Is Evolution Science or Religion?
Tom: Thanks, Gary. We’ve been using some of Dave’s books as a guideline for deciding which topics to discuss on each program and the answers to which, of course, are found in the Bible. This week we’re beginning In Defense of the Faith, which, according to its back cover copy is “an exciting exploration of biblical truths. As the answers are uncovered, you will come to a deeper understanding of who God is and how He works. Realizing the incredible scope of guidance found in God’s Word will strengthen your faith and help you live according to His truth.”
Now, Dave, that sounds like a good deal, and although I know you didn’t write that copy, is that what you had in mind for the book?
Dave: Tom, it’s so long ago—how long ago did I write . . . well it’s 2 or 3 years, I guess. How do I remember what I had in mind? What I had in mind, obviously, is . . .
Tom: Well, we should tell from the cover, Dave.
Dave: Yes, I think the cover tells it. In Defense of the Faith: Biblical Answers to Challenging Questions. I think in the introduction I mention that in decades of speaking around the world I often have Q&A sessions, which I appreciate. Most often there isn’t time for it. When there is a long-winded speaker, it’s hard to squeeze in time for Q&A. . . .
Tom: You being the only speaker.
Dave: Right, right. . . . afterwards. But I’ve had many challenging questions asked. On airplanes I meet Harvard scientists—I’m trying to think of some of their specialties. Oh, I had an anthropologist from Columbia University the other day. And Harvard biologists, physicists, and all kinds of people. Some of them are atheists—or they think they are—skeptics—and they have challenging questions. And then I think I probably mentioned that when I was in the university way back—I graduated in ’51, so that’s a long time ago. It seems like 100 years at least. But I would read everything I could find that the atheists, skeptics, critics, had ever written to see what they had to say. The more I read, the more it strengthened my faith to see what pitiful reasons they had for their skepticism and their criticism of the Bible. Most people who criticize the Bible have never read it. They certainly haven’t studied it. And I have files of that sort of thing, you know? And I’ve had a lot of correspondence with people, so I couldn’t possibly put in the book everything, but there are many Christians who have questions. There are seeming contradictions in the Scriptures that they can’t reconcile.
Tom: Now, Dave I want to back up here and challenge some of these things, because my experience has been that your approach is really the exception. My experience, both before becoming a Christian but growing up in the Catholic faith, as well as my experience within evangelical Christianity, is very few people have questions. They sort of go along with some things, or they are told, “Well, just believe it because that’s sort of the way it is.” And I think you even mention in the book that pastors—whereas you’re ready, as it says in 1 Peter:3:15—you’re ready to have an answer for those who have questions. Most pastors don’t encourage questions and somebody pursuing truth and trying to encourage people to get to the bottom of this and really see if this is what God’s Word says or if this is so.
Dave: Well, that’s a tragedy, because the young person growing up in the church may be satisfied with not getting real answers to begin with, or maybe they’re just programmed not even to think. But eventually, when they get into university or out in the business world or wherever it is, they are going to meet people who are skeptics—who don’t believe. Now, maybe those skeptics haven’t even thought it through very clearly. Maybe my experience is unusual, but I come across people all the time. . . .
Well, let’s look at it from another standpoint, Tom. Here I’m sitting next to a man who (just several weeks ago) is a top executive with an airline, and his words to me were, “When I was in University, I became a born-again Christian, but now I don’t know what I believe.”
I said, “I can prove the Bible is God’s Word. I can prove God exists. I can prove Jesus Christ is the true and only Savior of sinners,” and so forth.
And he said, “Could you do that? Would you help me?” I think there are more people like that than we realize who have turned away—(I meet them all the time!)—who have turned away from the Lord, who have turned away from their early training. Who was I sitting next to . . . ? Yeah, just a few days ago, a man who was raised a Baptist, [whom] I presume was a professing Christian from what he said at that time, but he doesn’t know what he believes now. I mean he’s turned away—he said he was about 13 or 14 years old; he just stopped going to church. Of course, his parents wanted him to, but he didn’t want to anymore, and he couldn’t see any reason for it.
You know, there are a lot of Catholics like that—I mean Catholics who became disillusioned with what the nuns said, the priests said, or the priests didn’t say, or wouldn’t answer their questions . . .
Tom: Dave, I just want to throw this in. I can remember back in Catholic high school—I like to ask questions; it’s sort of part of my personality, maybe, but because I’m interested. It’s not like I’m trying to deflect something or change the subject. But I can remember asking questions a couple of times in Catholic religious class, and I ended up out in the hall for being disruptive. Because the norm was, when I was growing up, whatever the priest said you just believed. You just went along with it. But not to just hold Catholics up to this—I find the same thing among many evangelicals.
Dave: Of course.
Tom: And, you know, we’re supposed to turn to the Word, not to tradition or to the magisterium as evangelicals, but to the Word.
Dave: I think we start out in the book, I guess in the introduction—I think a quote by Tozer to the effect that when it comes to business, investments, or religion, you ought to be very skeptical. I think I quote a few other people to the effect that skepticism is very good. It’s very practical.
Tom: Yeah, but the mentality out there is, no, if you are a skeptic, you are a doubter; you are not a person of faith.
Dave: Well, we have a false idea of faith, I think. Many people have. You just believe! “I was raised a Hindu, I’ll die a Hindu,” you know? Or, “I was raised a Catholic,” or “I was raised a Mormon,” or “I was raised a Baptist”—I think probably if you talked to most Baptists, very few of them really think (I would say “Southern Baptists”—there are all kinds of Baptists out there), very few really think for themselves. But the Bereans—and that’s what this program is all about; that’s why we call it The Berean Call, our newsletter and Search the Scriptures Daily—they checked Paul out!
Tom: Now, who were these Bereans, Dave? Give us just a little background.
Dave: They were citizens of Berea, in Greece, the northern part of Greece, and when the great Apostle Paul came along preaching . . .
Tom: A Pharisee of Pharisees, he was probably well known to them.
Dave: They checked him out from the Bible. First of all, we need to check everyone out from the Bible, whether it’s Billy Graham, or Dave Hunt, or Charles Colson, or the pope, or your local pastor, or Bible teacher. You’d better be certain that you check it out yourself, because one day, each one of us will give an account to God: “Why did you believe this?”
“Well, my pastor, he was so convincing, and he’s a man of God; he studies the Bible.”
No, no, but you should have checked it out! Now, especially when it comes to science so-called, we need to check it out. For example (and, Tom, we don’t have time, and we’ve talked about it in the past . . .
Tom: Hey, Dave, we may not have time in this segment, but we’ve got weeks ahead if the Lord tarries, so just take it as it comes along.
Dave: I don’t like to go into details on it, because evolution is so pitiful—it is so ridiculous . . .
Tom: We are going to have a lot of questions with regard to your book along that line.
Dave: It is so obvious, you couldn’t possibly—I don’t want to insult people—but you couldn’t possibly have anything going on inside of your brain and think that your brain happened by chance! I mean, I don’t know much about the brain. I know the brain has, I think, 100-billion nerve cells. It has 240 miles of nerve fiber, and it has 100-trillion connections, and that is just on the surface of the thing! Let’s get down to the molecular level [and] it is even more incredible—and this happened by chance?
Tom: Well, compare it to anything that man has made. There’s nothing, absolutely nothing—the most brilliant scientist that we could—no one’s ever put together anything like this.
Dave: I don’t remember—have we talked about Blue Gene on this program? Maybe we have, but it doesn’t matter.
Tom: No, but go ahead.
Dave: Blue Gene, the fastest computer in the world. They’ve just finished it, I think, there in New York. It will do one quadrillion calculations a second. That’s a 1 with 15 zeros after it. They’re going to run this thing 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for one year, hoping it will solve one problem: How the body makes one protein molecule! Now the odds of a protein molecule happening by chance—it’s one chance in 1 with 43 zeros after it! Now come on! Now, we’re going to run this thing all that time to find out how the body makes one protein molecule, and it makes it in an instant! You can’t have DNA without protein, but you can’t have protein without DNA. And DNA—the storage capacity in one pinhead-size of DNA, if you put it in books, it would a stack of books 500 times as high as from here to the moon. And this all happened by chance!
Now this is information—forget the odds now. We’re beyond odds. It couldn’t possibly . . . Sir Fred Hoyle, I think I’ve mentioned . . .
Tom: Yes, you quote him.
Dave: He says [that] just to get the basic enzymes of life, if the whole universe was made out of the stuff of life, stir it around for billions of years—one chance in 1 with 40,000 zeros after it. Never would it happen! He says, “And they all know it!” Why do they keep teaching it? Because it’s academically respected.
Tom: Dave, let me quote Fred Hoyle, but before I do, there are two other scientists that we want to mention. What we are dealing with, for those who have just maybe tuned it, we’re talking about evolution, we’re talking about faith, we’re talking about belief in something—and some things that, although you would suspect that a scientist would have all the facts, much of what they do is faith based!
Dave: Now, let me just say a word about that, Tom.
Dave: Faith, yeah. The evolutionist has an amazing amount of faith in chance. I don’t have any faith in chance.
Tom: Well, Sir Fred Hoyle—he writes, “The situation . . .”
Dave: I’ll tell them who Sir Fred Hoyle is—he discovered the red shift; he’s one of the world’s leading astronomers, mathematicians, and so forth.
Tom: Exactly. He writes, “The situation that is mathematical impossibility is well known to geneticists and yet nobody seems to blow the whistle decisively on the theory. Most scientists still cling to Darwinism because of its grip on the educational system. You either have to believe the concepts, or you are branded a heretic.”
That’s faith without facts. Faith without evidence. Faith without proof.
Dave: Well, because the only alternative is design and a designer, and God exists, and God created us, and we are accountable to Him and they don’t want that.
Now, Tom, let’s move beyond the mathematical impossibility, ok, but there’s something more involved. There is information that is coded into the DNA! We all begin as a single cell. How does that cell know how to build a body? Well, it has imprinted on it, in the DNA, the instruction manual for building a body, and the operating instructions! And the complexity of this! If it’s going to take Blue Gene one year, one quadrillion calculations per second, to find out how one protein molecule is constructed—and there are billions and billions of these molecules, different kinds and so forth—this information, this Manual of Instructions is written in language! Okay? It has to be decoded. It’s information.
Now, Eistein himself—far from being a Christian—Einstein said there is no way that matter can produce information! This is a language, it’s instructions, okay? It requires an intelligent source; furthermore it requires a nonphysical intelligent source.
You’ve got a Bible open—or I’ve got a Bible open in front of me. You’ve got a copy of In Defense of the Faith open in front of you; we have words written in ink on paper. The ink and paper did not originate those words. Those words contain information. They can only have come from an intelligent source—nonmaterial intelligent source—because matter does not produce information.
Now when we get to that point, Tom, it’s absurd to imagine that this could happen by chance, because it couldn’t happen by chance, and it could not be produced. The DNA does not produce the information. The DNA does not even know what the information it contains says. The DNA, in fact, does not decode the information. The protein molecules and enzymes and so forth—they decode this information and then distribute it to the body!
Tom, all I am saying is you couldn’t possibly be an evolutionist, you couldn’t possibly believe this, but it has, as Sir Fred Hoyle says, such a grip on our educational system that they will not allow you to question this because it threatens the career of—someone like the Leakeys, for example. They’ve spent their lives out there in Africa trying to dig up Lucy, or whoever, you know, to try to find some missing link. Tom . . .
Tom: Dave, let me jump in and quote Colin Patterson. He’s the natural history senior paleontologist at the British Museum. He writes, “Evolutionists, like the creationists they periodically do battle with, are nothing more than believers themselves. I’ve been working on this stuff (i.e. evolution) for more than 20 years, and there is not one factual thing I knew about it. It’s quite a shock to learn that one can be so misled for so long.”
Dave: Now, Colin Patterson in another book—he wrote a book a bit earlier than this, in which he offered, you know, supposed . . . here’s this fossil and that fossil and so forth. And a Christian who is a scientist also wrote to him and asked him, “There are big gaps between these species. You didn’t give us any examples. Why didn’t you have some examples in there of intermediary . . . there would have to be millions of intermediary stages?”
Just imagine getting from no eye to an eye. Furthermore, your eye won’t help you survive until it can see. So, to imagine that you can go all this way to connect all these nerves and rods and cones . . .
Tom: Over millions and millions of years.
Dave: And it’s all going to head in the right direction by chance! But it’s not going to help this critter survive until it finally functions better than any camera we can produce, to say nothing of the connections to the brain, and the reactions and so forth.
But anyway, “there must have been millions of intermediary stages of all species if they evolved from one to the other. There should be billions of fossils. Show us one.”
And Colin Patterson wrote back, and he said, “I didn’t give any examples of intermediary fossils because, frankly, there are none.”
Now why would there be none when there ought to be billions of them? They’ve been searching and searching, and, I mean, devoting their lives to this. Why? Because we want to think that we can figure everything out. We don’t want to admit that God created us and that He’s smarter than we are, and that we owe our existence to Him, and if we owe our existence to Him, then we’d better find out what His will for us is—and why did He create us? And, in fact, we have taken the life and existence God has given us, and we have presumed to live it for ourselves. And the world goes merrily on its way without any regard for the God who created us. Now the next thing, Tom . . .
Tom: Well, before you get to that, I want to keep supporting . . . so people don’t think this is just Dave Hunt’s idea, or T. A. McMahon’s idea. I want to quote DMS Watson. He’s a populizer of evolution for British television.
Now, folks, listen to his words, and you’ll see why—and the point we’re trying to make here is that some people say, “Well, science, that’s fact. There’s evidence for that.” But what we’re saying is that some of the beliefs of so-called science is really scientism. It’s believism.
Dave: Well, this is not what we’d call a hard science. It’s not physics and chemistry.
Tom: DMS Watson writes, “Evolution itself is accepted by zoologists not because it has been observed to occur or can be proved by logically coherent evidence to be true, but because the only alternative, special creation, is clearly incredible.”
Dave: Yes, they wouldn’t allow that. But, Tom, it’s not incredible. In fact, we know that the universe—we’ve been through this before—the universe hasn’t been here forever. It had to have a beginning, everybody did. I think it’s Sir Fred Hoyle who says it was a little shocking—scientists didn’t want to admit this, but it did have a beginning.
There is a conflict between the first and second laws of thermodynamics. The first law of thermodynamics, the law of conservation of energy, says energy can neither be created nor destroyed. But the second law of thermodynamics, the law of entropy, says energy runs down like a clock. Now if you couldn’t create it, and it runs down like a clock, how come it’s not already run down? I mean, it had to have begun sometime, but you can’t create it. No, we can’t create it. It can’t create itself. But God can create it!
Matter wears out. Matter—things—could not have been here forever. They would have worn out. You couldn’t have had energy hanging around to make a big bang—it would have entropied! There had to be a time when no thing, no matter, no energy existed. We are driven to that by logic, by science, by everything we know. There had to be a time when only someone existed who is capable of creating everything out of nothing. And the Bible starts out like this: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” You cannot improve upon that statement.
“But how are we going to have our schools, how are we going to get our degrees and run our courses and pretend that we know everything and we are devoting our lives to finding these fossils and devoting our lives to . . .” Colin Patterson, I think—he said “It was like you worked for all your life polishing a stone, and you thought it was granite, and you find out it’s sandstone and the thing won’t polish at all.”
It’s rather humbling to admit that. But why not face the evidence?
So faith, we began by talking about faith. Faith has to have evidence. You don’t just decide, “Well I’m going to believe this. You’ve got your faith, I’ve got my faith.” Whoa, wait a minute! If you don’t have solid reason for what you believe, you’d better rethink it! That doesn’t mean we can understand everything, but God gives us enough evidence so that we can verify that He is telling us the truth, so that when He tells us something beyond our capacity to comprehend, we can believe Him. But there is so much that we need to verify . . . I guess that’s about as far as we can get on this program, Tom.
Tom: Yeah, but, Dave, this is an opening. We’re beginning this book, In Defense of the Faith, and we’ll be challenged by the questions that people have. But the answers we find in God’s Word. And that’s our heart. We want people not to just take what we say but check things out. Seek the answer. Have questions for whatever endeavor they are in. You know, as you said, there are plenty of other aspects of life that we will question, but the most important thing is where we will spend eternity and on what basis. So, Dave, we are going to search the Scriptures daily to see if these things are so.