To say that I was surprised would be an understatement. Flabbergasted, would probably be a better word. Someone had just told me about a person who had asked her pastor about the creation versus evolution debate. He had responded by saying, “We don’t really have to worry about that. All we need to do is trust in Jesus.” Hey, I don’t want to minimise the importance of us trusting in the finished work the Lord Jesus Christ – that was for our salvation and for the restoration of this broken world and that is of major importance! But if we use that as an excuse for not doing some hard thinking about issues such as evolution then faith in Christ becomes a cop-out.
Let me put it even more strongly: if life is just the result of a random collision of atoms… in other words if we just got here by a combination of ‘time plus chance’, then the gospel story about Jesus doesn’t make sense. If chance evolution is true then the message of Jesus becomes just a brilliantly concocted fairy-tale. That would make me a gullible fool and I don’t particularly like being thought of as a gullible fool.
Often we tackle the issue of chance evolution in terms of the beginning of life. Did life just evolve by accident in some kind of primeval soup? We as Christian argue that it didn’t. Life is far too complex. Just because some scientist has managed to create amino-acids (one of the building blocks of life) in a test tube doesn’t yet prove that life can come about by chance from nothing. The more we understand the amazing complexity of even a single cell and the more we realise the huge amount of information that is contained in a string of DNA the more we stand in awe of the Creator God who made life. Stuff like that doesn’t happen by chance.
Presently I’m reading a book about astronomy and that has made me realise that we can tackle chance-evolution not just from the angle of the origins of life but also from the origins of light. If everything came about by chance, did light also happen by chance?
The more I read this past week the more I marvelled at the nature of light. Light is electromagnetic radiation that we can see with the human eye. But visible light is merely a very small part of a huge spectrum of electromagnetic radiation. This electromagnetic radiation can be thought of as travelling in waves. When the wave-length is somewhere just under one millionth of a meter, light is visible. But there are shorter waves of electromagnetic radiation which we cannot see – called ultraviolet light. And even shorter ones that are called X-rays. There are also waves of electromagnetic radiation that are longer than the waves of visible light – called infra-red waves. Once the wavelengths get to around one hundredths of a meter we are into micro-waves and radiowaves. If the human eye saw all that whole range of electromagnetic radiation waves it would be a huge jumble of information that the human brain could never process. So the million-dollar question for the evolutionist is: how did light come about? And how come that visible light is just a tiny part of a huge spectrum of electromagnetic radiation? Did the human eye, when it evolved by chance, deliberately decide to exclude all that other radiation and limit itself just to those wavelengths that we now call visible light?
But there is another feature of light that is even more amazing. Many of us at school did an experiment where we passed a ray of white light through a prism. The result was a rainbow effect. The prism broke up the ray of white light into a whole spectrum of colours that resemble the rainbow. That has led to a whole branch of science called spectrometry – something used especially by astronomers to glean information about the stars. The fascinating thing is that the light from the sun will produce one kind of colour spectrum but the light of a different star (our sun is really just a very close star) produces a somewhat different colour spectrum. Information in that spectrum can tell physicists something about what a particular star is composed of. It even includes information such as whether a certain star is moving towards us or away from us. And all of that from a simple ray of light…! So again I want to ask the evolutionist: did light just happen?
We who trust Jesus for salvation shouldn’t hide our heads in the sand but should confront the absurdity of the evolutionist who argues for randomness and chance when the universe so clearly shows the designs of that glorious God who once said, “Let there be light”.