by Dr. Phil Fernandes
A chapter from his doctoral dissertation
© 1997, Institute of Biblical Defense, All Rights Reserved
HISTORY OF THE CREATION-EVOLUTION DEBATE
The creation model is the view that God created the universe without using evolution. The creation model dominated modern science before 1860.2 Modern science was started by men who believed in the existence of the God of the Bible. Galileo, Isaac Newton, Francis Bacon, Johannes Kepler, and Blaise Pascal are just a few who fit into this category.3 Their belief in God’s existence formed the foundation for modern science. They believed that a reasonable God created the universe in a reasonable way, so that through reason man could find out about the universe in which he lives.4 In other words, the universe makes sense only because God designed it to make sense. Today, however, atheistic evolutionists have rejected this base for modern science.5 They have rejected the existence of a reasonable God. But the question that they must face is this: “Without a reasonable God, can a person really expect the universe to make sense?”
The evolution model is the view that life spontaneously evolved from non-life without intelligent intervention.6 The evolution model dominated modern science after 1860.7 Charles Darwin published his book The Origin of Species around that time.8 Darwin proposed a naturalistic explanation for the origin of the universe, first life, and new life forms.9 He taught that nature can be explained without appealing to a supernatural origin. Darwin’s proposal quickly became the predominant “scientific” view.
THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD
Evolution is not a scientific fact. The scientific method consists of six steps: 1) observation, 2) proposal of a question or problem, 3) hypothesis (an educated guess), 4) experimentation, 5) theory (a hypothesis with a high degree of probability), and 6) natural law (a theory shown to be valid on a universal scale).10 Evolution is not a scientific law or theory, let alone a scientific fact. The supposed evolutionary changes from one species to another cannot be observed.11 They supposedly occurred in the past. Therefore, since observation is the initial step in the scientific method, evolution cannot be proven through the scientific method.
The creation view is in the same category as evolution. Creation, scientifically speaking, is not a fact, law, or theory. Like evolution, the supposed creation is a singular event in the past. It cannot be observed. Therefore, both creation and evolution are only scientific models; they represent different ways to interpret the same evidence.12
This does not mean that creation and evolution cannot claim to be scientific. Contrary to popular belief, the scientific method is not the only way to search for truth in the field of science. Forensic science (crime scene investigation) does not use the scientific method, for the crime can no longer be observed. Still, forensic science is a legitimate science.13 Science can be separated into two main divisions: operation science and origin science. Operation science deals with the repeatable; it is science of the observable present. It uses the scientific method. Forensic science, creation, and evolution do not fall into this category.14 Origin science, on the other hand, deals with the non-repeatable; it deals with the singular events of the past. Origin science does not utilize the scientific method since singular events of the past can no longer be observed.15 Forensic science, creation science, and evolutionary science fall into this category.
Since the non-repeatable events of the past cannot be observed, origin science does not make use of the scientific method. Instead, origin science uses the principles of analogy (also called uniformity) and causality to determine whether or not a model is plausible.16 The principle of analogy states that when a scientist observes a cause bringing about a certain effect in the present, he should posit the same kind of cause for a similar effect in the past.17 In other words, similar effects usually have similar causes. The principle of causality states that every event must have an adequate cause.18 A scientist should use these two principles to determine the plausibility (or lack of plausibility) of a particular model.
Since the creation model and the evolution model fall under the heading of origin science, the principles of analogy and uniformity must be applied to them to determine which model is more plausible. It must be understood that the creation model and the evolution model both deal with the same evidence. An example of this is common anatomy. Common anatomy deals with the similarities in the body parts of different species. Examples of common anatomy are the similarities that exist concerning the arm of a man, the arm of an ape, the wing of a bird, and the fin of a shark. Both creationists and evolutionists agree to the common anatomy between different species of animal life. However, the two models interpret the evidence differently. The evolution model teaches that common anatomy proves common ancestry.19 Common ancestry is the view that all species are related since one species has evolved into another. The creation model teaches that the same data (common anatomy) proves the existence of a common Designer. Animals often share common anatomy due to their being created and designed by the same God.20
Which model is more plausible? In order to answer this question, the principles of analogy and causality must be applied to the origin of the universe, the origin of first life, and the origin of new life forms. Both the creation model and the evolution model must be tested in these three areas to ascertain which model is more plausible.
THE ORIGIN OF THE UNIVERSE
Did the universe have a beginning, or did it always exist? This is a very important question. For if the universe had a beginning, it would need a cause. It could not have evolved into existence from nothing. If the universe is eternal then it may not need a cause. Fortunately, science is not silent on this question. The second law of thermodynamics is called energy deterioration. This law says that the amount of usable energy in the universe is running down.21 Eventually, all the energy in the universe will be used up. This means that the universe is winding down. If it is winding down, it had to have been “wound up.” If the universe is going to have an end, it had to have a beginning. There had to be a time when all the energy in the universe was usable; this marks the beginning of the universe.
The expansion of the universe and the big bang model also confirm the beginning of the universe.22 In 1929, astronomer Edwin Hubble discovered that the universe is expanding at the same rate in all directions.23 As time moves forward the universe is growing apart. This means that if one went back in time the universe would get denser. If one goes back in time far enough, the entire universe would be contained in what scientists have called “a point of infinite density.”24 But, a point can only be finitely dense. For a point to be infinitely dense it would have to be non-existent. Therefore, the universe came into existence from nothing a finite time ago.
There have been two main attempts to refute the beginning of the universe. The first is the steady-state model. This view holds that the universe had no beginning. Instead, it always existed in the same state. However, because of the mounting evidence for the big bang model, this view has been abandoned by most of its adherents.25
The second attempt to evade the beginning of the universe is called the oscillating model. This model teaches that, at some point during the universe’s expansion, gravity will halt the expansion and pull everything back together again. From that point there will be another big bang. This process will be repeated over and over again throughout all eternity. However, the oscillating model fails for three reasons. First, there is no known principle of physics that would reverse the expansion of the universe into another big bang. Second, current scientific research has shown that the universe is not dense enough for gravity to pull it back together again. Third, even if one could prove that several big bangs have occurred, the second law of thermodynamics would still require that there was a first big bang.26
Therefore, science has shown that the universe had a beginning, but, since from nothing, nothing comes, something must have caused the universe to come into existence. Everything that has a beginning needs a cause. Since the universe needs a cause, the creation model is more plausible than the evolution model. If the universe were eternal, then the evolution model could claim some type of plausibility. But, for the above reasons, this is not the case. The universe is not eternal; it had a beginning. Something separate from the universe had to cause it to come into existence.
THE ORIGIN OF FIRST LIFE
Evolution teaches spontaneous generation—that life came from non-life without intelligent intervention.27 However, spontaneous generation violates the law of biogenesis and the cell theory. The law of biogenesis states that “all living things arise only from other living things.”28 The cell theory defines the cell as the most basic unit of life, and declares that “new cells arise only from pre-existing cells.”29 Both the law of biogenesis and the cell theory are accepted by evolutionists; the evolutionists merely assume that first life is the exception to these principles. But, a model that violates scientific theories and laws should be abandoned. This is especially true when there is a rival model that does not violate scientific theories and laws.
The creation model posits the existence of an intelligent Being in order to bridge the gap from non-life to life. The creation model recognizes that the specified complexity (highly complex information) found in a single-celled animal could not be produced by chance. A single-celled animal has enough genetic information to fill one volume of an encyclopedia.30 Just as an explosion in a print shop cannot randomly produce one volume of an encyclopedia, there is no way that a single-celled animal could have been produced by mere chance. Intelligent intervention was needed.31
Natural laws by themselves do not produce specified complexity. Geisler illustrates this point by stating that though natural laws can explain the Grand Canyon, they cannot explain the faces on Mount Rushmore.32 The faces on Mount Rushmore reveal evidence of intelligent design.
Evolutionists often offer the Miller and Urey experiments as evidence that life has been produced from non-life in the laboratory. In response, several things should be noted. First, Chandra Wickramasinghe, one of Britain’s most eminent scientists, calls these experiments “cheating.” Miller and Urey start with amino acids, break them down, and then recover them. They do not produce something that wasn’t there to begin with.33 Second, Geisler states that the Miller and Urey experiments do not produce life. They only produce amino acids, which are the building blocks of life. Amino acids are to life what a single sentence is to one volume of encyclopedia.34 Third, Geisler points out that even if these experiments did produce life from non-life in the laboratory (which they don’t), it would support the creation model, not the evolution model. The reason for this is clear. The experiments would merely prove that to get life from non-life intelligent intervention (i.e., the scientists) is needed. The experiments would not prove that life spontaneously arose from non-life.35
Therefore, the creation model is more plausible than the evolution model when explaining the origin of first life. Intelligent intervention is necessary to produce life from non-life. It could not have happened by accident.
THE ORIGIN OF NEW LIFE FORMS
Many people believe that the fossil record proves evolution, but, this is not the case. In the fossil record, new life forms appear suddenly and fully developed.36 There is no evidence of transitional forms (missing links). There are no fins or wings becoming arms. There are no intermediate forms. The gaps between forms in the fossil record are evidence against evolution, not for evolution.
Evolution teaches that single-celled animals eventually evolved into human beings. Of course, evolutionists claim this took large quantities of time to be accomplished. A single-celled animal contains enough information to fill one volume of encyclopedia,37 but, the human brain contains enough information to fill twenty million volumes of encyclopedia.38 Natural law, no matter how much time is involved, can never produce twenty million volumes of encyclopedia from one volume. Intelligent intervention is needed to produce more complex information.39
Evolutionists often point to mutations as the process by which evolution takes place.40 However, mutations do not add more complex information to the genetic code. Instead, they merely garble the already existing genetic code.41 For evolution to take place, new genetic information is needed. For example, single-celled animals would need new genes for the development of teeth, yet mutations produce no new genetic information.42
Simple life forms do not go to complex life forms through natural law alone.43 Time plus chance plus natural laws can never produce more complex information.44 Something must impart more information. Therefore, the creation model is more plausible than the evolution model concerning the origin of new life forms.
The scientific case for creation is very strong. Though it is true that creationists have never seen the invisible Creator, evolutionists also have never seen the supposed evolutionary changes of the past. The principles of analogy and causality support creationism as a superior model to evolution. Blind chance and natural laws are inadequate causes for the origin of the universe, first life, and new life forms. An intelligent Cause is needed in each case. The cause of the beginning of nature cannot be nature itself. No being can preexist its own existence in order to cause its own existence. Therefore, nature needs a supernatural Cause. This supernatural Cause must be an intelligent Being to bring life from non-life and complex life forms from simple life forms. Hence, the creation model is more plausible than the evolution model.