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Feedback archive Feedback 2012

Skeptic puzzled by ‘Question Evolution’ campaign

Atheist is both appreciative, but perplexed over CMI’s use of science

Published: 11 February 2012 (GMT+10)

Sam B. emailed us, having spent some hours reading articles on creation.com, after being alerted to CMI’s Question Evolution campaign by an atheist blog site. Sam’s email is presented in its entirety and then Philip Bell responds.

After spending the better part of 4 hours reading through mounds of information that is presented on your website, I stand extremely confused. I am a member of Reddit, another online community and an atheist. From one of the sub-threads, I came here to read about the ‘Question Evolution’ campaign that you are running. As well as an atheist, I am also an evolutionist and a neuroscientist and viewing the qualifications of your main contributors as fellow scientists is personally quite alarming to me that they hold such staunch creationist viewpoints in spite of their scientific backgrounds. In my opinion, creation belief and science are two completely incompatible things. And before you say, ‘of course they aren’t!’ let me explain why I think they are. I understand how many different people from all walks of life indulge in their own ideas about the origins of life. I think it is completely acceptable for someone to say that they do not know how life or the universe originated, but they believe some form of higher being may have got everything started. Although I do not share this particular view, I will accept this view from others as a natural human response to wanting answers per se. What I do not believe is acceptable however, is refuting evolution in favour of what is said in the bible. The bible was written more than 2 millennia ago, by men. It was not physically written by God, but by men. From your own statement of faith you admit that men (or women!) are fallible and subject to mistake making (in my personal view contributors of the writings in the bible were fulfilling prophecies made earlier on). Another flaw I seem to keep thinking of is that of-who was there to witness Noah building his ark and a great flood? I would assume it to be highly improbable that there were several scribes present at the time taking notes. Again, even if these happenings were described to someone by God in a dream etc, who is this man to say this? We have no proof whatsoever that what this man is saying is true. He could be making the entire thing up, and it is extremely scary that Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists any other religion you wish to name (but namely for the sake of argument here on a Christian website the Judao-Christian bible) would base their entire life, way of life, views, behaviours-on what you have heard from nothing more than fellow man. I do not wish to come here to bowl you over with my egotistical atheistic views, but more to engage your logical and reasonable side. You are all (mostly) scientists. You understand the vast complexities in the universe. You understand that science is based on experimental observable facts, painstakingly peer reviewed. Why oh why, would you after receiving Masters degrees and other things, then refer to an archaic text for scientific fact? You must know deep down that it is not true. I fear for the future of evolution. I believe that it does not in any way contradict a belief in God. Or even as I have stated before the start of the universe. Please, more than anything, just reconsider basing so much of your belief system on a book for which there is not a shred of proof for the contents. Again-not saying not for the existence of God-but for events and anti-evolutionary standpoints. Evolution is an innately beautiful mechanism that has lead to the existence of every single species on the planet. The complexity of the human brain is owed to millions-not thousands-of year of evolutionary processes and it would be a complete waste to think your complexity just appeared out of thin air. It saddens me deeply.

Lastly, I would like to thank your for your site not being a usual creationist dogmatic-shove it down my throat-kind of affair. I appreciate that you actually use science in your justifications rather than push against it. I would love to hear back from somebody, to possibly answer or refute anything I have said. I send this message out of good spirit and do not wish to cause offence or upset to anyone.

Many thanks-

Sam

Dear Sam,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on CMI’s Question Evolution campaign with us.

First, let me say that I appreciate that you have taken time to do some reading on our website. Unfortunately, many are quick to disagree and criticise without checking out what we actually believe and teach.

Please see my response below, interspersed with your comments.

Note: The links I give below are generally to category lists rather than individual articles. I have taken this approach with you so that you can see the wealth of thoughtful discussion of the many issues raised. Even to view the subtopics covered, by merely browsing the many article titles, should highlight that we do not shrink from active engagement over details. Read one or two articles from each page of links and I am sure you will have a better grasp of what creationists actually believe.

After spending the better part of 4 hours reading through mounds of information that is presented on your website, I stand extremely confused. I am a member of Reddit, another online community and an atheist. From one of the sub-threads, I came here to read about the ‘Question Evolution’ campaign that you are running. As well as an atheist, I am also an evolutionist and a neuroscientist and viewing the qualifications of your main contributors as fellow scientists is personally quite alarming to me that they hold such staunch creationist viewpoints in spite of their scientific backgrounds.

I assume that your confusion arises from your puzzlement that qualified scientists and thinking people (who “use science in [our] justifications rather than push against it” to quote from near the end of your feedback) are also people with strong Christian faith. But the faith versus science dichotomy is a false one (as this helpful article shows comprehensively), as is the idea that logic and reason are incompatible with Christianity.

In my opinion, creation belief and science are two completely incompatible things. And before you say, ‘of course they aren’t!’ let me explain why I think they are. I understand how many different people from all walks of life indulge in their own ideas about the origins of life. I think it is completely acceptable for someone to say that they do not know how life or the universe originated, but they believe some form of higher being may have got everything started. Although I do not share this particular view, I will accept this view from others as a natural human response to wanting answers per se. What I do not believe is acceptable however, is refuting evolution in favour of what is said in the bible.

Thus we completely agree that ‘creation belief and science’ are completely different things, where the latter is empirical science (of the sort that you are engaged in as a neuroscientist). However, in just the same way, belief in past evolution and empirical science are completely different things. … by evolution, I mean that all organic life has descended by modification over millions of years from a common ancestor.

CMI’s position is to acknowledge and insist on the role of world-views in shaping everyone’s understanding of past history. This includes a person’s belief in events which are hypothesised to have taken place but which none of us can observe, whether from our perspective as evolutionists, creationists, Intelligent Design advocates or whatever. Thus, we completely agree that “creation belief and science” are completely different things, where the latter is empirical science (of the sort that you are engaged in as a neuroscientist). However, in just the same way, belief in past evolution and empirical science are completely different things. Definitions are as slippery as eels so let me explain that, by evolution, I mean that all organic life has descended by modification over millions of years from a common ancestor. Thus CMI has no issue with natural selection but we dispute that this is the same as evolution as just defined. If you browse CMI’s website further you will find ample evidence, running to literally thousands of articles, showing what we actually teach, as opposed to what many anti-theists believe and/or claim we teach, including that we do not dispute that much biological change has occurred, can and continues to occur. This includes an explicit belief in speciation (based on our understanding of history, informed by the Bible). We acknowledge the role of mutations in biological variation but show how Neo-Darwinism falls far short of solving the arrival (origin) of the first species of living organisms, as opposed to their survival. The latter points of disagreement, note, can be discussed purely on a logic/science level, without any recourse to belief or disbelief in Scripture.

Evolution, if it happened (on this we disagree) happened in the dim and distant past and is not observable today. Our contention is that it is entirely justifiable to Question Evolution because the mechanisms offered to supposedly explain how it happened (remember the definition of evolution that I am using) are wanting. The issue of the needed incrementally added de novo genetic information (to effect large-scale morphological change) cannot simply be ignored by those who profess to be empiricists. Neither can the many sound arguments for the improbability of biogenesis to form self-reproducing cells in the first place—the necessary units of Darwinian natural selection.

The bible was written more than 2 millennia ago, by men. It was not physically written by God, but by men. From your own statement of faith you admit that men (or women!) are fallible and subject to mistake making (in my personal view contributors of the writings in the bible were fulfilling prophecies made earlier on).

While human beings were the agents God used to physically write the Bible, this does not mean that God was not the ultimate writer/author—the hallmarks of Divine authorship of the Bible are found throughout Scripture.

Another flaw I seem to keep thinking of is that of-who was there to witness Noah building his ark and a great flood? I would assume it to be highly improbable that there were several scribes present at the time taking notes. Again, even if these happenings were described to someone by God in a dream etc, who is this man to say this? We have no proof whatsoever that what this man is saying is true. He could be making the entire thing up,

Please read articles from the previous link to see what we say about the authority of the Bible, how it was written and so on. While we agree with the testimony of no less than Jesus Himself regarding Moses’ authorship (c. 1500 BC) of the Pentateuch (the first five books), which includes Genesis (see here), it seems he acted also as a compiler of existing written records. This is strongly supported by a consideration of the toledoth (in the Hebrew) of the Genesis record as being subscript statements (colophons). Thus, we believe Noah was one of those who wrote material (that Moses later utilised under the inspiration of God), including information about God’s communications to him, the building of the Ark, the timing and events of the Flood and so on. The test of the veracity of such written records is in considerations of the internal consistency of the Bible and researching the effects of such a global destructive event on the world’s geology, biology and anthropology. All of these areas and more are dealt with exhaustively in numerous other articles on CMI’s website.

and it is extremely scary that Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists any other religion you wish to name (but namely for the sake of argument here on a Christian website the Judeo-Christian bible) would base their entire life, way of life, views, behaviours-on what you have heard from nothing more than fellow man.

But, why “scary”? With respect, what can such a value statement really mean within an atheistic worldview? Whether something is scary, good, evil, worrying, logical (or whatever) doesn’t really follow from a belief that human beings are the product of a universe that didn’t have us in mind and doesn’t care that we’re here; within which—to quote Richard Dawkins—there’s “nothing but blind pitiless indifference”. On what basis does anything matter from this perspective? To quote from this article from one of my colleagues:

Purpose for the atheist?

If we are merely a complex arrangement of atoms emanating from the cosmic fluke called the big bang, from whence come purpose and meaning for the atheist? The Humanist Manifesto III tries to find meaning in some nice-sounding words:

“Life’s fulfillment emerges from individual participation in the service of humane ideals. … Humans are social by nature and find meaning in relationships. … Working to benefit society maximizes individual happiness.”

But why should anyone serve humane ideals? If we are just atoms, mere matter, what does it matter that people are humane or not humane; whether people suffer or don’t suffer? Whether we have good relationships or bad? Whether people are happy or unhappy? Ultimately we will all become fertilizer anyway, so why should anything matter for these few short years of life?

Furthermore, you base your life on what you have heard from your fellow man. Your thoughts about almost everything derive from what others have said. The big question of course is which is the most reliable source of authority for what we believe? Even from a purely human level the Bible is the distillation of thousands of years of human experience. But it claims to be more than that, from the very Creator of the Universe; the One who knows all there is to know—and if it is that, we neglect it to our peril.

I do not wish to come here to bowl you over with my egotistical atheistic views, but more to engage your logical and reasonable side. You are all (mostly) scientists. You understand the vast complexities in the universe. You understand that science is based on experimental observable facts, painstakingly peer reviewed. Why oh why, would you after receiving Masters degrees and other things, then refer to an archaic text for scientific fact?

This is a misunderstanding. Informed Christians do not rely on the Bible to verify that water boils at 100 degrees Celsius at sea level, to understand the principles of the internal combustion engine or to explore the potential of a new anti-cancer drug. Operational/experimental science (such as I and other scientifically trained CMI staff have, like you, been involved in) is limited to the present world. Yet, all of us, regardless of our worldview or beliefs/non-beliefs form opinions about past earth history. Since we are not in a position to jump into a time machine (except in thought experiments) and actually go back and observe and test past events, we are limited to speculation (however reasonable and well-informed). Thus, questions about evolution (not just how it may have happened, but whether it did happen) are a matter of historical (or origins) science, explained comprehensively in chapter 2 of Refuting evolution 2.

You must know deep down that it is not true.

… consider that the evolution of the myriad forms of life on this planet is supposed to have happened during deep time, long before human beings (as we know them today) existed. Therefore, it should be acceptable to question whether it is true; any other position concedes that evolution has become a dogma.

Au contraire, having some gut feeling or knowing something “deep down” doesn’t come into true science—and that applies to all of us, whether professed Christians or atheists, or anyone else. If evolution really is scientific, consider why it is that you have slipped into using such language—for you imply by this statement that you yourself know deep down that evolution is true. I could tell you (very truthfully) that I “know deep down” that the Bible is the very Word of God—the Creator of all that exists, myself included; moreover that He stepped into history as my Saviour in the person of Jesus Christ. This involves the realm of my personal experience of God in my own life, in the lives of my own family and friends, of answered prayer, of experiencing the incredible relevance and accuracy of Scripture in numerous instances, and so on. None of those things are necessarily of any consequence to other people, of course.

I can’t resist responding, quite sincerely, by saying “You must know deep down that evolution is not true.” Yet, such a statement finds no place in unadulterated scientific reasoning, as mentioned. However, consider that the evolution of the myriad forms of life on this planet is supposed to have happened during deep time, long before human beings (as we know them today) existed. Therefore, it should be acceptable to question whether it is true; any other position concedes that evolution has become a dogma. Quite apart from faith considerations, it is precisely because of CMI’s understanding of how science works and of the evidence at our disposal, that we are convinced that evolution is not true—our conclusion is not based on feelings, good or bad.

I fear for the future of evolution. I believe that it does not in any way contradict a belief in God.

With respect Sam, this is a little rich, coming from a professed disbeliever in God, though, to be fair to you, it does very much depend on one’s concept of God. Please see some of our articles listed under theistic evolution on this page. The character of the ‘god’ who would allegedly have put evolution to work to create life would logically be poles apart from the God of the Bible, not least because of the issue of death and suffering. In short, a god who superintended evolution, nature red in tooth and claw (Tennyson), as a “very good” process of Creation (see Genesis 1:31) is hardly a Being to whom one would logically be inclined to pray for help in the face of death and suffering. Atheist philosopher and molecular biologist Jacques Monod wrote:

“The more cruel because it is a process of elimination, of destruction. The struggle for life and elimination of the weakest is a horrible process, against which our whole modern ethics revolts. An ideal society is a non-selective society, is one where the weak is protected; which is exactly the reverse of the so-called natural law. I am surprised that a Christian would defend the idea that this is the process which God more or less set up in order to have evolution (emphasis added).” From Chance and Necessity, 1970.

Or even as I have stated before the start of the universe. Please, more than anything, just reconsider basing so much of your belief system on a book for which there is not a shred of proof for the contents. Again-not saying not for the existence of God-but for events and anti-evolutionary standpoints. Evolution is an innately beautiful mechanism

Yes, Darwin claimed “there is grandeur in this view of life” (near the end of the Origin) but soon afterwards admits that “the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving” (humankind, though he was being coy at this stage in his career) owed itself to “the war of nature, famine and death”. As a biologist, I can admit to the fascination of watching how a bird of prey targets and seizes its hapless victim—yet I doubt that too many people, biologists included, would argue that this is beautiful. Perhaps you had other aspects of the supposed mechanics of evolution in mind—but death is very much part of the engine room of evolution and cannot be divorced from the other aspects of how evolution supposedly produced the astonishing variety of living organisms.

… sadness … has no meaning within the framework of a godless, purposeless universe. … such feelings amount to just so many synaptic firings of your brain. And reduced further, the actions of acetylcholine, dopamine and all the other neurotransmitters are ultimately just the fortuitous (or not) assemblies of so many atoms, all of these things ‘ungloriously’ purposeless.

that has lead to the existence of every single species on the planet. The complexity of the human brain is owed to millions-not thousands-of year of evolutionary processes

Think for a moment—How do you know this to be true? (Search on our website to find many articles on this issue too).

and it would be a complete waste to think your complexity just appeared out of thin air. It saddens me deeply.

At risk of sounding like a scratched record, sadness, like being ‘scared’, has no meaning within the framework of a godless, purposeless universe. To the extent that you feel sad, even you—if you are to be a consistent atheist—would have to admit that such feelings amount to just so many synaptic firings of your brain. And reduced further, the actions of acetylcholine, dopamine and all the other neurotransmitters are ultimately just the fortuitous (or not) assemblies of so many atoms, all of these things ‘ungloriously’ purposeless.

Lastly, I would like to thank you for your site not being a usual creationist dogmatic-shove it down my throat-kind of affair. I appreciate that you actually use science in your justifications rather than push against it. I would love to hear back from somebody, to possibly answer or refute anything I have said. I send this message out of good spirit and do not wish to cause offence or upset to anyone.

This response is sent is the same good spirit. Nevertheless, it is my sincere hope that you go beyond the back-and-forth rhetoric that inevitably characterises such discussions, between those of opposing points of view, and dig deeper.

Many thanks-

Sam

Sincere regards,

Philip Bell

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Readers’ comments
Andrew A., United Kingdom

Man! I wish I could write and speak as succinctly as the contributors/authors of CMI (Philip, Carl, et al.)

Very inspiring indeed …

Now to my own boring Uni essay writing :)

God Bless and keep up the exceedingly exceptional work!

Terence T., South Africa, 11 February 2012

“and it would be a complete waste to think your complexity just appeared out of thin air.” We didn’t appear out of thin air but from the very word of God. I cannot think there could be any more glorious experience than to have been able to witness creation taking place. Even as one who didn’t witness it I often imagine what it must have been like to witness these events. My imagination runs wild and my heart is filled with a variety of awed feelings at watching my Creator create. Imagining evolution however does nothing to excite me or cause wonder. Whatever our beliefs in origins I find it difficult to understand how one can for a moment think evolution is more exciting and though Philip refuted feeling sad for an evolutionist as a Christian I can feel sad; I feel sad that anyone can think evolution is more exciting and special and have nothing to thank and worship for the process. The story of creation is wonderous and beautiful and we who believe this story also have a Creator to thank and worship and even more beautiful a Creator to relate with in our lives. No sadness need be felt for us. I pray that Sam in his questioning and searching discovers our joy.

Steve T., Australia, 11 February 2012

PB wrote “But it [the Bible] claims to be more than that, from the very Creator of the Universe; the One who knows all there is to know—and if it is that, we neglect it to our peril.”
Pascal’s wager states,

“The Truths: Either God exists, or God doesn’t exist.
The ways to live: You can live as if God exists, or you can live as if God doesn’t exist.
Combining these we have the following conclusions:
If God doesn’t exist, and you live as though He doesn’t exist, you have no losses.
If God doesn’t exist, and you live as though He does, you have no losses but gain the advantages of a better life.
If God does exist, and you live as though He doesn’t, you lose big time.
If God does exist, and you live as though He does, you have no losses and gain everything.”
Pascal’s wager

Cowboy B. S., United States, 11 February 2012

I wonder what Sam thinks of “Question Evolution DAY” on February 12. Perhaps he is “scared” for the “future of evolution”, because of grass-roots movements that people like me seize on and spread the word that evolution IS to be questioned.

Warren C., United States, 11 February 2012

I agree entirely with the previous comment [Ed. Andrew, A.]. Your website is such an awesome resource for “thinking” Christians who participate in technological, engineering or other “scientific” endeavors. It’s only fault is that it is not much more widely known. I’m doing my part, informing as many friends as possible. However, I hope you will find a way of making it much more widely known.

Sandra R., United States, 11 February 2012

“I fear for the future of evolution.”
Why on earth would he “fear” for evolution? If evolution was true, then how could a belief in a non-existent God stop it? How could anything stop it?
It seems “deep in his heart” he knows evolution is not true but just can’t get it up to his brain.

Dave B., United Kingdom, 11 February 2012

Great article— I’d love to see a debate between this questioner and one of you guys (and/or Dr Grady McMurtry) on Revelation TV. It could be run over several sessions to satisfactorily cover the topic. Richard Dawkins runs scared of the invitation— but this guy seems reasonable.

Ivan S., South Africa, 11 February 2012

I too concur [Ed. With Andrew A.’s comment] , if only every spirit-Filled, Bible believing Son of God had this Wisdom within.

Mike J., Canada, 11 February 2012

It’s nice to see a courteous response to creation for once. (The vulgar anti-creationist screeds one usually reads on blogs must be embarrassing to many atheists.)
I’d like to make just a couple comments;
1. “In my opinion, creation belief and science are two completely incompatible things.”
-Things (eg. creation and science) can be ‘separate’ (to the extent this is possible in a uni-verse with a single creator and a single providential plan) without being incompatible.
Science and creation would only be incompatible if the world were not in fact created. There is nothing preventing a creationist from acquiring knowledge about how the world works.
Science (knowledge) and creation aren’t opposites. They’d only be ‘opposites’ if the world were not created. I would rather say that creation is the reason anything can be compatible; the reason there is harmony between the various sciences.
2. “I fear for the future of evolution.”
-This strikes me as a strange thing to say. The writer is personifying an abstraction (or a physical process if you prefer).
Why would you fear for ‘evolution’ in any event. It’s not creationists who talk about human beings taking over from evolution and directing the process rationally; it’s atheists and materialists. They’re the ones who want to do away with evolution; it’s they that want to negate its role (and function) in the modern world. eg. people like Dawkins tell us we must not let the strong exploit the weak, etc. They tell us man must take control of evolution, but what they mean is that we must bring evolution to an end. i.e. man can do a better job at this point in the game.
It’s interesting to me that so many professed evolutionists don’t in fact like evolution, and actually find it repellent. I not only find evolution repulsive, I find it impossible.

John L., United Kingdom, 11 February 2012

I read the letter and your response with interest. However, somehow it doesn’t ring true. The writer Sam describes himself as a neuroscientist, yet also describes himself as an evolutionist. This is a term that no scientist who accepts the fact of evolution would ever use; it is a term almost exclusively used by creationists. Similarly, no such scientist would ever say that he fears for the future of evolution. That is just silly. If he accepts evolution he might just as well say that her fears for the future of gravity. I suspect the article of being a wholly in-house job. Am I right?

Philip Bell responds

You argue that “no scientist who accepts the fact of evolution” would self-describe as “an evolutionist”, a very tall claim! A single instance would disprove your point—and you yourself allowed that ‘evolutionist’ is “almost exclusively” used by creationists, removing your grounds for quibbling (otherwise, you would have not added the qualifying word “almost”). Doubtless, for reasons that should be obvious, the designation ‘evolutionist’ is more often used by those referring to them, mostly creationists. For precisely the same reason, those who usually use the designation ‘creationist’ are those who refer to them (from the evolutionary camp) rather than the creationists themselves. To claim that nobody would self-describe himself/herself as an evolutionist is like saying that ‘no scientist who accepts historical reality of Creation by God would ever use the term ‘creationist’. In any case, do you seriously believe that we make up conversations between ourselves and others? I doubt it. In fact, your assertions are suggestive of a kind of wilful denial that this correspondent was genuine.
Furthermore, you include a second ipse dixit in your response to this article: “no such scientist would ever say that he fears for the future of evolution.” Not only do you insinuate that I/CMI have fabricated this article (i.e. have lied), but you apparently have not considered what Sam B. may have meant.
It is as plain as day, to many who reject molecules-to-man evolution, that secularists within the scientific establishment are indeed running scared. They do fear (and are often very frustrated by) the increased questioning of this ‘sacred cow’ (naturalistic evolution) by laypeople, scientists and even some former atheists (e.g. see here and here; compare the latter to this statement). Indeed, several PhD scientists currently on CMI’s staff were once ardent evolutionists and atheists themselves, as practicing research scientists. To seriously read through this recent article on attempts at educational censorship in Britain—plus the many articles referenced in the Timeline of the same—is to show that this “fear for the future of evolution” in men such as our correspondent Sam B., is very much alive in the minds of secular humanists in your own country.

Luke B., Australia, 11 February 2012

You must keep us informed of any additions to this correspondence. One cannot help but feel that the Holy Spirit is knocking on this man’s heart and that he is ‘kick[ing] against the pricks’ (Acts 9:5).

John C., United States, 12 February 2012

Actually god and evolution are not incompatible, what is incompatible is your literal view of the bible and evolution.

Philip Bell responds

The short answer to your first statement is, ‘yes’, if you’re talking about ‘god’ with a small ‘g’ rather than the God described in the pages of the Bible.

But, any other kind of god, made in our own image? Why not.

The non-Christian Philosopher of Science, Professor David Hull wrote:

“The problem that biological evolution poses for natural theologians is the sort of God that a darwinian version of evolution implies … The evolutionary process is rife with happenstance, contingency, incredible waste, death, pain and horror … Whatever the God implied by evolutionary theory and the data of natural history may be like, He is not the Protestant God of waste not, want not. He is also not a loving God who cares about His productions. He is not even the awful God portrayed in the book of Job. The God of the Galápagos is careless, wasteful, indifferent, almost diabolical. He is certainly not the sort of God to whom anyone would be inclined to pray.”

—David Hull, The God of the Galápagos, Nature 352:485–86, 8 August 1991.

You are half correct in your second statement. To read the early chapters of Genesis (not the whole Bible—see below) as historical (thus to take them literally—more accurately, to apply a grammatical-historical exegesis) is to rule out any possibility of fish-to-philosopher evolution. Quite apart from these considerations, this site has literally thousands of articles showing that such evolution is ideological in nature and incompatible with good science—as this book by CMI-UK/Europe speaker Dominic Statham also demonstrates conclusively. Finally, no Christian that I’m aware of (regardless of their beliefs about origins) has ever claimed to take the entire bible literally. Scripture contains many genres of literature, as even a cursory examination quickly reveals. The important question is, what is the genre of Genesis 1–11, historical narrative or mythological?

Susan W., United States, 13 February 2012

Well put! I go to a small women’s Bible study at my church, and they love to hear what I learn from your site. I thank you so much for your dedication, you help those of us who do not have your talents/gift/time share the Good News with others.

You are in my prayers daily. God Bless you! Susan

Mark W., United States, 13 February 2012

Very valuable stuff guys! Thank you CMI for all the great content you provide to those of us seeking Jesus Christ, and especially to those of us seeking the proper means of expressing a better defense of Jesus Christ. You are a true blessing!

Stay strong! Your work has a mighty purpose!

Michael W., New Zealand, 12 February 2012

As a neuroscientist himself, I would have thought that this quote “The complexity of the human brain is owed to millions-not thousands-of year of evolutionary processes” would give Sam cause for concern. How is it that the chemical reactions in his brain can be relied upon to reveal the truth about this or any other matter?

Thanks for the excellent response Philip. And thanks to the entire CMI team for the great work that you all do.

God bless.

Gordon H., Australia, 13 February 2012

Sam has been well answered – congratulations, Philip. Two points: 1. Sam says “What I do not believe is acceptable, however, is refuting evolution in favour of what is said in the Bible.” However, he also says, “I appreciate that you use science in your justifications rather than push against it.” There are only two historical possibilities: either the universe and life began naturally, or they were created supernaturally. If we refute evolution “using science in [our] justifications,” then the naturalistic/evolutionary history is refuted, and “what is said in the Bible” can be taken as the true history by default. Perhaps Sam can understand that CMI’s efforts are directed specifically in this direction. 2. Has Sam considered that Noah may have recorded the amazing events of the flood himself? Is that really so hard to accept?

Rob H., South Africa, 13 February 2012

This was great. The spirit in which both writers wrote is plain and level headed and is to be commended. If there is any more "back and forth comment", please post it.

Paul N., United States, 13 February 2012

Perhaps the saddest aspect for an anti-creation scientist is that God does not feel compelled to prove His existance save to those who first believe. An unfortunate aspect of that situation is that any scientist of good repute must first belive a precept and then set about to prove it!

Philip R., Australia, 20 February 2012

John L commented above that "evolutionist ... is a term that no scientist who accepts the fact of evolution would ever use". I have previously shown this claim to be false by listing uses of it by evolutionists, at

www.astorehouseofknowledge.info/w/Evolutionist.

Marcus D., United States, 15 September 2012

It seems entirely plausible to me that Sam at least temporarily adopted the use of the word "evolutionist" to describe himself after having spent "the better part of 4 hours reading through mounds of information that is presented on your website." It's likely he simply identified himself using the same term he had been reading in article after article. This seems all the more likely since he comes across as someone writing in good faith rather than someone particularly concerned about parsing words.

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