Phil: Why does evolution have to equal atheism or philosophical naturalism as Hank says it? It is usually perceived as such, but this does not have to be the case. I can’t believe why Hank has to hold that Genesis 1, with a clear thought rhyming scheme and repetitious structure is literal. I see that Hank is doing so much good but perhaps he is allowing a fundamentalist view of Scripture to taint his ministry.
Hank: Evolutionary biologists assume methodological naturalism. This is the idea that only natural causes and processes are allowed to account for the complex, information-rich structures of living organisms. So even if God exists we would have a God who has nothing to do with origins, the development of life. Instead, undirected natural causes explain the origin and development of life. So, for all practical purposes you assume the position of a philosophical naturalist or a scientific atheist if you’re going to hang your hat on the notion of “undirected natural processes.”
There’s another point here, and that has to do with Genesis. Is it literal or non-literal? Well, that might be a false dichotomy. Genesis, like the rest of Scripture, has to be read as literature. In other words, if you want to interpret the Bible literally you have to interpret it as literature, and then pay close attention to genre and figures of speech. This is particularly true of Genesis, which is a historical narrative that’s interlaced with symbolism and repetitive poetic structure. If Genesis were reduced to a mere allegory conveying merely abstract ideas about temptation, sin and rebellion, devoid of any correlation with actual events in history, the very foundation of the Christian faith would be destroyed. If the historical Adam and Eve did not eat the forbidden fruit and descend into a life of habitual sin resulting in death, there is absolutely no need for redemption. On the other hand, if we consider Satan to be a slithering snake, we would not only misunderstand the nature of fallen angels but we might also suppose that Jesus triumphed over the work of the devil by stepping on the head of a serpent rather than through His passion on the cross.
There’s one last point I want to make in response to this question and that is, the biblical account of creation specifically states that God created living creatures according to their own kinds. As confirmed by science, the DNA for a fetus is not the DNA for a frog. The DNA of each creature is uniquely programmed for reproduction after its own kind.
Evolution is fighting for its very life. Rather than prop it up, thinking people everywhere must be on the vanguard of demonstrating its demise. It is no longer tenable in an age of scientific enlightenment. We can suppose, in 19th century science, that a fertilized human egg is merely a microscopic blob of gelatin, but in an age of scientific enlightenment we now know it is among the most ordered, complex structures in the entire known universe, and to suppose that something so sophisticated can be the product of undirected natural processes, I think, stretches credulity beyond the breaking point.
The Bible Answer Book
Author: Hank Hanegraaff
Author: Hank Hanegraaff
Publisher: W Publishing Group