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Evolution and the Bible

The Days of Creation - Evolution and the Bible

But now ask the beasts, and they will teach you; and the birds of the air, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you; and the fish of the sea will explain to you. Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this, in whose hand is the life of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind?

--Job 12:7-10  


As we have studied the days of creation, we learned that God created the world in six literal days and rested on the seventh day. However, there is a popular world view that refutes what the Bible teaches in Genesis 1. It is a world view that has turned many people away from God. Today we will discuss the topic of evolution and how it relates to the Bible.

Before we begin, let us define some relevant terms:

  • Creationism – God created the world in six literal days and rested on the seventh day (Genesis 1:1-31, 2:1-3)

  • Evolution – all life descended from a single common ancestor (by chance)

    • Microevolution – changes within a species (e.g. going from a wolf to a poodle)

    • Macroevolution – changes from one species to another (e.g. going from molecules to a man)

  • Intelligent design – a higher being designed the necessary machinery for life (e.g. life did not arise by chance)

A quick note: many people confuse macro- and microevolution when they talk about evolution, although they are most often referring to macroevolution.When Charles Darwin made his famous observations about the size of the beaks of finches on different parts of the Galapagos Islands almost 200 years ago, he was observing microevolution in action. Macroevolution has never been observed in our lifetime. 

Creationism, (macro)evolution, and intelligent design are three different world views. You cannot believe in both creationism and macroevolution. Neither can you believe in both macroevolution and intelligent design. All Christians believe in intelligent design, yet the converse is not true – there are many people who believe in intelligent design who do not necessarily believe that the designer of life is God.

So, what's the big deal about evolution? A lot of Christians believe that the first 11 chapters in the book of Genesis are just allegorical stories that teach us life lessons. Why can't we just believe that God used evolution to create mankind? 

Let's turn to Psalms 11:3 and read this verse together:


If the foundations are destroyed, What can the righteous do?



The psalmist asks an important question we all should consider. What can the righteous do when the foundations are destroyed? Friend, I would argue that the first 11 chapters in the book of Genesis are foundational to Christianity and our belief in God. For example, where is the Biblical reference point to the institutions of marriage and the Sabbath? It is found within the first 11 chapters of Genesis - chapter 2, to be exact.

Furthermore, if the story of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden is just a parable, then what does that do to our understanding of the concept of sin? If Adam and Eve did not exist, then there was no original sin. If there was no original sin, then humanity was not born sinful. If there was no original sin, then why did Jesus die on the cross?

The world view of macroevolution not only undermines marriage, the Sabbath, and Jesus' sacrifice at the cross, it also calls into question the character of God. Genesis chapter 1 mentions several times that God saw what He created and that it was good. Macroevolution teaches that creatures evolve through generations of death and violent struggle. If God used macroevolution to create mankind, then death and violence was around before man ever sinned! If God used macroevolution, how can we say He is a loving and just God?

Let us turn to Hebrews 11:1, 3 and read these two verses together:


Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.



According to these verses, faith is believing in something we cannot see. Opponents of the Bible try to argue that Christians have "faith," while they have scientific "facts." However, is this really the case? Is evolution really as "scientific" as we are led to believe?

Did you know that science as we know it actually has two subcategories? The first subcategory is observational (or operational) science, where hypotheses are observable, testable, repeatable, and falsifiable. The second subcategory is historical science, where hypotheses are analyzed by interpreting evidence from past events based on a presupposed philosophical view.

Macroevolution falls under the subcategory of historical science. Macroevolution assumes three things:

  1. Uniformitarianism - the present is the key to the past (e.g. if rocks erode at a certain rate today, then it eroded at the same rate millions of years ago)
  2. Naturalism - there are no supernatural phenomena (e.g. natural science laws can explain everything)
  3. Materialism - physical matter is the only reality
If one of the assumptions of macroevolution are shown to be false or incorrect, then that world view will unravel. As mentioned earlier, macroevolution has not been witnessed in our lifetime. No one has ever witnessed one species of animal evolving into another. Creationists and macroevolutionists use the same "facts" but interpret them from different points of view. For example, let us consider the fossil record. Macroevolutionists would say that fossils are millions of years old based on their assumption of uniformitarianism. Creationists would say that fossils came from the Flood catastrophe.
 
Can you see that it takes as much faith to believe in macroevolution as it does to believe in a Creator God, if not more? While we could pick at the "facts" about macroevolution, let us keep our focus on the Bible. Did you know that Jesus believed in a literal creation? He also believed the first 11 chapters of Genesis to be literally true. When Jesus was asked about divorce, He pointed to creation to explain marriage (Matthew 19:3-9). Jesus believed that the Flood actually happened (Matthew 24:37-39). Jesus believed that Abel actually was a real person who existed (Luke 11:50-51).

Friend, can you see that macroevolution is a world view that stands opposed to the Bible and the character of God? Of course you, and you alone, have to choose what you will believe. Will you have faith in God and and His creation?