Tom Shetler, a teacher at Bethany College of Missions, is a man of deep passion for the Lord with sensitivity towards His presence. His particular interests are in the Old Testament as well as apologetics. Both his knowledge in these fields and his passion for them are evident in the classes he teaches at BCOM.
Here are his thoughts on a widely discussed topic:
Having had the beginnings of a scientific education (I have a BA in Physics), I find the debate between creationism and evolution very disheartening. I believe in a created universe on the basis of the evidence for intelligent design. My belief in creation is not just based on what the Bible says, but because of the evidence of both natural history and science.
Our world is filled with billions of amazing creatures. Evolutionists claim to “see” their development over the many eons of natural history by assuming (without any actual evidence or proof) that they are all marvelous adaptations to the changes in their environments. For example, evolutionists would claim that the sonar (the ability to make a sound, have the sound echo back from a target, and calculate the location of the target) that bats use to find the insects they eat in the dark of night is a product of this “natural” adaptation. The problem is that this “adaptation” is the product of dumb luck. It is a purely accidental development that must also accidentally coincide with a highly significant environmental condition.
Evolution would be conceivable if there were only a few instances where the accidents had to coincide in both the creature and the environment. But in nature, if evolution is true, one must account for billions of adaptations as remarkable as our example of the bat. It stretches credibility beyond the limit to believe this, for we must account for sight, flight in birds and insects, digestion, photosynthesis, blood (hemoglobin), fur, feathers, hearing, and a myriad more of organs and organisms. We could make a list that would fill a book of all the adaptations that must be accounted for by evolutionary theory, and in my view, the theory doesn’t even come close to explaining how all these things came to be.
In addition, science is built upon the use of the scientific method, and central to that method is experimental verification. Experiments to verify evolution have been going on for over 50 years with no positive results. What the experiments have proven, in actual fact, is that evolution as presently conceived cannot happen. Dr. Richard Goldschmidt spent 25 years trying to demonstrate evolution by performing mutation experiments on fruit flies and gypsy moths (rapidly breeding insects). After 25 years of work, he came to the appropriate conclusion. Evolution by gradual genetic changes produced by mutation does not happen in nature. His experiments had proven his conclusion emphatically. In all those years, generating mutations in all those insects, he had seen no evidence of anything even remotely resembling evolutionary change.
The people who claim that evolution is “science” cannot do so on the basis of the scientific method. Evolution doesn’t pass the test of experiment, and therefore cannot be rightly called a scientific theory.
This is what I find so disheartening. Evolutionists claim that evolution is science and creationism is religion. In truth, it’s just the opposite. Evolution is an irrational faith that is simply believed without direct observation or scientific verification, while creationism has the evidence of nature and the scientific method supporting it. The issue is actually political rather than scientific, thus the evolutionist’s resort to name calling and ad hominem (demean the person) attacks. They pull out the “religion” card to make creationism seem irrational and only built on faith. They demean those who promote creationism as “pseudo-scientists” or even anti-science. But these are the tools of propaganda and political manipulation, not of an honest scientific debate. We live in a sad day, when an irrational faith is proclaimed to be scientific while the sum of the overwhelming evidence of both science and history is rejected because it is “religious.”