Anyone who majored in philosophy in
college read the noted French existentialist Jean Paul Sartre. I (John
Weldon) can still remember agonizing through Being and Nothingness
and some of his other works. As an ardent promoter of atheism, Sartre
was probably responsible for turning as many college students to atheism
as anyone. Nevertheless, this famous atheist also made the following
confession, just prior to his death, during an interview with his wife,
published in Harper’s magazine for February 1984 (p. 39):
As for me, I don’t see myself as so
much dust that has appeared in the world but as a being that was
expected, prefigured, called forth. In short, as a being that could,
it seems, come only from a creator; and this idea of a creating hand
that created me refers me back to God. Naturally this is not a clear,
exact idea that I set in motion every time I think of myself. It
contradicts many of my other ideas; but it is there, floating vaguely.
And when I think of myself I often think rather in this way, for want
of being able to think otherwise.
Yet Sartre next proceeded to declare that his atheism
had provided his life with strength and freedom and that he had no need
of God whatever. For him, God was entirely irrelevant and therefore he
noted he had paid no attention to God his entire life.
Sartre, of course, as the above quote tells us, could
never escape the knowledge of God, and neither can modern science.
Romans 1:18-22 tells us that all men intuitively know God exists through
the evidence in creation. This evidence is "clearly seen"
"because God has made it plain to them." Therefore, "men
are without excuse" because they "suppress the truth"
they already know.
Nowhere is this situation more clearly revealed than
in the creation/evolution controversy. Most modern scientists are in
general agreement that the materialistic theory of evolution is an
established fact of science and cannot logically be questioned as a view
of origins. However, what one concludes about human origins is one of
the most crucial points for deciding a whole range of other issues,
whether positively or negatively—from the nature of man and the
purpose of life to the relevance of morality and religion to the future
of humanity. Is man only the product of the impersonal forces of matter,
time and chance with all this implies—or the purposeful creation of a
good and loving God with all this implies?
As esteemed philosopher Mortimer Adler wrote in The
Great Ideas (Vol. 1, p. 543), "More consequences for thought
and action follow from the affirmation or denial of God than from
answering any other basic question."
For example, the theological impact of materialistic
evolution is beyond question. In our The Facts on Creation vs.
Evolution we noted that Dr. Colin Brown received his doctorate
degree for research in nineteenth-century theology. As far as the impact
of evolution on Christianity, he pointed out, "By far the most
potent single factor to undermine popular belief in the existence of God
in modern times is the evolutionary theory of Charles Darwin."
According to Martin Lings, "More cases of loss of religious faith
are to be traced to the theory of evolution… than to anything
Again, scientists generally are convinced as to the
truth of a purely materialistic chance origin of mankind. Many of these
scientists (and most atheists) have even rejoiced at the supposed
"overthrowing" of the biblical concept of creation.
An article by C. D. Darlington of Oxford University in
Scientific American (May 1959, p. 66) noted, "We owe to The
Origin of Species the overthrow of the myth of creation, especially
the dramatic character of the overthrow."
The American Atheist for
September 1978 also noted the following: "Evolution destroys
utterly and finally the very reason Jesus’ earthly life was supposedly
made necessary. Destroy Adam and Eve and the original sin, and in the
rubble you find the sorry remains of the son of god… If Jesus was not
the redeemer… and this is what evolution means, then Christianity is
Leading evolutionist Sir Julian Huxley claimed
"Darwinism removed the whole idea of God as the Creator of
organisms from the sphere of rational discussion."2
Evolution, of course, continues to be set forth as an established
fact by the scientific community, but principally because of the
materialistic, naturalistic viewpoint that pervades the scientific
Pierre-Paul Grasse, the renowned French zoologist and
past president of the French Academy of Sciences, states in his Evolution
of Living Organisms: "Zoologists and botanists are nearly
unanimous in considering evolution as a fact and not a hypothesis. I
agree with this position and base it primarily on documents provided by
paleontology, i.e., the [fossil] history of the living world."3
Theodosius Dobzhansky, who, according to another
leading evolutionist, Steven J. Gould of Harvard, is "the greatest
evolutionist of our century,"4 asserts in his award-winning text, Mankind
Evolving, "The proofs of evolution are now a matter of
elementary biology…. In Lamark’s and Darwin’s times evolution was
a hypothesis; in our day it is proven."5
World famous scientist George Gaylord Simpson,
distinguished professor of vertebrate paleontology at the Museum of
Comparative Zoology at Harvard, emphasizes in The Meaning of
Evolution, "Ample proof has been repeatedly presented
and is available to anyone who really wants to know the truth…. In the
present study the factual truth of organic evolution is taken as established…."6
Carl Sagan is a distinguished Cornell University
astronomer and Pulitzer prize-winning author. He is perhaps best known
as the host and co-writer of the Cosmos television series, seen
in 60 countries by approximately three percent of all people on earth.
The hardcover edition of Cosmos was on the New York Times best-seller
list for 70 weeks and became the best-selling science book in the
English language in the twentieth century. In this book, Sagan simply
states, "Evolution is a fact, not a theory."7
But we have shown in our The Facts on Creation vs.
Evolution and elsewhere, these scientists are simply wrong.7a
Indeed, the idea that all life has come from dead
matter by pure chance is a bit difficult to swallow, even for many
scientists. And, as modern science increasingly uncovers the
indescribable complexity of the living world and simultaneously fails to
explain the nature of abiogenesis (the idea that life can somehow
originate from non-life), the miraculous nature of all theories
of origins seems to be made more apparent. In a sense, the term miracle
is no longer properly restricted to only creationist belief.
Thus, although most scientists remain evolutionists by
choice because they are materialists, the theory of the origin of life
by natural means is increasingly challenged today even in scientific
circles. Further, as Dr. R. L. Wysong points out in his survey of the
evidence, The Creation Evolution Controversy, acceptance of
organic evolution is hardly a proven scientific fact. Rather, it is a
materialistic postulate requiring a great deal of faith:
Evolution requires plenty of faith: A faith in
L-proteins ["left handed" molecules] that defy chance
formation; a faith in the formation of DNA codes which, if generated
spontaneously, would spell only pandemonium; a faith in a primitive
environment that in reality would fiendishly devour any chemical
precursors to life; a faith in [origin of life] experiments that prove
nothing but the need for intelligence in the beginning; a faith in a
primitive ocean that would not thicken but would only hopelessly
dilute [life-generating] chemicals; a faith in natural laws including
the laws of thermodynamics and biogenesis that actually deny the
possibility for the spontaneous generation of life; a faith in future
scientific revelations that when realized always seem to present more
dilemmas… faith in probabilities that treasonously tell two stories—one
denying evolution, the other confirming the creator; faith in
transformations that remain fixed; faith in mutations and natural
selection that add to a double negative for evolution; faith in
fossils that embarrassingly show fixity through time, [and the]
regular absence of transitional forms….8
There are also a host of other problems equally
intractable in nature, such as the lack of a reducing atmosphere (the
presence of free oxygen), which further complicates the alleged process
of abiogenesis. Biochemists generally agree that the presence of free
oxygen would, in the words of R. T. Brinkman of the California Institute
of Technology, "preclude biological evolution as presently
understood."9 Yet the evidence for an early-oxidized atmosphere on
earth is increasingly so compelling that Henderson-Sellers, Benlow, and
Meadows concede that, despite the implications, it is "becoming the
Indeed, respectable, technical, scientific texts that,
on the one hand, show the doubtful or even impossible nature of
evolution, or, on the other hand, present strong scientific evidence for
creation are now increasing in number. Among many titles that could be
listed are: A. E. Wilder-Smith (who holds three earned doctorate degrees
in science), The Natural Sciences Know Nothing of Evolution, and The
Scientific Alternative to Neo-Darwinian Evolutionary Theory: Information
Sources & Structures; molecular biologist Michael Denton, M.D., Evolution:
A Theory in Crisis; Evan Shute, M.D., Flaws in the Theory of
Evolution and noted University of California Berkeley Law Professor
Phillip Johnson’s Darwin on Trial.
[NOTE: Most of the material for this article was
excerpted from John Ankerberg and John Weldon, "Rational Inquiry
and the Force of Scientific Data: Are New Horizons Emerging?" Taken
from The Creation Hypothesis edited by J. P. Moreland. ©1994 by
J. P. Moreland. Used by permission of InterVarsity Press, P. O. Box
1400, Downer’s Grove, IL 60515, pp. 272-277, 291-292, and John
Ankerberg, John Weldon, The Facts on Creation vs. Evolution
(Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 1993), portions of Question 8.]
1. See John Ankerberg, John Weldon, The
Facts On Creation vs. Evolution (Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 1993),
p. 35 citing Colin Brown, Philosophy and the Christian Faith (Wheaton,
IL: Tyndale, 1971), p. 147 and Houston Smith, The Christian Century,
July 7-14, 1982, p. 755 citing Lings in Studies in Comparative
Religion, Winter, 1970; cf., Francis Schaeffer, He Is There and
He Is Not Silent (Tyndale) and Mortimer Adler, The Difference
of Man and the Difference it Makes for important discussions.
2. In Sol Tax, ed., Evolution After
Darwin, Vol. 3 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1960), p.
3. Pierre-Paul Grasse, Evolution of
Living Organisms: Evidences for a New Theory of Transformation
(NY: Academic Press, 1977), p. 3, emphasis added.
4. Cited in W. R. Bird, The Origin of
Species Revisited: The Theories of Evolution and of Abrupt Appearance,
Vol. 1 (NY: Philosophical Library, Inc., 1989), p. 141.
5. Theodosius Dobzhansky, Mankind
Evolving: The Evolution of the Human Species (NY: Bantam, 1970),
pp. 5-6, emphasis added.
6. George Gaylord Simpson, The Meaning
of Evolution (NY: Bantam, 1971), pp. 4-5, emphasis added.
7. Carl Sagan, Cosmos (NY: Random
House, 1980), p. 27, emphasis added.
7a. William J. Ouweneel, "The
Scientific Character of the Evolution Doctrine," Creation
Research Society Quarterly, September 1971, pp. 109–115.
8. R. L. Wysong, The
Creation-Evolution Controversy: Implications, Methodology and Survey
of Evidence (East Lansing, MI: Inquiry Press, 1976), p. 419.
9. "Theoretical Blow to the Origin
of Life," New Scientist, 19, February 1970, p. 344; cf.,
W. R. Bird, The Origin of Species Revisited, 2 vol. (NY
Philosophical Library, 1993), I, pp. 328-329.
10. Henderson-Sellers, Benlow, and Meadows,
"The Early Atmosphere of the Terrestrial Planets," 21. Quarterly
Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society, pp. 74, 81 (1980) from
Bird, I, p. 329.