You may have noticed that in Sunday’s message on creation, I didn’t use the word “evolution” once.
But I also hope you noticed that the biblical teaching on creation is 100% incompatible with the idea that life on planet earth emerged through a slow, gradual process of evolution.
Some people want to soften this point, and try to make the Bible seem less out of step with “science” by arguing that Genesis 1 & 2 are not to be interpreted literally. That’s a discussion worth having, but as I see it, there are two main reasons why the Bible’s teaching on creation is incompatible with the theory of evolution regardless of how we understand Genesis 1 & 2:
1) Adam and Eve. Scripture repeatedly portrays Adam and Eve as real, historical people who were the real ancestors of all of humanity (Acts 17:26). We needed to be saved by a literal Jesus because we are all fallen in a literal Adam (Rom 5:12-21, 1 Cor 15:21-22).
2) Death before sin. Scripture is likewise clear that the sin of Adam and Eve brought death into the world (Rom 5:12). The “futility” we witness in the world around is is a result of God’s curse on Adam and Eve’s sin (Rom 8:18-21). Darwinian evolution, on the other hand, assumes that death itself is the creative force that brought humans into existence in the first place.
That’s how evolution works: everyone is in a fight for survival, and those who develop positive mutations do a better job at survival, and so pass those positive traits on to their children. The entire process is driven by the reality of death.
Put shortly, Darwin teaches that man came into the world because of death, the Bible teaches that death came into the world because of man, and those two views are impossible to reconcile.
Well, then, but what about “the science”? My response is, what about it? We believe that Jesus died and then walked out of his own grave on the third day. If you want a faith that will pass the approval of the scientific establishment, Christianity is simply not going to work for you.
And yet, the issues are more complex—and perhaps more reassuring—than this simple answer can provide. For example, work in recent years by the Intelligent Design community (see the Discovery Institute) amply demonstrates that the science is far from settled. “Scientific consensus” is a public relations term that means less and less the further you probe.
The bigger issue, however, is that science itself is not a neutral exercise, and an honest investigation into the philosophy of science will show this. Scientific inquiry is based upon philosophical presuppositions about the universe which only stem from, and make sense within, a biblical worldview. This 6-minute audio clip from Greg Bahnsen explains this point well.
This is the reason that most of the founding fathers of modern science were Christians, at least in a broad sense, and operated from the assumption that the Scriptures are true. As this video describes, their assumptions about the discoverability of the universe were grounded in beliefs about the nature of God as revealed in Scripture.
Therefore, the scientific establishment as we see it today is something of a hijack operation. Christians got this plane off the ground, and now it’s been taken over by a group of people who are using the PA system to loudly deny the existence of flight. It’s that ridiculous, when you look at it properly.
The point of all of this? We should not be ashamed to praise our Creator, in a full-throated-way, the way Psalm 104 tells us to. There’s no need to keep looking back over our shoulders to see if all the people in lab coats are nodding in approval or not.