This is a very long article, and it’s loaded with creationism. We found it in the Augusta Press of Augusta, Georgia. It’s titled FAITH: Problems with Evolution, and it was written by Rev. Bill Harrel, pastor of Abilene Baptist Church in Martinez, GA for over 31 years.
The rev’s article is far too long for us to deal with adequately, so we’ll just excerpt maybe 20% of it for this blog. Here are those excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:
Ever since Charles Darwin wrote The Origin of the Species, there has been a long discussion about evolution over against creationism. I don’t expect this treatise to solve an ongoing argument, but I do hope and anticipate that it will make people think a little more and somewhat deeper into the subject at hand; evolution. While studying and praying, the Lord impressed something upon my mind and spirit that I want to share with anyone who is interested in this subject. What I will seek to reveal to the readers of this article is what God showed to me on a quiet evening while I was reading the great Biblical book of Romans.
This stuff came to the rev from a divine source, so pay attention, dear reader. He says:
I want to approach the subject of evolution from three different perspectives: Biblical, physical and spiritual. This article will, of necessity, be rather extensive but if one is truly interested in the subject at hand, they should be patient and read the whole thing. In the end it will tie together in a common-sense way which will speak to the average citizen. I think it would be helpful for it to be restated that the Theory of Evolution is just that…. a theory. [Gasp!] Theories have not been proven. [Egad!] When and if it becomes fact, then it is no longer a theory. We should not put our trust in something that is a theory and which remains unproven but only surmised. Educational institutions should not teach a theory as fact but that is what is happening in our schools and institutions of higher learning today.
This is amazing! After that bombshell, the rev tells us:
If we are going to put our trust in the words of a book (The Origin of the Species), this writer thinks it should be a book which has authority as one of its virtues. So, instead of trusting the book of Charles Darwin, I suggest we put our trust in the Bible which has an author we can trust; God Himself. So, with that in mind, let’s look at what God says about the situation. … As the old saying goes; “A book is known by its cover.” And, God’s Word is known as the “Holy Bible.”
Isn’t this amazing? The rev continues:
The Bible is very clear in Genesis that God created man and woman, male and female. We find in Genesis 1:26-27 the basic statement by God about His intention and that was to make man and woman, male and female. … If the evolutionist believes that man came from some primordial “soup” that was struck by lightning, then is he saying that the Son of God came into being by chance. They are completely straying away from what the Word says.
Great stuff! Let’s read on:
The Biblical stance on the creation of man is that God made man in His own image. The word “made” is a Hebrew word that means that something was created from nothing while evolution presumes that there was something in existence that evolved and resulted in man over millions of years. God spoke everything into existence, and it didn’t take him millions of years to complete His creating sentence. We “make” something from a pre-existing substance and we form whatever we want to make from that raw material. God took of the dust of the earth that He had already spoken into being, and formed Adam. … The Bible makes the creation of man all very simple while Charles Darwin’s book confuses the issue of the origination of man to the ultimate degree. But, just look at what man, who is at war with God, has chosen to believe and teach. Anyone who believes the Theory of Evolution has surrendered their intellect and reason. Man would rather believe a lie than the truth. In fact, he will search out a lie to believe rather than simply believing what God has to say.
Good stuff, huh? Another excerpt:
Evolution came from man’s intellect. These statements from scripture I have employed originated from God. Now, who carries the most authority; God telling us something He did or man proposing a theory to try to circumvent God in the creation process. Man wants us to believe something like evolution which sprang from his own intellect. God did! Man imagines!
Scientists say that given enough time, the raw elements could naturally come together to form man. They propose that many billions of years gave time for man and all other life forms to emerge just as we see them today. I am going to make a few observations which will show just how ludicrous it is to believe the Theory of Evolution over against what God created. It will only take a few examples to make it undeniably clear.
This is already way too long, and there’s an ark-load we haven’t touched yet. Here’s just one of the rev’s examples showing how ludicrous it is to believe evolution:
Think about this: All creatures have the same basic systems. They have a digestive system, a muscular system, a circulatory system, an endocrine system a nervous system, a skeletal system, a respiratory system. All animals have a mouth, an esophagus, a stomach and a digestive system which gathers nutrients from food and then expels the waste from the body. Question: How did all animals happen to develop the same systems for life. You mean to tell me that evolution with all of it varied possibilities over billions of years just happened to produce all the same systems for life in all creatures whether on land, sea or air. One would have to abandon all of their intelligence in order to favor evolution over a designed order by a superior being known as God. … Just think; evolution requires one to believe that for things to be the way they are that one has to accept that it all took place at the odds of trillions and trillions to ONE. I believe that one who touts this theory has forfeited their intelligence and common sense!
After skipping far more than we’ve excerpted, we now come to the end — or rather, our last excerpt:
At the crux of the matter is the denial of God. People who ask others to substitute the Theory of Evolution for the fact that God created all things are really asking those people to join them in their lunacy and rebellion against God. They are really telling people that God had nothing to do with the creation system at all and that the Bible is not true.
So there it is, dear reader — a great article explaining why, if you’re a Darwinist, you’re a hell-bound fool!
Copyright © 2023. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.
I see the preacher’s problem…trust in the Bible which has an author we can trust; God Himself……the authors of the Bible are mostly unknown. Whereas Darwin was a real person and the author the preacher attempts to trash along with most of the readers of that article. The preacher should spend some time to come up with where the dust came from that he claims Adam was made from. Was it organic dust or something else?
The Rev claims there are odds of multiple trillions (he doesn’t state how many trillions) to one against evolution, proving he knows nothing about either probability or evolution. And by the way, Rev, theories are supported by evidence, not wishful thinking like the god hypothesis.
The delusion of the human mind is a wondrous thing to behold. In spite of mountains of evidence available to anyone capable of reading, the pastor counters with——–a book of fiction. Battle over.
“this writer thinks it should be a book which has authority as one of its virtues”
If bloviation were a virtue, there would be reverends and Bibles everywhere. Therefore bloviation is a virtue.
It’s sort of a creationist bingo card: only a theory, check; God wrote the Bible, check; evolution is chance, check; cosmology and astronomy aren’t real either, check; evolution is too complex and difficult, check; it’s contrary to reason, check; it’s “trillions and trillions to one” against, check.
And that’s just from the excerpts SC selected.
But there’s more. The Rev’s utter dearth of any knowledge of biology whatsoever. “All creatures have (this stuff)” Fungi, Rev? Plants? Bacteria? Archaea? That’s four of the five great kingdoms of living things. Only some animals have all the things you say.
So, heedless, crass ignorance, check. Bingo! We have a winner.
But being me, what irks me most is when the Rev instructs me that an English word is a Hebrew word that means what he wants it to mean. The English word is “made”, as in Genesis 1:27, which the Rev apparently translates as “God made man in his own image”. The Hebrew verb is “bara”, the usual translation is “created”, but the Rev can follow his own bent. The trouble is that he further asserts that it means “made from nothing”. Clearly, it doesn’t mean or imply that, for the text states that He made man from “the dust of the ground”.
The Rev is doing what all these clowns do: he’s adding to and subtracting from the text that he calls holy, to suit himself. Sure, he is also flaunting a gross ignorance that any decent person would be ashamed of, except that his ignorance includes a catastrophic ignorance of itself. But even worse than his insouciant assumption that he knows things he doesn’t know, even worse than his arrogant and libelous assertion that all the biologists in the world have “forfeited their intelligence and common sense”, is his smug hypocrisy. Word of God, be damned. This fool is citing the word of Harrel, and nobody else, and that word is as empty as the word of a liar always is.
Everyone be careful because if you question the Reverend, you are questioning God.
“What I will seek to reveal…”
That’s the problem with self-proclaimed ‘revelations’: we’re asked
to take the author’s word purely on trust. Even when ‘vangies like the rev attack the E-word and make a complete hash of describing it, they still manage to make it sound more convincing than their piddling appeals to the supposed authority of the Bible.
“A book is known by its cover.”
This saying is not familiar to me. Rather, I remember sayings like:
“Don’t judge a book by its cover.”
Not that this has any bearing on the topic. But this sort of thing interests me more than anything else in the essay.
“The basic issue is one of accountability. Unbelieving so called scientists will use any supposed theory to try to explain away a sovereign Creator. Why? I believe that they do not want to answer to the God that made them. The problem is that Satan uses these intellectually superior scientists to keep from having to answer for their own sins. A few seconds after death they will have their answer but it will be too late.”
Has religion lost its marbles? Or is it just a U.S. thing.
Another creationist bingo square: believe what I believe, or be damned, check.
No, it’s not just a US thing. We’ve got our fair share of religious crazies down here, too, as Ham and Iles confirm. But yes, they have lost their marbles. The one you quote seems to think that he or she can direct God to withhold grace. Scratch a creationist, and they bleed arrogance.
Dave Luckett says “Scratch a creationist, and they bleed arrogance”. Sorry Dave, close but not quite. In this case, “scratch a creationist, and they bleed ignorance.”
It was said that when Jesus was wounded by the Roman spear, what flowed down was “blood and water”. Creationists also bleed two distinct products: ignorance and arrogance, both.
Actually, I just emailed the good reverend and provided him with a definition of what a scientific theory is as he doesn’t seem to understand that. I will update everyone if I get a response.
Just in case anyone missed it, I’ll point out that he took one of the most powerful arguments for common descent, namely homology, and dismissed it for reasons that could validly be advanced, not against common descent, but against separate creation.
I seem to be alone in suggesting that the expression “theory of evolution” is *not* about evolution, the theory; but rather is about a theory concerning evolution.
There are several theories of evolution, with differing degrees of acceptance. For example
* Natural selection
* Sexual selection
* Neutral/ Genetic drift
* Endosymbiont theory
* Acquired characteristic theory
* Mutatonism/Saltationism/Hopeful monsters
See the Wikipedia article “Alternatives to Darwinian evolution”
I suggest that the expression “theory of evolution” is like these similar expressions:
* theory of flight – no one says the flight is only a theory
* theory of colors
* theory of tides
* theory of disease
* theory of comets
* theory of ship motion
(not to mention, “theory of everything”).
“but I do hope and anticipate that it will make people think a little more and somewhat deeper into the subject at hand”
Yes your bald-arsed assertions are deeply compelling. Perhaps we have rushed to judgment with the evolution thing. I will go tell the scientists they should think a little more and somewhat deeper.
I often point out that the theory of evolution is like the theory of gravity.
No one doubts the reality or factuality of gravity. So gravitational theory is merely “the theory behind” how and why gravity works the way it does.
(Then, of course, I have to distinguish between the law of gravity and theory of gravity, but that’s another story.)
Referencing atomic theory helps too. I point out that no one disputes the existence of atoms. So atomic theory is not some sort of unproved hypothesis that maybe atoms exist, but rather “the theory behind” how and why atoms work the way they do.
Then, of course, I bring up music theory. No one doubts that music exists; so music theory is simply about how music works.
@anonymous, you can really push the analogy between atomic theory and the theory of evolution, although as TomS pointed out, evolution is strictly speaking not so much a theory as a research programme with many components theories. At least I think that’s what the conclusion is that Popper came to in the end, and I would agree.
The modern atomic theory dating from John Dalton made sense of a whole load of facts, specifically the laws of constant proportions and relative proportions. It was resisted by some excellent scientists including Faraday for some time, because Faraday had shown that chemical bonding in salts is electrical, and until the advent of quantum mechanics there was no way at all of explaining in electrical terms why molecules like H2 hold together. In exactly the same kind of way, it was not until we could explain inheritance in terms of molecular biology that we knew at the basic physical level how evolution worked. atomic theory successfully explain chemistry even though there was no understanding of the origin of aitems until way into the 20th century, and indeed it was not until it was demonstrated that one kind of battle could turn into another that the question of origins even seemed to make sense. But that was no reason to question structural chemistry, which is about how atoms behave. In exactly the same way, even though we have speculative notions rather than any clear explanation of the origin of life, but in no way undermines evolution science, which is how life develops.
Finally (and you might think I’m pushing it a bit here) what convinced chemists of the reality of atoms was the way in which statistical analysis of their behaviour made sense of things like the properties of gases. and what really clinched the “modern synthesis”, of which all subsequent evolutionary theory is an elaboration, was the application of genetics to population statistics.
But unfortunately the people who put forward bad arguments (and these days there are no good arguments) against evolution are not driven by scientific concerns but by their views of how they would like the world to be. Here there is a very close analogy to people who reject the evidence for the existence of serious human-caused global warming, because doing something about it requires the kind of government action that goes against the Free Market religion.
“Think about this: All creatures have the same basic systems. They have a digestive system, a muscular system, a circulatory system, an endocrine system a nervous system, a skeletal system, a respiratory system.”
From another one of his articles where he mentions this, he thinks this idea is a direct revelation to him from God, and nobody ever noticed this before. I could be wrong but I’m willing to bet God talks to him in just about all of his articles.
The Rev lost me as soon as he demonstrated he didn’t have the slightest clue what a Scientific Theory was. Nothing to see here, just move along! The comment section here is far more interesting.
I’m just a layman, not a scientist of any sort.
But I think of evolution as being something that happens. It happens today, and it happens in the wild, where it can be observed and measured, and it happens under controlled conditions in the lab, it’s always happening whenever and wherever there is life as we know it (even in viruses!).
GENTLEMEN ! I took it upon myself to send the good reverend a thorough definition of the term scientific theory and how it applies to the topic he discusses in his most recent t treatise.
A miracle. Here is the response straight from iphone.
“Thanks for your comments and for reading the article.” The scientific view of a theory is, in my view, nothing but a bunch of double speak which allows them to pass of a theory as something that is actual fact. In my opinion, anyone who believes that the intricate nature of the human being or even a simple Protozoa just happened by chance has forfeited their common sense and reasoning power in order to accept something as preposterous as evolution.
Thanks again for taking the time to read the article and then offer comments. God Bless, Bro. Bill”
@Och Will: That was very good of you, but unfortunately it seems the Rev missed the point.
He would be less confusing if he used another word than theory (for example “conjecture” or “guess”) but then the theory of evolution has the word theory in it so he hasn’t much choice other than to momentarily mute in his head the other theories he likes.
So, for the Rev, it’s as straightforward as that. “It’s too complex to have evolved.” That’s it. That’s all. And how does he know this? “Common sense and reasoning power”.
I always knew that there were minds that had never grasped the idea of evidence, so this shouldn’t surprise me. I knew people with minds like that. Come to think of it, I still do.
But still, what really grabs me is the boundless purblind arrogance of the man. He knows nothing, literally nothing, of what he prates about. He has no inkling of the processes he dismisses so casually, not the faintest notion of their implications. And yet he has the insufferable, damnable gall to libel every working biologist in the world. They “have forfeited their reasoning power”, he says.
Projection on this scale requires a different vocabulary, but words fail me. The brass-bound conceit and monumental self-deception necessary beggars my ability to describe it.
What has his life produced? He preached in a tin shed on the outskirts of Abilene, TX, and now he produces ignorance and slander. What has all his tribe produced, all rolled into one? Nothing but a steady downward progression, in membership, in adherence, in significance, accompanied by endless tergiversation and schism, and enlivened by frequent crime, commonplace scandal, and occasional atrocity.
And evolutionary biology? Everything from the food on his table to the clothes on his back, from his increased lifespan to the disposal of his trash, and far more. More than he knows of; but he knows very little, and most of what he thinks he knows is false.
“You will know them by their fruits,” said the man he calls God. Amen, preacher, amen.
abeastwood Thanks for the feedback.The Curmudgeon suggests one should never argue with a creationist. The response I received didn’t disappoint. Dave. I agree with you. The reverend has the same delusional misunderstanding of the scientific method as he does of Bible passages. But despite his disrespect for the scientific method, he is willing to use an iphone. And burn gasoline. And take medicines. and …………..yada, yada, yada
@Dave Luckett et alii
Myself, I didn’t see anything worth the effort of substantive response. I was merely curious about the saying “A book is known by its cover.”, which was an inverse of the only form known by me, “You can’t tell a book by its cover.” Has anyone heard anything like his novel reversal?
The negative marketing of creationism, “It’s too complex to have happened by chance.” Obvious responses, “We don’t say that living things happen by chance. They happen by biological reproduction, generation by generation, with evolutionary changes happening by well-known forces. But, even if there is something amiss in this account, how do you exclude all other possibilities? And, anyway, what is your positive contribution to the understanding of what happens in the world of life? And how does it address the complexity of the world of life: ecology, geography, change over time, reproduction, growth and metabolism? How and why does a super-natural or even omnipotent agent use a natural means like design (or whatever) in producing such great complexity? Is design up to the task? (Give examples of design being capable of anything nearly so complex.) (Why bother with reproduction, why bother with the laws of optics, why bother with the laws of organic chemistry?)
“We find in Genesis 1:26-27 the basic statement by God about His intention and that was to make man and woman, male and female”
Literally ex post facto. Moses wasn’t there to write that down when it happened because nobody would have been created yet. Anyone could say they created a universe after it’s already been created and then take credit for it. Go back to ex post facto school.
TomS. Point taken..well argued.
Evolutionists would have us believe God’s special precious rainbows existed before the flood. They are God’s special precious love covenant not to genocide everything any more. He would only genocide on a smaller scale from then on, including rapture-level genocide as His final love-hug.