Science in Christian Perspective



By a Molecular Biologist
A Critical Evaluation of Evolution
Department of Biology
Wheaton College Wheaton, Illinois 60187

From: JASA 29 (June 1977): 84-91.

How Much Emphasis Should One Put on Scientific Data?

Ever since the publication of the "Origin of Species" by Charles Darwin in 1859, a storm of controversy has been raging among theologians and scientists. Some proponents of Darwin's theory have elevated it to such an extent that they have established a new paradigm with which human experience is to be re-interpreted. Others have identified the theory of evolution as the work of the devil without any scientific merit and have committed themselves to fight against the theory as if it is to fight against the devil himself. Richard Rube summarized the controversy in this way: "If the evolutionists usually puts too much emphasis on these (empirical) data, the antievolutionists usually puts too little".' The question remains: How much emphasis should one put on the scientific data related to the theory of evolution? This paper attempts to analyze these data, delineate the strengths and weaknesses of the theory of evolution and to present a possible Christian interpretation to aid in resolving some of the controversy.

The abiogenesis of a cell with its highest controversy, level of complexity as a self-reproducing unit is extremely improbable.

Criteria for Evaluating the Theory of Evolution.

 If the theory of evolution is to be established as a close approximation of reality, it is fair that it should be evaluated epistemologically. While there is a wealth of epistemological theories explaining the nature of truth, the following two criteria similar to those enunciated by Arthur Holmes2 seem to be very useful in approaching this problem. 

Empirical adequacy: The concept under question should be amenable to empirical verification. 
Rational coherency: The concept under question should he consistent with other concepts which were arrived at rationally. 

We shall attempt to analyze the theory of evolution accordingly. 

Evaluation of the Theory of Evolution. 

The antiquity of evolutionary thought and Darwin's contribution

The Darwinian theory of evolutionary change and struggle for existence can be traced all the way back to the Greek philosopher Heraclitus (540-475 B.C.) who is noted for his concept of a continual, universal process of flux, having two sides, generation and decay. He also postulated that individual things endeavor to maintain themselves in permanence against the universal process of destruction and renovation. The immediate precursors of Charles Darwin include George de Buff on (1707-1788 AD.) who believed in a change in form from one animal type to another. Erasmus Darwin (1731-1802 AD.), the grandfather of Charles Darwin, first alluded to the term "evolution" to designate the process which involved "the power of acquiring new parts, attended with new propensities, directed by irritations, sensations, volitions and associations and thus possessing the faculty of continuing to improve by its own inherent activity and of delivering these improvements by generation down to its posterity world without end".3 Darwin's contemporaries, Chevalier de Lamarck (1744-1829 A.D.), E. Geoffrey Saint-Hilaire (1772-1844 AD.), Herbert Spencer (1820-1903 A.D.), among others, all contributed in one way or the other some form of the theory of evolution. But it was not until 1858 that Charles Darwin (1809-1882 A.D.) and Alfred R. Wallace (1823-1913 AD.) successfully attracted the attention of the scientific community by presenting their theory to the Linnaean Society. Upon the publication of The Origin of Species in 1859, the public was first exposed to Darwin's idea of evolution, Darwin's success in getting across his idea to the scientific community hinges on his conception of "Natural Selection", the survival of the fittest, which provided a mechanism to account for the process of evolution. It is appropriate at this time, then, to examine the evidence which Darwin used in formulating his theory. Evidence Darwin used. 1. Empirical evidence: data collected by observation and experience.

(a) Domestication of plants and animals.

Ever since the dawn of civilization man has been exploiting wild animals and plants by cultivation and domestication. Cultivated plants or domesticated animals have a greater degree of diversity than their counterparts in nature. They have varied due to artificial selection of particular traits and according to the conditions under which they have been raised. Darwin concluded that there are two factors controlling the variations of animals and plants under domestication: namely, the nature of the organism and the nature of the conditions,4 which are presumably analogous to the situation in nature.
(b) Variation of organisms in nature.

In 1831, Darwin sailed as a naturalist on the H.M.S: Beagle from England to South America as part of a survey of continental coastlines. He visited the various isolated oceanic islands off the coast of Ecuador. On several of the Galapagos Islands Darwin found several species and varieties of finches which had beaks with various sizes and shapes. They were presumably the descendants of a species of finch in the mainland, which was 600 miles away. Darwin suggested that all these varieties of birds were descended from an ancestral species introduced to the island. After the offspring of this ancestral species had become too numerous they outstripped the food supply. By a process of natural selection, the variant individuals with better equipped beaks were able to survive in distinct parts of the island according to the variable type of food available. Over the course of time different variant forms would occupy distinct niches in the environment.7

2. Circumstantial evidence: evidence which is proposed as factual based on reasonable inferences from other accepted facts (e.g.,-empirical facts).

(a) Paleontological collections.

There are 4 main geological periods of earth history classified according to their relative antiquity, namely, Proterozoic (Pre-Cambrian), Paleozoic, Mesozoic and Cenozoic in chronological order with the Proterozoie era dated by several methods back to more than 3.6 billion years ago. There were fossils of single-celled bacteria and algae found in the Precambrian period. However, multicellular forms of life were scarcely represented in the fossil record until the Cambrian period, the oldest of the Paleozoic era. Throughout the remaining geological strata, there was a noted absence of intermediate varieties between major groups of fossilized organisms in any given formation.5 Recent paleontological collections represent more varieties but whether they have bridged the gaps between major groups of organisms is disputable.8 One of the often cited "transitional" fossils unearthed having the characteristics of both birds and reptiles was Archaeopteryx, which in addition to the bird-like features of wings and feathers also has reptile-like characteristics, namely, claw-like appendanges on the edges of the wings, the possession of teeth, and vertebrae extending out along the tail. However, its advanced features of the bird and primitive features of the reptile led some to conclude that Archaeopteryx was a true bird which can he partly represented by modern day species of birds found in Africa and South America.9 All in all, the interpretation of paleontological record is disputable and it can at most he used as circumstantial evidence for Darwin's theory.

(b) Comparative structures and functions.

The similarities in morphology, structures and functions among living organisms prompted Darwin to postulate that these similarities were evidence of descent from a common ancester. Recent evidences in physiology, biochemical metabolism, genetics and molecular biology also indicate that there are great similarities among living organisms. However, these evidences do not support the theory of evolution exclusively. A theory of common design by a Designer is equally supported by these evidences. Darwin regarded some structures found in man and in higher forms of life as the remains of organs which were once required by their ancestral forms but which are no longer essential to the organism.6 However, this concept has been questioned in light of recent findings. For example, the appendix in mammals which was thought to be rudimentary has been found to be rich in lymphoid tissue,14 and is responsible for the replenishment of part of the immune system after irradiation,15
Mechanisms of evolutionary change.

In order for an organism to survive under natural selection it has to adapt to the new set of conditions, and also pass on its capacity to survive to its offspring. In Darwin's time, little was publicly known about the science of genetics although Mendel's original work was published in 1865. Lamarek had postulated in genetics that organisms adapt to their environment by acquiring certain new characteristics which are in turn passed on to their offspring. After the dawn of the science of genetics at the turn of this century, a theory originally proposed by Gregor Mendel (18221884) and elaborated by Hugo de Vries (1848-1935) stated that intrinsic genetic characteristics diversified by the process of mutation and recombination. These changes gave rise to the source of varieties. Later on, the ideas of Mendel and de Vries were coupled with the concept of Natural Selection and additional components of evolutionary theory to become the dominant view of the Neo-Darwinian version of evolution with the Lamarekian view largely repudiated.

Status of the modern theory of evolution: Neo-Darwinism.

1, Definition of a species.
In order to examine the modern development of Darwinism, it is paramount to establish a working definition of the term "species" upon which much of of the theory of evolution is based.

The first systematic attempt to classify living organisms was made by John Ray (1628-1705) and Carolus Linnaeus (1707-1778). Linnaeus adopted the principles of Ray using as criteria the morphological conformity and the potentiality of forming a fertile progeny to categorize the members of the smallest unit of taxonomy as species. Linnaeus adhered to the concept of "fixity of species" which denotes that there existed at that time just as many species as God created in the beginning. His ideas were later challenged by Buffon and Lamarck who set the stage for Darwin's The Origin of Species. Today, although the taxonomic system of Linnaeus is still being used as the basis for designation of organisms, his classification scheme has been repeatedly revised. The generally accepted definition of a contemporary "species" today is a group of related individuals that are actually or potentially capable of interbreeding or a group of organisms constituting a single gene pool.

2. Micro- versus macro- evolution.

The theory of evolution in its present form can he divided into two parts, namely, microevolution (the special theory 0f evolution) and macroevolution (the general theory of evolution or the synthetic theory of evolution)." In microevolution new varieties of a species developed from the source of diversification through mutation (sudden change in the DNA molecule) and genetic recombination (random assortment of chromosomes as well as crossing over of the chromosomes) by the process of natural selection. In macroevolution, the theory of microevolution is extrapolated from inorganic molecules to man to include the chance development of higher forms of life from lower forms of life, lower forms of life from unicellular organisms, and the cell from inorganic molecules by the process of natural selection.16 Neo-Darwinism holds the view that the accumulation of point-mutations selected for by natural selection will not only lead to the development of new varieties, but new species in the higher categories." In other words, the General Theory is an extensive extrapolation of the Special Theory.

3. The evolving concept of "Natural Selection".

After the triumphant Centennial Celebration of Darwinism in 1959, a quiet philosophical debate was going on in the 1960's regarding the logical coherency of Darwin's concept of "Natural Selection". The arguments focused on the circular reasoning of Darwin's premise of "The Survival of the Fittest". Darwin did not provide any objective criteria to identify the fittest other than looking at the survivors.23 The Nobel laureate, geneticist T. H. Morgan first pointed out this discrepancy and evolutionists have come to realize the tautological nature of Darwin's theory of natural selection. However, this recognition did not greatly bother them for they had already redefined natural selection to mean differential reproduction, a concept which was quite foreign to Darwin.

Strengths and weaknesses of Nco-Darwinism.

1. Strengths: Microevolution.

(a) Empirical adequacy.

The mechanism for the Special Theory of evolution can be documented empirically. Mutants can easily be isolated from a culture of bacteria by using a selective growth medium." The actual continuous process of microevolution has also been observed using an apparatus called a chemostat which provides the growing bacterial culture with a steady supply of nutrients and constantly washes away excessive growth and metabolic by-products to maintain a well-balanced density. Spontaneous mutants (mutants generated spontaneously in the absence of external mutagens) which grow faster under the conditions prevailing in the chemostat overtake the parent bacterial culture entirely in just a few generations.12

Domestication of animals and plants has continually been practiced since Darwin's time and the varieties of cultivated plants and animals have been exploited for human use. Varieties of a species (sometimes called races or subspecies) can also be observed in different natural environments. In the ease of industrial melanism, different colored varieties of peppered moths were selected for in the industrial area of Manchester, England, according to their capacity to adapt to the color of their natural habitat. The bark of the tree trunk was darkened by air pollution from the industries, and the darker varieties thus escape their predators.25 Both of these incidences are examples of microevolution.

(b) Rational coherency.

It seems logical to interpret the many subspecies or sibling species of a given species of organism as descendents from a given prototype by the process of microevolution. The many sibling or sub-species of the fruit fly Drosophila may well have evolved from the same ancestral species of fruit fly by microevolution and geographic and ecological isolation. The criteria for differentiating species (sibling or sub) from varieties in this case may be subtle. If two members of Drosophila will not produce fertile offspring with each other, they will normally be classified as two separate species. However the factors involved in reproductive isolating barriers have to be considered, These are post mating harriers (mechanisms that prevent gene exchange only after mating has occurred) and premating barriers (seasonal, habitat isolation, behaviorial differences, among others, which prevent the mating of two individuals)." Varieties developed from the same species may be grouped into sibling or subspecies if they are prevented from producing fertile offspring by the above mentioned conditions.

2. Weaknesses: macroevolutioo or the synthetic theory of evolution. Despite the systematic unity of the synthetic theory of evolution in its comprehensive scope, there are serious weaknesses inherent in this theory.

(a) Empirical inadequacy.
                                                                       (i) The demise of the theory of spontaneous generation.

The theory of spontaneous generation which states that life arose continually from the nonliving was very popular in the medieval and enlightenment periods because of its apparent consistency with one's sense experience: worms arise from mud, maggots from decaying meat, mice from refuse of various kind. The establishment of this theory was paramount to the synthetic theory of evolution to explain the evolutionary development of life from the nonliving. However, through a series of ingenious experiments performed by Francesco Redi, Laxxaro Spallaozani and finally Louis Pasteur in the 19th Century, it was shown that life arises always from preexisting life.17 Evolutionists who want to reject the

The Naturalistic extrapolation of the theory of evolution into various areas of human experience has led to frustration, confusion and despair.

notion of a single primary act of creation are left with no choice. They have to approach the origin of life again through a hypothesis of spontaneous generation by assuming that organisms may have arisen spontaneously under different conditions in some former period, granted that they do so no longer.18 Empirical documentation of this hypothesis using experimentation under the present condition would be quite difficult.21

                                             (ii) The difficulties involved in accounting for the abiogenesis of the first cell.

In the search for the origin of life, some progress has been made in the synthesis of amino acids, 19 nucleic acid constituents,20 protenoid mierospheres and coacervate droplets" under simulated primordial conditions. However, there still remain many difficult problems to be resolved. First of all, polymerization of chemicals monomers under simillated primordial conditions contains no more than "information" input defined by physical and chemical parameters. It does not start new life processes as self reproducing systems. It is analogous to the self assembling process of a computer which operates only insofar as the informational input dictates. Secondly, it will be difficult to account for the switch to internal control which is a characteristic of the cell when the polymerization process of chemical monomers triggered by external forces finally brings about a truly self reproducing system. Thirdly, the probability of achieving complexity from simple starting materials will be decreased drastically (geometrically) as the systems become more and more complex. This will lead to the conclusion that the abiogenesis of a cell with its highest level of complexity as a selfreproducing unit is extremely improbable.21

                                                 (iii) Evolution above the species level is poorly documented empirically.

Evolution above the species level has to rest quite heavily on the concept of speciation (the formation of new species). Although rational explanation can be formulated to account for the diversification of species by microevolution in nature, it is yet to be observed in a controlled laboratory setting that speciation occurs readily. One of the rare cases of speciation observed empirically was the speciation in wheat in which the hybridization of two strains of wheat produces a fertile offspring strain which is incapable of interbreeding with its parent strain.50 However, the mechanism in which this process of speciation occurs, namely, polyploidy, is commonly observed only in plants and cannot be used to account for the overall mechanism of macroevolution in all living organisms. The chemostat experiment mentioned earlier can allow the observation of numerous generations of bacterial evolution in a relatively short period of time. However, only varieties within a species but not new species have been detected.12 Empirical documentation of evolution above the species level is not yet forthcoming. It can be argued that since macroevolution happened over a long period of time, it cannot be observed empirically in one's lifetime. Nonetheless, the theory of macroevolution would be without a firm empirical foundation if it were divorced from the empirical documentation of the theory of microevolution. It will be seen in the following section that the mechanism operative in microevolution is insufficient to account for macroevolution.

                     (iv) The inconsistency of molecular biological data with other data supporting macroevolution.

The advent of molecular biology in the last two decades has made biology a more exact science. With the elucidation of the structure of a gene (DNA) and the correlation of biological activities with physical and chemical processes, a quantitative examination of different living organisms is made possible by comparing their genetic constitutions. Through the technologies of protein sequencing and nucleic acid hybridization, it is possible to calculate the genetic distance between different species of organisms by comparing their degree of protein sequence similarities and DNA homologies. Recently, a surprising observation concerning genetic relatedness of man and chimpanzee has been made.22 After comparing the sequences of more than 40 proteins from chimpanzee and man and their DNA homologies by hybridization, it was concluded that the genetic distances among species from different genera are considerably larger than the humanchimpanzee genetic distance. In other words, the anatomically and behaviorally distinct species of human and chimpanzee are found, according to these data, to be more closely related genetically to each other than are several sibling species or congeneric species of frog, fruit fly or mouse. These findings are inconsistent with the general scheme of macroevolution which predicts that human and chimpanzee after their evolutionary divergence should differ genetically to a greater extent than what was inferred from the protein and nucleic acid evidence.

(b) Rational incoherency.
                                                   (i) "Chance" has been used as the teleological explanation of evolution.

It had been criticized in Darwin's day that in order to deny purposes in nature, Darwininn substituted "chance and accidents" to account for the necessity for evolution while maintaining that the evolutionary process is not teleological.24 Evolutionists, while stressing the material and efficient causes of evolution, have yet to come up with a valid counterargument to explain why chance alone can he in such marvelous harmony to produce the orderly array in the biosphere instead of causing disruption of the whole structure, since both of these phenomena would be called for in equal probability, a condition implicit in the use of the term "chance".

                  (ii) The insufficiency of the concept of "Natural Selection" to account for macroevolution.

Evolution above the species level has not been satisfactorily accounted for by the mechanism of "Natural Selection". To quote from a leading contemporary evolutionist, Dr. Jay M. Savage, "The essential features of mieroevolution and speciation are now fairly well understood by biologists but the
plex processes leading to the grander scale remain an area inviting investigation".25 Various concepts have been postulated to try to account for the mechanisms of macroevolution.

                                                                                       (1) The "Systemic mutation" concept.

The late Richard B. Goldschmidt, geneticist at the University of California, has expressed frustration in trying to account for the macroevolutionary development of many structures in higher organisms on the bases of the mechanisms of microevolution alone. He challenged his fellow evolutionists to work out a step-by-step evolution scheme for 18 structures in higher organisms, among them hair in mammals and feathers in birds. His challenge was unanswered. Therefore, he postulated a novel concept of "Systemic Mutation" which involves changes of intrachromosomal pattern.26 27 This view was not popular because the concept of "Systemic Mutation" did not find any support in an experimental model. However, the insufficiency of "Natural Selection" as it works in microevolution to account for macroevolution was first brought into attention.

                                                                                     (2) The "Neutral Mutation" concept.

Upon the advent of the molecular biological methodologies to compare the genetic relatedness of different species it was apparent that there were great variabilities in primary structure (amino acid sequence) of homologous proteins from various sources.28 Interpretation of the molecular biological evidence and organismal evidence seemed to lead to the conclusion that the two levels of evolution are to a large extent independent of each other.22 Based on these observations, the concept of "Neutral Mutation" was postulated. It denotes that certain genetic changes are neither beneficial nor detrimental to the organism and that "Natural Selection" can do nothing to stop these "neutral mutations" which spread at a constant rate.28,29 This concept demands additional factors to explain macroevolution besides natural selection.

(3) The "Species Selection" concept.

In reaction to the arguments of the opponents of macruevolution, modem evolutionists tried to reiterate their convictions that the process of natural selection is responsible for both mieroevolution and macroevolution. However, a recent article examined the fossil record and came up with a novel concept of "Species Selection".30 It was concluded in this article that natural selection while operating very nicely in microevolution, fails to account for the major features of evolution and that species selection which operates on variation provided by the largely random process of speciatiun favors species that speeiate at high rates or survive for long periods and therefore tend to leave many daughter species.30

All in all, while the idea of Darwin's evolution is still venerated as the most comprehensive theory in Biology, the concept of Natural Selection, by which the theory was first established on scientific ground, is being gradually abandoned as the only mechanism which can account for the features of macroevolution.

Extrapolation of the Theory of Evolution by Naturalism

Naturalism is a philosophy maintaining the propositions that matter exists eternally and is the only reality, that the cosmos exists as a uniformity of cause and effect in a closed system, that man is only a complex machine, that death is extinction of personality and individuality, that history is a linear stream of events linked by cause and effect but without an over arching purpose, and that man is the central reference point of ethical views. It was first formulated as a systematic school of thought in the eighteenth century and it came of age at Darwin's time.49 Despite Darwin's upbringing in theistic thought, his later ideas were more or less influenced by naturalism.51 Naturalism in turn extrapolates Darwin's theory of natural selection into various areas of human experience:

The extrapolation of Darwinism into religion and theology.

Upon the advent of Darwinism, religion has been treated by the naturalists as man's evolving concepts of a felt practical relationship with what is believed in as a supernatural being or beings, in the eternal quest for the meaning of life and death, starting from primitive tribal ritualism and animism and culminating in monotheism in Christianity.31 The Bible is viewed as a product of man's progressive understanding of God, a viewpoint which contributed to the development of higher criticism and the repudiation of the verbal inspiration of the Bible.32 Prominent Catholic and Protestant theologians embraced evolution and espoused a modernistic social gospel.33,34 ' Christ was viewed as a great teacher providing an example for ethical living. The mission of the church was to alleviate human suffering in direct harmony with the inevitable progress fostered by evolution. Concern with the life to come was largely repudiated.

Social Darwinian.

Darwin's contemporary, Herbert Spencer, was the first person to link the idea of social evolution to Darwin's idea of organic evolution. The theory of survival of the fittest "became a vogue that swept Western thought in the late 19th century. It also became a convenient doctrine for justifying various economic and political theories".35 Unscrupulous industrialists took advantage of Darwin's theory to condone their unethical practices. Some militarist, justified their aggression by the principle of the survival of the fittest.36 Communists based their thesis of class struggle in history partly on Darwin's natural selection.37

The extrapolation of Darwinism into philosophy and education.

Pragmatism, an evolutionistic philosophy developed in America, states that the mind is not separate from the total organism but a part of it and thus subject to development and change as the organism itself. It has "an emphasis on the evolution and changing character of reality, on the relevance of knowledge to practical situations, on the need of testing truth by its ability to 'work', and on the instrumental nature of ideas".38 The influence of Darwinism and Pragmatism also extends to education to some degree in the 

I accept the day-age interpretation of the Genesis account because it is exegetically defensible and it is proposed by numerous evangelical theologians. It also provides for the antiquity of the earth.

naturalistic philosophy of progressivism and reconstructionism.39

The extrapolation of Darwinism into psychology and history.

Various influential psychologists like C. H. Judd, C. S. Hall, J. Dewey and S. Freud,40 all held to the evolutionary interpretation of man's origin and developed their psychological theories accordingly. The behavioristic approach to psychology was one of the outcomes of the Darwinist influence. The naturalistic extrapolation of Darwinian evolution has also given birth to an optimistic view of the meaning of history. This particular philosophy of history resulted in the adoption of the ideology that progress is inevitable even though individuals or pressure groups may follow their own selfish purposes for the realization of special privileges.41

The Naturalistic extrapolation of the theory of evolution into various areas of human experience has led to frustration, confusion and despair. Man is awakening to the necesssity of the reevaluation of his own nature in a more holistic context.

Attempts to Integrate Christian Faith and The Biological Theory of Evolution

As a Christian who is a molecular biologist, I accept the validity of Cod's general revelation through nature which is the realm of scientific investigation, as well as Cod's special revelation through the Bible which is the realm of theological interpretation. Both of these avenue, of Cod', revelation should lead us into a consistent although incomplete understanding of the creation and the Creator. The scientific enterprise, despite its theory-laden nature, has the methodological element which enables man to perceive Cod's general revelation regardless of the scientists' presuppositions. The apparent conflicts which have arisen between science and the Bible can be attributed either to the misinterpretation of scientific data or the Bible. After enumerating the strengths and weaknesses of the biological theory of evolution and its naturalistic extrapolation into other fats of human experience, it is appropriate to evaluate the theory of the evolution in light of the biblical record of creation. While there are numerous views represented among evangelicals on this issue I shall delineate a position according to my present understanding of the biological sciences and of the Bible. I am leaving open the option that Cod may change my view in the future by giving me more insight into the Scripture as well as by the advancement of biological science and other areas of learning where evolutionary naturalism has been influential.

Interpretation of Genesis.

I believe in the Scriptures of the Old and the New Testaments as verbally inspired by God and inerrant in the original writing. In order to actualize this conviction, it behooves me to interpret the Bible contextually, historically and literarily. Because of my insufficient preparation in theology, I have to rely heavily on other theologians' painstaking studies in the book of Genesis. The most important question to be asked on the interpretation of Genesis 1 and 2 is whether it is (1) an allegorical account to convey a meaning metaphorically implied but not expressly stated, (2) a descriptive quasi-scientific history or (3) a literary account of history in some non-descriptive genre. The difficulty is to treat what was intended to be allegory as allegory and what was intended to be history as history. I reject the allegorical interpretation of Genesis because it is not exegetically sound43 and also because this position places a tremendous pressure on the interpretation of the historicity of the Fall and the trustworthiness of Christ when He quoted from the Genesis account of man (Mark 10:6). In addition, this position has yielded an unnecessary compromise to the atheistic evolutionist who maintains that man is a product of chance only. I also reject as unlikely the naive literal interpretation of the creation day as a 24 hour solar day, because it is not necessarily called for in the text. This position also overlooks the current scientific concept of the antiquity of the earth which was arrived at by six independent dating methods.42 1 accept the day-age interpretation of the Genesis account because it is exegetically defensible and it is proposed by numerous evangelical theologians.43-45 It also provides room for the antiquity of the earth. Synthesis

1. God created the prototypes of each "kind" of organism in six geological eras and they diversified by the process of mieroevolution to generate the various species or sub-species observed today. The Genesis record of "kind" did not specify its exact biological boundaries and so we should be cautious in suggesting what these might have been. It is thus reasonable to interpret that the "kind" may mean the original ancestral form of a certain group of organisms, e.g., the fruit fly Drosophila, which later on developed into the present day varieties. This view is shared by other biologists,46 anthropologists,47 and orthodox theologiaos.45-48

2. God created all living organisms with a similar blueprint. This will account for the similarities of the comparative structures and functions among organisms, and their similarities in physiology and biochemical metabolism.

3. Man is God's special creation in the sixth and final epoch of the creation account. He is not derived from pre-existing living forms. His uniqueness lies in his transcendence of nature despite his earthly origin through his spiritual capacity to relate to God and his fellow men as a free agent. The documentation of this view is beyond the scope of this paper.


I have attempted to integrate the issue of evolution in Biology with Christian faith, Other areas which are to be integrated in my thinking are the relation of fact to theory, the difference between a religious account and a scientific account of an incidence, the hermeneutic problems of Genesis, and man's transcendence and/or dependence concerning his biological makeup. These issues will be pondered and pursued throughout my academic and ministerial endeavors.

I thank Dr. Raymond Brand, Dr. Joseph Spradley and Dr. Arthur Holmes for critically reviewing this


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2Holmes, A., Professor of Philosophy, Wheaton College. Lecture given during the Integration of Faith and Learning seminar held at Wheaton College, July 12 to August 6, 1976.
3Darwin, E., Vol. I. Zoonomia, Boston, Mass: Thomas & Andrews. Preface. 1803.
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5Ibid. p. 298.
61bid. p. 412, 418.
7lbid. P. 371; Darwin, C., The Voyage of the Beagle, New York: Dutton, 1957.
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9Gish, D. T., Evolution, The Fossils Say No! Creation-Life Publishers, p. 62, 1973.
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11Pun, P., C. D. Murray and N. Strauss., 1. Bacteriol. 123, P. 346, 1975.
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14Archer, 0. K., Nature. p. 338, Oct. 26, 1963.
15Jaroslow, B. N., Immunologist, Argonne National Laboratory, Lecture given in an Immunology class, Spring, 1976.
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18Wald, C. Scientific American. August, 1954.
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21lbid. p. 39.
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23Bethell, T., Harper's Magazine, Feb. 1976.
24Von Baer, K. E., Augsburger Allgemeine Zeitong, No. 130, p. 1986, 1873.
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38Bixler, J. S., "Pragmatism" An Encyclopedia of Religion, The Philosophical Library, p. 601, 1945.
39Meyer, A. E., The Development of Education in the 20th Century, Prentice.Hsll, Inc. 1940.
4ORoback, A. A., History of Asnerican Psychology, Library Pub. 1952.
41Thomas, H., The Living World of Philosophy, The Blackiston Co. 1946.
42Science. Jan. 30, 1970. Wonderly, D., Journal ASA, p. 145, Dec. 1975.
43Yonng, E. J. Studies in Genesis One, Presbyterian and Reformed Pub. Co. 1964.
44Buswell, J. 0. II, "Length of Creative Days" in Chronology, Davis Bible Dictionary, 1935.
45Ramm, B., The Christian View of Science and Scripture, Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co. p. 145, 1954. Ramm also mentions several other theologians who hold the same view.
46Mixter, R. L., Creation and Evolution, 2nd ed., Amer. Sc. Affil. Monograph, 1967.
47Buswell, J. 0. III in Evolution and Christian Thought Today, R L. Mister, ed. W. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co. 1959.
48Hamilton, F. C., The Basis of Evolutionary Faith, James Clarke & Co. p. 150, 1931,
49Sire, J., The Universe Next Door, Inter-Varsity Press, p. 61. 1976.
50Grant, V., Plant Speciation, Columbia Univ. Press. 1971.
51Grvene, J. C., Darwin and the Modern World View, Louisiana State Univ. Press. 1961.