Teen Bible Study Eric Snow Ann Arbor, Michigan UCG 11-15-03
The whole official worldview of the society around us, in the world’s of education, science, government, almost without exception proclaims and supports evolutionary theory. Charles Darwin, “Origin of Species,” 1859, decisive book. Perhaps most influential book published besides the Bible and maybe the Quran. Have you heard your teachers at school teach this theory? (ask for showing of hands or comments) Even a (likely) majority Christians, in many Protestant (mainline) and the Catholic churches, support the theory of evolution: theistic evolution. This means God supervised and controlled the gradual changes of plants and animals changing from one type to another until mankind was produced as well as all the other species of plants and animals on the earth. You are ridiculed by many if you deny this theory. But consider the old story by Hans Christian Anderson, about the boy pointing out the emperor’s new clothes weren’t clothes at all, but he had been tricked into walking around naked. We know historically that scientists have been wrong in the past, such as when they believed the earth was the center of the universe and when they thought heat was an element like iron or sulfur.
Is evolutionary theory the same ultimately? What kind of evidence exists for it? Why do all these smart, educated people with fancy titles like Ph.D, Th.D and M.S. believe in it? What do you say when your teachers at school, especially in biology class, teach this view? Can the Bible be lined up with the theory of evolution? Should we follow the lead of Catholics and many Protestants and embrace some form of evolutionary theory as a compromise?
S.P.S. Because the Bible and the scientific evidence don’t agree with the theory of evolution, we Christians should not believe in it.
Why does the church deny belief in evolution? Let’s
look at Scripture on the subject briefly:
Ask for someone to read Exodus 20:8-11, the Fourth Commandment.
Notice the analogy or comparison made between the days of the week and the days of creation or recreation. Does it make any sense to see them as different “days” in length? One is a billion years (rounding up) each, the other as 24-hour days only? Would the Sabbath command have any good foundation then? Would the original “Sabbath” be a billion years long? Dr. Henry Morris: “Yammin,” the plural Hebrew word means “days,” appears over 700 times in the Old Testament, never means anything provably but a literal day (24 hours or daytime of 12 hours).
Ask someone to read Genesis 1:1-5
Do we really think that v. 5 refers to anything but a literal 24-hour day? Refrain pattern (of words) repeated for all six days of actual creation.
Ask someone to read Genesis 1:14-19
Not written poetically, like most of Job or the Psalms, can’t say it is a parable, etc. Very methodical description.
Ask someone to read Genesis 1:20-23
Direct creation issue, “kind” not equal to “species,” key issue.
So, if the Bible doesn’t line up with the theory of evolution, such as your teachers in school would teach it, what should we say then? Do the scientific facts favor creation or evolution?
Evolution is philosophy, not science. It’s people trying to come up with an explanation of how the world came to be without God or any reference to miracles or the supernatural. They want to use human reason alone, not using any revelation from God, such as what the Bible says. They define “science,” the word, to mean “systematic explanations and interpretations of facts without reference to God or miracles.” They assume there is no God, and then interpret all the facts to fit their picture. Same facts could be equally or better explained by creation, not evolution. Example: evidence from similar structure of animals, such as their limbs or (in people) hands. The term for these kinds of arguments is “homology.” They will compare the anatomy, or overall physical structure, of (say) a dolphin’s flippers, a horse’s hoofs, a pig’s feet, a chimpanzee’s hand, and a human hand, and say “similarity proves evolution.” (What type or class of animal is compared here?) But could not have God used the same basic structure when creating all these different mammals? Does similarity prove evolution? Or does common design prove a Common Designer? What you assume in advance determines how you interpret the facts. If you define “science” to mean “explanations of facts without referring to God or miracles ever,” you’re going to reject the “Common design proves they had the same Designer” interpretation of the facts.
Different types of knowledge: Think of experiments in science classes. Have you ever done labs in school? Can figure out right now if (say) gravity is true or not. Drop an item, measure its speed, etc. But did you ever see Abraham Lincoln or George Washington alive? How do you know if they ever lived? How do you know that Lincoln was assassinated in 1865? Did you see Julius Caesar get assassinated by a group of Roman senators in 44 b.c.? Did you see the English general Wellington beat the French emperor and general Napoleon at the battle of Waterloo in 1815? Do you doubt whether those things happened?
Historical knowledge different from scientific knowledge. You can go out and test scientific statements about whether they are true or not. Do an experiment, and then examine and explain its results. Do all frogs have hearts and livers? Cut them up, find out. But can you repeat the battles of Waterloo or Gettysburg? Can you have Abraham Lincoln assassinated again by John Wilkes Booth? History about what others said occurred in the past, and trusting what they wrote down. Archeology limited, gives only overall view if don’t know history of area.
Now, is evolution something you can see occurring right now? Or is it something about the past only? If about past, when no people were around to see it, how can one know it actually happened? Scientists assumed it happened because they don’t want to use any reference to God or miracles. Fine approach for currently observable events and things, really bad way to look at things when in the distant past. Belief in evolution is a leap of faith.
Can nature always explain nature? Can the universe explain itself? Or does the way it is organized, its incredible complexity, show it had a Creator? Can random chance and natural selection explain how all the plants and animals appeared? (Basis of evolution these two processes, not emphasized here).
Concession by physicist H.S. Lipson (What does a physicist study? cf. Einstein, Newton). “The only acceptable explanation is creation. I know that this is anathema to physicists, as indeed it is to me, but we must not reject a theory that we do not like if the experimental evidence supports it.” (Physics Bulletin, 1980, Vol. 31, p. 138). Now think about this guy’s problem here. Does he want to believe in God? Does he want to believe in miracles? Also admitted: “In fact, evolution became in a sense a scientific religion; almost all scientists have accepted it and many are prepared to ‘bend” their observations to fit in with it.”
Biggest hurdle for evolution: The first living cell. Have you studied the different parts of a cell in school any? Law of biogenesis, life must come from life, must be denied by evolutionists. So complex, couldn’t have occurred by chance. Evolution only sounds good when vague and general. When you get highly specific, and start applying specific numbers to the physical structures involved, it becomes absurd to believe in chance rather than God. (Science is about applying numbers to things to “quantify” them, instead of making vague and broad generalizations that sound nice but may not be true or specifically true). Example: Sir Fred Hoyle and another scientist calculated the specific odds against getting 2000 special proteins that speed up chemical reactions in a cell (organic catalysts). These are called enzymes. Without them, no cell can live. 1 out of 1 followed by 40,000 zeros! (Evolution From Space, p. 24) Let’s think how big that number is: the number of atoms in the universe is something like 1 followed by 70 zeros. How many people live on earth? Around 6 followed by nine zeros. Life didn’t come from a protein soup in oceans, not enough time or big enough oceans to make it, once one makes specific calculations. Theory sounds good until you get highly specific, then it becomes absurd.
Fossil record vs. evolution: Gaps all over the place, hardly can find a transitional animal or plant. Yet evolution needs these since what’s been called the “hopeful monster” theory is absurd. (Bird out of dinosaur egg idea). The basic issue of is nature full of gaps and abrupt differences, or are all the differences really small and gradual between different types of animals and plants. (Typology vs. continuous). Charles Darwin himself, the main founder of the theory of evolution, admitted the problems with the fossil evidence for his theory back in 1859, things haven’t changed since despite all the fossils found since then. (“extreme imperfection,” how know it is except assume transitional plants or animals not found yet? May be a good sample even back then.)
Steven Stanley: “The known fossil record fails to document a single example of phyletic evolution accomplishing a major morphologic transition.” Now what does that mean? “Morphology” means structure. “Phylogy” means “derivation of all types of animals and plants from a common ancestor,” like a family tree.
Tom Kemp: “As is now well known, most fossil species appear instantaneously in the fossil record, persist for some millions of years virtually unchanged, only to disappear abruptly.”
Mark Ridley: “In any case, no real evolutionist . . . uses the fossil record as evidence in favor of the theory of evolution as opposed to special creation . . .”
Supposed examples of transitional forms:
Archaeopteryx: Has feathers, skull, perching feet, a wish-bone, like any bird. Feathers very complex structures when carefully examined. How did scales of reptiles become feathers? Far more a bird than “reptile.” (Where are all transitions in-between? Any of them semi-plausible as having an advantage to continued life when have partially developed structures?) Alleged features making it like a reptile not convincing. No breast bone with a keel issue, skull not found to be reptile-like once actually removed from stone in one case (rare fossil). Teeth different from alleged dinosaur ancestor since unserrated and have no wide roots. Some fish, reptiles, mammals, reptiles have teeth, others don’t, not much proof here of common ancestry. Claws on wings not proof either: 3 living birds, including ostriches, have them. Several birds don’t have much of a keel. Fossils of modern birds found at same time as archaeopteryx, in upper Jurassic rocks. If true, have to find older fossils. (Date rocks by fossils, and fossils by rocks issue). Can’t be ancestor to all birds if other birds lived before it!
Horse series: Development from small Eohippus to big modern horse (Equus) with one toe.
David Raup, curator of the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. (Ever visited it on vacation? Has famous assembled fossils of big dinosaurs on display) He admitted: “Well, we are now about 120 years after Darwin, and knowledge of the fossil record has greatly expanded. . . . Ironically, we have even fewer examples of evolutionary transition than we had in Darwin’s time. By this I mean that some of the classic cases of Darwinian change in the fossil record, such as the evolution of the horse in North America, have had to be discarded or modified as a result of more detailed information.”
Horse series “very deceptive picture,” Saiff and Macbeth. Not series in time order of ancestors and descendants since overlaps occurred, European and American fossils mixed together to assemble picture, horse species grew than shrunk than grew. Simpson: “The most famous of all equid trends, ‘gradual reduction of the side toes’ is flatly fictitious.” Size variation over 60 million years not much different than that between Clydesdale horses and Shetland ponies all living today at same time. Eohippus may not have been a horse (species at start of series, more like a rhino-type or like a tapir).
Peppered moths: light-colored moths found and eaten by birds off dark tree trunks, lacked good camouflage: Problem of academic fraud or exaggerating results has been raised, not well known to general public. If true, changing color not same as even changing species. Extrapolation issue. (Ask for definition of word). Go from evolution of a minor thing to assuming a massive change could occur when nobody saw it happen. (From microevolution to macroevolution). Vs. natural, built-in limits to change. Could never breed a dog to be the size of an elephant, no matter how hard you tried, although they vary from a Chihuahua to a St. Bernard. Penicillin resistance in bacteria example, or insects resisting DDT. Didn’t change species even, let alone genus, family, order, class, etc. Fitches in Galapagos islands Darwin saw, still fitches, not fish, reptiles, etc.
Explaining eye, complicated yucca moth/plant relationship: So complex, can’t easily explain by small gradual steps that each have a value in aiding survival. All or nothing problem: Need entire structure, or doesn’t work hardly at all. Example of tiny glitch in hemoglobin that causes hemophilia, so deadly.
Darwin on eye: “Although the belief that an organ so perfect as the eye could have been formed by natural selection, is enough to stagger any one . . . I have felt the difficult far too keenly to be surprised at others hesitating to extend the principle of natural selection to so startling a length.”
Yucca moth & yucca plant: moth totally depends on plant, plants can’t be fertilized by anything else than yucca moths. Female moth gets pollen from several flowers, then sticks her egg into the ovary of one flower. Larva eats some seeds, not all of them. Moths emerge from flowers 10 months after pupation, exactly when Yucca plants in flower. Did blind chance create this? Symbiotic relationship. Compare to pilot fish cleaning teeth of sharks. How did this start originally? Would a dumb pilot fish, swimming into a shark’s jaw, just get eaten? Munch! Symbiotic relationships refute evolution (major anomalies).
Conclusion: Need God to explain origin of all animal and plant life, photosynthesis too complicated to occur by chance.
Have someone read Romans 1:18-22
Suppress the truth: Conceal or make up evidence, like Piltdown man, put unrelated bones together, like Java man, exaggerations reading into discovered bones (Ramapithecus, teeth and part of jaw bone, “Nebraska man,” based on tooth only; Australopithecines seen as able to walk upright like people, vs. Oxnard & Zuckerman), read chronological developments into sequences not found that way in nature (horse series), engage in wild extrapolations (from peppered moths, breeding dogs and pigeons to monocells to men), discard results of experiments or discoveries that conflict with evolution, like in (re)dating fossils by rocks or fossils found in other rocks, fudge data (peppered moths apparently), etc.
Have no excuse: Evidence for creation ignored, not read, many intellectuals Ph.ds know little more than you do, if you’ve taken a biology class in high school, doesn’t matter expertise in other areas like history or physics or engineering.
Claim to be smart, but aren’t.