Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Can't argue with Darwin?

"Facts are facts. Science is precise. You can't argue with Darwin!"

I don't quite remember the original context of the passage, but this one line truly struck me. Can't argue with Darwin? Says who?

Don't get me wrong - I love science; I think it teaches us a great deal, and brings up many amazing angles of God's creation. But let's ask ourselves for a moment - how many scientific theories have come and gone since Moses received the unchangeable Torah at Mt. Sinai? Furthermore, how many theories were considered as "facts", and later were proven to be completely off the mark?.. You see my point - so excuse me if I don't bow to the almighty science.

Let's look, for example, at the famous theory (which many dare to present as a fact) that humans have evolved from apes - or rather, that humans and modern apes had a common, ape-like ancestor. To back this theory up, scientists point out the amazing similarity between the DNA of a human and, say, a chimpanzee.

No doubt, our DNA is very much alike. But does it mean we evolved from chimpanzees (or a similar creature)? Not necessarily. The Jewish belief is that apes, in fact, are humans that "deteriorated" as a punishment for their sins.

You see a delicious-looking cake. One person tells you, "someone took some flour, eggs, butter and sugar. Then he carefully measured all ingredients, mixed them all in the proper order, and baked exactly at the right temperature. The result is before you."

Another tells you, "flour, eggs, butter and sugar appeared in random quantities, and were randomly thrown into the air by a blow of wind. By chance, they mixed themselves properly, and then the cake popped itself into the oven, and here it is."

Which one makes more sense?


Anonymous said...

I've never heard it told that the Jews believe apes deteriorated from humans. Where do you find this? I don't think it's a common belief, at any rate....I'm familiar with all sorts of traditional Jewish interpretations of creation, but have never heard that one. Just curious.

Camellia said...

There were two engineers. Both designed an aeroplane. The two aeroplanes were both wonderful, and equal in every respect but one:

One required a pilot, the other didn't.

Evolutionary theory need not exclude God. Please consider this matter carefully before you homeschool your children.

Mrs. Anna T said...


As far as I know, this interpretation comes from the Talmud where our sages talk about those who built the Tower of Babel.


Evolutionary theory contradicts Jewish beliefs, even if it doesn't exclude the Almighty. Thus, homeschool or not, my children will not learn it as something that is, or even can be, truthful.

Gothelittle Rose said...

It helps to define what part of evolution we're talking about. :)

There's no question that species adaptation occurs to a certain extent. Within the bounds of their DNA, different species change slightly to deal with their environments. The silliness comes when you take it further and claim that, for instance, the fact that humans living in higher elevations develop more lung capacity must mean that humans used to be amoebas.

I reject the notion of evolution as species origin. Furthermore, I hold a scientific conjecture that "vestigial organs" will continue to disappear as their uses are discovered until the notion itself is proven false.

I find it interesting that every single time I've seen or heard of a parent or teacher casting any doubt on evolution, someone always gives them a warning conforming roughly to the phrase, "You'd better shape up on this Obvious Truth before you teach your children!" Politicians who suggest that the honest problems with the theory be examined in school are treated like instant enemies of 'The Truth', even if they don't wish to mandate anything. There are few if any issues I've seen in which proponents push so hard to see it learned by The Children. I have to admit, that insistence does not reassure me of its veracity.

Jessica said...

Yes, could you explain the "deterioration" belief? I haven't heard of that before, either (but then again, I'm not Jewish...).

I do agree that those who claim science has "all the answers" and that we "can't argue with science" are CLEARLY forgetting some VERY MAJOR scientific mistakes - like the earth is round and the solar system revolves around the Earth, amongst many others!!! Blindly believing "science" doesn't seem too wise!...

Mrs. Anna T said...

Jessica, see my comment above.

Anonymous said...

Why are we so willing to accept all the theories that scientists come up with as being factual? One thing I have always wondered is WHY, if we humans supposedly evolved from ape-like creatures, is WHY there are still apes? How come they have not evolved out of existence?

By the way, your cake analogy was great!

Jacqueline said...

Interesting post, Anna. I actually just finished reading two books on the subject, The Case for the Creator (Lee Strobel) and The Science of God (I don't recall the author of the second book off the top of my head). The main thesis of both of these books is that there is a place for science in religion, and that one does not necessarily contradict the other.

Interestingly enough, I came to accept a theistic view of creation and the universe during my upper level university science courses (Quantum Physics, in particular). It was there that I learned the minute details of things so complicated, so precise, and so magnificant that there was no doubt in my mind that there had to be a predetermined, driving force behind it all.

Rhonda in Chile said...

Either we believe the Word, and all it says, literally, or we don't believe it at all.
The earth was created in 6 days by the Word of the Lord.
We shouldn't have to explain our belief or apologize for it. And we don't have to teach our little ones a modern theory just to please others. In fact, why would we? Wouldn't that be insulting to our Lord?

sara said...

I hope this link about humans into apes works.


Unlike the Torah, talmudic writing would not be considered Scriptural by most Christians, but it is interesting.

Anonymous said...

Jessica says:

I do agree that those who claim science has "all the answers" and that we "can't argue with science" are CLEARLY forgetting some VERY MAJOR scientific mistakes - like the earth is round and the solar system revolves around the Earth, amongst many others!!! Blindly believing "science" doesn't seem too wise!...

But I don't think the notion that the earth is flat and that the solar system revolves around it were scientific mistakes. These were ancient beliefs that learned people held in the middle ages as a result of superstition and not having tested out these beliefs based on the scientific method. Medieval "scientists," who believed in such things as spells and alchemy, cannot properly be called scientists in modern sense of the word, because they didn't use the evidence-based scientific method. Copernicus and Galileo, who could perhaps be said to be among the fathers of modern science, corrected these errors based on observational science. Galileo in particular caught hell for this from the religious authorities, which pointed to Scripture to contradict Galileo.

That's not to say that you can't question science or scientists -- of course, you can!!! Of course, scientists can be wrong and scientists are extremely conscious of this fact. The whole point of science is that beliefs are open to question based on the evidence -- in contrast to religious belief, which people often assume should never be questioned.

-- Pendragon

Anonymous said...

Just to follow up some more. I have always find it curious that people perceive scientists as saying that their views are beyond question, when in fact scientists continually say the opposite. The whole structure of science is based on questioning received truths.

But I think people's perception is based on the fact that scientists are hostile to teaching creationism in science class. But this is NOT because scientists view their views as beyond question. It is because creationism is irrelevant in a science class. Creationism is based on the Bible, which is beyond the scientific method. Belief in the Bible is all about, "We should believe X, Y, and Z because the Bible says so." Science is all about, "Here is a theory. How can we test it out in the physical world?" Science has no way of proving or disproving God's involvement in the process of creation. It is something we take on faith or revelation. Faith and revelation are not scientific so they shouldn't be taught in a science class.

-- Pendragon

the voice of melody said...

I like the example of the cake. It's an interesting analogy.

Mrs. Amy @ Clothesline Alley said...

The absurdity of evolution is one of the main reasons I could never reject religion outright, even while going through my stupid younger days. It seems to me the notion that life magically appeared one day from bubbling prehistoric sludge or whatever the case may be and that we all have no purpose whatsoever for being here, takes a LOT more faith to believe in than any religion ever could. What a very sad way to look at the world. We're just animals, born to eat & die. No higher purpose, nothing beyond this life, nothing beyond ourselves and our desires; just mere animals.

Mrs. Anna T said...


I know the Talmud is not considered Scriptural by Christians; I merely pointed this out, however, as an example of a different explanation to humans and apes being "related", other than the evolutionary theory.

Anonymous said...

One last thought (one that perhaps Mrs. T and people on this board will agree with):

It seems to me that regardless of whether you believe in the Bible, the theory of evolution or both, it makes sense for any educational program to include both because both have been incredibly influential on western civilization. My parents, who were not religious at all, made sure I was familiar with both the Bible and Darwin by the time I graduated from high school.

Mrs. T, I don't hear you saying you won't teach Darwin and other evolutionary scientists to your children --just that you won't tell them that you think Darwin is right. This makes sense to me.

-- Pendragon

Anonymous said...

Mrs. Amy,

I'll shut up soon (at least for a while), I promise, but I thought your comment was very relevant!

People who believe in evolution do not necessarily think that we are "mere animals" here for no purpose but the present. Many people who believe in evolution believe in the existence of G-d and the afterlife and idea that human beings have an immortal soul. They simply believe that the scientific theories regarding our origins explain the physical mechanism by which G-d accomplished creation. (After all, science is concerned with the physical and the Bible doesn't really explain HOW G-d physically created the world and us.)

But secondly, there are many of us who do suspect that our existence is not the result of a conscious creation and that there is no afterlife. I am one of those people. I agree with you that it would probably be more pleasant to believe in a benevolent and just creator who will bring us all into a beautiful eternal life after death. I will be very happy if that turns out to be true (unless, of course, there is eternal damnation which I think would be more depressing than atheism). But because one thing turns out to be more pleasant than the other doesn't mean that it is more true.

I also think that atheism isn't quite as grim as you make it out to be. We are not just animals focused on meeting our immediate needs. All people, regardless of religious belief, are capable of comprehending values beyond their own needs. Some of us are so in love with the world that we do think beyond our own needs to that which we can do to assist others and make the world a better place for future generations.

-- Pendragon

Swylv said...

There's a book for kids called Yellow and Pink and it deals with this very thing. I used it to introduce the absurdity of evolution to my son. Such a smart boy he knows B'ReSheet/Genesis it the one and only TRUE account.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry but you don't understand evolution.

As for your analogy with the cake - you fail to relaise that evolution is a long, slow, gradual process that takes millions of years. Evolution is self evident.

You can argue with Darwin, but you can't dismiss the overwhelming evidence in support of evolution.

Courtney said...

Going back to what you said about us evolving from apes and sharing similar DNA with them... did you know we also share 60% of the same DNA as a banana? Therefore could we not pin up some theory that we could have evolved from random fruit as well? That to me sounds just as ridiculous as evolving from apes. If we can share DNA with even inanimate objects, why did we have to "evolve" from just one thing that had a similar DNA makeup? Its a load of bunk.


Mrs. Anna T said...


"Evolution is self evident."

Sorry, but... no. It's self-evident that the grass is green, for example, but not that we all evolved from single-cell primitive organisms.

Mrs. Amy @ Clothesline Alley said...

Pendragon- I am well aware of what atheists, agnostics, and others believe as I once walked that path myself. I cannot, however, be convinced to believe that atheism is not a very bleak & heartbreaking belief system, hence why I have no ill feelings towards those who believe in such a system. We were created to be much more than life without belief in God allows us to be and while I do not believe this thinking is necessarily that of the atheist belief system, I do think this train of thinking denies individuals much of the dignity and beauty of their full humanity. Truly I do not mean this in a disrespectful way, as I do respect a person's right to their own beliefs and also deeply respect those who have come to their respective belief system through much thought and introspection, rather than just "going with the flow" and falling into a belief system without thought & care.

As you have rightly pointed out, people of all religion and not religious stripes can strive to better the world in which we live, but so, too, can all of these people be doing such acts for the wrong reason: for atonement, to impress others, to ease our guilt, among many others. Much of the volunteer work I participated in during my agnostic days was not done for the correct reasons, and such admissions came from many of my friends during this time period as well. We might have been doing work to help others, but were really selfishly seeking to serve ourselves, rather than our fellow humans. I do not believe everyone who does not believe in God does good deeds for the wrong reasons, but I do think this is more of a risk when trying to strive for a moral life apart from religious principle.

With that said, whenever somebody steps up to help their fellow man with pure motives, I absolutely believe that is God working in their hearts, even if the person in question does not believe in God. Caring for one's fellow human beings, when done with noble intentions, is always a beautiful thing, regardless of who is doing this caring. :o)

Little Missy Homemaker said...

Evolution has never been proven. What "overwhelming evidense" are you refering to? Evolution is only a theory. It seems to me that many people treat evolution as a proven fact when in fact there are so many holes and inconsistancies in the theory that many scientists are scratching their heads and wondering what to do. Of course, it's just not politically correct to question evolution, you might just see your funding or you job taken away.

Anonymous said...

I assume that the alternative - God - IS self evident, then?

I say evolution is self evident because you can see in every organism how it is adapted to survive its environment.

I am not going to explain the intricacies for you as I think you already know that the 'theory' is credible and merits further study by yourself, but you wilfully choose to misunderstand and ridicule evolution because you think it is incompatible with your belief in God

You say "so excuse me if I don't bow to the almighty science."

Ridiculing science is quite low of you in my opinion - generations of hard working, dedicated, unrecognised scientists have spent their working lives to improve the lives of others, including yourself. Biologists in particular who are heavily informed by evolutionary theory. You are almost guaranteed to safely deliver your child in January and you have science, and scientists, to thank for that.

So please take the time to educate yourself before you belittle and dismiss something in which millions of educated people of all religions around the world are confident enough accept as fact

Respectfully, Natalie

Anonymous said...

We cannot solve the question of origins by what appears "self-evident" or intuitively correct. What is "self-evident" is in the eye of the beholder -- Anonymous thinks that evolution is self-evident whereas Anna thinks it is self-evidently "absurd." Certainly, our ancestors thought it self-evident that the earth is flat-- and that turned out to be flat-out false!

I guess what bothers me a bit is that I see folks on this board dismissing the notion of evolution out of hand, without knowing much about it. For example, I think Courtney makes a legitimate point -- the mere fact that species share DNA does not in itself prove evolution. But there is a lot more to it than that.

It just seems that biology requires a lot more study before simply dismissing out of hand a theory universally accepted by trained scientists.

-- Pendragon

Anonymous said...

Mrs. Amy,

Thanks for your very kind comment! Again, I don't really have a quarrel with the idea that belief in G-d provides more comfort than the absence of belief in G-d. That's probably true!

My personal philosophy is "to go with the flow" -- do my best morally and otherwise at whatever task or condition lies in front of me, appreciate all the positive things about the world and my fellow human beings, and the rest I really have no control over so I don't worry too much about it.

Best regards,


sk said...

How come anti-creation believers never acknowledge the fact that Darwin renounced all his "teachings" before his death?

It takes just as much faith to believe in evolution than it does creation. Might as well err on the side of being made on purpose then on accident. :-)

Mrs. Anna T said...


What appears to you as proof of evolution - organisms being adapted to their environment - might be proof of God's hand at work to someone else, don't you think?

I never belittled or under-appreciated science. On the contrary, God gave us a mind to think, explore, and make use of discoveries that are beneficial to all.

What I pointed out here is merely the difference between THEORY and FACT. Evolution is a theory, and therefore I will not be pressured to admit it's a fact.

sara said...

Mrs. Anna, I know you know. *smile* Just adding to the conversation.

Angela said...

I would also like to know what the so called evidence for evolution is. There have been absolutely no transitional fossils ever found to support evolution. Millions of years of evolution should have produced at least a few of these. However, in the fossil record, you do see a sudden explosion of many different kinds of animals all at one time. This particular scientific evidence supports creation.

Yes, animals do adapt to their environments in order to survive. This is not evolution.

Please see http://www.icr.org/ if you are interested in more scientific evidence.

Many of the early scientist were believers in God and began with the premise that God created the world in their scientific studies. There are still many wonderful Christian scientists today.

Christine said...

The way I look at evolution, G-d left these similarities to help us in science so that we would be able to improve our science and medicine as we would not have been able to without the "clues" that were left. There has to be some reasons we see these similarities, and to me G-d put them there on purpose

Anonymous said...

Hi! Just wanted to say that it is not accurate, as it seems to have been suggested, that evolution and (all) religion are mutually exclusive. That, at least, is not what the Catholic church believes (to my knowledge, continually in the process of being open to what science can teach us and how that can be compatible with our faith). So, I think it should be interesting to consider that not all religious people (and certainly not all christians) are steadfast against evolution. And, really, for me (who take my faith seriously), there is no contradiction between the two.
Catholic Maria

Anonymous said...

I will never forget sitting in my college astronomy class and having my professor mention that there were mirrors on the moon.

"How did they get there?" he asked.

My hand shot right up! "They evolved." I declared.

The entire class looked at me as if I had lost my mind.

"Why not? If the great diversity we see on earth all evolved, why couldn't the moon evolve mirrors?"

They wrote me off as a quack. I still think it's a legitimate theory. *shrugs*

There is great diversity amongst dogs, but I've never seen a dog give birth to kittens. That's why evolution seems impossible/improbable to many of us. Besides the fact that we should be walking on layers of bones and if you calculate moon-drift the moon would have been attached to earth a millon years ago.

If evolution is true, the Bible is false. Because if millons of years produced the layers of earth we see, we have no evidence of a global flood. So why should we fear a Creator that doesn't tell the truth about His judgements or how He actually created His world?

I also asked the same professer (who said he believed the Bible, just longer days) how the plants created on day #3 survived millions of years in the dark until day #4 . . . see, if that's the case, even the order in which things were created is "wrong".

I do not see how you can believe both - it's not logical.


Anonymous said...

How come anti-creation believers never acknowledge the fact that Darwin renounced all his "teachings" before his death?

Because (if true) this fact is completely irrelevant. No one believes in evolution because Darwin said it. People believe in evolution because of the scientific evidence supporting it.

-- Pendragon

Anonymous said...

Ashley asks what evidence supports the theory of evolution. The answer is that the fossil record, DNA evidence, and the like are overwhelming. It would be impossible to summarize it all. But the following primer (along with others) is available on-line:


Scientific American also responded to a number of creationist criticisms of evolution here:


-- Pendragon

Anonymous said...

I found an even better-written, more fun to read link, responding to criticisms of evolution here:


-- Pendragon

Anonymous said...

"And God said, let us make man in our image after our likeness....
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. Genesis 1:26-27
God didn't create apes and say "let them evolve eventually into man" he created man, male and female. I teach this to my children as it was taught to be by my parents (no we're not jewish) believeing I came from an ape is what I find far fetched. My ansectors didn't swing from trees, they walked in the Garden of Eden.

Dirtdartwife said...

Isn't the original word for "days", eros, which means era? And based on a simple evolution class, era is thousands (if not millions) of years. The 24 hour time frame concept did not come into being until about 4000 BC anyway, so who can say what God means by "day?" It's us humans applying the concept of 24 hours to His day.

We can see evolution even on a simple level with us when we travel from one climate to another. We have to "acclimatize" to our surroundings. So why can't this work on a greater level?

I'm a Catholic so we are free to believe that there is no definitive separation of evolution from creation. And I really believe that God didn't create the universe in what we know as days (being the 24 hour period). I believe it spanned millions of years.

Angela said...


What fossil record? Have you ever seen a picture of a fossil that is half fish, half reptile? There are no fossils of transitional creatures anywhere in the record. Even scientists who support evolution admit this.

I don't mean to sound rude, but I have to agree with Anna. There is just no logic in evolution.

I believe in creation. Not only because of my faith in G-d, but because I see the evidence everyday when I step outside my door. I see it everyday when I look at my daughter. The design is much too complicated to be random. The more I study science, the more evidence I see for creation.



Angela said...

I looked at the website you posted. The author assumes alot without giving supporting evidence. He says there are transitional fossils, yet again, where are they?

He also talks about evolutionary changes within a species. Crossbreeding and adaptations. These are not evolutionary changes. If you crossbreed 2 dogs, you still get a dog. If you crossbreed a wolf and a domestic dog, you still get a dog.

I don't believe anyone disputes adaptation within a species.

To use Anna's cake example. If you mix the batter for a chocholate cake and a spice cake, you will get a chocholate spice cake (don't know how good that would taste) but it is still a cake, not a pie.

It is evolution from one species to another that there is not evidence for.

Kristi said...

Have you heard of/seen the recent movie by Ben Stein called "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed" ? It is something of a documentary style but he goes into much of what you said and what is going on in the science community. He doesn't go into the aspect of Biblical creation (possibly one or two references) but rather the mere possibility that life on Earth was intelligently designed, and the opposition that idea is coming up against. It's eye-opening and thought provoking, to say the least.

Rebecca Grider said...

While I don't wish to discuss the facts or failures of evolution, I am struck by something I read between the lines. It seems that if there's a choice between what God says and what science says, God trumps science.

I've been reading about some cases in the U.S. concerning faith healing and parents who lose their children due to refusing to take them to the doctor, insisting instead that prayer and turning to God could heal their children.

I wonder how this fits in with the outlook you and many of those who comment hold. At what point does one stop turning solely towards God and seek out scientific answers?

Please understand that I was raised without any religion so I am very ignorant about both religion and how people practice their faith so I ask out of curiousity.

Bethany Hudson said...

Personally, I do believe in evolutionary theory--but since I don't believe in coincidences, I think that God's hand was present in the process of evolution and still is present today. If God could make man from inanimate dirt, I don't see why He couldn't have made Man from some monkey-like ancestor.

luci said...

No criticism from me! I enjoy reading everyone's comments, and Anna, I very much enjoyed your post.

I would like to note, respectfully, that in scientific terminology, a "theory" is something very different from how he word is used in common discourse. Gravity, for example, is a scientific theory. "It's a theory, not a fact" is somewhat misleading, as it doesn't reflect the meaning of the word "theory."

MarkyMark said...


I have two zingers that'll NUKE the theory of evolution. One is the underlying logical basis for evolution; if you think about it, evolution states that nothing created something out of nothing-wow! How do you do that?!

The second is the second law of thermodynamics. Since it's been a long time since I've studied science, I'll sum it up the best I remember it. Basically, it states that everything declines; it states that everything decays.

The proof in the pudding can be seen in people or material things. Look at us; do we get better or worse as we get older? Up to a point, we get better; after a certain point, our bodies fall apart until we die. Or look at any of our possessions; do they get better with age? No, they don't; even if we take good care of them, they decline.

There are more holes in evolution, but those are all that I can think of right now. You might try looking up web pages that are devoted to this, such as the Institute for Creation Research.


Amber said...

Re: Cake Analogy

Humans are certainly more complex than cakes. Airplanes are also significantly more complex than cakes, and it takes a team of hundreds of very, very smart people working for years to design an airplane. If this analogy could be used as some kind of reasoning that there should be a creator for mankind, wouldn't it make more sense if we actually had a pantheon of multiple gods?
I've always wondered about that.

Anonymous said...

My two cents: I am a Catholic and I grew up in Italy. The way we were taught in school, at church, by our parents, was that Genesis is a beautiful poem about creation, and that our time is not necessarily God's time (i.e. one day could mean a million years, or whatever). Never it was suggested that evolution was "wrong" or that one theory excluded the other. That cleared the conflict for me, as I like scientific evidence. If you take the Bible literally, then it is a completely different ball game. I would like to point out though that while I can accept the reasoning that perhaps evolution is a theory, not a fact, then I want to say that the 7-day creation is also a theory, not a fact. Perhaps with even less evidence. Federica

Mrs. Anna T said...

To Rebecca:

The parents you talk about certainly couldn't have been Jewish; *we* are commanded to do everything possible to take care of our health and safety... not to sit back and count on prayer alone. The principle of making effort is very important for Jews.


I do believe God *could* have made humans out of apes... because nothing is beyond Him. Only, this is *not* what the Bible says...

Claire said...

The notion that Darwin renounced his theory on his deathbed is quite false:

I am in firm agreement with Mrs Bethany - God's process of creation is beautiful and wondrous. I don't think we can ever hope to truly understand it. Genesis is the way He tried to teach us about our creation - but I have no trouble believing that it is allegorical, like so much else in Bible. Allegories are still TRUE (this is very important), but they are not literally true.

Mrs Amy, your second comment was simply lovely. I would hasten to say though that I think so much of this is personal opinion. I understand why you would see evolutionary theory as empty or unpleasant, whereas I and others see it as very beautiful and exciting. In fact, I think the whole issue of belief in God is like this.

I believe the theory of evolution is broadly correct (and some previous commenters might want to look into the scientific definition of 'theory', as it's somewhat different to our everyday meaning). I do not believe it offers evidence of God in itself. But I don't believe it has too. I don't believe God is going to come and leave His undeniable mark on us. He expects us to have FAITH. It is FAITH that enables believers to look upon evolution and say, 'Surely this is the hand of God at work' though there is no evidence, the very act itself seems it must only be God. But there is no evidence. There isn't supposed to be. There is only faith.

I would urge everyone to read and study this matter further. I worry, to be honest, about the future of Christians in science. We need Christians, and we need them properly trained and active in the scientific community - Lord knows there is enough truly controversial things happening, Christians are needed in the thick of things, not isolating themselves. I speak as the wife of an Oxford-educated quantum physicist - he is a believer in God, and a believer in evolution.

And one last point on studying further - I haven't addressed all the myriad issues raised above, like the fossil record and the second law of thermodynamics (haha, mention of that one sends my husband crazy!). This is not because I, as someone who accepts evolutionary theory, do not have thoughts or answers - I do - but because I really, truly, don't think that a blog comments section can ever hope to engage constructively on this issue. It's not a suitable place for a major scientific debate. Really, people should go and read (and don't read things you agree with! Read people you DISAGREE with!) for themselves.

Anonymous said...

Marky Mark says the following:

I have two zingers that'll NUKE the theory of evolution. One is the underlying logical basis for evolution; if you think about it, evolution states that nothing created something out of nothing-wow! How do you do that?!

Are you sure you are not criticizing Genesis? Genesis seems to be claiming that G-d made something out of nothing. How DO you explain that exactly?! (And come to think of it where did G-d come from? Out of nothing?)

I am NOT being facetious. If these are legitimate questions to be applied to the theory of evolution (which does not even purport to explain the origins of the universe), why don't these questions equally apply to the Bible?

(I should also note that there science does not claim to be explain everything. I don't think it makes science less valid just because there are still unknowns. Not to mention that science does have theories such as the Big Bang relating to origins of the universe and the origins of matter.)

The second is the second law of thermodynamics. Since it's been a long time since I've studied science, I'll sum it up the best I remember it. Basically, it states that everything declines; it states that everything decays.

The proof in the pudding can be seen in people or material things. Look at us; do we get better or worse as we get older? Up to a point, we get better; after a certain point, our bodies fall apart until we die. Or look at any of our possessions; do they get better with age? No, they don't; even if we take good care of them, they decline.

I don't see how this theory would apply to the development of new species. After all, you may get older and decline, but if you have a baby, the baby will be brand new and will have somewhat different features than you do. This fact does not contradict the second law of thermodynamics.

(Also the idea of entropy depends on the idea of a closed system, such as your body. Speciation is not happening in a closed system.)

-- Pendragon

Anonymous said...


I don't think you sound rude at all. Disagreeing with someone doesn't mean you are being rude -- I do it all the time and, yes, I too worry that I am sounding rude, but I like disagreement and think it is interesting.

There are LOTS of transitional fossils, so it is hard for me to understand the debate here. I thought this was settled.

My google searches show that a lot of these debates consist of the creationists saying, "There are no transitional fossils!" and the scientists saying, "We have tons of transitional fossils!" and the creationists saying, "Well, you don't have enough transitional fossils," or "You don't have the transitional fossils we think you should have," or "Those aren't really transitional fossils!" A good summary of the debate is here, with some examples from the fossil record is here:


I will come back shortly and address the whole "things are so complex" argument.

Best wishes, Pendragon

Anonymous said...


I am now onto the argument of, "We and other species are so complex, evolution cannot explain how we came to be the way we are."

Which I have to admit doesn't seem to me to follow at all. Why DOES complexity mean there has to be a designer? How do you get from point A to point B in this theory? Why does, in your mind, the fact of complexity lead inexorably to the conclusion that there was a conscious designer? (And isn't the designer complex too and where did the designer come from?)

But then I re-read your comment and the word "random" stuck out at me. You and the intelligent design crowd aren't so much saying that complexity proves the existence of a designer, but that complexity disproves that species developed randomly.

But natural selection is, in essence, NOT random. Yes, a given species over time experiences many, many, many, many random mutations. But the process by which particular mutations get passed on to such an extent that they define an entire new species, while other mutations die out, is NOT random at all. It depends on which mutations are helpful to surviving, thriving, and reproducing in a particular environment. It is not surprising that after billions of years, the animals and plants arond us (and we are ourselves) have become highly complex and attunded to doing well in our surroundings.


Anonymous said...

Another thought-provoking post Mrs T!

I find it extremely alarming that any Christian would find room in their belief system for evolution. Jews and Christians alike know the account of creation as detailed in the book of Genesis. We also know how Eve was tempted by the devil to eat the forbidden fruit. From her, we have an inherent nature to think we know better than God. Man to this day continually bows down to idols. Science can be one of those idols. Science is not evil, but trying to fit God into Science is. True science would support the Word of God, not contradict it.

We constantly try to form God to our image and likeness instead of allowing Him to conform us to His image and likeness. Pride!!! It is the evil behind the theory of evolution.

I read something recently that I will quote here:

"Hitler believed in struggle as a Darwinian principle of human life that forced every people to try to dominate all others; without struggle they would rot and perish..."


"Sir Arthur Keith, the well-known evolutionist, explains how Hitler was only being consistent in what he did to the Jews - he was applying the principles of Darwinian evolution."

I know people will say this is a far-fetched example. Hitler was an evil man for sure. I believe that any theory rooted in anti-God foundations, carried out to the full, will produce evilness. Darkness is evil = evil is the absence of Light.

I will stick with what God and His account of creation says. He formed man from the dust of the earth... and He breathed into his nostrils the neshamah ~ the breath of life...

Rebecca Grider said...

Mrs. T,

The news reports didn't mention the religious affiliation of the parents, so I didn't know. I just asked because I wondered at what point does one who takes the Bible literally turn from God to science for answers.

I hope this is an appropriate question to ask, but I've always wondered about this. One of the reasons that many religious people seem to dismiss evolution is because of the idea that something evolved from nothing. I personally do not believe the universe came from nothing; I believe the universe has always existed and will always exist. It is infinite and forever. My question is, if God created the world and humans, who created God?

Does a dismissal of evolution and reliance upon God as creator eliminate the possibility of life on other planets? I personally believe that it is likely that there has been, perhaps is, and will someday be life on other planets; we simply don't yet know about it. If we were to discover that there had been life on Mars or on another planet how would that effect one's belief in God as creator and man as his creation in his own image?

I hope it's okay to ask these things; I feel like everyone here has been very kind about answering questions and these are things I've always wondered and never felt comfortable enough with religious people I've known to ask.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

The Bible says when God created the heavens and the earth that the evening and the morning were the first day, not a thousand years, not a million years, not a year but a day and He created the earth, all that is in it and the solar system and heavenly bodies in 6 days, not 6 million years etc

Andrea said...

Claire, I really enjoyed reading your comment; I'm honestly a little surprised to find so few old earth creationists commenting here. Pendragon, as usual I read all your comments with great interest; you mentioned worrying you sound rude when you disagree, so for the record, I want to say I love how you do come across as so very civil! I can't ever recall you making personal attacks or using derogatory language-- it really is very gracious of you, and I'm always intrigued by what you have to say.

I do incline toward the theory of a literal six day creation, but, unlike my former black-and-white, teenaged-years type thinking, I no longer believe that God will be made any less God by my hearing and studying evidence for evolution (or, as I would term it, a longer creation process). I think that at the heart of this particular issue what matters (at least to me) is the knowledge that God created the heavens and the earth; the manner in which He elected to do so . . . well, that is His business, and if I should one day stand before Him and learn that it took Him longer to go about it than I originally thought, I will certainly not worship Him any less fervently than I do now; He would be made no less God for the learning of such a thing, after all.

Claire said...

Sigh. Anon, Hitler was also a vegetarian. Does that mean vegetarianism is without merit? Are those quotes you gave really necessary or appropriate? Comparing decent Christians who are scientists to Nazis is not helpful.

Anonymous said...

No Claire, I did not compare Christian scientists to Nazis... I know there are wonderful Christian scientists who are God-fearing and Bible-adhering people.

Every belief has it's roots in something ~ either those roots are in God or they are not. Evolution has it's roots in humanism. Humanism is rooted in pride. Pride is evil and it's fruit will attest to that. Pride was/is the downfall of mankind. The Word of God is my authority on that.

Without intending to be rude, I don't care if one's husband is a rocket scientist. We don't need umpteen degrees in Science to understand the Word of God. We are to come to Him as little children. Believe what He says and leave our science degrees out of it.

He is greater than our most intelligent of all men.

Anonymous said...

There were 57 comments so I skipped a few to add my two cents worth, (and may have missed something to dissuade this quickly fashioned particular response).

First of all, I seriously thought the cake analogy was going to lead to an example of someone making a cake without measuring ingredients, which I often do. (It's why my friends can never get any of my prize-winning recipes.)

Second, I work with scientific anatomical and physiological 'facts' and numbers every day. I see no reason to disregard or discount the importance and 'currency' of beliefs when it comes to providing consistent and reliable application of 'scientifc facts'.

As a dietician, I'm sure that understanding the importance of providing nutrition in the form of amino acids, complex and not-so complex carbohydrates, co-factors and vitamins, and understanding the Krebs cycle, Harris-Benedict and Basal Energy Expenditure, etc. is based on scientific 'facts'.

While there is a certain amount of art involved in presenting the sustenance of life (as a dietician), I think someone is a little disingenuous to propose that the Bible is literal truth and to provoke a 'groupthink' attitude by others that are not so intellectual inclined nor trained.

I always respect the viewpoints as so articulately and kindly explained by the moderator, but this is just a little far-fetched.

Angela said...


It is God who is infinite and has always existed. Not the universe.

I would refer you to Answers in Genesis. They can answer your other questions. They have a website just for this purpose.

In His Service,


Analytical Adam said...

Many scientists feel there are serious SCIENTIFIC PROBLEMS with Evolution and that natural selection only worked in a limited sense but did not creat new species. Other developments also show as you pointed out Mrs. Anna that while thre are similarities between different animals they could not have evolved. Some of the info if false. They have found embryo's of different animals are not similar as some have said. Their also is the issue that scientists have a problem with in that is the complexibility of certain parts of the body could not have evolved because of what part is missing the whole part doesn't work. So there are real SCIENTIFIC PROBLEMS with Evolution and Darwin believed in Survival of the Fittest which is a very immoral concept that only THE FIT can survive.

Sadly, some Rabbi's do think Evolution is consistent with the Torah although some don't.

One Rabbi who is a Biologist and supports inteligent design over evolution is Rabbi Moshe Tendler and he bases this on recent scientific developments which suggest real problems with evolution in addition to likely his religious beliefs.

Angela said...


With all due respect, the website you provided with so called transitional fossils are extinct dinosaurs. If these examples are transitional creatures, then how would you explain the duck-billed platypus? This is an animal that lays eggs, has webbed feet, a beaver's tail, and fur. Yet it has been classified as a mammal. It stumps evolutionary scientist.

The fact is, we all have the same evidence but we interpret it differently. Evolutionists begin with the supposition that evolution is true and those that believe in creation begin with the Bible. We are not likely to agree.

Just to be clear, I do believe in a literal six day creation and that G-d created it. I also believe that the earth is only about 6,000 years old. G-d shows us this in the Bible through the genealogies.

G-d is literal, He does not try to be mysterious and He means what He says. When He says 6 days, that is exactly what He means. He is a G-d of truth.

Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
John 14:6 (NIV)

"Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

John 8:32 (NIV)

Mrs. Anna T said...


Interestingly, it's while studying for my degree in nutrition that I learned SO many scientific theories are constantly created, disproved, and eventually fly out of the window (even after many years of being accepted as 'fact').

Every few years there's mass hysteria about some food that is either supposed to have killed you a long time ago, or will solve all your problems. Eventually it almost always proves to be either false or not entirely true.

Which leaves me very, very sceptical about accepting every statement made by scientist as unquestionable.

Mrs. Anna T said...

... By the way. You guys from that forum who actually spent a couple of hours discussing this blog post and *what the heck is wrong with me* in a 3-pages-long thread - if you are still reading, please know no one forces you to bear with my backwards, Orthodox, anti-science, anti-feminism musings. If you are so shocked and disgusted by the abnormality of my thinking, you always have the option of staying off this blog to preserve your sanity.

Back to the subject: I readily admit I haven't read enough evolution-related literature to argue whether it is right or wrong from a *scientific* point of view (without having my faith involved). I'm merely protesting against the evolutionary theory, or any other scientific theory, being shoved down our throats as unquestionable. By the way, if you ask an average person who believes in it why they think evolution is true, not many will give solid arguments either.

And to the vegan who protested about my cake 'recipe' containing eggs - that one made my day! :o)

Anonymous said...

Analytical Adam says:

Many scientists feel there are serious SCIENTIFIC PROBLEMS with Evolution and that natural selection only worked in a limited sense but did not creat new species.

That is flat-out false. The theory of evolution is overwhelmingly accepted in the scientific community. There are certainly disputes about certain aspects of how the theory works in certain circumstances, but the theory itself is accepted. And NOT because scientists just accept it on "faith" and work from there -- but because of the evidence in support of evolution, and because there has been no genuine scientific dispute. (Just saying, "I don't believe it" or "It doesn't make sense to me because things seem too complex to have evolved" is not a genuine scientific dispute.)

-- Pendragon

Anonymous said...


I am not sure I understand your comment. Why would it matter if transitional fossils are extinct animals. You would expect them to be extinct, no? As for whether they are dinosaurs, I don't think that is true.

I am also unsure of the relevance of the duck-billed platypus. I have never heard of evolutionary scientists being stumped by its existence, nor do I see why they would be. It seems well-adapted to its environment as far as I know.

-- Pendragon

Anonymous said...

Mrs. T says:

Interestingly, it's while studying for my degree in nutrition that I learned SO many scientific theories are constantly created, disproved, and eventually fly out of the window (even after many years of being accepted as 'fact').

This is precisely it. This is why I trust the scientists. Scientists are constantly testing their theories, replicating the results, expressing skepticism, and revising theories when they don't hold up.

I haven't studied evolution since I was a schoolgirl in 1987. I have only very passing familiarity with the fossil evidence, the DNA evidence, etc. I am not a scientist at all. My interest in the debate is all about the method we use to figure out the world.

I trust the scientists more than the folks at the Discovery Institute or the folks who point to the Bible when it comes to issues of physical fact because the scientists have an actual method for examining physical evidence and testing out their theories as to the physical world. Theologians just point to a book and the intelligent design crowd just points to intuition ("Things are so complex, it doesn't seem like evolution can explain it.")

And that's my real interest in the debate. I don't really care if we evolved or somehow came into being in some other way. What I really care about is how we figure out truth -- and I suspect that is what the anti-evolutionists care about too.

-- Pendragon

Anonymous said...

the Bible is the true living breathing Word of God and even if I weren't a saved Bible believing Christian, I would still find that a higher being creating the earth and all of life far more logical and believable than evolution.

Anonymous said...

As a child,I dreamed of being an archialogist.Learned about evolution in school,science was just my absolute favorite class. My family was Christian,was raised in the Church.So these things always collided with me.But no matter how much I Loved science,to believe in God was the smartest belief. It's just too impossible to believe that there is more merit in what science says than what the Bible says.
Also, it's not just more comfy to believe in God. It's the hardest thing ever. No easy task at all,in fact there is scripture talking about the feeling of futility in believing and following God.
The thing is, science is asking,teaching,and all but expecting believers in God, to just give it up,the proof is there. Consider what is asked in that.
God says He is not based on the findings of man.It's all in there.
All that science discovers,helps us understand,the amazing things to see,to know,to benefit from,well...
it all came from God. This is where it comes from. I would like science to consider what they have to lose,up against what believers have to lose. I don't appreciate my school teaching me that we came from monkeys,or apes,or that all of this just happened. I realized even at an early age,that this was just plain ignorant.Why?because I knew God,I read,listened,understood,and believe me,I tested,still do.This is something science cannot even come close to. I still don't understand why God is rejected as in having anything at all to do with creation of all we know and understand,after all,it was man who said it just happened,but it was God,waaay before that,His word was recorded. For us to read,to live by.I wish those who wish to count God out of the equation,could have just a tiny bit of what's inside my heart and mind and soul concerning God and His awesomeness.Maybe,then maybe,those people would begin to see that it transends the meager facts,and I say meager,because I know who put all that there for science to find,discover,look at,benefit from,and so forth. My heart is still a scientists heart,but not over what I know about God.I can see so much.Sometimes I wish I could respond to documentaries I Love to watch about space,earth,all of it,that it is so simple,you don't have to spend billions,all your time,believers already know what science tries in vein to know.I'm saying all this,because it is the difference between just dying or going to heaven or hell. I'm not going to support evolution.Nor teach my kids that.In fact,I made sure my sons,completely dismissed that in school,rejected it,and in fact, let them know it was completely foolish and ignorant. At the same time,teaching about God.They made the smart choice themselves.Sorry, it so is the smartest choice.Not just a comfy one.To me,it would be easier to not believe in God,then I wouldnt have to worry about Hell.Or sinning.Or feeling guilty.My belief in God is much stronger than my Love of science,and I respect science,appreciate it,but not when it tries to convince me my God,The God does not exist,this is my thanks for loving science.Not all science is like that though. you can still be a scientist and believe in God fully. So therefore,there must be more than one set belief among the scientific world,that it is not soley for those who don't believe in God.I think that's just arrogant,and ignorant,and at times just mean and disrespectful. I could go all day at this!! I'm quite confident. I credit God for that confidence.:Not myself,or findings of man,or my fifth grade science teacher.Thank You.

Anonymous said...

You said, "I am now onto the argument of, "We and other species are so complex, evolution cannot explain how we came to be the way we are." Which I have to admit doesn't seem to me to follow at all. Why DOES complexity mean there has to be a designer?"
You wouldn't look at a great painting, huge skyscraper, or tiny computer chip, and view it at the result of millions of years of mutations and survival, would you? All or these things point to something bigger-the artist who created the painting, the engineer and builers who created the skyscraper, and people who made the computer chip. Each of these things attests to the designer's creativity and ability to create what they imagined. Why should it be any different with creation, which is surely much more infinite and complex than anything man has made? From the tiniest microorganism to the largest star, each thing seems to call out to me, pointing to the great creativity, power, and care of my Creator.

Anonymous said...

Any reputable scientist knows two things: nothing can be proven and what is "true" today can be wrong tomorrow. Evolution is a scientific theory (i.e. a group of hypotheses that are supported by a series of experimentation and have yet to be rejected...notice the "yet"). Even in the scientific community there is strong and heated debate about evolution. Things that were commonly used to support evolution such as the peppered moth, "Lucy," and the archaeopteryx can no longer be used. Darwin, himself, was wrong on many accounts and even did not deny the possibility of the inheritance of acquired characteristics (what is known as Lamarckian evolution). It is hypothesized that all life sprung from a unicellular prokaryotic cell. Ok...where did that come from? *More scratching heads in the scientific community.* Everyone knows that spontaneous generation does not happen: something can not come from nothing.

I am not anti-science, I have a science degree and absolutely love science. I believe in evolution on a micro level (wolf to chihuahua) but not on the macro level (such as unicellular prokaryote to human); however, as there are a lot of holes and problems in it (of course bringing them up can result in a lowered grades as some students have found), I think people need to not accept it as gospel. I believe in teaching science to children but believe that it needs to be removed from the pedastool it is on. Science is not always right and actually is constantly evolving itself. Remember not too long ago, science was used to "prove" that certain races were biologically inferior to others, that mercury was a good cure for syphilis (I guess if you die from the mercury, you won't have to deal with syphilis), and that radon and other radioactive substances were perfectly harmless and could cure just about everything (yea, tell that to the radial dial painters and those who were exposed to atomic bombs).

As for those who trust scientists...you have my pity. I do love science but you have to understand how research is done: you have to have someone willing to pay for it (usually a pharmaceutical company) and an audience that wants to hear it. So if it is unpopular, unless you are willing to work for free and be rejected, it is more than likely to not be published or discarded. Some scientists have found themselves threatened with termination if they published what goes against what is "in" at the time. Also, the eugenics movement is still strong in the scientific community (some things seem benign that they don't seem like it such as genetic counseling). Some scientists, not all, also have the attitude that if it can be done, it should be and that there should be no regulation of science. The individual scientist usually isn't so bad but most are underpaid and overworked (at least biologists) and sometimes the pay to do something dubious or unethical is too great a temptation.

But in any matter, I do not use science to further my belief in God, I use God to further my belief in science. If science and God conflict, guess who wins? God. Evolution isn't entirely at odds with God but the monkey to man part? If you look at all the theories for this possibility, they are downright far-fetched. And to add to it, no missing link for anything has been found including for man and ape (all the ones that have been found have been shown to not be missing links).

Well, I'm going to go back into my hole. Just thought I'd add my two cents and I guess a nickel since it turned out longer than I thought.

Lydia said...

Wow, did you ever open a bag of worms! I always knew by how passionate people were about the evolution/creation debate that it stemmed more from the heart than hard cold science. Have you seen the documentary Expelled ? It is amazing how vicious this debate can be! But I just wanted to encourage you, and all others who believe the truth, that in eternity it will matter that we stood for the truth and truth is worth standing for.

I have seen where the evolution theory was truly taken to heart and it has led to the untold murder of millions of the weak and innocent. In my country it continues to lead to the murder of far to many innocent children, and that is enough to rend my heart and make me more passionate than ever against the Godless, anti-Word of God evolution. Much of the mess we are in today is because of the rejection of the Creator and lack of responsibility to Him.

"Why sayest thou...'My way is hid from the Lord and my judgement is passed over from my God'?Have you not know? Have you heard? that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth faints not neither is weary? There is no searching of His understanding." Is. 40:27,28

Send Me An Emu said...

That cake analogy does not make sense. A more appropriate analogy to evolution would be: there is a kitchen full of ingredients and you have several billion years with which to improve on your recipe. Evolution does not suggest that a cake is thrown together out of nowhere.

Anonymous said...

Somehow I missed Eliza B's comment, so I hope it is not too late to respond. Eliza made the analogy between living organisms and a beautiful painting. A beautiful painting obviously has a designer, so doesn't it follow that the living organisms around us also have a designer? I have to admit that this analogy which seems to make so much sense to other people doesn't make any sense at all to me. A painting is an inanimate object. It doesn't reproduce. It doesn't pass on genes. Being beautiful does not help it to survive in the natural world. So, yes, there is no reason for a beautiful painting (or any painting) to just appear without a painter. But that fact does not challenge evolution which applies to the development of living organisms over the course of billions of years. (The same response applies to the cake analogy.)

I ABSOLUTELY agree with the other commenters above that the mechanism of evolution and natural selection does not preclude the existence of G-d. Darwin's theory may be inconsistent with a totally literal reading of the Bible, but it is not inconsistent with the possible existence of an omniscient creator G-d. It very well may be that G-d chose evolution and natural selection as the mechanism for bringing the wonders of the world about.

To me, evolutionary theory and religion are not in conflict but rather are talking past each other. They are asking different questions. Evolutionary theory is about answering the question, "What physically occurs to bring about so many different species of living organisms in the world?" It says nothing about whether a higher consciousness may have decided on that physical process. Religion (at least Judaism, Christianity and Islam) answers the question of who brought us into being, and what the relationship that entity has with us. It says next to nothing about the physical process that G-d used to bring us into being. It is also impossible to scientifically, prove, or disprove religion's claims as to the existence of G-d (which is why "intelligent design" is a religious concept, to be accepted on faith or intuition, and not a scientific concept).

-- Pendragon

Anonymous said...

1. the glowing reviews of EXPELLED are strange, because the film outright mocks young-earth creationists. Did those recommending it even watch the movie?
2. Way up thread, there were those (Anna included) who proposed that it was impossible to believe in God and in evolution. That's strange to me, because the majority of Christians (certainly the entire Catholic church has been ok'd) and the vast majority of Jews aren't confused... but maybe this will be helpful:
1. Say Anna believes that God granted her a child - this is a completely normal thing for a religious person to believe AND YET - I bet - Anna also understands the human, earthly, temporal means by which a baby came to be in her womb. There's no contradiction, right?
2. As Anna's baby grows - it's completely normal and typical for a believer to believe that God is knitting a child inside your womb. AND YET - You understand that the cells are dividing and that an umbilical cord is bringing nutrients to your child, right?

Understanding the mechanics of how things work on earth doesn't have any bearing on your interpretation of holy books. Happy Christmas to all - and please, if your homeschool, make some effort to find out what you don't know.

Anonymous said...

The very fact that we are alive seems to me evidence of Creation. Where can life come from besides the source of life?
On a different note...I wanted to say that I appreciate how kind your comments are. I've never picked up on any sarcastic or negative tones, and I just wanted to say that's cool. :-) Also your enthusiasm; it's very obvious that you believe in standing up for what you believe and I admire that (though I wsh you could bring all your energy to my side!!) :-)