The Bible Has the Answer

3. Question: "Should a Christian believe in Evolution?"

   Answer: This is a very common question, frequently asked by young people who are being indoctrinated with evolutionary concepts in the public schools or universities. {1 For a brief treatment of the so- called evidences of evolution and their Biblical and personal implications, see H. M. Morris, Creation and the Modern Christian (San Diego: Master Books, 1985), 220 pp.}  The answer depends on what is meant by the term "evolution."  If it is defined simply as "change" (for example, the growth of a baby into an adult, the production of hybrids and other new varieties of plants or animals through scientific breeding processes, or the development of the various types of dogs or cats from one original dog or cat "kind"), then no one would argue this question at all.

   However, the prevalent theory of evolution today is far broader in scope than this.  The leading evolutionists consider it as a basic principle of continual development, of increasing order and complexity throughout the universe.  The complex elements are said to have developed from simpler elements, living organisms to have evolved from non-living chemicals, complex forms of life from simpler organisms, and even man himself to have gradually evolved from some kind of ape-like ancestor.  Religions, cultures, and other social institutions are likewise believed to be continually evolving into higher forms.

  Thus, evolution is actually a complete world-view, an explanation of origins and meanings without the necessity of a personal god who created and upholds all things.  Since this philosophy (one might even say this "religion") of universal evolutionary progress is so widely and persuasively taught in our schools, Christians are often tempted to accept the compromise position of "theistic evolution," according to which evolution is viewed as God's method of creation.  However, this is basically an inconsistent and contradictory position.  Some of its fallacies are as follows:

  (1) It contradicts the Bible record of creation.  Ten times in the first chapter of Genesis, the inspired writer tells us that God created plants and animals to reproduce "after their kinds." The Biblical "kind" may have been broader than our modern "species" concept, but at least it implied definite limits to variation.  The New Testament writers accepted the full historicity of the Genesis account of creation.  Even Christ Himself quoted from it as historically accurate and authoritative (Matthew 19:4-6).

  (2) It is inconsistent with God's methods.  The standard history of evolution involves the development of innumerable misfits and extinctions, useless and even harmful organisms.  If this is God's "method of creation," it is strange that He would use such haphazard, inefficient, wasteful processes.  Furthermore, the idea of the "survival of the fittest," whereby the stronger animals and races eliminate the weaker in the "struggle for existence" is the essence of Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection, and this whole scheme is flatly contradicted by the Biblical doctrine of love, of unselfish sacrifice, and of Christian charity.  The God of the Bible is a God of order and of grace, not a God of confusion and cruelty.

  (3) The evolutionary philosophy is the intellectual basis of all the  anti-Christian and anti-God systems that have plagued mankind for centuries.  It served Hitler as the rationale for Nazism and Marx as the supposed scientific basis for communism.  It is the basis of the various modern methods of psychology and sociology that treat man merely as a higher animal and which have led to the misnamed "new morality" and ethical relativism.  Its whole effect on the world and mankind has been harmful and degrading.   Jesus said: "A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit" (Matthew 7:18).  The evil fruit of the evolutionary philosophy is evidence enough of its ultimate origin in Satan's age-long rebellion against his Creator.

 (4) It is contradicted by the basic laws of science.  Evolution teaches  that "creation" is continually being accomplished by nature's evolutionary processes, but the most basic law of science, the Law of Energy Conservation, states that nothing is now being created or destroyed.  Evolution teaches that there is a universal process of development and increasing order and complexity in the universe, but the Second Law of Thermodynamics (which is a basic law of nature, with no exceptions known) states that all systems tend to become disordered and simpler.  All things tend to grow old, wear- out, run down, and die.  Evolution involves universal change "upward" whereas the real processes of nature involve a universal change "downward."  The concept of special creation of all the basic "kinds" of plants and animals, with provision for ample variation within the kinds, is much more in accord with the actual facts and laws of science than is the speculative philosophy of universal evolutionary development.

  Thus, evolution is not really a science but a religious philosophy. Although it may be the religion of many scientists, this is not because of the actual data of their science, but because of their intellectual and moral preference for this kind of faith.  The faith of Biblical Christianity is diametrically opposite to that of evolution, but is fully supported by all the real facts of life.

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4. Question: "Is the Creation story in Genesis meant to be taken literally or was it written in figurative language?"

  Answer: Just as any building is only as strong and as safe as its foundation, so the doctrines of the Bible and of Christianity rest on the foundational doctrine of creation and are bound to fall if the foundation is undermined.   All Biblical doctrines have their foundations laid in the book of Genesis, and the book of Genesis itself is founded on the events of its first chapter.  Therefore, it is extremely important that we understand exactly what is revealed by God in this all-important chapter of the Bible, and that we believe it whole-heartedly. 

 Many critics have maintained that Genesis is mainly an old legend, and that it is filled with scientific and historical errors.  However, the writers of the New Testament frequently quoted from Genesis and obviously regarded it as historically accurate and as divinely inspired.  If they were wrong about Genesis, they were probably wrong about other things and are thus not really dependable guides at all. Jesus Christ Himself specifically quoted from Genesis 1 and 2 (in Matthew 19:4-6), accepting it as historically accurate and divinely authoritative.  Thus, even Christ may not really be believed, if Genesis 1 and 2 are not true.

  It is not surprising that the earlier widespread rejection of Genesis and its account of creation has been followed by the present-day rejection of the teachings of Christ and His apostles and especially by the almost universal rejection of the doctrines of sin, salvation, redemption and regeneration.  If Christ is not even a reliable teacher, then He can hardly be trusted as Savior and Lord of one's life. 

 Some Bible teachers have suggested that the author of Genesis wrote in terms of creation, rather than evolutionary development, because the primitive Hebrews for whom he was writing could not have comprehended such a sophisticated concept as evolution.  He thus supposedly wrote in this figurative language merely as an accommodation to the naive culture and mentality of the people of that day.

  This notion is quite unsound, however.  All of the ancient religions and philosophies were evolutionary systems, regarding matter as eternal and the earth as extremely old and developing into its present form through many ages or cycles.  This was true in particular of the ancient Egyptians and Babylonians with whom the Israelites had frequent contact.

  The concept of special, recent creation, by an eternal, all powerful personal God is unique to the Bible!  It was a radically new revelation to a people surrounded by pagan evolutionary speculations.  In order to be understood at all, it thus had to be simple, clear, and direct, not mystical and vague.

  Therefore, the Genesis record of creation was meant by its author to be a sober, straightforward, historical record of the actual events of creation.  It is God's revelation to man of that which he could never discover for himself.  "All things were created by Him, . . . and by Him all things consist" (Colossians 1:16,17).  Since He is our Creator, He is also our Judge.   For those who are willing to believe and trust Him, He can also be personal Savior and Lord.

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5. Question:  "Is evolution a scientific fact?" 

  Answer: Evolution is accepted as fact by a majority of scientists, but one should remember that scientific principles are not established by majority vote. {2 Probably the most comprehensive scientific critique on all aspects of evolution is in the book, Scientific Creationism, ed. by Henry M. Morris (San Diego: Creation-Life Publishers, Second Edition, 1985), 288 pp.} There is a significant number of scientists today (undoubtedly numbering in the thousands) who either reject the theory altogether or who regard it as a still unsettled issue.  Even those who do accept it, in many cases, do so not because of the actual scientific evidence (with which even most scientists are only superficially familiar), but because they have been intimidated by the myth that all scientists accept evolution!

   As a matter of fact, no theory of origins--evolution or special creation or anything else--can possibly be scientific.  "Science" means "knowledge" and by definition means that which we actually know concerning the facts of nature and their interrelationships.  The very heart of the "scientific method" is the reproducibility of experiments. That is, if a certain process is observed and measured today, and then the experiment is conducted again the same way tomorrow, the same results should be obtained.  In this way, by experimental repetition and verification, a scientific description of the process is eventually developed.

  Since it is impossible for us to repeat the supposed evolutionary history of the world and its inhabitants, and since no human observers were present to observe and record the supposed evolutionary changes of the past, it is clear that evolution in the broad sense is beyond the reach of the scientific method.  The theory of evolution is, therefore, not science at all.

  The actual processes of nature as they occur today are conservative and decay processes, rather than creative and developmental.  That is, all processes (and this includes biological and geological processes) operate within the framework of the First and Second Laws of Thermodynamics, which are beyond question the two best-proved facts of science.  The First Law is the Law of Mass-Energy Conservation and states that nothing in the observable universe is now being created or annihilated.  The Second Law is the Law of Increasing Entropy, which says that the entropy (that is, the disorder or disorganization) of every observable system in the universe tends to grow.  Thus, the basic structure of the universe is not one of continuing "creation" but rather of "conservation."  The basic law of change in the universe is not one of evolutionary development upward but rather of "devolutionary" change downward.

  These facts are so common to every-day experience that it is amazing that anyone has ever suggested anything else.  We do see much biological variation of course, but always within definite limits.  No two individuals are exactly alike, even when born of the same parents. New varieties or species are occasionally developed, either by artificial breeding techniques or by natural selection in response to environmental changes, but these are always still of the same basic "kinds." 

 That is, there are many varieties of dogs and many varieties of cats, but never any kind of new animal intermediate between a dog and a cat!  Or between a horse and an elephant, or an ape and a man.  If evolution were really true, it should be quite impossible for biologists to develop any kind of classification scheme (that is, division into species, genera, families, etc.), because there would be everywhere a continuous intergrading of all forms of life.  As a matter of fact, since all living plants and animals supposedly have arisen by gradual modification from a common ancestor, in the same world, it stands to reason that they all ought to be exactly alike!

  Nor does it help any to attribute these changes all to the prehistoric past, the world of fossils, because the same great "gaps" exist between basic kinds in the fossil world that exist in the modern world.   There are new varieties of dogs and new varieties of cats found in the fossil world, but still nothing between a dog and a cat!  The "missing links" are still missing, despite the innumerable fossils of animals and plants that have been excavated over the centuries. 

 Special creation by a divine Creator can account for the actual observed facts of nature much better than a hypothetical process of development in the past which is contrary to basic known scientific law in the present.  It is more reasonable that "similarities" be explained in terms of a common Designer, who created similar structures for similar functions, rather than by assumed ancestral relationships. Furthermore, creation accounts for the differences as well as the similarities, which evolution cannot do.

  In addition, it is reasonable that God would have made for each basic "kind" a genetic system which would permit ample variation in response to environmental changes, even though it must basically continue to "bring forth after its kind" (Genesis 1:11, etc.). Biochemists are only now beginning to unravel the marvellously complex genetic code, which assures that characteristics transmitted to the progeny will be those already present in the parents, even though much variation is possible within those limits.

  Occasionally so-called "mutations" occur.  These are sudden changes in the genetic structure brought about by penetration of the germ cell by radiations or some other disorganizing medium.  Evolutionists believe that if these mutations turn out to be helpful to the individual (or population of individuals) in the natural environment, they will be preserved and transmitted to the descendants by natural selection. This is believed by most evolutionists to be the chief mechanism by which evolution occurs.

  The trouble with this idea is that practically all mutations (even leading evolutionists acknowledge this to be true of at least 99.9% of all known mutations) are harmful, rather than helpful, in the supposed struggle for existence.  Mutant varieties thus almost always die out if left to themselves, or else revert back to ancestral types.

  This, of course, is in perfect accord with the Second Law of Thermo- dynamics.  A mutation is a random change in a highly organized system. In accordance with statistical thermodynamics, a random change in an ordered system will almost certainly decrease the order therein.  But if, by infinitesimal chance, the level of order is accidentally raised, then the chance that another mutation would improve the system still further is even smaller.   The probability of an increased order arising by random variation decreases as the degree of order of the system increases.

  Thus evolution, if it occurs on any broad scale, requires at every step an almost magical manipulation of the basic laws of nature as they are know to function at present. {3 For a documented treatment of evolution in its religious, moral, and social aspects, see the author's book, Evolution in Turmoil (San Diego: Creation-Life Publishers,

 1982),190 pp.}   It is a religious philosophy, held by faith, and propagated by the missionary zeal of its leaders.  This is still a free country, and men are free to advocate any religion they choose.  But the actual data support the faith of the creationist far better than that of the evolutionist.

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6. Question: "When did the world begin?"

   Answer: According to Scripture, "in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is" (Exodus 20:11).  These words were written on a tablet of stone by God Himself (Exodus 31:18), and it is therefore presumptuous for man to question it.  Nor can the word "days" be interpreted as "ages."  The Hebrew word (yamim) is used more than 700 times in the Old Testament and always, without exception, {1} One possible exception might be claimed, in Hosea 6:2.  This passage also probably refers to literal days, but since it is a prophecy yet awaiting future fulfillment, this cannot be conclusively demonstrated either way in terms of actual history.  See also chapter 7, Footnote number 9.} means literal solar "days" and nothing else, as anyone can verify by consulting an exhaustive concordance of Old Testament word usage.

   Nevertheless, most people today believe that it took drastically longer than a mere "six days" to make the universe.  The consistent materialist, in fact, believes that matter is eternal, that the solar system is almost five billion years old, that life began on earth about three billion years ago, and that modern man finally evolved about a million years ago.

  This vast time span is, of course, necessary for any viable theory of evolution.  And of course evolution is absolutely essential if men are going to reject the Biblical doctrine of special creation, as our modern political and intellectual establishment has chosen to do.

  Nevertheless, it should be obvious that it is quite impossible to prove, scientifically, the age of the earth or how long it took to bring it into its present form.  Science is built upon direct observation of natural processes, and on experimental verification of hypotheses.  Nothing is more impossible now than to observe, experimentally, the origin of the solar system or the evolution of man or the development of life over the geological ages!   Consequently, speculations on these subjects are necessarily outside the scope of genuine science.

  Written historical records (apart from those in the Bible) extend back only about four thousand years.  Events which may have occurred before that time, therefore, can be verified neither by historical description nor by scientific repetition.  They must be accepted on faith, and only on faith!  That faith may be placed either in the divinely inspired Biblical record of those events or else in the uniformitarian extrapolations of present processes by modern evolutionists.  This is a spiritual decision, not a scientific decision!

  The Bible clearly teaches a relatively recent creation of all things, measured in thousands rather than billions of years.  In order to provide the immense ages required by evolution, the principle of "uniformitarianism" is employed, according to which the entire history of the earth is to be explained in terms of the process operating at present, and at approximately the same rates as at present.

  However, even on this assumption (which is obviously a pure assumption, quite impossible to prove) there is ample reason to question the orthodox evolutionary history of the earth.  Practically all of the earth's surface rocks and physiographic feature (e.g., the great orogenic and tectonic movements by which mountains were formed, the tremendous volcanic terrains, the evidences of continental glaciation, the vast thickness of sediments in alluvial valleys and high plains, etc., etc.) must have required geophysical phenomena of character and intensity utterly beyond anything ever actually observed taking place in the present relatively inactive world.

  Even the radioactive dating techniques which are used to "prove" these vast ages are highly vulnerable {2 See The Genesis Flood, by John C. Whitcomb and Henry M. Morris (Nutley, N. J.: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co., 1961), 518 pp., for a detailed and documented critique of uniformitarianism and geologic dating criteria.} on a logical basis.  The method of radiocarbon dating, for example, which has been widely used to "date" events over the past 50,000 years, involves at least a dozen unprovable assumptions.  One of these assumptions is that, on a global basis, radiocarbon has attained equilibrium with natural carbon, with as much radiocarbon now being formed in the upper atmosphere as is presently decaying throughout the world.  Actual measurements, however, have indicated that such equilibrium has not yet been attained and that in fact the present state of non-equilibrium corresponds to a maximum age of only about 6,000 years for the beginning of the atmosphere itself!  All so-called "radiocarbon ages," therefore, should accordingly be drastically reduced.

  Similarly, the widely used potassium-argon method involves many assumptions and uncertainties.  In fact, it can at best be only as reliable as the uranium-lead method by which it must be calibrated.

  But the uranium methods likewise involve numerous assumptions! For example, it is well known that radiogenic lead can be added to a uranium mineral system by external processes and that uranium can easily be leached out of such a system, either of which would make the "apparent age" of the system immensely greater than its "true age."

 In general, it is evident that for any geophysical process to be a valid means of measuring prehistoric time, it must satisfy at least the following three conditions: (1) the relative amounts of "parent" and "daughter" products must be measured in the system at the beginning of the decay process (but this is impossible, since that was supposedly millions of years ago!); (2) the decay process converting "parent" into "daughter" must never have changed its rate (but there is no such thing in nature as an unchangeable process rate, and this is especially cogent in view of current ideas concerning geomagnetic reversals, intermittent showers of intense cosmic radiation from space, etc.); and (3) the system being used must have remained a perfectly "closed" system during all the changes of geologic history since it was first formed, unmodified by any external activities (but there is no such thing in nature as a truly closed system, and this is especially true for a geological system).

  If one wants to base his evolutionary faith on such uniformitarian assumptions, this is a free country!  But he should recognize that this is no more "scientific" than faith in the historical chronology recorded by divine inspiration in the Holy Scriptures.  

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7. Question: "Will man ever be able to create life?"

   Answer: The popular press has fostered the notion that modern biochemists and molecular biologists are very close to a scientific breakthrough which will enable man actually to create life in a test tube.  Many people even believe that scientists have already created life. 

 These notions are completely false.  Man is not even remotely near any such breakthrough.  Living systems are far too complex to be synthesized strictly from non-living chemicals.

  It is true that scientists have been able to learn a great deal about the structure and functions of the living cell, and the many complex organic molecules that operate in life systems.  Certain very simple components of protein molecules (e.g., amino acids) have been synthesized under very special and artificial conditions.  Some experimenters have been able to link certain amino acids together in what they have called "protenoids," but these are mere blobs of matter, with no specific utility or function, not in any way comparable to true proteins.

  Other experimenters have been able to synthesize a virus, or a gene, or even a DNA molecule, provided they start with a virus or a gene or a DNA molecule, as the case might be, and provided the synthesis is carried out in the presence of the necessary enzymes--which can themselves only be formed at the direction of the DNA.  That is, synthesis of life has to start with already living systems and be accomplished with the aid of other living systems.  This is not the creation of life from non-life!

  Most people have no adequate comprehension of the extreme complexity of even the simplest unit of living matter.  In an attempt to determine the amount of "information" that would have to be programmed into the simplest conceivable protein molecule to enable it to direct its own reproduction, information scientists have found such a molecule would have to be comparable to a machine capable of making at least 1500 successive correct choices between equal alternatives.  The probability that such a synthesis could occur by chance is thus less than one chance out of 2^1500, which is equal to one chance out of 10^450.  Such a number is unimaginably larger that the total number of words that have ever been spoken or written by man in all the world's history!

  In fact, if one assume that the universe is 30 billion years old (that is, 10^18 seconds) and that it could hold 10^130 particles (that is, the number of electrons that could be crammed in a universe five billion light years in radius), and that each particle could participate in a billion-billion separate "events" every second, then the total number of "events" of any kind that could every occur in all the universe in all time is the product of these numbers-- that is 10166.

  Now the probability of a replicating molecule arising by chance is one out of 10^450, as noted above.  For one of the 10166 possible events to have been this particular event is, obviously, extremely unlikely.  The probability, in fact (even assuming that all of these "events" consisted exclusively of particles trying to come together to form such a living molecule), would have to be less than one chance out of 10166/10450, or one chance out of 10284. Since this latter number is still unimaginably greater than all the events that could ever possibly occur in all the history of the universe, the possibility that life could ever evolve by chance is absolutely zero!  Even the simplest imaginable living system could only have come into existence by intelligent design and special creation.

  As to whether man will ever be able to design and synthesize such a replicating molecule, this also is extremely improbable, though not completely inconceivable.  If he did, of course, such an achievement would only add to the evidence for the uniquely complex structure of the human brain, in its ability to solve amazingly difficult problems. It would certainly not prove that any such synthesis could ever occur by chance in the primeval soup.

  As a matter of fact, the complexity of such a replicating system--already shown to correspond to at least 10^450 ordered and linked units of information--is far more complex (that is, containing more stored information) than all the words ever spoken or printed in all history.  It is impossible to see how any team of scientists could ever solve a problem which required them to analyze and organize more units of information than events which could ever happen!

  Furthermore, the foregoing discussion applies only to a hypothetical replicating molecule, something which is infinitely less complex than a real living cell--not to mention man's brain, with its billions of cells all interlocked into a functioning whole.

  Finally, even man's body and brain would be simple to explain compared to his soul--his mind, his conscience, his will, his personality, his spirituality.  If one can believe that inanimate, random, particles can evolve through vast ages into conscious, abstract thought, and into moral and spiritual ideals, surely it would be easy for him to believe that up is down and the world was hatched from an Easter egg!  The law of cause and effect means nothing to such a person.

  The only adequate Cause to explain the phenomenon of life is a Living being.  Life comes only from life, and the first created life could only have come from the Creator.  "In Him was life" (John 1:4).

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