Dr. Sacha Walicord, BUAD Dept.—Guest Writer
I want to begin by thanking Dr. Fictorie for the professional courtesy of sending me his response before publication. This way, I am able to respond to his article in the same Diamond issue.
My colleague makes much of my use of the term “evolution,” which he calls “a scientific concept,” as opposed to “evolutionism,” which he describes as “a philosophical stance.” “[T]his distinction,” he says, “is important because the fundamental battle is between evolutionism, which… denies the existence of anything outside of the universe, and creationism, a Christian belief… that God is the creator of the universe.”
Since his use of “creationism” means creation by evolution, this is a false dichotomy as both are philosophical concepts with one being expressly atheistic, and the other syncretistic, attempting to reconcile the atheistic-naturalistic concept of evolution somewhat with the Bible in order to “have the cake and eat it too.”
But, the dividing line is not between evolution and evolutionism; it is between what the Bible clearly teaches and every other approach.
It has to be said in the clearest of terms that every scientific theory or idea is always based on a philosophical belief system. There is no neutral science. To claim—as Fictorie does—that evolutionism is philosophical, while evolution is scientific, is illogical, wrong, and at conflict with everything we know about worldviews. There is no purely scientific concept without a philosophical belief system as its foundation. Every person and every scientist has a worldview, consisting at least of metaphysics (a concept about reality and its origin), epistemology (a theory of knowledge), and ethics (a concept of right and wrong). We hold these philosophical foundations by faith, before we even begin any scientific endeavor. Nobody is neutral. It is through worldviews that we interpret the facts of nature.
The Christian scientist’s worldview is firmly based on (all) the teachings of the Bible while the atheist-materialist scientist interprets nature according to his atheism. The problem is that some scientists may think or even live as Christians outside their labs but seem to utilize a naturalistic and materialistic worldview in their labs and their research. Therefore, the line of demarcation is not “theistic” vs. “atheistic” but “Biblical” vs. “un-Biblical.” It is for this very reason that some Christian scientists insist that the Bible is only useful for “spiritual matters” (whatever that might mean) but not for scientific endeavors.
It can therefore be said that the idea of evolution is not a neutral scientific fact, as my colleague tries to present it, but a belief system based on the entirely unproven assumption (not based on observable facts) of molecules-to-man evolution which has never been observed or replicated. The same holds true for any evolutionary change from one kind into another. Macroevolution is not even a “scientific theory” as Fictorie claims because it cannot be repeatedly tested in accordance with the scientific method. It is a hypothesis that the world has been deceived into thinking is a well-established scientific theory because of misleading arguments about natural selection, mutations and bait-and-switch uses of the word “evolution” (i.e., evolution referring to variation within a kind, e.g., the perfectly observable variation in size or hair length or snout shape in dogs vs. the unobservable microbe-to-microbiologist change over millions of years). The idea of evolution is an embarrassment, even to secular science—just refer to the list “A Scientific Dissent from Darwinism,” signed by nearly one thousand secular scientists from all over the world. Just because we keep repeating a lie does not make it true. “Facts are stubborn things” (John Adams).
The book of Genesis, which clearly belongs to the genre of historical narrative, is crystal-clear about the fact that God created the world out of nothing in six literal days. Thus, evolutionists among the people of God are quick to deliver a model in which the Bible is only good for “spiritual reality” (whatever that might be). Is this not already an inadvertent admission that the Bible clearly teaches six literal days? Otherwise, why would they have to revert to the compartmentalization of natural science in order to get rid of the clear claims of Scripture?
I completely agree with my colleague that Scripture does not reveal every detail of the creation process, but the facts that Scripture does reveal do stand and must not be questioned.
How could God be any clearer in meaning six literal days, than by repeatedly saying, “So the evening and the morning were the [next] day”? Furthermore, the Fourth Commandment about keeping the Sabbath Day refers back to the creation week of six literal days. In Mark 10:6, God refers to the creation of man as male and female as having happened “in the beginning of the creation,” and not in the course of millions of years long after “the beginning of creation.” Millions of years would put death before the Fall, reject Adam and Eve as real people, and deny the Fall as a historic incident.
These are no small and minor issues. This is an outright attack on the truth of God’s Word. It is disingenuous for anybody to claim to believe in the inerrancy and infallibility of Scripture while at the same time neglecting Scripture’s clearest teaching.
Fictorie makes the highly misleading statement that, “[T]wo millennia of church history has produced dozens of interpretations (and denominations to go with them).” Does that mean that whenever there is more than one opinion on any of the Bible’s teachings, we cannot know for sure? I might add that for 1800 years there was almost unanimous agreement about Scripture teaching creation in six days about 6000 years ago and a global Noachian flood. How about the countless different interpretations of nature by natural scientists? Yet, Fictorie presents his own interpretation of nature as free from interpretative error and even seems to put it above Scripture when it comes to interpreting the creation account.
He writes that, “the existence of multiple interpretations of Scripture is a direct result of humanity’s sinful state” and then makes the stunning statement that “Scripture is infallible and inerrant, but human interpretation is not,” which—if brought to its logical conclusion—calls literally everything Christians believe into question. Abusus non tollit usum—the abuse does not negate the proper use. Yes, there are people who misinterpret the Bible, but shall we therefore throw away our Bibles and assume that God was wrong to give His written Word to us because some cannot interpret it properly? Here we find the massive contradiction in Fictorie’s argument: he warns us of human sin in interpreting and applying the written Word, but he seems to have no problem with the same sinful men interpreting the less clear “book of nature” apart from Scripture.
Fictorie calls for a “careful, open-minded investigation,” to which I reply that the first time humanity was asked to put aside God’s Word, to be open-minded, and to trust their own perception of nature, sin came into the world. Nowhere does Scripture call us to be “open-minded” but rather the opposite, to “bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5). There is nothing “gracious” about questioning the truth of God’s Word. We are to interpret nature through the lens of Scripture and not seek to re-write Scripture through our own autonomous and sinful interpretation of nature.