33. Johnson, pp. 73-85, discusses the two examples sometimes claimed out of perhaps 100 million fossils that have been discovered, Archaeopteryx (a bird with some characteristics that resemble reptiles), and some ape-like examples thought to be prehuman hominids. Archaeopteryx is still very much a bird, not a near-reptile, and studies of the characteristics of the supposedly prehuman fossils include large amounts of subjective speculation, resulting in strong differences among experts who have examined them.
A helpful discussion of the gaps that remain in the fossil record is found in Frair and Davis, A Case for Creation pp. 55-65. They note that the continued discovery and classification of fossils since Darwin's time has resulted in the fact that "on the whole, the discontinuities have been emphasized with increased collecting. There appears to be little question that the gaps are real, and it seems increasingly less likely that they will be filled" (p. 57).
34 34. Johnson, p. 50, apparently quoting a paper by Gould and Niles Eldredge, "Punctuated Equilibria, an Alternative to Phyletic Gradualism," printed as a appendix to Eldredge's book, Time Frames (Johnson, p. 167).
forms—so that each of the thirty-two known orders of mammals, for example, appeared quite suddenly in the history of Europe.35
But how could hundreds or thousands of genetic changes come about all at once? No explanation has been given other than to say that it must have happened, because it happened. (A glance at the dotted lines in any current biology textbook, showing the supposed transitions from one kind of animal to another, will indicate the nature of the gaps still unfilled after 130 years of investigation.) The significance of this problem is demonstrated forcefully in a recent book by a non-Christian writer, Michael Denton, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis. 36 Denton himself proposes no alternative explanation for the emergence of life in its present form upon the earth, but he notes that since Darwin's time, neither of the two fundamental axioms of Darwin's macroevolutionary theory—the concept of the continuity of nature, that is the idea of a functional continuum of all life forms linking all species together and ultimately leading back to a primeval cell, and the belief that all the adaptive design of life has resulted from a blind random process—have been validated by one single empirical discovery or scientific advance since 1859.37
5. The molecular structures of living organisms do show relationships, but Darwinists simply assume that relationships imply common ancestry, a claim that certainly has not been proven. Moreover, there are amazing molecular differences between living things, and no satisfactory explanation for the origin of those differences has been given.38
Of course, similarity of design at any level (including levels above the molecular level) has often been used as a argument for evolution. The assumption of evolutionists is that similarity of design between two species implies that the "lower" species evolved into the "higher" species, but the proof for that assumption has never been given. Gleason Archer illustrates this well by supposing that one visits a museum of science and industry and finds a display of how human beings evolved from earlier apelike creatures into progressively more human-looking beings and finally into modern man. But he rightly notes that a continuity of basic design furnishes no evidence whatever that any "lower" species phased into the next "higher" species by any sort of internal dynamic, as evolution demands. For if the museum visitor were to go to another part of that museum of science and industry, he would find a completely analogous series of automobiles, commencing with 1900 and extending up until the present decade. Stage by stage, phase by phase, he could trace the development of the Ford from its earliest Model-T prototype to the large and luxurious LTD of the 1970s.39
Of course, a much better explanation for the similarities in various models of Ford automobiles is the fact that an intelligent designer (or group of designers) used similar structures in successively more complex automobiles—if a steering mechanism works well in one model, there is no need to invent a different kind of steering mechanism
35 35. This view is called "punctuated equilibrium," meaning that the ordinary equilibrium of the natural world was occasionally interrupted (punctuated) by the sudden appearance of new life forms.
37 3 7. Denton, p. 345. An earlier analysis of evolution by a respected British biologist who is himself an evolutionist is G.A. Kerkut, Implications of Evolution (New York: Pergamon, 1960). This is a very technical study pointing out numerous remaining difficulties in the theory of evolution.
39 39. Gleason L. Archer, Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties p. 57.
for another model. In the same way, similarities in design among all living things can equally well be taken as evidence of the work of an intelligent master craftsman, the Creator himself.
6. Probably the greatest difficulty of all for evolutionary theory is explaining how any life could have begun in the first place. The spontaneous generation of even the simplest living organism capable of independent life (the prokaryote bacterial cell) from inorganic materials on the earth could not happen by random mixing of chemicals: it requires intelligent design and craftsmanship so complex that no advanced scientific laboratory in the world has been able to do it. Johnson quotes a now-famous metaphor: "That a living organism emerged by chance from a pre-biotic soup is about as likely as that "a tornado sweeping through a junkyard might assemble a Boeing 747 from the materials therein.' Chance assembly is just a naturalistic way of saying "miracle."'40
At a common-sense level, a simple illustration will show this. If I were to take my digital watch, hand it to someone, and say that I found it near an iron mine in northern Minnesota, and that it was my belief that the watch had come together by itself simply through the operation of random movement and environmental forces (plus some energy from a few bolts of lightning, perhaps), I would quickly be written off as mad. Yet any one living cell on the leaf of any tree, or any one cell in the human body, is thousands of times more complex than my digital watch. Even given 4.5 billion years the "chance" of even one living cell arising spontaneously is, for all practical purposes, zero.
In fact, some attempts have been made to calculate the probability of life arising spontaneously in this way. Kofahl and Segraves give a statistical model in which they begin with a very generous assumption: that every square foot of the earth's surface was somehow covered with 95 pounds of protein molecules that could mix freely, and that are all replaced with fresh protein every year for one billion years. They then estimate the probability that even one enzyme molecule would develop in each one billion years of the earth's history. The probability is 1.2 times 10-11 or one chance in 80 billion. They note, however, that even with the generous assumptions and starting with fresh protein every year for a billion years, finding one enzyme molecule—for all practical purposes an impossible task—would not solve the problem at all: The probability of finding two of the active molecules would be about 10 to the 22nd power, and the probability that they would be identical would be 10 to the 70th power. And could life start with just a single enzyme molecule? Furthermore, what is the possibility that an active enzyme molecule, once formed, could find its way through thousands of miles and millions of years to that randomly formed RNA or DNA molecule which contains the code for that particular enzyme molecule's amino acid sequence, so that new copies of itself could be produced? Zero for all practical purposes.41
Kofahl and Segraves report a study by an evolutionary scientist who formulates a model to calculate the probability for the formation, not just of one enzyme molecule but the smallest likely living organism by random processes. He comes up with a probability of one chance in 10 to the 340,000,000th power—that is, one chance in 10
40 40. Johnson, p. 104, quoting Fred Hoyle. In fact, one could argue that the 747 is more likely to occur accidentally, because intelligent human designers have been able to make a 747, but they have not been able to make one living cell.
41 41. Kofahl and Segraves, The Creation Explanation pp. 99-100.
with 340 million zeros after it! But Kofahl and Segraves note, "Yet Dr. Morowitz and his fellow evolutionary scientists still believe that it happened!"42
If someone were to ask me to entrust my life to ride on an airplane, and then explained that the airline company completed its flights safely once in every 10 to the 340,000,000th power times—or even one in every 80 billion flights—I certainly would not get on board, nor would anyone else in his or her right mind. Yet it is tragic that the common opinion, perpetuated in many science textbooks today, that evolution is an established "fact," has continued to persuade many people that they should not consider the total truthfulness of the Bible to be an intellectually acceptable viewpoint for responsible, thinking individuals to hold today. The myth that "evolution has disproved the Bible" persists and keeps many from considering Christianity as a valid option.
But what if some day life were actually "created" in the laboratory by scientists? Here it is important to understand what is meant. First, this would not be "creation" in the pure sense of the word, since all laboratory experiments begin with some kinds of previously existing matter. It would not give an explanation of the origin of matter itself, nor would it be the kind of creating that the Bible says God did. Second, most contemporary attempts to "create life" are really just very small steps in the gigantic process of moving from nonliving materials to an independently living organism, even one consisting of only one cell. The construction of a protein molecule or an amino acid nowhere approaches the complexity of a single living cell. But most importantly, what would it demonstrate if the collective work of thousands of the most intelligent scientists in the world, with the most expensive and complex laboratory equipment available, working over the course of several decades, actually did produce a living organism? Would that "prove" that God did not create life? Quite the opposite: it would demonstrate that life simply does not come about by chance but must be intentionally created by an intelligent designer. In theory at least, it is not impossible that human beings, created in the image of God and using their God-given intelligence could someday create a living organism out of nonliving substances (though the complexity of the task far surpasses any technology that exists today). But that would only show that God made us to be "God-like—that in biological research as in many other areas of life we in a very small way can imitate God's activity. All such scientific research in this direction really ought to be done out of reverence for God and with gratitude for the scientific capability with which he has endowed us.
Many unbelieving scientists have been so influenced by the cumulative force of the objections brought against evolution that they have openly advocated novel positions for one part or another of the proposed evolutionary development of living things. Francis Crick, who won the Nobel Prize for helping to discover the structure of DNA molecules, proposed in 1973 that life may have been sent here by a spaceship
42 42. Ibid., p. 101, quoting Harold J. Morowitz, Energy Flow in Biology (New York: Academic Press, 1968), p. 99. The classic study of the mathematical improbability of evolution is P.S. Moorehead and M.M. Kaplan, eds., Mathematical Challenges to the Neo-Darwinian Interpretation of Evolution (Philadelphia: The Wistar Institute Symposium Monograph, no. 5, 1967). See also the article "Heresy in the Halls of Biology: Mathematicians Question Darwinism," Scientific Research (November 1987), pp. 59-66, and I.L. Cohen, Darwin Was Wrong—A Study in Probabilities (Greenvale, N.Y.: New Research Publications, 1984).
from a distant planet, a theory that Crick calls "Directed Panspermia."43 To the present author, it seems ironic that brilliant scientists could advocate so fantastic a theory without one shred of evidence in its favor, all the while rejecting the straightforward explanation given by the one book in the history of the world that has never been proven wrong, that has changed the lives of millions of people, that has been believed completely by many of the most intelligent scholars of every generation, and that has been a greater force for good than any other book in the history of the world. Why will otherwise intelligent people commit themselves to beliefs that seem so irrational? It seems as though they will believe in anything, so long as it is not belief in the personal God of Scripture, who calls us to forsake our pride, humble ourselves before him, ask his forgiveness for failure to obey his moral standards, and submit ourselves to his moral commands for the rest of our lives. To refuse to do this is irrational, but, as we shall see in the chapter on sin, all sin is ultimately irrational at its root.
Other challenges to the theory of evolution have been published in the last twenty or thirty years, and no doubt many more will be forthcoming. One only hopes it will not be too long before the scientific community publicly acknowledges the implausibility of evolutionary theory, and textbooks written for high school and college students openly acknowledge that evolution simply is not a satisfactory explanation for the origin of life on the earth.
(2) The Destructive Influences of Evolutionary Theory in Modern Thought:
It is important to understand the incredibly destructive influences that evolutionary theory has had on modern thinking. If in fact life was not created by God, and if human beings in particular are not created by God or responsible to him, but are simply the result of random occurrences in the universe, then of what significance is human life? We are merely the product of matter plus time plus chance, and so to think that we have any eternal importance, or really any importance at all in the face of an immense universe, is simply to delude ourselves. Honest reflection on this notion should lead people to a profound sense of despair.
Moreover, if all of life can be explained by evolutionary theory apart from God, and if there is no God who created us (or at least if we cannot know anything about him with certainty), then there is no supreme Judge to hold us morally accountable. Therefore there are no moral absolutes in human life, and people's moral ideas are only subjective preferences, good for them perhaps but not to be imposed on others. In fact, in such a case the only thing forbidden is to say that one knows that certain things are right and certain things are wrong.
There is another ominous consequence of evolutionary theory: If the inevitable processes of natural selection continue to bring about improvement in life forms on earth through the survival of the fittest, then why should we hinder this process by caring for those who are weak or less able to defend themselves? Should we not rather allow them to die without reproducing so that we might move toward a new, higher form of humanity, even a "master race"? In fact, Marx, Nietzsche, and Hitler all justified war on these grounds.44
Moreover, if human beings are continually evolving for the better, then the wisdom of earlier generations (and particularly of earlier religious beliefs) is not likely to be as valuable as modern thought. In addition, the effect of Darwinian
43 43. Time September 10, 1973, p. 53, summarizing the article "Directed Panspermia," by F.H.C. Crick and L.E. Orgel in Icarus 19 (1973): 341-46.
evolution on the people's opinions of the trustworthiness of Scripture has been a very negative one.
Contemporary sociological and psychological theories that see human beings as simply higher forms of animals are another outcome of evolutionary thought. And the extremes of the modern "animal rights" movement that oppose all killing of animals (for food, or for leather coats, or for medical research, for example) also flow naturally out of evolutionary thought.
d. The Theory of a "Gap" Between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2: Some evangelicals have proposed that there is a gap of millions of years between Genesis 1:1 ("In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth") and Genesis 1:2 ("The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep"). According to this theory, God made an earlier creation, but there was eventually a rebellion against God (probably in connection with Satan's own rebellion), and God judged the earth so that "it became without form and void" (an alternative, but doubtful, translation proposed for Gen. 1:2).45 What we read of in Genesis 1:3-2:3 is really the second creation of God, in six literal twenty-four-hour days, which occurred only recently (perhaps 10,000 to 20,000 years ago). The ancient fossils found on the earth, many of which are said to be millions of years old, stem from the first creation (4,500,000,000 years ago), which is mentioned only in Genesis 1:1.
The primary biblical argument for this theory is that the words "without form and void" and "darkness" in Genesis 1:2 picture an earth that has suffered the effects of judgment by God: darkness elsewhere in the Old Testament is frequently a sign of
God's judgment, and the Hebrew words -inH H9332 ("without form") and -IHS, H983 ("void, empty") in verses such as Isaiah 34:11 and Jeremiah 4:23 refer to places such as deserts that have suffered the desolating consequences of God's judgment.
But these arguments do not seem strong enough to persuade us that Genesis 1:2 pictures the earth as desolate after God's judgment. If God first forms the earth (v. 1) and then later creates light (v. 3), there would have to be darkness over the earth in verse 2—this indicates that creation is in progress, not that any evil is present. In addition, each day there is an "evening," and there is "darkness" present during the six
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Character-Building Thought Power by Ralph Waldo Trine. Ralph draws a distinct line between bad and good habits. In this book, every effort is made by the writer to explain what comprises good habits and why every one needs it early in life. It draws the conclusion that habits nurtured in early life concretize into impulses in future for the good or bad of the subject.