Do You Believe in Evolution or in Creation?
1. A person’s belief as to the origin of human life affects his attitude on what other matters?
THE question “Do you believe in evolution or in creation?” is more than a matter of idle curiosity. The answer that one gives will be deeply reflected in his attitude toward his fellowman, his moral values and his outlook on the future.
2. Since when has belief in evolution notably increased, and where is it particularly emphasized?
2 Belief in evolution is not new; it did not originate with Charles Darwin. But, following publication, in 1859, of his book The Origin of Species, the supporters of the idea have greatly increased in number. In those lands where considerable emphasis is placed on “science,” the teaching of evolution holds a prominent place in school textbooks. It is introduced in the early grades, and repeated and enlarged upon year after year.
3. How has belief in evolution influenced exploration of the moon and Mars?
3 It is the desire to find more evidence for this teaching that has also been a prime moving force in the exorbitantly expensive space exploits of the nations. To NASA’s planning chief, Wernher von Braun, the flight of Apollo 11 was “nothing less than a step in human evolution comparable to the time when life on earth emerged from the sea and established itself on land.” And Science magazine, in its special issue of January 30, 1970, revealed: “The search for carbon-containing material on the lunar surface is not only a component part of the study of the origin and history of the moon, but an important step in our understanding of the early stages of chemical evolution leading to the origin of life.” So it was with keen anticipation that rock samples were brought back to the earth and carefully analyzed for any traces of life, present or past, but the lack of publicity given to the results was a reflection of the disappointment felt by advocates of evolution. Still they push on farther, and at even greater expense. Why? In an article entitled “Future in Space—From Moon to Mars,” U.S. News & World Report announced: “One of the main goals of such an expedition is to search for evidence of life on the planet.”
4. (a) Explain the basic idea of evolution. (b) Who do not believe that theory?
4 The basic idea of evolution is that all the plant, animal and human life on this earth had its origin in one-celled life forms that developed in the sea hundreds of millions of years ago. Though some profess to believe that a Creator began the process, this is not true of the majority. Evolutionists contend that the ancestors of man included both apelike beasts and fish. But that is not what everyone believes. Not all educators believe in evolution, nor do all scientists. There are many people who believe that God created the earth, and that he made the vegetation, the animals and man. (Jer. 27:4, 5) That is what Jesus Christ believed. (Mark 10:5, 6; Matt. 6:26-30) What do you personally believe?
5. What did students at a Catholic high school say that they believed as to the origin of man, but why did they view matters in that way?
5 This question was recently asked of both students and teachers in a ninth-grade class in a Catholic high school located in New York state. The entire class responded that they believed that “man came by evolution.” When asked if any of them believed that God made man, not one hand was raised. Further questioning revealed that they knew names and details connected with the teaching of evolution, but none of them knew even the name of the God who the Bible says made man. Did they really believe in evolution? Or was it simply that they knew something about evolution, whereas they had not been taught what the Bible says about creation?
WHAT DO YOUR CHILDREN BELIEVE?
6. (a) Why are some children more deeply influenced by the teaching of evolution than they are by their parents’ belief in the Bible? (b) At the beginning of each school term, what might parents do in order to safeguard the faith of their children?
6 It has come as quite a surprise to some parents when they learned the extent to which the teaching of evolution permeates the school courses. They may have taken for granted that, since they believed the Bible, their children would also accept what the Scriptures say about God and his creating of the earth and living things upon it. But when the school puts forth more effort to emphasize evolution than the parents do to give reasons for belief in creation, it is not difficult to see which viewpoint will more deeply influence the child. (Prov. 22:6; Deut. 6:4-9) If you are a parent, do you take time at the beginning of each school term to examine the textbooks that your children will be using so you know what they are going to be taught? Doing so would show your deep concern for their welfare. Then, if you do find that the textbooks advocate evolution, what can you do about it? You can, of course, tell your child what you believe, and you should. But, to be truly persuasive, you may find that you need to read and discuss together certain portions of the school textbook, making sure that your child understands why the various theories in support of evolution are in error and what the facts are that support belief in creation.
7. (a) What do many school textbooks teach as to evolution? (b) Since Christian children are exposed to this teaching, what do parents need to help their children to do?
7 An examination of current school textbooks shows that, in the earlier grades in many localities, any direct mention of the term “evolution” is rare. But the books may comment on early life forms that they say developed in the sea “billions of years ago” and “prehistoric” dinosaurs that lived “millions of years in the past.” As the years pass, more details are given. In support of evolution, they point prominently to bones that have been unearthed and to fossils of living things in the rocks. These books also emphasize mutations, or changes in heredity, coupled with natural selection as the means by which new species came into existence. Your child may be given the impression that this has been well established by scientific research, and that, while he is free to believe in creation if that is what he chooses, all the facts support evolution. In order to reason clearly on the matter, your child needs your assistance. He is in the world, exposed to its viewpoints, so he needs to learn to examine facts, reason sensibly and draw sound conclusions.—Prov. 5:1, 2.
8. What does the earth’s fossil record include, and what does it not contain? So, what viewpoint as to the origin of life does it really support?
8 As an example, you may find it helpful to approach the matter as follows: How many facts do the advocates of evolution actually have? What does the fossil record really show? Their own writings admit that in the lowest rocks in which there are fossils, they do not find primitive life forms, but complex organisms representing most of the basic divisions of plant and animal life.* They say much about primitive forms from which these evolved, and such are vital to their theory, but none of them have ever been found. Also, textbook illustrations and museum displays line up skeletons in a way that they say demonstrates the evolution of the horse, man and other creatures. But notice that each skeleton is fully formed. They write at length about transitional forms, upon which their whole argument depends, but none are displayed with primitive forms of arms and legs on otherwise full-grown bodies. As for pictures that they draw, these are largely imagination; they have no photographs from which to work.
9. Do the dates used by evolutionists prove that the Bible is wrong?
9 The dates used by evolutionists sound impressive. But seldom do school textbooks include such items as the following from Science magazine of December 11, 1959: “Although it was hailed as the answer to the prehistorian’s prayer when it was first announced, there has been increasing disillusion with the method because of the chronological uncertainties (in some cases, absurdities) that would follow a strict adherence to published C-14 dates.” Nor do they alert students to the fact that potassium-argon dating of rocks starts, not with fact, but with an unprovable assumption concerning the condition of the rocks, and that, if even a tiny bit of argon remained in the rock when it was molten, the date could be millions of years too high. These are points that your child should know.
10. (a) What do evolutionists theorize as to mutations, but what are the facts? (b) To what balanced view of science can Christian parents help their children to come?
10 What, then, of the mutations, actual changes in the heredity, coupled with natural selection of the ones that prove beneficial? The books point to examples of these, do they not? Reports and pictures are presented to show changes that have taken place in moths, fruit flies, grapes, and so forth. On this basis, it is speculated that greater changes could take place, that life forms radically different from their parents might result, and that natural selection would result in preserving those changes that were truly advantageous. But what are the facts? The moths did not develop into eagles; the fruit flies did not produce buzzards, and the grapes did not become watermelons. Variation in color, size and flavor was possible, but there was no change into plants or insects of other kinds. Therefore, absolutely no proof for evolution. Reason with your children on these matters; help them to see the difference between fact and speculation. Show them that there is nothing wrong with true science; it is a study of the handiwork of God. But there is much that is falsely called “science” or “knowledge,” and by accepting it some lose what is truly worth while in life.—1 Tim. 6:20, 21; AV.
EVIDENCE OF CREATION
11. (a) In building faith, what is even more important than seeing the weaknesses in the case of evolution? (b) What question that baffles evolutionists is answered by the Bible, and with what observable facts is the answer in agreement?
11 Even more important than analyzing the weaknesses in the case for evolution, however, is our examining what the Bible itself says and its consistency with observable evidence. With marvelous simplicity the opening verse of Genesis says: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Gen. 1:1) Thus it comes to grips with a question that baffles evolutionists. Instead of leaving us in the dark as to that fundamental point concerning the origin of all things, it tells us the answer, simply and understandably. It confirms our own observation of the fact that nothing comes into existence by itself. Grass huts, wooden homes and brick apartment buildings all were designed and built by someone. Even though we personally were not on hand when a particular structure was erected, we know that it had a builder. In harmony with that, the Bible reasons: “Every house is constructed by someone, but he that constructed all things is God.”—Heb. 3:4.
12. What indicates that the making of the earth did indeed require “power,” as the Bible says?
12 Further enlarging on this, Jeremiah 10:10-12 records: “Jehovah is in truth God. He is the living God . . . He is the Maker of the earth by his power, the One firmly establishing the productive land by his wisdom, and the One who by his understanding stretched out the heavens.” Does this description coincide with what we can observe? Did the making of the earth require great power? You have no doubt seen pictures showing what happens when man splits the atoms in even a very small portion of the material making up the earth. By this means tremendous power is released for either constructive or destructive use. This has been demonstrated repeatedly by the explosion of nuclear devices. If all the atoms in a pound of matter were changed into energy, it is said that they would release power equivalent to that from the explosion of ten million tons of TNT. How great, then, must be the power that was employed in making up this matter—not just a pound of it, but the 6.6 sextillion tons that comprise the earth!
13. In harmony with what the Bible says, how does the “productive land” give evidence of “wisdom”?
13 What of the “productive land”? Was divine wisdom manifest in establishing it? Yes, indeed! Research has shown that the earth is made up of the same chemical elements that are needed to sustain human life. But vegetation must first convert these elements into forms that can be assimilated by the body. Some of these elements may amount to no more than one hundredth of one percent of the human body, but they are necessary for life. Cooperating in making them available are thousands of millions of living organisms in the soil, of countless different designs, each working to convert dead leaves, grass and other waste matter back to usable form or to loosen up the soil so that air and water can get in. Who can honestly deny that great wisdom is evident in this arrangement to sustain life?—Ps. 24:1; 89:11.
14. How is “understanding” reflected in the way the atmospheric heavens are designed?
14 And the “heavens”—do they reflect the understanding that indicates intelligent design? It is noteworthy that, while the moon has virtually no atmosphere, the earth, where man lives, has an atmosphere with just the right content of gases for us to breathe. No “space suits” are needed in order to live here. Fittingly, too, the atmosphere has such properties that when meteors are drawn in by the earth’s gravity, most of them burn up before ever reaching the ground, thus safeguarding us from bombardment by the 200 million rocks that plunge into the atmosphere daily. And this same atmosphere makes possible the formation of rain to refresh the earth, protects against excessive heat from the sun during the day, and retains a reasonable amount of heat during the night. How evident it is that the atmospheric “heavens” were carefully designed, the work of One with understanding far surpassing ours!
15. What accounts for the precision of movement of the heavenly bodies?
15 The “heavens,” of course, extend far beyond earth’s atmosphere. This is but a tiny part of them. “Raise your eyes high up and see,” Jehovah invites. “Who has created these things? It is the One who is bringing forth the army of them even by number, all of whom he calls even by name. Due to the abundance of dynamic energy, he also being vigorous in power, not one of them is missing.” (Isa. 40:26) All together, they operate with a precision so marvelous that man has long looked to them as the basis for timekeeping and a means by which to navigate. Who assigned these heavenly bodies to their places and fixed the laws by which they move? (Job 38:33; Amos 5:8) Evolution provides no answer. But the Bible does: “The heavens are declaring the glory of God; and of the work of his hands the expanse is telling.” (Ps. 19:1) This is the work of “Jehovah . . . the living God.”—Jer. 10:10.
ORIGIN OF LIFE
16. As to the origin of life, which is in harmony with observable facts—evolution or the Bible? Explain.
16 As to living things, what has been your observation? Do not plants spring from seeds in which there is life? Do not insects, fish, land animals and humans come from living parents? Nothing living comes from a rock, unless seeds have lodged in its crevices or eggs have been laid there. So, then, the producing of something that has life requires a source that is alive. Biologists agree, but those who advocate evolution ask you to believe that, although they can point to no example of it today and there is no parallel for it, life sprang repeatedly from nonliving matter many millions of years ago. Since they cannot find proof of it here on the earth, they have had manned expeditions look for evidence of it on the moon, and they hope to check out their theory on Mars. The Bible, however, agrees with the observable fact that life derives only from a living source. Psalm 36:9 addresses to Jehovah, the “living God,” the words: “With you is the source of life.”
17. Why does the Bible not allow for the idea that God used evolution to produce the various kinds of plants and animals existing today?
17 The Bible also explains how the various kinds of living things came into existence. In its opening chapter it tells us that God made the vegetation, the sea creatures, the birds and the land animals. (Gen. 1:10, 11, 21, 24) The Bible does not say that single-celled life forms evolved into grass, trees, fish, birds and land animals. Nor does it allow for the idea that God created such primitive life forms and then used evolution as the means for producing the various kinds of plants and animals that exist today. It says that he produced each “according to its kind,” not from some other kind. When the time came for man to be produced, he was not developed from some apelike pre-Adamite, but, as the Bible says: “Jehovah God proceeded to form the man out of dust from the ground and to blow into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man came to be a living soul.” Then, when that first man, Adam, became father to a son, in harmony with the rule that each produces “according to its kind,” his son was “in his likeness, in his image.”—Gen. 2:7; 5:3.
18. (a) To what evidence in agreement with the Bible rule that living things reproduce “according to their kinds” can you point? (b) In contrast to evolution, why does the Bible’s account of creation appeal to a reasoning mind?
18 Thus, what the Bible says is in full harmony with what you personally have seen. When you plant seeds, they produce “according to their kinds.” You plan your garden with confidence in the dependability of that law. When cats give birth, their offspring are cats. When humans become parents, their children are human. There is variation in color, size and shape, but always within the limitations of the family kind. Have you ever personally seen a case that was otherwise? No; and neither has anyone else. There are over three billion persons on earth today, as well as countless billions of plants and animals, all of which are living proof of the truthfulness of what the Bible says.
WHY YOU BELIEVE
19. What is your reason for believing in creation?
19 It is interesting to note that Science Education for October 1967 says: “The basic reason why the theory of evolution is rejected by so many, many who are familiar with modern biology, is because it conflicts with the account of creation in the Bible.” If a person honestly believes that the Bible is the inspired Word of God, then, obviously, this should be the first and foremost reason why he believes in creation. He does not choose to believe in creation simply because he has become aware of flaws in the argument for evolution. Rather, he believes in creation because he believes in God and in His Word. Is that true of you?
20. Why should news reports favoring evolution not disturb us?
20 If so, you will not be unduly concerned when you read news reports about “discoveries” by evolutionists that are heralded as “proof” of evolution. Nor will admissions made by evolutionists concerning the weaknesses of their case come as a surprise to you. With good reason you are convinced that God knows far more about the origin of the universe and of living things than does any man who has only recently arrived on the scene.—Rom. 11:33, 34.
21. Why is belief in creation, which requires faith in an unseen Creator, more reasonable than belief in evolution?
21 No one who believes in what the Bible says about creation has any need to feel the least bit apologetic about his position. It is true that some may chide him, claiming that they believe only in what they see and that this is why they do not believe in God. However, if they profess to believe in evolution, then, as we have learned, there is actually much that they accept that neither they nor any other man has ever seen. Does it reflect sound thinking when a person believes in unseen events that run counter to all available evidence and that conflict with all human experience, as is the case with evolution? Or is it more reasonable, in view of the fact that all the universe and all living things bespeak intelligent design and a source of dynamic energy infinitely greater than man, to believe that there is an almighty Creator?—Heb. 11:6; Rom. 1:20.
22. In the Bible, what has God provided besides details about the past, and so what is it wise for us to do?
22 The answer is plain: Belief in creation fits the facts. The Bible is in full harmony with those facts. But it does not stop with details about the past. In its pages Jehovah God has provided us the guidance we need to cope successfully with the problems of the present. And it shows us what we must do in order to benefit from his loving provisions for the future. It is the course of wisdom, then, to get well acquainted with all that it contains.
Scientific American, August 1964, pp. 34-36; New York Times, October 25, 1964, p. 8E.