Every year, many high school and college students encounter teachers and courses that advocate the theory of evolution to explain the origin of mankind. Although some schools may permit a brief mention of the biblical account as a competing explanation, many instructors teach evolution as though it were a proven fact.
If you believe the Bible’s explanation of the origin of the universe and mankind—that God made humans in His image—what should you do as a parent or student? What can you do to deal with teachers who require students to learn Darwinism?
From the outset, it is important to do your homework, so to speak. Understand that proponents of the theory of evolution often pit the Bible against science. They describe science as the logical, intelligent, rational choice because of its systematic attention to observation and experimentation. The contrasting implication is that the Bible is merely a fable generated by primitive peoples to explain their existence. Some will subtly, but mistakenly, imply that science disproves the Bible.
Actually, between the Bible and Darwinism, the evidence is decidedly in the Bible’s favor. Darwin and his early supporters admitted that they lacked hard evidence, but they believed that evidence would eventually be discovered to support their beliefs.
For example, they believed that fossil evidence would be discovered that would show the mutations that had allegedly evolved various species of animals into new species. But, in spite of more than a century of diligent searching, such “missing link” fossils are still missing. The flaws in Darwin’s theories, some of which Darwin acknowledged himself, remain. His hypothesis has remained unproven ever since it was first proposed.
Meanwhile, during the century since Darwin, many scientists—including Louis Pasteur (developer of pasteurization and vaccines for anthrax, chicken cholera and rabies), Wernher von Braun (former NASA director) and Sir Ernst Chain (cowinner of the 1945 Nobel Prize for isolating and purifying penicillin, as well as director of Rome’s International Research Center for Chemical Microbiology)—have publicly attested to their belief in the Creator.
Some of them have plainly stated that Darwinism is impossible, that the theory is based on nonexistent evidence and is therefore incompatible with the scientific facts.
Other scientists have tried to support Darwinistic reasoning by offering new, equally unprovable theories. Although the credibility of Darwin’s theory has languished at best, the Bible’s credibility has steadily increased.
Continuing archaeological discoveries confirm the Bible’s validity. Critics who claimed the Bible is full of fictionalized stories have repeatedly been proven wrong as archaeologists made discoveries that confirm historical figures and cities previously known of only from the Bible. (If you would like to learn more about archaeological discoveries confirming the Bible, read the series of articles titled “Archaeology and the Bible” available for download from our Web site at www.gnmagazine.org/archaeology/.)
A popular argument
One of the most popular arguments to supposedly disprove the Bible is the claim that scientific research shows the earth to be millions of years old while the biblical account would indicate that the earth is only 6,000 years old. Yet, under careful scrutiny, we can easily reconcile this apparent discrepancy.
Genesis 1:1-2 says: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void…” The Hebrew phrase translated here “The earth was without form, and void” can also be properly translated “The earth became without form, and void” (see the footnote to Genesis 1:2 in the New International Version).
This explanation allows for a gap in time between verses 1 and 2 and permits recognition that the earth may be much older than the approximately 6,000 years of recorded human history, of which a 4,000-year span is outlined in the Bible.
Although many creationists believe the earth is only some 10,000 years old and reject the idea of a time gap between the first two verses of Genesis, at least a few biblical scholars have noted this understanding for almost 2,000 years—long before Darwin formulated his theory of evolution. (If you would like to learn more about the validity of the Bible and the explanation alluded to here of the earth being older than 6,000 years, please read our free booklet Is the Bible True?)
Understanding definitions of evolution can be helpful to students facing Darwinism in their studies. Such varied definitions are why many times in this article we use the term Darwinism for the theory rather than simply evolution.
The word evolution can mean many things. Although many people are familiar with its most common meaning, the changing of simple life-forms to higher life-forms as theorized by Darwin, this word can also refer to the process of change and adaptation within a species—or even a progression of knowledge or understanding that has nothing to do with the origins of species.
The latter definitions of evolution describe processes and phenomenon that do, in fact, take place. For example, because of temporary environmental conditions such as smog or pollution from burning coal, one color of moth may become predominant (conditions make one color of moth easier for birds to see, so the birds eat more moths of that color).
Other scientists have tried to support Darwinistic reasoning by offering new, equally unprovable theories.
Another example is bacteria and drugs. Certain medicines are designed to kill harmful bacteria and viruses. But occasionally a few cells of a bacterium or virus are found to have developed an immunity to a drug. When these particular cells reproduce, they can be said to have evolved into a drug-resistant strain. Although this limited form of evolutionary change does occur, it does not mean these bacteria or viruses could eventually become elephants or humans. They will always be bacteria or viruses.
As our body of knowledge on a variety of subjects continues to increase, it is correct to say our knowledge base is evolving. Here again this definition does not prove Darwin’s theory regarding how humans came into existence.
The reason it is important to understand these varied definitions is simply that, when some scientists say evolution is a fact, not an unproven theory, they are referring to these latter definitions. By implication they would like to have you believe that Darwinism—the theory that new species can evolve and have evolved from others over time—is also true.
However, that is simply not the case. Intellectually honest scientists will admit Darwin’s theory is still an unproven attempt to explain life without a Creator. In spite of decades of effort, they can nowhere point to real evidence that Darwinism is true.
Why Darwinism lives
When rational people consider the intricacies and perfect balance of nature in the world around them, it should become strikingly obvious to them that the marvelous creation requires a creator. As King David put it: “The heavens tell of the glory of God. The skies display his marvelous craftsmanship” (Psalm 19:1, New Living Translation).
In light of the lack of physical evidence for Darwinism, and abundant evidence against it, why does Darwinism survive? Why hasn’t it been discarded like other empty, inaccurate, failed theories?
The apostle Paul answers this question in Romans 1:20-22: “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools” (New International Version).
This passage tells us that the fundamental reason many people reject the biblical account of creation is that they, in fact, reject God. Although such people may be intelligent and understand many things, when it comes to acknowledging God, their thinking is foolishly unsound. The Bible explains, “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God’” (Psalms 14:1; 53:1).
People who believe we are merely a part of the animal kingdom reject an important concept that gives us our unique human identity and destiny. The Holy Scriptures reveal that God created us in His image, the “image of God” (Genesis 1:26-27), and gave us the opportunity to become His children (John 1:12). God calls us to become part of the Kingdom of God, not the animal kingdom.
God’s purpose and plan for humanity are to give every human being the opportunity to acknowledge Him as Creator (Psalm 14:2) and live forever with Him as members of His family (John 3:15-16; 2 Corinthians 6:18).
The biographies of some proponents of Darwinism freely explain why they reject God: They don’t want to be subject to God’s laws. They want to be free to do whatever they want to do, even act like animals if they so choose. Such thinking leads to and promotes sexual immorality including homosexuality, envy, murder, strife and hatred of God, just to name a few items of a long list of negative qualities inspired by this kind of perspective (Romans 1:28-31).
By contrast, those who aspire to be children of God strive to practice righteousness (1 John 3:10), which means respecting and living by God’s instructions.
(If you would like information that conclusively demonstrates God’s existence, be sure to read Life’s Ultimate Question: Does God Exist? If you would like to learn many surprising scientific truths about Darwinism and the Bible, read Creation or Evolution: Does It Really Matter What You Believe?)
Strategies for overcoming
Now that we have reviewed a few of the fundamental issues of Darwinism and the Bible, what can a student who believes in God do when he takes classes that teach Darwinism? Here are a few strategies:
Realize that you are studying a theory. Theories are simply attempts to explain something people don’t understand. Darwin didn’t understand how human beings came to exist. On the Origin of Species was his attempt to explain how humans and thousands of perfectly designed species could have come into existence apart from God. You can read his work and study his arguments without agreeing with them. On a test or paper you can write, “Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution says….” or a similar statement that verifies you know what the teacher or textbook has taught.
It isn’t necessary for you to publicly debate teachers or professors who believe in evolution. Through greater experience, they usually have clever, though erroneous, arguments to smooth over the weakness of Darwinism or to make disbelievers in the theory appear ignorant. Remember, the Bible reveals that those who reject God are the ones who are truly foolish and ignorant (Psalm 14:1; Romans 1).
If someone genuinely wants to know what you believe on this issue, tell him (1 Peter 3:15). But you don’t have to set yourself up for public or private ridicule. Thinking out your strategy in advance can be quite helpful. Often silence is golden.
If you are asked to do additional research on this subject, consider several possibilities. You might want to read Darwin’s book or works on modern variations of his theory and draw attention to the areas in which he and others acknowledge flaws in the theory. Another possibility is to write a book report on material written against evolution.
Use this opportunity to strengthen your relationship with God and your convictions that He is your Creator. Compare the ultimate rewards represented by belief in Darwinism with belief in God. According to the former, when you die you’re permanently dead, having no hope of living again. With God, you have the marvelous opportunity to live forever in His Kingdom. Don’t throw away that opportunity just to fit in with what is currently popular in today’s culture.
What are they not telling you about the theory of evolution? We’ve covered only a few of the high spots in this article, but you can learn more by reading Creation or Evolution: Does It Really Matter What You Believe? Download this booklet, or request your free copy today!
The Case Against Evolution
Many excellent books have appeared in recent years detailing scientific findings and conclusions that compellingly demonstrate the impossibility of evolution as an explanation for the existence of life on earth. It is helpful to remember that evolution cannot offer an explanation for the origin of our magnificent universe; evolution seeks to explain only how life might have begun in a universe that already existed.
If you would like to dig more deeply into the case against Darwinism, we recommend the following books, many written by authors with backgrounds in the sciences:
Darwin’s Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution, Michael Behe, associate professor of biochemistry, Lehigh University (Pennsylvania), 1996. Demonstrates that the tiny building blocks of life—cells and their myriad components—are far too complex for their codependent parts and processes to have evolved without an outside, intelligent design at work.
Mere Creation: Science, Faith & Intelligent Design, edited by William Dembski, 1998. A collection of academic writings from physics, astrophysics, biology, anthropology, biology, mechanical engineering and mathematics that challenge Darwinism and offer evidence supporting intelligent design in the universe.
Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, Michael Denton, senior research fellow, University of Otago, New Zealand, 1996. Examines features of the natural world that mutation and natural selection cannot explain and shows the impossibility of transitional forms required for Darwinian evolution to have taken place.
Creation and Evolution: Rethinking the Evidence From Science and the Bible, Alan Hayward, 1985. Written by a British physicist, an insightful book on the pros and cons of the evolution-vs.-creation controversy.
The Neck of the Giraffe: Where Darwin Went Wrong, Francis Hitching, 1982. Points out many of the problems in the traditional view of evolution.
Darwin on Trial, Phillip Johnson, professor of law, University of California, Berkeley, 1993. Examines scientific details that argue convincingly against the theory of evolution.
Reason in the Balance: The Case Against Naturalism in Science, Law & Education, Phillip Johnson, 1995. Discusses the cultural implications of belief in evolution; that is, that the philosophy behind Darwinian evolution has become in effect the dominant established religion in many societies.
Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds, Phillip Johnson, 1997. Written specifically for older students and their parents and teachers to prepare them for the antireligion bias inherent in most advanced education.
Objections Sustained: Subversive Essays on Evolution, Law & Culture, Phillip Johnson, 1998. Compilation of essays ranging from evolution and culture to law and religion.
Bones of Contention: A Creationist Assessment of the Human Fossils, Marvin Lubenow, 1992. Documents the serious problems with the supposed links between man and apes.
What Is Creation Science? Henry Morris and Gary Parker, 1987. Two creation scientists provide a critical examination of the major arguments used to support evolution.
Shattering the Myths of Darwinism, Richard Milton, 1997. Mr. Milton, a science journalist and noncreationist, reveals the circular reasoning Darwinists must rely on for their arguments while discussing data widely acknowledged in scientific circles.
Tornado in a Junkyard: The Relentless Myth of Darwinism, James Perloff, 1999. A self-professed former atheist offers an easy-to-read view of evidence contradicting Darwinism, including many quotations from evolutionists and creationists. (The title is taken from a British astronomer’s assessment that the likelihood of higher life-forms emerging through random mutation is comparable to the chance of a tornado sweeping through a junkyard being able to build a Boeing 747 airliner.)
Not by Chance: Shattering the Modern Theory of Evolution, Lee Spetner, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1998. Dr. Spetner shows that one of the fundamental premises of neo-Darwinism—that random mutation created the kinds of variations that allowed macroevolution to take place—is fatally flawed and could never have happened as Darwinists claim.
Icons of Evolution: Science or Myth? Jonathan Wells, Yale University and University of California at Berkeley, 2000. Dr. Wells, a postdoctoral biologist, documents that the most-used examples Darwinists call on to support evolution— including those commonly found in recent textbooks—are false or misleading, raising the question of whether evolutionists deliberately misinform students and suppress scientific evidence that contradicts their theory.
Although the publishers of Virtual Christian Magazine do not agree with every conclusion presented in these books, we think they present a persuasive and compelling case that the theory of evolution is fundamentally and fatally flawed.