The Religious Nature of Evolution Theory and its Attack on Christianity
Biologists and other groups have tried to prevent creationism from being taught at our schools and universities, arguing that it is religious or Biblical. They do not seem to want students to hear or see scientific evidence that life could not have developed by chance. One may wonder why scientists, and particularly academics who have devoted their entire careers to seeking new truths, often under great personal hardship, would want to oppose another viewpoint based on available evidence. We believe that the basic reason for this opposition does not so much involve disputations of scientific facts between the two parties, although this may sometimes occur, but rather is a continuing struggle between two faiths—the faith which claims man to be dependent on God, and the faith which rejects God and demands a purely mechanical universe and existence.
[Editor’s note: In the following sections, parentheses marked with an asterisk (*) within quotations indicate authors’ comments.]
The Founders of Evolution Theory Were Anti-Christians
Sir Fred Hoyle (famous astronomer) and Professor C. Wickramasinghe (mathematician) have stated in 1983,
“The evolutionary record leaks like a sieve. … There are so many flaws in Darwinism that one can wonder why it swept so completely through the scientific world, and why it is still endemic today.”1
In answer, they commented,
“Undoubtedly, however, the biggest thing going for Darwinism was that it finally broke the tyranny in which Christianity had held the minds of men for so many centuries.”1
Is it possible that one of the main motivations of some of the leading designers of the modern evolutionary tenets was to discredit the concept of a Creator, and Christianity in particular? Let some of them speak for themselves.
In 1876 Charles Darwin wrote,
“by such reflections as these (ie, questions about miracles)*, … I gradually came to disbelieve in Christianity as a divine revelation. … The old argument from design in Nature as given by Paley, which formerly seemed to me so conclusive, fails, now that the law of natural selection has been discovered.”2
In another place he also stated,
“I would give absolutely nothing for the theory of natural selection if it requires miraculous additions at anyone stage of descent.”3
T.H. Huxley, Darwin’s ‘bulldog’ through whom the concept of evolution was proliferated, said in 1863,
“the longer I live and the more I learn the more hopeless to my mind becomes the contradiction between the theory of the universe as understood by Jewish and Christian theologians, and the theory of the universe which is every day and every year, growing out of the application of scientific methods to its phenomena. … I cannot see one shadow or tittle of evidence that the great unknown underlying the phenomena of the universe stands to us in the relation of a Father—(who) loves us and cares for us as Christianity asserts.”4
In 1859 Charles Lyell, chief proponent of the evolutionary geologic column, commented on the origin of man,
“all idea of any other origin (of man)*, but that of a long rude stationary condition of the first settlers must be abandoned. … The Garden of Eden, Milton’s Paradise, the Golden Age, all vanish.”5
Clearly, God as the Christian’s Creator and Saviour was a distasteful concept to all these men who played such an important role in the establishment of the Darwinian doctrine of evolution.
Have things changed?
Leading Proponents of Evolution are Anti-Christian
Sir Julian Huxley (related to T.H. Huxley), stated in 1961,
“Evolutionary man can no longer take refuge from his loneliness by creeping for shelter into the arms of a divinized father-figure whom he has himself created … to sum up, and belief in supernatural creators, rulers, or influencers of natural or human process introduces an inseparable split into the universe, and prevents us from grasping its real unity.”6
In 1977 T. Dobzhansky wrote in his well-known college textbook on Evolution,
“Thomas Aquinas and the natural theologians of the nineteenth century erroneously claimed that the directive organization of living beings evinced the existence of Designer.”7
F.J. Ayala, a writer of several genetics texts, has said in his book Evolving (1979),
“The negation of Evolution is often based on religious grounds, such as a belief in the literal truth of the Bible, … But be that as it may, the incontrovertible evidence for biological Evolution stands.”8
On the cover of a major genetics textbook, Human Genetics, by Vogel and Matulsky (1982), is Durer’s artwork of Adam and Eve. They comment,
“The cover of this book shows the mythical first human couple, Adam and Eve. … ”9
Finally, the author of probably the largest selling biochemistry textbook for college students in America at the moment, A.H. Lehninger (1982), has written,
“Philosophers once answered that living organisms are endowed with a mysterious and divine life-force. But this doctrine, called vitalism, has been rejected by modern science, which seeks rational and, above all, testable explanations of the natural phenomena.”10
Therefore, things have not changed, and among many if not most of the leading evolutionists there is a profound rejection of the concept of a Creator and of Christianity. Even scientific entries in the Encyclopaedia Britannica take this point of view. Professor S. Shapiro in the 1984 Yearbook edition stated,
“The intricacy involved in the construction of living things is obvious at many levels. Even a small bacterial cell displays many complex substructures. Each of them in turn is put together from numerous parts. For example, the ribosome, the protein synthesis factory of the cell. contains more than 50 subunits fitted together as a three-dimensional jigsaw puzzle. Further, each of these subunits has been put together from specified components. The resemblance between the cell and the machine has led some observers to conclude that both must be the product of an intelligent creator. Of course, this assumption simply postpones the problem, for one must deal with the origin of the creator, either scientifically or theologically. If one does not wish to invoke a creator, then it is necessary to presume that life arose from simple chemicals by some process of self-organization. … ”11 (in other words, evolution).
Evolution Is A Non-Christian Faith System Searching For The Meaning Of Existence
Evolutionists reject the inclusion of a Creator or Christianity in scientific philosophy, but isn’t this being hypocritical? Isn’t evolution a religion by definition as well? Did not Professor Shapiro use his personal faith and belief system in rejecting God as an explanation for the order and design evident in nature?
Religion can be defined as a “cause, principle or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith” (Webster’s dictionary). No reference is made to God in this definition, nor should there be, unless He is part of a person’s religious beliefs.
When one of the leading evolutionists of our day, Professor S.J. Gould, was asked, “Why should the layman be interested in so esoteric a subject as evolutionary biology?”, he responded:
“Because it tells us where we came from, how we got here, and perhaps where we are going. Quite simply, it is science’s version of Roots, except it is the story of us all.”12
Indeed, evolution has been used to paint a supposed picture of the past (origin of life). For example, Dr G.B. Ryan has written,
“About three billion years ago, when life appeared on this planet, death came with it-and presumably also injury. Only science fiction could tell us how the first free swimming cells were injured; but whatever it was that hurt them-the heat of lava, falling rocks, or lightning-they had to learn how to repair their microscopic wounds.”13
Evolution has also been used as a philosophical basis for present living. Columnist Phillip Adams has said,
“Morals are simply expedients. … Clearly, if you live in a universe where there’s no meaning, there is, finally, no absolute morality.”14
Concerning the future, in the light of evolution, Dobzhansky, has written,
“If man has arrived at his present state as a result of natural processes rather than a supernatural will, he can learn to control these processes.”7
Therefore, since evolution gives an answer as to where the human race came from, a standard for living, and direction for the future, it really is a system of beliefs (a religious philosophy) regardless of whether the observations of science support it or not. Dobzhansky has also stated,
“The concept of evolution, which is now basic to the life sciences, has provided new and in some ways revolutionary answers to questions men have been asking for centuries. The two most important of these are, ‘Why am I here, what is the purpose of human existence, and what is the nature of the world of life that surrounds us?”7
In another place he says, “Evolution is a light which illuminates all facts, a trajectory which all lines of thought must follow.”7 This is, of course, a direct denial of the sayings of Jesus (John 8:12, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”)
Evolution Theory Has No Proper Scientific Foundations
Some might say, “But you haven’t separated the biologic concept of evolution from the philosophy of evolutionism.” But are they not one and the same, at least in regards to the subject of origins? The very nature of empirical science is that for a concept to be regarded as a theory requires that it deal with items or events that are reproducible and observable. Past events not observed and recorded by man can not be empirically tested. One can only speculate about past events, possibly using present observations to support these speculations.
Take, for example, the fact that there is no genuine scientific evidence as to how enzymes and the genetic code originated in the first place. As Hoyle and Wickramasinghe have already commented,
“We received life (on earth)* with the fundamental biochemical problems already solved.”1
Bacteria, the smallest cells capable of self-reproduction, are supposed to be ‘simple’ and ‘primitive’, but nothing could be further from the truth! Bacteria have sophisticated mechanisms for cell division, protein synthesis, energy transduction, ATP synthesis, and, depending on the species, respiration, photosynthesis and nitrogen fixation. Yet over the millions and billions of bacterial generations observed, not one bacterium has ever changed into anything else but another bacterium.
Hoyle and Wickramasinghe dealt evolution theory a devastating blow with their superb analysis of the current deficiencies in evolution theory—the origin of life on earth by evolution has no scientific foundation—it is not a proper scientific theory at all, they say!
“The problem for biology is to reach a simple beginning. Going back in time to the age of the oldest rocks, more than eighty percent of the Earth itself, fossil residues of ancient life-forms discovered in the rocks do not reveal a simple beginning. Although we may care to think of fossil bacteria and fossil algae and microfungi as being simple compared to a dog or a horse, the information standard (content)* remains enormously high. Most of the biochemical complexity of life was present already at the time the oldest surface rocks of the Earth were formed. Thus we have no clue, even from the evidence which penetrates very far back in time, as to how the information standard of life (in other words, the genetic code, etc.)* was set up in the first place, and so the evolutionary theory lacks a proper foundation.”1
Even the Nobel laureate Francis Crick, one of the outstanding theoreticians of modern molecular biology11 and co-discoverer of the structure of DNA, “finds it difficult to believe that on Earth the accumulation of atomic matter would eventually lead to the simplest living entity—a replicating system” (ie, by the process called chemical evolution).11,15
The lack of current evidence for chemical evolution was already well summarized by Professor J. Keosian back in 1978,
“All present approaches to a solution of the problem of the origin of life are either irrelevant or lead into a blind alley. Therein lies the crisis.”16
What a pity that none of these men, including Hoyle and Wickramasinghe, have turned to God to find their answer—so far as we are aware.
Darwinian evolution (gradualism) must be bad news indeed, even to some palaeontologists. In fact, at an international meeting of palaeontologists in Germany, attended mainly by evolutionists who practise the cladistic method of arriving at evolutionary trees, consensus opinion ruled that,
“the cladistic technique assumes that it is very unlikely, but not impossible, that we shall ever find an ancestor (among archosaurs—ie, the pterosaurs, dinosaurs, and the living crocodiles and birds)*, and it concentrates on identifying nearest relatives—sister groups—by an analysis of shared derived characters.”17
In other words, they are forewarning the scientific community not to expect proofs of lineages in the archosaurs in future (or past) proposals of evolutionary trees. This is, of course, in keeping with the observations of evolutionist Niles Eldridge who said,
“The intermediates (demanded by Darwinian gradualism)* were not detected in the fossil record.”18
Many evolutionists are now resorting to the stand,
“ … it is futile to look for traces in our animal past … ”.18
[[Ed. note: this is an archived article, so we cannot change the text. But CMI advises against the claim that Archaeopteryx is fraudulent; it was a genuine fossil of an unusual but true flying bird. Current articles would not have this bracketed section.]
It is interesting that Sir Fred Hoyle19 has just recently challenged one of the few key (and controversial) “missing links” in the archosaurs—Archaeopteryx (a fossil supposed to have been half bird and half reptile upon which rests virtually the entire fossil evidence that feathered birds evolved from reptiles). According to evolutionists,
“nearly everyone now accepts that the birds arose from the dinosaurs, and from the bipedal dinosaurs (the therapods) in particular.”17
However, on the basis of having used the latest photographic techniques in examining the most famous of the Archaeopteryx specimens at the British Natural History Museum, Sir Fred recently claimed that, “a forger made a cast of crushed limestone and then used chicken feathers to make imprints of the reptile’s wings … the fossil showed feathers had been imprinted twice and that one of them is actually a fingerprint”. We await further documentation with great interest, but it is intriguing to note that there are very few specimens of Archaeopteryx and only some of these have imprints of feathers.20 Even more intriguing is that change is supposedly so rapid that no fossils remain to record the transition, thus gaps are left in the record between the various groups of living things.]
Punctuated equilibrium has been invoked as an explanation as to why Darwinism (gradualism) lacks the evidence of ‘missing links’. But punctuated equilibrium itself is a non-testable theory based on the absence of evidence.
In other words if there are few or no observable fossilized transition forms how do we know that they ever existed to begin with? We don’t, ‘missing links’ are largely an assumption. Dr J. Turner, a reader in evolutionary genetics at the University of Leeds has even commented that punctuated equilibrium is attracting an enormous amount of attention from biologists, “despite its very poor scientific foundations.”18
Some of the clearly held foundation stones in evolution theory are being strongly shaken indeed. We have made the point that from a biological point of view, evolution theory has no proper foundation. Thus, evolution will never qualify as a truly scientific theory for the origin of man (neither will the creation of man, for that matter, since it is also a non-reproducible past event).
As Karl Popper has stated,
“I have come to the conclusion that Darwinism is not a testable scientific theory, but a metaphysical research programme—a possible framework for testable scientific theories.”21
Evolution is a religious philosophy-a system of personal beliefs to justify the exclusion of God, as the Apostle Paul said, “just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer … ”(Romans 1:28).
Why Is This Important To Christians
In Psalm 1 it says,
“How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.”
God expects Christians to put His Word first in their lives, and to be cautious about any thoughts contrary to it. As Colossians 2:8 says,
“See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the traditions of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.”
Evolution has become a tradition of men. Mankind has assumed it to be true and it permeates virtually all disciplines of education and knowledge.
Also, Proverbs 9:10 says “reverence of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”, and in Psalm 14:1, “The fool has said in his heart there is no God.” Therefore, if man does not want to know God, though he has great knowledge, will he have a proper understanding of that knowledge? The answer is “No”.
It says in Romans 1:18–20 that men, “suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them, for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made. so that they are without excuse.” Consider Psalm 85:11, “truth springs forth from the earth”, and Psalm 19:1–2, “the heavens are telling of the glory of God and the expanse is declaring the work of His hands. Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night reveals knowledge.” If there is any group of professional people who should give glory to God, it should be scientists! Clearly, most of the leading evolutionists do not give glory to God for His creation. Yet, there are scientists who do.
Scientists, Past And Present, Who Put Their Trust In The Bible
Throughout the past few centuries, many talented and God-fearing scientists have stood up to extol the Creator, and have found the observations of science to be compatible with a Biblical perspective on origins. Most of them vigorously argued against evolution in its various forms. The emerging fields (1500–1700 AD) of biology, chemistry, and physics were greatly influenced by Christian creationist scientists.
For example, Francis Bacon (1561–1625), who developed the scientific method said,
“There are two books laid before us to study, to prevent our falling into error; first, the volume of the Scriptures, which reveal the will of God; then the volume of the Creatures, which express His power.”22
In a book (1605) on the advancement of learning, written in counsel to the King, he defended most of his arguments with Scripture. Concerning the creation of the physical universe he commented,
“In the history of the Creation, the confused mass, and matter of heaven and earth was made in a moment, and the order and disposition of that Chaos or Mass, was the work of six days. … ”23
John Ray, a great botanist and biologist, and a founding member of the Royal Society, published several extensive treatises on God and science. In 1701, he stated,
“The physical universe is the works created by God at the first … “24
Elsewhere he asked,
“Whether God created, at first, a great Number of every kind of Animal all the Earth over, in their proper Places and Climates; or only of two of each species, a Male and a Female, from which all the rest proceeded by Generation? … the first Opinion seems more consonant to scriptures which, in the Mention of the Creation of Aquatic Creatures, useth the Word Abundantly, Genesis 1:20.”25
He supported a literal interpretation of Genesis 1, and believed in a world-wide Noahic flood.
Robert Boyle (1627–1691), the renowned chemist stated,
“By embracing the corpuscular or mechanical philosophy, I am far from supposing, with the Epicureans, that, atoms accidentally meeting in an infinite vacuum, were able of themselves, to produce a world, and all its phenomena: nor do I suppose, when God had put into the whole mass of matter, an invariable quantity of motion, he needed do no more to make the universe, the material parts being able, by their own unguided motions, to throw themselves into a regular system. … God, indeed, gave motion to matter, but that, in the beginning, he so guided the various motions of the parts of it, as to contrive them into the world he design’d they should compose; and established those rules of motion, and that order amongst things corporeal, which we call the laws of Nature.”26
Isaac Newton, who set physics on its present course, in his book Opticks (1721) said,
“For it became him (referring to God)* who created them (ie, physical matter)* to set them in order. And if he did so, it’s unphilosophical to seek for any other Origin of the world, or to pretend that it might arise out of Chaos by the mere laws of Nature, though being once form’d it may continue by those laws for many Ages.”27
He concluded this book by saying,
“In this third Book I have only begun the analysis of what remains to be discover’d about Light and its Effects upon the Frame of Nature, hinting several things about it, and leaving the Hints to be examin’d and improv’d by farther Experiments and Observations of such as are inquisitive. And if natural Philosophy in all its Parts, by pursuing this Method, shall at length be perfected, the Bounds of Moral Philosophy will be also enlarged. For so far as we can know by natural Philosophy what is the first Cause, what Power he has over us, and what benefits we receive from him, so far our Duty towards him, as well as that towards one another, will appear to us by the Light of nature. And no doubt, if the worship of false Gods had not blinded the Heathen, their moral Philosophy would have gone farther than to the four Cardinal Virtues; and instead of teaching the Transmigration of Souls, and to worship the Sun and Moon, and dead Heroes, they would have taught us to worship our true Author and Benefactor, as their Ancestors did under the Government of Noah and his Sons before they corrupted themselves.”
He also wrote commentaries on the book of Daniel and Revelation.
Even the theory of natural selection was first extensively developed not by Charles Darwin, but by the Christian creationist Edward Blyth. In 1835 (many years before Darwin’s Origin book) Blyth stated, “The same law (natural selection)*, therefore, which was intended by Providence (God)* to keep up the typical qualities of a species, can be easily converted by man into a means of raising different varieties (artificial selection)* … ”.
Later in the article he said,
“they (referring to adaptations for protection and adjustment to the environment)* are among those striking instances of design, which so clearly and forcibly attest the existence of an omniscient great First Cause.”28
Blyth argued (in 1835) that natural selection helped preserve a species or group of animals, but definitely did not accept that it could be extrapolated to mean that by it, one animal could change into another (ie, amphibian to reptile). Therefore, he found no conflict to occur between his science and religion. However, Charles Darwin did extend the interpretations of Blyth to fit his own evolutionary views. The evolutionist historian Professor L.C. Eiseley28 has even suggested that Darwin took his main thoughts from Blyth’s works, reinterpreted them, and gave no credit to Blyth.
Louis Pasteur, the great chemist (1860) argued strongly against spontaneous generation (a necessary concept for evolution). In his book on molecular asymmetry he stated,
“But I regard as necessary the conclusion that asymmetric forces exist at the moment of the elaboration of natural organic products (biosynthesis)*: forces which, would be absent or ineffectual in the reactions of our laboratories (ie, the conditions of spontaneous generation)* … .”29
He also expressed a faith in God by commenting,
“The more I know the more does my faith approach that of a Breton peasant. Could I but know all, I would have the faith of Breton peasant woman.”22
In 1883 Lord Kelvin, the great physicist who continually confronted evolutionary teachings (but probably did not accept Genesis literally), made the statement
“with regards to the origin of life, science … positively affirms creative power.”22
In another place he commented,
“It is also impossible to conceive either the beginning or the continuance of life , without an overruling creative power and, therefore, no conclusions of dynamic science can be held to give dispiriting views as to the destiny of the race of intelligent beings by which it is at present inhabited.”30
He also presented evidence (cooling of the earth) which indicated a limit for the age of the earth far less than that desired by evolutionists.
Many others could be mentioned, but let it be sufficient to say that the modern scientific method was by and large formulated by Christian scientists, many of whom believed in a literal interpretation of Genesis.
More recently, many well known, qualified scientists have made similar statements.
Wernher von Braun, Director of NASA’s space Flight Center in Alabama until 1970 has stated,
“An outlook through this peephole (ie, manned spaceflight)* the vast mysteries of the universe should only confirm our belief in the certainty of its Creator.”22
Professor E.H. Andrews, a leading physicist in material science commented in 1978,
“We must therefore recognize evolutionary theory for what it is, a philosophy (indeed, for some a religion) and not basically a scientific discipline at all. … It is the writer’s belief that the consistent and satisfying interpretation (to the observations of nature)* referred to above is to be found in the Christian Scriptures, which provide an account of creation, nature, consciousness and being (both on the material and spiritual planes) as magnificent as it is complete.”31
Professor A.E. Wilder-Smith, who has earned three doctorates in subjects relating to chemistry and pharmacology, stated in his book Man’s Origin, Man’s Destiny (1974),
“Our random reaction system (the physical universe)* cannot of itself produce design. … The laws of thermodynamics have long shown us that this is the case. … In spite of the derision heaped on the ‘argument from design’, it has never been adequately refuted. … Thus, I believe, God’s thought controls our three-dimensional world from outside of the three dimensions.”32
Professor D. Kenyon, a former evolutionary biologist who wrote a university text on the subject, has recently (1980) recognised the incompatibility of scientific observations with evolution. He has publically acknowledged that scientific observations better support the concept of a Creator, and he has come to know and extol this Creator of the universe through His son—Jesus Christ (Personal Communication from Dr Gary Parker).
Evolution is a religious philosophy. It is not a scientific theory (at least when dealing with the past, ie, origins), but is a preferred personal belief system. Many, if not most of the main designers and promoters of the present evolutionary concepts, have openly defied the idea of a Creator, and have often attempted to discredit Christianity, despite the fact that evolution theory has no proper scientific foundations. Throughout the recent centuries many talented Christian scientists have stood up to expose evolution as a religious philosophy both on Biblical and scientific grounds. Thus, all Christians should be able to test the fruit of evolution and know whether it is from God or not. God has said that He has revealed Himself to all people through the creation, so that no person can be excused for not glorifying God in his scientific endeavours (Romans 1:19,20).
- Hoyle, F. and Wickramasinghe, C., Evolution From Space, Granada Publishing, London, 1983, pp. xiii-xxii, 81 and 145. Return to text.
- Darwin, C., In: Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, vol. 1, F. Darwin (ed.), John Murray, London, 1887, pp. 308–09. Return to text.
- Quoted in Clark, R.E.D., Darwin: Before and After, Paternoster Press, Exeter, 1966. Return to text.
- Huxley, T.H., In: Life and Letters of T.H. Huxley, vol. 1, L. Huxley (ed.), Macmillan and Co., N.Y., 1903, pp. 345–47. Return to text.
- Lyell, C., Sir Charles Lyell’s Scientific Journals on the Species Question, L.G. Wilson (ed.), Yale University Press, New Haven, 1970, p. 263. Return to text.
- Huxley,J.S.,”The Humanist Frame”, in The Humanist Frame, J.S. Huxley (ed.), George Allen and Unwin Ltd, London, 1965, pp. 19,40. Return to text.
- Dobzhansky, T., Ayala, F.J., Stebbins, G.L. and Valentine, J.W., Evolution, W.H. Freeman and Co., San Francisco, 1977. Return to text.
- Ayala, F.J. and Valentine, J.W., Evolving the Theory and Processes of Organic Evolution, Benjamin/Cummings Publishing Co., Menlo Park, CA, 1979, p. 378. Return to text.
- Vogel, F. and Matulsky, A., Human Genetics, Springer Verlag, New York, 1982, preface. Return to text.
- Lehninger, A.L., Principles of Biochemistry, Worth Publishers, New York, 1982, p.5. Return to text.
- Shapiro, R., Probing the Origin of Life, in Yearbook of Science and the Future, Encyclopaedia Britannica, Chicago, 1984, pp. 8–23. Return to text.
- Quoted in Time, May 1983, p. 35. Return to text.
- Ryan, G.B. and Majno, G., Inflammation, Upjohn Co., Kalamazoo, 1977, p.5 Return to text.
- Quoted in Creation Science Prayer News, February 1983. [Also: Adams, P., Adams vs God, Thomas Nelson Australia, 1985, p. 177]. Return to text.
- Ponnamperuma, C., Panspermia with purpose and intent. A book review on Life Itself: Its Origin and Nature by Francis Crick, New Scientist, 13 May 1982, vol. 94, pp. 435–436. Return to text.
- Keosian, J., The Origin of Life. In: Proc. 2nd ISSOL Meeting, 5th ICOL Meeting, H. Noda ,(ed.), Centre for Academic Publ., Japan Scientific Soc. Press, Japan, 1978, pp. 569–574. Return to text.
- Benton, M.J., Consensus on Archosaurs. Nature, 13 December 1984, vo1. 312, p.599 Return to text.
- Turner, J., Why We Need Evolution by Jerks. New Scientist, 9 February 1984, vol. 101, pp.34–35. Return to text.
- Rowbotham, J., ‘Missing-link’ Fossil a Fake? Overseas news item, The Sun, daily newspaper, Melbourne, 18 March 1985, p. 35. (Full article in the Brit. J. Photo., March 1985.) Return to text.
- Dinosaurs from China. An illustrated catalogue of exhibits: Council of the National Museum of Victoria, Melbourne, 1982, p. 46. Return to text.
- Popper, K., Unended Quest; An Intellectual Autobiography, Fontana, 1976. Return to text.
- Quoted by Morris, H.M., Men of Science, Men of God, Creation-Life Publishers, 1982, pp.35,46,84,110,117. Return to text.
- Bacon, F., The Two Books of Francis Bacon of the Proficience and Advance of Learning, Divine and Human, London, 1605, p. 116 (2nd book), 27 (1st book). Reprinted by Da Capo Press, Amsterdam, 1970. Return to text.
- Ray, J., The Wisdom of God Manifested in the Works of the Creation, 3rd ed., London, 1701, in the preface. Return to text.
- Ray, J., Three Physico-Theological Discourses, 3rd ed., London, 1713, p. 46,47. Reprinted by Arno Press, N.Y., 1978. Return to text.
- Boyle, R., “The Excellence and Grounds of the Mechanical Philosophy”, in The Philosophical Works of the Honourable Robert Boyle, P.S. Law (ed.), 2nd ed., London, 1725, vol. 1, p. 187. Return to text.
- Newton, I., Opticks, 3rd ed., London, 1721, pp. 377–378, 381–382. Return to text.
- Blyth, E., An Attempt to Classify the “Varieties” of Animals …, The Magazine of Natural History, London, vol. 8, pp. 40–53, 1835. Reprinted in Eiseley, L.C. Charles Darwin, Edward Blyth, And The Theory of Natural Selection, Proc . Am. Philos. Soc. (1959), vol. 103 (1), pp. 118,120. Return to text.
- Pasteur, L., Researches on the Molecular Asymmetry of Natural Organic Products, William F. Clay, Edinburgh, 1897, p. 43 (reprint and translation from the original Lecons de Chimie professees en 1860, Paris, 1861). Return to text.
- Thomson, W. and Tait, P.G., Treatise on Natural Philosophy, Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge, 1883, vol I, Part II, p. 486. Return to text.
- Andrews, E.H., Is Evolution Scientific?, Evangelical Press, Welwyn Herts, England, 1978, pp. 3,4. Return to text.
- Wilder-Smith, A.E., Man’s Origin, Man’s Destiny, Marshall Morgan and Scott Publications, London, 1974, pp. 27,28. Return to text.
M. G. (and the countless others who make similar comments) would do well to consider something, something Dr. Catchpoole did not mention.
"Science" is a description of the method used to investigate regular, repeating phenomena. If a phenomenon is not regular and repeating it is not open to investigation with the scientific method (SM), since SM requires repeated observations. SM has been around since Sir Francis Bacon and has brought untold benefits to mankind. SM does indeed (and always has) required the assumption that no miracles have been involved in the event(s) being studied, because miracles by definition are not regular and repeating but one-off uses of additional force by God. The fact that SM cannot investigate miracles does not mean that miracles cannot happen and practically all science pioneers believed miracles were possible and had happened.
However, SM cannot reconstruct past events. So when studying history (which creation\evolution is), using SM's "methodological naturalism" (MN) preconception - i.e., assuming an absence of miracles during the matter being studied if not the in-principle impossibility of miracles - is invalid. If miracles have indeed happened in the past, any investigation presuming that they have not is thus automatically going to return an incorrect conclusion.
So while SM indeed must use MN, the study of history absolutely should not. In a scientific study, repetitions are possible and conclusions can be based on these. Where history is being studied, the events have ALREADY happened and by definition no-one alive after the time of studying can know about them - unless they have reliable testimony.
So science and history should absolutely not be conflated. Even the term "historical science" is a horrible oxymoron.
Thanks, R.D., very well said.
The belief of evolution boils down to only one thing.
Those that promote that false faith cannot answer the basic question ; Nothing can be created from nothing.
In case you are not aware, Karl Popper changed his stance on evolution, and was quoted as saying, “I have changed my mind about the testability and logical status of the theory of natural selection; and I am glad to have an opportunity to make a recantation” (Dialectica 32:344–346). I just wanted to make you aware of this, as I know CMI seeks to be academically honest. In fact, on the article "Arguments we think creationists should NOT use", I would add one which says something like, "evolutionist Karl Popper admitted that evolution is not science" and then show how he recanted his earlier statement.
Firstly, the Dialectica sentence you quote does not show that Karl Popper has changed his mind about 'evolution' at all, but natural selection. As we have written many times (e.g. see: Don't fall for the bait-and-switch!), natural selection is not microbes-to-man evolution! Natural selection is an observable phenomenon; evolution is not.
Secondly, the Dialectica 'recantation' you quote does not change the truth of Popper's original statement, as cited in Dr Leslie's article above.
Thirdly, even if someone ever finds evidence of a Popper 'recantation', what would be the value in such an argument? If a leading theist became an evolutionist, would that be proof of evolution? Or if a leading atheist subsequently recognized Intelligent Design, would that be proof of creation?
So this article has a number of problems. For example, both T. Dobzhansky and F Ayala are avowed Christians. More importantly, there's a basic misunderstanding of how modern science works. By its very nature, science develops naturalistic explanations of the phenomena we observe in the natural world. Once you start invoking supernatural forces, which do not follow any laws of nature (hence supernatural) you have left the realm of science. You may not like that, but that's a central tenant of modern science. As a result, science is not pro- or anti-religion. It is effectively agnostic. Since supernatural forces cannot, by the very definition of scientific explantaion, be studied scientifically, science is inherently agnostic rather than atheistic as you seem to assume. Science cannot say there is a God or there is not a God. Instead, science works to come up with the best explanation of the natural world using only naturalistic forces. You are welcome to reject a scientific explanation for a supernatural explanation, but that doesn't make your explanation scientific.
Dear Mike, it seems you are well aware of the key debating strategy: "Whoever defines the terms, wins the debate." But if you go back in history, you'll see that originally, science did not have 'rules' that exclude the supernatural account of origins described in the Bible, or the ensuing account of history (e.g. Noah's Flood). If you care to abandon the secular redefining of 'science', you'll see Dr Leslie's article in a refreshing new light. The choice is yours ...
[Update 20 April 2013] Dr Leslie has also provided this response:
M.G. commented, "both T. Dobzhansky and F. Ayala are avowed Christians." Unfortunately, there are many prominent Christians that avow things that are not in line with the scriptures, as do all of us to some degree.
One of the most prominent abortionists of our time, who even did late term abortions- Dr. George Tiller of Wichita KS, was a confessed Christian and attended church regularly.
There are others in different fields who espouse other wrong beliefs. That is why we are admonished to "seek truth" and it will make you free. Jesus (and his teachings) is the way, the truth, and the life. Paul taught his disciples to study God's word, as do the Psalms. We must learn to walk in God's principles.
I apologize if my article was not clear enough; but because science only deals with the physical matter it will never be able to be used for explaining the origin of matter or the ultimate ending of matter. Those events are outside of measurable occurrences.
The very study of science must be placed in a philosophic framework that makes certain assumptions, e.g. that there is reality and that there is a reproducibility of the properties of matter. It can answer only 2 questions:
1) the description of matter (hot/cold, heavy/light, hard/soft, blue/red etc.) and
2) the manipulation of matter (heating/cooling, mixing with other substances etc.).
These observations can then be used to develop technology. It can not explain the value or beauty things, nor whether there is a heaven or hell, ultimate beginnings or endings etc., but these are real. Evolution incorporates faith (so does Creation) as even Dobzansky stated, “Evolution is a light which illuminates all facts, a trajectory which all lines of thought must follow.” This is not true.
Dr Catchpoole has written an excellent article noted in his response, and CMI will be posting an article of mine in the near future on the "Interfacing of Religion, Philosophy, and Science in the Noah Flood Account."
Dr John G Leslie PhD, MD, PhD
In the list of great scientists who acknowledged God, let us not leave out the great theoretical physicist, James Clerk Maxwell. He is the father of the classical theory of electromagnetism and on par with Isaac Newton in terms of fundamental contributions to theoretical physics.
Take a look at the hoatzin. It sure looks like a living archaeopteryx to me. Even the imaginative drawings of archaeopteryx look like hoatzins. Yes, the beaks are different. But that is not much of a drawback. Think of Darwin's finches, and how their beaks changed and reverted.
Evolution broke the "Tyranny" of Christianity? More like it is replacing it with a much heavier and all-consuming tyranny of its own as it seeks to control the very thoughts of the entire world. Jesus said my yoke is easy and my burden light, the burden of evolution is crushing and choking our world. The kings of the world come together and say let us throw off their fetters, but he who sits in heaven laughs in derision at them, who would not laugh at people who take off a support mechanism that enables and strengthens free will, honesty and every thing good and replace them with heavy iron chains of sin that entangles, entraps and stifles all free endeavour and things that are good; and then declare they are free?
Thank you for this excellent review. I recently taught a Sunday School class (6 weeks) about the evolution/creation controversy. One of the things I tried to impress on them was that evolution was a religion. Your website and materials was a great help with that.
With idolatry, a man uses his hands to fashion something out of wood, stone or metal. He then props it up and ascribes divine powers to it and begins to worship it as his god.
The various theories of evolution amount to the same exact thing. They fashion a notion so complex that they are impressed by it then they ascribe transcendent powers to it.
Time, space and matter "just happened"; the quantum flux created them.
Life "just happened"; deep time and random chance created it.
Humans and other species "just happened": mutation and natural selection created them.
Human sentience "just happened"; build a big enough computer and it will suddenly "come alive". See Colossus, Skynet, Adam Selene and others...
While all of it smacks of fantasy & science fiction. a more accurate term is IDOLATRY!
Great article. The BBC is showing a two part documentary this coming Sunday (UK) entitled "Wallace in Borneo" the commentator says something like "discover the other side of evolution that you don't know about" The programme is hosted by Bill Bailey. I hope you guys will cover this at some point in the future.
We'll try! There's so many attacks on various fronts, it's hard to know how to prioritise. However, as you can see from today's front page feature on David Attenborough's Galapagos, CMI's venerable Russell Grigg certainly enjoys getting his teeth into these public media anti-Christianity diatribes ... :-)
While your article makes many assumptions, it highlight the agenda of individuals against Christianity. It does however not address two fundamental problems at all:
1. Do we know that the Bible is literally accurate? We do know that in many cases it is not, so we can never use the Bible as a scientific reference manual.
Eg: You state God says (actually the scriptures, which is not necessarily God speaking) the earth was first covered with water, yet it doesn't say that. It merely says "in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth", not what it was like at first. Then it says that "water covered the earth", doesn't mean it was like that from the outset. Playing technical games with a verse is not just dangerous, it is deceitful, so please don't do that!
I'm not disputing the infallibility of the God's Word, but inerrancy is a myth: The English Bible has been corrected so many times (e.g.) that picking one version which is "correct" is impossible. I think that's clear anyway.
I am a believer & not coming at you from a negative angle to attack, but rather to correct and admonish to be prudent & diligent with the truth, not purveying half truths.
2. The evidence gathered from the human genome project is irrefutable. I do realise that this is only known since 2005, but you should consider the mountain of evidence that points to the correctness of the evolution theory, albeit neither perfect nor complete. It is also not in conflict with the Genesis account. It is in conflict with a specific literal interpretation thereof though (like for example that the "yoms" in Genesis 1 are solar days, not eras. How silly that is, can already be seen clearly in the text).
Roland, your comment has been forwarded to the author, Dr John Leslie, for his consideration and possible response. In the meantime, re "yoms in Genesis 1", you're ultra-wrong on that score. See, e.g. "In my father's day ..."
Also, re the early Earth and water, haven't you read Genesis 1:2, 1:6-7, 1:9-10; 2 Peter 3:5?
[Update 19 April] We have now received Dr Leslie's response:
Regarding the "two fundamental problems":
1) "Do we know that the Bible is literally accurate? We know that in many cases it is not, so we can never use the Bible as a scientific manual." This man combines several issues into one question. Regarding the accuracy of transmission of the Bible as an ancient document down to the present day-it is probably the most reliably transmitted ancient text in history. Regarding it being "literally accurate"; for one to be a Christian, as defined as having accepted the literal life/ministry/death/and atonement for our sins of Jesus Christ and that God the Father sent Him to us and that as believers in Him we can be "born again" and receive the Holy Spirit into very being-yes the Bible must be considered "literally true". Regarding it as a scientific text I never said it was-- but Francis Bacon said the Bible and the creation are two sources of God's revelation to us. [Editor's note: See "But the Bible's not a scientific textbook, is it?"]
2) Regarding "The evidence gathered from the human genome project is irrefutable...points to the correctness of the evolution theory"-how? The human genome data must be put within a religio-philosophic framework to attempt to use it to discuss origins of animal groups. There is no demonstrable evidence for evolutionary change that can be measured at present-only that for variation which is not supportive of the changes necessary to evolve from one animal group to another. In the article we expose the desires (motivations) of many of those who want to believe the evolution story of life (not a theory-as it is emprically falsified).
Finally, if God exists and wants a relationship with those created in His image-don't we think He can make Himself adequately evident to us-if not what hope do we have in this life?
Dr John G Leslie PhD, MD, PhD
.....have being clearly seen....the evolutionist know that they are wrong but their academic and scientific ego can't accept a higher being and even worse, He is invisible or turns not up for a discussion. And then a >1900 years old book....and that's it?
....and you will be like God....still works! We got science, we don't need God!!! [God made science Mr. simple]
Can you as a Christian imagine the fear of the evolutionists to admit one day there is proof that creation is right?
All their meaningless effort for nothing? Their only purpose of life worthless?
Hurry, hurry, we have to find new evidence for evolution, the creationists are coming.....
Using the somewhat vague definition: 'Religion can be defined as a “cause, principle or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith”', most things can be defined as religious. As we know knowledge is a subset if belief, this definition opens up all beliefs, true or otherwise, to be considered a religion.
I would suggest there is more to religion then this description, else many mundane systems which are upheld with eagerness should also be religions, such as looking both ways when crossing the road, car insurance in the UK or even my personal like of icecream.
If your claim is that the concepts of evolution are maintained by faith as opposed to fact, which is why you consider the theory of evolution to be a religion, then I withdraw my complaint; I am sure I am not the first critic to point out the amount of supporting evidence for evolution outweighs any evidence to the contrary (and in fact the counter-evidence you frequently present only acts as such if other scientific disciplines are ignored).
The definition of religion I used came from Webster's dictionary. I further amply describe my view of religion in the article. In a forthcoming article I will discuss the interfacing of religion, philosophy, and science in the development of one's worldview.
But suffice it to say, our religious views, those beliefs upon which we base a meaning to our existence do impact all aspects of our lives. So religion is in one sense "mundane" and also profound.
Regarding the "amount of supporting evidence for evolution outweighs any evidence to the contrary" I strongly disagree. There are hundreds of articles on CMI that provide evidence against it, showing the evidence is better interpreted in line with the Bible's account of history. The basic problem is that many people have a poor understanding of what science can answer and what it can not answer. Evolution is a worldview, and if tested empirically--it is falsified.
If it wasn't Darwin's theory, then someone would have invented something else along the same lines (as history demonstrates) by which to deny the Creator.
At the end of the day, many who deny God by whatever means are trying to run away from Him, which only exposes them to the greater danger of His wrath and judgement because of their unbelief (Luke 12:46). On his honour, He gave His promise of salvation to all who believe His promise, and yet, many would rather put their trust in worldly beliefs and philosophies instead.
The world does not understand that the safest position is not attained by running away from God (Christ), but running to Him. But the world sees this as counterintuitive, because its own evil, unforgiving and merciless nature does not understand God’s goodness and mercy, and therefore, contrary to His promise, does not believe or accept that He is willing to forgive its sins/crimes (John 3:16).
It never ceases to amaze me that so called "intelligent" men follow evolution, a belief system that is part of Hindu Cosmology and primitive Mythologies.
I guess this is the danger of specialization of knowledge.
Those who study deeply one topic are less likely to know about the wider aspects of knowledge such as Mythology or World Cosmologies and religions, spirituality, and if they do they are usually misinformed by popularised notions and ideologies which are frequently misconceptions or utter deceptions.
What seems perfectly clear to me is that the PURPOSE (a word of Power as stated by occultist Alice Bailey in her book Rays and Initiations: A Treatise on the seven rays Volume 5 by Alice Bailey pg 50.) is that evolution, as is atheism, is merely a pit stop on the road to pantheism.
Because through the 19th C - 21st C the objective is to fragment belief systems into isolated component systems to create distance from religion until a future re-integration of such component systems into a New World Ideology and Theology.
Witchcraft is a prime example. Very few will swallow witchcraft as a whole.
Instead you fragment it into morsels of Astrology, Scrying, Telepathy, Psychic ability ie: Necromancy, etc etc which have also been given a varnish of scientific terminology, and multitudes swallow far more than realised.
Other primitive cultures holding to evolution:
"A Shan tribe,the Wa, believes itself to be descended from tadpoles (Asiatic Q. Rev., 3rd ser. i. 140). The Bahnars of Indo-China respect the frog, holding that one of their ancestors took that form (Miss.Cath. 1893, 140, 143)," Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics Volume 1 pg 516
Excellent article showing how evolution is a religious philosophy, and a bad one at that so making it a cult.