Recently, AgapePress reported that over 10,000 members of the clergy from mainline churches had signed a letter stating they rejected a literal interpretation of the creation story. The "Clergy Letter Project," the brainchild of University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh administrator Michael Zimmerman, advocates that "the timeless truths of the Bible and the discoveries of modern science may comfortably coexist." The purpose of the letter is to urge school board members to reject such teachings as Scientific Creationism and Intelligent Design and "preserve the integrity of the science curriculum by affirming the teaching of the theory of evolution as a core component of human knowledge."
It is most unfortunate so many Christian leaders have concluded that evolution is scientific, whereas creationism and intelligent design are simply religious -- when, in fact, evolution is incapable of being scientifically proven.
Evolution operates too slowly to be measured. To actually observe the transmutation of one organism to a higher form would presumably take millions of years. No team of scientists could ever make measurements on such an experiment, and, therefore, the matter is beyond the realm of empirical science. Although there is some evidence of small variations in organisms today, there is no way to conclusively prove the changes within the present kinds can eventually metamorphose or actually change into different and higher kinds.
Leading evolutionist Theodosius Dobzhansky, in On Methods of Evolutionary Biology and Anthropology, once admitted: "The applicability of the experimental method to the study of such unique historical processes is severely restricted before all else by the time intervals involved, which far exceed the lifetime of any human experimenter. And yet, it is just such impossibility that is demanded by the anti-evolutionists when they ask for 'proofs' of evolution which they would magnanimously accept as satisfactory." L. Harrison Matthews in the forward of a 1971 edition of Darwin's Origin of Species, once concluded: "Our theory of evolution has become ... one which cannot be refuted by any possible observations. It is thus 'outside of empirical science,' but not necessarily false. No one can think of ways to test it."
There can essentially only be one reason for favoring evolution, and that reason has nothing to do with science. It has to do with something outstanding British biologist D.M.S. Watson said in Nature back in 1929: "[T]he theory of evolution itself, a theory universally accepted not because it can be proved logically coherent evidence to be true but because the only alternative, special creation, is clearly incredible."
Indeed, special creation is incredible and it's diametrically opposed to evolutionary theory. The two cannot possibly be reconciled, no matter how many clergy sign a letter saying they can. Dr. Henry Morris, in his book Scientific Creationism, rightly contends: "The evolutionary system attempts to explain the origin, development, and meaning of all things in terms of natural laws and processes which operate today as they have in the past. No extraneous processes, requiring the special activity of an external agent, or Creator are permitted. The universe, in all its aspects, evolves itself into higher levels of order (particles to people) by means of innate properties." In other words, evolution is a system of belief that argues that creation is totally naturalistic, material, and purposeless -- all of which are fundamentally opposed to the creation account in Genesis. It can't be both ways -- either one is true and the other false.
Moreover, to doubt a literal interpretation of the creation account is to undermine everything taught in the Bible. In Exploring Genesis, John Philips argues that to abandon the creation account as "unfactual and unreliable, as mere mythology, as a doctored-up copy of the Babylonian creation epic, as totally unacceptable to modern science" is to surrender to Satan. Philips adds, "If the Holy Spirit cannot be trusted when He tells of creation, how can He be trusted when He tells of salvation. If what He says about earth in Genesis 1 can be questioned, then what He says about heaven in Revelation 22 can be questioned. If the Holy Spirit cannot be trusted in Genesis 1, how can he be trusted in John 3:16?"
Is it any wonder a recent survey by Barna Research discovered a large majority of pastors believe their congregant's faith in God is a high priority when in fact it is not. Barna reported that in Protestant churches, "Not quite one out of every four (23%) named their faith in God as their top priority in life." Obviously, ministers are failing to recognize that their compromises with worldly philosophies in their religious instruction are destroying the ability of their parishioners to thrive in a personal relationship with God. Certainly if clergy compromise with evolutionary dogma and imply by that good thinking is naturalistic thinking, that life is essentially materialistic, and bringing God into the picture can lead to confusion and error, does one honestly think it's possible for members of the church to see God as a reality one can never afford to ignore?
According to AgapePress, Zimmerman says these 10,000 members of the clergy that have signed the Clergy Letter Project "are saying that intelligent design, creation science, is not only bad science as defined by the world community, but it is also bad religion." Hah! It's just the opposite! Evolution neither makes for good science nor religion.
This article originally appeared on February 24, 2006.
Rev. Mark H. Creech (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the executive director of the Christian Action League of North Carolina, Inc.