Authors: Ron Rhodes
Tags: #Christian Books & Bibles, #Theology, #Creationism, #Reference, #Religion & Spirituality, #Religious Studies, #Philosophy, #Science & Religion, #Science & Math, #Evolution, #Organic, #Religious Studies & Reference
To David, with affection
I researched and wrote this book during a time
when I was extraordinarily busy with various
ministry activities. Only through the sacrificial and
prayerful support of my family-Kerri, David,
and Kylie-was I able to finish the project in a
reasonable time frame. I want to pay a special
thanks to David, who assisted in typing. His
efforts are appreciated.
The Creation vs. Evolution Debate: Why It Matters
2. Evolutionism Rests on the Foundation of Naturalism
3. Christians Have Diverse Views
4. The Fossils Argue Against Evolution
5. "Ape-Men" Discoveries Do Not Prove Evolution
6. Mutations and Natural Selection Cannot Bring About New Species
7. Comparative Anatomy, Vestigial Organs, and the Recapitulation Theory Do Not Prove Evolution
8. The Universe Is Intelligently Designed
Appendix: The Second Law of Thermodynamics Argues Against Evolution
Ape-men, dinosaurs, evolution, and the big bang theory
(which postulates that our universe began billions of years ago
with a single explosion) are fascinating to the modern mind.
Even in the relatively short time I took to write this book, I
came across one article after another in various newspapers and
magazines that addressed one or more of these issues. Small
discoveries seem to be reported in the media as big news.
For example, I came across an article entitled "New Evidence
Gives Credence to the Big-Bang Theory" in which the author
claimed, "Details now show that the universe is 13.7 billion years
old, with an uncertainty of only 1 percent."' The article goes
on to tell us about all the strange materials our universe is
Another article reported the discovery of alleged 350,000-
year-old footprints of what paleontologists call "Stone Age man."
We are told that the footprints "were made by three early,
upright-walking humans as they descended the treacherous side
of a volcano-perhaps to escape an eruption." This discovery
was said to add "another cog in the connect between ourselves
and our ancestors."2
Yet another fascinating article I came across claims that some
dinosaurs were cannibals. "When food and water were scarce,
scientists believe majungatholus fed on the remains of other dinosaurs like titanosaurs-gigantic, long-necked plant-eaters-and
even scavenged the carcasses of its own dead." Furthermore,
"New fossil evidence suggests a distant cousin of the tyrannosaurus that roamed the plains of Madagascar millions of years
ago regularly dined on its own kind to survive during hard
Yet another article entitled "T-Rex, Merciless Killer or
Garbage Disposal Unit?" suggests that the towering Tyrannosaurus Rex may have been a scavenger that lived on rotting
corpses, or perhaps just ate the prey of smaller dinosaurs. "I
believe it was a scavenger pure and simple because I can't find
any evidence to support the theory that it was a predator," paleontologist Jack Horner said. Horner was the inspiration for
scientist Alan Grant-played by Sam Neill-in Steven
Spielberg's Jurassic Park. Horner suggested that the lumbering
giant was "too slow, its arms too small, and its sight too poor
to catch anything moving."4
Despite the obvious interest people have in evolution and
all things ancient, a very small percentage of Americans actually believe in evolution and its related doctrines. Current estimates are that only about 10 percent of the people in the United
States believe that Charles Darwin's theory of evolution is true.
This small group believes God played absolutely no role in man's
emergence on planet earth. The rest of the American public
believe either in biblical creationism or in what has come to be
called theistic evolution, which argues that evolution was a
process guided by God (I address this theory later in the book).
Why so few believers in evolution? Phillip E. Johnson, in
his book Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds, suggests that
"the people suspect that what is being presented to them as
`scientific fact' consists largely of an ideology that goes far beyond the scientific evidence."6 The ideology Johnson speaks of is
primarily naturalism-the idea that all phenomena in the
universe can be explained wholly in terms of natural causes and
laws. Because naturalism is the undergirding philosophy of
evolutionary theory, I have devoted an entire chapter of this book
to examining it in detail (see chapter 2).
When and where did the creation-evolution debate emerge?
Actually, various forms of evolutionism have been around for
a very long time, far before Charles Darwin was even born.
Indeed, some of the early Greeks believed in a form of evolution. Anaximander (610-545 B.c.) was convinced that human
beings had evolved from fish. Empedocles (490-430 B.c.),
another Greek, believed animals evolved from plants.7 Aristotle,
a Greek philosopher and tutor of Alexander the Great, believed
in an evolutionary process from simple to complex life-forms
brought about by a "tendency within," though he also believed
in a "mover" or "designer. "8 Since then, many individuals throughout history have held to some form of evolutionary theory (space
forbids a detailed account of these).
In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, one
individual who did significant research on evolution, and who
for a brief time overlapped with Charles Darwin, was Chevalier de Lamarck (1744-1829), author of Zoological Philosophy.
Lamarck believed that a creature could develop new organs as
a result of a new need the creature developed. He believed that
all life-forms had within them an inner innate drive toward
increased complexity, improvement, and progress.? An example
of this, Lamarck said, was giraffes who lived in a drought-plagued
terrain and, over generations, grew longer necks so they could
reach leaves high up on the trees. He also believed that any such
change that occurred in a creature during its lifetime would be transmitted to its offspring through the natural process of reproduction."
The most celebrated of all evolutionists was Charles Darwin,
who wrote the greatly controversial On the Origin of Species
a book that brought the creation-evolution debate to a fever pitch.
Indeed, within just ten years of its publication, Darwinism
became widely accepted in England and shortly thereafter blossomed in continental Europe and the United States.