I WAS BROUGHT up in a Christian home, where the Word of God was loved and practised. My father passed on to me his love of nature and it was not surprising, therefore, that biology became my main subject at school. Although I had been converted as a child, it was not until my teens that my faith faced a real test. Among many other matters, my biological interests highlighted the apparent conflict between the Bible and science, especially in the context of the origin of life.
At first I overcame the problem by simply ignoring the claims of science. When I left school and went to university to read botany, however, it soon became clear that I would need some how to reconcile my faith in God as Creator with the true facts of science.
I was confronted with four major evidences, which, it was claimed, demonstrated the truth of evolution The most important of these was the fossil record. A leading evolutionist. T. H Huxley, once wrote, “The primary and direct evidence in favour of evolution can be furnished only by palaeontology (the study of fossils)”. I want to consider this “evidence” in the present article and to tackle the remaining three in the article to follow.
The fossil record is reputed to show that a gradual change took place, as simple organisms slowly evolved into more complex ones. Geologists have constructed a “geological column” spanning billions of years in an attempt to illustrate how this evolution occurred. How, I asked, did they obtain the data from which to draw up this column? The answer was that the rocks which contained fossils were each given a date. To my amazement I found that the main method of dating a rock was by reference to the date of the fossils found in it, and the main method of dating those fossils was by reference to the rocks in which they were found! Small wonder that the Encyclopaedia Britannica acknowledges, “It cannot be denied that … geologists are here arguing in a circle. The succession of organisms has been determined by a study of their remains embedded in the rocks, and the relative ages of the rocks are determined by the remains of organisms that they contain” (1957 edition, Vol. 10, page 168).
The chief methods used to supplement this unscientific procedure are those of radio–metric dating, the most famous being that of radiocarbon dating All the radio–metric dating methods assume that past rates of decay of the particular radio isotope have always been as they are now. This is a bold assumption. There is experimental evidence that it is not so. The radiocarbon dating method assumes that the world and its atmosphere have never undergone any dramatic changes in the last 50,000 years. The apostle Peter points out that this is not the case, 2 Pet. 3. 4–6 Conditions before and after the flood were very different. For instance, there appears to have been a canopy of water (vapour) surrounding the earth before the flood, Gen. 1. 7, which collapsed at the time of the flood, 7. ‘ 1. The collapse of the canopy would have led to an increase in the radiocarbon content of the atmosphere due to the loss of the earth’s protection from cosmic ray bombardment. Again, scientific calculations suggest that radiocarbon is being produced nearly one–third faster than it is disintegrating. If this is so, then the fossils which evolutionists have dated as hundreds of millions years old can be no more than a few thousand years old!
Nevertheless, I still felt a little doubt. Some features of the physical world gave every impression of being very old. On reflection I realized that, even if the world was no more than 8–10,000 years old, it would inevitably have the appearance of being much older. Anything created in a mature state would seem older than it was. For instance, let us imagine that we had entered the garden of Eden on the seventh day of creation week, and met Adam face to face. Unless we had been informed to the contrary, we would have supposed him to be (say) 30 years of age. But we would have been wrong; he would have only been 24 hours old! Similarly the animals, trees and earth itself would have borne the appearance of being older than they were
There were many phenomena which the theory of evolution was unable to explain to my satisfaction. In the main these were: (i) Virtually no fossils are found in ‘‘pre–Cambrian” rocks. Millions of fossils of highly complex life–forms are found in the so–called Cambrian rocks (alleged to be 500–600 million years old), but no trace of their evolutionary forerunners is to be found. Yet evolutionists insist, of course, that they must have existed! (ii) Sometimes rocks of an “older” age are lying on top of those of “younger” age. I am unable to believe that natural causes pushed the mighty Matterhorn for over 30 miles on to the top of younger rocks or that some “overthrust” carried the Mythen Peak all the way from Africa to Switzerland! (iii) Human footprints have been found alongside dinosaur tracks in the Paluxy River bed (Texas), in spite of the fact that the dinosaur concerned is supposed to have become extinct some 70 million years before man evolved Again, a crushed trilobite has been found within a shod human footprint at Antelope Springs (Utah). The rocks are classified as Cambrian rocks, by evolutionary dogma, and are dated at 550 million years old. Trilobites are supposed to have disappeared about 350 million years before man came onto the scene (iv) There have been several cases of animals and fish being discovered alive which were thought to have been extinct for millions of years; e.g., the tuatara (previously thought to have been extinct for 135 million years) and the coelecanth (70 million years), (v) Enormous gaps exist in the evolutionists’ fossil record No transitional forms have been found between invertebrates and vertebrates, fish and amphibians, amphibians and reptiles, reptiles and mammals.
One further point which weighed heavily with me was the absence of any real explanation for the origin of matter. The most popular view of the origin of the Universe is the Big Bang hypothesis. But where, I asked, did the original superdense nucleus of matter spring from? The evolutionist has no real answer; he is compelled to claim that matter is eternal!
I came to realize that the evolutionist needed a lot more “faith” than the Christian! It is far more rational to believe the Biblical account of God’s creatorial works. Genesis 6–9 provide the true key to the fossil record. Millions of living organisms were buried in thick layers of sediment as a consequence of the great flood. These layers subsequently became consolidated, forming sedimentary rock over about ¾ of the earth’s surface. Here lies the explanation of the vast fossil graveyards of Siberia, Alaska, Sicily and Central Germany. The fossil record bears witness to creation and the great flood.
To be concluded