everything He created was “very good” (Genesis 1:31). Some time after creation was finished, the Bible says that man sinned against God by disobeying His command not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Because of this sin – thorns, disease, and death were introduced into creation. Death wasn’t part of the creation until this time. About 1700 years after the creation of Adam, God saw the wickedness of man and judged the world with a global flood. This Flood covered the entire world (hence global) and buried a large number of animals and humans through the catastrophes that happened during the year of the Flood. The only animals and people that survived the Flood were those that were sheltered on the ark. God told Noah to build this ark to His specifications. God then brought two of every kind of animal (seven of each clean) to Noah to preserve them through the Flood. Noah and his wife, and his sons and their wives, were the only humans who entered the ark and were preserved through the Flood. After the Flood was over, the ark settled in the mountains of Ararat and everything came off the ark. They began to repopulate the earth and spread out over the new landscape. As this happened, different groups separated from each other and some information for that kind was no longer available to the other groups of that kind. Natural selection (which Biblical creationists have no problem with) acted upon the available information to create various new “sub-kinds” of animals (what evolutionists might call species). These new “sub-kinds” were better suited to their new environments and continued to grow and flourish. This means that the idea that God created “fixed species” is not a Biblical argument (although it is often used as a strawman argument to show that what Christians believe doesn’t follow what science shows…Fixity of species is actually a pagan Greek idea started by Aristotle).

 

Meanwhile, man also was fruitful and multiplied. They began to grow and flourish, and at this point, they all had the same language. Unfortunately, they chose to rebel against God’s directive to fill the earth and instead stayed in the plain of Shinar. While there, they decided (in pride) to build a tower to heaven in order to make a name for themselves and keep themselves from being “scattered abroad” (which is what God commanded them to do). Because of their rebellion, God came down and confused their languages so that different families couldn’t understand each other anymore. Because of the confusion, the different families (with their different languages) spread out over the earth. Like the animals that came off the ark, the human groups that separated from each other no longer had access to the some of the information in the human kind. Then, natural selection began to work on the information available and caused the different groups of people to adapt to their new environments.

 

Models based on the Biblical view of origins are still being developed (starting from scripture, instead of changing it), and make sense of much of the information that we gain from the different sciences. Even so, this view does explain many of the things that evolutionists have no evidence for. The Biblical view of origins explains where man came from and why. It explains how all living things came about. It also makes sense of the fossil record. The Flood buried a large number of terrestrial and marine animals very quickly (some were giving birth when they got buried) which prevented them from being eaten or broken down by the elements (contrary to what would have happened over millions of years). This would give us a large number of various fossils that were fully formed and lacked transitional forms in a few layers, which is exactly what we see. It also gives an explanation for the information found in the DNA code. God is infinitely intelligent. Because He created all things, it is only natural that He would be the source for the information found in DNA.

 

The Problem with the Biblical View

 

The problem with the Biblical view is not how it explains the evidence that we find in nature. The problem that many who promote evolution have with the Biblical view is something completely different. If the Biblical view is true then those who promote evolution are not only wrong, they are accountable. If the God of the Bible truly created everything in the universe, then He owns everything. Everything that God made belongs to Him and He has the right to say how things should be. This would mean that judgment is true. This would mean that none of us have the right to live our lives the way we want without being a rebel. This would mean that each of us would have to give an account of how we lived our lives and why we rebelled against God. It would mean that sin is real and taking thousands to hell. It would mean that God is angry with sinners. This is something that many people can’t or don’t want to think about.

 

Sadly, there are many “Christians” who don’t like this either. Some of them say that God used evolution, which disagrees with what the Bible says. A majority of them, however, don’t like the idea of hell and therefore create a different God that is “all-loving” and “all-forgiving”. They make excuses about people who have never heard the gospel, and back peddle to avoid having to think about whether or not they will go to hell. They call themselves “Christians” but deny the exclusivity of Jesus. They water down the truth in order to suit the lifestyle they currently live instead of getting rid of their pride and changing to conform to the Word. Like many of the “Christians” who compromised the truth to accept the current world ideas, these men and women do the same. The problem comes when those current worldviews change again. Will the compromising Christians change to follow the world and how will they explain it? Unfortunately, like the definition of evolution, the definition of Christianity has become plastic to include whatever people want it to mean. When people talk about evolution the definition can mean “changes over time” or “molecules changing into man” or whatever else it needs to be to try and make sense of the newest information available. In the same way, being a “Christian” no longer is strictly defined by the Biblical standard. Instead, being a “Christian” can now mean anything that you want it to mean. It can mean that you believe that there are many ways to get to heaven, even though Jesus said that He is the only way (John 14:6). It can mean that the majority of people are not going to hell because they’re good people, even though the Bible says that we are all sinners (Romans 3:23) and rebels against God and that every one of us deserves hell. It can mean that you can live your life however you want and sin your heart out as long as you ask for “forgiveness”, disregarding the idea that if someone truly loves Christ, they will not willingly commit sins because it would mock the sacrifice of Jesus, show that our words don’t mean anything, and possibly prevent people from truly getting saved. It is because so many think that they are Christians and living in opposition to the truth that many mock and curse God.

 

The Biblical view of origins is the only one that not only makes sense of how we came about, but it is the only one that gives us hope that we can escape the judgment to come if we will come to God on His terms. There is no other worldview that gives man anything like Christianity does.

 

One of the things that appalls me is the fact that we just got through the celebration of Jesus’ birth on Christmas and the majority of churches and churchgoers glossed over this in favor of presents and family and events. Many of these same churches and churchgoers will be part of the celebrations of a man who developed an idea that denies God and draws people away from the truth. Those who name the name of Christ should be ashamed for this. We should be telling people the truth, not only about Biblical origins, but about the truth of what’s to come and how they can be sure to escape the wrath of God.

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