Faith & The Theory of Evolution
Mark Lutz |
March 18, 2021
There was a time in my life when I was feeling very sensitive to criticism. I’d heard from some people in the scientific community, that faith in God was basically the equivalent to playing make-believe and that intelligent people don't give themselves that fantasy, but are grounded in the facts provided by science. I didn't want to be perceived as unenlightened, naive or foolish, and maybe you don't want to feel that way either.
In Romans 1:19-20, the apostle Paul wrote, “since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”
Secular scientists say they believe only what the evidence reveals, and that people of faith believe in myths instead of evidence. Well, here is what’s really true. No scientist has ever observed a natural occurring incidence of the jump from non-living material to a living organism. No scientist has successfully created an experiment where they've gone from non-living ingredients to a single cell living organism. Never. Not even in a laboratory where they're controlling the variables, creating the most favorable environment and keeping out extraneous material.
Scientists look around at all the life we have and they extrapolate out that somehow we got this life. Perhaps lightning struck the primordial soup, and we went from raw materials to a living organism. From some evidence they accept BY FAITH that this must be how we got living things from nonliving things.
With the theory of evolution, secular scientists say that through a series of small spontaneous mutations and natural selection, where those mutations give that living thing an advantage over the previous version, we arrive at the diversity of life that we have today — up to and including man. All we need to do is find the missing link to connect man back through ape to a single celled organism.
However, what the fossil records show is actually a fair bit of stability in life-forms. There is fossil evidence for dragonflies, scorpions, crocodiles, alligators, sharks, bears, wild pigs, big cats, armadillos, rhinoceros, elephant looking mammoths and mastodons, and many other animals that we have examples of today with some variation. Natural selection did not eliminate them. And while the theory of evolution says that we get this great diversity of life by a series of many, many small mutations over many, many, many years, the fossil records show that there was a sudden emergence of diverse living creatures in a particular time period. It’s known as the Cambrian explosion.
There are an estimated 10 to 14 million living creatures on the planet today. If we take the low estimate, there should be 10 million chains of evolution from a single cell organism to a living creature that we know today. There should be evidence of many links in the evolutionary chain with slight variations from the previous version to show how we got from there to here.
It's understandable that not every link would be captured by fossils. Let's say we're looking for chains that are 90% intact, or 70 or 60% intact. If 55% of the chain was intact, there would be 10 million 55% evolutionary chains. Maybe not every living thing has 55% of its chain recorded in the fossil record, so let's cut that number in half, and we're looking for 5 million chains. Or maybe the theory is proven if we only find 1 million chains at 55%. Maybe a 100 out of 10 million 55% intact evolutionary chains would prove the theory of evolution.
But the actual number of chains that we have is ZERO. We're not looking for a missing link. We are looking for 10 million missing chains.
Let’s jump past all the previous links in the evolutionary chain to just the ones that start to look like modern men. Do we have a chain with only a missing link showing that man evolved from a chimp or a common ancestor? Well, we have some nearly intact skeletons, but mostly we have bone fragments, bones, and teeth from which a full skeleton is presumed.
Just imagine if you and I went around the world today and collected skeletons. We could get a skeleton of an NBA basketball player and a horse jockey; a Sumo wrestler and a ballerina. We could get a skeleton of an African, Asian, European, Hispanic, and indigenous island person. We could get a skeleton of someone with Gigantism and someone with Dwarfism. We could get someone who has Proteus syndrome and one with Progeria.
If we took all of these skeletons and lined them up based on similarity and differences, we would know that this is not an example of evolutionary descent, but just of diversity. One did not lead to the other. All of these types of people were living together at the same time.
Is the amount of fossil evidence of humans enough to show common descent through apes? Are there enough links to conclude a chain? Does the evidence account for the diversity among the population at the time? How representative of the people at that time is our specimen, and does it account for abnormalities?
I would say there are not enough examples to show conclusively that this is the evolution of man from something not man. But some look at this evidence and they extrapolate out to that conclusion.
Christians look at a world that is so complex, with so many interlocking and interdependent systems. Each one must operate within such strict tolerances or the whole thing would come apart. There is such complexity and intricacy, and we conclude that there is such a low probability that it is highly unlikely that all of this happened by random chance.
The evidence for an intelligent designer is much stronger to us. This includes evidence that the creator entered into the creation, into human history. The number of witnesses who assert that Jesus was more than human is so great. And their truthfulness is affirmed by their willingness to give their lives in testimony to what they claim they saw and they experienced.
Both Modern Science and Christianity look at evidence and extrapolate beyond the evidence and embrace by faith, a theory. Each draws conclusions beyond what there's concrete evidence to absolutely prove.
When you hear a scientist say they only believe in facts and that people of faith accept fantasy as truth, you'll recognize that at best they're being disingenuous. God has given enough evidence for us to know that He's there — enough to see His invisible qualities, His eternal power and divine nature revealed in creation.
There’s also enough of a faith gap that if you don't want to believe, or if you're unwilling to be held accountable by a being greater than yourself, then you don't have to, for now.
But you know that you have reason to be confident and stand firm in your faith in God, as He has revealed Himself in nature.
After some initial responses I'd like to clarify a point. This discussion isn't about which is true, science or faith. There are many scientists who are persons of faith. This isn't a debate about evolution or creation. There are scientists who believe in intelligent design who can envision evolution as part of the creative process that fine tuned animals to their environments. The intention here is to call "shenanigans" on those who would equate faith in Christ with wishful thinking based on nothing but mythology and also assert that science is based solely on what the evidence proves. The point of this discussion is to call out that both faith and science start with concrete evidence and project out a theory and a conclusion that lies just beyond what the evidence can absolutely prove. An empty tomb and the testimony of martyrs that Jesus rose from the dead has been persuading intelligent people for 2 millennia.
What's the one thing you need to be a Christian? Faith in Jesus' resurrection. Watch This Message