Rather than reading the Bible through the eyes of modern secularism, this provocative six-part course teaches you to read the Bible through its own eyes—as a record of God’s dealing with the human race. When you read it at this level, you will discover reasons to worship God in areas of life you probably never before associated with “religion.”
© Charles A. Clough 1996
Charles A. Clough
Biblical Framework Series 1995–2003
Part 2: Buried Truths of Origins
Appendix B: Biological Natural History: Creation vs. Evolution
Lesson 28 – Biological Natural History: Creation vs. Evolution
16 May 1996
Fellowship Chapel, Jarrettsville, MD
Just to review a little, remember that we worked through these 4 events: the creation, the fall, the flood and the covenant. And we made the case that biblical faith rests on real history. If the Bible’s witness is wrong in the area of history, then we cannot believe the Bible where we can check it out. It does no good to say, ‘I don’t really believe in the miracles that Jesus did, but somehow I believe in His statement that He forgives sin.’
There’s not a detector known that can check on whether sins have been forgiven or not. Therefore our faith is trusting His character, which is demonstrable only in the area in which we can see it. That’s why it’s very, very important to hold to an inerrant Scripture. The pressure is always on Christians, particularly today, on the idea that truth and our faith all rests on feelings. What happens is that the world system has this idea that there’s truth over here, hard truth, real truth, in the area of science and history, and then over here there’s opinion, and religious things are thrown in this compartment. That’s what happens to the gospel, and the only way you can fight this is to hold to the fact that the Bible speaks in both areas.
We’ve shown how the doctrine of God supports this, the doctrine of man, etc. That’s where we are coming to in these appendices. We’ve gone through teaching the doctrine, we’ve gone through the text. We’ve shown the narrative of what happens. The Bible has a straightforward narrative in all of these events, they are truly global. We’ve gone through them and seen the first four great events of the Bible. These four events have to do with establishing the world as we know it. This is the way the universe exists as we know it.
In appendix A I dealt with why we interpret Genesis literally; we spent time showing that if you let go of the Genesis literalness, then certain things follow, including the collapse of the New Testament. What we want to do tonight is look specifically at biology, historical biology, and the issue of evolution and creation. Obviously in 50 minutes we can’t deal with a myriad of details, so I’ve chosen to give you the structural argument that’s going on. If you are interested in following up the details I recommend The Institute for Creation Research, Christian Research Society, there is lots of material out there, and more is coming as young men pursue some exciting stuff. There’s a lot of progress being made here.
But for us, in this class, I think it’s important we see the logic of the argument, how these issues arise. When we talked about creation we said that if we look at creation we see that you have God, the Creator, we have the universe, and because God is omniscient, and the human mind has knowledge, this corresponds to His mind. So there’s a linkage going on here. Our knowledge is finite and limited, His is infinite; because His knowledge is infinite, that’s the base for our knowledge claims. I hope this becomes increasingly clearer as we look at this issue of evolution.
I want to start by reviewing two overheads we looked at earlier. We can’t get enough of this chart, this is a fundamental point, because it holds for every human being, whether you are Christian or non-Christian, it doesn’t make a particle of difference, this holds for EVERY person. We have mentioned how this chart pictures human experience, the limitations of it. It’s in a box, human experience is bounded, it’s finite. When we say man is finite we mean he is bounded. So it doesn’t make any difference how much data you have, all your data is confined to this box. The center box of this is what we call direct observation; this is time and this is space, and you can go back in time to your own lifetime, and that’s it. Nobody has ever observed anything more than 100 years, or 70 years or however long it is, you have no direct experience of that. So in this box where we have the vertical lines, that shows the data and the experience that you personally can see and check. You can extend it in space and in time, going back down to smaller and smaller units of time, the high speed camera can see things your eye can’t see, the microscope can go down and down to smaller and smaller things that your eye can’t see, telescopes can see larger and larger things that your eye can’t see.
So we can extend our senses with tools and instruments. But you’ll notice there’s one side of that box that is not being extended by any instrument, and that’s history, that’s going out in time; the problem is that we can’t project our instruments out in time to take measurements. So no matter what the tool is, be it a microscope, telescope, or anything, it’s trapped in time just like we’re trapped in time. So we can push the boundary a little bit by using historical records of other human beings that lived before us that left records. So we can push the boundary out to thousands of years, and that’s as far as we can go. There are no other records, period, beyond that, no other direct observations available. Everything beyond a few thousand years has got to be gained by making assumptions and conjectures. What we want to look at in these appendices, B, C, and D, is the method of trying to create natural histories, i.e. histories that purport to write about what happened to the universe prior to man. They purport to say that we can project our knowledge out this way. That’s the center issue.
We want to begin tonight, so that everyone’s clear, that there is no direct method of writing natural history other than by direct observation. All other methods, be it biological, astronomical, or geological are methods that have to use certain philosophies to push the boundary to the right on that box. We showed another slide that shows we are afflicted with a further limitation, when we were looking at creation, that represents a limitation on man’s logic, and that picture is one of the theorems in Euclidean geometry, the parallel line postulate.
In that, Euclid said, and everybody thought for many centuries he was absolutely right because he was right about the circle, he was right about how you define points, make lines, and if you had plane geometry you work theorems up according to that. One of those axioms that he had was that if you have a line and a point not on the line, but it’s in the general plane of the line, you can put one and only one line through that point parallel to this. We all learned that basic axiom of Euclid.
It was thought for many, many centuries that what was really happening was that our minds were really perceiving the way the universe is, until people began to look at that and notice something about that point.
In the 19th century mathematicians began to explore this and said there’s something that bothers us about that axiom, not true of the others, but that axiom has a problem with it. The problem is that nobody can check on it by going to the right or the left infinitely. Nobody has ever really seen that the parallel line exists to infinity. There were other mathematicians who came along and said I can put multiple lines through the point that are parallel. You may think this is bizarre but not so. For example, if you think of a sphere, and you’re a creature, a two dimensional creature on a three dimensional sphere, you can have parallel lines that don’t really fit Euclid.
But other mathematicians have said you can’t draw any line through that point, and these are the guys that developed what is called non-Euclidean geometry. This sounds very theoretical and obtuse, except, let me make a summary point, we don’t have to go into the details, but what came out of that 19th century mathematical discussion was gee, all these years we’ve thought that we were building logical, tight, deductive logic, out of intuitively obvious concepts that are related to the universe. In other words, our minds logically flowed with the way the universe was structured.
But when mathematicians began to say that they could build non-Euclidean geometries perfectly logical, had their own set of axioms, could solve theorems inside those systems, were internally consistent, but they conflicted with this. Now we’ve got multiple geometries. Now we’re satisfying logic, but now we’re not sure which logic it is that fits the universe. Oh-oh, and what the sobering result of this is, not well advertised, but it was a titanic discovery that was made, just at the time evolution was starting, mathematicians made this startling discovery that we’re not really sure any more that our mathematical structures are in correspondence to the universe. Maybe they’re imaginative structures that don’t fit the real universe. And if our mathematical structures don’t fit the real universe, now what are we going to do scientifically, when that’s our tool. That’s the tool of science, and if we’re not sure it fits we’ve got some big methodological problems here.
We want to preface what we’re saying with those two points: we’re not sure, now that we’ve gone into this, that our logic and the categories fit reality, and we’re not in possession of an infinite array of data. Faced with these two limitations, we boldly march on and proclaim before every one that we can write natural history.
So turn to page 108, we come to the first section, “Structural Differences Between Creation and Evolution.” Turn to 1 Corinthians 15; I want to show you a very practical result that comes out of this. We said all during the time we looked at Genesis that one way to understand the Old Testament is to look at how the New Testament uses it. What practical examples are there? Everybody says it’s not practical. Paul seems to think it’s quite practical, he wrote a big long letter to a church that was practical, a practical church in a practical city called Corinth, and they had practical problems. When Paul deals with that church, he makes a number of statements, and one of the statements he makes is the fact that in 1 Corinthians 15:39 he is discussing the issue of resurrection, and as he discusses this, notice that he raises a question about categories.
You’ll see the word glory, and what I want to show you in 1 Corinthians 15 is that the Bible precedes on the assumption that the created Genesis kinds are inviolable. That is. God created this group of beings, they reproduce after their kind, they don’t transmute into something else. This subset of creatures are biologically connected, so the biblical view of reality is that you have structures, categories, you have dogs, you have cats, you have different birds. You have all these beings that are categories and distinct from each other.
Paul uses this whole idea to distinguish natural from resurrection bodies. Notice what he says, verse 39, “All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one flesh of men, and another flesh of beasts, and another flesh of birds, and another of fish.  There are also heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is one, and the glory of the earthly is another.” It’s all distinguishing into categories, and this is nothing but an extension of the great grand distinction between the Creator and the creature. The Bible is full of categories.
Another overhead that we’ve shown again and again, there are only two world views when you boil it down. One believes that there is the Creator/creature distinction. The other denies it and winds up with some sort of Continuity of Being. When we deal with evolution we’re going to see something new about this Continuity of Being idea. This may sound abstract, but if you know about the evolutionary issue and you’ve been trained in it, we want to show you something about evolution and the Creator/creature distinction here vs. the Continuity of Being. Those are the two basic ideas. So Paul in 1 Corinthians 15 is talking about categories. The creation is full of them. Notice that they are different, and they are unchanging.
On page 109 of the notes, follow along, and we’ll look at some of the Bible verses and how the Bible carries this view of reality out. “In the biological realm, creationism asserts the inviolable nature of the created ‘kinds’. These groupings of life forms are zealously guarded throughout the Bible. As mighty as the creation’s procreative power is, it cannot override these barriers.”
I want to go into the practical now. It’s always been true of paganism, that it, in some way, somewhere, holds to Continuity of Being. Continuity of Being means that these categories are all somehow cross related. There are fuzzy boundaries between them, not airtight, water tight boundaries. The behavioral application of what happens here is that paganism always features homosexuality. It always has, and it’s because, as I point out here if you’ll follow, “Not only homosexual transgression of the gender difference was opposed, but bestiality was specifically penalized. Sexual aberrations such as these are more than simple lust patterns; they are expressions of paganism’s hostility to the God of the created categories.” So intent in defying God and His structures that we smash them.
Let’s see how the Mosaic Law protected categories. Turn to Deuteronomy 22. There are these little fine details in the Mosaic Law, overlooked by most people, but we’ll look at some of them to show you how focused, how insistent the Scripture is that the creation is ordered to certain categories. In Deuteronomy 22:5, notice a behavioral point, “A woman shall not wear man’s clothing, nor shall a man put on a woman’s clothing; for whoever does these things is an abomination to the LORD your God.” Obviously this is a practical example. What is the practical example? What’s the deal with gender differences in clothing? It’s because the gender difference is honored, it’s not played down, it’s played up, it’s honored. Why? It is because God’s categories are an expression of His design.
Look at verses 6–7, notice the idea of the difference between a mother animal and her young, “If you happen to come upon a bird’s nest along the way, in any tree or on the ground, with young ones or eggs, and the mother sitting on the young or on the eggs, you shall not take the mother with the young,  you shall certainly let the mother go, but the young you may take for yourself, in order that it may be well with you, and that you may prolong your days.” Severe penalties; it’s not just something for the humane society. This is due regard for protection of these creatures. And the fact that you don’t just take mother and young, there’s a difference between these.
Categories are important. Verse 9, “You shall not sow your vineyard with two kinds of seed, lest all the produce of the seed which you have sown, and the increase of the vineyard become defiled.” Obviously discussing the problem of mixing genetic structures, and you can debate whether that’s true now, outside of Israel, I’m not going to debate that. All I’m trying to show you is that inside the Mosaic Law there is a passion to preserve categories, whether it’s the animals, verse 7; whether it’s the seed, verse 9; the plant, verse 10, “You shall not plow with an ox and a donkey together.” Again it’s honoring the different structures. You don’t act like everything is interchangeable. There’s a respect for the structures that God has made. Why? You say clothing? [verse 11, “You shall not wear a material mixed of wool and linen together,”] How do you plow with animals, what is all this?
Turn to Leviticus and see some more things that were prohibited, just to show you the biblical attitude toward honoring these imbedded categories. You can readily see from these practical examples of the biblical passion to honor God’s categories how screwed up we are today. It is chaos out there. And the chaos is not just practical social stuff, it’s related to a philosophic world view in which there’s a Continuity of Being, and it doesn’t really matter what one is, it is just the gradation of character, we’re all part animals. Leviticus 18:22, “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.  You shall not have intercourse with any animal to be defiled with it, nor shall any woman stand before an animal to mate with it; it is a perversion.  Do not defile yourselves by any of these things, for by all these the nations which I am casting out before you have become defiled.” In other words, pagan culture inevitably has these features. The point I’m trying to make is, it is not a simple case of morals that’s working here, it’s a deeper level than that. This isn’t just a problem of morals; this is a problem of an entire world view at work. Again, the Continuity of Being is the pagan modus operandi and it carries over in practical illustrations like I’m showing you.
I want to carry this further, I want to show you that this is not just a case of practical things; it’s the case on which our very salvation depends. Turn to 1 Corinthians 15 and watch how Paul builds the gospel on this. It should be intuitively obvious, we shouldn’t even have to go to 1 Corinthians 15. What are we saying for example, when we say we are in Adam or we are in Christ? Think in terms of the biological distinctions. Remember we said dogs can’t become cats, and cats can’t become dogs. That’s the structure of creationism. But isn’t it also true in the gospel that Adam and his progeny cannot become part of Christ and His progeny, can they? Is there any transmutation or evolution across that boundary? Think about that one for a minute. Isn’t it true that the whole heart of the gospel is there has to be a re-creation, we call it regeneration. Isn’t it true that before we can get the resurrection body of Jesus, we don’t transmute this thing into a resurrection body, we re-create it, we don’t, God does. It’s called the doctrine of the resurrection. Regeneration and resurrection are the only ways to cross these boundaries. No evolution, no transmutation possible.
What I’m saying is that this characteristic of biblical thinking carries from Genesis 1 all the way to Revelation. Always there are inviolable categories that God honors. And when He goes to save people, He honors His own categories. There is no evolution spiritually, never, ever! That is why you must be born again. That is why the Gospel message is not good works and be a good little girl or good little boy, and eventually, if your good works outweigh your bad works, now suddenly you are a Christian. That can no more happen than your dog can mutate into a cat. We cannot become Christians by the evolution of good works. Nor, in the same way can any category in physical creation transmute through procreation into something it wasn’t before.
When we started in Genesis, I had you read Enuma Elish. Do you remember one of the stories of Enuma Elish? You go back in time and instead of the Creator/creature distinction what did we see in the first verses of that Enuma Elish epic? We saw that out of this watery muck there were the gods. And out came a god and a goddess, and the god and the goddess mated. And out from them came little gods, and various other creations. In other words, what is the force that is operating to bring everything into existence here? Is it not procreation, a form of procreation and transmutation? What is the force that carries evolution? What is evolution? It is transmutation and reproduction, is it not? What is the theory behind evolution? The reason why there’s supposed to be evolution is that because of certain mutating characteristics, certain creatures, certain subsets, are given reproductive advantages and they out procreate their competitors and this is the step on the evolutionary chain.
But notice a strange thing, that lo and behold, in spite of all the language of science, in spite of all the sophisticated vocabulary, the studies under the microscope and all else, isn’t it striking that at the heart of the idea is the same procreation and transmutation we noticed in Enuma Elish. Why is that? It is because it’s part of this Continuity of Being, paganism in the ancient world, paganism in the modern world, it’s all the same thing. It’s just dressed up in different clothes. And we, as Christians, have to realize we’re part of a centuries old conflict, it is not new to Charles Darwin. It goes far back into the first pagans that ever rebelled against God. It goes back to the very fall of man, these ideas.
So the structure, then, the faceoff between creation and evolution, is this issue. We’re not going to talk about carbon dating, we’ll deal with that in another appendix. We’re not talking about the universe outside of the earth, we’re not talking about rocks and strata tonight. We’re only talking about these two ideas, either the world was fixed with categories, or it is part of one vast continuum that can transmute itself just like these gods did in the ancient world.
Turn in the notes on page 109, the second topic I want to talk about. We’ve looked at the difference in structures. Structurally creationism believes in categories, evolution ultimately does not. In evolution you can transmute, the categories are secondary. They are way stations on the evolutionary trail. So we want to deal with the difference between evolution as fact, so called, and evolution as theory. I warn you about this because if you get into serious discussions you may get tripped up here, because somebody someday is going to tell you, ‘Well, I know you Christians can attack the theories of evolution, and you can poke holes in Darwin, we may not have a complete theory of how evolution happened, but we know that it happened. We don’t know how, but we know that.’
So what is done here is that a distinction is made between the theory of how it happened versus the fact that it has happened. And of course, they say, you can’t deny that factually it has happened. That is precisely what we’re denying. That’s exactly what we’re denying. Now we want to sharpen our focus tonight for just a few minutes on what is this thing about the facts of evolution. Forget Darwin now. Forget the new guys floating around teaching evolution. Forget all the theories of how it happened, mutation, natural selection, etc., etc., etc., don’t worry about that. Just think now, if you were a non-Christian why would you believe in the fact of evolution?
On page 109 I outline the argument. Here’s why you would believe in the fact of evolution. “Is this continuum really such an undebatable fact? It can be defended only by using some sort of argument like this: (1) Common features are observed in all life forms.”
Is that right? Does everybody agree with that? There are certain common features aren’t there? Common features to all life forms, I mean, everything is made of cells, and life forms that are closer, mammals, all have four legs, same idea. There are similarities, and we’re not denying that, that is observation.
“(2) Other features are common to subsets of life forms, (e.g., skeletal patterns);” Is that factual? Sure it is, go out and check it. No problem.
“(3) Such common features show a common code or genetic information shared universally or in those subgroups” Is that true? Yes, animals have four legs because it is coded, they’re built that way, it’s in the DNA structure, in the message: build me a four-legged guy. It’s all there, in a chemical code. So that’s factual.
“(4) The various sub-groups”, now watch this one, carefully, this is like a magician’s act, something’s going to happen here in the argument. “The various sub-groups of life forms can be classified on a scale of ascending complexity”. True or false? Obviously it’s true. Can’t we distinguish primitive forms from so-called advanced forms? Yes. That’s true. What do we call that process of sorting it out? What’s a word for that? When we look at all these animals, and we can categorize them and so forth, what kind of a process is that? It’s a process of classification. So the big issue here, in fact, now that we’re creeping up to define what this thing means, what this really is isn’t a fact that evolution has happened, what it is is that we can classify. So it is possible to make classifications. That’s factual. Yes, we can make classifications in an ascending scale of complexity.
“(5) Codes and genetic information can be carried from one life form to another by procreation with differences accountable by transmutation”. That’s ancient paganism and modern paganism. Modern paganism is far more refined than the old paganism. The new paganism is an improved version of the old paganism, yes, but it still has the idea that similarity, if I see something here, some living form called A, and I see another living form over here, B, and B carries certain traits that A does, then the weight, the preponderance of the idea is that we’ve had some sort of exchange like this, or A and B have come from a common ancestor. So now what has happened at step 5 in the argument is a subtle shift has happened, and I wonder how many people have spotted it. At level 4 in the argument we were saying that we can observe that these creatures can be classified. But now at level 5 something begins to happen in the argument. At step 5 it is asserted that similarities can arrive only by procreation and transmutation. Think about it for a moment. Your car, when it works, has four wheels. Most cars have four wheels. Has your car evolved from another one, is it that the similarity always has to be through a process called reproduction and transmutation? Why do all cars have four wheels?
I’ll give you a better illustration. In the Air Force we’re always concerned about building superior fighting aircraft to out maneuver the enemy. If you’re an aviation bug you see the pictures of the F-15 which is a relatively old aircraft that’s trying to be replaced. If you look at the F-15 and the Russian MIG 29, and the high speed fighter aircraft of the world, do you notice that they look remarkably the same. As the pressure on aviation designers, aeronautical engineers, becomes greater and greater to build faster and faster aircraft and highly maneuverable aircraft the designs are all looking the same way. Is this because one aircraft is evolving into another one? Or is there another case of aircraft being designed because that’s the way the universe is built?
Here’s the point of step 5, we want to master this because this is the heart of the whole thing, that’s why I’m spending so much time on it, is that when you see A and B that are similar, you can attribute it to common descent, which we mean common descent procreation, transmutation, or you can attribute it to common design. The same guy that designed A designed B. Think about it for a moment. What was the term we devised in chapter 3, when we dealt with the creation of man? What did we say man was? When we talked about man being the image of God, we said that man was a theomorphism, not that God is an anthropomorphism, it’s the other way around, we are theomorphs. We are made in God’s image.
The reason life forms have similarity is because we happen to be the highest life form made; we know we are because when God incarnates Himself He doesn’t come in a dog, He doesn’t come in a hawk, He doesn’t come in a falcon like the Egyptians thought, He doesn’t come in a cow like Hinduism thinks, He comes in the Son of man, because man was made in God’s image, and He is the highest. The other animals look like us because they’re gradations of beings of less life than we are. So God made them all.
Life has a certain shape to it, that’s why the animals are shaped that way. This is absolutely critical, step 5, and we want to make this distinguishment, there are two, not one explanations for this. This is central; if you get nothing from tonight, please get this point. This is the heart of the evolutionary-creation debate, whether similarity and classification is to be explained by continuity in procreation and transmutation, or whether it is to be explained by common design.
Let’s go to the concluding section on page 110, we’re going to look at four areas. I urge you to get good quality creationist material to fortify details in this area; all I want to do now is go through four categories of evidences. You can fill this in with dozens of things from the creationist’s material. All I’m doing is setting you up with basic categories to get you started.
First category where you can show evidences of the biblical worldview: design and information theory. The universe isn’t chaotic and life certainly isn’t chaotic, you’ve all seen the helix type molecules, etc., of DNA. And today, of all ages of the church, we live in a time of history when we know more of the design than anyone has ever seen in all the history of the church together. Precisely in the very day when Genesis is being denied we live with more powerful evidences than any of the church fathers ever even dreamed of having.
One of the fascinating things, in that quote by A. E. Wilder-Smith on page 110, follow me, “A.E. Wilder-Smith has noted that such design cannot come from matter spontaneously. While random processes can produce limited structures by chance, they cannot produce genuine information. …”
Let me show you the example, we did this once before. Let’s pretend you have a box of paper, all cut the same size, somebody cut 3 × 5 cards and on each card you got a dot or a dash. And I hand you the box and tell you to shake up the box, and then pour it out on the floor, so you have these dots and dashes randomly scattered all over the floor. And your eye looks down and you see these dots and dashes scattered all over the floor until, at one place in the floor, you see three dashes, three dots, and three dashes. You’ve observed a pattern. The evolutionists are arguing that all we creationists are saying is that chance can’t produce patterns and they say yes it can, there’s an example, chance has produced a pattern.
But that’s not A. E. Wilder-Smith’s argument; his argument is that particular pattern has linguistic meaning. It has meaning if you share, if that pattern has been given meaning by two minds, person A has sent a message on the radio to person B, they both share a language, and in language ‘SOS’ … I was just told the other day comes from Save Our Souls, the international recognition of distress. That would have to be known by the sender and the receiver. Both share a linguistic convention. What A.E. Wilder-Smith is saying is you have to look at not just the pattern, but you have to look upon the fact that language has given that pattern meaning. And the analogy to biology is that you have genetic codes that are coded into the chemistry for reproduction. Those codes are physical patterns. But the codes result in a conveying of information from parent to child of a blueprint of how to build a body. There has been a meaning that has been transferred, not just the physical pattern.
Just as, for example, if you want to build a house and I hand you a blueprint. On the blueprint, we don’t use blueprints now, but a computerized design gives me this wonderful looking drawing. It’s just lines and ink on paper, interesting patterns. If I’m not an architect that doesn’t communicate to me, but if you intended to create a message across the paper in ink, you had a message in your mind and I received the message because we share knowledge of blueprints. The meaning is different than the pattern.
That’s what Smith is arguing for here, is that it’s not a case, and if you look at page 111, “Biological genetic structure functions similarly to a printed page.” Now watch the care here. “There is a plan or a design communicated from one cell to another that is distinct from the DNA molecular structure.” In other words, the information, like SOS is a content, it says come and get me I’m in trouble, that is to be distinguished from three dashes, three dots and three dashes. That’s a pattern, but the pattern is conveying a concept, conceptual information, and that’s Smith’s point. By the way, Dr. Smith has 3 PhDs and one of them is pharmacology, he deals with drugs and chemicals. He says, “Such a plan no more arose from the DNA than a book’s story arose from paper and ink. Wilder-Smith notes that this distinction between an intelligent message or design and its physical carrier is precisely what evolutionary scientists today use in trying to discern signs of extra-terrestrial life in radio noise coming to the earth,” ETI. Here’s a very good observation. Have any of you noticed on any of the science programs on television, have you seen where they’ve built radio telescopes and they have these vast antennas pointed deep into outer space at certain places. What they’re doing is they’re listening. If you were to listen to what those antennas are listening to, you’d hear a lot of static, and the computers are busy assimilating that static signal, looking for something. Here’s the problem: when in all the static can they tell whether there’s a message coming from outer space. What instructions do you give the computer to turn on the light and say hey, found something. How do you program a computer to do that?
Wilder-Smith says this is interesting, these are the very same people that are saying there’s no design, or whatever design in nature doesn’t indicate a message or content. These are the very same people spending millions of dollars to build radio telescopes looking for a pattern in the radio amplitude and frequencies, and saying that when they’re there that means there’s a message. Isn’t this ironic, the very same people, in one area looking at a microscope are arguing that the helix and the design, the DNA conveying all this conceptual information on how to build a human being, think of it, a sperm and an ovum has a blueprint in it equal to over 100,000 pages of instructions on how to build a human being, and it’s all conveyed in this little sperm and ovum, complete details, what color your eyes are, hair follicles, skin structure, bone structure, all your organs, how to build a central nervous system, how to carry traits from you to your children, all that carried in one little tiny sperm cell, a message. And the shape of the information chemically in those molecules is to be distinguished from the message they’re carrying.
Just as if you were to diagram the radio frequency coming in off a radio telescope, it’s going like this, changing amplitude, changing frequency, it’s a mess. But what they’re looking for is something that would be regular, that they can separate out of all that junk, and when they’ve done that, aha, we’ve got a message, maybe. And the whole theory of extra-terrestrial intelligence depends on signal processing, using a theory of information that is being denied in the area of biology.
This is the background for the quote on page 111. “It would be interesting to suggest to practitioners of ETI [Extra-terrestrial Intelligence] research the following experiment: instead of listening to their radio telescopes searching for non-random sequences issuing from the far galaxies as an index of ETI, they might take a look into a suitable mount on an electron microscope focused on suitably prepared genetic code sequences. … When the ETI expert has thus convinced himself that the genetic code shows non-random sequencing governed by a language convention determining a synthetic organic chemical message, what must he conclude?” What must he conclude? That’s an amazing observation.
So the first area is we are loaded with evidences today of design nature around us, absolutely loaded with it, and the fact that design implies a designer and a message is admitted by the opposition when they look for extra-terrestrial life forms.
The second area we want to remember is in evolution, historically, Darwin looked at the results of artificial selection, breeding. You have a pet dog, maybe you like a certain breed of dog, my son is a veterinarian, he likes golden retrievers, he says they have this great personality, they’re very friendly to people and easy to get along with, but he also tells me that because they bred the dogs to have this characteristic they also made a goof, because golden retrievers have certain skeletal deformities in their hips, and after 6–7 years they begin to deteriorate; a weakness has been brought into the golden retriever because the same genes that they wanted to produce this good trait have carried in a weak trait. So the big thing in animal breeding today is how do you mess up the gene pool again and bring in mongrel genes to erase and suppress these bad areas that we’ve hybridized to the point of perfection and weakened animals.
What we’re saying is that Darwin observed how affective artificial selection was in producing patterns. What he then did, and this is another argument you want to be careful of, and know the slick nature of it, Darwin argued that nature could breed like the breeder could breed, and he called it “natural selection.” When you hear the word “natural selection” in evolutionary context you are listening to an idea that was born from artificial selection, or animal breeding. And the argument that Darwin used was that as you can produce “new things,” by artificial breeding, can’t you do it by chance? Here’s the downside. If I breed a dog, and I’m working with dogs and I want to breed a certain characteristic, as I breed them what am I doing? Aren’t I taking categories of possibilities of those dogs and eliminating them to just the desirable traits I want. Think of how they breed horses. So isn’t breeding actually a subtraction of what was there before. It’s not an addition. By breeding you’re breeding out things, you’re not creating new things; the potential was always there, so that’s the weakness of the natural selection argument. It can’t produce anything that potentially wasn’t there in the first place. All breeding does is get traits out of the way.
Page 112: a third area that is always involved in practically every evolutionary discussion: Mutations. Here at last, the evolutionists feel, is the source of new things. It was through mutations, changes, and they will tell you we know how microscopic organisms, bacteria or viruses, become immune to antibiotics, so they say see, look at that, they shift. Yes, but they still are the little organisms, they haven’t changed into something else, they have certain characteristics. One of the key examples of this is the idea that you can have a succession of small mutations to produce an evolutionary effect. If you follow on page 112, “Evolutionists have tried to use the process of random mutations to create new things. The trouble is threefold,” so watch the three problems. “First, most mutations are bad. They resemble mistakes in a computer program: small disruptions fatally end the program.” Did you ever try programming a computer? Not just using an applications package, I mean sitting down and using some computer language and try writing a computer program that works, and you tell me that I can sit there and I can toss around the letters and that thing still computes. Excuse me! It takes a very little random change in a computer program to screw the whole thing up, and that’s the analogy when we have a computer program called DNA. You screw with that and you’re going to mess it up and mess it up real bad, so most mutations are bad.
“Second, if such mutations are too small in their effect, they don’t help. What good is 10% of an eye?” See the problem. In order to get an advantage, for example, think of the fish coming out amphibians, the problem there is that you’ve got to have a leg, you can’t just have half a leg, or half an eye, you’ve got to have a fully functioning component to gain the advantage. But to get the fully functioning component to gain the advantage, you’ve got to have a whole array of mutations, not just one.
“Third, if such mutations are required to be too large,” that is too many sequences, “they can’t be produced by random chance processes.” See the problem, you can get a couple of them going, but if you need 42 to produce an eyeball for the first time in history, how do I get 42 good ones in a sequence rapidly enough so I can get an eyeball that tells me something and gives me sight advantage over my blind creatures, my blind competitors. So there are a number of problems here and these have not been overcome.
Finally, the fourth point, systematic gaps in the fossil record. “Natural history writing must rely on either human observations of the past, now it goes back to that diagram I started with when we started this whole thing, God’s observations of the past, or mute records in nature. The pagan mind quickly eliminates God as a data source so it builds exclusionary rules against the biblical narrative and its remnants in tribal memories. Then, because paganism infers descent from the classification, the evolutionary world view cannot conceive mankind existing back to when lower life-forms were evolving. Thus, human observations are thought to be irrelevant to the question.”
I put all that in there because there are human observations of dinosaurs after Noah, and these are all kissed off by everybody that reads them, oh those are Chinese dragon nets. Or the idea of the small scale dinosaurs that appear in medieval literature, oh those are just mythological animals. How do you know they’re just mythological animals? It’s funny how the Apache Indians are one American Indian tribe in the southwest carved on the side of one of the canyons out there, I think in Arizona, an animal inventory, and every one of the animals on the inventory is known and real except there are some very dinosaur-looking animals on there. Did the Indians just put random mythological animals along with all the others, or are they recording something they saw? We’re the arrogant people; we think the jerks were thinking about some mythological dragon or something. Maybe not, maybe they’re right and we’re wrong. We can’t check it because all we’ve got is their observation and their record. One of the things is that human observations are thought to be irrelevant to the question; so that’s one of these exclusionary rules operating.
“What is left is the fossil evidence buried in the earth. Surely, if the evolutionary idea of the Continuity of Being is correct, there ought to be clear evidence of simpler forms of life transitioning into more complex forms. But what is shown by the fossil evidence? The fossil record shows very little change in the various kinds of plants and animals. Entire groups ‘suddenly’ appear with no transitional forms in simpler groups. The variations that do appear seem to occur within major groups.” Occasionally you’ll have somebody bring up archaeopteryx, or some little form of… oh yeah, we have transitional forms. The problem with those is that they are skeletal forms that we don’t have the flesh, so we have no way of checking them. Furthermore, a bird has been found in South America with a claw on its wing, like archaeopteryx has, and it’s very much a bird, it’s been flying for a number of years, it doesn’t know that it’s a reptile and it just goes on its merry way. Nobody ever told it to be a reptile, it uses its wings like every other bird does. The point is, we don’t know enough from skeletal material to draw those conclusions, and what exists are very small and very, very infrequent. That is one of the most powerful evidences that evolution can’t be a fact, if it were a fact, where is the historical record in the fossil data?
On page 113, how do we interpret this? “From the biblical viewpoint the fossil record is obviously a post-fall product. Death came through Adam’s fall. Fossils, therefore, derive from events happening after creation. The prime candidate for a cause of fossil-bearing rock is the flood. Other events may also have contributed,” and I’ll discuss that in D. Conclusion: “To write a natural history is extremely difficult. But for the pagan who at the very starting point excludes all data available from God’s Word, the task is hopeless. Biological history necessarily deals with instantaneous creation by divine fiat, effects of the fall, effects of the flood, and mechanisms of adaptation designed into plants and animals. The full story has never been told within a biblical worldview.” As I say, probably won’t be because it takes a lot of money to do the research to do that.
Summing up: what have we done tonight? We have simply looked evolution in its face, and I hope we have provided you with a concept of how to deal with these things. Go back to basic ideas, don’t get distracted by details, don’t loose the forest for the trees. See what the major issues are and see how they’re related to the structures we’ve learned in creation, fall, flood and covenant. Don’t be snowed because somebody has a PhD and tells you something. I’m not knocking these guys, many of them are sincere. We’re not impugning people’s morals and ethics here. We’re simply saying that when you start down a road of a certain way of viewing things, you go further down the road. The issue isn’t what’s along the road; the issue is what road you took to start with. All we’re saying is you’ve got to come back to the fork in the road if you made a wrong turn, you go back to where you made the wrong turn, and where you make the wrong turn is in the area of presuppositions, the starting points, the world views, this is not a question of fossils.
One time I was at Dallas Seminary and I had this guy that didn’t believe Genesis I guess, and we were talking about strict creation and he flapped off to me one day and said oh, what do you think the fossils are fake? In other words, like we creationists have this naiveté, that the data doesn’t count, we’re overlooking it or something. No, we’re just reinterpreting it. We don’t deny that the fossils exist, we don’t even deny radioactive clocks, and we’ll talk about that next week. We don’t deny the fact that there are things that are happening on the outer edges of the universe, of changes in star forms, we’re not denying those. It’s how we interpret those, whether we honor the Scripture in how we interpret God’s creation.
Tonight we’ll conclude with this and if you look at Appendix C we’ll deal with that and get into astronomical issues. These are the issues that I think are probably far more serious than the biological issues, the issue of star light, and the age of the universe.