The Evidence for Creation
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It has been more than 150 years since Darwin published his theory of evolution, and many bookshelves could be filled with books discussing evolutionary theory as it has subsequently developed and giving purported evidence to support it. But when the scientists who write these books analyze the evidence that might tell us something about the history of life on this earth, do they ask the question “Can this data be best explained by Creation, or by evolution?” For 99 per cent or more, the answer is probably No. Most people are educated from their childhood to believe that evolution is true, and thus they consider the principal tenets of the evolution theory to be “known facts.” When they are analyzing scientific data they ask the question “How does this data best fit into the evolution theory?” rather than the broader question “Is this data best explained by evolution, or by Creation?” When we ask that broader question, we find that the data that are often used to support evolution can be equally well explained by Creation.

Microevolution and Macroevolution

In order to simplify our discussion, we can divide evolutionary theory into two parts: microevolution and macroevolution. Microevolution is genetic variation within groups of animals, as within the dog family, or within the various groups of rodents. This type of variation could have occurred since Creation, and thus is not in conflict with the Bible.

The rest of this article will discuss macroevolution—the theory that all of the different groups of animals and plants have evolved from common ancestors. According to this theory, life began in the form of simple one-celled organisms. Some of these developed the characteristics of plants and some evolved into animals, and the plants and the animals gradually evolved into more and more complex levels of organization.

Some of most important kinds of evidence that have been used to support the theory of macroevolution are similarities in the embryos of different kinds of animals, homologous body parts or physiological functions, vestigial organs, and fossils. All of these types of evidence are used in developing phylogenetic trees (diagrams illustrating the presumed evolutionary lines of dissent). but we will demonstrate how this same evidence also supports the biblical story of Creation.

A very young mammal embryo develops a simple kidney, called a pronephros. It is nothing more than a few simple ciliated ducts along the end of a long tubule. A little later, along the same tubule, the embryo develops a series of more complex tubular corpuscles, which come into close contact with knots of blood capillaries. This new kidney is called a mesonephros. The pronephros and the mesonephros function as the organs that clear metabolic waste products out of the blood while the adult kidney, or metanephros, is developing. When the metanephros is fully developed it begins to operate, and the pronephros and mesonephros degenerate and disappear.

Perhaps you are wondering why an embryo goes through the effort of producing a pronephric and mesonephric kidney, and then destroys them. The kidney performs a vital function in clearing metabolic waste products from the blood, and even very young embryos produce waste products that must be disposed of. The simple pronephric kidney can develop quickly, and can keep the blood purified while the larger mesonephric kidney is growing. They continue their operation during the long period of time that it takes for the complex metanephric kidney to grow and begin to function. When that finally happens the simpler kidneys are no longer needed and are broken down.

There are those, however, who believe that this sequence of development from pronephros to mesonephros to meta nephros represents a remnant of our evolutionary past. It has sometimes been said that a mammalian embryo passes through a simple stage with a kidney (pronephros) derived from some primitive ancestor. Then the embryo advances to a higher stage with kidney (mesonephros) similar to a hagfishlike ancestor, and finally reaches the fully evolved mammalian level with its metanephric kidney. It is now recognized, however, that the evidence does not necessarily support that interpretation.

Dr. A. S. Romer, from Harvard, accepts the theory of evolution, but he points out that …

“we see in this story the development in the amniote embryo of three successive kidney structures—pro nephros, mesonephros, metanephros. It is often stated or implied that these three are distinct kidneys which have succeeded one another phylogenetically as they do embryologically. Upon consideration, however, it will be seen that there is no strong reason to believe this. The differences are readily explainable on functional grounds; the three appear to be regionally specialized parts of the original holonephros, which serve different functions. .. . Both mesonephros and metanephros are portions of the opisthonephros; the former is developed rap idly to function in the embryo during the period of the necessarily slower formation of the complex metanephros.” —A. S. Romer, The Vertebrate Body (1965), pp. 283, 284.

haeckel2

Figure 2: Haeckel’s diagram

The theory that embryos pass through stages with kidneys like their evolutionary ancestors is part of a broader theory developed by Ernst Haeckel, called the biogenetic law. According to this theory, an animal’s embryological development (ontogeny) recapitulates, or repeats, its evolutionary history (phylogeny). Haeckel’s original illustration (Fig. 2) is still occasionally printed in popular books or elementary textbooks, even though scientists who study embryology no longer believe Haeckel’s “law.” It is now under stood that in some of the embryonic stages, different kinds of animals do not look as similar as Haeckel drew them. Another point that Haeckel could not have taken into consideration was that even though a young embryo of a mammal, for instance, may look superficially similar to a young fish embryo, the mammal embryo already has the genetic instructions for making the chemical organizers in its cells that will cause it to produce mammal tissues and organs, and not “ancestral” fish structures.

The similarities between the embryos of different kinds of animals can now be explained the same way by creationists and evolutionists. Adult mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians look quite different, but they all have a more-or-less oblong body, a head at one end, and most have two limbs at each end of the body. They all begin life as a single cell and follow the same developmental pathway in transforming from one cell to the body-with-the-beginnings-of-ahead- and-four-legs stage. As the head begins to develop, it doesn’t look much like a fully developed head. The limbs at first are only limb buds. The limb buds gradually grow longer, and the head continues to fill out to its mature shape, but the basic vertebrate form is evident be fore the distinguishing characteristics of bird, mammal, or reptile are very obvious, just as the finishing touches on a building do not appear until after the foundation and framework are built. Thus, very young embryos may be expected to look quite similar, and the different characteristics of each group of animals may be expected to appear gradually as the embryo grows.

Vestigial Organs

If animals are evolving we should find vestiges of organs that were once useful and have lost their function, but haven’t quite disappeared yet. A creationist, on the other hand, would not expect to find useless organs, unless degeneration had occurred since Creation. Seventy years ago there was a long list of organs that many biologists considered to be useless, vestigial structures. It is now known that many of these organs perform useful functions, and some (e.g., the adrenals and the pituitary) are essential for life.

vestigial2

Fig. 3: Vestigial Organs

There are a few organs, though, that are still referred to in elementary text books as vestigial (Fig. 3), but these also perform necessary functions. One of these is the tail bone, or coccyx, in humans. This short, stocky bone is com posed of several fused vertebrae and is very important as a point of attachment for the muscles that enable us to stand upright. Another is the appendix, which is not vestigial but is part of the lymphatic system. It helps to remove impurities from the body fluids. The only reason for surgically removing it is be cause it sometimes becomes infected.

Whales do not have hind limbs, but they have small bones, homologous to hind limb bones, completely embedded in flesh. These bones provide a point of attachment for muscles of the reproductive tract, and thus are just another modification of the limb bones to serve a unique function, and there is no convincing reason for believing that they are evolutionary vestiges.

Natural Laws and Miracles

One of the reasons why modern science does not recognize the possibility of divine creation is that it is generally believed that the universe is governed by natural law, and that God could not perform miracles that are contrary to natural law. It is often thought that if He did, the universe (or at least part of it) would appear to be chaotic, instead of the orderly universe that, from our observation, appears to be governed by fixed laws.

However, as a personal being, God can interfere in earth history without necessarily breaking any natural laws. If an apple falls out of a tree the law of gravity dictates that it should fall to the ground. If I catch the apple and thus prevent it from falling to the ground I have not broken the law of gravity, I have merely counteracted it with another law. Certainly God could do the same thing. For example, He could cause a world-wide flood by using His power to alter the normal course of nature.

Another factor that we must recognize is that the laws through which God runs the universe include much more than science normally deals with. We can place these laws in several categories, as follows:natural_supernatural

An important difference between “natural” and “supernatural” is that we don’t understand the supernatural. If we could resurrect a man who had lived 1,000 years ago and show him an electric light or a radio, he would undoubtedly be certain that what he was witnessing was a supernatural miracle, because he would not understand the processes and source of power involved.

Creation seems supernatural and unscientific to modern man for the same reason—we do not understand the laws or the source of power involved. The things we call natural and supernatural make up a consistent whole, the total structure within which God runs the universe. We have no way of knowing whether God ever, on rare occasions, performs a miracle that is outside the realm of these laws, but certainly God understands all natural laws, because they are His laws. He made them, and He works through them to accomplish His purposes. Nature is the servant of the Creator, therefore I consider it fair to state that “God does not annul His laws or work contrary to them, but He is continually using them as His instruments” (Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 114).

The more we learn about these laws that govern the universe the more we can comprehend and appreciate the works of God. The coming of the Atomic Age has brought insecurity and fear to the earth, but for the Christian it has made it easier to understand how God can create matter where there was none before. An atomic explosion is produced by the conversion of mass into energy. Knowing that mass and energy are interchangeable makes it easier to grasp the idea that God can create matter, even though we don’t know just how He does it. Perhaps He just reverses the process that occurs in nuclear particle annihilation reactions, and changes some of His great energy into matter.

“O Lord, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches” (Psalm 104: 24).

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The Evidence for Creation — 18 Comments

  1. Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

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  2. I believe there are some things that we will never be able to do and some things we will never be able to understand. Dr. Brand points to the atomic conversion of energy to matter in the creation of matter but that would be creating from something - not from nothing. I believe God created both energy and matter from what does not exist and that is something I can't understand. Likewise, I can't understand the concept of infinity, how can God not have a beginning? On these kinds of issues I can only accept it by faith. That is one of the reasons I worship God and not pathetic puny man no matter how many degrees a person might have.

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    • Tyler, what I understand Dr Brand to be saying is that God can create matter from His own energy:

      Perhaps He just reverses the process that occurs in nuclear particle annihilation reactions, and changes some of His great energy into matter.

      I don't see that as "creating from something" -- certainly not anything outside of Himself. The energy in His Word is creative energy, as the Bible testifies, "He spoke, and it was done."

      It's beyond our understanding.

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      • It seems Tyler was thinking of energy apart from God, as a separate "thing", as others have presented it. (How do we define "God's energy"?) The statement that God might reverse the process of converting matter to energy implies that this energy is separate from God. But my question is this: does God need energy to create matter? Does He need anything? He didn't need a man to conceive Jesus, and doesn't need an oyster to make a pearl. We are told that He made the heavens by His word. (Psalm 33:6)

        The Bible simply says He made all things and by Him all things consist. Impossible to comprehend, but simple to accept with the faith of a child.

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        • Actually Robert I wasn't thinking of energy at all. Why must we shackle God with limits?

          I tend to think in terms of trying to understand what the fourth dimension is like. Dr. Carl Sagan once had a video on the subject and explained it like being in a two dimensional world where there is no height. If a three dimensional person stepped into that world all the two dimensional people would only be able to see is an infinitesimally small sliver of the three dimensional person - a rather limited view and frightening experience for two dimensional people.

          I feel that our view of God and what He does is similar to that. We are only seeing a very small portion of what God is and does. That, in my opinion, should humble us in trying to figure God out. Because of that I prefer to view God's creative powers without bound and certainly not with respect to what we midget brained humans can conceive.

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    • Thank you very much. There is one important point you brought out. God gave us knowledge to a certain level for us to survive and understand certain things including worshiping. Those things that our finite brains cannot grasp we must only leave to faith. I respect those who want to find more about the world around us continuosly. I do not respect those who think they already know everything and hence vehemently deny God's existance. There is no chance that we will ever know everything until God reveals it to us. Lets have faith and be happy.

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  3. That God created ex nihilo, may be understood to mean, 'from things that did not appear (energy)'.
    Many have long held the view that God used the forward process that Einstein and Oppenheimer reversed to 'discover' the atomic age and what we are now fiddling with, in awe, as we get glimpses of nuclear capacity.
    God created them all.
    We need to remember that He is going to be the light of the NJ City. This is possible as He has always been the SOURCE of all renewable and nonrenewable energy (not just solar) and can create and recreate at will/word.
    His meaning is very often lost in his statement in Jn 14:6, "...kai he zwe..."; "...and the LIFE...". The word conveys the meaning 'the very source of life- as opposed to 'Bios', which may be translated 'livelihood'.

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    • Samuel, I understand what you and Inge are saying and maybe it is so. However, what I am saying is that it doesn't necessarily have to be. Before I begin a statement of clarification we need to hear some really good advice, "It is impossible for finite minds fully to comprehend the character or the works of the Infinite One. To the keenest intellect, the most highly educated mind, that holy Being must ever remain clothed in mystery" (Steps to Christ 105).

      Now with that in mind let me clarify what I said concerning my understanding of God's creative works. Let me ask a question concerning something commonly known in the industrialized countries. Which is more of a miracle to use a dehumidifier and get water out of humid air by condensation or to get water out of a vacuum by the same means? You see, to me it is not nearly as much of a miracle for God to convert something from one form into another even if it is His own energy than it would be for God to bring something into existence in the total absence of anything previously existing. To put it in the words Matthew Henry:

      We have here one of the first acts and articles of faith, which has a great influence on all the rest, and which is common to all believers in every age and part of the world, namely, the creation of the worlds by the word of God, not out of pre-existent matter, but out of nothing (Matthew Henry Commentary on Heb 11:3)

      We could say that both Matthew Henry and the writers of the Bible simply didn't know about either Einstein's or Oppenheimer's understanding of the relationship between matter and energy but to me that would be narrowing God down to our understanding of things. To me God is not indebted to anything preexisting whether it is matter or energy. He spoke and it was and as I said that is something I can't even begin to understand.

      God Himself stands outside of what He created being self existing and the act of creation doesn't have to adhere to any of the physical laws that He established. He simply chooses to uphold what He created by those established laws yet is not bound by them. That to me is the wonder of God who said, "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts" (Isa. 55:9 NKJV).

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      • The discussion of the "ex nihilo" idea is sometimes clouded by a persons understanding of modern science. It is interesting that a number of respondents use Einstein's energy-mass equivalence formula as some sort of evidence for creation ex nihilo but that is far too simplistic. We need to be careful that we do not use scientific concepts merely because they appear to support our view of origins. That does not mean that we should ignore them but that we should recognise our limited understanding of them and avoid making assumptions about what they mean.

        There are a range of interesting ideas springing from the two major developments in Physics in the last century; relativity and quantum mechanics. Having a background in Physics, I have read the recent developments with interest and sometimes wish that I had remained a physicist instead of switching to studying the less enigmatic computer science. What does surprise me is that a number of prominent physicists/cosmologists have become almost theological as they try to understand the implications of the relativity/quantum mechanics nexus. I take the view that physics tells us how God works, but says very little about why. That is where I read my Bible.

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        • Even though I am not a scientist I still have an interest in science. I do feel that science can tell us a lot about the physical world around us but I also realize that it is very limited especially when science arbitrarily eliminates possibilities.

          What bothers me most about some areas of science, especially theoretical ones is that sometimes scientists feel that they know more than they actually do. For instance back in the 80's I was looking at a Nova program on particle physics and lo and behold a very brilliant, extremely arrogant physicist made the incredible statement that he thought that we were near the end of knowledge. To me that is pure academic irresponsibility.

          A couple of years ago when I was attempting to get back into college with a major in physics I asked my physics professor who had a PHD in particle physics and worked some time in the field as a researcher whether there was a possibility of more basic smaller particles than the quarks. Her reply was, "There probably is and they are looking for them all the time." That tells me that we are far from being there to say the least. In fact, in my view I believe that we are just beginning to barely scratch the surface of knowledge. And to me a lot of the available knowledge that we can tap into we will in all likelihood never know this side of Heaven because in order to get down to sublevels of particles or reach out further in the cosmos takes an increasing amount of energy and equipment size which we economically cannot afford - there is a practical limit.

          And this is only the start of my many gripes. As for you going into the area of DP rather than physics, I think you have some advantages that physicists don't have especially in understanding the complexities of the human mind. So I believe you shouldn't be thinking that it was a wrong move at all. Besides you and Carmel have lived reasonably good lives in a good part of the world. So perhaps we all should be thankful for what we do have and less concerned about what might have been; besides there is Heaven to look forward to where knowledge and understanding is unlimited throughout eternity.

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      • Why would laws be seen as "binding" God?

        Maybe they are, instead, an outworking or expression of himself?

        From that perspective, God is not seen as arbitrary. We simply may not understand the physical laws fully enough and so they appear to be "broken" by Him sometimes.

        Just my view.

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        • Andrew, I have to admit that at times I am not very clear in stating what I mean. The laws themselves don't bind God. Our narrow concept of God is what binds Him in our minds. God is not bound by anything but we tend to think in finite terms and conceive of God as limited by the laws He established.

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        • Andrew, I believe that Dr Brand's section on "natural law" and "supernatural law" speaks to this point. They are all His laws, but we know only a portion of even "natural law."

          Thus, from our perspective, God may be seen as working "outside His laws," but in reality, He is working within His laws, which are the foundation of His government.

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  4. Tyler, there were certainly times when some people made rash statements about knowledge limitations. However some of those statements have been misrepresented. Most scientific models are overturned when it is recognised that they have reached the limits of their application. I grew up scientifically on the cusp of newtonian mechanics and relativity. Keppler's laws and their application were useful when talking about satellite motion but there were gravitational phenomena that were outside the abiity of Keppler's laws. These phenomena required a new model that overcame the limitation of the Newtonian model, and it was Einstein's theory of relativity and curvature of the gravitation field near large masses that came to the rescue. The new model is much harder to understand in some respects but it is more elegant in that is describes (and predicts) a greater range of gravitational phenomena that the previous model.

    Likewise in the area of cosmology there are changing models that help us to rethink how we describe our universe. As a Christian I find these new models interesting, and challenging but I am also continually reminded that it is telling me something about how God works and that the "Why" of God's working is outside scientific measurement. God has given us something to discover and something to accept by faith. I am glad He has worked that way.

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  5. [Moderator's note: please use full names when commenting]
    Hello! I've been following your website for a long time now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Dallas Tx! Just wanted to say keep up the great job!

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