Is evolution really just about science?
Recognizing the real agenda
Originally published in a CMI newsletter, December 2020
We received an email from Kenneth M. who wrote:
I thought I’d write a quick message to everyone involved with the ministry to let you know how much it is appreciated. Dealing with some of the atheist feedback must be very difficult, and I pray that you continue to have the strength and patience to deal with it.
Several things in the creation/evolution debate amaze me, no matter how often they come up. The response of atheists to any question/issue, while they claim to operate purely from reason, logic and hard fact, seems always to be lacking in any of these things. Rather, their arguments are completely emotional and full of loaded words. They seem oblivious to the logical fallacies they commit (while often accusing others of that exact thing). Any rational person must recognize this and consider why that is the case. Why do logic and reason fly out the window when atheists claim to be defending those very concepts?
Another thing that amazes me is the claim of many Christians that the creation/evolution issue doesn’t matter. I was raised in the church until my teens, before rejecting it and declaring myself an atheist/agnostic. I decided a few years ago that it might be worth just checking that I had it right! In my search, the creation/evolution issue was the number one sticking point for me. How could I possibly believe the Bible if it was wrong from the very start? I could see no possible reason why Genesis would be so incongruous with ‘facts’. If God used evolutionary processes and the big bang, then surely Genesis would simply say that, or at least allude to it, rather than constricting itself so clearly to 6 literal days and a certain order of events.
So, to me, it mattered a lot. And it continues to matter, which is why I am a very frequent visitor to your site and have purchased several books from your store. I still have questions, and it is of great comfort to know that there are people who can give me answers. Thank you and God bless!
The ‘facts’ don’t matter
When people, especially teens while still in school, are exposed to and accept biblical creation arguments, it seems incongruous to them that anyone can still believe in evolution. I know this because it was also true for me. Once a diehard evolutionist, I wrongly believed that all the real scientific evidence pointed to evolution. But this view was held for one simple reason that is true of most evolutionists today—they’ve never been exposed to or have heard a logical defense of biblical creation as in Kenneth’s case above.
And when it comes to the alleged scientific facts of evolution, the reality is, it is like trying to hit a moving target. The theory of evolution of Darwin’s time, is vastly different today. If you’ve ever tried to debate a diehard evolutionist and can answer their questions and objections, you’ll often notice how the conversation moves to the next subject rapidly. Ultimately, this is because the facts are of secondary importance. Both creationists and evolutionists have a prior foundational belief with which we interpret the facts, data and our world in general.
It’s ultimately a spiritual issue
A world leader in evolutionary biology, Professor Richard Lewontin once said:
“Our willingness to accept scientific claims that are against common sense is the key to an understanding of the real struggle between science and the supernatural. We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism.”1
For many, the concept of an overarching Creator to whom we must be accountable is unthinkable and unacceptable So, although one can be bombarded with the supposed supporting evidence for evolution, it pays to understand that’s really not where the battle is.
Evolution really does make atheists out of people
For Christians and particularly Christian parents it is critically important to realize that in the public realm our children will be taught evolution as a science fact. As we’ve shown time and time again if the arguments for evolution are the only explanation our children hear, the overwhelming majority of them will accept evolution, which ultimately leads them onto the slippery slope of unbelief. See our firsthand video survey, called FALLOUT, of once Christian teens in college (you can purchase DVDs of this for as little as $1 each!). Atheist biologist Will Provine pointed out that:
“…belief in modern evolution makes atheists of people. One can have a religious view that is compatible with evolution only if the religious view is indistinguishable from atheism.”2
The real agenda
The difference is scientific rationalism. The advent of evolutionism fueled the naturalistic, materialist worldview that has no need of a Creator. As arch-enemy of the Christian faith, Professor Richard Dawkins, once said: “Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.”3
Conversely, Kevin B emailed us to say:
“Creationists often appeal to the facts of science to support their view. Evolutionists often appeal to philosophical assumptions from outside science. Knowing this helped to fine tune my ‘bologna detector’, which [CMI] also helped me to develop, so I could better know what to accept as truth, and what I should question right from the start.”
References and notes
- Richard Lewontin, Billions and billions of demons (review of The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark by Carl Sagan, 1997), The New York Review, p. 31, 9 January 1997. Return to text.
- Provine, W.B., “No free will” in Catching up with the Vision, Margaret W. Rossiter (Ed.), Chicago University Press, p. S123, 1999. Return to text.
- Dawkins, R., The Blind Watchmaker, Penguin Books, London, England, p. 6, 1991. Return to text.