Refuting atheists’ ‘useful dupes’

How creation compromise undermines Christianity and enables unbelief

Photo 12826700 ©Sabphoto | Dreamstimeteenager-turning-away

by Dr Jonathan Sarfati

First published in CMI Update (US), August 2022

Just after WW2, well-meaning Croatian historian/journalist Bogdan Radica (Raditsa, 1904–1993) joined Yugoslavia’s atheistic communist government of Josip Broz Tito (1892–1980). Radica swallowed its noble professions of ‘freedom’ and ‘democracy’. But he soon saw that the Communists were after unbridled power, so they suppressed freedom of speech and the press. He witnessed people he respected being jailed and even executed, despite helping the Communists gain power.

After fleeing to the USA, Radica wrote a warning to the world.1 He revealed that the Yugoslav Communists had a cynical term for the well-meaning people who helped the communists win power and were then destroyed: koristne budale, or ‘useful fools’. This term, often misattributed to Lenin, is better known as ‘useful idiots’.2

Evolutionary compromise is useful to atheists

The Apostle of Atheopathy, Richard Dawkins (b. 1941), famously said, “Although atheism might have been logically tenable before Darwin, Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.”3 So it is bizarre that many in the church embrace the very Darwinism that helps atheists feel intellectually fulfilled.

Evolution and old-earth undermine Scripture

Sometimes Christians don’t embrace evolution but still compromise on the billions of years. However, this really means embracing the geological evolution that inspired Darwin. It’s also nothing new. In fact, Darwin’s main opponents were not biblical creationists, but rather closer to the modern old-earth creationist and intelligent design theorists.

In Darwin’s Origin of Species, he specifically addressed the prevailing compromised view. This was the view of his mentor, the lawyer and pioneer of long-age geology, Charles Lyell (1797–1875). Lyell thought that a creator had created over vast eons of time. Furthermore, he believed species were created in their current locations in their present forms. Sometimes these became extinct and were replaced by other creatures.

Darwin showed that creatures on the Galápagos archipelago were closely related to those in South America, but not the same. Why, he asked, would God create creatures in different locations that look similar? Darwin instead proposed that the Galápagos creatures had migrated and changed from those on the mainland.

However, this is just what biblical creationists would have said! These creatures migrated from the Ark, via South America, to the Galápagos. God had also created them with considerable ability to vary within their kinds.

However, even back then, long-age views had already weakened the Church by implicitly saying that the Bible was wrong about history.4 This is not just a horribly wrong timeframe, but long ages also mean that God created the world full of death, disease, and suffering. This is because the vast amount of the world’s geology (rock layers, fossils, etc.) that was used to justify a belief in deep time, also contained billions of fossils, i.e. death! Fossils also show raging infections, gout, osteoporosis, and even bone cancer. But the Bible clearly teaches that God created the world “very good” (Genesis 1:31) and that both human and animal death is the result of sin (Romans 8:19–23).5 In particular, the Apostle Paul clearly links the death of the “first man, Adam” to the resurrection of “the last Adam”, Jesus (1 Corinthians 15).6

Compromise doesn’t work!

Some of these creation compromisers seriously think they can win atheists over by assenting to their views on Earth history. But in reality, the atheists have won over the churchians who conceded biblical authority when it connects to the real world of history, as plainly written in Genesis. It’s even more problematic when one considers that the old earth and evolutionary view of Earth’s history is ultimately a secular one. Why should the atheists concede anything in return instead of awaiting more concessions?

Long-age compromise failed miserably with Darwin. It not only gave him a basis for biological evolution, but Darwin could also point out that long-ages were incompatible with a good God. Namely, why would He make creatures that hurt other creatures? Or why did He make things so incompetently that they would go extinct? And why would his favourite daughter Annie die as a child?

It is even worse now. Far from being won over, Dawkins has nothing but contempt for the compromise:

Oh but of course the story of Adam and Eve was only ever symbolic, wasn’t it? Symbolic?! So Jesus had himself tortured and executed for a symbolic sin by a non-existent individual? Nobody not brought up in the faith could reach any verdict other than barking mad!7

No wonder many in the church are foundering. A self-described “older man”, and pastor’s son no less, Bob J. of Canada, emailed us in early 2021:

“I have relatives who have been caught in the web of William Lane Craig and the big bang with billions of years. Men like this that bring the atheists’ religion of evolution into the church and undermine Genesis and destroy truth as well as the faith of countless people ought not be allowed to teach in the church. … One can expect evolution from the world but we are not of the world (John 15:19). It’s when men like Hugh Ross, John Walton, Craig etc. who claim to be Christian bring it into the church that bothers me!”

Intimidation by ‘science’

The undermining of biblical history is clearly a serious problem. However, many do so unwittingly, just as Radica unwittingly enabled Communism. But why?

These Christians mistakenly think that we reinterpret Genesis and the rest of Scripture to fit “the facts of science”. However, the genuine facts of science align perfectly with Scripture—in fact, most of the founders of modern science were biblical creationists!

But evolution has nothing to do with the science that put men on the moon, cures diseases, and builds technology. This can be called operational science: something we can observe, test, and repeat. However, evolution is really a claim about history—as is biblical creation. Evolution presumes no God, or at least no God who has acted in the history of the earth and life upon it. Biblical creation presumes that God acted as He wrote that He did!

Now both historical viewpoints invoke science to construct scenarios to explain present observations. Thus this is called historical science. Understanding the essential difference between operational and historical science should be an antidote to intimidation. And despite what some anti-creationists claim, this difference is not something made up by biblical creationists. The famous 20th-century evolutionary biologist Ernst Mayr (1904–2005) affirmed that evolution was distinct from operational science:

Evolutionary biology, in contrast with physics and chemistry, is a historical science—the evolutionist attempts to explain events and processes that have already taken place. Laws and experiments are inappropriate techniques for the explication of such events and processes. Instead one constructs a historical narrative, consisting of a tentative reconstruction of the particular scenario that led to the events one is trying to explain.8

The travesty of Francis Collins

One of the Christian leaders in bringing evolution into the church was the recent director of the National Institutes for Health (NIH), Francis Collins (b. 1950). At one time, Collins did outstanding scientific work, such as discovering the genes responsible for some diseases and leading the Human Genome Project. However, he also founded the leading theistic evolutionary organization, BioLogos, with millions in funding from the theistic evolutionary Templeton Foundation.9

As part of Collins’ wholesale embrace of evolution, he explicitly rejects a historical Adam.10 This alone should have been a red flag to the supposed Evangelicals embracing him. Collins also used ‘junk DNA’ as evidence for evolution without even a semblance of divine design. This argument essentially says, ‘I can’t figure out what this DNA does, so it must be a junky leftover of evolution.’ But now scientists have shown that almost all alleged junk DNA is transcribed to RNA, so is doing something, e.g. vital genetic switches. So Collins had to admit “hubris”.11

It should surprise no one that a man who rejects biblical history would also reject biblical morality. For example, Collins praised “LGBTQ pride” month, although no Christian should praise or take pride in what God calls “sin”. He also fought for using tissue from recent abortions in research and refused to affirm the real science that life begins at fertilization.12 Yet many of his ‘Big Eva’ evangelical supporters covered for him. One explanation is that they knew that Collins’ real positions would repel the Evangelicals in the church, undermining their favorite example of “See how an eminent scientist and devout Evangelical can embrace evolution”.13 Or else these supporters see nothing wrong with Collins’ moral positions either, and this is yet another part of their respectability-craving.

But who do such compromisers like Collins, Craig, Swamidass, Giberson et al., think they are winning over? The high priest of Darwininan evolution, Richard Dawkins, had this to say about them:

“I think the evangelical Christians have really sort of got it right in a way, in seeing evolution as the enemy. Whereas the more, what shall we say, sophisticated theologians are quite happy to live with evolution, I think they’re deluded. I think the evangelicals have got it right, in that there really is a deep incompatibility between evolution and Christianity … ”14

Don’t be intimidated!

CMI exists to help train the church of the importance of biblical creation to biblical authority and the Gospel. We also help ‘connect the dots’ to show why the issue is important. Along with that, we aim to show that creation also fits real science, while evolution and billions of years contradict it. So there is no need for pastors and their flocks to be intimidated.

In the same email cited above, Bob J. wrote, “I thank God for your unwavering stand on truth against today’s apostasy!” And a biology teacher at a Christian school, Andrew M., wrote:

I have been blessed, informed, and strengthened by your commitment to biblical fidelity, starting with Genesis. I also wanted to let you know that I often use Creation articles to develop worksheets and activities for my biology students.

We have hundreds of similar emails on file. This is what we are here for! And that’s why we go to hundreds of churches each year.

Published: 12 October 2023

References and notes

  1. Radica, B., Yugoslavia’s tragic lesson to the world, Reader’s Digest 49(294):138–150, Oct 1946. Return to text.
  2. Useful Idiot, quoteinvestigator.com, 22 Aug 2019. Radica translated the term ‘useful innocents’, but budale (singular budala) means ‘fools’ or ‘simpletons’. Return to text.
  3. Dawkins, C.R., The Blind Watchmaker, pp. 5–6, W.W. Norton, 1987. Return to text.
  4. Statham, D., Darwin, Lyell and Origin of Species, 5 Nov 2009. Return to text.
  5. Smith, H.B., Cosmic and universal death from Adam’s Fall: An exegesis of Romans 8:19–23a, J. Creation 21(1):75–85, 2007. Return to text.
  6. Sarfati, J., ‘Just preach the Gospel!’ Or: how not to impress atheists, Creation 35(3):15–17, 2013. Return to text.
  7. Dawkins, C.R., The root of all evil? Channel 4, 16 Jan 2006. Return to text.
  8. Mayr, E., Darwin’s Influence on Modern Thought, lecture in Stockholm, 23 Sep 1999; published on scientificamerican.com, 24 Nov 2009. Return to text.
  9. (Cosner) Sanders, L., Evolutionary syncretism: a critique of BioLogos, 7 Sep 2021. Return to text.
  10. Carter, R.W., The Non-Mythical Adam and Eve! Refuting errors by Francis Collins and BioLogos, 20 Aug 2011. Return to text.
  11. Reinikainen, P., Junk DNA—from science stopper to sickness source, 4 Feb 2020. Return to text.
  12. This is not just a ‘religious’ view (Psalm 51:5) but a scientific one—see A secular case against abortion, secularprolife.org/abortion, accessed 21 Mar 2022. Return to text.
  13. West, J.G., The tragedy of Francis Collins’s model for science-faith integration, evolutionnews.org, 18 Oct 2021. Return to text.
  14. Interview on Revelation TV, accessed 24 Mar 2022. Return to text.