Sex, Science, and Faith
A Needless Capitulation
Evolution vs. Creation? Not anymore. As part of a postmodern, “Whatever” generation unfazed by contradictory premises, most Christians today happily assimilate evolution-laced PBS documentaries with their personal faith in God as Creator. Might it be possible (if they consciously ask at all) that God used evolution as his method of creation, thereby giving direction and purpose to an otherwise unguided, meaningless process?
Among Christian scholars and theologians, “evolutionary creation” is all the rage these days. John Walton’s Lost World of Genesis One (promoting scientific evolution through the back door of an idiosyncratic theological interpretation of Genesis) is required reading for students in Christian universities. In his book with Scot McKnight (Adam and the Genome), Dennis Venema boldly assures us that, given human genome analysis, we “could not possibly” have descended from a single couple (Adam and Eve) as the Genesis account claims. McKnight adds theological backup to Venema’s assertion, insisting that Adam, and (less directly) Noah, were only literary figures, not historical. According to most evolutionary creationists (the fashionable label preferred over “theistic evolutionists”), none of the events presented in Genesis 1-11 are factually true.
This wishful blending of scientific evolution and personal faith in a Creator God is promoted with evangelistic fervor by Francis Collins’ prestigious BioLogos Foundation, endorsed by such luminaries as Tim Keller, Philip Yancey, Os Guinness, Mark Noll, John Ortberg, Richard Mouw, Andy Crouch, and N.T. Wright.
Addressing a popular audience at a recent BioLogos conference, Wright urged that we should view Creation through the lens of a servant-centered, loving, and generous Christ of John 1, in contrast to the arbitrary command of some oriental despot demanding the speedy construction of his palace by an army of architects and builders cowering before him (to say the least, a bizarre, brutish characterization of the traditional view of the Genesis account in which a loving God instantaneously creates the universe from scratch). Drawing on the parable of the seed, Wright brazenly appropriates and exploits Jesus’ Kingdom teaching, analogizing the growth of the seed to the gradual, random process of evolution which develops slowly and secretly, eventually overcoming chaos.
The havoc wreaked on the whole of Scripture by this aberrant mix of science and theology not only requires excruciating rhetorical gymnastics when interpreting Paul’s writings (and even Jesus’ own teaching!), but, worse yet, inexorably leads to a greatly diminished view of divine inspiration. That result alone would be cause for rejecting such a convoluted view of Creation, but it’s what’s being missed on the science side that totally undermines this dangerously misguided enterprise.
At a time when Bible-based arguments fail to impress a growing number of secularists who have dismissed the Bible outright, and when even thoughtful arguments for Intelligent Design have been rebuffed by evolutionists, at last there is a fresh, powerful argument to be made that Darwin’s Grand Theory is, on its own terms, fatally flawed. Forget the Bible. Faith or no faith, the classic, textbook, microbe-to-man scenario being forcibly shoehorned into Genesis by evolutionary creationists is simply bad science.
In short, Evolution’s fatal flaw is its inability to explain the origin of sex, and to provide sexual reproduction when and how it would have been absolutely necessary along evolution’s spiraling path from single cells to humans. Here, in a nutshell, is what evolutionists quietly acknowledge as the “Queen of evolutionary problems,” but can’t bring themselves to admit completely topples their precarious house of cards:
First, Darwin’s theory of natural selection could not have “selected” from genderless asexual replication the DNA information necessary for evolving the very first male and female forms necessary for sexual reproduction. If, as evolution theory teaches, asexual replication was the sole, primitive form of biological reproduction on the planet, in order to move the evolutionary process forward to sexual reproduction it first would have been necessary to evolve separate genders. Male and female forms would have to appear separately, concurrently, and compatibly in order for the first-ever sexual reproduction to occur. Because genderless asexual DNA only enables the production of exact copies, there is no DNA information that possibly could be “selected” to produce never-before-seen gender.
Second, natural selection could not possibly have evolved even the most elementary form of sex by meiosis—a radically-different form of reproduction from “exact-copy” asexual mitosis. Unlike mitosis, in which an organism simply clones itself by making identical “selfies,” male/female meiosis requires a precise 50% reduction of (compatible) chromosomes, a mind-boggling process of “crossing over,” and a breathtaking recombination whereby the offspring is a genetically-different organism from any other that’s ever existed. Without having all the right kinds of bells and whistles in place simultaneously in Generation One, the first-ever prototype of male/female meiosis never could have gotten off the ground to move on to Generation Two of sexually-reproducing creatures. No gradual process of natural selection possibly could have evolved this revolutionary form of reproduction.
Third, (never ever even addressed by evolutionists) natural selection could not possibly have provided simultaneous, on-time delivery of the first sexually-compatible pair of any species in order to move to the second generation of that species, nor certainly to any other, “higher” species along the supposed chain of common descent from microbe to man. How do we know we have a distinct species? When it can’t reproduce with any other species on the planet. Species are not just different in form and function. Most crucially, they’re sexually unique. Despite certain similarities with the mating and reproductive processes of other species, each species is unique in its sexual equipment, its particular method of reproduction, and in its sexual instincts. Since no random, gradual, natural process possibly could have provided the first compatible pair of each of millions of sexually-unique species, no upwardly evolving “evolutionary tree” ever occurred.
So, if you’re looking for something that’s not factually true, it wouldn’t be the first eleven chapters of Genesis, but—despite its being eagerly baptized with the imprimatur of the church by charmed Christian scholars and theologians—your best bet is the romanticized, popularized, politicized, and now even theologized Evolution Story. Far from being scientific fact, it is pure science fiction.
Given evolution’s pervasive sex problem, there’s no reason whatsoever for faith to scooch over on the pew to accommodate the Darwinian latecomer. If Darwin’s fatally-flawed Grand Theory is bad science, why would any person of faith wish to affirm its scientific validity? Or dare attempt to insinuate it into God’s creative mind? Or lend the slightest credence to its built-in, faithless message? The words of the ancient prophet come to mind: “How long will you waver between two opinions?”
F. LaGard Smith is the author of “Darwin’s Secret Sex Problem: Exposing Evolution’s Fatal Flaw—The Origin of Sex.” WestBow Press (2018)