Let’s admit, just for the sake of argument, that evolution does take place. What if tomorrow scientists came forward with indisputable evidence that species change over time? We’re talking fish evolving into land-dwelling, four-legged salamanders, and humans descending from ape-like ancestors. What would that do to your faith? After all of the discussions, arguments, rhetoric, and philosophizing of the creation-evolution debate, what would remain firm in your belief-system if evolution was a cold, hard fact? Would you lose your faith? Compromise your faith? Re-evaluate your faith?
There is one thing you need to know about evolution before you jump to any conclusions: evolution does not explain where life came from in the first place. That is not the point of evolution. It merely attempts to explain the variety of species that we have today. But that explanation only goes so far. It cannot, and does not even attempt to, explain how the first living cell came into existence.
There are scientists who have taken the evidence for evolution a step farther. Do not be surprised that it happens, and, by all means, do not ridicule them for doing so. Science cannot take place without scientists who take the current evidence a step farther. There is no exploration, and, therefore, no discovery, if we do not attempt to explain and hypothesize about that which is beyond the evidence. On the other hand, making possibilities into probabilities and “laws,” as many evolutionists have done with their assumptions about the genesis of life, is wrong.
This is how it happens. Scientists have a question. They come up with some possible answers to the question. They do experiments and gather data pertinent to the question. They analyze the data and attempt to find the best answer for the question based on this data. At this stage their answer is called a hypothesis. Once their tentative hypothesis is developed they do more experiments to gather more data to re-check their explanation. Through the course of many experiments the hypothesis will be re-worked and re-thought to best explain the evidence. Proponents of the hypothesis work to support their claim. Others make attempts to discount the claim (should they have reason to believe the hypothesis is false). After years, many experiments, and a lot of data, if the hypothesis generally works to answer the question, then it will be called a theory. Many more years and experiments are necessary to change a theory to a law (such as the law of gravity…plenty of people of dropped things, so we can be pretty sure it is true).
Anywhere in this process assumptions can be developed. Someone says, “If this hypothesis/theory/law is true, then it is a pretty good bet that this other hypothesis is also true.” Sometimes these assumptions make sense. Sometimes they need more exploring. Sometimes they do not make sense, but they are set forth by people who think they do. It is this last area that causes the most problems. Scientists who say, “This is true, so this also must be true,” and they maintain this belief without any evidence, or contrary to the evidence. This very thing has happened with evolution and the question of where life came from.
Many scientists are convinced that evolution is a fact because of the evidence they have seen and gathered. Some of these scientists make an assumption: “If species are so varied because of purely natural forces, then it is obvious that life could arise by purely natural forces.” But, the one does not necessarily follow from the other.
This will be the first in a series of articles about the origin of life. We will look at evidence to show that purely natural forces are not adequate to explain the origin of life. We will attempt to answer the question, “If evolution were true, what would happen to your faith?” We will attempt to build faith while exploring science.
You can “stand firm in the faith,” [1Corinthians 16:13] no matter what the world throws at you. And, you can be confident knowing that God does not ask for blind faith, but that the evidence supports belief in God.