The debate is about origins, not semantics
I believe in God and I believe in evolution. After all, people evolve in front of our very eyes. My son evolved from an infant to a child to an adult. Why is this a problem?
That is not evolution. It’s semantics. I call this, “shifting definitions.”
It is very common for people to use the word evolution like you have done. Many words have different meanings depending on the context. For example, if I said I saw a plane in the sky you wouldn’t think that there was a carpenter’s plane floating in the sky. You first used evolution to describe origin then used it to describe any kind of change. That is, they are two definitions for the same word and you used them interchangeably.
Using the same reasoning, you could have said, “I believe in creation. After all, I see creation when a potter starts with a lump of clay and creates a vase.” Creating in this sense and evolving meaning simple change is not the debate. The debate is about the origin of life; where we came from; where the earth came from; where the universe came from.
In order to have a fruitful discussion of origins it is important to understand the words we are using and define the two explanations of origin. The evolution model explains everything based on continual, natural processes. The creation odel explains things based on a completed, supernatural process.
According to evolution, life began on earth purely by accident, without any plan or purpose. It’s fish to philosopher, particles to people, molecules to man. With evolution, “…life originated by a blind process without intelligence involved. Molecules interacting countless times by chance eventually producing life. This view that life is the product is the product of only chemical and physical processes, without intelligence involved, is nearly universally presented in the textbooks.”(Donald Chittick, The Controversy, p. 84-85).
The best definition of evolution that I have come across is the equation: nobody X nothing = everything.
“Creation refers to the acts by which God brought into being, time, matter, energy, space, and life, all working together in a paradise of perfect peace according to His divine plan and purpose.” (Gary Parker, Creation: Facts of Life, p. 10)
The best way to scientifically describe evolution and creation is as “models” to explain origin rather than a theory. A theory is testable, falsifiable. “A scientific theory must be falsifiable, not false. The difference between falsifiable and false is like the difference between being vulnerable and being demolished.
A scientific theory must have a clear logical structure that prevents it from bending and twisting to accommodate every observation…The theory ultimately predicts that we will not observe certain things.” (Walter James ReMine, Biotic Message, p. 33)
Evolution, especially defined as simple change, makes no predictions; it becomes so pliable and vacuous as to fit all observations. If the evolution model were true, we would expect to see it in action. We could expect to see new elements, new stars, new species of plants and animals, etc. If the creation model were true, we would expect to see none of these changes and, in fact, we would expect species to go extinct and a general disintegration of the completed, created universe.
There is no way to test evolution and creation because they are both reconstructions of unobserved history. We weren’t there; the scientists weren’t there. (As Christians, however, we know someone who was there and we have His revealed Word which is the most reliable, well-documented historical document ever known and which has been proven over and over again to be scientifically reliable.)
A “model” can neither be proved nor disproved scientifically, but it can be evaluated based on its ability to explain the scientific data. Therefore, the model that explains the greatest number and variety of facts, with the smallest number of modifications is the one most likely to be true.
Creation embraces science; it predicts the First and Second Laws of Thermodynamics; it explains Biogenesis (life begets life) and the Law of Causality; it does not stretch the principles of probability. The creation model is also based on a book that hasn’t changed over the years (Isaiah 40:15).
The evolution model is tossed to and fro with every new scientific discovery. Just read a biology book from ten years ago and see how much it has changed.
Next time I will deal with the implications in our belief in God to answer your question, “Why is this a problem.”
In summary, your sons have not evolved from infant to adult but have grown from one stage of life to another. You sons were humans, homo sapiens, as infants and are humans as adults. Thus, this has nothing to do with the evolutionary model of origin which demands change from one species to another.4/1/00
Previous Table of Contents Next Article
Perhaps you could get my column in your local paper, too! Have your newspaper editor contact me. Also, feel free to email me with any of your questions, comments or disagreements.
Originally published in the Rockdale/Newton Citizen