John Morris on the Challenge of Evolution

Can Christianity be made compatible with Evolution? Learn why it cannot with speaker Dr. John Morris at the Christianity Under Attack conference shown on television’s Christ in Prophecy.

Last aired on March 18, 2012.

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The Institute of Creation Research


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Dr. Reagan: Can Christianity be made compatible with Evolution, or, are the two so diametrically opposed that it is impossible to merge them? For the viewpoint of a world class expert on both Evolution and Creationism, stay tuned.

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Part 1

Dr. Reagan: Greetings in the name of Jesus, our Blessed Hope, and welcome to Christ in Prophecy. For the past few weeks we have been providing you with excerpts from the great presentations that were made at our 2011 Bible Conference; a conference whose theme was Christianity under Attack. Thus far, we have viewed three presentations: “The Challenge of Islam,” “The Challenge of Government,” and “The Challenge of Apostasy.” This week we are going to take a look at “The Challenge of Evolution,” and our presenter is going to be Dr. John Morris, a geologist who is president of the Institute for Creation Research.

Dr. John Morris’ Presentation

Dr. Morris: You’ve all seen this tree of life from an evolutionary textbook. This is how evolutionist view life, that all of life goes back to a common ancestor, that we all came through intermediate forms back to that common ancestor. That some 3 to 4 billion years ago non-living chemicals got together and made a cell that could move about and do its thing, and take in its food, and reproduce. And in that reproduction process there were mutations that sprung up and through mistakes, birth defects in that reproduction process have come this vast array of plants and animals that we see alive today. And in the fossil record all of life goes back to a common ancestor. Evolution is much more than we came from the apes. The apes came from the other mammals, they came from the rodents. And the rodents came from reptiles, and they came from amphibians, and amphibians came from fish, and they came from invertebrates, and they came from slime. We came from the slime, ameba to man is this big evolutionary idea. And if you keep going you get to Superman.

But according to evolution all of life goes back to a common ancestor. Frog to a prince, I mean this is a big scale evolution. What’s going on. Another way of thinking about evolution is this illustration also is in all the textbooks. This is called the geologic column. The idea behind this it is a column of time from long-ago past up to the present. And the ones down here at the bottom evolved first and they evolved into this and then it evolved into that and finally into man. So this is presented as if it were a statement of the fossil record and this is presented as if it were proof of evolution.

But as you will see in my book that is out there on the table and we’ll talk about it in a little bit here in this next hour, the fossils don’t look anything at all like this. The fossils are very, very different from this. This is a statement of evolutionary dogma. This is a presentation of evolution. This is not true. And there is a better way to think about fossils. Evolution with a vengeance talks about we are an animal, this is from a textbook. “You little Johnny in the classroom you are an animal. And you share a common heritage with earthworms.” I’ve got to ask you does little Johnny benefit by knowing this? Does this do him any good? Here’s another one. “We,” little Johnny, “we belong to a highly specialized group of boney fishes. We are fishes whether we like it or not.” Did you hear about that book that came out about 10 years ago that talked about searching for your inner fish? That’s what it’s all about. It’s an evolutionary book that we came from fishes, search for your inner fish and you will find meaning in life. Evolution is a vicious worldview and it is the antithesis of the Christian worldview. And Christians ought not to even tamper with that wrong, that anti-Christian worldview. It is a wrong scientific view, it doesn’t deserve our attention. But Christians especially that believe in a supernatural God ought not to tamper with evolution. The creation, well if evolution is true that means we came from a fish. But if evolution is true and we came from a fish got to ask you, what’s the value of life? There are implications. Ideas have consequences. If we came from a fish what’s the basis for any kind of morality? Evolution applied is an ugly worldview with evil fruits.

There is little Johnny in the classroom he says, “What about evolution? Wasn’t that a theory?” She says, “No I grant you that to begin with evolution was just a theory. But it evolved into a fact a long time ago.” Little Johnny evolution is a fact, and little Johnny you came from evolution. Your ancestors were fish. And by the way you are an animal; I am going to be training you in this classroom as Pavlov trained his dogs.

Evolution applied is in every area. And as you search you will find evolution under every rock. And it’s a worldview. There is a better worldview, it is the Biblical worldview. Little Johnny grows up and goes to college and here is a quote from Dr. E. O. Wilson he’s a Harvard Professor, he is a major professor in the biology department there and he considers it his job to make sure that any student that comes through his class with any memory of a Christian worldview his job is to train them out of Christianity into this evolutionary worldview. But he’s a good scientist, I love his science articles. But I read his testimony recently in the Journal of the Humanist he says, “As were many persons from Texas I was a born again Christian. But when I was 15 I entered the Southern Baptist Church with great fervor and interest in the fundamentalist religion. But I left at 17 when I got to the University of Texas and heard about evolution theory.” And this is who is teaching our kids, ex-Christians who have given up the idea of God. They are anti-God. They are Christian haters, Christian baiters; the challenge of an evolutionary worldview against a Christian worldview. Let me use these next few minutes to encourage you to adopt and to uphold that Christian worldview. And to apply it in your world, in every decision you make and every thought you think.

The creation worldview is that God created things after their kind. He didn’t take some other kind and morph it into this kind. He created each basic category of plant or animal after that kind. And they started out as that kind. There are dogs, and there are frogs, and dogs and frogs did not come from a common ancestor. And roses and people. People were created in the image of God. But the animals when they are created as that kind they started out well dogs started out as dogs. They have varied and there is a lot of variety among dogs. I mean we even call them species sometimes with wolves, and foxes, and coyotes, and domestic dogs. They’re all interfertile. They’re all part of the dog kind. But variety is possible. Adaptation is possible. But changing into a different kind doesn’t happen, has never been seen. And what we see is that it doesn’t happen. Sometimes change is dramatic but these two dogs are part of the dog kind they are interfertile, they are dogs. Dogs, is dogs, and cats is not cats, cats is not dogs. And dogs and cats are different. If we’re thinking about the creation model we can summarize it in two main scientific points. There is the Biblical Creation Model, the Scientific Creation Model really depends on these two points; sudden appearance. Dogs got here suddenly without having descended from a non-dog ancestor. Got it? A sudden appearance and then stasis that is a Greek word for staying the same, stationary, static; it means you stay dogs once they got here, they stayed dogs. They might have varied, but they’re still dogs. They’re either still dogs or they are extinct. They did not evolve into something else. Sudden appearance and stasis.

The Creation Model talks about the six days of Creation. You remember the story your kids went to Awana’s right? Day one God creates the heavens and the earth and then forms light. Day two the oceans and the atmosphere. Day three the continents were formed and plants growing on the continents. Day four the sun and moon and the stars. Notice that the stars came long after the earth, or three days after the earth. Not 15 billion years before the earth. Day five the animal life in the oceans; the oceans are just teaming with life, and then the animals that fly, all the flying creatures. Day six the land based creatures. And then God created the image of God in man, male and female on day six. And that’s everything in those six days of creation.

Well some people say, “Well that word day might mean an indefinite period of time. Millions and billions of years and can be equated then with the billions of years of geologic time.” Well I don’t think so because right there in Genesis 1:3-5 the first time the word day is used, the Hebrew word for day is “yom” it can sometimes be translated as an indefinite period. But it normally is translated as a day like today. But the first time God uses it He defines it, on day one God creates light and defines the light from the darkness and the light He called day, that’s our word, and the darkness he called night. He defined His term and then he used it throughout the rest of the chapter. Did this on day one, did this on day two, did that on day three. He defined His term so we couldn’t get it wrong. Unfortunately a lot of Christians, a lot of Christian leaders, a lot of seminary professors, a lot of Bible college professors, a lot of preachers just get this wrong. They say, “Oh no Carl Sagan has proven that the earth is billions of years old. Therefore I’ve got to fit that into Scripture. Maybe the days were billions of years long. Dear friends I am sick and tired of having Carl Sagan tell Christians how to interpret Scripture. Let Scripture interpret itself.

That word “yom” is quiet common in the Old Testament. It’s the word day and in almost every case its used in the Old Testament outside of Genesis 1 you know a couple thousand times. And in almost every case it means a day like today. There are a few places where it says the day of the Lord. There is one I think it says in the days of Abraham. And that’s a period of time I guess. But in the great majority of cases it is a day like today. And whenever it is used in the plural like three days or forty days, forty day fast, or three days journey it always means without exception a literal day.

Genesis 1 is not the exception. It means a literal day. And then in Genesis 1 it is modified by the terms evening and morning were the first day, and the second day, and the third day. That word is modified by evening and morning or evening or morning quiet a number of times in the Old Testament. And in every case it’s always a real day. You can tell it from the context. And whenever it is modified by a number like first day, second day, third day, or forty days it always means a literal day, there is no exception. I think Scripture is clear God is saying He created in six days, like today, and that’s what He says and that’s what we need to believe.

I think the lid is nailed on the coffin in the book of Exodus the very next book in the Bible where the people of Israel were in captivity and they exited Egypt, God led them out of Egypt. And they went to Mount Sinai where God gave them some information that He really wanted them to have. It was so important to God that He wrote it in stone. Now I am a geologist I like stone, okay? So I like this passage. He wrote it in stone, that is where we get our expression. And in that stony passage one of those 10 Commandments has to do with worship on the Sabbath day that’s our Hebrew word “yom.” And then it goes on to describe that it says you work six days and rest one day, and then in verse 11 God gives the reason right there on the rock. It says you work six days and rest one day because in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth and the sea, and everything that lives in them and He rested the seventh day. How could anything be more plain? I work six days and rested one day therefore you work six days and rest one day. And in those six days I created everything. If we are going to call ourselves Bible believers I think we’ve got to believe especially what is written in stone.

Evolution- we hear the phrase evolution by mutation and natural selection. I want you to underline that word natural that’s an important word natural selection; evolution by natural processes. By natural law evolution is just something that according to evolutionists just naturally happened, it required no supernatural. Got it? We’re talking natural here. I really think evolution is the religion of naturalism that there is no supernatural at work on planet earth. This is a worldview; it is a religion, the anti-Christian religion. It is the religion that natural processes have done it all including natural selection. Let me amplify. Remember science has to do with observation that’s what scientist do they make their observations, they do their experiments, they collect the data. That’s what scientist do they make observations. But when we are talking evolution and creation we can’t observe them. If they happened at all they happened in the unobserved past when nobody was watching cause they are not happening today. We can’t see creation happen. But I’ve got to tell you no evolutionist will even claim that they have ever seen evolution take place. They say it happened in the past when I wasn’t watching. Well we say the same thing both of these are worldviews about unobserved history. This is not strict science here it’s a philosophy about the past. A worldview about the past, trying to explain the fact that you and I are here and are what we are without a supernatural God. That’s the reason Darwin thought it up because he had given up on God, I got to get here someway, only natural law is what we’ve got to work with, and natural selection was his best guess. But evolution doesn’t fit the scientific evidence very well. But they are both views about unobserved history.

We don’t observe evolution or creation happening in the present. We do see mutation now that happens all the times. In fact all of you have mutated some since you’ve been sitting here. You are all mutants ok? Thankfully your cells are so well designed they find those mutations and fix them before they can do any damage. But we do see mutations but they’re not innovative. They are not helpful. We do see survival of the fittest but that’s kind of a totalitist thing I mean the fittest survive therefore the survived, yeah. But these are impotent to bring about true evolutionary change. To go from a frog to a prince you need a lot of really helpful mutations. But mutations they are overwhelmingly harmful, not helpful and innovative. They are what we call birth defects when they get into the reproductive cells. That’s a birth defect. And evolutionists say that trillions of helpful birth defects have turned that frog into a prince. And do you know we have never observed one helpful birth defect. You could count them on the fingers of one hand even if you are a mutant and don’t have any fingers. Beneficial mutations that is a contradiction in terms it does not happen. These are harmful not helpful. Evolution goes uphill, what we see is going downhill. We do see survival of the fittest that’s not really natural selection.

Did you know that evolutionist don’t even claim to have seen natural selection take place? They ascribe everything to natural selection. Natural selection is almost a God- can do everything, can turn a frog into a prince. But we don’t see it really working. There’s nothing selecting about natural selection. I mean selection means you’ve got to think through it and make your choice. But biblically what is really happening is that the organism itself was created with these marvelous powers to adapt, to vary, and to adapt so that it can survive. God has built that into the organisms not into nature doing the selection, the organism itself varies in order to survive. It’s just the wrong way of thinking about things. We do not observe vertical change. Evolution is vertical change but we do not observe it. What we do observe is stasis. We do observe things staying the same. Evolution is all about changes. But what we observe as scientists is stasis. We have never seen anything other than stasis. We have seen some downhill slides. We have seen some extinctions but we’ve never seen anything new come into existence. We have never seen anything climb a hill. It always goes downhill. Evolution didn’t happen.

Christians ought not to believe in evolution because it just didn’t happen. And Christians ought to believe in true things. Evolution doesn’t happen in the present. They say oh, well maybe it happened in the past when weren’t watching. Well we do have a record of life in the past and that is in the fossil record. Let me show you a little bit about the fossil record. The fossils in one of the lowest levels of the geologic strata, the oldest levels, 500 million years ago according to evolution, I don’t buy the number, don’t get hung up about the number. I think that is a wrong number. But according to them 500 million 550 million years ago this creature lived and it’s a trilobite, it’s a very common fossil. Evolution says you go from simple to complex; ameba to man right? I mean you have heard this I mean it is simple to complex. But I’ve got to tell you these ones down here at the bottom which are supposed to be the oldest they are complex. I mean they are complex. I mean this creature this trilobite is as complex as any creature around today. Life started out complex, it’s still complex. There is no such thing as simple life. If it’s living its complex; if it’s simple it can’t live. There is no such thing as simple life. Life has always been complex. This trilobite, oh you should see it, sometimes in the fossils you can even see the eyeball. Here is a picture of the eyeball. That is called a complex lens. That is as complex as any eyeball that’s around today. Things started out complex, they stayed complex, they are still complex. There is no such thing in the fossil record as simple to complex.

Dr. Reagan: You have been watching a presentation by Dr. John Morris who is the president of the Institute for Creation Research. His presentation contained a very insightful review of the fossil record a section we do not have the time to include in this program. However, you can get a video copy of Dr. Morris’ complete presentation in this album entitled Christianity under Attack.

As we bring our program to a close, let me share with you one other brief segment from Dr. Morris’ presentation. In it he compares Evolution with Creationism and demonstrates their basic incompatibility.

Dr. Morris’ Presentation Continues

Dr. Morris: This is a wonderful time to be a Bible believing Christian because the evidence is on our side. Got it? Well evolution as a way of thinking, let me summarize the evolution model. We are talking about the dangers of evolution. Evolution has the idea that things got here by natural processes. And whatever those natural processes were they are continuing. Evolution is thought to be going on now, except its going too slow to see. So that is point one. Continuing natural naturalistic origin of the basic type, and then you go from amoeba to man. There is a net basic increase in the basic complexity of these systems. I think this is obvious what evolutionist say. A man is more complex that an amoeba okay? Yeah. And that this happens by present processes, by uniformitarian way of thinking by uniform processes. That whatever is happening today, these processes are what formed everything in the past that is what we are looking at.

The creation model is different. The creation model says, “no,” whatever origin there was it was accomplished in the past and it was completed. God says I finished my creation at the end of six days. It is completed. But then soon after that creation rejected God’s authority. Adam rebelled against God and rebellion is sin, and the wages of sin is death. And now we see a net basic decrease in the complexity of basic systems. We see mutations not innovations. We see a downward slide, not an upward climb. And then we see that the rocks and fossils are the result of non-natural catastrophes, processes that are really not going on in a day to day bases. Creation God says I am through creating. At the Flood He says there will never be another Flood like that. The leaves the Creation and the Flood, and the miracles of Christ and the other prophets and apostles, those were non-natural interruptions of the natural law system. But that is creations basic model.

I think you can recognize Creation’s model as really being the Biblical model of creation, and Fall and Flood. These are the three big issues in history. And by the way where could you go on planet earth and not see stuff that was created? The Bible says God created all things in those six days; heaven and earth and the sea, and everything that lives in them. What could you look at that’s not a result of creation? And then the Fall, the Fall was issued on all of creation because of Adam’s sin. Where could you go and not see a cursed object? The Bible says that the whole creation is groaning, and travailing in pain together until now because of the presence of sin and its penalty of death in Romans 8. Everything came under that curse. And then the Flood, the Bible says the Flood covered Texas. Where could you go in Texas and not see a flooded terrain. On the authority of the Word of God the Flood covered everything. You want to go to Arizona go to the Grand Canyon and you sit there and wonder how this got here? Well I’ll tell you on the authority of the Word of God a huge flood came through here. And that flood would have eroded big ditches like this one and you can understand the Grand Canyon in light of what we know to be the true history of Arizona, which is that a big flood covered Arizona. These three great worldwide events Creation, Fall and Flood talk about a Biblical worldview, and you’ve got to get those three big points in your mind to really understand the world.

Dr. Reagan: Well folks that’s our program for this week. I hope it has been a blessing to you and I hope you will be back with us next week when our featured presentation from our 2011 Bible Conference will be “The Challenge of Humanism,” by Dr. Ron Rhodes of Reasoning from the Scriptures Ministry. Until then this is Dave Reagan speaking for Lamb and Lion Ministries’ saying, “Look up, be watchful, for our redemption is drawing near.”

End of Program

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