[Originally published as part of Evidence for What?]
Worldviews at War
The evolution/creation debate has been around for a long time. It flared up in the nineteenth century after the publication of Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species, which quickly became popular in England and spread across Europe.
Many believe that Darwin discovered evolution. In reality, its roots can be traced to the prehistoric confrontation between men and their Creator. According to Henry Morris, a scientist and author widely considered to be the father of the modern creation movement, Darwin happened along at the right historical moment to spark a movement that was really just the renewal of an ancient idea:
The fact is, however, he really only served as the catalyst for revival of ancient paganism, coming at just the right time in history to bring to fruition a revolt against God for which many in Western Europe had been preparing for over a century.¹
Evolution, since Darwin, has gradually taken over Western culture. Today, it has taken root in all major academic disciplines. Sadly, some church bodies have subscribed to evolution in some form or fashion, evidently not understanding evolution’s atheistic premise. Churches accept evolution because it comes dressed in the garb of scientific authority but, in fact, it is a movement whose main thrust is to do away with God.
Evolution has gained such acceptance in higher education that it is regarded by many elites in education and the media as the only intellectual option. It has become an accepted worldview.
A worldview may be defined as a framework for understanding reality
It is that set of core beliefs by which knowledge is filtered, decisions made, values established, and priorities set. Every human being, young or old, has within himself a worldview. It is nurtured in childhood and adolescence and grows ever more deeply ingrained with age. Worldviews can, however, dramatically change when, for example, an individual is born again and becomes, as the Bible puts it, “a new creature in Christ.” Those who encounter Christ and commit themselves to the Word of God experience a transformation that often radically alters their worldview.
A creationist worldview starts with belief in God, the Creator of all things. It is centered on the inspired Word of God that provides an account of the beginning of the universe and of man. It also supplies an early history of the world in the first eleven chapters of Genesis.
It characterizes creation as “very good” in Genesis 1. In Genesis 3 it describes the Fall of man and the ramifications that are observed in a world placed under God’s curse. Genesis records a great judgment in chapter 6, the worldwide flood that produces effects that influence the way the world appears today. The establishment of different nations with unique languages and cultures is recorded in Genesis 10–11. The events recorded in Genesis 1–11 form the creationist worldview and demonstrate man’s accountability to his Creator.
The evolutionist worldview, by contrast, has no place for God. Evolutionists regard the universe as self-creating, with eternal matter and energy. Some evolutionists briefly acknowledge God as the great initiator who, after starting time, space, and matter, stepped away to simply let natural law take over. In the evolutionist worldview, man is in control of his destiny and basically good—the latter an idea that sharply departs from the Christian concept that man is a fallen, sinful creature saved only by God’s grace.
The evolutionist worldview has no moral absolutes, because all things are believed to change with time as evolution progresses. According to the Christian worldview, however, moral absolutes are part of the structure of reality as created by God.
- Creation—Based on God’s Word
- Evolution—Based on Man’s Word
- Creation—Creator/Outside Intelligence
- Evolution—Unknown Internal Process
- Creation—Accountability to God
- Evolution—Accountability to Man
Is Evolution a Scientific Fact?
Our everyday lives revolve around science and technology. The cars we drive, the food we eat, and the vitamins we take are the result of the application of some scientific principle. Just as science is important to everyday life, so it sets foundational principles by which evidence is acquired, analyzed, and transmitted.
Science is a process in which we procure knowledge from empirical data. The data are from what we observe and record with our senses.
Science is a systematic study of the world around us, based on observations, classifications, and descriptions that can lead to experimental investigation and theoretical explanations.
Both deductive and inductive reasoning are employed in the scientific process. The National Academy of Science in the 1998 publication, Teaching about Evolution and the Nature of Science, confines the activity of science to empirical evidence, stating: “Explanations that cannot be based on empirical evidence are not a part of science.”²
Valid science must have integrity, dependability, reliability, and be trustworthy. How can you come to true conclusions when experimental data is falsified? Testing and measuring are also important tools for verification. When scientific research is reported in scientific journals, it should be written so that experimental procedures can be repeated, since repeatability is another tool used for verification.
Science relies on observation, fact, hypothesis, theory, and law. These can be defined, briefly as follows:
- Observations: Describing or measuring what one senses.
- Fact: Based on repeated observations that can be confirmed.
- Hypothesis: A statement that can be tested so that inferences and conclusions can be explained.
- Theory: A general explanation into which facts and experimental conclusions can be incorporated, so as to allow for predictions to be made.
- Law: A functional generalization that has stood the test of time and can be relied on to make accurate predictions.
Creationists and evolutionists do science the same way—with one very important exception.
Creation scientists bring to their investigation the presupposition, based on God’s Word, that man is finite and fallible and in need of the revelation contained in God’s Word. Along with evolutionists, the creationist agrees on the importance of peer review and self correction by means of the scientific process detailed above. However, the two camps differ, because the creationist brings to his scientific endeavor a belief in the absolute truth of the Word of God.
Science, by definition, investigates the natural world. It is not a worldview. By itself, science is a neutral mechanism that gives us tools to acquire and examine evidence. Both creationists and evolutionists depend on science to acquire, analyze, and transmit data to build working models to support theories and laws.
The textbook, Biology, points out that:
The raw materials of science are our observations of the phenomena of the natural universe. Science—unlike art, religion, or philosophy—is limited to what is observable and measurable and, in this sense, is roughly categorized as materialistic.³
Yet while science is concerned with natural objects, it does not exclude other realities. Science is a tool that gives a glimpse of truth. It is limited because it ignores man’s inner spirit, motivations, and goals. It fails desperately in defining inner qualities, such as truthfulness, generosity, and love. Man’s spiritual nature—the repository of his faith, convictions, and worldview—is not susceptible to scientific inquiry. Science’s reality is the material world only. It is not competent to reach conclusions about realms beyond.
Science, however, is not Naturalism
Naturalism is a belief system that states that all truth can be found only through empirical data—by the investigation of the material universe. Naturalism eliminates God, the Bible, and the spiritual nature of man. Only what can be observed in the material world is said to bring us to ultimate truth.
Naturalism can be classified as a worldview, because it is a framework for understanding reality that arises not from observation but from a priori conviction about what is real (the material universe) and what is not real (God). Naturalism is the philosophical underpinning to evolution—one which evolution assumes but cannot prove. Nor does it make the attempt. Rather, naturalism is simply adopted, without evidence or argument, as the self-evidently correct worldview.
Evolutionists hold tenaciously to this belief system because it is so necessary and congenial to the idea of upward and gradual change from atoms and molecules to complex living systems. Naturalism supports the evolutionist idea that random mechanisms, without a plan or outside intelligence, assembled reality. It eliminates the work of God and is implicitly atheistic.
Naturalism does not explicitly deny the mere existence of God, but it does deny that a supernatural being could in any way influence natural events, such as evolution, or communicate with natural creatures like ourselves. Scientific naturalism makes the same point by starting with the assumption that science, which studies only the natural, is our only reliable path to knowledge. A God who can never do anything that makes a difference, and of whom we can have no reliable knowledge, is of no importance to us.4
Evolution disguised as science promotes the religion of naturalism, an idea which, when applied, has led to horrible pain, suffering, and the death of millions, as will be demonstrated in chapter five. Also, this is covered in more depth in my book, Evolution’s Fatal Fruit.5