Review by Greg Neyman
© Old Earth Ministries
Review Published April 2006
Morris answers this question by referring to a single tree of life. Indeed, this is the way it is most often portrayed in scientific texts, but if evolution is true, I believe this model is wrong.
Morris explains the basic evolutionary tree, where one organism, starting almost 4 billion years ago, has spawned many organisms, but they all go back to that one, or several as some say, original organism.
If evolution occurred, it has probably occurred hundreds or thousands of times. In other words, if you get life from non-life (spontaneous generation) at 3.8 billion years ago, by a natural process, then this natural process that created the first organism is still active, and has been so for 3.8 billion years. Therefore, life must have started many thousands of times over the earth's history, perhaps millions of times. Therefore, all life does not go back to this organism 3.8 billion years ago, as certain life forms may only trace their lineage back a hundred million years.
As Morris correctly pointed out earlier, however, spontaneous generation, the process of creating life from non-life, is not possible. While this presents a problem for atheistic evolutionists, it is no problem at all for theistic evolutionists, as they say that God generated the first life form, and all others. He may have done this via one organism, 3.8 billion years ago, or through generation of many over the past 3.8 billion years, therefore a single evolutionary tree of life may or may not be the correct answer.
Morris makes several other issues that need discussion. He says that "experts readily admit that the fossils record a different history, but textbook writers often ignore the facts." Most college textbooks are written by the experts, so this statement is unfounded. Grade school and high school texts vary, and this may partially apply there.
Morris mentions the Cambrian explosion of life. Evolutionists have an excellent theory as to why life took over 3 billion years to flourish. The first organisms were photosynthetic organisms, represented in the fossil record as stromatolites. This long time period was required for these organisms to build up the planet's oxygen levels to a sufficient point to support more advanced life forms. In fact, if you look at the rock record during this period, you will see the steady increase of the oxygen level of the planet. When you combine this with the effects of the end of the snowball earth period, conditions were ripe for life to explode in the Cambrian.
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.
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Section 2 - Biology
Q32 - Evolution's Tree of Life
Section 3 - Creation Questions (8 Questions)
Section 5 - Physical Science (10 Questions)
Section 6 - Impact on Society (20 Questions)
Section 7 - Personal Application (11 Questions)
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Old Earth Belief,
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