Creation Science

Creation Science Book Review

The Lie: Evolution

Appendix 1: Twenty Reasons Why Genesis and Evolution Do Not Mix

 

Review by Greg Neyman

© Old Earth Ministries

First Published January 2007

 

NOTE:  This review was based on a single web page used by Answers in Genesis as a daily feature.  Old Earth Ministries has not completed a review of this entire book)

 

      The book The Lie: Evolution, by Ken Ham, claims to give 20 reasons why Genesis and evolution cannot be mixed (Appendix 1).  Although this argument will sound logical to young earth creationists, in reality there is no problem theologically if you add evolution.  You can still believe in an inerrant, infallible creation account, with evolution. 

     In this article I will go through the 20 reasons, answering these false claims by Ham. 

 

1.  No Death Before Adam’s Fall.  It is true that evolution teaches that there was death prior to Adam.  Ham uses Romans 5:12 and 1 Corinthians 15:21-22, which state that death came by sin.  I agree.   Whereas Ham believes this includes animal death, old earth creationists hold the opposite view, that this represents human death.  The passages involved can be interpreted either way.  Ham goes on to examine different ways in which animals could have died.  These are immaterial, as the key issue is not how they died, but whether or not they died.  Ham also mentions the fact that the creation was “good.”  However, he goes on to say that “There was no bloodshed before Adam sinned: everything was perfect and death was not part of animal existence.”  Here Ham makes a leap...God called it “good,” and Ham expands that word to mean “perfect.”  I agree that the creation was both good and perfect...God created a perfectly functioning ecosystem, complete with the cycle of life-death-decay-renewal.  The life cycle that God designed gave the earth a self-renewing ecosystem.  The only indication we have of a “perfect” place of the type Ham is thinking is the Garden of Eden.  This garden was different from the rest of creation, and it was indeed perfect, as it gave us an image of what our future was like.  In other words, the Garden gave us an image of what we can expect with the new heavens and new earth.  For more reading on this topic, see the article section Death Before Sin.

 

2.  Adam Did Not Fall Upwards.  Ham starts out again with his “perfect” misunderstanding, and proceeds on to claim that God cursed the whole creation.  This is not correct.  If you look closely at the curse, he cursed Adam, Eve, and Satan.  He did not curse the whole of creation.  Yes, the whole creation groaneth, but a better interpretation is that the creation groans under the oppression of sinful man.  We see that clearly today in the pollution, global warming, and other issues that show how man is failing to take care of God’s creation.  In falling upwards, Ham mentions that according to evolution, man should still be evolving, and getting better.  If God did use evolution, this makes sense.  However, once you consider the moral equation, and sin, we are indeed degenerating genetically.  After the end of God’s creative period, he is no longer guiding evolution.  We are at the mercy of biological laws that govern our development.  Thus, this argument makes no case against evolution.

 

3.  The New Heaven and New Earth.    Ham mentions that the Bible speaks of when the creation will be restored, or put back to the way it was before.  The verse he gives, Acts 3:21, speaks of restitution of all things.  He goes on to ask “Why is there need of a new heaven and new earth unless there is something wrong with the old one?”  He refers to the often quoted passage in Isaiah, which speaks of the wolf dwelling with the lamb, and the leopard lying down with the kid, and the lion and the fatling together.  He states this is proof that animals will not eat each other, reverting to their vegetarian state.  However, theologians who have studied this passage agree that lion and lamb are used as symbols of human enemies, who will reconcile to each other.  Many agree that it is not referring to animals at all!1  Ham goes on to make comparisons between the new heaven and earth, from Revelation 21-22, and the old creation.  He says there will be no death, suffering, bloodshed, curse, no tears, pain or crying.  I agree...but there is more to this than he is mentioning.  In the new heaven and earth, there is no sea (Revelation 21:1).  Also, there is no longer a night (Rev. 21:23 and 22:4-5).  However, the original creation had seas, and nights.  If creation is to be restored to its "perfect" state, and it had seas, and nights, then why does the new creation not have them?  Using the young earth interpretation, the new earth MUST have seas and nights..but God says it does not.  The young earth view must be incorrect.  However, the old earth interpretation does fit the Bible passages referring to the new heaven and earth.  Consider this illustration from the book A Biblical Case for an Old Earth, by David Snoke (p. 52-53):

 

View I

World of Gen 1-2

World of Rev 21-22

Our World

View 2

World of Rev 21-22

World of Gen 1-2

Our World

 

     In the first view (the young earth view), the world of Genesis 1-2 and the world of Revelation 21-22 are the same.  We are now living in cursed world, that is unlike the other two.  In the second view, the world of Genesis 1-2 is the same world we are living in.  The world of Gen 1-2, and the world we live in, there are seas, and nights.  As Snoke points out, there is no mention in the Scripture of physical changes to the world at the time of the fall.  The curse was upon Adam, Eve, and Satan...not the world.  The world does groan, as Scripture says, but that groaning is caused by sinful man.  It is a result of our poor stewardship of this planet...it is not because God cursed it. 

    Many young earth creationists point to thorns, saying there were none prior to the curse.  That is not what the Bible says.  It says the tilled ground would yield thorns for Adam...it does not say that God created them at that point.  At the time of the curse, there is no indication that God created anything new. 

  For a more in-depth discussion of the new heaven and new earth, see the book A Biblical Case for an Old Earth, by David Snoke.  I highly recommend this book to everyone, including both young and old earth believers.

 

4.  Animals were created as vegetarians.  This claim is one that makes absolutely no sense when you consider the lengths to which young earth creationists have to go to in order to justify it.  It is true that God addresses man and animals, and tells them to eat plants.  This makes sense only if you consider that it is God’s directions for the Garden of Eden, which is the location this edict was given.  The Garden was a vision of the new heaven and new earth, which contained no bloodshed.  There is no reason so suspect that outside the Garden, life continued on as it had for millions of years.  Also, many animals are uniquely designed as predators, and their digestive systems are designed to process meat.  Young earth creationists explain this away by saying the curse changed animals...but then again, animals were not cursed.

 

5.  Creation Is Finished.  Ham is right...creation is finished.  He claims that evolutionists have a problem, since evolutionary principles are still happening today, therefore God is still creating through this process.  The answer to this is very simple.  During God’s creative period, He would have been guiding and directing the evolutionary process.  Now, He is not.  Although the same scientific principles are still in effect, the Hand of the Almighty no longer directs them.

 

6.  Dust to Adam, Rib to Eve.  Ham claims that evolutionists claim that the “dust to Adam” phrase summarizes the fact that Adam came through evolution, and it summarizes the entire millions of years process.  In this he is essentially correct.  Ham claims that this presents a problem, in that Eve was created from Adam’s rib.  To be consistent, evolutionists would have to explain a similar evolutionary origin, explaining how Adam’s rib evolved into Eve.  While the logic appears to be sound, we must also remember that we are dealing with God, who can create at His will.  If you consider evolution, and the development of humans, the fossil record contains numerous steps in this process, over the last few million years.  Once God ended this process with Adam, he had the final product.  In order to be a genetic match for Adam, God created Eve with the exact same DNA as Adam.  Thus, His final products were perfectly matched to each other.  Requiring an evolutionary tale for Eve is merely a young earth complaint, but there is an easy answer.  Eve was created from Adam’s DNA, obtained from Adam’s rib.  I know that young earth creationists will scoff at this idea...but then again, they scoff at everything.  The truth is this is a possible explanation.  It may not be the best explanation, but it is possible.

 

7.  Return to Dust.  Ham says that some people say that the dust represents the animal from which man evolved.  Thus, when God says man shall return to dust, it only stands to reason that he would return to being an animal.  On this one I agree with Ham.  Man will return to dust and decompose, and his components will re-enter the cycle of life to renew other life.  This one is no problem when you consider the life cycle. 

 

8.  God is Good.  This is one of the more common complaints from YECs.  God pronounced His creation as “very good” in Genesis 1:31.  In this argument, Ham compares the good works of Jesus, raising the dead, compassion, love, healing, with evolutionary theory, which requires elimination of weak individuals, survival of the fittest, death, and struggle.  How could God call this very good?  Young earth creationists will agree with me that the laws of nature have been instituted by God.  According to these laws, God put in place a system of renewal, including death and decay.  He created this specifically so that the world would last.  If He created a world without death and decay, it would soon be overrun by the organisms that He created.  The beauty of the system He created awes scientists and lay people alike each day.  Based on the multiplication rate of some bacterial organism, this would only take a few days, unless there was some method of curbing that growth.  The only exception to the laws appears to be the special place called the Garden of Eden.  God created a special place, and placed Adam in this Garden.  The Garden had to be different, as it was isolated, with borders separating it from the rest of the earth.  Why did God do this?  If the entire creation was perfect, then He could have placed Adam anywhere on the face of the earth.  Since He did not, and created a special place for Him, this place was vastly different from the rest of the world.

 

9.  Genesis is literal history.  It is true that many theistic evolutionists do not believe Genesis is literal history.  They do not believe in the inerrancy of Scripture.  However, there is no problem with believing in evolution, and accepting Genesis as literal history.  It is an easy fit.  These theistic evolutionists should take the time to reexamine their position.

 

10.  All Doctrines Founded in Genesis.  I have no problems with this statement.  However, this presents no problems either.  If you accept a literal history of Genesis, then there are no problems here.

 

11.  New Testament references to Genesis.  Again, there are no problems here.  Genesis is true, as it is written, and is the inerrant, infallible Word of God.  And, you can believe in an old earth, with or without evolution, and believe in His inerrant, infallible Word.

 

12. “Days” cannot be “millions of years.”  This is only true for young earth creationists.  They cannot accept an interpretation that uses millions of years, so they reject it without considering the weight of evidence that argues for it.  Ham claims that scientists cannot prove the age of the earth.  He is only partially correct.  True, we cannot tell him that the world was created on April 17, 4,550,000,000 B.C.  However, we can say that the world is at least 4.5 billion years old.  He claims that there are many assumptions behind the dating methods.  Yes, but these assumptions have been shown to be reliable and justified.  For example, one of the complaints is that radioactive decay occurs at a constant rate.  Laboratory observations confirm this.  However, young earth creationists say that it was greatly accelerated in the past.  Why do they say this?  They have freely admitted that there appears to be 4.5 billion years worth of radioactive decay in the rocks.  The do not deny that this decay occurred.  They merely say that it was accelerated.  However, they don’t have an answer to the following problem...if you accelerate decay so that it all occurred over the six day creation week, or even over the last 6,000 years, the heat given off by this decay would easily have vaporized the earth!  Since we are still here, the young earth answer of accelerated decay must be wrong (Praise God!).   Ham also briefly discusses the Hebrew word Yom, or “day.”  There are no problems for yom representing millions of years.  For more, read Word Study: Yom.  He goes on to claim that “day” in Genesis cannot be symbolic.  “A word cannot be used symbolically the first time it is used.”  This man-made rule, applied to God’s writings, makes no sense.  God can write whichever way He pleases.  Young earth creationists frequently appeal to rules of interpretation of Scripture that support their cause...they have even invented rules to support their cause, such as the “ordinal rule.”  Check out the links below for this fabricated rule.

Numeric Modifier?  Where did the Hebrew rule for interpreting Yom as 24 hours when it is accompanied with a number come from?  Dr. Hugh Ross explores this in his weekly radio broadcast  (RealAudio)

Yom and Ordinals - Another discussion from Dr. Ross on the young earth claim about ordinals (RealAudio)

The Hebrew Word “Yom” Used with a Number in Genesis 1 - Article by Dr. Rodney Whitefield, author of the book Reading Genesis One

 

13.  After his kind.  Ham claims that animals do not evolve, and stay within their species.  He says “There is no indisputable in-between, transitional form anywhere in the world, living or fossil.”  Of course not...young earth creationists, out of their hard-line position, MUST dispute all in-between, transitional forms.  In reality, science has identified in-between, transitional forms.  However, young earth creationists, because of their immovable position, will NEVER recognize them.  For example, if you have a fossil from 10 million years ago, and a fossil from 8 million years ago, and then you find a transitional fossil from in between, or 9 million years ago, the young earth creationist will claim “where’s the transitional form from 9.5 million years ago?”  To please the young earth creationist, we would need to find a fossil from every generation...and even then they won’t be convinced.

 

14.  Evolution and Genesis have a different sequence.  Not at all!  If each of the days of creation explain a creative event, such as Day three and the plants, then one naturally understands that plants were created starting at least 3.8 billion years ago, with the first algae.  New plants continue in the fossil record right up to thousands of years ago.  Day three represents billions of years, and overlaps the other creative events of animals.  While it is true that evolution shows that fish came before fruit trees...the building blocks that evolved into fruit trees started long before fish came along.  Seeing the days of creation as creation events, which had a definite beginning (morning, billions of years ago) and ending (evening, thousands of years ago), still fits within a literal interpretation of Genesis.  Ham’s claim that “There is no way that the order of events according to evolution and Genesis can be reconciled” is hogwash. 

 

15.  The Earth came first, not the Sun.  This is easily reconciled with science.  If you look at Genesis 1, the account is written from the perspective of an observer standing on the face of the earth (4.5 billion years ago).  Some recent evidence points to the fact that this earth was covered with water.  The atmosphere was not yet developed, and was a swirling mix of materials which blocked out all light.  Once the materials cleared enough to allow light through, the first life forms could begin (the algae).  Also, light would have appeared (the Day 1 light).  The sun would not be visible, however, until Day 4, when the atmosphere was clear enough to actually see the light source.  At this point, however, the first plant life had begun (Day 3).  Scientifically, the order of creation given in Genesis makes perfect sense!

 

16.  Genesis 1 and 2.  Old earth creationism has no problems with the explanation by Ham.  This question only has implications if you don’t take Genesis literally.

 

17.  Adam Could Write.  Ham claims that Adam and his immediate descendants were “not primitive savages in the evolutionary progression.”  They could write, made musical instruments, and worked with brass and iron.  We all agree!  You have to go further back, prior to Adam, to look at the “primitive savages.”  This argument by Ham is probably the most foolish one he gives.

 

18.  Noah’s flood was worldwide, not local.  Much has been written on this, so here are some links.  Suffice it to say that there is absolutely no geological evidence of a global flood.

 

Flood Articles

 

19.  Theistic evolution = atheistic evolution + God.  I agree...but it’s not a problem.  Ham claims that this evolution is added, and then used to re-interpret the Bible.  The Bible should be interpreted based on all the evidence, including the scientific evidence.  We are all free to interpret the Bible.  The original words of God are indeed inerrant and infallible.  However, OUR interpretations of His Word can be errant, and fallible...after all, it is sinful man that is doing the interpreting.  Whereas God’s original Word does not change, man’s interpretations of His Word can change.  What old earth creationists have done is change the interpretation of the Word based on scientific evidence.  This has happened in the past.  Remember Galileo, who claimed that the earth revolved around the sun?  He was branded a fool by the best theologians of the time, such as Martin Luther and John Calvin.  However, he was right, and now nobody doubts that the earth moves around the sun.  Thus we re-interpreted Joshua 10:12-13 and Psalm 93:1.  The young earth creationists of today are like Luther and Calvin...staunch in their defense of their interpretation, despite the fact that they are not backed up by the scientific evidence.

 

20.  All people are descendants of Adam.  There are some theistic evolutionists who claim that Adam and Eve were merely one couple out of many, in different locations around the globe.  These are the people who do not believe in a literal history of Genesis, and like Ham, I believe they are wrong.  You can believe in theistic evolution, and believe that all people are descendants of Adam. 

 

 CONCLUSION

 

     As a progressive creationist, I do not believe in theistic evolution.  However, based on Ham’s discussion of 20 reasons against evolution, he presents no valid arguments against theistic evolution.  If you prefer to believe in theistic evolution, you are free to continue to do so.  One of the greatest evangelical theologians of the 20th century, C.S. Lewis, the author of the Chronicles of Narnia, was a theistic evolutionist.  Nobody, not even young earth creationists, questions his devotion to God.

    The real important issue when it comes to the Bible is Jesus Christ...it is not important which method of creation you believe in.  We should all take a lesson from the great evangelist Billy Graham.

 

1  A Biblical Case for an Old Earth, by David Snoke, p. 52.

 


 

     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.

 


 

 

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