SCIENCE AND THE BIBLE
When the apostle Paul wrote to the Christians in Rome, he told them that God is revealed to all of us, every day, through the things that He has made. This revelation includes everything from what God is (the infinitely wise and eternally powerful Designer and Creator of the universe), to Who God is (a Family of three eternal Persons, represented by the word 'Godhead' in the verses below).
Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them (mankind), for God has showed it unto them. For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made; even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.
Paul's Epistle to the Romans 1:19-20
Paul was repeating a message that is also found in the Old Testament:
The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night shows knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.
David's Psalm 19:1-4
Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of His glory.
This web page, along with my first web page titled '
Many Christians embrace an idea called
Many of these same Christians also propose an idea called
The challenge for the Christian is to rightly understand both the Bible and genuine, valid scientific discovery, so that he can discover this 'concord', and explain it to others as well. This is what I attempt to do in each of my two web pages on the nature of God; to explain how God's world and His word agree with each other, speaking to us with one voice.
All conservative, bible-believing Christians are 'creationists'. That is, they believe that the universe, our planet and solar system, and all biological life on Earth were brought into existence supernaturally by an intelligent Designer and Creator. They reject Darwin's theory of evolution as an explanation for the origin of biological life. They believe that the Bible is a historically valid document, that Adam was a real man, and that the flood of Noah (Genesis chapters 6-9) was a genuine historical event. And most importantly, they both believe that Jesus Christ is the only-begotten Son of God, and the only Savior of mankind.
But while conservative Christians are in agreement about the Creator, they are divided into two groups regarding how much time God took do His creating. These two groups are the
- YEC's believe, as their name implies, that the earth and our solar system are relatively young; on the order of thousands of years.
- OEC's believe in an ancient earth and solar system, possibly as old as the 4 billion years proposed by scientists.
- YEC's hold differing opinions on the age of the universe. Some are open to the idea of a 'Big Bang' beginning of the universe 14 billion years ago, while others are skeptical of the Big Bang and believe in a much younger universe.
- OEC's generally embrace the 'Big Bang' concept, and a 14 billion-year age for the universe.
YEC's believe that the creation days of Genesis 1:3-2:3 were literal 24-hour days. They believe that all of the divine creative work described in Genesis chapter 1 was performed in six consecutive rotations of the planet earth upon its axis.
OEC's do not believe that the creation 'days' of Genesis 1 were 24-hour days, but rather were periods, ages or 'epochs' of time.
YEC's believe that most of the major geological formations of the earth (such as the great mountain ranges of the earth and the Grand Canyon of Arizona) are the result of Noah's flood (Genesis 6-9), occurring in the relatively recent past.
OEC's believe that the major geological formations of the earth are the result of geological processes that have occurred over long periods of time. While OEC's believe in a literal Noahic flood, they believe that the major geological structures of the earth were formed long before the flood occurred.
YEC's embrace modern discoveries from both molecular biology and the fossil record, each of which point to a supernatural origin for biological life. But while YEC's embrace 'Intelligent Design', they do not believe that biological life has existed on earth for more than a few thousand years.
While OEC's also recognize the death-blow that both molecular biology and the fossil record have delivered against Darwin's theory of evolution, OEC's believe that the fossil record reveals the existence of primitive biological life on earth dating back possibly 4 billion years; to the beginning of the solar system itself. In addition many OEC's believe in the Cambrian Explosion; the sudden appearance 500 million years ago of complex biological life representing most of the basic physical body styles present in the animal world today. Scientists tell us that this 'explosion' took place practically overnight from a geological perspective.
Throughout the history of the church there have been good, God-fearing people who have taken each of these positions regarding God's creation days, and the age of the world. This remains true today. It is possible to be a faithful Christian and servant of God while holding either one of these views. Our individual relationship with God is defined, primarily, by moral questions. Do we believe in the Son of God, Jesus Christ, and trust in His shed blood alone for the forgiveness of our sins? Do we love fellow Christians and our fellow man as God has commanded us, or are we breakers of His moral laws? Are we walking in humility, open to the possibility that we are mistaken in our understanding of the Bible (rather than slandering those who disagree with us)? This, I believe, will be the ultimate measure of our Christianity. I will be arguing (in the following sections) in support of old-earth creationism. But if I have all knowledge, yet lack the love and humility that God requires of me, my arguments will count for nothing (1 Corinthians chapter 13). As the Bible says, 'Without holiness no man shall see the Lord' (Hebrews 12:14).
There is much discussion among old-earth Christians about questions like 'How was earth's moon formed?' and 'Was Noah's flood a localized or worldwide event?' Old-earth Christians engage in debates on these and many other subjects. But for me it is important to keep it simple; to take my stand on very basic and fundamental claims, and not to overreach. My search for 'concord' between science and the Bible relates to three basic areas of science; astronomy, geology and biology. I believe that these three academic disciplines have revealed three important truths to us:
I believe that there is agreement between the above facts and the Bible. In addition I believe that God's word encourages me to embrace the possibility that the universe is 14 billion years old, that our earth is 4 billion years old, and that biological life has existed on this planet for many millions of years. My belief is based upon the following Bible verses:
Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them (mankind), for God has showed it unto them. For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made; even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.
Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever You had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God. You turn man to destruction, and say 'Return, you children of men.' For a thousand years in Your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.
Psalm 90:2-4 (written by Moses, the author of Genesis)
Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying 'Where is the promise of His (Christ's) coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation'. For this they willingly are ignorant of; that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water. Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water (through Noah's flood) perished. But the heavens and the earth which are now, are kept in store by the same word, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing; that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
2 Peter 3:3-8
For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.
But you, O Daniel, shut up the words and seal the book, even to the time of the end. Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.
In Romans chapter 1, Paul tells me that not only is God's power revealed in creation, but His eternal power is revealed. In my opinion, a 14 billion year-old universe, filled with millions of galaxies and billions of stars, does a good job of revealing that. Moses and Peter tell us that, from God's perspective, time is a relative thing; that He does not see, measure or experience time as we do. Isaiah tells me that if I want to understand God's perspective, I must somehow put myself in His 'shoes' as the Creator of the universe, standing outside of my earthbound frame of reference. And Daniel tells me that in the last days mankind's knowledge will be increased. I believe that the above verses, combined with the scientific discoveries of our day, grant me liberty to consider the possibility that the creation days of Genesis 1 are not literal, 24-hour days.
OECs and YECs are in general agreement about what they see through the microscope; living things that are too complex to have originated through evolution, and are obviously the handiwork of an Intelligent Designer. But they are in disagreement about what they see through the telescope. In the early 1600's an astronomer named Galileo, who had begun observing our solar system through one of the earliest telescopes, proposed that the sun did not revolve around the earth, but that the earth revolves around the sun. Galileo was threatened with excommunication by the Roman Catholic Church and forced to recant his views, based upon the following Bible verses:
The Lord reigns; He is clothed with majesty. The Lord is clothed with strength, wherewith He has girded Himself. The world also is established, that it cannot be moved.
Say among the heathen that the Lord reigns. The world also shall be established that it shall not be moved. He shall judge the people righteously.
Fear before Him, all the earth. The world also shall be stable, that it be not moved.
1 Chronicles 16:30
Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed forever.
The sun also rises, and the sun goes down, and hastens to his place where he arose.
All of the above verses seemed to contradict Galileo's claims. But Rome's error was in not bothering to look through Galileo's telescope, and not considering the possibility that these verses needed to be understood within a larger context. In fact, Rome did not acknowledge its mistake and officially pardon Galileo until 1992.
It is my opinion that today's YECs have also failed to look through Galileo's telescope. Instead of remaining earth-centered, insisting that the creation 'days' of Genesis are 24 hours long, they need to step off of this planet (in their imaginations) and take a look at the earth from God's perspective. I recently read that if our sun was represented by a tennis ball, then the earth would be the size of the period at the end of this sentence, 20 feet away from the tennis ball. Pluto, which is much smaller than the earth but held in orbit by the sun's gravity, would be 300 yards (three football fields) away from the tennis ball. The sun's mass comprises 99.86% of the total mass of the solar system. All of the planets, including the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, comprise just 0.14% of the total mass of our solar system.
It takes sunlight 8 minutes, traveling at 186,000 miles per second, to travel from the sun to the surface of the earth. Light traveling from our next door neighbor, a star named Proxima Centauri, takes four years to get here. It takes light 100,000 years to cross our galaxy. When one is willing to take a look through Galileo's telescope, considering the magnitude of God's universe and the tiny size of our planet, it seems obvious to me that describing God's work here in terms of individual rotations of a speck called 'Earth' is shortsighted. To close one's eyes to these truths, refusing to look through the 'telescope' of modern scientific discovery, is to perpetuate Rome's error and join in its condemnation of innocent people who are justified in believing what their eyes tell them.
The YEC claim is always that, if we are to take God's word literally, then we must understand the creation days of Genesis 1 to be 24-hour days. They insist that the 'evening and morning' phraseology associated with each of those days requires a '24-hour' understanding. Without getting into the precise translation of the original Hebrew text of Genesis 1, and the various ways that the word 'day' is used throughout the Bible, I would simply suggest this; that God might have described His creation labors in terms of earth days because He desired to establish a 7-day week for the people of Israel; a week that would continually remind them of His own 'week' of creative work. In other words, God was using the literary device of 'allegory' to communicate with people that were not yet able to understand the finer points of astronomy and physics. He was providing them with the correct order of His creative efforts while accommodating Himself to their level of knowledge and understanding. This idea, that God might use simile, metaphor or allegory to communicate with us, should not surprise anyone; the Son of God used these literary devices constantly in His parables.
While both young-earth and old-earth Christians regard themselves as orthodox in their view of the Bible, young-earth Christians are the most shrill about it. But God Himself is not shrill about His creation days being 24-hour days. There is not a single verse, in either the Old or New Testament, that links belief in a 24-hour creation day with orthodoxy. Surely if Jesus or any of His apostles thought it was important, they had ample opportunity to say so. Instead, the aspect of Genesis that is repeatedly stressed in God's word, as a point of orthodoxy, is the fact that when Adam disobeyed God in Eden, all of us disobeyed God. Both the apostle Paul and the apostle John put it very plainly:
...through one man (Adam) sin entered the world, and death through sin. And so death passed upon all men, because all sinned.
If we say that we have not sinned, we make God a liar, and His word is not in us.
I John 1:10
What strikes me is that, while both YEC's and OEC's claim that they interpret the book of Genesis literally, they contradict the most important message of Genesis: that we were all consciously and personally present in the Garden of Eden, joining Adam in his rebellion. Death comes upon every one of us because when Adam sinned, we all sinned. Instead, they blame the plight of humanity upon God. They cripple the gospel message by teaching the Roman Catholic doctrine of hereditary depravity; that God created us in such a way that Adam's sinfulness would be inherited by all of us. And worse yet, many Protestants go farther in their insult to God's character, teaching that God appointed Adam to be our representative in Eden, and then simply accused each of us of doing what Adam did, bringing upon humanity all of the suffering, grief and death that has plagued us from the beginning (an idea called the 'imputation' of Adam's sin. See my web page titled
In short, while both YEC's and OEC's claim that theirs is the 'literal' approach to the Bible, the reality is that where literalism is most needed, both groups are nowhere to be found.
Another reason that YECs reject old-earth views is because they connect an old-earth perspective with Darwin's theory of evolution. Beginning with the book The Genesis Flood by Whitcomb and Morris, first published in the early 1960's, YECs have felt that a young-earth view of history represented the best counter-attack against evolutionary thought. They felt that by fighting against the idea of an old earth, they would be effectively combatting evolution. Right up to the present day many YEC books, such as Coming to Grips with Genesis (edited by Mortenson and Ury), persistently link old-earth views with the theory of evolution. But the fact that evolutionists believe in an old earth does not mean that everyone who believes in an old earth is an evolutionist.
For Whitcomb, Morris and their followers, the battle for the Bible has partly been a reactionary one, centered around the issue of time. Because evolutionists have claimed that time did everything without God, YECs have felt obligated to insist that 'God did everything without time'.
EVOLUTIONISTS SAY THAT TIME MADE EVERYTHING WITHOUT GOD
YOUNG EARTH CREATIONISTS SAY GOD MADE EVERYTHING WITHOUT TIME
The fact is that modern-day biological science has disproven evolution, without any reference to the age of the earth or the universe. Everyone who truly understands the the complexity of biological life knows that evolution could never take place in millions, billions or trillions of years. But YECs continue to confound the two issues, insisting that an old-earth view allies itself with evolutionists, and that to question a literalistic interpretation of the Genesis 1 days is to undermine Biblical authority.
By continuing to confound these two questions, YECs have in fact exposed themselves as 'closet evolutionists'. How? Because they are revealing their belief that, given enough time, evolution could really happen. By continuing to rely upon a young-earth argument to counter Darwin they expose their own belief that, given enough time, evolution could really take place. To remain intellectually valid and to properly support the refutation of Darwinism that the Intelligent Design movement has already achieved, they need to stop connecting these two issues with each other.
Actually, although they despise each other, the evolutionists and YECs are in a symbiotic relationship with each other. Each side provides a 'boogey man' for the other, through which they are able to maintain their credibility and keep their followers in line. By insisting that the creation vs. evolution argument must be defined by their two extreme views of time, they have helped to insure each other's continuing relevance.
YEC leaders tell their followers that the only alternative to their views on time are those of 'godless evolutionists'. They warn their followers that if they depart from Young-Earth Creationism, the entire Christian faith will come tumbling down and they will have denied the Gospel. They constantly focus on the fact that evolutionists embrace an ancient earth and universe, and seek to link old-earth Christians with evolution through guilt by association. They keep their followers in line with warnings about heresy and apostasy. The simple fact of the matter is that young-earth Christians are terrified by time. The entire time-oriented argument is a matter of survival for them. They believe that if it were ever proved that the universe is 14 billion years old, and the earth is 4 billion years old, the Bible would be destroyed and all their hopes for eternal life would evaporate in an instant.
Evolutionists, at the other end of the time-oriented debate, warn their followers that the only alternative to their view of history is that of the ignorant, narrow-minded 'Galileo-haters' on the other side of the debate. By constantly telling their followers that the only alternative to evolution is Young-Earth creationism, the evolutionists are also able to support their own credibility while keeping their followers in line.
One of the unfortunate side affects of this polarization is that OEC's, who have been liberated from this time-based thinking and possess a better understanding of the harmony between science and the Bible, are attacked by both sides and often shouted down. YEC's accuse OEC's of being evolutionists in sheep's clothing, and evolutionists accuse OEC's of being YEC's in disguise.
In my hometown of Detroit there is a huge hotel/office complex on the edge of the Detroit River called the GM Center (originally named the Renaissance Center). To anyone who looks at it, it is obvious that it was designed and built by people who are very intelligent. People in Detroit don't stand around debating whether or not it was created in 3 days, or evolved over 3 million years. Both notions are clearly inappropriate. It is obvious that it was built, but that some time was spent in building it. It is also obvious that anyone smart enough to create such buildings was also probably able to build them in an efficient and timely manner. If the evolutionists and YECs had their way, however, we would all have to choose between 3 days or 3 million years.
Genesis 1:1-2 reads...
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
Where the Bible says 'in the beginning', I understand it to refer to the very beginning of time itself; to God's initiation of the 'Big Bang' 13.8 billion years ago when time, space, matter and energy first came into existence. Before that point, nothing existed but God Himself. The phrase 'Big Bang' was a derogatory term, first used by the physicist Fred Hoyle, who rejected the idea that the universe had a specific starting point, and thus a God who started it. The words 'big bang' do not accurately portray the beginning of the universe. It was not an explosion. It was a very precisely controlled event. Instead of calling it the big bang, people should call it the 'Big Plan'. It was a creative event, in which all of the laws of physics governing space, matter, energy and time were established with extreme fine tuning.
It is my view that the first two verses of Genesis cover the period of time from God's first creation of the universe, until the point when God authorized the ignition of our sun; the "Let there be light" of Genesis 1:3. Where verse 2 tells us that the Holy Spirit was hovering over the waters, the original Hebrew word translated 'hovering' conveys the idea of a female bird brooding over a nest of chicks. It may convey the idea that the Holy Spirit was carefully preserving the water upon this planet, or it may even imply the Holy Spirit's creation of earth's very first life forms within that dark ancient water. These life forms might not have been dependent upon the sun for energy. They could have been like the life forms that have been discovered around deep sea volcanic vents in the ocean today; life forms that derive their energy from the heat of the earth and some of the energy-rich chemical compounds that such vents emit.
In some quarters my view of Genesis 1:1-2 is described as the 'Lag Theory'; that there was a time-lag between God's initial creation of the universe, and the beginning of His creation work on Earth in Genesis 1:3. I like to divide God's creative activities into two categories in my own mind:
These two categories correspond, roughly, to what I can see through a telescope and what I can see through a microscope. The universe, instantaneously springing into existence, reveals God's existence. The complex biological machinery of life, completely incapable of self-assembly under any circumstances, also reveals God's existence. There is no other rational explanation for either of these things, other than an infinitely wise and eternally powerful Creator.
What is really striking, when one is liberated from the time-based arguments described above, is the strong agreement between the order of creation events in Genesis chapter 1, and the scientific perspective regarding the history of the earth. The sudden beginning of the universe is supernatural. This planet, with its many rare and unique life-supporting characteristics, is supernatural. And life in all its forms, from the most basic single-celled organisms to mankind, is supernatural. One does not have to get hung up over questions of time in order to recognize the glory of God in every phase of this planet's existence. Time is really, ultimately, secondary.
Beginning in Genesis 1:3, there is a series of six creation 'days'. Each of these days begins with the phrase "And God said..." (verses 3, 6, 9, 14, 20, 24), and each day ends with the phrase "And there was evening, and there was morning..." (verses 5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31). These references to an evening and a morning may simply be telling us that there was a 'divine' evening and morning in each of these days; a period of thoughtful, restful planning followed by a period of vigorous activity. Again, God may have been accommodating Himself to us, describing His own 'work days' in terms that we human beings can relate to; restful nights and busy days.
What are we to make of
First of all we are told that God placed Adam in Eden, and gave him the fundamental moral command that would rule his life; not to learn right from wrong (vss. 15-17). Then God observed that Adam was alone, and that it was not good for him to be solitary. So God showed Adam all of the creatures of the earth, and had Adam name them all. It appears that as Adam assessed all of these various creatures, he observed their sexuality and that it was commonplace for them to live in pairs (vss. 18-20). Then, finally, God caused a deep sleep to come upon Adam so that He could form a wife for Adam (from Adam's own body) that was uniquely suited to him (vss.21-25).
One of the interesting things about God's seventh day is that there is no 'evening and morning' phrase indicating its completion. In fact the author of Hebrews tells us that this Day is still ongoing, and that it is possible for people to join God in His 'day' of rest:
Wherefore as the Holy Spirit says "Today if you will hear His voice, harden not your hearts as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness; when your fathers tempted Me, proved Me, and saw My works forty years. Wherefore I was grieved with that generation and said 'They do always err in their hearts, and they have not known My ways'. So I swore in My wrath, they shall not enter into My rest".
Hebrews 3:7-11, quoting from Psalm 95:7-11 (see also Hebrews 3:12-4:11)
From these passages it would seem that God's seventh day of rest is ongoing, and not a 24-hour day. This is simply one more suggestion that the creation 'Days' of Genesis 1 are not to be understood as 24 hour days.
(From Micro-evolution, to Macro-evolution, to the Religion of evolution.)
When considering the subject of evolution, it is necessary to recognize that there are two types of evolution, Micro-evolution and Macro-evolution, and to understand the difference between them.
This idea has come to be known as natural selection; that an interaction between nature and genetic variations within a species can lead to superficial changes within that species over time. Humanity itself is a notable example of this idea. The various races of the world have diverged from one another as the effects of various environments upon local human populations have favored some traits over others. This is why, for instance, Sub-Saharan African people have black skin; because over time darker-skinned people have fared better under the intense tropical sun. Increased melanin in their skin has prevented the harmful rays of tropical sunshine from passing through the skin and causing tissue damage deeper within the body. Thus the tropical environment has resulted in a higher survival rate for darker offspring. Many racial variations within humanity can be traced to such natural selection processes over time, and yet these various racial groups remain fully human, able to intermarry and provide blood transfusions for one another.
The concept of Micro-evolution has been known to mankind for centuries. Mankind itself has applied its own 'environmental' pressure to many plant and animal species. For thousands of years farmers have chosen various plant and animal offspring over others, promoting certain traits within a species while causing others to disappear. This is nowhere more evident than in the great variety of domesticated dogs that exist in our world. Most of the various dog breeds that we find today didn't exist 500 years ago. Almost every breed, from Chihuahua's to Great Danes, exists because human beings have 'promoted' these breeds for various purposes. Scientists tell us that if humanity were to disappear from the face of the planet, the dog population would quickly revert to a vary small number of body-types; breeds similar to the wolves, coyotes, foxes and Australian dinghoes that we see in the wild.
What needs to be appreciated is that evolution within a species is evidence for Intelligent Design by a Creator. It is a reflection of the Creator's genius; that He was able to go beyond creating static (unchanging) species of plants and animals, and was even able to build repetitive variation into them, enabling species to adapt and survive many environmental changes over millions of years.
This ability of a species to adapt to environmental change might be likened to the 5 mile-per-hour bumper. In the 1970's, the United States Congress mandated that auto manufacturers install bumpers on their vehicles that could withstand a 5 mph collision. So if someone bumped into a light pole in a parking lot, for instance, there would be minimal damage and repair expense. One of the most common approaches that manufacturers used was to mount their bumpers on shock absorbers that allowed the bumper to be pushed in during a collision, and then spring back.
VOLKSWAGEN 5 MPH BUMPERS
Micro-evolution is like this. God built superficial variation into the various plant and animal species of the world so that, if they ran into environmental changes, they would be able to 'bounce off' of these changes and continue surviving. The concept of Micro-evolution, and the possibility that its existence revealed an aspect of Intelligent Design, was widely held when Charles Darwin came upon the scene. But rather than attribute Micro-evolution to the genius of a Creator, Darwin used it to suggest the absence of a Creator.
On a journey to the Galapagos Islands in 1831 (in the Pacific ocean off the coast of South America), Darwin observed and recorded evidence of natural selection and Micro-evolution within various species found upon the islands. But rather than suggest that this evidence of Micro-evolution pointed to an ingenious Creator, Darwin proposed a new idea. In his book, On the Origin of Species, published in 1859, Darwin proposed that not only could the superficial changes of Micro-evolution occur within a species over short periods of time, but that these same small changes occurring over longer periods could eventually result in larger (macro) changes, resulting in the mutation of one species into a completely new species. Darwin's belief was that life on earth began as very simple primitive organisms, and through the interaction of genetic variation and environmental changes over vast periods of time, these primitive forms of life eventually mutated into the great variety of life forms that we see in our world today.
Although Darwin's book was widely read and praised throughout the world, as a scientific hypothesis or theory it had not yet been proven. Darwin himself acknowledged that if the fossils of the world did not reveal evidence of the various 'transitional forms' between species that he expected to see (as one species mutated into another), then his theory would be invalid. Not only did Darwin present his theory without a full knowledge of the fossil record, but like all of the scientists of his time he was completely ignorant regarding the complicated biological machinery existing within every living cell; machinery that serves as the foundational 'technology' for all life. Darwin proposed an idea, but it would require more than 100 years to determine its validity. In the meantime Darwin's theory would become more than a scientific hypothesis; it would become a religious worldview.
Darwinian evolution became the basis for a whole new approach to human interaction. No longer did people have to see human relationships in terms of Biblical morality; now relationships between nations, races and people were seen through the lens of 'Darwinian morality'; a morality whose basic rule was the survival of the fittest. Initially what was 'good' was seen as what was best for the survival of individual nations. Now, at the present time, 'good' is what people believe is conducive to the survival of the human race as a whole.
Hence Stalin, Hitler and Mao slaughtered millions of people based upon their view of what was best for their nations. Today millions and millions of unborn children have been aborted in the United States and throughout the world based upon what people have thought is best for 'humanity'. And now, in these last days prior to the second coming of Jesus Christ, the human race is being told that it can evolve to its highest potential by rejecting the Judeo-Christian worldview and uniting to oppose Israel, Christianity and ultimately God Himself. This rebellion of the nations was foretold by King David. The 'vain thing' in David's first sentence is Evolution:
Why do the nations rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against His Christ, saying "Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us." He that sits in the heavens shall laugh. The Lord shall have them in derision. Then shall He speak unto them in His wrath, and vex them in His sore displeasure: "Yet have I set my King upon my holy hill of Zion".
Today human society is saturated with the concept of evolution. Recently (Spring 2014) a new episode of a series called The Cosmos appeared on TV (a revival of an original series hosted by Carl Sagan). In the first episode reference was made to 'the evolution of the universe', as though change and evolution are the same thing. By describing the unfolding of the universe as 'evolution', the authors of the series are promoting the idea that evolution is interwoven into everything that exists. This is only one instance of how people today, in their 'political correctness', seek to promote the 'religion of evolution' when evolution is not even in view.
It is important to realize that the evolutionist sees no difference between Micro-evolution and Macro-evolution. For him the difference between the two is only a matter of time; Macro-evolution is simply Micro-evolution extended over much longer periods of time. He rejects the idea that Micro-evolution might be the result of Intelligent Design. Thus the evolutionist views every evidence of Micro-evolution as proof of Macro-evolution, and fails to inform the public about the distinction between these two ideas. Thus many laypersons, who are unfamiliar with Biology and the distinction between 'Micro' and 'Macro', are led to believe that Micro-evolution proves all evolution. This is not true.
As a junior in college in the early 1970's, I took an introductory Biology class. I was not a Christian at the time, and I very much wanted to believe that the very first living things could have self-assembled in the ancient primordial swamps of earth, with evolution taking over from there and producing higher forms of life. But in my heart I knew that it wasn't true; that life in its most basic forms was too complex to self-construct by chance.
When I became a Christian in 1975, I was born again through a process of moral thinking. I came to realize that I was a sinner and that I needed a Savior. Questions about science, the universe and biology were not front and center for me at the time. At that point it was not what I knew, but Who I knew that mattered.
Many years later, in the early 90's, I happened upon a book titled Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, written by Dr. Michael Denton and first published in 1985. Dr. Denton was a non-Christian agnostic scientist who exposed the weakness of Darwinian Evolution based upon 1) a lack of transitional fossils, 2) the tremendous complexity and precision of life at the cellular level, and 3) the physiological impossibility of complex organisms gradually mutating into other complex organisms. This book was my first exposure to ideas that would soon come to define the 'Intelligent Design' movement.
Today's scientists know that there is a Creator behind the universe, our planet, and all biological life. They look through their telescopes, and know that the universe suddenly sprang into existence 14 billion years ago; not as some 'big bang', but as a very precisely controlled and pre-planned event. They look through their microscopes and know that the simplest forms of biological life contain a sophistication and operational complexity that can only be the result of divine engineering and infinite genius. These things no longer have to be argued.
Some Christians see themselves in a culture war, where they must fight to see the Intelligent Design concept prevail in society. I don't believe this will ever happen, and I'm not sure that it should, if it means that Christians will be dominant in government. Christians have proven themselves corruptible and capable of tyranny often enough during the course of history. This in itself is a reason why some people oppose Intelligent Design theory; simply because they see it as a 'trojan horse' for religious intrusion into government and people's private lives.
My belief is that the truth of Intelligent Design has already been clearly shown. God has done His job, faithfully allowing mankind to come to a very full understanding of His world. Christians must continue to do their jobs; harmonizing valid scientific truth and the Bible in the context of their own lives. Our original choice in Eden, when we declared war against God, was to deny everything that we knew about Him. Human nature has not changed, and some men will continue to deny the truth and oppose God regardless of what they are shown. Things will not be 'put right' until Jesus Himself comes back and makes it so.
Jesus' basic description of evil is appropriate here:
And this is the condemnation; that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
And the apostle Paul described the concept of Darwinian Evolution perfectly, when he said that rather than glorifying God for creating us, we choose to attribute our existence to lower forms of life instead:
Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
What better description could there be of today's humanity, choosing to attribute our existence to something that chose to crawl out of water onto land, or some ape that chose to climb down out of a tree and walk on two feet. This is the fantasy, the foolishness, the 'vain thing' that is Macro-evolution. Satan enticed mankind in Eden with the promise of what 'knowledge' could do for us. But it's never been about what we know; it's about Who we know. And now great knowledge, without an acknowledgement of God, has brought us to the point of ultimate folly, and the judgment that is sure to follow.
I believe that the Genesis flood was a genuine, worldwide event, just as described in the Bible. I am intrigued by the possibility that a well-known geological occurrence, the 'Younger Dryas Event' (YDE), was the Genesis Flood. There is information about the YDE on the Internet, and I would encourage my reader to look at it. It may possibly coincide with the disappearance of the Sabretooth Cat, the Woolly Mammoth, the Giant Sloth, and other species.
Scientists tell us that the YDE was a sudden, but temporary advance of snow and ice fields over the earth which occurred around 8000 years ago. Some suggest that this sharp shift in worldwide climate may have been precipitated by a sudden influx of fresh water into the ocean, disrupting the ocean's salinity and deep sea currents that play such an important role in the stability of the earth's atmosphere. These sea currents are like conveyor belts that transport the earth's heat and energy around the planet. I am inclined to believe that these conveyor belts truly were disrupted. The Bible says that God broke up the great fountains of the deep in order to initiate the flood (Genesis 7:11). I suspect that these 'great fountains' were the undersea currents of the world's oceans. I believe that the 2004 movie titled The Day After Tomorrow provides us with a picture of the possible nature and scope of Noah's flood. When the Bible says that all of the mountains were covered with water (Genesis 7:20), I simply understand the water at higher elevations to have been snow.
Unlike young-earth creationists, I do not believe that the world's major geological structures are the result of Noah's flood. I believe that the sedimentary rocks found throughout the world are the result of sedimentation in the ancient seas of the planet before land ever appeared above the surface of the water. That's not to say that there isn't any direct evidence of the flood to be found. I am not much of a student of geology, so I really can't offer much insight on that subject. But the Bible itself tells us that the flood was a geologically brief event, lasting approximately one year. Therefore I do not attribute as much of the earth's geology to the flood as the YEC's do.
Someone might ask 'Don't you think that an infinitely large universe makes you and your God irrelevant?' My answer to that is 'No'. Actually, our size reflects God's special interest in us. God has placed us at the crossroads of size. We are uniquely positioned to investigate the small world as well as the big one. I would be willing to bet that mankind has spent the same amount of money, and has achieved the same degree of progress in investigating the atom as we have in studying the universe. Some scientists' talk about possible 'parallel' universes; they need not wonder about it. There are millions of universes within and around us. Every living cell is a universe unto itself. God is big and small. He can hop from galaxy to galaxy, as if they were stones in a river, if He wishes. And yet He puts His 'wrenches' on molecules, and knows what it's like to ride on the back of a butterfly.
Physical size, for all its range, is ultimately insignificant. Who would be willing to trade his child for the sun, the moon, or any of the planets? That is why Jesus could ask "What shall it profit a person if he should gain the whole world, but lose his own soul? Or what shall a person give in exchange for his soul?" (Mark 8:36-37). God sees size in spiritual terms, and so should we. Physically we are very small, but spiritually we are huge. It is important that we not let ourselves be confused about that. The materialist would have us think that we are unimportant because we are physically small, but it is the materialist who is 'small'; small in his heart and small in his understanding of the world.
Scientists tell us that the universe is vast, and that space travel for physical beings is so limited by the laws of physics, that any meaningful travel for mankind, even within our own solar system, is a practical impossibility. Star Wars and Star Trek are pure fantasy. However, this does not rule out the possibility that there are non-physical beings who travel quickly around the universe. I am referring to what the Bible calls 'angels'.
It makes perfect sense to me that any person capable of traversing the universe would have to be spiritual, and not bound by physical laws. I am inclined to think that angels were brought into existence shortly after the 'Big Bang', and that God has used them as His administrators over the universe ever since. This is why the Bible sometimes refers to them as 'principalities and powers' (Colossians 2:15, Ephesians 3:10, 6:12). Are there other physical beings out there? The Bible does not speak to that question. The variety of plants and animals on this planet demonstrates that anything is possible. Ultimately, however, the life on this planet should not move us to wonder about other creatures, but to seek the Creator who has fully revealed His glory to us right here on earth.
This is a personal observation, regarding the complexity of life, that I would like to share with my reader. At one point I had thought of our human chromosomes as simply a blueprint for the human body. But then it occurred to me that it is much, much more than that.
Picture a person preparing to build a house. He might pour a concrete slab, take all the lumber and other building materials needed for the house and place them on the slab, and then place a blueprint for the house upon the slab. Would anything happen? Would the house self-construct? Of course not, because much more than a blueprint is needed. Yet when a male and female set of chromosomes combine in a woman's womb, a new 'building' does construct itself.
Chromosomes are not merely a blueprint for the body. They are an instruction set that directs that first human cell to selectively choose fuel and materials from the mother's bloodstream, and then take those materials and build a human being from the ground up. And not only do those chromosomes contain the information for the self-construction of a human life, but they also control the operation of that body throughout its life, from the cradle to the grave.
In that single first set of chromosomes exists all of the information for the construction and operation of the immune system, the brain, the eye, the heart, and the blood (with it's clotting mechanisms). In those chromosomes is everything that allows a human body to function, self-repair and transition from infancy to puberty to old age. Such technology is stunning. I believe that every time a human being is conceived in the womb, a 'big bang' as awesome as the beginning of the universe occurs. Such biological technology cries out 'Intelligent Designer at work!'. And the ability to appreciate these things is not limited to modern man; King David recognized them 3000 years ago:
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Marvellous are Your works, and that my soul knows right well.
The Bible tells us that we are to love God with our minds as well as our hearts (Matthew 22:37, Mark 12:30). I am so glad that this is true, and that God values our intellectual capacities. But although people learn more about our world every day, and it is ever more apparent that an 'Intelligent Designer' is behind it all, they continue to reject the possibility that this 'Designer' is the God of the Bible. This is partly due to human pride. The apostle Paul wrote that knowledge 'puffs people up' (1 Corinthians 8:1).
Personally, I am not discouraged by the fact that people continue to reject the Biblical creation message. This is as it has always been; people knowing the truth while persisting in unrighteousness (Romans 1:18). I do not believe that God ever intended that Christians should win a culture war over Intelligent Design and the validity of Genesis. God has simply desired that, during these last days of immense scientific discovery, the real truth about His creation of everything be revealed. As far as I am concerned, this has already been largely accomplished. It has been accomplished through the labors of the scientific community itself, and by people who have insisted that the discoveries of that community be accurately and honestly presented. God will win the 'culture war', but not until Jesus sits down to judge the world regarding what it did with the information that was made available to it.
God is not known through our wisdom, but through acknowledging our lack of wisdom. The first step in approaching God is to realize that we are mere children before Him. In the light of that truth, He has chosen to hide Himself from those who are 'wise in their own eyes', and to reveal Himself to 'babes'. It is only as we despair of our own intellectual power, and turn from our own books to His book (the Bible), that we can meet this Creator who humbled Himself and became a man, born in a stable in Bethlehem.
For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent". Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this world? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world has not been able to know God through wisdom, it has pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom. But we preach Christ crucified; unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness. But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
For you see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty, and base things of the world, and things which are despised, God has chosen. Yes, and things which are not, to bring to nothing things that are; that no flesh should glory in His presence.
1 Corinthians 1:18-29
These verses describe me: not wise, not mighty, not noble, but foolish, weak, base, despicable; a nobody. It is only by the wisdom, power and grace of God that there is any hope for me. I could never stand toe to toe with any scientist in a discussion of technical things. Because of the little amount of science that I do understand, I am convinced of three basic facts, and I cling to them:
I hang my hat upon these three basic scientific truths, not only because as a non-scientist I need to 'keep it simple', but because God Himself commands all of us to acknowledge common truths that all of us can see. In the final book of the Bible, the book of Revelation, we are told that the Gospel message includes a command to acknowledge God's creation of our physical planet, without any reference to His creation of the universe or of biological life:
And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people: Saying with a loud voice "Fear God, and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment is come. Worship Him that made heaven (the sky), and earth (the land), and the sea (oceans), and the fountains of (fresh) waters".
It is important to note that, after this commandment has been given, and the righteous have then been removed from the earth, God will very pointedly begin the outpouring of His anger through these four dimensions of our planet; sky, earth, oceans and sources of fresh water (see the first four trumpets of Revelation 8:7-12, and the first four vials of Revelation 16:2-9). Because men will have refused to recognize God's goodness in making earth such a wonderful place to live, God will turn these four traits of earth into sources of misery and death.
Ultimately any decision to believe the message of the Bible is not an intellectual one, but a moral one. It's important to know that the Bible and the major truths of science are in agreement with each other, but the only way to come to a 'saving faith' in Jesus Christ is through the conscience. God is not impressed by the fact that we can split the atom or decode a genome. He is interested in what we choose to do with that knowledge. God is known through the heart. It's personal. He confronts us with questions about how we relate to Himself, our families and our fellow man, and challenges us to answer them honestly. I have written (in my web page titled
In previous versions of this web page I have included a list of OEC and YEC organizations, and of some of the books and DVDs that are available supporting Intelligent Design. I no longer feel this is necessary, and believe that anyone who wishes to research the subject can easily do so (by putting 'Intelligent Design' into their search engine). This change in approach is partly driven by a recent disappointment that I have experienced with an organization that I had long respected: Reasons to Believe (founded and directed by Dr. Hugh Ross). In my opinion RTB has made a serious mistake by showing respect for a concept called 'Multiverse Theory'; the idea that our universe might possibly be only one of an infinite number of parallel universes existing simultaneously side-by-side.
In my opinion, by lending credence to multiverse theory, RTB has 1) given substance to things that can never be seen, known or proven, 2) discounted the divine glory fully revealed in the universe which we can see, and 3) resurrected the theory of Darwinian Evolution based upon a new 'field set' comprised of an infinite number of universes.
RTB prides itself in presenting testable models of creation, and yet it has now chosen to add untestable things to its list of what it deems plausible. In my opinion this represents a fundamental departure from its own past precepts, and I suspect that it is driven, as much as anything, by a desire to demonstrate that it can stay 'current' with the latest scientific thought, and to impress the scientific community with its 'hipness'. The problem, however, is that the scientific community itself is divided over whether or not there is any point in talking about multiverse theory; something that, by definition, can never be known or proven.
It seems to me that many agnostic scientists, in voicing their opposition to multiverse theory, are now more ably defending sound scientific reasoning than Dr. Ross is (a 'reasoning' that RTB has claimed is a gift to the western world from Protestant Christianity). Many people realize that the promotion of multiverse theory by some scientists is really nothing more than an attempt to promote their own religious views under the pretext of 'science'; to discount the 'Big Bang' and reinforce the credibility of Darwinian Evolution. I am disappointed that Dr. Ross has not realized this as well, and has not come out strongly against it, exposing its scientific weakness and pointedly anti-Christian character. After all, the Bible tells us that the universe presents to us a full and fair revelation of all that God is. Multiverse theory blatantly contradicts this claim and devalues the 'currency' of the universe that we can see.
The leader in RTB's effort to substantiate multiverse theory is Dr. Jeff Zweerink. The title of his book, Who's Afraid of the Multiverse?, reminds me of contemporary efforts to label those who oppose homosexuality as 'homophobic', and those who oppose Islam as 'Islamophobic' (a 'phobia' is an irrational fear). My view is that, even if unintended, Dr. Zweerink's title incorporates a subtle suggestion that someone who opposes multiverse theory might be irrational. I know that some people in RTB believe this, because I have interacted with RTB leaders who have tried to link opposition to multiverse theory with the 'irrationality' of young-earth beliefs. I can assure you that my own objections to multiverse theory do not arise out of fear; they arise out of godly indignation and sad disappointment with an organization that had sold itself to me as a champion of solid science, but now lends credibility to things that can never be seen or tested. If this is going to be our approach to seeking truth, then all bets are off.
As a result, I have found it necessary to sever all ties with Reasons to Believe, and to pray and hope that their failure to limit science to the study of those things that we can see, hear, touch and test does not represent a departure from the God who has been seen, heard, touched, tested and known (1 John 1:1-3).