How should we view human evolution in light of biblical teachings?
In our biology class we are being taught human evolution and words like "common ancestor" and "hominid." How should I view human evolution in light of my Christian beliefs?
First, you must realize that the concept of human evolution does not fit with what we read in the Bible and in addition, does not fit with what is observed in science.
Teaching that humans evolved from something else is somewhat like performing a magic trick. The magic wands used to pull off this illusion are words like "common ancestor" and "hominid." The term common ancestor explains nothing; it is a fancy-sounding word used to avoid explaining missing missing links. For example, an evolutionist might argue that man did not evolve from an ape but that they both had a common ancestor. What does that mean? It proves nothing; it explains nothing. Simply put, it is double talk. The word "hominids" is a word that has come to mean humans and their evolutionary ancestors. Therefore, to the creationist, it is a meaningless term. Humans are all descendants of Adam. Thus, the use of such a word necessarily excludes the creation model of origin.
Consequently, the evolution argument presented in classrooms can be best described as one that "begs the question." An argument is said to beg the question when it assumes to be true the very thing it is trying to prove. Thus, the illusion is created that science proves evolution by first assuming that evolution is true. This required teaching of human evolution by begging the question is one of the best-kept secrets in this debate.
Teaching human evolution as such has caused the general public, science teachers and even committed Christians to unwittingly overlook the lack of foundational scientific support for human evolution. Once again, if all sides of this scientific issue are examined fairly the error of evolution is revealed. That is why, as I pointed out last week in the column about the Kansas School Board decision, the only way evolution can survive is through censorship; through suppressing or prohibiting any alternative view.
The scientific problem with human evolution is that it is built upon the weak science of paleoanthropology. Even one of the most orthodox evolutionist evangelists Richard Leakey admitted, ". . . I often felt that paleoanthropology was more of an art than a science." Sir Peter Medawar, a Nobel Prize winner in medicine referred to paleoanthropology as, "a comparatively humble and unexacting kind of science."
Paleoanthropology is the study of human fossils. It is much like the field of astronomy. These are both soft sciences; ones in which empirical evidence is hard to find. That is, in these sciences there is not hard physical evidence that proves a point. (Interestingly, these two "soft sciences" are the two in which most of the “scientific” evidence for evolution is being provided.) Astronomy many times will appeal to mathematical formulas and physics. Then, when NASA goes to space and gathers more information these formulas are changed once again. Likewise, paleoanthropology depends on very flimsy data. Most of those in the field study castings, or models of human fossils instead of the actual fossils and most have never even seen an actual human fossil. The actual fossils are kept under heavy guard, locked behind thick walls in climate and temperature controlled room. Because they are so fragile it is understandable why they are kept under such tight security. However, the actual number of human fossils worldwide is really quite large. According to Marvin Lubenow in his book "Bones of Contention" he estimates that there are probably more that six thousand fossils available. One of the reasons evolutionists cry over the lack of fossils is the fact that the fossils that do exist do not agree with their presupposition of human evolution. This over committment to human evolution has often been the cause of embarrassment for evolutionists. Such examples are the fraud of Piltdown Man, the incorrect classification of Ramapithecus and the misinterpretation of Neandertal. David Pilbeam of Harvard University promoted Ramapithecus as a hominid and later had to admit that it had nothing to do with human origins. His confession illustrates the problem that preconceived assumptions can create: "Theory shapes the way we think about, even perceive data….We are unaware of many of our assumptions…Theories have, in the past, clearly reflected our current ideologies instead of actual data….I am more sober than I once was about what the unwritten past can tell us."
Not only has the search for missing links or common ancestors in paleoanthropology come up empty in supporting human evolution, but also the most basic laws of science disprove any idea that humans have evolved. To answer your question about how a Christian should view human evolution we must also examine what the Bible says (or does not say). Thus, I will address these issues in later columns.3/3/01
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Originally published in the Rockdale/Newton Citizen