I stumbled upon your website recently and have some comments. I am a Christian and also a scientist.
I am a Christian enrolled in the Physiology doctoral program at the University of Michigan. Before my scientific training, I believed in Creationist principles. Now, I realize that such ideas fail to hold up to even a pedestrian knowledge of basic science.
I’ve since reconciled by belief in God and the Bible (special revelation) with my belief in the integrity of general revelation (science) including evolution.
I think what your organization does is damaging to Christianity and portrays Christians as anti-intellectuals who are rather dismissive of mainstream science.
I realize the futility in writing this note. I just want you to be aware that there are plenty of Christians out there that oppose your view of science and creation.
—S.R., U.S.

I stumbled upon your website recently and have some comments. I am a Christian and also a scientist.

Thank you for writing us with your concerns. I am glad to hear that you have repented and put your trust in Christ. Above all, our ministry is aimed at declaring the gospel, not just a biblical understanding of earth history. Many of us at the ministry have a background in science—and trained at secular universities like the one you attend.

I am a Christian enrolled in the Physiology doctoral program at the University of Michigan. Before my scientific training, I believed in Creationist principles. Now, I realize that such ideas fail to hold up to even a pedestrian knowledge of basic science.

It is not uncommon to hear accounts such as yours. This is exactly the type of story told by many students who were interviewed for the book Already Gone.

My experience was the opposite of yours: I was trained to teach biology and chemistry from an evolutionary perspective. What I failed to recognize is that everyone has a bias, even scientists who are supposed to be neutral and whose work is reviewed by other scientists.

If you started by believing in creation, which is founded in the Bible, and now reject that view, it would seem that “science” has pushed the Bible aside to some degree.

I assume that what you mean by a “pedestrian knowledge of basic science” is actually the view of scientists who accept naturalistic explanations and reject biblically-based explanations. Making a bald assertion does not support your case. Like any time an assertion is made without support, the claim is reversible. I actually have the reverse experience. I was trained as an evolutionary biology teacher, and it was the Word of God that helped me understand the failures in a naturalistic understanding of science. It is only because of what God has revealed to us that we can understand the world around us. Likewise, the many scientists that I work with have much more than a “pedestrian knowledge” of their fields—they were awarded PhDs by secular universities.

I’ve since reconciled [m]y belief in God and the Bible (special revelation) with my belief in the integrity of general revelation (science) including evolution.

That is quite an interesting claim, since there are multitudes of differences between the biblical account of the creation and progression of life on earth and the evolutionary story. Specifically, you would have to reconcile the following:

Biblical View Evolutionary View
God spoke the universe into existence (Genesis 1:1). The universe originated from the big bang.
God intentionally formed the stars, planets, etc. for the benefit of mankind (Genesis 1:14–19). Stars, planets, etc. gradually formed through random processes in the universe. Earth and mankind have no special significance.
From the beginning of the universe to the creation of life on earth took three days (Genesis 1:1–13). From the beginning of the universe to the arrival of life on earth took over 10 billion years.
God formed man out of the dust of the earth in a specific creative act and woman from his rib (Genesis 1:26–28, 2:7, 21–22). Humans evolved from ape-like ancestors over millions of years.
God intentionally created sea creatures and flying creatures on Day Five of the Creation Week (Genesis 1:20–23). Creatures from the sea evolved into land creatures, which then evolved into flying creatures over millions of years.
God intentionally created each animal kind during the Creation Week (Genesis 1) New animals gradually arise as the result of death, disease, mutations, and competition over millions of years.
Death is the result of sin and an enemy that will ultimately be defeated by Christ (Genesis 3; 1 Corinthians 15:21–28). Death is a necessary “friend” of the evolutionary process.
Man has inherent worth being made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26; 1 Corinthians 11:7). Man has no inherent worth; he is simply a big-brained ape.
Sin is the willful rebellion against God and results in death and separation from God (Ezekiel 18:20; Romans 3:23). There can be no such thing as sin, since human responses are just the result of chemical reactions in the brain.
Lazarus and Jesus Christ rose from the dead (John 11:4–52, 20–21). People who have been dead for three days cannot be raised to life.

Many have not considered these ideas in a side-by-side comparison, and this is a short list of the contradictions.1 In order to reconcile these contradictory views, you must set one as the authority over the other. Which one takes priority for you?

Satan tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden by asking her, “Has God indeed said . . . .” The same could be said of naturalistic evolution in respect to biblical creation. Did God really say that He created everything in six days? Did God really say that He created the animals and mankind? Did God really say that sin is real? Did God really say that Christ is risen?

If the Bible is the authority, we will answer the question differently than if we allow man’s interpretation of the world around him to be the authority. Can you truly reconcile the two without doing harm to God’s Word?

I think what your organization does is damaging to Christianity and portrays Christians as anti-intellectuals who are rather dismissive of mainstream science.

Because I view the authority of Scripture as paramount, as does the AiG ministry as a whole, I must accept what God has said rather than the naturalistic philosophies taught by men (Colossians 2:4–8).

If I were to ask you to examine one point, it would be the death and resurrection of Christ. You claim to be a Christian. If by this you mean that you are saved from the punishment you deserve for sinning against God, then you must accept the reality of sin and the resurrection of Christ. “Mainstream science” firmly rejects both of these ideas. On what basis do you accept them? In 1 Corinthians 15:3–5 Paul tells us:

For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve (emphasis added).

Paul bases his argument in the Scriptures. He then extends his discussion to the reality of Adam and his sin being conquered by the Savior’s death and resurrection. If we can’t trust the Scriptures to tell us how and when God created the universe, why should we trust the Scriptures to tell us the truth about eternal life? Paul goes on, in verses 12–22, to explain the connection:

Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up—if in fact the dead do not rise. For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.
If Christ is not raised from the dead our faith is in vain.
But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.

Again, I must ask where you put your trust—the Word of God or the philosophies of man? One must be given preeminence, and Jesus warned us that one man cannot serve two masters. As for others thinking that our ministry is anti-intellectual, remember that the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing (1 Corinthians 1:18).

I realize the futility in writing this note. I just want you to be aware that there are plenty of Christians out there that oppose your view of science and creation.

We are very aware of the opposition to our ideas from within the church. I agree that there are many who profess to follow Christ and accept evolutionary teaching. I would suggest that many have just not thought it through or even recognized the multitude of contradictions between the two positions. If calling the church back to the authority of the very Word of God is the charge against me as I stand before God, I will gladly enter a guilty plea.

I encourage you to read the book Coming to Grips with Genesis. The unraveling of the authority of Scripture begins with the very first verse, and these scholars demonstrate the danger of such compromises. I pray that you will humbly and prayerfully consider what you are making the ultimate authority in your life.

Sincerely in Christ,
Roger Patterson

Help keep these daily articles coming. Support AiG.

Footnotes

  1. For more on this topic, please consider Evolution vs. Creation: The Order of Events Matters by Dr. Terry Mortenson. Back