On Saturday (April 9), The Cincinnati Post—one of AiG–USA’s “hometown” newspapers1—ran another article concerning the creation/evolution issue. The Post has a “tabloidish” history of being unfair towards Answers in Genesis, and this article continued that tradition.
According to the Post article, a spokesperson for the atheist-founded-and-operated NCSE (National Center for Science Education—a non-profit organization specifically set up to oppose biblical creationists and to protect the teaching of evolution as unopposed fact in public schools) “spoke as part of a weekend conference on science and math education sponsored by the leaders of NKU [Northern Kentucky University, a few miles east of AiG–US and just off the same interstate], the University of Cincinnati and Xavier University [Cincinnati].”
Contrary to what one would expect from a newspaper in a large city, neither the writer nor the editor chose to contact Answers in Genesis to comment on any of the accusations made against our biblical creationist position. Instead, the paper printed some of the usual misrepresentations and false accusations about creation organizations to a reading audience who might accept its biased reporting as accurate and balanced.
We thought it important to answer (once again) some of the accusations made by the Post. (Much more detailed information can be found on this website.) We have reprinted the entire Post article below (indented, colored text), and inserted appropriate comments, in compliance with the “fair-use exception” copyright law.
Here’s the full article (as posted on the paper’s website):
Science, creation discussed
Panel: Ideas need not conflict
By Kevin Eigelbach, Post staff reporter
Science answers the “what” and “how” questions, not the “who” and “why” questions.
David Kime, an adviser in the honors program at Northern Kentucky University in Highland Heights, heard the science/religion debate put that way once, and he agrees.
He doesn't see a conflict between evolution and belief in God. But some people do.
As is usual in such articles, the word “science” is not defined. For example, one needs to understand the difference between “observational science” (creationists and evolutionists all have the same observational science—genetics, natural selection, chemistry, etc.—all these involve what one can observe and experiment in the present, and then repeat the observations and experiments), and “historical science” (one’s beliefs concerning the past that cannot be directly observed—e.g., evolutionists believe in the big bang, matter giving rise to life millions of years ago; creationists, however, believe the history in Genesis concerning the origin of the universe and life).
The debate is not science vs religion.So the debate is not science vs religion. In reality, it’s between two different belief systems, using the same evidence and the same observational science. See Creation: “Where’s the Proof?”
In any case, this slogan is nonsensical. Of course science answers some “why” questions. E.g. “Why does an animal have an eye?” Answer: To see.
And religion also answers “what” and “how” questions, e.g. “What is the origin of man?” and “How did man arise?” Answers: God created the first man from dust, the first woman from his rib, and by reproduction “after its kind” ever since.
Kime doesn’t see a conflict between evolution and belief in God, but millions do, with tragic consequences: many of them reject the Bible outright, and its gospel message. Ultimately, the real conflict is between the Bible’s account of history and man’s evolutionary account.
Kime and a lecture room full of professors listened Friday afternoon to a presentation about some of those people.
Alan Gishlick, a visiting professor with the National Center for Science Education, talked about two alternatives to Darwinian evolution—creation science and intelligent design.
As we just wrote, the only two alternatives are the Bible’s explanation of origins (the Bible is the ONLY record that gives an account of the origin of all the basic entities of life and the universe) and man’s explanation of origins.
The Oakland, Calif.-based nonprofit exists to keep evolution in the classroom and creationism out of it.
Keep in mind that the head of this organization, Dr. Eugenie Scott, is a professed atheist—she therefore has an anti-Christian religious view, and thus cannot even allow the option that the Bible could be true. Even though some within her organization might claim a belief in “God,” this does not negate the fact that this organization ultimately promulgates a secular humanist philosophy. She has even won humanist awards.
Gishlick spoke as part of a weekend conference on science and math education sponsored by the leaders of NKU, the University of Cincinnati and Xavier University.
It’s an important issue for educators who want to present the claims of science without undermining a student’s faith.
Again, one needs to understand what is meant by “science.” Atheistic evolutionists use the term science for their beliefs about the past (e.g., molecules-to-man evolution, the big bang, etc.), and then they use the term science for what one can observe in the present (natural selection, mutations, etc.—all of which creationists accept because this is a part of observational science).
When one uses the term “faith,” one also needs to understand what this means. If by “faith” it is meant that a person believes the Bible, then there is total conflict between evolutionary ideas and the Bible’s historical account of origins. If “faith” means someone believing in “god”—which god? One could invoke any sort of god into one’s beliefs about origins, but the God of the Bible recorded for us how the world was created. And He linked the events of creation week, and the Fall which followed, intimately with the entire logic and structure of the gospel message.
Gishlick said something similar happened to him when he told a professing Christian friend that the creation stories in Genesis 1 and Genesis 2–3 contradict one another.
In the first chapter, God creates men and women on the sixth day, his last act of creation before resting. In the second chapter, he creates Adam, then the animals, then Eve.
Of course, this is yet another example of how anticreationists spout forth on topics on which they are clueless. There is no conflict between Genesis 1 and Genesis 2–3 concerning the account of creation. One only has to read these chapters all the way through to realize that Genesis 1 is an overview of the creation account in chronological order (Day 1, Day 2, etc.).
Genesis 2, though, is primarily a detailed account of the sixth day of creation, So in Genesis 1, God made man male and female—in Genesis 2 the details of their creation are given (e.g., God made man from dust and made woman from his side). If the reporter had gone to AiG’s website or even called us, he would have found detailed articles answering this frequently used false accusation against the Bible. (See this article on another site: Creation Account, Times Two.)
Gishlick’s friend eventually came to agree with him, lost her faith and became an atheist. It made him feel terrible, he said.
This is a typical example of what happens when people are falsely led to believe there are inconsistencies in the Bible: they walk away from the Christian faith. If Gishlick is a Christian (if so, he’s a compromising one), then the result of such compromise is typified in the response of his friend—she became an atheist. Sadly, she was being consistent: as the Lord Jesus indicated in John 3:12, if one can’t trust His Word about “earthly” things (like history), how can one trust it about the “heavenly” or spiritual things like salvation?
At Answers in Genesis, we have records of hundreds and hundreds of people whose faith in the Bible has been restored because they have received answers to show that the Bible’s account of origins is totally trustworthy—and that there are no contradictions in the Bible.
But his belief in evolution has had the opposite effect on him, he said.
“The more I learn about the natural world, the more I believe in God,” he said.
But what is the definition of the word “God” in the above quote? It obviously can’t be the God who reveals Himself in the Judeo-Christian Bible. The Bible makes it clear the “natural world” is cursed. It is a world of suffering and death, all a result of our sin (i.e., we sinned in Adam). Evolution not only teaches that death and suffering reigned long before people, but that it was the means for producing all “higher life forms.” Just like Gishlick’s friend above, we have found that the more people believe evolution, by and large the more people will reject God’s Word. And one must wonder about a theist so eager to yoke with overt antitheists like Eugenie Scott to attack the reliability of God’s Word.
To see the result in a nation of such compromise regarding the Bible, look at England. Before the last world war, nearly 50% of the population attended church. Today about 7.5% attend church (and church attendance continues to decline). Biblical Christianity is almost dead in England.
What happened was that many church leaders compromised the Word of God in Genesis with evolutionary ideas. Subsequent generations became more consistent in realizing that if the history in Genesis is not true, and God’s Word is not infallible, then the rest of the Bible can’t be true. Eventually, most of these people rejected it altogether. This is also what is happening in the US—and where England is now is where the USA will be if God’s people don’t stand against evolutionary ideas that undermine the authority of the Word of God right at the beginning. (See Acts 17 Evangelism.)
All the same, he has little patience for those who hold to the literal word of Genesis, such as the Hebron-based2 Answers In Genesis, one of creation science’s most influential voices.
This would also mean he has little patience for the Words of Jesus (and most of the New Testament writers) who referred to Genesis as literal history. In Matthew 19, for example, Jesus quoted both Genesis chapter one and Genesis chapter two as literal history to build the doctrine of marriage—one man for one woman. Jesus not only believed Genesis 1 and 2 were accurate (no contradictions), but He also clearly believed it was literal history, and thus by definition the science (e.g., the anthropology, the origin of man) was accurate. (See Jesus Christ on the Infallibility of Scripture.)
For creationists, the Bible as literally interpreted is the prime source of truth, but they try to find scientific justification for its claims.
It is true that for biblical Christians, the Bible is the prime source of truth—but it is a misrepresentation to say that we “try to find scientific justification for its claims.” Creationists and evolutionists have different beliefs concerning the past that result in different ways of looking at the same evidence.
Using the same observational science, we can examine our interpretations to see if they are consistent with our beliefs. Biblical creationists can show that observational science confirms the interpretations based on the Bible, but contradicts the interpretations based on evolutionary beliefs about the past (e.g., the science of genetics and natural selection confirms the creation of distinct KINDS of animals that reproduce their own KIND—even though there can be great variation within a KIND; there is no mechanism to add new information into the gene pool to provide a basis for logically believing that totally different KINDS of animals could arise by natural processes).
Sadly, students at most schools and colleges are not taught the correct way of understanding observational science, historical science, and interpretation of evidence. Students are not taught HOW to think about science correctly. (See Missing? or Misinterpreted?)
As Gishlick contended, they tend to blame all of society’s ills on acceptance of evolution.
This is a blatant falsehood that AiG has answered many times before. But let us go on record once again—biblical creationists like those at AiG do not blame and have never blamed “all of society’s ills on acceptance of evolution.” (See Morality Paradox.)
We do say that the more people believe in evolutionary ideas, and the more they reject the Bible as the absolute authority, the more they will reject the absolutes of Christian morality and justify whatever morality they want (if they can get away with it). For instance, the more people reject Genesis as literal history, the more they will consistently reject marriage as one man for one woman. You see, the ONLY reason marriage is to be one man for one woman is because the Genesis history concerning the creation of the first marriage (Adam and Eve) is true. In fact, this is the history Jesus quoted when building the doctrine of marriage. (Matthew 19:3–6 and Mark 10:5–9 cite Genesis 1:27 and 2:24).
The more people believe that man evolved from ape-like ancestors, and thus reject the literal history in Genesis, then the more a culture will reject the historical foundation of marriage being a man and a woman—thus marriage could be whatever one decided it to be.
For instance, some compromising Christians say that it’s not that the creation of a literal Adam and Eve is important, but that there were TWO. Thus, as long as marriage is two men or two women, it’s ok. But even believing in “two” is taking part of the account in Genesis literally! If one part is literal, why isn’t the rest? One doesn’t get “two” from evolutionary ideas about the origin of man.
He faults them, among other things, for saying one can’t call himself a Christian if he believes in evolution - in effect, forcing a choice between the two.
This is another falsehood we have also answered many times. So, let us go on record again: Answers in Genesis has NEVER STATED—nor WILL EVER STATE—that one can’t be a Christian “if [one] believes in evolution.”
Of course there are many Christians who are “born again” as the Bible defines, but believe in millions of years, “ape-men” and other evolutionary ideas. We have said that such people are inconsistent or have compromised the Scriptures—but we have never said they can’t be Christians.
Is the origins’ issue a “salvation issue?” The point is: the message of salvation comes from the Word of God—the origins issue ultimately is an issue relating to biblical authority. The more people are led to believe the Bible history in Genesis is not true, the more people will consistently reject the rest of the Word—including the message of salvation.
One can receive the gift of salvation while (inconsistently) believing in evolution/millions of years—in one sense this does not affect a person’s salvation, but it certainly affects how your children and others view the Word of God itself. Remember the example given above about Gishlick’s friend?
That criticism hit home with Tom Rambo, an NKU biology teacher who’s also a lay minister.
The literal interpretation is only one way to read Genesis, he said, but some ministers have children believing that their entire faith rests on it.
Imagine you are talking to someone who has never heard of the Bible or understands the Christian faith. Try to explain the gospel of Jesus Christ without taking Genesis as literal history: “Jesus died for you.” “But why did He die?” “Because of sin.”
“But what is sin?” “Well, you’re a sinner.” “Why am I a sinner?” “You’re in rebellion against God.”
“Why am I in rebellion against God and what do you mean by rebellion?” “Well that’s why Jesus died.” “Well, who is this Jesus and why did He die—what does His death have to do with it?” “Well, Jesus died to pay the penalty for your sin.”
“But what do you mean by my sin—how can you say I’m a sinner—whatever that means?” “Well you do wrong things.”
“Why can you say they are wrong?”
“Well, that’s why Jesus died so everyone can have the opportunity to receive the gift of salvation?” “Why does Jesus’ death allow for this for everyone?”
Well, we could go on an on—but without the historical account of the Fall (i.e., the entrance of sin and the death penalty for all of Adam’s descendants), an understanding that we are all descendants of one man and one woman (we are all related), and that Jesus (the perfect sinless Son of God) became a man (thus becoming our relative)—one cannot fully understand or explain the gospel.
Without Genesis 1–11 as literal history, there is no foundation for the gospel—in fact, no foundation for any Christian doctrine ultimately. Try to name one biblical doctrine of theology that ultimately, directly or indirectly, is not founded in Genesis 1–11. (See Psalm 11:3 Powerpoint Illustration.)
“My faith is in Jesus Christ, not in some scientific thing that’s going to convince me,” he said.
The Scriptures state in Ephesians 2:8: “
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, [it is] the gift of God.” However, this statement comes from the WORD itself (which we can trust), and as many other passages explain, the gospel message is founded in the history in Genesis 1–11. E.g., “
But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15:20-22).
We at Answers in Genesis do not put our trust in some “scientific thing” but in the WORD OF GOD. We also show others that real observational science does not contradict God’s Word but confirms its Truth. The teaching of evolution/millions of years has been a stumbling block to many being receptive to the gospel of Jesus Christ, because they have been led to believe that they cannot trust the WORD of God—if one cannot trust its history concerning origins, how can one trust its message of the gospel and morality that are based in that history?
Ultimately, what does it mean if one says “I have faith in Jesus Christ” if at the same time one rejects the accuracy of the Bible? Everything we can know about Jesus, or what it means to have faith in Him, comes from the Bible.
One could call intelligent design “creationism in a cheap suit,” Gishlick said.
Simply put, it’s the belief that life is too complex to have evolved by chance.
Many intelligent design advocates accept evolution and also an Earth billions of years old, not thousands. But they see God putting together the building blocks for the simplest forms of life.
It is true that the ID movement does not dismantle any aspects of evolutionary teaching except naturalism. Some of the ID arguments against naturalism are good arguments and we at AiG are using them, but always in the context of the biblical account of history.
Rambo said Gishlick’s tendency to poke fun at his opponents didn’t sit well with him. But on the other hand, creationists do the same thing to evolutionists, he said.
We will point out that I Peter 3:15 states: “
But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” We admit that there are some over-zealous creationists who don’t argue with gentleness and respect, but at AiG, we attempt to do our best to give answers as God’s Word instructs us to—though certainly forthrightly. Mocking evolutionists as fools is not something we encourage.
He asked Gishlick what he thought of scientists who maintain that evolution has disproved God’s existence.
They are being just as unscientific as creationists, Gishlick replied.
Another misleading charge. Creationists are not “being unscientific.” Again, biblical creationists use the SAME observational science evolutionists do, and the same reasoning processes. The problem is that evolutionists refuse to acknowledge their beliefs (i.e., unproven assumptions) about the past and thus refuse to acknowledge the beliefs they already have, which determine how they interpret evidence. And even when time and time again, the observations of science do not confirm their beliefs, they invoke all sorts of other ideas to try to explain why this is so.
Because, ultimately, Darwinian evolution is based on a belief (faith) system, no one can ever use observational science to DISPROVE IT (the same is true for the Bible’s account of history)—but the observations of science have often contradicted evolutionary beliefs and expectations.
This is also thoroughly disingenuous, because NSCE has cited rabid God-haters like Dawkins with approval.
Rambo’s wife, Elinor, an NKU biology lecturer, wondered if the uncertainty and insecurity of the times have prompted people toward fundamentalism.
“There’s got to be an inner need for simple answers,” she said.
Actually, everyone has an “inner need” because God’s Word makes it clear in the book of Romans that the knowledge of God and of right and wrong is written on our hearts—man suppresses the truth in unrighteousness (Romans 1).
One reason these ideas have caught on is that people lack the basic scientific knowledge to refute them, Gishlick said.
Really, the reason more and more people are standing up for the Bible’s history in Genesis and opposing evolution, is because more people are being informed concerning observational science and the belief aspects of the whole origins issue. More and more people are receiving information from Answers in Genesis and other creationist groups that has by and large been “censored” from the culture.
People like the NCSE try to push legislation to protect the teaching of evolution in public schools and not even allow students to hear the arguments against this teaching, as they know that once students hear the truth, they tend to recognize molecules- to-man evolution for what it is: a belief system NOT well supported by observational science.
If molecules-to- man evolution is as obvious a “fact” as these evolutionists claim that it is, and so obviously true from observational science, then why are evolutionists so frightened to allow it to be questioned and critically examined?
Because they know it will likely fail. Thus they go to great lengths to try to “protect” students from even hearing these critical arguments. However, the more AiG and others get the correct information out to the culture, the more people will stand up for the truth of Genesis. (For a recent example of grassroots activism, see Credit Were Credit Is Not Due.)
That’s why it’s so important to start teaching evolution when children are young, just as creationists are doing, he said.
Actually, teaching young people is a biblical principle. The younger you can get children to be taught, the more likely it is that what you teach them will affect them for the rest of their lives. Evolutionists are indoctrinating younger and younger students against creation (and thus ultimately against the Christian faith). See also Fathers, Promises and Vegemite.
He urged professors to get into their communities and talk with children about evolution, to run for school boards and talk to reporters doing science stories.
It’s remarkable. These same evolutionists blast Christians for trying to get on school boards, saying they have no right to influence people with their views—yet evolutionists are encouraging their people to run for school boards so they can influence people with their views—it is clearly a conflict of two worldviews.
The public needs to know that scientists aren’t scary, he said. “They’re not atheists. They’re not out to destroy Christianity.”
The truth is that the majority of scientists are evolutionists—many of them are indeed atheists, whether “scary” or not is beside the point. In fact, the leaders of scientific thought are overwhelmingly atheistic in their beliefs. See National Academy of Science is Godless to the Core–Survey. Whether atheists or not, when evolutionists teach—wittingly or unwittingly—a certain belief in origins which contradicts the Bible and its history in Genesis (which is not in conflict with any scientific facts or observation, anyway), they are undermining the authority of God’s Word and thus attacking the Christian faith.
(Cincinnati Post publication date: 04-09-2005)