Christianity and Science Debate

QUESTION: Christianity and Science – Framing the Debate

ANSWER:

Before examining the latest scientific discoveries related to the origin of life, we need to make a distinction between two aspects of evolutionary theory. The idea that living things incorporate small, adaptive changes over time is termed “microevolution.” These minor changes within a species have produced a wide variety of dogs and breeds of cows that produce more milk. These are well-established, observable facts of science.

Christianity and Science – Microevolution vs. Macroevolution
However, scientists extrapolate on this theory to posit that micro-adaptive changes can produce novel features and new species. This is called “macroevolution”—the idea that a first speck of life that emerged from non-living material slowly evolved into one-celled organisms, which in turn, through eons of genetic mutations and natural selection, eventually turned into homo sapiens. This grand scheme of amoeba-to-man (or better yet, of spontaneous generation-to-man) is what is commonly understood when we use the term “evolution.” Yet, large-scale changes leading to new species have never been observed and, therefore, cannot technically support a “scientific” theory, much less fact, as the evolutionists would have us believe. Rather, evolution is an extrapolation from microevolution based on naturalistic assumptions.

Failure to distinguish (or to understand the distinction) between micro- and macroevolution in public discussion can make Christians look foolish if we give the impression that we do not agree with microevolution, a clearly established fact. To clarify the issue, throughout this book when we use the term “evolution,” we are referring to macroevolution, commonly called Darwinian evolution or Neo-Darwinism.1 In reality, evolution as it is taught today in most public schools teaches spontaneous generation to the human race within a period of 3.5 billion years. With these distinctions in mind, we turn our attention to developing a scientific view of life’s origins consistent with the biblical account described in Genesis 1 and 2.

Notes:

Rendered with permission from the book, Understanding the Times: The Collision of Today’s Competing Worldviews (Rev. 2nd ed), David Noebel, Summit Press, 2006. Compliments of John Stonestreet, David Noebel, and the Christian Worldview Ministry at Summit Ministries. All rights reserved in the original.

1 Neo-Darwinism is merely mutations added on to Darwin’s Natural Selection theory. Since Natural Selection cannot produce new species, it is thought that harmful mutations can.

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