If Dr. Richard Lumsden's (1937–1997) bio was on a theater marquee, it would read, “A Zealous Atheist and Evolutionist.” This professor of parasitology and cell biology also served as the Dean of the Graduate School at Tulane University. As a renowned scientist he had trained 30 Ph.D. students, published more than 90 peer-reviewed papers and was well known for his outstanding research work in parasitology. He was awarded the Henry Baldwin Ward Medal, which is the highest recognized award worldwide in the field of parasitology. In 1986, Professor Lumsden decided to use the last lecture in a course he was teaching that semester to launch a direct assault on Creationism. He did this in retaliation for the Louisiana state law, that would later be declared unconstitutional, requiring that creationism be taught alongside evolution. Lumsden had been angry with God for a long time, and this law caused him to rant, that it was an act of “stupidity” and evil. Now, armed with his evolutionary biology, he was going to use the lecture hall to declare war on the God of Creation. He would show that, without any doubt, evolution was the absolute truth. In his own words, “I mentioned Genesis with all the mockery, sarcasm and cynicism I could bear, quoting Darwin and others with the fervor of a Baptist minister attempting to demolish everything that had to do with the God of Creation.” After the lecture, he received a standing ovation of appreciation; however, he had no idea that his world, consisting of evolution, atheism, and his ingrained Darwinian philosophy, would be turned upside down that same day.
After the lecture, he was approached by a young lady with a yellow legal pad. “Doc, Doc, Doc, terrific lecture! Doc, I have a bunch of questions that I would like to ask you.” He had high regard for her; as she was his top “A” student that year. In his own words, “I was flattered with this student’s positive approach,” so he agreed on a time to meet in his office. Perhaps her positive approach led him to think she was going to applaud him for his impassioned statements made during the lecture and he felt it was his obligation to spend time with her. Maybe the questions she posed would be supportive of his anti-creationism stand. Besides that, she was an excellent student, and a serious prospect for graduate school. He dutifully made an appointment that afternoon. When she appeared punctually at his office, she had a yellow legal pad filled with questions and a stack of reference books in tow. He had no idea that this meeting would last over three hours and change his life forever.
Eloquently Making a Case She came prepared with thoughtful science questions and a strategy to avoid going down the emotional pathway of the creation vs. evolution debate. There was too much at stake. It was evident from the morning lecture that Lumsden was vested, heart and soul, in evolution. For this reason, she decided to preempt any argument by stating, “Doc, I don’t want to present an argument about today’s lecture this morning; I just want to get my science straight.” In a previous Evolutionary Biology course, where she was also an “A” student, as reported by her professor, she “drove her professor nuts” on the issue of evolution being scientific. She was so academically skilled that she would go on to study medicine and become a medical missionary.
She challenged him with questions that were qualified by research in the pertinent literature and relevant to the courses she was taking. Basically, Lumsden had to validate what he taught that morning and, more importantly, his approach to biology and the very core of his life’s philosophy. If you believe you are a product of chance, then there is little or no meaning to life. However, if you are a product of design by a Creator, then there is very clear purpose for life.
She started going down a long list of questions on her legal pad with the first question dealing with the origin of life. At that time, it was believed that life came from inert lifeless particles of earth called amino acids, and that they could assemble themselves into the building blocks of life called proteins. Not many realized that the basic chemical equations found in the textbooks that were used by Lumsden and many others did not work. In fact, these formulas defied the laws of chemistry. This astute student pointed this out to Lumsden and it was very difficult for him to defend. Why were these incorrect formulas in the textbooks and why were so many scientists continuing to use these reactions to explain the origin of life? The answer lies in their deep blind faith in evolution. If you state unequivocally that evolution began from inert matter and all the laws of chemistry and physics negate that possibility, then no explanation apart from divine intervention can explain it. Lumsden had known there was a problem here, but like so many others, he simply overlooked it, because of his evolutionary indoctrination.
Even though she basically dismantled the professor’s morning lecture, she did not stop there. The molecules-to-man scenario has been doomed since its inception. It is refuted by the very laws of chemistry and physics that are foundational to all of the sciences. With the utmost respect for her professor, she steadfastly moved on to the area of probability. Being a math minor in college, she demonstrated clearly that these preliminary particles, amino acids, could not just randomly come together to build a living organism. She impressed the professor with her mathematics and the conclusions were clear. It would be impossible for life to come into existence by chance. She came prepared with the scientific literature that cited the statistical improbabilities of producing life from the materials found in soil. One of those sources was Cambridge University’s eminent astronomer and mathematician, Fred Hoyle. He is famous for comparing the evolutionary origin of life to a tornado sweeping through a junkyard and assembling a fully operational Boeing 747 from the materials therein. In the scientific journal, “The New Scientist,” in November 1981, Hoyle compared the statistical probability of life arising by purely natural processes by using the analogy of a blind person solving a Rubik’s cube puzzle. He wrote, “Now imagine 1050 blind persons, each with a scrambled Rubik’s cube, and try to conceive of the chance of them all simultaneously arriving at the solved form.” Simply stated, the possibility of life being formed from the inert particles called amino acids would be like the chances of that number of blind people, essentially equaling twice the number of stars in the universe with all of them simultaneously solving the Rubik’s cube. Such a statistical improbability brings us to the evident conclusion again, that the evolution of life on earth is impossible to the highest degree.
As the young student meticulously used the sword of science to shred away the professor’s evolutionary philosophy, she then took aim at beneficial mutations. She reminded him of what he said in a previous class, “Doc, you mentioned most mutations are destructive to the species, then how does it cause evolution.” A mutation is a change in the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) code that can result in missing or malformed proteins that may lead to disease. One such genetic mutation causes sickle cell anemia (SSA). This type of anemia is a multigenerational disease that has its origin in Africa. It causes a person’s red bloods cells to become stiff, sticky, susceptible to rupture, and far less permeable than normally flexible biconcave-shaped red cells. This distortion gives the red blood cells their typical crescent moon appearance. When sickling occurs, they can block blood flow in the smaller blood vessels called capillaries. An attack causes severe pain, depriving tissues and organs of oxygen-rich blood, and can lead to serious organ damage, especially in the lungs, kidneys, spleen and brain. In countries without advanced medical facilities, sickle cell disease is often a fatal hemoglobinopathy.
It is considered a “beneficial” mutation, because people with the sickle cell trait (carriers as well as those with the disease) do have some increased protection against malarial infection. The decreased permeability in their red blood cell’s membrane makes those cells more resistant to invasion by the malarial parasite. Is sickle cell anemia really beneficial to the human race? No, this mutation can be lethal. Is having the “trait” really beneficial? Perhaps it is to you, but not to your children. Two parents with the trait are destined to pass the trait on to three out of four of their children, with the fourth inheriting the deadly form of SSA. That cannot be considered beneficial by anyone’s definition. If one parent has the disease and the other is a carrier, the morbidity rate for your children increases to 50% and the remaining 50% becoming carriers. It cannot be truly beneficial if you might escape a malarial infection, only to die from SSA. Losing information never benefits the original overall design of any organism. This is what we observe today as many different species have become extinct. Lumsden could easily identify with this example, because he was recognized for his work on organisms like the female Anopheles mosquito, the genus that carries the malarial parasite.
The Humbled Professor After three hours, the student graciously thanked him, but he was intellectually devastated. The altar Lumsden had built for evolution had been demolished. He described the experience as being, “Worse than the oral defense for his doctrinal dissertation.” For the first time, he heard himself answering those questions and realized how void of science evolution truly was. According to Lumsden, evolution was “a bankrupt theory” worse than any pseudoscience or science fiction.
Watch from Evolution to Creation:
The Testimony of Dr. Richard Lumsden
For the first time, he was being truly challenged. If evolution was not the answer, he would be faced with the only alternative, other than a race of creator-aliens, which was God. After a year, his daughter invited him to church and he accepted Christ as his Savior. In his own words, “With flesh protesting every inch of the way, I found myself walking forward, down to the altar. And there, I found God! Truly, at that moment, I came to know Him, and received the Lord Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.” That student who questioned him had prayed for all her professors, but she gave Lumsden special attention. The unique ministry of the Holy Spirit was at work that day, and that’s why he was open to the truth.
After becoming a new creature in Christ, it was difficult for Professor Lumsden to continue at Tulane University. His vocal conversion resulted in his ejection from the science department. Soon after, He took a position as the Director of Biology at the Institute of Creation Research and began teaching at the Master’s College from 1990 to 1996.
Dr. Lumsden went home to be with the Lord at age 59. He left a legacy of a vibrant professor who, was excited about God’s glory as evidenced through His Creation. Watch Dr. Lumsden’s heartfelt testimony.
Dangerous Indoctrination One of the most revealing aspects of Dr. Lumsden’s testimony is from early in his life. As a child who loved science and regularly attended Sunday school, he had numerous questions about apparent contradictions between science and the Bible. When he sought answers from his Sunday school teachers and pastors, they were not forthcoming. When he saw Adam and Eve being depicted as beautifully human in his Sunday school, he compared them with the gross pictures of prehistoric man found his textbook. Because the church never addressed his needs, he went with evolution. Lumsden defined this as the seed of indoctrination. In everything around him, all the materials he read, the instruction in the classroom, the public media, and almost everywhere else, evolution was spoken as a fact. If God is censored out of the explanations, and the brainwashing mantra “Everything comes from evolution,” is constantly repeated, what else can you expect? The salient point was, as a youngster in church, his questions went unanswered. Rather than giving him the clear logic of God’s Word and truly biblical answers, he was indoctrinated into a hostile atheistic worldview by which he was blinded to the truth of God.
What Can We Do? We can’t be idle when so many young lives are being taken hostage by the lie of evolution. I have written a book, Evolution’s Fatal Fruit: How Darwin’s Tree of Life Brought Death to Millions, in which I present Darwin, the man, and his dangerous theory of evolution. The book identifies Darwin’s key disciples; men who were needed to carry and pass the torch of this dark lie to Hitler and others who would ultimately bring death to millions. Todd Friel, who has dynamic insight in these issues, has produced an exciting two DVD documentary series entitled, What Hath Darwin Wrought? This film chronicles the dreadful results of evolution’s twisted ideas. It features Dr. John West, Dr. Richard Weikart and Dr. David Berlinski. This two-hour series will definitely open your eyes to the atrocities that evolution has brought, and continues to bring, upon our society.