by Ryan Stevens
The theory of evolution has sparked debate among scholars, scientists and religious leaders for years, but it is only through the examination of evidence and careful reasoning that we can begin to decipher the truth about the evolutionary model.
One of the main problems with the evolutionary theory is that it is arguably contradicted by the Bible: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth” (Genesis 1:1). A popular viewpoint, known as theistic evolution, has formed that combines these two contradictory ideas. In essence, theistic evolution retains God’s position as creator, but defines evolution as his creation method. This idea seems, at first glance, highly plausible. How- ever, under further scrutiny it does not hold up.
The first premise that must be true for theistic evolution to work is that the seven days referred to in the Bible must be a metaphorical time period which encompasses several billion years. This is not the case. The Hebrew words used for “morning” and “evening” (boqer and ereb) in Genesis are literal measurements of time, not figurative ones, which places the time line for creation within a week, rather than a billion years.
The second inconsistency of theistic evolution has to do with the character of God. After God created the world he “looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good. . .” (Genesis 1:31). The word “good” used in the verse in Hebrew is “towb,” meaning “best.” If God used natural selection to create the world, it would mean some creatures would not be fit for survival, i.e. not “best.”
This further suggests the character of God is not one of love, but rather one that intentionally creates a system of violence. John D. Morris of the Institute for Creation Research said, “The righteous God revealed in Scripture would create just as described in Genesis One. Creation would be orderly and wise, with man and his walk with God the result. It would be death- less and sinless, compatible with the all- powerful, Holy, life-giving Creator’s label as ‘very good.’”
Evolution extends far beyond the theistic realm, however. Most advocates of evolution deny any presence of a creator, preferring to cite scientific research and evidence. This too, upon further examination, becomes surprisingly inconsistent.
Many scientists point to Charles Darwin as the original founder of the theory because of his book, “The Origin of Species,” which postulated that finches on the Galapagos Islands had genetically evolved by increasing their beak sizes during a period of prolonged drought. However, this idea has been put to rest by further research which explained that, after the series of droughts ended, the average beak size of the finches returned to normal. In fact, Benjamin Berkompas, author of the scientific article, “Darwin’s Finches: Reexamining the Icons of Evolution,” wrote, “Darwin’s finches, the ‘flagship species’ of modern evolution, argue against ‘molecule-to-man’ evolution.” There is no evidence that the finches would ever genetically mutate into another species.
But modern evolutionists look further than Darwin’s ideas. They instead point to the fossil record. If indeed the earth is billions of years old, there should be an abundance of transitional fossils to clearly demonstrate the gradual change. The fact is there are not. Noted creationist speaker and author Dr. Monty White said, “All the evolutionists ever point to is a handful of highly debatable transitional forms, whereas they should be able to show us thousands of incontestable examples.”
What we do find in the fossil record is an abundance of fossils seemingly formed in a very narrow window of time. This phenomenon is known by scientists as the Cambrian explosion. Jonathan Wells of the Discovery Institute said, “The Cambrian fossil record doesn’t start with one or a few species that diverged gradually over millions of years…instead, most of the major animal phyla… appear together abruptly, [and] fully formed.” During this period, fossils exhibit traits of current, fully functioning organisms that have undergone little change, almost a direct contradiction of the theory.
As a result, many evolutionary scientists have postulated that the transitional fossil record had vanished due to the emergence of soft-shelled organisms which would have been difficult to preserve. However, recent discoveries in Chengjiang, China, have unearthed clear representations of soft-tissue organisms that contain no transitional forms. Even Richard Dawkins, a strong advocate of the evolutionary theory, said fossils in the Cambrian explosion seem to have been “planted there, without any evolutionary history.”
Darwin hit the nail on the head when he said, “False facts are highly injurious to the progress of science, for they often endure long…” In all areas of science, it is of the utmost importance to examine all the facts carefully and with a critical mind be- fore we jump to a conclusion. Evolution especially, is no exception.