100 Answers in 100 Days

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Sharing answers to the various questions of faith I have faced, and which others have been challenged with also.

Monday, February 21, 2011

#52: How can Christianity stand in light of Evolution?

Yesterday we noticed how people in Jesus' day saw His miracles and yet still would not believe, concocting some other explanation or finding whatever excuse they could to deny that He was the Christ, even attributing His work to Satan rather than to the Holy Spirit. This is very similar to the way in which people have looked at God's creation and the complexity of it all, and have attributed it to natural “dumb” processes, denying that there is a Creator.

I was, of course, taught Evolution in high school. And in fact, I did Biology at University where I was taught Evolution at a higher level. And whilst it is a very clever idea, there were several problems with it which were apparent to me. Even in high school, I reasoned that the human reproductive system could never Evolve. This is a system which relies on body parts to develop independently on two separate individuals and must correspond perfectly for the sake of the next generation being born. Evolution absolutely relies on information being passed from one generation to the next, so at each stage of the evolution of the reproductive system, the reproductive system must continue to be a fully functioning reproductive system. If you have a working reproductive system, then any change to it which renders it useless will absolutely halt the progress of its Evolution. This seems impossible since the male and female organs cannot keep in step with each other for so many iterations of change; complexity being the result of gradual incrementations over time according to Evolution. For example, we know that chemicals in the woman's sexual organs balance the acidic chemicals in the man's semen. If it were not so the sperm would die – a useless reproductive system. So at some point in Evolutionary history, if the man's semen became more acidic the woman's “PH-balancing chemical” would also have to have evolved in that same generation. It never made sense to me. And why is it that we can hardly tell whether a dog or a cat is male or female unless we look between their hind legs? Why are they so radically different in that part of their body yet indistinguishable in every other respect? How were changes to the two sexes kept in step for millions of years for every body part except genitalia? It doesn't add up. Finally, the Evolution of biological organisms seems to me a diversion. What do I mean? It causes us to focus so much on how the complexity of living things may have gradually developed over time through a process which requires reproduction that we fail to see the glaringly obvious problem... the non-living world is also incredibly complex! Do we really appreciate the complexity of chemistry and physics? From gravitational orbits to the miracle of ice, water and steam... how are these not evidence of an intelligent designer?

Well, what I've tried to do here is to just quickly express my own personal musings on the subject of Evolution. I didn't want to copy and paste some Creation Ministry's article or some such – these are conclusions I came to on my own, even as a high school student. But as an adult Christian I joined a certain prominent atheist forum to discuss these issues. These were scientifically educated men who stake their eternity on Evolution being right, but the only answer they could give me was that “maybe somewhere an expert has the answer”. But then they rebuked me saying “The argument from incredulity is a logical fallacy!” Whilst this sounds like a very intellectual response, the argument from incredulity is basically put forward as “the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence”. In other words, they acknowledge that there is no answer (that is, there is an “absence of evidence”), but they're sort of holding out for evidence to arise. By their own admission, they have a kind of blind faith in Evolution. Perhaps you've heard the cunningly devised explanation of how the eye evolved over millions of years? (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_of_the_eye). It's a very clever account which sounds plausible. I believe that those who trust in Evolution essentially take a story like that and say “Well, we can't explain much of what we see in terms like this, but we trust that all things came to be in a manner similar to this, we just don't know the details.” They take something like this, which is really a speculation, and say “This is enough evidence for us to extrapolate with.” But a lot of these sort of explanations are not science; it's mere story telling.

On the other hand, we have an abundance of evidence for the life and ministry of Jesus. We have the Scriptures which are a record of the things that Jesus did, and continued to do through the Church after His ascension. Consider how we have historical documents about the things that Plato did and wrote, yet nobody doubts that Plato was a real person who did the things that he did, or said the things that he said. Then we have the gospels about the life and ministry of Christ, yet some of these same men said that they did not believe that Jesus was ever a real person. These men claimed to believe all things supported by evidence, and yet they show that they have no regard for evidence at all, and that their belief in Evolution is more like wishful thinking. They believe it because it is a belief system which excludes God.

If we look again at Matthew 12, which we looked at yesterday, we see how people will rather believe something that doesn't make a lot of sense than believe in Christ, explaining away the evidence in some way. Jesus goes on in this chapter to say this:

When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, but finds none. Then it says, “I will return to my house from which I came.” And when it comes, it finds the house empty, swept, and put in order. Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there, and the last state of that person is worse than the first. So also will it be with this evil generation. (Matthew 12:43-45)

“This evil generation” are those who rejected Christ despite the evidence. This passage is saying that when you see the evidence that Jesus is the Christ, or that the Bible is true, it is like the Holy Spirit has taken away the “unclean spirit” which has blinded you from seeing the truth. But unless you believe the Holy Spirit, the spirit which blinds you will return with more force, and you'll be many times worse. It will become even harder for you to see the truth. This is an observation which many have made, including myself, that some people will come to Church and listen to the gospel and call it all nonsense; and then we find that when we catch up with them months or years later, they've converted to some kind of New Age spiritualism or other, or have perhaps joined an atheist forum – several of those men were formerly Church members. They put themselves into a position which creates more barriers to the gospel. Unbelief is not for lack of evidence, but because people harden their hearts and turn away.

See, this alone I found, that God made man upright, but they have sought out many schemes. (Ecclesiastes 7:29)

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