Rebuilding the Foundations
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I write about evolution because of deception and slander under the guise of defending Jesus, the Bible, and Christianity. It is almost impossible to explain that motivation because the subject of evolution itself is such a hotbed of controversy.
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My attempts to say, "Leaving the truth or falsehood of evolution aside, the real problem is deception and slander" generally fail. The part about "leaving the truth of falsehood of evolution aside" is hopeless, it seems. It either cannot be heard, or it cannot be done. Even today, talking with two of my sons, two best friends of my sons, and one of my best friends who all agree with me that evolution happened, I almost could not get the subject of the truth of evolution dropped. It took at least 20 minutes of telling them "No, that is not my point" before I was able to get all of them to stop defending evolution, and to let me explain just why I am so motivated to write about evolution.
I am sure this is my fault, but I just have to try once more to get to the point better. Let's use a different subject as an example so that I can momentarily dodge the red hot topic of evolution. Let's use, uh, microwave ovens.
I have several friends who will not use a microwave oven. They do not think it is safe, in the long term, to eat microwaved food. My daughter and my son-in-law once conducted a test to provide evidence that microwaving food is unsafe. They took two seedlings of the same plant, put them in two pots, and split one pile of dirt between the two pots. Over the next couple weeks they watered the two plants by boiling water, then letting the water cool to room temperature. One plant received water boiled in a microwave, and the other received water boiled on the stove.
The results were as you might suspect. The plant watered with microwaved water grew far more slowly than the one which received stove-boiled water.
I am a microwave connoisseur. I can look at a cooked-but-cold piece of meat and tell you how long and at what power level you need to microwave it to get an evenly heated, still-tender meal. I am rarely wrong, the result of many years of eating meat reheated in a microwave. Obviously, microwaving food cannot be dangerous because I was very healthy and strong all the way to age 50, when I was diagnosed with leukemia. (That was tongue-in-cheek, but I really was diagnosed with acute leukemia 17 days before my 50th birthday.)
Let's say, though, that out of my love for microwaved food that I started a company that trained microwave chefs. Because of this, Janelle and Daniel's plant test was threatening to put me out of business. Let's say that I then called Janelle and told her that her microwave experiment was a hoax, I knew she was in a conspiracy with my own friends to try to take out my microwave business, and that they were obviously lying about the results they got.
For one, we would have three less people at our Thanksgiving table each year. (They have a daughter.) For two, if I made a habit of slandering people in this manner, I would go to hell when I died.
Let me carry this example one step further.
Let's say that instead of accusing Daniel and Janelle, I questioned their techniques. Let's say I point out that these were just two plants, so that is not much of a sample. As a result, they run the test under more rigorous conditions with more plants, better controls, and even some double-blind procedures.
Finally, what if instead of insulting them, I kept telling everyone who saw me use a microwave that my daughter and son-in-law had done a ridiculous test of the microwave with no proper controls and nowhere near enough sample size?
What if, in addition, my daughter called me up and asked me to start telling people that after the tiny trial, they did a large study with rigorous controls? And what if I ignored her, and I kept telling people that my daughter does not know how to do conduct trials and that no one should listen to her?
I would still be a dishonest jerk, right? I would still be deceiving those I spoke to, I would still go to hell.
Finally, let's suppose that because of my microwave chef company, I stubbornly refuse to pay attention to my daughter's tests, and my friend's pleas. I tell Janelle and Daniel that I don't care about their trials because there is just no way those trials of theirs can be valid. I let them know in no uncertain terms that the matter is over and I am carrying on with my microwave company.
In this last case, my daughter and my friends will roll their eyes at my stubbornness. They may even complain to each other and worry that I'm going to cause others to have leukemia like I did.
However, they will still come to my house for Thanksgiving. On the last day, God may glare at me and terrify me for my stubborn personality, or even punish me some causing people to get leukemia, but I would probably not go to hell.
I hope you have a slightly different mindset as we apply this to evolution.
Please, please, please assume as you read this that evolution is false. Please presume that I personally have good evidence that evolution is not true.
This is a "thought experiment." If you don't go into it with the thought that evolution is false, you cannot properly do the thought experiment. For most of you reading this page, that assumption should be no problem, LOL. (Notice my use of a scientific acronym there.)
In 1953, two scientists, Stanley Miller and Harold Urey, ran a test trying to mimic the making of the original building blocks of life. Their test involved running electrity through a mix of chemicals that resembled, they believed, the atmosphere the ancient earth. They ran this experiment for a week, and at the end found that "several organic amino acids had formed spontaneously from inorganic raw material (ref, retrieved 12/19/18).
Today, 65 years later, experiments like these have led to a completely new field of science called "abiogenesis," which has progressed greatly and has many competing hypotheses. No one of these hypotheses is holding sway over the others at the moment. One of them is even a suggestion that life originally evolved on Mars, and DNA was sprayed all the way to earth by a gigantic meteor impact a billion or more years ago!
Every evolutionary scientist knows that "abiogenesis," the formation of life from non-life, is far from being solved. This has nothing to do with the evolution of life on earth. We do not know how life started on earth, but it did. This leaves a "gap" for those who believe to suggest that God worked the miracle of turning organic molecules into life. Even if he did that, however, this would not affect the evidence for evolution. Instead, evolution is proven by history of life in the earth as revealed in the layers of the earth's crust. There, we can track the evolution of life through an amazing series of fossils down deep into the earth to ancestors that bear little resemblance to life today.
This, along with the study of DNA, which reveals both the means through which evolution occurred and a history of evolution that significantly matches what we see in the fossil record, are the evidences that science presents for evolution. There are other evidences, but these two, the fossil record in comparison with life today and DNA, are the biggest most basic of all the other evidences.
Whether you agree with that evidence or not, that is the evidence that science presents. They are not presenting other evidence. The Milton-Urey Experiment is 65 years old, and no matter how good or bad the experiment was, no scientist at all presents their experiment as evidence for evolution. You can prove this for yourself by going to web sites like the Khan Academy's "Evidence for Evolution" page and searching for "Urey." Go to Google.com, and type in "evidence for evolution." Go from page to page there and search each of those links for "Urey."
You will find that no one anywhere even mentions the Miller-Urey experiment. While abiogenesis is related to evolution, no scientist uses abiogenesis research as evidence for evolution. That is because the mystery of the origin of life is not solved. No scientist claims it is solved, no matter how much any one scientist might like one hypothesis over another.
But what if famous Christian apologists are still critiquing the otherwise almost forgotten Miller-Urey experiment and holding it up as evidence that evolution is not true? (ref, 13:50ff, retrieved 12/19/18). What if they are pretending to be something of an expert on the subject, claiming to have looked at the evidence for evolution, but they do not even know the difference between abiogenesis and evolution?
Would it be dishonest if Sean McDowell told crowds of Christians that he was refuting the evidence for evolution when he does not even know what the evidence for evolution is? Would it be dishonest if he never even looked at a web site discussing the evidence for evolution, or if he never searched for evidence for evolution on the internet? Consider especially that at 13:25 on the video I linked above he says he and a Ph.D. co-author "scoured the internet" so they could answer the claims of evolution.