Featured as a back-of-page article in the CSABC Quarterly Letter of December 2012
by Richard Peachey
1. Evolution, if true, is of central importance to our whole worldview.
2. So if the Bible is really a book from God, it should have clearly and positively taught us about this key "truth" of Evolution.
3. The Bible, however, does not teach us about Evolution. (In fact, it teaches many things contrary to evolutionary thinking.)
4. Therefore, either Evolution is not true, or the Bible is not a book from God.
The above points can be fleshed out as follows:
1. Evolution, if true, is of central importance to our whole worldview. Leading evolutionists urge that acceptance and study of Evolution are required for a proper understanding of science and philosophy in general (not just for biology).
• Theodosius Dobzhansky (1900-1975) was a leading evolutionary geneticist and a major contributor to the Neo-Darwinian Synthesis. Dobzhansky wrote a famous article whose title is now much quoted by evolutionists: “Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution” (The American Biology Teacher 35:129, March 1973). The concluding paragraph of that article contained these words:
"One of the greatest thinkers of our age, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, wrote the following: 'Is evolution a theory, a system, or a hypothesis? It is much more—it is a general postulate to which all theories, all hypotheses, all systems must henceforward bow and which they must satisfy in order to be thinkable and true. Evolution is a light which illuminates all facts, a trajectory which all lines of thought must follow—this is what evolution is.'" [Bold print here and later indicates emphasis added.]
• Julian Huxley (1887-1975), grandson of Thomas Henry Huxley (called "Darwin's bulldog"), was a noted biologist, a leading atheistic humanist, and the first director general of UNESCO. Julian Huxley offered this definition of evolution:
"Evolution in the extended sense can be defined as a directional and essentially irreversible process occurring in time, which in its course gives rise to an increase of variety and an increasingly high level of organization in its products. Our present knowledge indeed forces us to the view that the whole of reality is evolution—a single process of self-transformation." ("Evolution and Genetics." In J. R. Newman [ed.] 1955. What is Science? New York: Simon and Schuster. p. 278)
• The Wikipedia article on "Natural Selection," under the heading "Impact of the idea," states:
"In the words of the philosopher Daniel Dennett, 'Darwin's dangerous idea' of evolution by natural selection is a 'universal acid,' which cannot be kept restricted to any vessel or container, as it soon leaks out, working its way into ever-wider surroundings. Thus, in the last decades, the concept of natural selection has spread from evolutionary biology into virtually all disciplines, including evolutionary computation, quantum darwinism, evolutionary economics, evolutionary epistemology, evolutionary psychology, and cosmological natural selection. This unlimited applicability has been called Universal Darwinism."
2. So if the Bible is really a book from God, then it should have clearly and positively taught us about this key "truth" of Evolution. Christian confessions of faith (Protestant ones, at least) typically regard the Bible as true and sufficient for faith and life. If Evolution is genuinely essential to a truthful and adequate worldview, then the God who is truthful, omniscient, and omnipotent ought to have informed us about it in his revelation to us.
3. The Bible, however, does not teach us about Evolution. (In fact, it teaches many things contrary to evolutionary thinking.) Harvard biologist Edward O. Wilson gave this testimony about what he regarded as a failing of the Bible:
"I had been raised a Southern Baptist, laid backward under the water on the sturdy arm of a pastor, been born again. I knew the healing power of redemption. Faith, hope and charity were in my bones, and with millions of others I knew that my savior Jesus Christ would grant me eternal life. More pious than the average teenager, I read the Bible cover to cover, twice. But now at college, steroid-driven into moods of adolescent rebellion, I chose to doubt. I found it hard to accept that our deepest beliefs were set in stone by agricultural societies of the eastern Mediterranean more than two thousand years ago. . . . But most of all, Baptist theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God? Might the pastors of my childhood, good and loving men though they were, be mistaken? It was all too much, and freedom was ever so sweet. I drifted away from the church, not definitively agnostic or atheistic, just Baptist no more." (1998. Consilience. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. p. 6)
Conflicts between the Bible and Evolution include the sequence of events, the time frame, and the overall thrust of history (upward versus downward in terms of progress from the beginning to the present; downward versus upward as we move toward the distant future). Such conflicts have generated a variety of attempts to reconcile Evolution (and/or its time frame) with Scripture — including the Gap Theory, Day-Age Theory, Revelatory Day Theory, and Framework Hypothesis. All such approaches are incompatible not only with the plain reading of the Bible but also with each other.
4. Therefore, either Evolution is not true, or the Bible is not a book from God. For those who accept the Bible as the Word of God, the above premises and conclusion form a tight logical argument against evolution. But even for those who hold a different view of the Bible, it should be clear from the above line of reasoning that it is not logically possible to genuinely believe both the Bible and evolution at the same time.