Creation V. Evolution: Does One Take More Faith Than Another?
The issue of how the world began is one of the most controversial discussions of our day. The debate between Ken Ham and Bill Nye proved that people on both sides of the issue remain unconvinced by the arguments of the other side. For many adherents, whether they be to creation or evolution, the issue is a matter of faith.
If we are to be perfectly honest we must admit that whether one believes in evolution or creation there is a certain amount of faith that is involved. Line up the facts and the evidence for either argument and at the end of the day there will always be a small fragment of faith needed to resolutely proclaim belief in either side.
Why is that?
Simply put, we weren’t there.
If I visually witness a car accident I am able to give a very reliable testimony to police or even a jury if needed. My account of what took place would be considered far more reliable than that of someone that only heard the sound of the crash from inside their home.
If we translate this example to the issue of the origin of the iniverse we understand that since none of us were present when it happened, there will always be a measure of faith needed to believe in either evolution or Creation.
As a Christian, pastor, theologian and student of Scripture I have no trouble saying that it takes faith to believe in the Biblical account of creation. My entire eternity is based on faith so, for me, having faith that God created all things with His spoken word is not unrealistic. But many shun the idea that it takes faith to believe in evolution. Viewing evolution as science they say it is simply a matter of making an intelligent, informed decision to believe in the scientific evidence and that faith has nothing to do with it.
In an article for USA Today called “Evolution is Not a Matter of Belief,” one writer says evolution is “settled science” and should be embraced as fact:
“In a time of great divides over religion and politics, it’s not surprising that we treat evolution the way we do political issues. But here’s the problem: As settled science, evolution is not a matter of opinion, or something one chooses to believe in or not, like a religious proposition…And by often framing the matter this way, we involved in the news media, Internet debates and everyday conversation do a disservice to science, religion and our prospects for having a scientifically literate country.”
The sentiment that only by believing in evolution can America be a “scientifically literate country” is reminiscent of the claims made by Bill Nye during his debate with Ken Ham. Nye repeatedly begged for people, especially parents to teach their kids evolution in order to develop a scientifically literate generation that would continue to make breakthroughs.
This thinking insults the many scientists throughout history that have contributed to scientific and societal advancements while also believing in Creation. This thinking further elevates evolution, as this writer states, to “settled science.” But for any person to claim an event that was not witnessed as settled science is not very scientific at all. After all, science demands observation.
Albert Mohler took exception to the idea that evolution is “settled science” and wrote a response to this article that took it to task for being both misleading and confusing. Mohler wrote:
“…both require ‘belief’ in order to function intellectually; and both require something rightly defined as faith. That anyone would deny this about evolution is especially striking, given the infamous gaps in the theory and the lack of any possible experimental verification. One of the unproven and unprovable presuppositions of evolution is uniformitarianism, the belief that time and physical laws have always been constant. That is an unproven and unprovable assumption. Nevertheless, it is an essential presupposition of evolutionary science. It is, we might well say, taken on faith by evolutionists.”
Mohler is absolutely correct and simply states what all people know inherently, that any belief in the origin of the universe carries with it a certain amount of faith. To deny that is to insult science and deem oneself intellectually dishonest. To go so far as to say evolution is “settled science” is an even greater insult.
I’m guessing however that this author did not read a recent report in the New York Times titled “Space Ripples Reveal Big Bang’s Smoking Gun.” This article states:
“[R]adio astronomers had confirmed they had detected the beginning of the Big Bang, and a theory by physicist Alan Guth, now at MIT, regarding ‘inflation’ appeared to be correct. Guth’s hypothesis was that the universe was ‘wrenched violently apart when it was roughly a trillionth of a trillionth of a trillionth of a second old.’ Kovac’s study detected ripples in the fabric of space-time, what some are calling gravitational waves, as a signature of the creation event.”
The discovery is one of the most significant in recent history as it, according to many, definitively proves the creation account found in the book of Genesis. An Israeli physicist said of the discovery:
“One thing the announcement does do is make it clear that the universe had a definite starting point – a creation – as described in the book of Genesis…To deny this now is to deny scientific fact. Without addressing who or what caused it, the mechanics of the creation process in the Big Bang match the Genesis story perfectly. If I had to make up a theory to match the first passages in Genesis, the Big Bang theory would be it.”
Uh-oh, a creationist is now saying that the creation account is “scientific fact,” or, “settled science,” if you will. Considering that the two views are incompatible with one another, and that only one can be correct, which is it? Is it possible to believe in evolution while also believing in God? For the author of the “settled science” article, Mr. Krattenmaker, he sees no problems with believing in God and also adhering to the tenets of evolution. Indeed, many theistic evolutionists do just that. But is this trying to bridge the obvious gap between two worlds and forge a marriage of ideologies that appear incompatible? Albert Mohler has a sound answer for this question:
“There can be no doubt that evolution can be squared with belief in some deity, but not the God who revealed himself in the Bible, including the first chapters of Genesis. Krattenmaker asserts that ‘it is more than possible to accept the validity of evolution and believe in God’s role in creation at the same time.’ Well, that is true with respect to some concept of God andsome concept of creation and some version of evolution, but not the dominant theory of evolution and not the God who created the entire cosmos as the theater of his glory, and who created human beings as the distinct creature alone made in his image.”
I couldn’t agree more. To say that one is a Christian and believes in God and the Bible but then to assert that the dominant theory of naturalistic evolution is true is problematic, at best. One cannot with one breath affirm the historical accounts of the Bible and the sovereignty of God then in the next breath deny the biblical account of Creation in favor of evolution. If God cannot be trusted with His record of the creation of the universe how can He be trusted with our eternity?
The issue is, for many, far from settled. The debate continues and will continue because without an eye-witness account there will always be a measure of faith needed. As people grapple with the idea of faith in a world that becomes more evidence based they will equally grapple with the biblical account of creation and the theory of evolution. The point at which this issue will become settled in a person’s mind is when that person determines which view to exercise faith in and believe.
Then, and only then will the issue be settled for that person, and that person alone.