In the Beginning: Science and Genesis 1-11
14 Session Version
January 23 – May 15, 2013
By Rich Akin
(PP indicates the next PowerPoint slide)
(See the end of Class 14 for the bibliography)
Class One - INTRODUCTION PART I
Before I start, let’s take a few moments to hear the questions you might have regarding the creation/evolution debate or the first 11 chapters of Genesis. I want this to be an interactive class, so you can certainly ask questions during class. I would ask those that have already taken one or more of my classes to allow those that have not previously done so to first give their responses during the discussions we will have. Now I want to hear those items that are on your mind as you come in here today. It may be about dinosaurs, fossils, the age of the universe, or anything else regarding the creation events set forth in Genesis or evolution in general. I will endeavor to answer those questions during this course. If it’s beyond the scope of this class, I’ll provide you with pertinent information on the specific question. Should you think of something later, feel free to bring it up at that time. Let’s introduce ourselves individually and ask those burning questions now.
Let me give you a little of my
background regarding this subject, which also relates to the creation/evolution
debate that has been ongoing for several thousand years. I was saved at
I have been teaching classes on the
evolution/creation debate, or to put it another way – on the scientific
evidence for the existence of God, since the mid ‘90s at churches and Christian
schools both in
Physicians & Surgeons for Scientific Integrity, which is a physician-member organization with members in 17 countries, who publicly state: PP
“As medical doctors we are skeptical of the claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the origination and complexity of life and we therefore dissent from Darwinian macroevolution as a viable theory.” PSSI holds conferences internationally to educate the public on the lack of scientific support for evolution. Conferences have been held at PP
five cities in
the CEO of PSSI I have been privileged to make presentations to both the
Florida Board of Education and the Florida Senate sub-committee on education
regarding the current evolution-friendly
Prior to founding PSSI I was the Chief Operating Office of
C. S. Lewis Society (www.apologetics.org),
whose purpose is to
empower Christians and engage skeptics by making available through various
media information that effectively defends the truths of Scripture. Prior to that I served as Chief Financial
As the title of this course indicates, Lord willing, we will cover the verses in the first 11 chapters of Genesis that touch on science. We’ll start with PP
Genesis 1:1: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” and cover the pertinent verses through PP
11: 9: “Therefore, its name was called
Each class will begin promptly at 7 PM and end between 8:15 and 8:30 PM. The class will end on May 15th and as PP
this schedule indicates, there will be three weeks when we will not meet. I will have very few handouts, because I will make available to those that remain until the end of the course PP
a DVD containing my lecture notes, all of the PowerPoint slides and the video segments for the nominal fee of $4. You are welcome to take notes for your review between classes, but this will be an excellent reference tool for those that remain until the end.
is important that you clearly understand the purpose of this class. It is to demonstrate that science, rightly understood,
supports a literal reading of the first 11 chapters of Genesis. That is excellent information to have in your
apologetics arsenal, as many have turned away from considering the truths of
the Bible because they are led to believe that science has proved evolution and
therefore disproved the God of the Bible.
In other words, if evolution, which is inconsistent with the clear
teaching of the Bible, is true then the God of that Bible is a myth. That is one of the major reasons why Europe
However, the scientific evidence you learn in this class, as compelling as it is in its support of Genesis, will not convince someone to accept the truths of the Bible. We’ll discuss why that is the case shortly. But first, could it be that the evidence for evolution is so overwhelming that it trumps what you will learn in this class?
PP Is there compelling evidence for evolution?
Many scientists are so convinced of the scientific arguments for evolution that they have rejected the position that science and religion can coexist. They are aggressively on the attack, desiring to destroy any vestige of religious belief in society as simply unacceptable ignorance that recent scientific discoveries have exposed. The views of proponents of this recent position are dramatically demonstrated by the following quotes (PPs ending with Christopher Hitchens).
Richard Dawkins, for example, has published PP
The Selfish Gene, The Blind
Watchmaker and The God Delusion, and his most recent publication, The
Greatest Show on Earth while holding the chair for the public understanding
of science at
God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything to their cause, and there are many others. . Interestingly, his brother Peter recently released PP
The Rage Against God, which documents his journey from literally burning his Bible at the age of 15 to becoming an evangelical Christian. Relative to Dawkins, who retired last year from Oxford University in England, why is a scientist writing books with those titles rather than those specifically relevant to his field of expertise, which happens to be zoology? Because his worldview tells him PP
that the God hypothesis has been disproved by science and therefore the creation events set forth in Genesis 1-11 are a myth. But their position is erroneous, as no scientific fact contradicts the clear teaching of Scripture, and any scientific theory that appear to will eventually be proven to be wrong or misinterpreted.
The evolutionists, as you can tell from the above quotes and book titles, certainly seem to think that the scientific evidence disproves God. However, they don’t have any evidence that creationists do not have. We all have the same evidence, but the assumptions we make as we look at the evidence and our resultant interpretations of the evidence are governed by our presuppositions. In other words, PP
the worldview glasses you are wearing as you examine the evidence will dictate your interpretation of that evidence. The evolutionists use the evidence they have to embrace evolution and reject the Bible because their worldview glasses dictate that answer. We use the same evidence to support the Bible and its creation story because our worldview glasses dictate such an answer. So it is very important to recognize up front that what you may see as compelling evidence for the Biblical creation story and/or against evolution’s millions of years through naturalism will not convince someone with secular humanist, evolutionized glasses. Until their worldview is changed by the Lord they will always find an escape device to avoid accepting the correct view of the information being presented. So rather than beginning with the evidence, the illogical foundation of their worldview must be exposed.
You must first demonstrate that PP
without a Biblical worldview, there is no basis for knowledge and therefore the evolutionist’s worldview is irrational. Yes, you heard me correctly – without a Biblical foundation, or worldview, there is no basis for knowledge. The thought in your mind now may be: “Rich doesn’t know what he’s talking about. There are many brilliant scientists that reject the Biblical worldview and the events of Genesis.” You are correct about their rejection of the Bible, but they are only able to do the science they are renowned for and glean the resultant knowledge because they step off PP
of their worldview onto the Biblical worldview to do that science.
Each person holds either a biblical or a secular (evolutionary) worldview. And Scripture is clear that there is no fence sitting; you are either for God or against God as Matthew 12:30 states PP:
“He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters.”
A worldview is simply the presuppositions you have in your view of the world. Presupposition simply means the preconceived notions, rather valid or not, that you have as you view something. The term that we often use – “perception is reality” is a reasonable way to view it. Those presuppositions or perceptions that you have developed to date govern how you interpret what you see.
Let’s demonstrate how your worldview effects your interpretation of the evidence with a few examples. All of you in this room will immediately know whether you have a Biblical or a secular worldview. Hopefully, if it’s the latter we’ll convert you to the correct one by the end of this class. PP
This is the fossil of Dracorex, a dinosaur. Someone wearing evolutionary worldview glasses immediately identifies this fossil as being millions of years old. In fact, scientific dating states it must be at least 65 million years old. They believe that because “science” (actually scientism) has told them that dinosaurs died out 65 million years ago, long before man evolved from lower species, so that presupposition about the age of the earth and the dinosaurs dictates their answer. As you will see later in this course, they fail to see the errors in their dating methods and the obvious evidence of a much younger age because their worldview doesn’t allow them to. When I, wearing my Biblical worldview glasses, view the same fossil, I see a dinosaur that existed at the same time as man, rapidly buried and fossilized during the Great Flood around 4,500 years ago. We see the same evidence, but come to dramatically different answers. Because of the law of non-contradiction, both positions regarding the evidence cannot be true. They both can be wrong, but they both can’t be true. PP
example. The evolutionary worldview
glasses dictate that the Grand Canyon was formed by a little water over
millions of years a long time ago, whereas my Biblical worldview glasses tell
this canyon on Mars,
which is seven times larger than the
We’ll be looking at a lot of scientific evidence in this class. We’ve seen that neither the creationist nor the evolutionist possesses evidence that the other side does not also have. Again, how someone interprets this evidence, or any other evidence relative to the creation events on the earth, depends on his worldview, be it a Biblical worldview or a naturalistic/evolutionary worldview.
To better equip you in challenging the illogical evolutionary worldview, I strongly recommend this recent book PP
by Dr. Jason Lisle of Answers in Genesis, which is well-summarized on a DVD of the same name. Dr. Lisle states in Chapter Two of his book, titled Resolving The Origins Debate, on page 41 PP:
“The ultimate proof of creation is this: if biblical creation were not true, we could not know anything (italics his)! This proof can be stated in a number of different ways, but what it really comes down to is this: PP
only the Christian worldview (starting with a literal Genesis) can rationally make sense of the universe. Only if biblical creation is true can we have genuine knowledge about anything.” A few sentences later he makes this profound statement: “No one is arguing that people must have read the Bible or profess to believe in creation to know things. PP
The argument is that the Bible’s account of origins (along with its other accounts) must be true. Only the God described in the Bible can provide the foundation for the things we take for granted. PP
Without God’s Word, we would not have a good reason to believe in the preconditions of intelligibility: the basic reliability of memory and senses, laws of logic, uniformity of nature, morality, personal dignity and freedom, and so on.”
Wow! Those are strong statements, but they happen to be true as you will see shortly. Dr. Lisle’s book is based on the work of Dr. Greg Bahnsen regarding presuppositionalism, as outlined in this article by Dr. Bahnsen, titled Revelation and Science, that I will hand out at the end of this class. It’s less than four pages and captures well what we are about to discuss. Please take time to read it before the next class. We’ll discuss it further then as this is an important apologetic – evolution violates the laws of logic!
An evolutionist believes in naturalism. That is, he believes that as you sit there PP
you are the product of random, natural processes that did not have you in mind. The first part of that statement, that “you are the product of random, natural processes,” is a scientific hypothesis that happens to be false. The second part of that statement, “that did not have you in mind,” is a worldview statement that also happens to be false. Get what I’m about to say next and you’ll have the essence of this important argument. The evolutionist must take an illogical position to argue for his worldview. He states emphatically that everything is random, and then relies on science to supposedly support that position. Yet science presupposes laws, uniformity, intelligibility and the ability to repeat results that their worldview argues should not be possible! So to do the very science they argue disproves God, they must step off of their worldview and onto a Biblical worldview as science is not possible under their worldview. So once again, note that their position is illogical!
The laws of logic that we are referring to also require a Biblical foundation. Again, you cannot argue for consistent laws of logic out of one side of your mouth and argue for pervasive randomness out of the other side. And sadly we let the secular humanist get away with illogical arguments frequently. How about the
“there are no absolutes.” It’s an absolute statement arguing that there are no absolutes, so it is false on its face as it violates the logic law of noncontradiction. The law of noncontradiction means simply that equating opposites is contradictory and therefore false. E.g. dark equals light is a contradiction and therefore false as dark is actually the absence of light. Stating absolutely that there are no absolutes is self-refuting due to the law of noncontradiction.
We also let them get away with saying there is no such thing as truth, or “that may be true for you, but it’s not for me”, which is a truth statement saying there are no truth statements!
Now that we have addressed the importance of one’s worldview in evaluating evidence, there are four other foundational questions relevant to this course that we need to cover before we delve into the specifics of Genesis: PP
· Why should we take seriously what the Bible says over any other “religious” book?
· Aren’t science and religion separate disciplines that do not involve each other?
· Isn’t Genesis just an allegory and not intended to be read as a narrative of how the earth and all that is in it was created?
· Don’t the days indicated in Genesis Chapter 1 really mean long periods of time and not literal, 24-hour days? And what about the Gap Theory that states billions of years passed between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2?