Re: Evolution's Imperative

Vernon Jenkins (
Tue, 23 Mar 1999 20:51:54 +0000

To the Forum:

I appear to have stirred up a hornets' nest with my assertion that
theistic evolutionists are both complacent and ill-informed in believing
they can have both evolution and Christ. It is clear from the exchanges
I have had with a number of members that evolution is being accepted 'by
faith' rather than 'by sight'; the doctrine is based on the
interpretation of historica data, is untestable, and - as I have
attempted to demonstrate - because of its peculiar nature,

While the atheist and agnostic recognize well enough that the theory
must be true, it is hard to understand - at least, on the human level -
why those claiming allegiance to Christ are prepared to allow it to
dictate the terms of their acceptance of God's word. It is clear to me
that what the TE understands by 'the gospel' is a matter of 'pick 'n'
mix'. Let me explain: any biblical passage (including even the words of
Christ) that appears to endanger their committment to evolution is
questioned, and thereafter excluded from further consideration. In such
circumstances what remains can hardly be seriously claimed to be the
inspired, inerrant, word of God!

A few years ago, John Stear, an atheist skeptic, wrote to the editor of
'The Skeptic' (the journal of the Australian Skeptics). The following
are excerpts from his letter:

"The Bible is the core of Christian belief and the question of whether
the Bible is inerrant or errant, the literal word of God or not, is of
prime importance when examining the credentials of Christian belief.
Fundamentalists believe totally in its inerrancy, while more moderate
Christians are selective of the areas of scripture they believe to be
the literal word of God. Because the Bible provides the basis for all
Christian beliefs it is plain to me that to be a truly devout Christian
one must be a fundamentalist. But the Bible is either inerrant or it is
not. It cannot be both. The authenticity of Christ and his teachings
relies on the Bible being the word of God and for contemporary
Christians to cease to believe that is to deny the important tenets of
their faith.

"It seems that modern theologians are prepared to deny what once were
immutable doctrines to suit the changing times and to attract previous
(and young) believers who have begun to question the relevance of the

"In our increasingly secular society the nature of the changes being
wrought by the mainstream churches, rather than attracting new converts,
must be cause for concern among believers...

"To further demonstrate that the question of biblical inerrancy is
pivotal to the acceptance or rejection of Christianity, I need only pose
a simple question. 'Do you believe in Darwinian evolution or do you
believe in creation according to the book of Genesis?' If the answer is
'I believe in evolution', the response one would expect from most,
though surprisingly not all, scientists, most members of mainstream
churches, particularly church leaders and most intelligent people, then
the following simple hypothesis easily establishes the case for an
errant Bible, which in turn exposes the fatal flaws in Christian dogma:

"If evolution is fundamentally correct then there was no Adam; no Adam,
no fall; no fall, no atonement; no atonement, no reason for Christ to
have died on the cross. If Christ died for no reason then he was not
divine and Christianity has no basis in fact."

Jonathan has suggested that our discussions of late have been somewhat
circular and has suggested that the time has come to move forward. I
agree. May I therefore hear how TEs respond to John Stear's thinly-
veiled suggestion that their views are intellectually bankrupt?


"When I show a man he is inconsistent, I make him decide whether of the
two he loves better, the portion of truth he already holds, or the
portion of error." (J.H.Newman, Tract 85)

Vernon Jenkins
[Musician, Mining Engineer, and Senior Lecturer in Maths and Computing,
the Polytechnic of Wales (now the University of Glamorgan), 1954-87]