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It is easy to grasp the basic tenets of science and quickly come to the conclusion that evolution is really a religion.
The term “evolutionist” is used extensively throughout the following chapters. In other parts of this book, we will discuss the ideas of Christians who try to marry the concepts of evolution and the Bible. However, because the majority of evolutionists are not Christians, I wish the reader to understand that the term “evolutionist” is used to mean those who believe that evolution—in the sense of time, chance, and struggle for survival—rather than the God of the Bible, is responsible for life.
The Autumn 1985 (Vol. 2, No. 5) issue of The Southern Skeptic (the official journal of the South Australian branch of the American Skeptics, whose aims are similar to American humanist groups), devoted its entire 30 pages to an attack on the creation science ministry in Australia and the United States. On the last page we read the following: “Even if all the evidence ended up supporting whichever scientific theories best fitted Genesis, this would only show how clever the old Hebrews were in their use of common sense, or how lucky. It does not need to be explained by an unobservable God.” These people who vehemently attack the creation ministry in saying we are a religious group are themselves a religious group. They have really said that even if all the evidence supported the Book of Genesis they still would not believe it was an authoritative document. They are working from the premise that the Bible is not the Word of God, nor can it ever be. They believe, no matter what the evidence, that there is no God. These same people are most adamant that evolution is a fact.
Evolution is basically a religious philosophy. We in creation ministries are explaining to people that both creation and evolution are religious views of life upon which people build their particular models of philosophy, science, or history. The issue, therefore, is not science versus religion, but religion versus religion (the science of one religion versus the science of another religion).
Evolution is basically a religious philosophy.The famous evolutionist Theodosius Dobzhansky quotes Pierre Teihard de Chardin: “Evolution is a light which illuminates all facts, a trajectory which all lines of thought must follow.”1 To the Christian, of course, this is a direct denial of the sayings of Jesus as quoted in John 8:12: “
I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” In Isaiah 2:5 we are exhorted to “
walk in the light of the Lord.” In verse 22 of the same chapter we read, “
Cease ye from [trusting] man.”
It does not take much effort to demonstrate that evolution is not science but religion. Science, of course, involves observation, using one or more of our five senses (taste, sight, smell, hearing, touch) to gain knowledge about the world, and to be able to repeat the observations. Naturally, one can only observe what exists in the present. It is an easy task to understand that no scientist was present over the suggested millions of years to witness the supposed evolutionary progression of life from the simple to the complex. No living scientist was there to observe the first life forming in some primeval sea. No living scientist was there to observe the big bang that is supposed to have occurred 10 or 20 billion years ago, nor the supposed formation of the earth 4.5 billion years ago (or even 10,000 years ago!). No scientist was there—no human witness was there to see these events occurring. They certainly cannot be repeated today.
All the evidence a scientist has exists only in the present. All the fossils, the living animals and plants, the world, the universe—in fact, everything—exists now, in the present. The average person (including most students) is not taught that scientists have only the present and cannot deal directly with the past. Evolution is a belief system about the past based on the words of men who were not there, but who are trying to explain how all the evidence of the present (that is, fossils, animals, and plants, etc.) originated.
Webster’s Dictionary defines religion as follows: “Cause, principle or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith.” Surely, this is an apt description of evolution. Evolution is a belief system—a religion!
It only takes common sense to understand that one does not dig up an “age of the dinosaurs” supposedly existing 70–200 million years ago. One digs up dead dinosaurs that exist now, not millions of years ago.
Fossil bones do not come with little labels attached telling you how old they are. Nor do fossils have photographs with them telling you what the animals looked like as they roamed the earth long ago.
When people visit a museum they are confronted by bits and pieces of bones and other fossils neatly arranged in glass cases. These are often accompanied by pictures representing an artist’s impression of what the animals and plants could have looked like in their natural environment. Remember, no one dug up the picture, just the fossils. And these fossils exist in the present. For example, in Tasmania there is a sandstone bed containing millions of pieces of bones, most of which are no larger than the end of your thumb. The evolutionists have placed a picture at one particular excavation so that tourists can see how the animals and plants lived in the region “millions of years ago.” You can stare at those pieces of bones for as long as you like, but you will never see the picture the scientists have drawn. The picture is their story of their own preconceived bias, and that, ultimately, is all it ever can be.
When lecturing in schools and colleges, I like to ask the students what can be learned from a fossil deposit. I ask the students whether all the animals and plants contained in the deposits lived together, died together, or were buried together. I then warn them to make sure that the answer they give me is consistent with true scientific research. As they think about it, they come to realize that they do not know if the organisms lived together because they did not see it happen. They do not know if the organisms died together because they did not see that happen either. All they really know is that they are buried together because they were found together. Therefore, if you try reconstructing the environment in which the organisms lived just from what you find there, you could be making a terrible mistake. The correct use of science needs to be emphasized in our educational system.
The only way anyone could always be sure of arriving at the right conclusion about anything, including origins, depends upon his knowing everything there is to know. Unless he knew that every bit of evidence was available, he would never really be sure that any of his conclusions were right. He would never know what further evidence there might be to discover and, therefore, whether this would change his conclusions. Neither could a person ever know if he had reached the point where he had all the evidence. This is a real problem for any human being—how can anyone ever be one hundred percent sure about anything? It is something of a dilemma, is it not? It is like watching a murder mystery on television. What happens? It is obvious. Halfway through, the viewer knows who did it—the butler. Towards the end, this conclusion is still obvious. Three minutes before the end, new evidence is admitted that you did not have before, and this totally changes your conclusions. It wasn’t the butler, after all!
We are in no doubt that what God has revealed in His Word is truthful and accurate.However, starting with the irrefutable evidence of the Scriptures, we are told that in God the Father and Christ “ … are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col. 2:3). There is no way any human mind can know all there is to know. But we have someone who does. This ends our dilemma. We are in no doubt that what God has revealed in His Word is truthful and accurate. He is not a man that He should lie (Num. 23:19) about anything. In time, we will know more fully. He will add to our knowledge, but He will not change what His Word has already revealed.
No human being, no scientist, has all the evidence. That is why scientific theories change continuously. As scientists continue to learn new things, they change their conclusions.
The story has been told of a person who went back to his university professor many years after completing his degree in economics. He asked to look at the test questions they were now using. He was surprised to see that they were virtually the same questions he was asked when he was a student. The lecturer then said that although the questions were the same, the answers were entirely different!
I once debated with a geology professor from an American university on a radio program. He said that evolution was real science because evolutionists were prepared to continually change their theories as they found new data. He said that creation was not science because a creationist’s views were set by the Bible and, therefore, were not subject to change.
I answered, “The reason scientific theories change is because we don’t know everything, isn’t it? We don’t have all the evidence.”
“Yes, that’s right,” he said.
I replied, “But, we will never know everything.”
“That’s true,” he answered.
I then stated, “We will always continue to find new evidence.”
“Quite correct,” he said.
I replied, “That means we can’t be sure about anything.”
“Right,” he said.
“That means we can’t be sure about evolution.”
“Oh, no! Evolution is a fact,” he blurted out.
He was caught by his own logic. He was demonstrating how his view was determined by his bias.
Models of science are subject to change for both creationists and evolutionists. But, the beliefs that these models are built on are not. The problem is that most scientists do not realize that it is the belief (or religion) of evolution that is the basis for the scientific models (the interpretations, or stories) used to attempt an explanation of the present. Evolutionists are not prepared to change their actual belief that all life can be explained by natural processes and that no God is involved (or even needed). Evolution is the religion to which they are committed. Christians need to wake up to this. Evolution is a religion; it is not science!
Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ effectively. We focus on providing answers to questions about the Bible—particularly the book of Genesis—regarding key issues such as creation, evolution, science, and the age of the earth.