I do not post very often on the great debate between Science and Religion, or whether a debate exists at all. But this post by Luther at the Movies makes me want to note a few things. (First of which is that the Luther here is obviously for entertainment purposes only and does not necessarily reflect the views of the real Luther! I’d stick with movie reviews.)
Evolutionary theory is a shell game. Listen to or read books by the primary players (e.g., Richard Dawkins) and you can easily see the deft maneuvering and illusionary tactics used to make points. The move is essentially this: “Any real scientist knows that the evidence for evolution is overwhelming.” When asked what that evidence might be, the answer is: “You know, the fossil record, the adaptation of species to their environments, the fact that it explains everything so well.” While you’re trying to say that none of those things have anything to do with the idea of evolution from lesser to greater species, the evolutionist (or Darwiniac) has moved on, as if he has proved his point. When he is asked for the proof that one species has evolved into another, he says, “Imagine…,” or “If such-and-such…,” or some other what-if story. He will then go on to assume that his hypothetical was indeed the case, and pretty soon he’s got the whole cosmos explained from that single what-if. Before you can say, “wait, what about…,” he’s already to “overwhelming evidence.”
Why does this shell game work? Same as any other: while we’re focused on the argument about adaptation of species, the evolutionist has already moved on to adaptation between species. The result is the same as well: any way you choose, you lose.
I’m no scientist, so [the rest of this sentence has been edited slightly to make my meaning clearer] any argument I put forth about the inconsistency I see with particular examples of evidence for evolution will likely meet with a nicely formulated evolutionist’s objection. Thus it is hard for a non-scientist to argue with a scientist, no matter how much knowledge we have gathered from the “outside.” Such objections, however, we might be able to meet if we knew more. But it seems to me that evolution, as a grand theory of everything, simply does not work logically. Missing links, as in transitional fossils, simply, logically, cannot be found. That’s as clear as day to anyone who has not, as Richard Dawkins puts it, had their “consciousness raised” by the idea of natural selection. Transitional fossils (what in the world would that possibly look like, anyway? how would they be fossilized in transition?), to the evolutionist’s mind, are fossils that appear to have similarities to two different species, the evolution of one to the other having already been assumed. Had evolution not been assumed, why would anyone be looking for a transitional fossil in the first place? They will attempt to tell you that macro-evolution is really just micro-evolution with a lot more time. But that is simply one more unsupportable assertion based on the assumption that evolution is necessarily true.
I’m sure an evolutionist out there has a “perfectly” “reasonable” explanation for every one of my questions. Such always-ready explanations have brought me to this opinion: non-scientists are not equipped to argue with scientists, into whom evolutionary science has been irreversibly drilled. Scientists who have doubts about the explanatory power of Darwinism are not allowed to argue, because it is a particularly egregious form of betrayal.
What shall Christians do? 1: Know as much science as possible, while realizing that actual scientists will always have an explanation (though often confusing explanation with proof). 2: Understand that the scientific field is not the real battlefield for non-scientist Christians. Let the scientists from both sides do their work. 3: A real battlefield is over neo-Darwinian implications in the area of bioethics, for example. 4: An ultimately more important battlefield is the theological. That is, perhaps a Christian can shoehorn natural selection into a theistic framework (often resulting in a near-deist god, but we’ll let that slide for the moment), which allows him to make something up about how evolution and Genesis 1-2 can be reconciled. What cannot be reconciled, however, are natural selection and Original Sin, the primary consequence of which was spiritual and physical death. Natural selection requires physical death to work, hence reversing the order of sin and death to death and sin (this is for a “theistic evolutionist,” whatever that is; obviously, atheistic evolutionists are not concerned about something called sin). Death is not “natural;” it does not belong to our God-given nature. If someone suggests that it does, tell them that they simply haven’t read the Bible. The entire narrative of the Scriptures declare with one voice that death is an intrusion into God’s good creation and an enemy to be conquered by Christ. There is no way around this fact. At this point, natural selection/evolution fundamentally contradicts the whole of the salvation history, not just three chapters at the beginning of Genesis. To this I have never been given a good answer. Because there is none.
So go on, Christians, bowing to the experts and giving away ground to the denizens of mere material. But death cannot be reconciled with both creation and evolution. If it fits in one, it cannot fit the other, and vice-versa. They are mutually exclusive here. They move in diametrically opposed directions.
For my money, I’ll take the one where death is unnatural and ultimately conquered by the death and resurrection of Christ over the one where death becomes us as a naturally occurring pheomenon of nature. You cannot make your peace with death. It aims to kill you.