Science in Christian Perspective

Letter to the Editor


The Final Resolution of the Evolution Controversy

C. Gordon Winder Professor of Geology 
University of Western Ontario 
London, Canada N6A SB?

From: JASA 32 (September 1980): 191-92.

Recently I was provided with a copy of the ASA Selected Readings Origins and Change. Your opening statement includes "Evolution can be considered without denying creation" with which I agree completely. Such modern Christian scientists as de Nouy. MacKay. Rhodes, and numerous members of the ASA would agree, a conflict between Scripture and biological evolution does not exist. And yet this volume reveals a conflict does exist. Why? I have been led to an interpretation that Evolution -the rejected (by literal creationists) cornerstone of biological (actually all) science, is the connecting link between religion, specifically Christianity, and orthodox science.

God created life by infusing that spiritual attribute into an appropriately structured organic molecule (see Sc. Amer., Sept., 1978); itself a product of an evolutionary process, about 4.0 billion years ago. God created "man" as a spiritual being (Gen. 1:27, also Ps. 0430 and Zechariah 12:lb) about 7-8000 years ago which corresponds approximately with the Mesolithic-Neolithic boundary by infusing the human attribute into an already existing hominid body or bodies. The raising /of man/from/the dust/of' the ground' (Gen. 2:7) is not ex nihilo as that is not a bringing/ into/ existence/ from/ nothing process. Geo. 2:7b is a variation of Gen. 1:27. The evolution of the hominid bodies by the mechanism of biological descent with change can be readily interpreted in Gen. 1:25a. The process of speciation can also be interpreted. This whole relationship was evident to me about the first time I ever read Genesis -in fact in the short space of two months, just three months after the first time I ever opened the Book. And to think this controversy has raged on for 120 years and presently seems to he intensifying. I think somebody wants a solution! Now!

Why does it persist? Some are determined to maintain the differences, described in numerous books with large sates and several editions. I he minds of some are so rock-bound, they cannot change. Many are so confused, they don't know whom to believe. Some are trying to sort out a mountain of literature containing proposals, counter proposals, charges and countercharges, all thoroughly laced with personal insults, innuendoes and false accusations. Let me ask a simple question. Has the time not come for a solution to surface? Aren't there more important issues?"

The literal creationists are now circulating a model bill for submission to state legislatures and Senates requiring equal time for creation and evolution in public school education-the two model approach. I have learned by unexpected circumstances that copies have been sent to 41 of the 50 states. Now consider the expenditure of time and money for just 20 states in hearings, research, legislative and Senate debates, educational restructuring, teacher retraining, lawyers, clerks, printing, books, - and then testing in the courts. Be prepared! At present, I understand that California requires fair treatment in free texts for the lower grade classes.
Actions are presently in progress in Florida, South Carolina, Georgia, Illinois (I wrote a Senator yesterday), probably Iowa, with intentions this year for Oklahoma, Idaho and where else who knows. I feel certain the San Diego group have lobbyists in Sacramento.

If Scripture and biological evolution are compatible as I can demonstrate, then there is no conflict on the origin of man as interpreted in the spheres of religions and scientific knowledge; then scientific creationism, like geocentricity, is a sophism. The mountain of literature should be treated according to Acts 19:19. Do I sense you saying I don't believe it? - Well, Galations 1:20. It you and other ASA members will join in spreading this understanding, the sooner will this conflict come to its just demise. Will I write out the interpretation? No-like the Good News it has to be heard-so Luke 14:35b. I look forward to the time when I can explain -but remember my first question will he -'would you like to see an end to this century plus old controversy and are you prepared to consider a solution based on Scripture-- not science'?"