Science and origins
Religion and origins
In Six Days
Why 50 Scientists Choose
to Believe in Creation
Walter J. Veith, zoology
Dr. Walter J. Veith is professor and chair of the Department of Zoology at the University of Western Cape, South Africa. He holds a B.S. (hons) cum laude and an M.S. in zoology from the University of Stellenbosch, and a Ph.D. in zoology from the University of Cape Town. He is the author of The Genesis Conflict: Putting the Pieces Together.1
To most scientists in the world today, the theory of evolution is no longer just a theory but is regarded as a fact. There are differences of opinion regarding the tempo, mode, and mechanisms of evolution, but the basic concepts of the theory have become an established paradigm. Even in the religious world, the old animosities between science and religion have been largely forgotten and are shrugged off as unfortunate history based on ignorance. The educational systems of the world propagate evolution by natural selection as the only feasible theory of origin, to the exclusion of all others, and alternative models are regarded with skepticism.
Natural selection in itself is not a scientific principle, as it is based on circular reasoning. By natural selection, less fit organisms are eliminated and the fitter organisms survive to propagate the species. Organisms thus survive the process because they are fitter, and they are fitter because they survive. Also, the process operates by elimination, not addition. In order for the fitter to survive, there must have been a less fit that did not survive. [CMI Ed. note: see Natural Selection Q&A and Natural selection as tautology.]
The evidence for evolution is based largely on the fossil record and interspecific, as well as intraspecific, genetic, biochemical, and morphological homologies. In addition, geological interpretation and radiometric dating provide the rationale for the long ages required for the evolutionary events to have taken place. However, each of these parameters is open to alternative explanations which are, in my opinion, equally plausible and also happen to be in harmony with the biblical account. Evolutionary scientists argue that creationism is not science, as it is based on a preconceived ideology, which excludes it from the realms of science. However, if the facts fit the biblical paradigm, cannot it then be argued that the creation account could be right, or would “right” be excluded on the grounds of having been preconceived?
In my own life I have been confronted with this dilemma and have become convinced that the alternative view of origin by design is worthy of support. For most of my academic career, I was a committed evolutionist and presented the theory of evolution to my students as an established fact. My university training and subsequent scientific endeavors had exposed me exclusively to the evolutionary paradigm and this had molded my thinking. It may well be asked: why the change of heart? In my religious experience I came to accept the Word of God as the most trustworthy book I have ever read. This Word has power to change lives, to lift people up and to give hope. It makes one willing to listen, to compare notes; it challenges one to test its trustworthiness. “Come let us reason together” (Isa. 1:18), says the Word. My change of view regarding evolution was not instantaneous, not emotional, but the result of a long and often hard road in search of truth. I now believe that the available facts support the concept of origin by design.
- The Genesis Conflict, Amazing Discoveries, Delta, BC, Canada, 1997.