The truth … and nothing but the truth
First appeared in a CMI newsletter, December 2013
Recently I watched an episode of David Attenborough’s latest documentary series, Rise of Animals. With great skill and unwavering confidence he again presented the theory of evolution as if it were confirmed scientific fact—indeed no other view was considered worthy even of mention. Despite such programs containing next to no real science, they often seem very convincing and influence many. It is not difficult to see why.
In a court of law, one is required not only to tell the truth, but also the whole truth. This is because, by telling just part of the truth (a half truth), it is very easy to get an innocent person convicted. For example, I could testify that I saw someone at the scene of a crime, and this might cause a jury to conclude that they are the guilty party. However, if I were to tell the whole truth, it might be that I saw the person at the scene of the crime two weeks after the crime had been committed—which, of course would put them in a completely different light.
Telling the story of origins, evolution-wise
Through subtle omission, it would not be difficult to make a case for the earth being millions of years old, rather than the c. 6,000 years that the Bible indicates. We might begin by introducing the dedicated scientists who discovered radioactivity, such as Marie Curie. We would then discuss the extent to which knowledge of radioactivity has benefited mankind, particularly in areas of medical science. Next we would show some footage of technicians in a smart laboratory using expensive, high tech equipment to measure decay rates of radioactive isotopes. All good examples of real ‘operational’ science. But then an interview with a distinguished professor would follow, in which he would explain just how accurate this equipment is and hence how reliable radioactive dating must be. Next there would be graphs showing how test after test ‘proved’ the rocks to be millions of years old.
An interview with a geologist would follow in which current rates of canyon erosion are discussed. Accompanied by stunning aerial footage of the Grand Canyon, simple calculations would be presented demonstrating that millions of years would be required for the Colorado River to cut the canyon down to its current depth of around one mile—even accepting the occasional flash flood (but not Noah’s Flood, of course). Finally, there would be a respectful interview with an uninformed but sincere-looking ‘Christian fundamentalist’ who insists that the radioisotopes were placed in the rocks by Satan in order to test the resolve of the faithful!
The whole truth?
Nothing would be said about the untestable assumptions upon which radioactive ‘dating’ methods rely, or that analyses of different radioactive isotopes yield very different results. Neither would anything be said about the discovery of dinosaur soft tissue in rocks which, according to radioactive dating, must be over 65 million years old.1 Nor would there be any reference to the presence of significant amounts of carbon-14 in dinosaur remains, coal seams and diamonds which, due to its short half-life, would also seem impossible if these were really millions of years old. There would also be no mention of the 100-foot-deep (30m) canyon formed in just one day following the eruption of Mount St Helens in 1980, or the dozens of other scientific observations that fly in the face of the view that the earth is billions of years old.2
Nothing to fear from the hard facts
Many in the church consider belief in an earth that’s just 6,000 years old to be foolish because so many scientists (and many who are professing Christians) are convinced that it is far older. But why do these scientists hold the position they do? For many, it is because they have only been exposed to the evidence that appears to support this view. This is also true of evolution. At school and at university, young people are told again and again that speciation of Darwin’s finches, dog breeding and antibiotic resistance in bacteria have all shown evolution to be true. The fact that the processes driving such changes will never produce the genetic information required to turn microbes into man is never mentioned.
Parents beware—(secular) education is not neutral
The theory of evolution is not maintained by science, but by the selective reporting of data and the intimidation of dissent. There is now so much evidence challenging the Darwinian paradigm that no thinking person, armed with the facts, can continue to regard it as scientific. Much of the problem is that people do not know the facts, including many in the church. Our teenagers go to their secular schools and universities and are told, day after day, that science has disproved the Bible and many end up accepting the lie because no one in their church can present the alternative view.
There are now many resources, however, which enable us to answer the sceptics and to show how the facts of science fit the biblical account of Creation and Earth history far better than they fit the evolution story. For example, on creation.com there are numerous articles dealing with subjects like radiometric ‘dating’, dinosaurs, astronomy, geology, fossils and natural selection. The webstore also has many excellent resources equipping Christians to defend the faith. Indeed, never before has there been so much evidence supporting a belief in the Bible.
References and notes
- Not dating of the water-lain sedimentary rocks (which lack the required radioisotopes) but of nearby igneous rock or other materials which contain radioactive elements such as volcanic ash layers. Return to text.
- See Batten, D., The Age of the Earth: 101 evidences for a young age for the earth and the universe, June 2009; creation.com/age-of-the-earth. Return to text.