If you do not already know, this is a post that helps you the reader to become more acquainted with where I – the author of this site – stand on various topics and theological points. Keep reading to see where I stand on today’s topic.
I have spoken on this a bit already in On Creation but thought it worthwhile to address the topic specifically and separately from the origins topic.
Evolution, in its simplest definition, means change. It is an undeniable fact that organisms do change over time. It has been documented time and time again. It has been proven even in many lab experiments with various organisms.
As a young-earth creationist, I do not believe the Earth old enough for evolution to explain the origin of life. Not only that but we have failed to prove that life can arise from organic chemicals naturally. Every experiment that has tried is inevitably flawed by the fact that experiments are inherently an intelligent being exerting its will on the elements–a designer.
Math simply isn’t on the side of chemical evolution either.
What’s more, we inherently are unable to directly observe naturalistic evolution by the simple fact that it would have had to have been far enough back that intelligent life couldn’t observe it–outside of God of course.
All human science begins with observation and we simply cannot directly observe by the fact that none of us were there nor do we have a method to go back and see it. This goes for the naturalist (commonly called evolutionists) as well as the supernaturalist (such as Christians/Creationists).
Instead, what we do observe is what can be called speciation–the creation of new organism species over time. Upon closer look, we find these species are often brought about by the merger of others or the isolation of a particular.
The species arrives with new colors or patterns and, at times, with seemingly new traits. However upon digging into the genes, we find these seemingly new combinations were brought about because other traits that had masked them were lost in that population.
It is a sad truth that much of the change we see in evolution is not positive as is so often assumed but instead is negative, deleterious. It is the creation of new species by shedding off those traits, those genes, that the organism is able to benefit from losing.
Nevertheless, this does not stop the naturalists from framing everything as if they had found a proven change supporting evolution as the organism is now more fit to live in its particular habitat. Never mind the fact that the organism has now lost traits that would have let it survive more easily in another habitat.
By adaptation, the organism’s population gradually becomes less and less adaptable.
Uniformitarianism – A Problem
If you are not aware, uniformitariansim was a key component to Charles Darwin forming his initial ideas of evolution by natural selection. He applied its principles of gradual change to biology.
I agree that that common method of change does happen; it is the baseline. Even so, I have long since had one glaring disagreement with uniformitarianism. That issue would be with its treatment of disaster, of catastrophic change.
Uniformitarianism and its users will acknowledge the very clear proofs of natural disasters having occurred in Earth’s history but they treat them as rare exceptions that are to be seen as often too isolated. Except, disasters happen every year in multiple locations around the globe, both past and present. This includes both natural and man-made ones. They may be relatively short-lived but they can have massive impacts.
An earthquake or landslide displaces part of the ocean forever changing that area of the continental shelf or continent but this then spurs a tsunami that travels across the basin to rewrite the coastline of a distant shore. It has happened more than we like to think and I can recall multiple instances exactly like this, or nearly, simply within my lifetime.
Earthquakes alone can cause large movements in the Earth’s crust causing rivers to reverse, new rivers to form, and irreparrably tilting landmasses–like in Japan involving the Fukushima incident. Parts of Japan’s coast there now floods at high tide where it never did before.
The fossil record is often looked to as a record of life and a progression of organisms gradually laid down. But upon further investigation, we constantly find that such organisms died quickly and were buried quickly–often in the disasters I have already described. What’s more, the fossil record is not a record of life but truly a record of death as that is what we are seeing preserved, rapidly buried, now fossilized, dead things. It would be more accurate to say that the fossil record directly proves events causing death and thereby only implies life before the death.
This gradualism is also a poor explainer of the many unconformities found in the strata of rock fossils are found. We do not see consistent, gradual change over time from one type of rock layer to another. Instead, we often see what looks like distinct color bans as you move up through the rock indicating distinct changes in the make up of those rocks and thereby pointing to relatively rapid environmental changes. These changes can be so abrupt that we even find in places were entire layers are missing–the unconformity (in other words, the missing layer was either never laid down there or was wiped away.
Christians can easily point to an event in which drastic change would have occurred–the flood–and, while I believe this event to be quite important, I do not believe it to have been the only disaster that has shaped our planet and its future.
In the end, I think the problem with this strong gradualism we get from uniformitarianism fails to represent the full picture of both geological change and biological change. The more accurate model seems to be a balance of sorts between the gradual and the disastrous.
Naturalism, not Evolution
On the topic of evolution, evolution is not the enemy. Evolution is a process of change that either rises or falls as an adequate explanation as more data is collected.
I have lost count of the number of times I have read Christians and others of supernatural faiths decrying the evil of evolution. Their disagreement, their fervor against evolution is misplaced.
The true man behind the curtain is naturalism.
- It is an entire set of affirmations about reality and it is everywhere in the sciences of all sorts to this day.
- There is no supernatural in naturalism.
- It is inherently atheist.
- There is merely existence and non-existence.
- It is materialist.
This is the worldview that makes evolution what it has become known to those of faith in the supernatural–my faith being in the one, triune God (YHWH). Naturalism is a faith all its own with its adherents automatically assuming certain things about all that is around them–namely that there is only what they can observe with their senses.
Note: I do these posts not because I think I’m somehow superior in my views or anything absurd like that but out of a desire to be up-front and honest with my readers as to where I stand. Otherwise, you’d be left to figure things out by reading between the lines and/or guessing.