CREATION

"What does the Bible say about Creation vs. evolution?"

It is not the purpose of this article to present a scientific argument in the Creation vs. evolution debate. The purpose of this article is to explain why, according to the Bible, the Creation vs. Evolution debate even exists. Romans 1:25 declares, "They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator - who is forever praised. Amen."

A key factor that we all must recognize is that the vast majority of scientists who believe in evolution are also atheists or agnostics. There are some who hold to some form of theistic evolution, and others who take a deistic view of God (God exists but is not involved in the world...everything proceeds along a natural course). There are some who genuinely and honestly look at the data and arrive at the conclusion that evolution betters fits with the data. Again, though, these represent an insignificant portion of scientists who advocate evolution. The vast majority of evolutionary scientists hold that life evolved entirely without ANY intervention of a higher Being. Evolution is by definition a naturalistic science.

For atheism to be true, there must be an alternate explanation for how the universe and life came into existence. Although beliefs in some form of evolution predated Charles Darwin, Darwin was the first to develop a plausible model for how evolution could have occurred - natural selection. Darwin once identified himself as a Christian, but later renounced the Christian faith and the existence of God as a result of some tragedies that took place in his life. Evolution was "invented" by an atheist. Darwin's goal was not to disprove God's existence, but that is one of the end results of the theory of evolution. Evolution is an enabler of atheism. Evolutionary scientists today likely would not admit that their goal is to give an alternate explanation of the origins of life, and thereby to give a foundation for atheism. However, according to the Bible, that is exactly why the theory of evolution exists.

The Bible tells us, "The fool says in his heart, 'There is no God'" (Psalm 14:1; 53:1). The Bible also proclaims that people are without excuse for not believing in a Creator God, "For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities - His eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse" (Romans 1:20). According to the Bible, anyone who denies the existence of God is a fool. Why, then, are so many people, including some Christians, willing to accept that evolutionary scientists are unbiased interpreters of scientific data? According to the Bible, they are all fools! Foolishness does not imply a lack of intelligence. Most evolutionary scientists are brilliant intellectually. Foolishness indicates an inability to properly apply knowledge. Proverbs 1:7 tells us, "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline."

Evolutionary scientists mock Creation and/or Intelligent Design as unscientific and not worthy of scientific examination. In order for something to be considered a "science," they argue, it must be able to be observed and tested, it must be "naturalistic." Creation is by definition "supernatural." God, and the supernatural, cannot be observed or tested (so the argument goes), therefore Creation and/or Intelligent Design cannot be considered a science. As a result, all data is filtered through the preconceived, presupposed, and pre-accepted theory of evolution, without alternate explanations being considered.

However, the origin of the universe and the origin of life cannot be tested or observed. Both Creation and evolution are faith-based systems when they speak of origins. Neither can be tested because we cannot go back billions (or thousands) of years to observe the origin of the universe and life in the universe. Evolutionary scientists reject Creation on grounds that would logically force them to also reject evolution as a "scientific" explanation of origins. Evolution, at least in regards to origins, does not fit the definition of “science” any more than Creation does. Evolution is supposedly the only explanation of origins that can be tested; therefore, it is the only theory of origins that can be considered "scientific." This is foolishness! Scientists who advocate evolution are rejecting a plausible theory of origins without even honestly examining its merits, because it does not fit their illogically narrow definition of "science."

If Creation is true, then there is a Creator to Whom we are accountable. Evolution is an enabler for atheism. Evolution gives atheists a basis for explaining how life exists apart from a Creator God. Evolution denies the need for a God to be involved in the universe. Evolution is the “creation theory” for the “religion” of atheism. According to the Bible, the choice is clear. We can believe the Word of our omnipotent and omniscient God, or we can believe the illogically biased, "scientific" explanations of fools.

"Why did God put the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden?"

God put the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden to give Adam and Eve a choice – to obey Him or disobey Him. Adam and Eve were free to do anything they wanted, except eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Genesis 2:16-17, “And the LORD God commanded the man, ‘You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.’” If God had not given Adam and Eve the choice, they would have essentially been robots, simply doing what they were programmed to do. God created Adam and Eve to be “free” beings, able to make decisions, able to choose between good and evil. In order for Adam and Eve to truly be “free” – they had to have a choice.

There was nothing essentially evil about the tree or the fruit of the tree. It is unlikely that eating the fruit truly gave Adam and Eve any further knowledge. It was the act of disobedience that opened Adam and Eve’s eyes to evil. Their sin of disobeying God brought sin and evil into the world and into their lives. Eating the fruit, as an act of disobedience against God, was what gave Adam and Eve knowledge of evil. Genesis 3:6-7, “When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.”

God did not want Adam and Eve to sin. God knew ahead of time what the results of sin would be. God knew that Adam and Eve would sin, and would thereby bring evil, suffering, and death into the world. Why, then, did God put the tree in the Garden of Eden and allow Satan to tempt Adam and Eve? God put the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden to give Adam and Eve a choice. God allowed Satan to tempt Adam and Eve to force them to make the choice. Adam and Eve chose, of their own free wills, to disobey God and eat the forbidden fruit. The result – evil, sin, suffering, sickness, and death have plagued the world ever since. Adam and Eve's decision results in each and every person being born with a sin nature, a tendency to sin. Adam and Eve's decision is what ultimately required Jesus Christ to die on the cross and shed His blood on our behalf. Through faith in Christ, we can be free from sin's consequences, and ultimately free from sin itself. May we echo the words of the Apostle Paul in Romans 7:24-25, “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God - through Jesus Christ our Lord!”

"What does the Bible say about dinosaurs? Are there dinosaurs in the Bible?"

The topic of dinosaurs in the Bible is part of a larger ongoing debate within the Christian community over the age of the earth, the proper interpretation of Genesis, and how to interpret the physical evidences we find all around us. Those who believe in an older age for the earth tend to agree that the Bible does not mention dinosaurs, because according to their paradigm, dinosaurs died out millions of years before the first man ever walked the earth. The men who wrote the Bible down couldn’t have seen dinosaurs alive.

Those who believe in a younger age for the earth tend to agree that the Bible does mention dinosaurs though it never actually uses the word “dinosaur.” Instead, it uses the Hebrew word tanniyn (pronounced tan-neen; Strong’s #08577). Tanniyn is translated a few different ways in our English Bibles; sometimes it’s “sea monster,” sometimes it’s “serpent.” It is most commonly translated “dragon.” The tanniyn appear to have been some sort of giant reptile. These creatures are mentioned nearly thirty times in the Old Testament and are found both on land and in the water.

In addition to mentioning these giant reptiles in general nearly thirty times throughout the Old Testament, the Bible describes a couple of creatures in such a way that some scholars believe the writers may have been describing dinosaurs. Behemoth is said to be the mightiest of all God’s creatures, a giant whose tail is likened to a cedar tree (Job 40:15ff). Some scholars have tried to identify Behemoth as either an elephant or a hippopotamus. Others point out that elephants and hippopotamuses have very thin tails, nothing comparable to a cedar tree. Dinosaurs like the Brachiosaurus and the Diplodocus on the other had huge tails which one could easily compare to a cedar tree.

Nearly every ancient civilization has some sort of art depicting giant reptilian creatures. Petroglyphs, artifacts and even little clay figurines found in North America resemble modern depictions of dinosaurs. Rock carvings in South America depict men riding Diplodocus-like creatures and, amazingly, bear the familiar images of Triceratops-, Pterodactyl- and Tyrannosaurus Rex-like creatures. Roman mosaics, Mayan pottery and Babylonian city walls all testify to man’s trans-cultural, geographically-unbounded fascination with these creatures. Sober accounts like those of Marco Polo’s Il Milione mingle with fantastic tales of treasure-hoarding beasts. Modern day reports of sightings persist though they are usually treated with overwhelming skepticism.

In addition to the substantial amount of anthropic and historical evidences for the coexistence of dinosaur and man, there are other physical evidences, like the fossilized footprints of humans and dinosaurs found together at places in North America and West-Central Asia.

So, are there dinosaurs in the Bible? The matter is far from settled. It depends on how you interpret the available evidences and how you view the world around you. Here at GotQuestions.org we believe in a young earth interpretation and accept that dinosaurs and man coexisted. We believe that dinosaurs died out sometime after the Flood due to a combination of dramatic environmental shifts and the fact that they were relentlessly hunted to extinction by man.

"Did God use the "big bang" to create the universe?"

Some Christians are vehemently opposed to the "Big Bang Theory." They view it as an attempt to explain the origin of the universe apart from God. Others ascribe to the Big Bang Theory, with the view that it was God Himself who caused the "Big Bang." God, in His infinite wisdom and power, could have chosen to use a Big Bang method to create the universe, but He did not. The reason that can be absolutely stated is that the Bible argues against such a method. Here are some of the contradictions between the Bible and the Big Bang theory:

In Genesis 1, God created the earth before the sun and stars. The Big Bang theory requires it to be the other way around. In Genesis 1, God creates the earth, sun, moon, stars, plant life, animal life, and mankind in a span of six 24-hour days. The Big Bang theory requires billions of years. In Genesis 1, God created all matter by His spoken word. The Big Bang theory begins with matter already in existence and never explains the initial source or cause of matter.

In Genesis 1, God breathed life into the body of the perfectly created Adam. The Big Bang theory requires billions of years, and billions of chance circumstances, to get around to the first human; and it never can explain how the first microscopic life form happened to "evolve" from a non-living atom. In the Bible, God is eternal and the matter and the universe are not. There are different versions of the Big Bang theory, but in most of them the universe and/or matter is eternal. In Genesis 1, the existence of God is assumed, "In the beginning God..." The true purpose of the Big Bang theory is to deny His existence. We can accept certain aspects of the Big Bang Theory - but the theory itself is entirely atheistic.

"Why is the science community so opposed to creationism?"

It is important to distinguish between the terms "science" and "scientific community." Science is a discipline concerned with observing, experimenting with, and explaining phenomena. The scientific community is composed of the living human persons who participate in this discipline. The distinction is important, because there is no logical contradiction between science and creationism. Science is a generic term for a type of study, while creationism is a philosophy applied to the interpretation of facts. The scientific community, as it exists today, holds naturalism as the preferred philosophy, but there is no overt reason why naturalism should be preferred by science over creationism.

In general, there is a perception that creationism is "unscientific." This is partly true, in the sense that creationism entails certain assumptions that cannot be tested, proven, or falsified. However, naturalism is in exactly the same predicament, as an untestable, unprovable, non-falsifiable philosophy. The facts discovered in scientific research are only that: facts. Facts and interpretations are two different things. The current scientific community rejects, in general, the concepts of creationism, and so they define it as "unscientific." This is highly ironic, given the scientific community's preference for an interpretive philosophy, naturalism, that is just as "unscientific" as creationism.

There are many reasons for this tendency towards naturalism in science. Creationism involves the intervention of a supernatural being; and science is primarily concerned with tangible and physical things. For this reason, some in the scientific community fear that creationism will lead to a "God of the Gaps" dilemma, where scientific questions are shrugged off by the explanation, "God did it." Experience has shown that this is not the case. Some of the greatest names in scientific history were staunch creationists. Their belief in God inspired them to ask, "How did God do it?" Among these names are Pascal, Maxwell, and Kelvin. On the other hand, an unreasonable commitment to naturalism can degrade scientific discovery. A naturalistic framework requires a scientist to ignore results that do not fit the established paradigm. That is, when new data does not correlate to the naturalistic view, it is assumed to be invalid and discarded.

There are distinct religious overtones to creationism. Science is only as objective as those who participate in it, and those persons are just as subject to bias as any other field. There are those who reject creationism in favor of naturalism purely for personal "moral" reasons. In fact, this number is probably much higher than would be admitted to. Most people who reject the concepts of God do so primarily because they disagree with some perceived restriction or unfairness, despite claims to the contrary, and this is as true for those in lab coats as those in coveralls.

In the same way, an unfriendly attitude in the scientific community has had its impact on the perception of creationism. Science has benefited from creationist contributors for centuries; yet today the scientific community, at large, takes a hostile and condescending attitude towards anyone who doesn't take a naturalistic perspective. This open hostility towards creationist views, and religion in general, creates a strong incentive for persons with those views to avoid scientific study. Those who do often feel compelled to remain silent for fear of ridicule. In this way, the scientific community has degraded and "pushed out" a segment of the population, and then had the audacity to claim that a lowered percentage of creationists in their ranks is evidence of naturalism's superior scientific merit.

There are also political reasons for the scientific community's hostility towards creationism and religion in general. Christianity, more so than any other religious system, places immense value on every individual human life. This causes tensions with the scientific community when that concern for life gets in the way of some type of scientific process. Christian values tend to act as a brake on experiments or position that cause harm to people, or destroy or damage human life. Examples include embryonic stem cell research, abortion, and euthanasia. In other cases, Christian values butt heads with secular ones when science promotes certain sinful activities by making them easier. While naturalistic scientists may see this as an unnecessary hindrance, they should consider what happens when scientific research is conducted with no regard for morality or conscience. Echoing this idea was actor Jeff Goldblum's character in the movie Jurassic Park. He stated, "your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should."

There is also a level of competition between the scientific community and the religious community over power, producing additional tensions between science and creationism. As even some leading skeptic scientists have admitted, there is a tendency for the scientific community to position itself, even subconsciously, as a priesthood. This secular priesthood has the wondrous and elite knowledge that the laymen need for salvation, and cannot be questioned by any outsiders. In plain terms, religiously-tinged ideas, such as creationism, impinge on the scientific community's claim to superior knowledge of the universe.

While there may be many reasons for tension between the scientific community and creationism, there are plenty of reasons why they should be able to coexist peacefully. There are no logically valid reasons to reject creationism in favor of naturalism, as the scientific community has done. Creationism does not inhibit discovery, as evidenced by the titans of science who believed strongly in it. The derisive attitude spewed at Creationists has diminished the number of capable and willing minds in many fields. Creationism has much to offer science, and the scientific community. The God who made the universe revealed Himself through it (Psalm 19:1); the more we know about His creation, the more glory He receives!