Ten Questions: #2 – Didn’t Evolution put God out of a job?

Summary

From Dawkins we read,

“Today the theory of evolution is about as much open to doubt as the theory that the earth goes around the sun” (The Selfish Gene, 1976) and “It is absolutely safe to say that if you meet somebody who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid or insane (or wicked, but I’d rather not consider that).” (Ignorance is no Crime, 2001).

  • The evidence for a creator is actually much more compelling than for a universe without one.
  • Evolution does not define the “trunk”, how “that being first came to life was beyond the scope of Darwin’s focus. Its existence was obviously implied, but never really explained.”
  • Things do change over time, no one denies that microevolution occurs.
  • If life began out of the proverbial primordial soup, where did the ingredients and recipe originate?

Three unaccounted for building blocks for Darwin’s theory:

  1. Matter matters.  The formation of a universe in which all organic life would reside along with the “ingredients” it would consist of;
  2. the origin of the first life itself;
  3. the encoding of information that makes all organic life possible.

Matter matters:

  • To say evolution started on its own is a huge leap.  “Randomly, without cause or purpose or outside help of any kind, it arranged itself into the exact elements and order necessary to cause self-replicating and upwardly evolving life to suddenly leap into existence.”
  • It’s possible to name an event (Big Bang, etc.) without explaining how or why it happened.
  • “Science and religion…are friends, not foes, in the common quest for knowledge” (Quarks, Chaos and Christianity, 1994)
  • In her 2010 study, Science vs. Religion: What Scientists Really Think, Ecklund found 50% of the 1700 scientists were religious.
  • Science doesn’t have to be an atheistic endeavor. The Big Bang is a great argument for the existence of God, not against it! The fine-tuning (chapter 1) provides evidence that “has convinced spiritual skeptics that there must be an intelligent designer behind the physical universe; in fact, this evidence was instrumental in form atheist Patrick Glynn’s concluding that God does exist. (GOD: The Evidence)

The Origin of the First Life

  • Biochemist Klaus Dose concludes, “More than 30 years of experimentation on the origin of life in the fields of chemical and molecular evolution have led to a better perception of the immensity of the problem of the origin of life on Earth rather to its solution.
  • Mathematicians studying the fossil records conclude that life emerged suddenly and abundantly–bam! Even the simplest protein molecule requires immensely precise construction. Odds of this happening is 1 in 1×10^125
  • As Christians, I think we have a better explanation for that “random” occurrence.

The Origin of Information

How could nature, without intelligent guidance, take the massive informational jumps needed for life to originate?

  • Francis Collins, Human Genome Project (mapped the entire DNA sequence of the human species), describes DNA like this: “text…3 billions letters long, and written in a strange and cryptographic 4-letter code…that a live reading of that code at a rate of 3 letters per second would take 31 years.” Such a revelation prompted Collins to name his book, The Language of God.
  • The “Even if” approach
    • All three of these points powerfully demonstrate, from a scientific perspective, the need for an intelligent designer.  I don’t think we necessarily have to change people’s minds about evolution itself in order to lead them to faith in Jesus.
    • In fact, trying to do so can actually put up an additional barrier for someone who might have been otherwise ready to hear and respond to the gospel message.

Remember, it’s not our job to change their minds about every conceivable question or topic we might discuss.  Making disciples comes first, then the ongoing teaching.

Differing Christian Views

  1. Young Earth Creationism.
  2. Progressive Creationism (Old Earth Creationism)
  3. Theistic Evolution (Fully Gifted Creation)
  • Timothy Keller writes, “Since Christians occupy different positions on both the meaning of Genesis 1 and on the nature of evolution, those who are considering Christianity as a whole should not allow themselves to be distracted by this intramural debate.” (The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism).
  • For the Record: Darwin’s theory depends on God.
    • The fingerprints of God are all around us, the common thread all points back to His intelligent design
    • Over 150 years of research since “The Origin of Species” has yet to close any of the huge gaps in the theory.

Questions for discussion

  1. Why do people tend to separate God and science as if the two cannot coexist?
  2. The theory of evolution is just that–a theory that has never been proven in all its claims. Why, then, do so many people treat it as fact?
  3. Some have said that it takes more faith to believe that there isn’t an intelligent designer than to believe that there is one. What information from the chapter would support this statement?
  4. This chapter describes three “missing elements” that have to be in place for Darwin’s theory to even be a theoretical possibility: the origin of the universe (and all matter), the origin of the first living organism, and the encoding of information in DNA. Which of these could you best use to point your friends to God?
  5. React to the statement, “Our goal…is to lead friends to faith–not to initially change their minds about every conceivable question or topic we might discuss with them.” What other social or scientific topics might this relate to? In what ways can Christians focus on Jesus and salvation first?
  6. Briefly describe the differences between Young Earth Creationism, Old Earth Creationism and Theistic Evolution.  How can we move past these differences when we talk to our friends who don’t know Christ?
  7. How would you describe the problems in the fossil records related to evolution?

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