Re: Evolution's Imperative (was Def'n of Science)

Kevin O'Brien (
Sat, 20 Mar 1999 18:12:12 -0700

>It occurs to me that our exchanges to date need to be placed in a
>broader context. You may remember that in an earlier response to Kevin I
>suggested that evolution (as defined there) was something unique to the
>world of science. For example,

I had responded to these points privately to Vernon. He may yet do so, but
so far he has not responded, so I wanted to post them publicly for the
benefit of everyone.

>(a) It provides an essential basis for all atheistic philosophies. [as
>far as I'm aware, no other theory claiming to be 'scientific' intrudes
>thus into the area of 'belief'.]

You are thinking of the philosophy of evolutionism, which is a form of
naturalism; even so, an atheist would also find sucour from atomic theory,
relativity and germ theory. Should we as Christians therefore reject atoms,
gravity and pathogenic bacteria as false science?

>(b) It actively attacks the foundations of the Judaeo-Christian
>scriptures - its proponents behaving with evangelistic zeal in this

The Bible only claims to be inspired by God, not created by Him. The
universe is God's creation; Christ is His Word. The Bible was written by
men under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, but these men were not human word
processors, writing under a compulsion they could not control. God in turn
gave the Bible the breath of life just as He did mankind, but the Bible is
not a fourth member of the Trinity. The Bible is meant to inspire and
instruct us, but it is the Holy Spirit that has the authority to save or
condemn us.

Similarly, since Christ is God's Word and not the Bible, the veracity of the
literal word of Genesis has no influence on the legitimacy of Christ's

>(c) Its 'fruit' is invariably bad - something which can't be said of any
>other scientific theory.

New comments: On the contrary, the germ theory of disease has led to
biological weapons, chemistry has led to gunpowder and other explosives plus
chamical weapons, nuclear physics has led to atomic and thermonuclear
weapons, etc., ad infinitum, ad nauseum. Evolution has allowed us to
produce new breeds of domestic animals and plants, it explains how bacteria
become resistent to antibiotics and why in the absence of antibiotics they
do not revert back to a non-resistent state, and it is leading to the
development of unique new protein-based therapeutics. I am surprised at how
naive you are about this.

Old comments (in which Vernon made reference to the survival of the fittest
being the slogan of evolution): Survival of the fittest is the slogan of
natural selection, not evolution, and even then it is a gross and overly
simplistic exaggeration. When the science of evolution is properly applied
and not distorted to serve some particular social, religious, political or
philosophical agenda its "fruit" have also been invariably good, for both
science and society.

>(d) Its validation is based purely on the interpretation of historical
>data - for which a 'common designer' explanation is equally valid. There
>is no concrete evidence that proves the alleged process to be ongoing
>or, indeed, that it has ever occurred.

[Vernon's original comments, unedited: "Among theories, it is unique in
being the only one that cannot be allowed to fail!"] That's your fear [of
evolution] and hatred [of evolutionists] talking. It is groundless if for
no other reason than that Christians outnumber atheists in the sciences, so
if evolution were ever falsified, the atheists could never stop the
Christians from publishing that fact.

New comments: Evolution has been validated by many laboratory and field
experiments. These experiments have been well documented in the scientific
literature, but Vernon seems to prefer repeating his distortions rather than
learning the truth. Such behavior is unworthy of a Christian, and I am
ashamed that he is a fellow Brother in Christ.

>Faced with these considerations, the unbiased mind would surely infer
>that this must be some unsavoury religious doctrine, fiercely opposed to
>the gospel of Christ.

Actually, the unbiased mind would realize that each of your points is in
fact very biased against evolution, and so would probably be persuaded that
Christians prefer lies to the truth. Is that really the message you want to
send to to aspiring Christians? Have you no fear of God that you would
deliberately drive people away from salvation rather than admit that you are

Kevin L. O'Brien