How can I help my evolutionist son respect both science and Scripture?
Let’s just back off the Scripture point for a moment. To start having a respect for science, you would have to have a respect for reason. Reason would say this: this entire universe does not exist because of a series of unrelated accidents. To believe it does is not reason; it’s insanity. That’s when you put somebody in a padded cell.
Reason basically operates on one basis: cause and effect. You see a cause and an effect, then another cause and effect, and you track it. That’s what reason does. It is a form of insanity to look at the massive universe as a macrocosm and to look at the microcosm universe and then conclude, “Nobody times nothing equals everything.” Is there anything more insane than that? That’s like saying, “I’m a potato chip.” This is completely irrational. You cannot have personality, intellect, emotion, complexity, and massive displays of power coming out of nothing.
One of the interesting things I read some years ago was from John von Neumann, who was a German scientist. He had the idea of a perfect machine, so he designed this perfect machine by concept. He said that a perfect machine would be self-propelling. In other words, it would have within itself its own energy source. It would be self-repairing. It would have the ability to repair itself at every point. And it would be self-reproducing. This perfect machine that was self-propelling, self-repairing, and self-reproducing, he concluded, would be so infinitely complex as to never be possible to build. Then he realized that’s exactly what every single living cell in life is. It is a self-propelling, self-repairing, self-reproducing complex machine that has within it structure and DNA and information systems that cause it to do exactly what it does. If you look at that, you have to understand that this demonstrates a massive complex mind.
One other thing to say is that science doesn’t have any business talking about creation. All science can do is observe. Science can say, “This happens, this happens, and this happens.” There is no scientific explanation for creation any more than you could say there’s a scientific explanation for Jesus walking on water. What’s the scientific explanation for Jesus walking on water? There is none. What’s the scientific explanation for Jesus raising dead people? There is none. What’s the scientific explanation for Jesus giving sight to blind people? There is no scientific explanation.
If there’s no scientific explanation for miracles, which is essentially why they’re miracles, then what is the most monumental, massive, incomprehensible miracle of all miracles? It’s that the entire universe comes into existence in six days. There’s no scientific explanation for that. If you walk back into the creation account with science as your tool, you’re a fool. The only way you’ll know creation is to hear from the first eyewitness of creation, the Creator Himself, and that’s found in Genesis 1 and 2. Science has no business going into places where one can’t see a reproducible reality, and creation is the most massive of all miracles.
If you’re talking to a teenager, what you want to say is: “You know that every effect has a cause, and the complexity of all the massive effects in the universe cannot have no cause. How do we know about creation? The only way we could possibly know is if we have an eyewitness account from the Creator, and that’s what Scripture is.”
This transcript is from a live Ask Ligonier event with John MacArthur and has been lightly edited for readability. To ask Ligonier a biblical or theological question, just visit Ask.Ligonier.org or message us on Facebook or Twitter.