Where Can You Find Answers?
DO YOU ever feel a bit put off by the debate that rages on the subject of evolution versus creation? If so, you are not alone.
After all, on one side of the issue are some learned scientists and academics, often using very technical language, who insist that if you are educated and intelligent, you must accept the theory of evolution as fact. On the other side are some equally overbearing religionists who use emotionally charged rhetoric to say that if you have genuine faith, you must agree with their brand of creationism.
Such extremist viewpoints alienate many reasonable people. The question of God’s existence deserves better than smug, dogmatic assertions. Remember, this question is more than a subject for debate, more than a mere intellectual exercise. The issues involved can affect your life and your future.
A Common Problem With Scientists
As we have seen, there are more than a few reputable, educated scientists who say that the evidence points to the existence of a Designer or Creator. A few go still further. They question the scientific integrity of their colleagues who dogmatically dismiss the existence of God.
For example, geophysicist John R. Baumgardner notes: “In the face of such stunningly unfavorable odds, how could any scientist with any sense of honesty appeal to chance interactions as the explanation for the complexity we observe in living systems? To do so, with conscious awareness of these numbers, in my opinion represents a serious breach of scientific integrity.”
Renowned physicist Richard Feynman brought up another facet of scientific integrity. In a university commencement address, he spoke of “a specific, extra type of integrity.” He said that this included “bending over backwards to show how you’re maybe wrong.” To do so, he said, “is our responsibility as scientists, certainly to other scientists, and I think to laymen.”
How often do we find evolutionists applying such phrases as “maybe wrong” to their theories? Sadly, such modesty seems to be in short supply among them. In truth, modesty and integrity should lead more scientists to admit that science, which is limited to a study of the physical realm, is ill-equipped to answer questions about the existence of a Creator. What, though, about religious leaders who advocate creationism?
A Common Problem With Religionists
Modesty and integrity are also in short supply on the part of religious leaders. After all, where is the integrity in asserting that the Bible teaches what it does not teach? Where is the modesty in putting personal views and favorite traditions above the Bible? This is precisely what many creationists have done.
For instance, creationists often say that the entire universe was created in six literal 24-hour days some 6,000 years ago. With teachings like this, they misrepresent the Bible, which says that God created the heavens and the earth “in the beginning”—at some unstated point before the more specific creative “days” began. (Genesis 1:1) Significantly, the Genesis account shows that the expression “day” is used in a flexible sense. At Genesis 2:4, the entire period of six days described in the preceding chapter is spoken of as only one day. Logically, these were, not literal days of 24 hours, but long periods of time. Each of these epochs evidently lasted thousands of years.
All too often, religious teachers are equally off base when they talk about faith. Some seem to suggest that faith involves believing passionately in something for which there is no solid evidence. To many reasoning people, that sounds more like gullibility. The Bible defines faith quite differently: “Faith is the assured expectation of things hoped for, the evident demonstration of realities though not beheld.” (Hebrews 11:1) So genuine faith is not mere gullibility. It is based on solid evidence, on reasonable assurance.
On what evidence, then, is faith in God based? There are two bodies of evidence, both of them compelling.
Weighing the Evidence
The apostle Paul was moved to write that God’s “invisible qualities are clearly seen from the world’s creation onward, because they are perceived by the things made, even his eternal power and Godship.” (Romans 1:20) For thousands of years, wise men and women have perceived evidence of God’s existence in the natural world.
As we have seen, science can be a useful tool in this regard. The more we learn about the complexity and order of the universe, the more reason we have to be in awe of the One who designed it all. Some scientists are open to such evidence and find it convincing. No doubt they would say that science has helped them to find God. Other scientists, it seems, will not be convinced by any amount of evidence. What about you?
If you are open to weighing the evidence on the matter, we urge you to do so. The book Is There a Creator Who Cares About You? is designed to help you in this vital quest for answers.* In addition, it will help you to weigh a second body of evidence for the existence of God: the Bible.
The Bible contains a great deal of evidence that it was inspired by a superhuman intelligence. For example, it contains many prophecies, or history written in advance. Some of these describe the very conditions of our modern world! (Matthew 24:3, 6, 7; Luke 21:10, 11; 2 Timothy 3:1-5) Humans cannot reliably foretell the future. Who but God could do such a thing?
However, the Bible does more than help to answer the question of whether God exists. It also teaches us his personal name, describes his personality, and tells how he has shown an interest in mankind over the years. It even reveals what he has in store for us. In all such areas, science is powerless to help us find answers. Really, human science cannot bring lasting hope into our lives. Nor can it establish proper morals and values.
A Basis for Morals and Values
Sadly, the trend of science as practiced by some today seems to undermine morality, values, and standards. Biologist Richard Dawkins, who rejects the idea of God, stated: “In a universe of blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice.” Do you find that a rather grim view of the world? Don’t you think that human society needs a moral code that rewards good behavior and punishes wrongdoing?
Here we find a critical difference between the Bible’s view of humanity and atheistic evolution’s view. God’s Word stresses that humans hold a special place in creation; evolution suggests that humans are the accidental product of blind natural processes. The Bible explains that humans are made in the image of a just and loving God and are able to live moral and good lives; evolution, with its emphasis on the struggle to survive, is at a loss to explain the human qualities of love and altruism.
Evolution cannot offer any real hope or purpose. The Bible offers the Creator’s grand purpose for our future. He has clearly declared his intent: “I will bless you with a future filled with hope.”—Jeremiah 29:11, Contemporary English Version.
Learn About the Creator
A wise psalmist was moved humbly to admit: “Know that Jehovah is God. It is he that has made us, and not we ourselves.” (Psalm 100:3) To many reasoning minds, this modest acknowledgment makes infinitely more sense than modern theories about human life arising as a result of chance.
Modern science sometimes fosters the arrogant notion that human reasoning and knowledge should be the ultimate guide. Sadly, organized religion has frequently made the same mistake. However, human knowledge is and will remain limited. The apostle Paul had extensive knowledge of spiritual matters, yet he remained humble. He realistically stated: “Now we are seeing a dim reflection in a mirror . . . The knowledge that I have now is imperfect.”—1 Corinthians 13:12, The Jerusalem Bible.
Of course, genuine faith in God does not depend on modern science. But to the discerning observer, science can reinforce faith. True faith and spirituality are essential for a full and happy life. (Matthew 5:3) If you use the Bible to gain an intimate knowledge of Jehovah and of his purpose for mankind and the earth, you will find the basis for real meaning in life and a solid foundation for hope.
Published by Jehovah’s Witnesses.
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In their own words
Many scientists unhesitatingly declare their belief in a Creator. Although some have broad and vague ideas about who God is, they still agree that the evidence points to an intelligent Designer. Note the following comments:
“As a scientist, I look at the world around me, and observe engineering mechanisms of such remarkable complexity that I am drawn to the conclusion of intelligent design being behind such complex order.”—ANDREW MCINTOSH, MATHEMATICIAN, WALES, UNITED KINGDOM
“The complexity of nature clearly points to a Creator. Every biological and physical system, once understood, shows incredible complexity.”—JOHN K. G. KRAMER, BIOCHEMIST, CANADA
“The order of the living world is plainly evident. It was set up by a superior Power that I personally call God. It is here that faith agrees with scientific truth. Far from contradicting it, it completes it, providing a simpler understanding of our universe.”—JEAN DORST, BIOLOGIST, FRANCE
“I cannot imagine the universe and human life without an intelligent beginning, without a source of spiritual ‘warmth’ that lies beyond matter and its laws.”—ANDREY DMITRIYEVICH SAKHAROV, NUCLEAR PHYSICIST, RUSSIA
“Each animal is in some way uniquely designed to suit its particular environment, and I cannot help but attribute the complexity of the design to a Creator, rather than to random evolutionary forces.”—BOB HOSKEN, BIOCHEMIST, AUSTRALIA
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The Genesis account appraised
Gerald Schroeder, a former professor of nuclear physics, writes: “The Bible relates in thirty-one verses, in a few hundred words, events spanning sixteen billion years. These are events about which scientists have written literally millions of words. The entire development of animal life is summarized in eight biblical sentences. Considering the brevity of the biblical narrative, the match between the statements and timing in Genesis 1 and the discoveries of modern science is phenomenal, especially when we realize that all biblical interpretation used here was recorded centuries, even millennia, in the past and so was not in any way influenced by the discoveries of modern science. It is modern science that has come to match the biblical account of our genesis.”—THE SCIENCE OF GOD—THE CONVERGENCE OF SCIENTIFIC AND BIBLICAL WISDOM.
The Bible describes six creative periods
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The Bible contains powerful evidence that it is inspired of God