Last time we were together we discussed the geologic column and in particular what is called the Cambrian layer which is found at the base of the geological column. This layer contains millions of fossils of invertebrate organisms that appear to have died and been buried all at once The organisms found in the Cambrian layer are seen as fully developed with no apparent transitional forms. This appears to place into question the conclusions of evolutionary theory that it took millions of years for the Cambrian layer to develop and that the organisms found in this layer took millions of years to gradually develop.   

       Even the atheistic evolutionist Richard Dawkins had to admit that in the Cambrian layer at the very bottom of the geologic column has many organisms that are “already in an advanced state of evolution, the very first time they appear. It is as though they were just planted there, without any evolutionary history. Needless to say, this appearance of sudden planting has delighted creationists.”

       Well, it surely has delighted creationists in that that it appears to confirm that organisms found in the Cambrian layer are not “in an advanced state of evolution” as Dawkins wrote but rather had a specific origin in time.  However, in fairness to Dawkins, the sudden appearance of millions of fully developed organisms in the Cambrian layer doesn’t rule out the possibility that these organisms had developed through evolutionary processes over time and what we see in the Cambrian layer is the result of that development and the sudden destruction of such developed organisms due to some catastrophic event.

       What the Cambrian explosion, as it is called, does appear to rule out is that the Cambrian layer itself took millions of years to develop. The Cambrian layer has millions of organisms appearing at the same time.  This definitely gives evidence to some sort of catastrophic event having occurred that killed off millions of organisms at the same time.  Was this event the Noachian flood?  Was it a flood or some other catastrophic event that occurred prior to the six day creation account?  Remember, Genesis chapter one begins with the earth being covered with water and the Spirit of God moving over the face of the water.  Was this water the result of a previous worldwide flood that preceded the six day creation account which would suggest a creation prior to the six day creation account seen in Genesis?

       This is the bone of contention that exists between old earth and young earth creationists. Young earth creationists argue that the universe, earth and all life forms  had their origin in the six day creation account of Genesis chapter one.  The earth being without form and void and water being upon the face of the deep is seen as included in the six day creation account. Consequently, young earth creationists, despite the claims of geologists, paleontologists and the scientific community in general, sees the universe, earth and life forms being no older than 6 to 10 thousand years old. 

       Old earth creationists, on the other hand, see the origin of the universe, the earth and life forms being millions of years ago and believe the scientific community has adequately demonstrated this through a variety of dating methods and simple developmental observations.  

       In a past sermon in this series I pointed to some series challenges that youth earth creationists face as to their paradigm of the creation being only 6 to 10 thousand years old. We discussed the star light problem and how the occurrence of supernovas, which are exploding stars, strongly indicate a very old universe.    

        Another challenge to a young earth perspective is the matter of how rocks are formed.  In the past several sermons in this series I discussed how sedimentary rocks are formed and the fossils found within such rock.  How are the rocks that make up sedimentary rock formations formed?  

       They are formed from bits and pieces of weathered igneous and metamorphic rock. They are formed from the precipitation of chemicals and from the compression of organic material such as dead plants and animals. Not only is this the manner in which rocks that make up sedimentary rock formations are made, it is these kinds of rocks that are seen by the  trillions upon trillions of loose rock found all over the earth.

       Were such pieces of rock all created at the time of the six day creation account or are they the result of millions of years of geological and chemical activity. Weathering of rock, chemical precipitation and compression of organic material is seen as a slow process that occurs over vast amounts of time and continues to occur at present. 

       For example, most stalactites and stalagmites are the result of the slow drip of water passing through rock above a cave and usually carrying minerals such as calcium carbonate.  As the water evaporates; these minerals form formations on the ceiling of the cave called stalactites and formations on the floor of the cave called stalagmites.  This is a very slow process and has been measured to be around ten centimeters per thousand years which is 4 inches which means it takes around 3000 years to form a foot of stalagmite.   

       There are many stalagmites that are many feet tall and very wide indicating multiple thousands of years of development. There are stalagmites that have been radiometric dated to be over 190,000 years old. This is in addition to the time it took the cave itself to form which could involve hundreds of thousands of years. It would appear that this issue is problematic for young earth creationists. 

       Now, when it comes to the evolution of life forms, neither young earth nor old earth creationists deny such evolution. What is denied by both camps is that life forms have developed devoid of supernatural involvement.  Atheistic evolutionists believe life forms came about through the fortuitous activity of eternally existing atoms that somehow came together to form living organic material.

       Both young earth and old earth creationists argue against this position but do recognize that living organisms have evolved over time.  Where disagreements come in is over the matter of macro versus micro evolution and other dynamics connected with the development of organisms.  Creationists disagree with each other over the manner and extent to which evolution has occurred and for that matter continues to occur.   

     The term macro evolution is used to describe the evolution of one species into another species. The term micro evolution is used to describe the creation of varieties within a species.  Evolutionists who don’t believe in intelligent design or supernatural involvement in origins by and large don’t use the terms macro or micro evolution as they believe all life has come to be through fortuitous and gradual evolutionary processes over millions of years. Therefore the terms macro and micro evolution don’t have much relevance for them.  All life is simply seen as the evolution of very simple organisms into more and more complex organisms. 

       While the term species has been defined in different ways among creationists and evolutionists, among creationists, species is often defined as a group of organisms having the ability to reproduce with other organisms of the same group.  If an organism is able to breed with another organism and produce offspring which are reproductively able to produce the same breed or a breed with similar characteristics, both such organisms are considered to be of the same biological species.

       On the other hand, if an organism mates with another organism and consistently produces a sterile organism and/or other reproductive limitations, it is determined that the two organisms involved are of two different species.

       For example, the horse and the donkey are anatomically very much alike and yet are of two different species as determined by reproductive limitations.  When a horse and donkey mate, they produce a mule and male mules are always sterile.   In rare cases, female mules have produced colts provided they have been mated with a male donkey or horse.  When a female mule is mated with a horse, her off-spring is anatomically like a horse and breeds like a horse.  When a female mule is mated with a donkey, her off-spring is anatomically like a mule and breeds like a mule.  In other words, the mule’s off-spring from mating with a donkey is the same as that produced by a horse and donkey mating.  The mule is unable to pass on any donkey traits so for all practical purposes, the mule is a horse as to breeding ability.

       Reproductive limitation has been found at all levels of biological organisms. Some creationists believe this creates an unsolvable problem for creationists and atheistic evolutionists who believe all forms of life have developed from simple to complex. Such an approach to evolution requires that there be unlimited ability for interbreeding to occur between organisms in order for organisms to evolve from simple to complex. This could be called evolution without borders.

       The reality is that while organisms can interbreed freely within certain perimeters, as they step outside those perimeters, they produce sterile offspring, offspring that revert back to their own species or offspring that are increasingly more feeble and simply die out. It has been found that even within species, as more varieties (subspecies) are produced, the varieties become weaker as the gene pool becomes more and more spread out. The exact opposite of this process is required for classical evolution.   Classical evolution requires increasing strength of the gene pool to facilitate movement from less to more complex development.  This is not what is seen in nature.

       Evolutionary biologists claim many new species have been produced by cross breeding different species of plants.  Upon analysis, it is found that this cross breeding results in the same problem as with the mule.  Boundaries are reached beyond which reproduction does not occur and/or plants become genetically weaker and weaker.  Where cross breeding results in good reproduction and healthy plants it could very well be that what was thought to be two species is one and the same.  If ability to successfully reproduce and produce healthy organisms is what determines a species, speciation becomes the one and only measurement of what organisms belong together in a group as distinguished from some other group.  

       Some creationists use the term microevolution to describe varieties occurring within the "kinds" of the Genesis creation account.  The "kinds" of the Genesis account are seen as the starting point for the development of the many organisms found in the fossil record and those living today.  For some creationists, species are identified with the “kinds” of the Genesis creation account.   The creationists who take this approach do not believe in macroevolution which is the turning of one species into another species.  These creationists believe the "kinds" of the Genesis account cannot reproduce with organisms outside of their "kind." and therefore reject the evolutionist belief that this occurs.

       Controversy exists as to what constitutes microevolution.  Some point to bacteria as an example of microevolution. Bacteria often develop strains that are resistant to certain antibiotics. Some see this as an example of microevolution. Others disagree and point out that bacterium developing resistant strains is not evolution at all but simple adaptation to a changing environment.  It's pointed out that the bacteria are not changing into something else.  They still remain bacteria.

       Furthermore, it has been demonstrated that it is not that bacteria develop resistant strains so much as it is that some bacteria that are already naturally resistant replace those bacteria that could not stand up to the antibiotic. Therefore there is only an appearance of the development of drug resistant strains.

       Overall, some creationists believe there are only two classifications of living organisms.  These two classifications are the kinds of the Genesis creation account and the varieties that have developed from those kinds. What are often called species are seen as being equivalent with the “kinds” of the Genesis creation account.  The creation of kinds/species is seen as a self limiting barrier found among living organisms which prevents them from reproducing and surviving beyond a certain point.  Some believe the Genesis “kinds” is the only classification of organisms that has any real bearing on origins. The millions of varieties of organisms extinct and extant on planet earth are all seen as evolving from these “kinds.” 

       I must point out, however, that not all creationists take this position. Theistic creationists (AKA theistic evolutionists) believe all life forms have come to be through evolutionary processes which are seen as originating with a creator God. As do atheistic evolutionists, theistic evolutionists believe the universe and life forms have all come to be through evolutionary processes. The only real difference between an atheistic evolutionist and a theistic evolutionist is that the theistic evolutionist believes God created the evolutionary process whereas atheistic evolutionists do not.  As I have pointed out in previous sermons in this series, an increasing number of Christian theologians are leaning toward the theistic evolution position.                  

       Let’s now look at some of the arguments put forward as to how life forms have come to be.

Abiogenesis versus Biogenesis:

      Abiogenesis (AKA as biopoiesis) is the term used by evolutionists to describe life coming into existence from material that was not previously alive.  This term is in contrast to biogenesis which is used by creationists to postulate that life comes only from pre-existing life.  Evolutionists believe life appeared through the spontaneous reaction of certain chemicals at some point in earth’s history.  The chemicals involved in such reaction are believed to be methane, ammonia, hydrogen sulfate, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and phosphate plus water.  It is believed these chemicals became the building blocks of amino acids leading to production of simple proteins which were able to reproduce themselves.  These chemicals, themselves, were generated as part of the Big Bang.

       While much research has been done in the area of Abiogenesis, and many hypotheses have been proposed, no research or experiments have produced a self replicating life form.  All hypotheses as to how life may have originated from non life have met with multiple problems.  While evolutionists acknowledge this, they remain optimistic that in time they will be able to determine how life from non-life came to be. Evolutionists strongly feel it is inappropriate to conclude that life can come only from previously existing life just because life from non life has not yet been produced to this point.  They point to many discoveries that were once thought to be impossibilities that became possible as a result of continuing research. Creationists, on the other hand, believe that it has already been proven that life can only come from preexisting life and so the evolutionist pursuit is frivolous.

     Louis Pasteur:         

       Creationists point to the work of French chemist and microbiologist Louis Pasteur (1822-1895) who demonstrated that life did not spontaneously spring forth organic matter as had previously been believed by such notables as Copernicus, Galileo, Bacon, Aristotle and many others. It was commonly believed that some life could be generated by innate dynamics resident in certain organic material given the right conditions.  For example it was believed that when old dirty clothes were left in a pile, they would breed mice.  The evidence for this conclusion was that mice would often be found in a pile of old dirty clothes. 

       This same reasoning was applied to the appearance of flies and maggots found on decaying food. It was believed the flies and maggots were somehow generated by the decaying food. Pasteur performed experiments where he demonstrated that when decaying food was isolated from interaction with the environment, no living organisms appeared. Creationists believe Pasteur demonstrated that life forms do not spontaneously develop from organic material let alone non-organic material as believed by atheistic evolutionists.

       Evolutionists respond that Pasteur’s work only shows that complex organisms are not spontaneously generated from organic or non-living matter. This does not preclude primitive life having arisen from non-living, non-organic material which is what evolutionists postulate.  All that Pasteur showed was that it was highly unlikely that modern living organisms arise from non-living organic material. Therefore the work of Pasteur does not disprove Abiogenesis. This is a reasonable argument from evolutionists. 

     Comparative Anatomy:

       Taxonomy is the science of classifying plants and animals on the basis of common characteristics. Evolutionists point to similarities between different plants and animals within their classifications and conclude that life forms having similar anatomical structure must have evolved from each other or from a common ancestor. 

       Creationists counter by saying that similar characteristics are much more indicative of an intelligent creator using a common design and then creating variations off such common design.  Creationists use such comparisons as an architect drawing up a common design for building a house and then varying that design in the building of other houses.  Evolutionists answer by pointing out that houses are lifeless objects that can’t reproduce on their own and so the comparison isn’t valid.  Atheistic evolutionists, however, postulate that life originated from non-life and therefore their response to the creationists regarding comparative anatomy is somewhat hollow.

       Evolutionists believe that comparative anatomy shows that the more similarities that exist between two organisms, the more closely they are related.  Conversely, the more unalike two organisms are the more distantly they are related.  This postulation is problematic, however, because it often points to too many ancestors.  There are many examples in nature where organisms are very alike in some ways and very unalike in other ways.  This creates serious problems as to how to determine who evolved from whom. 

       For example, dolphins, porpoises and whales are aquatic organisms that live in the water, have fins and swim like fish.  This would appear to make them related to fish.  On the other hand, these organisms, unlike fish, are warm blooded, develop their young inside their bodies and suckle them on milk which would indicate they evolved from land mammals.  From where did they evolve?  Blood tests have shown whales are associated with hoofed mammals.  Yet whales, as do dolphins and porpoises, have much in common with fish.

       How about the Tasmanian wolf?  It looks and behaves like a dog.  According to comparative anatomy it should be closely related to organisms such as the dog, wolf and coyote.  Yet when it comes to reproduction, the Tasmanian wolf functions like a kangaroo, opossum and wombat. It gives birth to its young shortly after conception and nurtures them in a pouch located outside the body on the stomach of the female until mature.  Where should the Tasmanian wolf be placed on the evolutionary tree and why?

       The duck-billed platypus of Australia has a bill like a duck, webbed feet, makes a grass lined nest and lays eggs on which it sits until hatching.  On the other hand, it has four legs, a fur hide, a tail and claws and, when small, has teeth like a beaver.  Did the duck-billed platypus evolve from birds or from mammals?

       Evolutionists see such similarities and dissimilarities as the result of what they call “convergence.”  They say that organisms have branched away from each other and then converged to become similar again.  Since this is pure speculation it largely becomes an argument from silence.

       Comparative blood types:

       A corollary to comparative anatomy is comparative blood types.  It has been shown that the composition of blood is more similar between certain organisms as opposed to other organisms and therefore it is postulated by evolutionists that this shows evolution and common ancestry. Creationists respond that this no better proves evolution than comparative anatomy does.  Creationists argue that similar blood composition between anatomically similar organisms shows a common blueprint used by a creator.  Creationists state that organisms of similar structure and design would be expected to have similar blood composition no different from houses of similar structure and design would be expected to have similar electrical wiring.

       Additionally, we have in comparative blood compositions the same abnormalities we see with comparative anatomy.  For example, when blood testing was done on various land animals, it was found that snakes and frogs are more closely related to man than are apes and monkeys.  Since evolution teaches that man, apes and monkeys are closely related on the evolutionary tree, this presents a challenge to say the least. 

       On the other hand, evolutionists argue that such divergence in blood types calls into question the idea of common design being responsible for similarities between organisms.  Evolutionists argue that such divergence in blood types proves the lack of common design, not its occurrence.   If you are going to argue that similar anatomy and blood types show common design by a creator God, then how do you account for such a diversity in design in organisms that on the one hand are very similar and on the other hand very dissimilar like the Tasmanian wolf who looks and acts like a dog or wolf but reproduces like a kangaroo.

       The creationists responds by pointing out that a house shows a common design in that it has windows, doors, rooms etc. But one house may have a septic system for waste removal while another house may be connected to a city sewer system.  Both houses have a method of removing waste but the methods are quite different just like a Tasmanian wolf and a dog both reproduce but the method is quite different.   

     Comparative Embryology:

       Organisms, whether simple or complex, begin as a single cell and grow by cell division.  This process leads to the development of a mass of cells called the blastula stage and then to a stage called the gastrula. These stages are similar in most embryonic development.  As the embryo develops, various structures are formed that branch out into other structures that become identifiably different and result in the development of different organisms. Evolutionists look at the similarity in the early stages of embryonic development and conclude this is evidence that organisms have evolved from a common ancestry.

       For example, evolutionists point out that the embryos of birds, cats, dogs and man; all have gill-slits in their early development.  In fish these gill-slits develop into gills. In the case of birds, dogs, cats, man and other organisms, they turn into ears, jaws, and parts of the head and neck.  Evolutionists believe that because all these structures begin as gill-slits, it shows a common ancestry for living organisms.  

       Creationists point out that this is just a rehashing of the argument from comparative anatomy.  Since gill-slits mature into a variety of different structures in different organisms, gill-slits show a common embryonic design which serves as the beginning point in the development of various structures.  This is seen as analogous to a builder having three piles of bricks and uses one pile to build a house, another pile to build a church and the third pile to build a school.  Creationists see much stronger evidence for a supreme intelligent creator being involved in origins when seeing similarity in embryology.  


       Homology is a term used by evolutionists to describe how shared structures among organisms are proof that such structures evolved from common ancestors.  Since comparisons of anatomical features of living and fossilized organisms have shown a great deal of similarity in structures, it is believed by evolutionists this demonstrates gradual development of organisms over millions of years.

       Paleontologists look at the fossil record and see minute differences in structure in fossils and conclude this occurred over millions of years of evolutionary development. Many examples are given of comparative structures of both living and extinct organisms. One example given is the forelimbs of vertebrates.  The flippers of whales, the wings of bats, the forelegs of dogs and horses and the arms of apes and humans are all seen as having their genesis in ancient four-limbed organisms called tetrapods.

       Homology is presented as a major proof of macroevolution (the gradual transition of one type of organism into a very different type of organism).  It must be noted, however, that the only thing homology shows is similar anatomy between organisms.  It does not show that such similarities came into existence gradually over millions of years and is the mechanism whereby entirely new and different organisms developed.  Evidence of ancestry is by inference only.  There is no direct evidence organisms' having similar structure do so because of common ancestry.  It must also be noted that there are many dissimilarities of structure between organisms thought to have common ancestry.


       In recent years, there has been a great deal of research in the fields of embryology, genetics and molecular biology.  This research has revealed how organisms (plants and animals) are constructed at the molecular level.  If the concept of homology is indicative of evolutionary development because of the presence of similar anatomical structures of organisms, such similarity should also be in evidence at the micro biological level of organisms.  What is being discovered, however, is that there are many exceptions to homology at the micro biological level of organisms.  This indicates that homology may not be of much value as evidence for either macro or micro evolution.                 

       The classification of organisms according to comparative anatomy, blood composition, embryology and homology are basically taking the same approach.  All four arguments postulate that similarity indicates the evolution of one organism into another organism.  Such classification, however, simply places organisms into arbitrary groupings.  It proves nothing as to how they came to be and therefore does not demonstrate evolutionary decent from a common ancestor.

       On the other hand, intelligent design appears to be a much more viable explanation of similarity because we see intelligent design in evidence at all levels of human experience.  This being the case, why would we postulate a totally different approach to the appearance and development of living organisms?  It would seem reasonable to believe that since intelligent design is ever present in the making of just about everything humans make; such intelligent would also be present in the design and development of something as complex as living organisms.

       While it is evident that evolution has taken place and is taking place in both the plant and animal kingdoms, it is also evident that such evolution is taking place within defined categories of organisms that are limited as to their ability to reproduce beyond a certain limit.  The “kinds” of the Genesis six day creation account and possibly a creation prior to the six day creation may indeed be the starting point for the many extinct and extant organisms that have and presently are inhabiting planet earth. 

       Next time we will discuss the concept of irreducible complexity.