Dr. Jack L. Arnold
A. While creationists reject the evolutionary theory based on true science and the Bible, it is very important that creationists know what evolutionists believe and why they believe it.
B. Cosmogony (theories of the creation or origin of the world) is a problem between creationists and evolutionists. Creationists say that the world came into existence by a direct act of God. Evolutionists say the world came about by natural processes. Evolutionists make a distinction between the origin of the world and the origin of man. Inorganic evolution deals with the beginning of the universe and our solar system. Organic evolution deals with the beginning of life, including man.
C. Evangelicals should be aware of the teaching of evolution and be able to refute it if necessary. Christians cannot refute atheistic evolution if they do not have an intelligent understanding of what is involved in this theory.
D. The purpose of the next two lessons will be to inform evangelicals in a general way about the evolutionary theory as it pertains to cosmogony (inorganic evolution)
II. DEFINITION OF INORGANIC EVOLUTION: Evolution is a theory that proposes that the origin of the world came about by natural development. It teaches that the universe and our solar system happened by chance over a period of billions of years.
III. BEGINNING OF EVOLUTION
A. As far as we can determine, the concept of evolution had its beginnings about 700 B.C. among the ancient Greeks. Evolution began with Thales of Miletus (640-546 B.C.) in a very simple scheme. Other Greeks developed the theory but it was made prominent by Plato (427-347 B.C.) B.C.) and his student Aristotle (384322 B.C.), who believed “that a purposive force created a primordial mass of living matter from which all the forms of life from the simplest plants to the most complex animals evolved.” However the chief impetus for the evolutionary theory came with the publication of Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species in 1859. It appears that Darwin’s evolutionary theory hit at a vulnerable point in history, for the world was becoming more secular and was ready to accept anything but a Christian solution to origins.
B. Evolution is not a new theory. In fact, it can be found in varying forms among the most primitive tribes today. This indicates that evolution is a product of man’s unaided reasoning. NOTE: Nowhere in all ancient literature, except in the Bible, is the idea of creation ex nihilo set forth.
IV. PRESUPPOSITIONS OF EVOLUTION
A. Time. Given enough time anything can happen; therefore evolutionists think in terms of millions and even billions of years. An evolutionist must have time to make his system work.
B. Naturalism. Evolutionists begin with the presupposition that the supernatural is not possible or at best not likely. Turning from God and direct revelation in the Bible, man will seek naturalistic, rational answers to the problem of origins.
V. EVOLUTIONARY THEORIES OF THE ORIGIN OF THE EARTH
A. Nebular Theory. The material forming the sun and the planets was in the form of a hot rotating mass, and that gases flung out from the middle of this rotating mass in the form of rings, split up and cooled, giving rise to various planets of the solar system.
B. Wandering Stars Theory. Wandering stars in the universe pinched away masses of gas, which cooled and became planets.
C. Steady State Theory. Infinite numbers of atoms are being formed out in space. As matter is created, it begins to form clouds; these then condense into planets, stars, galaxies and galaxial clusters. The clusters recede from all other clusters and finally pass beyond the limit of observation. Thus creation is continual and perpetual in the universe. Planet earth was just one of the condensed clouds.
D. “Big Bang” Theory. According to George Gamow, the universe started from a highly condensed core of protons and neutrons which exploded in a big bang about five billion years ago. The earth and its solar system was part of the big bang.
VI. OBJECTIONS TO THE EVOLUTIONARY THEORY OF THE ORIGIN OF THE EARTH
A. Eternal Matter. No evolutionary theory on cosmogony is able to explain how the original material came into being. They must say that matter is eternal. This gap in our knowledge will ever remain, for true science cannot deal in the area of origins. Philosophy may speculate based on apparent facts of science, but even philosophy cannot be dogmatic. Atheistic evolutionists tell us that matter is eternal but there is no scientific evidence to prove that something came out of nothing.
B. Contradicts Science. Evolution contradicts the basic laws of thermodynamics (the science that treats of the mechanical actions or relations of heat energy in relation to other forms of energy). The specific law broken is the first law of thermodynamics, which is called the conservation of matter and energy principle, and it states that nothing is now being either created or destroyed. Or to put it another way, today nothing can be created directly apart from preexisting materials and present processes cannot be processes of creation.
C. Accident. Atheistic evolution states that the universe and the earth just happened by accident; that it was by pure chance that the world came into existence. The formula of the evolutionists is eternal matter plus time plus chance equals a well-ordered universe. Yet this formula in reality is contradictory to all known observable science. NOTE: It takes more faith to be an evolutionist than it does to be a creationist!
D. Rejection of Supernatural. Atheistic evolution rejects direct creation as a possible explanation of origins because it accepts arbitrarily the presupposition that supernatural phenomena does not exist. He must explain the universe by human reasoning if he rejects the concept that God exists. NOTE: Perhaps one of the big “hang ups” of the evolutionist is the concept of God. For if God exists, then all men must be directly responsible to Him (cf. Rom. 1:28).
VII. THEISTIC EVOLUTION. Proponents of this view hold that evolution was God’s method of creating the world and life. Theistic evolution is held by some scientists and by a great many religious scholars who are embarrassed by the confident claims of unbelieving scientists. Vos states,
If one is going to be an evolutionist, no doubt it is better to be a theistic one than an atheistic one. But it is questionable whether theistic evolution can be regarded as a consistent form of the evolution hypothesis, and whether it can really be reconciled with the divine truth of the first three chapters of Genesis. (Johannes. G. Vox, Surrender Evolution: Inevitable or Inexcusable?)
VIII. OBJECTIONS TO THEISTIC EVOLUTION. (1) The Bible speaks of immediate creations not creation over long periods of time; (2) Theistic evolutionists are forced to take much of the first three chapters of Genesis as figurative, poetical or mythological language in order to make it fit their system; (3) The various evolutionary theories on the origin of the world are not consistent with the biblical account;
(4) The theistic evolutionists may explain the origin of the world in a satisfactory manner but they have great problems when it comes to animals and man; and (5) This theory destroys the distinction between creation and providence, for it holds that God created things by means of a providential process. Zimmerman makes a good point when he says,
Some people believe that evolution is God’s method of creating. They believe in Christ as God and Redeemer. Many do this. But such a position is based on a highly questionable method of Scriptural interpretation. (Paul A. Zimmerman, A Brief Catechism on the Theory of Evolution)