Saturday, April 15, 2017

New Evolution Book Reviewed By Hans Madueme

Deep Explanatory Power?

If you want to understand evolutionary thought just read the literature. Charles Darwin accurately characterized his 1859 book on evolution as “one long argument.” That argument was based on several popular religious beliefs leading to faulty science. For example, throughout the volume Darwin’s ideas rely on a popular religious doctrine called utilitarianism, and in Chapter Six Darwin explicitly states that his theory would absolutely fail without it.

Ever since Darwin, little has changed. One after the other, evolutionists have attempted to explain and prove Darwin’s idea. And one after the other, they have simply confirmed that evolutionary thought is not a scientific theory in the normal sense but rather is, at its core, a religious idea with little regard for the science. It really is nothing more than the ancient Epicureanism, inserted into modern science. Consider the latest entry, Adam and the Genome, a brand new Brazos Press title authored by Dennis Venema and Scot McKnight.

In the tradition of the evolution literature, the first part of the book presents a long list of arguments for why we should believe the biological world arose by evolution—a combination of chance and natural law. The second part of the book, as the title suggests, addresses the question of Adam and Eve. Simply put, the book argues that Scripture, read rightly, never did point to a historical Adam in the first place. This makes Scripture consistent with evolution’s call for humanity to begin as a relatively large population.

But this reading of Scripture is influenced by evolution. As McKnight explains, his approach accepts “the reality of genetic evidence supporting a theory of evolution”. [173] But, in fact, there is no such “reality.” The genetic evidence does not support evolution—quite the opposite.

Religious beliefs mandating evolution are what led to today’s theory of evolution, not empirical scientific findings. And now, new scientific observations (such as genetics) are interpreted according to evolution. The observations are theory-laden. Furthermore, with the broad acceptance of evolution, theologians such as McKnight are telling us we need to adjust our religious understandings in light of the “reality” of the scientific evidence.

This is what computer scientists refer to as Garbage-In, Garbage-Out (GIGO). It is little wonder McKnight and many others are calling for this “new” understanding of Scripture, for that “new” understanding is centuries old, and is what mandated evolution in the first place. What goes around comes around.

Unfortunately the myth that evolution is a scientific no-brainer, a given, a fact, and on par with gravity and the round Earth, is difficult to dispel. The powerful religious ideas mandating evolution have led to the myth that evolution is legitimate and compelling science.

For example, in his review of Adam and the Genome, Hans Madueme rightly explains that the history of science should give us pause regarding evolution. Too often scientists have had high confidence in ideas that later would be discarded. Madueme accurately detects such high confidence in evolutionary thought, as exemplified in Adam and the Genome.

Unfortunately Madueme also gives high marks to the science presented in the book. According to Madueme, it “unpacks the genomic evidence for evolution and common ancestry,” and even “skeptical readers will come away impressed at the deep explanatory power of evolutionary theory.” Impressed?

And what exactly is this “deep explanatory power of evolutionary theory” to which Madueme refers? Well, err, Madueme fails to mention any for he “skipped over most of the details.” But it is precisely in those details where the evidences and arguments fall apart. We have already seen that the book makes erroneous arguments that the fossil evidence and echolocation support evolution (here and here). In fact, as we saw, both these evidences and arguments, once stripped of the religion, far from supporting evolution, severely contradict the theory.

In my next post I will look at another one of the book’s arguments involving pseudogenes. What we will find, again, is not “deep explanatory power of evolutionary theory” but exactly the opposite.

Religion drives science, and it matters.


  1. I am so tired of liberal theologians like McKnight.For years I've listened to these so called intellects perform linguistic gymnastics in an effort to make the Bible say what they wish it did say rather than what it actually does say. If they cannot accept what scripture teaches then I wish simply move on and quit trying to make it conform to their view of the world. I wish they would learn to exegete scripture and give up their habit to eisegete.

    1. The story is told of the consecrated old elder, who, when his pastor resigned, presented him at the farewell reception with a neatly wrapped package, saying: “This will doubtless be a little different from any of the other farewell gifts you have received.” Naturally the pastor was curious, and without waiting, opened the parcel at once, only to discover the worn faded cover of a Bible with all the inside removed. Rather taken back he inquired, “Is there some mistake? Is this the gift; or perhaps I have the wrong bundle?” “No,” replied the old elder, “that’s all you have left me of the Bible and I thought you might as well take the cover also. You see, whenever you told us something was not for today I would immediately tear it out, and other passages that you said were myths and allegories, misinterpretations, etc., I also removed along with any references that referred to them. This is the result. The covers were all I had left; you took all the rest, so I thought you might as well have them also.”

    2. Philly Mike,

      Good illustration, it is so sad yet so true. I really wish theologians like McKnight would find another line of work, they are certainly no good at what they do.

    3. Hi Nic. I hope you and your family had a great Easter.

      With respect to same sex marriage, what do you wish the bible said about it? Are you sticking to the actual text, which says that it is a sin, or do you accept a more "liberal" view? Should we force those who now have a legal marriage to have their marriages dissolved?

    4. Same sex marriage is an oxymoron. Marriage was defined as the union between man and woman. Liberal cry-babies had to redefine the word to suit their needs.

    5. Joe: "Same sex marriage is an oxymoron. Marriage was defined as the union between man and woman."

      Since it is humans who define words, we are allowed to change their definitions.

      "Liberal cry-babies had to redefine the word to suit their needs."

      Like the way we re-defined the definition of person to include women? Those damned liberal cry-babies.

  2. Why are bible believing Christians defined as CONSERVATIVE. This original tagging qualify's opinions.
    Bible believers never used , or understood, the words materialistic/naturalistic. More tagging.
    We simple agree the bible is gods word and so accurate and so, heaven forbid, men are inaccurate in saying its wrong here and there.

    Define seriously? whayt dies taking the bible seriously mean? Does it mean rejecting what they reject but accepting what they accept?
    Is the bible gods word or mans invention?

    YEC does not reject science. We reject conclusions, made by men, about certain subjects touching on origin issues.
    We can accept biologos does science, just poorly, while they can accept us doing science, just poorly.
    They are tagging YEC as not doing science if we don't agree with their conclusions.
    Thats just old time dumb!
    If yEC leaders finally said OH YEAH we see the science proof behind evolution!! would these biologos folkk say we are doing science? Or say YOU STILL are not doing science but got it right about evolution!
    When is a yEC doing science? When we agree with them only? How does this work?

    By the way. i say, in a curve on the graph, that the wrong guys would be more unreasonable about these things because they would be more consistent with why they are wrong. A little less sharp.
    I don't think yEC leaders would say the other side doesn't do science. just wrong science or some errors in methodology. So why do those guys eh???