Doug Wilson wrote, in his book Mother Kirk, “Few things are as funny as the spectacle of grown men asserting a family resemblance between a sea lion and a bright yellow canary, and doing so in the name of wisdom.”
We have spent several weeks now discussing the foundations of evolution and creation and the attempts to combine the two. All such attempts fall short, from theistic evolution to the Framework Hypothesis.
Background & Context
Today, we are going to move past those theories and finally sum up the discussion of evolution with some other important questions and issues. Then, we will continue looking through Genesis to see how the other strands of thought from the Enlightenment are really just an attack on biblical authority.
I. Creation & Evolution – Other Issues & Questions
I have tried to demonstrate, in previous sermons, that evolution is impossible to combine with Genesis. The two are mutually exclusive. Evolution and creation being on different foundations – unbelief and belief – and they have two different sources of authority – man and God. But, evolution suffers from even more problems, both logical and scientific.
Infinite regression & sufficient First Cause
Darwin’s complete theory of evolution was presented in his work On the Origin of the Species, in which he proposed that changes have occurred across species to create new species. But, though it was the title of his book, Darwin never actually explains how life was created. He never explained the origin of the species.
If life came from lower life, then where did lower life come from? Infinite regression is impossible; that is, you can only back up so far with evolutionary theory before we have to ask what was first? If we came from monkeys and monkeys came from canines, etc., then where did the first life forms come from?
To put it another way, what was the First Cause? Darwinian evolution only supplies a first life form, a combination of the correct amino acids and substances necessary for the first life form. Where did it come from? Well, that is where theories like the Big Bang come in. At the risk of being too simplistic, essentially this is two massive boulders hurtling through nothing, each carrying a portion of the building blocks of life. The two boulders collided with such force that the substances combined to form early life forms and the universe eventually settled into place as well, complete with orbits and gravitational pull.
The Big Bang Theory has been largely debunked, however, as explosions do not create order and it does not answer the question of origins – where did the boulders come from, after all? So, some have altered the theory to claim that the earth is eternal and that life was actually placed on earth in seed form by aliens from another galaxy who, of course, also came about by Darwinian evolution. That is proposed by Dr. Richard Dawkins, one of the foremost voices for evolution in our day and the man who claims that Genesis cannot be believed by a “thinking person.”
Now, evolutionists like to point back to us and say, “Well, where did God come from, then?” If everything had a beginning, then God must have had a beginning, right? Wrong. Only dependent beings must have a beginning and God is not a dependent Being, by definition. Scripture never seeks to prove the existence of God, it assumes the existence of God. Psalm 90 says that God is from “everlasting to everlasting.” God is the source of life; all other beings are dependent upon Him for their existence.
However, if we play along with the evolutionist argument, it still doesn’t get them anywhere. Something has to be eternal – we agree on that. But, that leaves us with an option – eternal boulders, eternal amino acids, aliens, or an eternal God? So, which is a sufficient First Cause given what we know and see in the universe?
Scientific law & theory
Darwinian evolution is still simply a theory and it always will be. It cannot become a scientific law because it lacks some very important traits necessary for law status. First of all, it is not observable. If evolution takes place over billions of years, as some claim, then it has not been verified and, if evolution takes place in starts and fits, suddenly, as some claim, this has not been verified.
So, evolution is not observable and it is also not repeatable. There are no experiments; no testable hypotheses with Darwinian evolution. It is only theory or speculation and, because of that, it will always remain a theory unless the scientific community disregards its own method of inquiry.
To make matters even stickier, in order for evolutionary theory to be accepted, it would mean the violation of two established scientific laws – the 1st and 2n Laws of Thermodynamics. The 1st Law of Thermodynamics states that energy cannot be created nor destroyed. So, within a system, energy can change forms but it cannot be created or destroyed. But, evolutionary theory requires us to accept not just that energy was created, but that an entire system was made through an explosion occurring outside the system.
And, if you reject the Big Bang Theory, there are further problems with the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. The 2nd Law is the law of entropy; essentially that all energy within a system wears down. Evolutionary theory would have to bank on the opposite; not wearing down but improving, expanding, and creating still more and more. So, if you argue that the earth is eternal, then you could not argue that it would have resulted in what we now see because the system would have broken down; there is no such thing as a system with perpetual motion.
In other words, evolutionary theory contradicts two established scientific laws. It also violates scientific method because it is not observable or repeatable. And, finally, evolutionary theory steps outside of what science can rightfully claim. Science can only rightfully make claims about what is observable; not things that are spiritual, eternal, or beyond observation. So, the moment they move into making conclusions about God or about events previous to observable human history, they are no longer making scientific claims.
Faith vs. science
This tendency of the evolutionary scientists to make non-scientific claims has led to the modern faith vs. science dynamic. In other words, things that are in the realm of science are contrary or separate from those in the realm of faith, theology, or religion. So, religion has no real impact on the real or physical world. Science, however, holds control over those things that are real, tangible, and verifiable with the senses.
The end result of this is obvious – science involves everything that actually matters and religions involves all the stuff you would like to believe or continue to believe without evidence. Science can be proven but religion is wishful thinking. Religious life is, therefore, shamed into the “private life” and is not discussed in intelligent company. The assumption is that science and faith cannot and do not get along – that the two contradict.
This is nonsense for several reasons. First, there are many scientists who were and are believers – Isaac Newton among them. Second, the assumption that faith and science are enemies does not guarantee a lack of bias; it just guarantees that scientific experimentation will be interpreted in a way that is anti-religious. So, with this supposed great divorce between faith and science, the scientific community is left free to make claims about origins and dating by just assuming that evolution is true. And, sadly, the result is that fewer and fewer Christians now go into scientific fields because they believe the false distinction and think they cannot be both a good scientist and a good Christian.
II. Enlightenment & Authority
Now, we have covered several aspects of creation and evolution and with those things in mind, we can now move into some of the other “isms” of the Enlightenment. Evolution fueled the Enlightenment into a far-reaching movement. Once there was an established theory that took God out of the picture as man’s Creator, the rest of Enlightenment thought could more easily take root.
As I have stated before, the foundational issue of the Enlightenment is authority. And, nowhere is that more evident than with the issue of evolution; but it manifests itself in several other ways as well. It is the Enlightenment, fueled by evolution that has given us the anti-authoritarian attitude that our culture has today.
Now, we must understand that “anti-authoritarian” does not mean that the Enlightenment rejected all authority. It was not an anarchist movement; rather, the Enlightenment was a rejection of all established, traditional authority. Once the headship of God the Father was removed, all authority was fair game – from the king to mom and dad – and that has been the story of American and European history for the last 200-plus years. It has manifested itself in revolutions to overthrow monarchies, to destroy traditional marriage, to undermine parental authority, to change classical educational systems, to rewrite history, and even to challenge the authority of the Church.
So, this is where we must head next and, as we will see next week, it is actually rooted just as much in an attack on Genesis as evolution is.
1. “Men freely believe what they want to” – Julius Caesar
2. Theories and ideas come from worldviews and presuppositions
3. Thoughts do not remain isolated – Enlightenment wants to segment things; religion & science; intellectual & spiritual, etc. that cannot be separated; do not buy into those categories.