Science in Christian Perspective
From: JASA 15 (June 1963): 67-68.
The editor states, "The ASA has no official position on evolution, or any other issue." This seems to say that the ASA does not stand for anything. If we do not stand for anything, we will never make much impression either on the scientific or the religious world.
A great deal of what is written on evolution does not convey exactly what is being discussed because the terms have too broad a meaning. "Evolution" is used in a multitude of connections. It would not be unusual to speak of the evolution of the automobile. The first step in restricting the term is to say "biological evolution."
Even that doesn't limit the discussion to the actual point of controversy. Evolution originally hinged on the problem of "origin of species." That problem cannot be solved until we agree on the definition of "species." At present biologists string all the way from "splitters" on one end to "lumpers" on the other. The position of the splitters is easier to illustrate and most articles I have read have been written by them. As I understand them, a red carnation is a different species from a white one; a fruit fly with red eyes is a different species from one with black eyes; a Chihuahua dog is a different species from a Mastiff; an African Pigmy is a different species from a Caucasian. I doubt if the most old-fashioned fundamentalist would take issue with the evolution of all dogs from a common canine ancestor so long as it did not take a million years, or the evolution of all humans from a common ancestor in a reasonable time . . . .
Knobloch in the same issue (p. 116) says: "There are organisms here which probably did not exist fifty years ago." I doubt if the fundamentalists and literal interpreters of the Bible would quarrel with any evolution that would form a new species in fifty years. I doubt that anybody would question what Knobloch says: ". . . speciation, (die formation of new species by mutation, hybridization, etc.) is a 'fact . . . . ..
Wherein then resides the conflict? Some believe that millions and millions of years ago a large protein molecule came into existence. The atheistic evolutionist would say by chance, while the theistic evolutionist by the act of God. Then the protein molecule evolved into a one-celled organism. These organisms increased in complexity through the untold ages and split into the vegetable and animal kingdoms. The final step in the animal kingdom was man. This all required billions of years. If this be evolution, here is the irreconcilable conflict. The Bible . . . as God's Word, cannot be twisted enough to permit such an interpretation of the origin of man.
According to the Bible man was created by God personally in his image, which implies a physically perfect being. The history of mankind begins with the pair that God so created. The evolutionary theory as pictured has no place for this. According to the Bible man sinned and fell from his Edenic estate, and his body began to die. In order to be saved, man had to be redeemed from the consequences of sin. Then Christ, the Redeemer, paid the penalty for sin and redeemed man. According to evolutionary theory man never fell and needed no Redeemer. All this is foolishness to the logically minded evolutionist.
fears have a real basis. Thousands of high school and college students are
losing their Christian faith on the strength of what they are taught in biology,
geology and related sciences. The ASA was founded to try to prevent this
tragedy. 1, personally, have been in the ASA almost from the start. I can see a
gradual drift towards the "intellectually popular" concept of the
biological evolutionary theory. We are losing our purpose for being and are
getting into great confusion. Most articles in the JASA now are on a
great variety of subjects that have very little pertinence to our purpose for
Oscar L. Brauer,
San Jose, California