Monday, April 5, 2010

Response to “Ten Reasons” – 8

This is a continuation of our response to an article entitled “Ten Reasons Why Evolution is Dangerous and Evil” published in Clarion in January. See this introductory response for the context and our approach. In the interest of clarity, and to avoid further unnecessary polarization, we presented these responses in advance to the authors of “Ten Reasons” to provide an opportunity to identify any misunderstanding or misrepresentation. No response was received.

Original from Clarion [numbered for our responses below]

Evolution cannot account for the uniformity of nature

The fact that the universe is orderly and regular makes science possible – this is the “uniformity of nature.” Evolutionists believe in the uniformity of nature, but it is inconsistent with the foundations of the theory of evolution. Those foundations cannot account for the world in which we live. Therefore, evolution and its associated worldviews cannot provide an adequate answer to the question of why we should believe that the future will reflect the present or the past. If all that exists is only matter (as most evolutionary worldviews claim), there is no basis for the uniformity of nature, and therefore no basis for science.[30]

Appealing to some form of theistic evolution does not help. The Bible teaches that the uniformity of nature has its basis in God and his decrees. The same Bible also teaches that God created the universe in six normal[31] days. It is inconsistent to accept one while denying the other. It is inconsistent to regard Genesis 1 and 2 as mythical or poetic while regarding Genesis 8:22 as literal.[32] Like his secular counterparts, a theistic evolutionist has no credible way to account for the uniformity of nature and the foundations of science. (WB)

Responses by Reformed Academic

30. Certainly, the only solid foundation for science is the covenant faithfulness of God toward His good creation, as discussed by Dr. Arnold Sikkema in his “Laws of Nature and God’s Word for Creation”, Fideles v. 2 (2007) pp. 27-43 (see remark 18).

If God had a plan for the Israelites in the Old Testament that included a history of redemption, so God can have a plan for his creation that includes historical development.

The author of this section does not explain what he means by uniformity and this makes it hard to respond. Uniformity may apply to process, law, causes, or rates, or any combination of them depending on the requirements of the circumstances. He seems to assume that the order of creation is static, which is (of course) inconsistent with a changing creation. We see sociological, meteorological, ecological, geological, astronomical processes occurring every day. If God has created the world such that it can change on these scales, and on those depicted in the theory of biological evolution, then change is consistent with God’s faithfulness. Change can be orderly and lawful.

31. We believe there was nothing normal or ordinary about the days of creation; they were extraordinary; after all we are talking about the creation of the universe! Furthermore, there is no consensus even among Reformed theologians regarding the precise interpretation of the days of Genesis 1.

32. There need not be a dichotomy between poetry and truth. Many authors have recognized the poetic and truthful character of both Genesis 1 and Genesis 8:22. It’s not clear what the point is here.

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