For the last couple of hundred years the trend has been to question the fundamentals of Christianity. The Book of Genesis has, especially, been under this scrutiny. People have thought that if Darwin’s evolutionary theory is an accurate depiction of the past, then the narration of the Bible couldn’t be true. This is a rather logical conclusion, because two completely opposing views cannot be true simultaneously.
The next rows will go through creation and the initial stages of the Universe. Did God create everything, or did everything come into existence by itself? That is what we are going to find out.
Creation. One of the most constitutive aspects of Christianity is creation and God’s role as the creator. The Bible itself refers to creation over 300 times and according to it, creation is a historical event. The first mentioning of the creation appears as soon as in the beginning of the Book of Genesis. This same book has been under fire for the last 150 years. The reason for this is the evolutionary theory by Darwin.
In any case, there are only three alternatives for the existence of the Universe. These alternatives are:
1. The Universe has always existed
2. God created everything
3. The Universe and life came into existence by themselves
1. The Universe has always existed. This alternative cannot hold true, because if the Universe was eternal, it should be at a state of a heat death by now. However, the Sun still warming the Earth and the stars shining and radiating energy is an indication of their finite existence. They cannot be everlasting, because they have to have a beginning. A few quotes suggest the same:
For creation to be reduntant, the building material of the universe should be immensely old. - - Hydrogen transforms slowly to helium - . How is it then possible that the whole of the universe is still mainly hydrogen? It being immensely old is completely impossible. Thus, as the universe is as we have noticed it to be, we cannot avoid questions about its creation. (Sir Fred Hoyle in his book Maailmankaikkeuden kehitys [the Nature of the Universe])
William Jevons (an English philosopher in the 1870s): We cannot trace the heat history of the universe too far into the past. At some point, we will get impossible results referring to such heat distributions, which cannot, according to the laws of nature, come from any preceding distribution. (...) The theory concerning heat forces us either to believe that the world has been created at a certain moment, or that the laws of nature have been different at an earlier point in time. (1)
2. God created everything. Alternative number two is that lifeless world and the Universe and also the living nature began from God’s creation. This option cannot be proven correct afterwards, because we cannot go back to the past. However, it is supported by the following observations:
• As already noted, the Book of Genesis has very often been under fire. It tells about creation, but it also talks about such things as the Fall, the Flood and the confusion of languages, and regards them as historical events.
What is peculiar is that these same events are a part of different nation’s heritage. Their heritage includes all three events. For example, according to some calculations, there are over 400 stories about the Flood in sources that are external to the Bible. Therefore, if other historical sources and folklore refer to the same events as the Book of Genesis, it would be a good reason to consider them as historical events, including creation.
Around 500 cultures – including indigenous peoples of Greece, China, Peru and North America – are known in the world where the legends and myths describe a compelling story of a large flood that changed the history of the tribe. In many stories, only a few people survived the flood, just like in the case of Noah. Many of the peoples considered the flood to have been caused by gods who, for one reason or another, got bored with the human kind. Perhaps the people were corrupt, like in Noah’s times and in a legend by the Native American Hopi tribe of North America, or perhaps there were too many and too noisy people, like in the Gilgamesh epic. (2)
Lenormant made the following statement in Beginning of History:
“We are able to prove that the story of the Flood is part of the universal traditions in all branches of the human family, and anything that is such definite and uniform in the tradition can surely not be considered an imaginary tale. It must be the memory of a true and terrifying event, an event that made such a huge impact on the first of the human race that even their descendents have not forgotten it.” (3)
• Description of the early stages in the Book of Genesis is strengthened by mankind and the nature. For example, wars, wrongdoings and headlines telling about people’s imperfection, demonstrate the Fall. Humans are not perfect, we are fallen creatures.
There are signs of the Flood in the nature. For example, marine animal and -plant remains in current dry areas and in all of the high mountain ranges – e.g., Darwin found a whale skeleton in a Peruvian mountain area. It shows that at some point these areas have been under water.
Then how do researchers with a naturalistic worldview interpret these signs? They might say that humans’ imperfection might be caused by evolution; ergo people have developed from an animalistic level, but still express remnants from the past.
Similarly, they might interpret the signs of the Flood differently. They do admit that water has covered, e.g., the Sahara (as proposed in nature documentaries) or current dry areas in the North, but they explain it as the results of post-glacial rebound or by glacial lakes and seas of the Ice Age. They don’t consider that in any case water has covered these areas and that the Flood might be the best explanation. Furthermore, they don’t take into account that heritage stories are far closer to the description in the Book of Genesis than to their theories. They retell the Flood, the Fall and the confusion of languages, but they don’t mention anything about the Ice Age or people being developed from ape like creatures.
• The more beautiful and complex structures we come across in the nature, the more likely it is that they are a product of something supernatural. It is much more sensible to believe that behind the Universe and behind all life there is an intelligent, personal and sentient God, as there are personas, sentient beings and intelligence in the current world. These things are difficult to account for from a naturalistic point of view.
Some might deny the existence of intelligent design, but that’s where they’re making a huge mistake.
They merely need to look at their own reflection, which should lead them to different conclusions. It is not rational to presume that, e.g., the following aspects of the head would have come into existence by themselves from some sort of rock or primal gas:
• Distinctive appearance
• Hair that grows from the head
• Eyelids that close during sleep
• Breathing that can take place through the mouth or the nose
• Sense of smell through the nose and the sense of hearing through the ears
• Mouth that has teeth and a tongue for eating and also a gullet, which directs the food into the stomach
• Tongue and the mouth have a sense of taste
• Mouth and the tongue can also be used for speaking and singing
• Inside the head there are the brains, which are the most complex known thing in the Universe. Because of them, people can have plans and thoughts.
• Feelings, such as love, infatuation, joy, sadness, anger and fear are also things we know to be connected to the head and not e.g., the feet
Another sign of intelligent design is the trunk of an elephant. Naturalistic theory presumes it originated from the concentrated space of the Big Bang, like all the other complex structures. These kinds of theories, however, are without reason. It is much more reasonable to believe in creation than in these naturalistic theories:
Researchers were astonished upon finding out that the trunk functions by coordination of 40 000 muscles. Using this many motors at the same time is not possible with current technology. However, researchers were able to develop a device called BHA (Bionic Handling Assistant), and it’s made out of polyamide and it mimics the movement of a trunk by filling and depleting small blowholes, whose layout enable versatile movements.
The device has a three fingered hand for gripping at the tip. The handle has sensors that help avoid impacts with surroundings. When you look at the BHA device, you cannot escape the thought of it being designed. You cannot escape the thought of an elephant trunk being a way better design either. The trunk can suck up to 14 litres of water and spray the water either into the mouth or onto the back during a bath. The trunk can also be used as a snorkel while diving up to two meters. The trunk can be used for greeting and stroking other elephants. Trunks have an outstanding sense of smell and by moving them like a periscope elephants can detect a snake hiding in the grass from hundreds of meters away.
During dry seasons a trunk can be used for detecting water, digging as deep as water holes that can reach up to three meters, and sucking the water drops from the hole. A trunk can also sense vibrations in the air, and elephants can hear by auscultating the surface of the earth in the same way as doctors use a stethoscope. Elephants communicate by blowing with their trunks, like trumpets, and can create a loud noise, when attacking a hyena, or a more quiet sound, when communicating with other elephants. A trunk is also used for visual signals. A raised trunk can be a warning and a resting trunk can be a sign of submission. (4)
3. The Universe and life came into existence by themselves. If we continue discussing, how the Universe and life came about, the third alternative would be that they came into existence by themselves. This option is favored by atheist scientists. They believe that they are representing science if they have adopted such a view. However, when atheist scientists attack against creation and regard it as impossible, they themselves have to rely on imagination. It becomes apparent from the following aspects:
• Scientific data is based on sensory observations, but when it comes to the beginning of the Universe related theories, such observations don’t exist. It is impossible to prove right atheist scientists’ theories on the beginning of the Universe, the formation of the Earth or the origin of life, because no one was there to witness any of them. For the same reason it is impossible to prove creation.
As such, when some people think that they represent science if they believe in the Universe coming into existence by itself, it is merely a matter of naturalistic belief and worldview, not scientific knowledge. Belief in creation is a similar kind of belief. They are two different beliefs, and only the other one can be true. However, it takes more faith in believing that everything came into existence by itself, than believing there is a supernatural and personal God behind everything.
• There is a logical inconsistency in the naturalistic theory concerning the beginning of the Universe. According to it, the Universe came about from nothing and by itself through the Big Bang. The Universe created itself on its own without any external help.
However, this is impossible. Because, for the Universe to be able to create itself, it must have existed first. It should have existed even before it existed, which is not possible. Nothing can be born from nothingness that has no attributes and that has nothing that would have attributes.
Practical observations are also against the naturalistic theory. If the Universe came about from nothing, then why don’t other things like cars, planes or rocks appear from nothing by themselves? Why would only the Universe be an exception? There is a logical conflict. Why would only one thing appear from nothing, but it’s not the same with other things?
•The Universe has millions of galaxies, but a major problem in science is that no one knows how they came about by themselves. When one does not accept creation, the origin must be explained from another perspective, but astronomers admit that it is a mystery and a problem:
I do not want to claim that we really understand the process that created the galaxies. The theory on the birth of the galaxies is one of the major unsolved problems in astrophysics and we still seem to be far from the actual solution even today. (Steven Weinberg, Kolme ensimmäistä minuuttia / The First Three Minutes, p. 88)
It is quite embarrassing that no one has explained the origin of them (galaxies)… Most of the astronomers and cosmologists openly admit that there is no sufficient theory for the formation of the galaxies. In other words, one of the central features of the universe is without an explanation. (W.R. Corliss: A Catalog of Astronomical Anomalies, Stars, Galaxies, Cosmos, p. 184, Sourcebook Project, 1987)
• You can often see animations showing how the Solar System and the Earth came about by themselves, but these animations are a product of a vivid imagination. No one was there to see the beginning, therefore, these animations have no scientific basis.
• Life coming about by itself is based on a naturalistic worldview and belief, but no practical observations support it. A rock or any other non-living substance has never been seen to change by themselves into living creatures.
Nobody has been able to prove that life could emerge from anything other than from living organisms. Every plants’ and animals’ existence is dependent on previous life. They don’t exist because of themselves. Life begins only from already existing life. No one has found an exception to this.
Thus, as life on Earth must have had a beginning, and plants and animals don’t come about by themselves, it all suggests that the first life forms must have come into existence somehow differently. It means a source that is external to the Earth. The only reasonable explanation for that is a supernatural and personal creature, ergo God. It is the most logical option for the life on Earth.
• Nature documentaries suggest that animals and plants developed from a simple stem cell into current complex forms.
However, this view is also based on belief and imagination. Indeed, variation within the created kinds is a fact and there are good examples of this in Darwin’s book, real complete species transformations have not been observed. What we have here is an unproved naturalistic theory and belief. People believe in it, because, besides creation, it is the only option. Stephen J. Gould, possibly the most respected (atheist) paleontologist of the last century, disclaimed the existence of transitional forms in fossils:
The extreme rareness of intermediate forms in fossil material continues to be the trade secret of palaeontologists. The evolution trees appearing in our textbooks include facts only at the heads and folding points of the branches. The rest is reasoning, no matter how reasonable it is, not evidence of fossils –- I do not want in any way to belittle the potential competence of the gradual evolution view. I want only to remark that it has never 'been observed' in rocks. (...) (5)
Concluding remarks. Above, we discussed creation and God’s role as the creator. We discovered that this cannot be proven afterwards, but it is reasonable to believe in it. It is more reasonable than to think that everything came about from nothingness by itself or from a pin sized space during the Big Bang. This latter naturalistic theory is irrational, and no practical observations support it. This kind of a utopia theory is being believed in and God’s role as the creator is being denied. People don’t want to accept the lesson given to us in the Letter to the Romans, which tells us that the cosmos evidences the Creator and His eternal essence:
- (Rom 1:19,20) Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God has showed it to them.
20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse
If we compare current society with Greek society during the disciples, there is one thing that these both times have in common. Then, as well as now, people had and have a vague perception of God as the creator as well as the judge. During that Greek society God’s position as the creator was replaced by false gods, but these days His role is being replaced by the evolutionary theory. Greek people of that time believed in the value of their false gods, but today people believe in directionless natural forces and that everything, including life, came into existence from nothingness by itself. There is not that much of a difference between these two beliefs, as both have questioned their faith in almighty God and replaced their faith with other causes.
A few descriptions from the Acts show, what it was like in Greek society a few thousand years ago. Worshiping false gods had obscured people’s perceptions of the real God, and when they heard Gospel about Jesus and God as the creator, they opposed it. Their attitudes were the same as, how evolutionists these days oppose the same things. In this respect the situation has not changed much. Superstition is still going strong, although nowadays it has taken a different form.
How did Peter talk to these people? In the latter citation we can see, how he began his speech with God being the creator, because this exact thing was obscure for the people. It was after that that Peter moved on to talk about other topics, such as salvation. You, who doubt creation, are in the same position as the people from 2000 years ago. Don’t reject God based on your false beliefs! Understand the existence of God and know that He calls people to Him to be saved even today! Say yes, when He calls for you!
- (Acts 19:23-32) And the same time there arose no small stir about that way.
24 For a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, which made silver shrines for Diana, brought no small gain to the craftsmen;
25 Whom he called together with the workmen of like occupation, and said, Sirs, you know that by this craft we have our wealth.
26 Moreover you see and hear, that not alone at Ephesus, but almost throughout all Asia, this Paul has persuaded and turned away much people, saying that they be no gods, which are made with hands:
27 So that not only this our craft is in danger to be set at nothing; but also that the temple of the great goddess Diana should be despised, and her magnificence should be destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worships.
28 And when they heard these sayings, they were full of wrath, and cried out, saying, Great is Diana of the Ephesians.
29 And the whole city was filled with confusion: and having caught Gaius and Aristarchus, men of Macedonia, Paul's companions in travel, they rushed with one accord into the theatre.
30 And when Paul would have entered in to the people, the disciples suffered him not.
31 And certain of the chief of Asia, which were his friends, sent to him, desiring him that he would not adventure himself into the theatre.
32 Some therefore cried one thing, and some another: for the assembly was confused: and the more part knew not why they were come together.
- (Acts 17:16,22-33) Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry.
Then Paul stood in the middle of Mars' hill, and said, You men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are too superstitious.
23 For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore you ignorantly worship, him declare I to you.
24 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwells not in temples made with hands;
25 Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he gives to all life, and breath, and all things;
26 And has made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;
27 That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:
28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.
29 For as much then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like to gold, or silver, or stone, graven by are and man's device.
30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commands all men every where to repent:
31 Because he has appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he has ordained; whereof he has given assurance to all men, in that he has raised him from the dead.
32 And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked: and others said, We will hear you again of this matter.
33 So Paul departed from among them.
1. John D. Barrow : Maailmankaikkeuden alku, p. 36, 37
2. Kalle Taipale: Levoton maapallo, p. 78
3. Toivo Seljavaara: Oliko vedenpaisumus ja Nooan arkki mahdollinen?, p. 5
4. Pekka Reinikainen: Onko Jumala olemassa?, p. 163,164
5. Stephen Jay Gould: The Panda’s Thumb, (1988), p. 182,183. New York: W.W. Norton & Co.