Evolution Vs. God
A Review of the video Evolution vs. God: shaking the foundations of faith, by Matthew R. McClure
Evolution vs. God
is an anti-evolution video produced by Ray Comfort.
It was released August 7, 2013 and is about 38 minutes in
Here to view the video on Youtube.
(Click Here to view the video on Youtube.
The video perpetuates the false notion that evolution equates with atheism. First off, the title itself sets the tone of the entire video by generating the mindset that the entire purpose of the development of evolutionary theory is to oppose God. Then the video begins with a quote from atheist Richard Dawkins. Why not instead quote Christians who studied evolution, such as Asa Gray, Francis Collins, Kenneth Miller, Denis O. Lamoureux, or many others? Yes, Christian evolutionists exist.
Most of the video consists of interviews with a few college faculty and a lot of college students. I got the overall impression that this was highly piece-mealed, consisting only of responses and dialogue that promoted the video’s main thesis. Only scientists and students that professed to be atheists were interviewed in the video, and lots of loaded questions were asked. I would love to see the unedited interview footage.
The interviewees are asked to provide compelling evidence for Darwinian evolution. However, the view of “Darwinian Evolution” presented by Ray Comfort does not coincide well with actual evolutionary theory, as evident in his line of questioning. According to Comfort, a “kind” is not a species (but instead consists of entire species groups such as the feline family or the canine family), adaptation is not Darwinian evolution, and the evolution of a new species is not Darwinian evolution. Ironically, according to Comfort’s criteria, even Darwin’s On the Origin of Species by means of Natural Selection would not have been a book on Darwinian evolution! Throughout much of the video, the interviewer (Comfort) asks the interviewees to provide “observable evidence of Darwinian evolution, a change of kinds.” When the biologists attempted to explain what Darwinian evolution actually consists of, they were quickly cut off. By redefining “Darwinian Evolution” Ray Comfort confuses the student interviewees and the audience.
To clarify further, Ray Comfort’s treatment of “kinds” follows the Baraminology school of thought, which is the concept that “kinds” mentioned in Genesis do not refer to species, but entire groups of species (all the members of the canine family would be a single “created kind”, for example). Under Baraminology, significant evolution can occur within the confines of a “created kind”, with each “kind” being a distinct created entity lacking an evolutionary relationship to other such kinds. However, instead of referring to species origins within a created kind as evolution, such diversification is often re-packaged and re-labeled under other names, such as “horizontal variation within created kinds.” Baraminology has significant shortcomings, both scientifically and biblically, and not all creationists ascribe to it, but that’s another subject.
Although Comfort never mentioned the buzzwords of Baraminology in the video, his use of the baraminological school of thought becomes obvious when he asked for examples of evolution involving “a change in kinds”. When the finches of the Galapagos Islands were offered in response, he countered “but they’re still birds…they’re still finches… no change of kinds”, claiming that this is not an example of Darwinian evolution. In actuality, the diversification of these thirteen-or-so species of finches from a single species is Darwinian evolution (Darwin himself used this as an example). They are not “one kind” of finch, but thirteen kinds of finches. (Incidentally, the Genesis phrase “according to their kinds” in no way means that “kinds” must remain fixed over time. But again, that’s another subject.)
Another major problem with the video is its central argument: that evolution is merely an imaginary construct accepted by faith in order to oppose God and to relinquish oneself of moral accountability, and that evolutionary theory lacks any scientific support whatsoever. Although those who wish to avoid God and moral accountability will do so by using whatever excuses that seem convenient, evolutionary theory itself is indeed based on scientific evidence, and the evangelical Christian community needs to come to grips with this.
Finally, the subtitle “shaking the foundations of faith” is tragically accurate. According to view presented in this video, to believe in any kind of Darwinian evolution is to reject the God of the Bible. As long as people believe this is true, people will reject the God of the Bible once they are exposed to the evidences supporting evolutionary theory. Thus, the video actually can “shake the foundations of faith” by inadvertently causing people to stray from the Gospel when they encounter perceived “contradictions” with science.
The only good parts of the video were the segments explaining how we’ve broken God’s law (24:25 – 27:00) and therefore need Christ Jesus to save us from our sins (28:50 – 33:00). If the rest of the video were spliced out, I would recommend this video to everyone. As is, unfortunately, I cannot recommend it to anyone.
Below is a list of the questions used in the interviews. For the sake of this review, I will pretend that I am one of the persons being interviewed and provide my own personal responses:
“Are you an atheist? “ No.
“Do you believe in evolution?” Yes. It’s just a part of nature.
“Is evolution a belief?” It is a conclusion based on scientific evidence. It is a belief in the sense that all scientific conclusions are beliefs.
“Can you give me some observable evidence that evolution is true, something I don’t have to receive by faith? “ Observable evidences supporting evolutionary theory include observations of patterns of biogeography, comparative anatomy, comparative embryology, fossils, and comparative molecular biology. It is not “received by faith”.
“Can you think of any observable evidence of Darwinian evolution, a change of kinds? Anything that I can see, observe, and test, which is the scientific method, for Darwinian Evolution and change of kinds?” This concept of “kinds” is inconsistent with the scientific concept of species. It is also inconsistent with the biblical account of “kinds” (Genesis 1:11-12, 6:19). Also, one doesn’t need to be around for 100-million years to observe the results of 100-million years of evolution, because the evidences left behind still exists for us to study (through observable patterns in the categories listed above in the previous question). If evolutionary biologists cannot scientifically reconstruct the past from evidences left behind in the present, then neither can forensic scientists reconstruct the events of past criminal events. The observation and testing from available evidences to reconstruct past history is indeed use of the scientific method.
“Do you believe in intelligent design?” Yes, but not as an alternative to evolution as many have proposed. I believe that nature is designed, and that includes the design of evolution.
“Can you make a rose out of nothing?” Who would want to make a rose out of nothing when it would be far more feasible just to buy one?
“Can you give me a definition of vestigials, and how does that back up evolution?” Vestigial structures are those that are reduced in size and in function. They do not have to be completely functionless to be considered vestigial, although some can be (such as vestigial eye sockets in blind cave fish). The examples of the usefulness of the appendix or the coccyx in the video actually support, not refute, evolution, because there are lots of examples where adaptation can co-opt existing structures for new uses.
“Can you think of any famous atheists?” Yes, but what’s that got to do with anything?
“Do you believe in moral absolutes?” Yes.
“If your neighbor and your pet dog were drowning, and you could only save one, which would you save?” The neighbor. (By the way, Ray Comfort’s use of the phrase “survival of the fittest” during this part of the video is counterintuitive, because survival of the fittest is about preserving populations, and saving the dog instead of the neighbor would not have accomplished this.)
“Are you a good person? Are you going to make it to Heaven?” In the absolute sense, I am not a good person. I am not going to make it to Heaven on my own. This is why Jesus came to become the savior of the world.
“Do you think we’re related to pigs? Do you think we have a common ancestor?” Our biological bodies have a common ancestor. Ecclesiastes 3:19-20 refers to all our bodies as coming from dust even though our bodies came into the world biologically. “Dust”, therefore, is a biblical metaphor for both natural origins and the mortality of natural things.
“Do you think you are a primate?” Primates belong to the taxonomic Order Primates, which is characterized by a number of anatomical features that include forward-facing eyes, opposable thumbs, and flexible shoulder joints. Humans share these features in common, and therefore humans are primates. Despite that, humans are exceptional in a number of regards.
“Are you a cousin of bananas?” See answer in the “pigs” question above.
As a follow-up, I propose the following counter-questions:
Why didn’t Ray Comfort interview any Christians that believe in evolutionary theory?
What else did the faculty interviewees say that didn’t make it to the video?
Does Ray Comfort believe that Charles Darwin was a Darwinian?
Since the word species is Latin for “kind”, on what basis does Ray Comfort believe that a single “kind” includes all the species of a particular family, when this idea of “kind” is not based on science nor is it based on biblical scripture?
On what basis does Ray Comfort say that speciation (the evolution of a new species) within the cat family, dog family, stickleback fishes, or Galapagos finches is not Darwinian evolution?
On what basis does Ray Comfort conclude that adaptation is not evolution?
Why did the video attempt to redefine “Darwinian Evolution”, “kind”, and “vestigial” in order to make its points?
In conclusion, although the primary goal is to share the Gospel message, this video will likely do more harm than good. It seemed that Ray Comfort was effective in sharing the Gospel message with the student interviewees. However, because Comfort also handcuffed this message to the opposition of a bona fide scientific theory, I am concerned that the recipients of this message, as well as the watchers of this video, are going to hear about the evidences of evolution again, and will likely dismiss Comfort’s evangelical efforts as a result of this inappropriate association.
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.
Other Reviews of the video Evolution Vs. God
Did you know that you can be a Christian,
and believe that the earth is billions of years old? You can even
believe in evolution and be a Christian. There is no conflict
between science and the Bible...all one needs is a proper
understanding how to merge science and the Bible. 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.