Anyone who has read Genesis 1–11 realizes that the modern teachings of molecules-to-man evolution are at odds with what God says. So what is the response to evolution from a biblical and scientific perspective? Let’s take a closer look.
Evolutionists often say that evolution simply means “change.” However, in reality it means a certain kind of change. The word is now accepted to mean the change of nonliving chemicals into simple life-forms into more complex life-forms and finally into humans—what might be called from-goo-to- you-via-the-zoo. We are informed that this change occurred over millions of years, and the dominant mechanism that is supposed to have driven it is natural selection coupled with mutations.
Furthermore, the word evolution has also been applied to nonliving things. Almost everything is said to have evolved—the solar system, stars, the universe, as well as social and legal systems. Everything is said to be the product of evolution. However, the three major forms of evolution are
- Stellar evolution
- Chemical evolution
- Biological evolution.
Molecules-to-man evolution is attractive to so many, for it allows them to live as they please.
The story of evolution leaves no room for a supernatural Creator. Evolutionary processes are supposed to be purely naturalistic. This means that even the need for a supernatural Creator disappears because it is argued that the natural world can create new and better or more complex creatures by itself. The implication of this is very revealing: evolution means “no God” and if there is no God, then there are no rules—no commandments, no God-given rules which we must obey. We can therefore live our lives as we please, for according to evolutionary philosophy, there is no God to whom we have to give an account. No wonder molecules-to-man evolution is attractive to so many, for it allows them to live as they please. This is called relative morality.
Does the Bible Teach Evolution?
The simple answer to this question is “No.” In Genesis 1 we read the account of the creation (not the evolution) of everything—the universe, the sun, moon, and stars, the planet earth with all its varied plant and animal kinds, including the pinnacle of God’s creation—humans. Nowhere in this account do we read about molecules-to-man evolution. Furthermore, there was no time for evolution, for God supernaturally created everything in six literal days (Exodus 20:11, 31:17).
There are those who argue that Genesis 1 is a simplified account of evolution. But such a hypothesis does not stand up to scrutiny. A quick look at the order of the events in Genesis 1 and in evolution shows this (see chart below1). The order of events is quite different, and the Genesis account of creation bears no relation to the evolutionary account of origins.
|Sun before earth||Earth before sun|
|Dry land before sea||Sea before dry land|
|Atmosphere before sea||Sea before atmosphere|
|Sun before light on earth||Light on earth before sun|
|Stars before earth||Earth before stars|
|Earth at same time as planets||Earth before other planets|
|Sea creatures before land plants||Land plants before sea creatures|
|Earthworms before starfish||Starfish before earthworms|
|Land animals before trees||Trees before land animals|
|Death before man||Man before death|
|Thorns and thistles before man||Man before thorns and thistles|
|TB pathogens & cancer before man (dinosaurs had TB and cancer)||Man before TB pathogens and cancer|
|Reptiles before birds||Birds before reptiles|
|Land mammals before whales||Whales before land animals|
|Land mammals before bats||Bats before land animals|
|Dinosaurs before birds||Birds before dinosaurs|
|Insects before flowering plants||Flowering plants before insects|
|Sun before plants||Plants before sun|
|Dinosaurs before dolphins||Dolphins before dinosaurs|
|Land reptiles before pterosaurs||Pterosaurs before land reptiles|
In spite of this, some argue that there is a major difference between “make” and “create” (the Hebrew words are asah and bara, respectively). They argue that God created some things—for example, the heaven and the earth as recorded in Genesis 1:1 and the marine and flying creatures as recorded in Genesis 1:21. They then argue that God made other things, perhaps by evolution from pre-existing materials—for example, the sun, moon, and stars as recorded in Genesis 1:16, and the beasts and cattle as recorded in Genesis 1:25. Though these words have slightly different nuances of meaning, they are often used interchangeably, as seen clearly where asah (to make) and bara (to create) are used in reference to the same act (the creation of man, Genesis 1:26–27). Nothing in Genesis 1 leads to the conclusion that God used evolutionary processes to produce His creation.
There is a further problem with believing that the Genesis account of creation should be interpreted as an evolutionary account. One of the things that drives evolution is death. Yet the Bible teaches quite clearly that death was introduced into the perfect world as a result of Adam’s sin. Neither human nor animal death existed until this event—both humans and animals were originally vegetarian (Genesis 1:29–30 shows that plants are not living creatures, as land and sea creatures, birds, and people are). The original world that God created was death-free, and so evolution could not have occurred before humans were created.
Stellar Evolution: The Big Bang
The big bang is the most prominent naturalistic view of the origin of the universe in the same way that Neo-Darwinian evolution is the naturalistic view of living systems. The difference between what the Bible teaches about the origin of the universe and what the evolutionists teach can be summed up as follows: the Bible teaches that “in the beginning God created” and the evolutionists teach, in essence, that “in the beginning nothing became something and exploded.”
According to the big bang, our universe is supposed to have suddenly popped into existence and rapidly expanded and given rise to the countless billions of galaxies with their countless billions of stars.
In support of the idea that nothing can give rise to the universe, cosmologists argue that quantum mechanics predicts that a vacuum can, under some circumstances, give rise to matter. But the problem with this line of reasoning is that a vacuum is not nothing; it is something—it is a vacuum that can be made to appear or disappear, as in the case of the Torricellian vacuum, which is found at the sealed end of a mercury barometer. All logic predicts that if you have nothing, nothing will happen. It is against all known logic and all laws of science to believe that the universe is the product of nothing. This concept is similar to hoping that an empty bank account will suddenly give rise to billions of dollars all on its own.
However, if we accept that the universe and everything in it came from nothing (and also from nowhere) then we have to follow this to its logical conclusion. This means that not only is all the physical material of the universe the product of nothing, but also other things. For example, we are forced to accept that nothing (which has no mind, no morals, and no conscience) created reason and logic; understanding and comprehension; complex ethical codes and legal systems; a sense of right and wrong; art, music, drama, comedy, literature, and dance; and belief systems that include God. These are just a few of the philosophical implications of the big bang hypothesis.
Chemical Evolution: The Origin of Life
It is commonly believed (because it is taught in our schools and colleges) that laboratory experiments have proved conclusively that living organisms evolved from nonliving chemicals. Many people believe that life has been created in the laboratory by scientists who study chemical evolution.
The famous experiment conducted by Stanley Miller in 1953 is often quoted as proof of this. Yet the results of such experiments show nothing of the sort. These experiments, designed as they are by intelligent humans, show that under certain conditions, certain organic compounds can be formed from inorganic compounds.
In fact, what the intelligent scientists are actually saying is, “If I can just synthesize life in the laboratory, then I will have proven that no intelligence was necessary to form life in the beginning.” Their experiments are simply trying to prove the opposite—that an intelligence is required to create life.
If we look carefully at Miller’s experiment, we will see that what he did fails to address the evolution of life. He took a mixture of gases (ammonia, hydrogen, methane, and water vapor) and he passed an electric current through them. He did this in order to reproduce the effect of lightning passing through a mixture of gases that he thought might have composed the earth’s atmosphere millions of years ago. As a result, he produced a mixture of amino acids. Because amino acids are the building blocks of proteins and proteins are considered to be the building blocks of living systems, Miller’s experiment was hailed as proof that life had evolved by chance on the earth millions of years ago.
There are a number of objections to such a conclusion.
- There is no proof that the earth ever had an atmosphere composed of the gases used by Miller in his experiment.
- The next problem is that in Miller’s experiment he was careful to make sure there was no oxygen present. If oxygen was present, then the amino acids would not form. However, if oxygen was absent from the earth, then there would be no ozone layer, and if there was no ozone layer the ultraviolet radiation would penetrate the atmosphere and would destroy the amino acids as soon as they were formed. So the dilemma facing the evolutionist can be summed up this way: amino acids would not form in an atmosphere with oxygen and amino acids would be destroyed in an atmosphere without oxygen.
- The next problem concerns the so-called handedness of the amino acids. Because of the way that carbon atoms join up with other atoms, amino acids exist in two forms—the right-handed form and the left-handed form. Just as your right hand and left hand are identical in all respects except for their handedness, so the two forms of amino acids are identical except for their handedness. In all living systems only left-handed amino acids are found. Yet Miller’s experiment produced a mixture of right-handed and left-handed amino acids in identical proportions. As only the left-handed ones are used in living systems, this mixture is useless for the evolution of living systems.
- Another major problem for the chemical evolutionist is the origin of the information that is found in living systems. There are various claims about the amount of information that is found in the human genome, but it can be conservatively estimated as being equivalent to a few thousand books, each several hundred pages long. Where did this information come from? Chance does not generate information. This observation caused the late Professor Sir Fred Hoyle and his colleague, Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe of Cardiff University, to conclude that the evolutionist is asking us to believe that a tornado can pass through a junk yard and assemble a jumbo jet.
The problems outlined above show that, far from creating life in the laboratory, the chemical evolutionists have not shown that living systems arose by chance from nonliving chemicals. Furthermore, the vast amount of information contained in the nucleus of a living cell shows that living systems could not have evolved from nonliving chemicals. The only explanation for the existence of living systems is that they must have been created.
Biological Evolution: Common Descent?
Comparative anatomy is the name given to the science that deals with the structure of animals. Comparing the anatomy of one kind of animal with another is supposed to prove descent from a common ancestor. This is often put forward as strong evidence for evolution. However, the science of comparative anatomy can just as easily be used as evidence of creation, as we shall see.
The bones of a horse are different from our bones, but there is such a similarity that if we are familiar with the human skeleton, we could easily identify and name the bones of a horse. We could do the same if we studied the skeleton of a salamander, a crocodile, a bird, or a bat. However, not only are the bones similar, but so also are other anatomical structures, such as muscles, the heart, the liver, the kidneys, the eyes, the lungs, the digestive tract, and so on. This is interpreted by the evolutionists as proof that these various animals are all descended from a common ancestor.
One of the classic examples that is often used in biology textbooks to illustrate comparative anatomy is the forelimbs of amphibians, reptiles, humans, birds, bats, and quadrupeds. In the illustration, it can be seen that all the forelimbs of these six different types of creatures have an upper arm bone (the humerus) and two lower arm bones (the radius and the ulna), although in the case of the bat there is only one bone, called the radio-ulna.
Evolutionists teach that these structures are said to be homologous when they are similar in structure and origin, but not necessarily in function. But notice how subtly the notion of origins is introduced into the definition. The bat’s wing is considered to be homologous to the forelimb of a salamander because it is similar in structure and believed to have the same origin. However, it is not considered to be homologous to the wing of an insect because, even though it has the same function, it is not considered to have the same origin. However, the fact that the two structures are similar does not necessarily mean that they are derived from a common ancestor.
We have to realize that the entire line of reasoning by evolutionists is based upon a single assumption: that the degree of similarity between organisms indicates the degree of supposed relationship of the said organisms. In other words, it is argued that if animals look alike, then they must be closely related (from an evolutionary point of view), and if they do not look very much alike, then they are more distantly related. But this is just an assumption.
In fact, there is another logical reason why things look alike—creation by an intelligent designer using a common blueprint. This is the reason that Toyota and Ford motor vehicles look so much alike. They are built to a common plan—you only have to look at them to realize this. However, the problem with the living world is that in many cases either explanation (i.e., evolution or creation) appears to be logical and it is often impossible for us to tell which is the more reasonable explanation. This is why it is important for us to understand which worldview we are using to interpret the evidence.
There is, however, one discovery that appears to make the evolutionary view of descent from a common ancestor look illogical and flawed. This discovery is that structures that appear homologous often develop under the control of genes that are not homologous. If the structures evolved from the same source, you would expect the same genes to make the structures. The fact that these structures are similar (or homologous) is apparent, but the reason is not because of Darwinian evolution. It is more logical and reasonable to believe in a common Creator rather than a common ancestor.
Many evolutionists readily admit that they have failed to find evidence of the evolution of large structures such as bones and muscles, so instead they argue that they have found homology among the complex organic molecules that are found in living systems. One of these is hemoglobin, the protein that carries oxygen in red blood cells. Although this protein is found in nearly all vertebrates, it is also found in some invertebrates (worms, starfish, clams, and insects) and also in some bacteria. Yet there is no evidence of the evolution of this chemical—in all cases, the same kind of molecule is complete and fully functional. If evolution has occurred, it should be possible to map out how hemoglobin evolved, but this cannot be done. To the creationist, however, hemoglobin crops up complete and fully functional wherever the Creator deems it fitting in His plan.
Our English word fossil is from the Latin fossilis, which means “something dug up.” The present-day meaning of the word fossil is a relic or trace of past life preserved in the rocks. This can be a preserved hard part of the plant or animal, such as a stem or a leaf or a shell or a bone or a tooth; it can also be a soft part such as skin or even excrement (called coprolites), or it can be a trace made by the creature when it was alive, such as a footprint. All the fossils that are found in all the sedimentary rocks are regarded together as the fossil record.
Charles Darwin proposed the gradual evolution of life-forms over a long period of time. If this has happened, you would expect to find this gradual evolution of one kind of life-form into another kind to be recorded in the fossil record. However, this evolutionary account of one kind of life-form changing into another kind is not recorded in the fossils. There are many instances where variations within a kind are found (for example, different varieties of elephant or dinosaur) but there are no examples of in-between kinds. Both evolutionists and creationists agree that the intermediate transitional forms expected on the basis of slow gradual change of one kind of creature into another kind is not found fossilized in the sedimentary rocks. In other words, the transitional forms are missing—hence the term “missing links.”
Charles Darwin himself realized that his theory was not supported by the fossil record, for he wrote in his Origin of Species:
The number of intermediate varieties which have formerly existed on earth must be truly enormous. Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain: and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against my theory.3
When Charles Darwin penned these words, he attributed this absence of transitional forms to what he called the “extreme imperfection” of the fossil record. Since that time, however, literally millions of fossils have been found, but still the transitional forms are absent. The fossil record does not show the continuous development of one kind of creature into another, but it shows different kinds of creatures that are fully functional with no ancestors or descendants which are different kinds of creatures.
It cannot be overemphasized that there are many places in the fossil record where it is expected that plenty of intermediate forms should be found—yet they are not there. All the evolutionists ever point to is a handful of highly debatable transitional forms (e.g., horses), whereas they should be able to show us thousands of incontestable examples. This is very noticeable when looking at the fossil record of some of the more peculiar kinds of animals such as the cetacean (whales, dolphins, and porpoises), the sirenia (manatees, dugongs, and sea cows), the pinnipedia (sea lions, seals, and walruses), kangaroos, bats, dragonflies, and spiders. Their supposed evolutionary origins and descent are represented by missing links and speculations rather than factual evidence.
Even alleged transitional forms in supposed human evolution fall short. In fact, most so-called missing links fall into three categories: extinct ape, living ape, or human. The following chart gives some of the most common scientific names and their classifications.
|Name||What is it?*|
|Australopithecus afarensis, such as “Lucy”||Extinct ape|
|Australopithecus africanus||Extinct ape|
|Australopithecus boisei||Extinct ape|
|Australopithecus robustus||Extinct ape|
|Pan troglodytes and Pan paniscus (chimpanzee)||Living ape|
|Gorilla gorilla and Gorilla beringei (gorilla)||Living ape|
|Pongo pygmaeus and Pongo abelii (orangutan)||Living ape|
|Ramapithecus||Extinct ape (extinct orangutan)|
|Homo habilis||Junk category mixing some human and some ape fossils|
|Homo floresiensis||Human (dwarf, pygmy)|
|Homo erectus, such as “Peking man” and “Java man”||Human**|
|Homo neanderthalensis (Neanderthals)||Human|
|Homo sapiens (modern & archaic)||Human|
|* An accurate classification of these kinds of fossils depends on an accurate starting
point. Some fossils have been misclassified. The ones labeled as humans (Homo
heidelbergensis, Homo erectus, etc.), indeed show variation, but they are still human.
This is also true of the different ape kinds. Variation, not evolution, is what we would
expect from the clear teachings of the Bible.
** For the most part these two classifications are anatomically human. However, a number of finds that are not human but rather apelike have been included as part of the Homo erectus category, due to evolutionary beliefs. These apelike finds should be reclassified.4
It is obvious that the evolutionists have “faith” in the original existence of the missing transitional forms.
Evolution of New Kinds?
Charles Darwin visited the Galapagos Islands and brought back samples of the different finches that lived on the different islands. He observed that they had different shaped beaks, which appeared to suit the type of food that the finches ate. From this observation, Darwin concluded that a pair or flock of finches had flown to these islands at some time in the past and that the different beaks on the finches had evolved via natural selection, depending on what island they lived on and consequently what they fed on. From these types of simple observations and conclusions, Darwin developed not only the idea of the evolution of species but also the idea of chemicals-to-chemist evolution!
But let us consider exactly what Darwin actually observed—finches living on different islands feeding on different types of food having different beaks. What did he propose? That these finches had descended from a pair or flock of finches. In other words, he proposed that finches begat finches—that is, they reproduced after their own kind. This is exactly what the Bible teaches in Genesis 1.
It cannot be overemphasized that no one has ever seen one kind of plant or animal changing into another different kind. Darwin did not observe this, even though he proposed that it does happen. There are literally thousands of plant and animal kinds on the earth today, and these verify what the Bible indicates in Genesis 1 about plants and animals reproducing after their own kind.
Plants and animals reproducing after their own kind is what we observe, and it is what Charles Darwin observed in finches on the Galapagos Islands. For example, we see different varieties of Brassica—kale, cabbage, cauliflower are all varieties of the wild common mustard Brassica oleracea. Furthermore, another perfect example of a kind is the hundreds of different varieties of dogs, including spaniels, terriers, bulldogs, Chihuahuas, Great Danes, German shepherds, Irish wolfhounds, and greyhounds, which are all capable of interbreeding, together with wolves, jackals, dingoes, and coyotes. All are descended from the two representatives of the dog kind that came off Noah’s Ark.
We have seen that the Bible does not teach evolution. There is no demonstrable evidence for the big bang, and chemical evolution has failed miserably in spite of evolutionists’ attempts to create living systems in the laboratory. Similarities in the structure found in living systems can be interpreted better as evidence for a common design rather than a common ancestry. In spite of billions of fossils being found, there are no unquestionable fossils that show a transition between any of the major life-forms.
Natural selection (done in the wild) and artificial selection (as done by breeders) produce enormous varieties within the different kinds of plants and animals. It has proved an impossible feat, however, to change one kind of creature into a different kind of plant or animal. The so-called “kind barrier” has never been crossed. Such evolution has never been observed. This has been pointed out by none other than evolutionary Professor Richard Dawkins, who confidently asserted in an interview that evolution has been observed but then added, “It’s just that it hasn’t been observed while it’s happening.”5