EVOLUTION SERIES No. 1
The Eagle Nebula
In Psalm 19:1 we read: “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” Not only do we see the majestic work or our Creator God in the sunset but we see his work in a lot of other places, such as in the extraordinary photographs made by the Hubble Space Telescope. As Geisler and Turek state, “The number of stars in the universe is about equal to the number of sand grains on all the beaches on all the earth. And at five miles per second it will take you over 200,000 years to go from one grain of sand to another! The heavens are awesome.” 1
Everywhere in the skies and in space we see the majesty of God. In Romans 1:20 we are warned: “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.”
CLASHING OF GREEK AND HEBREW CONCEPTS
The ancient Greek philosophers looked upon the universe as static or as a permanent fixture. Until lately that same idea has greatly influenced modern evolutionary science. All this began to change in 1915 with Einstein’s theory of relativity. Einstein made it clear that the universe had to have a beginning. Also, the first law of thermodynamics (the conservation of matter) makes plain that matter cannot simply create itself. Scientists have not been so happy with these conclusions, and even Einstein was deeply troubled by the obvious implications of his own theory.
Scientists began scrambling to assimilate this new information and to reconcile it with the Darwinian evolutionary concepts that had become so much in vogue. As a result, in the 1960s they came up with the “Big Bang” theory of the universe’s beginning. Unfortunately for them, that concept itself still speaks of a beginning; of something or someone outside of creation that had to start the process.
All these recent developments have nudged many scientists closer and closer to the ancient Hebrew and Christian concept of creation “ex-nihilo” (out of nothing). We see this concept portrayed for us in the early chapters of Genesis and throughout the Bible.
The second law of thermodynamics also states that the energy of the universe is being used up; that the universe is actually decaying at a given rate. This also flies in the face of evolutionary concepts and illustrates for us that our universe is actually dying. Strangely, it verifies the word of God in Hebrews 1:11-12: “They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. You will roll them up like a robe.” Here the Bible speaks of the universe wearing out and being set aside by the eternal Messiah.
IS THE UNIVERSE DESIGNED?
As we look at the vast heavens we must ask ourselves if such a magnificent universe could have happened by chance. Astrophysicist Hugh Ross has calculated the probability of the 122 life-sustaining constants in the universe happening by chance. His answer is shocking, in that there would be only one chance in 10138. This would amount to one chance in one followed by 138 zeroes. 1
Astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez along with Jay Wesley Richards point out many factors in the universe that hint of design. For instance, the earth is very far from the nucleus of our galaxy and is thus protected from the massive black holes, exploding supernovae, dangerous X-rays, gamma rays, and particle radiation found there. 2
James Kasting, professor of geosciences and meteorology at Penn State University comments on the arrangement of our own moon. He says “Without the moon…the Earth’s tilt could vary chaotically from zero to eighty-five degrees,” thus bringing devastating results. He further states that the moon just happens to be the proper size and in exactly the right place to help create a habitable environment for Earth. 2
Another interesting thing about our solar system and especially about our earth is the force of its own gravity. For instance, physicist-philosopher Robin Collins believes that “gravity is fine tuned to one part in a hundred million billion billion billion billion billion.” 2 Obviously, just a tiny slip up in this design would have probably sent earthlings hurling into space. Geisler and Turek state: “If the planet Jupiter were not in its current orbit, the earth would be bombarded with space material. Jupiter’s gravitational field acts as a cosmic vacuum cleaner, attracting asteroids and comets that might otherwise
strike earth.” 1
We could go on relating the many bits of scientific information that seem opposed to cosmic chance happenings. As Geisler and Turek also state, “If the rotation of the earth took longer than twenty-four hours, temperature differences would be too great between night and day. If the rotation period were shorter, atmospheric wind velocities would be far too great,” etc, etc. 1
WHAT SOME SCIENTISTS NOW DARE TO THINK
Nobel Laureate Arno Penzias, co-discoverer of the radiation afterglow, had this to say: “Astronomy leads us to a unique event, a universe which was created out of nothing and delicately balanced to provide exactly the conditions required to support life.” 1
Harvard-educated astrophysicist John A. O’Keefe of NASA states: “If the universe had not been made with the most exacting precision we could never have come into existence…It is my view that these circumstances indicate the universe was created for man to live in.” 2 The physicist Freeman Dyson adds to this: “I find that the universe in some sense must have known that we were coming.” 3
Cosmologist Ed Harrison remarks, “Here is the cosmological proof of the existence of God – the design argument of Paley – updated and refurbished. The fine-tuning of the universe provides prima facie evidence of deistic design.” 1
Even once-agnostic astronomer Robert Jastrow, director of Mount Wilson observatory and the founder of NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies, has conceded that the essential elements of Christianity and modern cosmology are the same: “The chain of events leading to man commenced suddenly and sharply, at a definite moment in time, in a flash of light and energy.” 2
BACK TO THE BEGINNING
So it seems that scientific thinking is going in a great circle. Since Charles Darwin launched his theory in the 1860s, most scientific thinking has been forced into the straitjacket of evolution. But in recent years this evolutionary paradigm has not been adequate to contain the many new discoveries being made. Lately we have seen much scientific thinking moving back to the ancient and biblical idea of a creation out of nothing; a creation that was superbly planned and executed by a power outside the universe itself. With all this new information, evolutionary theory is now being weighed in the balances and found wanting.
In fact, the whole evolutionary system is beginning to look more like myth than like true science. As Australian molecular biologist and medical doctor, Michael Denton, has stated, “One might have expected that a theory of such cardinal importance, a theory that literally changed the world, would have been something more than metaphysics… Ultimately the Darwinian theory of evolution is no more nor less than the great cosmogenic myth of the twentieth century.” 4
Picture credit: The Eagle Nebula pillars as seen from the Hubble Space Telescope. NASA, European Space Agency, Jeff Hester, and Paul Scowen (Arizona State University) & Wilimedia Commons.
1. Norman L. Geisler & Frank Turek, I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist, (Wheaton, IL, Crossway Books), 2004, pp 109, 106, 105, 105, 106, 106.
2. Lee Strobel, The Case For A Creator, (Grand Rapids,MI, Zondervan), 2004, pp 169, 180, 280, 281, 280.
3. Charles Colson and Nancy Pearcey, How Now Shall We Live?, (Wheaton IL, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.), 1999, p 65.
4. Michael Denton, Evolution A Theory In Crisis, (Bethesda, Maryland, Adler & Adler, Publishers, Inc.), 1985, p 385.