(This is a reaction to the January 10 bible study lesson at http://ssnet.org/lessons/13a/less02.html.)
This lesson talks about how incompatible natural selection is with the ideas of God being in control, reminding of us of His generosity, the power of His word, and the defense of the weak…and that evolution is a story of competition being set up so that only the strong survive and the weak die.
It’s good to be accurate if we want to criticize other people’s beliefs, and the way the lesson describes the idea of natural selection is a little inaccurate. Natural selection isn’t about creatures becoming more complex, as the lesson claims, nor is it about the strong defeating the weak, as the lesson implies.
The idea of natural selection simply states that the creatures who are able to reproduce the most in a particular environment naturally pass on their genes where other creatures that weren’t as good at reproducing in an environment don’t pass on their genes as much.
So natural selection doesn’t demand that creatures become more complex, as the lesson claims. An evolutionist would say that sometimes a less complex creature might be the best at reproducing in a particular environment. That happens; think, for example, of extremophiles, creatures living in extreme conditions such as in high-temperature natural water vents. Those creatures, often microbes, are very simple compared to us.
And also, a creature doesn’t have to be “stronger” to pass on its genes; it simply is whatever happened to reproduce most. Think of the various types of sloths. Do you think that a sloth is a strong, dominant predator that preys on the weak? No, the evolutionist would say that they just happened to be the ones who worked best in a particular environment: the canopy layers of some forests.
Anyway, my point is that we have to study these issues to know what evolutionists really think; otherwise, we’re criticizing points that they don’t even hold. And that could make us look less intelligent, and that could hurt the work of the gospel. So let’s not criticize others, and if we have to disagree with them, let’s make sure we understand what they really believe.
(Praise Team Leader at New Horizons SDA Church in Republic, MO)