what about evolutionary theory?
Contrary to What You May Have Heard, Evolutionary Theory May Actually HELP Prove Creation Theory!
Any discussion about evolution must clarify definitions. For our purposes there are two main definitions:
Micro-evolution: Refers to changes in the gene expressions of a given type of organism - brought about for various reasons - but does not produce a completely different species. An example would be the variety of breeds of dogs produced by selective breeding (dogs ranging from Great Danes to Chihuahuas have been produced from wolves.) This process requires no new information, because the changes are a function of already existing genes. Micro-evolution is not disputed, and is evidenced by many examples (like the dogs.)
Macro-evolution: Refers to large scale changes - where one species transforms into another completely different species. For example, birds are said to have evolved from dinosaurs. This process requires the addition of new information to the genetic codes.
Adapted from Hank Hanegraaff, The FACE That Demonstrates the FARCE of Evolution, page 172
Microevolution is a fact. It is observed every day, and the evidence is obvious. Macroevolution, on the other hand, is a theory that is essentially an extension of microevolution. Many make the assumption (usually starting from the assumption that God does not or cannot exist) that all of life could be explained by these small changes, eventually culminating in large changes. But there is no evidence of this - indeed, the evidence is contrary to this! (So from here on, when I use the term 'evolution', I am referring, as do most people in popular discussion, to the more technical term 'macro-evolution.)
Fallacies of Macroevolution
The Fossil Record - An evolutionist will declare that the fossil record 'proves' macroevolution. But the fossil record is in fact very spotty, and very inconclusive. For example, David Raup, whose Field Museum of Natural History (Chicago) has one of the largest fossil collections in the world said “We are about 120 years after Darwin and the knowledge of the fossil record has been greatly expanded. We now have a quarter of a million fossil species but the situation hasn’t changed much. The record of evolution is still surprisingly jerky and, ironically, we have even fewer examples of evolutionary transition than we had in Darwin’s time”. (Noebel, David A., Understanding The Times, pg 299)
Grasping at Straws in Order To Make Sense of the Holes in the Fossil Record - One of the many 'secrets' that are not mentioned much in casual debate is known as the Cambrian Explosion. The oldest fossils that exist are very few and very primitive - then BOOM! All of a sudden (in geological timing) many complex fossils are found. This 'explosion' of fossils is quite a quandary to an evolutionist, and is the 'genesis' of many interesting theories to try to explain what 'must' have happened.
Another 'hole' is the apparent lack of transitional fossils. A transitional fossil is the 'missing link', the fossil that shows a species in between species. For example, if birds evolved from dinosaurs, we might expect to see a dinosaur with wings, on its way to becoming a bird. Several of these have purportedly been discovered, the most 'crowed' about being a bird named Archaeopteryx, but more and more it seems to be accepted that in fact this bird was just another bird. Another problem with the so-called transitional species evidence that is put forth today is that it is clearly subject to interpretation and presupposition. Merely lining up to similar fossils and claiming they are proofs of evolution is far from conclusive, and it sure helps to believe in it if you already (or want to) believe that God is not in the equation.
Richard Goldshmidt , in The Material Basis for Evolution, stated that a new theory of evolution was necessary since the required transitional forms in the fossil record were not being discovered. Goldshmidt hypothesized the “Hopeful Monster Theory” which suggested that occasionally a two-legged sheep or a two-headed turtle is born, and that two such monsters could mate and create something new. The similarity of the “Hopeful Monster Theory” to the punctuated equilibrium theory becomes obvious…”
New Information - Neo-Darwinism asserts that mutations, along with other agents of change, bring about new species. The assumption must be that the mutations create new information, which is passed on to the progeny. For example, once upon a time there were creatures with no lungs. Then somehow the information for the development of lungs arose. But there was no information for feathers yet, so somehow that information arose also. The macroevolutionist must believe either that this information arose from nothing (by chance of course), or that the one celled animals contained all the information to make an elephant, a butterfly, and man.
Unfortunately for the macroevolutionist, mutations have been proven to only detract from information! If you think the odds were against those amoeba's turning into either butterfly's or elephants before, they just got worse with this evidence!
Consider the following example of loss of information (microevolution): Blind cave fish and shrimp. In all of these animals, the loss of eyesight in the dark caves is obvious. And natural selection has perpetuated the dominance of this characteristic in its offspring. This is sometimes touted as proof of evolution. But is this evolution, or de-evolution? It is advantageous for the creatures to not have eyes in the dark environment, but the loss of eyesight is still a loss. No new information was created in the mutation, but some was lost. Clearly, the natural selection that we actually do have evidence for furthers the Creationist's arguments, not the macroevolutionist's arguments!
Macroevolutions Darkest Secret - This aspect of the consideration of life is so abhorrent to an evolutionist that they usually respond something akin to "evolution doesn't attempt to explain that, so we won't talk about it!" What is this off limits subject? Nothing less then the origin of life! Now clearly, survival of the fittest presumes the arrival of the fittest, so the discussions are clearly linked, unless the evolutionist is happy with a compartmentalized life. But the Christian worldview doesn't force us to segregate our beliefs - it fits perfectly! An evolutionist must presume that life came from non-living things (known as abiogenesis.) Clearly, we don't see that happen everyday - and that is why the evolutionist doesn't want to talk about it.
They will sometimes bring up the famed Miller-Urey experiment, where scientists introduced an electric charge into what was thought to be an example of the 'primordial soup'. Out of this mix came several insignificant amino acids. The problem is that it is now generally accepted that the mix was no where near close to the supposed make-up of the early earth, and that these acids break down much easier than they are made. In short, the experiment is now generally discredited.
Summary The 'Naturalistic' approach demands that we look for a natural explanation of anything and everything - with this view there is no room for a creator. A Naturalist (or Evolutionist) cannot even accept the supernatural as a possible explanation for the origin of life. And creation and evolution cannot be tested scientifically, because they are a historical theory about unique events, and unique events are, by definition, not part of science for they are unrepeatable and so not subject to test. The evolutionist must (just as the Christian does) live by faith and not by sight.
Michael Behe cites a clever analogy that describes the situation in which an evolutionists places himself. Suppose there exists a ditch between you and your neighbor that is 100 feet wide, running to the horizon in both directions. You ask your neighbor how he came to be on your side, and he claims that he jumped from his side to yours. You would be wise to doubt this claim...but suppose your neighbor then qualifies himself:
"I did not come across in one jump. Rather", he says, "in the canyon there were a number of buttes, no more than 10 feet apart from one another; I jumped from one narrowly spaced butte to another to reach your side." Glancing toward the canyon, you tell your neighbor that you see no buttes, just a wide chasm separating your yard from his. He agrees, but explains that it took him years and years to come over. During that time buttes occasionally arose in the chasm, and he progressed as they popped up. After he left a butte it usually eroded pretty quickly and crumbled back into the canyon. Very dubious, but with no easy way to prove him wrong, you change the subject to baseball. Darwin's Black Box; Michael J. Behe; page 14
It seems to me that Macro-Evolution is a increasingly failing attempt to rationalize the existence of complex creatures without accepting the possibility of God in the equation. Darwin himself understood the trouble with this, as he observed that “The impossibility of conceiving that this grand and wondrous universe with our conscious selves arose through chance seems to me the chief argument for the existence of God.” (Quoted in Understanding the Times; David A. Noebel; pg 91). The fact that we appear to be designed with purpose is the proposition behind the Intelligent Design proposal, which seems to fit more cleanly with the evidence and with logic.
A Problem This debate tends to get ugly. Most Evolutionists think that Creationists are ignorant and deluded; most Creationists think that Evolutionists are deluded and not honest with their data. There are many evolutionists who bury the well-meaning Christian with technical jargon and insults - this is not an area for the light of heart. I suggest that the average Christian study both sides with a clear presupposition in mind (looking for the reasons behind the reasons), and that the average Evolutionist consider that Christians are also looking for answers, but perhaps to different questions.