|Should a Christian Believe in Evolution?
Should a Christian Believe in Evolution?
This is a very common question, frequently asked by young people who are being indoctrinated with evolutionary concepts in the public schools or universities. The answer depends on what is meant by the term “evolution.” If it is defined simply as “change” (for example, the growth of a baby into an adult, the production of hybrids and other new varieties of plants or animals through scientific breeding processes, or the development of the various types of dogs or cats from one original dog or cat “kind”), then no one would argue this question at all.
However, the prevalent theory of evolution today is far broader in scope than this. The leading evolutionists consider it as a basic principle of continual development, of increasing order and complexity throughout the universe. The complex elements are said to have developed from simpler elements, living organisms to have evolved from non-living chemicals, complex forms of life from simpler organisms, and even man himself to have gradually evolved from some kind of ape-like ancestor. Religions, cultures, and other social institutions are likewise believed to be continually evolving into higher forms.
Thus, evolution is actually a complete world-view, an explanation of origins and meanings without the necessity of a personal God who created and upholds all things. Since this philosophy (one might even say this “religion”) of universal evolutionary progress is so widely and persuasively taught in our schools, Christians are often tempted to accept the compromise position of “theistic evolution,” according to which evolution is viewed as God’s method of creation. However, this is basically an inconsistent and contradictory position. Some of its fallacies are as follows:
(1) It contradicts the Bible record of creation. Ten times in the first chapter of Genesis, the inspired writer tells us that God created plants and animals to reproduce “after their kinds.” The Biblical “kind” may have been broader than our modern “species” concept, but at least it implied definite limits to variation. The New Testament writers accepted the full historicity of the Genesis account of creation. Even Christ Himself quoted from it as historically accurate and authoritative (Matthew 19:4-6).
(2) It is inconsistent with God’s methods. The standard history of evolution involves the development of innumerable misfits and extinctions, useless and even harmful organisms. If this is God’s “method of creation,” it is strange that He would use such haphazard, inefficient, wasteful processes. Furthermore, the idea of the “survival of the fittest,” whereby the stronger animals and races eliminate the weaker in the “struggle for existence” is the essence of Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection, and this whole scheme is flatly contradicted by the Biblical doctrine of love, of unselfish sacrifice, and of Christian charity. The God of the Bible is a God of order and of grace, not a God of confusion and cruelty.
(3) The evolutionary philosophy is the intellectual basis of all the anti-Christian and anti-God systems that have plagued mankind for centuries. It served Hitler as the rationale for Nazism and Marx as the supposed scientific basis for communism. It is the basis of the various modern methods of psychology and sociology that treat man merely as a higher animal and which have led to the mis-named “new morality” and ethical relativism. Its whole effect on the world and mankind has been harmful and degrading. Jesus said: “A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit” (Matthew 7:18). The evil fruit of the evolutionary philosophy is evidence enough of its ultimate origin in Satan’s age-long rebellion against his Creator.
(4) It is contradicted by the basic laws of science. Evolution teaches that “creation” is continually being accomplished by nature’s evolutionary processes, but the most basic law of science, the Law of Energy Conservation, states that nothing is now being created or destroyed. Evolution teaches that there is a universal process of development and increasing order and complexity in the universe, but the Second Law of Thermodynamics (which is a basic law of nature, with no exceptions known) states that all systems tend to become disordered and simpler. All things tend to grow old, wear out, run down, and die. Evolution involves universal change “upward” whereas the real processes of nature involve a universal change “downward.” The concept of special creation of all the basic “kinds” of plants and animals, with provision for ample variation within the kinds, is much more in accord with the actual facts and laws of science than is the speculative philosophy of universal evolutionary development.
Thus, evolution is not really a science but a religious philosophy. Although it may be the religion of many scientists, this is not because of the actual data of their science, but because of their intellectual and moral preference for this kind of faith.
The faith of Biblical Christianity is diametrically opposite to that of evolution, but is fully supported by all the real facts of life.