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Rick Perry Questioned About Evolution and Science
Aug 22, 2011
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Did you see the video of Rick Perry being questioned about evolution? The Texas governor was responding to a question from a little boy in New Hampshire. The child is not asking on his own account. He was being used as a prop by his mother. You can hear the boy’s mother whispering questions to ask Gov. Perry. The first question was about the age of the Earth: “How old do I think the earth is? You know what? I don’t have any idea. I know it’s pretty old. So it goes back a long, long way. I’m not sure anybody actually knows completely and absolutely how old the earth is.” Perry gave a reasonable answer that is shared by many Bible-believing Christians. I’m sure the mother expected or hoped that he said “six thousand years.”

Not all young earth creationists teach that the Earth is only six thousand years old. For example, on the last page of The Genesis Flood, first published in 1961, there is this admission: “A careful study of the Biblical evidence leads us to the conclusion that the Flood may have occurred as much as three to five thousand years before Abraham.” (Henry M. Morris and John C. Whitcomb, The Genesis Flood: The Biblical Record and Its Scientific Implications (Philadelphia: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1961), 489. For a contrary view, see Don DeYoung, Thousands . . . Not Billions: Challenging an Icon of Evolution, Questioning the Age of the Earth (Green Forest, AR: Master Books, 2005), 174.))

Perry deserves credit for not ignoring the questions or dismissing them as being irrelevant as something akin to the boxers v. briefs question.

There’s a huge debate among Bible-believing Christian over the age of the Earth. For example, the great 19th-century Baptist preacher Charles H. Spurgeon believed the Earth was millions of years old:

“In the 2d verse of the first chapter of Genesis, we read, ‘And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.’ We know not how remote the period of the creation of this globe may be — certainly many millions of years before the time of Adam. Our planet has passed through various stages of existence, and different kinds of creatures have lived on its surface, all of which have been fashioned by God. But before that era came, wherein man should be its principal tenant and monarch, the Creator gave up the world to confusion. He allowed the inward fires to burst up from beneath, and melt all the solid matter, so that all kinds of substances were commingled in one vast mass of disorder.”(1)

There are many modern-day evangelical, Bible-believing scholars who hold to an old-earth position on the age of the earth. Gleason L. Archer (1916–2004), who was a staunch defender of the inspiration and authority of the Bible, held the old-earth position(2) as did Arthur Custance (1910–1985) in his book Without Form and Void. His detailed analysis of the position can be found here. There are many others.

Perry deserves credit for not ignoring the questions or dismissing them as being irrelevant as something akin to the boxers v. briefs question that candidates get these days. Is questioning evolution “anti-Science,” as this boy’s mother intimates? Here’s part of what Perry says:

“I hear your mom was asking about evolution. That’s a theory that is out there — and it’s got some gaps in it.”

Absolutely true, although hard-core materialist evolutionists would deny it. But you don’t have to go very far to know that there are more gaps in the theory of evolution than there are in the Nixon Watergate tapes, and the explanations for them are just as silly.

Let’s consider the gaps in the fossil record. The late Ernst Mayr (1905–2004), one of the 20th century’s leading evolutionary biologists, wrote, “Given the fact of evolution, one would expect the fossils to document a gradual steady change from ancestral forms to the descendants. But this is not what the paleontologist finds. Instead, he or she finds gaps in just about every phyletic series. The discovery of unbroken series of species changing gradually into descending species is very rare. Indeed the fossil record is one of discontinuities, seemingly documenting  jumps (saltations [Latin: ‘leap’]) from one type of organism to a different type. This raises a puzzling question: Why does the fossil record fail to reflect the gradual change one would expect from evolution?”(3)

Evolutionists Niles Eldridge and Ian Tattersall offer the following extended comments on the subject of gaps in the fossil record:

That individual kinds of fossils remain recognizably the same throughout the length of their occurrence in the fossil record had been known to paleontologists long before Darwin published his Origin. Darwin himself, . . . prophesied that future generations of paleontologists would fill in these gaps by diligent search.  . . . [More than] one hundred and twenty years of paleontological research later, it has become abundantly clear that the fossil record will not confirm this part of Darwin’s predictions. Nor is the problem a miserably poor record. The fossil record simply shows that this prediction is wrong.

The observation that species are amazingly conservative and static entities throughout long periods of time has all the qualities of the emperor’s new clothes: everyone knew it but preferred to ignore it. Paleontologists, faced with a recalcitrant record obstinately refusing to yield Darwin’s predicted pattern, simply looked the other way.(4)

The biggest gap in the theory of evolution is the one from nothing to something. One of the first lessons a student in biology class learns is that something cannot and does not come from nothing. Spontaneous generation has been disproven so many times that it is no longer seriously considered, unless you’re a die-hard Darwinist and you need to “prove” the theory.

In 2010, the darling of everything materialistic, Stephen W. Hawking argued that the laws of physics allow for the universe to have created itself . . . from nothing. In his latest book, The Grand Design, Hawking states: “Because there is a law such as gravity, the Universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the Universe exists, why we exist.” This is science? Laws don’t create anything. It’s like saying that economic laws made Warren Buffett a billionaire. If they did, then why isn’t everybody a billionaire? C. S. Lewis gets to the point when he writes that laws “produce no events: they state the pattern to which every event – if it can be induced to happen – must conform, just as the rules of arithmetic state the pattern to which all transactions with money must conform – if only you can get hold of the money. Bookkeeping, continued to all eternity, could never produce one farthing. . . .  Bookkeeping needs something else (namely, real money put into the account . . . before any income . . . can exist.”(5) It would be like saying that gravity made Paul Anderson the strongest man in the world.(6)

Hawking is speculating, but because he is a noted scientist whose speculations fit what atheists want and need to believe, some people are willing to believe him. “Stephen Hawking said it; I believe him; that settles it.” This is religion not science. A number of scientists are not buying what Hawking is selling, and yet it didn’t stop the Discovery Channel from showcasing Hawking’s new religion. It doesn’t matter if there is any science behind anything Hawking says on the subject, as long as they hear him say, via a voice synthesizer designed and created by someone, “I think Science can explain the Universe without the need for God.” Consider these comments from Ervin Laszlo writing on the very liberal Huffington Post site:

In saying this, Hawking doesn’t speak like a scientist: he speaks like a (speculative) philosopher. . . . To say that [the universe crated itself] spontaneously is not an answer: it’s an excuse for an answer. When Hawking says that the spontaneous self-creation of the universe “out of nothing” is evidence that a creator was not involved, he is not speaking as a scientist. He is not making a scientific statement. His statement is pure theology — of the negative kind typical of atheists.

And yet, Hawking’s assertions are taken seriously as scientific fact while someone who questions the theory of evolution is made out to be anti-science. Following the child’s prompted questions, his mother whispered to him again, “Ask him why he’s anti-science.” If a person has questions about evolution, then he is by definition anti-science. The evolutionists have been spouting this nonsense for decades. They liken it to the denial of the holocaust or a belief in a flat earth. There are thousands of credentialed scientists who question the theory of evolution. You can review the “Scientific Dissent from Darwinism” list here.

This mother is doing a disservice to her child. She is implying that to question what scientists say is being anti-science. The history of science is the questioning of science. In fact, you’re not being scientific if you are not questioning what scientists claim. For example, Louis Pasteur put to rest the generally accepted theory of spontaneous generation, ironically in 1859, the year Darwin published On the Origin of Species. ((Francesco Redi (1626–1697), an Italian physician, also deserves credit. In his day, it was widely believed that maggots arose spontaneously from rotting meat. Redi believed that maggots developed from eggs laid by flies. To test his hypothesis, he set out meat in flasks. Some were open to the air, some sealed completely, and others covered with gauze. The experiment showed that maggots appeared only in the open flasks because flies had easy access to the meat where they laid their eggs.)) Some scientific assertions are beyond dispute. These laws of nature are “based on an observed regularity.” Some of these observed regularities are the effect of gravity on objects, the sphericity of the Earth (something the church has always believed), and the impossibility of spontaneous creation. But as the “Scientific Dissent from Darwinism” list shows, there are all kinds of scientists who object to any number of evolutionary assertions because there has never been any observed regularity. In fact, evolution has never been observed!

Jon Huntsman, a former Utah governor who is also seeking the GOP presidential nomination, responded to Perry’s comments on Twitter: “To be clear. I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy.” Ok, Jon, I will. “You’re crazy.”

Endnotes:

  1. Charles Spurgeon, “The Power of the Holy Ghost,” The New Park Street Pulpit, 1:230. No. 30 preached on June 17, 1855 on Romans 5:13. The online version can be found at http://www.spurgeongems.org/vols1-3/chs30.pdf).()
  2. Gleason L. Archer, The New International Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2001).()
  3. Ernst Mayr, What Evolution Is (New York: Basic Books, 2001), 14.()
  4. Niles Eldredge and Ian Tattersall, The Myths of Human Evolution (New York: Columbia University Press, 1984), 45–46.()
  5. C. S. Lewis, Miracles (London: Fontana, 1974), 63, 90–91. Quoted in John C. Lennox, God and Stephen Hawking: Whose Design Is It Anyway? (Oxford, England: Lion Hudson, 2011), 42–43.()
  6. In 1956 Paul Anderson won an Olympic gold medal in weightlifting in the heavyweight division. Based on his back lift of 6,270 pounds in 1957, the Guinness Book of World Records credited him with lifting the most weight ever lifted by a human being.()
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About author

Gary DeMar

Gary is a graduate of Western Michigan University (1973) and earned his M.Div. at Reformed Theological Seminary in 1979. He is the author of countless essays, news articles, and more than 27 book titles, His most recent book is Exposing the Real Last Days Scoffers. Gary lives in Marietta, Georgia, with his wife, Carol. They have two married sons and four grandchildren, Gary and Carol are members of Midway Presbyterian Church (PCA).

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