EVOLUTION–DOES IT BOTHER YOU?
Dr. H. Douglas Dean
April 17, 1966
Dr. H. Douglas Dean, now deceased, served many years as Associate Professor of Biology at Pepperdine University. He had a B.S. Degree in Biology, M.S. Degree in Biology and Geology, and his Ph. .D. Degree in Biology from the University of Alabama. . To become more knowledgeable about the Bible, he enrolled in Abilene Christian University in Abilene, Texas and did work toward a Master's Degree in Religion With such an education, he is highly qualified to speak on both the Bible and Evolution. In addition, he was a faithful Minister of the gospel. He was a personal friend of mine, and I enjoyed having religious discussions with him on this subject. He gave me copies of these lectures he made over the country on University Campuses and public gatherings of religious people. I told him these writings should be in a book for posterity, but he was unable to bring them to publication. I feel that the knowledge he had on Evolution and the Bible should not perish. I am happy to present to you some of the things he said in these Lectures on, “Science, the Bible and Evolution.” After this brief introduction, everything you read will be the words of Dr. H. Douglas Dean. The first lecture is entitled, “Evolution: Does It Bother You?”
EVOLUTION: DOES IT BOTHER YOU?
Dr. H. Douglas Dean
We ask the question, “Does Evolution bother you? Oh, I am sure that your presence here this evening indicates that it does. Yet, on the other hand, if you are here this evening and Evolution has never particularly bothered you, the day may come when your nine year old daughter may come in and say as did a daughter this past week to her mother, “I am so confused that I don't know what to believe any longer.” She had encountered her first Science courses in grade school, and yet she is studying in Bible School the creation account of how that God created man in His image. And thus she is torn between these to opposites, and she at the age of nine years old is confused. Or the five year old girl who came in about a year ago and said to her mother, “Mommy, did I really come from an ape?” Or the sixteen year old son who went in and told his parents that he had quit the church, and he wasn't going to church or to Sunday School any longer, that he had learned in Science classes that s religion was for old and superstitious people and that from now on he was through with the church
The subject of Evolution. really got started in 1859 when Charles Darwn published his notable book, Origin of Species, in which he proposed an evolutionary account of man's origin. If we ask the average man on the street today, “What does Evolution mean?”, of course, the thing that sprngs to his mind is that man has descended from some ape-like ancestor, and certainly this is the popular definition that we have of Evolution today, that the term Evolution is synonymous with descent or evolving from some ape-like ancestor. A grade school textbook showed a picture of a little blond headed girl on one side of the page and on the other side of the page it showed a picture of an ape. Over one of the pictures it said, “ This is your ancestor–this is you.” There is no doubt that Evolution teaches that man has evolved from an ape-like ancestor.
May I say this evening, I am not opposed to the teaching of evolution in our schools. But I believe that Evolution should be taught as a theory just as we would teach Communism. I believe that our children should know about Communism and what it is, and certainly if we would teach a history of Communism, and what it is, we would not be advocating that our children take it up and follow it and believe it. It should be taught as a way of life that is lived and believed by some people. And Evolution might be taught as being believed by the majority of the people in the United States and in the world today. But along with it the student ought to have the freedom of choice and also should be told that there is a multitude of people throughout the world who believe that life appeared on this planet through creation by the God of the universe, that there are countless millions of people who believe in the Genesis account of creation; and I mean by that, a literal account–that we do not have to twist Genesis 1 and 2 to fit the findings of modern science. I think that the churches throughout the world have been running from Evolution long enough. Ever since 1859 we have been running from Charles Darwin, and we have been trying to twist and pervert the Scriptures to fit the so-called teaching of science. There is a conflict between what people say the Bible says and what men say that science teaches. The conflict is between what people think about the Bible and think about science, and there is no conflict between the facts of science and the facts of the Bible.
Another reason that there is so much confusion among people today and the reason people are tending to believe in Evolution is because of the lack of exposure to the Bible. People have not read the Bible. And the average scientist will say, “I haven't read the Bible, and I don't intend to read it.” You know, I think this is being terribly .
unfair. The scientific method of investigation demands that science seek
out all possible sources of information, that it is unfair to deliberately ignore some vital source of information. It is interesting to note that science will go to the writing of the Greeks, the Babylonians, the Egyptians, and actually Evolution had its beginning back there. Oparin in his book, The Origin of Life, was simply extending some of the ideas that had been originally started by the Greeks thousands of years ago. So science will go back to the time of the Egyptians, the Greeks and the Romans, and science will go back and consult the writings of all of these people in the attempt to make a scientific inquiry into life. And yet, it's rather peculiar that science will ignore the writing of the Hebrew people. The writings of the Hebrew people are discarded. And yet, no writings of any group of people have ever influenced so many people as the writings of the Hebrew people. We are talking here about the Old Testament, a book which has influenced more people than any one writing. And science ignores it in its investigation. It's not fair, it's unscientific. Biology textbooks are unscientific when they ignore a creation account. Not only do they ignore a creation account, but they go so far as to attack a creation account. There is a philosophy called Mechanism that teaches that everything in science, everything that we observe, can be or potentially will be explained in terms of chemistry, physics and biology, that we can explain everything according to these three areas of science.
Vitalism says this cannot be done, that there is something about life that we cannot explain, that there is some vital force, that there is something–may we call it supernatural – that the scientist cannot weigh in the balance or capture in the test tube. The vitalist says there is something supernatural about life; there is something that cannot be explained. The mechanist says no, we can explain it all in terms of chemistry, physics and biology. Vitalism is co-equal with the existence of God. The vitalist would say that this force behind it is God. So science makes an all out attack on the Bible. It's enough to ignore the creation account, but they attack it. And they go even so far as to say that the beginning student in biology is probably going to have some difficulty understanding Evolution. Teachers are told that the student will have to give up some preconceived ideas in order to understand Biology and Evolution. Some teachers in our schools make it very rough on the student who would believe in creation, and there are many other wonderful teachers who themselves are doubtful of the ideas, the concepts of Evolution, and consequently they don't emphasize them nearly so much. Our young people are being exposed to the Godless concept of Evolution. There are some people who claim to be theistic evolutionists, who would say, “Oh yes, evolution has occurred. The
biology books are right, but this was God's way of doing it.” The theistic evolutionist is guilty of twisting the Genesis account of creation to fit the so-called findings of biology which are false in themselves. Some might ask, “What about all of the evidence that man has evolved?” The answer is that there is none. Even one of these High School biology books declares, “Granted the evidence for evolution of man is very scarce, but we have to assume that man has evolved.” “Why do we have to assume it?” This is a question that we might ask. Even the scientists themselves admit that there is practically no evidence for man having evolved. You might say this evening, “What about the evidence?” Well, what about it? There isn't any. Well, why do so many people in evolution? Remember how you were almost dazzled and overwhelmed by the flat say-so of your teacher in biology, geology or sociology?. As a matter of fact most of the other students in his class accepted his words without question, but you woke up just in time. Well, when that professor was in college he faced exactly the same situation, but like most of the students he did not wake up; and he still has not awaked. The average biology teacher of today believed what his teacher told him, and he is still teaching the same thing thirty years later; and he still has not checked the matter over himself. In fact, having repeated the story over and over these many years, he now believes it stronger than ever before, and is likely to become very angry if a young man or woman dares to challenge him. In other words, he and thousands of other science teachers and scientific workers believe in evolution just because long ago someone they respected told them it was true, and there's no evidence for it.
I believe that we as citizens of this nation should be vitally concerned that our students, our children, are being taught the truth. And when they are being taught evolution they are being taught something that has not been proven, something that is untrue, something that does not have the facts to support it. And in this series of lectures, and in each evening's lectures we are going to show how that many of the basic teachings of evolution are based upon theory and not on fact. There's practically nothing that even tends or lends itself to support the idea of evolution from some primitive ape-like ancestor. Now the scientist today would try to tell us about origin – where man came from – the beginning of the universe. And science may be able to give us a little bit of the story, but only as much of it as has been revealed to us. But no one was there to see the beginning, and so here is something that science cannot weigh, something science cannot test in the laboratory. Well, the theory of beginning might then come over into the realm of philosophy, that people would speculate as to the 5
origin of things. Or, we might go over into the area of religion and ask what has been revealed, what has God told us and there acquire some
information. What science has done in its theory of evolution is that it has crossed over into the realm of philosophy. It has left science and gone into philosophy. In evolution or in the teaching of evolution there are many things that are true. Some people might ask me, “Do you believe in evolution?” And I might say, “Yes.” I believe in the dictionary definition of evolution as Webster defines evolution, as being a gradual unfolding, a gradual revealing of life through genetic mechanisms, environmental pressures, and ete. Certainly life has changed. This kind of evolution we can believe in and we can accept. A person would say, “Well, do you believe in the evolution of the horse?” And I would say, “Most certainly.” We have a lot of evidence for the evolution of the horse, that horses have evolved from some tiny Eohippus horses to the giant horses that we have in the world today. Thus, horses have evolved from smaller horses.
Darwin says in his book Origin of Species that over five hundred different kinds of finches have evolved from one kind of finch that was found in the Galapogos Islands – birds producing birds. If this is what you call evolution, then we can accept this. Finches have evolved into five hundred different kinds of finches. Man himself has evolved into over one hundred and ninety different racial types. Man has evolved into over one thousand different body types. Certainly, we are all aware that people come in all shapes and sizes, but certainly man is still man. Men are still producing men, reproducing after their kind. Horses are still reproducing horses; birds are still reproducing birds. So, this kind of evolution as taught in our high school books and our encyclopedias certainly we can accept. But, you know they leave the findings of science, and to the student who is not aware of this they cross over into the realm of philosophy. As we have seen that the horse has evolved from tiny Eohippus; then they proceed to show in theorietical expressions how that fish evolved into amphibians, and amphibians evolved into land dwelling animals, and that the dinosaurs evolved into birds. One recent book on dinosaurs, written for children six and seven years old, tells the story of the dinosaurs, and at the e nd of the book it says that the dinosaurs suddenly disappeared about a hundred and thirty billion years ago.
In these lectures we will point out the evidence that the dinosaurs disappeared in 1500 B.C. The scientific evidence is that dinosaurs disappeared only a few thousand years ago. There is no evidence that dinosaurs ever lived and walked on this earth a hundred and fifty or
seventy million years a go. We propose to show how that the scientific evidence shows us that coal, oil and petroleum deposits were formed on this continent, not three hundred million years ago. The Permian basin was not formed two hundred million years ago, but it was formed four or five thousand years ago at the most. We will present the scientific evidence for this, and challenge anyone to present us with the evidence of millions of years. There simply isn't any. These teachings as we find them in our textbooks today are none other than atheistic teachings, and it is no wonder then, as we have said, that the people would declare that God is dead. Evolution could be discarded, not only from a religious standpoint because it is not in harmony with the Genesis account of creation, it could be discarded because it is unscientific; and also could be discarded because it is Communistic, which is not to say that all evolutionists are Communists. Most of our evolutionists in this country are good American citizens.
In closing the case that we present against evolution, it is that it is unscientific; it does not fit the established facts of science. It is anti-religious; it is atheistic, and there is much testimony against it. Evolution when it is examined in the light of the scripture fades into oblivion. Evolution when examined in the light of scientific discovery fades into oblivion. Therefore, we as interested individuals should begin to examine, begin to investigate, and quit taking for granted things to be true just because some learned man said they were true. I was told a long time ago to remember that learned men can be wrong. Just because a person with a Ph.D. in biology teaches evolution, that does not mean it is true. Just because a Ph.D. in geology says that the earth is millions of years old, that does not make it true. Just because the palaeontologist says that coal and petroleum were formed millions of years ago does not make it true. Where are the scientific facts to support this kind of information? We need to examine it ourselves; we need to search it out to find out if it be true. Then we will discover the truth, and we can arrive at a situation in which evolution will not bother us any longer or any of our generations to come. I thank you.
----To be continued.