Does the denial of macro-evolutionary theory fly in the face of decades of
evidence & research? Isn’t the idea of ‘theory’, in regards to
macro-evolution, really a fact on balance of probabilities (considering
paleontological discoveries)? Is it incredibly simplistic & naive to say
that people like Richard Dawkins (who wrote ‘The Selfish Gene’ & ‘The
Blind Watchmaker’) are deceived individuals? It seems that often when
evidence is presented to ‘creationists’, they respond with rather
simplistic & uninformed arguments & struggle to deal with hard facts.


This is a very good question. The simple answer is yes and no. If you
are speaking of some of the “rather simplistic and uninformed arguments”
which “struggle to deal with the hard facts,” then you have a good point.
It is certainly true that some people treat the theory of evolution as a
satanic force to be treated as the enemy of Christianity. There are some
creationists who attack evolution without giving fair consideration to the
predctive power of the thery or to the growing experimental evidence
underpinning the evolutionary model.

Having said that, no it is not necessarily true that criticisms of the
evolutionary theory fly in the face of the evidence and research. It is
definitely not “incredibly simplistic and naive” to say that Dawkins is a
deceived individual. Please let me explain. Richard Dawkins takes an
assumption with him as he considers scientific evidence to explain the
origin of species. Dawkins and many others like him assume out of hand
that there cannot be any possibility of supernatural intervention in the
universe. When a person assumes that God does not exist and that life
evolved by entirely “natural” processes, then we can be sure what that
person’s conclusion of the matter will be. If, in fact, God does exist
and if God has created different species in the past, then Dawkins and
friends are sure to be deceived when they interpret the evidence.

Let me comment about the evidence for evolution. I go into this in quite
a bit of detail in my book “Is There a God?” which will become available
in a new edition this Spring at You can find an older
version of my chapter on evolution at the web site (go to articles and do
a search). To summarize, the genetic evidence generally supports the
evolutionary model in that species which appear to be related by descent
generally have genetic information similar enough to make the belief that
they evolved from a single earlier a reasonable assumption. The fossil
evidence generally gives broad support for the idea of evolution over
great periods of time as well.

Having said that, there is evidence which the pre-assumption of
materialist explanation for the origins of species comes up against
strikingly. Dawkins himself has pointed out that the fossil record does
not necessarily snow gradual change. In fact, the evidence reveals long
periods of fairly small change and adaptation, followed by leaps of change
which puts the idea of evolution by natural mutation and natural selection
in doubt. Dawkins has proposed the idea of punctuated equilibrium in an
attempt to explain the surprising nature of the fossil record. The fact
is that although there is quite a bit of evidence for evolution of
existing species in the fossil record, the data generally supports sudden
and very rapid “change,” followed by long periods of fairly stable
species. This is the little secret which Dawkins was a key figure in
pointing out. The theory of evolution predicts generally that as the
fossil record grows, the gaps should fill in. The fact is that this
filling in of the gaps has generally not occurred. The missing links
generally remain missing.

Then there is the Cambrian explosion of life which paleontological
evidence shows happened about 540 million years ago. In this explosion of
new life forms, all five animal body patterns appeared in virtually zero
time geologically. No new body pattern has since emerged. There were no
complex animals at all before this time. In fact, it is extremely
difficult to conceive how the species in the fossil record before this
explosion can possibly serve as predecessor the the amazing flowering of
species which followed.

A lot more can be said on this, and I am not an expert on the subject, so
I will leave you to do your own research. However, I would say that if
one allows for at least the possibility of supernatural intervention, then
one will find the evidence to make a lot more sense. I believe that the
evidence strongly supports the idea that different species have been
created at different times in the past, after which these species changed
gradually through a natural process we call evolution. The laws of
thermodynamics tell us that almost certainly the original life form was
created by divine intervention. Please bear in mind that such a “theory”
is not “scientific.” By definition, any supernatural explanation is not
scientific. However, I believe that the evidence is consistent with,
indeed that it almost demands, allowing for divine creation of species.

I do not believe that we will ever be able to prove by experiment that
different species were created. Supernatural creation is not subject to
experiment. However, to assume that creation of life did not occur and to
proceed from that assumption to argue against creation of species is to
use circular reasoning. This is what Dawkins and others do. Such
circular reasoning can lead to being deceived, especially if the
assumption is not true.

For myself, I do not deny that evolution has occurred. I believe that
evolution is an elegant theory which can explain a great deal of the
evidence. I do not deny that “macroevolution” (a word which is difficult
to define) may have occurred, but I do deny that random natural forces are
sufficient to explain either the existence of life itself or the evidence
from the fossil record. I hope that my analysis of the evidence is
neither simplistic nor naive. I also do not believe that Dawkins is
either simplistic or naive. However, I do believe that he is extremely
biased against the possibility of divine influence in the origin of
species, and that this bias causes him to miss the obvious. God’s
fingerprints are to be found in the origin of species.

No matter what your analysis of the data, to say that “evolution is a
fact” is to deceive. To say that evolution is a powerful theory which is
our best scientific model to explain the existing evidence is to speak
accurately. It will forever remain impossible to “prove” the claim that
evolution by natural forces can explain all change which has ever
occurred. We cannot travel into the past to find such proof.

John Oakes

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