From the early onset of childhood to late adolescence I was catechised by our education system that my very existence came about as a result of an evolutionary process, where every single living creature on the planet shared a common ancestor from a miniscule germ that lived billions of years ago. And alongside the vast majority of Westerners, I’ve taken this to heart as the assumed meta-narrative that explained the origin of humanity for many years.

Since the birth and development of this theory, many evangelical Christians in the West have tried to harmonise evolutionary thought with Scripture to explain that God accomplishes His ultimate purposes for creation and humanity through naturalistic means – this approach is commonly known as theistic evolution.

But does evolution really fit in with Scripture? Does God actually work His purposes in this seemingly-mechanical and impersonal way with His creation?

1. The Main Contention: Microevolution and Macroevolution

It is safe to say that there are clear and well-documented reasons to believe in certain nuances of evolution, which we need to make strong clarifications for:

Microevolution can be defined as the rearrangement of already-existing genetic information within a given species through either sexual reproduction or genetic mutation. These genetic changes are ‘micro’ in the sense in which these changes are confined within its own kind. For example, fruit flies emit a certain colour in some environments, and will emit other different colours depending on its environment, as an aid to survival and reproduction. This phenomenon is observable, and also finds some biblical basis in the creation narrative, where God has made living creatures with all sorts of various traits and characteristics (Gen 1:11-12).

What has found more controversy within evangelical circles in regards to this discourse, is whether Christians can find credence in the theoretical extrapolation of this phenomenon – macroevolution.

When people often talk about evolution, what they are actually referring to is macroevolution – which can be defined as the accumulation of these ‘micro-genetic’ changes over extended periods of time, to which an already-existing genetic species evolves into a new genetic species. This is the view of evolution that Christians have most contention with, and is the view that we’ll be focusing on with the rest of this article.

2. The Fallacy of Macroevolution

We should reject the theory of macroevolution and here are five brief reasons why:

a) The creation of humanity was an instantaneous act done by the divine hand of God, not by the passive and prolonged process of macroevolution

The evolutionary dogma teaches that men and women are mere higher-order organic innovations who have advanced through the evolutionary chain, possessing traceable qualities that are shared with all other modern organisms from that single ancestral germ.

But according to Genesis 2:7, we see that God took dust from the ground and formed Adam by the works of His own hand, and breathed the breath of life into his nostrils to bring him to life. God did not take an already-existing living organism, whether animal, bird or plant, and hand that living organism over to the evolutionary principles of natural selection to have its components reconstructed to form Adam. God Himself was personally involved in the creation of humanity (Isa 45:12) and immediately made them in the image of Himself, and thus stand in vast distinction to all else in creation (Gen 1:27).

b) There are divinely-imposed boundaries between each living species, to which their creaturely distinctiveness precludes the idea that a species of a certain kind can produce a species of another kind

In the biblical creation narrative, God created animals, birds, and plants ‘according to its kind’ and this particular phrase gets repeated three times across the first chapter of Genesis (Gen 1:11-12, 20-21, 24-25). This strongly suggests that though there are a plethora of genetic variations within the kinds of animals, birds, and plants that exist, each created kind is made distinct from each other. It implies that any species of a particular kind are not able to evolve outside of its divinely-imposed genetic limitations – the essence of a certain kind cannot mutate into the essence of another kind.

For instance, the distinctive traits of a hawk may evolve overtime (such as the shape of its beak, the sharpness of its claws, the colour of its feathers) to adapt to its changing environments, but the hawk can never hope to evolve its traits into ones that a crocodile exhibits (such as its bony, plated scales, muscular tail, and its long jaw). This is because God, in His creative wisdom, has placed boundaries to creatures of all kinds in accordance with its design, which tears the propositional harmony between macroevolution and Scripture.

c) The biblical creation narrative and the evolutionary narrative differ at the point of time in which death entered into the world

If theistic evolutionists lead us to believe that the human species is the genetic end-product manufactured by the death-inducing process of natural selection, then in order for this to happen, death must have been introduced into creation prior to the Fall. But the inconsistency arises when we see that in the biblical narrative, death entered the world only when Adam sinned in the garden in Eden (Rom 5:12; 1 Cor 15:21).

Some have tried to argue that this kind of death was only spiritual (and not necessarily physical), and that humans would still seem to undergo a sort of ‘gentle’ physical death in the Pre-Fall state. Therefore the concept of physical death existing within both the human and animal kingdom prior to the Fall would be made compatible with this interpretation. Though I cannot disagree that the Fall has brought spiritual death to all people (Eph 2:1-2), nowhere in the text seems to suggest the idea that the curse placed on mankind was only spiritual, unless you impose the idea into the text itself. In fact, it is heavily implied that part of what the curse of mankind in Genesis 3 entailed was a death physical in nature, since Adam was to return to the dust to which he was taken from (Gen 3:19).

Others have tried to argue that there were animals that were predatory in nature that existed before the Fall, implicitly asserting that animal death was possible prior to the entrance of sin. But in Genesis 1:29-30 we read that God has prescribed a vegetarian diet to both man and animals, which rules out any carnivorous behavior that might be inhibited within certain animals.

d) There is insufficient evidence to support the theory of macroevolution

We should have expected to find an abundance of historical findings of so-called ‘transitional’ fossils, which are fossilized remains of creatures that exhibit traits common to two different animal groups (for e.g. a lizard with feathers). And though many have claimed to have discovered more fossils of this nature since the time Darwin first published his thesis, Australian molecular biologist, an agnostic, and medical doctor Michael Denton, wrote about his skepticism towards evolutionary theory, saying it “is still, as it was in Darwin’s time, a highly speculative hypothesis entirely without direct factual support and very far from that self-evident axiom some of its more aggressive advocates would have us believe” [1].

It is also a far stretch for evolutionists to claim that since the mechanisms underlying microevolution are observable (and hence, is said to be true), the extrapolated concept of microevolution, macroevolution, must therefore also be accepted as true.

In 1988, biologist Richard Lenski started an experiment using 12 flasks seeds with genetically identical bacteria called E. coli, placing discrete amounts of glucose in each flask to create a stressful environment for these bacteria in the hopes of pushing it to evolve. After working on this experiment non-stop for 30 years, researcher Dustin Van Hofwegen writes that Lenski’s long-term evolution experiment has reached an experimental dead end:

Here we show why it probably was not a speciation event… We conclude that the rarity of the LTEE mutant was an artifact of the experimental conditions and not a unique evolutionary event. No new genetic information (novel gene function) evolved.” [2]

Though the lab experiments clearly demonstrated bacteria’s infinite potential for adaptability, the bacteria never mutated into a living form that contained new genetic information, even after the estimated hundreds of millions of mutations that occurred over the course of the experiment.

Although we are able to observe the small amounts of variations of genetic information within species of already-existing organisms, there has been no tangible way in the present to observe how these micro variations change the essence of a pre-existing organism into an entirely new organism, given it requires substantially long periods of time to track its progress. The evidence in support for evolution has been found wanting thus far, and there is no justified reason to believe that this process carries the potential to produce a species that exhibit a new set of genetic information.

e) Evolutionary theory is a by-product of sinful man’s rejection of God and His Word, and not a by-product of man’s desire to know and investigate truth

I am certainly not against those who valiantly and vigorously seek to examine and understand the intricacies of our world in much greater depths for the betterment of our society, and there is much to give thanks for the scientific and biological advancements that has produced increased standards of living that we Westerners get to enjoy, as a result of the research that has been produced.

However, it would be a far cry to say that macroevolution is the by-product of man’s superior intellect and of noble searching for truth, and a means to enable mankind to flourish in uncharted measures. In fact, the immense number of aggressive advocates for this religion of evolution, despite the underwhelming evidential support for its veracity, gives evidence to the fundamental problem that is inherent in every single human (or ‘so-called’ higher-order primate): that sin has committed carnage to the mind of mankind (Rom 1:21, 28), such that they do not desire to know truth that pertains to God. They already possess a primordial knowledge of God (Rom 1:21), yet they surpass and reject that truth out of their hatred for the Creator (Rom 1:18). What is most compelling to so many people about the theory of evolution is not that it is grounded on any evidence or persuasive rational argument, but rather because it is an alternative way of understanding the origins of humanity without putting God into the big picture. It is a worldview that offers escapism to God-haters from the realities of the world.

But though people may think they can run away from the truth, the splendor of creation clearly testifies to the divine perfections of its Creator (Ps 19:1; Rom 1:19-20), so they are without excuse. They also cannot escape the absurdities that evolution leads them to: to hold to a defecated view of humanity as a mere cluster of glorified microbes, and to perceive their ongoing existence as passing stardust in the cosmos. American evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne states that:

Evolution is the greatest killer of belief that has ever happened on this planet because it showed that some of the best evidence for God, which was the design of animals and plants that so wonderfully matched their environment could be the result of this naturalistic, blind materialistic process of natural selection.” [3]

3. Allowing the authority of Scripture to challenge your philosophical presuppositions

I don’t expect all of you who are reading this to come to full agreement with everything that has been said. However, I do want to challenge many of you who struggle to read the creation narrative clearly in light of your philosophical presuppositions – if you claim to be a believer on scriptural inerrancy, and a believer of the authority of God’s word, then ask yourself this question:

“Can you really find evolutionary thought in the biblical text, or are you imposing evolutionary thought into the biblical text”?

If we truly care about knowing God’s truth on God’s terms and conditions, then we must (a) critically scrutinise our own presuppositions and beliefs, which are often faulty and unwarranted, and (b) allow the Scriptures to speak for itself. Allow the Spirit of humility to enter our minds when we read His Word, so that you can interpret Scripture with not only a good conscience, but with good confidence that the Spirit will help you to discover profound truths that will excite you more than you would ever imagine!


References

[1] – Denton, M 1986, ‘Evolution: A Theory in Crisis’, p. 77

[2] – Hofwegen, V 2016, ‘Rapid Evolution of Citrate Utilization by Escherichia coli,’ Journal of Bacteriology

[3] – Jerry Coyne on the Odd Couple: Why Science and Religion Shouldn’t Cohabit (21 December 2012), added by Glasgow Skeptics [Online]. Available at <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0wCIa_OQ-2s&noredirect=1> [Accessed 18 May 2019].

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