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I received this email a few days ago from Austin T (with a cover note from his Dad) — and I was overjoyed!  I thought if only more of our Christian kids and parents would question what our schools teach, and learn how we can respond with God honoring answers, the Church would quickly become the major influencer of society instead of the other way around.

My name is Austin and I’m 12 years old.  A couple days ago a question came to mind after seeing articles from my social studies text book and magazines . Scientist say that we may have evolved from monkeys because our dna is very similar. I want to know how to explain this theory to anyone who asks so I can defend my faith.

Thank You
Austin

Click on the Comments Link to see my answer, but please Post a Comment yourself from your experience as a parent or a student.  My response was as a apologist, but yours may be from an entirely different perspective — and a lot briefer!  I would love to see a Forum develop (perhaps here on Christian Perspectives) where we can encourage our young people to ask questions and receive Godly wisdom.

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4 Comments

  1. Dear Austin,

    Thank you so much for your question. I know the Lord is pleased that you asked it! If you keep asking questions and gaining wisdom the Bible says that you will have a long and successful life. Remember, the Bible is God’s Word and it is the beginning source of all knowledge, even though it doesn’t give all the details.

    The Bible tells us that God created everything that exists — including human beings (Genesis 1:1 and 1:27). It says that He created us male and female “in His own image,” though it doesn’t tell us exactly how He did it. It says that God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into him the breath of life and man became a living being (Genesis 2:7), which means that we are a personal creation of God. And in Genesis 1:24 it says that God made all living creatures “after their kind” which means that all creatures, including mankind, are special but different creations.

    Scientists who don’t believe in the Biblical account of creation don’t have an answer to how life began. They propose theories of how things can occur without God. The best they can say is that the different species “evolved” in one continuous ancestry. That is, the simplest creatures (e.g., bacteria) lived first, and then the more complex creatures came along though the natural mechanism of evolution. They say that some random change in the genetic structure of a species (mutation) took place and it proved beneficial to the survivability of that species (natural selection). That is, Nature not God created all the different species. That is not what the Bible teaches nor what the evidence shows.

    Evolution of sorts (adaptation) is partially true, but only within a species. For example, when arctic temperatures get colder, a polar bear grows thicker hair to “adapt.” Alternatively, the bear sheds its hair as the climate gets warmer. The bear “evolves” as it becomes more “adaptable” for survival and that trait can be passed on to its next generation. But bears still remain bears. Or, dogs can be bred from one generation to the next to perform specific tasks better (for example making them better hunters) by artificially enhancing certain features they have (perhaps breeding them with bigger jaws). But dogs remain dogs. Dogs never become bears.

    Back in 1859 a scientist by the name of Charles Darwin observed adaption (e.g., bears in the wilderness) and breeding (e.g., dogs in captivity) and proposed that all the species could have originated in Nature alone by random mutation and natural selection, i.e., no intervention by God or man. Darwin proposed that the need for the species to survive would trigger these natural mechanisms and cause a brand new species to originate. Science readily embraced this theory and today it is considered fact by most all in biological community. Christians, however, who work in science still believe the Bible’s account of creation and treat evolution only as a theory. Some Christians try to combine creation and evolution even though the two views are in conflict. But that is a minority Christian view and in my opinion without merit.

    Evolutionists represent all the different species in a picture they call the “Tree of Life.” The “trunk of the tree” represents the first life forms of many millions of years ago. The “branches” of the tree represent all the different species that evolved over subsequent millions of years. The “leaves” on the tree represent the individual species. On the “human branch” of the tree are all the species that “look” similar (body plan and DNA) to a human — monkeys, apes, chimpanzees, etc. That is the basis for what you are seeing in your text books and magazines. This has never been observed and is based on very flimsy evidence.

    As Christians we know that evolution is not a correct representation of the origin of man. Not only are we a special creation of God made in “His image,” we also possess a “soul” which is spiritual and not material. Evolution has no explanation for how man gets his soul, so most evolutionists reject the idea that we possess a soul.

    The fact that human DNA is similar to that of a monkey’s is not really strong evidence for the theory of evolution. This observation can just as easily be interpreted as evidence that monkeys and humans have a common Designer (God) who uses the universal molecules He originally created (like DNA) to create species which have to survive on earth under similar environmental conditions. In other words, God uses the same building blocks to specially create the species. There is very little evidence (if any) that one species evolves into another, even though your textbook may present evolution as a fact.

    Your Dad has asked me to publish your question on my blogsite where a number of people will see it and can respond with their view. I’ll send you the link when I publish it so you can see their responses as they come in.

    I am very proud of you for asking the question and I will be delighted to respond to any further questions you have. Just call or email me.

    Your Friend in Christ,

    Stuart Orr

  2. Hi Austin,

    Sometimes a “Socratic” question can help illustrate some of the trickier points of the evolution/creation debate. Mull over and really think about some of the questions below as you seek God’s Truth:

    If evolution is a Law of Nature (i.e. all species are continually evolving to higher forms), and if humans evolved from monkeys, why are there still monkeys?

    What’s kept monkeys suspended in “monkey-form” all this time (shouldn’t they have evolved by now, too)?

    How many more millions of years will it take for a chimpanzee to become a human?

    Ultimately, you’ll find the evolution/creation debate is primarily concerned with whether or not we ought to follow God’s Word. If evoluation is correct, and there is no Creator, we can act and carry on as animals (as the world would encourage us). Evolution is the foundation for moral-relativism, which stipulates that there is no absolute right or wrong, only opinion. Ultimately, evolution provides a platform for humans to turn their back on their Creator as a “fairy-tale” and to pursue and engage in all kinds of destructive behavior like pre-marital sex, pornography, drug abuse, selfish ambition, idolatry, etc.

    Unfortunately, most people would prefer to live and act as animals, than to follow God’s best for our lives. And that’s what is at the heart of the evolution/creation debate… our justifying our sinful desires by rationalizing away our Creator.

    God’s Word (Romans 1, written about 2000 years agao) best summarizes the core of evoluation/creation debate:

    “20For God’s [holy] wrath and indignation are revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who in their wickedness repress and hinder the truth and make it inoperative.

    19For that which is known about God is evident to them and made plain in their inner consciousness, because God [Himself] has shown it to them.

    20For ever since the creation of the world His invisible nature and attributes, that is, His eternal power and divinity, have been made intelligible and clearly discernible in and through the things that have been made (His handiworks). So [men] are without excuse [altogether without any defense or justification],

    21Because when they knew and recognized Him as God, they did not honor and glorify Him as God or give Him thanks. But instead they became futile and godless in their thinking [with vain imaginings, foolish reasoning, and stupid speculations] and their senseless minds were darkened.

    22Claiming to be wise, they became fools [professing to be smart, they made simpletons of themselves].

    23And by them the glory and majesty and excellence of the immortal God were exchanged for and represented by images, resembling mortal man and birds and beasts and reptiles.

    24Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their [own] hearts to sexual impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves [abandoning them to the degrading power of sin],

    25Because they exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, Who is blessed forever! Amen (so be it).

    26For this reason God gave them over and abandoned them to vile affections and degrading passions. For their women exchanged their natural function for an unnatural and abnormal one,

    27And the men also turned from natural relations with women and were set ablaze (burning out, consumed) with lust for one another–men committing shameful acts with men and suffering in their own bodies and personalities the inevitable consequences and penalty of their wrong-doing and going astray, which was [their] fitting retribution.

    28And so, since they did not see fit to acknowledge God or approve of Him or consider Him worth the knowing, God gave them over to a base and condemned mind to do things not proper or decent but loathsome,

    29Until they were filled (permeated and saturated) with every kind of unrighteousness, iniquity, grasping and covetous greed, and malice. [They were] full of envy and jealousy, murder, strife, deceit and treachery, ill will and cruel ways. [They were] secret backbiters and gossipers,

    30Slanderers, hateful to and hating God, full of insolence, arrogance, [and] boasting; inventors of new forms of evil, disobedient and undutiful to parents.

    31[They were] without understanding, conscienceless and faithless, heartless and loveless [and] merciless.

    32Though they are fully aware of God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve to die, they not only do them themselves but approve and applaud others who practice them.”

    Much love in Christ,

    Aaron

  3. Hi.

    Beware of the fallacy of equivocation. Theory may me something like “not proven” for the layman, but it is a well-established fact for the scientist. Evolution is oft described as “change”. And within a kind (mentioned 10x in Gen.1) there can indeed be change. This is sometimes referred to as micro-evolution, I prefer variation within kind. However, this is then extrapolated and turns into macro-evolution, which, unlike the first has never been observed and the fossil record is completely barren too (hence they are still talking about missing link, but the chain is assumed, it does not come forth form observations).
    No also that we know very little still about DNA, but even form the things we do know, it is starting to become very embarrassing for those who used the 95-99% DNA similarity. They never tell you they only looked at gene-coding DNA, and dismiss the rest as junk, again, assumed. This is turning out to be wrong.
    Even the differences in gene-coding are significant. I am sure evolutionists will try to hold on to this one for as long as they can, as they have nothing to replace it with.
    No, it is a great thing to be a Biblical creationist. I would not want to be on a sinking ship. That of evolution.

    LT

  4. Hey Austin …

    Let me give you a more focused and direct answer to your specific question!
    May I suggest … if you’re confronted with this information (propaganda) by someone around your own age … that you (politely) tell them that “If I saw your face in the mirror every morning when I got up … then I might be persuaded into believing this silly LIE as well” !!!
    (But … then be sure to quickly say that you were just joking about them looking like a monkey!)

    If you are told to believe this by one of your teachers (or another adult)… then (kindly) ask them if they have read the entire report that includes ALL of the detailed data?
    After they say NO! Tell them that … if they had … they would have found the following information buried deep down in the technical portion of the study:

    *** The draft sequence of the common chimpanzee genome published in the summer 2005 showed the regions that are similar enough to be aligned with one another account for 2400 million of the human genome’s 3164.7 million bases[19] – that is, 75.8% of the genome. This 75.8% of the human genome is 1.23% different from the chimpanzee genome in single nucleotide polymorphisms[19] (changes of single DNA “letters” in the genome). Another type of difference, called indels (insertions/deletions) account for another ~3 % difference between the alignable sequences.[19] In addition, variation in copy number of large segments (> 20 kb) of similar DNA sequence provides a further 2.7% difference between the two species.[20] Hence the total similarity of the genomes could be as low as about 70%. ***

    This NOW seems to make a little more sense … because a Man & a Monkey sure don’t look 99% the same … now do they?
    Then … you can tell them that you also recently read another article about a new study in Australia that says the following:

    *** Mankind may be descended from apes but Australian scientists have found proof of links much closer to the sea floor, with a study revealing that sea sponges share almost 70 percent of human genes.
    Genetic sequencing of sea sponges from the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef showed the ancient marine animal shared many of its genes with humans, including a large number typically associated with disease and cancer. ***

    I would then say “That it would seem to me that Genetic Analysis of Man and his similarities to other creatures in nature … would prove that people who believe in Darwinian Evolution as fact (or even as a viable theory)… might want to think again … before buying into the misinformation about this extremely flawed theory about our origin” !!!
    You might want to add (confidently … but humbly) “But hey! … that’s just me! I have a tendency to read ALL the details about these kinds of studies … and can’t help but to come to logical & rational conclusions” !!!

    I hope that you find this information helpful … but PLEASE ask your father to read this before you take my advice!
    Your father is responsible for your public behavior (until you are 18)… so always defer to his judgment over mine or anybody else for these matters! O.K.? ^_-

    Bret*


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