Basics of the Christian Faith
Prepared by Dr. John E. Marshall
THORN FIVE: EVOLUTION
Few teachings have had a more adverse effect on Christianity than Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. It for the first time offered for unbelievers a plausible explanation of a universe without God.
Darwin was at first reluctant to publish his theory. He knew its ramification. A world without God has huge implications. It means people are not special, but just another brute animal. It means life has no purpose. It means there is no basis for morality, absolutes are out the door, all is relative. It means there is no Heaven, no Hell, no life after death.
This “black hole” of human existence, our plight if evolution be true, found its ugliest fruition and fulfillment in the atheistic regimes that dominated much of the world in the twentieth century. All were built on a Darwinian world view. The result was a massive cheapening of human life, leading to dramatic, deadly results. Atheism killed more people in one century (the twentieth) than all religious wars combined have killed in the total sum of human history.
A world view based on evolution created killing fields. Only a world view based on people having been created in God’s image, and for whom Christ died, can constantly and consistently bring dignity to human beings.
Believing in evolution makes sin a moot point. Guilt becomes no longer a factor in human behavior. D. James Kennedy tells of seeing an interview of Sir John Huxley, at the time president of UNESCO, and the most prestigious evolutionist of his day. When asked his opinion as to why evolution caught on so quickly, Huxley replied, “We jumped at evolution because the idea of God interfered with our sexual mores.” So much for science for the sake of knowledge.
To hear some ardent evolutionists speak, one could easily surmise a funeral had been conducted for any belief in creation. You would think the Bible now begins with Genesis 2, Genesis 1 having been buried long ago. Instead, belief in creation is alive and well, remaining strong even within the scientific community.
The origin of life has become a battleground among biochemists and microbiologists. Darwin assumed life sprang from simpler non-living forms. He had no idea how complex even the smallest living organism is. He knew nothing about the complex DNA molecule, which exists in every living cell.
We now know the distance from inanimate molecules to the simplest living cell is as vast as the distance from the simplest living cell to a fully developed human being. We still have much to learn. Microbiology and biochemistry may become allies of belief in creation.
Fossil records seem to be also pointing our way. Darwin knew the lack of fossil evidence was a serious obstacle to his theory, but confidently predicted future discoveries would vindicate him.
In 1979, David M. Raup, curator of the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago said, “We are now about 120 years after Darwin and the knowledge of the fossil record has been greatly expanded. We now have a quarter of a million fossil species, but the situation hasn’t changed much. We have even fewer examples of evolutionary transition than we had in Darwin’s time” (Strobel, Case for Faith, p. 91).
As Strobel points out, the fossil record shows that in rocks dated back about 580 million years, there is a sudden appearance of nearly all the animal phyla. They appear fully formed, with no trace of evolutionary ancestors touted by Darwin.
The Big Bang Theory, first proposed by fellow Missourian Edwin Hubble, is the reigning explanation among scientists with regard to how the universe began. Maybe science itself will someday lead us more and more to think also in terms of the Big Banger.