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Creation Or Evolution?


I believe that God created the world, but in public school we're taught about evolution. My teachers say evolution is a fact. How can I tell if they're right?

Steve Answers:

Creation or evolution—which one is right?

You say that you believe God created the world. Why do you believe that? Is it something you heard while you were growing up, so it seems obvious or normal to you? Is it because you read it in a book? Were you present when it happened so that you can say, “I saw it!”?

Let's ask the same questions of your public school teachers and consider if the answers would be any different. Your public school teachers believe in evolution. Why do they believe that? Is it something they heard while they were growing up, so it seems obvious or normal to them? Is it because they read it in a book? Were they present when it happened so that they can say, “I saw it!”?

I think the answers for both you and your teachers probably are: yes, yes, and no. Here's a question that those who believe in creation like to throw into the discussion: Which came first—a chicken or an egg? We know that chickens lay eggs, and we know that eggs become chickens. But which one came first?

I'm a creationist, so I say that the chicken came first, since God created birds on the fifth day of creation (see Genesis 1:20). Later the chicken laid some eggs. Then a chicken came from the egg, and later it laid an egg, and so on (see verse 22).

I'm not sure how an evolutionist would answer the same question. Did the chicken eventually come from some other egg that maybe mutated into a chicken? Or did the chicken evolve from some other bird or fish or slime or animal, and then it happened to lay an egg that kept it's family line going?

Frankly, there is evidence for evolution, just like there's evidence for creation. However, neither theory is a “proven fact.” To believe either theory requires that you take a leap of faith based on some evidence that's not conclusive. Those who think otherwise simply aren't very aware or open to conflicting evidence.

In his book The Origin of Species, Charles Darwin offfered a new option for explaining how things started on earth. A few things that made his option attractive were his “scientific” description (natural selection) plus an explanation that keeps God out of the picture. I put the word “scientific” in quotation marks, because natural selection violates several key rules of science. By taking some small changes that have been observed over time (microevolution), some people decided that bigger changes could take place over a longer period of time. So if they can't explain something, they just project it back an- other 10 to 20 million years, and they can come up with an explanation for practically anything. Since science is only a few thousand years old, and since the age of “enlightenment” is only a few hundred years old, projecting back “millions of years ago” seems ludicrous to me. Perhaps you've heard the story of a young tour guide who took a group of tourists to see some cave paintings. He informed the visitors that the paintings were 10,000,002 years old. Someone asked how he knew it to the exact year. He explained, “Some expert came here and told us that they were 10 million years old, and that was two years ago.”

Even though there are incredible creations that take place all the time with plants, animals, and the birth of babies, we haven't had another creation of the world like the original creation, and we don't expect one until Jesus brings this earth to a close and creates a “new earth” (see Revelation 21).

While science always seeks to “prove” things, there are changes and new discoveries that make previous “facts” no longer facts. For example, the first president of the United States, George Washington, died because the best science of the day knew that disease was carried by the blood. So at that time sick people were bled on purpose to help them get rid of their bad blood.

Washington went through three bleedings in a row, which got rid of about a third of the blood in his body. Then he died (see Did the scientific “facts” in Washington's day help him?

Science is limited to what it can observe or make happen. For example, scientists can observe a hurricane, but they can't say exactly where it will go or what damage it will cause. Scientists can create a minihurricane on a computer or in a fish tank, but that's not the same as the real thing.

On a daily basis there are weather reports that are based on “scientific facts” that tell us how hot or cold it will be, as well as how much rain or snow will fall. How often do these “scientific facts” actually turn out the way scientists predict? Science differs from superstition. Superstition or myth might explain a hurricane as the anger of the sea or water gods. A simple rain shower might be regarded as the tears of a god. Many cultures have named the sun a god and worshipped it, because they recognized how dependent they were on it. Here's what the apostle Paul had to say about such superstition: “From the time the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky and all that God made. They can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse whatsoever for not knowing God. Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn't worship him as God or even give him thanks. . . . Claiming to be wise, they became utter fools instead” (Romans 1:20-22, NLT).1 There are plenty of stories from Greek or Chinese or Indian or African or Scandinavian mythology about a supernatural start to our earth. Those who prefer a scientific explanation would put the biblical story of creation in the same category as a myth. Yet here's something I happened to read this morning during my personal devotions. It's a few verses from Isaiah 40. The context is that God's people, who had been following idols, are being asked if they want to follow idols or God. “To whom should we compare our God? What god can we compare Him to? He's not like an idol that a craftsman makes from metal, which the goldsmith overlays with gold and sets on a base made of silver. . . . Do you people not know? Have you not heard? Weren't you told long before this? Haven't you heard how the world began? . . . Look up to the heavens. Who created the universe and all the stars you see? Who guides them through space and calls them all by name? His power and mighty strength are so great, not one of them gets lost” (Isaiah 40:18-26, Clear Word).2

The Bible begins with the “fact” that God created not only this earth, but also the heavens (see Genesis 1:1). But for scientists who weren't present, that isn't apt to convince them. As they piece together evidence today, some conclude that God created it all. Others conclude that evolution (natural selection) is a better explanation. And some have come up with a combination—the “big bang” theory and the option of creation over thousands of years instead of during one week.

True scientists will share what they know and will keep looking for more evidence, even when it changes what they understood earlier. Isn't that what everyone has to do as they “grow up”? So keep growing!

For those who think Darwin's natural selection theory is the only believable option, try reading Darwin's Black Box by Michael Behe. This biochemist points out that simplifying creation to natural selection simply doesn't work on a biochemical level. That's pretty significant on a scientific level! If you'd like a more comprehensive explanation from scientists who believe in creation, check out The Case for a Creator by Lee Strobel.

Creationists are calling these explanations “Intelligent Design” to show that the evidence from science today points out that something is behind the incredible creation of earth. But I don't expect schools or courts to approve teachers to teach “Intelligent Design,” since their goal is to keep God out of textbooks.

Let's think about living out an evolution or creation theory. If you believe in evolution (natural selection), you have no purpose in life except to survive and beat out others who are going for the same things you are. Don't share or give anything to others, unless you're certain to get paid back so you can get ahead. Exploit others because everyone is on his own; it's survival of the fittest, baby!

Plus, our society shouldn't waste our precious resources on the weak. Wipe out all who are handicapped, retarded, or “challenged.” (I'm not suggesting that you do this—I'm simply pointing out that this would be consistent with the natural selection theory.) Do you want to live in an environment like this? If you believe in creation, you are a child of God. God has given you talents to develop so that you can create for the benefit of others, which glorifies God. The more you give away, the more God gives you! Give special attention to those who are weak—what you do for them is what you are actually doing to God. (I am suggesting that you do this; it's consistent with creation and redemption.) Do you want to live in an environment like this?

While you and I and all scientists were not present at creation, the same Creator is still creating things today. According to 2 Corinthians 5:17, when an individual gives his/her life to God, that person becomes “a new creation.”

Can you find evidence of a Creator at work today in your life and in your world?

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