This post is a response to an article I read here. I hope you can tell that I’m trying to be somewhat light hearted and humorous in my response, since I’m trying to give some thoughts along the lines of what he’s saying, but also stand for some very important truths that I think are largely ignored, by all sides. If you’re at all confused by what I’m saying, go read his article first. From here on, I’m speaking in the second person, with the author of the original article as the antecedent for “you”.
1. I disagree with one of your major assumptions. Faith and Reason are not opposed. I’ll leave it at that.
2. Have you ever seen the bumper sticker that says “I believe in the Big Bang. God spoke, and Bang! it was.” I think the mounting evidence that science has been amassing that shows a definite starting point to the existence of everything supports the idea of Creation. The point where we break away from each other is when we talk about “why”. Either something caused everything to come from nothing, or nothing caused everything to come from nothing. Which makes more sense. There has to be a first mover. There has to be an uncaused cause. Read St. Thomas Aquinas and C.S. Lewis on this.
3. The next issue is when. Christians believe that it happened roughly 6 to 10 thousand years ago. Why? That’s how the geneologies of the Bible add up. Is that accurate? If there are no gaps in the geneologies, and the Bible is reliable, then yes. So we have our faith in the Bible telling us one thing, and scientists telling us another. So are faith and reason opposed? Are these two just going to continue being contradictory forever? Is there a reconciliation? This is where the Noaic flood becomes critical. If a global flood happened, it explains every single geological evidence for an old earth – and even many scientifically unexplained phenomena – with the sole exception of the ability to see stars that are trillions of light years away. Reference Spirit lake at the foot of Mount St. Helens for case studies.
The light from stars thing could easily be explained by an omnipotent God creating them already visible, just as he created Adam already a grown man. See the link above for a great article on the issue of starlight.
4. Why not theistic evolution – as you suggest? Perhaps Adam was the first man to evolve from Ape? Nice idea, but there are some incompatibilities with what the Bible teaches. The obvious one is that that’s not what the Bible says in Genesis 1-2. It says that God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into him the breath of life. Part of this is the implication that Man has a special kind of life given to him by God. Isn’t it possible, though that the God who could do this with a pile of dust could do it with a monkey? Of course. At this point, we can debate that until the cows come home.
The more important incompatibility, I believe, is the fact that Biblical doctrine places Death after the fall of man as a consequence of his sin. If there is a long train of evolutionary history in which traits are evolving and deleterious traits are killing off species and subspecies (like the Dinosaurs), then there is death before the fall and it’s not a consequence of sin. This would have a devastating impact for the core doctrines of Christianity.
For this is Christianity: Death – physical, spiritual and eternal – are all consequences of sin. All men face death as a consequence of their guilt before God Without God’s divine intervention by taking on human flesh in the form of Jesus Christ, our condition would be hopeless. But through Christ’s righteous life, sacrificial death and triumphant resurrection, God has opened the way to reconcile men to him. By faith we can be forgiven. As the hymn writer says “He to rescue me from danger, interposed his precious blood.” This is the whole of Christianity. Anything that denies this is not Christian. There is no way to tend towards this. You either are this or you are not. There are many outlying doctrines that deal in more high philosophical or pragmatic areas that we can quibble about (what’s the existential nature of the Trinity? Should I listen to Rock and Roll?), but the core of Christianity is immoveable! If theistic evolution is true, then the major premise is false, and the entire thing falls on its head.
5. Regarding your question about Adam and Noah, and who’s really the father of all mankind: the answer is both. Adam first, and then after the flood Noah again. Incest? Probably, but there’s a big difference between that and what goes on in Kentucky (said tongue in cheek. No offense to Kentuckyans). If you need to think of it in different terms, just consider how inbred and inter married the royal families all across Europe were. At a time when the first humans contained all the genetic code for untold billions of people, there would not have been the danger of deformities.
6. If there were other types of “humanish” creatures on the Earth prior to the flood, it does not harm Christian doctrine at all. I mentioned above that when God breathed life into Adam, he gave him a special kind of life that was different that the other creatures. As he says in Genesis 1:26-27 “Let us make man in our own image…” Beyond that, it is Adam specifically whom God sought out to enter into a covenant relationship with. This sets Adam and his race apart from all other life forms. So even if there were these other cro-magnon creatures before the flood, it doesn’t matter. They are not image bearers. They are not members of God’s covenant. They are no different from the animals. Does this break the Bible? Ask youself who the Nephalim were in Genesis 6. I don’t know, but your theory might very well explain them well. Did they “evolve”????
7. Let’s discuss evolution for a second. Molecules to Man evolution without any supernatural influence has six steps.
- Something comes from nothing (big bang)
- The new something forms into planets and stars, at least one of these planets containing conditions juuust right for the existence of life.
- Life begins from non-life. How?????
- New lifeforms somehow develop or learn the ability to reproduce, and somehow have the desire. Why the first amoeba decided to split in half, I don’t know. Then again, who was the first guy to drink milk….?
- Random mutations and variations in organisms leads to the introduction of new genetic information – data if you will – into their DNA causing them to transform from one species into another. A fish grows legs and lungs at the same time and happens to luckily be close enough to land to pop out onto dry ground at just the right time so it doesn’t suffocate either by drowning or by exposure to pure air. We call this macro-evolution.
- Minor changes among species over large geographic areas lead to the loss of genetic information in sub-populations, causing them to develop similar characteristics and become distinguishable from other sub-populations, such that dogs in Siberia, Alaska, and Africa end up with very different hair, size, etc., and over time even lose the ability to successfully interbreed. This is called Speciation or Micro-evolution.
There are models that Scientists have developed to theorize how #1 could have happened. There are also models for #2 – though I’m more skeptical, because wouldn’t the big bang have an equal distribution of matter, so where would gravity come from?
There are no scientific models that even begin to explain #3 and #4 – especially when you consider that life has always survived by consuming other life, so how did the first amoeba survive its first lunch break?
Now we come to the “proven” aspect of evolution. Though not so much. #6 is well documented. It’s reproducible in a lab, but Scientists are trying to get away with a cosmic bait and switch by trying to get people to believe that by proving #6 they’ve proven #5 and all the way back to #1. However, I tried to describe #’s 5 and 6 in such a way to make it obvious what the very important distinction between them is. In #6 you are always losing information. In #5 you are always gaining genetic information. Where does this come from? Only in the Theistic model do you have any explanation for it – God could have injected it. But here we’ve broken our model, because we’re specifically trying to presuppose that there is no supernatural realm or influence on the process. Scientists will claim random “mutations”, but mutations are always deformities. I’m sorry, but lungs are not deformed gills. Legs are not deformed fins. Feathers are not deformed scales. These cannot be mutations. Mutations must happen all or nothing. You cannot have several generations of fish where they gradual mutate lungs over time, because the first generation or two would have died off. Lungs are irreducibly complex – and require a very specific environment in order to function properly.
Do this experiment. Take some fish and surgically damage their gills. Then surgically implant surgically damaged and malformed lungs. Then release them into the water to see which happens first: the fish all die, or PETA arrives to arrest you. Rest assured both outcomes are guaranteed.
The fact of the matter is, there is no single shred of evidence for #5. Not one. Find it and show it to me. I dare you. There is no model or evidence for #3 or #4. So what baffles me, is that the scientific community that prides itself on skepticism (“The default scientific position is skepticism” – Mohinder Suresh, Heroes), can’t see the reasons in their own system to be veeeeery skeptical. If you stack up the reasons to be skeptical of Biblical Creationism against the reasons to be skeptical of Molecules to Man naturalistic evolution, the reasons to be skeptical of evolution far outweight the reasons to be skeptical of Creationism, for Creationism boils down to one single point: the existence of the supernatural, and science, by it’s very definition, cannot detect the supernatural. As CS Lewis said (emphasis added):
… whether there is anything behind the things science observes – something of a different kind-this is not a scientific question. If there is “Something Behind,” then either it will have to remain altogether unknown to men or else make itself known in some different way. The statement that there is any such thing, and the statement that there is no such thing, are neither of them statements that science can make.
But if other philosophical and reasonable evidences suggest it, shouldn’t it be considered? Quite simply put, evolution is a philosophical system to explain a set of valid observations having presupposed the existence of anything that science cannot detect. But what if they’re wrong. Does the emperor have any clothes?
8. The point of all of this is to say that you’re asking some very good questions. I hope that your questions lead you on the right way. May God give you wisdom and shine the light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ into your heart.
2 thoughts on “Science and Christianity: From The Big Bang to Noah, Some Responding Thoughts – UPDATED”
I’m the original author of the article you’re commenting upon, so I thought it worth my chiming in.
I don’t disagree with anything you’ve written, except maybe your first remark about my assumption that Faith and Reason are opposed. My apologies if my article read that way, because I didn’t mean it to, and I could see how that idea might come across. Possibly sloppy writing on my part. I actually believe Faith and Reason can come together, but I don’t witness this very often in the public arena (news media, books, online diatribes, etc.).
My idea behind the original article was simply to pose the questions, as it seems you understood. Thank you much for the detailed follow-up. I’m glad someone could read what I wrote and put some thought into it, without what seems the all to common response of being simply offended.
These are Jewish sources, but if you’re interested, I suggest checking out the writings of physicist and Biblical scholar Gerald Schroeder (http://www.geraldschroeder.com), especially his book “The Science of God,” and older works of other writers such as “Ramban” by Chayim J. Henoch and “The Theology of Nahmanides Systematically Presented” by David Novak. The only reason I’m not suggesting more traditional Christian sources is that you seem pretty aware of those already (Aquinas, Lewis, etc.).
Again, thank you, thank you. It makes my day that someone read my work and put some real thought into it.
Thanks for your comments!
I’m very happy to hear that I’ve had an encouraging influence on you. I only hope that the as you think things through, God will reveal to you through his Holy Spirit what the truth is you should believe.
I appreciate your comment about faith and reason. I too believe that faith and reason come together. I’m not a supporter of what many believe is “blind faith” – most commonly attributed to Kierkegaard… I do, however, recognize that the faiths that we hold blindly can often harm our ability to be reasonable – as evidenced by the hordes of people who would simply be offended by your post instead of thinking it through.
I only made that comment because your early statements appeared to make that assumption, but I probably just misread you. I apologize 🙂
I’m not afraid of any truth. I believe that God is truth, and that all truth is God’s truth. Any truth that is truly true will not contradict what God says to be true. The only lapse may be my understanding and my faith. I hope I have encouraged you as much as you have encouraged me. I’ll read your link, and might post some comments. 🙂
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