Evolution Doesn’t Matter
As a child, I always wanted to know how things worked. I would take apart mechanical things and put them back together. When our washing machine broke down, my brother and I took it apart. It was awesome! I was thrilled to know about each part found inside.
Nowadays, it’s not washing machines I am interested in as much as the inner workings of the human body and of the cells it is comprised of that make it function. I find it all endlessly fascinating. As a graduate student in biology, I am bombarded on a daily basis with instances of amazing machines both great and small, all found within living systems. Yet each text, each lecture, and each podcast, reveals the same awe but for a different reason. “This mechanism evolved”, Is a phrase I hear over and over.
As a Christian, I can say that it isn’t easy to sit and listen to my professors (most of whom I genuinely like and think are very intelligent people doing great work in science) and not speak up for what I believe in. I tell myself that soon the time will come when I will feel equipped to take on the debate, and be able to debunk anything they can say back to me. But I realized today that’s probably not going to happen.
I just finished reading an interesting article by Ken Miller supposedly refuting Michael Behe’s irreducibly complex flagellum and I can’t find fault with anything that was said, but I’m not an expert on the flagellum. It might appear to the untrained that Miller’s refute is accurate. There are many scholarly articles out there supposedly explaining the evolution of one cellular mechanism or another. We can split hairs over which cellular machines are irreducibly complex and which aren’t – or which ones have or haven’t been proven to be. Let me be lucid – the arguments presented as to how the flagellum could have evolved might be valid, but they are not the only possible solution. Rather than taking on the argument over a flagellum, I’ll take on a bigger argument. Once a person takes a rather large step backwards and says to himself, “Why?” instead of “How?” it all becomes very clear.
Why are we the way we are? Why are there humans? Can anyone answer this question? Aside from unabashedly stating, “Because of the love of God” there really isn’t a good answer. One of my texts from last semester suggested that we are little more than a vessel by which genes are passed down from generation to generation, becoming immortal. Really? That’s depressing. You’re telling me that the purpose of life is to ensure the persistence of a gene? An inanimate, lifeless molecule ‘wants’ to survive? What a sad existence.
If we look instead to the greatest story ever told, we see a loving God who creates humans beings in His image. He gives them free will, so that they can choose to love Him back, because without the freedom to choose, any allegiance they show is folly. They fall and are exiled. But God loves them anyway. We see God continually giving His favor and counsel to humans, throughout all of history. We see God telling His people how they should worship Him, what they can do to obtain His favor. We see Him taking vengeance on wickedness and we see His grace and mercy. He promises His people that He will send someone to eliminate death forever – the ultimate sacrifice. This sacrifice will once and for all take the place of animal sacrifices and burnt offerings. And all a person has to do to receive this ultimate grace is to accept it. Freely. The Story isn’t over yet. We are still here. And it’s our job and calling to spread the word, telling everyone the story, so that they too might be part of it. It’s a great story, isn’t it?
So why doesn’t evolution matter? I don’t know that we will ever be able to ‘prove’ that evolution isn’t true, just as those who’d like to disprove God’s existence will never be able to do so. There are many arguments out there. Irreducible complexity, fossils, arguments from ignorance… we could go on and on and discuss it until the cows come home. Many of these ‘discussions’ might end in harsh words and bitter feelings. It’s still a Catch-22, but that’s the way the story goes. There is plenty of evidence out there in support of the existence of God. We really don’t need absolute proof that He created us because the evidence is all around us and it is plain to see. All you have to do is open your eyes and look.
Bree, the latest addition to The Poached Egg writing team, is a high school life sciences teacher and graduate student in Biological Sciences, focusing in Genetics. Her goal is to be able to equip Christian educators in presenting controversial topics in science effectively without causing students to stumble in their faith, while providing answers to common questions students have about evolution, the age of the earth, the size of the universe, and biological systems as they relate to the Creation.