DOES SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE TODAY SHOW THAT GOD CREATED
THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH? AND WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY
ABOUT WHEN HE CREATED?
Dr. John Ankerberg
What happened on April 24, 1992, that caused the following statements?
Stephen Hawking, Cambridge University Lucasian Professor of Mathematics: “It is the discovery of the century, if not all time.”1 George Smoot, University of California at Berkeley, astronomer and project leader for the COBE satellite: “What we have found is evidence for the birth of the universe.” He added, “It’s like looking at God.”2 Michael Turner, Astrophysicist at the University of Chicago in Fermilab: “Unbelievably important.... The significance of this cannot be overstated. They have found the holy grail of cosmology.”3 Carlos Frenk of Britain’s Durham University: “It’s the most exciting thing that’s happened in my life as a cosmologist.”4According to Science Historian Frederic B. Burnham, the community of scientists, as a result of breaking events, was prepared to consider the idea that God created the universe “a more respectable hypothesis today than at any time in the last hundred years.”5 Even Ted Koppel on ABC’s Nightline in 1992 began his interview of an astronomer and a physicist by quoting the first two verses of Genesis. The physicist immediately added verse 3 is also germane to the discovery. “Astronomers who do not draw theistic or deistic conclusions are becoming rare, and even the few dissenters hint that the tide is against them.”6 Geoffrey Burbidge of the University of California at San Diego complains that his fellow astronomers are rushing off to join “the first Church of Christ of the Big Bang.”7 As Robert Jastrow has written, “Astronomers now find that they have painted themselves into a corner because they have proven, by their own methods, that the world began abruptly in an act of creation to which you can trace the seeds of every star, every planet, every living thing in this cosmos and on the earth. And they have found that all this happened as a product of forces they cannot hope to discover.”8 Scientists have found that,
...all the data accumulated in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries tell us that a transcendent Creator must exist. For all the matter, energy, nine space dimensions, and even time, each suddenly and simultaneously came into being from some source beyond itself. It is valid to refer to such a source, entity, or being as the Creator, for creating is defined as causing something—in this case everything in the universe—to come into existence. Matter, energy, space, and time are the effects He caused. Likewise, it is valid to refer to the Creator as transcendent, for the act of causing these effects must take place outside or independent of them.”9Scientists refer to that beginning moment of the universe as “the Big Bang.” Further, instead of this explosion producing chaos, the exact opposite is true. Science has discovered that the universe has been uniquely fine-tuned so that life can exist on earth. Today, no physicist or astronomer who has researched the question denies that the universe, the Milky Way galaxy, and the solar system possess compelling hallmarks of intentional design for human life.
Many researchers have commented over the past 20 years that it seems the universe “knew” humans were coming. Physicist Paul Davies, in the 1980s, concluded: “[There] is for me powerful evidence that there is something going on behind it all.... It seems as though somebody has fine-tuned nature’s numbers to make the Universe.... The impression of design is overwhelming.”10 In our nine television programs currently airing, we are presenting some of the scientific evidence astronomers, biologists, and paleontologists have discovered.
What criteria must be met for a theory to be considered as scientific in the usually accepted sense?
A definition of science given by the Oxford Dictionary is: “A branch of study which is concerned either with a connected body of demonstrated truths or with observed facts systematically classified and more or less colligated by being brought under general laws, and which includes trustworthy methods for the discovery of new truth within its own domain.”
Thus, for a theory to qualify as a scientific theory, it must be supported by events, processes, or properties which can be observed, and the theory must be useful in predicting the outcome of future natural phenomena or laboratory experiments.11
What has science discovered about the beginning of the universe?
Astronomers now find that they have painted themselves into a corner because they have proven, by their own methods, that the world began abruptly in an act of creation to which you can trace the seeds of every star, every planet, every living thing in this cosmos and on the earth. And they have found that all this happened as a product of forces they cannot hope to discover.12
This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being. And if the fixed stars are the centers of other like systems, these, being formed by the likewise counsel, must be all subject to the dominion of One.13
For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.14
WHAT DOES SCIENCE KNOW ABOUT LIFE’S ORIGIN?
What is the evolutionary theory concerning how life originated?
The first stage on the road to life is presumed to have been the buildup, by purely chemical synthetic processes occurring on the surface of the early earth, of all the basic organic compounds necessary for the formation of a living cell. These are supposed to have accumulated in the primeval oceans, creating a nutrient broth, the so-called “pre-biotic soup.” In certain specialized environments, these organic compounds were assembled into large macromolecules, proteins and nucleic acids. Eventually, over millions of years, combinations of these macromolecules occurred which were endowed with the property of self-reproduction. Then, driven by natural selection, evermore efficient and complex self-reproducing molecular systems evolved until finally the first simple cell system emerged. The existence of a pre-biotic soup is crucial to the whole scheme. Without an abiotic accumulation of the building blocks of the cell, no life could ever evolve. If the traditional story is true, therefore, there must have existed for millions of years a rich mixture of organic compounds in the ancient oceans, and some of this material would very likely have been trapped in the sedimentary rocks lain down in the seas of those remote times. Yet rocks of great antiquity have been examined over the past two decades, and in none of them has any trace of abiotically-produced compounds been found. Most notable of these rocks are the “dawn rocks” of western Greenland, the earliest dated rocks on earth, considered to be approaching 3,900 million [= 3.9 billion] years old.... As on so many occasions, paleontology has again failed to substantiate evolutionary presumptions. Considering the way the pre-biotic soup is referred to in so many discussions of the origin of life as an already established reality, it comes as something of a shock to realize that there is absolutely no positive evidence for its existence.15
Dr. Michael Denton, an Australian medical doctor and scientist, has lived and worked in London, England and Toronto, Canada. This book by Dr. Denton attempts to explain the gathering evidence against evolution in its traditional form. It points out the growing crisis in biology and suggests that an increasing number of research scientists are questioning strict Darwinism.
Do evolutionists have scientific facts to prove their theory that life arose from inanimate material solely by accident?“The chance that higher life forms might have emerged (through evolutionary processes) is comparable with the chance that a ‘tornado sweeping through a junk yard might assemble a Boeing 747 from the material therein.’”16
Sir Fred Hoyle is professor of astronomy and astrophysics at University College, Cardiff, Wales, Great Britain, and the originator of the Steady State theory of the origin of the universe.
One must conclude that, contrary to the established and current wisdom, a scenario describing the genesis of life on earth by chance and natural causes which can be accepted on the basis of fact and not faith has not yet been written.17
One has only to contemplate the magnitude of this task to concede that the spontaneous generation of a living organism is impossible.18
An honest man, armed with all the knowledge available to us now, could only state that in some sense, the origin of life appears at the moment to be almost a miracle, so many are the conditions which would have had to have been satisfied to get it going.19
Dr. Francis Crick, Nobel Prize winner and biochemist, was the co-discoverer of the structure of the DNA molecule.
A curious flaw of human nature is to permit the imagery of a catchy phrase to shape one’s reasoning. Haldane’s hot dilute soup became “primordial soup,” a feature that has been popularized for nearly 50 years without geologic evidence that it ever existed.20
The intuitive feeling that pure chance could never have achieved the degree of complexity and ingenuity so ubiquitous in nature has been a continuing source of skepticism ever since the publication of The Origin; and throughout the past century, there has always existed a significant minority of first-rate biologists who have never been able to bring themselves to accept the validity of Darwinian claims. In fact, the number of biologists who have expressed some degree of disillusionment is practically endless. When Arthur Koestler organized the Alpbach Symposium in 1969, called “Beyond Reductionism,” for the expressed purpose of bringing together biologists critical of orthodox Darwinism, he was able to include in the list of participants many authorities of world stature, such as Swedish Neurobiologist Holgar Hyden, zoologists Paul Weiss and W. H. Thorpe, Linguist David McNeil and Child Psychologist Jean Piaget. Koestler had this to say in his opening remarks: “...invitations were confined to personalities in academic life with undisputed authority in their respective fields, who nevertheless shared that holy discontent.”21
Dr. Chandra Wickramasinghe is professor and chairman of the Department of Applied Mathematics and Astronomy, University College, Cardiff, Wales.
Precious little in the way of biochemical evolution could have happened on the earth. If one counts the number of trial assemblies of amino acids that are needed to give rise to the enzymes, the probability of their discovery by random shufflings turns out to be less than one in ten to the 40 thousand.22
Neither Sr. Fred Hoyle nor Professor Wickramasinghe accept the Genesis account of creation, but each maintains that wherever life occurs in this universe, it had to be created. They further reject Darwinian evolution itself.
If anything is ten to the 50th power or less chance, it will never happen, even cosmically, in the whole universe.23
In the human body, DNA “programs” all characteristics such as hair, skin, eyes, and height. DNA determines the arrangement for 206 bones, 600 muscles, 10,000 auditory nerve fibers, two million optic nerve fibers, 100 billion nerve cells, 400 billion feet of blood vessels and capillaries and so on. Such extraordinary sophistication can only reflect intelligent design.24
Scott Huse is a teacher and principal of Pinecrest Bible Training Center, Salisbury Center, New York. He also lectures on college campuses. He holds the following degrees: B.S., M.S., M.R.E., Th.D., and Ph. D.
“The eye to this day gives me a cold shudder.” (Stated by Charles Darwin in a letter to Asa Gray, the American biologist, written in 1861—two years after the publication of The Origin of the Species.)
Concerning Darwin’s statement about the eye, Denton writes:
It is easy to sympathize with Darwin. Such feelings have probably occurred to most biologists at times, for to common sense it does indeed appear absurd to propose that chance could have thrown together devices of such complexity and ingenuity that they appear to represent the very epitome of perfection.... Aside from any quantitative considerations, it seems intuitively impossible that such self-evident brilliance in the execution of design could ever have occasionally hit on a relatively ingenious adaptive end, it seems inconceivable that it could have reached so many ends of such surpassing “perfection.”25
Evolutionists greatly depend on random mutations to bring about the tremendous variation needed to produce all the life forms that now exist, including man. But this is where the great evolutionary scientists think that the theory of evolution has broken down. For example, Dr. Murray Eden, Professor of Electrical Engineering at M.I.T. who at the conference entitled Mathematical Challenges to Neo-Darwinian Interpretation found in the Wistar Institute Press delivered a paper entitled “Inadequacies of Neo-Darwinian Evolution as a Scientific Theory.” In this paper he commented on the possibilities of random mutations accounting for the great variation evolutionists say must have taken place. He states, “It is our contention that if random is given a serious and crucial interpretation from a probabilistic point of view, the randomness postulate is highly implausible and that an adequate scientific theory of evolution must await the discovery and elucidation of new natural laws, physical, chemical and biological.”26
Lewis Thomas makes this comment in Medusa and the Snail about the information-rich blueprint in the human gene:
The mere existence of that cell should be one of the great astonishments of the earth. People ought to be walking around all day, all though their waking hours, calling to each in endless wonderment, talk of nothing except that cell.... If anyone does succeed in explaining it, within my lifetime I will charter a sky-writing airplane, maybe a whole fleet of them, and send them aloft to write one great exclamation point after another, around the whole sky, until all of my money runs out.27Writing about this same cell, Chandra Wickramasinghe, professor of applied mathematics at the University of Cardiff, Wales, reminded his readers that the statistical probability of forming even a single enzyme, the building block of the gene, which is in turn the building block of the cell, is 1 in 1040,000.28 The translation of that figure is that it would require more attempts for the formation of one enzyme than there are atoms in all the stars of all the galaxies in the entire known universe. Though a Buddhist, Dr. Wickramasinghe concedes this supernatural notion.29 So “impossible” is this event that Francis Crick, the Nobel-Prize-winning scientist who helped crack the code of human DNA, said it is “almost a miracle.”30
Molecules and Cells
Next, we will discuss the odds of two very “simple” things evolving: 1) a molecule and 2) a cell. Remember that thousands and millions of these are needed for life to evolve, and not just for the higher forms of life. To begin, consider the following information about cells and molecules:
Again, molecules are so small that ¼ teaspoon of water has 1024 of them. Molecules vary from the simple to the complex. A simple molecule may consist of only a few bonded atoms, as in water (two atoms hydrogen, one atom oxygen). A complex molecule of protein may have 50,000 amino acids or chains of simpler molecules.
The Odds of a Complex Molecule
Noted astronomer Fred Hoyle uses the Rubik cube to illustrate the odds of getting a single molecule, in this case a biopolymer. Biopolymers are biological polymers, i.e., large molecules such as nucleic acids or proteins. In the fascinating illustration below, he calls the idea that chance could originate a biopolymer “nonsense of a high order”:
At all events, anyone with even a nodding acquaintance with the Rubik cube will concede the near-impossibility of a solution being obtained by a blind person moving the cubic faces at random. Now imagine 1050 blind persons each with a scrambled Rubik cube, and try to conceive of the chance of them all simultaneously arriving at the solved form. You then have the chance of arriving by random shuffling at just one of the many biopolymers on which life depends. The notion that not only biopolymers but the operating programme of a living cell could be arrived at by chance in a primordial organic soup here on the Earth is evidently nonsense of a high order.31DeNouy provides another illustration for arriving at a single molecule of high dissymmetry through chance action and normal thermic agitation. He assumes 500 trillion shakings per second plus a liquid material volume equal to the size of the earth. For one molecule it would require “10243 billions of years.” Even if this molecule did somehow arise by chance, it is still only one single molecule. Hundreds of millions are needed, requiring compound probability calculations for each successive molecule. His logical conclusion is that “it is totally impossible to account scientifically [naturally] for all phenomena pertaining to life.”32 Even 40 years ago, scientist Harold F. Blum, writing in Time’s Arrow and Evolution, wrote that, “The spontaneous formation of a polypeptide of the size of the smallest known proteins seems beyond all probability.”33 Noted creation scientists Walter L. Bradley and Charles Thaxton, authors of The Mystery of Life’s Origin: Reassessing Current Theories, point out that the probability of assembling amino acid building blocks into a functional protein is approximately one chance in 4.9 × 10191.34 “Such improbabilities have led essentially all scientists who work in the field to reject random, accidental assembly or fortuitous good luck as an explanation for how life began.”35 Now, if a figure as “small” as 5 chances in 10191 is referenced by such a statement, then what are we to make of the kinds of probabilities below that, which are infinitely less? The mind simply boggles at the remarkable faith of the materialist. According to Coppedge, the probability of evolving a single protein molecule over 5 billion years is estimated at 1 chance in 10161. This even allows some 14 concessions to help it along which would not actually be present during evolution.36 Again, this is no chance.
Cells and Bacteria
Consider that the smallest theoretical cell is made up of 239 proteins. Further, at least 124 different types of proteins are needed for the cell to become a living thing. But the simplest known self-reproducing organism is the H39 strain of PPLO (mycoplasma) containing 625 proteins with an average of 400 amino acids in each protein.Yet the probability of the occurrence of the smallest theoretical life is only one chance in 10119,879 and the years required for it to evolve would be 10119,841 years or 10119,831 times the assumed age of the earth!37 The probability of this smallest theoretical cell of 239 proteins evolving without the needed 124 different types of proteins to make up a living cell, i.e., the chance of evolving this “helpless group of non-living molecules” in over 500 billion years is one chance in 10119,701.38 Dr. David J. Rodabough, Associate Professor of Mathematics at the University of Missouri, estimated the more realistic chance that life would spontaneously generate (even on 1023 planets) as only one chance in 102,999,940.39 Whether we are talking about giving evolution every conceivable chance to evolve a single protein molecule or the smallest theoretical cell, the odds are still impossible.40
In the 1970s Sir Frederick Hoyle calculated the mathematical probability that a single bacterium could be spontaneously generated. He determined the chance of this occurring was 1 in 1040,000.Hoyle confessed what most scientists are, strangely, unwilling to confess,
The likelihood of the formation of life from inanimate matter is one to a number with 40 thousand naughts [zeros after it]. It is enough to bury Darwin and the whole theory of evolution. There was no primeval soup, neither on this planet or on any other, and if the beginnings of life were not random they must therefore have been the product of purposeful intelligence.41But Harold Morowitz, a Yale University physicist, gave a far more realistic “probability” for a single bacterium. He calculated the odds of a single bacterium emerging from the basic building blocks necessary were 1 chance in 10100,000,000,000.42
This number is so large it would require a library of approximately 100,000 books just to write it out! Ponder that!
In his book, Origins—A Skeptic’s Guide to the Creation of Life on Earth, Robert Shapiro comments concerning the probabilities calculated by Morowitz:
The improbability involved in generating even one bacterium is so large that it reduces all considerations of time and space to nothingness. Given such odds, the time until the black holes evaporate and the space to the ends of the universe would make no difference at all. If we were to wait, we would truly be waiting for a miracle.43
Googols and FactorialsAgain, these numbers are unimaginable. That’s why even scientists don’t know what to do with them. Consider that a given individual’s chance of winning the state lottery is about one in ten million. The odds of winning each successive week involve the multiplication of probabilities so that the odds of winning the lottery every single week of your life from the age of 18 to 99, a period of 80 years, is 1 chance in 4.6 × 1029,120. In other words, it is infinitely more likely that you would win the lottery every week of your life consecutively, from the day you were born, without missing even one winning weekly ticket, for 80 years, than it is that we would have the spontaneous generation of a simple bacterium.44 Physicist Dr. Howard B. Holroyd refers to the book, Mathematics and the Imagination, where the authors, Kasner and Newman, name the extremely large number 10100, a “googol.” Noting the fact that there could have been, at most, only 4.8 × 1038 possible mutations in all the life forms throughout the history of earth Dr. Holroyd writes,
It is not possible in a googol of operations to select at random, from the possible infinity of forms, the shapes and arrangements of the dextral and sinistral bones of even one mammal.... Let us recognize that if a result depends upon a hundred factors, and if the probability of getting each one right is 1 in 10, then the probability of getting the whole 100 right is only one in a googol.45Dr. Holroyd also discusses factorial numbers. A factorial number is a number that multiplies each successive number by the next number. So ten factorial would be to multiply 1 × 2 × 3 × 4 × 5 × 6 × 7 × 8 × 9 × 10. Seventy factorial is around a googol (1.198 × 10100). Sir Arthur Eddington estimated the total number of electrons and protons in the entire universe as approximately 3.145 × 1079. This is infinitely less than 100 factorial, which equals 9.3 × 10157. But when it comes to evolution, we are not dealing with 100 factorial but millions × millions factorial. To illustrate, there are 5,000 fibers in the auditory nerve of man that may be connected to the brain in 5,000-factorial ways—and probably only one is correct. The optic nerve has about one million fibers, and these may be connected to the brain in one million factorial ways. The odds they could have been connected correctly by chance cannot even be written out longhand. Holroyd proceeds to show by several other examples how absurd belief in chance evolution is. He points out that the straight hydrocarbon chain C40H82 has about 6.25 × 1013 isomers. It would be impossible for the entire human race, working full time for four billion years, just to study all the isomers of this single organic molecule of no great size.46 (Yet it just happened to evolve by chance?) When we consider there are ten billion cells in the cerebral cortex, that there are several trillion nerve connections between cells in the brain, plus many other amazing factors, it becomes “preposterous beyond words” to believe that all this originated by chance:
Surely the probability of the whole body is far less than that of any of the internal organs: that of two eyes to send two images over two cables of 1,000,000 conductors each to form one image is less than that of one eye; and surely that of one eye is much less than merely taking the bones of the skeleton and placing them into their proper positions [which he calculates as 1 chance in approximately 5.6 × 10388].47
Have scientists found evidence that life has come into existence by chance anywhere else in the universe?
Since evolutionists have not found scientific evidence for life originating from non-life on earth, they had hoped they could find evidence of life somewhere in the universe. If they could, it would give them circumstantial evidence that life could originate by evolution someplace else.
The discovery of life on one other planet—e.g. Mars—can, in the words of the American Physicist Phillip Morrison, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, “transform the origin of life from a miracle to a statistic.”48
Dr. Carl Sagan is an American astronomer.
That which makes me of this opinion, that those Worlds are not without such a Creature endowed with Reason, is that otherwise our Earth would have too much the Advantage of them, in being the only part of the Universe that could boast of such a Creature....49
The discovery of life (on other planets), especially if it were to prove widespread, would of course have a very important bearing on the question of how life originated on earth. For it would undoubtedly provide powerful circumstantial evidence for the traditional evolutionary scenario, enhancing enormously the credibility of the belief that the root from chemistry to life can be surmounted by simple natural processes wherever the right conditions exist.50
At present, if we are to exclude UFO’s and the claims of Von Daniken and his fellow travelers, there is not a shred of evidence for extra-terrestrial life, and there is no way of excluding the possibility of life being unique to earth with all the philosophical consequences this entails.51
It is the sheer universality of perfection, the fact that everywhere we look, to whatever depth we look, we find an elegance and an ingenuity of an absolutely transcending quality, which so mitigates against the idea of chance. Is it really credible that random processes could have constructed a reality, the smallest element of which—a functional protein or a gene—is complex beyond our own creative capacities, a reality which is the very antithesis of chance, which excels in every sense anything perused by the intelligence of man? Alongside the level of ingenuity and complexity exhibited by the molecular machinery of life, even our most advanced artifacts appear clumsy. We feel humbled, as neolithic man would in the presence of twentieth century technology.
To those who still dogmatically advocate that all this new reality is the result of pure chance one can only reply, like Alice, incredulous in the face of the contradictory logic of the Red Queen:
“Alice laughed. ‘There’s no use trying,’ she said. ‘One can’t believe impossible things.’ ‘I dare say you haven’t had much practice,’ said the queen. ‘When I was your age I did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.’”52
WHAT HAS THE FOSSIL RECORD REVEALED ABOUT
DARWIN’S MISSING LINK BETWEEN ALL THE PLANTS AND ANIMALS?
What evidence should we expect to find in the fossil record if Darwin’s theory of evolution is correct?
Innumerable transitional forms must have existed. But why do we not find them imbedded in countless numbers in the crust of the earth?... Why is not every geological formation in every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain, and this perhaps is the greatest objection which can be urged against my theory.53
If it could be shown that this fact [gaps between widely distinct groups] had always existed, the fact would be fatal to the doctrine of evolution. (Thomas Huxley in his three lectures on Evolution, p. 619.)
These evolutionary happenings are unique, unrepeatable, and irreversible. It is as impossible to turn a land vertebrate into a fish as it is to effect the reverse transformation. The applicability of the experimental method to the study of such unique historical processes is severely restricted before all else by the time intervals involved, which far exceed the lifetime of any human experimenter. And yet, it is just such impossibility that is demanded by anti-evolutionists when they ask for “proofs” of evolution which they would magnanimously accept as satisfactory.54
Darwin also holds out the hope that some of the gaps would be filled as the result of subsequent collecting. But most of the gaps were still there a century later and some paleontologists were no longer willing to explain them away geologically.55
Dr. Niles Eldredge is the chairman and curator of invertebrates at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.
One hundred and twenty years of paleontological research later, it has become abundantly clear that the fossil record will not confirm this part of Darwin’s predictions. Nor is the problem a miserably poor record. The fossil record simply shows that this prediction was wrong.56
Dr. Gould teaches biology, geology and the history of science at Harvard University.
The reason for abrupt appearances and gaps is not the imperfection of the fossil record. With over 200 million cataloged specimens of about 250,000 fossil species, many evolutionist paleontologists argue that the fossil record is sufficient: “In part, the role of paleontology and evolutionary research has been defined narrowly because of a false belief, tracing back to Darwin and his early followers, that the fossil record is woefully incomplete. Actually, the record is of sufficiently high quality to allow us to undertake certain kinds of analysis meaningfully at the level of the species.
It remains true, as every paleontologist knows, that most new species, genera and families and that nearly all new categories above the level of families appear in the record suddenly and are not led up to by known, gradual, completely continuous transitional sequences.57
Dr. Simpson, one of the world’s best-known evolutionists, was professor of vertebrate paleontology at Harvard University until his retirement.
Evolutionism has been unable to yield scientific data about the origin, diversity and similarity of the two million species that inhabit the earth and the estimated eight million others that once thrived.58
Dr. Donn Rosen is curator of fishes at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, New York.
On the basis of the paleontological record, the creationist has the better of the argument.59
Dr. Austin Clark was curator of paleontology at the Smithsonian Institute, Washington, D.C.
Several cockroach fossils...from the carboniferous period of earth’s history make one thing clear, even back then, about 350 million years ago, the cockroach looked disgusting. It hasn’t changed much since.60
The “peppered moth” experiments beautifully demonstrate natural selection—or survival of the fittest—in action, but they do not show evolution in progress, for however the populations may alter in their content of light, intermediate or dark forms, all the moths remain from beginning to end biston betularia.61
We are in the dark concerning the origin of insects.62
Dr. Grasse is considered the outstanding scientist of France, the dean of French zoologists.
Unfortunately, not a single specimen of an appropriate reptilian ancestor is known prior to the appearance of true reptiles. The absence of such ancestral forms leaves many problems of the amphibian—reptilian transition unanswered.63The Evolutionist Julian Huxley admitted in his book Evolution in Action that the chances for the evolution of a horse are one in one thousand to the millionth power. (This is the number one followed by three million zeros, or 1,500 pages of nothing but zeros!) He admitted that no one would ever bet on anything so improbable. Yet he persisted in believing it did happen!67
True birds have existed at least as long as archaeopteryx so that the latter could hardly have been their ancestor.64
Nothing is more extraordinary in the history of the Vegetable Kingdom, as it seems to me, than the apparently very sudden or abrupt development of the higher plants.65
All three subdivisions of the bony fishes first appear in the fossil record at approximately the same time. They are already divergent morphologically, and they are heavily armored. How did they originate? What allowed them to diverge so widely? How did they all come to have heavy armor? And why is there no trace of earlier, intermediate forms?66
The fossil record tells us almost nothing about the evolutionary origin of phyla and classes. Intermediate forms are non-existent, undiscovered, or not recognized.68
I fully agree with your comments on the lack of direct illustration of evolutionary transitions in my book. If I knew of any, fossil or living, I would certainly have included them. So, much as I should like to oblige you by jumping to the defense of gradualism, and fleshing out the transitions between the major types of animals and plants, I find myself a bit short of the intellectual justification necessary for the job.69
Colin Patterson is a senior paleontologist at the British Museum of Natural History in London and a life-long evolutionist. Colin Patterson’s statement that he had left out the evolutionary transitions in his book, if he had known of any fossils, he certainly would have included them, is stated in Personal Communications by Colin Patterson to Luther Sunderland, Appalachian, New York, April 10, 1979.
Unfortunately, the origins of most higher categories are shrouded in mystery: commonly new higher categories appear abruptly in the fossil record without evidence of transitional forms.70
Dr. David Raup, previously curator of geology at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, is now professor of geology at the University of Chicago. He is a strong advocate of evolutionary theory:
Gaps among known species are sporadic and often small. Gaps among known orders, classes and phyla are systematic and almost always large.71
The known fossil record fails to document a single example of phyletic (gradual) evolution accomplishing a major morphologic transition and hence offers no evidence that the gradualistic model can be valid.72
Dr. Stanley is professor of Paleobiology at Johns Hopkins University. He is a recipient of the Schuchert award of the Paleontological Society and has also been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship.
Increasing diversity and multiple transitions seem to reflect a determined and an inexorable progression toward higher things. But the paleontological record supports no such interpretation. There has been no steady progress in the higher development of organic design. We have had, instead, vast stretches of little or no change in one evolutionary burst that created the entire system.73
We assume that none of the fossil species we are considering is the ancestor of the other. (Stated in a recent British Museum publication entitled “Man’s Place in Evolution,” p. 20.)
The fossil record now reveals that species typically survived for a hundred thousand generations, or even a million or more, without evolving very much. We seem forced to conclude that most evolution takes place rapidly, when species come into being by the evolutionary divergence of small populations from parent species. After their origins, most species undergo little evolution before becoming extinct.74
If life had evolved into its wondrous profusion of creatures little by little, then one would expect to find fossils of transitional creatures which were a bit like what went before them and a bit like what came after. But no one has yet found any evidence of such transitional creatures. This oddity has been attributed to gaps in the fossil record which gradualists expected to fill when rock strata of the proper age had been found. In the last decade, however, geologists have found rock layers of all divisions of the last 500 million years and no transitional forms were contained in them.75
New species almost always appeared suddenly in the fossil record with no intermediate links to ancestors in older rocks of the same region.76
The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology. The evolutionary trees that adorn our textbooks have data only at the tips and nodes of their branches...in any local area, a species does not arise gradually by the gradual transformation of its ancestors; it appears all at once and “fully formed.”77
If one were to prove this God of the Christians to us, we should be even less able to believe in Him.78
It is bigotry for public schools to teach only one theory of origin. (The Secular Humanist lawyer Clarence Darrow argued this at the Scopes Trial of 1925.)
Fifty-six years later at the Scopes II Trial in Arkansas, which was to decide whether Creation could be taught along with Evolution, the Secular Humanists argued in effect and won, that it is bigotry to teach two theories of origin. Apparently what Secular Humanists mean is that it is bigotry to teach only one view when Creation is that view, but not when Evolution is that view.79
...The twentieth century would be incomprehensible without the Darwinian revolution. The social and political currents which have swept the world in the past 80 years would have been impossible without its intellectual sanction.... the influence of evolutionary theory on fields far removed from biology is one of the most spectacular examples in history of how a highly speculative idea for which there is no really hard scientific evidence can come to fashion the thinking of a whole society and dominate the outlook of an age. Considering its historic significance and the social and moral transformation it caused in Western thought, one might have expected that a theory of such cardinal importance, a theory that literally changed the world, would have been something more than metaphysics, something more than a myth.... In the final analysis, we still know very little about how new forms of life arise. The “mystery of mysteries”—the origin of new beings on earth—is still largely as enigmatic as when Darwin set sail on the Beagle.80
There is a pretty widespread sense of dissatisfaction about what has come to be thought of as the accepted evolutionary theory in the English-speaking world, the so-called neo-Darwinian theory.81
I think, however, that we must go further than this and admit that the only acceptable explanation is creation. I know that this is anathema to physicists, as indeed it is to me, but we must not reject a theory that we do not like if the experimental evidence supports it.82
WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT WHEN GOD CREATED?
Now, I would like to share with you some further thoughts on what the Bible teaches about creation and science. In doing so, I would like to cite Dr. Norman Geisler’s new Systematic Theology, Volume 2 entitled, “God and Creation.” His words express what I believe, although I do not believe I could say it as well as he.
The Current Debate on Creation/Evolution
Since the time of Charles Darwin (1809-1882), debate has raged within Christianity on whether or not total evolution is compatible with the historic biblical and theological teaching on origins. Two basic camps have emerged: theistic evolution and creationism. Within the second faction (creationists), there are two major groups: old-earth creationists and young-earth creationists. (The former are often called progressive creationists, and the latter, fiat creationists.) Currently, in America, the young-earth creationists are led by the Institute for Creation Research (ICR), based on the work of Henry Morris. Progressive (old-earth) creationism is championed by Hugh Ross and his “Reasons to Believe” organization; another proponent of this view is Robert Newman at Biblical Seminary in Hatfield, Pennsylvania.
The primary difference between young- and old-earth creationists is the speculated amount of time between God’s creative acts. Young-earthers insist that it was all accomplished in 144 hours—six successive 24-hour days—while old-earth (progressive) creationists allow for millions (or even billions) of years. This is usually done by:
There are several variations within these perspectives, making a total of more than a dozen different views held by evangelical theologians on the matter.
Old-earth (progressive) creationists are not to be confused with theistic evolutionists. Old-earth creationists do not accept macroevolution as a method by which God produced the originally created kinds of Genesis 1. Old-earth creationism was strong among nineteenth-century creationists, though the view dates from at least the fourth century (in Augustine). Again, prominent contemporary defenders include Hugh Ross and Robert Newman.
Areas of Agreement Between Young- and Old-Earth Creationists
Young- and old-earth creationists have much in common, at least among those who are evangelical. This includes several basic things.
Direct Supernatural Creation of All Forms of Life
Both young- and old-earthers believe that God supernaturally, directly and immediately produced every kind of animal and human as separate and genetically distinct forms of life. Both hold that every kind produced by God was directly created de nova (brand-new) and did not come about by God’s using natural processes over a long period of time or tinkering with previous types of life in order to make higher forms (evolution).
Opposition to Naturalism
Both groups are also agreed in their opposition to naturalism, which they see as the philosophical presupposition of evolution. They correctly observe that without a naturalistic bias, evolution loses its credibility. Ruling out the possibility of supernatural intervention in the world begs the whole question in favor of evolution even before one begins.
Opposition to Macroevolution
Likewise, both are united in their opposition to macroevolution, either theistic or nontheistic; that is, they reject the theory of common ancestry. They both deny that all forms of life descended by completely natural processes without supernatural intervention from the outside. They deny that all living things are like a tree connected to a common trunk and root; rather, they affirm the separate ancestry of all the basic forms of life, a picture more like a forest of different trees. Microevolution, where small changes occur within the basic kinds of created things, is acknowledged, but no macro (large-scale) evolution occurs between different kinds. For example, both old- and young-earth creationists agree that all dogs are related to an original canine pair—part of the same tree. However, they deny that dogs, cats, cows, and other created kinds are related like branches from one original tree.
The Historicity of the Genesis Account
Further, both young- and old-earthers who are evangelical hold to the historicity of the Genesis account: They believe that Adam and Eve were literal people, the progenitors of the entire human race. While some may allow for poetic form and figure of speech in the narrative, all agree that it conveys historical and literal truth about origins. This is made clear by the New Testament references to Adam and Eve, their creation and fall, as literal (cf. Luke 3:38; Romans 5:12; 1 Timothy 2:13-14).
Areas of Difference Between Young- and Old-Earth Creationists
Of course, there are some differences between the two basic evangelical views on Creation. The primary ones include the following.
The Age of the Earth
A crucial variance between the two views, naturally, is the age of the earth. Young-earthers insist that both the Bible and science support a universe that is only thousands of years old, while old-earthers allow for billions of years. Young-earthers connect their view to a literal interpretation of Genesis (and Exodus 20:11), but old-earthers claim the same basic hermeneutic, which they believe can include millions, if not billions, of years since Creation. They too cite scientific evidence in their favor.
At a minimum, it would be wise if both sides could agree on the following:
The doctrine of Creation is a cornerstone of the Christian faith. The essentials of this teaching have universal consent among orthodox theologians. They include the following:
While there is lively debate about the time of Creation, all evangelicals agree on the fact of Creation. There is also agreement on the source of Creation (a theistic God) and the purpose of Creation (to glorify God). The exact method of Creation is still a moot question; however, increasingly, the scientific evidence supports a supernatural Creation of the universe, the direct creation of first life, and the special creation of every basic life form. Hence, macroevolution, whether theistic or naturalistic, is unfounded both biblically and scientifically.83
Dr. Geisler continues under “Appendix Four” of the above referenced book:
VARIOUS VIEWS OF THE “DAYS” OF GENESIS
There are two major views with regard to the time involved in Creation: the old-earth view and the young-earth view. The latter believes the universe is no more than approximately 15,000 years old, while the former holds that it is probably about 13.7 billion years old.
Young-earthers take the “days” of Creation to be six successive, literal, solar days of twenty-four hours each, totaling 144 hours of Creation. They also reject any significant time gaps between the accounts in Genesis 1 or within the genealogies in Genesis 5 and 11.
The Six Twenty-Four-Hour-Day View of Creation
Not all scholars who take the days of Genesis to be twenty-four hour days are young-earthers (some hold to a gap theory); however, all who hold to a young earth hold to the twenty-four-hour-day view.
Arguments Offered for the Twenty-Four-Hour-Day View
There are many biblical arguments presented in favor of the twenty-four-hour-day position. These include the following:
The Normal Meaning of the Word Day (Yom)
It is contended that the usual meaning of the Hebrew word yom (“day”) is twenty-four hours unless the context indicates otherwise. The context does not indicate anything but a twenty-four-hour day in Genesis 1; hence, the days should be taken as solar days.
The Use of Numbered Series
Further, it is noted that when numbers are used in a series (1, 2, 3...) in connection with the word “day” (yom) in the Old Testament, it always refers to twenty-four-hour days. The absence of any exception to this in the Old Testament is given as evidence of the fact that Genesis 1 is referring to twenty-four-hour days.
The Use of “Evening and Morning”
Another line of evidence is the use of the phrase “evening and morning” in connection with each day in Genesis 1. Since the literal twenty-four-hour day on the Jewish calendar began in the “evening” (by sunset) and ended in the “morning” (before sunset) the next day, it is concluded that these are literal twenty-four-hour days.
The Comparison With a Six-Day Workweek
According to the law of Moses (Exodus 20:11), the Jewish workweek (Sunday through Friday was to be followed by a day of rest on Saturday, just as God had done on His “six-day week” of creation. The Jewish workweek refers to six successive twenty-four-hour days. This being the case, it seems that the creation week, like the workweek, was only 144 hours long.
Life Cannot Exist for Thousands of Years Without Light
Young-earthers claim that according to Genesis 1, light was not made until the fourth day (Genesis 1:14), but there was life on the third day (1:11-13). However, life on earth cannot exist for millions (or even thousands) of years without light; thus, the “days” must not have been long periods of time.
Plants Cannot Live Without Animals
Plants were created on the third day (Genesis 1:11-13), and animals were not created until later (1:20-23). There is a symbiotic relation between plants and animals, one depending on the other for its life. For example, plants give off oxygen and take in carbon dioxide, and animals do the reverse. Therefore, plants and animals must have been created closely together, not separated by long periods of time.
The Old-Earth View Implies Death Before Adam
According to the old-earth position, there was death before Adam. Nevertheless, the Bible declares that death came only after Adam as a result of his sin: “Just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned” (Romans 5:12; cf. 8:20-22).
The Old-Earth View Is an Accommodation to Evolution
It is well known that the theory of evolution (or common ancestry) depends on very long periods of time for life to develop from a one-celled animal to human beings. Without these long periods of time, evolution would not be possible. Thus, it is argued by young-earthers, that granting long periods of time is an accommodation to evolution.
Mark 10:6 Affirms That Adam and Eve Were Created at the Beginning
According to this text, “At the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’” If God created humankind at the beginning of Creation, then they were not created at the end of millions of years, as the old-earth view contends.
A Response to the Arguments Offered for the Twenty-Four-Hour-Day View
In spite of the fact that many find these arguments convincing proof of six successive twenty-four-hour days of Creation, the case is less than definitive for several reasons. Those who reject the six-successive-solar-day view reply as follows.
The Normal Meaning of the Word “Day” (Yom)
It is true that most often the Hebrew word yom (day) means “twenty-four hours.” However, this is not definitive for its meaning in Genesis 1 for several reasons.
First, the meaning of the term is not determined by a majority vote but by the context in which it is used. It is not important how many times it is used elsewhere but how it is used here.
Second, even in the Creation story in Genesis 1-2, “day” (yom) is used of more than a twenty-four hour period. Speaking of the whole six days of Creation, Genesis 2:4 refers to it as “the day” (yom) when all things were created.
Third, and finally, yom is elsewhere used of long periods of time as in Psalm 90:4, which is cited in 2 Peter 3:8: “With the Lord a day is like a thousand years....”
The Use of Numbered Series
Critics of the twenty-four-hour-day view point out that there is no rule of the Hebrew language demanding that all numbered days in a series refer to twenty-four-hour days. Further, even if there were no exceptions in the Old Testament, it would not mean that “day” in Genesis 1 does not refer to more than a twenty-four-hour period of time: Genesis 1 might be the exception! Finally, contrary to the solar-day view, there is another example in the Old Testament of a numbered series of days that are not twenty-four-hour days. Hosea 6:1-2 reads: “Come, let us return to the LORD. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds. After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence.” It is clear that the prophet is not speaking of twenty-four-hour “days,” but of longer periods of time in the future. Even so, he uses numbered days in a series.
The Use of “Evening and Morning”
First, the fact that the phrase “evening and morning” is often used in connection with twenty-four-hour days does not mean it must always be used in this way.
Second, if one is going to take everything in Genesis 1 in a strictly literal way, then the phrase “evening and morning” does not encompass all of a twenty-four-hour day, but only the late afternoon of one day and the early morning of another. This is considerably less than twenty-four-hours.
Third, technically, the text does not say the “day” was composed of “evening and morning” (thus allegedly making a twenty-four-hour Jewish day); rather, it simply says, “And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day” (Genesis 1:5). Further, the phrase may be a figure of speech indicating a beginning and end to a definite period of time, just as we see in phrases like “the dawn of world history” or the “sunset years of one’s life.”
Fourth, if every day in this series of seven is to be taken as twenty-four hours, why is the phrase “evening and morning” not used with one of the days (the seventh)? In fact, as we shall see (below), the seventh day is not twenty-four hours, and thus there is no necessity to take the other days as twenty-four hours either, since all of them alike use the same word (yom) and have a series of numbers with them.
Fifth, and finally, in Daniel 8:14 “evenings and mornings” refer to a period of 2,300 days. Indeed, often in the Old Testament the phrase is used as a figure of speech meaning “continually” (cf. Exodus 18:13; 27:21; Leviticus 24:3; Job 4:20).
The Comparison With a Six-Day Workweek
It is true that the creation week is compared with a workweek (Exodus 20:11); however, it is not uncommon in the Old Testament to make unit-to-unit comparisons rather than minute-for-minute ones. For example, God appointed forty years of wandering for forty days of disobedience (Numbers 14:34). And, in Daniel 9, 490 days equals 490 years (cf. 9:24-27). What is more, we know the seventh day is more than twenty-four hours, since according to Hebrews 4 the seventh day is still going on. Genesis says that “on the seventh day [God] rested” (Genesis 2:2), but Hebrews informs us that God is still in that Sabbath rest unto which He entered after He created: “There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his” (Hebrews 4:10).
Life Cannot Exist for Thousands of Years Without Light
Light was not created on the fourth day, as defenders of the solar day argue; rather, it was made on the very first day when God said, “Let there be light” (Genesis 1:3). As to why there was light on the first day when the sun did not appear until the fourth day, there are various possibilities. Some scholars have noted a parallelism between the first three days (light, water, and land—all empty) and the second three days (light, water, and land—all filled with bodies). This may indicate a parallelism in which the first and fourth days cover the same period, in which case the sun existed from the beginning.
Others have pointed out that while the sun was created on the first day, it did not appear until the fourth day. Perhaps this was due to a vapor cloud that allowed light through, but not the distinct shape of the heavenly bodies from which the light emanated.
Plants Cannot Live Without Animals
Some plants and animals are interdependent, but not all. Genesis does not mention all the plants and animals, but only some. If the “days” are six successive periods, then those forms of plant and animal life that need each other could have been created together. In fact, the basic order of events is the order of dependence. For instance, many plants and animals can exist without humans (and they were created first), but humans (who were created on the sixth day) cannot exist without certain plants and animals. In addition, if the “days” are parallel, then the problem does not exist, since plants and animals would exist at the same time. In any event, the argument from the symbiotic relation of plants and animals does not prove that the six “days” of Genesis 1 must be only 144 hours in duration.
The Old-Earth View Implies Death Before Adam
There are several problems with this argument.
First, Romans 5:12 does not say all animals die because of Adam’s sin, but only that “all men” die as a consequence.
Second, Romans 8 does not say that animal death results from Adam’s sin, but only that the “creation was subjected to frustration” as a result of it (v. 20).
Third, if Adam ate anything—and he had to eat in order to live—then at least plants had to die before he sinned.
Fourth, and finally, the fossil evidence indicates animal death before human death, since people are found only on the top (later) strata, while animals are found in lower (earlier) strata.
Let me insert some additional thoughts to what Dr. Geisler has written:
Romans 5:12 says, “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned.” Here we learn:
In Romans 5:12, the Apostle is primarily referring to “b”—spiritual death. Genesis 2:15-17 tells us why this is so:
“Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to tend and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, ‘Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it, you shall surely die.’”
God specifically told Adam and Eve on the day they would eat the forbidden fruit, “You shall surely die.” Did they physically die that day? No, they did not. After they sinned, Adam and Eve were still walking around. In fact, Adam lived to be 930 years old. They tilled the ground and had children.
The death specified in Genesis 2 and 3 and by Paul in Romans 5 must be spiritual death. When Adam sinned, he instantly “died,” just as God said he would. He remained alive physically, mentally, volitionally and emotionally, but he died spiritually. That is, man broke his harmonious fellowship with God and introduced the inclination or the propensity to sin (to place one’s own way above God’s). This is what is called “the Doctrine of Original Sin” (not a particular sin, but the inherent propensity to sin entered the human realm as men became sinners by nature).
In light of this:
Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us, to know good and evil, and now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat and live forever”—therefore, the Lord God sent him out of the Garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the Garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.
Apparently, Adam and Eve had the potential for eternal physical life before they sinned and even afterwards. John MacArthur comments in his Study Bible regarding these verses:
God told man that he would surely die if he ate of the forbidden tree. But God’s concern may also have been that man not live forever in his pitiful, cursed condition. Taken in the broader context of Scripture, driving the man and his wife out of the garden was an act of merciful grace to prevent them from being sustained forever by the tree of life.
Again, before the Fall, God made provision for Adam and Eve to sustain their physical life forever; but after they disobeyed God, not only was there immediate spiritual death that came to them, but God pronounced a curse on them and told them they would eventually physically die by cutting them off from the tree of life.
In Genesis 3:17-19 we are told:
Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground for your sake. In toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, and you shall eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of your face ye shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken, for dust you are and to dust ye shall return.”
All Christians believe that when Adam and Eve sinned, it brought immediate spiritual death to them and the certainty of future physical death. Christians also believe that original sin came into existence at this time. Further, Christ is the only provision for man’s sinful condition. But the facts do not mandate that Christians hold plant and animal life died only after Adam and Eve sinned.
But how did the Fall affect nature? What is the meaning of Romans 8:20-22, where it states:
For the creation was subjected to frustration (futility) not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up till the present.
The words “futility” or “frustration” refer to the inability to achieve a goal or purpose. All creation is personified to be, as it were, longing for the transformation from the curse and its effects. Because of man’s sin God cursed the physical universe, and now no part of creation entirely fulfills God’s original purpose.
Some interpret this verse to say that Adam’s sin ushered into the creation every kind of natural decay and all pain and death. They assume that the law of entropy which describes the decreasing order in the universe, did not take effect until Adam and Eve sinned. Based on this assumption, the time between the universe’s creation and Adam and Eve’s fall must be brief to explain why the physical evidence shows no period when decay and death were not in operation.
But there are several problems with this interpretation. First, if one holds to the twenty-four-hour-day hypothesis that God took six days to create everything, then according to Romans 8:22, the “whole creation” would include the universe and all the stars. But if so, did the stars not burn after the first day? Physics demands that the stars were burning and that entropy was in effect at that point. If this is the case, then decay was present from the very first day.
As Dr. Hugh Ross has written in The Genesis Question:
When we consider that the second thermodynamic law is essential for life’s existence, essential for eating and mobility and countless other activities that most of us agree are enjoyable and good, we see no reason to suggest that the law should be judged as bad. Thermodynamic laws were included when God declared His creation “very good” (Genesis 1:31).
We must be careful, however, not to confuse God’s very good creation with His best creation, or more accurately, His ultimate goal for His creation. In the new creation there will be no thermodynamic laws—no decay, no frustration, no groaning, no grieving (see Revelation 21:1-5). The thermodynamic laws are good, in spite of the “decay,” “frustration,” and “groaning,” because they are part of God’s strategy for preparing His creation to enjoy the blessings and rewards of the new creation.
So, for Adam and Eve, if they did any work in the Garden, then a loss of energy and a certain amount of decay was present. Why? Because work is essential to breathing, circulating blood, contracting muscles and digesting food. These are all virtually life-sustaining processes. Adam was working, tending the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:15) before he sinned. Thus, Romans 8:20-22 could not imply that Adam’s sin inaugurated all of the decay process.
When Paul refers to the creation “groaning,” what other effects from the curse is he talking about? It could be that in Genesis 1:28 God commanded man to tend the environment, but because man sinned the environment has been ruined. The human effect on the environment is roughly analogous to the results of sending a two-year-old child to tidy up a closet. Left alone, the closet will become less tidy due to the natural tendency toward decay and disorder. Typically, though, the two-year-old will greatly speed up the decay and disorder process. Isaiah 24:5 describes the devastation of the planet that results from the insubordination of human beings to God. Just as one must wait for the two-year-old child to grow up a little before expecting him to help tidy up a closet, so too the creation waits for the human race to experience the results of God conquering the sin problem.
Even such church fathers as Origen, who lived 185 to 254 A.D., interpreted Romans 8:20-22 to imply that decay has been in effect in the natural world since the creation of the universe. Since Origen preceded by hundreds of years the scientific discovery of the laws of thermodynamics and entropy (which include the principle of decay), it is clear that he did not come up with his interpretation as a result of trying to comply with the modern scientific theories of his day.
Are there other reasons that tell us that physical pain and decay must have existed before the Fall? Yes. In Genesis 3:16 God says to Eve, “I will greatly increase [or multiply] your pains in childbearing.” He does not say “introduce.” He says, “increase” or “multiply,” implying there would have been some pain in any case.
As Philip Yancey has so clearly shown in his book, Where Is God When It Hurts? (Grand Rapids: Zondervan), some pain is good. It’s good that when I put my hand near fire, the pain warns me of danger. If the pain wasn’t there, I wouldn’t know that my fingers were burning. Pain is God’s way of keeping us from destroying ourselves. Adam and Eve certainly must have had the use of touch and could feel pain in the Garden before the Fall. They must have had a nervous system that protected them from any dangers in their environment in the Garden. They must have been able to feel a bee sting, or to get poison ivy, or to be pricked by a thorn. When Adam and Eve sinned, the consequences and risk of pain and decay didn’t begin, they simply increased.
While the sin we human beings commit causes us all naturally to react negatively to decay, work, physical death, pain and suffering, and while ultimately all of this is somehow tied into God’s plan to conquer sin permanently, there is nothing in Scripture that compels us to conclude that none of these entities existed before Adam’s first act of rebellion against God. On the other hand, God’s revelation through nature provides overwhelming evidence that some of these aspects did indeed exist for a long time period previous to God’s creating Adam.
Another question that arises is this. If animals died before the Fall, doesn’t this alter the biblical Doctrine of Atonement? Some cite Hebrews 9:22, which says, “In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” They interpret this verse to say, “The basis of the gospel message is that God brought in death and bloodshed because of sin. If death and bloodshed of animals (or man) existed before Adam sinned, then the whole basis of atonement—the basis of redemption—is destroyed.”
But this is faulty exegesis. While it is true there is no remission of sin without the shedding of blood, Christ’s blood, it does not necessarily follow that all shed blood is for the remission of sin. To say there could have been no bloodshed before sin is to make the same exegetical errors made by those who claim there were no rainstorms or rainbows before the Genesis Flood.
Hebrews 10:1-4 explains that the blood of animal sacrifices will not take away sin. The sacrificial killing of animals was a physical picture of the spiritual death caused by sin, which necessitated the death of a substitute to make atonement, as well as a foreshadowing of the ultimate efficacious sacrifice that God Himself would one day provide. Since the penalty for sin is spiritual death, no animal sacrifice could ever atone for sin. The crime is spiritual, thus the atonement had to be made by a spiritual Being.
The spilling of blood before Adam sinned in no way affects or detracts from the Doctrine of Atonement. Upholding that central doctrine in no way demands a creation scenario in which none of God’s creatures received a scratch or other bloodletting wound before Adam and Eve sinned. Even in an ideal natural environment, animals would be constantly scratched, pricked, bruised and even killed by accidental events and each other.
Now, another question that arises is this: Isn’t the old-earth view an accommodation to evolution? Again, let me cite Dr. Norman Geisler’s Systematic Theology, Volume 2, “God and Creation”:
In response to this charge, it must be observed that allowing for long periods of time for the development of life came long before the idea of evolution. Augustine (354-430), for one, held to long periods of time for the development of life (City of God, 11.6).
Also, even in modern times, scientists had concluded that long periods of time were involved before Darwin wrote in 1859.
Furthermore, long periods of time do not help evolution, since without intelligent intervention, more time does not produce the specified complexity involved in life. Natural laws randomize, not specify. For example, dropping red, white, and blue bags of confetti from a plane at 1,000 feet in the air will never produce an American flag on the ground. Giving it more time to fall by dropping it at 10,000 feet will diffuse it even more.
Mark 10:6 Affirms That Adam and Eve Were Created at the Beginning
First, Adam was not created at the beginning but at the end of the creation period (on the sixth day), no matter how long or short the days were.
Second, the Greek word for “create” (ktisis) can and sometimes does mean “institution” or “ordinance” (cf. 1 Peter 2:13). Since Jesus is speaking of the institution of marriage in Mark 10:6, it could mean “from the beginning of the institution of marriage.”
Third, and finally, even if Mark 10:6 is speaking of the original creation events, it does not mean there could not have been a long period of time involved in those creative events.
THE “DAYS” OF GENESIS MAY INVOLVE LONG PERIODS OF TIME
Other orthodox Christians believe that the “days” of Genesis 1 may involve significant periods of time. They offer two lines of evidence in support of this view: biblical and scientific.
The Biblical Evidence for Long Days in Genesis
There are many indications within the text of Scripture to support the belief that the creation “days” were longer than twenty-four hours. The following are those most often given in support of this position.
The Word Day (Yom) Often Means a Long Period of Time
The fact is that the same word that can mean twenty-four hours also often means a longer period of time. First of all, “day” sometimes means a prophetic day; that is, a future time period of differing lengths, as in “the day of the Lord” (Joel 2:31; cf. 2 Peter 3:10). Furthermore, as we have seen, 2 Peter 3:8—“A day is as a thousand years”—is based on Psalm 90:4: “A thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by.” As with any other word, the meaning of the word day must be determined by the context in which it is used. In many contexts, “day” means much more than twenty-four hours. It can mean thousands, or even more.
The Word Day Is More Than Twenty-Four Hours Even in Genesis 1-2
Even in the creation passage, yom is used of a period of time longer than twenty-four hours. Summing up the entire six “days,” the text declares: “This is the history of the heavens and earth when they were created, in the day [yom] that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens (Genesis 2:4 NKJV). “The day” here means six “days,” which indicates a broad meaning of the word day in the Bible, just as we have in English.
The Seventh “Day” Is Thousands of Years Long
Everyone agrees that it has been at least thousands of years since the time of creation, yet the Bible declares that God rested on the seventh day after His six days of creation (Genesis 2:2-3). According to the book of Hebrews, God is still in His Sabbath rest from creation (4:3-5); hence, the seventh day has been at least six thousand years long, even on the shortest of all the chronologies of humankind.
The Third “Day” Is Longer Than Twenty-Four Hours
On the third “day,” God not only created vegetation, but it grew to maturity. The text says that on the third day “the land produced vegetation; plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds” (Genesis 1:12, emphasis added). To grow from seeds to maturity and produce more seeds is a process that takes much longer than a day, a week, or even a month for most plants. There is no indication in the text that its growth was anything but natural; it is its origin that was supernatural.
The Sixth “Day” Is Longer Than Twenty-Four Hours
It would also appear that the sixth “day” of creation was considerably longer than a solar day. Consider everything that happened during this one “day.”
First, God created all the many hundreds (or thousands) of land animals (Gensis 1:24-25).
Second, God “formed” man of the dust of the earth (Genesis 2:7). This Hebrew word (yatsar) means “to mold” or “form,” which implies time. Yatsar is used specifically of the work of a potter (cf. Jeremiah 18:2f.).
Third, God said, “I will make a helper suitable for him” (Genesis 2:18, emphasis added). This indicates a time subsequent to the time of the announcement.
Fourth, Adam observed and named this whole multitude of animals (Genesis 2:19). As Robert Newman noted, “If every one of the approximately 15,000 living species of such animals (not to mention those now extinct) were brought to Adam to be named, it would have taken ten hours if he spent only two seconds on each.” This is hardly enough time for Adam to study each animal and determine an appropriate name for it. Assuming a minimum of only two minutes each, the process would have taken six hundred hours (or twenty-five days).
Fifth, Adam searched for a helpmate for himself, apparently among all the creatures God had made. “But for Adam no suitable helper was found” (implying a time of searching) (Genesis 2:20, emphasis added).
Sixth, God put Adam to sleep and operated on him, taking out one of his ribs and healing the flesh (Genesis 2:21). This too involved additional time.
Seventh, Eve was brought to Adam, who observed her, accepted her, and was joined to her (Genesis 2:22-25).
In conclusion, it seems highly unlikely that all of these events—especially the fourth one—were compressed within a twenty-four-hour period or, more precisely, within the approximately twelve hours of light each day afforded.
The Scientific Evidence for Long Days in Genesis
In addition to the biblical evidence for long periods of time, there are scientific arguments that the world has existed for billions of years. The ages of the universe and earth are based on:
Creation and Time
Given the basics of modern physics, it seems plausible and evident that the universe is billions of years old; and as shown above, there is nothing in Scripture that contradicts this. With that in view, the following conclusions are appropriate:
For additional information, be sure to watch our television program, The John Ankerberg Show (see listings and times for your area under our TV schedule). Or you may order our two series (containing nine half-hour television programs):
Series 1: Why Is the Big Bang Evidence That God Created the Universe?
Program 1: Why Is the Scientific Evidence of the Big Bang Proof That a Supernatural Creator Created Everything?
Program 2: Scientific Evidence That Reveals the Universe Has Been Fine-tuned by a Creator for Life to Exist Anywhere.
Program 3: Scientific Evidence That Reveals the Universe and Earth Have Been Especially Designed to Accommodate Life on Earth.
Program 4: Further Evidence for the Fine-tuning of Earth and the Galaxies Surrounding Earth, Without Which it Would Be Impossible for Any Kind of Life to Exist.
Program 5: Scientific Evidence That Proves Life on Earth Did Not Arise Through Naturalistic Evolutionary Means.
Series 2: Can the Biblical Account of Creation Be Reconciled With Scientific Evidence Today?
Program 1: The Scientific Evidence Today That Shows Man Was a Unique Creation of God and Could Not Have Evolved via Evolution from Apes.
Program 2: The Biblical Account of Creation in Genesis: Does it Square with Scientific Evidence? (What Happened on Day 1 and Day 2?)
Program 3: The Biblical Account of Creation in Genesis: Does it Square with Scientific Evidence? (What Happened on Day 3 and Day 4?)
Program 4: The Biblical Account of Creation in Genesis: Does it Square with Scientific Evidence? (What Happened on Day 5 and Day 6?)
Also, you may wish to order the 70-minute film, Journey Toward Creation, which presents some of the most amazing pictures astronomers have taken.
ENDNOTES1. Nigel Hawkes, “Hunt on for Dark Secret of Universe,” London Times, 25 April 1992, p. 1. 2. The Associated Press, “U.S. Scientists Find a ‘Holy Grail’: Ripples at Edge of the Universe,” International Herald Tribune (London), 24 April 1992, p. 1. 3. The Associated Press, p. 1. 4. Hawkes, p. 1. 5. David Briggs, “Science, Religion, Are Discovering Commonality in Big Bang Theory,” Los Angeles Times, 2 May 1992, pp. B6-B7. 6. Hugh Ross, The Creator and the Cosmos, (Colorado Springs, CO: Nav Press, 2001). 7. Stephen Strauss, “An Innocent’s Guide to the Big Bang Theory: Fingerprint in Space Left by the Universe as a Baby Still Has Doubters Hurling Stones,” The Globe and Mail (Toronto), 25 April 1992, p. 1. 8. Robert Jastrow, “A Scientist Caught Between Two Faiths,” Christianity Today, August 6, 1992. 9. Ross, The Creator and the Cosmos, p. 108. 10. Paul Davies, The Cosmic Blueprint (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1998), p. 203. 11. Duane Gish, Evolution: The Challenge of the Fossil Records, (El Cajon, CA: Creation-Life Publishers, Inc., Master Book Division, 1985), p. 12. 12. Robert Jastrow, “A Scientist Caught Between Two Faiths,” Christianity Today, August 6, 1982. 13. Sir Isaac Newton, “Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy,” Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol. 34, 1952, p. 369. 14. Robert Jastrow, God and the Astronomers (New York: W.W. Norton Press, 1978), p. 116. 15. Michael Denton, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis (Bethesda, MD: Adler & Adler, 1986), pp. 260-261. 16. Sir Fred Hoyle, “Hoyle on Evolution,” Nature, Vol. 294, November 12, 1981, p. 105. 17. H. P. Yockey, “A Calculation of the Probability of Spontaneous Biogenesis by Information Theory,” Journal of Theoretical Biology 67, 1977, p. 396. 18. George Wald, “The Origin of Life,” Life: Origin and Evolution (San Francisco: W.H. Freeman Publishing, 1979), p. 48. 19. Francis Crick, Life Itself (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1981), p. 88. 20. William Day, Genesis on Planet Earth: The Search for Life’s Beginning (East Lansing, MI: House of Tabs, 1979), pp. 231-232. 21. Michael Denton, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, pp. 327-328. 22. Fred Hoyle and Chandra Wickramasinghe, “Where Microbes Boldly Went,” New Scientist 91, 1981, pp. 412-15. 23. Emile Borel, Nobel Prize Winner, Probabilities and Life (New York: Dover, 1962) ch. 1-3. 24. Scott M. Huse, The Collapse of Evolution (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Bookhouse, 1983), p. 94. 25. Michael Denton, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, p. 326. 26. P.S. Moorhead and M. M. Kaplan, eds., Mathematical Challenges to the Neo-Darwinian Interpretation of Evolution, Wistar Institute Press, Philadelphia, 1967, pp. 109. [Here is an evolutionary mathematician calculating the probability of a single cell evolving into something as complicated as a man and concluding that his calculations show that the probability of a chance process to accomplish that is zero.] 27. Lewis Thomas, quoted by Henry Brand and Philip Yancey, Fearfully and Wonderfully Made (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1980), p. 25. 28. Chandra Wickramasinghe, quoted by Norman Geisler, A. F. Brooke, and Mark J. Keosh, The Creator in the Courtroom (Milford, MI: Mott Media, 1982), p. 149. 29. Geisler, Brooke, Keosh, p. 151. 30. Ravi Zacharias, Jesus Among Other Gods (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, Inc.), p. 65. 31. Fred Hoyle, “The Big Bang in Astronomy,” New Scientist, 92, Nov. 19, 1981. 32. Cited in Evan Shute, Flaws in the Theory of Evolution (Nutley, NJ: Craig Press, 1971), pp. 23-24. 33. Harold F. Blum, Time’s Arrow and Evolution (2nd ed., Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1955). 34. Walter L. Bradley and Charles B. Thaxton, “Information and the Origin of Life” in J. P. Moreland (ed.), The Creation Hypothesis (IVP, 1994), p. 190. 35. Ibid., emphasis added; cf., William A. Dembski, “Reviving the Argument from Design: Detecting Design Through Small Probabilities,” Proceedings of the Biennial Conference of the Association of Christians in the Mathematical Sciences, Vol. 8, (1991), pp. 101-145. 36. James Coppedge, Evolution Possible or Impossible? (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1973); see the additional references in Darwin’s Leap of Faith, p. 371. 37. Coppedge, Evolution, p.114. 38. Ibid. 39. David J. Rodabough, “The Queen of Science Examines the King of Fools,” Creation Research Society Quarterly, June 1975, p. 15. 40. Coppedge, Evolution, for an extended discussion. 41. Cited in Nature, November 12, 1981, p. 105, emphasis added. 42. Cited in Mark Eastman, Chuck Missler, The Creator Beyond Time and Space, (Costa Mesa, CA:TWFT, 1996), p. 61. 43. Robert Shapiro, Origins: A Skeptic’s Guide to the Creation of Life on Earth (New York: Simon and Schuster, Summit Books, 1986), p. 128. 44. Eastman and Missler, p. 61. 45. Howard Byington Holroyd, “Darwinism is Physical and Mathematical Nonsense,” Creation Research Society Quarterly. June 1972, pp. 6, 9. 46. Ibid., p. 10. 47. Ibid., p. 12. 48. Carl Sagan, Intelligent Life in the Universe (London: Picador, Pan Books, Ltd., 1977), p. 358. 49. Christianus Huygenus [Dutch physicist], New Conjectures Concerning the Planetary Worlds, Their Inhabitants and Productions, cited by Carl Sagan in Intelligent Life in the Universe, p. 214. 50. Michael Denton, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, p. 252. 51. Michael Denton, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, p. 260. 52. Michael Denton, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, p. 342. 53. Charles Darwin and quoted in David Raup, “Conflicts Between Darwin and Paleontology,” Field Museum of Natural History Bulletin, 22 and 23. 54. Theodosius Dobzhansky, American Science, 45:388, 1957. 55. Niles Eldredge and I. Tattersall, The Myths of Human Evolution, pp. 45-46. 56. Stephen Jay Gould, “The Return of Hopeful Monsters,” Natural History, June-July, 1977, pp. 22, 24. 57. George Gaylord Simpson, The Major Features of Evolution, p. 360. 58. Donn Rosen, “Evolution: An Old Debate With a New Twist,” in St. Louis Post Dispatch, May 17, 1981, quoted by James E. Adams. 59. Dr. Austin Clark, “Animal Evolution,” 3-Quarterly Review of Biology, 5-23, 539. 60. Dr. Betty Farber, Entomologist with the American Museum of Natural History. Quoted by M. Kusinitz, Science World, 4, February, 1983, pp. 12-19. 61. L. Harrison Matthews, The Introduction to Charles Darwin’s Origin of the Species (London: Dent Publishers, 1959), p. 11. 62. Pierre P. Grasse, Evolution of Living Organisms (New York: Academic, 1977), p. 30. 63. Louis L. Carroll, “Problems of the Origin of Reptiles,” Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Soc., #44, 1969, p. 393. 64. Jean L. Marx, “The Oldest Fossil Bird: A Rival for Archaeopteryx?” Science Magazine, 199, January 20, 1978, p. 284. 65. Charles Darwin in a letter to Hooker found in the book The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, 3 volumes, John Murray, London, Vol. 3, p. 248. 66. Gerald T. Todd, “Evolution of the Lung and the Origin of Bony Fishes—A Causal Relationship,” The American Zoologist, #4, 1980, p. 757. 67. Julian Huxley, Evolution in Action (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1953), pp. 45-46. 68. Stated by Robert Barnes, Invertebrate Beginnings in “Paleobiology,” 6:365-70. 69. Colin Patterson in a letter to Luther D. Sunderland, April 10, 1979, cited by William J. Guste, Jr. in the Plaintiff’s Pre-Trial Brief for a recent Louisiana Trial on Creation and Evolution, June 3, 1982. 70. David Raup and Steven N. Stanley, Principles of Paleontology, p. 306. 71. George Gaylord Simpson at the Darwin Centenary Symposium held in Chicago in 1959. This is also stated in Simpson’s book The Evolution of Life in the Chapter “The History of Life,” The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, Pages 117-180: published in 1960. Specifically see page 135. 72. Steven N. Stanley, Macro-Evolution (San Francisco: W. H. Freman and Co., 1979), p. 2. 73. Stephen Jay Gould, “The Five Kingdoms,” Natural History, June-July, 1976, pp. 30, 37. 74. Steven M. Stanley, The New Evolutionary Timetable: Fossils, Genes, and the Origin of Species, (New York: Basic Books, Inc., 1981), from the Preface, p. XV. 75. This was an article in the British newspaper “The Guardian Weekly,” November 26, 1978, Vol. 119, #22, page 1 of an interview with Niles Eldredge. The headline of the article was entitled “Missing, Believed Nonexistent.” 76. Stephen Jay Gould, “Evolution’s Erratic Pace,” Natural History 86, May, 1977, p. 12. 77. Ibid., p. 14. 78. Frederick Nietzsche, Anti-Christ in The Portable Nietzsche (New York: Viking Press, 1968), p. 627. 79. Norman Geisler, Creator in the Courtroom: Scopes 2 (Milford, MI: Mott Media, 1987), p. 203. 80. Michael Denton, Evolution, a Theory in Crisis, p. 358. 81. Stated by Sir Peter Medawar in his opening remarks as chairman of a symposium entitled “Mathematical Challenges to the Neo-Darwinian Interpretation of Evolution,” held April 25 and 26, 1966 at the Wistar Institute of Anatomy and Biology in Philadelphia. 82. Lipson, “A Physicist Looks at Evolution,” Physics Bulletin, 138, 1980. 83. Norman Geisler, Systematic Theology, Volume Two: God, Creation (Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House, 2003), p. 468-73. 84. See Ross, CT. Geisler, Ibid., p. 637-644.