The battle between creationists and evolutionists has been portrayed as one of logic on the side of evolution and blind faith on the side of creation. But now, science is delving deeper into the microcosm of the cell and DNA, and the validity of evolution is being called into question. Perhaps faith is not as blind as science once presumed.
An exhaustive examination of this topic would require volumes of documentation. We here present a small portion of food for thought to whet the appetite for further investigation.
Scientific Evidence Supports Creation
For over a century, science has viewed the development of life as the work of natural selection or "the survival of the fittest." This simplistic view might explain the microevolution of horse hoofs, but can it explain life's complex foundation? If Darwin could have known the complexity of DNA, he might have agreed that the real "work of life" does not happen at the level of the whole organism, and he might then have tempered his theory to eliminate claims of major evolutionary changes such as fish to birds and apes to man.
In his recent book, Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution, biochemist Michael J. Behe explains, "The word evolution has been invoked to explain tiny changes in organisms [micro] as well as huge changes [macro]." At the molecular level, he suggests there exist "unbridgeable chasms" between interacting parts. Darwinists cannot rely simply upon anatomical structures or even the fossil record to positively demonstrate evolutionary development, but they must show the progression at the molecular level, where they are at a loss to explain the evolution of complex organs, such as the eye. In his Origin of the Species, Darwin states: "If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down."
Behe concluded that at this molecular level, Darwin's theory does "absolutely break down." He states there are "irreducibly complex interacting parts that contribute to the basic function, wherein the removal of any one of the parts causes the system to effectively cease functioning... because any precursor to an irreducibly complex system that is missing a part is by definition nonfunctional." This simply means that development of complex parts such as an eye would have a hard time evolving because the in-between steps would serve no purposewould not benefit the creature, and there may be thousands of in-between steps to go through to get to the end product of an eye. The steps along the way (precursors) are not functional, not beneficial, and so could not follow the process of natural selection. "Survival of the fittest" just cannot apply if there is no benefit by the organism retaining any one of these in-between steps. The great majority of scientists today still believe Darwinist claims for the gradual development of life, but offer no detailed explanations of how extremely complex anatomical systems were developed. Generally, evolution is not demonstrated by scientists; it is just assumed. The obvious question raised by Behe, and increasingly by other modern scientists, is that if the reasoning behind the theory of evolution is flawed, is the theory of evolution fit to survive at all?
Literal or Symbolic Creative Days?
Part of the implausibility of creation to both scientists and many Christians exists in the view of seven literal, 24 hour days. The argument for 7 literal days has been easily ridiculed by Darwinists. Many can recall the scandal of the Scopes Trial where a well meaning Christian was declared a fool by an already skeptical public.
As seekers of truth, we must not blindly accept handed-down interpretation as fact. This would be no better than the scientist who assumes evolution to be true simply because it is the only answer science has to offer.
The Genesis account of seven days is true, but the traditional conclusion of these being 24 hours each is based upon interpretation. When viewed in the light of investigation, the Bible in fact teaches a far more reasonable creative process, and thus, on this score, harmony can be found between claims of science and the Bible account of creation.
Genesis 1:1-2 states: "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." Note that no length of time is given for this act of creation. It is reasonable to assume, then, that this period of time could have been quite long. Not until verse 3 does the narrative of the creative days begin. But even here, Bible evidence points to these being vastly longer than 24 hour days. The Hebrew word yom, here translated "day," can be used to denote not only a 24 hour day, but also longer periods of time or epochs. For example, Israel's forty years in the wilderness is called "the day [yom] of temptation in the wilderness . . . forty years long . . ." Psalm 95:8-10
Determining the length of the seventh day is key to discovering the length of the other six creative days. The seventh creative day is unique in its record compared to the other six in that it does not conclude "...the evening and the morning were the seventh day...," nor does it indicate that the seventh day ended. Genesis 2:2-3 Theologians generally teach that we are still in this last creative day, for God rested after the creation of Adam and Eve on the sixth day. Bible chronology and secular history agree that it is now approximately 6,000 years since the first recorded evidence of man. The Bible also teaches that the final work of Christ will be a millenial reign or "judgment day" of 1000 years. 2Pet. 3:8 Most Bible scholars agree that we are at the threshold of this Messianic reign. A quick addition will conclude 7,000 years for the last creative day. Thus, we can make a logical deduction of 7,000 years for each of the other creative days. Although this time period is vastly shorter than the scientific claim of millions of years needed for evolution, it is quite sufficient for God to develop the fixed species and their habitats.
The Real "Missing Link"
Does it really matter whether we believe in creation or evolution? Some Christians think the creation account is unreasonable and discount it as just another Bible story. They believe that God used a Darwin-style evolution to fashion man and all living things. Could this not be a harmonizing of the Bible and science, they contend?
We think this position contradicts the very premise of the redemptive work of Christ. "For as all in Adam die, even so all in Christ shall be made alive." 1Cor. 15:22 This in essence is saying that mankind inherited sin from Adam and has since been plunging into a more sinful and degraded condition. This progress downward is the very opposite of evolution which teaches a gradual improving of the human race to eventual perfection without the need of a redeemer. The scriptures state that the only way to perfection and life is through Jesus Christ and that soon, even the dead will be brought back to enjoy this opportunity. John 5:28-29 Evolution offers no hope for the dead, and has no need of a savior. Thus, Christians should remember the real "missing link" which brings forth life to perfectionJesus Christ, "the Lord of the Sabbath"the seventh and final creative day. Mark 2:28
Current Events: Darwinists Prove Man Was Created
A recent study by evolutionary biologists Dorit (Yale), Akashi (Univ. of Chicago), and Gilbert (Harvard) probed for genetic differences in the Y chromosome of 38 men of different ethnic groups living in various parts of the world. To their amazement, they found no nucleotide differences at all in the nonrecombinant part of the Y chromosomes. This lack of deviation verified that no evolution has occurred in the male ancestry of humans, and, based on this analysis, they were forced to conclude that man's forefather was a single individual.
Another study was conducted in 1987 on the mitochondrial DNA, which is only passed in females, from mother to daughter. The conclusion of this study was that all contemporary humans are descendants of one woman who lived less than 200,000 years ago. Although this study observed a very slight variation on the sampling of women in contrast to no variation on the men, the Genesis record that Eve was created from Adam would account for this slight microevolution. Therefore, the male study harmonizes with the Genesis account of creation. Males have a singular origin Father Adam whereas the slight variation of DNA in woman occurred initially in Mother Eve and has been passed down since from mothers to daughters.
By contrast, when the Y chromosome of humans is compared to that of chimpanzees, gorillas and orangutans, large genetic variations occur between species. Yet within each specie, very little, if any variation is found. Microevolution, changes within a Genesis "kind," can be confirmed by science, but macroevolution from one Genesis "kind" to another has no basis in fact. How embarrassing for the Darwinists whose "molecular clock" has confirmed the Genesis account. The Y chromosome studies have confirmed what would reasonably be expected of the creation model.
Future Prospects: DNA's Link to Eternal Life
On January 16, 1998 a broadcast on ABC News' 20/20 entitled "Turning Back the Clock" unveiled amazing research into the apparent cause of aging. Scientists are now working on a cure that could prolong life well beyond current averages. One researcher remarked, "I think what you'll see is life spans of several hundred years. Healthy life spans."
This DNA research, centered at the California based biotech company Geron, has led to the discovery of telomeres, tiny "clocks" that are found at the end of chromosomes. Each time a cell divides, the telomeres shorten and the cells lose genetic material. Eventually they slow down and die, thus leading to tissue damage in our bodies and allowing for so many of the diseases associated with old age. It was discovered that younger people have longer chains of telomeres while chains in older adults are much shorter. In children with a rare aging disease called progeria which causes them to age nine years for every one year of life, the telomeres are found to be shortened, just as in the elderly.
From this discovery, an enzyme called telomerase, or what scientists call the "immortalizing enzyme," has been shown to rebuild telomeres and allow cells to continue to live and divide long after they normally would have died. Some scientists see that within the next few years, we will be living to 110 and still playing tennis!
This is exciting news! As Christians, we rejoice in such discoveries as they are clear indications of the great increase of knowledge that God promised would identify the end of the Age. Dan. 12:4 However, we must ask, how does it effect our belief in God and his wonderful plan of salvation? Does this discovery deny the need for the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus?
We think not! It only enhances the desire for longer life. In addition, it proves that evolution as a theory is not correct, for evolution suggests that we are getting better physically, moving forward toward a more perfect humanity. This new research illustrates that we are actually deteriorating and in need of some sort of scientific intervention. This concept is in complete harmony with the Bible statements concerning a fall from perfection, and the downward, broad road that leads to death. Gen. 2:15; Matt. 7:13 Further, even if humans could have their lives extended to hundreds of years, that would not stop sin, violence, hatred, greed, and ultimately sickness and death. The great patriarchs in the Bible who lived prior to the flood, lived for hundreds of years, but they ALL died.
Thus, while this discovery is astounding, and we rejoice in the potential good it will do for this groaning creation, we also know that only God can turn the DNA key which will bring about eternal life in the resurrection, in the Times of Restitution of All Things taught by all of His holy prophets since the world began. John 5:28-29; Acts 3:19-21 Yes, we rejoice in those discoveries that bring us hope and comfort, but continue to pray for the kingdom which shall bring health and life to all who ask. Rev. 22:17