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by John W. Klotz
From: "A Symposium on Creation"
(Vol. I), pg 34-52
©1968 - Baker Book House
JOHN W. KLOTZ
Dr. Klotz may be called a scientist or a theologian, for his daily work involves both fields of study. Professor of science at Concordia College, River Forest, Illinois, he is also pastor of Calvary Church, Wood Dale — perhaps the only active pastor currently (i.e. at time of publication, 1968) listed in American Men of Science.
A 1941 graduate of Concordia Theological Seminary, he later received his Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh in the field of biology. His professional associations include membership in the Illinois Society for Medical Research, the Illinois Academy of Science, American Genetic Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the National Biology Teachers Association. Professor Klotz, a native of Pittsburgh, is well known among clergy and university groups as lecturer on evolution and the Bible. Genes, Genesis and Evolution is his first major publication.
It all depends on your point of view. If you put a dot on a piece of paper and hold it about ten inches from your eyes you will have no difficulty in seeing it. If, however, you close one eye and move the paper back and forth, you will not be able to see the dot at one point. This is a demonstration of the well-known blind spot in the eye. Since the blind spot, which is due to the entry of the optic nerve, does not cover the same area in both eyes if you look at the dot with both eyes you can see it. But if you close one eye the dot falls on the blind spot of the eye which is open you do not see it. It all depends on your point of view. If you are looking with two eyes the spot is visible. If you look with only one eye the spot may not be seen.
So it is with the phenomena of nature. If you look with the eye of faith you see God in nature, both in creation and in preservation. But if you look only with the eye of reason and of cause and effect you may not see Him. This is why the Creationist can see God while the man who does not look on the phenomena of nature with the same faith does not see Him there.
In teaching biology the Creationist is concerned with demonstrating both creation and preservation. Both these doctrines, which are inherent in the First Article of the Apostle's Creed, are widely denied, not only by biologists but by most scientists today. Historically, it was the doctrine of preservation which first came under attack. Isaac Newton, pious Christian that he was, laid the foundation for attacks which were later made on the doctrine of preservation by developing the concept of the world as a machine and the picture of God as a watchmaker God. Newton believed that the age of miracles was past. He accepted the miracles of the Old Testament and of the New Testament. He believed that Jesus had arisen from the dead and looked upon his own work as a scientist as an opportunity to serve God. He believed, however, that God no longer worked through miracles but rather only through cause and effect relationships. He believed that the universe was an intricate machine and that the role of science was to discover the cause and effect relationships which governed it.
Newton was followed by a number of men, among whom was LaPlace who believed that if there were a superhuman intelligence capable of knowing the position and momentum of every atom in the universe and capable of solving all mathematical equations, it could with precision state the minutest detail of every event whether it be thousands of years in the future or remote in the past. This was a natural deduction from the Newtonian picture of the world as a machine. Accordingly the role of science became that of seeking out the cause and effect relationships which govern the universe. With this point of view divine intervention receded farther and farther into the distance. It was not long until some scientists and philosophers of science applied Occam's razor to the system of Newton and LaPlace. They reasoned that God was no longer essential to the system. For all practical purposes it did not matter whether he existed or not, and in the course of time they gradually eliminated Him. This gave rise to the mechanism and materialism which characterized the science particularly of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
It is interesting to note that God's role as the Preserver of the universe was denied before His role of Creator came under attack. Men were willing to assign Him the role of Creator if only He would back out of the picture and remain on the remote periphery. Only later did they begin to deny Him even this position. Newton and many of his followers had no difficulty with the doctrine of Creation. They were quite willing to believe that God created the universe which they saw; indeed they praised Him for His creation and saw in its intricacies His hand.
Newton's picture of the universe as a machine governed by strict cause and effect relationships has now been replaced, though the attacks on preservation continue. Today scientists no longer speak about strict cause and effect relationships. The indetermin-ism of Heisenberg, which holds in a physical sense only on the sub-atomic level, has had its influence also in the macrocosm. Today there is a great deal of debate still going on between those who are determinists, insisting that everything is fixed in the sense that Newton envisioned it, and the indeterminists who believe that it is not. Planck and Einstein are still determinists, arguing that the world is deterministic but that we cannot demonstrate this fact. Heisenberg and Eddington on the other hand, believe that the world is basically indeterministic.
Closely associated with the concept of God as the preserver of the universe is the concept of purpose in the universe and in what happens in the universe. We usually call this the concept of teleology. It, too, is an old concept and very much a common-sense concept. To anyone who looks with two eyes it is clear that there is purpose in the structure and function of living things and purpose in what happens in the lives of individuals, but if you close one eye, the idea of purpose is likely to disappear. Even the very ancient Greeks saw a pattern in the world about them and in the events of history. Later the Romans with their concept of law developed the idea of a plan. It was this Roman idea of a plan in creation and in the affairs of men which was taken over by the medievalists. They looked upon God as the law-giver. They believed that He had given the moral law, the ten commandments, to govern the activities of man in his social relationships, and they quickly drew the parallel of God as the law-giver in imposing the laws of nature on the created world. So the concept of a scientific law developed. It was believed that these were the laws issuing from the mind of the Creator which governed the activities of both the inorganic and the organic world. It was believed that what could be seen in the world was the evidence of God's plan for the world.
This idea of teleology, too, has come under attack and has been virtually rejected. Beck states that the arguments against teleology are decisive and most scientists today have denied entirely this concept of purpose (William S. Beck, Modern Science and the Nature of Life, New York: Harcourt, 1957, p. 180). For a time they even denied apparent purpose in the universe, arguing nothing ever appeared purposeful. Today they no longer do so. They are ready to admit apparent purpose in the universe, but they deny that it is really a part of a pattern or of a plan. Instead of teleology, Ernst Mayr suggests the word "teleonomy." He uses this term to designate apparent purpose in the biological world and he explains all apparent purpose on the basis of feed-back mechanisms. He believes that all instances of apparent purpose which we see in the natural world are due to these purposeless feedback mechanisms. He uses the analogy of the governor of an engine, of a thermostat, or of a guided missile that seeks out the airplane which it is to bring down. He tells us that all of these are instances of feedback and do not involve purposeful behavior. The governor of an engine does not really have as its purpose holding the speed of that engine at a certain point. There is nothing at all purposeful in its behavior. Centrifugal force shuts off the gas supply when a certain speed is reached and consequently the engine cannot operate at a higher rate. Similarly in a thermostat there is no real purpose in the action of the thermostat itself. An increase in temperature breaks the contact and shuts off the furnace. A decrease in temperature renews the contact and starts the furnace once more. The guided missile sends out radar waves and adjusts its course according to the pattern of the radar waves which it picks up. The course which it pursues is not at all purposeful: it is the result of a complicated feedback mechanism.
It might be noted that while there is no purpose in the action of the governor of an engine, or of a thermostat, or of a guided missile, there is purpose in the activity of the scientist and engineer who constructed these devices. The purpose may not be in the devices themselves but there certainly was purpose in the mind of the individual who devised them. And it is just this purpose that we Creationists see in the universe.
It seems to me that the Creationist teacher in approaching the phenomena of biology owes it to his pupils to point to the complexities of nature as an evidence of the wisdom of God and for His plan in nature. It also seems to me that the Creationist teacher must point to instances of purpose in the lives of children and in the history of nations. Let me cover the second point first. I personally believe that there is purpose in everything that happens in my life, and I believe that there is purpose in all of history. My Lord tells me that not a sparrow falls from the heavens nor a hair from my head without His knowledge and will, and Paul assures me that all things work together for good to them who love God. There are many who would ridicule this sort of faith. It is probably true that in the past we Christians have erred in insisting that we could demonstrate the purpose in everything that happened in our own lives and also in the history of the world. This, I believe, is asking too much. I do not believe that I can demonstrate the purpose in every little event that happens in my life, but it is a matter of faith that I believe that even the little things have purpose. It is probably asking too much to see the hand of God in every event of history, but I believe, nevertheless, that it is there. What I am saying is this: that we must teach the children that God has a purpose in everything that happens in their lives and in the universe, even though they may not be able to demonstrate it. I am committed to the concept of teleology, and I have an obligation to bring others to that same commitment.
The concept of purpose, or teleology, is important not only to one's faith but also to the practice of that faith. If there is no purpose in the universe and if God has withdrawn completely from its governance, then there is no reason for prayer. Then James was wrong when he said prayer changes things. If the whole universe is a giant watch, remorselessly grinding our effects as the result of given causes, then man is indeed a helpless pawn of his environment and what is more important, God, Himself, cannot save him from the consequences of the cause and effect relationships which govern the universe. To be sure, God ordinarily works through cause and effect. But He is not bound by cause and effect as modern science seems to imply. Then, indeed, there is no point to pray because not even God can change things. Then, indeed, the pessimism which we see on so many sides today is justified.
Perhaps a word is in order about this pessimism, particularly on the part of scientists today. There was a day when the scientific world was very optimistic. Optimism can be traced through the history of science from its beginning in the sixteenth century down through the nineteenth century and even into the twentieth. This scientific optimism of the day is reflected in the many Utopian novels that were published during these centuries.
Today all this has changed and scientists are among the most pessimistic of human beings. They feel that man cannot be trusted with the power which modern science has given him. Perhaps the most pessimistic of all are the men who make up the Federation of Atomic Scientists. This pessimism is reflected in the anti-Utopian novels which are being written today. These include such novels as: 1984, Brave New World, and the like. These all picture a world dominated by science, but it is a very frightening world indeed.
As a matter of fact, only the Christian who believes that God is ruling this universe can afford to be an optimist today. If I did not believe that the future of this world was being determined in Heaven, I would be as pessimistic as most of my scientific colleagues. But I accept God's governance and because He is good I know He will bring about what is good for me and for my fellow Christians. God works through cause and effect relationships and as a scientist, it is these that I study. But He is not limited to cause and effect as I am.
What about the hand of God in the natural world? Let us turn our attention to this. As we look about us we cannot help but be impressed with the complexities of the living world. God has arranged it that the plant should turn toward the sun so that its leaves may receive an adequate amount of light. I know you can explain this on the basis of feedback mechanisms. I know that you can develop a mechanical explanation involving the synthesis of auxins, but I believe that behind this process is the hand of God. In a sense it is a feedback mechanism, but it is a feedback mechanism that has been developed with a purpose, just as the feedback mechanism in an engine or a thermostat or a guided missile has been developed with a purpose in mind. The Creationist biology teacher is in a very good position to point to a great many of these adaptations. He will use the same adaptations which his non-creationist colleague uses but he will refer to them as evidence of the purposeful planning of God and not wonder at them as "marvels of evolutionary development."
Actually the intricacies of the universe are such that it is hard for any reasoning man to believe that they have developed by chance. I know the mechanistic biologist will argue that given enough time the impossible not only becomes possible but even probable. I know that the statistically minded biologist will argue that from a statistical standpoint these impossible situations are actually possible after all, that the so-called "laws of nature" are not absolute but are rather statements of a high degree of probability and that we must except exceptations even to these "laws of nature." It is these exceptions and not the hand of God which he believes accounts for these remarkable complexities.
Let me refer you though to some instances which I believe can be accounted for only by the purposeful planning of the Creator. The chemical compound most closely associated with life — water — is indeed a remarkable substance. We fail to appreciate it only because God has made it so abundant and we often take it for granted until we begin to be troubled by its lack.
The properties of water are in many ways unique. For one thing, it has a high heat-holding capacity. Compared with other substances, a larger quantity of heat is required to bring an increase in the temperature of a given quantity of water. It is for this reason that large quantities of water are used in air conditioning: water is an effective refrigerant. It can carry off large quantities of heat and have its temperature increased by only a few degrees. The amount of water on the earth's surface, estimated to be enough to form a layer over a mile deep if spread evenly over the earth's surface, tends to prevent sudden increases and decreases in temperature, as for example, between day and night. A rock, for instance, is very hot during the day and very cold at night. The change in temperature in a body of water is by comparison insignificant. The presence of large quantities of water in the oceans and the Great Lakes is responsible for the fact that coastal cities are not as warm in summer or as cold in winter as are inland areas: they have a natural air conditioning. Not only does the temperature of a body of water itself remain relatively constant, but the atmosphere in its immediate vicinity is also affected. This high heat-holding capacity of water also prevents the occurrence of catastrophic ocean currents and winds which might otherwise result from sudden changes in temperature.
Another important property of water is the large amount of heat that is necessary to change it from a solid or a liquid state to a vapor state. To change water from a liquid to a gaseous state (and this occurs at all temperatures, not only at the boiling point) requires from 500 to 600 calories per gram. Condensation transfers that same amount of heat from the water to its environment. This is particularly important in cooling plants and animals. Because vaporization of water removes large quantities of heat, perspiration is an effective cooling agent in animals. Transpiration, the evaporation of water from leaves, brings the same result in plants. This is important because the upper practical limits of life are reached at about 104° F. Few plants and animals can be active and some cannot even live above this temperature. Both plants and animals are frequently exposed to situations where the absorption of heat might easily raise their temperatures above this point were it not for perspiration and transpiration.
Water also gives up a large quantity of heat when it freezes. In freezing it may actually increase the temperature of the surrounding atmosphere. Taken together, these two characteristics of water make possible the exchange of large quantities of heat between the tropics and the polar regions. As water vaporizes in the tropics it removes a great deal of heat from these regions, and when it cools and condenses in the colder regions it gives off this heat. Later when it changes from a liquid to a solid state it releases a further quantity of heat. This process is reversed when the ice and snow melt and when the water vaporizes once more. The whole cycle results in a more uniform temperature over the surface of the earth and makes possible life as we know it. If we were subjected to extremes of temperature, life would be a very precarious thing.
A very unusual property of water is the fact that it reaches its greatest density at about 39° F, that is, at this point it is heaviest. Most liquids become denser as they cool and reach their greatest density at the freezing point. Yet water is almost unique in this respect, and this property is an important one. It keeps water from freezing from the bottom up since water at the freezing point is lighter than water at 39° F. and tends to rise to the surface. In this way freezing begins at the surface and the bottom freezes last. In many cases the water at the bottom of the pond never freezes, and thus organisms living there are at least somewhat protected.
This property of water is also important in the melting of water in the spring. Water is a poor conductor of heat and if streams froze over from the bottom and melted from the top they would melt very slowly. The water forming on the top of such a melting stream might well act as an insulator, preventing the ice underneath from being affected by the sun's rays. However, as water melts it sinks to the bottom so that the ice is always formed at the top where it can absorb the direct rays of the sun.
This property of water is also important in supplying oxygen to ponds and lakes. Water at the surface is relatively well supplied with oxygen; water at the bottom tends to be deficient in oxygen. As the pond cools in the fall and winter the oxygen-rich water on the surface tends to sink and to replace the oxygen-deficient water at the bottom. As the temperature decreases and nears the freezing point, the water which is now at the bottom moves once more to the top where it again comes into contact with oxygen. In the spring the water produced by melting ice moves from the top where it has gathered oxygen to the bottom. Then as it becomes still warmer it moves to the top once more. Thus the oxygen-rich water at the surface is moved repeatedly to the bottom of the pond.
Another point to be considered is the greenhouse effect, brought about by the presence of water vapor in the atmosphere. A greenhouse maintains a higher temperature than the surrounding environment because glass permits sunlight to pass in freely but absorbs and reflects many of the longer heat rays remitted by objects in the greenhouse. Water vapor in the atmosphere does much the same thing. The sunlight is permitted to pass through freely, but many of the longer heat rays re-emitted by the earth are absorbed and reflected back to earth. This prevents extreme variations in temperature between night and day.
Still another property of water is that it is the "universal" solvent. Fortunately not all substances are soluble in water; otherwise it would not be possible to find a container for water. But more substances are soluble in water than in any other solvent, and many substances which will not dissolve will form a colloidal suspension with water. Substances in solution or in colloidal suspension react much more quickly than substances that are not. It is probable that all chemical reactions of living protoplasm take place between substances in solution or in colloidal suspension.
It is hard to believe that this unique collection of properties should have arisen by chance. One might expect a single unusual property in one substance but it is hard to believe that this aggregation developed by chance. It is far more plausible to believe that this is an evidence of the plan of God. He gave water the properties that it has because He was designing it for specific purposes in serving living things.
Another unusual substance associated with living things is protein. It might be said that this chemical compound is the characteristic compound of living things. Its unusual characteristic is its complexity. Proteins are the most complex compounds known with molecular weights in the hundreds of thousands. Only recently have we succeeded in synthesizing proteins in the laboratory. They are characteristic of the species, that is, dog protein is never found in human beings and vice versa. It may well be that no two human beings have the same proteins unless they are identical twins. This seems to account for the fact that skin grafts, bone grafts, artery grafts and the like do not "take" permanently but merely serve as the scaffolding around which the individual builds his own tissues. It is hard to believe that such a type of chemical substance could have arisen by chance. Blum calculates that the chance of forming a polypeptid — one of the precursors of protein — of only ten amino acid units would be something like 0.00000000000000000001. Such a polypeptid would still be very small. After the polypeptid stage is reached the proteose stage must be reached and only after this can the protein stage be reached. Blum says further that the formation of a polypeptid of the size of the smallest known protein seems beyond all probability (Harold F. Blum, Time's Arrow and Evolution, Princeton University Press, 1951, p. 163).
Also interesting are the various obligate relationships. One of the best known of these is the relationship of the yucca moth and the yucca plant, or Spanish bayonet. The yucca flower hangs down and the pistil or female part of the flower is lower than the stamens or male parts. However the stigma, the part of the flower specialized for the reception of pollen is cup-shaped and so arranged that it is impossible for the pollen to fall onto it. Instead the pollen must be transported by the female of the yucca moth, which begins her work soon after sunset. She collects a quantity of pollen from the stamens of the plant and holds it in her specially constructed mouth parts. Then she flies to another yucca flower, pierces the ovary with her ovipositor, and after laying one or more eggs creeps down the style and stuffs the ball of pollen into the stigma. The plant produces a large number of seeds. Some are eaten by the larvae of the moth and some mature to perpetuate the plant.
This relationship is absolutely essential for both the yucca plant and the yucca moth. The range of one is limited by the other. It is hard to believe that this sort of relationship could have developed by chance.
We can further evidence of the wisdom of God in the many instances where man to his regret has attempted to improve on the balance of nature which God has established, only to upset it.
When the early settlers came to Australia, they found there no placental mammals except the dingo or wild dog and a few species of rodents. Coming from Europe as they did, they remembered the fine hunting provided by the rabbit there. And so, in an attempt to improve on nature, Thomas Austin imported some twenty-four European rabbits in 1859. The result was unfortunate, for there were no natural enemies in Australia to keep the rabbits in check. They multiplied beyond all expectation and did serious damage, destroying the grass on which the sheep fed. At first an attempt was made to control them by building a rabbit proof fence across the continent in Queensland, but this proved useless for the rabbits got through it. Then an attempt was made to reduce their numbers by a system of bounties but again this effort proved unsuccessful. Only in recent years has a solution been found, and that is an introduction of a virus disease, myxo-matosis, which kills the rabbits and keeps their number in check. Even this may not be the final answer, for we are now beginning to hear of virus resistant rabbits in Australia. But the present reduction in their numbers has brought about great benefits. Range-land, once ravaged by erosion and hills grazed to the soil for decades are now miraculously clothed in green.
It is not uncommon that interference with nature to solve one problem will raise others. Such has been the case in the various drainage projects intended to increase the amount of land available for agricultural purposes and also to decrease the number of mosquitoes by decreasing their breeding grounds. But this same procedure which alleviates the mosquito nuisance and adds to our agricultural potential also decreases the number of ducks, for these ponds and marshes are their breeding grounds. Formerly ducks bred throughout the upper Mississippi Valley; today, because of the drainage of swamps and ponds, very few ducks breed in the United States; breeding is restricted almost entirely to Canada.
Another example of this same problem is to be seen in the present situation in Colorado. The ranchers of the Toponas district there, wishing to save their cattle, carried out a campaign to exterminate the coyotes that were attacking the lambs and young calves. The coyotes disappeared, but the ranchers noticed that their pasture land was no longer able to support as many animals as before. The reason was that with nothing to stop them, rabbits, gophers and other rodents began to attack the meadows. Now the ranchers are encouraging the coyotes to breed.
A similar problem exists in the use of pesticides and herbicides today. The vast majority of plant-feeding insects throughout the world are in a satisfactory natural balance, and this is true also of various weeds. Insecticides are necessary only when effective, beneficial organisms, or other natural control factors, are either lacking or are unable to maintain the pest species below a level of economic importance. But DDT is effective not only against mosquitoes and flies; it also kills honey bees, other useful insects, and birds. Its extensive use might actually reduce the fruit crop in a given area to a marked degree and upset the balance of nature in other ways. We have a number of instances in which even human deaths have been traced to pesticide poisoning. There is no doubt that the number of useful plants and animals has been reduced by the extensive use of herbicides and pesticides. No doubt they are necessary in the present stage of agricultural development but they ought to be used with discrimination. Meanwhile every effort should be made to study and utilize natural controls.
The gypsy moth was imported into the United States in 1886. It was hoped that by using this moth a native silk industry could be established. Accidentally, the moth escaped, and the moth has proved to be a serious pest. It feeds especially on native shade trees. Literally millions of acres of trees in New England have been defoliated by this pest and millions of dollars have been spent by state and federal governments in an attempt to control it.
Actually in most cases nature maintains a good balance so long as man does not interfere, and in interfering he is more likely to do harm than good. It is this point which we want to bring out in teaching our children. As Christians we cannot help but be impressed with the wisdom of God in setting up the natural world nor can we fail to emphasize plan and purpose in the world about us.
The other area in which Creationist teaching will be different is in the matter of evolution. I believe that it is very necessary to discuss this topic with our pupils. It cannot be ignored: indeed it must be dealt with carefully and in detail. It is most important that we discuss this topic with our pupils lest they meet it later on and believe that we are totally ignorant of the subject.
It is obvious that the currently accepted picture of creation is as different from the Biblical account as is the currently accepted picture of preservation. And it is because of the same approach that the scientific picture of creation is different. In other words, evolution represents the application of Newtonian mechanics to the account of origins. It was inevitable that such a theory should develop: indeed it is almost strange that a well-developed modern theory of evolution had to wait until about two hundred years ago. Historians of science usually account for this on the basis that the men of the Renaissance looked up to the civilization of the Greeks and Romans, regarding them as much more highly developed than their own. They found it difficult to accept the idea of progress which is implicit in the theory of evolution, and it was only toward the middle of the nineteenth century that they began to consider the possibility of development and progress.
As I said, it was inevitable that a theory of evolution should have developed. If Darwin had not come to these conclusions, someone else would have. Extrapolating from the mechanical concept of the operation of the universe inevitably led to a mechanical concept of the origin of the universe. In a way it is almost surprising that more furor should be stirred up by the scientific theories of the origin of the universe than has been stirred up by scientific theories of the current operation of the universe.
It seems to me that as Creationists we must deal with the current theories of evolution. I believe it is important to approach this from an historical standpoint. Perhaps it would be well as much as possible to deal not only with the history of the theory of evolution but with the history of science itself. I believe it is important that we should lead our students to recognize the changing points of view which are inevitably a part of science. Too often people have a two-dimensional picture of science. They come to regard the currently accepted theories of science as the last word. Any knowledgeable scientist will tell you that the history of science is a history of change. Schwab of the University of Chicago says that the duration of a revisionary cycle in a median science is fifteen years. He says that in that time the body of knowledge becomes as obsolete as the notion of body humors (The Science Teacher, 27:7). Oppenheimer says much the same thing (Science Teacher, 28:31).
In this connection it might be well for each of us to read "Cognitive Dissonance" by E. G. Boring, Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Harvard. The article appeared in 1964 in Science (145:680-5). He calls attention to the necessary lack of certainty in science and speaks of the changing paradigms in science. These are essentially fundamental hypotheses or points of view. A change in a scientific paradigm results, according to Boring, in a scientific revolution. He cites the geocentric theory of Ptolemy as an example of a paradigm which was supplanted by the heliocentric system of Copernicus. He speaks of the Creationist point of view as one paradigm and evolution as another paradigm. These are fundamental to the thinking of men until something better comes along. They work best for the time being and their influence is profound. However, they are not permanent, and inevitably they are replaced by another paradigm.
Another term that Boring uses is "egoism" which he believes is the generator of dissonance between pride and objectivity. He believes, and most historians of science will agree with him, that scientists cling tenaciously to conceptual schemes even in the light of mounting evidence against them. The very lifeblood of scientific progress is change: to deny this is to deny science. Yet scientists form an emotional attachment to the hypotheses and theories which they have come to accept. There is a pride of authorship, a fierce loyalty to the conceptual scheme which the individual has espoused. The longevity of a pet theory is directly proportional to the hero status of its proponent: yet in the course of time, all conceptual schemes are doomed either to be, modified or replaced completely.
It seems to me that when we recognize these general characteristics of science, we come up with something quite different than the generally accepted picture that modern science represents the last word and that those who do not agree with the currently accepted paradigm are obviously benighted and hopeless obscurantists.
Some will argue that while scientific points of view change, they never return to a point of view which has been rejected by science. This is in keeping with the currently-accepted picture of science constantly moving forward even though its progress may be temporarily stymied. Yet as a matter of fact, science sometimes moves backward, rejecting theories which later proved to be correct. For instance, Aristarchus of Samos living in 281 B.C. suggested a heliocentric system which was very similar to the Copernican system. He recognized that the sun was much farther from the earth than the moon, and he believed that the distance of the fixed stars from the sun was immensely great as compared with that of the earth. Yet this heliocentric theory of Aristarchus was rejected in favor of the geocentric theory developed by Aristotle and worked out in detail by Ptolemy in the second century A.D.
Another example is the rejection of epigenesis by Swammerdam in the seventeenth century in favor of a theory of preformation which was in turn replaced once more by the currently accepted theory of epigenesis. The Greeks accepted the theory of epigenesis, the idea that the organism gradually develops or unfolds in embryonic life. This theory continued to be accepted through Roman times and the Middle Ages. Harvey, who is best known for his studies of the circulation of the blood, did some work in embryology and also accepted the theory of epigenesis. The early microscopists developed some fantastic theories as a result of their studies. One of these was the preformation theory of Swammerdam, who believed that he was able to see a fully formed human being in each sperm. This idea was generally accepted for about a hundred years until epigenesis was reintroduced by Wolff. Our modern theories of embryonic development are essentially those of Caspar Wolff whose ideas represented a return to the rejected theories of Aristotle and Harvey.
There is something else that deserves to be said in this connection, and that is this: there is no disagreement between Creationists and evolutionists on the observed facts. We accept the same empirical data. The difference comes in the way in which we organize these data into a conceptual scheme. In other words, we are following different paradigms. It is not unusual for people to agree on the observed facts and yet to follow different paradigms. This was the case when Copernicus developed his theory. He had essentially the same observational data with which Ptolemy worked: the only change was that Copernicus looked at it from a different point of view. Only after the telescope was developed, a hundred years later, was there additional observational data available, and these data fitted better the heliocentric paradigm than the geocentric paradigm.
Now what shall we say about evolution? First of all, I believe that we must avoid all emotionalism in discussing the topic. This is difficult to do but we must recognize that some of the tensions which exist between Creationists and evolutionists are due to the poor judgment which some early apologists of the Scriptures used. In any objective discussion there is no place for the argumentum ad hominem and there is no place for personal attacks.
Secondly, I believe that we must recognize that our point of view is based ultimately on faith. It is a mistake to base creation-ism on empirical observations. The very nature of the problem does not lend itself to this, since the experimental method, the genius of modern science, has very little use in the study of evolution. Our opposition to evolution is based on our acceptance of the Bible as God's Word. We believe that the Genesis account is a factual account: we insist that God is communicating history to us here. There are many reasons for taking this point of view. Our Saviour accepts Genesis as an historical account, referring to both the first and second chapter in his controversy with the Pharisees over marriage and divorce. It is hard to believe that Jesus accommodated Himself to the erroneous opinion of his contemporaries if this is not an historical account and it is even harder to believe that He was Himself deceived as to the nature of this account.
Even more striking are Paul's references to the creation story. He speaks of one Adam and one Christ in Romans 5, and I Corinthians 15. According to evolutionary theory, it is impossible for the human race to have descended from a single Adam. Adam and Eve cannot represent individuals: they must represent an evolutionary population, yet Paul speaks of one Adam, and if Adam stands for a group of people then Christ may also stand for a group of people.
In I Corinthians 11, Paul once more refers to the story of creation. Here he specifically says that woman was taken out of the man (verse 8 — original Greek). In I Timothy 2:13, he says Adam was formed first and then Eve, and goes on to say Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived. If one would argue that Adam and Eve stand for evolutionary populations one would have to insist that for a time the species Homo sapiens consisted solely of males and that females developed only later, which is biological nonsense.
Interpreting Genesis as an historical account has been the traditional Protestant approach. Luther and his contemporaries were much concerned with the allegorical interpretation which was current in the Middle Ages. It is a strange situation that those who would claim to be modern today are returning to an old interpretation which the Reformers found wanting and abandoned. Perhaps we have an example here of a rejected paradigm being resurrected.
The hazards of a consistent application of this principle of interpretation must also be pointed out. If Genesis is not historical, it is easy to argue that the Bible and science are talking about two different things. It is not long until this principle is applied not only to the miracles of the Old and New Testaments but also the greatest miracle of them all, the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Scientific humanism, the religion of so many men and women today, is the inevitable consequence. None of the leading evolutionary theorists today are Christians. Please note I am not denying the Christianity of many sincere men who accept the theory of evolution: what I am saying is, that the men who are in the forefront, shaping and modifying current evolutionary theory are, to the best of my knowledge, all humanists. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, it is true, was a Jesuit, but he worked in a very limited area of the evolutionary theory, the history of man's evolutionary development. Julian Huxley, one of the leading British evolutionists, does not hesitate to speak of the decline and disappearance of the God concept. Simpson regards Christianity as "higher superstition," and believes that it will inevitably be replaced by evolutionary humanism which rejects the idea of God and is totally man-oriented. Bishop Robinson in his Honest to God also represents this point of view.
What I am saying is this: that I believe we should point out to our pupils that acceptance of the Biblical account is based on faith and we should attempt to have them approach evolution from this standpoint. The fact of the matter is that there are some observational data which point strongly in the direction of the type of change which the evolutionist postulates and there are other data which do not fit the theory of evolution. This is not at all strange: Boring refers to it as dissonance which he says results when there is not enough evidence to resolve a 50-50 decision. He says that to remain healthy and to cope with this dissonance one alters the 50-50 alternative to a 60-40 and acts on the 60. Resolution of the difficulty results from pushing the contradiction aside and refusing to worry about it. Boring believes that this occurs continually and that such resolutions of dissonance are almost inescapable. Personally, I suspect that this is what has happened in the theory of evolution.
To me the two greatest problem areas are the fossils and the geographical distribution of plants and animals. If I look at the data objectively I am forced to conclude that they support evolution rather than special creation. I know there are problems involved: I know for instance as Hamon points out, that the entire paleontological record is a 400 page novel in which we have pages 13, 38, 170, 172, 173, 340 and 400 and from these we are trying to construct the whole story (J. Hill Hamon, "Fossil Hunting in the Indiana Coal Measures," Outdoor Indiana, March 1964, p. 27 f.). I also know that the evolutionist has some major problems in explaining the fossil record, but I believe you and I have more problems with the fossils than he does.
So far as the record of geographical distribution is concerned, I cannot explain the limited range of some organisms on the basis of special creation. I know that the evolutionist, also, has some problems in this area, but I believe that viewed objectively the evidence supports evolution rather than special creation.
On the other hand, I believe that the evolutionist has a major problem in describing the mechanism of evolution and also in presenting a reasonable picture of the stages of human evolution. It is simply a fact that we do not have a satisfactory mechanism for change of the degree required by the theory of evolution. By far, the vast majority of mutations are lethal. Winchester, Glass, and H. J. Muller are all agreed that over 99 per cent of all mutations that have been studied are harmful in some degree: (Albert M. Winchester Genetics, Boston: Houghton-Mifflin, 1951 p. 290; Bentley Glass "The Genetic Hazards of Radiation" Science 126, 1957, 243; H. J. Muller "Genetic Damage Produced by Radiation" Science 121, 1955, 837).
It is hard to believe that this mechanism would provide adequately for the change needed in evolution. Evolutionists argue that natural selection operates with the less than 1 per cent of mutations which are neutral or harmful. This is possible, but it would slow down substantially the rate of evolution requiring literally an eternity of time to make possible the degree of change which is needed in the development of living things.
The only other mechanism available to the evolutionist is chromosomal
change. These are less common than mutations and are even more likely to
be harmful. It is simply a fact that we do not know any mechanism which
would provide change of the degree needed for progressive evolution.
In this connection it is interesting to note the concern which evolutionists feel for any increase in man-made radiation. Increased radiation means an increase in the mutation rate. If this were the mechanism whereby progressive evolution occurred and if the path of evolution ultimately was one of improvement then anything which would speed up the rate of mutation, such as radiation, would be regarded as favorable, but the fact of the matter is it is regarded as undesirable and very much unfavorable. Here is a tacit recognition that mutation is not an adequate mechanism for evolution.
The story of human evolution is far from a satisfactory one. While there are a great many fossils of plants and animals, the number of human fossils is relatively small, and this creates a problem for the evolutionist. He usually explains the paucity of fossils by the practice of earth burial which he believes began very early in man's history. I am inclined to agree with him: I look upon this, though, as evidence of man's early recognition of the doctrine of the resurrection, so that he had respect for his dead and did not permit them to lie where they fell.
In any case, we do not have very many fossils of prehistoric man. Those that we have are classified by almost all workers in the genus Homo. By this classification the evolutionist is saying that the forms he has are not substantially different than human beings which are alive today. Indeed many of the so-called prehistoric human beings are now recognized to be members of the species Homo sapiens. This is true of the Neanderthal man (the cave man) and of Cro-Magnon. The story of human evolution, as intensively as it has been investigated, still does not give the information that the evolutionist is looking for.
I believe that the Creationist teacher will want to tell his pupils about currently accepted theories of evolution and will want to present objectively the evidences for evolution as they exist. In addition he will want to show the many weaknesses of the current theory of evolution. He will want to point out to his pupils the limitations which the restricted evidence we have imposes. He will also want to call attention to the limitations imposed by the impossibility of any extensive experimentation. He will want to call attention to the fact that evolution is a scientific paradigm and that scientific paradigms usually are replaced or modified. In the light of all of this he will ask his pupils to reserve judgment on the scientific aspects of the theory while clinging closely by faith to the Biblical Genesis account. This is not so unreasonable after all.
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