Saturday, September 23, 2017

Creation and evolution, part 1

I almost titled these lessons 'creation versus evolution' but I am not mainly addressing that issue. Primarily, this series is about different views of how Christians believe creation took place. Not many Americans, including the American church community, still believe in a literal Six-Day creation of the world. On the other hand, most do not really believe in theory of evolution as secular scientists teach either. (I am using the common term 'theory of evolution', though it is not really accurate scientifically. A more correct term would be 'hypothesis of evolution', but I will use the common term so that all can follow more easily.)

In this series, I will discuss several points of view regarding creation and how it was done. I will cover Young Earth Creationism, Intelligent Design, The Gap Theory and Theistic Evolution. I will talk about their strengths and weaknesses and where scriptures support or do not support each point of view. I am not an expert in any of this, but I have studied a bit and have definite opinions on these matters.

In my own life, I grew up being taught the "pure" theory of evolution. Since I believed in God all my life, I figured that God "got the ball rolling" so to speak and that He made sure that we would evolve and inhabit this planet. This is called Theistic Evolution. Accepting this is easy when you do not believe the Bible or really know what it says. You can accept whatever scientists have to say and then put God in the beginning. When I received the Lord at age 15, I continued to believe the theory of evolution but I added one thing. I figured that God had to give us human souls at some point along the way. (Today I would say human spirits, but I did not understand the tripartite nature of man.)

So I was satisfied that I had the truth about creation though I was still far from the real truth. Unfortunately, I did not really seriously begin to read my Bible until I went to college. Near the end of my freshman year, I was discussing my views with a more mature Christian. He challenged me on my views. He asked me that if I were to take Genesis chapter one seriously, would it jibe with my views. In other words, could I honestly interpret the creation passages and come out with the theory of evolution. I struggled with that. During the next summer, I began to study what the scriptures said, but I had trouble in my mind because I was convinced that the scientists were right.

I went to a Christian bookstore and found a book called, "Man's Origin, Man's Destiny" by Dr. A. E. Wilder-Smith. He had a PhD. in organic chemistry along with a couple of other doctorates. He did not believe in the theory of evolution but in a literal six-day creation according to Genesis 1. He said that what stirred him to speak about the biblical creation and against evolutionary theory was reading an article that stated that "every scientist believes in the theory of evolution." This bothered him because he was a scientist and he did not believe in the theory of evolution, and he was not alone. To prove it, he contacted many scientists over the next few weeks and found over a hundred scientists who believed as he did.

So he wrote this book not to uphold the biblical record but to show that evolution, as taught in the scientific community, was not possible. I can recall a few of the things he wrote. First, he talked about how old the earth is and the methods used to determine the ages of rocks, etc. He asserted that scientists use circular reasoning in their methods. One thing they do is see how much the atoms have decayed over time. By knowing the rate of decay the scientist can learn when the rock was formed. (The half-life, which can be millions of years, helps determine this.) But Wilder-Smith noted that we do not know how the rock started out. God could have created in an advanced state of "decay". Scientists use the theory of evolution that states that the rock starts out in a "pure" form, undecayed. So the theory tells us how to date the rock and the date of the rock is used to prove the theory. This is circular reasoning - using a theory to prove itself. It is a logical fallacy.

He also noted that sea mammals could not have simply gone, as evolutionists claim, from being land mammals to being sea mammals. We can know this from studying the nipples of a mammal who lives in the sea like a whale and compare them to the nipples of a land mammal. The nipple of a sea mammal must be very complex or the baby will drown. The nipple of a land mammal is very simple and cannot be used by a sea mammal. So if, as evolutionists say, sea mammals went from the land to the sea, the nipple could not have evolved quick enough to keep the babies from drowning.

So I realized that the theory of evolution, which is spoken of so confidently by just about everyone it seemed, had a lot of problems. I realized it would take faith to accept the theory of evolution just as it would take faith to accept what Genesis said. I chose Genesis. I have never regretted that choice and it helped me to move beyond natural, human thinking to thinking biblically. Isn't that our goal: to think biblically, to think how God thinks and not be limited by our own reasoning?

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