Creation Versus Evolution: TASC Question and Answer Panel
From time to time we find it beneficial to invite our members and guests of TASC to a question and answer panel on creation versus evolution. We believe it will help your faith and your ability to “give an answer for your faith.” We did this at our recent August, 2016, meeting. Several of our TASC board members participated including Mark Stephens, MCS, moderator of the panel, and panel members, Joe Spears, MS; Gerald Van Dyke, Ph.D.; Jeff Gift, Ph.D.; and Dan Reynolds, Ph.D., who was out of town but graciously submitted written answers to questions for all our benefit.
We had a good crowd with two parents bringing three children who were about 12 years old. We believe this creation versus evolution Q and A panel provides good witness for adults’ faith and their children’s faith in God our Creator, and Christ our Creator and Savior, Colossians 1: 11-19. They are able to see Christian scientists express their journey of faith and present scientific evidences that support the Genesis account of creation and refute the theory of naturalistic evolution represented to the public largely as fact. This Q and A panel presentation is in contrast to much of the information adults and our children are exposed to in the media and the public schools which promote humanism, naturalistic evolution, and secularism in general. (If you would like to receive an electronic copy of our monthly TASC newsletter, which usually contains a creation and creation science article and notification of events such as conferences held locally and nationally that can help you hold, strengthen, and share your faith in God, please send us your name and email address to our editor, Fred Johnson, Ph.D., at fljohnson52 [at] nc.rr.com. Please sign up your friends and associates as well that could benefit and to whom you witness.)
Participation by our panel members and guests included answering of questions and discussion. The following are answers to some of the questions presented to our panel which I will credit to the panel member up front who submitted to me a brief written answer that I could share with you readers of this article.
Answers 1 through 3 provided by Dan Reynolds, Ph.D.:
1. What are some of the best scientific evidences for a global flood and a young earth?
- The recent discovery of residual C14 throughout sedimentary strata in coals, graphite, shells, carbonates, and diamonds. These results indicate that most sedimentary layers making up the fossil record were laid down at the same time and recently consistent with the flood of Noah.
- Recent discoveries of intact soft dinosaur tissue from around the world with associated proteins and DNA and residual C14. Again, these results indicate that these specimens, which are thought to be greater than 65 Ma old (million years old), died recently in various places around the world.
- The discovery of squashed polonium 210 radiohalos found in partially coalified wood from 3 different geologic layers (Triassic, Jurassic, Eocene; 230-60 Ma ago) with the same high uranium/lead (U/Pb) ratio. Double halos were found in Triassic and Jurassic layers. The high U/Pb ratios indicate a recent burial. The squashed halos indicate that the polonium (Po) entered the wood while still soft (before coalification) followed by a compression event (burial by sediments during the flood). The “double” 210Po halos (coupled with the short half lives of 210Pb and 210Po, 22 years and 138 days, respectively) suggest that the time between the initial penetration of the Po/Pb into the wood and formation of the second halo was only a few years at most. Taken together, the data suggest that the partially coalified trees were buried recently and at the same time. This data dovetails nicely with the results in a and b. The data also suggest coal formation can be rapid.
- The Great Unconformity (discontinuous sedimentary layers) exists worldwide, many sequences are continent wide or larger. The great unconformity is often thought of as the boundary between the Cambrian and Precambrian.
- Giant fossil graveyards
- Marine fossils are found in all mountain ranges.
The data above say that the fossil record (last 600 Ma) and even some Precambrian strata (C14 in diamonds) had to have been formed in the last few thousand years.
The fact that igneous intrusions in sedimentary rock are often dated to hundreds of millions of years from parent/daughter ratios of radioactive elements (i.e., U/Pb) and the presence of mature radiohalos indicates there were episodes of accelerated nuclear decay in the past. Past episodes of accelerated nuclear decay are also supported by helium retention in zircons and argon retention in feldspars. If accelerated decay has occurred, then all radiometric dating is suspect insofar as determining the age of an object.
2. Do human genetics support scripture, and if so, how?
- The human mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutation rate suggests the human race is about 6000 years old.
- There are 3 major types of mtDNA (Noah’s sons’ wives), and 1 Y chromosome (Noah and his sons) are in the world today.
- There is evidence for interbreeding between Neanderthal, denisovans, and homo sapiens demonstrating they are the same created kind.
- The genomes of humans and chimpanzees are much less similar than previously thought (no greater than 90% and possibly as low as 70% overall). The Y chromosomes of humans and chimps are extremely dissimilar suggesting high mutation rates (if evolution from a common ancestor is true) yet there is very little variation in the Y chromosome among humans.
3. Is climate change real? How should a Christian respond to this issue?
- Climate change has been happening for thousands of years. The question is whether human activity is driving climate change towards catastrophe. There have been warmer times than now. There is evidence from ice cores and sea floor sediments that temperature increases have come before increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels instead of the other way around. Warm periods are usually associated with better agriculture. Although scientists have theories about the causes of past global climate changes, there are many unsolved problems leading to uncertain predictions.
- Secular scientists base much of their concern about anthropomorphic (man caused) global warming on the alleged climate history of the earth, assuming the astronomical theory and deep time. However, scripture and much good science cast doubt on both the astronomical theory and deep time. Secular scientists are concerned that the increase in greenhouse gases, primarily carbon dioxide, will upset the delicate balance of the earth’s climate and cause catastrophic melting of the ice. However, even if one assumes deep time and the astronomical theory, the evidence suggests temperature augmentation can precede or be unassociated with carbon dioxide levels.
- Despite what the media claims, there is not an overwhelming consensus in the science community about this topic. There are many uncertainties. We know from scripture that God created the earth to be inhabited (Isaiah 45:18) and that normal seasonal cycles with associated agriculture will continue until the end of the age (Genesis 8:22). The earth was created for humans to use. To be sure, we should be good stewards of our planet, minimizing pollution, replanting forests, and developing renewable energy sources. But we should not be afraid or ashamed to responsibly use the resources God has given to us. We need not regress to a primitive way of life to save our planet. The welfare of people should be put first in all considerations.
For more information on these answers, you may wish to access on our website the following article by Dr. Reynolds: www.TASC-CreationScience.org, January, 2016, “The Ice Age, Climate Change, and Creation”; April, 2015, “On the Origin of Humans”; January, 2006, “Polonium Radiohalos; Competing Interpretatinos of Data Among Creationists.”
Answers 4 thru 8 provided by Joe Spears, MS:
4. Can I believe both the Bible and science? Why does it matter?
You can believe the truth and the Bible; evolution is not scientifically established as true.
Believing evolution seems to be the point of the beginning of the end of faith for many who have testified to their adopting belief in evolution. The following is a sequence that sometimes occurs:
Believing evolution ➞ questioning the Genesis account ➞ questioning the rest of the Bible ➞ questioning the gospel ➞ rejecting Christ
5. Doesn’t science disprove the Bible?
No. The more I learn about science and archeology, the more comfortable the Bible reads to me.
6. Doesn’t the fossil record prove evolution?
We have evolutionists saying the opposite:
[Steven] Gould [of Harvard] and the American Museum people are hard to contradict when they say there are no transitional fossils. As a paleontologist myself, I am much occupied with the philosophical problems of identifying ancestral forms in the fossil record. You say that I should at least “show a photo of the fossil from which each type of organism was derived.” I will lay it on the line—there is not one such fossil for which one could make a watertight argument. 1
In any case, no real evolutionist, whether gradualist or punctuationist, uses the fossil record as evidence in favor of the theory of evolution as opposed to special creation. 2
7. How can we see galaxies so far away; their light takes billions of years to arrive?
There are multiple theories explaining this:
- Lisle’s model, the Anisotropic Synchrony Convention (ASC)
- John Hartnett’s model
- Barry Setterfield’s model
- Russell Humphreys’ model
8. Why can’t mutations lead to genetic change that powers evolution?
Mutations generally are not beneficial. Before generating benefits, harmful mutations would occur much more rapidly and wreck the other parts of the genome.
For more on the above, see Joe Spears, MS, articles on our www.TASC-CreationScience.org website.
Answers 9 thru 12 provided by Mark Stephens, MCS
9. Has the highly anticipated copy (full-sized model) of Noah’s Ark by Answers in Genesis been completed?
Yes. The project was completed and opened for public viewing July, 2016.
This faith-building-and-strengthening witness is provided by the construction of a full-sized copy (model) of Noah’s Ark. It testifies to the validity of the Genesis account and early events of mankind and animals. I plan to visit The Ark soon and perhaps you too! The Creation Museum by Answers in Genesis that was completed about 10 years ago also provides the same strong witness and believability of the Genesis account of creation and early Biblical history. Families and friends can visit both of these conveniently at the same time as they are in close proximity of each other in the Cincinnati area just across the Kentucky border. For more information and tickets: ArkEncounter.com, 855-284-3275
10. What about race and racism? Are we one race or many races?
If we closely examine what the Bible has to say about creation of mankind, early Biblical history, and objective scientific evidences, including genetics, we can say that all of us humans are one human race not many races. Evolution tries to separate us by race; creation says we are one race descended from Adam and Eve and Noah and his wife and their 3 sons and their wives after the great worldwide flood from the Bible. Genetics and now the human genome verify this. From the variety expressed in our genes as far as differences developing as we moved out around the world, we more correctly should be referred to as tribes or people groups. If we all had better understanding of this, we could perhaps all get along better without so much prejudice. For more understanding on this, you may refer to my two articles available on our www.TASC-CreationScience.org website: (1) “Racism: Human ‘Races’ or ‘One Blood’?” from April, 2004, and (2) “Race and Racism: Understanding and Coping” from November, 2015.
11. Do the Galapagos Islands represent molecules to man evolution in action?
No. Contrary to what Darwin tried to do from his visit to the Galapagos Islands in proposing his naturalistic evolutionary theory, they show simply variety built into the genes of the species of plants and animals that live there. We know this now from the science of genetics that Darwin did not have then. I visited the Galapagos Islands in 2003 with scientists from the Institute for Creation Research. I was able to determine along with them that the evolution the Galapagos Islands life presumably showed was only an expression of the great variety programmed into the DNA God placed into these animals and plants; no new information was generated through the mutation/selection mechanism as evolution proposes. For more information on this, you may wish to access my article on our website about my visit to the Galapagos Islands from which I was able to confirm that my belief and faith in creation over evolution was correct: www.TASC-CreationScience.org March 2006, “Galapagos Islands: Did Darwin Really See Evolution in Action There?”
12. Does science prove evolution? What about Creation?
I will answer this question by my “letter to the editor” to a newspaper that I wrote about 15 years ago. I provided a copy to our TASC meeting attendees as my answer.
Science Proves It; Evolution Is Unprovable
As a former science teacher with a master’s degree in biology, chemistry, and geology, I believe it is relevant to continue the questioning of the theory of evolution. My concentrated study of unbiased science convinces me that the theory of evolution is unprovable and unsubstantiated by the fossil record, geology, and radiometric dating.
Many, as I once did, confuse evolution with variation and adaptation through gene recombination that our marvelous God provided in his animal creation. The real theory of evolution teaches that animal life evolved into man by incredible chance, struggle and death. According to this theory, man was not created by God.
The theory of evolution is incompatible with the Biblical account, since suffering and death did not enter God’s creation until Adam and Eve sinned. Our omnipotent God told us that He created man as his special creation in His own image. It is only man’s misunderstanding through the deceit of evolution or his basic unbelief that tries to tell us another story. This story is either one of atheistic evolution or a compromise of theistic evolution, claiming that God directed evolution.
During the panel and discussion, Gerald Van Dyke, Ph.D., retired professor of Botany/Mycology at North Carolina State University, discussed with our TASC meeting guests some of the symbiotic relations of fungi and plants that did not support naturalistic evolution. How could they have been around supposedly in separation of each other for millions of years and still survive separately if they must depend upon each other? They must have been created during the creation week and lived together in a symbiotic relationship starting thousands of years ago rather than evolved over millions of years separately. Instincts programmed into animals by our Creator God for their survival are better explained by creation rather than evolution as well. Dr. Van Dyke shared that creation with Biblical and scientific evidences supporting it makes the most sense for truth and for his faith. He was a founding member and early chairman of TASC and has been a strong witness for faith now for many years. Dr. Van Dyke also discussed how he was able to hold on to his faith and even bear persecution while teaching in the public university setting where many espouse evolution and humanism. You may want to access his December, 2015, article explaining this and his journey on our TASC website at www.TASC-CreationScience.org.
Jeff Gift, Ph.D., also discussed with our guests the challenges he faced in overcoming naturalistic evolutionary indoctrination in his university education and his faith journey as he started participating in creation and creation science seminars such as provided by the Institute for Creation Research. Fortunately, this lead to his accepting a board member position with our TASC organization. He has served for many years and has written many articles which have helped many, I believe, to gain, hold, and strengthen their faith. Dr. Gift also discussed with our attendees the discovery of soft tissue found in dinosaur bones and fossils containing protein and DNA with residual C14 which support the Genesis account of creation that these “beasts of the field” were created on the sixth day of creation along with man and that this implies and we can infer that they were around thousands, not millions of years ago. (See his recent articles on this subject in the August, 2015, and August, 2016, issues of the TASC newsletter also recorded at our www.TASC-CreationScience.org website). Also, this supports a young earth of thousands not millions of years old, which Christians can believe is supported by objective scientific evidences as well as the Biblical record.
Henry M. Morris, Ph.D., LL.D., Litt.D., founder of the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) in 1970, is another very influential person we mentioned in our panel discussion that has influenced and helped us all to uphold creation over evolution and answer many questions we might have. We did not have time in our meeting to fully address some key materials he provided us during life and available through ICR. I would like to provide you access to 3 of these key materials associated with or by him in this article. They can help to equip you and provide answers to others discerning creation over evolution to help them come to faith, or for those of faith, to hold and strengthen their faith. These materials are: 1) The New Defender’s Study Bible (ties scripture commentary to scientific evidences, 50% more commentary over his original one), 2) Acts and Facts, free (monthly, scholarly journal with current scientific research supporting creation and scripture; easily understood by laymen with articles written by Christian scientists), 3) Days of Praise, free (quarterly, brief daily devotional tying scripture to objective, scientific evidences). All are available at www.icr.org/store or 800-628-7640.
In addition to the questions and answers addressed in this article, I will provide a list with some brief comment on “some foundations of creation beliefs” that are declared throughout Dr. Morris’s writings. I hope these will be helpful to you as well. (For more in-depth information on these, you may access my August, 2010, article titled “Some Foundations of Creation Beliefs” on the TASC website.)
Belief in God our Creator and the Genesis account of Creation:
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. (Genesis 1:1, KJV)
The very first verse of Genesis in the Bible declares the existence of God, our Creator, and Colossians 1: 11–19 declares that Christ is our Creator and Savior.
Belief in the truth of the Genesis account of creation as recorded in the Bible with support from creation science:
Genesis is not just an allegory or story line to give us an idea about creation; it is inspired from God and is God’s divine revelation to mankind (Exodus 31:17-18, II Timothy 3: 16-17). It not only tells us of the creation and origin of life, but it is the foundation of moral law, marriage, and the family.
Creation week of seven literal ordinary days:
This includes the creation of kinds with the potential for variety programmed within the kind by God and that was not randomly evolved by naturalistic evolution. It includes the special creation of mankind in the image of God, not evolved from ape-like ancestors over millions of years.
The disobedience and sin of Adam and Eve resulted in the corruption of a “very good” (Genesis 1:31) creation and the beginning of struggle and death.
Theistic evolution conflicts with God speaking creation into existence and implies that struggle and death have been used by God over millions of years before any sin and penalty of sin existed. Theistic evolution invalidates the doctrine of sin, the need for redemption, and the reconciliation of mankind to God.
The worldwide flood and the catastrophic destruction of the earth:
The Genesis account is clear about a “worldwide” flood by expressions emphasizing universality of the flood and its effects more than 20 times in Genesis chapters 6–9. Some propose the flood to be a local one, which represents a compromise to accommodate evolutionary theory.
The fossil record supports created kinds and still says “no” to naturalistic evolution.
Much of geology can be explained by the layering effects of a world-wide flood described in Genesis. Geologic column is an idea, not an actual series of rock layers as nowhere do we find the exact sequence. Evolution scientists have constructed this idea and named it the geologic column to try to give it validity.
This was a very large boat (ark) designed by God to preserve the created “kinds” and mankind from the cataclysmic worldwide flood. (See question number 9 above to see how you can visit a full-sized model of Noah’s Ark called The Ark).
One true race of people all related to Adam and Eve and Noah’s family after the flood:
The Biblical record and scientific evidence from genetics support this. (See question number 10 above for more.)
Dinosaurs are referred to as behemoth, leviathan, and dragons in the Bible in Job 40 and 41, Isaiah 27: 1, Psalms 74: 13, 14; 104: 26 KJV as the name “dinosaur” did not appear in history until named such by Sir Richard Owen in 1841). Dinosaurs were created on the sixth day of creation along with other land animals and man; they lived thousands, not millions, of years ago. Evolutionary stories about dinosaurs can be deception for children. However, scripture and recent scientific discoveries concerning dinosaurs provide confirmation of the Genesis account. (See my article on “Dinosaurs: What is the real story?” on the www.TASC-CreationScience.org website of March, 2008, and the discussion on recent discoveries about dinosaurs by Dr. Jeff Gift above).
Irreducibly complex biological systems defy a random gradual evolutionary explanation since all precursors would have been nonfunctional. Some contend that it takes a lot of faith to believe in God and creation. One might also contend that it takes even greater faith to believe in an essentially impossible, chance origin by naturalistic evolution:
For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so they are without excuse. (Romans 1: 20, KJV)
Radioisotope dating, used to support an old age of the earth, is based on big assumptions with a large margin of error. We have a new understanding through the Radioisotopes and the Age of the Earth (RATE) study that supports a young earth. An abundance of other scientific data supports a young earth, just as the Biblical record does. (For more, see answer to question 1 above.)
Concerning the above basic foundations of creation beliefs:
I will summarize with the following very relevant commentary by Henry Morris, Ph.D., from The Defenders Study Bible on I Timothy 6: 20, where Paul warns Timothy and we should well take note,
O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science, KJV, (knowledge, NIV) falsely so called...
“Science falsely so called” is in the Greek literally “pseudoscience” or “pseudo-knowledge.” This pseudoscience is nothing other than evolutionism, which has been in “oppositions” against God as Savior and Creator and the world as His Creation since the beginning of time. 3
Dr. Morris brings out in his commentary on I Timothy 6: 21, the repercussions if they then professed and we now profess science (KJV) falsely or evolution, “Which some professing have erred concerning the faith....”
Sadly, falling away from the faith is still continuing too much today as people succumb to the atheistic theory of evolution accompanied by humanism and secularism. Subsequently, as people adopt that there is no God because of various compromises with evolution, more and more people in our nation and worldwide have forsaken His commandments and guidelines for our righteous living, turning instead unto darkness, Romans 1: 21–32. Again, this is why we want to help by answering questions that you have to keep your true understanding of the Bible and science, and your faith whole.
In closing, as part of the answers above and a big help for you, I would like to refer you to the following resource that you can get up-to-date, comprehensive answers to the above and use as a teaching series of lessons in your church or witness with friends: New, exciting, 12 lesson DVD series with teacher/study guide titled, Unlocking the Mysteries of Genesis, by Institute for Creation Research that you can purchase at www.ICR.org/store.
We at TASC hope that the creation versus evolution Q and A panel meeting proceedings and answers provided in this article provide you more scientific evidences and Biblical knowledge so that you can believe and trust the Genesis account of creation, which is the foundation for our belief in God’s word, the Bible. We can go forward trusting the rest of the Bible as we study the truths presented that give us our foundations for our Christian belief and acceptance of the gospel that saves us, Romans 1: 16.
We invite you to our TASC meetings and hope this article motivates you to come out and be our guest at our September meeting announced below. Then, consider yourself a member of TASC as you sign up for our TASC newsletter, attend our meetings from time to time, and participate in future activities.
- 1Dr. Colin Patterson, letter dated April 10, 1979 to Luther Sunderland, quoted in L.D. Sunderland, Darwin’s Enigma, Green Forest: Masterbooks, 89
- 2Ridley M, “Who Doubts Evolution?” in New Scientist (June 25, 1981), 831
- 3Morris HM (1995) The Defender’s Study Bible, World Publishers, Inc., Iowa Falls, IA, 1348