Biological Evolution and Worldview
Essays by Ed Garrett
Why the unending controversy between evolution and creationism? Evolution is backed up by scientific facts, and creationism is religion, right?
It should be obvious to anyone with more than a passing acquaintance with either worldview that the issue is not quite that simple. There certainly is a large body of scientific evidence which has been accumulated over the last 130 years or so since the publication of Origin of Species, and the believers in each worldview quote the evidence as favoring their side.
Perhaps you have noticed that the “skeptics” on the internet selectively accept evolution without question and reserve their skepticism for creationism. Why is evolution not also treated with reservations? It is not that it is somehow self-evident to anyone familiar with the evidence, rather, the evidence is inconclusive and can support either viewpoint. Is there not also some room for skepticism about evolution?
After all, the arising of all species from primitive, one-celled animals is the dominant paradigm in biology, and is the viewpoint that is taught to practically all students in practically all colleges and universities. Christian colleges are no exception. Where is the rebellion against the establishment viewpoint?
Where is the independent thinking that threw off the old Christian worldview?
In this question, of course, we get a hint as to a possible answer to the conundrum. Evolution is a necessary part of the modern worldview, and that worldview makes no sense if life was created ex nihilo by an almighty and personal God. Conversely, traditional theology is nonsense if man arose by natural means from lower creatures. Many people have realized this and tried to rethink theology along evolutionary lines. Men such as Paul Tillich (The Shaking of the Foundations), Thomas Altizer (The Death of God), and John A. T. Robinson (Honest to God) have attempted to make sense of Christianity after evolution, and were never really successful in reinterpreting it into anything remotely satisfying. On the contrary, after several such failed attempts, the strategy now seems to be to keep issues as unclear as possible and avoid any kind of confrontation that could lead to the truth being revealed.
Truth, of course, has been a casualty of this process. If evolution is actually real, then theology SHOULD be rethought. A false theology is worse than useless. Other, non-Christian religions are far more compatible with evolution, such as the UFO cults, Buddhism, Hinduism, and new age syncretism. The fact that this has not been done after 130 years highlights the failure of the evolutionary worldview to finally displace traditional Christianity in the mind and heart of the common man, or even in the world of academia. It is not taken seriously, in the final analysis. It is known by all to be deficient as a philosophy.
The evolutionary worldview is internally inconsistent. It is presumed to be scientific, since it accounts for life without reference to a Creator. Yet, if it is scientific, it has to be objectively true. Although, if all things are changing, there can be no absolutes, and no absolute truth. All things are relative. Therefore, there is no such thing as scientific truth. The world was created by random chance and our mind has no hope of understanding it.
Further, unfortunately for believers, the mathematical probability for evolution having created man is zero, or one over an unimaginably large number which is for all purposes infinite. No mathematical model of evolution which has a remote chance of being greater than zero is known. The assumption that evolution created us must be made before one can begin to rationalize how it might have occurred, but the probabilities are still zero. One would think that such a process would not be considered by intelligent people to be “scientific fact.”
Only the Christian worldview makes science possible. We are made in the image of God, therefore we have hope of understanding the world God made. It was not made by Chaos, but created by a God who is personal and caring.
Evolution is proved to be a Scientific Fact
Evolution has been proved by science to be a fact, in the sense of changes in organisms in response to their environment. There is very little controversy among educated people about that observation. The finches of the Galapagos Islands, as observed by Darwin, and the famous peppered moths of the industrial revolution in England are excellent examples of this type of microevolution, in which natural selection chooses the variant best suited to the environment.
The reference is often made to the “theory of evolution,” which gives the impression that there is some doubt remaining in science still, since it is only a theory, not a fact. The comparison is made to the theory of gravity, in which gravity is accepted to exist, only the method by which it works is the theoretical part.
Actually, the comparison is not quite correct. The comparison should be made to not the theory of evolution, but the theory of biogenesis, in which species are incontrovertibly observed to exist, but the method by which they arose can only be theoretical. Evolution in the sense of microevolution has been observed and is no longer theoretical, but it is an extrapolation of the data to assume that it accounts for the origin of the kinds of creatures to be found on the earth. Evolutionary biogenesis cannot be demonstrated by the scientific method, it can only be inferred if certain data is selected to the exclusion of other relevant data. Yet, evolution as the creator of life on earth has somehow grasped the attention of otherwise scientific minds, which seem dedicated to promoting it as fact, perhaps because it does away with the uncomfortable idea of a Creator who is not subject to scientific inquiry.
However, scientific discoveries in the last several decades have had the effect of totally discrediting the idea of macroevolution, or the idea that evolution can account for the origin of species.
This philosophy of promotion of macroevolution as fact can be referred to as evolutionism, and has more in common with hauntings, seances, and ufo abductions than with science. People come into contact with certain types of reality, and interpret them as hauntings, spirit contact, ufo astronaut abductions, or evolutionary biogenesis. These interpretations may partially be a projection of the personality that resorts to them, but there is undoubtedly a reality behind each of them that demands analysis, and the person who is subject to a haunting may be bothered by it for the rest of his life because it cannot be explained in comfortable terms. There certainly are different kinds of life on the earth, and evolutionism is an attempt at an explanation of how that life came to be, although it is no more rational than explaining a disturbing spiritual encounter as a ufo abduction. This is especially so now that modern science has made it clear how nonsensical evolutionism really is.
The Psychopathology of Evolutionism
Evolutionism tells more about the person who holds to it than about the world we live in. Fortunately, there are few dedicated believers, and few of the general public have an unqualified acceptance of it. Here we have the peculiar phenomenon of a large number of usually highly intelligent people, most of whom know that evolution cannot possibly account for the origin of life, continually attempting by whatever means possible to convince the general public that it is a proven scientific fact. Limited success would be expected in such an openly dishonest endeavor, and it is shown by the fact that 70% of the general public believes that creationism should be taught in the public schools.
There was an entire country, the former Soviet Union, which took evolutionism as the official philosophy of the nation, but fortunately has now largely abandoned it as the irrational tree bore its increasingly bitter fruit.
Evolutionism is the manifestation of a psychopathology, a need to believe, in certain people who are irrationally dedicated to it. Those who are dedicated to materialism have little else that they can believe. A healthy skepticism has no place in those pathologically dedicated to the philosophy, and this pathology is further demonstrated by unmitigated attempts to spread this gospel of irrationalism to the unconverted, regardless of its known defects.
One would think that religious people would not have a need for evolutionism, but this is demonstrably not the case. It often coexists in the minds of many with some form of Christianity, and fulfills some need to displace and explain away uncomfortable implications of their faith. These displacements, however, are more perceived than real. The problems remain and are simply ignored rather than being confronted and dealt with on a realistic basis. This is a further manifestation of the pathology of evolutionism.
Often the excuse is given for promoting evolution, that it would require redoing biology, geology, and various other sciences if evolutionism was discarded. This is somewhat true. However, there would be less impact than one would think at first. The evolutionary relationships between species have to be constantly revised as new interpretations come to light, and give no real information about relations between species, as the links are based on only speculated kinship without real evidence. This sort of assumption of speculative evolutionary kinship is more of a hindrance to understanding than a help.
The new creationist classification system called holobariminology depends on relationships between species based on observable characteristics, not speculation, and would result in a better understanding of species if accepted by science.
Geology would not need revision, the geologic column (simply a method of making sense of the earth’s layers) could continue to be used. The loss of evolutionism would have little impact here. The age of the layers would undoubtedly come into question more severely, however, since there would be little justification for assuming that the evolutionary timescale was correct. This would be positive, however, since a better explanation for the layers could be sought without the hindrance of having to fit a particular timescale.
Why is evolutionism never a target of skepticism in the scientific media? Is it really a Theory in Crisis as molecular biologist Michael Denton has written?
Also, one would wonder how evolutionism became a “scientific fact” in spite of the fact that the mathematical probability of it is zero.
Even when you confine yourself to the probability that man and the apes came from a common ancestor, and assume that each change took the creature to a plateau from which the only direction possible was toward a more intelligent creature, the problem is not removed. (I understand that this is the current attempt to explain this impossible process.)
When you think of the vast changes in the DNA encoding to rearrange the creature to a human (much is made of the–what is it?–98% similarity of DNA of humans and chimps? How many millions of differences does this 2% constitute?).
The only excuse for this nonsense to be taken as fact is the mathematical illiteracy which the public schools have seen fit to induce in even the best and the brightest minds.
More information on the nonsense of the probability of evolution is found at this website.
Natural Selection is Not Evolution
Those who promote evolutionism (the irrational belief in biogenesis by evolution as fact)(also known as evolutionists) try to confuse natural selection with evolution, saying that natural selection is the engine of change which gave rise to species. This is demonstrably false.
You perhaps remember the example of the peppered moths in England during the early part of the industrial revolution. When the soot from the mills turned the trees black, the peppered moths, normally white, were now visible to birds and were eaten. A variant of the peppered moths, with dark coloration, blended in and was left to grow. So, most moths were now the dark variety. When the air was cleaned, and the soot was washed away by rain, the dark moths showed up and were eaten, allowing the species to revert to the white variant. This is often given as an example of evolution, and it IS an excellent example of natural selection. If evolution is only natural selection, then the common conception of evolutionary biogenesis is mistaken, and scientists should be doing their best to clear it up.
However, they continue to meddle in religion and philosophy where they have no business.
The moths changed only in response to a temporary change in the environment, and only changed because the variants, already existing, were released from selection pressure. When the environment changed back, the original moth population reestablished itself with the variants in the minority. There was no permanent change, and the change was within the constraints imposed by the environment.
To return to probability–
One can design any experiment to fail. I can see how probability would make no sense if each occurrence had infinite possibilities, but we can constrain the experiment so there are very limited possibilities. Looking at Virginia Whitetail deer for a moment, a generation is about three years. These deer have made no noticeable change since they were first described in the 1700’s. So we might conclude that a significant change occurs in evolving species only once in about 100 generations or more. Of course, some species are known to remain the same for much longer–sharks and cockroaches, for example. Virginia whitetails are subject to tremendous selection pressure from predators and hunting, and yet they remain the same.
So each major event of evolution, which results in a major adaptation of the creature, is subject to the pressure of natural selection (before man was on the scene, anyway, as they believe.) Predators cull the weak and sick and poorly adapted. Poorly adapted predators cannot find prey. Any change in a creature that did not convey a benefit would result in its selection by nature, and its genes would not be passed on.
But we are ignoring that immense difficulty with evolutionary change for the moment, and are simply looking at the possibility that 1000 major changes could happen.
If evolution, in its infinite variety of choices, brings a new creature to birth, it is subjected to the pressure of natural selection. Any creature that does not fit the current environment is ruthlessly exterminated. THIS is what allows the process to be tested by probability. In order to survive, the creature must either stay the same (the usual strategy) or change within the extremely narrow constraints placed on it by natural selection in the current environment.
We can design a simple experiment to determine the probability of 1000 major changes (FAR too few for evolution to have happened) occurring in the lifetime of the universe, assuming that these changes happen once in each 100 generations (FAR more often than warranted by the evidence). This will follow the line of a single organism evolving into a higher organism requiring 1000 changes. Only the direct descendants of that original organism which are directly in the line to the higher organism are considered to have evolved for this experiment. A basic textbook will show that the answer is (1/100) to the power of 1000. This number is unimaginably small. [(1/2)to the power of 1000 is 1/(10 to the power of 300). This number is far smaller.]
So–in order to have a 1-1 chance of one creature having been formed by a line of evolution, it would require (100 to the power of 1000) generations, or 10 followed by 1001 zeroes.
Now we are only considering those creatures in the direct line of this evolution, to a specific descendant. Assume again that each creature in this line reproduced after living for one second. There would only be 157,680,000,000,000,000 (1.6×10^17) reproductions in five billion years. Roughly 10^983(1 followed by 983 zeros) times that many reproductions would be needed for our hypothetical one original organism to have an even chance of evolving into anything requiring 1000 changes–not even considering the problem of how it got here in the first place. Five hundred thousand billion years is not enough time for life to have evolved.
Even more problems for evolution: There are many more changes than 1000 needed for pre-cellular life to become human,changes happen less often than once in a hundred generations, and if anything at all has a generation only one second long it is difficult to imagine.
Materialistic Science is Nonsense
Science, in the sense of mechanistic materialism, or materialistic naturalism if you prefer, will be destroyed if creationism prevails. It will be a well-deserved death.
Those of us who believe in the God of the Bible are expected to be intimidated into silence, because our promotion of creation will result in loss of faith in “science” by the public.
We are expected to feel that the Bible is inadequate, and we should regard it as inspired only as we would regard the Dialogues of Plato or the writings of Aristotle as inspired, and certainly not a guide for daily living or–God forbid!–a guide for human government.
There is no conflict of science with creationary thought. The creationary conflict is with materialistic naturalism, which is a hindrance to science, an albatross hung around the neck of true science which insists that it can explain things outside the realm of science. It is a new orthodoxy which excommunicates those who do not swear allegiance.
Materialistic naturalism is based on and depends on evolution. Without a general acceptance of evolution as fact, materialistic naturalism is seen as nonsense.
But there is no evidence whatever for evolution, in the sense of a process of development of advanced life from primitive life.
Evolution as an explanation for the origin of life is neither a theory or a fact, but an assumption. If you make the assumption of biogenesis by evolution, and you are dedicated enough to it, and smart enough, you can make any evidence fit.
There are only two reasons why anyone would believe that species arose by evolution: 1.)They have a religious or philosophical commitment to the idea of evolution; or 2.) They are not aware of the scientific evidence. By far the great majority of casual believers are in category two. The leaders are in category one.
By implication, am I saying that the pro-evolution leaders are aware of the evidence and they are ignoring it? No, I am stating it openly. Most leaders in the biological field are not idiots and blind. They are completely aware that evolution cannot explain biogenesis, but they choose to promote it anyway, because they are afraid of the alternative.
And what is the alternative? At the very least, the scientific establishment will have to admit that it has been wrong and has misled the public for the last century or more. The spirit of repentance is not strong there. The scientific establishment has promoted mechanistic materialism and is not even comfortable with New Age spirituality, let alone the–shudder–God of the Bible.
Science has somehow become defined as that which studies mechanistic materialism, and can have nothing to do with supernatural intervention. Such “miracles” can have nothing to do with science, or they would corrupt the pursuit of knowledge. For this reason the establishment will have nothing to do with creation. God cannot have created the earth, that is all there is to it.
Of course there is evidence for evolution. There are the transitional forms such as Archaeopteryx, the Therapsids, and the well-developed sequence of whale evolution.
Not really. When we speak of transitional forms, that is not what we refer to. Practically every creature found in the fossil record is perfectly formed for the job it had to do. The fossil record is missing the vast number of kinds of creatures which would have been tested and discarded by evolution and natural selection if evolution was trying, by trial and error, to “fill a royal flush.”
Think for a moment. All of the forms of creatures living today could be arranged in a sequence so that a case could be made for one evolving into the other, but would that make it true?
Why is it different if the forms lived in the past? It is only different if you can be intimidated into accepting the assumption of evolutionary biogenesis.
Transitional forms cannot exist? No, they can’t. By definition, a transitional form is not adapted to its environment. Can you imagine any survival value to a half-formed eye, or a stomach only partially adapted to a new food type? How about an incomplete lung? Darwin’s explanation for evolution, natural selection, would quickly destroy such a creature.
Considering the 300 million years of evolution, and all the rearranging of bones and other hard parts that would be necessary, the fossil record should be full of such creatures. But they are not found. Almost every fossil is a perfectly formed, beautiful creature. Strange to us, perhaps, but wonderful.
The push has been on among paleontologists to come up with new transitional forms, and we have heard much about anything they find, however disarticulated and incomplete. But we still do not have real transitional forms.
Maybe you think that these are only the arguments of the ignorant, and the scientific establishment can explain away all of this. If you do, watch out. You are accepting the assumption of evolutionism. You are letting the “angel of light” referred to in the Bible–the devil–do your thinking for you. The purpose of the assumption of evolution is to convince you that the Bible cannot be the inspired word of God, and that you are not a sinner, and is certainly not in need of the redemption offered by Jesus Christ. If somehow you still understand redemption, the purpose then is to shut you up about it until they have time to teach the next generation that the Bible is foolishness.
Evolutionism has nothing to do with truth. It has nothing to do with science. It is deceit offered by those whose home is hell to gain more company there with themselves.
A professor of biology at Golden West College in Huntington Beach, Calif., presents select evidence gradually. “Introducing littlebits and pieces of evolution, like a good salesperson does, is a better way to teach,” she suggests. “When the basic principles of biological change over time are introduced, rarely do people find difficulty accepting the individual parts.” Break down their defenses a little at a time…
The classroom climate influences student response, according to many instructors. “College professors, regardless of their feelings, should present evolution in a fashion that allows listeners to make their own accommodations. Many biologists haven’t thought this through completely.” Don’t make it obvious that you are changing their religious worldview . . .
To do this, professors should recognize that their students may not be able to separate science from religion. Clark and others suggest that professors avoid sounding confrontational. “Our job is to make students understand the theory of evolution and the facts that support it. But teachers should be less arrogant about the role of scientific thinking as opposed to other kinds of thinking in the lives of students,” says an associate professor of science education at the University of Georgia in Athens. Yes, get them to separate science from religion. Make them think that “religious truth” can exist apart from “scientific truth.” They will eventually absorb the idea that if they accept that creation is not scientifically (i.e. “objectively”) true, what that really means is that it is false . . .
Some very brilliant people are defenders of evolution, but this does still not make it true. They seduce those who are willing to turn their back on the one and only true God, and his Word.
If one simply looks at the facts with an open mind and no preconceptions, in simple humility, it is impossible to come to the conclusion of evolution. The structure of evolution has been built up over the last six thousand years and certain spiritual forces want YOU to accept it unquestioningly, without looking too closely at it.
It is the old serpent in the garden again, and you are in the place of Eve. “Hath God said, ye shall surely die? Ye shall not surely die, but shall be in the place of God, knowing (determining for yourself what is) good and (what is) evil.”
Science is not basically anti-God, but science is simply the determining of what is true. Evolution of species now has had enough discovered about it to be discarded not only as a fact, but also as a theory. It has been downgraded to the level of a hypothesis, and essentially discarded by science. It only survives by deceit.
The earth is 4.5 billion years old, right? As the evil man in Porgy and Bess said about the Bible, “it ain’t necessarily so.” The only justification for an earth old enough for evolution to occur is radioactive dating.
If radioactive dating is accurate, I propose a test. Secure several samples of rocks, some of which cooled from volcanic lava only a few years ago, some from ancient but historically known lava flows, and some from Precambrian and Cretaceous sources. Label the rocks so that the labelling is unknown to those doing the testing. Take all precautions to avoid fraud by anyone. Then publish the results for the common man.
Why has this not been done? I think the answer is obvious. Results are corrected according to whatever gives the desired results for the geological strata where the rocks were found.
There is no evidence for evolution.
If there is evidence, put up or shut up, defenders of evolution. Explain mathematically how the probability of human evolution from lower species is greater than zero. Show us real transitional forms, don’t just try to line up fossils in an imaginary sequence. There should be more transitional forms in the fossil record than stable creatures if all of these changes really took place. If you have to fall back on Stephen J. Gould’s hopeful monster theory, it is an admission that there really is no evidence. Of course, Dr. Gould, one of the world’s leading paleontologists, has already admitted that for you. Perform a real test with creationist oversight to show the worth of radioactive dating. We know you won’t, and we know why.
We are constantly told that evolution is science, and creation is religion. Evolution is not science, it is philosophy. It meddles in the field of religion, saying that revealed Christianity cannot be trusted. Origin of man is outside the field of science. It cannot be demonstrated by experiment, it only is promoted in order to try to deceive the public into trusting the scientific elite instead of God.
We do not accept your authority; we have to prove this for ourselves. Your intimidation and bullying mean nothing to us except to prove your parentage as children of the devil.
Cheat hell now, while there is still time. Find out if you are one of God’s elect. You do not have to continue to defend the indefensible. The Bible is true; the lack of evidence for evolution proves it. There really is a sovereign God to whom you will answer on Judgment Day, and there really is a lake of fire prepared for your father and you. He has lied to you about God all along, and taught you to lie to others.
But there is also really a Redeemer who paid for your sins before that holy God so that if you stand in faith in Him, your sins are covered–atoned for.
Do not stubbornly go on to hell. The Bible says that God does not desire the death of any of the wicked. You are in league with Satan, but you don’t have to stay there. Jesus is the answer. Get out. Do it now. Don’t wait for another second. Turn your back on deceit and live in the truth of Jesus Christ, your Redeemer. If you do this, you will be one of His elect who will be privileged to share in His suffering and in His resurrection to everlasting life. You will not have to fear the last day, when even the clouds will roll away across the sky, fleeing from the face of Him who sits on the throne.
You will need help, now that you have decided to live in dedication to Jesus Christ. Send me email and tell me of your decision and I can point you to those who can help you strengthen your faith and grow in Christian service.
Further information from non-creationists concerning the bankruptcy of evolution can be found at the following sites:
Blessings in your Redeemer, and thanks.–Ed Garrett