From the mouths of sceptics

Credence unwittingly given to creationist views!

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CMI writers regularly highlight the vital relevance of biblical creation for the spiritual health and wellbeing of individual Christians, the local church and society at large. At many levels, there are crucial connection points between what is taught about ultimate origins and a nation’s attitude towards Christianity. These are seen in its people’s declining educational and social standards, its weakened moral fibre, and its increased resistance to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Sadly, however, many church leaders seem oblivious to the problem. Therefore, we frequently warn against the tragic compromise exhibited by influential writers, especially those with alleged evangelical credentials. Their reckless disregard of the straightforward history recounted in Genesis 1–11 is leading many sincere Christians astray. Having swallowed ideas that purport to be compatible with Scripture, they are brought into conflict with the inspired New Testament writers and Jesus Himself, who emphatically endorsed that history.

As an avid student of this debate for well over 30 years, a huge irony has increasingly presented itself to me. In reading thousands of articles and books by evolutionary scientists who make no pretence of religion (and some who are hostile to Christianity), one often finds that their very words unwittingly acknowledge an absence of evidence for key components of the prevailing evolutionary view. What is more, they actually provide support for biblical events such as the global Flood of Noah’s day. In what follows, I list some recent examples, making only minimal comment.

Scientists have not explained the universe’s origin

Dr Marcelo Gleiser, an agnostic theoretical physicist and cosmologist who won the 2019 Templeton Prize, admits, “When you hear very famous scientists making pronouncements like … cosmology has explained the origin of the universe and the whole, and we don’t need God anymore. That’s complete nonsense,” he added. “Because we have not explained the origin of the universe at all.”1 And they never will for it was a miracle of God (Genesis 1:1)—see also Five atheist miracles.

The chemical evolution idea really is like a fairy tale

Prof Ramanarayanan Krishnamurthy is a chemist at The Scripps Research Institute in San Diego, California. He and his team have an idea that a compound called diamidophosphate (DAP) might have been involved in a crucial stage in the origin of life—called phosphorylation—to bring together nucleotides, peptides and lipids. But he rather gives the game away: “With DAP and water and these mild conditions, you can get these three important classes of pre-biological molecules to come together and be transformed, creating the opportunity for them to interact together … It reminds me of the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella, who waves a wand and ‘poof’, ‘poof’, ‘poof’, everything simple is transformed into something more complex and interesting.2

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I myself am reminded of a quip made by one of my CMI colleagues, “Scientists have discovered evidence for the presence of compounds found in ink and other pigments, in interstellar stardust. This will go a long way toward explaining the existence of the billions of books of information found in the libraries of the world.”3 As Prof Ramanarayanan’s words betray, ideas of molecular self-assembly leading to a ‘first cell’ are not science at all.

Ancient man was advanced after all

Was there an onward, upward progression from ape-like animals, eventually arriving at Homo sapiens (‘wise man’)? Well, together with a colleague, Dr Justin Pargeter, Department of Anthropology at Emory University, Atlanta (USA) has published evidence that contradicts this story. They found a sliver of crystal quartz that had been fashioned into an arrowhead by a “highly technical” method. Dr Pargeter says, “The link shaft goes into the animal, sacrificing the small blade, but the arrow shaft pops out so you can retain this more costly component … Our ancestors were masters of aerodynamics and acted like engineers, rather than what we think of as ‘cave people’. They built redundancy into their technological systems, allowing them to easily repair their tools and to reduce the impact of errors.”4 No surprises for the biblical creationist there—ancient man was advanced. From the beginning man was created and made “in the image of God” (Genesis 1:27).

All human beings really are one human race

The front page of the April 2018 National Geographic showed a blue-eyed, fair-skinned, blonde-haired girl standing alongside her brown-eyed, medium-brown skinned, dark-haired sister, with the caption, “Black and white: These twin sisters make us rethink everything we know about race”. Editor Susan Goldberg admitted that, “some of the magazine’s archive material left her ‘speechless’, including a 1916 photo of Australian Aborigines with the caption ‘South Australian Blackfellows: These savages rank lowest in intelligence of all human beings’.”5 As the late Stephen Jay Gould once wrote, “Biological arguments for racism … increased by orders of magnitude following the acceptance of evolutionary theory.”6 The NG magazine cover and caption confirms that we are indeed all “one” race (Acts 17:26)—see Skin colour surprises.

There really is evidence for a gigantic flood in Earth’s history

A paper in Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences unwittingly provides evidence of a global catastrophic flood. BBC Science Correspondent Jonathan Amos commented that, “Scientists have found an extraordinary snapshot of the fallout from the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs 66 million years ago. Excavations in North Dakota reveal fossils of fish and trees that were sprayed with rocky, glassy fragments that fell from the sky. The deposits show evidence also of having been swamped with water - the consequence of the colossal sea surge that was generated by the impact.”7 This sure sounds like a flood of biblical proportions!

Exquisitely preserved fossils really are testimony to rapid burial

There are many research reports to choose from but three examples will suffice. Firstly, a fossil ichthyosaur from Germany’s famous Holzmaden quarry has been found with “fossilised blubber” and skin remains. Called Stenopterygius, this extinct marine reptile is said to be 80 million years old. Dr Johan Lindgren of Lund University in Sweden says, “the still-flexible skin meant the specimen must have been fossilised so fast that organic molecules were trapped inside the mineral component of the fossil.”8

Credit: Xiao-Lin Wang and Zhong-He Zhoufossil-eggs
These pterosaur fossil egg images, showing embryos inside, were reported in Nature in 2004. In 2017 a paper in Science reported numerous pterosaur eggs with “soft parchment-like shells”.12

Secondly, recent fossil finds by Chinese scientists revealed such an astonishing level of preservation that slow-n-gradual burial is not an option. Found along the Danshui river in China’s Hubei province, thousands of fossilised jellyfish, sponges, anemones, worms, arthropods and algae are said to have been “entombed in an ancient underwater mudslide.” Dr Martin Smith, a palaeontologist at Durham University excitedly said, “[The] preservational quality is mindblowing … If you sent a time traveller back to the Cambrian period armed with a camera and an x-ray machine, the images they’d come back with would be nothing compared to these fossils, which preserve detail finer than a human hair.”9 In their paper the scientists make clear that the exquisite preservation of the fossils is due to a sudden mud flow that swept the animals into cold, deep water, thus slowing decay.10

A third example of fossil evidence that is wonderfully compatible with the Noahic Flood was reported in the prestigious journal Science.11 Over 215 eggs (maybe up to 300) were found in a sandstone block, assigned to a species of pterosaur called Hamipterus tianshanensis. Some had embryonic remains, but what really caught popular attention was that the “pterosaur eggs had soft parchment-like shells”.12 Authors Xiaolin Wang (Institute of Vertebrate Palaeontology and Paleoanthropology in Beijing) and Alexander Kellner (National Museum of Brazil in Rio de Janeiro) write, “This sedimentological data, associated with the exceptional quantity of eggs and bones, indicate that events of high energy such as storms have passed over a nesting site, causing the eggs to be moved inside the lake where they floated for a short period of time, becoming concentrated and eventually buried along with disarticulated skeletons.”11 That is quite imaginative, but what is certain is the conclusion that a high energy watery event is needed to explain such preservation.

There is laboratory evidence that fossilisation doesn’t require millions of years

Is lots and lots of time a vital ingredient for fossil formation? Well, not according to fascinating recent research by a scientific team who have devised a recipe for making convincing “carbonaceous fossils” from animal and plant specimens in the lab. They used a hydraulic press to compress the specimens in sediment, then heated them in sealed metal tubes to 210°C (410 F) at a pressure of 240 bar (3,500 psi). The spectacular fossils look very real indeed: “They held up to scrutiny under the electron microscope, too: just like in real fossils … And, just as real fossils don’t contain proteins and fatty tissue, neither did the lab-created fossils.”13 So if you can create the conditions for forming fossils quickly in a lab, it is undeniable that millions of years are not required, rather the right recipe will do the job—which ties in very nicely indeed with the biblical geological model of a global deluge.

Dinosaur soft tissue cannot be ‘millions of years’ old

In recent years, Dr Mary Schweitzer, famous for publications of genuine unfossilised soft tissue in dinosaur bones, has been experimenting to see whether iron-rich fluids could explain how their tissues, proteins and DNA could have lasted for millions of years. But Prof Matthew Collins, a world authority on biogeochemistry and biomolecular archaeology at University of York (UK), is very sceptical that iron from haemoglobin could have done the magic required: “I have yet to hear a plausible explanation for how soft tissues can be preserved for this long … for me they’re defying basic chemistry and physics. … Iron may slow down the decay process but it’s not clear how it could be arrested altogether.”14 He was also quoted in the leading journal Science: “Proteins decay in an orderly fashion. We can slow it down, but not by a lot.”15 These dinosaur soft tissues and biomolecules, while extremely challenging to the evolutionary paradigm, perfectly fit a historical global Flood, thousands of years ago.

All these examples give credence to biblical creation history

We have highlighted a variety of research discoveries and conclusions of mainstream scientists, all from the last two or three years. With so much evidence for the compatibility of scientific evidence with a historical Genesis 1–11, one wonders why any Christian would be in a hurry to compromise that record, especially when:

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Even many non-believers can see that Genesis is written as history!

We finish with an example of this from Steve Stewart-Williams, Associate professor of Psychology at the University of Nottingham’s Malaysia Campus. He is highly critical of theistic evolutionists who try to retain God as Creator while denying that Genesis is history: “The idea that the biblical stories are symbolic is charitable to the point of absurdity. What would we think of a university professor who, happening upon unambiguous errors in a favourite student’s work, concluded that the student was speaking symbolically and awarded her top marks? The whole notion that Genesis is metaphorical, and that evolution is a testament to the glory of God, smacks of the kind of spin doctoring that gives politicians a bad name. Liberal Christians alter their original religious beliefs to make them compatible with evolutionary theory, and then scoff at the idea that there was ever any threat. In doing so, they casually downplay just how radically they’ve rewritten their religion. Arguably it is not the same religion as the one it evolved from; it merely shares the same name.”16

We should not be timid in critiquing the atheists’ creation story. To Christians I say, let us stand upon the authority of God’s word, just as He challenges us to do (Isaiah 66:2).

References and notes

  1. Couronne, I., Physicist Marcelo Gleiser: ‘Science does not kill God’, news.yahoo.com, 19 March 2019. Return to text.
  2. Anon, Potential ‘missing link’ in chemistry that led to life on Earth discovered, sciencedaily.com, 6 November 2017. This reports on work published by Prof Krishnamurthy et al in Nature Chemistry, 6 November 2017, DOI: 10.1038/NCHEM.2878. Return to text.
  3. Ambler, M., e-mail communication, 2 November 2017. Return to text.
  4. Quoted from Bridge, M., How the little things show that cavemen thought big, thetimes.co.uk, 14 March 2019. The original paper is: Pargeter, J. & Shea, J.J., Going big versus going small: Lithic miniaturization in hominin lithic technology, Evolutionary Anthropology 28(2):72–85, 29 March 2019. Return to text.
  5. Goldberg, S., For decades, our coverage was racist. To rise above our past, we must acknowledge it, nationalgeographic.com, April 2018. Return to text.
  6. Gould, S.J., Ontogeny and Phylogeny, Belknap-Harvard Press, pp. 127–128, 1977. Return to text.
  7. Amos, J., Chicxulub asteroid impact: Stunning fossils record dinosaurs’ demise, bbc.co.uk, 29 March 2019. Return to text.
  8. Rincon, P., Fossil preserves ‘sea monster’ blubber and skin, bbc.co.uk/news, 5 December 2018. The original paper is: Lindgren, J. et al, Soft-tissue evidence for homeothermy and crypsis in a Jurassic ichthyosaur, Nature 564:359–365, 5 December 2018. Return to text.
  9. Sample, I., ‘Mindblowing’ haul of fossils over 500m years old unearthed in China, The Guardian, 21 March 2019. Return to text.
  10. Fu, D. et al, The Qingjiang biota—A Burgess Shale–type fossil Lagerstätte from the early Cambrian of South China, Science 363(6433):1338–1342, 22 March 2019. Return to text.
  11. Wang, X. et al, Egg accumulation with 3D embryos provides insight into the life history of a pterosaur, Science 358(6367):1197–1201, 1 December 2017. Return to text.
  12. Briggs, H., Fossilised eggs shed light on reign of pterosaurs, bbc.co.uk/news, 30 November 2017. Return to text.
  13. Starr, M., Researchers have discovered how to make proper fossils – in a day, sciencealtert.com, 27 July 2018. The original paper is: Saitta, E.T., Kaye, T.G. & Vinther, J., Sediment‐encased maturation: a novel method for simulating diagenesis in organic fossil preservation, Palaeontology, 25 July 2018, doi.org/10.1111/pala.12386. Return to text.
  14. Prof Matthew Collins quoted in: Morton, M.C., Cretaceous collagen: Can molecular paleontology glean soft tissue from dinosaurs? Earth, 16 October 2017; earthmagazine.org. Return to text.
  15. Service, R.F., Scientists retrieve 80-million-year-old dinosaur protein in ‘milestone’ paper, Science, 31 January 2017; sciencemag.org. Return to text.
  16. Stewart-Williams, S., Darwin, God and the Meaning of Life: How evolutionary theory undermined everything you thought you knew, Cambridge University Press, p. 63, 2010. Return to text.

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