I’ve spent over a decade at three universities/colleges studying Archaeology, History, Classics & Ancient History, Cultural Heritage, Christian Ministry and Theology. This question has reared its head on numerous occasions, particularly during my study of Archaeology.
As you’ve seen me do in many of my blog posts, I’m going to start by briefly defining the central terms.
Theory: an idea that is suggested or presented as possibly true but that is not known or proven to be true”… “a hypothesis assumed for the sake of argument or investigation.Theory: Mirriam-Webster Dictionary
Evolution: the Latin word evolutio translates to the unrolling or opening of a scroll, which relates to the gradual changes seen within a biological species.
It wasn’t until 1833 and the work of geologist Charles Lyell that the term evolution was used for the transmutations of a species. Indeed, Lyell’s Principles of Geology has “been called the most important scientific book ever written.”
Natural Selection: Otherwise known as Herbert Spencer’s “survival of the fittest”.
Natural selection is the concept through which populations of living organisms adapt and change. Individuals in a population are naturally variable, meaning that they are all different in some ways. This variation means that some individuals have traits better suited to the environment than others.
Individuals with adaptive traits—traits that give them some advantage—are more likely to survive and reproduce. These individuals then pass the adaptive traits on to their offspring. Over time, these advantageous traits become more common in the population. Through this process of natural selection, favourable traits are transmitted through generations.Natural Selection, National Geographic
25 So Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, 26 and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church and taught a great many people. And in Antioch, the disciples were first called Christians.Acts 11:25-26
In An Exposition of the Second Epistle to the Corinthians (ed. 1876), Charles Hodge (1797-1878), the president of Princeton Theological Seminary from 1851 to 1878, tells us,
“A Christian is one who recognizes Jesus as the Christ, the Son of the living God, as God manifested in the flesh, loving us and dying for our redemption; and who is so affected by a sense of the love of this incarnate God as to be constrained to make the will of Christ the rule of his obedience, and the glory of Christ the great end for which he lives.”
Okay, let’s begin.
- Does Evolution Disprove Christianity?
If I were shooting the hip, so to speak, I’d assert that if evolution is true, then the particular, intricate, and perfect design of our universe by God, as we see throughout the Bible, has to be false.
Moreover, as every part of the Bible points us to Jesus, if evolution does indeed negate Genesis, it invariably negates the New Covenant given to us through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
For evolution to disprove Christianity, it would have to discredit Jesus Christ himself…the most influential person in world history.
Now, can such a claim be made beyond a reasonable doubt?
Here’s a more telling question for you: given all the laws established concerning Nature, Biology, Natural Law and whatnot, can any element of creation seriously come about without a Creator? Now, before you jump in and ask, “where did God come from then?”
When we consider the inescapable curiosity, wonder and depth of Genesis 1:1, we have to do so in light of the context of its authorship. God didn’t assign Moses to write Genesis and the Pentateuch in a cultural vacuum.
Unlike today, the people of the Ancient Near East weren’t concerned about the physical structure of the universe. They were much more interested in the aspect of bringing order out of chaos and the divine exercise of jurisdiction demonstrated in giving everything a role and a purpose.Walton, John H.. Genesis (Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
Indeed, as there was already a miscellany of competing views of creation during the Late Bronze Age (1550-1200 B.C.), there are similarities between these ancient accounts and the Bible.
There is, however, nothing inherently damaging to orthodox theology and beliefs about the Bible if its authors were interacting at various levels with the literature current in the culture. All literature is dependent on the culture in which it arises—it must be, if it intends to communicate effectively.Walton, John H.. Genesis (Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
God is the implicit king of this cosmos, making provision, establishing order, and commissioning regents. The life-support systems of air, water, and land provide creation’s abundance of all sorts of living species with sustenance and space to live.Waltke, Bruce K.. Genesis (p. 55). Zondervan Academic. Kindle Edition.
Modern scientists have widely refuted Darwin’s theory of random genetic mutations through natural selection, who now believe that “evolution isn’t a sure thing“.
You are the LORD, you alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and you preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships you.Nehemiah 9:6
So you see, God existed before “the beginning”, before time, and then God created the heavens and the earth.
Saint Augustine had two answers to those who asked what was God doing before creation. Jokingly he said, God was preparing Hell for people who ask such questions. On a serious level, he noted there was no time before God created and hence the question is meaningless.Don Stewart :: What Was God Doing before He Created the Universe? Blue Letter Bible
Again, we read in Hebrews 1:10-12,
“You, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning,Hebrews 1:10-12
and the heavens are the work of your hands;
11 they will perish, but you remain;
they will all wear out like a garment,
12 like a robe, you will roll them up,
like a garment, they will be changed.
But you are the same,
and your years will have no end.”
In addition, as a Bible-believing Christian, the world is ~6,000 years old, not 4.54 billion. Finally, we need to remember that each of the laws we use to understand creation outside the Bible is a human presupposition or hypothesis (a reasoned deduction made by examination). But, on the other hand, the Word of God is infallible and beyond all conjecture (fancy terms for guaranteed and sure).
The hero of creation is God. Each event occurs according to God’s expressed will and through the agency of his word. Speech signifies that God is intimately bonded to his creation.Waltke, Bruce K.. Genesis (p. 56). Zondervan Academic. Kindle Edition.
- Does Natural Selection dispr2ove Christianity?
As a Bible-believing Christian, I cannot accept the theory of Natural Selection. Why? Well, because of the phrases we see repeated in Genesis:
The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind.Genesis 1:12
So God created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind.Genesis 1:21
And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds—livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.”Genesis 1:24
And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind.Genesis 1:25
We see above that there was no evolution of vegetation or living creatures. Like begets like. God spoke every single plant and animal breed or variety into creation; a principle further clarified in the New Testament:
…for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thornbushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush.Luke 6:44
All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made.John 1:3
Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.James 3:12
Unlike the billions of Christians who agree with the Genesis of our universe via the Word of the Lord,
…cosmologists have struggled — if not outright failed — to understand essential facets of the universe…It’s possible that these puzzles are little more than loose ends, each of which will be resolved as cosmologists continue to investigate our universe. But so far, these problems have proven to be remarkably stubborn and persistent.Dan Hooper, Is the Big Bang in crisis
“…remarkably stubborn and persistent”? How’s that? I’ve known the answer to this question since my early childhood.
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.Genesis 1:1
He determines the number of the stars;Psalm 147:4
he gives to all of them their names.
Lift up your eyes on high and see:Isaiah 40:26
who created these?
He who brings out their host by number,
calling them all by name,
by the greatness of his might,
and because he is strong in power
not one is missing.