What the other side believes: insights from my rejection letter


(Dory) #1

Background: I live in an area where YEC is the predominant Christian view. I applied to two different Christian groups and was rejected by both. One group leader just stalled for months until it was awkward and said “we cannot process your application”. The other rejection was done lovingly and in a fashion clearly meant in hope to “redeem” my certain outcome in hell.

On their application and statement of faith, it clearly states, among other items such as the divinity of Christ and his redemptive work on the cross, “we reject all notions of evolution”.

here is my answer on their application form, on “what don’t we agree with”:

”We reject any notion of evolution” does not seem to be stated in the Bible. We believe that God created every single thing in the universe or multitudes of universes, that in Him all things are sustained. We believe that man was made uniquely in the image of God, and are set apart for His glory from all creation. Evolution is a huge umbrella term encompassing many ideas from natural selection, to phylogenetic organization of created life, to common descent, to speciation, horizontal gene transfer and beyond. We feel that to reject any notion of evolution would not be a true statement for our family. Quite simply, we believe that God made the universe a reasonable and knowable place, and that ultimately as we learn more and as more is revealed, there will be absolutely no conflict between faith and science. All evidence will exalt our Creator in the end, and good, sound science will always point towards God.

The very next day the group leader sent me a very detailed response. I actually really, super appreciated this, and thought I would share. I truly do believe this was done in a loving manner, as their response clearly took a huge amount of time and effort at a time when they are surely swamped with work

The statement of faith reflects what the Durham Christian Homeschool group are united upon. Cornerstone Christian Educators, with the kind permission of DCH, is using the same statement of faith. The purpose for this unity is so that when a larger number of participants are required for a field trip, CCE and DCH can be open with each other and be assured that the members in both groups hold to the same statement of faith.

Every sentence in the statement of faith must be agreed with. This is to respect the members already in the group, who already have agreed with the statement of faith, and are trusting that the new members coming in also maintain the same standards. Therefore the statement, “we reject any notion of evolution” must be agreed with.

Evolution actually is not a huge umbrella term. When used correctly, it has a very narrow and specific definition and purpose. The word in English means various things when applied to geometry, algebra and military tactics ( Webster Dictionary) however, when the term is used, as it is in biology, its meaning is clearly defined. Darwin was not the founder of evolution, but his name is associated with the definition. Biological evolution, according to Darwin written in 1859, is the process by which organisms change over time. For example, Darwin theorized that a land mammal could turn into a whale and that this would require a lot of time and random genetic changes to change the position of the nostrils, back legs disappearing, streamlined bodies, tails for swimming, etc. According to Darwin, a bear could change into a whale. Of course, with his model, the bear would have to have changed from something else, and so on until you come back to non-living chemicals. This definition of evolution of non-living chemicals organizing themselves into self-reproducing organisms is what we are rejecting.

The spiritual purpose behind evolution is an attack that has been used against God from the time that iniquity was first found in Satan. Satan wanted to rebel against God, and the heart of evolutionary thinking is similarly, rebellion against God. God as our Creator is in a position of authority. Biological evolution takes a stab at attempting to remove God’s authority as Creator over our lives. So the definition and the purpose of evolution as defined here, is very clear. However, just like the word “evolution” is misused and confused, so are other terms.

Natural Selection:

From an evolutionary standpoint, natural selection requires a copying of genes that is not accurate-mutations occurring, so new genetic material is formed from accidental mutations.
From a Biblical standpoint, God created different kinds of organisms which reproduce exactly to the same creature as the original. God placed a large amount of a variety of genetic information in each organism so they could live in a variety of environments. There is no problem for us, who believe that God created all life, to explain how the first two original kinds could give rise to the many different varieties within that kind. For example, the first two dog/wolf that God created had genetic variety within them. If one dog carried the gene for long fur and the other dog carried the gene for short fur, their offspring would easily be different. The dogs with the long fur would do better in one kind of environment while the dogs with the short fur would do better in another.
The dogs have adapted to their environment as God planned for them to do.
There have been no new genes added.
In fact genes have been lost. This is the exact opposite to biological evolution that needs a gaining of new genes for a microbe to become a man. (creation ministries)
Natural selection, when understood properly, still shows God in supreme authority and care, planning His creation. It is not under the same umbrella as Creator-less, purposeless evolution. But natural selection, as commonly used in our society, means random gene mutations to explain our various animals, and we reject that notion.

Speciation:
The definition of speciation is different for each scientist. There is not a standard term.(icr)
Many people who support the old-earth think that the millions of animals do not fit in with the young earth age. Nor can they accept that the two of each kind aboard the ark that gave rise to all the variations of animals we have today. The variations within the same kind of animal can quickly come from a small original population. Some scientists define speciation as geographical isolation. For example, grizzly bears and polar bears are very different from each other and have been isolated from each other. However, when they are able to come together, they are able to produce fertile offspring.(icr) They are not really different species even though scientists many classify them as different.

Adam and Eve had all the genes in them that now make up the different ethnic groups. Acts 17:26 clearly states that “ God who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in a temple made with hands. Nor is He worshipped with men’s hands as though He needed anything, since He gives to all, life and breath and all things. And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and boundaries of their dwellings so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him; though He is not far from each one of us. For in Him we live and move and have our being.” (Acts 17)Humans are not and should never be divided up into different species. We are all from one man and one woman. We are all loved by God and He desires each one of us to seek Him and be saved.

Speciation -This word is very loosely used and is often misinterpreted. On the other hand, God’s Word is very clear. To maximize the number of animals on the ark with the genetic potential to produce all the variation we see today, requires a genetic engineer who knows the genetic composition of each and every animal. Genesis 6:20 says that God brought the animals onto the ark. Since God is all knowing, He chose the animals with the variation in them to make possible all the animals we have today. (icr) We reject any notion that does not point to God as all-knowing and in control of His creation.

Phylogenetic Organization:
This is the evolutionary history – basically the evolution family tree- that claims that certain organisms are genetically related. It was promoted in Darwin’s time and still is today even with all the modern genetic studies that disprove it. “Evolution is not a conclusion drawn from observations. It is an ideology to which observations are applied when convenient and ignored when not.” (Macieji Giertych Head of Genetics Department.) Hitler used this supposed family tree to promote his establishment of a superior human race. It was promoted that some humans were closer on the family tree to ape like creatures, so killing them was acceptable since those humans were mostly animals. Poison like this has infiltrated events throughout history and continues to affect us today.

Common Descent:
This ties into the evolutionary biological tree as mentioned above where a group of organisms share a common ancestor. This leads to all life going backwards to a single celled organism that was neither plant nor animal. This leads to the assumption that life was once simple and is becoming more complex. This is the exact opposite to what God says. What He made was good and there was no sin nor disease nor death in His perfect creation. God says that sin caused death, There is deterioration in the creation, not creation getting better, it is getting worse. We therefore reject any notion of a common descent and the evolutionary family tree.

Horizontal Gene Transfer
The problems with the family tree and the common descent mentioned above are huge. One problem is that different creatures have unique sets of genes that are very specific to their kind. To explain away this problem, evolutionists have a myth called pervasive HGT. This means that genes are transferred from one creature to another without any sexual reproduction. Some evolutionists claim that HGT created the animals we see today. They use the parasite example where a Wolbachia bacteria is able to target cells in its host and take over its host’s DNA by injecting its DNA in the host. This parasite-host relationship is clearly an example of the destruction and death and deterioration happening in creation as a result of sin. But instead, evolutionists have taken this one example and then applied this parasite-host example to speculate that this is happening to create new birds and mammals! “They are trying to avoid the fact that the genomes of different creatures were purposefully crafted. Because of their unwavering commitment to evolution, all facts of cleverly designed gene sequences being engineered by God as Creator are not considered.” (icr) Therefore we reject any notion of HGT to explain the creation of God’s creatures.

All the biological evolution discussed is not science, but is mankind’s ideology, and it will never point towards God. There will always be a conflict between evolution and its many forms, and faith in God as Creator. These two beliefs will never reconcile. The reason for this is because mankind is in rebellion against God and we can only be redeemed by the Lord Jesus Christ, our Creator and Saviour. Therefore the statement “we reject any notion of evolution” is a very important statement to agree with.

emphasis mine.

Basically, at the end of the day, the root misunderstanding is that evolution leaves God out of the picture of creation. That God is unnecessary as creator because randomness made the universe. This is a view that, I think, many of us don’t hold at all. This is certainly the view that many atheists believe, however, and their loud and obnoxious voices have somehow become ours as well.

I think where I made my mistake is to say “well surely you at least believe in natural selection?” That was a terrible assumption on my part. Evolution is something from Satan himself, and absolutely no part of it can be reasonable or accepted at all. This is actually the first time I have encountered someone who was against natural selection. I was always under the assumption that it was “macro-evolution” or last universal common ancestor that was to be contested.

Perhaps a better starting point in conversation with YEC believers would be something like, I reject the idea that randomness created the universe, and I reject the idea that animals can change without the will of God. But is that even any good? Won’t they just think these are weasel words from Satan the same way Eden’s Serpent twists God’s command to make it sound plausible?


(George Brooks) #2

@DB_ON

Generally speaking, it is my personal observation that discussions that begin or end or in any way touch on speciation do not end well.

The top issue which I think gets the most traction is:

The congruence of diverse methods by Geologists to measure the age of the Earth … well in excess of millions and billions, rather than 5,000, or 6,000 or even 10,000 years.


(Christy Hemphill) #3

I don’t think you made any mistakes. They have clearly drawn their boundaries and there is no way you get in their tent unless you misrepresent yourself. I think you can feel good about the fact that you gave them one more experience with a believer who accepted evolution. It will probably take many many more such experiences before they can even begin to listen.

Thanks for sharing your rejection letter. I hope you find a more open-minded community.


(Brad Kramer) #4

Reminder here (because the Homeschool Forum gets so little traffic these days, compared to Open Forum): This is a Homeschool Forum thread, and appropriately so. Thus, the rules are a little bit different. As explained in the linked thread in the previous sentence, you can only post in the Homeschool Forum if you are an evolutionary creationist homeschooler, or an ally of EC homeschoolers. If you do not fall into these groups and still wish to comment, I would recommend using the chronically underused feature “reply as new topic” (click on the timestamp on the post, and then click “+ new topic”).


(Brad Kramer) #5

@DB_ON thanks for posting this. I think it really shows the extent of the damage done to the Church by young-earth groups like ICR. For me, the worst part is not the rejection of evolution, per se (If someone feels that evolution must be rejected because of the Bible, so be it), but the giant pile of scientific nonsense quoted as reasons why evolution is wrong. In every case, one small bit of scientific evidence is manhandled into an impossibly broad conclusion about evolution is “not science”. Also, as is typical with these sorts of things, “evolution” is used in at least four different ways in this letter (abiogenesis, common ancestry, atheism/spiritual rebellion, change over time) without any attempt to separate out these meanings and evaluate them individually (ironically, the writer uses evolution as a “huge umbrella term” all over the place). Evolution and abiogenesis are not even the same thing, at all, but they are used as part of one big God-hating anti-science worldview.


#6

I’m in a really conservative area and have never seen a statement of faith with evolution included directly. Is the other group that “couldn’t process” your application the sister group mentioned?

Your honesty may, in the long run, help someone in leadership who starts to question the science and fears loss of God in the process. It really sounds like the only way you would have been accepted was if you signed the statement as written. I don’t think it was your wording.

Are there other options in your area?


(Dennis Venema) #7

What I find interesting about that list of beliefs is that I doubt Todd Wood could sign it either (for those who don’t know, Todd is a leading YEC biologist). No common ancestry? It also seems to deny speciation, though it is vague on that point.

The irony is that the YEC model requires common ancestry with speciation far, far more rapid than any mainstream evolutionary approach.