Evolution Matters!

R. David Pogge

12 February 2012

The theory of evolution is incompatible with Christianity.

Part 1 Listen

For more than 150 years there has been a passionate debate about the theory of evolution. The word “evolution” has many meanings, some of which are not controversial. One such definition is, “any kind of change,” but that’s not the kind of evolution we are talking about. Our discussion of the theory of evolution is about, “The doctrine that unguided natural forces caused chemicals to combine in such a way that life resulted; and that all living things have descended from that common ancestral form of life.”

Evolution matters to Christians, and it matters to atheists, because it affects the foundations of both belief systems. First we will look at Christianity, and why it matters to Christians. Then we will look at atheism, and see why it matters so much to them.

Christianity rests upon two fundamental doctrines. The first is that there is a connection between sin and death. Paul says it this way:

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. [. . .]

Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned-- for before the law was given, sin was in the world. But sin is not taken into account when there is no law. Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who was a pattern of the one to come.

But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God's grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! Again, the gift of God is not like the result of the one man's sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.

Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous. [Romans 5:6-8, 12-19, NIV]

For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. [ Corinthians 15:21-22, NIV]

In other words, "the wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23). Jesus died on the cross so you can have life eternal and be free from death. Jesus takes away your sins in order to take away your death, because death is the result of sin. If there is no connection between sin and death, then Jesus’ death on the cross doesn’t make any sense. Salvation depends upon the connection between sin and death.

The second fundamental doctrine of Christianity is that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” It is this doctrine that makes Christianity relevant to your life. Why would it matter to you that Jesus died to save sinners if you weren’t a sinner?

So, Christianity rests on the two foundational doctrines that the wages of sin is death, and that you have sinned.

Where did Christians get these doctrines? They come from the Bible. How would anyone know that there is a connection between sin and death if the Bible had not said so? How would you know you have sinned if the Bible did not tell you that sin is the transgression of the law, and told you what the law is? Where, other than in the Bible, is it recorded that Jesus died to save you? Ultimately, the Christian faith rests on the authority of the Bible.

Suppose Satan wanted to attack Christianity. How would he do it? If he had a weapon that destroyed the doctrine that sin and death are related, that would strike a fatal blow because, if there were no relationship between sin and death, then Jesus’ death on the cross couldn’t save you from your sin. If Satan had a weapon that destroyed the doctrine that all have sinned, that also would strike at the heart of Christianity because if there were no sinners, then Jesus died on the cross for no one, not even you. If Satan had a weapon that discredited the Bible, then you would have no reason to believe the relationship between sin and death, or that all have sinned, or any other Christian doctrine. If Satan had a weapon that attacked all these vital parts of Christianity, it would be a powerful weapon indeed.

The theory of evolution is such a weapon. The theory of evolution says species improve through natural selection. The weak die off and the strong survive. Evolutionists claim that lower forms of life were dying for billions of years before man evolved from them. If this were true, how could death be the result of Adam’s sin? Evolutionists teach that death is not the result of sin, but simply part of the natural process that created higher life forms, including man. The theory of evolution denies the doctrine that the wages of sin is death.

The Bible teaches that man caused death through sin. The theory of evolution teaches that death caused man through survival of the fittest. Either man caused death or death caused man. It has to be one or the other. There can be no compromise or reconciliation between the two.

Evolutionists also teach that there is no such thing as sin. If all things came into being through random chance, then there was no creator (other than chance) to define the moral law. Since there are no moral laws, there are no laws to transgress, so there is no sin. If there is no sin, there are no sinners. If Jesus died for sinners, and there are no sinners, then Christ died for nobody.

The Bible says that the world was created, start to finish, in six days. The Bible also contains genealogical records that place that creation week roughly 6,000 years ago. The theory of evolution says the world was created billions of years ago, and life took billions of years to originate and millions of years to evolve. If the theory of evolution were true, then the Biblical account of creation week would have to be wrong. The Bible would also have to be wrong about the connection between sin and death, the existence of sin, the reason for the Sabbath, and many other things as well.

So that’s why discovering if the theory of evolution is true or not is of so great importance to Christians. It is equally important to atheists, but for different reasons.

The foundation of atheism is self-awareness. Reality exists only because I exist. When I die my thoughts will cease to exist. Then everything else will, in effect, no longer exist because I will no longer be aware of it. Given the premise that there is no god and no afterlife, coupled with the belief that the only things that really exist are my memories of the past, my experience of the present, and my anticipation of the future, I’d be a fool not to have as much fun as I can in the time allotted. Atheism is self-centered.

But you might say, “There are unselfish people in the world.” There certainly are, and that does cause a very real problem for atheists. Occasionally there are articles in scientific journals trying to explain how unselfishness could have evolved. Their explanation usually goes something like this: Unselfishness is really disguised selfishness. When rich people give “unselfishly” to charity, it is really from selfish motives. Since they have more money than they need, they can afford to give it away. In return, they get respect and honor, and it gives them a selfish ego boost.

When people help their family or city or nation, they aren’t really being unselfish. What’s good for your family is good for you. What’s good for your country is good for you. What’s good for the planet is good for you. So, whatever you do that looks unselfish actually helps you in the end, so it is really selfish.

Their argument might be valid in many cases, but not in the case of a soldier who dies for his country. Atheist Richard Dawkins has an answer for that. He has a strange way of looking at things.

You probably think of an egg as the method by which a chicken makes another chicken. Dawkins thinks of a chicken as the method by which an egg makes another egg. The egg contains what Dawkins calls, “the selfish gene.” The driving force in reproduction is the need for the selfish gene to make more copies of itself. That’s where all the sexual urges come from.

Someone once asked Woody Allen if he wanted to achieve immortality through his work. He replied, “No, I want to achieve immortality by not dying.” From Dawkins’ point of view, genes want to achieve immortality by reproducing themselves forever. Therefore, in the case of an unselfish individual person who sacrifices himself for the good of the tribe, it is really the selfish gene trying to attain immortality by preserving the copies of itself in the other family members.

Consequently, atheism depends upon two key doctrines and a foundation.

The first key doctrine is that there are no moral laws, only natural laws. Chief among the natural laws is the Law of the Jungle, usually expressed as “survival of the fittest.” No matter how delicately you try to put it, the Law of the Jungle comes down to “eat or be eaten.” There are two forms of the atheists’ Golden Rule. The first is, “Do unto others before they can do unto you.” The second is, “He who has the gold makes the rules.” If you have enough gold, you can do just about anything you want, and doing anything you want really is the ultimate goal in life. Why should anyone spend his life doing what he doesn’t want?

The second key doctrine was expressed eloquently in a beer commercial many years ago. “You only go around once in life, so go for the gusto!” There’s no pie in the sky by and by when you die, so eat as much pie as you can right now (with ice cream on top). You don’t need to plan for eternity. Plan for the here and now. Optimize your pleasure in this world because that’s all there is.

The foundation for these two key doctrines is naturalism. In other words, there is no such thing as the “supernatural.” Everything that happens is the result of natural forces. All you can see is all there is. Given this understanding of atheism, what could you do to destroy it?

Some people try to attack selfish atheism directly. They quote scripture at the atheist. “The last shall be first and the first shall be last.” They talk about how humble and unselfish Jesus was. The atheist’s response is likely to be, “If the freeway is crowded, go ahead and let somebody cut in front of you, because that somebody might be me. But don’t expect me to do the same for you.” From an atheist’s point of view, Jesus was a fool, and anybody who lives like he did is a fool. Look where Jesus’ philosophy got him. He had a short, hard life, which ended in torture and a cruel death. Who wants to follow that example?

You can try to attack atheism’s amoral law, but that’s futile, too. In this sinful world, Satan’s cops enforce the Law of the Jungle. There are instances where God works miracles to save his people, but generally speaking, God lets Satan run this world as he pleases so that Satan’s character will be revealed. You can talk about the promise of heaven, but what atheist is going to listen if he doesn’t believe in an afterlife?

That’s why atheists disrespect Christians. They consider Christians to be rather harmless fools who believe a stupid fairy tail. The fairy tale makes Christians gullible chumps who are easy to take advantage of, so they aren’t a threat. At least, they haven’t been a threat up until recently.

In recent years, Christians have found atheism’s only vulnerable spot. Atheism’s Achilles’ heel is the theory of evolution. If natural forces are all that exist, and if everything came about by natural forces, there should be a naturalistic, scientific explanation for the origin and diversity of life. When creationists started pointing out that science is against the theory of evolution, it unsettled the atheists.

So, here is why the theory of evolution matters: If the theory of evolution is true, it destroys the foundational beliefs of Christianity. If man evolved as the result of millions of years of survival of the fittest, then death was in the world long before man. Therefore, Adam’s sin was not responsible for death. Consequently, Jesus death did not pay the penalty for sin because there is no connection between sin and death.

On the other hand, if the theory of evolution is false, it destroys the foundational beliefs of atheism. If there are no natural forces that caused life to originate and diversify into all the forms that have ever existed, then some supernatural force must be responsible. The responsible power might be a god who demands worship and punishes disobedience. This is a possibility that atheists do not want to consider.

This is why it is vitally important to discover if the theory of evolution is true or not. If the theory of evolution is true, Jesus’ death did not pay the penalty for sin. If the theory of evolution is false, then the only explanation for life is the existence of a Creator.

Now that we realize what is at stake here, we need to look very carefully at the theory of evolution to determine if it is true or not. Did the world evolve over millions of years? Or was it created in six literal days, as the Bible says.

[Music: “Let There Be Light”, Dave Pogge]

Part 2 Listen

Before the break we discovered why it is vitally important to discover if it is true that unguided natural forces caused chemicals to combine in such a way that life resulted; and that all living things have descended from that common ancestral form of life. If it is true, then Jesus’ death did not pay the penalty for sin. If it is false, then the only explanation for life is the existence of a Creator.

In recent years, the preponderance of scientific evidence has been turning against the theory of evolution, which is why evolutionists have gone to court to prevent any balanced discussion of the theory. They have used the courts, politicians, and the Public Broadcasting System to keep the truth about the theory of evolution hidden from the general public. Now, thanks to the Internet, the atheists’ censorship efforts are failing. It has been a long time coming, but the truth is finally being exposed.

Near the beginning of the 20th century, the Seventh-day Adventist Church began the modern Creation Science movement. Since then, other Christian groups have picked up the ball and carried it down the field. The Institute for Creation Research 1 and Answers in Genesis 2 are the two best known, but there are a few others as well. The group the atheists seem to be most worried about today is the Seattle-based Discovery Institute,3 which is leading the charge for Intelligent Design.

Up until now, atheists have been able to prevent any criticism of the theory of evolution in public schools on the grounds that the only alternative is religious. They have been able to get the courts to rule that religion must be kept out of the classroom. The Discovery Institute avoids any mention of “God,” and argues that life is too complex to have been the result of purely natural processes.

This is essentially the same approach as Science Against Evolution 4 has been using since 1996. The Discovery Institute has had more public success because they are better funded and has more prestigious leaders.

This approach is working because the lack of viability of the theory of evolution shows the weakness of the atheists’ foundation. Natural explanations aren’t sufficient to explain the origin and diversity of life. Furthermore, the more modern science reveals about the complexity of life at the cellular level, and the more we realize how carefully balanced the ecosystem is, the more obvious it is that natural explanations just aren’t sufficient. That means that there must be some forces above and beyond the natural forces we can examine in the laboratory.

If natural forces could not have been responsible for the origin and diversity of life, then it logically follows that since life exists, it must have been created by some sort of supernatural force. The only credible explanation is the Genesis account. If that part of the Bible is true, it means that God really exists, and the Bible really is God’s word.

Intelligent Design has been described by Phillip Johnson, an early leader of the Intelligent Design movement, as a “wedge.” Scientific criticism of the theory of evolution opens the door for acceptance of any other theory of origins. The obvious “other theory” is the Genesis account. Intelligent Design isn’t overtly religious. It concludes that life has the characteristics of being designed, but it never speculates about who or what that designer might be. The designer could be the God of Abraham, or it could be little green men from Mars who seeded the Earth with life as an experiment, or some other unknown intelligent life form perhaps in another dimension.

If you find a watch lying on the ground, you don’t know if it was made by Timex, Casio, Rolex, or some other company. But you can be sure that it was made intentionally by somebody even if you can’t identify the maker. In the same way, Intelligent Design can’t identify the designer; but it does prove that there is a designer.

Intelligent Design makes some excellent technical arguments about how to distinguish naturally occurring things, like rocks and crystals, from designed things, like Mt. Rushmore and TV picture tubes. These criteria for recognizing design can be verified by applying them to natural and man-made items. These criteria work perfectly when tested in this way, so the criteria have established reliability. When these criteria are applied to living things, the clear conclusion is that they were designed.

Evolutionists are forced into the uncomfortable situation of explaining why something that clearly looks like it was designed actually was made unintentionally by natural forces. They can’t do that. They have to appeal to unknown “laws” of self-organization. When they have to defend their faith in public, it becomes obvious to the public that evolution must be accepted by faith without (and in spite of) scientific evidence.

That’s why you will never see an evolutionist on a cable TV show try to defend evolution on its scientific merits. The evolutionists will simply try to equate evolution with science, and equate any criticism of evolution with religion, and move as quickly as possible to a discussion of whether it is legal to teach religion in public schools or not. That’s because science is against evolution.

Every year scientists discover more reasons NOT to believe in evolution. So much evidence has been found against evolution, and there is so little evidence remaining for evolution, that evolution is no longer a plausible theory. But this information isn’t widely publicized, and many people still believe the theory of evolution is true.

The theory of evolution depends upon three conjectures. All of these three conjectures must be true for evolution to be true. But the best available scientific data indicates that not one of the three fundamental conjectures is true.

The first conjecture is that dead things can come to life all by themselves. Today this foolish notion is universally rejected by scientists, but it still remains the foundation of the theory of evolution.

The second conjecture is that genetic mutations can create new functional biological systems. But the more we learn about genetics and the complexity of even the simplest biological system, the more it becomes apparent that they did not arise by luck filtered by natural selection.

The third conjecture is that the Earth is old enough for the first two conjectures to have happened. Evolutionists believe the Earth is about 4.6 billion years old, but that belief is built upon unlikely assumptions. Furthermore, 4.6 billion years isn’t long enough to accommodate the first two conjectures.

Since 1996, Science Against Evolution has been publishing articles reviewing the professional scientific literature containing scientific evidence against the theory of evolution. There are now more than 650 such articles on the Science Against Evolution website. Clearly we don’t have the time now to read all of them to you. We simply want to make you aware that you can go to ScienceAgainstEvolution.ORG and read them for yourself. You might be amazed at how much scientific evidence against the theory of evolution has been published in the peer-reviewed, professional scientific journals, but kept hidden from the general public. The Science Against Evolution articles contain many footnotes to the professional literature so that you can read the entire peer-reviewed article, in context, to verify for yourself that Science Against Evolution has accurately summarized the conclusions for you. If you want to know the truth about the theory of evolution, go to Science Against Evolution dot O R G.

But our purpose in this broadcast is not to convince you that the theory of evolution is false. The theory of evolution really is false, and hopefully the abundant information at ScienceAgainstEvolution.org will convince you of that, if you aren’t convinced already; but that’s not what this broadcast is all about. Our purpose is to convince you that it is important for you to understand why the theory of evolution is incompatible with Christianity. There are many people who try to find some compromise between Christianity and the theory of evolution. We want to tell you why that compromise must not be made.

In case you tuned in late, in Part 1 of this broadcast we said that Christianity is based on the doctrine that death is the result of sin, and only Jesus’ death on the cross can pay the penalty for sin. It is a fundamental tenant of Christianity that man caused death.

The theory of evolution proclaims that death caused man. That is, it took millions of years of death of the less fit, for evolution to produce man. If death was in this world for millions of years before man, then man’s sin did not cause death. If there is no connection between sin and death, then Jesus death cannot pay the penalty for sin and save us from eternal death.

Atheists have duped some congregations into accepting theistic evolution, which is nothing more than a compromise of bad science with bad theology. The Clergy Letter Project encourages churches to celebrate Darwin Sunday on the Sunday closest to Darwin’s birthday, February 12, because, “evolution is quite simply sound science; and for them, it does not in any way threaten, demean, or diminish their faith in God. In fact, for many, the wonders of science often enhance and deepen their awe and gratitude towards God." 5 Although they are sincere Christians, they believe the propaganda that the theory of evolution is an established fact, so they think they have to change Christianity to agree with scientific “truth.” In fact, they are trying to change Christianity to agree with a scientific lie, which makes Christianity a lie. Attempting to appear wise, they become fools.

The creation account is a perfectly good explanation of how the world began. There is no need to change it. So let’s close our broadcast as Judy Harper sings, “Eden, a perfect place.”

[Music: “Eden a Perfect Place”, Judy Harper]

Footnotes:

1 Institute for Creation Research, http://www.icr.org
2 Answers in Genesis, http://www.answersingenesis.org
3 Discovery Institute, http://www.discovery.org
4 Science Against Evolution, http://scienceagainstevolution.info/index.shtml
5 Clergy Letter Project, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_Sunday