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The theory of evolution is the scientific explanation for the development and advancement of life on the earth. The theory is that, after the big bang took place, inorganic (in other words, nonliving) matter filled the universe – chemicals, elements, etc. Over the course of billions of years, the inorganic matter was exposed to such conditions that allowed for it to convert into organic (in other words, living) matter. Then, over millions of years, the theory is that these new living organisms changed and became more and more sophisticated, “evolving” in response to their external environment. Sometimes, a particular species began to evolve differently from one another, thus leading to a variety of species with common ancestry. The theory of the human race is that we evolved differently from apes, but that we share a common ancestor.
The driving force behind evolution is known as natural selection. This concept is that, as species evolve, the ones who have developed better skills or attributes will outlive the ones who don’t. Survival of the fittest, as it were. The thought is that we as humans have developed the most sophisticated intellectual capacity, which explains why we are the dominant species on the planet – until another species evolves to become more developed than us.
Natural selection is observable, but evolution has not been observed. We don’t have millions of years to observe evolution happen, but we can observe natural selection, and leading experts have inferred that this proves evolution. But these two things are not the same, nor do they support one another. Here’s an article that helps explain the difference between natural selection and evolution:https://answersingenesis.org/natural-selection/is-natural-selection-the-same-thing-as-evolution/
There are many. One of the major problems is that it is clearly evident to anyone who simply looks for a moment – things are not improving. More and more species are going extinct, and the ones who are surviving are not much better off. Ever wonder why your mom didn’t need glasses until she was in her 30s or 40s, but you have had 20/200 vision since you were a teenager? As a race, our vision, and other senses, are getting poorer and poorer. Ever think about how children are more predisposed to diseases and disorders based on their parents’ health problems, or how cancers run in families? These is due to genetic breakdown and maladaptive genetic changes. We are not getting better – we have been getting worse for centuries! Here is a very thorough article that looks at evolution vs. creationism, and addresses some of the major problems with the theory of evolution:
Another problem is the way in which the “experiments” have been designed to prove the process of evolution. The scientific method hinges on observing something, forming a hypothesis about how it happened, making predictions about the process you are observing, designing experiments to simulate the process, and then record the data and make conclusions based on your results. This poses a problem for determining the origin of life – how do we design experiments to simulate life coming from nothing, or something nonliving?
There, of course, have been several experiments or scientific discoveries that have been used to support evolution. Let’s look at a few of those:
1. Piltdown Man – in the early 1900s, archaeologists presented an early human skull they had discovered, which had the features of an ape-like jawbone. This sparked a huge fire in the scientific community, validating the claims of a more ape-like humanoid precursor species. However, in the decades that followed, it was discovered that the founder of this primitive skull had falsified his findings. “They subjected the Piltdown Man fossils to a series of rigorous chemical tests, which ultimately showed that they were fakes… Later, they determined that the jaw and canine tooth came from an orangutan.”
2. Embryo diagrams – In the 1868, a Darwanist named Ernst Haeckel published these drawings of the embryologic stages of development. He used this diagram to strongly support the theory of evolution, asserting that these developmental stages reflected the features of primitive species from which we evolved from. These diagrams have been largely refuted, yet they remain in many scientific textbooks used for education, even today.
Science it great, and has been extremely useful in the discovery and development of so many things in the world. But, to this point, science has not been able to definitively prove the origin of life or the evolution of man. Here’s a helpful article on what science actually is, its capabilities, and its limitations:https://answersingenesis.org/what-is-science/what-is-science/
If Not Evolution, is There Another Option?
The biblical account for the origin of life and humans is that God created them both when He created everything else (Genesis 1-2). It can definitely be difficult to believe that there is a divine creator who was able to simply speak and create all things in the universe. But when it comes to complex things, rarely do we look at it at think, “It’s amazing that random events created something so complex.” No one looks at the inside of a watch, at all the tiny gears and cogs, intricately working together and thinks it happened by accident. When we look at something complex, we think about how good of a job the designer did at designing it! The same is true of life. When we see the complexity of the human body, how cells work and function together, how the immune system is able to protect us, how the brain works to control everything else, it should draw the same response – look at how good our designer, God, did in putting us together. It requires a measure of faith to believe in God’s creation of all things, but I would argue that it requires a greater measure of faith to believe that everything happened due to random events over billions of years. As one pastor aptly put it, “Evolution is the faith-based belief in the miracle of hydrogen turning into people.” Here’s an excellent video on Evolution vs. God; it’s 38 minutes, so check it out when you have some extra available time!
Check out these articles for more information about evolution: