This is the final article in our 3-part series. (Click here to read Part 1 or Part 2). In the first article we took an introductory look at the concept of what is called “theistic evolution” – the belief that God used evolution as his “creative” process. Many people seem to think that this is the perfect solution to the whole creation vs. evolution controversy. Last month (in Part 2) we reviewed a few biblical problems with this view and this month we will take a look at a few scientific issues.
On one hand, some might say there aren’t any scientific problems with theistic evolution for the simple reason that whatever scientific barriers might exist, they can be overcome by the fact that God is all-powerful. In other words, it’s primarily a matter of looking at the concept of naturalistic (or atheistic) evolution in general and anywhere there is a significant problem, we just insert God’s creative power. For example, atheistic evolutionists have a very hard time legitimately explaining how you get something out of nothing (i.e. the origin of the universe). No problem for a theistic evolutionist, because he or she can just simply call upon God at the point to get the ball rolling. Then God is free to go back to doing whatever it was He was doing in the first place, because natural law can take over from there. Then when there are problems getting the first stars or galaxies to form, they can simply have God step back in and help out. Fast-forwarding (and skipping many other challenges) we arrive at an Earth which has cooled down, but is still lifeless. We need to get non-living chemicals to form a living cell. This has plagued scientists who have been feverishly experimenting for the past 60+ years. No problem for a theistic evolutionist, however, because they can once again call on God to lend a hand and then go back again to doing… whatever.
This is very much a “god-of-the-gaps” scenario and is not at all satisfying or acceptable to the naturalistic scientists and it would never be allowed to be taught in public schools or universities. Some might say that creationists rely on a “god-of-the-gaps” in a similar way. The main difference is that we start with Scripture to see what God said He did and don’t just evoke His power whenever we are having difficulty in finding natural explanations. For example, we don’t expect to find a natural explanation for the origin of man, because Genesis tells us that God miraculously created Adam from the dust of the Earth. It was a one-time event. On the other hand, the origin of the various people groups (I don’t use the term “races”) can be naturalistically explained based on how genetics work, along with reading about the Bible’s historical record of the flood and dispersion at the Tower of Babel. Therefore, we don’t need to evoke a miracle to introduce a variety of skin color and other features (such as eye shape).
Here’s another issue with theistic evolution. If a single celled organism evolved into every other life form on this planet, where are all the intermediate forms? There should be countless examples, but all evolutionists have is a small handful all of which are highly disputable. Let’s think about these intermediates a bit further as well. According to current evolutionary thinking, some type of reptile evolved into modern birds. That would require converting the two-way lung of a reptile into the one way lung of a bird, not to even mention all of the other structural changes such as feathers and hollow bones – which are actually part of the breathing system! How could the intermediate creature survive? We can’t really even imagine intermediate stages that would function well and we don’t have any fossil record of such an animal. And this is just one example. Many others could also be given such as transitioning from a three-chambered heart (like an amphibian) into a four-chambered heart (like in a mammal).
There are many other scientific problems with the whole story of evolution, but I personally feel the biggest argument against theistic evolution isn’t really related to science (as many problems as there are), but to what God told us He did. If He truly did use evolution, it would have been no problem at all for him to describe it in general in Genesis… but He didn’t. He told us Adam was created from the dust of the Earth, Eve, from the side of Adam, etc… not at all what modern evolutionary science purports. We all have to decide what our ultimate source of authority is… man or God. (“Let God be true, but every man a liar.” – Romans 3:4, “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight.” – 1 Cor 3:19)
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Author: Jay Seegert (Co-Founder & Principal Lecturer, Creation Education Center)