Evolution is a naturalistic theory, attributing the origin of life to natural causes. Creation is a supernaturalistic theory, attributing the origin of life to supernatural causes. These two views are mutually exclusive. Any attempt to combine them does an injustice to both.
If evolution and creation are not compatible, then we must choose between them. But which faith is more reasonable? Which one best fits reality as we know it?
Reason favours creation in three significant ways.
The complexity of life is one reason to believe in a Creator. The life of even a single cell is so complicated that it beggars the imagination. One component of a living cell, for example, is protein. A protein molecule contains thousands, and sometimes tens of thousands, of atoms arranged in intricate patterns. Sir Fred Hoyle, a British scientist who won the Nobel Prize for astronomy, has claimed that a simple functioning protein molecule is in itself sufficient to prove that evolution, which he once believed, is “nonsense of a high order”. According to Sir Fred Hoyle’s calculations, the odds against a single protein molecule originating by chance are the same as if you filled the solar system shoulder to shoulder with blind people, gave them each a scrambled Rubik’s cube, then expected them all to get the right solution at the same time (“The Big Bang in Astronomy,” New Scientist, 19 November 1981). Yet evolutionists believe that not only proteins but also cells, and not only cells but also organs, and not only organs but also animals, arose by chance. To alleviate the absurdity of this notion, they speak of vast periods of time, as if time in and of itself possessed some life-giving magic. However, with or without billions of years, chance cannot explain the complexity of life. But creation can. A belief that life is the product of design is perfectly in keeping with both reality and reason.
The diversity of life is another reason to believe in a Creator. Living things are remarkably different from one another. Certainly, they are alike in various ways, sometimes notably so. Monkeys, orang-utans, chimpanzees, gorillas and humans, for example, have similar limbs, hands and heads. Evolutionists cite these similarities as proof of a common ancestor. Creationists reply that they point to a common Creator. However, what matters are not the similarities, but the dissimilarities. And evolution has no plausible explanation for these. How can protein molecules and genetic materials be so vastly different from one organism to another? How can their biological structures and instinctual behaviours vary so strikingly? If all living things evolved from one original life-form, who can explain the enormous differences between the gills of a fish and the lungs of a porpoise, the hoof of a sheep and the paw of a dog, the beak of an eagle and the bill of a finch, the nose of a shrew and the trunk of an elephant, the antennae of a moth and the radar of a bat, the fur of a rabbit and the feathers of a dove? Evolutionists consider that tens of thousands of happy coincidences occurred in sequence over time to produce each of these differences. They believe in miracle upon miracle without a God to perform them. Such faith is blind, illogical, irrational. It is much more reasonable to believe that the diversity of living things arises from the fact that almighty God made them “after their kind” (Genesis 1).
The difference between human and animal life is yet another reason to believe in a Creator. There is a non-biological component to human beings that does not exist in other creatures. The magnitude of this difference can be seen, for example, in the relationship between a man and a dog. A man can teach a dog to fetch the paper, but he can never teach it to read. He can teach it not to bite the postman, but he can never teach it why it is wrong to bite him. He can teach it to howl while he sings, but he can never teach it to see the humour in the situation. He can teach it not to dig up the flowers, but he can never teach it to admire them. He can teach it to round up the sheep, but he can never teach it the purpose behind the round-up. He can teach it to lead a blind person, but he can never teach it to aspire to be a guide dog. Between a man and a dog, as between all humans and all animals, there is a spiritual gap as vast as the universe.
Alone among all earthly creatures, human beings have the ability to reason, talk, philosophise, sympathise, laugh, imagine, initiate, evaluate, admire, aspire, regret, repent, wonder and worship. These abilities have no counterpart in nature. They are spiritual—and therefore inexplicable in naturalistic terms. Consequently, evolutionists attempt to explain them by explaining them away. They deny that humans are more than biological organisms, and insist that there is no significant difference between humans and animals. Creationists, however, have a reasonable explanation for the spiritual nature of human beings—namely, that God made humans in his own likeness, giving them an eternal soul. The unique moral, emotional, intellectual and volitional characteristics and capacities of humans come from, and point to, God.
Evolution is not a reasonable faith. Its explanations for reality as we know it are implausible. Creation, on the other hand, offers sensible explanations for the complexity of life, the diversity of life forms, and the differences between humans and animals.
Is evolution based on science? Is it compatible with creation? Is it consistent with reality? The answers are, “No, no, no.” People who do not know these answers commonly come under pressure to believe in the evolutionary theory. Christians who feel this pressure are likely to stray from the logic of the Bible in an effort to reconcile the theory with their faith, while non-Christians who feel this pressure are likely to follow the logic of the theory and never come to the Christian faith at all.
Indeed, it is perfectly logical that non-Christians who believe evolution should disbelieve the first truths of the Christian faith—namely, “that God exists and that he rewards those who seek him” (Hebrews 11:6). And disbelieving God’s existence and/or relevance, they of course cannot draw near to him for forgiveness, fellowship and eternal life. But if they come to see that evolution is based not on science but on faith (a faith, moreover, that is inconsistent with reason and reality), then they are set free to see their need to entrust their souls to a faithful Creator.