Is Evolution and Genesis Compatible?
What would you say, if your 14-year-old son announced that he wanted to go to a Christian university because he did not want to sit in a biology class and be told he came from an ape? Would you affirm what he said, being delighted that your son not only understood God’s Word but also wanted to honor it. Sadly, an article in the November 2012 issue of Christianity Today by Carolyn Arends entitled “God Did It,” had a different outcome. Under the heading for this article was the statement, “But I don’t know exactly how the world was created.” This became the overriding theme in this brief report by Arends. The young 14-year-old boy was the author’s son. I was completely stunned and truly disappointed by her response noted in the dialogue below.
“Have you considered the possibility that God may have used evolutionary processes in his creation of the world?” I asked. “No! Mom! I believe the Bible.” Me too,’ I answered him, “But I think it’s possible that Genesis 1 and 2 are more about the who of creation than the how.” “Maybe you are not a total heretic,” said my son. She added, “I believe God created the world and holds together. Just how he did that is up for debate, but whatever the conclusion you come to about the earth’s origins, God did it. Okay.”
No, it’s not Okay! The account in Genesis not only states that God created the universe, it describes, “how He did it,” through his own omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent power. In the six days of creation, it was one miracle after another without any exception. Man, earth and the entire cosmos came into being by God’s spoken word. A truth that is emphasized repeatedly in Genesis chapter one (ten times in all) using the phrase “God said.” This narrative form clearly explains that man’s origins are directly derived from the “Word” of God.
Why so much confusion? Mom goes on to admit that she was a “keen young earth creationist as teenager,” but her belief system changed over time or, as she humorously said, “it evolved.” In her own words, she confessed the cause for the change, “It wasn’t science that changed my position on creation, but biblical scholarship that convinced me.” Arend’s points to biblical scholarship as the reason she adopted a more open interpretation of the creation account in Genesis. After all, she claims, the Bible is not book of science. She goes on mention, “a significant” number Hebrew scholars in past times were not concerned with science, because they wrote, in her words, “during the dawn of enlightenment empiricism.” A fact she fails to mention is that a large majority of biblical scholars from that same era were evolution free in their thinking and believed in a young earth. This was documented in an extensive study in August 2003 by Robert Bradshaw entitled, “Genesis, Creationism and the Early Church.”
The study concluded that most of the early church writers were six-day creationists. Citing Augustine, a Latin philosopher and theologian whose writings greatly influenced Western Christianity, who believed that the earth was created instantaneously less than 6,000 years. Even during the Reformation, Calvin stated that the world was created “in the space of six days” and Luther said, “We know from Moses that the world was not in existence before 6,000 years ago.” In their attempts to accommodate the secular view of long ages and evolution, liberal biblical scholars cause confusion by departing from a straightforward interpretation of Genesis. They proclaim the Genesis account of creation is unscientific and, like Arends, they conclude the Bible is not a book of science. Her rationale, like so many others, makes way for the acceptance of the secular world’s view of origins with the Biblical account added on as an afterthought. This is problematic as it causes Christians to exchange God’s truth for the finite ideas of man. This is also tragic, because this admiration of Darwin’s theory and the evolutionary scientists that espouse them is really based on pseudoscience. Like the emperor with no clothes who thought it would be better to continue the procession under the illusion that anyone who couldn't see his clothes was either stupid or incompetent, Arends is willing to jettison the Genesis account and substitute a lie in its place. What’s worse than Arend's departure from the biblical record is the way she has influenced her own 14-year-old son to do the same. He is being victimized by a secular worldview of origins that denies the historicity of the Genesis account. Like the Emperor’s subjects, rather than be labeled as stupid or incompetent by those who promote Darwin’s theory, this young man’s mom has succumbed to a false and godless worldview. She is adding the leaven of worldly wisdom to the book of Genesis by espousing evolutionary untruths masquerading as biblical scholarship. The Word of God is our reality, our true measuring stick. It is the standard by which we evaluate the world around us. John 1:1 states, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” When we give man’s finite thoughts precedence over God’s Word, we stray into extremely dangerous territory. God’s Word is enduring and everlasting. It should be treated with utmost respect.
In basic terms, the definition of science is man’s quest for knowledge. It is finite man’s quest for knowledge. Men and woman who, by their limitations, are subject to error and therefore, should always be subject to self-correction. Science is always subject to change as it should be. However, God’s Word is absolute and is not subject to change or any one man’s interpretation, 2 Peter 1:21. We have to be aware of the babblings and the false teachings of the world, because the goal of the evil one is to move us away of the true power of God’s written Word, thereby causing us to stray from our Creator and Savior, the living Word. The Apostle Paul summarized the danger concerning worldly wisdom while writing to Timothy:
O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge—by professing it, some have strayed concerning the faith. Grace be with you. Amen, 1 Timothy 6:20-21.
It is troubling that Carol Arends, the editors of Christianity Today and so many others cannot see the blatant censorship, brainwashing and deception that are exhibited so boldly by proponents of evolutionary theory. This is a truly godless worldview that dismally fails to met the most basic standards of empirical science.
Infatuation versus Reality
The dilemma we face is that many Old Testament scholars have become so infatuated with secular science that they are willing to compromise the clear meaning of Scripture. This problem is demonstrated by the eminent Old Testament scholar Bruce Waltke. A Harvard PhD, Dallas Theological Seminarian and expert in biblical Hebrew uses a special approach to Genesis in order to harmonize billions of years of evolutionary thinking with the Word of God. According to Waltke, who has accepted the earth’s alleged evolutionary age of 4.5 billion years; this span of time does not fit into the biblical chronologies located in Genesis. The biblical account represented in Genesis chapters 5 and 11 spans 6000 years, so how do we get those billions and billions of years to fit? You merely eliminate the literal interpretation of the six days of creation from the structure and insert long periods of time. Waltke’s commentary allows these billions of years to fit into the Genesis account by using the Framework Hypothesis, a literary device which suggests an allegorical and symbolic structure rather than a straightforward interpretation of Genesis narrative. Waltke summarizes his thoughts in his 2001 commentary on Genesis:
“The days of creation may also pose difficulties for a strict historical account. Contemporary scientists almost unanimously discount the possibility of creation in one week, and we cannot summarily discount the evidence of the earth sciences.”
In 2007, physician, geneticist and the leader of the Human Genome project, Francis Collins, founded the organization BioLogos. The stated purpose of BioLogos read, “evangelical Christians committed to exploring and celebrating the compatibility of evolutionary creation and biblical faith.” Waltke, who is published on this website and participated in a discussion with other Christian evolutionary scientists and theologians, appeared in a video clip on March 24, 2010 making this provocative declaration:
“I think that if the data is overwhelming in favor of evolution, [then] to deny that reality will make us a cult, some odd group that’s not really interacting with the real world, and rightly so.”
The video clip was quickly withdrawn by Waltke himself who realized that his language was offensive to Bible believing creationist organizations as well as many others who do not acknowledge Darwinian evolution as sound science. We believe God’s word is accurate and clear in Genesis, a seminal book of the Bible as well as the foundation for the other 65 books that follow. Genesis explains our origins and gives meaning to everything in God’s creation. When we understand that any long-term theory in science must have an explainable mechanism, an observable stage demonstrating how it works, we see that evolutionary theory drastically fails this test.
In July 2008, at Altenberg, Austria an invitation only symposium of 16 of the most prominent evolutionists met to discuss “the elusive process of evolution.” While they did not invite the media to their conference, a lone journalist, Suzan Mazur, reported their findings in her 2010 book entitled, The Altenberg 16: An Expose of the Evolution Industry. It was a straightforward report as Mazur, an evolutio nist herself, demonstrated with this stunning quote on page 16.
“The Altenberg 16… recognize that the theory of evolution which most practicing biologists accept and which is taught in classrooms today, is inadequate in explaining our existence.”
As illustrated in the statement above, the alleged mechanisms of evolution needs to be replaced. Currently, the term “Modern Synthesis” is the most popular view evolutionists use to describe how evolution works. It is a combination of natural selection, the best fit will survive, and beneficial mutations, genetic mistakes upon which evolutionists depend as a source for generating new species. The empirical data does not support such a hypothesis as the Altenberg 16 noted in the introduction of Mazur’s book, “they (the Altenberg 16) recognize the need to challenge the prevailing Modern Synthesis because there too much it doesn’t explain” (p. vii). In the same introduction, they admit that the essential evolutionary changes cannot take place using the cherished Darwinian mechanism of natural selection over time. They note, “natural selection has little to do with long term changes” (p. v). To illustrate their frustration, one of participants, Jerry Fodor of Rutgers University, honestly admitted stating, “Basically I don’t think anybody knows how evolution works.” (p. 34) Waltke and others should understand the consequences of choosing man’s ways rather than the Word of God. They should have known, if you choose to use a particular theory, you should know where it came from and what, if any, evidence supports it. Today, the vast majority of scientists have no orientation towards God and they deny the authority of God’s Word. On November 5, 2009, the Pew Research Center polled the members of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. They concluded that while 83% of the general public believe in God, only 33 % of the scientific community had similar believes, [http://www.pewforum.org/ Science- and- Bioethics/Scientists-and-Belief.aspx]. The tragedy here is the confidence placed in Darwin’s theory, a hypothetical construct that has no legitimate right to compete in the scientific arena. It perpetuates the atheism of those who espouse it and many of our Hebrew scholars and theologians are falling for the greatest deception of all time, Darwinian Evolution through deep time.
The Father of Modern Creationism
It was in the 1940’s that Dr. Henry Morris (1918-2006), considered today to be the Father of Creation Movement, was wrestling with theistic evolution, a belief system that says that God used evolutionary processes to create the universe and life on our planet. This motivated him to dig into the Scriptures and read evolutionary literature in search of the truth. As civil engineer, he concluded at that time, “The standards of evidence supporting evolution seemed ridiculously trivial compared to the evidence on which engineers have to base their systems, and also compared to the tremendous evidences for the divine origin of the Bible.” During his time as a young instructor at Rice University, Dr. Morris’s passion was to bring people to Christ and to be an apologist for the Word of God. Since that time, he wrote sixty books always with that intent of defending God’s Word and leading people to Christ. It was the publication in 1961 of The Genesis Flood, co-authored with Dr. John Whitcomb, which influenced generations to support the biblical model of a universal flood and a young earth.
This month our ministry is offering his comprehensive commentary, a 2,215 page study Bible with ten thousand study notes and 22 total appendices. With this powerful teaching tool in hand, you will become a skilled apologist defending to the end God’s holy Word. Please consider joining with us as we hold up God’s Word, the truth that speaks clearly against the lies and long ages of evolution. Consider helping us move forward by ordering This hard cover version of "The Henry Morris Study Bible" and "The Case for Creator DVD." This is an excellent way to begin the 2013 New Year. This ministry is donor supported and we need your help in order to get this vital message out. Please continue to pray for us, that we would be bold in Christ’s righteousness and effective in shining the light of the Gospel in this dark and sin-cursed world.
Executive Director of CSI