Apologetics: The Bible and Science, Part 12 (Shelling the Corn)

Science and ReligionWe need to have an honest, straightforward talk. About evolution. And the age of the earth. And the universe. And a few other things.

To this point, I’ve said nothing about evolution. A few readers have felt the need to mention evolution in the comments — something about me having some kind of pro-evolution agenda or some such . But I’ve said nothing about evolution for a very good reason.

You see, the topic here is apologetics or Christian evidences. And proving or disproving evolution has very little to do with apologetics. After all, if we disprove evolution convincingly, we’ve not proven God or even made a serious step toward so doing. The earth would still be billions of years old, as would the universe. Disproving evolution does not take us anywhere near proving an earth 6,000 years old.

Now there are some atheistic zealots who assert that evolution removes all need for God, but these are (please pay close attention) atheistic zealots and not to be accepted as authorities with regard to God. Since they’re atheists. And zealots.

Perhaps it would help to organize our thoughts about science and Christianity a bit more precisely. Here are the positions that a Christian might take —

1. God made the earth and universe 6,000 years ago but with the appearance of great age. Science will find stars apparently billions of light-years away and dinosaurs from apparently hundreds of millions of years ago — and it doesn’t matter. It just shows that God created the heavens and the earth in 4004 BC or so with great imagination.

This theory cannot be proven or disproven scientifically. It’s a faith claim and may only be tested by our reading of scripture.

If you hold to this view, you really should just not care that the science shows the  universe to have come from a Big Bang, except for the light these discoveries shed on the nature and character of God, since God created the evidence.

If this is your point of view, hopefully some of the points I’ve made about what origins science shows about God is an encouragement to you.

2. God made the earth and universe 6,000 years ago and science supports this position. This is the view sometimes called “Creation Science,” but better called “Young Earth Creationism.” I don’t believe that “science” is properly used to describe this view, although those who hold to this view believe themselves to be engaged in science. I’ll explain why in the next post.

3. The earth and universe are ancient, but science is an insufficient explanation for the creation. This view is referred to as Intelligent Design (ID) Theory, and must not be confused with Young Earth Creationism. Those who hold to this position accept the Big Bang and evolution and such, but point out that science cannot answer some critical questions, such as —

a. The finely tuned universe — described in an earlier post.

b. The irreducible complexity of certain microscopic biological structures — where there is no imaginable path for the evolution of these structures. Michael Behe is the father of this argument in his book Darwin’s Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution (a fascinating read in microbiology).

c. The initial formation of life. The scientific community is nowhere near a viable hypothesis for the creation of the first living organism. DNA contains a monstrously large amount of information that could not have evolved since there were no living organisms to evolve. Many scientists resort to the multiverse theory to overcome the staggering odds against the spontaneous formation of even the simplest organism. The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief by Francis Collins, head of the Human Genome Project and a former atheist, is a good read on this topic.

I am very sympathetic to this point of view and enjoy reading the ID literature. It’s profoundly Christian and yet it accepts scientific conclusions. It’s a type of Creationism but it reject Young Earth Creationism.

Of course, some scientists have been known to go outside of science to claim that science somehow disproves God or contradicts the Bible, but those are philosophical or faith claims, not science. True science cannot contradict God, the Bible, or Christianity because God made the heavens and the earth, and they proclaim his glory. The Bible tells me so.

4. Science and faith are in two different realms that do not intersect. Therefore, there is no point in discussing how to reconcile the two. Many Christians and many scientists make this claim. I don’t think it’s entirely true, because, as I just said, God made the heavens and the earth and they proclaim his glory. Science reveals God’s glory.

On the other hand, I do not like the “God of the gaps” theorizing so popular among those of the ID or YEC position. If we can only find God in those places that science cannot explain, we find ourselves constantly backpedalling as science discovers more and more. Indeed, Christians have a long history of insisting that only God can do X with science proving Christians to be wrong. There are fewer and fewer X’s every year. There’s a better way.

Dr. John Lennox, a mathematician from Oxford University, deals brilliantly with the topic in this video, from a Georgia Tech presentation,

It’s over an hour long but guaranteed to be worth the time. In fact, this was brought to my attention by a fellow elder who is a devout believer but not a science geek. Please take the time to listen. [I won’t post anything tomorrow to give you more time to listen to the video.]

About Jay F Guin

My name is Jay Guin, and I’m a retired elder. I wrote The Holy Spirit and Revolutionary Grace about 18 years ago. I’ve spoken at the Pepperdine, Lipscomb, ACU, Harding, and Tulsa lectureships and at ElderLink. My wife’s name is Denise, and I have four sons, Chris, Jonathan, Tyler, and Philip. I have two grandchildren. And I practice law.
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22 Responses to Apologetics: The Bible and Science, Part 12 (Shelling the Corn)

  1. Price says:

    Not sure that ID is a form of creationism… but, I’ll let them define it themselves.. I think their objective is to observe and detect design… If so, it does indeed indicate that a Designer produced a design but the objective is not to identify the Designer…that is up to someone else to do… ID simply points to whether or not something is randomly caused or has been designed… Or perhaps it’s symantics…see here.. http://www.intelligentdesign.org/whatisid.php

  2. Ray Downen says:

    I’ve been listening to and viewing a series of videos by Hovind of Florida. I recommend the videos for anyone who seeks light on creation and when it occurred. More information is available at http://www.creationtoday.org/. Hovind explains why he believes that God made this universe for His glory. He didn’t need to experiment and make changes along the way. Some wonder about light in the universe prior to the sun being visible. They will perhaps also doubt that JESUS will be the light of the New Jerusalem after the sun and all this present universe is destroyed.

  3. Jay Guin says:

    Ray wrote,

    Some wonder about light in the universe prior to the sun being visible. They will perhaps also doubt that JESUS will be the light of the New Jerusalem after the sun and all this present universe is destroyed.


    There will be no night in heaven.

    (Rev 22:5 ESV) 5 And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.

    But there was darkness and night at the same time there as a light before the sun. When God is our light, there is no darkness at all. He doesn’t shine on only half the planet at a time, and so there is no night and no day, no evening and no morning.

    Assuming that God himself was the light of the first day does not explain the obvious internal contradictions in Genesis 1 IF we take Genesis 1 as a literal, material creation account. Nor does it accord with the text.

    (Gen 1:3-5 ESV) 3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.

    The light made on the first day was not God or Jesus; it was made by God.

  4. Jay Guin says:


    You are correct that the literature of Intelligent Design theorists does not normally speak of the God of the Bible, because they are trying to be genuinely scientific. Unlike Creation “Science” which flits back and forth between “science” and the Bible, often reasoning that the scientists must be wrong because they contradict the CS reading of the scriptures, the ID camp actually does science, not Bible commentary with science jargon.

    However, most readers find in ID a sophisticated way to see God in science, evolution included. It’s not fairly characterized as “theistic evolution” because the arguments are much more sophisticated than the old theistic evolution arguments and because they deal with much, much more than evolution.

  5. SteveA says:

    Wow, you have been posting a lot Jay. During this series we made a 1800 mile round trip and have visited with relatives, children, grandchildren, siblings, parents, and a grandparent. It has been hard to keep up with the posts.I need to get back to work but one more thing. I have not kept up with the Intelligent Design movement in recent years. I do come across critiques of it by many otherwise orthodox Christians occasionally. It seems to me they, the ID movement, believe in a staccato form of evolution where at certain junctures the designer has to step in and make some kind of change, like add a propellor to a cell or something. Perhaps I misunderstand them. The theological problem that some have with this is that it implies a flawed creation which the designer needs to correct or redirect. A theological alternative to this postulates as a Rabbi I came across somewhere once said “God got it right the first time.” I would paraphrase that God provided the potentiality for the universe to unfold in the way it has from the very beginning. From the development of the stars and galaxies to the development of life on earth and the eventual appearance on the Earth of human beings.

  6. Jay Guin says:


    Among the professional advocates for ID, to my knowledge, they take no position as to God’s intervention in evolution in most cases. The certainly advocate intervention in the creation of the universe and the formation of life. The closest to interventionism they might come is in Michael Behe’s irreducible complexity argument regarding certain cell structures.

    The Jewish rabbi’s argument doesn’t really carry water to me, because even he would concede that, per Genesis 1, God engaged in multiple creative acts. What’s the biblical argument for just one?

    Hence, I find more support in scripture for God to act theistically rather than deistically. On the other hand, I have no idea how many times God intervened in the history of the earth before humanity appeared. Nor does it strike me as a particularly interesting or helpful question.

    We’ve learned that latent DNA is sometimes switched on so that new features appear in a new generation — based on DNA placed there by … what? How do you evolve latent DNA? Perhaps God put every step of evolution into the first cell. I heard that suggested.

    But the rabbi, while likely wanting to be very scientific, is actually quite the opposite, as mutations and natural selection are very random — and not governed by initial conditions. That’s the science. Hence, given the random nature of quantum mechanics, as designed by God, and the importance of radiation from quantum reactions for evolution, it would seem that God created a universe that requires a modest degree of intervention to keep life on the path God wanted.

  7. SteveA says:

    Jay, Thanks for the reply. It gives me a lot to think about. My view is to use the example of how a mighty Oak tree grows from a tiny acorn as a metaphor for the Universe growing from the initial seed of the Big Bang. The information for the tree is coded into the acorn and when conditions are right that potential is realized and the result is impressive.

    With respect to DNA being switched on and off, I found this article at Biologos to be interesting and I think I will explore its thread further.


  8. Doug says:

    I haven’t kept up with all the various creation theories and haven’t even managed to read all the posts Jay has made on the subject. But, it does seem to me that God has gone out of His way to inform people about himself… even to the point of letting his son walk this earth so that we could seen God in the flesh. So it makes no sense to me that when it comes to creation, that God would purposely attempt to disguise himself by making a 6000 year old earth appear to be 13.6 billion years old. Why would He do that? We humans have enough faith issues to overcome without making science a test of faith.

    I think we’ll continue to make small advances in science and that they will, little-by-little, confirm God’s existence. I don’t think we will ever “Prove God” by scientific methods. I tend to accept the big bang theory but there’s always that moment between the instant before the big bang and the instant after the big bang. That instant seems to be a singularity and I believe that’s where God is to be found.

    I was part of the team that put a man on the moon and one day at lunch, I mentioned to the group of about 8 engineers that I was eating lunch with that I had a dream that after my life was over that God might allow me to visit the rest of His creation and witness the majesty of His creation for myself. I was amazed that most of the men I was eating with said that they had the same dream. Some of that beauty has since been revealed but I just know that there is much, much more to be seen.

  9. Jay Guin says:


    Thanks for the note and thoughts. I’ve been a NASA fan since I will very small. And don’t the Hubble and other orbiting telescopes go a long way toward fulfilling your dream? I’ve always been dazzled by the pictures NASA publishes.

  10. Monty says:


    Congratulations for such a wonderful accomplishment , I’m reminded of the comedian Brian Regan(extremely funny and clean with the language)who does a shtick where he’s an astronaut at a party listening to some blow hard ramble on about his accomplishments and everyone is oohing and ahing over that guy and the astronaut just bides his time, and finally (if my memory is correct) is asked something like “and what did you do?” And the astronaut says,” I walked on the moon.” And the blowhard crumples into a state of nothingness by comparison. You can find it on youtube. What you have done is a very big deal.

    Also Doug, and I’m being very serious. Are we alone? Just a yes or no will suffice. Thanks.

  11. Doug says:

    Monty, I’m sorry but I don’t have a answer to your question. But as Carl Sagan said “There are billions and billions of Stars”. And, even more planets in orbit around those stars. Surely some of those planets are habitable. But, then just being habitable doesn’t prove life exists. I personally believe that we may be all alone but God might just have other ideas. The big unknown is how long life can exist and advance until it destroys itself. That makes it a bit more difficult for two civilizations to co-exist in the same timeline so that they might accidently bump into each other. I rather expect Jesus to return before we get a visitor from another world.

  12. laymond says:

    Monty, It seems strange to me that we still have questions such as “are we alone” ? yet we say we trust that the bible is true, if it is true, and I think it is, we have had many visitors from another world, or other worlds. They are not exactly like us, but I wouldn’t expect they would be. Just what do we think all those many worlds were created for?

  13. Grace says:

    I think this quote gives a great perspective on God and His universe.

    “Astronomers are perplexed: why is the universe so big? And they are saying “There’s got to be more people in this place. It’s way too big if it’s just for you and me.” I agree — if the universe was created just for humanity, it’s oversized. But if they knew the universe’s primary function was not to house humanity but to magnify the Creator, they would know it’s just about the right size.” – Louie Giglio

  14. Alabama John says:

    The bible tells us that beings from another place are among us now. We simply do not know where that place is. All we are told is that it is up since the bible says they will descend from above.

    Angels walk among us and they are not of this world.

    Devils do too seeing who they can destroy and they are not of this world.

    I would bet I have seen the Angels and been in their care at times and you probably have too.

    The bible has much to say about this other world(s) subject if we will just listen with a different ear.

    There is much we cannot see out there through a telescope no matter how strong it is. We can only see the obvious.

  15. Monty says:

    Just checking to see if Doug had any inside info he could share with us(maybe he’s sworn to secrecy) since he worked with NASA and put people on the Moon. There are all kinds of anecdotal evidence of even the Apollo guys reporting seeing spacecraft on their trips to the Moon. Not to mention thousands of eye witness testimonies in general. I was looking for confirmation from someone at a high level. Of course I believe in angels and the dark forces. My question was geared more towards alien beings from wherever. Are angels the occupants of the UFO’s people see or are they creatures of God from other places in the universe. Are we alone in the sense of (outside of God and the angels(messengers))? What do you make of the chariots of fire, and Elijah being picked up in one? Sounds pretty UFOish. What do you make of the angel Ezekiel saw working on some kind of wheel within a wheel. Do angels need craft to transport them?

  16. Alabama John says:


    I have heard scientist here in Huntsville say going from one place to another may be like stepping through a door and we’ll go from one dimension to another instantly. Jesus did that and in the next life, so may we. That is why no one will say where is God out of all the galaxies and planets we can see.

    No one will pick one or even guess as it just might be a dimension we have no knowledge of.

    Might be closer to us everyday than we can imagine too. We say we have God in our heart. may be truer than we think.

  17. R.J. says:

    If intelligent physical life exists out there. Either they never partook of the forbidden fruit in their Garden of Eden, Jesus took on flesh on their planet(s) as well as ours, or a time will come when we will evangelize the stars. C.S. Lewis proffered another possibility. Either God the Father, or God the Spirit died for their sins. Or he drew up an alternate plan of redemption(unlikely).

    Personally, I believe there planets like ours with life out there(alien dinosaurs, plants, and animals), but no flesh and bone sentient beings other then us.

  18. Doug says:

    Monty, I resisted the urge to say ” I could tell you but then I’d have to kill you”.

  19. You missed those of us who believe in ancient earth and modern science but do not think evolution s scientifically or mathematically feasible and that the text of gen1 while chronilogical is long ages. These ages can fit and also predict current and future scientific discoveries

  20. Jay Guin says:


    In an earlier post I mentioned that I don’t see the relevance of evolution to apologetics. If one were to disprove evolution, he would not not made the earth or universe any younger. The age question is not about Darwin.

    On the other hand, prove that evolution occurred and you’ve not eliminated God. Evolution does not address ultimate questions such as purpose and value and where the laws of nature come from.

    On the other other hand, I agree with you that the math demonstrates the incompleteness of evolution. Dembski makes the point well. Natural causes cannot explain the formation of life or the spontaneous formation of information in DNA. The odds are too long.

  21. Christopher says:

    Jay wrote:

    You see, the topic here is apologetics or Christian evidences. And proving or disproving evolution has very little to do with apologetics. After all, if we disprove evolution convincingly, we’ve not proven God or even made a serious step toward so doing. The earth would still be billions of years old, as would the universe. Disproving evolution does not take us anywhere near proving an earth 6,000 years old.

    I’m catching up on all that you’ve written, Jay, and your recent discussion of homosexuality led me to see what you had to say about evolutionary theory. I disagree strongly with your assertion that disproving evolution has little to do with apologetics. For Darwin’s theory (more like a hypothesis, really) is arguably one of the main reasons people are unlikely to take the Bible seriously. And though it is not even remotely close to having been proven (in a scientific fashion since it is not falsifiable through experimentation), it is taught as fact, as settled science. I remember reading where one critic pointed out that in close to 150 years, no one has been able to demonstrate real speciation in bacteria. And the fossil record is just the opposite of what Darwin reasonably expected to find – so much so that Gould, to his credit, postulated that evolution could not have occurred slowly and gradually. Indeed, an atheistic anthropology professor at my alma mater (who would say people who believed in God were stupid) admitted that there was not a missing link but missing chains and that it required faith to believe in Darwin’s theory.

    Jesus confronted the hypocrisy and lies of his time. So should we. We are not doing the lost any favors acquiescing to the pronouncements of increasingly unscientific “scientists”. They should be told to put up or shut up. Paul said some men needed to be silenced, because they were ruining the faith of whole households. We cannot, of course, exercise apostolic authority over unbelievers. But we can certainly challenge their claims on logical or evidentiary grounds, and show them to be the fools they are. Jesus challenged people all of the time. We should go and do likewise.

    Aside from that, great blog and articles. A wonderful forum to hash things out.

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