The Challenge of Evolution

The Challenge of Evolution

Scripture: Genesis 1:1, Hebrews 4:3
The broadcast discusses the Scopes trial and the issue of creationism and evolutionism. Science continues to discover laws and evidence to support creationism. The laws of entropy and thermodynamics are discussed.
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Back on November 24, 1859, 1,250 copies of Charles Darwin's book THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES were released to the public. They were all sold on the day of issue! Gradually, the influence of this work grew and some tremendous reactions appeared in the Christian world. Some people immediately rejected their traditional belief in Creation, as they had been taught from the Bible. Others tried to harmonize evolution and Creation, and began to propound an evolutionary-Creation idea, while a third group roundly condemned evolution as of the devil, and did all in their power to prohibit the teaching of the whole evolutionary philosophy.

William Jennings Bryan, Counsel for the Prosecution, was one of the latter group. He feuded and fought with evolutionists for years. With his silver tongued oratory and his great popularity, he was three time nominated for the Presidency of the U.S. He gained a great following among fundamentalists.

It was through the efforts of Bryan and others that on January 28, 1925, the state of Tennessee passed this law: "It shall be unlawful for any teacher to teach any theory that denies the story of the divine creation of man as taught in the Bible, and teach instead that man has descended from a lower order of animals."

It was just a few weeks after that John Scopes, a 25-year-old school teacher in Dayton, dropped in at the local milk bar for a soft drink. The owner of the shop, who was also the chairman of the school board, had asked John to call. He sounded very casual as they chatted. Then, suddenly he asked Scopes if he'd mind being prosecuted in a test case to see if the new law forbidding the teaching of evolution, was constitutional. Scopes immediately agreed.

When the Judge tapped his gavel in Dayton, on July 10, 1925, it echoed across America, and ultimately around the world. As for the outcome of the case, suffice it to say that the unscientific lay preacher, Lawyer Bryan, in spite of his gifts of oratory and rhetoric, was no match for the opposition. Foolishly, he took the witness stand, and there wilted beneath the withering cross examination of Clarence Darrow. In spite of the fact that Scopes was convicted, the case for creation and the inspiration of Scriptures was held up to ridicule. For Bryan, it was a tragic anticlimax to a brilliant career, for just a few days after the trial ended, he died in humiliation.

And since that day, the Bible has never ceased to be a laughingstock in the eyes of some. But I wonder what the judgment would be if the trial was reconvened today, and if a scientist could stand in Bryan's place, one with a knowledge of the discoveries of the past four or five decades. If that could happen, the image of the Scriptures would be vastly different.

You know, it is now just over a hundred years since Darwin first published his evolutionary philosophy. More progress has been made in science in that century than in all previous recorded history. Have you wondered if research over these years has tended to substantiate or contradict the original theory of Darwin? Let's look at the answers.

On May 26, 1967, Professor Wilder Smith of Illinois University, asked a similar question. He said: "Does contemporary scientific thought . . tend to substantiate the Darwinian postulates, or do the discoveries of the past 100 years actually weaken the case of organic evolution?" And then he answered the question in these words: "Several factors call for a severe modification of the Darwinian system, and compel a return to Creationism, as an increasingly valid scientific stance." (Christianity Today, P.4, May 26, 1967).

As he, and many others are ably pointing out, recent and current research is verifying the accuracy of the Genesis account of origins. It is telling us that modern man can believe the Bible.

For the interest of the casual listener, let's look at one or two scientific facts, and then, for those whose faith is based on the Bible, let's look at a few texts of Scripture. You know, this could well be an occasion when a believer who has tried to harmonize two incompatible accounts, may be far more embarrassed than a scientist who is trained to accept facts at their face value!

Well first of all, the recent findings of science, and here I must quote scientists for I make no claim to be a specialist in this field. Yet any person with a basic knowledge of science will know of the two laws of thermodynamics. These are universal laws, now established beyond the possibility of any doubt. But this is the significant fact: these two laws were unknown a hundred years ago. They were laws of which Darwin had no knowledge, for they were not found until after his death.

In 1955 the American Scientist published an article entitled: Perspective in Evolution. lt said: "The second law of thermodynamics says, that left to itself (that means chance) any isolated system will go toward greater entropy, which also means towards greater randomization" End of quote. Now this is just a law of the universe. If you leave a system, or an organism, to itself to develop by chance, it won't become more organized. It won't develop. Rather, its organization will become more and more random. It will deteriorate. This fact is observable throughout the world.

Now it is true that scientists can't explain this great law any more than they can explain the law of gravity. No one knows why it is true, but its outworking is seen in every part of nature.

As Morris says: "Everything left to itself tends to grow old, and to run down and finally die." (Page 36). You see, although evolution is accepted by many people, it is still only a theory. Never in history has anybody ever observed evolution from kind to kind in action, in spite of claims to that effect. Supposed, yes; but observed, never. And now, with the discovery in recent years of the two laws of thermodynamics, we find the whole concept of evolution is flatly contradicted by known and established laws of the universe.

It makes you think, doesn't it? It makes you wonder what Darwin and his associates might have written if they had lived a hundred years later, and not in the day of scientific infancy. In the evolutionary theory, "chance" is the molding hand, and "natural selection," is the patient artist. But this in itself raises some very important questions. How did chance and natural selection produce such an orderly and perfectly balanced world of nature?

Atmosphere and moisture are essential to life. If the earth were the size of the moon, gravity would be too small to prevent water and air from escaping into outer space. The air acts like a protective blanket. It shields the earth against high energy radiations. It burns up nearly all the millions of meteorites that daily plunge into the atmosphere.

The continents themselves are remarkable. Without the geography and topography of the earth, little or no land would appear. Could chance have produced what we enjoy? On the average land stands 2800 feet above sea level; but the ocean sinks to an average depth of 13,000 feet.

As you think about the design of the earth you come to the conclusion that someone put it all together. A Master Ecologist shaped it so that a vast variety of life forms could exist. Plants and animals of almost infinite variety inhabit the trenches and slopes of the oceans up through margins of the seas and on to the snow-clad Himalayas.

Henry de Lumly, a geologist, was digging in a cave in southern France. He unearthed simple tools, which excited him very much. He kept digging until he found an almost complete skull. The tools, to him, were evidence of an orderly, thinking mind. He knew an intelligent man had to be involved with the making of those tools.

Wherever we look in nature we see design. Every aspect points to order and planning from the six-sided snowflake to the whirling particles of the atom. From the orbiting planets in the heavens to the blood cells streaming in human arteries, in them all we see intelligence, organization, master planning. These demand a Master Designer. They draw us to the definition of creation in the Bible. "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." Genesis 1:1.

Well, we have been looking at evolution through the eyes of a scientist, but let's put the problem into a layman's example. The body, as you know, is composed of billions of cells. Now I ask you, would it be possible for each of them to come into existence by chance, and for a lifetime fulfill their appointed roles by natural selection? I don't think we should take this idea of chance and natural selection too glibly. To illustrate: Suppose you have a hundred pieces of a jigsaw puzzle in one heap. If these had to be assembled in a continuous sequence from 1 to a hundred, what would be the chances of picking up the first piece at the first try? Obviously, one in a hundred. And the chance of picking up the second piece in the correct order would be 1 in 99, etc. Now listen, the chances of getting each of these 100 pieces in correct sequence, would be 17, with 152 zeros after it! And if you multiply that kind of problem a million fold, you get some little idea of what impossible chances would be necessary to bring this complex world into existence. To believe that all beauty and design and the intricacy of flora and fauna in this world came into existence by chance, requires faith far beyond reason.

But let me ask you this question. Is there any alternate explanation? I believe there is. You see, it is simple logic to reason that design requires a Designer, that matter calls for Creator, that beauty requires an Artist, that love must be brought into existence by a Lover. And because all these elements are found in the world at large, it is logical to believe that a Master Designer, Artist, Creator, and Lover, must exist, who brought life, possessing all these characteristics, into existence. The things we behold, touch, smell, taste, and hear; the powers of reason and choice that are ours, all demand a consciously designed creation.

Now what does the Bible say? The Bible says "the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is." This is an inspired and reasonable explanation. God made all things in a consciously planned creation. They did not, and could not, come into existence by chance. The Bible says, "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." And again, "In six day the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is." Nowhere does it hint or suggest that long periods of time were required to bring our world into existence. Again the Scripture says, "Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them, and on the seventh day God ended His work which He had made." Again the Scripture says, Hebrews 4:3, "The works were finished from the foundation of the world."

The whole Bible makes it very plain that all creation was the work of God and executed and finished at the end of the first six days of this world's history. Creation is over. Today God is not creating, He is preserving, sustaining.

The question of origins is not as insignificant as many think, for what a man believes about beginnings affects to a great degree what he believes concerning destinies and purposes. This is no academic issue, it is a basic issue between man and his God.

If evolution were right, then in the infinite future, man would evolve into a being of such superior intellectual prowess that no problems would be beyond him. We could overlook all the present iniquity as gene deficiency, as environmental or psychological imbalance. Man as some evolving creature could be excused because of his incomplete evolution. But listen, the Bible says we were made in God's image, perfect creatures; then because man rejected God, this world was turned into chaos. Sin is no environmental problem, it is man opposing God. The Bible says degeneration, not evolution, has been taking place since sin entered the world. And for this, there is only one possible solution, it is Christ, the Sin-bearer, who can take sinful man, and restore him into the Divine image again.

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