Science and origins
Religion and origins
In Six Days
Why 50 Scientists Choose
to Believe in Creation
Stephen Taylor, electrical engineering
Dr Taylor is senior lecturer in electrical engineering at the University of Liverpool. He holds a B.S. in electrical engineering and electronics from the Imperial College of Science and Technology, University of London, United Kingdom, and an M.Eng. and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Liverpool. Dr Taylor has written over 80 scientific articles, and is a reviewer for the journals IEE Electronic Letters, Solid State Electronics, Journal of Applied Physics and Applied Physics Letters.
The purpose of this article is to state reasons for my belief as a scientist and engineer in an eternal, all-powerful, all-wise Creator God, a God who can be known and trusted, One who has spoken in the Bible to reveal His will and ultimately, through His Son the Lord Jesus Christ, to reveal His person. I would also like to highlight some of the problems scientifically with the naturalistic (evolutionary) view of origins and say why, in my opinion, the scientific facts support the biblical framework rather than the evolutionary belief system.
A design demands a designer
On the table in front of me is a reproduction of a beautiful landscape painting of a country scene, dating from about 1770, by Paul Sandby. In the foreground, the artist has captured the sunlight falling on a tree in a meadow. Nearby there is a horse and some children, and in the background, we see a river making its way past green hill and dale toward the sea. Far in the distance, gray clouds give way to a light blue sky. You ask me how the painting came to be. If I were to insist to you that suddenly and for no apparent reason, oil paints began to arrive upon a canvas, in such a way and in just such proportions that the result was a work of art, you would think me to be mad. It is an impossible scenario. My difficulties in convincing you would be made worse if I were unable to give an explanation for the existence of the canvas and the paints in the first place!
Evolutionary naturalism is asking us to believe in just such a scenario: a picture without a painter, art without an artist. Let us remember, also, that however good it is, the painting is only a dead, two-dimensional representation of a far more wonderful three-dimensional living reality: the landscape itself, trees, horses, children, sky, sun, and clouds! How wrong and how foolish to praise the work of a human hand and eye yet deny the work of the divine artist who put all things in place and gave existence and skill to that same human hand and eye!
Not only does a design imply a designer, a design says something about its designer. As we consider the vastness of deep space, the intricacies of the human brain, the powerful forces holding the nucleus of each atom together, we may conclude that God is indeed immense, great in intelligence and in power. If God is thus, why shouldn’t creation take six 24-hour days? He could have done it in six hours or six seconds if He had chosen to. Such a God can do whatever He chooses, whenever He likes, consistent with His own nature.
A man who claimed to be God
The second and perhaps most convincing reason for Christian belief in general and in a literal six-day creation in particular is the Lord Jesus Christ. Approaching the second millennium He is still the central figure of human history. Every newspaper, computer, and coin bearing today’s date reminds us that it was He who split time in two: A.D. and B.C. He never wrote a book or a song, yet millions of books and some of the world’s greatest music have been written about Him. He never erected a monument yet tens of thousands of buildings have been erected in His honor. He never led an army or drew a sword, yet by His love down through the years, He has conquered the hearts of millions. Some of His enemies, on meeting Him, were changed into men who gave their lives for Him. His example and teachings have been the greatest influence for the good of mankind. Universities, schools, hospitals, orphanages, charities, and social reforms have been founded and progressed in His name as in the name of no other person.
His life story is told to us in the eyewitness accounts of the writers of the New Testament. These men were present when Jesus healed the blind, fed the hungry, calmed the storm, walked on water, and raised men from the dead. They heard Him speak, watched Him live, saw Him die, and walked, talked, and dined with Him after He had risen from the dead, as He predicted that He would. He did and claimed things about himself that only God can do or should claim. Jesus spoke of God as His Father, and said, “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30); and, “He who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9).
Now it is important to realize that the Lord Jesus Christ believed in the early chapters of Genesis as historical fact. Indeed, such was His high view of Old Testament Scripture that He called it the “Word of God,” and that God’s Word “was truth,” affirming that “scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35, 17:17). That the Lord Jesus Christ believed in Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Noah and a worldwide cataclysmic Flood is evident from such passages as Matthew 19:4, 23:35, and 24:37–39. In Mark 10:6 Jesus said, “But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.” In these words of Jesus, we find that He teaches that Adam and Eve were created at the “beginning of creation,” not millions of years after the beginning! This also implies that God had prepared a world for them shortly beforehand. Everywhere we find that the Bible is consistent with the view of a literal six-day, recent creation. This has been the almost universal teaching of the Christian Church until the last hundred years or so.
The testimony of others
Many of the world’s greatest scientists have been convinced, Bible-believing Christians [CMI Ed. note: see Creation scientists and other specialists of interest]. In my own discipline of electrical engineering, one has only to think of names like Michael Faraday, James Joule, Lord Kelvin, and James Clerk Maxwell (who wrote against evolution) to see that this is true. The Creation Research Society currently has a membership of 650 scientists, each one holding a master’s degree or above in a recognized field of science. In a recent article Dr. Russell Humphreys, physicist at Sandia National Laboratories, New Mexico, estimates that there are around 10,000 practicing professional scientists in the USA alone who openly believe in a six-day recent creation.1
I became a Christian at the age of 16 by seeking forgiveness for my sins and committing my life to the Lord Jesus Christ in a simple prayer. Although aware of the apparent contradiction between science and the Bible, the fact that Jesus believed in the Genesis account as historically true was enough to convince me as a young Christian that I should also! The disciple is not above His Lord. Many years later, I am more than ever convinced not only of the truth of the Christian Gospel, but also of the harmony between the biblical revelation and true science.
It is extremely important to realize that, contrary to what we are often told, there is no proven fact of science that can be shown to contradict the biblical account. When scientific theories appear to contradict, it is important to examine the evidence for and interpretation behind such ideas. Scientists are subject to error and bias, as the history of science shows. In the closing section of this article, I would like to examine briefly some of the severe scientific problems inherent in the evolutionary model of origins.
What went bang and how?
According to the “big bang” theory, the universe began about 10 to 20 billion years ago as an inconceivably small volume of space and matter/energy which has been expanding ever since. However, we are entitled to ask the question: what went bang? In simple terms, “Nothing can’t go bang.” A related question is when did natural laws governing the physical world come into being? Are we to believe that these laws also are the product of chance? Professor Werner Gitt has recently reviewed the big bang theory and notes that, “Many discoveries in recent years with improved instruments and improved observational methods have repeatedly shaken this theory.”2
How did life originate?
Evolution has the fundamental problem of explaining how life came from non-life. In his book Evolution, a Theory in Crisis, molecular biologist Dr. Michael Denton claims that his subject lends no support to the theory of evolution. He points out that there is no such thing as a simple cell. He asks the following question: “Is it really credible that random processes could have constructed a reality, the smallest element of which—a functional gene or protein—is complex beyond our own creative capacities, a reality which is the very antithesis of chance, which excels in every sense anything produced by the intelligence of man?”3
Professor Sir Fred Hoyle, the former Cambridge astronomer, gave the following analogy to illustrate the difficulty of life originating by chance: “Imagine 1050 blind persons each with a scrambled Rubik’s cube and try to conceive of them simultaneously arriving at the solved form. You then have the chance of arriving by random shuffling (random variation) of just one of the many biopolymers upon which life depends … nonsense of a high order.”4
Dr. Michael Behe, associate professor of biochemistry at Lehigh University, similarly argues for intelligent design as an obvious logical explanation for the intricacy of the biochemical machines found in all living things. He gives examples of biological systems such as blood-clotting that are “irreducibly complex,” requiring all the parts to function. In such systems no direct, gradual route leads to their production, since if one part is missing, the whole system is useless.5
Where did the new information come from?
Large-scale amoeba-to-man evolution requires massive increases in genetic information over time. Evolution is said to proceed by the processes of natural selection (the survival of the fittest) and/or mutation. However the key question for both of these processes is where does the new information come from? For a reptile to become a bird, it must have the extra information necessary for wings and feathers, etc. Natural selection is easily observable, but it cannot of itself create the new information, since there is no upward development in the genetic complexity of the organism. Another alleged source of new information is mutations. For large-scale evolution, mutations must on average add information. In a recent book, biophysicist Dr. Lee Spetner shows with detailed probabilistic analysis that this is completely precluded. He examines the classic textbook cases of mutations cited in favor of neo-Darwinian evolution and shows conclusively that, without exception, they are all losses of information. There is no such thing as a mutation that adds information.6 Spetner is well qualified to make these calculations. As a former fellow of Johns Hopkins University he is a specialist in communications and information theory.
The case against evolution is summed up by Berkeley University law professor Philip Johnson, who makes the following points:
- evolution is grounded not on scientific fact, but on a philosophical belief called naturalism;
- the belief that a large body of empirical evidence supports evolution is an illusion;
- evolution is itself a religion;
- if evolution were a scientific hypothesis based on a rigorous study of the evidence, it would have been abandoned long ago.7
In this article we have looked at the clear statement of Scripture and discussed reasons for accepting it at its face value. We have looked at an alternative theory of origins embodied in evolution theory and the scientific difficulties it faces, difficulties which are increasing with time. From these considerations and others I, for one, have no hesitation in rejecting the evolutionary hypothesis of origins and affirming the biblical alternative that “in six days the Lord God created the heavens and earth and all that in them is.”
- Creation 20(1): 37, 1997.
- Creation 20(3): 42, 1998.
- Denton, M., Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, Adler and Adler, 1985.
- Nature 294: 105, 1981.
- Behe, M.J., Darwin’s Black Box, Free Press, 1996.
- Spetner, L., Not by Chance: Shattering the Modern Theroy of Evolutions, Judaica, 1997.
- Johnson, P.E., Darwin on Trial, Regnery Gateway, Washington, DC, 1991.