The portrayal of creationists by their evolutionist detractors
The writings of several prominent evolutionists have been critically examined for comments about creationists. Their remarks are invariably disparaging or misrepresent the creationist position, and can be placed into several categories, according to the tactics used. Only rarely are creationists’ opinions accurately portrayed. Rather, there is clear bias (against Biblical views), and the authors make no attempt to substantiate the claims being made. Also, some instances of evolutionists’ flawed logic are described.
The statements of evolutionists are a clear demonstration of their unjustified bias against the straightforward young-Earth creationist (hereafter, creationist) view, as taught in Genesis. Indeed, evolutionists are often willing to resort to all manner of arguments, tactics and schemes, all of which are expressly designed to ridicule the views of Bible-believing Christians. The quotations that follow, from the recent writings of well-known and influential evolutionists, have been categorized according to the main line of argument that is being used to discredit the creationist position. They should serve as a useful resource for those engaged in the Creation/evolution debate.
What evolutionists say about creationists/creation
“Creationists are bigoted fundamentalists”
People who adhere to a fundamental belief in Genesis as God’s infallible Word are variously castigated as a fanatical, bigoted, even dangerous, religious minority. They are disparaged as being those who cling to outmoded ideas in the face of the supposedly overwhelming weight of evidence for evolution. The writings of Daniel Dennett, a philosopher, ultra-Darwinist and committed atheist, epitomize this attitude:
“But hasn’t there been a tremendous rebirth of fundamentalist faith in all these creeds? Yes, unfortunately there has been, and I think that there are no forces on this planet more dangerous to us all than the fanaticisms of fundamentalism….”1
Steven Rose, a neuroscientist, is a self-professing materialist but a vocal critic of ultra-Darwinism and reductionism. Nevertheless, he is careful to distance himself from their main opponents:
“In attacking ultra-Darwinism in this way I want to make it absolutely clear that I have no intention of departing from a materialist view of life, nor of giving any ground at all to anti-Darwinian fundamentalists, creationists or New Age mystics of any shape or hue.”2
The intended impression is that fundamental, Biblical views equate to bigotry because of their insistence on ‘unwarranted’ interpretation of Genesis (or believing the Bible at all). Furthermore, this has the effect of blinding this deviant minority to the ‘factual’ support for evolution from biology and paleontology. Richard Fortey is a senior paleontologist at the Natural History Museum, London, and the author of several books. He concurs:
“The great battles which palaeontology fought in the nineteenth century (and sadly continues to fight in some quarters) have been against an over-literal reading of biblical history.”3
Creationists, it is asserted, not only have a blind faith in the Bible but are equally blind to the ‘truth’ of evolution that is staring them in the face. Until his death in 1997, Brian Silver was Professor of Physical Chemistry at the Technicon Israel Institute of Technology. His last book states:
“And if these phenomena exist [i.e. the existence of mutations and the mixing of genes due to sexual reproduction], then there is a mechanism for the creation of new species from old. A reasoned refutation of evolution has become so difficult that the opposition is now largely confined to fundamentalists, those who believe in the literal truth of the Bible, and specifically in Gen. 1:27: “And God created man in His image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” This leaves little room for argument. Genesis is a powerful and brilliantly imaginative myth. As an account of the origin of the Earth and the creatures living on it, it is wildly improbable….”4
Some theistic evolutionists are prepared to go even further, claiming that such fundamentalists are guilty of putting a stumbling block in the way of those who might otherwise come to Christian faith. Russell Stannard is a professor of physics at the Open University in the United Kingdom and the author of several popular children’s science books. Although a professing Christian however (who denies the Virginal Conception and many miracles of Christ), he writes:
“Literalist, fundamentalist Christians have always bothered me. On the one hand, they clearly have a deep respect and love for the Bible, which I unreservedly applaud. But theirs is an approach that appears to fly in the face of the scientific evidence…the creationist movement remains powerful, especially in the USA. Sadly, its activities lead to a significant number of scientists becoming contemptuous of all religion.”5
“Creationists are not real scientists”
Not only are Creation-believers allegedly bigoted in regard to their Biblical views, those who are practising scientists are invariably stated to be non-scientific, pseudoscientific or ‘scientific’. Clearly, to describe people as ‘creation scientists’—i.e. to add the quotation marks—is to subtly undermine their academic credentials, with the deliberate intention of denying their authority in scientific matters. As with any ploy that attempts to relegate the status of creationists from that of true scientists to ‘quacks’, the writer hopes that the creationists’ scientific pronouncements will then not be seriously considered. Dennett is characteristically blunt, whilst seemingly unaware that his own undisguised bigotry smacks of hypocrisy:
“[Darwin’s theory] has been pilloried in caricature by opponents, some of whom would have it compete in our children’s schools with “creation science”, a pathetic hodge-podge of pious pseudo-science.”1
Other authors follow a similar tack in their put-downs of creationists, as the following quotations show, from books by Stannard, Fortey and Silver respectively:
“I have always found it puzzling that physicists seem more inclined to be religious than biologists. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that biologists are continually being forced to defend their ideas on evolution against non-scientifically-minded creationists.”5
“The narrative of life requires a scale of thousands to millions of years, acting over a drama of more than 3,000 million years. Geologists are insouciant in the face of these figures. Creation ‘scientists’ simply do not believe them.”3
“Unfortunately, pseudoscientific babble from a variety of sources has suggested that science is on the side of the creationists, since the second law [of thermodynamics] supposedly precludes the spontaneous formation of organized systems. Ergo, life required a supernatural hand.”4
To describe creationists as non-scientific is to redefine science. Real science deals with such things as hypotheses, predictions, repeatable experiments and hard facts. In the light of this, such caricatures of creationists are often a case of the ‘pot calling the kettle black’, as demonstrated by the following admission by Fortey in his most recent book:
“In most rock sections…we assume that every trilobite novelty that appears was an evolutionary innovation even when the rocks themselves often provide no details of its origin…. This rather mundane truth has been misappropriated by creation “scientists” as evidence that “fossils don’t provide support for evolution”—which is not the same thing at all.” [emphasis added]6
Fortey wants readers to believe that the confessed absence of fossil evidence for trilobites’ evolutionary origin (i.e. lack of undisputed transitional forms) does not prevent trilobite phylogeny from being traced from their fossils.
So, the discontinuity of trilobite morphologies—whilst confirming Creation to the unprejudiced mind—is asserted to be evidence for evolution, the truth of which was assumed a priori. Such absolute belief in evolution prevents its falsification because, as here, contradictions are simply re-interpreted as evidence!
“Creationists are deliberate misinformers”
A particularly serious misrepresentation of creationists is that they are liars, intent on indoctrinating the next generation with false teaching. Predictably, Dennett pulls no punches:
“Save the Baptists! Yes, of course, but not by all means. Not if it means tolerating the deliberate misinforming of children about the natural world. According to a recent poll, 48 percent of the people in the United States today believe that the book of Genesis is literally true. And 70 percent believe that “creation science” should be taught in school alongside evolution…. Misinforming a child is a terrible offence.’1
‘If you insist on teaching your children falsehoods—that the Earth is flat, that “Man” is not a product of evolution by natural selection—then you must expect, at the very least, that those of us who have freedom of speech will feel free to describe your teachings as the spreading of falsehoods, and will attempt to demonstrate this to your children at our earliest opportunity.”1
The second law of thermodynamics has been misused by people on both sides of the creation/evolution debate. Whether in an isolated, closed or open system, raw energy cannot generate the specified complex information in living things. Finely tuned chemical systems are needed for plants to grow. The plants harness the energy from the sun (through ‘machinery’ in the chlorophyll) and use it to produce biologically meaningful products. Undirected energy just speeds up destruction. Similarly, undirected energy flow though an alleged primordial soup will break down the complex molecules of life faster than they are formed.
It is deeply ironical that Dennett believes in freedom of speech for the minority in the United States who wish to indoctrinate the children of the majority about evolution. Yet he would deny this same freedom to the majority on the grounds that they would be committing a ‘terrible offence’. Although it might be argued that his views represent a minority of evolutionists, he is certainly, and rather disturbingly, not a lone voice. Dennett describes the Creation-believer’s denial of human evolution as a falsehood whereas teaching people that they are the product of blind evolution is, in truth, perhaps the most destructive falsehood of our day. A verse of Scripture seems particularly pertinent here:
“Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isa. 5:20)
“Creationists are of questionable intellect”
‘No normal person could really believe that!’ ‘Only a fool could accept these ideas!’ This kind of ‘intellectual bullying’ is common. The aim is clearly to paint a picture of your opponent as someone verging on the insane, or at least, whose ideas are simplistic and naive. Dennett uses this particular tactic liberally:
“The kindly God who fashioned each and every one of us (all creatures great and small) and sprinkled the sky with shining stars for our delight—that God is, like Santa Claus, a myth of childhood, not anything a sane, undeluded adult could literally believe in.”1
“To put it bluntly but fairly, anyone today who doubts that the variety of life on this planet was produced by a process of evolution is simply ignorant—inexcusably ignorant, in a world where three out of four people have learned to read and write.”1
Theistic evolutionist, Professor R.J. (Sam) Berry is geneticist at University College, London and past President of Christians in Science. In an interview with Russell Stannard he gave the following opinion of creation science:
“It’s a very over-simplistic viewpoint…. What we are told [in the Bible] has to be reinterpreted in every generation…I am an ape. I am an ape made in the image of God, and I’ve got to bring these together. This doesn’t mean watering down either in any way…. So many Christians have a half-baked faith; for them, its faith or science. But it isn’t that, it’s faith and science.”5
Berry believes that the fallible opinions of mere men can be reconciled with the God’s inerrant Word without diluting either. He fails to see the contradiction that his own words contain, namely that this bringing together of evolution and the Bible necessitates that one view be ‘reinterpreted’; no prizes for guessing which one! Nevertheless, he readily describes those who opt for a more literalist view of Creation as having an inferior faith and would no doubt agree with Silver’s comment that:
“Science does not disprove the creationist thesis, but it does not support it either. It just makes it look infantile.”4
Ernst Mayr (b. 1904) is a famous evolutionary biologist and atheist, author of some of the 20th century’s most influential volumes on evolution including What Evolution Is this year; he is also Professor Emeritus of Zoology at Harvard University. He sums up the consensus of opinion among evolutionists, and indeed of the average layperson, when he says:
‘No educated person any longer questions the validity of the so-called theory of evolution, which we now know to be a simple fact.’7
“Creationists believe … ”—the use of ‘straw man’ arguments
Straw man arguments are quite commonly found in the evolutionist literature. So is the relating of creationist beliefs that are so outdated that hardly any bona fide creationist holds the position today. Such misrepresentation of Bible- believing scientists is a sad commentary on the supposed objectivity of scientists. Stephen J. Gould (1941-2002) was a palaeontologist and prolific science writer at the popular level. To the lay person, he was probably the USA’s most famous evolutionist. Certainly, he should have known better than to write the following:
“…every time I collect fossils in Paleozoic rocks…I predict that I will not find fossil mammals—for mammals evolved in the subsequent Triassic period (while young-earth creationists, claiming that God made life in six days of twenty-four hours, should expect to encounter mammals in all strata).”8
Informed creationists do not use such simplistic reasoning; the absence of mammalian fossils from much of the geological record does not contradict their expectations. Briefly, the fossil record speaks of rapid burial and death, contrary to God’s creation of life, but a specific prediction of the global Flood of Genesis (see chapter 7:19-23).
Many creationists interpret the general fossil succession as broadly representative of different, antediluvial ecological zones (with their peculiar assemblage of organisms), which were successively inundated by the waters of Noah’s Flood and, maybe, subsequent, more localised catastrophes.
Rose should know better than to make the following faux pas, or is it a deliberate ‘straw man’?
“According to biblical myth, life on Earth began during the seven days [sic] of Genesis, when God individually created the progenitor pair of each species. These proliferated until the days of Noah’s flood, when breeding pairs of all the world’s species boarded the Ark and were thus spared to begin the process of repopulating the Earth once the floodwaters had subsided.”2
It is inexcusable for an informed evolutionist to still be trotting out the old chestnut that God created each speciesof organism, with which we are familiar today, and that two of each species had to be taken on the Ark. Creationists believe that God created each kind of animal and that pairs of each kind of land vertebrates went on board Noah’s Ark; kinds do not necessarily equate to the taxonomic species.
The following, extreme example of the use of a ‘straw man’ argument, illustrates the lengths to which some will go, in order to discredit their creationist opponents:
“Fundamentalists have found ingenious ways to discount the scientific evidence for evolution. The classic example is the suggestion that fossils were deliberately concocted and placed in the Earth by Satan himself in order to deceive man, and that one can even detect a devilish whiff of sulfur at the sites of fossil remains. In fairness to the proponents of such views, it must be conceded that they cannot be disproved, either by reason or by observation. They are just staggeringly improbable, which is why I ignore them.”4
When creationists are more accurately represented
The following quotations from evolutionists give a fairer description of what creationists believe. In fact, some writers seem to be more informed about creationist views than they are usually prepared to let on. If this is true, their ‘strategies’ for misrepresenting creationists are all the more inexcusable. However, while creationist views are more accurately stated, a fallacious rebuttal of their position invariably follows. Creationists agree with the logic expressed by those whom Dennett describes here:
“Many people apparently think that ethics is in deep trouble if it turns out that human beings aren’t, as the Bible tells us, just a little below the angels.”1
Gould, obviously aware that creationists believe evolution to be religious in nature, is nevertheless quick to try and sidestep this by fact:
“Our creationist detractors charge that evolution is an unproved and unprovable charade—a secular religion masquerading as science. They claim, above all, that evolution generates no predictions, never exposes itself to test, and therefore stands as a dogma rather than disprovable science. This claim is nonsense. We make and test risky predictions all the time; our success is not dogma, but a highly probable indication of evolution’s basic truth….”8
Richard Dawkins was at one time was Professor of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University. He is an ultra-Darwinist and atheist, the author of a number of influential books advocating neo-Darwinism, and famous for his opposition to creationism. For once, creationists will endorse some of what he says when he states that:
“Any Designer capable of constructing the dazzling array of living things would have to be intelligent and complicated beyond all imagining. And complicated is just another word for improbable—and therefore demanding of explanation…. [A simple God] would be too simple to be capable of designing the universe (to say nothing of forgiving sins, answering prayers, blessing unions, transubstantiating wine, and the various other achievements variously expected of him).”9
His commitment to naturalism demands that allthings should, in theory, be explainable; he would ‘put God in a box’, if he could. His writings are largely an attempt, so it would seem, to counter the authority of God’s Word; i.e. a critique of Rom. 1:20.
It is evolution that is improbable, but Dawkins’ believes he can explain how it happened.10 Belief in Creation also requires faith but it is eminently reasonable, because it accepts the role of the omnipotent, all-Wise Creator. Silver disagrees, but finishes his sentence with a statement that accurately represents what many creationists do believe to be true of evolution:
“As an account of the origin of the Earth and the creatures living on it, [Genesis] is wildly improbable, but creationists believe that the theory of evolution is ‘simply the continuation of Satan’s long war against God’.”4
It is very rare indeed for the specific research of creationists to receive so much as a mention in popular-level science books and magazines, as this would require a detailed and well-reasoned rebuttal, rather than the sort of ‘hand-waving’ we have seen. In light of this fact, the more widely that creationist literature can be disseminated the better. As God-honouring ministries, such as Creation Ministries International, the Institute for Creation Research (and others), spread the truth about the straightforward Bible teaching with respect to origins, it should become increasingly difficult for this sort of misrepresentation to have its intended negative impact.
Statements about the Creator or biblical origins
Claims made without supporting reasons
The following quotations are examples of bald assertions about matters of origins and, since reasons for the statements being made are not given, these claims effectively express the evolutionist’s faith; i.e. assurance of the statement’s truth in spite of contrary/missing evidence. Richard Leakey is a well-known palaeoanthropologist and author of numerous books on human origins. He believes that:
“While we may be special in many ways, special explanations of our origin and of our place in the universe are not necessary.”11 Dawkins boldly asserts that:
“No sane creator, setting out from scratch to design a flat-fish [talking here specifically of plaice, sole and flounders], would have conceived on his drawing board the absurd distortion of the head needed to bring both eyes round to one side.”9
But, what special knowledge does Dawkins possess, entitling him to make pronouncements about how and what the Creator should or should not have done? Elsewhere, his faith in naturalism as the ultimate truth explains his arrogance:
“But if an engineer looks at an animal or organ and sees that it is well designed to perform some task, then I will stand up and assert that natural selection is responsible for the goodness of apparent design.”9
Silver would be quite at home with the latter viewpoint, concluding that evolutionary biology is inexorably leading to a diminishing of the uniqueness of human beings:
“The unwillingness to include man in a deterministic universe, the hope that free will really operates . is one of the drives behind creationism. Unfortunately, the more we learn of biology, the more it seems that man is just a particularly complicated example of organized matter.”4
Sadly, many readers of science books, at the lay person’s level, get so caught up in the arguments being used to bolster evolution that they imbibe these kinds of polemical statements too. Yet, they amount to nothing more than thinly disguised question-begging; i.e. they assume as true the very thing they purport to be trying to prove.
The outright rejection of Scripture
Philosopher Daniel Dennett.
This section deals with plain statements of the Bible (e.g. in regard to the nature/existence of the Creator) that are mentioned and summarily denied, sometimes with a frank admission of the person’s own, contrary beliefs. For instance, Daniel Dennett begins his book, Darwin’s Dangerous Idea, with song lyrics about human love in response to God’s creative handiwork, but in the last few pages, he muses:
“I began this book with a song which I myself cherish…I hope my grandson learns it and passes it on to his grandson, but at the same time I do not myself believe, and do not really want my grandson to believe, the doctrines that are so movingly expressed in that song. They are too simple. They are, in a word—wrong…the song is a beautiful, comforting falsehood.”1
As a result of his rabid atheism, Dennett appears to wrestle with paradoxes of his own making:
“I love the King James Version of the Bible. My own spirit recoils from a God Who is He or She [sic] in the same way my heart sinks when I see a lion pacing neurotically back and forth in a small zoo cage. I know, I know, the lion is beautiful but dangerous; if you let the lion roam free, it would kill me; safety demands that it be put in a cage. Safety demands that religions be put in cages too—when absolutely necessary.”1
These are poignant remarks indeed. There is a hint of the inner contradictions that the atheist must live with by not allowing himself to ponder the real issues too much. Something in the human spirit, even of fallen man, witnesses to the truth of Scriptural statements about the nature of our Creator God and a person denies it at their peril:
“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 [divine nature], so that they are without excuse.” (Rom. 1:20)
“The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God’.” (Psa. 14:1)
“The foolishness of a man twists his way, and his heart frets against the Lord.” (Prov. 19:3).
An incident that Dawkins relates is particularly sad:
“I asked [my daughter Juliet] what she thought wild flowers were for. She gave a rather thoughtful answer. ‘Two things’, she said. ‘To make the world pretty, and to help the bees make honey for us.’ I was touched by this and sorry I had to tell her that it wasn’t true…. It has long been widely believed that brute creation is here for our benefit.” The first chapter of Genesis is explicit. Man has “dominion” over all living things, and the animals and plants are there for our delight and our use [emphasis added].9
The inherent purposes and attributes of God in Creation are ‘clearly seen’ (Rom. 1:20), even to the child of an ardent atheist. Yet, of the likes of Dawkins, Scripture declares, ‘Professing to be wise, they became fools…’ (Rom. 1:22).
The following is from a conversation between Stannard (a theistic evolutionist) and Dawkins:
“One of the things about Richard [Dawkins] that has always provoked my curiosity is what drives him. Why is he so militantly atheist…? ‘…the reason why I’m driven is probably more to do with the fact that I have such a strong feeling for the Universe…. It’s such a richly rewarding experience to share in that understanding that I feel desperately sad that people are deprived of that experience by being fed what I see as inadequate—medieval, in many cases—substitutes for it. most people who are influenced by religion are, I believe, impoverished rather than enriched by it. Without it, they would have a vision of the Universe, of life, and of their place in it which is bigger, more dignified, more uplifting’.”5
If Stannard is prepared to subjugate the Genesis account of Adam and Eve (and Gospel miracle accounts) to a contemporary, evolutionary interpretation, his position (like that of his fellow theistic evolutionists) does away with the theological basis for believing that man is, in any way, special. As is often the case, it is non-Christian scientists who appreciate this fact most clearly. The physicist and popular science writer, Paul Davies, considers that extra-terrestrial life is very likely to exist and thinks its discovery would be very significant. He told Stannard, in an interview:
“I think the discovery of even a humble bacterium somewhere else in the Universe (if we could be sure it had evolved independently of life on Earth) would be momentous. Those people who cling to the idea that humanity is the pinnacle of creation, or that somehow we were made in the image of God, would I think receive a rude shock….”5
That evolutionary belief destroys the logical basis for mankind’s special place in the universe, is clearly appreciated by Rose:
“For biologists, humans are not the product of special creation by an all-wise and all-powerful deity, but the more or less accidental product of evolutionary forces working over almost unimaginable aeons of time.”2
Mayr unashamedly preaches ‘another gospel’; namely that evolutionary belief serves to liberate people from having to accept God as Creator, thereby allowing them spiritual freedom:
“The theory of evolution by natural selection explains the adaptedness and diversity of the world solely materialistically. It no longer requires God as creator or designer … Eliminating God from
science made room for strictly scientific explanations of all natural phenomena; it gave rise to positivism; it produced a powerful intellectual and spiritual revolution, the effects of which have lasted to this day.”7
We see from these men’s writings just how fatal the doctrine of evolution is to the Christian worldview. They are perfectly aware that Gen. 1-11 teaches a history that is fundamentally at odds with evolutionary history. Undermine the Bible’s history—as they are intent on doing—and you eliminate the legitimacy of the Bible’s teaching that God is Lawgiver, Judge and Saviour (see Isa. 33:22).
Perceptive comments with which creationists can agree
It is a significant and sad indictment of the Christian church today, that proponents of humanism have a keen understanding of the wider implications of evolutionary belief, while many Christian leaders seem content to adopt compromise positions (e.g. theistic evolution). The quotations in this section reveal that atheists and humanists agree with creationists about the foundational nature of the book of Genesis to all aspects of Christianity. For example, one can endorse Dennett here:
“Now if you believe the Bible…is literally the word of God … , then you do indeed have grounds
for believing that the ethical precepts found in the Bible have a special warrant that no other writings could have. If, on the other hand, you believe that the Bible…is really a nonmiraculous product of human culture, issuing from some one or more human authors, then you will grant it no authority beyond tradition and whatever its arguments generate by their own cogency.”1
Dawkins made the following, very revealing comments in an interview with Russell Stannard:
“Richard Dawkins…sees no need at all to bring in the idea of a creator god. ‘I call it explanatory overkill. It’s putting two explanations in where one will do. The theory of evolution by natural selection is on its own sufficient to explain life. It may be that God on his own is sufficient to explain life. If I were God I wouldn’t do it by evolution! I would do it directly. By invoking the idea of evolution by natural selection as God’s way of doing it, you are in effect invoking the one way which makes it look as though God isn’t there. So if God chose that way of doing it, then he deliberately chose a way which totally covered his tracks.’ ‘If he was there, and this was in fact the way he did it,’ I persisted, ‘would you say that the nature of this particular process casts some light on the kind of God he would be?’ ‘I think it would show him to be totally indifferent . . The consequence of natural selection is suffering on an enormous scale all over the world. It’s not that nature is malevolent…. It’s just that misery of this kind is precisely what you’d expect if nature is totally indifferent to suffering” [emphasis added].12
The prominent biologist and atheist, Will Provine, has been actively engaged in the Creation versus evolution debate for some time and told Stannard his views on creationists:
“I think creation scientists are intellectually honest in their beliefs. If evolution is true, then none of the things that deeply religious people want to be true are in fact true. No God. No life after death. No free will. No ultimate meaning in life and no ultimate foundation for ethics. All of these things are taken away, and I believe creationists have a keen appreciation of this fact. So I sympathize with their general point of view. In other words, they say evolution cannot have occurred. I understand the sentiment. I just believe they’re wrong. If modern evolutionary biology is true, then the traditional foundations for religion are gone [emphasis added].”5
Paul Davies expressed similar sentiments when Stannard interviewed him about alien life:
“Christianity, in particular, has difficulties with regard to the very special role that Jesus Christ plays.
The Church should give a lot of attention to exactly how it wishes to regard possible alien beings. If they wish to retain Jesus Christ as the saviour, is he the saviour of mankind only, or of all sentient beings throughout the Universe? Or will each community have its own saviour? Doesn’t it all start to become a little bit ludicrous?”5
Wikipedia: Lock & Whitfield
Thomas Henry Huxley (1825–1895)
Since the time of Darwin’s contemporary, Thomas Henry Huxley (the popularizer of modern scientific humanism), professing atheists have tacitly admitted that the whole Christian basis for ethics and morality, the nature of God and the very Gospel of Jesus Christ depend on the historicity of Genesis.13 In a day when even evangelical theologians are increasingly capitulating to contemporary views of origins, it is vital that the foundations be restored—i.e. a high view of the book of Genesis as God’s inspired and non-negotiable Word.
We have reviewed the manner in which creationists are portrayed by prominent evolutionists, who are writing at the level of the intelligent lay person. Some of the depictions of creationists are the disparaging remarks that one might expect from those whose view of life’s origins are so poorly supported by science, logic, common sense and Scripture. However, with some categories of remarks there almost seems to be a premeditated attempt to undermine the authority of creation scientists; i.e. those who conduct their scientific endeavours on the basis of the plain statements of Gen. 1-11. This is to say that the remarks bear the telltale signs of scheming, expressly designed to discredit those who adhere to Biblical Creation.
For those who are very familiar with the secular literature, this may be stating the obvious, for we are aware of the intrinsic bias that exists, not only towards creationists, but also towards hard, factual evidence that does not complement the prevailing evolutionary, long-ages paradigm. However, the onus on those who are in a position to educate others—be they school children, college students or adults—is to teach them to identify bias also. What questions should be asked when reading what evolutionists have written in books, magazine articles or the specialist scientific journals? What biases should be borne in mind? After all, bald-faced lies are usually fairly easy to spot. It is arguments that mix truths (that Christians accept) with inaccurate or unsubstantiated statements that are more subtle and insidious.14
References and notes
- Dennett, D.C., Darwin’s Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life, Allen Lane, The Penguin Press, London, p. 515, 1995. Return to text.
- Rose, S., Lifelines: Biology, Freedom, Determinism, Allen Lane, The Penguin Press, London, p. xi, 1997. Return to text.
- Fortey, R., Life: An Unauthorised Biography A Natural History of the First 4,000,000,000 Years of Life on Earth, HarperCollins Publishers, London, p. 292, 1997. Return to text.
- Silver, B.L., The Ascent of Science, Oxford University Press, New York, p. 283, 1998. Return to text.
- Stannard, R., Science and Wonders: Conversations about Science and Belief, Faber and Faber Limited, London, p. 13, 1996. This book, based on the BBC Radio 4 series of the same title, is based on interviews with nearly forty scientists and philosophers. Return to text.
- Fortey, R., Trilobite! Eyewitness to Evolution, Flamingo, HarperCollins Publishers, p. 152, 2001. Return to text.
- Mayr, E., Darwin’s influence on modern thought, Scientific American 283(1):78-83, July 2000 | doi:10.1038/scientificamerican0700-78. Return to text.
- Gould, S.J., Dinosaur in a Haystack: Reflections in Natural History, Jonathan Cape, London, p. 409, 1996. Return to text.
- Dawkins, R., Climbing Mount Improbable, Viking Penguin, London, p. 68, 1996. Return to text.
- The irony is that Dawkins fails to apply his own (somewhat faulty) logic to the evolutionary process. He considers complexity to be improbable (hence the title of his book, Climbing Mount Improbable; see Ref. 9) but, according to his logic, it therefore demands an explanation. Yet, it has been well documented that his writings do not come close to offering a viable mechanism for neo-Darwinian evolution—including in the pages of this journal: Bohlin, R.G., Up the river without a paddle. River out of Eden: a Darwinian view of life; Review of: Dawkins, R., River out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life, Basic Books, New York, 1996, CEN Tech. J. 10(3):322-327, 1996. Sarfati, J., Climbing Mount Improbable, J. Creation (CEN Tech. J.) 12(1):29-34, 1998; review of Ref. 9. Truman, R., Disappointing delusion; review of: Dawkins, R., Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion, and the Appetite for Wonder, Houghton Mifflin Company, New York, 1998, J. Creation (CEN Tech. J.) 13(1):33-36, 1999. On the contrary, his masterfully told ‘just-so stories’ and analogies with computer-generated evolving ‘life-forms’ are a futile attempt to build a bridge across the vast canyon that exists between his fiction and reality. The fiction is that occasionally advantageous mutations in an organism’s genome provide the raw material for natural selection to work with, so that new kinds of organisms eventually emerge. The proven reality is that any theory of gradualism is doomed because mutations always result in a loss of genetic information, never an increase (see Spetner, L., Not by Chance! Shattering the Modern Theory of Evolution, The Judaica Press, 1997) a fact of which Dawkins himself is painfully aware (see: From a Frog to a Prince). Furthermore, the very organs and systems he attempts to explain are by their very nature, irreducibly complex; see Behe, M. J., Darwin’s Black Box. The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution, The Free Press, 1996. Return to text.
- Leakey, R. and Lewin, R., Origins Reconsidered: In Search of What Makes Us Human, Little, Brown and Company, London, p. 341, 1992. Return to text.
- Stannard, Ref. 5, pp. 40-41; see also Woodmorappe, J., The horse and the tractor: Why God and evolution don’t mix, Creation 22(4):53, 2000; creation.com/horsetractor. Return to text.
- See chapter 3 of Dennett, Ref. 1, pp. 61-84, where the atheistic philosopher, Daniel Dennett, uses the metaphor of ‘Universal Acid’ to describe the impact of evolutionary teaching. He says (p. 63): ‘Little did I realize that in a few years I would encounter an idea—Darwin’s idea—bearing an unmistakable likeness to universal acid: it eats through just about every traditional concept, and leaves in its wake a revolutionized world-view….’ Furthermore, he claims (p. 82): ‘Darwin’s dangerous idea is reductionism incarnate, promising to unite and explain just about everything in one magnificent vision.’ For a helpful review of this book, see: Anon, Universal acid, Creation 19(2):4, 1997. Return to text.
- Of course, this tactic is as old as the garden of Eden. In Gen. 3, we read of the devil subtly misquoting God’s own words to Eve (verse 1), followed by a blatant denial of God’s solemn warning of the consequences of disobedience (verse 4) and a misrepresentation of God’s reasons for forbidding them from taking the fruit of the one tree (verse 5). Return to text.
I have often received similar treatments from several of my atheistic friends. They continue to go round and round in circles. They keep repeating the same mistakes and falsehoods. Although I do point out in great detail where their arguments and criticisms fail, they appear to either ignore them or are deliberately avoiding the issues. Often they don’t even come back with a half-baked argument, they just keep repeating the same old falsehoods as if they are a broken record. Anyway, I enjoy their conversations as I kept them busy, until recently where they have given up, probably in disgust at the notion they have lost the argument. Alternatively, I’ve got them thinking properly for a change, which is probably unlikely but good if so.
This was a particularly good article. Strangely (or perhaps not surprisingly) I found my self expressing gratitude and worship to God as I read through. Our position as Christians is both consistent and reasonable and confirms the goodness of our God in creation and the amazing promise of an eternity in the presence of his love. Men such as Paul Davies are sad to behold (Even if they are blissfully unaware). He fails to appreciate, and therefore experience, the great love of God expressed in the cross of Jesus Christ. As the Scriptures say: The cross is an offence to some, a stumbling block to others. From Genesis to Calvary we see the benevolent hand of our redeemer. Keep up the good work.
It is interesting to use your guidelines for comment and apply them to the detractors you describe.The uniform rupture of your guidelines even among those who profess regard for the scriptures is significant. The bible clearly describes the state of mind of many such people in Romans 1:18-32 and 2Peter 3:1-18 (particularly v.5). The response is also prescribed so we show our gratitude to God by maintaining a respectful reproof of such people.It does seem that the attacks are often designed to provoke a response in kind and not in kindness.
Well Done Philip Bell! Your quote;
"Such absolute belief in evolution prevents its falsification because, as here, contradictions are simply re-interpreted as evidence!"
That hits the nail on the logical head. "Convergence" springs to mind, or "stasis".
For me this sums up how we can differentiate between lies and truth. If the logic shows where there is a falsification, then a true scientific attitude is to follow where such negative evidence leads.(away from evolution)
Your quotes of evolutionists overwhelmingly show a swamp of emotive epithets and falsehoods. I think such reactions show worldly FEAR. If people were to hear the true reasonings for creation, the evolutionists pretty much know that they wouldn't have a leg to stand on, ergo we are anathema to them, we "should" be wrong, but aren't, and this disgusts them.
It's really pleasing to see Creationist Scientists such as Philip, Don Batten, and the rest of you guys. I don't think you guys know just how much hope and teaching you give us. I was bewildered as a teenager, and actually believed that nobody in the world disbelieved in evolution. If it wasn't for the organisations you cited I would have probably not matured in faith, I don't see how I could have given such mental confusion, but we know that God is not the author of confusion! Just by politely being an example of Christ, you guys just quietly giving wise refutations, those that matter will see it! People aren't stupid, they know the difference between genuine arguments and insults.
In a small scale, you can take any manmade object, for example a car, and do the same exercise:
Try to explain it with only materialistic methods, with an a priori decision to remove any intelligent designer involved.
You would probably end up with billions of years.
The real problem for the sinner is not that the Bible is hard to believe, but the consequences and demands on his life. Man loves darkness rather than light.
Good article. Though, I'm surprised the "Creationists are hard headed, they will refuse logic and reason so you will never convince them" was not included since I see this one more than often.
The article wasn't exhaustive, of course. But I agree that this challenge is a common one. Regarding the use of logic and reason, I would advise such detractors to read Jonathan Sarfati's helpful article: creation.com/loving-god-with-all-your-mind-logic-and-creation. Of course, the issue of differing world-views is crucial in understanding the impasse that's often reached between ardent evolutionists and biblical creationists. One of many good articles on the subject is creation.com/worldview-supremacy.
Let me say that your website has had truly transformational effects on my faith and life. Exposing evolution for the "faith and religion" that it is has given me a new perspective on all things. Raised in schools that teach this horrible thought process as fact is a danger to all that listen.
The best part of your site is the indexing of articles. Fact after fact after fact can be found. I would suggest you link your article named "The father of lies" by Neil Marsden from 2005 to this article, "The portrayal of creationists by their evolutionist detractors" (listed in case of needed reference).
I believe Marsden's article is relevant, and although CMI doesn't specifically deal with eschatology and end times, isn't is clearly ironic that the Antichrist is referred to as a "beast" in Daniel and the Revelation of John? All should take notice of the dangerous delusion being forced on our socities.
Have a blessed day, and thank you for all of your hard work. It is wonderful to know there is true science in creationism. A science that is created by the Great Creator Himself.
“I have always found it puzzling that physicists seem more inclined to be religious than biologists. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that biologists are continually being forced to defend their ideas on evolution against non-scientifically-minded creationists.”
Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that biology is a softer science than physics because it lacks mathematical precision. This gives evolutionist enough wiggle room to play with the jaw bone of an ape or the tooth of a pig.
Richard Dawkins retired from Oxford at the end of 2008. Here is a thumbnail sketch of the current holder of his previous position, taken from: [the Oxford University website]
Professor Marcus du Sautoy OBE is the second holder of the Charles Simonyi Chair in the Public Understanding of Science at the University of Oxford.
A Fellow of New College, Oxford, and winner of the 2001 Berwick Prize of the London Mathematical Society, Professor du Sautoy regularly writes for The Times, The Guardian and The Daily Telegraph.
He … has also written numerous academic articles and popular books on mathematics, including the bestseller The Music of the Primes, which was also televised on BBC Four in 2005. His latest book Finding Moonshine was published in February 2008. In the 2010 New Year Honours, Professor du Sautoy was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE).
Professor du Sautoy has been involved in science at Oxford since 1983 when he first arrived as a mathematics undergraduate. He is a member of the University's Mathematical Institute and is a Senior Media Fellow of the EPSRC. His research interests include understanding the world of symmetry using zeta functions, a classical tool from number theory. His work uses a wide range of methods including p-adic Lie groups, model theory, algebraic geometry and analytic methods.
Commenting on his new appointment, Professor du Sautoy said: 'For me, science is about discovery but it is also about communication. A scientific discovery barely exists until it is communicated and brought to life in the minds of others.'
'I am passionately dedicated to giving as many people as possible access to the exciting and beautiful world of mathematics and science that I inhabit. I want to reveal why it is such a powerful way to understand the world. A mathematically and scientifically literate society is essential given the huge role science now plays in our world.'
Let’s hope that Prof. du Sautoy can give us a more informed view than his predecessor.
I agree that, judging by the television programme output I've personally see from Prof du Sautoy, he is already fulfilling the role of promoting 'the public understanding of science' honourably and effectively; far more so than his infamous predecessor. While not a creationist, he doesn't show signs of being an ardent detractor and misrepresenter of creationists.
This article is excellent and thinking through it carefully raises several 'ifs' and 'buts'. I'd like to mention just two.
The first concerns spirituality. If materialism is true then where does spirituality come from?
"Mayr unashamedly preaches ‘another gospel’; namely that evolutionary belief serves to liberate people from having to accept God as Creator, thereby allowing them spiritual freedom:
“The theory of evolution by natural selection explains the adaptedness and diversity of the world solely materialistically. It no longer requires God as creator or designer … . Eliminating God from science made room for strictly scientific explanations of all natural phenomena; it gave rise to positivism; it produced a powerful intellectual and spiritual revolution, the effects of which have lasted to this day.”"[ref]
If we no longer accept God as Creator, then where does "spiritual freedom" come from? How did "eliminating God from science" produce a "spiritual revolution"?
When God made man in his own likeness surely that was as a spiritual being? What animal has a spirit? Or is this just my personal heresy?
The Paul Davies quote provokes my second question.
“Christianity, in particular, has difficulties with regard to the very special role that Jesus Christ plays. The Church should give a lot of attention to exactly how it wishes to regard possible alien beings. If they wish to retain Jesus Christ as the saviour, is he the saviour of mankind only, or of all sentient beings throughout the Universe? Or will each community have its own saviour? Doesn’t it all start to become a little bit ludicrous?”
IF other sentient beings have been created throughout the universe, why does he suppose they will all need a saviour? Does he believe "each community" would inevitably have its own 'Adam'. Surely he's arguing in a vacuum?
I will not comment on all that you've written as many of your thoughtful remarks and questions speak for themselves.
On God making "man in his own likeness", in His image, see: creation.com/made-in-the-image-of-god. A more in-depth treatement is: creation.com/man-the-image-of-god. Animals souls or spirits? See: creation.com/animal-souls-slaughter-and-the-bible.
Regarding Paul Davies' question, I believe there is a certain logic to it. Indeed it should provoke serious thought among those Christians who entertain thoughts of sentient intelligent beings inhabiting other parts of our Universe. I encourage you to read Gary Bates' seminal book on this subject, Alien Intrusion (search the webstore on this site) and Gary's articles on these matters (search on 'aliens' using the search engine).
I have actually seen cases where even Christians have misrepresented biblical creationism. I know of at least one who frequently posts videos from atheists that he believes prove that evolution and the Big Bang are true. I hardly ever see him use anything from Christian sources to prove his point. He also has flip-flopped between saying that we creationists are interpreting the Bible wrong to saying that the Bible is not infallible when it comes to origins, then he flip-flopped back.
Thanks for a very well written and informative article. I truly believe that faith in the God of the Holy Bible is strengthened by articles describing legitimate, creation-based research, and the results obtained.
No wonder evolutionists cling to their arguments. They have no welcome alternative suppositions against which to test their prevailing notions, nor do they desire anything that threatens the comforts afforded them by their existing world views.
The anti-God aspect of every attack on Christianity and biblical Creation arguments arises from subconscious fear that bible assertions might be true after all, and that such a prospect would portend adverse personal outcomes. Surely it is fear that prompts the resulting animus. Who among us assumes a defensive/offensive posture against things we regard as having no power to affect us negatively? However, for any of us who are confronted by a dubious unknown, fear and ignorance may well trigger instant revulsion and the fight-or flight-response.
One cannot learn from that which one refuses to acknowledge, consciously, as being remotely credible or reasonably possible. When personally contrived intellectual, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing are suddenly shattered by irrefutable concepts that a right mind can not honestly dismiss, two outcomes are possible. For some, it may lead to an all-resolving epiphany, and truly genuine personal comfort. For others, it can produce a devastating void and sudden emotional implosion. Those who fear this void must cling desperately to what little they have and reject all else.
Christians have no real-time, Creation Week videos on DVD. Neither do evolutionists have media documenting presumed millions of years of evolution. Evolutionists must rely on conjecture and supposition alone. Meanwhile, Christians have up-to-the-minute evidence that he, whom they address in prayer, and whose real presence is clearly evident in their personal lives, and whose Word is confirmed in their daily experiences - these individuals are reasonably assured of the plausible veracity of literal, biblical recountings of the distant past, from Creation and forward, exactly as described in the Holy Bible.
Christians have the additional advantage of knowing that proper scientific research has, and does, confirm biblical assertions. This further justifies their faith in salvation through Christ and eternal life in God’s kingdom. God promises this will happen, again and again.
For anyone else, counterfeit truths must be devised to quell vague fears arising from an inherited sense of ancient and present disobediences, unfulfilled accountabilities, and punishments due, with no one but self available to make restitution.Vain untruths breed hatred of those who have no such worries, and also hatred of any authority one might blame for the burden of guilt that persists under continuing ignorance of God’s grace.