Dr. Jack L. Arnold
WHY I BELIEVE
The Evolutionary Theory on the Origin
Of the Earth is Not Tenable
A. While creationists, basing their beliefs on the Bible and true science, reject the evolutionary theory, it is very important that creationists know what evolutionists believe and why they believe it.
B. Cosmogony (theories of the 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. This lesson will be dealing specifically with cosmogony or inorganic evolution. NOTE: The evolutionary view of the world is all about us in our humanistic, antisupernatural western culture, and an effective Christian will have answers for the evolutionists.
II. DEFINITION OF INORGANIC EVOLUTION: Inorganic 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. BRIEF HISTORY 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.) and his student Aristotle (384-322 B.C.), who believe “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 time in history, for the world was becoming more secular and was ready to accept anything but a Christian solution to origins.
The 19th century was a time of skepticism and rationalism when many men were ready to embrace completely the theory of organic evolution advanced by Lamarch, Darwin and DeVries. Of the three men, Darwin was by far the most influential due to his epic work, The Origin of Species. Darwin’s book popularized the concept of evolution and gave men another explanation for the origin of life, which led to evolutionism, a type of religious humanism that substitutes natural selection for God. (Who Says? Fritz Ridenhour, ed.)
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 natural reasoning.
Nowhere in all ancient literature, except in the Bible, is the idea of Creation ex nihilo set forth. This surely indicates that whereas the doctrine of Evolution is a product of man’s unaided reasoning, the doctrine of Creation is a product of God’s unique revelation. (Enoch, Evolution or Creation?)
IV. PRESUPPOSITIONS OF EVOLUTION
A. 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, men will seek naturalistic, rational answers to the problem of origins.
B. Time: An evolutionist believes that given enough time anything can happen. Therefore he thinks in terms of millions and even billions of years. An evolutionist must have time to make his system work.
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 gasses 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. This 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 from which the world was made came into being; they must say that matter is eternal. This gap in human knowledge will ever remain, for true science cannot deal in the area of origins. Philosophy may speculate based on apparent facts of science, but 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.
On the other hand, some scientists are given to making statements that go beyond the facts. These statements are, in fact, philosophic interpretations of data which do not carry the same weight of authority as the data themselves. Unfortunately, the facts and the interpretations are seldom distinguished in the minds of listeners.” (Paul Little, Know Why You Believe)
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. This law states that 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 laws of science. NOTE: It takes more faith to be an evolutionist than it does to be a creationist.
There are twenty-six letters in the alphabet. Suppose we take fifty billion of each letter from A to Z and place them in a huge mixing bowl and start stirring them around. How long, do you imagine, would we have to stir these letters until we could expect the 23rd Psalm, or Milton’s “Paradise Lost,” or Shakespeare’s “Macbeth,” to come out, by the mere chance of the letters falling into their proper order to form words? And then the words falling out in the proper order to form sentences? And the sentences by chance arranging themselves, to form the complete work? Yet this is a million times easier to believe than to believe that out of one hundred physical elements evolved a universe with plants, flowers, animals, fish and birds, all subject to fixed laws and evident plan, and in almost infinite variety without a superintelligent being at its source. (M. R. DeHaan, Science and the Bible).
D. Rejection of the Supernatural: Atheistic evolution rejects direct creation as a possible explanation of origins because it accepts arbitrarily the presupposition that supernatural phenomena does not exist. The evolutionist must explain the universe by human reasoning if he rejects the concept that God exists. NOTE: One of the biggest “hang ups” for the evolutionist is the concept of God. For if God exists, then all men must be directly responsible to Him (cf. Rom. 1:28).
E. Contradicts the Bible: Genesis 1:1 is a clear statement that God created the world out of nothing. There are only two logical positions: creation or evolution. Either the record of Genesis is fundamentally true or it is false. Creation and evolution cannot both be true. Evolution is a scientific and philosophical effort to explain the origin and development of things in the universe. Yet evolution fails to give the answer to ultimate origin, which Genesis declares is God. God is the creator, the first cause, of all matter and life. One atheistic scientist stated his feeling about creation and said, “There is no clinical proof or evolution, but we must accept it in faith because the alternative of a direct creative act of God is irrational.” Yet it seems far more irrational to accept the origin of things by sheer chance than by the creative hand of God.
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 quite a few religious scholars who are embarrassed by the confident claims of unbelieving scientists. They feel this view harmonizes evolution and religion.
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 from of the evolution hypothesis, and whether it can really be reconciled with the divine truth of the first three chapters of Genesis. (Johannes Vox, Surrender to Evolution: Inevitable or Inexcusable?)
NOTE: The terms “theistic” and “evolution” are really a contradiction. Logically it would seem that for one to believe in Christ and the Bible as revealed truth, he could not believe in theistic evolution. However, not all men are as logical and Biblical as they should be. The best of Christian men still have blind spots in theology. There are a few people in evangelical circles who hold to theistic evolution. It is possible for a person to be a Christian and believe in theistic evolution, but it is not Biblical to do so. A person is saved because he has a personal relationship with Christ, not because of his view on the original creation of the world. Several evangelical theistic evolutionists are James Orr, A.G. Strong and Russell Mixter. POINT: We must remember that theistic evolution is only a theory and that theory must be compared with inspired scriptures.
VIII. OBJECTIONS TO THEISTIC EVOLUTION: (1) The Bible speaks of immediate creation, 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. (5) This theory destroys the distinction between creation and providence, for it holds that God created things by means of a providential process.
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 Zimmerman, A Brief Catechism on the Theory of Evolution)
A. True science and the Bible will never contradict. If there is an apparent contradiction, it is either due to wrong scientific data (or interpretation of that data), or wrong interpretation of the Bible. Theologians are liable to err in interpretation of scripture, but the scripture itself is inspired and infallible.
B. Christians are told to be aware of false science but they should never be afraid of true science. For all truth is God’s truth.
But the one who has come to trust in the salvation of Jesus for his soul will be content to rest in the revelation of Jesus for his mind; knowing that all oppositions of science, if such there are, will be oppositions of “science falsely so called,” (I Tim. 6:20). (Enoch)
C. The exhortation to Christians is clear, for it is the same exhortation that Paul gave to Timothy:
“O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you, avoiding worldly and empty chatter and the opposing arguments of what is falsely called ‘knowledge’ (science) – which some have professed and thus gone astray from the faith.” (I Tim. 6:20-21 – NAS)