Thursday, March 3, 2011

Having Our Cake...

Evangelical theistic evolutionists are mounting a more serious campaign directed toward evangelical creationists. Theistic evolutionists believe we are all the product of a naturalistic process which flowed from the earliest one-celled life, sometimes called LUCA (last universal common ancestor) to the modern humans of today. More specifically, all organisms now living on earth descended from only one in the distant past. Specific claims of divine creative events culminating with the creation of Adam and Eve as literal persons are to be rejected.

One appealing consequence of believing in evolution is that it may satisfy our natural tendency to be somewhat skeptical of claims involving supernatural or miraculous acts in favor of what some have described as an elegant theory. Beyond that, evangelical theistic evolutionists state we may also believe the Bible with respect to the claims of Christ and His redemptive work, be born again, follow Him, and thus be regarded as a Christian. "Having it both ways" may be appealing. We may say, in the parlance of a centuries-old English idiom, that this is a classic example of “Having our cake and eating it too.” On one hand, our embrace of theistic evolution would enable us to achieve a hoped-for positive outcome: respect. From what segments of society would it come? To name a few, the respect would come from the greater community of biological scientists, a majority of people in the field of public education, most people in public media, and many of our friends even in Christian denominations which have long endorsed evolution.

On the other hand, what negative outcome could we avoid by endorsing theistic evolution? We could avert rejection and scorn by members of the groups mentioned above. I have personally dialogued with relatives and friends in the academic world whose respect in that community would diminish substantially were they to “announce” openly as pro-creation or anti-evolution. Since evolution has been pronounced scientific in near reverential terms and is so recognized by our cultural elite, the risk of being discredited is avoided. No one enjoys being dishonored.

Recently I crossed paths with a neighbor during my afternoon walk. The conversation was pleasant and wide-ranging. First we remarked about the great horned owls hooting in stereo-sound at that moment. The hoots were probably related to defense of their territory, we decided. In that yet snow-covered woods, the great horned owls had already laid their eggs even though it was only mid-February. In an example of conversation flowing from one topic to another, our talk soon turned toward nature’s wonders and the vast age of the earth. Something I said prompted him to ask, “Are you a creationist?” My affirmative response generated a mixture of surprise and mild amusement. Creationism, even the old earth variety, does not engender respect from many segments of our indoctrinated culture. A study of secular media and productions of theistic evolutionist organizations affirms the point.

The question is not whether evolution meets the criterion of being “scientific” according to standards for the operation of science set forth by the science professionals in our day. The question is whether evolution is true. It is a sad and sometimes unfamiliar fact that there is good science and there is bad science. If theories such as evolution or global warming are touted as “scientific,” many people accept that pronouncement as good enough reason to believe it without ever reading extensively, thinking deeply, or questioning the claim. How does the science work? What presuppositions motivate the scientists? How are such claims justified? Is there evidence which contradicts the findings? These are a few of the questions frequently not asked, especially by the people who relentlessly promote the evolutionary paradigm.

Several years ago, after lengthy conversations, I was challenged by a good friend to write my position paper on evolution. I accepted the challenge and wrote the paper primarily from the standpoint of the science involved, leaving out theological scriptural challenges to evolutionary theory, even though such challenges are numerous and significant. It is my opinion that much evolutionary science is deficient science and is heavily agenda-driven. I also focused on the heavy tactics of persuasion used by evolutionists. I invite readers to check out the article on the John Ankerberg Show website, linked below, entitled Science…Evolution’s Missing Link? Jim Virkler