by Rev. Gise VanBaren
Would you really think so? Have they not, in effect, won the war concerning origins? The books of science, the museums of the land, the periodicals-all unabashedly promote and maintain evolution. There is simply no room for another view-at least not the view of Scripture. To prove that they are not scientific ignoramuses, many within the churches go along with these views, howbeit with an emphasis that it is "theistic."
An interesting article about this debate appeared in the Denver Post, July 2, 1998. It had the tongue-in-cheek title, "Creation debate continues to evolve." But the sub-heading was more telling: "Evolutionists worry Bible will veto science." Some remarkable claims were made in the article.
William Curtis worries that the teaching of evolution in schools is steering young people away from God and the Bible. So the Bible scholar is running an institute here to promote the literal biblical version of creation.Meanwhile, professor Donald Wise fears that the growing influence of literal creationists like Curtis will deprive children of an understanding of contemporary science. Wise, who teaches geology at Franklin and Marshall College here, is using his science knowledge to debunk creationist views that man and the universe were created in six days, that Noah's flood killed the dinosaurs, and that the Earth is only 6,000 years old.Creationists "are a very powerful and influential group," said Wise. "The scientific community has to stand up and be counted."For decades many scientists dismissed creationism as something that faded away not long after the 1925 Scopes "monkey" trial. But now some see it as a renewed threat to the teaching of science, and they are jumping into the fray.In April, the largest scientific society in the United States, the National Academy of Science, released a new guidebook for teachers explaining how to teach evolution....Stanford biologist Donald Kennedy, who headed the group that created the new guidelines, says that pressure from religious groups is having a "chilling effect" on elementary and secondary teachers, who feel pressured to steer clear of evolution.At stake is far more than a child's understanding of Darwin's theory of evolution. The literal biblical version of creation contradicts most of geology, geochemistry, geophysics and paleontology, all of which hinge on the idea that Earth is 4.6 billion years old.Creationism has a wide following. A 1993 Gallup poll showed that 47 percent of adults favor creationism over evolution and 35 percent agree that the Bible should be taken literally.
Professor Donald Wise decided he would put up a fight. But before doing so, he decided that he must learn something about creationism. He said, "As a geologist I had a great deal of trouble understanding it."
To help sort it out, he constructed the equivalent of a geologic time line according to the creationist 6,000-year framework, which assumes that most of Earth's mountains and canyons formed during the single year of Noah's flood.For research materials, he turned to the Creation Resource Institute, which is run by Curtis.Curtis, 68, spent the first half of his career as an aerospace engineer. Twenty-five years ago he enrolled at Capital Bible Seminary near Washington, where he earned degrees in Greek, Hebrew and theology.......Curtis said he is not influenced by other religious scholars who have been willing to accept evolution, or even by the 1996 pronouncement by Pope John Paul II that evolution is compatible with Christian belief."Those people are neither educated nor Christian," he said. He argues that the central tenet of Christianity-that Christ died to redeem Adam's original sin-rests on the existence of Adam."If Noah isn't true, and Adam and Eve aren't true, then Christ is a liar," he said. Without Adam and Eve, he said, the whole picture falls apart.Many scientists acknowledge that evolution can be hard to swallow.In a recent talk in Philadelphia, Harvard paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould called evolution a threat to man's superior place in nature. It shows humans are not the crowning glory of creation, he said, but "a tiny, fragile little twig on this bushy, branching tree of life."...The rise of literal creationism is a recent phenomenon, said historian Edward Larson, who won a Pulitzer Prize this year for his book, "Summer for the Gods: The Scopes Trials and America's Continuing Debate over Science and Religion."
And so the debate goes on. The unbelieving scientist can find no other alternative to creation but evolution, which is itself hardly scientific and cannot be proven. The believing scientist seeks to prove from the realm of the natural that God did, after all, create as the Bible states it. Creationists continue to show the foolishness of the theory of evolution. Robert Doolan, in an article titled "Evolution's Three Dead Ducks" (Christian News, July 6, 1998), states:
What does a duck need to get off the ground? Well, it must at least have wings, and it must be alive.If a majority of people think a dead duck can fly, it won't change the fact that it can't. Those who reject God's creation but accept the theory of evolution are putting their faith in dead ducks. At least three of them.DEAD DUCK NUMBER ONE: If you reject God and miracles, you have no scientific law that allows something to evolve from nothing. If there is no matter in the universe to start with, there is no universe; so nothing can happen to make anything appear. Juggle figures anyway you like, but without a Creator you are not going to get anything, let alone everything.DEAD DUCK NUMBER TWO: If you reject God and miracles, there is no scientific law that can account for living things' coming to life from non-living things. Evolutionists believe that at some time in the distant past, life arose from non-living substances. But biology has no law to support this idea, and the invariable observation that only life begets life is overwhelming evidence against it.DEAD DUCK NUMBER THREE: If you reject God and miracles, you have no scientific law that would allow one type of creature to turn into a completely different type of creature. Reptiles don't turn into birds, because reptiles don't have genes to produce feathers and wings. The theory of evolution teaches that simple life forms evolved into more complex life forms, which evolved into fish, which evolved into amphibians, which evolved into birds and mammals.But there is no natural law that could allow this to happen. The best that evolution can do to explain how this might have happened is by mutations and natural selection. But mutations actually destroy genetic information, and natural selection simply weeds out unfit creatures-it doesn't produce new kinds....All the evidence is on the side of the Christian who believes the Bible's account of creation-that God created the world and all the major types of creatures to reproduce "after their kind."Evolution truly is equivalent to a belief that dead ducks can fly. When you are talking to an evolutionist who rejects God and His creation, bring up the points mentioned above. You will notice he ducks for cover when he finds his explanation can't get off the ground.
So the evolutionists are worried. They intend to carry on the battle against the creationists. And the creationist is ready to fight-often on the very ground of the evolutionist. Yet, when it comes right down to it, there is one reason why the evolutionist will never be convinced of the creationist's viewpoint, and one reason why the creationist must understand that he cannot succeed in persuading an evolutionist. That reason is put simply in Hebrews 11:3: "Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear." So then, belief in the scriptural creation account requires first and above all a living faith. Without it, it is impossible to please God. Without it, it is impossible to believe the creation account given in Scripture.
This article is from the Standard Beraer, a reformed simi-monthly magazine, Vol. 74; No. 20; September 1, 1998. Rev. VanBaren is pastor of the Protestant Reformed Church of Loveland, Colorado.