Strictly Speaking, Evolution vs. Creationism is Not a Scientific Debate but a Theological Debate
By Brannon S. Howse
If the research and theory of a group of scientists contradicts the Word of God, the error is with the scientists, not the Bible. True.
Strictly speaking, evolution vs. creationism is not a scientific debate but a theological debate. True,
In contrasting scientific studies of the last several centuries with those that have gone before, the term “modern science” is the common way to refer to what we do now. Adherents to modern processes rightly pride themselves on the “scientific method,” which has brought about every technological revolution from airplanes to microchips. The bedrock of this science is observation and repeatable experimentation, which means that, strictly speaking, no study of origins—naturalistic, theistic, evolutionary, or creationistic—is science in this way. Since none of us observed the creation of the world and we cannot repeat that event, the clash over the question of origins is not a scientific debate but a philosophical one.
Creationists, evolutionists, theologians, and humanists all have the same evidence, and the data is more like the puzzle pieces an archaeologist assembles from an excavation than like the observations in a chemistry lab. Another way to say it is that one view, naturalistic evolution, is just as scientific or not as the other, intelligent design. The central issue is the grid through which each interprets the information.
Since evolutionists have no evidence for macro-evolution, or vertical change, from one species into another, they have arbitrarily redefined evolution to mean horizontal change, an observable phenomenon correctly qualified as “micro-evolution.” Micro-evolution happens, but it is not one species changing into another. It is the changing of characteristics within a given species. An everyday dog breeding program can change the size of a dog, but this is horizontal, not vertical, change. The breeder starts with a dog and ends up with a dog—a bigger, smarter, prettier, dog perhaps, but a dog, nonetheless, not a small horse.
Despite their claims to the contrary, evolutionists have no unassailable proof that any species any time in history, anywhere on the globe has ever changed into some other species. That’s why they argue the case for macro-evolution from the observation of micro-evolution, minimizing the chasm that separates the two. But to offer an analogy: the gulf is less like a hop across the brook in a city park than it is like trying to step across the wide spot in the Grand Canyon. To say that macro-evolution happened because we’ve observed micro-evolution is like suggesting that matter transfer should be an everyday experience since we all have television sets in our living rooms.
An all-knowing Intelligent Designer created everything, or It did not. The implications of a supernatural being creating the world with order and design is diametrically opposed to the worldview of humanists who declare they are their only god and the captain of their own souls and destinies.
Evolution is a belief system requiring blind faith, not the approach that concludes that an Intelligent Designer has been at play in our universe. An evolutionist must believe—in the face of mathematical impossibility and contrary to several known laws of the universe—in billions upon billions of “good” mutations occurring at just the right time and in the right order. The intelligent design theorist (which includes, but is not limited to, creationists) must have faith in just one thing: an all powerful creator that stands outside of creation and who has the capacity to generate the evidently designed things all around us. This latter faith is based on the reasonable assumption that things which look as if they were designed were, in fact, designed by a power capable of creating it.
Evolutionists have excluded the possible answer—and it is a possible answer—that an Intelligent Designer made the world. Such a ridiculous ban is equal to a teacher telling a class of students there is no such thing as gravity and then asking them why an apple falls from a tree. The teacher has eliminated the very answer to the question proposed. As a result, whatever response the students come up with can only be an inaccurate interpretation of the falling-apple phenomenon. The presupposition guarantees students won’t discover gravity and, worse, in the case of the evolution debate, that they won’t find God anywhere they look.
This hope of keeping people away from God is a powerful toxin in the stream of rational thought. Evidence not supporting, evolutionists hold on to Darwin’s theory even though it pre-dates the discovery of the cell’s complexity and DNA, even though no fossils demonstrate transitional forms, and even though their own reckonings set an age of the universe that is only a nano-fraction of the length of time their process would take even using the most conservative mathematical models available. The antiquated theory of evolution seems to have the same appeal to its adherents as the flat-earth theory held centuries ago. Ironically, it is not the “religious” community these days who are the modern flat-earthers. Apparently, we’re the ones who can draw the rational conclusions from what we see, even if the status quo tries to squash the evidence.
This evidence-squashing now enjoys an 80-year history of increasing success. In the famous Scopes trial of 1925, the American Civil Liberties Union defended the teaching of evolution in public schools. True educational freedom, attorney Clarence Darrow argued, requires the teaching of both theistic and naturalistic versions of origins. Any person with a well-rounded education should know the differing views on something as important as the most basic question in the universe.
Certainly the ACLU in 1925 was nearly so well-intentioned as to simply want academic freedom for all. But it is true that a well-educated person should understand the arguments for and against the major theories about how we got here. Building on the momentum started by Scopes, however, the ACLU has fought hard to keep creationism from being taught in America’s public schools. With the aid of the National Education Association and other liberal groups, it has been stunningly successful in the censorship of facts and reality.
Since the ACLU and NEA have always been supported by prominent humanists, though, we should not be shocked by their contempt for the creationist worldview. Evolution, as outlined in the Humanist Manifesto I, II and 2000, is a major doctrine of Secular Humanism. Instead of believing in God as the basis for their religion, humanists believe in nature or “natural science”—naturalism. The reason is supposedly to avoid resting an intellectual foundation built on what secularists call “blind faith.” The Christian faith, however, is anything but blind from an intellectual standpoint. Arguments for the God of the Bible are well-founded. What liberal humanists have substituted for a reasonable faith in a Creator God is, I would contend, blind science. Dr. D.G. Lindsay agrees and describes the intellectual underpinnings of evolution this way:
Evolution is a religion that attributes everything to “nature.” It demands a faith that is totally blind. Since the evolutionist believes nature and its laws are the guiding force in the universe, he is totally at odds with the Christian faith and the essential miraculous aspect of creation. The miraculous events of the Bible deviate from the known laws of nature, or at least from our understanding of them.
In real life, logic applies. If we see a painting, we assume there was a painter. If an airplane flies overhead, there’s a pilot. It doesn’t matter that we don’t see the painter or the pilot. Elementary logic guarantees in our minds that they exist. If something looks like it was designed—a building, a watch, an airplane, or a cosmos—we are safe to assume it was. Not so, however, in the world of blind science. Naturalistic humanists believe there is no God, not because that is the logical conclusion, but because that is their preference.
These people do not have the intellectual high ground. Rather, they abandoned the heights occupied by deeply committed Christian scientists like Galileo, Copernicus, Pasteur, and Newton long ago. The humanist has no choice but to reject God and believe in man and naturalistic evolution because the alternative is to say there is a Supernatural Creator and Intelligent Designer. Their problem is that if such a Creator exists, then He is the author of the laws of nature, and we are accountable to Him. But being accountable to anyone other than self is not acceptable to the humanist. As a result, humanists reject out of hand any and all evidence that challenges their desired reality. It is philosophy, not science.
Naturalists look only at theories that don’t contradict their presupposition. Consider the a priori discounting of evidence advocated by the Humanist Manifesto II:
"We find insufficient evidence for belief in the existence of a supernatural; it is either meaningless or irrelevant to the question of the survival and fulfillment of the human race. As non-theists, we begin with humans not God, nature not deity."
Anything that calls into question the original humanist presupposition (that there is no God) is rejected, even if it means having faith in an idea, belief, or theory that is mathematically not possible and even it if it contradicts bedrock scientific facts or the laws of physics. Their version of science must blind itself to logical deductions in order to draw the conclusion they prefer.
Four years after the ACLU worked the Scopes trial, Professor D.M.S. Watson, one of the leading biologists and science writers of his day, explained that the real goal behind evolution is to reject the alternative—a belief in God. Watson notes, “Evolution [is] a theory universally accepted not because it can be proven by logically coherent evidence to be true, but because the only alternative, special creation, is clearly incredible.”
Professor Richard Lewontin, a geneticist and self-proclaimed Marxist, reveals why the dogmatic humanist continues to accept evolution despite its improbability and the unscientific propositions on which it is built:
[quote] We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so-stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is an absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door. [end quote]
So why has materialism become the assumption behind science? Is it because it provides the most rational foundation? No. Professor Lewontin explained it quite clearly. It’s because only materialism provides the liberal humanist’s preferred philosophical base.
Humanists must perform—and the ACLU must defend—a monumental set of mental gymnastics to uphold the new version of educational freedom that allows only one view of origins to be taught in our public schools. Although the humanist typically mocks as unscientific those who believe in a creator God, when the science of their worldview is proven to be unscientific and mathematically impossible, they ignore the facts and create preposterous theories simply to sidestep the logical belief in an Intelligent Designer.
Each new school year brings us again to the front lines of the evolution war in America’s public schools, and each year the secular left can be heard screeching louder than a barrel of monkeys, ballyhooing that the teaching of creation or its close relative, intelligent design, has no place in America’s schools because it is not scientific but religious. Liberals have redefined science to mean “evolution.” Therefore, evolutionists say if you believe in something else—intelligent design or creationism, for example—you do not believe in science.
But let’s be clear about this for a moment and return to an unmanipulated denotation of the term.
Copyright 2006 ©Brannon Howse. This content is for Situation Room members and is not to be duplicated in any form or uploaded to other websites without the express written permission of Brannon Howse or his legally authorized representative.