Doesn’t evolution prove the biblical account of creation to be false?
“Another source of conviction in the existence of God, connected with the reason and not with the feelings, impresses me as having much more weight. This follows from the extreme difficulty or rather impossibility of conceiving this immense and wonderful universe, including man with his capacity of looking far backwards and far into futurity, as the result of blind chance or necessity. When thus reflecting I feel compelled to look to a First Cause having an intelligent mind in some degree analogous to that of man; and I deserve to be called a Theist.”
—Charles Darwin, the founder of evolutionary biology, as cited in his autobiography.
“This much I can say with definiteness – namely, that there is no scientific basis for the denial of religion – nor is there in my judgment any excuse for a conflict between science and religion, for their fields are entirely different. Men who know very little of science and men who know very little of religion do indeed get to quarreling, and the onlookers imagine that there is a conflict between science and religion, whereas the conflict is only between two different species of ignorance.”
–Robert Andrews Millikan, who won the 1923 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on the elementary charge of electricity and on the photoelectric effect.
If outspoken atheists such as Richard Dawkins (author of The God Delusion) and Daniel Dennett (author of Breaking the Spell) are to be believed, there is a war raging between enlightened reason and primitive superstition. On the side of reason are those endorsing Darwinian evolution through random mutation and natural selection. On the side of superstition are those endorsing the view that life came about purely by special acts of creation by God.
But, as is often the case, reality more closely resembles a synthesis of competing views. Ideology often causes people to take extreme stances on such issues. As former Massachusetts Institute of Technology Professor of Physics (and biblical scholar) Gerald Schroeder notes in his book The Science of God; The Convergence of Scientific and Biblical Wisdom:
“The atheist often wants ‘Made by Monkeys’ stamped right across our wonderfully high brows, while the theist often seeks to prove we are a direct line from the ‘dust from the ground’ (Gen 2:7). According to the book of Genesis and two-thousand-year-old traditional commentary thereon, the reality of our existence lies somewhere between these two extreme positions.”
Schroeder devotes his book to demonstrating that this battle has emerged because persons on both sides of the debate have an inadequate understanding of both science and the Bible. Perhaps his most critical point is that:
“The God an atheist does not believe in is usually not the God of the Bible. Unfortunately, the god of the believer is also often not the God of the Bible….An infinite God obviously could produce [a] variety of creatures, but this would not be the God described in the Bible. Throughout the text, we read descriptions of nature functioning naturally. Why the creationist paradigm insists on selling short the phenomenal laws of nature is beyond me.”
Francis Collins, one of the world’s leading geneticists (former director of the Human Genome Project and recently appointed by Obama as director of the National Institutes of Health) and a Christian believer, echoes Schroeder’s sentiment that apparent conflicts between science and the Bible are often the result of an incorrect understanding of the Bible (and science). As his book, The Language of God, reminds us, Darwin stated in On The Origin of Species:
“I see no good reason why the views given in this volume should shock the religious feelings of anyone…A celebrated author and divine has written to me that he ‘has gradually learned to see that it is just as noble a conception of the deity to believe that he created a few original forms capable of self-development into other and needful forms, as to believe that he required a fresh act of creation to supply the voids caused by the action of his laws.'”
Collins later reinforces this point in light of the logical fallacies promoted by Richard Dawkins and others:
“Dawkins argues that evolution fully accounts for biological complexity and the origins of humankind, so there is no more need for God. While this argument rightly relieves God of the responsibility for multiple acts of special creation for each species on the planet, it certainly does not disprove the idea that God worked out His creative plan by means of evolution.”
Here Collins is touching upon the fundamental deceit perpetrated by atheistic authors: Using scientific claims which have a measure of validity to justify shoddy, unsupported philosophical claims. Such persons are seemingly unaware when they have crossed the bridge from science into philosophy…a field to which scientific expertise does not extend. Aware of this common tendency among scientists, Einstein commented, “the man of science is a poor philosopher.”
Perhaps no one drives this point home better than Alister McGrath, a Professor of Historical Theology at Oxford University, in his book The Dawkins Delusion. McGrath cites Peter Medwar (an Oxford immunologist who won the Nobel Prize for Medicine) from his book The Limits of Science:
“That there is indeed a limit upon science is made very likely by the existence of questions that science cannot answer, and that no conceivable advance of science would empower it to answer…I have in mind such questions as:
How did everything begin?
What are we all here for?
Doctrinaire positivism–now something of a period piece–dismissed all such questions as nonquestions or pseudo-questions such as only simpletons ask and only charlatans profess to be able to answer.”
David Bentley Hart, author of Atheist Delusions: The Christian Revolution and Its Fashionable Enemies further exposes the shoddiness of the philosophy distributed by Dawkins:
“He [Dawkins] does not hesitate, for instance, to claim that ‘natural selection is the ultimate explanation for our existence.’ But this is a silly assertion and merely reveals that Dawkins does not understand the words he is using. The question of existence does not concern how it is that the present arrangement of the world came about, from causes already internal to the world, but how it is that anything (including any cause) can exist at all…It is a question that no theoretical or experimental science could ever answer, for it is qualitatively different from the kind of questions that the physical sciences are competent to address. Even if theoretical physics should one day discover the most basic laws upon which the fabric of space and time is woven, or evolutionary biology the most elementary phylogenic forms of terrestrial life, or paleontology an utterly seamless genealogy of every species, still we shall not have thereby drawn one inch nearer to a solution to the mystery of existence.”
Those in the scientific community are fully aware of Darwinian evolution’s inability to explain the origins of life, but are usually reticent to admit it. This is largely due to an intense ideological commitment to atheism and the freedom from moral constraints that it permits.
At first blush, this may appear a bold assertion, but statements made by insiders in the field of evolutionary biology provide a window into this reality: Judging from his testimony in an interview, Richard Dawkins himself seems to understand that life on earth originated from a higher intelligence. He just differs from theists on who this intelligent source is. In his hypothesis, it was not God but extraterrestrial aliens that brought life to earth. (Click here to see the interview).
Bringing this ideological bias further into view is David Berlinski, in his book The Devil’s Delusion: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions:
“In the summer of 2007, Eugene Koonin, of the National Center for Biotechnology Information at the National Institutes of Health, published a paper entitled The Biological Big Bang Model for the Major Transitions in Evolution.”
“This paper is refreshing in its candor; it is alarming in its consequences. ‘Major transitions in biological evolution,’ Koonin writes, ‘show the same pattern of sudden emergence of diverse forms at a new level of complexity.'”
“Major transitions in biological evolution? These are precisely the transitions that Darwin’s theory was intended to explain. If those ‘major transitions’ represent a ‘sudden emergence of new forms,’ the obvious conclusion to draw is not that nature is perverse but that Darwin was wrong.”
Berlinski goes on to reveal that:
“On this matter, biologists are not at all confused. Whatever the degree to which Darwin may have ‘misled science into a dead end,’ the biologist Shi V. Liu observed in commenting on Koonin’s paper, ‘we may still appreciate the role of Darwin in helping scientists [win an] upper hand in fighting against the creationists.'”*
And Gerald Schroeder reveals, in his book The Science of God, that:
“No less an authority on evolution than Ernst Mayr, professor emeritus of zoology at Harvard University, former curator at the American Museum of Natural History, and avowed lifelong advocate of Darwinian evolution, has finally come to admit that the origin of our species is a ‘puzzle’ (to use his word) that may never be solved. The link that leads directly to Homo Sapiens is missing. That should not be a surprise. Such direct ‘links’ are not abundant in the fossil record.”
And lastly, a 1995 article from the highly respected, peer reviewed journal Science entitled Did Darwin Get It All Right? dropped a bombshell when it stated:
“The most thorough study yet of species formation in the fossil record confirms that new species appear with a most un-Darwinian abruptness after long periods of stability.”
The scientific foundation underlying neo-Darwinism has become so eroded, in fact, that (as noted by molecular biologist Michael Behe in his book Darwin’s Black Box) University of Massachusetts and Oxford University Professor of Biology Lynn Margulis (who won the U.S. Presidential Medal for Science) has predicted that history will ultimately judge neo-Darwinism as “a minor twentieth-century religious sect within the sprawling religious persuasion of Anglo-Saxon biology.” Behe further notes that Margulis is known for challenging molecular biologists present in the audience at her public talks to name a single, unambiguous example of the formation of a new species by the accumulation of mutations. But, “her challenge goes unmet,” Behe reveals.
This begs the question: If the scientific community is fully aware of Darwinian evolution’s grave shortcomings in explaining the emergence and diversification of life, why haven’t they abandoned it altogether? The answer lies not only in the intense ideological commitment to atheism prevalent in the scientific community, but in the current unavailability of a scientifically articulated alternative.
The master of the philosophy of science and the social psychology of scientists, Thomas Kuhn, drives this point home in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions:
“Though they [scientists] may begin to lose faith and then consider alternatives, they do not renounce the paradigm [or broadly accepted set of scientific theories and beliefs] that has led them into crisis. They do not, that is, treat anomalies as counterinstances, though in the vocabulary of the philosophy of science that is what they are. In part this generalization is simply a statement from historic fact… These [examples] hint what our later examination of paradigm rejection will disclose more fully: once it has achieved the status of paradigm, a scientific theory is declared invalid only if an alternate candidate is available to take its place.….The decision to reject one paradigm is always simultaneously the decision to accept another, and the judgment leading to that decision involves the comparison of both paradigms with nature and with each other.” [emphasis mine]
When Issac Newton’s physics could not explain the phenomenon of gravity, for example, his theories were not labeled as false and discarded. Rather, it was not until Einstein’s theories emerged (which explained gravity as the result of a curvature of the space-time fabric) that Newton’s model was displaced from its reigning position and integrated into the new, superior model. Newton’s physics, in other words, were shown to have a much more narrow range of applicability than Einstein’s. The subatomic realm and the realm of planetary motion (or, in other words, the very small and very big) were discovered to lie beyond the scope of Newton’s physics.
In a similar light, explaining the immense gap in complexity between non-living matter and the simplest living thing is beyond the scope (or “range of applicability”) of evolutionary theory.
Some readers are at this point almost certainly shouting, “But wait! The biblical view says that life emerged in six days and science says it emerged in nearly 15 billion years. These views are completely irreconcilable!”
But the discrepancy is only irreconcilable from the viewpoint of a pre-Einstein understanding of time. Time, according to Einstein (and as Gerald Schroeder reminds us) is relative to the velocity and gravity of the location of the observer. Schroeder goes on to explain that:
“The cosmic timepiece, as observed today, ticks a million million times more slowly than at its inception…In terms of days and years and millenia, this stretching of the cosmic perception of time by a factor of a million million, the division of fifteen billion years by a million million reduces those fifteen billion years to SIX DAYS!” [emphasis mine]
So did life as we know it emerge in six days (as according to the Bible), or did it take roughly 15 billion years (as according to science)? The amazing answer to this question is ALL OF THE ABOVE! For further clarification, readers are STRONGLY encouraged to visit Gerald Schroeder’s website, www.GeraldShroeder.com. Please also view the following videos.
View the below video to review an experiment which verifies Einstein’s theory of time dilation.
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Please view MIT physicist Gerald Schroeder’s commentary in the video below or click here to read a condensed version.
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Click here to see what the fossil record really shows in a two part video. When you are done watching, you will have a good idea why biologists and paleontologists from elite universities such as Harvard, Yale, Oxford, UCLA, and the University of Chicago felt it necessary to hold a secretive meeting (the public and media were barred) in Altenburg, Austria to discuss laying the foundations for “post-Darwinian research.” (See The Altenburg 16: An Expose of the Evolution Industry for more detail). Mainstream biology is scrambling to find new ways to explain the origin and diversification of life without reference to God.
One of my favorite atheist explanations for the origin of life is the MAGIC CRYSTAL PIGGYBACK RIDE endorsed by atheist biologist Michael Ruse. Sound strange? Click on the link.
Click the following link to learn why life could not have emerged without God.
Such revelations may come as a shock to those who had dismissed the biblical account of creation as a mythological fairy tale. This is especially shocking when one realizes, as revealed by Schroeder, that the author of the Bible clearly understood the relativity of time thousands of years before Einstein.
For further exploration of this topic, please read my post titled Why Evolution Cannot Be Used to Rationalize Atheism.
*(Readers looking to explore this subject further are encouraged to read Evolution: A Theory In Crisis by molecular biologist Michael Denton and Not by Chance: Shattering the Modern Theory of Evolution by Lee Spetner (who holds a PhD in physics from MIT and served a fellowship in biophysics at Johns Hopkins University).