Genesis: Introduction創世記導論 The Book



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Application


  • Our faith does not depend on whether the evolution hypothesis is proved valid or not. However, objecive facts prove that the use of evolution to account for the origin of life is groundless.

  • We have to keep a skeptical eye on all the pronouncements of proof to evolution. Don’t blindly believe them. There has been no definitive evidence that can stand under scrutiny since Darwin.



  1. STUDY: The Battle of Evolution專題:進化論的爭論

Introduction


  • In recent decades, some Christians try to make creationism easier to accept by creating an alternate theory called “Intelligent Design” [ID] Theory. Atheists accuse this theory as a disguise to creationism. The accusation is partially true because ultimately, the theory leads to a Designer God. However, the emphasis of the ID theory is on the impossibility of evolution. Atheists reject the theory without careful examination because it threatens the credibility of the evolution hypothesis which is already seriously plagued by the lack of supporting scientific evidences.

  • Atheists’ irrational behaviour of defending an indefensible evolution hypothesis is difficult to understand. However, the Bible gives a short and clear explanation: atheists are described as fools with darkened hearts (Ro 1:21-22).



Explanation


What is the Intelligent Design Theory?

This theory holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by intelligent causes, not an undirected random process such as natural selection.

The explanation for some biological features by chance occurrence is not credible; they appear to have been designed. This leads to the necessity of an intelligent Designer.

There are 3 main arguments in the Intelligent Design Theory:



[1] Irreducible complexity:

Many biological features are composed of interrelated parts that rely on each other in order to be useful. Random mutation may account for the development of a single new part, but it cannot account for the concurrent development of multiple parts necessary for a complex functioning system. For example, the human eye needs the eyeball, the optic nerve, and the visual cortex in order to function. It can only work when all its parts are present and functioning properly at the same time.



[2] Specified complexity:

Random process can never produced specified complex patterns. For example, if 1,000,000 monkeys are each given a regular 45-key typewriter. Presume that each monkey can type 30 letters per minute. They are required to type a specific 12-letter word. It would have taken them 4.4 million years to correctly type the word once.



[3] Anthropic principle:

The principle states that the world and universe are “fine-tuned” to allow for life on Earth. If the conditions were altered slightly, many species would cease to exist. This can never occur by chance.

In our universe, there are more than 100 very narrowly defined constants that strongly point to an intelligent Designer. Assuming there are 1022 planets in the universe, the probability that the 122 constants would exist today for any planet in the universe by chance is one chance in 10138. There are only about 1070 atoms in the entire universe.

Some examples of Anthropic Constants:



  • [a] Gravity is roughly 1039 times weaker than electromagnetism. If gravity had been 1033 times weaker than electromagnetism, “stars would be a billion times less massive and would burn a million times faster.”

  • [b] The nuclear weak force is 1028 times the strength of gravity. Had the weak force been slightly weaker, all the hydrogen in the universe would have been turned to helium (making water impossible, for example).

  • [c] A stronger nuclear strong force (by as little as 2%) would have prevented the formation of protons—yielding a universe without atoms. Decreasing it by 5% would have given us a universe without stars.

  • [d] If the difference in mass between a proton and a neutron were not exactly as it is—roughly twice the mass of an electron—then all neutrons would have become protons or vice versa. Say good-bye to chemistry as we know it—and to life.

  • [e] The very nature of water—so vital to life—is something of a mystery (a point noticed by one of the forerunners of anthropic reasoning in the 19th century, Harvard biologist Lawrence Henderson). Unique amongst the molecules, water is lighter in its solid than liquid form: Ice floats. If it did not, the oceans would freeze from the bottom up and Earth would now be covered with solid ice. This property in turn is traceable to the unique properties of the hydrogen atom.

  • [f] The synthesis of carbon—the vital core of all organic molecules—on a significant scale involves what scientists view as an astonishing coincidence in the ratio of the strong force to electromagnetism. This ratio makes it possible for carbon-12 to reach an excited state of exactly 7.65 MeV at the temperature typical of the centre of stars, which creates a resonance involving helium-4, beryllium-8, and carbon-12—allowing the necessary binding to take place during a tiny window of opportunity 10-17 seconds long.

  • [g] Any of the laws of physics can be described as a function of the velocity of light (now defined to be 299,792,458 meters per second). Even a slight variation in the speed of light would alter the other constants and preclude the possibility of life on Earth.

While the Intelligent Design Theory does not identify the source of intelligence (perhaps God or extraterrestrial aliens), most of the proponents of this theory are theists.

How are evidences being used to support the evolution hypothesis not credible?

[1] Argument from microevolution:

Evolutionists use breeding experiments as evidence. Dog breeders have developed new breeds of dog; racehorse owners have bred faster horses; horticulturists have developed new plant varieties. However breeding involved working with pre-existing genetic information, not new information.

A species is normally endowed with a rich, diverse gene pool. By selecting out creatures with particular genes, it is certainly possible to change the general appearance of a species over time. In addition, there are natural selection due to adaptation, such as greater resistance in bacteria as a result of antibiotics, colour variations in moths for camouflage. But both types of small-scale changes are confined to the limits of its gene pool. These changes are called “microevolution”. There is not a single evidence of any macroevolution [large-scale changes that would produce new body plans, organs or biochemical systems] involving the formation of a new species.

Simple bacteria can produce another generation in a matter of minutes. Yet, throughout 150 years of the science of bacteriology, there is no evidence that one species of bacteria has changed into another. None has been observed.


[2] Argument from similarity:

Similarities between species can derive from biological ancestry. But they can also result from the necessities of intelligent design of a common designer, just like a painter will paint different pictures with the same style.

The Haeckel embryo sequence was drawn by German zoologist Ernst Haeckel about 100 years ago. It has been used to demonstrate our common ancestry with other mammals and thus prove the validity of evolution.

In his picture, he showed that the embryos of man, the ape, the dog, the rabbit, the calf, the hog are also similar in shape. However, the pictures were found to be fakes. He actually took a human embryo and copied it and then pretended that embryos of all other animals look the same. When a scientific team took the photographs of growing embryos of 39 different species, they discovered the fraud. Haeckel’s theory is now rejected by scientists. However, some evolutionists are still attempting to revive it.

There is strong resemblance among all living things: the same 20 amino acids occur throughout life on Earth, and the same 5 bases comprise all DNA molecules. Yet, in reality, their differences are greater than their similarities.

Similarities can derive from biological ancestry. But they also result from the necessities of intelligent design. Cars have 4 wheels because that is the best arrangement. In the same way, God may have created animals with 4 limbs because it was the best design. These do not by itself prove evolution.



  • The biochemical “relatedness” between various plants and animals is not what one would expect in a scheme of descent based on evolution from one common ancestor. Instead, plants or animals in one large biological grouping appear to be equidistant from those in any other group, in spite of varying physical differences among themselves. For example, the amount of difference between specific protein of insects and protein of any vertebrate is the same, as though no one vertebrate is more closely related to invertebrates than another.


[3] Argument from fossils:

Fossil record is said to display increasing complexity of life as one moves up from bottom to top of the geologic column. However, this is an oversimplification. In fact, there are gaps in the fossils and no transitional forms between the various species. Some gaps are so large that the link between species remain unbridgeable even in imagination. Also, out of the thousands of strata studied, there is not even one sequence of fossils from sequence of adjacent strata showing indisputable signs of progressive change above the species level.



  • The way to determine the age of the rocks and the age of fossils in the geologic column is based on circular logic. If the rock layer is thought to be 50 million years old, then the fossils in that rock layer are decided to be 50 million years old. Similarly, if a fossil is thought to be 70 million years old, then the rock where the fossil is found is decided to be 70 million years old. There is no absolute certainty that the age was correctly determined.

Some claim the discovery of skeleton of “ancestors” of man, specifically: [a] homo erectus (1,000,000 to 500,000 years ago, found to have used fire), [b] homo neanderthalensis (150,000 to 40,000 years ago, found to have buried the dead, and made clothes from animal skins).

However, these two have been re-assigned as homo sapiens, a different species from human beings (homo sapiens sapiens). They are also not transitional species between ape and man.

In addition, some of the “discoveries” (previously claimed to be ancestors of man) have been found to be forgeries. Others were found to be wrongly classified and are now re-assigned as belonging to apes.
[4] Argument from anatomy:

In 1925, evolutionist zoologist Horatio Hackett Newman stated: “There are no less than 180 vestigial structures in the human body, sufficient to make of a man a veritable walking museum of antiquities.” He asserted that the human is loaded with vestigial (meaning trace) organs—relics from our animal past no longer serving any significant purpose.

One reason why so many tonsillectomies were previously performed was the false belief that tonsils were “vestigial”; the tonsils are recognized today as having an immune function. Evolutionists said the pineal gland, located in the brain, was vestigial; now we know it secretes the hormone melatonin. The thymus, found in the chest, was also declared useless; we have since discovered it has an immune function. The thyroid, coccyx, and many other body parts previously deemed “vestigial” are now understood to have important uses to the body. The list of 180 vestigial structures is practically down to zero.
What latest discoveries add to the impossibility of evolution?

Scientists continue to debate the issue of how life originated. More and more questions and problems arise on the naturalistic side while evidence accumulates on the creationist side. The latest developments include:



[1] Self-assembled life arising in a primordial soup or on a mineral substrate would be expected to leave behind some inorganic kerogen tars marked by a certain carbon-13 to carbon-12 ratio. No such kerogen is found anywhere in the geologic column.

[2] Biochemists cannot manufacture (from scratch) a single DNA or RNA molecule or any of the more complex proteins, let alone a complete, functioning organism.

[3] The vast complexity of even the simplest life-form argues against random or natural self-assembly. If all the chemical bonds of Earth’s simplest living creature were broken, the chance of its reassembly is less than one in 10100,000,000,000. Even if most of the sequence positions for the atoms are not critical, the odds by the most conservative of calculations are still less than one in 103000 for assemblies attempted continuously over 10 billion years.

[4] The simplest chemical step for the origin of life, the gathering of amino acids that are all left-handed and nucleotide sugars that are all right-handed (a phenomenon known as “homochirality”), cannot be achieved under inorganic conditions.

[5] The various nucleotides essential for building RNA and DNA molecules require radically different environmental conditions for their assembly.

[6] At the time of life’s origin, Earth’s surface was relatively hot, probably between 80°C and 90°C. At these temperatures, RNA nucleotide sequences decouple. Moreover, new experimental results demonstrate that all of the RNA nucleotides themselves degrade at warm temperatures.

[7] Boundaries between plant species are much less distinct than boundaries between animal species. If there is any evolution, it should be easier for plants to evolve. Yet, no plant species radically different from already existing species has arisen under human observation.
Can Christians accept a divinely guided evolution?

Some Christians proposed that living organisms came about by the process of evolution that Darwin proposed, from simple animals to complex animals. However, God guided that process so that the result was just what He wanted to be. This is called “theistic evolution”.

Objections:

[1] The clear teaching of the Bible that there is purposefulness in God’s work of creation seems incompatible with the randomness demanded by evolutionary theory.

[2] The Bible pictures God’s creative word as bringing immediate response.

[3] When the Bible tells us that God made plants and animals to reproduce “according to their kinds” (Gen 1:11,24), it suggests that God created many different types and there would be some narrow limits to the kind of change that could come about (micro-evolution), not large scale mutations in macro-evolution.

[4] God’s present active role in creating or forming every living thing is hard to reconcile with the distant “hands off” kind of oversight of evolution.

[5] The special creation of Adam and Eve from God is a strong reason to doubt theistic evolution.

There are creationists who believe that evolution was God’s way of “creating” or God’s guidance of a sort of “creative process”. This seems to be an abuse of language.

The reason behind such a compromise is that some Christians were afraid that evolution may eventually be proved to be valid by new scientific evidences. Actually, Christian faith does not fall if evolution is true. The only problem that evolution can inflict on Christianity is that if man can be proved to evolve from lower animals because this will make the inherent value of man as God’s image difficult to defend.
If the evolution hypothesis is not supported by scientific evidence, why then are all these scientists still supporting it?

[1] Two types of evidences have been used by evolutionists: [a] tangible evidences and [b] theoretical arguments. All tangible evidences have been discredited. Theoretical arguments rest on assumptions, not observations. No one has ever observed life spontaneously generate from chemicals, or one kind of animal transform into another, or mutations generate true biological advances, or complex biochemical systems evolve. That any of these things ever happened requires faith by evolutionists. For this reason, some people consider evolution better characterized as a religion than as a science. Based on the available facts, it takes more faith to believe in the evolution hypothesis than to believe in creation.

[2] It is common to hear it asserted that “all scientists believe in evolution.” In reality, a large number of scientists have publicly rejected it. Zoologist Albert Fleischmann sums it up well: “The Darwinian theory of descent has not a single fact to confirm it in the realm of nature. It is not the result of scientific research, but purely the product of imagination.”

[3] It is true that a lot of scientists accept evolution. There are 3 possible reasons:

[a] Evolution is all some scientists have ever been taught. They believe it without ever had a chance to seriously examine the evidences.

[b] Scientists who have weigh it and know it to be unsupportable could not bear the social pressure of being ridiculed and therefore pay lip-service to the hypothesis.

[c] Atheistic scientists have no alternative but to support the hypothesis because it is a way to deny the existence of God. Because of their pride, they refuse to submit to truth. If they do not hold onto evolution, they have no answer to the questions concerning human existence and will find it difficult to reject that there is a Creator God.
Why are the evolutionists so desperate in defending the theory of evolution?

Most of the evolutionist scientists (those who actively defend evolution) are atheists or agnostics. For atheism to be objectively true (that there is no God), there must be an alternate explanation on how the universe and life came into existence. Evolution is such an explanation and is the “creation theory” for the “religion” of atheism. Evolution is therefore effectively an enabler of atheism.

For over a hundred years, the dominant scientific establishment has been moving toward an enforced orthodoxy of naturalism, materialism, and secularism. Their fear is that the theory of Intelligent Design Theory will continue to grow, gain adherents, and influence public policy. When the theory of evolution collapses, the whole secularist belief system will start to collapse. That is why so many people still support it, despite of objective evidences.

Both Creation and evolution are faith-based systems. Neither can be tested because we cannot go back in history to observe the origin of life. Evolutionist scientists reject Creation because they accept only one “scientific” explanation of origins and Creation is not science. Yet, evolution does not fit the definition of “science” any more than Creation does.

The battle about the validity of evolution is a spiritual battle. The arguments over evolution have as much to do with morality and politics as with fossils and natural phenomena. Evolutionary theory stands at the base of moral relativism and the rejection of traditional morality. With evolution, human life has no inherent dignity, and morality has no objective basis. When evolution theory fails, traditional morality and theism will advance.
What are the common strategies used by evolutionists in defending evolution?

They rely on irrational ways include: [1] name calling and exaggerations, [2] circular logic, spotty and unsubstantiated trail of fossils and missing links, [3] unwilling to accept any contradictory evidences no matter how good they are.



Evolutionist scientists try to shut down any arguments against evolution. They try to portrait the theory of Intelligent Design as against science. Many try to avoid public debates of the issue because they realize that their theory is weak.
What are the destructive influences of evolutionary theory in modern thought?

[1] If we are merely the product of matter plus time plus chance, then it is useless to think that we have any eternal importance. This should lead people to a profound sense of despair.

[2] If there is no God, there is no Supreme Judge to hold us morally accountable. There are no moral absolutes in life. People’s moral ideas are only subjective preferences. Then one cannot say that anything is absolutely right or absolutely wrong.

[3] If natural selection can bring about improvement in life forms. We should encourage survival of the fittest by not caring for the weak and allowing them to die without reproducing so that we might move toward a higher form of humanity, even a “master race”.

[4] If human beings have animals as their ancestors, animals deserve our respect. This leads to animal rights. Christians need to treat animals humanely but animals do not have rights.

[5] Many new philosophies and social theories are built upon the evolution theory, most prominent of these being secular humanism and materialism. As they claimed: now that they can explain everything with “science”, there is no need of God.

  • Teaching of Evolution in school has been debated ever since. In 1968, the US Supreme Court ruled that it is not constitutional to forbid teaching of evolution in school. And it has been taught (erroneously) as a scientific fact ever since. Ironically, teaching of creation theory in school has been facing huge protests and objections, mainly by atheist. As a result, and regretfully, even Christian youth wrongly believe that evolution hypothesis is a scientific theory.






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