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Richard Dawkins What if you are Wrong?

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Where it all began

My interest in evolution began in my early thirties, having read a book by John Maynard Smith on the subject of evolution and genetics. In it he described the work of experiments done by Theodosius Dobzhansky on fruit flies to observe the impact of mutations. I was at that time I suppose something of a proto-Christian. I knew next to nothing of the bible, but something in me responded extremely negatively to Maynard Smith’s book. Ninety percent of it passed over my head. I scarcely understood anything that was said about genetics other than this: mutations were essential for evolution to occur and according to experiments performed by Dobzhansky virtually all mutations were at best neutral, often deleterious and sometimes fatal in their effects.

From that moment I began to wonder why a process as wasteful, random and essentially nasty as evolution would have been chosen by God to promote His creation. At the close of each day of creation God proclaims It to be "good" and at the close of creation week: "very good". If God called it "very good" then it must have been according to His nature and character, which is perfect. But creation has never been perfect if evolutionary theory is correct; because death, suffering and degeneration has been present from the beginning. In fact death is a vital factor in evolutionary theory. So I asked myself this simple question. If death, which is always referred to by Jesus as an enemy to be defeated was always present, and therefore the constant companion of life, then how could  creation ever have been declared good? I also realised that any literal explanation of Genesis would be falsified if death had entered the world of nature, according to evolutionary theory, long before mankind could have existed. If Adam's sin was not the cause of death entering the world and the corruption of both humankind and creation then almost every part of the Gospel message becomes compromised. Another consequence is that Paul's theology collapses and his teaching in Romans 5 becomes near impossible to defend. At the time of this realisation I had no idea that large parts of the Church were turning somersaults in order to fall into line with Darwinism.

My initial response to the problems raised by evolutionary theory was admittedly instinctual rather than based on any knowledge. But, against all the odds it has not only held fast, it has strengthened throughout the decades of interest and research into the subject. I am now a convinced and active evangelical Christian and creationist who has read widely on the subject. Via the Internet I have been able to follow the latest news and take an interest in the arguments, comments and statements of both sides.

The cause of my putting pen to paper is undoubtedly Richard Dawkins. His often stated hatred and contempt for faith in general and God in particular has had it's effect. I believe he is a legitimate target since he is the foremost celebrity sponsor of Darwinism. I believe the theory which he upholds is the greatest idol of our times. I believe we Christians should be active in doing all we can to weaken the grip of this pseudo-science and false religion, and if possible see it undermined, pulled down from its position of dominance and destroyed. I believe Darwnism, as taught by zealots like Dawkins, does more to mute the Christian proclamation of the Bible as God's truth than any other single factor. Tragically it also ruins many if not most of our Christian youth as soon as they enter the academic world. We Christian parents and grandparents and pastors send our young people totally unprepared into a hailstorm of hostility, cynicism, insult and arguments: lambs to the slaughter as far as their embryonic and untested faith is concerned. This website is one of many that seeks to counter the arguments of Richard Dawkins. Its purpose is to make us think again about creation, origins and our scriptures. To realise that we have an awesome God whose Word is as true now as it ever was, and that He will supply our every need according to our faith.

Why be concerned over the Genesis and Creation issue?

Many Christian thinkers and leaders, threatened by the seemingly overwhelming force of evolutionary theory, decided to reinterpret the Genesis account. This inevitably involved making an accommodation with Darwin’s theory. A theory which includes the now established belief that the earth is billions of years old, and that life evolved hundreds of millions of years ago. The general conviction that the Theory of Evolution is the only solution to the question of origins and nature’s diversity, allied to the well-publicised attacks of Richard Dawkins and others is the reason this debate exists. Creationists, and I number myself among them, oppose the theories of Darwin and Dawkins for both scientific and theological reasons. Sadly this brings us into conflict with the many Christians who seek to graft evolutionary theory into the biblical account of origins. In my view this cannot be done without doing irreparable damage to God's Word. There is I believe a better way. It requires faith of the old fashioned type. A firm conviction that God said what he intended to say clearly and directly. If I believed that what God revealed to Moses was not intended to be taken seriously by those of our generation then I think I would lose my faith.

What are my credentials?

Simply stated I have none. As I come to the subject not as an expert, but rather as an interested observer, an obvious objection arises. Who wants to hear a layman’s thoughts on a subject laden with expert opinion and defined by scientists and philosophers?

I have thought long and hard how to answer that question.

It occurred to me that a police investigation into a complex case may involve learning about and coming to conclusions which relate to matters way outside the usual sphere of a police officer’s expertise. But even more applicable is the work of an advocate or attorney forming a legal defence or prosecution based on evidence collected by the police. That attorney must attain a moderately high level of knowledge regarding a subject about which he or she may initially know little; at the very least, sufficient knowledge to put together a coherent argument capable of facing down hostile opposition. The attorney will also have to cross examine the evidence of expert witnesses. There is therefore no requirement to be an expert in every speciality. Beyond an ability to analyse the interpretations placed on evidence and defend or prosecute, and on occasion both, attorneys can rest content in their God given powers of persuasion and argument. It is on this hope, and on the content of the enclosed articles that I rest my own case. Advocacy is something open to both the amateur and the professional.

The analogy of the courtroom is both useful and accurate. The actual empirical evidence, that which has been repeatedly tested and found accurate, is acceptable to both sides of this debate. This controversy covers a wide expanse of interpretations placed on the evidence. For example no one doubts that natural selection does work, the question is, what level of change can it achieve? Changing the colour of moths to better suit their environment or altering the length and shape of finch beaks is not problem. But can it perform at much higher levels and with the help of genetic mutations produce novel genetic information and greater complexity? Another example relates to fossils. These exist in huge numbers and are buried in massive sedimentary rock layers called strata. In this case the debate centres around the evolutionary conviction that these rock layers and everything buried within them are of an age that falsifies the biblical account. If they are millions of years old then the biblical account, understood in the literal historical narrative sense, is conclusively falsified. Some evidence is simply open to more than one explanation. Evolutionists see in various fossilised body types that resemble one another (homology) evidence for Darwinian common descent and proof of their tree of life. Creationists observe the same evidence and conclude it is exactly what we should expert from the creative work of an intelligent designer. Systems and indeed parts of a biological system that work well in one location will be adapted and used in another location wherever and whenever this is appropriate. Both explanations are credible. Neither can be just rubbished; both versions need to be looked at and judged according to the weight of the available evidence and the persuasiveness of the arguments.

This returns us to the courtroom analogy. At the close of the arguments from each side you the reader will make up your own mind as to which explanation best fits the evidence.