An Originally Unique Idea

I believe that one of the great ideas in all of human history is the concept of a God-composed journey of faith life-script, beginning around 4,200 years ago with Abraham.

This is the “narrow gate” spoken of by Jesus Christ in the Sermon on the Mount (Mt. 7:13-14) that few people find.  A liberated journey of faith following Jesus Christ, wherein our ways are displaced by God’s higher plans through the way of the cross, is central to Christian discipleship, but anathema to worldly conventional thinking.

This is the truth that no one wants to hear (Isa. 53:6), because it runs contrary to our human nature.  Taking up our cross, for the sake of Jesus and the gospel (Mk. 8:34-35) is in direct conflict with worldly conventional normalcy.

But the way of the cross uniquely defines the originality of a biblical-styled journey of faith, producing priceless spiritual life through God-guided experience.  This makes it one of the singularly great ideas in human history, yet by its divine origin also falling outside of the pride-filled hubris of humanistic invention.

It should therefore come as no surprise to Christendom that philosophical naturalism, fueled by Darwinian evolution… accelerating as a worldview, steamroller change-agent in 1859 with the publication of The Origin of Species…should attack the great idea of a God-composed journey of faith life-script at its very source…the  existence of God.

A journey of faith composed by God is the centerpiece, the signature vehicle invented by God to establish a personal relationship today with each new covenant believer (Jer. 31:31-34).  The rational legitimacy of a God-composed, biblical-quality journey of faith life-script available to all Spirit-born Christians today, as argued back-and-forth within the world court of opinion, is what is at stake in the contemporary warfare of ideas between intelligent design and common descent…going on within the modern field of science.

After over 160 years of Darwinian evolution pulling the culture over toward atheistic naturalism, a more powerfully compelling argument for divine intelligent agency is now presenting itself through the empirical facts of complex information systems coherently integrated in the natural world…being observable and testable evidence…is totally inexplicable in a naturalistic program.

Spirit-born Christians know experientially that Jesus Christ is both raised from the dead and is alive today.  This is supernatural.  The aim here is to rebut some portions of the chief modern rival and critic of the reality of a God-composed journey of faith…the atheistic philosophy of naturalism that has unjustifiably attached itself to the scientific pursuit of an understanding of our natural world.

The question in this new Age of Information in the field of science is not whether purely naturalistic explanations for phenomenon are the surest reliable knowledge, thereby unreasonably consigning “religion” like Christianity to the second-rate world of the subjective and the relative…but rather does modern scientific investigation reveal programs of complex, ordered, highly specified information in the historical sciences, which cannot be satisfactorily explained by a reduction to material particles…a reduction to philosophical naturalism…alone.

The two main questions to be answered in this new Age of Information are…where did all of these incredibly vast programs of complex information come from…and how does this fit into a new, broader, and more accurate view of reality and reason?

The Heart of the Debate

Darwin did not propose an explanation for the origin of life.

Darwinism requires first the existence of life for evolution to then take over and apply accidental genetic variation to produce variant traits, chosen by natural selection to create further development and diversity.

Not having an explanation for the origin of life, the theory of evolution must then build upon the starting point of already existing, functional life…in the reactive mode.

One aspect that lies at the heart of the creation/evolution debate is the question whether creative innovation is an all-encompassing evolutionary process working in the life-form from the core center outwards through genetic variation and natural selection, or instead do life-forms start with a body-plan of complex and integrated information produced by fiat creation by an intelligent designer God, with the subsequent adaptive variations occurring only at the outer peripheral margins for survivability in differing ecologies?

I think the factual evidence supports the latter viewpoint…not just because as a Christian this supports the theistic worldview…but because the facts themselves cry-out for intelligent design.

The theory of evolution today is under threat, not by religious faith, but by its own inadequacy as an explanatory paradigm to cover all of the new evidence being unearthed by modern scientific discovery over the last three to four decades.

For people who have looked at both sides of the evidence in the debate between intelligent design and common descent, many recognize that after over 160 years of intense research, common descent is still merely a thinly veneered, philosophical glue…rather than hard supportive evidence… that holds the framework of Darwinian macroevolution together.

I sense that the evidence and the arguments are steadily building in favor of intelligent design and falling away from Darwinian macroevolution.

Why should the general populace be compelled to accept a mere theoretical construction superimposed upon the facts of nature, simply to support the atheistic philosophy of naturalism…when the exact same facts of nature can be better explained through the activities of intelligent agency…God?

The exuberance and enthusiasm of the Enlightenment Period “doctrine of progress” fueled by the rapid advancements in science and technology during the Industrial Revolution of the nineteenth century, produced the heady confidence and humanistic pride that we could reduce and explain the marvels of the living world down to natural causations alone.

But this humanistic enthusiasm has not produced the empirical scientific facts to back up this enthusiasm for materialistic explanations in biology, before or after 1859.

Mountain of Evidence is Theoretically Driven 2

An analogy to an Olympics track meet might be helpful.

In the Olympics track meet competition, one event…the mile-relay…has four runners per team each running one lap around the track…receiving the baton from the previous runner and passing the baton to the succeeding runner…to complete a continuous and unbroken four-lap circuit around the track.

But this relay baton is not passed off to the other distinct and unconnected events outside of the mile-relay.  The baton is not passed to the high-jumpers, pole-vaulters, high-hurdlers, 100-meter sprinters, or the competitors in the shot-put or javelin throw…thereby creating an unnatural, artificial, and unwanted connection between these disparate events.

These other events are discontinuous and unconnected to each other and to the mile-relay, even though they are all a common part of the Olympics track meet.

A network schedule of logic-lines connecting the start-times for each track and field event…simplified into printed program schedules for the spectators…would have to be created ahead of time to organize the track meet.

But these organizational lines connecting the start and finish times head-to-tail would never be confused with the fundamental differences between pole-vaulting, high-jumping, the long-jump, the triple-jump, and the 5,000-meter run.

The essential characteristic of each distinct event creates a discontinuous gap between each event that is unbridgeable in terms of mixing and blending…other than their logical sequencing for time and spacing within the overall management of the track-meet competition.

The passing of the baton between all of the track and field events to create an artificial connection…a connection that does not logically exist…simply because at a general level all these events belong to the same track-meet…would be nonsensical.

To attempt to blend and mix all of these disparate track and field events together into a connected whole through small, incremental, transitional phases using the relay baton as the connecting link…would be a forced arrangement falling so far outside of the intentionally designed, fundamentally discontinuous gaps between each of the individual events of an athletic track meet…as to render the entire competition gradualistically intermixed…hopelessly indecipherable…and thus incomprehensible.

If all of the track meet events were blended together in infinitesimally small incremental steps…it would be difficult to determine when and where one event finished and another started.

Each track and field event also has a predetermined goal…an outcome…that entails a different “lifestyle habit” program of training and technique.

Even though running hurdles, the pure sprints, and the long-distance running events share similarities, they are vastly different in their “lifestyle habits” of length of distance, agility requirements, pure speed, endurance, time-span, and the physical characteristics of the competitors.  Specified function…running fast, leaping high, jumping far…are inseparably connected to the lifestyle habits unique to each athletic event.

Darwinian common descent must, by definition, have the relay batons at each branching node of the ever-expanding tree of life…passed safely from one species to the next without falling to the ground (becoming extinct).

But fitness in “lifestyle habits” in each track-meet event does not carry over into fitness in lifestyle habits in another event.  The Olympic gold medalist in the high-jump cannot pass along gold metal technical proficiency to the pole-vaulter simply by handing off a relay baton.

The relay baton in this instance would be a nonsensical addition…inapplicable to both high-jumper and pole-vaulter.

The gold metal “lifestyle habit” proficiencies in each event are too different and discontinuous to be connected by the unrelated, unhelpful element of a relay baton.

The tautological statement that the fittest organisms will produce the most offspring…the fittest organism being defined by circular reasoning as being the one that produces the most offspring…stays entirely within the boundary lines of a single, track- meet event like high-jumping.

It describes the proficiency level attained through the microevolution of that single track meet event of high-jumping.

Macroevolution…hypothetically producing diversity (in our track-meet analogy) has absolutely nothing to do with the gold metal high-jumper passing the relay baton to the pole-vaulter.

How the high-jumper reaches gold metal proficiency…fitness in lifestyle habits…has no correlation to reaching an equivalent level of technical proficiency in the entirely different track meet event of pole-vaulting…although they each share the similar goal of going as vertically high as they can.

Identifying fictional nodes in Darwin’s tree of life…in the physical characteristics side of the equation alone…using creative imagination, would not explain the diversity of lifestyle habits for the hundreds of billions of living organisms on earth.

This would only get us half-way there.  Simply identifying where and when during the track-meet the high-jumper passed the relay baton to the pole-vaulter…would not explain the vast differences in gold metal “lifestyle habit” techniques between these two events.

This is a part of the illogic of the tree-of-life of Darwinian common descent.  The empirical relay baton of explanatory mechanism must connect each discontinuity gap between the dots being birds, fish, mammals, insects, reptiles, amphibians, plants, trees, bacteria, and fungi…which are analogous to discontinuous track and field events like pole-vaulting, discus throwing, high-jumping, and the mile-relay.

These connections between hundreds of billions of distinct (and thus classifiable by human taxonomists) life-forms must account for both physical and lifestyle characteristics.

The discontinuous lifestyle habits of the multitudes of living creatures renders the hypothetical “relay baton” connection through common descent to be implausibly forced, stretched, and logically unbridgeable.

Naturalistic materialism is the philosophy that superimposes an unnatural “relay baton” to connect all of the track meet events.

Naturalism creates the evidence that supports naturalism.  This is circular.  Take away the common descent interpretational framework and we are back in time to the neutral facts of pre-1859…the “standard Olympics track meet” of typological and discontinuous life-forms…which did not point toward macroevolution at all, prior to Darwin’s book The Origin of Species.

Mountain of Evidence is Theoretically Driven 1

What is critical to understand is that the contention by Darwinists that macroevolution has a “mountain of evidence”…thereby establishing the “fact of evolution”…proceeds not from the facts themselves but only materializes (no pun intended) after applying the philosophical framework of naturalistic materialism over the biological facts in nature.

The common descent viewpoint when stretched to fit over all living things can produce a tentative, provisional mountain of evidence in support of macroevolution…but only if common descent is first assumed to be true.  Common descent will explain the fossil progression from the simple to the more complex over time, the homology (similarities) in design between creatures, and the biological distribution of similar creatures split apart by continents.

But intelligent design, based upon the empirical evidence of highly specified information and integrated complexity explains this natural phenomenon better.  Intelligent design is a more persuasive and plausible interpretation of the evidence…than is common descent.

Without the hard empirical evidence for the methodology and mechanism of how macroevolution changes a fish into a land reptile into a bird over time…having wings, feathers, and a totally unique breathing capacity to enable sustained flight…the philosophical overlay of Darwinian naturalism does not produce “overwhelming, mutually supportive evidence.”

The Darwinian model produces nothing more than the hypothetically connected structure of common descent…supported by circumstantial arguments alone…whose artificially connected structure falls apart when the concept of the discontinuities between the varied body-plan architectures and lifestyle habits of hundreds of billions of life-forms on the planet…is introduced.

The theoretically unimaginable jump across the gap of running and leaping along the ground or in the branches of trees, then “evolving” into winged flight through small, incremental, progressive steps, without any detailed supporting explanation as to the massive anatomical changes that would have to occur, is alleged by Darwinists to have happened simply because this is what is required to have happened according to the philosophical paradigm of naturalism.

The theoretically unimaginable jump from the functioning respiratory system of the gills of fish extracting oxygen from water under the surface of oceans, lakes, and rivers, to the fully functioning system of lungs in amphibians, reptiles, and mammals breathing air above the water, must take place in a matter of seconds or immediate death follows.

This is an enormous gap of discontinuity.  Small incremental change here is unimaginable…in terms of function…in terms of survival and reproduction.

Yet for macroevolution to be valid, this discontinuity must be plausibly explainable within the unifying theory of common descent taken from Darwin’s hypothetical “tree of life”…connecting all living things.

Darwinists allege that this type of jump in development and diversity from living underwater to living above water…had to have occurred in small, incremental, progressive steps because it simply had to happen this way according to the paradigm philosophy of naturalism.

This type of secularly skewed argumentation is then stretched to apply to the enumerable discontinuities large and small of the billions of different life-forms on the planet, mixing together the dissimilar ingredients of diversity and likeness into the theory of common descent…based in large part upon its appeal to scientists of being a unifying theory of biology, and at the same time offering a non-theistic explanation for the origin and diversity of life.

But from the start Darwinian macroevolution could not explain the Cambrian Explosion…the sudden appearance of a diversity of complex life-forms in an instant of geological time…which should also have had an accompanying and complimentary backstory of transitional intermediate life-forms appearing in the Precambrian rock strata.

Darwinists have also been unable to explain the sudden appearance during the geological era known as the Cretaceous…of the angiosperms…the flowering plants having their seeds enclosed in an ovary…without transitional precursors in the rock strata leading up to this time-period.

Over time, the many difficulties with the theory of macroevolution should have resolved themselves.

Instead, the idea of common descent has not bridged the enormous gaps of discontinuity in the living world between the major groups like amphibians, reptiles, fish, birds, insects, or mammals, or the discontinuities in the subdivided lower levels of each of the major groups…like the large African mammals separated by the unbridgeable lifestyle gaps between elephants, giraffes, water buffalo, rhinoceros, zebras, lions, leopards, cheetahs, and Thompson’s gazelles.

One major factual problem for Darwinism is that there is no evidence for the actual existence of the transitional “nodes” at the apex junctures of Darwin’s branching “tree of life” between the major groups and their subdivisions, which must be there for common descent to occur.

These nodes do not exist now and they do not exist in the fossil record…unless artificially created through a fictional, philosophical overlay of common descent crafted through human imagination.

Darwinian evolution is a classic example of being a half-truth.  It explains microevolution which occurs within a species.  It explains variation over time within a species.  But the extrapolation from microevolution to macroevolution…the origination of new species using genetic variation and natural selection…is an over-reach…an extension of philosophy rather than an empirical product of science.

This is why Darwinian macroevolution is subtly persuasive but vacuous.  The “mountain of evidence” is artificially produced through circular reasoning…the philosophy must first be superimposed on the evidence to rescue the philosophy…rather than the evidence itself independently standing on its own to formulate the philosophy.

It is the theory of common descent that connects the dots into the forced linear arrangement of an ascending “tree of life”…the dots do not logically align themselves to connect that way on their own.  The connections between dots are by philosophy…not by explanatory, scientific fact-based evidence.

Information Has Surpassed Darwinian Explanations

One problem for modern atheism is that as our appreciation of the vast amounts of information contained within highly complex systems in the natural world grows…all integrated and coordinated toward distinct functions that have the definite and unmistakable appearance of purposeful design…the plausibility of the naturalistic explanation as time marches forward…no longer makes sense.

It is as if the foot-size of our expanding knowledge of the natural world has grown to shoe-size 15 since 1859, yet the philosophical naturalist shoemaker, limited by the now obsolete worldview shaped by Darwinian evolution, has no shoe-size pattern beyond foot-size 8.

As I read through the evolution literature, some books attempt to explain away the intelligently designed brilliance of eyesight by looking at the architecture of the eye in isolation.

An appeal to the plausibility of the argument for common descent is given by identifying many creatures in nature that have varying yet functional qualities of eyesight…the thread of thought being that partial qualities of eyesight are beneficially functional even when evolved through intermediate, transitional increments of quality over time.

These book sections on the hypothetical evolution of the eye are usually well-written, illuminating, and factually instructive, yet not compelling as evidence in an argument in support of Darwinian macroevolution.

Because the same factual evidence could also be used to make a more plausible argument for intelligent agency in the design of the eye and functional eyesight, Darwinian evolution falls short of making a clear demarcation from intelligent design in the all-important area of independently explaining causation through scientific fact-based evidence.

From a big-picture, wide-angle viewpoint, Darwinian macroevolution can be seen as little more than a philosophical overlay…a human interpretational veneer applied to otherwise neutral and unbiased scientific evidence.

One of the problems of looking at the eye in isolation is that eyesight…that enables survivability…integrates every other characteristic of the physical makeup of the functionally mature creature…central nervous system, bone structure, muscles and nerves, internal organs, the five senses, instinct, and such unique features as leaping, running, swimming, burrowing, and flight.

But maybe most important of all are the uniquely different informational programs…lifestyle habits…defining and supporting the existence of each and every species that has eyesight.

Eyesight must be evaluated within the integrated whole of the living creature, in order to give the overall conceptual brilliance of the design of eyesight its full context.

When the unimaginable complexity of this is carried-out down to the last minutest detail of matter, energy, and information, the notion of making this argument for common descent (macroevolution) by reference to the varying qualities of functional eyesight in different species alive today…appears to this student of the creation/evolution debate to be inadequate and too simplistic to pass the rational test of reality.

Appealing to the varying qualities of functional eyesight in living organisms as an argument for incrementally gradualistic eye development fails to account for the big-picture totality of eyesight coherently integrated into the whole program of the lifestyle habits of each individual creature having eyesight.

Again, the size-15 foot of the massive amount of ordered and highly-specified information, plus our new understanding of intelligent agency required in the arrangement and integration of information in complex systems such as computer software code, will no longer fit in the archaic shoe-size 8 of philosophical naturalism.

When we watch DVD documentaries supporting Darwinian evolution, in explaining the hypothetical development of early life just before and just after the Cambrian geologic period according to the naturalistic scenario, we repeatedly hear the vague phrase “and they developed” such features as skin, fins, skeletons, eyesight, wings, et cetera, without any empirical explanation as to how.

“And some crawled up out of the water on to land” requires the precise scientific mechanism to explain this massive change in anatomical characteristics…if Darwinian macroevolution is to rise above the level of a mere philosophical construction overlaid on top of the otherwise neutral facts.

For Darwinian macroevolution to validly connect the dots…to provide a plausible framework…it needs to explain the mechanism that closes the gaps of discontinuity in characteristics that separate creatures in the fossil record, and that separate the vast diversity of current life into the modern taxonomy classifications of today.

Christians should know and understand that Charles Darwin did not produce the methodological and mechanistic evidence for precisely how evolution actually worked on a macro level.  This methodological and mechanistic evidence for one species changing into another different species did not exist then, nor does it exist today.

If the incontrovertible evidence for the method of how macroevolution works was discovered anytime between 1859 and today, the debate would be over.

Instead, Darwin proposed a persuasive and well-documented philosophical argument based on circumstantial evidence, connecting the facts of the current living world, and then applying them backwards in time into a hypothetical framework that would support a theory of common descent…a process categorized today as a historical science…like archaeology, historical geology, and modern forensic science reconstructing a past crime scene.

Is it allowed for philosophical naturalism to provide a theoretical hypothesis for a secular interpretation of biological phenomenon, in advance of producing empirical evidence for the connecting mechanism of how Darwinian macroevolution actually works?  The answer is…of course.

This is one way in which science works.  A new theoretical hypothesis is presented…then tested or argued against the known facts…then either confirmed, refuted, or replaced by a new hypothesis as new incoming evidence grows and is evaluated.

One Christian’s View of Science

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handywork.  Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge.                                      (Psalm 19:1-2)

The present day contention that rational truth is confined exclusively to the realm of natural causes…explained only by scientific investigation…thereby leading to the conclusion that the philosophy of naturalism is the one and only acceptable way of viewing reality, is  brilliantly subtle but entirely vacuous.

The Spirit-born Christian scientist…using the purest scientific methodology…can investigate a particular area of natural phenomenon and discover entirely naturalistic causations, while privately giving his or her Intelligent Designer God the credit for His ingenuity and craftsmanship, without ever leaving their fidelity to empirical facts or setting aside their personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

The atheist scientist, on the opposite extreme, can use the same techniques to investigate the same phenomenon, and discover the exact same naturalistic causations…yet interpret their new findings as an increase in our knowledge of the natural world…thereby creating a corresponding reduction in the need for God’s existence and agency in the affairs of nature and mankind.

Yet the raw, empirical information content about heat, or the behavior of gases, or the properties of water, or of mass, momentum, and energy, of mountain building through plate tectonics, the internal composition of stars, or the complexity found within DNA…discovered through careful scientific investigation…are the same.

The vast difference in the interpretation of the facts at the broad, worldview level are not based upon what the empirical scientific evidence itself is saying independently, because the information in its purest form remains neutrally silent regarding philosophy.

The observable, measurable, quantifiable facts of natural phenomenon amenable to us in the physical sciences…are open to interpretation and can be selectively placed in more than one optional, exclusivistic, contradictory worldview.

For the atheist scientist, especially since the 1859 publication of Darwin’s The Origin of Species, the steady and rapid advance in our knowledge of the natural world has morphed into an irrational zero-sum game…as if each new understanding of some physical phenomenon in nature equates to further liberation from the influence of a supernatural Creator God.

But the Spirit-born, Christian scientist exploring nature through scientific investigation is not looking for reasons to push God away, but instead sees the complex, integrated information and the precise craftsmanship that went into each newly understood phenomenon of nature…and glorifies God for its designed naturalistic function, the orderliness and intelligibility underlying nature, and our mental capacity to be able to unravel these mysteries in succession one at a time.

The secularly biased notion that science only looks for naturalistic explanations for physical phenomenon in the natural world is actually now inadequate and over-simplistic by about three decades.

Information has now been recognized and added to the short list…of matter and energy…as the major components amenable to study in our quest to understand ultimate reality, purpose, and meaning in the universe.

Information, like gravity, is an important component that currently falls outside the domain of the unifying “theory of everything” being sought-after in the field of physics.

The classic example given to describe the fundamental distance between information and physical matter is the analogy to the front page of any major daily newspaper.  The physics and chemistry of “how” ink bonds to paper does not explain…because it cannot explain from the realm of the physical sciences…the “why” component of the individual daily arrangement of the ink to produce intelligible information expressed, in the case of the New York Times, in the English language.

The ink does not arrange itself into intelligible English letters conveying information.  Human intelligent design is the causation of this meaningful communication of information.

The information given on the front page of the newspaper can therefore be said to transcend above the basic physics and chemistry explanation at the mechanical level of ink bonding to paper.

Similarly, the complex and highly specified information given in human designed computer software programs transcends above, and cannot be reduced down to or explained by, the basic mechanics of the ones and zeroes of computer binary language code as the cause for its intelligently designed function.

This same quality of coherently integrated, highly specified information can now be seen, studied, and analyzed…in terms of its source of origin and its relationship to the micro-molecule DNA…in the body-plan lifestyle habits of hundreds of billions of distinct plants, trees, bacteria, fungi, insects, fish, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals in the living world.

In this brief opening section on the validity of pronouncements made about science as being the only reliable tool to define the rational boundary lines around truth and knowledge, the curious thing about this contention…coming from the field of logic…is that it deconstructs itself…that it does not stand up under the weight of its own requirements.

The statement that science alone can produce truth does not itself derive from empirical scientific investigation.

The statement does not therefore meets its own internal test for veracity.  “Science alone produces truth” is an opinion about science…not an axiom derived through science.  The statement is rendered invalid for truth content…by virtue of not meeting the high standard imposed by the statement itself…of being scientifically derived.

An Old Earth is Biblical

The “literal” interpretation of Exodus 20:11 and 31:17 days of creation…taken as a whole to describe a standard week of time…to support the doctrine of a young earth of six to eight thousand years old…is in actuality unbiblical.

The one-week interpretation of the seven days of creation is unbiblical for two main reasons.

First, it assumes a meaning for seven days of creation as consecutive 24-hour days…equaling one-week…when the words themselves do not actually say that.

The words say that there were seven distinct days of creation…but they say nothing about connecting these creation days head-to-tail to form a continuous one-week period of time.

A one-week period of time is the natural conclusion that people can draw from the words…but this is not the one and only plausible interpretation…not even the best interpretation…as history has shown.

The wording in Genesis 1:5, 1:8, 2:3 and 2:4, and Exodus 20:11 and 31:17 regarding the days of creation is perfect and divinely brilliant…because these verses are timeless and accurate when they were written in around 1,450 BC…for pre-modern science prior to the Scientific Revolution and for modern science today.

The words chosen for these verses in Genesis and Exodus are not vague and ambiguous…they are precisely measured to allow for the addition of future, progressive truth.

Only a God possessing divine foresight can reveal truth in a progressive manner over time…that is true as earlier prophecy or as statements about the natural world…which still remains true and are improved upon by the addition of further information…as in the cases of Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53…for example.

The language of the words conveyed in the four verses in Genesis 1:5, 1:8, 2:3, and 2:4…and in Exodus 20:11 and 31:17…can also be viewed as distinct 24-hour periods of God creating…with long periods of time in-between.

It is unbiblical to say that these verses in Genesis and Exodus regarding the creation days…are the last word…are the final word on the age of the earth…because this removes one of the most compelling apologetic arguments for the divine origin of the Bible…the argument that only the living God could inspire statements about the creation of the universe and the earth…recorded in the Bible…that seamlessly accepts additional revisions of new enlightening information…hundreds and even thousands of years later…while still remaining true at the original time they were recorded in writing in the Bible.

The Bible…as it is being composed over a 1,500-year period…is like a jigsaw puzzle that has missing pieces in a mixed pile…as-yet to be found and placed as the puzzle is being completed…that fit perfectly when found and snugly fit into place.

This unique aspect of the Bible is a profound evidence for its divine origin…and is a novel and innovative revelation of another real truth about God.

This leads to the second major problem with a literal interpretation of the days of creation as being one-week.

The hugely misguided viewpoint that the investigations of modern science into the workings of the natural world…somehow fall outside of the Bible…as if the dating of an old earth according to modern geology…is information that is extra-biblical or anti-biblical…rather than being an important part of God’s progressive revelation of truth…removes a large portion of God’s revelatory testimony about Himself.

Human scientific investigation into the workings of the natural world…is as orthodox as can be…because God takes complete ownership of the origin and creation of the natural world…throughout the Bible.

God is not afraid of modern human scientific investigation…even when it gets temporarily off-course…as the theory of Darwinian macroevolution has for the last 160 years.

God set-up the conditions of the orderliness and intelligibility of the natural world…and the human capacity to comprehend and unravel the mysteries of the living and non-living world from microscopic DNA to how stars are formed in the massive universe…that even atheistic scientists trying to prove Darwinian macroevolution will eventually come to the dead-end of the impossibility of random-chance trial-and-error over long periods of geological history…ever being able to bridge across the huge divide from non-living materials to the “simplest” living things like a single-cell bacteria…requiring all of the DNA, RNA, amino acids, and complex cellular machinery…modern bacteria now have…to be able to survive and to reproduce.

The viewpoint that the findings of human scientific investigation into the workings of the natural living and non-living world…would not yield over time a progressive revelation of the truth of the intelligent designing brilliance of the God of the Bible…confirmed through the empirical evidence of systems of information far too complex, specified, and coherently integrated to be the product of anything other than design…for modern-day Christians is unacceptable…from a defense of the Bible standpoint.

The Bible places a clear and unmistakable flag of ownership atop the hill of the origin and creation of the universe and our earth…expressed throughout the entire Bible from the first verses in Genesis to the end of the book of Revelation.

Christians have nothing to fear from modern scientific investigation…which inevitably leads to the correct final conclusion of the intelligent design of the masterpieces of creation we can see with our own eyes.

An old-age dating of the earth at around 4.5-billion years ago has enormous apologetic value for the argument of the divine origin of our planet.

A young-age dating of the earth has zero apologetic value.

If the modern field of geology…that started with Charles Lyell in the middle to late 1820’s…says that the earth is older than previously assumed based upon scientific discoveries in the natural world…this is progressive revelatory truth that is 110% part of the Bible…because God created the “heavens and earth” (Gen. 1:1)…and He also created human beings capable of performing and comprehending science (Gen. 1:26-27).

Discoveries about the natural world through scientific investigation are not “extra-biblical”…because the God of the Bible created the natural world.

If Edwin Hubble discovers the “red-shift” of light coming from distant stars…as viewed from the Griffith Park massive-sized telescope in 1929…that revealed an expanding universe whose age can then be mathematically calculated in reverse to reach a Big-Bang creation in time at 13.7-billion years ago…this is progressive revelation of truth every bit within the sphere of the Bible…because the God of the Bible says that “in the beginning”…He created the heavens and the earth…which was a concept unique to the Bible prior to Hubble’s scientific discovery…a further progressive revelatory truth about God’s creation…that places the Bible above all other cosmologies prior to 1929.

This is scientific information that can be placed in the column labeled: The Real Truth about God.

It is true that Darwin enlisted an old-age of the earth as part of his theory of macroevolution…but Darwinian macroevolution is disintegrating daily as an explanation for the vast diversity of life on earth…because of our recent scientific understanding of the massive amounts of information required to produce and maintain living systems…which is unattainable though any purely naturalistic mechanism…easily understood now on a popular level thanks to our current Age of Information…thanks to our understanding of the exact precision of computer language code required to produce error-free operation of software programs like Microsoft Word and Excel…for example.

Scientific investigation itself is bringing down Darwinian macroevolutionary as being a dead-end theoretical explanation for the origin and diversity of life…because it is based upon the mindless and unguided process of naturalistic materialism…a pursuit doomed to failure…as Christians should expect in a universe and an earth that is God-created to have orderliness, intelligibility, and purpose.

The empirical evidence produced through human scientific investigation…that confirms the theistic origin and creation of the natural world…is entirely “biblical”…being progressive revelatory truth in the explanation of the phenomenon of the natural world…God’s created world…equal to that of the John 16:13 scripture that says that the Holy Spirit will lead and guide us into all truth in the spiritual and moral realm.

This is part of the fundamental divide between the young-age and old-age of the earth interpretation of the creation days in the Bible.

Some Biblical Truth is Progressive

Revealed truth in the Bible and in God-composed journey of faith life-scripts is not evolutionary, unguided, mindless, relativistic, or produced through random-chance trial-and-error.

But revealed truth in the Bible is progressive.  This is an orthodox biblical statement.

Numerous examples of progressive truth…revealed over time…are found throughout the Bible.

If taken too far, however, this can devolve into liberalism.  The progressive revelation in scripture requires balanced interpretation…as described by Paul in 2 Timothy 2:15…

“Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

In Genesis 3:1-5…Satan introduces a subtle lie at the start of humanity that was unparalleled in its malicious and destructive intent…because it was a deliberate, well-crafted, precisely targeted half-truth.

“Ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil”…only works if this knowledge is accompanied by the divine capacity of elevated character and foresight…thus being able to make the correct choices in life…to choose by nature to be righteous…like the God of the Bible.

One underlying issue at stake in the Garden of Eden…is that through the subtly vailed and disguised temptation directed at Adam and Eve…Satan is making his own defense…that without a divine nature and the benefit of foresight into the future…then God cannot expect perfect character from His created beings…and cannot fault Satan for his rebellion in heaven.

What does this have to do with the time element in the young-age versus old-age earth debate?

For God to properly answer the charge against Him by Satan in the Garden of Eden…takes time (Heb. 11:1).

That revelation of truth in the Bible takes time and is progressive…is an orthodox biblical concept.  Biblical interpretation only falls into liberalism when this is abused and taken too far.

The issue that as non-divine created beings, humans can place their faith and trust in God…is such a fundamentally critical question for the successful relationship between God and people for an eternity in heaven…that this challenge by Satan regarding the loving and wise authority of God’s word…cannot simply and briefly be refuted…by God showing-up in person in the Garden of Eden during the temptation of Adam and Eve to eat the forbidden fruit…rebuking Satan’s allegations about God’s character with a well-worded discourse and concise rebuttal…”on-the-spot.”

Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53 are perfectly and absolutely true…but they obviously did not at the time of their writing…when viewed in hindsight…tell the whole story.

It takes the cross and the resurrection of Jesus…to fill-in the missing information.

Paul says in 1 Corinthians 2:8 that if the religious leaders understood the Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53 scriptures, and the other Old Testament prophetic scriptures regarding Christ…”they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.”

In other words…if these scriptures were plainly straight-forward and required no future progressive revelation…if they spelled-out in advance exactly what Jesus Christ the Son of God would be like…then the Pharisees and scribes would not have unwittingly instigated the crucifixion of Jesus…and we would then have no salvation today through the blood shed by Jesus on the cross of Calvary.

The life and ministry of Jesus is itself a revelation of new information (Jn. 1:1-5, 21:25).

The Sermon on the Mount is a revelation of new information that expands and clarifies the “law and the prophets” (Mt. 5:17, 7:28-29).

The appearance of Jesus on the road to Damascus…for Paul…was a life-changing, progressive revelation of new information that Jesus was indeed and in-truth the Messiah…the Christ.

The preaching to the Bereans by Paul and Silas (Acts 17:10-15) that Jesus of Nazareth is the promised Christ and Savior…is a new revelation of information for these Jews that sheds light on the scriptures…inspiring the more “noble” Berean Jews to search the scriptures to see if this new revelation was true.

Jesus tells us in John 14:16-17, 14:26, 15:26, and 16:7-15 that the Holy Spirit will guide us into all truth…inferring that there is additional progressive truth to be revealed.

The Jerusalem council in Acts 15 is dated at AD 49…with the book of Acts not written by Luke until around AD 60-62.

Scripture was not definitive…was actually silent…regarding precisely how and to what extent newly converted Christian Gentiles should follow Jewish laws and religious rituals…such as circumcision and festivals.

Peter, James, Paul, Barnabas, and the Jewish Christians at Jerusalem used their own God-inspired judgment and wisdom…based upon scripture informed by recent experiences (Acts 8:5-17, 8:26-40, 10:1-48)…to reach the correct doctrine for the Gentile Christians (Acts 15:20)…which was then memorialized as divine scripture years later in the book of Acts.

My point here is that the God of the Bible…possessing divine foresight and foreknowledge…is not taken off-guard, surprised by, or adversely challenged by human scientific investigation of the natural world…even by the atheistic components of Darwinism.

Finally, some people object that the creation account in Genesis does not use the word “billion” to describe an old-age for the earth…and therefore renders the old-age interpretation of scripture…along with the modern science of geology…to be incorrect.

This is a nonsensical argument.

When God wants to describe to Abraham the large number of his future descendants…soon to become the “father of faith”…God uses the words: “so if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered” (Gen. 13:16).

Hebrews 11:12 again uses the language of Genesis: “so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable”…to describe a large number.

Revelation 5:11 uses the words: “and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands”…a number that is one-hundred million…which is ten times short of the number one-billion.

The Hindu-Arabic numeral system that contained zeros was not even invented until the year 628 AD by the astronomer/mathematician Brahmagupta in India.

The Vedic period in ancient history (1500-500 BC) used a series of names to describe large numbers.

Arybhata (499 AD) used short phrases consisting of Sanskrit consonants…to describe large numbers up to a billion.

If adopted in Genesis and Exodus at the time of their composition around 1,450 BC…the words or numerals used to describe an earth billions of years old would have revealed India as its source… for expressing large numbers…because the words or numerals to describe 4.5 billion years did not exist in the Hebrew language at that time.

A universe created 13.7 years ago…and an earth that is roughly 4.5 billion years old…contains the context for all of the compelling apologetic argument for the divine creation of the universe and our earth.

What then would be the motivation for staying with a “literal” interpretation of Exodus 20:11 and 31:17…when the four Genesis “days” of creation are not all literally 24-hour days?

What is the upside to asserting that the words of Genesis and Exodus cannot receive further explanatory revelation…even when it comes from the modern discoveries in the field of geology…starting with Charles Lyell in the 1820’s…that proposed a longer period of time for the earth than 6,000 to 8,000 years?

This line-of-argument is not “liberal” theology…and it is certainly not false doctrine.

The natural world is God’s creation.

God put into His design of nature that it would be orderly and intelligible…enabling scientific research…to dispel the errors of old-wives tales, superstition, and witchcraft in the pre-scientific age.

God knows that a 160-year long intensive search for the transitional intermediates in the fossil record…hypothesized by Darwin to be there in his 1859 book The Origin of Species…will come up empty…because the intermediate precursors in the Pre-Cambrian rock strata are not there…and because the theory of macroevolution based upon purely naturalistic processes…achieving the vast diversity of life through the mindless and unguided mechanism of materialism…is false.

Old Earth 2

Several points here are very important…in my opinion.

The theory of Darwinian macroevolution has been a huge benefit toward exposing and highlighting the truth about God’s creation of the universe, the earth, and the vast diversity of life.

Over the last 160 years…this has come at a cost in making our modern cultures more secular…and has challenged the Christian faith of many believers over this time-span.

But people who have a personal, supernatural relationship with Jesus Christ…do not need science to confirm what they know without a doubt is real in their Christian discipleships and callings.

That being said…the beauty of the theory of Darwinian macroevolution is that it is slowly but surely being refuted by science itself…without involving theology at all.

The complexity, specificity, and integrated coherence of DNA…to name only one thing amongst thousands of examples being investigated by science in the natural world…is way beyond any plausible origin coming from the theoretical mechanism of naturalistic materialism…of unguided, mindless, indifferent, random-chance, trial-and-error processes.

Trying to use a naturalistic program to explain DNA, RNA, and the folding of amino acids to form functional proteins…is like building a 20-foot long bridge attached to the top of one side of the Grand Canyon…as a way to get to the other side.

Darwinian macroevolution may have appeared plausible in the past to many people…but it is totally inadequate today to explain the coordination of the incredibly large quantities of complex information systems in the living and non-living natural world.

Origin-of-life studies using the evolution paradigm…stalled-out a few decades ago…because of the truly unimaginable jump from non-living materials to the “simplest” single-cell bacteria having essentially the same DNA requirements…along with the same complex cellular micro-machinery…needed for both survival and reproduction…to start and sustain life.

This gap in the origin-of-life studies is simply too large to fill-in…even using our creative imagination.

If science reaches the point in the near future of abandoning the random-chance, accidental nature of Darwinian macroevolution as being unworkable…the only remaining explanation for the existence of the universe…is an intelligent designer God.

There are only two choices.

If science in this area runs its course and ends-up exactly where God knew it would end-up…pointing to God as the only plausible choice…as the explanation for the origin of the universe, the earth, and the living natural world…this massive discovery will have come about through human scientific investigation alone…without any assistance from theology…the best possible outcome in this skeptical and unbelieving world.

This would…again in my opinion…be a huge discovery coming at the start of the end-times…the end-times that will see the Spirit of God poured out upon the entire earth (Joel 2:28-32)…empirically establishing for positive evangelical purposes one of the central claims of the Bible…that God created the heavens and the earth (Gen. 1:1).

One major problem with the young earth interpretation is that it has zero apologetic value.

The natural world has two critical pillars that enable human scientific investigation…which are the orderliness and intelligibility of the natural world…from the microscopic world of atoms to the vastness of the galactic universe.

Certainly God could create the universe and the earth together at the same time at 8,000 years ago…inserting false signs and evidences of being much older…but why would He do that?

Why would God be disingenuous in the creation of the earth and the universe…building-in the appearance of oldness…when in fact everything is young?

Why would God create humans with the intellectual capacity for scientific investigation of the natural world…a natural world having orderliness and intelligibility that enables such investigation and discovery…yet do so with the confusing element of designing planet earth and a universe with the appearance of being old…yet in actuality coming into existence only a few thousand years ago?

Why would God create a universe that is expanding outward with great speed…discovered by Edwin Hubble in 1929 looking through the then massive new telescope at the Griffith Park Observatory…evidenced by the red-shift of the light coming from receding distant galaxies…creating the opportunity to mathematically calculate a beginning point in time of the universe at roughly 13.7-billion years ago…if in fact the universe was created only recently?

It is not valid to say that the Bible does not specify 13.7-billion years for the beginning of the universe…or 4.5-billion years for the age of the earth…and then use this as an argument in favor of a young earth.

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” (Gen. 1:1)…does not tell us when this was.

God is under no obligation to tell us everything about the natural world…in the Bible.

God does not have to tell us in the Bible about dinosaurs, or the creatures of the Cambrian Explosion, or about plate tectonics, or mountain building, or solar eclipses…that allowed astrophysicists in the late 1800’s to discover the existence of the element helium…and to figure-out the composition of the sun…and therefore the origin of stars.

When God gives us His explanation for the method of how He created…He limited this to: “And God said”…and goes no farther into the absolute mathematics, physics, and chemistry involved…in the Bible.

The idea that Genesis should tell us specifically that the earth is 4.5-billion years old…and that because it does not…therefore this is an argument for a young earth…is not well-thought out.

Conservative scholars date the writing of Genesis to be around 1,450 B.C.  No one at that time used the number billion for anything.

There were no billionaires back then…no national budgets for countries in the billions…no deficit spending in the billions.  There were not billions of people on the earth in BC 1,450.  Nothing in human reality required the use of the number billion.

Conservative scholars date the writing of the book of Revelation to be around A.D. 90…roughly 1,500 years later than Genesis.

Yet in A.D. 90…the number used to describe a large contingency of angels “round about the throne” of God…was “ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands”…Revelation 5:11…which equals 100 million…10 times short of one-billion.

People who want to “rightly divide the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15) should include Genesis 1:5, 1:8, 2:3, and 2:4 along with Exodus 20:11 and 31:17.

I have provided five verses…four taken as a group in the Genesis creation account…and one in the gospel of John verse 11:9…that question the interpretation of the creation “days” as being 24-hour days.

The Hebrew word “yom” in the four Genesis verses translated as “day” have four different usages…Genesis 1:8 being the only usage that refers to the standard Hebrew description of a 24-hour day.

People who assert a young earth based upon a “literal” interpretation of verses like Exodus 20:11 and 31:17…do not realize that theirs is also a personal interpretation.

A natural reading of these verses suggests a 7-day week of consecutive 24-hour days…but the words themselves do not have to have this interpretation.

The four Genesis verses…along with John 11:9…allow for the usage and interpretation of the word “day” to be other than 24-hour periods of time.

I quoted John Lennox in an earlier post…that he suggests that a reasonable interpretation of the creation days…is 24-hour days for each phase of “And God said”…separated by vast periods of time in-between.

I think this is the best explanation…the best interpretation.

Entire books have been written on biblical interpretation.

In Acts 15:2…Paul and Barnabas disputing with the Judaizers who came up from Jerusalem…was over biblical interpretation.

As far as I can find…there is nothing specific in the Bible about Gentile Christians in the first-century church regarding circumcision and the keeping of Jewish religious rituals.

When Peter stands up at the Acts 15 council in Jerusalem to resolve this issue…he recounts his experience with the Gentiles receiving the Holy Ghost (Acts 10).

This event occurred around AD 49 in Jerusalem…but was not recorded in the book of Acts until around A.D. 60-62.

My point here is that this Acts 15 account of the council in Jerusalem…was not as yet inspired, recorded scripture at the time of the council.

Next Paul and Barnabas testify before the council of the works of God among the Gentiles.

Finally, James gives his Holy Spirit inspired opinion on the matter.

Stephen disputing with the members of the synagogue of the Libertines, Cyrenians, and Alexandrians (Acts 6:9)…was over interpretation of scripture (verse 11).

When Jesus answered the question posed by the Sadducees regarding the resurrection of the dead (Mt. 23-33)…Jesus referred to Moses at the burning bush…saying that “God is not the God of the dead, but of the living”…which astonished the people who heard Jesus say this (verse 33).

This is because the Old Testament is not definitive on this issue…requiring a “dividing of the word of truth” that the Jews had not previously discovered…prior to this statement by Jesus…the authority and final word on biblical interpretation…being the eternal Word of God Himself.

The Bible does not address every issue.  Otherwise it would be 15 inches thick…or 15 feet thick.

In my view…it is God’s prerogative to specify or not specify using numbers…thousands, millions, billions…the age of the earth or the universe.  In His timeless foresight and foreknowledge God knew that human scientific investigation would discover these facts…apparently at the right time to be useful for apologetics…in the long expanse of human redemptive history.

Darwinian macroevolution has ruined science for some people…but scientific investigation…and the facts about the natural world that it turns up…belongs just as much if not more to Christians…than it does to skeptical, atheistic unbelievers.

Jesus Christ…the Son of God…created absolutely everything…the galaxies, our solar system…our privileged planet earth…and every living creature…including ourselves (Jn. 1:1-3).

It is a mistake for Christians to allow the theory of Darwinian macroevolution to spoil their appreciation of science.

Finally, liberal theology has attempted to distort many of the orthodox doctrines in biblical interpretation.

But this does not allow us to abandon our God-given intellectual and Spirit-born capacity to study to show ourselves approved unto God…not needing to be ashamed in our understanding and interpretation of scripture…rightly dividing the word of truth (paraphrased from 2 Tim. 2:15).

Jesus spent 3-1/2 years with the disciples.  As John writes: “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father) full of grace and truth.” (Jn. 1:14).

Yet Jesus told the disciples that it was imperative that after His departure…the Holy Spirit would come to lead them into “all truth” (Jn. 16:13)…implying that there was more for them to experience and learn through guided journeys of faith.

An old-age earth interpretation of the Genesis account of creation…is not false doctrine.

It is simply a second…and in my opinion a more correct and true interpretation…of the scriptures.

Old Earth 1

I believe that Jesus Christ is the Word of God (Jn. 1:1)…and therefore scriptures in the Bible are non-contradictory.

The verses…Exodus 20:11 and 31:17…are divinely inspired and absolutely, unequivocally true:

“For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.” (Ex. 20:11).

“It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.” (Ex. 31:17).

But the scripture verses Genesis 1:5, 1:8, 2:3, and 2:4 are also divinely inspired and absolutely true.

Resolving a difference of opinion in this case in scriptural interpretation…is not a matter of exegesis (letting the text speak for itself) or eisegesis (bringing into the text our own outside bias)…because in the four Genesis scriptures it is the context around the word “day” in each verse that defines its meaning…not the Hebrew word “yom” by itself.

“And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night.  And the evening and the morning were the first day.” (Gen. 1:5).

John C. Lennox…whose book  Seven Days That Divide The World…I would recommend to anyone interested in this topic…said that the language in these four Genesis verses is very sophisticated…and that we must be careful in how we interpret them.

In Genesis 1:5…God calls the light Day, and the darkness Night.  Clearly here Day is not a 24-hour day…but is roughly 12 hours…that portion of a day that is daytime.

Compare this with John 11:9…where Jesus said: “Are there not twelve hours in the day?”

The second of the four verses…is the standard Hebrew description of a full day:

“And God called the firmament Heaven.  And the evening and the morning were the second day.” (Gen. 1:8).

In the third of the four verses…no mention is made of “evening and morning”…in contrast with the six days of creation:

“And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he rested from all work which God created and made.” (Gen. 2:3).

God rested on the seventh day from creating…and is still resting from creating until today…although God is still working in the areas of salvation and redemption…as noted in the response by Jesus to the accusation that He is breaking the Sabbath: “My Father is working until now, and I am working.” (Jn. 5:17).

The context of the word “day” in the fourth verse is clearly not referring to a 24-hour day:

“These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens.” (Gen. 2:4).

There are three ways that these Genesis verses have been interpreted historically:

  1. The 24-hour view…The days are seven 24-hour days of one earth week, about six thousand years ago.
  2. The day-age view…The days are in chronological order…each representing a period of time of unspecified length.
  3. The framework view…The days exhibit a logical, rather than a chronological order.

Luther and Calvin held the 24-hour view.

Justin Martyr and Irenaeus…two of the early church fathers…thought that the “days” of  creation in Genesis might have been long epochs…based on Psalm 90:4 and 2 Peter 3:8.

Origen (AD 185-254)…the most prominent theologian of his time…wrote that in the Genesis account the sun was not made until the fourth day:

“Now what man of intelligence will believe that the first, the second and the third day, and the evening and morning existed without the sun, moon, and stars?” G. W. Butterworth, Origen on First Principles (Gloucester: Peter Smith, 1973), 288.

In the fourth century, Augustine wrote in his commentary On the Literal Meaning of Genesis:

“But at least we know that it [the Genesis day] is different from the ordinary day with which we are familiar.” Augustine, The City of God: Writings of Saint Augustine, vol. 14 (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan/Fathers of the Church, 1947), 196.

I want to conclude this post by quoting from the book Seven Days That Divide The World by John C. Lennox…page 55:

“We are considering the idea that the six days encompass a sequence of creation acts, each of which involved at least one creative fiat introduced by the phrase “And God said.”  This helps us understand what the New Testament means by saying that all things were made by the word of God.  At each stage of creation God injected a new level of information and energy into the cosmos, in order to advance creation to its next level of form and complexity.  On this view, therefore, the six creation days themselves could well have been days of normal length, spaced out at intervals over the entire period of time that God took to complete his work.  The outworking of the potential of each creative fiat would occupy an unspecified period of time after that particular creation day.  One consequence of this is that we should expect to find what geologists tell us we do find—fossil evidence revealing the sudden appearance of new levels of complexity, followed by periods during which there was not creation (in the sense of God speaking to inaugurate something radically new).

I like this method of interpreting the Genesis days…as normal 24-hour days separated by long periods of time.

The idea that an old earth supports Darwinian evolution is not valid.

Darwinian macroevolution falls apart on its own.  Modern science itself has discovered in the last 4 to 5 decades that the information content in living systems is way too complex to have been produced through a random-chance, mindless, unguided, indifferent, and trial-and-error process.

The paradigm of Darwinism is slowly dying day-by-day.  It is not necessary to argue for a young earth in order to combat Darwinian macroevolution.

This takes an entire book to discuss.  See these excellent books on this topic…amongst many others:

  1. Evolution: A Theory in Crisis by Michael Denton.
  2. Darwin On Trial by Phillip E. Johnson.
  3. Darwin’s Black Box by Michael J. Behe.
  4. Undeniable: How Biology Confirms Our Intuition That Life Is Designed by Douglas Axe.
  5. Signature In The Cell by Stephen C. Meyer.

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

A murder mystery fiction novel has a precise combination of letters comprising words, spaces between the words, paragraph indentations, commas, semi-colons, periods, good grammar, and artistic compliance with the general rules for characterization, pace, and suspense…for the literary genre of a murder mystery novel.

Any final editing and revisions that occur during the writing of a murder mystery fiction novel…are done through the work of intelligent agency…through the creative good-sense and judgment of the book author and the book publishing editors.

These minor editing changes that are made may involve spelling error corrections…or the replacement of a few words here and there with other words that are better…or some improvements in sentence structure in a few locations.

But major changes to the plotline that alter the essence of the story…such as a new ending to the book as to who committed the murder(s)…requires a rewrite of the text that involves new paragraphs, entire new pages, and possibly the replacement and addition of whole new chapters.

The nonsensical idea of introducing blind, unguided, trial-and-error, accidental changes to the text in the form of random individual letters and words inserted within the final three chapters in-progress…of an Agatha Christie murder mystery novel…as an alternative method to intelligent literary creative design…in the hopes of arriving at the best possible story ending…is not feasible in terms of the time investment required for potential continued failure.

Any purely mechanical approach of blind editing using individual letters and words…one at a time…in an unguided series of random-chance, accidental changes…would introduce a near infinite possible combinatorial space of nonsensical gibberish…a sea of meaningless letters and spaces…of failed attempts…surrounding the one best island of meaningfully arranged words and punctuation comprising a functional ending to the story…lost in this sea of chaos.

The absurdity of Agatha Christie sitting down at her laptop computer (or typewriter) with eyes closed…randomly hitting keys for several hours each day in the blind-chance of producing an ending to one of her books…is immediately apparent to us as a fruitless search strategy that would never result in a brilliant ending to a murder mystery fiction novel.

What is instantly clear to us…in this example…is that nothing replaces the intelligence factor of human writers as the means to creatively write a murder mystery book.

What is instantly clear to us is that the ending to a murder mystery fiction novel…has an extremely narrow target…in both the storyline itself, but also in the high skill-level the book author utilizes in their arrangement of words and sentences…that tells the optimum story.

What is also apparent after reflection…is that a purely random search strategy of blindly hitting computer keystrokes…along the way toward completing the final two chapters to the murder mystery book…might instead pop-out an unwanted comedy ending…or the ending to an American western…or a romance…or a historical biography…or the ending to a cold-war spy novel.

A search strategy based upon random-chance by definition has no pre-determined or premeditated end-point goal…and cannot use foresight to direct the process to get there.

This has a huge and fundamental application to an understanding of a popular defense of the Bible and Christianity…of the real truth about God…for our modern culture today.

Charles Darwin proposed an entirely naturalistic explanation for the origin of species and the vast diversity of life…requiring no guidance, foresight, or premeditated end-point targets coming by way of the aid of an intelligent designer God.

By choosing this route…Darwin created an extremely narrow tightrope to walk for the boldly innovative, theoretical extrapolation of microevolution to macroevolution.

The bottom-line here is that Darwinian macroevolution is many times more improbable than writing a fiction novel using blind random keystrokes at a computer.

In the theory of macroevolution, Darwin said that the genetic changes that produced variant traits that could be chosen by natural selection…to enhance reproduction, survivability, and to push forward the diversification of living things…that these genetic changes had to be very small and numerous…accumulated and coherently integrated through the power of natural selection…over long periods of time.

The changes that generated the origin of new species and created the vast diversity of life…according to Darwinism…had to be micro in size and enumerable in number…because large physical changes…single big leaps forward in development…called saltations…would be tantamount to miracles…thus inviting an intelligent designer God back into the mix…the opposite of the purely naturalistic explanation for the origin of new species that Darwin was proposing.

To have a purely naturalistic explanation for the origin of new species and the diversity of life…to bring the field of biology into the realm of empirically accessible, modern scientific study…the theory of macroevolution must walk the narrow tightrope between small enough changes…micro bite-sized so that some naturalistic mechanism could produce them through chance or necessity rather than through theistic intelligent creation…yet not so large in noticeably physical variant traits…traits being put-out for natural selection to choose from…that would require miraculous assemblages of genetic variations…that would fall outside of chance or some other chance-necessity based mechanism to produce.

Darwin’s method…his naturalistic mechanism of accidental mutations of genetic variations putting-out variant traits chosen by natural selection…to produce the vast diversity we observe in the living world…must in essence remove the intelligent designer element altogether of the murder mystery book author Agatha Christie…and instead place our book writing and editing hopes entirely upon the capacity of blind, unguided, random-chance, accidental insertions of non-sequenced, incoherent, and meaningless letters and spaces…to eventually through trial-and-error produce a brilliant and captivating ending to the murder mystery book.

The point here is that the immense difficulty in achieving a plausible explanation for the diversity of life…using small enough changes to be able to stay within non-theistic, naturalistic mechanisms…from the origins of the first life on earth around 3.5-billion years ago to the present day…mechanisms being diligently sought after by scientists now for 160 years without success…is actually equal to or more difficult in terms of mathematical improbability than the nonsensical example of the author Agatha Christie sitting at her computer with eyes closed…randomly hitting keystrokes in the hope of producing an ending to one of her murder mystery fiction novels. [1]

By not being able to foresee into the future the discoveries of Einstein, Hubble, Watson and Crick, and a host of Nobel Prize winners…elucidating the complexity, specificity, and coherent integration of systems of information comprising living and non-living things in nature… Charles Darwin in essence…by choosing the naturalistic route of micro-sized changes only…is allowing no major rewrites or alterations to the story…but only the smallest additions or changes to single letters or individual words…through the process of blind, unguided random-chance…which is clearly a nonsensical approach when viewed in the context of book writing…a context easily understandable for everyone.

The random alteration of some amino acids around the outside perimeter of a medium-sized protein molecule…performed in controlled scientific experiments in laboratories to determine how difficult it is to produce a new functional protein by chance…results in a finding…that due to the unimaginably complex properties of attraction and repulsion of amino acids that produces the highly specified folding into the correct three-dimensional shapes of functional proteins…prohibits any easy exchange of one amino acid for another in a medium-sized 150-amino acid protein.

An easy exchange of perimeter amino acids in a functionally folded, three-dimensionally shaped protein…is crucial to the plausibility of a chemical evolution process in support of the notion of genetic mutations putting-out variant traits to generate the vast diversity of life…of being the engine behind the creative origin of new species.

This difficulty of producing new functional proteins through the chance substitution of amino acids…in a scientific laboratory…is mathematically equal to or more improbable than Agatha Christie successfully using blind and unguided one-letter revisions to the final two or three chapters in her murder mystery book And Then There Were None…with eyes closed typing random keystrokes on her computer keyboard.

The exceedingly low probability chance…of making a random transition from one functional protein to another functional protein…by replacing a few amino acids with other amino acids at the outside perimeter of one successfully folded, functional protein to create a new protein…is one successful chance out of failed attempts.[2]

If the Darwinian explanation falls apart at the level of the difficulty of protein folding inside living cells…in an area of study that we can empirically test unequivocally in a scientific laboratory…then the entire program of macroevolution falls apart at this crucial lynch-pin of connection…in the sequential explanatory mechanism of how macroevolution supposedly puts-out enough genetic variation to produce the vast diversity of life we observe today.

When some modern scientists confidently assert that Darwinian evolution is a fact…in their books…they are doing so not as a result of the empirically factual evidence…but as a product of their worldview.

Darwinian evolution must be split into two parts…microevolution and macroevolution.

At the time of the writing of Darwin’s book The Origin of Species in 1859…microevolution was then and still is today a non-controversial fact…demonstrated in the artificial selection by humans of the variant traits put-out in a host of living things…from dogs, horses, cattle, and sheep…to agricultural crops of corn or wheat…to rose bush flowers of different shapes and colors…that can thus be intentionally altered to produce radically exotic varieties…far exceeding what nature produces that can successfully survive in the wild.

When scientists confidently assert that evolution is a fact…if they mean by this that microevolution alone is a fact…then they are entirely correct.

Macroevolution…on the other hand…is the idea that the concept of microevolution can be extended and extrapolated into the existence of genetically open borders in ancestral and current living things…putting-out variant traits extreme enough over long periods of time…to be able to turn a fish into a bird…without foresight or a premeditated end-point in mind.

Without foresight or direction…the concept of macroevolution producing the vast diversity of life…arriving at well-defined architectural body plans and lifestyle habits…in essence…is equivalent to the book writer’s random-chance search for a meaningful story through an eyes-closed approach while hitting keystrokes on their laptop computer keyboard.

This cannot be repeated or articulated enough times in our modern culture.

What is also not clearly explained or articulated by Darwinists is that this macroevolutionary program of a random-chance search strategy…of genetic accidents putting out variant traits chosen by natural selection…could by mere random chancetype-out for the final two or three chapters a comedy, American western, romance, biographical history, cookbook, or cold-war spy-novel ending…rather than the sought-after, suspense-filled, who-done-it murder mystery book ending.

Yet in the natural world we see living things that have incredibly fine-tuned end-points of unique definition…possessing the essential capacities for survival and reproduction…within enormously varied ecological environments.

We do not see living things that have made a momentary wrong turn in their development…requiring a course correction that is obvious…from deleting the chapter ending to the book that was erroneously comedic…to get back into the correct groove toward producing by a random-chance search for the murder mystery ending to match the first four-fifths of the book.

Not only do we not have libraries full of books having their final two or three chapters consisting of nonsensical gibberish…we do not see in our current natural world even the slightest hint of living things part-way in development or in transition toward something else.

And like the murder mystery story having the wrong comedic ending…of having a failed attempt at achieving function…we do not see inconsistent monstrosities in nature like grizzly bears having lion heads, or leopards having wings that can fly, or the top-half of humans having two arms connected to the bottom-half bodies of horses having four legs…as we might plausibly expect in a program of common descent.

Darwinists assert that the genetic changes of macroevolution are too small for us to be able to detect within one human life-time.

This assertion is not valid.

Every living thing in the natural world appears at this present time to be at their functional end-point of development…beyond which even our imaginations cannot carry us further.

To suggest that we cannot find anything amongst the billions of life-forms on earth…that would be caught mid-stream in our current snap-shot in time…part-way along a pathway of continued development toward some easily discernable final end-point culmination…simply points-out the extremely difficult tightrope that Charles Darwin postulated…in attempting to come up with an explanation for the origin of species and the resulting diversity of life…through a wholly naturalistic process.

An analogy might be helpful here.

Suppose there are billions of major league baseball games to match the billions of life-forms in our natural world.

Some of these billions of baseball games have not started yet, some are in various stages of completion, and some have finished.

Now suppose there is a still-photographic snap-shot of a shortstop having received the throw from the second baseman…having stepped on second base…caught in mid-air above the incoming runner from first-base sliding into second base…with the photograph showing the baseball about five feet out of the shortstop’s hand…heading on its way toward first-base.

We might have the additional information that this baseball game is tied-up two-to-two in the fourth inning…and that this is a double-play attempt with one out and a runner on first-base.

But the still-photographic snap-shot alone would give us enough information to recognize a major league baseball game in progress.

There are two large problems with asserting that evolutionary change occurs too slowly to be observable.

First, of the billions of life-forms on the earth…a large number would have to be clearly in transition at any given point in time…including the present-day.

Second, a baseball game is functional from start to finish…from the first inning to the ninth inning.  View any still- photographic snap-shot in the middle of a baseball game in progress…and the remaining future innings are equally as functional as the innings already played.

This is not the case for the living world.

Over the entire range of the development of a hypothetical prototype life-form transitioning from a reptile to a bird…for example…every phase from the first inning to the ninth inning must be able to survive and reproduce…thus removing the supposed “survival of the fittest” driving force needed to propel massive change…to create vast diversity.

Not only do we not see reptiles…or any other creature…putting out the variant trait of feathered wings for flight that produce a benefit for survival and enhanced reproductive advantage…but such intermediate transitionals from the first to the ninth inning…are inconceivable even as imaginative creations.

When contemporary scientists look at the obvious design in the natural world…and come away with only a materialistic, non-theistic conclusion…in my opinion…they fall within the same category as Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden choosing going our own way…and stand foursquare alongside the Pharisees and scribes in first-century Jerusalem…that upon hearing the evidence for Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead…were not influenced or deterred in the slightest from proceeding within the status quo of worldly conventional normalcy and thinking.

Going our own way (Isa. 53:6) cannot be imported into God’s kingdom of heaven…upsetting and plaguing peace and harmony…for all eternity.

When scientists look at the natural world…then confidently write in their books that evolution is a fact…not only is this a semantics error in not differentiating between micro and macro evolution…but this is a conclusion that originates from their overriding worldview of going our own way…and not as a result of scientific fact-based evidence.

The atheistic philosophy of naturalistic materialism allows us to remain in the worldview of going our own way…of attempting to figure-out the natural world through scientific investigation…on our own…without God.

Starting in 1859, with the publishing of The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin, of course the going our own way mindset would latch onto the humanistic component of macroevolution.

This would be the obvious result.

Before 1859, the concept of design permeates our thinking.  After 1859, common descent takes over.

But this change in worldviews is not a result of the discovery of new scientific fact-based evidence…but rather a broad philosophical opening for going our own way to predominate.

Macroevolution today, to borrow the subtitle of the 1985 book by molecular biologist Michael Denton…is “a theory in crisis.”

The negative exposure of the worldview of going our own way…in the Garden of Eden…in first-century Jerusalem…and in our modern-day culture in the scientific investigation into the natural world using naturalistic materialism as the operative worldview…that this exposure is offensive to worldly conventional normalcy and thinking…is a fundamental problem for our modern  world.

The fundamental problem here…as big as it can possibly get…is that this element of extremely divisive offense to worldly conventional normalcy and thinking…of critically exposing the negative downside of going our own way…comes to us by the deliberate intention of God (Rom. 9:33; Gal. 5:11; 1 Pet. 2:7-8)…lovingly for our benefit…taking place at the highest pinnacle of moral character.

The tragic scene of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ on the hill of Calvary is a divinely surgical separation of self-sovereignty versus God-sovereignty…into two violently opposing camps…that only God could and would orchestrate…playing the central acting role…for our benefit for the highest reasons imaginable.

Some scientists will hang-on to the Darwinist model of small genetic changes producing variant traits that natural selection will choose to produce the vast diversity we see in the living world…as their guiding worldview for as long as they can…because of the underlying reason…that this approach on a fundamental level…enables the self-sovereignty of going our own way to be our free-will choice…as opposed to God-sovereignty as our worldview…along with the recognition of design included in our scientific investigations.

But everyone should understand that the macroevolutionary explanation for the complexity, specificity, and functional coherence of the living world…is as improbable as Agatha Christie composing her murder mystery books through blind random keystrokes…with eyes closed sitting at her computer keyboard.

[1] Stephen C. Meyer, Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design (New York: HarperOne, 2009): 215-228, esp. 215-219.

[2] Douglas Axe, Undeniable: How Biology Confirms Our Intuition That Life Is Designed (New York: HarperOne, 2016): 57-59.

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