A popular caricature of creationists is that we teach the fixity of species (i.e., species don’t change). And since species obviously do change, evolutionists enjoy setting up this straw-man argument to win a debate that was never really there in the first place.
Prior to the publication of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species especially, some Christians did claim that species were immutable. But part of the problem is that the word species did not mean the same thing then as it does now—nor was there ever any reason to assume fixity in the first place.
Creationists have long been amazed by the diversity within each created kind (or baramin, roughly on the family level). We know that species do change—but only within the original kinds God created roughly 6,000 years ago.
Species changing via natural selection and mutations is perfectly in accord with what the Bible teaches. Such changes are not evolution—they remind us that God put enough information in the genome of each original kind to live and flourish in a cursed world.
Although some evolutionists claim that the Intelligent Design Movement (IDM) is a sort of Trojan horse for creationism to get into schools, those in the IDM are not necessarily even Christian, let alone creationists.
Creationism begins with the belief that the Bible is God’s infallible Word to us. The Bible provides the framework by which we understand the world. Because the Bible teaches that there is a Creator and that the earth is young, creationists base all our research on this foundation.
Conversely, the IDM holds that certain aspects of living things and the universe can best be explained by being the work of an intelligent designer. The identity of this creator and whether or not the Bible is true are non-factors. While creationists may agree with some aspects of intelligent design theory, those who do conflate IDM with creationism likely do not understand either.
The Bible isn’t a science textbook in the sense that it describes exactly how the laws of the universe function, but it does make a number of statements that touch upon scientific principles. And what it does touch on is factually accurate.
Underneath this myth is the assumption by many scientists that only natural (and not supernatural) causes can explain reality. God could not have created, for example, because special creation is denied, not by fieldwork or research, but by biased presuppostions.
If the Bible does contain the true history of the universe as inspired by the One who created it, then doing science without a biblical worldview often leads to false or imperfect conclusions. A scientist can make astounding discoveries and not believe God’s Word, but a full understanding of the universe begins with Genesis.
This is only partially true. Creationists believe that the Bible was written to be understood. And since we believe that God cannot lie and gave us the Bible to instruct us, we also assume that His Word is clear and accurate. In other words, there’s no reason to think that someone needs to “read into” what the words actually say.
On the other hand, the Bible is not written in one particular style throughout. There are a variety of styles, including historical narratives and poetry. Beyond that, the people God inspired to record His words employed various figures of speech. Jesus Himself was adept at hyperbole and parables, for example.
Thus, creationists approach the Bible in a straightforward fashion. We don’t take idioms or poetic descriptions literally; we see them for what they are. We also do not ignore the intent of the text to align with popular ideas or philosophies.
Instead of engaging in cordial debate, some evolutionists prefer to say that creation has been disproven and refuse to listen to any discussion. After all, creationism is an “old” idea that has been replaced—for the most part—by evolution in schools, universities, and the media.
We would say, instead, that evolution was disproven long before Charles Darwin came on the scene. How? The One who spoke everything into existence told us how He created—and it wasn’t over billions of years though natural processes.
The real issue here is not one of proof or disproof, but of spiritual ramifications. If God is the creator, He is also the judge. Evolution allows many people a way to deny God’s authority—seeing creation as being “disproven” helps them ignore the clear signs of a Creator (Romans 1:20).
It’s much easier to villify those who disagree than to deal with their arguments. For this reason, many anti-creationists paint us as being against science or wanting to drive science back into the “Dark Ages.”
The truth is that many creationists love science because they love God. Exploring the universe means getting a glimpse into the amazing things God created. There are creation geologists, botantists, astronomers, chemists, physicists, and more who all love the work they do.
On the other hand, creationists do attack ideas and frameworks that deny God’s authority and place as Creator. Most of these ideas stem from the belief that nature is all there is, thus denying God from the outset. The Bible, in fact, commands us to “demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God” (2 Corinthians 10:4–5).
There’s proof for creation right where you are while reading this. Your seeing eyes, your understanding brain, the air around you, all testify to the ingenuity of our God.
Of course, evolutionists see those same features as pointing to the power of natural processes to sculpt the universe and life. To them, such forces are sufficient to explain how we came to be.
Evidence itself is simply evidence. It isn’t an objective source of truth and must be fitted into the overall picture we have of how things work. Whereas evolutionists see the layers in the Grand Canyon as showing millions of years, for example, creationists see those same layers as a reminder of the recent global Flood.
Some aspects of our universe, however, make much more sense in light of the creation account, including design features and reasons to think the earth must be young. They don’t “prove” what the Bible says is true, but they do line up with it.
We like gravity just the way it is—thank you very much. And we are grateful for the laws of physics and chemistry that make life possible. In fact, we see the laws of nature as evidence of God’s sustaining hand in the universe. Those laws operate consistently because He is unchanging.
What we do deny, however, is that common descent via evolution is a “law” or “fact.” Natural selection, mutations, and genetic changes are all observable processes (that fit the creation model quite well), but descent from a common ancestor is a framework and not a law of nature.
Ultimately, we expect the universe to be orderly and logical because we start from the Bible. The laws of nature are not sufficient in and of themselves to create the universe and life; instead, they point to the Creator.
Among the many charges leveled against creationsts is the claim that we “cherry-pick” the data we like and ignore what we don’t. However, as mentioned earlier, the evidence is not the issue—it’s the conclusions that evolutionists make about that evidence.
Answers in Genesis and other creationist organizations do our best to address the most recent news reports, scientific research, and controversial claims. For example, we deal with a number of important stories every Saturday in News to Note and throughout the week in other articles and blog posts.
However, just because evolutionists tell us how we should interpret a particular find does not mean that their interpretation is the best one. Creationists pick out the hard facts and expose the parts that are opinion or based on assumptions. This is not ignoring what we don’t like; it’s separating the wheat from the chaff.
Some evolutionists like to drum up support and outrage by claiming that creationists are out to ban evolution from public schools and anywhere else we can. The only problem is that it’s not true.
While we can’t deny that some Christians would like to see Charles Darwin banished from academia, few creationist organizations are in that crowd. AiG would prefer, instead, that teachers have the freedom to present the creation view if they choose. We have no desire to force someone to teach what they don’t agree with. Many evolutionists have abused the court system in an effort to squelch debate and silence dissent; we have no desire to use the same tactics.
Beyond this, we also think that every Christian should understand the basic tenets of evolution. While the Bible tells us that God created in six days, most people have been influenced by Darwin’s writings—even if they don’t realize it—because his ideas are ubiquitous in our culture. So, understanding evolution will help all of us be more effective in our witness.