Fragile Faith

Four keys to avoiding the evidentialist roller coaster


by Don Batten

Article from:
December 2012

(This was published as a preview of the editorial from the January 2013 Creation magazine, so the page numbers of the articles mentioned refer to this. Subscribe and be delighted.)

© Dandelion

When the latest evolutionary story hits the media, we often get desperate pleas for us to answer this ‘proof’ of evolution, almost as if, should we not answer it, their faith will come crumbling down.

It reminds me of those whom the Bible talks about, being like “children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes” (Ephesians 4:14).

We are to become mature “to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (v. 13) by getting equipped (v. 12). Creation magazine provides one avenue for getting equipped. Some things we should understand to be effective at answering objections include:

  1. Understand the Bible’s true history. This is God’s Word, inspired by the only eye-witness to the events of Creation. When we understand this, we will quickly see that ideas of millions of years of death and suffering before people arrived (evolution) just don’t stack up, ever; see “Understanding death” (p. 42) and “How does the Bible teach 6,000 years?” (p. 54). There is also plenty of evidence that things are much younger than usually claimed; see “Original animal protein in fossils” (p. 14), “Titan” (p. 20) and “Parícutin” (p. 32).
  2. Evolution is a story-telling exercise about the past where experiments are not possible. When it comes to such history, the historical method should be used. So, ask the question, “Who witnessed this?” No-one? Then it is story-telling. Nowhere do we see more fanciful story-telling than with claimed transitional fossils; fossils said to show one creature on the way to becoming a quite different creature. For yet another example of a failed alleged intermediate creature, see “Another major ‘link’ fails” (p. 51).
  3. The agenda of the story-teller. The person is either for or against God and His Word; there is no fence to sit on, no ‘neutral turf’. Those who oppose God attempt to establish a story about how everything came to be without God. It is not about ‘following the facts wherever they lead’, but interpreting things to make them fit their preconceived notion that God had nothing to do with it. For example, even facts that clearly contradict the evolutionary story are ‘spun’ to make it sound like they support it—see “Telling tales” (p. 46).
  4. Are they playing tricks with terminology? Natural selection is often demonstrated and then it is claimed that this ‘proves evolution’. Natural selection might help explain why crickets without a ‘chirp’ survive, but it does not explain where the chirping mechanism, let alone crickets, came from. See: “Kauai’s silent nights” (p. 12). And mutations aren’t up to the job of creating quite different living things either; see “Teenage mutant Ninja people” (p. 48). We observe organisms reproducing according to their created kind, like the silky anteater (p. 28). And we see lots of evidence for sophisticated design that speaks loudly of a super-intelligent Creator; such as box jellyfish eyes (p. 22).

I pray that this issue of Creation magazine will be effective in equipping readers with the thinking skills needed to avoid being unsettled by ‘human cunning’—to avoid what CMI’s Andrew Lamb calls the “evidentialist roller-coaster” (see May we have a robust faith, not a fragile faith.

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Readers’ comments
Errol B., Australia, 11 November 2012
Great article, probably more important than the actual papers (debunking of evolutionary evidence) themselves. There was a time I used to worry a little if I went into a newsagent & read the promos of pro evolutionary articles in science & astronomy magazines, but once I understood the atheist’s paradigm, I actually became encouraged by some claims as I can now see why they arrive at their anti biblical conclusions. It’s not because of the data, but rather it's so often in spite of the data. You see, the atheist’s paradigm redefines science as naturalism. In other words, it’s not that science supports evolution but rather its not allowed to support anti evolutionary ideas. I have previously commented on articles on this web site & I often use a term that I heard biblical creationist Dr Jason Lisle use; that is ‘The Rescue Hypothesis’. It requires the training to be able to separate fact from interpretation. Sometimes they can be tricky to spot & there’s nothing wrong with seeking CMI’s help here. Make yourself & your children bulletproof here.
Israel S., Philippines, 12 November 2012
Amen! An excellent guide to applying presuppositions to the faith! I used to be something of an evidentialist myself, but once I read Refuting Evolution, I understood that it wasn't about the facts, but the filter, the axioms and presuppositions used to interpret the facts. On one hand, we get our presuppositions from the infallible Word of God, the Bible. on the other hand, they base their presuppositions on the belief that the supernatural MUST be left out of the question. This is a very basic principle and should be included in any teaching about apologetics today! God Bless you all!
Matt F., United States, 12 November 2012
I remember when I used to be afraid everytime I read a pro-evolution article or book. However, you guys put it well; learn the truth and you will able to easily answer the questions that you encounter. I'm already beginning to teach these things to my parents as well, and very quickly they are seeing how much evolution is based on presumptions that require the absence of God and based on the non-observable, and thus not believing in evolution anymore. Great article as always CMI! God bless you all!
Victor B., Australia, 12 November 2012
I agree and identify with the previous comments and also remember when I was more of an evidentialist. But having learnt from the speakers and resources of CMI - I now look forward to sorting out the interpretations from the facts of such reports. (akin to the masked magician) Thanks CMI
Mike J., Canada, 12 November 2012
It's more important for people to master worldview thinking before they attempt to master the endless 'facts' of biology. At the heart of the Origins debate are basic presuppositions and the models and methods that are dependent upon them. What are called facts are better called model dependent conclusions. e.g. we're told that "evolution is a fact" but this is an inescapable deduction if one is a materialist. If you are a materialist you Must believe in some kind of evolution. Thus your worldview has determined what you believe about Origins.
J. N., Canada, 15 November 2012
Nothing stays 'Nothing'.There must have been something that had no beginning,always existed.That something we call God.Do we know how He looks like.He showed Himself as a human body.He created everything.Created Adam &Eve.They lost Paradise.It was closed.Jesus came to open Heaven again.We are not forced to enter.You choose:obey God's Law, or not.
Don Batten responds
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
derek B., Australia, 15 November 2012
I grew up in a Christian school and had very little knowledge of evolutionary ideas until when I went to a state senior highschool and was studying biology then. All these things in our text book presented as facts and evidence for evolution - I knew they didn't make sense or prove any such thing, but at the time I didn't have the knowledge to counter them. Since then I have all those 'evidences' presented to us as facts in highschool - were outright frauds (some proven as such more than 100 years before our textbooks were even printed), outright lies, bait and switch - none of them proving anything but sophistry and deception. I've never once seen one genuine 'proof' of evolution - though I've certainly seen plenty of proof of devolution. People will believe what they want to believe - some are open to reason, others are not. Evolution is a deception perpetrated through deliberate misdirection and discouragement of reason. They cannot come to the conclusions they do without first denying so much prima facie evidence all around them. The utter denial of the spiritual realm with a claim of 'unscientific' has got to be the most arrogant claim I know - in direct contradiction of the vast majority of the world population both now and past.
Birdie S., Canada, 16 November 2012
I went through stages of anger. Anger because I was never taught in school both sides of the debate. Anger because my church said "hands off" anything that contradicted what the preachers said. Do not research, question, or look at all sides. I am so thankful to be free of those restrictions. How can we make any informed decisions in life if we don't have the "whole picture"?
Ron M., United States, 16 November 2012
What Use is the Science of Evolution? Every day we rely on technologies made possible through the application of scientific knowledge and processes. The computers and cell phones which we use, the cars and airplanes in which we travel, the medicines that we take, and many of the foods that we eat were developed in part through insights obtained from scientific research. Science has boosted living standards, has enabled humans to travel into Earth orbit and to the Moon... But most of these scientific advances haven't had the slightest thing to do with evolution... computers, cell phones, airplanes, and the Moon landings certainly don't! Even the science of evolution itself is corrupted. They make good, honest observations and measurements, and then jump to erroneous conclusions. For example, the "primordial soup," the goo that all life is supposed to have evolved from? How many times have scientists observed this process, or duplicated it in the lab? Zero, and not from a lack of trying. Even so, they will insist that life "must have" spontaneously emerged. Must have? Why must have? Because that is what they imagine, that is what they want to believe, and that is what they want everyone else to believe. Think about it, you will be hard pressed to find anything in your everyday life that depends on, or even uses evolution science. So who is supporting this science that has little or no benefit? Just follow the money and you will find that government and public schools are the ones paying for and dogmatically pushing evolution. How many of those evolutionary scientists would be awarded study grants or positions of honor in academia if their studies concluded that there is a creator?
ian B., United Kingdom, 19 November 2012
Do they have a real faith if they come running to you to disprove what evolutionists claim, doesnt it worry you that their faith is in you and your message, and in many ways you have become "god" to them? Do you have any ideas how to wean people off this quasi idolatry and redirect people back to the true God?
Don Batten responds
Of course such behaviour and responses bother us; that's why I wrote the article. And the first point made is the most important; to encourage Christians to trust the Bible's history, as God's word. That's what it really boils down to; "Did God really say?" (Satan to Eve in the Garden, Genesis 3). But some critical thinking skills don't hurt either (the other points).
Hans G., Australia, 19 November 2012
Recently there are many evolutionary aspects regarding Big Bang, universe and where we came from on TV. Also the intensive search for sun like stars with earth like planets. Now I wonder why God gave all the stars names? (Ps.147/4) Aren't names given to distinguish between similarities? Pills don't have names, they are all the same; horses don't have names until we recognize differences between them. What chances are there to find an other star like our sun (which was specially made Gen. 1/14) and obviously with an earth like planet? They are all different.