Review by Greg Neyman
© Old Earth Ministries
First Published 10 August 2005
When I read the title to this chapter, "Science Falsely So Called," I thought it was about young earth creation science...and then I remembered I was reading a young earth book! This chapter actually argues against evolution, saying that it does not deserve to be called a science. However, if you are attempting to reach an evolutionist, and in particular, a biologist, and present him the Gospel, the worst thing you can probably do is say he is not a scientist at all! Hence again, we see the real purpose of this book. This is further proof that the author is not intending to convert evolutionists. He is merely trying to convince young earth creationists that evolution is wrong. Naturally, they already believe this! This reveals the real motive...to reinforce young earthers, and thus hopefully prevent them from converting to old earth creationism. The fact that they are losing followers weighs heavy on the minds of the young earth establishment.
This chapter features an introductory quote also, this time from Chuck Colson. While the quote serves the young earth author's purpose, he probably does not realize that Colson is an old earth believer! (see Notable Christians)
Let's jump right to the heart of the matter. Morris makes the claim "Evolution is not science. Evolution is just humanism dressed up in a lab coat. Evolution itself is a philosophic belief system." Sounds like he has a grudge against evolution! So, what is science? The dictionary on my desk says
1. a branch of knowledge or study dealing with a body of facts or truths systematically arranged and showing the operation of general laws, 2. systematic knowledge of the physical or materiel world, 3. systematic knowledge of any kind, 4. any skill that reflects a precise application of facts or principles.
Is evolution a branch of knowledge or study...yes. Does it deal with a body of facts or truths...yes. At this point I just lost the YECs. However, consider the facts of evolution. Does micro-evolution occur...even YECs say yes. Do genetic mutations occur...yes. The processes that evolution works on are well understood facts. Next, are they systematically arranged and show the operation of general laws? Yes, when understood properly, evolution is possible (although as a progressive creationist, I believe improbable). Look at the rest of the definition of science. It is "systematic knowledge of any kind.” Evolutionary scientists have "skill that reflects a precise application of facts OR principles." Even if you deny evolution the word "facts", it is still a science on "principles."
Claiming that it is not a science will serve to emotionally energize your own followers, but it will only alienate those who are evolutionists. By driving this stake home, they are forcing them further and further away from the Gospel, which is the opposite of what we are supposed to do. I do not agree with evolution...but I don' t go around insulting evolutionists by saying they are not scientists. Doing so defies common sense. Jesus was upset when only one sheep was lost, but YECs are happy to drive them off in droves.
On the top of page 38, Morris says, "Belief in long ages of death and struggle contrast sharply with the gospel theme of biblical history: God's perfect creation, ruined by man's sin, destroyed by Noah's flood, restored to new life in Christ." Morris is typical of young earth creation science believers, claiming that old ages have a profound impact upon the Gospel message. This simply is not true. The main issue here is death before sin. To read more about death, click here.
In the paragraph about the Big Bang, he says "predictions of this theory are precisely falsified by observations of our own solar system." I assume he is going to support this statement in a later chapter. I'm unaware of any problems with the Big Bang and our solar system.
In the section on life developing naturally over millions of years, he says "Why would anyone want to compromise new life in Christ with millions of years of struggle and death until death wins? Rest assured, if you are a Christian and believe in an old earth, you do not compromise your life in Christ in any way. Again, Morris is presenting it as an either/or situation. You can have both, with no compromise of any biblical doctrines. Those of us who are committed old earth Christians provide a resounding defeat of this stupid claim.
Next, he provides an argument from Darwin against long ages. He says Darwin wrote that the fossil record did not contain the necessary progression of life to show evolution to be true. Unfortunately, this argument is as old as Darwin. Darwin did not have a complete picture of the fossil record. Today, after 150 more years of research and discovery of fossils, we have a very good record, which shows exactly what Darwin was arguing against.
Theistic Evolution (Page 40)
Morris uses the example of Gary Parker, a former evolutionist. You can read his story here. He tells about a debate he had with the Bible department of his college, where he debated for creation, and the Bible department debated for evolution. Strange, though, that nobody at this college can confirm that this debate occurred.
It is interesting that a biologist who believed in evolution would abandon it for young earth creationism. His testimony does not say, but he probably was raised in a Christian home, and was taught a young earth, but then he strayed in college. When he finally committed his life to Christ, he "ran home" to his original teaching (after a time spent as a theistic evolutionist and progressive creationist). His other problem was probably being in a church under the influence of a strong, emotional young earth proponent, who put the pressure on him.
I've heard it said that if you are outside of any religious framework, and you examine the earth, 100% of the people would say the earth is old. The evidence from God's creation simply is not young. Insert the religious bias, and then you cannot objectively look at the evidence.
Concerning his two arguments against theistic evolution on page 42, they don't hold water. He first uses death before sin, saying it makes God the author of struggle and death. He is absolutely right...God is the author of struggle and death...so what's the problem? God created a fully functioning ecosystem, able to renew itself through death and decay. This causes no theological problems. Physical death is not important, only spiritual death is. Paul said that death could not separate us from the love of God...however, we all know what can...spiritual death. Although Adam's sin brought physical death to humanity, it is not a significant issue from a theological perspective.
His second argument is basically the "weak God" argument. Is a God who takes millions of years really all that powerful, all that knowledgeable? Sure He is! See the article A Weak God? for more.
The Gap Theory (Page 42)
There are only minor points of contention here. He claims there is an inconsistency, by putting Lucifer's rebellion before creation day 6. This is not a problem at all. It is not in keeping with the young earth interpretation of the Bible; however, having it prior to the end of creation is no problem theologically. The other problem is with death before sin, which is also contrary to the young earth view for the same reason as the Lucifer argument. If you are concerned about this death before sin issue, read either Death Before the Fall of Man, or Death Through Sin. Despite the ramblings of young earth creation science advocates, the Gap Theory remains a valid choice of old earth belief.
Progressive Creation or Analogical Days (Page 45)
On page 46, he says "...the creation of man from proto-humans that roamed the earth prior to God's intervention." He obviously has a poor understanding of progressive creationism, for this is totally wrong! Progressive creationists believe in fiat creation. Each species in the fossil record was a unique creation, and did not evolve from a previously existing species. While they do believe there were hominids prior to Adam, Adam did not descend from them. Secondly, they did not roam the earth prior to God's intervention...God was there all the time. Morris makes it sound like the earth evolved, and then God flew in from space in his spaceship, saw that life had developed, and then he "intervened" to shape it to his liking. There is nothing of the sort in progressive creationism.
Morris then claims "the words of scientists supercede the words of Scripture." No, they do not! Progressive creationists use science to confirm the creation story. Consider this...in a court of law, you would want to examine 100% of the evidence prior to finding someone guilty. The same is true of God's creation. Old earth creationists use the evidences in the creation, which testify to billions of years, to shape how they interpret the creation account in Genesis. This is not taking the word of science over the Bible. Science proves that the earth is old, and it fits perfectly with the creation account in Genesis. Young earth creationists, on the other hand, have to ignore most of the evidence from science in order to reach a conclusion of a young earth. What they don't ignore, they twist to mean something totally different than what it represents. This is why they are scoffed at in the scientific community.
Morris lists several things that he claims are at odds with a literal reading of Genesis. He says they undermine the purpose and work of Christ. Millions of old-earth creationists disagree! He says "Insisting that death was a natural process long before Adam attacks the core of Christ's atonement and the biblical teaching of sin's consequences. Again, see the death before sin articles linked above. In reality, you can interpret Genesis literally, and believe in an old earth (if he truly understood Progressive Creationism, he would realize this).
The Framework Interpretation (Page 47)
Morris presents minor arguments, but nothing that is significant.
The Wedge of Intelligent Design (Page 48)
He shows his lack of understanding of Progressive Creationism once again. Morris says in the first sentence, "All the hybrid positions described so far uncritically swallow popular evolutionists' interpretation of science, and then use evolutionary interpretations to interpret Scripture." Progressive Creationism is anti-evolution, and argues vehemently against it. Morris must not have done any research for this book on the topic of progressive creationism, and it shows rather brutally.
He proceeds to criticize the ID movement, but here he shows that he has a very narrow view of the movement as well. In fact, many facets of ID are adopted within young earth creationism (and old earth creationism). He goes on to say that God cannot be pleased with ID'ers. Yet ID argues strongly for a God, and it is much more effective than the weak witness of young earth creationism, for it accepts science. As I've stated before, young earth creationism has driven millions away from the church with their take it or leave it approach. The ID movement is seeking to bring them back, by demonstrating that there must be a creator. Actually, God must be very pleased with them.
By discussing all these alternate views, Morris has painted himself in a corner, with no way out. This is what is happening to young earth creationism, and hence the need for this book, in their view. They are coming out fighting, trying to get out of the corner. It is probably too late to rescue young earth creationism, however.
Science Over God's Word (Page 50)
He says that Paul warned Timothy to avoid "profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called; which some professing have erred concerning the faith." (I Tim 6:20-21). He goes on to say that "by professing it (science) some have errred concerning the faith." And again on page 51, "But it is true that accepting evolution can be a huge stumbling block to accepting Christ." Millions of old earth creationists, both theistic and progressive, resoundingly prove the words of Morris untrue. Morris' adaptation of the words of Paul are not appropriate. While it is true that the King James uses the word science, it is the only translation that does. The Greek word "gnosis" is knowledge, and it is translated this way in every other major translation. Paul is not arguing against science. The sciences were not that well known then anyway!
Old earth creationists' use science to understand the Bible. So far, there is nothing in science that contradicts the Bible. We do not take science over God's Word. Science is merely a tool to help us interpret His Word.
On page 51, Morris admits that you do not have to believe the young earth way in order to be saved. Then he says “But it is true that accepting evolution can be a huge stumbling block to accepting Christ.
We are humans, and there are many stumbling blocks to Christ. Evolution is one of them. Denying evolution can also be a stumbling block to Christ. Young earth creation science arguments for a young earth, based on bad science, have been the main stumbling block to Christ for the world in the latter half of the twentieth century. Their presentation of it as an either/or choice, either you believe a young earth or you don’t, has driven millions from the church.
He makes a reference to Romans 1:20 to support his cause, when Romans 1:20 supports an old earth! Click here for more.
On the final page he writes, "...when scientists step out of their domain to question the integrity and authority of the Creator's revealed Word, they have usurped their role and entered into the realm of the first rebel." Acts 17:11 charges us to examine the things of God to see if they so. To ignore science would not be in keeping with God's instruction. This statement pretty much sums up the chapter...full of emotional, bitter words, which do not ring true when you examine it free of emotion. Apparently, Morris cannot write anything without making it into an emotional argument. When emotions rule, truth takes a back seat.
His complete misunderstanding of progressive creationism leads me to believe that he didn’t do any research to write this book. Young earth creationists would do wise to stay clear of such shoddy work.
If you are not a Christian, and you have been holding out on making a decision for Christ because the Church always preached a message that was contrary to what you saw in the scientific world, then rest assured that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God, and you can believe in Christ and receive salvation, while still believing in an old earth. Click here for more.
Are you a Christian who believes in young earth creationism? Now that we have shown the many difficulties of the young earth creation science model in this and many other articles, how does this impact your Christian life? If you are a young earth creationism believer, click here.
To learn more
about old earth creationism, see
Old Earth Belief,
or check out the article
Can You Be A
Christian and Believe in an Old Earth?
Feel free to check out more of this website. Our goal is to provide rebuttals to the bad science behind young earth creationism, and honor God by properly presenting His creation.