The opening skit of Saturday Night Live (SNL) on Saturday, March 07, 2020, started out with Beck Bennett playing Vice-President Mike Pence.1 “Mike Pence” was announcing “President Trump has put me in charge of the coronavirus, even though I don’t believe in ‘science.’ And I have to admit, this disease has been quite a test of my faith, just like dinosaur bones or Timothy Chalamet.”
On the one hand, SNL did make fun of the various presidential candidates, not just Mike Pence. At the same time, we need to understand what is behind the shot that SNL took at Pence.
In a 2002 speech before the U.S. House of Representatives, Pence argued for Darwinian evolution to be taught as a theory and not a fact.2 He points out how the latest “finding” on a new theory of evolution overturns the previous theory of evolution and we “will be told a new fact.” In arguing for other theories of origins to be taught, Pence states:
Every signer of the Declaration of Independence believed that men and women were created and were endowed by that same creator with certain unalienable rights. The Bible tells us that God created man in His own image, male and female He created them. And I believe that, Mr. Speaker. I believe that God created the known universe, the earth and everything in it, including man.
The writers of the SNL skit understand that the current consensus that the dinosaurs died out 65 million years ago does not mesh with the biblical creation account. That is why their “Mike Pence” says that dinosaur bones are a test of his faith. And people in general understand this.3 I have had people raise the issue of dinosaurs and the Bible with me.
This is not the first time a politician has been attacked for not accepting Darwinian evolution. In 2015, while running for president, the media was saying that Scott Walker was not fit to be president because of his response regarding Darwinian evolution.4 And Walker was not even raising the issue as Pence was.
Walker was in London to promote the trade of Wisconsin exports when during an interview, out of the clear blue, he was asked about evolution. He answered:
For me, I am going to punt on that one as well. That is a question a politician should not be involved in one way or the other. So I am going to leave that up to you.5
When Walker was pressed, he went on to state, “To me it’s just one of those where I am here to talk about trade and not pontificate another issue.”5 The questioner had commented: “Any British politician would say, they would laugh and say ‘Yes, of course evolution is true.’”
That is where Europe is and where the United States is headed. In addressing the Walker interview, a New York Times article, “Conservative Politicians Abroad Seem More Accepting of Evolution,” has quotes of church leaders and teachers here in the United States saying, evangelicals “don’t know science” or “understand evolution.”6
So that is where we are. A presidential candidate who does not even state his position on evolution is attacked for not affirming Darwinian evolution. About the time Walker was being attacked, a local church association was promoting on Facebook an apologetics conference. I asked on the site if they were going to address the creation account in Genesis. I pointed out the criticism of Scott Walker as an example of how prevalent this issue is and why they need to address it. They sidestepped the question, telling me that I could ask about that between sessions. In other words, they were not using any official time addressing this issue.
This isn’t a Tiny Issue
I remember at the first conference by this group, a lady did ask a question about the science. She was concerned about her nephew who had fallen away because the Bible did not mesh with the “science.” The speaker begged her question by asking “Does it really matter what happened to the dinosaurs?”
I do not understand why he gave that response. The lady who asked the question had just told him that it did matter to her nephew, and she wanted to help him.
Perhaps most painfully we really do have answers for people like this lady and her nephew.7 But here, even at an apologetics conference—designed to give people answers so that they can engage with other people—this lady did not get the answers she went there for. And that is sad.
I have learned people’s brains work differently. Some people compartmentalize their thinking. They ignore the conflict between the Bible and what they are being taught everywhere else. I think this is particularly true of the older generation. They are not being forced to engage on the issue; so to them, it is not an issue.
Many churches and people who see the issue have compromised. Remember, the New York Times article quotes church leaders and teachers that have accepted theistic evolution and believe they have a “more enthusiastic embrace of modern science.”
But a lot of people accept that the Bible and Darwinian evolution do conflict, as shown in the Creation Ministries International DVD – Fallout!8 They cannot both be true. And I have talked to these people.9 These people are right on that point.
The whole point of Darwinian evolution is to try to explain things without God.10 Since they never learned that they could believe the Bible rather than Darwinian evolution, they accepted Darwinian evolution, leaving the church, and rejecting the Bible and the message of the Bible.
So what does this mean? It means that most of the people left in the church—including church leadership—are the people that either just do not deal with this issue, or have accepted theistic evolution. This is our big challenge. This is why it is such an uphill battle to get the church to take on the mission of teaching people that they can believe the Bible.
There is plenty of biblical creation information out there, e.g. David Rives Ministries. But people have to actively look for it. And if they do not know it is there, or if they think they already have the answers, they will not look for it. But people do not need to actively search for the message of Darwinian evolution. As the SNL skit demonstrates, it is everywhere!
So it is up to us, the people that really believe the Bible, to take on this mission of spreading the word that people can believe the Bible.
We need to engage with other people, including church leadership and our fellow parishioners. We need to look for opportunities. That interview in London was a tremendous opportunity for Scott Walker. Walker could have gone on the offensive with presuppositional apologetics to say something like: “I reject the idea that we are nothing more than just animals engaged in a battle of survival. The very fact that we are here, having this conversation shows that we are not. Would chimpanzees or whales be having this conversation?”
Walker could have really been the catalyst for conversation on this issue in a country where people “laugh and say ‘Yes, of course evolution is true.’” Evidently the church had not prepared Scott Walker to deal with this issue so that he would be ready when the opportunity came. And his father was a Baptist minister!11
Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Ephesians 5:16 NLT.
- SNL Skit Video
- congress.gov Congressional Record, 2002 Article Mike Pence
- Answers in Genesis.org What Will You Do with Dinosaurs
- washingtonpost.com Speak Up Gov Walker/2015/02/16/
- Walker refuses to answer question on evolution during London visit YouTube video
- nytimes.com/2015/02/14/ Conservative Christians Abroad Seem More Accepting of Evolution
- creation.com Dinosaur Soft Tissue
- creation.com/ Fallout
- thecreationclub.com/ Ministers, Do You Care About Vicki?
- scientificamerican.com Charles Darwin Confessions
- 940wfaw.com/ Father of Gov Scott Walker Passes Longtime Minister in Delavan