Is God a figment of man’s imagination?
By Roger Marshall*
Many intellectuals today and their adherents claim that God is only a figment of man’s imagination. They say that as man evolved from ape-like ancestors he also evolved his religious beliefs in an attempt to explain the frightening laws and phenomena of nature around him. In the words of the late evolutionist Sir Julian Huxley: “In the evolutionary pattern of thought there is no longer need or room for the supernatural. The earth was not created, it evolved. So did all the animals and plants that inhabit it, including our human selves, mind and soul as well as brain and body. So did religion.”1
Was Huxley right? Let’s look at the evidence.
Lack of Evidence for Evolution
There is no scientific evidence whatsoever that supports the theory of evolution. There are no known mechanisms by which it could have occurred and there is no fossil evidence to prove that it did occur
With reference to the fossil record Charles Darwin himself said that it was “one of the most obvious and serious objections which could be argued against the theory.” He further said: “the absence of transitional forms between species…presses hard on my theory.” 2
Today nearly 150 years after Darwin first published his book The Origin of Species in 1859, nothing has changed to alter the dilemma Darwin observed.
The Odds against Life Arising By Chance
The spontaneous generation of life by chance from non-life has long been the mechanism by which the supposed evolution of life arose. However, contrary to this belief the observable scientific evidence has repeatedly shown that life can only come from pre-existing life.
In the October, 1969, issue of Nature Magazine, Dr. Frank Salisbury of Utah State University, assuming that life already existed, examined the mathematical probability of a specific DNA molecule evolving by chance on one hundred, thousand, million, billion planets. He allowed four billion years for this chance reaction to occur.
Conclusion: the possibility of life arising by chance is one in 10415 or one in ten thousand, million, billion, trillion, quadrillion. However, the basic law of mathematical probability as worked out by Dr. Emile Borel, one of the world’s great experts on the subject, states: “the occurrence of any event where the chances are beyond one in 1050/200 is an event which we can state with certainty will never happen – no matter how much time is allotted, no matter how many conceivable opportunities could exist for the event to take place” 3
Another evolutionist, the late Carl Sagan, calculated the possibility of life arising by chance only on the earth. He concluded this improbable feat to be one chance in 10 followed by two billion zeros!
To put it simply, life arising by chance doesn’t have a chance!
Mutations are often cited as a mechanism by which one creature is supposed to have evolved into another totally different creature. However, scientific observation has again shown mutations to be almost always harmful to the organism and never beneficial as evolution demands. Mutations result in loss of information not the acquisition of new information, which would be required for one creature to change into another.
The earth is one massive graveyard containing billions of fossils, which are the petrified remains of dead plants and animals. These fossils are almost all buried in rock layers laid down by water, in fact fossils can only be formed if the animal or plant is buried rapidly and deeply in the earth. These facts speak of catastrophism on a massive scale, which is better explained by the Genesis flood as recorded in Scripture.
Be that as it may, none of these fossils comply with evolutionary theory as it is often touted that they do. The fossil record provides no transitional or intermediate forms/missing links between species, as should be the case if evolution were true. In fact many of the heralded transitional forms have been debunked. A few examples are as follows:
Evolutionists claim that birds evolved from reptiles like the dinosaurs. A fossil find known as archaeopteryx has long been touted as a transitional form between dinosaurs and birds. However, archaeopteryx is now known to be a true bird and not a transitional form. In the words of palaeontologist and evolutionists, Dr. John Ostrom, “There can be no doubt that archaeopteryx was a true bird…”4
Another highly publicised supposed transitional form is the dawn horse known as Eohippus, a dog-sized four-toed creature, which is said to be the evolutionary ancestor of the modern horse. However, this too has been debunked. In the words of evolutionist George Gaylord Simpson, “The uniform continuous transformation of Hyracotherium into Equus, so dear to the hearts of generations of text book writers, never happened in nature…” 5
When we consider the fossils that supposedly tell the story of human evolution, they too have been debunked. For example:
This supposed missing link between apes and humans was built from one jawbone, which later turned out to be that of a modern ape that was deliberately doctored to make it look like an ape-man.
This “ape-man” was built from one tooth, which later turned out to be the tooth of an extinct pig.
Java Man was constructed from an ape’s skullcap and a human thighbone.
The Neanderthal people have been shown to be modern humans who suffered from rickets and possibly syphilis. 6
The Australopithecines of Africa, while highly touted as early humanlike transitional forms are really nothing more than simply apes. In the words of paleoantropologists David Pilbeam and the late Glynn Isaac, both of Harvard University, “The australopithecines are rapidly sinking back to the status of peculiarly specialised apes…”7
To put it succinctly: Darwin’s missing links are still missing.
The Dilemma and the irrational response of evolutionists
In the absence of evidence to support their theory what do many evolutionists do? Incredible as it may seem, they simply continue to believe in evolution! Why? One may ask. What would prompt such an irrational response among otherwise brilliant men and women? Nobel prize-winning biologist of Harvard University, Dr. George Wald, himself an evolutionist, put the answer to these questions in perspective when he said: “The reasonable view was to believe in spontaneous generation; the only alternative, to belief in a single, primary act of supernatural creation. There is no third position. For this reason many scientists a century ago chose to regard the belief in spontaneous generation as a philosophical necessity…Most modern biologists, having viewed with satisfaction the downfall of the spontaneous generation hypothesis, yet unwilling to accept the alternative belief in special creation, are left with nothing”8
As for Dr. Wald’s rationale for still maintaining his belief in evolution against all odds he said: “One only has to contemplate the magnitude of this task to concede that the spontaneous generation of a living organism is impossible. Yet here we are – as a result I believe, of spontaneous generation”9
Evolutionist and biologist D.H. Watson put it this way “…the theory of evolution itself [is] a theory universally accepted not because that it can be proved by logically coherent evidence to be true, but because the only alternative, special creation, is clearly incredible.”10
Simply put, many evolutionists just do not want to believe the obvious, they do not want to believe in God. Therefore they wilfully choose to believe in the impossible theory of evolution. The Bible calls this kind of behaviour folly. As the psalmist David said: “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God’…” (Ps. 14: 1).
From the foregoing information we can safely conclude that the popular idea “there is no God who created us but rather life evolved on its own” is scientifically untenable. Life can only come from pre-existing life and that is exactly what the Bible has stated a long time ago in the very first few words of Genesis, the book of Beginnings, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth”(Gen. 1:1). And yet again: “In him [God] was life and the life was the light of men”(John 4: 4). Thus based on the observable evidence the Bible proves to be right and the evolutionists prove to be wrong.
*Roger Marshall is executive director of Project PROBE Ministries, a Barbadian Christian apologetics organisation.
1. Julian Huxley, Issues in Evolution, 1960, Chicago Press
2. Francis Darwin, Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, 1888, Vol. 2, p. 179
3. Emile Borel, Probability and Life, 1962
4. The Beginning of Birds, 1985, p. 174
5. Life of the Past, Yale University Press, 1953, p.119
6. Nature, Vol. 227 & 229, Aug. 8, 1970 & Feb. 1971
7. American Scientist, Vol.74, July-August, 1986, p.149
8. R. Clyde McCone, “Three Levels of Anthropological Objection to Evolution”, in the Creation Research Quarterly, March 1973, p.208 (emphasis mine)
9. Henry Morris and John Whitcomb, The Genesis Flood, 1971, p. 234 (emphasis mine)
10. Henry Morris, Scientific Creationism, 1974, p.8