“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1) For those who trust in the written record of the Scripture, this verse contains the essence of our belief in the way the world formed. God chose to reveal aspects of creation in His Word that we take at face value because we have faith that what the Bible says is true. Special creation, finished in seven days, cannot be proven empirically because the entire concept revolves around a God bringing forth life and matter, and belief in God always requires faith.
Does evolution require belief? One of the psychological advantages employed by evolutionists (including Darwin himself) is to say they base their theories on science and on facts that can be tested and analyzed. They ridicule creationists as ignorant fools trusting in an unconfirmed God. They maintain they can prove everything they say without resorting to belief in the Divine. Is this true, or do they need as much (or more) faith in non-provable assumptions?
In the Beginning
For He spake, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast. (Psalm 33:9)
According to evolutionists, life began when certain chemicals joined according to the theory of spontaneous generation, in which life arises out of inactive matter.
Experiments undertaken in the 1950's to replicate the origins of life are often cited as proof, but they used false environmental conditions (oxygen-free atmosphere; no natural ultraviolet radiation) and still were unsuccessful in generating cell life.1 Never has life been assembled in the laboratory; thus the entire foundation for evolution is defended as follows:
One has only to contemplate the magnitude of this task to concede that the spontaneous generation of a living organism is impossible. Yet here we are--as a result, I believe, of spontaneous generation.2
Cells are the basic elements of life, yet the more we learn of them the more complex they appear. When Darwin first proposed his theory he offered this falsification test: If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.3
Modern research on the structure of cells has revealed an answer to his test. One evolutionist discovered:
As biochemists have begun to examine apparently simple structures like cilia and flagella, they have discovered staggering complexity, with dozens or even hundreds of precisely tailored parts.... As the number of required parts increases, the difficulty of gradually putting the system together skyrockets, and the likelihood of indirect scenarios plummets.4
Micro-evolution vs. Macro-evolution
From these extraordinary beginnings life evolved from stage to higher stage until humans finally arrived. But an important distinction must be made that is often forgotten. There are two definitions of evolution that consist of quite different principles. The first can be called micro-evolution and involves changes of color, structure, and behavior caused by external pressures from isolation, climatic change, and other species. The second is macro-evolution and involves the major changes from one class of species to another, such as from fish to amphibians and from reptiles to mammals. This also includes major changes that would result in new families like the development of feline and canine families from some common ancestor. These two very different concepts are often blurred together by evolutionists and misunderstood by creationists. Please note that I am using the original—and correct—definitions for these terms as they were historically understood. Recent attempts have been made by some to change these terms to hide the issues that they expose.
Micro-evolution is occurring all around us in every species of life. Species with extensive ranges show little variety as their gene pool is large and intermingles regularly. But animals and plants on islands or in isolated habitats are different from similar species elsewhere. These differences can be minor [unusual colors; flowers with more stamens], or major [flightless birds; carnivorous caterpillars]. In North America, the Mountain Lion is split into populations that no longer connect. Those in Florida have been isolated long enough to be considered as a subspecies that has distinctive behaviors and characteristics from the widespread form found throughout the western states. The two subspecies could still breed together if they ever met now, but if their isolation continues long enough they would eventually be incapable of interbreeding and would thus become separate species. An example of the latter is the two species of Gray Squirrel, Eastern and Western.
Built into all life is the ability to adjust slightly through successive generations to meet the demands of the surroundings they inhabit. Without this there could be no colonization of new areas or survival when unexpected changes occur. It is crucial to note though, that all such changes occur within the strict confines of the same kind of organism. In other words, rattlesnakes develop into different species of rattlesnakes and orchids into different species of orchids. For thousands of years we have bred domestic animals into a bewildering plethora of forms, but never has a dog become anything other than a dog, even though the shapes and personalities nearly defy comparison.
Macro-evolution takes the next step and says that at some point the dog will become something entirely different. It will become a new form of life that will someday change again and eventually be so distinct that no obvious resemblance is detectable between its ancestral form and itself. This is supposed to account for the massive differences between turtles, jellyfish, and humans, and indeed between every life form, since animals and plants come from common ancestors. Supposedly macro-evolution produced everything alive today, but it doesn't seem to be occurring now. It has never been documented in the wild or in the lab.
What mechanism could account for the incredible progression from algae to armadillos? The answer given is natural selection, by which successful adaptation survives and poor adaptation becomes extinct. Evolutionists give natural selection amazing qualities, including a nearly conscious power to propel evolution forward: Natural selection converts randomness into direction and blind chance into apparent purpose. It operates with the aid of time to produce improvements in the machinery of living, and in the process generates results of a more than astronomical improbability which could have been achieved in no other way.5 This places inestimable importance upon natural selection as the key force behind all the variety and specialization of life. Without it evolutionists have no explanation for how things are, so we must examine it carefully.
Every species' offspring has differing traits since no two organisms are identical. If a specific trait helps an individual survive, then it is usually passed on to its offspring. If a trait does the opposite, then an individual has a greater chance of dying and not passing on that trait. As generations proceed the individuals that survive are the ones best suited for that particular habitat. This is especially true when a species is thrust into a new habitat such as landing on an island. Nearly every island in the South Pacific has its own species of gecko, each adapted to survive there. So natural selection can explain micro-evolution. But what about macro-evolution?
If natural selection can produce entirely new life forms, then it should be testable under controlled conditions. But a century of fruit fly studies have not produced anything other than fruit flies with the minor variations of micro-evolution. As for natural conditions, Darwin knew there was trouble when he stated:
There are two or three million species on earth. A sufficient field one might think for observation; but it must be said today that in spite of all the evidence of trained observers, not one change of the species to another is on record.6 Since we cannot find living transitional forms, the fossil record is studied to find the links needed between each class because they must be there for macro-evolution to be true. But they are not there. All the fossils found have been members of established classes and the transitional forms needed have not appeared. One fossil reptile was thought to be an answer, but it has more problems than solutions: [Archaeopteryx] was a small...flying animal with hollow bones and feathers usually described by paleontologists as a dinosaur on the way to becoming a bird.
Most ornithologists, however, disagree.7
Archaeopteryx is no more a link between reptiles and birds than Pterodactyls (flying, furred reptiles) are links to bats or Plesiosaurs (swimming, flippered reptiles) are links to dolphins. They share common traits as do many unrelated animals. The search for the "missing links" continues.
There is a fairly humorous theory that macro-evolution is caused by sudden mutations (leading to such conclusions as one day a dinosaur laid an egg and when it hatched, out flew a bird). A prominent evolutionist states:
Obviously...such a process [multiple, simultaneous mutations] has played no part whatever in evolution.8
With all these problems, and many more, we ascertain that natural selection could not result in macro-evolution and so the following conclusion is reached (by the same evolutionist):
It might be argued that the theory [of natural selection] is quite unsubstantiated and has status only as a speculation.9
Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God. (Hebrews 11:3)
The genius of Darwin was discovering on the Galapagos Islands and elsewhere the principles of micro-evolution. The hubris of Darwin was inventing without evidence the principles of macro-evolution. The duplicity of Darwin was combining the two and calling them both by the blanket term evolution. The grave error of the Church was to oppose everything Darwin said as heresy. Supporters of evolution could then club the church into humiliation with countless examples of micro-evolution in action, and then slip in macro-evolution as the same thing. The church couldn't tell the difference and made claims as inaccurate as the evolutionists', forever damaging their credibility on this issue. Ever since, evolutionists have made the case of science refuting blind faith but the truth is that one form of error was replaced by a different form. To this day, scientists cite examples of micro-evolution adaptation and use them as "proof" of macro-evolution, without ever using those terms.
What we believe we must not pretend to know. Is evolution a belief? Evidence is not proof, as the same bit of evidence can have multiple explanations. Evidence for evolution has always stopped short of proof and is interpretable in a creation framework. Evidence for creation also exists, such as polonium halos in granite,10 the "mitochondrial Eve,"11 and the shallow sedimentation of the ocean floor.12 But creation cannot be proved either. So we are left with two models of the world. Both require faith in different forces, on the one hand God and His controlling hand, and on the other chance and the biochemical predestination of natural selection. The mathematical chances of life existing have been calculated repeatedly and they always show astronomical impossibilities needed. Life's beginnings and its development cause perpetual dilemmas for evolutionists, who have endless theories to explain but no proof to confirm. In essence, evolution has become its own religion in which its disciples trust in miracles contrived by human intellect. And why do they struggle so persistently to maintain an unproved hypothesis?
Because we have a prior commitment to materialism. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.13
We are left with the question of what we hold as our authority. Do we believe in the Bible as the written Word of God, or do we place human intellect above it. (See Proverbs 3:5) If the latter, than my opinion is as good as yours or the next person's and eventually we find there are billions of chaotic voices all saying something different.
(Welcome to the peace and joy of post-modernism, where 2 plus 2 can equal 5.) There is either one clear Voice or the cacophony of the intelligentsia; either implicit confidence in the vagaries of human reason or complete assurance that God did as He said. Given these options, which worldview really requires more faith?
Javor, "The Origin of Life", Liberty, Sep./Oct., 1993
Wald, Scientific American, Aug., 1954
3 Darwin, On the Origin of Species
4 Behe, Darwin’s Black Box, Free Press, New York, 1996
5 Huxley, Evolution in Action, pp. 54-55
6 Darwin, Life and Letters, Vol. 3, p. 25
7 Behler, Wildlife Conservation, July/Aug., 1993
8 Simpson, The Major Features of Evolution, p. 96
9 Ibid., pp. 118-119
10 Gentry, Creation's Tiny Mystery, Earth Science Associates, 1988 11 Science, January 2, 1998
12 Nevins, "Evolution: the Ocean Says No!", Ministry, March, 1977 13 Lewontin, quoted in Freedom Alert, Summer, 2000