Mr Bastian has, very nicely, alerted us to the dangers of an uncritical acceptance of the Intelligent Design movement. ID is quite happy to tell us that certain aspects of the natural order are too complex to have come about by chance. However, it is not as quick to tell us where this intelligence may be found. By doing so they leave the way open for all kinds of weird claims, including that we were originally engineered by aliens from outer space.
It would have been better to have stopped there, but Mr Bastian then proceeded to defend Evolution, claiming that it "sits comfortably within the providential purposes of the designer God." What utter rubbish! If we presuppose that the Bible is authoritative then we are duty bound to accept God's account of Creation as given. He says he did it in six days (Genesis 1) and reiterates the claim when giving the Law to Moses (Exodus 20:11). Jesus used the Genesis account to support his arguments (Matt 19:4) and Paul used it as his first argument in his evangelical appeal on Mars Hill (Acts 17:24). If Genesis is wrong, it rips the foundations out from under Moses, Jesus and Paul, and leaves us with nothing to say. If Evolution is true, then Christianity is a joke.
Yet, as an account of how things came to be, Evolution is totally inadequate. One of its foundation principles, 'Chemical Evolution', has been studied for centuries under its other name, 'Spontaneous Generation', and has been shown time and time again to be impossible.
Likewise Mutation and Natural Selection: Genetic information must first already exist before mutation can occur. And mutation only damages, it does not add. Natural selection culls -- it reduces diversity in a population to suit the conditions of a particular time and place. No longer can we breed a Doberman from a Chihuahua -- the genetic information is no longer there. And for all our thousands of years of dog breeding, no one has managed to evolve a dog into some other kind of animal.
As for Chance, even that is powerless against the laws of physics and chemistry. No amount of chance combinations of chemicals can come up with a living cell. And no amount of randomness can give sonar to bats or chemical weapons to bombardier beetles.
Out of the Protestant Reformation came a three-fold program designed to return the church to the faith handed down by the Apostles, namely, 'sola gratia, sola fide, sola scriptura' (by grace alone, by faith alone, by scripture alone). We have the grace and faith parts down pretty well but not the scripture part. Instead we fancy the so-called wisdom and knowledge of our cultural milieu, and try as hard as we can to modify scripture to suit its present mythology.
For as long as we consider the word of Man to be of greater worth than God's word we will never see the revival we crave. Instead we face the real prospect of social and cultural collapse -- the salt, having lost is flavour (by loving the world's point of view more than God's), watching helplessly as the meat (our society and culture) putrefies, destroys itself and ultimately disappears, taking us along with it.
Bruce M. Axtens.
This letter was published in The Baptist Advocate, December 2005. The letter to which this responds can be found in the November 2005 issue.