Evolution, atheism arguments fail to consider Christian science


Monday, Jonathan Sarfati of the Christian group Creation Ministries International came to
K-State. Ironically, he ended up speaking in favor of the central premise of modern atheism: that if
human life came about via the process of evolution, then humans are not
designed and God does not exist. Outspoken atheist leader Richard Dawkins has
gone so far as to say that without this premise it would not be possible to be
an intellectually fulfilled atheist.
Although Sarfati, who has a doctoral degree in chemistry, and Dawkins might think of each other as mortal enemies, they
both spend a great deal of their time making the same argument: If evolution is true, humans are not designed
and God does not exist.

If I were an atheist, I would enthusiastically support the efforts of people
such as Sarfati, who go around arguing that Christianity can only be true
if almost all of modern science is wrong about everything. Of course, Sarfati’s intention isn’t to make Christians into atheists. He did present
evidence for his view, evidence which has apparently eluded the 98 percent of all
scientists and 93 percent of Christian scientists who believe in evolution, according to a 2009 Pew poll. However, telling people that Christianity is false if science is right is
probably the best way to create atheists.

St. Augustine, author of “The Literal Meaning of Genesis” (415 A.D.), also complained about this problem of Christians treating Genesis as a
science textbook:

“Now, it is a disgraceful and
dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the
meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take
all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up
vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn.”

The Dawkins/Sarfati hypothesis that if evolution is true, then life is not
designed, is as absurd as saying that a car produced in an automated factory
isn’t designed. Nobody in their right mind would conclude that their car wasn’t
really designed simply because they found out it was created in a completely
automated factory. Any factory which could produce a car would require at least
as much design as the car it produced. In a similar way, the “factory” which
produced life on Earth would require at least as much design as the life it produced.
Creating life fully-formed out of nothing 5,000 years ago would require less
intelligence than designing a universe with laws and physical constants that would
inevitably lead to humans.

Even if Genesis is taken literally, it doesn’t support the Dawkins/Sarfati
hypothesis since the Hebrew word “yom,” which Sarfati translates as “24-hour
day,” is used over 100 other times in the Bible and is translated to mean
everything from “age” to “time” to “year” to “continually” to “always” to
“season” to “chronicles.”

Sarfati also argued that if evolution were true, then there would have
been death and suffering prior to the sin of Adam and Eve. He argued that this
wouldn’t be possible because death and suffering are the result of sin. This is
a strange argument because most Christians already believe that Satan and his
angels rebelled against God prior to human sin, so there was already sin in the
world. The other arguments he used against evolution were equally
unconvincing. For instance, Safarti said, “it’s degrading to think of humans sharing a common ancestor with
apes.” Is it really more degrading than the Genesis 3:19 passage, “return to the ground, since from it
you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return?”

Instead of treating the Genesis story as God writing us a 21st
century science textbook, we could listen to 16th century French theologian John Calvin when he said that in the
Bible, God “has accommodated Himself to men’s capacity, which is varied and
changeable.” The
Genesis creation story could easily be an instance of the sort of divine accommodation
to human ignorance that Calvin was referring to when he said, “Such forms
of speaking do not so much express clearly what God is like as accommodate the
knowledge of him to our slight capacity. To do this He must descend far beneath
His loftiness.”

Andrew Rogers is a junior in philosophy. Please comments to opinion@k-statecollegian.com