The conflict between the theory of evolution and creationism has been actively debated for the past century. The warfare in the court system has
largely quieted down, but the battle in the print media still rages. If you
visit any typical Christian bookstore, you will likely find a large section
of books devoted to the topic of the origin of life.
After studying this issue for several years, I have concluded that very little can be gained by debating evolution vs.
creationism. Two of the biggest obstacles to effective debate on the topic are: 1) the lack of
conclusive scientific evidence to forever resolve the issue; and 2) the
lack of openmindedness on the part of both camps.
Our limited understanding of the historical record and the workings of the
universe makes it difficult for any side to get an advantage over the
other. Until the day comes when God supernaturally reveals himself, both
sides will still be entangled in this endless battle.
Because salvation is the most important issue for us to be spending our time and energy on, all Christian endeavors
need to be productive in the area of winning people for the Kingdom of
God. When it comes to soul winning, arguing about creationism simply does not carry any
weight. Because of the combative nature of this conflict, the
salvation message always seems to be lost in the struggle.
I agree 100 percent with my creationist brethren that our ancestors did
not swing from trees by their tails. I just don't think we should be
conducting a propaganda war to win new converts.
The Church has a proven history of using faith to triumph over science.
When Christians switched to battling with the weapon of science, they began
suffering one defeat after another. Evolutionists have good reason to
crow about their victories in public schools and in institutes of higher
learning. Over the years, they have mopped the floor up with
creationists, having won virtually every major contest. With creation science having
such a dismal record, I think it's time to look for a better strategy.
Evolutionists and creationists have many differences, but they share
one common trait: they tend to oversimplify their explanations of the process by which
Evolutionists are always trying to find evidence that shows the
evolutionary process is a natural rule of physics. Scientists have a bias
toward believing that the atoms that make up DNA naturally fall into
place if given the right environment.
They often speculate on the probability of life forming on other
planets. Every time a probe explores one of the planets or moons in our
solar system, engineers are looking for evidence of life. Mars is
often cited as possibly having the right conditions for the formation of life.
Even if Mars were a mirror copy of Earth, with perfect conditions for supporting
living organisms, it would still be highly unlikely that any
type of life would form on that planet. The odds are stacked so heavily
against the formation of the complex molecular structures, the discovery
of living organisms in any other region of our own solar system would
only serve to prove the existence of a divine Creator.
It is reckless for someone to think it is a simple feat to have 3 billion
amino acid molecules perfectly link up to form the basic genetic code of
life. All scientists should find themselves forced to use the term
"miracle" when assessing the odds for life forming on any planet.
In the game of chance, evolutionists are way ahead of themselves. Not
only are their missing links missing, but so are a thousand other steps
that would require non-living matter to form into life.
Creationists make their oversimplification error by claiming the world
around us can easily be described by the information found in the Bible, which they
frequently try to portray as an all-inclusive scientific
Despite the claims by some Christians, God's Holy Word is not a book of
science. The Bible is factual, but because it makes such broad
statements about our complex world, it is counterproductive to try to go
beyond its original text. I've read many of examples of Christians going
through the Bible and gleaning out statements that appear to be
scientific in nature.
This type of activity seems noble, but it invites critics to point out how
these examples seem to conflict with known scientific truths. Creationists
often claim that the deep oceanic trenches are fountains of the deep that
eject most of the water that comprised the Noadic Flood. Geologistsl
point out that the Earth's core is hot just up to its crust and these
trillions of gallons of water would come out as super-heated steam.
Because God could have acted supernaturally at any point in history,
it's dangerous to assume that any Bible passage can be explained with
This article is actually a follow-up to my "This Old Planet" webpage. I
wrote that article to address the debate over the Earth's age, but what
I was mainly looking for was how most Christians would deal with
evidence that contradicts the popular notion of an Earth that was older
than 4000 B.C.
I knew that most of the feedback related to the article would side with the
young Earth view. I didn't expect email from so many people who
disagreed with my views without even knowing why they do so. One woman
wrote, "Todd, you present a good argument for an old Earth
view, but I'm sure there is evidence out there somewhere that explains
why the Earth is young."
It is rather obvious that many Christians hold to the young Earth
view based solely on the opinion of other believers. It is dangerous for
Christians to automatically hold to a viewpoint for social reasons.
Group mentality may work on many occasions, but when this type
of thinking fails to work, it often leads to grievous errors.
Creationists' conclusion that the Earth is 6,000 years old is motivated
largely by fears that the acceptance of an old Earth would be part of an
evolutionary time scale.
Truth is not something that is brought into existence by a popular vote.
A person can believe that he has a million dollars in the bank, but if he doesn't have that much money in his account,
blind faith cannot change that reality.
It is bit of a contradiction for a creationist to claim that life is
too complex to have formed by chance while at the same time claiming that the majority of the fossil record was created by a single flood event.
Many of the forces that created the Earth's wealth of the fossil layers
are unrelated to any type of flood activity.
Junk DNA and Left-Handed Amino Acids
The supporters of evolution and creationism cite an endless number of
examples to support their view. Because we have such a limited
understanding of how life operates, the validity of most of this
evidence is subject to change at any moment.
Molecular biologists believe that more than 95 percent of all DNA code
has no ascribed function to it. The unused portion of the genetic chain
is commonly called "junk DNA."
It has been proven that sections of DNA can be cut out or replaced with
randomized sequences with no apparent effect on the organism. The fugu
fish has a genome that is about one-third as large as its close
Evolutionists argue that junk DNA is left over from a random
evolutionary process. They claim if life had a designer, there would not
be so much excess genetic code.
The 20 amino acids that are used by life are all of the left-handed
variety. Because the right side of the amino acids bonds with the
double spirals of the DNA helices, the left side of two pairs of amino
acid molecules are able to match up.
Even the most committed evolutionists would have to admit that it would be odd
for this chemical arrangement to occur by chance. They would also
need to realize the luck involved in not having a right-handed amino that would
interfere with the structure of DNA.
Without knowing all the facts, it's hard to determine the reason
something is designed in a certain way. In the world of plumbing, nearly
all sinks have an s-shaped pipe that holds a small amount of water.
Because this joint is the most common cause of blocked drains, a
straight drain pipe would seem to be a better design. However, the reason sinks
come with water traps is to prevent smelly sewage gas from come up through the
piping. Until you became aware of the need to block the sewage gas, the
usage of the s-shaped pipe would seem to be a design flaw.
God may have a vital reason for including so-called junk DNA, and there
may be a logical chemical reason for those 20 amino acids to be
left-handed. The search for an answer to these two opposing dilemmas is
The Boundaries of Chance Cannot Be Set
Both creationists and evolutionists frequently present arguments that deal
with the odds of life forming by chance. While making their arguments, they
often set boundaries that really should not be set.
Time limits one of the most common of these boundaries. If time before is
eternal, it not honest to establish time windows for the occurrence of
One favorite time-related illustration that creationists like to use is
the one about the tornado going through a heap of junk and creating a 747 jumbo
jet. They say this is proof of the unlikelihood of evolution taking
Because there is no boundaries on time, you cannot honestly apply this
analogy as an argument against the theory of evolution. If one single tornado passed through a
junkyard, it would not form a jumbo jet. If the process were repeated an infinite number of times, jumbling nature of the twister’s twirling winds would eventually result in the construction of fleet of jets.
Evolutionists fail to take into account the vast number of factors that
would have prevented life from forming by chance. If Darwinists devoted
more research to the unlikelihood of the evolutionary process
occurring, they would probably be more open to the existence of a divine
Every time a feature is added to an organism, the odds against its
existence by chance climb all the higher. Because life would have had to
scale this mountain of impossibility to get where it is now, we would
have wonder how many zeros are behind the number of improbability.
We are truly dealing with numbers that go far beyond our ability to
comprehend. Scientists say the universe might be a few
billion years old. They have no way of knowing what was going on a
trillion, quadrillion, quintillion, sextillion, septillion, octillion,
nonillion, or decillion years ago.
If 1 sexoctingentillion were written out, it would be the number 1 followed by 2421
zeros. Only God
could tell us what the universe was like sexoctingentillion years ago.
In the battle of odds between creationism and evolution there is no way
for man to determine a mathematical likelihood for either side. The laws
of chance concerning the formation of complex life and the existence of a
divine Creator are so astronomically large, our limited knowledge makes
us unqualified to judge this contest.
Where Did God Come From?
Creationists commonly argue that life is so complex it requires a
Creator. Of course, this claim raises the question:
"Where did God come from?"
If creationists are going to play by the rules of science, they
need to resolve this quandary. Unfortunately, until God reveals himself,
we have no way of asking Him this all-important question. It is
possible that the Lord may have existed for so long even He has lost track
of His own beginning.
The inability of creationists to explain the origin of God is a huge
obstacle to being able to convince anyone of the validity of the whole concept of creation science. Creationists cannot
argue that evolution is too elaborate to have been triggered by a simple
chemical reaction while maintaining the belief that a vastly more intricate
Creator "just exists."
A "God who has no beginning and no end" argument sounds nice in theological
terms, but it is does not contribute to winning the debate. Evolutionists
have the same right to argue that life began from a spark of unknown
The Silent Universe
For many years astronomers have been scanning the electromagnetic
spectrum in search of signals that originate from distance worlds.
Several organizations have supercomputers that constantly analyze
millions of frequencies for signs of extra-terrestrial
intelligence. The SETI Institute is probably the most well known of
these types of organizations.
After spending several decades looking for these signals, not one hint
of a complex message has ever been detected. The only conclusion that can
easily be made is that we are living in a ghostly silent universe.
Some scientists have openly speculated that evolution would call for
thousands of worlds like Earth. Because some powerful telescopes have
found planets going around other stars in an orbit pattern similar to
that of Earth, the claim is made that they have the right temperature, the right
conditions, and the right chemistry for life. All this hopeful
speculation cannot escape the truth that so far the search has been in
The lack of chatter from outer space does not disprove evolution, but it
does cast doubt on the idea that evolution is a nature process. There
may be life on other planets that has not yet mastered electronic
communications. Before the 20th century, Earth was a quiet place.
Because the argument is over evolution, they really can be excused for
not advancing to the point of broadcasting their existence.
The Gift of Faith
When I was a new believer in Christ, I often wondered why the Bible did
not include evidence that would overwhelmingly prove God's existence. I
was thinking that the Lord should have added to Scripture things like
E=mc², the periodic table of elements, or a diagram of our own Milky
I now realize that this type of approach would probably not work. Albert
Einstein's famous equation that explained the relationship between mass
and energy would have been unrecognized during any period prior to the 20th century.
When Einstein finally developed his formula, he would probably have chosen to
express it in a way that would avoid any confusion with the mysterious
one found in the Bible.
It also questionable whether God would be praised if He had revealed hidden
knowledge. Men could argue that early alchemists should be given the
credit for discovering the primary elements. The diagram of Milky Way
might be attributed to some stargazer's good eyesight.
God does provide some supernatural proof for intellectuals to chew on.
He uses Bible prophecy to reach out to the skeptical mind. Any scientist
will tell you that it is impossible for us to predict future events.
But even prophecy is not enough to satisfy all the doubters. They try to
explain it away as just coincidental events or the product of logical
guesswork. The stubbornness of man reminds me of the words from the old
Doobie Brothers' song, "A wise man has the power to reason away what a
fool believes he sees."
To get around all the skeptical thinking, God blessed with us with the
ultimate proof. I believe divine faith is what God uses to establish a
relationship with man. Faith in God is a gift given to people who are
willing to receive it. Faith does not have to compete with opposing
theories; it is the purest form of truth.
We are not talking about blind faith in a deity that you cannot prove
or disprove. This type faith is the direct result of the working of the
Holy Spirit. The Word of God gives several examples of how the Holy
Spirit is a vital factor in leading people to the truth.
"The man without the Spirit does not accept the things of the Spirit for
they are foolish to him, and he cannot understand them for they are
spiritually discerned" (1 Cor. 2:14).
"Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his
mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the
Holy Ghost" (Tit. 3:5).
"You are a new creature in Christ, with the Holy Spirit dwelling in you.
There are two members warring against each other. The Spirit which is
quickened, or alive, and your sinful nature. The Holy Spirit works
within you, both to help you think the way God thinks and to overcome
the power sin has in your flesh. Paul tells us not to grieve the Holy
Spirit that is at work within us" (Eph. 4:30).
"And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for He who comes to
God must believe that he is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek
Him" (Heb. 11:6).
With faith being given out freely to all who seek truth, Christians
have no need to be in the business of mixing science with religion.
With prayer, we have the ability to supernaturally win over even the most
stubborn evolutionists. I think creationism is harmful because it
distracts from what is clearly a better way to win people to the Kingdom
Seek God and You Will Find Him
The triumph of creationism over evolution is not about finding that one
piece of evidence that will settle the debate. Our generation is
drowning in a sea of information. Because two people can look at the
same data and come up with different conclusions, we need to turn to God
for a resolution to this issue.
I firmly believe that anyone who searches for the Creator of all life
will eventually find Him. The Supreme Lord of Universe would never
allow someone to claim that He ignored their pleas. It may take an
unknown amount of time and prayer, but for diligent seekers God always
God has set up a very clever system for revealing himself to mortal
man: He discloses the truth to people who humble themselves and hides
it from those who are proud. If you reject God out of pride, the light
of the truth will pass you by.
"Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you" (Jam. 4:8).
"The fool has said in his heart, 'There is no God'" (Psa. 14:1; 53:1).