|By: Jim Virkler; ©2008|
We’ve referred to “theistic evolution” as God winding the watch of life, then stepping aside to let it run. This compares to a watchmaker designing a mechanism, supplying it with power, fashioning and assembling the parts, setting the timepiece in motion, then observing the changes in time. Both God and the watchmaker may be said to be “responsible” for the changes over the passing of time. If evolutionary processes in living things could be proven to have occurred beyond any doubt, could we accept those processes as God’s sovereign method? This may be a moot question. Other factors must be discussed, such as what is revealed in the fossil record.
The fossil record does not show gradual, transitional changes from one species [A] to another species [N] with [B, C, D…M] in between as we might expect. Instead, the changes are sudden and step-like following lengthy periods of no change (stasis). The sudden change to new forms of life often follows major extinction events. To deal with this inconsistency, evolutionist Niles Eldredge has proposed an imaginative theory called punctuated equilibrium (PE). The theory is more descriptive than explanatory. It has been described by evolutionists themselves as a “valid scientific hypothesis” but “not a well developed theory.” This anomaly should give evolutionists fits, but it doesn’t. For them, the desciption of punctuated equilibrium seems to pass for an explanation. In reality, there is no adequate naturalistic explanation for punctuated equilibrium.
There is an even more powerful event which lacks an adequate naturalistic explanation. It is the first appearance of life on this planet under harsh conditions about 3.9 billion years ago. This life was in the form of microbial mats of cyanobacteria. Among other things, these bacteria supplied the oxygen in our atmosphere. Some cyanobacteria are still present on earth today. Scientists tell us of the intricate complexity of this so-called “simple” life. Stuart Kauffman, theoretical biologist, has stated “Life emerged…not simple, but complex and whole and has remained complex and whole ever since.” Scientific literature contains sparse information on the origin of life on this planet, because there is no naturalistic explanation. The origin of life is a profound enigma for evolutionists, perhaps even a source of despair. For creationists, the origin of life is neither an enigma nor a source of despair.