Prominent atheist Richard Dawkins often takes to Twitter to express his views on different subjects. Well, he recently tweeted about young-earth creationists. He said, “I said I'd never despise individuals, just their views. But there are limits, and YE Creationists who refuse to look at evidence pass mine.”
Well, it’s no surprise that Dawkins despises people like us at AiG. Jesus told His followers that they would be hated because of Him (John 15:18–19) so we should expect it from those who refuse to acknowledge Christ. You see, Dawkins knows that there’s a God. He says that it’s biblical creationists who “refuse to look at evidence,” but, really, it is he, not us, who is ignoring the plain evidence staring him right in the face. He is “without excuse” because God is clearly seen in what He has made (Romans 1:20). Dawkins may hate us, but ultimately he hates and is fighting against God and His truth because he knows God exists, but he is suppressing that truth in unrighteousness (Romans 1:18). It’s a spiritual battle of light versus darkness, truth versus error and, sadly, Dawkins is on the side of darkness and error.
Now, what do we say back to atheists like Dawkins who publicly despise us? Well, we certainly don’t despise them. We recognize that they are blinded from the truth (2 Corinthians 4:3–4) and have bought into a delusion and suppressed the knowledge of God that they have because of their unrighteousness (Romans 1:18). People like Dawkins (just like everyone) desperately need Jesus Christ. No, we don’t despise Dawkins. We pray that someday he will recognize his need for a Savior, will repent, and will put his faith and trust in Christ and what He did for him. We would eagerly welcome him into the body of Christ!
Dancing to the Music of Our DNA?
According to Dawkins’ own words and his worldview, we are simply at the mercy of our DNA because the universe is entirely material and naturalistic. He once wrote,
The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference. . . . DNA neither knows nor cares. DNA just is. And we dance to its music.1
So why does Dawkins hate and despise creationists when, according to his worldview, we are just dancing to the music of our DNA? If this is so, then there’s nothing we can do about our beliefs, attitudes, and actions. Of course, this is nonsense and Dawkins knows it. We are more than just our DNA, and we can choose what to believe and what not to believe. Sadly, Dawkins has chosen not to believe in Christ and, instead, to put his faith in naturalistic processes and millions of years. The very fact he fights so hard against Bible believing Christians in itself clearly shows it is a spiritual issue—not just one of the “music” of our DNA. In fact, Romans 1 states that those who rebel against their Creator God “suppress the truth in unrighteousness.” Romans 1 teaches us that it is so evident from the creation that God is Creator that anyone who doesn’t believe is without excuse. Romans 2 tells us that the law is written on our hearts. So Richard Dawkins knows the truth and has a conscience concerning right and wrong. What he is actually doing is putting his hands over his eyes and ears and is in a sense yelling, “I refuse to see the truth, and I refuse to hear the truth,” because he refuses to bow before his Creator and acknowledge his sin and need of salvation. Richard Dawkins is playing out what Romans 1 states concerning such people as he works hard to suppress the truth in an attempt to justify his rebellion!
The Heart of the Secular Religion
Atheists and evolutionists will often mock us for our rejection of biological evolution, but what really makes them hateful and emotional is when we reject millions and billions of years. You see, without the billions of years that secularists posit for the age of the universe and Earth, they can’t propose their belief that one kind of creature changed into a different kind. So when we reject long ages on biblical and scientific grounds, we really are striking at the heart of their religion—millions of years. In response, they get very emotional, angry, and often hateful. Secularists regularly call young-earth creationists anti-intellectual, anti-academic, anti-scientific, and other rhetoric involving ad hominem attacks. This really shows that long ages is the foundation for what they believe.
Back in 1954, American biochemist George Wald, a Nobel Prize recipient, stated this:
Time is in fact the hero of the plot . . . What we regard as impossible on the basis of human experience is meaningless here. Given so much time, the “impossible” becomes possible, the possible probable, and the probable virtually certain. One has only to wait: time itself performs the miracles.
Time (millions of years) is absolutely necessary for secularists to propose their biological evolutionary ideas. If the universe is only thousands of years old, then what do they do—believe the Bible? But people like Richard Dawkins are in rebellion against their Creator, so they cannot allow even a suggestion that the universe could be thousands of years old. That’s why Richard Dawkins despises young-earth creationists—he recognizes the incredible threat they are to his atheistic religion. And that’s why secularists will name call and carry out whatever emotive attacks they can on young-earth creationists in their attempts to intimidate people into believing in millions of years. It also explains why in the church the issue of millions of years is one of the greatest areas of compromise with God’s Word among Christian leaders. AiG has also found from its latest research that the teaching of millions of years is a major factor in creating doubt in the 20s generation that are in church. For instance, in 2014 Answers in Genesis contracted with America’s Research Group to conduct a survey of the 20s generation who attend church regularly. Those in this group who didn’t believe the Bible is true and historically accurate pointed to the idea of millions of years as a major one that caused them to believe this way.
Also, if Christians believe in millions of years, then they are accepting a belief that came out of naturalism (atheism), so they then allow for the idea that death, bloodshed, diseases (like cancer), and thorns existed millions of years before sin. This means God is responsible for such things and calls them “very good” (God described the entire creation as “very good” after the end of Creation Week).
This is why Christians cannot compromise on the issue of the age of the Earth. Today, many prominent Christian leaders say that it’s fine to believe that God created over millions and billions of years. Often they will reject evolution, but they still want to keep the long ages. But this is a clear compromise on God’s Word with man’s religion. The Bible simply does not allow for long ages. There is absolutely no hint of it in the text. Genesis is clear that God created in six, literal 24-hour days—not over vast periods of time. To say otherwise is to compromise on God’s clear Word. But we do not need to take man’s fallible ideas about the past—ideas that form the basis of this secular religion—and try to squeeze them somewhere into God’s Word. No! We need to stand uncompromisingly on God’s Word from the very beginning because “
Thy word is true from the beginning” (Psalm 119:160).
Sadly, many Christian leaders do compromise on God’s Word, and this is affecting our young people. As we documented in my coauthored book Already Gone, which discusses research from one of America’s leading researchers, Britt Beemer of America’s Research Group, two-thirds of our young people are leaving the church, and often the faith—and a major factor is because of doubts in regard to the book of Genesis because of the teaching of millions of years. These young people had questions about their faith that they never got answered, or they received answers that were rife with compromise. They recognize that the Bible clearly does not teach an old universe, and yet many church leaders are telling them that it’s fine to accept millions of years. But why should we believe some parts of the Bible and completely ignore or reinterpret other parts to suit what we want them to say? If we can just reinterpret the Bible to mean whatever we want it to mean, why should we believe any of the Bible? Sadly, our young people are seeing this compromise, and many are leaving the church because of it. Instead of compromising with man’s ideas, we need to stand boldly on God’s Word from the very beginning!
“We Are African Apes”
Dawkins also tweeted about supposed human evolution. He wrote, ”We are African apes and we are descended (as are chimpanzees) from extinct African apes.”
Such a statement places humans as nothing more than animals. If we are “African apes,” we are nothing special or unique. But this is simply not true. Humans are clearly different from the animals. Only humans are capable of abstract thought, worship, purposeful art, and creativity. Only humans have a knowledge of morality and are to be held morally accountable for their choices and actions. And, most importantly, only humans are made in God’s very image (Genesis 1:26–27). We are not just “African apes.” We are unique beings specially designed in God’s image.
Humans did not evolve from ape-like ancestors like Dawkins thinks. Evolutionists try and provide examples of ape-men, transitional forms between our supposed ape-like ancestors and modern man, but each of these examples falls into one of three categories. You see, there are only three ways to make an ape-man. You can mix human and apes together to create a creature that never existed (e.g., Piltdown man), you can downgrade humans to make them more ape-like (e.g., Neanderthals, who were clearly human), or you can upgrade apes to make them seem more human (e.g., Lucy and other clearly ape Australopithecines). There is no such thing as an ape-man.
Dawkins also tweeted, “Modern monkeys are our cousins. We're not descended from them. But we're descended from ancestors which you could properly call monkeys.”
Here Dawkins is saying that humans are not the descendants of monkeys. Rather, humans, apes, and monkeys are all the supposed evolutionary results of evolution from a common ape-like ancestor. Now, some well-meaning Christians will use the following argument to try to discredit evolution: “If humans evolved from monkeys or apes, why are they still around today?” This argument falls under “arguments creationists shouldn’t use” because it misrepresents what evolutionists actually believe about human evolution. They do not think that we evolved from apes or monkeys, but rather that we shared a common ape-like ancestor from which three distinct groups—apes, monkeys, and humans—arose. There are many good arguments against human evolution, but this one is based on a faulty understanding of evolution and therefore should be avoided.
How Should We Respond to Those Who Oppose Young-Earth Views?
Dawkins’ Twitter posts show his intense hatred of Christianity and his emotional response to those who reject the long ages that his religion absolutely requires. As Christians, we need to lovingly but firmly reply to his accusations and evolutionary statements. We do not despise him, but we do completely reject the secular, atheistic, evolutionary worldview that he preaches. We need to pray that Dawkins will realize the emptiness and hopelessness of his worldview and will turn to the truth that is in God’s Word and to the gospel which tells him of the God who loves him and who died for him.
Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out. (Acts 3:19)