This question was posed to Dr. Craig at Reasonable Faith:
Dear Dr. Craig,
I love your work and your tireless efforts to spread the message of Christ in a intelligent, articulate manner! You have personally brought me to faith in Christ and delivered me, through your various articles and debates, from an atheistic-induced existential depression ( I really contemplated suicide for I thought: Since there is no afterlife… might as well go into oblivion sooner….. ); and for that I cannot thank you enough!
I have 3 questions.
1) Regarding the theory of evolution, why is it so widely accepted in mainstream science? While I am steadfast in the fact that evolution cannot disprove the existence of God; I cannot seem to find any evidence clearly showing the general process of simple organisms evolving into more complex ones. Furthermore, there seems to be a consensus among geologists that the Earth is roughly 6 billion years old, whereas I hear Young Earth Creationists stating that the Earth is only 6 thousand years old. Who is right?
2) If evolution is true, then why didn’t God write Genesis differently? Just a simple ” and little organisms changed over time ” would certainly clear up all the conflict between Creationists and Evolutionists and prevent people from thinking that the Bible is against science or something. In line with this thinking, why didn’t God put the Big Bang Cosmology theory in Genesis? ” In the beginning, the universe was a hot dense state. Then, it expanded! ”
3) What is going to happen to the Reasonable faith ministry should you retire or be called to be with Christ? Is it going to continue under another scholar(s)? Or will it ceased to exist? ( the horror! =D)
Please give me links or additional information regarding these topics
Once again, I really thank you for your work and pray that God blesses and keeps you, and everything you hold dear, well.
I’m thrilled to hear that your life is now on a good track, Tim! I’ll respond to your questions in order.
(1) Why is the theory of evolution so widely accepted in mainstream science? I think the short answer is that it’s the best naturalistic theory we’ve got. If, as a result of methodological naturalism, the pool of live explanatory options is limited to naturalistic hypotheses, then, at least until recently, the neo-Darwinian theory of biological evolution driven by the mechanisms of genetic mutation and natural selection was, as Alvin Plantinga puts it, the only game in town. Rival naturalistic hypotheses could not equal its explanatory power, scope, and plausibility. No matter how improbable it seems, no matter how enormously far the explanatory power of its mechanisms must be extrapolated beyond the testable evidence, no matter the lack of evidence for many of its tenets, it has to be true because there isn’t any other naturalistic theory that comes close.
It’s helpful to remind ourselves that the word “evolution” is an accordion-word that can be expanded or contracted to suit the occasion. The evolutionary biologist Francisco Ayala points out that the word “evolution” can be used to mean at least three different things:
1. The process of change and diversification of living things over time. It is in this sense that biologists say that evolution is a fact. But obviously this fact, so stated, is innocuous and would not be disputed even by the most fundamentalist Young Earth Creationist.
2. Reconstruction of evolutionary history, showing how various lineages branched off from one another on the universal tree of life.
3. The mechanisms which account for evolutionary change. Darwin appealed to natural selection operating on random variations in living things in order to explain the adaptedness of organisms to their environment. With the development of modern genetics, genetic mutations came to supplement the Darwinian mechanism of natural selection by supplying an explanation for the variations on which natural selection works. Accordingly, we can call this hypothesis “neo-Darwinism.”