Regarding the Genesis account of the beginning of our world it is intriguing to read what some scholars who are not theists have concluded. For instance, Robert Jastrow, has asserted that “Now we see how the astronomical evidence leads to a biblical view of the origin of the world. All the details differ, but the essential element in the astronomical and biblical accounts of Genesis is the same; the chain of events leading to man commenced suddenly and sharply, at a definite moment in time….The scientists’ pursuit of the past ends in the moment of creation. This is an exceedingly strange development, unexpected by all but theologians. They have always accepted the word of the Bible…”1
Now isn’t that fascinating particularly as contention has been brewing and gaining momentum between molecular biologists, paleontologists and macroevolutionists regarding the age of the human race. The constant adjustment of the age of humanity has only exacerbated this argument. In the late 1950s, the age of mankind was between 5 and 15 million years. Around the mid-1970s, this age was changed to between 5 and 7 million years. Then toward the end of the 1970s it was adjusted again. This time it was said that mankind was 1 million years old. The mid 1980s saw another adjustment as the age was reduced to 800,000 years old. By the end of the 1980s it was said to be between 50,000 and 200,000 years old. The 1990s, saw yet another adjustment. This time the age of humanity was estimated to be only 43,000 years old.2 Something to think about.
If, as Jastrow, posits, the chain of events leading to man were sudden, it means that man appeared suddenly on the scene, fully formed, with all his faculties intact, and that there was no process of transitional development spanning millions of years from lower life forms into the human race we have now, as the Bible says.
1 Robert Jastrow (1992). God and the Astronomers. New York. W.W. Norton & Co. pp. 106-107
2 Norman Geisler & Peter Bocchino (2001). Unshakable Foundations: Contemporary Answers to Crucial Questions about the Christian Faith. Bethany House Publishers. Bloomington, Minnesota. pp. 186-187
We live in an age when we insist that in order to believe in something, we need to experience and prove it by our senses. That is, we must touch it, smell it, hear it, taste it or see it otherwise it is not real. Our generation has specialized in walking by sight. Having faith in the things of God and his kingdom is scorned and ridiculed as credulity. It is regarded as a default unintellectual position. The dictionary defines credulity as a “readiness or willingness to believe especially on slight or uncertain evidence.” So I ask, what empirical or scientific evidence is there to support the process of evolution? And yet, evolutionists are touted as scholars and thinkers in academia. There are incessant voices that insist that if you cannot prove it scientifically or test it in a laboratory, you should never believe it because it is either a figment of one’s imagination or mere superstition emanating from minds that have no ability to think or reason. This assertion, that one can only know what is real through scientific methods, cannot itself be scientifically proven. Therefore, it qualifies to be put in the category of a figment of one’s imagination. There is nothing wrong with science itself. As engineer-turned-clergyman, John G. Lake once remarked, science tells us how God does things. Through science we have learned great truths about our universe and our physical bodies. We have also been able to learn and to cure and prevent disease through scientific discoveries, which has remarkably increased our life expectancy. But science is being used as a weapon against faith. It is amazing how it is being venerated as a new ideology called scientism. The tendency is to turn all argumentation-whether it concerns politics or social issues- into scientific obsessions to give them needed rationality. No wonder some have concluded that this makes “lab-coated scientists into priests,” which is the very thing they disdain.
To insist that only that which can be empirically proven is real or true is to be mistaken since there are many things in our universe that are considered to be real although they cannot be scientifically proven. For example, we know that numbers are real although they exist outside of space and time. As theologian and philosopher, Dr. J.P. Moreland asserts, science is not able to prove mathematics. It merely presupposes it. Similarly, no one can empirically quantify love or kindness or compassion and yet we know that they are real. No one can see thoughts. Yet as you are reading this, you are thinking, consciously. This means that it is true that there are things that exist that are not physical or tangible such as demons, angels, Jesus, the Holy Spirit and God. Believers in the Christian faith should not be ashamed because they believe in that which cannot be scientifically proven. The apostle Paul, a scholar of his time, declares that it is the things that are not seen [physically] that are eternal (2 Cor. 4:18). This is a time for believers to earnestly seek the grace to sanctify Christ as Lord in the heart and to always be ready to give an answer to everyone who asks a reason for the hope that is within us (1 Peter 3:15). But this must be done with meekness and reverence, and not with acerbic anger.
When scholars rejected the theory of gradualism as the explanation for how life came to be on earth and criticized it for not being founded on observational evidence, macroevolutionists developed another theory known as Punctuated Equilibria. Punctuated Equilibria mainly attempts to explain why species in the fossil record do not show any transitional form from one species to another. The second reason for developing the theory of punctuated equilibria was to attempt to explain the sudden appearance of new life forms in the fossil record that were not preceded by any steady transformation of their so-called ancestors.
Proponents of punctuated equilibria insist that there were times, during the process of macroevolution, when some species showed very little change, but changes were actually taking place in the organisms’ genes, imperceptibly. These changes, were largely orchestrated by environmental pressure, and are alleged to have occurred over an extended period of time. These changes were allegedly followed by sudden bursts or punctuations of the life forms, transforming them into completely new species. This explanation is an attempt to answer questions raised about the gaps found in the fossil record-the significant fissures or gaps so evident in the macroevolutionary phylogenetic tree. Both gradualism and punctuated equilibrium as explanations of macroevolution have been repudiated by some scholars and theologians as mere speculations without any observational scientific evidence.
After evaluating the theory of evolution, Dr. James Coppedge from the Center for Probability Research in Biology in California, found that it was at variance with the science of probability. The article by Kevin Martin states that Dr. Coppedge “applied all the laws of probability studies to the possibility of a single cell coming into existence by chance. He considered in the same way a single protein molecule, and even a single gene. His discoveries are revolutionary. He computed a world in which the entire crust of the earth – all the oceans, all the atoms, and the whole crust were available. He then had these amino acids bind at a rate one and one-half trillion times faster than they do in nature. In computing the possibilities, he found that to provide a single protein molecule by chance combination would take 10, to the 262nd power, years…To get a single cell – the single smallest living cell known to mankind – which is called the mycroplasm hominis H39, would take 10, to the 119,841st power, years. That means that if you took thin pieces of paper and wrote 1 and then wrote zeros after (it), you would fill up the entire known universe with paper before you could ever even write that number. That is how many years it would take to make one living cell, smaller than any human cell!”1
Contemplate on that for a moment!
Then there is the Second Law of Thermodynamics which states that although the total amount of energy in the universe has remained constant, yet the amount of usable energy is continuing to decrease, and cannot be reused.2 This trend of events ultimately leads to decay. This is contrary to claims by evolutionists who insist that organisms are actually advancing and becoming better through mutation. These arguments are just the tip of the iceberg as far as this debate is concerned.
But why should anyone bother about such arguments? Because the attack against the tenets of the Christian faith is becoming intensely sophisticated. It is getting more shrill and militant. The findings of a study by the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA indicates that after 3 years of college, 23% of students stop attending religious services,3 and 59% of freshmen who had indicated they were born again Christians when they first entered college could no longer say so after 4 years in college.4 This means that we need to prepare our children to be able to defend their faith and not be intimidated by individuals using academic jargon to try and repudiate it.
Scripture warns us to “Be careful that nobody spoils your faith through intellectualism or high-sounding nonsense. Such stuff is at best founded on men’s ideas of the nature of the world and disregards Christ!” (Colossians 2:8, Phillips Version).
1 Kevin Martin (n.d.). 17 Evidences against Evolution. Accessed from http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/Evolution%20Hoax/evidences.htm
3 Preliminary Findings on Spiritual Development and the College Experience: A Longitudinal Analysis (2000–2003). Online article from http://spirituality.ucla.edu/docs/results/pilot/Longitudinal_00-03.pdf
4 John Stonestreet & Chuck Edwards (2015). Students Abandoning the Faith: Why It Happens and What We Can Do. Online Article from http://www.summit.org/resources/essays/students-abandoning-the-faith/