Earlier in the week I wrote a post advocating for room in the Christian spectrum for theistic evolutionists. I followed that post up with one where I explain why I don’t believe that the Bible tells us when or how God created – again, advocating for room for theistic evolutionists. It then came to me as a complete surprise when it was not creationists, but evolutionists who went after me the next day.
Fundamentalism comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Traditionally fundamentalism is said to be characterized by “anti-intellectualism”, yet books written by fundamentalists are often quite hefty and well researched. What makes them “anti-intellectual” then is not their lack of research and inability to handle scholarly stuff, but rather their inability to handle scholarly stuff critically and to think critically and to examine their own view with a critical – and hence, a humble – eye. Fundamentalism then is at its root characterized by its inability to be critical towards its own view.
Thus fundamentalists are not just naïve creationists, but also naïve evolutionists.
In my last post I make this passing statement (under the subheading, it is important to note, of “The Short Version”): “Because I am not a scientist I have to look at the simple evidence – for one example, that I don’t believe there is solid evidence for macroevolution and for another, that evolution is losing credibility in many spheres – and say with a critical eye that I cannot accept that theory”.
People took my statement of “because I’m not a scientist” as a sort of ostrich approach. A burying of my head in the sand, while making the claim that “evolution is false”; this got everyone all fired up and hot under the fanny. Some going to so far as to say that my statement was a “cop-out.” Granted in retrospect I wouldn’t have used the phrase, “because I’m not a scientist”, but I also wish my readers would read with more grace and care. For starters, in spite of my statement I offer two brief though thoughtful reasons why I do not accept evolution and in so doing I never make the claim that evolution is false. Furthermore to criticize me for making that statement while “not engaging the issue head on, but offering a public opinion on something that [I] haven’t thought through” is to fail to read the statement in context (which is what I meant by not reading me graciously). Of course I didn’t deal with the issue head on because the post wasn’t about that issue. It was related to that issue, which is why I made the statement, but it wasn’t about that issue, and to engage “the issue head on” would have taken the post in a completely different direction. (Oh how I wish that we could say everything there is to say in a single stroke!)
All of that said, I might as well make this “part 3” in an accidental series on my views of creation and evolution. In this post I am going to offer four reasons why I do not accept the theory of evolution.
The Bible Seems to Suggest Otherwise
I’m not hanging my hat on this one, but it is one of the reasons and I figure I might as well get it out of the way first. Let me begin by saying that most of the theistic evolutionists I have encountered are not evangelical. That is, they have a low view of the scriptures. But I only make that statement to make this one: I know and read many Evangelical Christians who hold to both evolution and a high view of the scriptures. They believe the scientific evidence supports evolution and so when they turn to the Bible, they re-interpret subjects having to do with Genesis 1-11, the Fall in particular and questions surrounding Adam and Eve. That is respectable, but I just find those theological interpretations unconvincing.
I read Christian evolutionists who basically say, “here’s the scientific data, it’s for the theologian to reconcile their theology with it”. But then I turn to the theologians and none of them seem to be able or willing to make that go. I could take a whole post elaborating on this one subject alone (what it is, for example, that the first creation tells us about the new creation et cetera…), but I think people are mostly concerned about the science. After all, (and I agree, if somewhat my agreement requires qualification) that if science has proved evolution to be true, than shouldn’t we just reinterpret our theology to fit it. Putting aside for a moment the fact that science is – by nature – always evolving (yes, that’s one of my favourite puns), I think that we should always make sure our theology aligns with reality. So what other non-biblical reasons do I have for not accepting evolution?
Where’s the macroevolution empirical evidence?
This has been a thorn in Darwin’s flesh ever since day one. Where is the actual evidence that evolution takes place? Now let’s be clear: there’s a difference between microevolution and macroevolution. Microevolution is undeniable – that species adapt to their environment. But when people refer to “evolution” they mean “macroevolution”, the process by which species will evolve into completely different species. This is really the heart and soul of evolution and until macroevolution is proven, evolution will remain merely a theory in my mind that can be respectably rejected.
In what can only be described as sheer desperation, evolution scientists are now trying to force down our throats the claim that “macroevolution is microevolution writ large – add up enough small changes and you get big changes”. This claim is not true. Add up enough small changes and you get lots of small changes. Put a pair of dogs from Africa in the Arctic and – assuming they survive – given enough time they and their offspring will produce – through small changes – thicker skin, thicker fur, slivered eyes and so on. But those dogs will never become another species. They will always remain dogs. That’s the difference between macro and microevolution. The astounding part of Collins and Gibberson’s argument is that we are supposed to take the claim that “macroevolution is microevolution writ large” on faith. We are not supposed to critically examine their best attempt to get people to believe in macroevolution (and hence, evolution).
Evolution Bloopers and Blunders
Darwinian evolution has lost a certain amount of credibility in my eyes by some scientists who are so over-zealous and over-confident in their theory that they will stoop to any level to get people to believe it. Recall “The Piltdown Man,” when a paleontologist discovered a skull and a jawbone – the jawbone resembling a monkey’s. The discovery was hailed the “Dawn man” and “the missing-link” (evidence that supposedly would support “macroevolution”, the leap between species). The evolution community accepted the “Piltdown man” and replicas were placed in every major museum in the world and believed upon by millions of students for 40 years until it was discovered to be a hoax! The skull was not 500,000 years old, but only 2,000 years old (young earther’s love that fact!) and the jawbone was merely a few decades old. They then examined it under a microscope and found that the teeth had been filed down carefully to resemble human teeth. The whole thing had been stained with iron salts and bicromate to make it appear to be very old. Now there’s objective science for you!
Though the most famous, the Piltdown man was neither the first nor last hoax and blunder by fundamentalists evolutionists desperate to get people to accept their theory. Consider other examples, the Orgueil Fall, the Pig Tooth, the Pithecanthropus and the Astralopithicines. The point is that there are fundamentalists evolutionists just as there are fundamentalists creationists. What’s scary about this is that people are so willing to accept evolution that the entire scientific community and millions upon millions of students latch on to any and every evidence that “seals the deal” if you will. People have stopped being critical toward the – as yet un-proven – theory of evolution. In my mind, that’s dangerous. Someone recently made this statement about young earther’s, it seems just as applicable to evolutionists.
Is the Consensus Evolution, or Something Else?
I’ve often wondered why evolution remains the consensus among scientists (so I am often told) if it stands on such shaky ground. Pay close attention here because this is probably the most important point I’ll be making in this post.
I read somewhere a few weeks ago that evolution is the consensus because biologists, paleontologists, astrophysicists, geologists and a whole slew of other “logists” have independently come to the same conclusion. Now let us suppose that this is correct, what do all of these sciences have in common? What is the conclusion they have all drawn? It’s a rhetorical question so I’ll just answer it: age, not evolution. Each one of these sciences has independently determined that the world (or universe) is much, much older than previously thought. This is a really important hypothesis that needs to be taken in: the consensus among scientists is that the earth is really, really old. Out of that consensus comes the assumption that evolution must be true. Thus scientists are working to that end to prove the hypothesis of evolution… still.
There are a couple of reasons for this. First the polar opposites are taken for granted: either the earth is 6,000 years old and evolution is false or it is millions of years old and evolution must be true. It’s difficult to come across any writings from either side that do not operate under that assumption. I don’t see any so-called “overwhelming evidence” for evolution, besides books that like to point out the oddity of certain creatures, or the age of the earth et cetera. None of this actually proves macroevolution. The evidence rather points to a really old earth, but not necessarily to evolution. Read that line again, because it is foundational to the premise I have argued since the first post. Evolution is assumed based on the age of the earth, and other odd finds, weird extinct creatures, weird living creatures and some deformed skeletal remains.
These are the four top reasons why I reject evolution. People feel compelled into one corner or another. Either the earth is 6,000 years old and evolution is false (like they were taught in their youth and which they may be reacting against) or the earth is millions of years old and evolution is true. I propose rather that the earth is much, much older than most creationists suppose and that the Bible cannot be used to support a 6,000 year creation history, but I also propose that to say that the earth is really, really old does not necessitate evolution and that there is no solid evidence for macroevolution.
Via media! I’m all about finding a way to transcend age-old debates. I’ve offered in this series a way to be faithful to the biblical testimony, to believe in a real fall, a real Adam and Eve and a real paradise-like creation (to mirror the new creation) while also respecting the scientific evidence for an old earth without placing too much stock in an artistic rendition of the missing-link based on a jawbone of a monkey who died just over a hundred years ago.
 Karl Gibberson and Francis Collins, The Language of Science and Faith, p.45