I am a Christian who is really struggling with doubt. I don’t really
understand macroevolution. If is not true that macroevolution happens,
then why are there so many scientists that defend it and write books about
it? I feel like I am in a never-ending circle. I want my faith to be rock
solid but whenever I read a book there is always another book that is in
opposition to it. For instance I read Lee Strobel’s “the Case for a
Creator” and then I see an atheistic book called “Cross-Examing Lee
Strobel’s the Case for a Creator”. I don’t know what is false information
and what is not. How do I know? Both sides seem so confident. Please can
you help me.

I have answered a similar question at the web site already. The question
and answer are below.

Before sending you to this question and answer, let me say something about
the word “macroevolution.” Those who argue against evolution have some
good points, in my opinion, as you will see below. However, I believe the
whole microevolution/macroevolution discussion is a bit artificial. I am
not a trained evolutionist, but unless I am mistaken the distinction
between microevolution and macroevolution is not well defined. The
distinction was created by creationists as a point for argument. In fact,
I do not believe that most evolutionists make a distinction between the
two. I have heard many creationists say that microevolution does occur,
but macroevolution does not. Unless we can arrive at a solid definition
of the two words, the debate is very artificial. Would evolution from a
primitive cat-like animal to all the felines be micro or macro-evolution?
What about evolution from an even earlier species to produce all felines
and all canines (assuming that they are even related at all). Is that
macroevolution? If that is microevolution, what about evolution of an
even more primitive animal from which bears, felines and canines are
descended. Is that macroevolution? How does one know that we have passed
from micro to macroevolution? Because the distinction is not defined, and
because no two people will agree on a definition, arguments over this
distinction are likely to move around, depending on the evidence.

Remember that this debate is not essential to Christianity because
evolution is not mentioned one way or another in the Bible. What the
Bible does tell us is that life was created by God and that God created
different plants, animals and other life. Beyond that, the extent of
evolution which occurred is debatable and not worth getting too upset
about. It definitely is not worth arguing over. Please take this to
heart: there is no reason for your faith to depend on this issue. The
bottom line is that Jesus was raised from the dead. Given that, then his
claims are confirmed and the central ideas of Christianity: the grace of
God, salvation by faith and so forth are true. End of story. Where the
truth about evolution falls is not essential. You need to focus on the
essentials, which is the truth of the gospel and the inspiration of the

About the two books you refer to, I have read some of Strobel’s works. I
believe he is a good thinker and is not overly biased. What I will assume
is that the other book you read is by a person who rejects the idea of
creation by definition. Such a person, as with any atheist or
materialist, is extremely biased. They assume that creation is not a
possibility, then presume to have a reasonable discussion about it. This
is circular reasoning. You should take such books with a big grain of
salt. Having said that, the book may contain some very good information.
You need to learn to separate the good information from the biased
interpretation of the good data. I understand that this is hard. I hope
the Q & A below can be somewhat helpful to get you started. I suggest you
consider getting a copy of my book Is There a God? from,
where I discuss these issues in more detail.

John Oakes, PhD


Doesn’t denying macroevolution fly in the face of much hard evidence and
research? Isn?t it simplistic and naive of creationists to say that
scientists such as Richard Dawkins and others are deceived about this?


This is a very good question. The simple answer is yes and no. If you
are speaking of some of the “simplistic and naive arguments” of some
sincere but scientifically uninformed creationists, then, yes, 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.
This is not a wise way of dealing with one of the most successful ideas in
science. There are some creationists who attack evolution without giving
fair consideration to the predictive power of the theory or to the growing
experimental evidence underpinning the evolutionary model. The solution to
this problem is for us to avoid using simplistic and naive arguments based
more on our religious presuppositions than the evidence.

Having said that, the answer is 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 brings an assumption with him when 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

A fairly thorough description of the underlying evidence for organic
evolution is found in my book ITAG (ch. 9). To summarize extremely
briefly, 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 ancestor a reasonable assumption. The fossil can go both
ways on this, but we can say that the fossil evidence gives some broad
support for the idea of evolution over great periods of time as well.

Having said that, there is evidence which will cause any open-minded
person to seriously question the pre-assumption of materialist explanation
for the origins of species. Dawkins himself has pointed out that the
fossil record generally does not show the gradual change predicted by
Darwin. 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, random mutation and natural selection in doubt as a
way to explain the fossil evidence. 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 not occurred. The missing
links generally remain missing.

Then there is the Cambrian explosion of life which evidence from
paleontology 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 (phyla) has since
emerged. In 3.5 billion years of time over which life has existed on the
earth, all the animal phyla were created in essentially zero time,
geologically. This suggests special creation. There were no complex
animals at all before the Cambrian explosion. In fact, it is extremely
difficult to conceive how the species in the fossil record before this
explosion can possibly serve as predecessor to the amazing flowering of
species which followed.

A lot more can be said on this. See my book ITAG for more discussion. 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” (special creation of species) 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.

Those who believe in creation should not be defensive. 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 simplistic or naive. However, I do
believe that he is very 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, for a scientist to say that
“evolution is a fact” is deceptive. For one to say that evolution is a
powerful theory which is our best scientific model to explain the existing
evidence is to speak accurately. However, we cannot travel back in time.
It will forever remain impossible to “prove” the claim that evolution by
natural forces can explain the origin of all species.

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