For centuries now the age old debate between Evolutionism and Creationism reigns. While the Catholic Church has always maintained Creationism as its predominant stand, recently Pope Benedict (while he was pope) had even gone on record to call Evolution as Fiction. However, with Pope Francis’ latest statement that both evolution and creation are compatible, we are now faced with two conflicting views. Most of us Catholics have grown up with the clear understanding that Catholicism stood on the firm ground of Creationism. But now we are faced with another option that both Creationism and Evolutionism are compatible. The Bible categorically puts forth its case for Creationism. Can both be right? This is the confusion that I wish to address.
Firstly, let us set some basic definitions that arise on this subject which are as follows:
Creationist: A creationist is a person who rejects the theory of evolution and believes instead that each species on earth was put here by a Divine Being. A Creationist rejects the notion that one species can– over time– become another species.
Young Earth Creationist: A young earth creationist believes that the earth is nowhere near the 4.6 billion or so years old that most scientists estimate, but is instead closer to between 6,000 or so years old, based on the assumption that Genesis contains a complete listing of the generations from Adam and Eve to historical times.
Intelligent Design Proponent: An ID proponent might or might not reject the theory of evolution. At a minimum, the ID proponent rejects that evolution is randomly driven or, more generally, the notion that natural law and chance alone can explain the diversity of life on earth. Instead, the ID proponent argues–often from statistics–that the diversity of life is the result of a purposeful scheme of some higher power (who may or may not be the God of the Bible).
Evolutionist: An evolutionist accepts the Darwinian argument that natural selection and environmental factors combine to explain the diversity of life we see on earth. An evolutionist may or may not believe that evolution is the way in which a Divine Being has chosen to work in the world. Evolutionists are known to have differing theories amongst themselves, but more or less hold to the Darwinian position.
Theistic Evolutionist: A theistic evolutionist holds to the basic tenets of evolution but adds God somewhere in the picture as the explanation to what he cannot understand.
Pope Francis Speaks: In the meanwhile, Pope Francis waded into the controversial debate over the origins of human life, saying the big bang theory did not contradict the role of a divine creator, but even required it.
The pope was addressing the plenary assembly of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, which gathered at the Vatican to discuss “Evolving Concepts of Nature.”
The Vatican quotes Pope Francis:
“When we read in Genesis the account of Creation, we risk imagining God as a magus, with a magic wand able to make everything. But that is not so. He created beings and allowed them to develop according to the internal laws that He gave to each one, so that they were able to develop and arrive at their fullness of being. …
From his above statement it is clear and not surprising that Pope Francis accepts evolution and the billions-of-years timescale (big bang), for though the Catholic church has held a Creationism front, many of the past popes have been slowly edging towards evolution over the last few decades. However, serious Scripture study clearly teaches that God created over a period of six normal days around 6000 years ago. Unfortunately, for those who don’t consider the Bible as God’s Word that holds final authority, there will be confusion galore.And so creation continued for centuries and centuries, millennia and millennia, until it became which we know today, precisely because God is not a demiurge or conjurer, but the Creator who gives being to all things. The beginning of the world is not the work of chaos that owes its origin to another, but derives directly from a supreme Origin that creates out of love. The Big Bang, which nowadays is posited as the origin of the world, does not contradict the divine act of creating, but rather requires it. The evolution of nature does not contrast with the notion of Creation, as evolution presupposes the creation of beings that evolve.”
The Apostle Peter looked at things differently. His verdict, after having lived and talked with the Messiah was as follows: “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.’ For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and that the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and then perished. But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and the destruction of the ungodly”(2 Peter 3:4–7).
It is important to note that Peter completely accepts the biblical history of the world. Scripture is his starting point, not other ideas in the culture. The following points are to be noted from this:
- Creation of the world from water by the Word of God. The world has not always existed, contrary to the popular philosophy of Peter’s day. Up until the 20thcentury, an eternally-existing world has been a theory that some scientists have tried to defend. Now they are forced to admit that the universe had a beginning, but the big bang has several important differences from the biblical account which means that it could not have been the way that God created.
- Destruction of the world with water by the decree of God. Peter accepted that there was a global Flood that killed everyone except the eight people on board the Ark (1 Peter 3:20). We know from creation geology models that a catastrophe of this scale would account for the geological layers containing all sorts of fossils (which is why it’s not surprising to us that it has evidence of carnivory, cancer, and thorns—because it’s a record of the post-Fall world). And if a year-long global catastrophe explains the majority of the fossil record, there is no room for millions of years of earth history.
- The future destruction of the world with fire by the decree of God. The next great discontinuity in earth history will be the end of the present world. Extrapolating today’s processes, it is clear that the universe is headed towards‘heat death’ several billion years in the future when the universe is in the state of maximum entropy. But Scripture points to a much sooner demise of the universe, not by natural processes, but with fervent heat which will melt the elements. This will pave the way for the New Heavens and Earth and the resurrection of the dead.
Peter clearly stands on the firm foundation of scripture and is unafraid to flatly contradict the compromise of his own day. Secularists have long noted that not only is evolution by definition a godless process, but a god who would use evolution is certainly not the God of Christianity.
Jesus stated in (Mark 10:6) – “But from the beginning of the creation, God made them male and female.”
And in (Romans 1:20), the Apostle Paul says of God: “For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse”.
We need to remember that Evolution is based on Atheism and hence seeks to refute Creationism which clearly reveals the existence of God, the very thing the atheist refuses to accept. Theistic Evolution is more or less the same but adds God in the picture and is nothing more than syncretism.
The atheistic formula for evolution is:
Evolution = matter + evolutionary factors (chance and necessity + mutation + selection + isolation + death) + very long time periods.
In the theistic evolutionary view, God is added:
Theistic evolution = matter + evolutionary factors (chance and necessity + mutation + selection + isolation + death) + very long time periods + God.
Both are false! Consider the following points based on the above definitions:
God Misrepresented: The Bible states that God is the Prime Cause of all things. ‘But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things … and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by Him’ (1 Corinthians 8:6).
However, in theistic evolution the only workspace allotted to God is that part of nature which evolution cannot ‘explain’ with the means presently at its disposal. In this way He is reduced to being a ‘god of the gaps’ for those phenomena about which there are doubts. This leads to the view that ‘God is therefore not absolute, but He Himself has evolved—He is evolution’.
Central Bible Teachings Denied: The entire Bible bears witness that we are dealing with a source of truth authored by God (2 Timothy 3:16), with the Old Testament as the indispensable ‘ramp’ leading to the New Testament, like an access road leads to a motor freeway (John 5:39). The biblical creation account should not be regarded as a myth, a parable, or an allegory, but as a historical report, because:
- Biological, astronomical and anthropological facts are given in didactic [teaching] form.
- In the Ten Commandments God bases the six working days and one day of rest on the same time-span as that described in the creation account (Exodus 20:8-11).
- In the New Testament Jesus referred to facts of the creation (e.g. Matthew 19:4-5).
- Nowhere in the Bible are there any indications that the creation account should be understood in any other way than as a factual report.
The doctrine of theistic evolution undermines this basic way of reading the Bible, as vouched for by Jesus, the prophets and the Apostles. Events reported in the Bible are reduced to mythical imagery, and an understanding of the message of the Bible as being true in word and meaning is lost.
Biblical Basis for Jesus’ Redemptive Work is Mythologized: The Bible teaches that the first man’s fall into sin was a real event and that this was the direct cause of sin in the world. ‘Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned’ (Romans 5:12).
Theistic evolution does not acknowledge Adam as the first man, nor that he was created directly from ‘the dust of the ground’ by God (Genesis 2:17). Most theistic evolutionists regard the creation account as being merely a mythical tale, albeit with some spiritual significance. However, the sinner Adam and the Saviour Jesus are linked together in the Bible—Romans 5:16–18. Thus any theological view which mythologizes Adam undermines the biblical basis of Jesus’ work of redemption.
Big Bang Blasted:
It has been well said that the Big Bang is quite a lot of “noise”. More noise and no substance.
But what is interesting is what 33 secular scientists have to say about it:
Those who have swallowed the theory of the Big Bang have been deceived outright. A bombshell ‘Open Letter to the Scientific Community’ by 33 leading scientists has been published in New Scientist (Lerner, E., Bucking the big bang, New Scientist 182 (2448) 20, 22 May 2004). An online article on http://www.rense.com titled ‘Big bang theory busted by 33 top scientists’ (27 May 2004) says, ‘Our ideas about the history of the universe are dominated by big bang theory. But its dominance rests more on funding decisions than on the scientific method, according to Eric Lerner, mathematician Michael Ibison of Earthtech.org, and dozens of other scientists from around the world.’ [Readers are encouraged to look up the above site www.rense.com for a detailed statement]
The open letter includes statements such as:
- ‘The big bang today relies on a growing number of hypothetical entities, things that we have never observed—inflation, dark matter and dark energy are the most prominent examples. Without them, there would be a fatal contradiction between the observations made by astronomers and the predictions of the big bang theory.’
- ‘But the big bang theory can’t survive without these fudge factors. Without the hypothetical inflation field, the big bang does not predict the smooth, isotropic cosmic background radiation that is observed, because there would be no way for parts of the universe that are now more than a few degrees away in the sky to come to the same temperature and thus emit the same amount of microwave radiation. … Inflation requires a density 20 times larger than that implied by big bang nucleosynthesis, the theory’s explanation of the origin of the light elements.’ [This refers to the horizon problem, and supports what we say in Light-travel time: a problem for the big bang.]
- ‘In no other field of physics would this continual recourse to new hypothetical objects be accepted as a way of bridging the gap between theory and observation. It would, at the least, raise serious questions about the validity of the underlying theory [emphasis in original].’
- ‘What is more, the big bang theory can boast of no quantitative predictions that have subsequently been validated by observation. The successes claimed by the theory’s supporters consist of its ability to retrospectively fit observations with a steadily increasing array of adjustable parameters, just as the old Earth-centred cosmology of Ptolemy needed layer upon layer of epicycles.’
Those who urge Christians to accept the big bang as a ‘science fact’ point to its near-universal acceptance by the scientific community. However, the 33 dissidents describe a situation familiar to many creationist scientists: ‘An open exchange of ideas is lacking in most mainstream conferences … doubt and dissent are not tolerated, and young scientists learn to remain silent if they have something negative to say about the standard big bang model. Those who doubt the big bang fear that saying so will cost them their funding.’
Science is a wonderful human tool, but it needs to be understood, not worshipped. It is fallible, changing, and is severely limited as to what it can and cannot determine. As Creation Ministries has often pointed out, instead of a scientific concept, the big-bang idea is more a dogmatic religious one—based on the religion of humanism.
There are several reasons why we cannot just add the big bang to the Bible. Ultimately, the big bang is a secular story of origins. When first proposed, it was an attempt to explain how the universe could have been created without God. Really, it is an alternative to the Bible, so it makes no sense to try to “add” it to the Bible.
Let us look at just two more differences between the Bible and the secular big-bang view of origins.
Most people know something about magnets—like the kind found in a compass or the kind that sticks to a refrigerator. We often say that magnets have two “poles”—a north pole and a south pole. Poles that are alike will repel each other, while opposites attract. A “monopole” is a hypothetical massive particle that is just like a magnet but has only one pole. So a monopole would have either a north pole or a south pole, but not both.
Particle physicists claim that many magnetic monopoles should have been created in the high temperature conditions of the big bang. Since monopoles are stable, they should have lasted to this day. Yet, despite considerable search efforts, monopoles have not been found. Where are the monopoles? The fact that we don’t find any monopoles suggests that the universe never was that hot. This indicates that there never was a big bang, but it is perfectly consistent with the Bible’s account of creation, since the universe did not start infinitely hot.
Where Is the Antimatter?
Consider the “baryon number problem.” Recall that the big bang supposes that matter (hydrogen and helium gas) was created from energy as the universe expanded. However, experimental physics tells us that whenever matter is created from energy, such a reaction also produces antimatter. Antimatter has similar properties to matter, except the charges of the particles are reversed. (So whereas a proton has a positive charge, an antiproton has a negative charge.) Any reaction where energy is transformed into matter produces an exactly equal amount of antimatter; there are no known exceptions.
The big bang (which has no matter to begin with, only energy) should have produced exactly equal amounts of matter and antimatter, and that should be what we see today. But we do not. The visible universe is comprised almost entirely of matter—with only trace amounts of antimatter anywhere.
This devastating problem for the big bang is actually consistent with biblical creation; it is a design feature. God created the universe to be essentially matter only—and it’s a good thing He did. When matter and antimatter come together, they violently destroy each other. If the universe had equal amounts of matter and antimatter (as the big bang requires), life would not be possible.
End of part – 1 (Look for the second part to see conclusions drawn)