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Atheistic or Non-theistic?

Letter received

My response

I was browsing your new website at, and wanted to mention a couple of things.

Also, while I think you've done a generally good job with your site, you've made some glaring mistakes that I find troubling.

The biggest one is that you equate evolution = atheism. This is arrogant, ignorant, and insulting to millions of Christians, like myself, who find no conflict between the evidence in nature for evolution and my faith in God and Jesus. Evolution is NOT atheistic, it is, like all of science, NON-theistic.

As a Christian, I believe that God created the heavens and earth and all that is in them. I believe that I am a special creation of God, created in His image. Those are two of the most profound messages of the Bible.

As a geologist, I am aware of and accept the overwhelming evidence that the earth has a long and complex history, and that life on earth also has a long and complex history. That is what the evidence tells us, and that is the simple "message" of evolution: life has changed through time.

This in no way contradicts a belief in God or the redemptive power of Christ. It only contradicts a narrow, literalist, interpretation of Genesis.

There are many websites that expose the fallacies of some of the "problems" with evolution that you report. For example, transitional fossils are ABUNDANT in the fossil record, regardless of creationist claims to the contrary. Here's a Christian website that discusses some of these in detail:

Here is another important resource for factual information about transitional fossils and evolution:

That same site exposes fallacies in virtually ALL the creationist arguments against evolution, which you seem to accept without questioning their accuracy or validity.

While there are many, many more, here is a recent book by a devout Christian that reviews the abundant evidence for evolution, while showing that evolution is not in conflict with mainstream religious beliefs:

"Finding Darwin's God: A Scientist's Search for Common Ground Between God and Evolution," by Kenneth R. Miller, Cliff Street Books publisher, 338 pgs.

I don't know if you'll follow up on any of this or not. I've met with, talked with, debated with, consulted with, many creationists, many of them dear friends of mine, and there are usually three outcomes -

1) when confronted with the actual overwhelming amount of data in support of evolution, they lose interest in discussing it any more - they are more comfortable in their belief that there is evidence against evolution and they simply accept the disinformation they hear from other creationists, and they don't want to take the trouble to learn it for themselves - in other words, "my mind's made up, don't confuse me with the facts"

2) sometimes someone actually has the intellectual honesty to confront the true evidence and ponder what it means -
unfortunately, it usually means they have a crisis of faith, which is not my intention and which I take no pleasure in. It is unnecessary, too - because the conflict is not with religion, but with what they've been taught about Biblical interpretation
- "If you don't believe the Genesis story is factually real, you can't be a Christian". So, when they learn that Genesis is NOT real, they question their whole faith. Hopefully they can learn to accept Genesis as a creation myth that shows our relationship with God, NOT as a historical science textbook.

3) sometimes they cling to their beliefs, even though they recognize the true nature of the evidence supporting evolution, and their attitude is "OK, I see why scientists (of all faiths) accept the fact of evolution, but I just have to choose to believe something else."

I would be sincerely interested in your response to this.


Thanks for your letter. Regarding the error you got on my links button, I think you must have been the victim of an isolated server error, not my site itself. I've tried the button myself and it works and haven't had any other complaints of this nature in the past 20,000 hits.

Before I can respond properly to your other thoughts, it would help to know if you read my site at or if you read the old site that you visited using the link at I've tried hard to give a balance in my current site, but I have to admit that the original version at, which few people have even seen, reflected more sarcasm in the connection between evolution and atheism. I've gone back and eliminated the old site in response to your thoughts. This entire creation / evolution issue is very difficult to address and have everyone think you've hit the target dead center. My main hope is not to give answers but just to challenge people to seek the truth for themselves. If you read the new site, you find:

I never say that evolution didn't happen. On one page, I even draw parallels between man's evolution of technologies, with the primary point being that design is involved, not chance. I leave open the possibility that evolution is part of God's process of creation. I don't think we really know yet how God created life. Maybe it was through continual evolution. Maybe there were acts of special creation of orders and species never before seen, consistent with the overall nature of Genesis, although I never address the issue of six days vs. millions of years in my site. My personal belief is that the controversy over the evidence suggests that the truth is yet to be found and is perhaps in the middle of the polarized positions taken on atheistic evolution and a literal interpretation of Genesis. 

I looked at the site you referred me to on the problem of transitional fossils. Even after reading that article, I'm not sure how you came to the conclusion that they are abundant in the fossil record. If that's the case, why have evolutionists abandoned Darwinian gradualism in favor of punctuated equilibrium, which seeks to keep evolution theory intact despite the absence of evidence of the gradual changes upon which Darwin based his theory? You mentioned a site that "exposes" fallacies in virtually all the creationist arguments against evolution. If this is so, then why do we see more and more being written by noted scientists with no theistic agenda who question the validity of the micro-evolution to macro-evolution assumption?

Yes, there are lots of sites on both sides of the issue, but they all reflect a belief system to some degree which seeks to prove a certain viewpoint. Even the ones that represent "science" aren't completely objective. I think we're far from understanding the truth. I think your distinction between science is non-theistic vs. atheistic is good, but frankly much of how I see science being used leads the average person to the conclusion that God is not necessary to explain our existence. They makes leaps of faith from micro-evolution to macro-evolution to spontaneous generation of life from inanimate matter rather than making the final connection to Intelligent Design as you have. You can see that view presented in Scientific American, on the Discover Channel and even at Epcot Center in Disney World. You've come to your own conclusions that God is the source of it all, but your view certainly doesn't represent the view represented by the scientific or academic communities. I'm not nearly as convinced as you are that we truly understand the origins of life and I see much of what we do understand being presented in a very biased way that goes beyond science to mere conjecture. It is for that reason that I think we still need to challenge the fundamental flaws in the logic. I think that much of what you apparently regard as scientific fact still relies heavily on conjecture and rationalization to support a preconceived belief system. Scientists are just as guilty as six day creationists in being very open to evidence that supports their own beliefs and very close-minded to contradictory evidence. None of us are immune to pride.

I agree with you entirely that whatever process God used to create life creates no contradiction with a belief in God or the redemptive power of Christ. Accordingly, I don't fit neatly into your three buckets of creationist response. I'm fine with whatever evidence we find that gives us a clearer insight into the nature of life and the universe. I'm not fine though with beliefs being proclaimed as fact in the name of science that go beyond what the evidence supports, that fail to explain contradictory evidence and that fail to explore the alternate hypotheses that God may have had a more direct hand in the origin and design of life than just setting off the big bang and letting it go. As an example of what I'm talking about, see my page at

As I said, you made a good point about science being "non-theistic," but even as a Christian I think you would have to admit that our current conception of science is being used by some to advance an atheistic conclusion. Maybe we've sanitized science too much. Past civilizations had much more integration of the natural and the Supernatural in their pursuit of knowledge. Jesus tells us that the greatest commandment is to "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind." (Matthew 22:37-38) Does our current approach to science embody that? Is "science," as we now define it, the final answer or the only means to acquire knowledge, or must it evolve too to have any hope of explaining the part of life and the universe that mankind has now excluded from science's domain? When God looks at how we have defined and embraced science, would He look at its "non-theistic" orientation favorably or would He echo the words found in Revelation 3:15-16: "I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm--neither hot nor cold--I am about to spit you out of my mouth."

I think we still have a lot to learn and need to question much of what we accept as fact. We're not the first generation in history to "know it all," especially when it comes to a question as complex as the origin of life, and we need to at least be open to having God as part of the answer. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Best regards,



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