4 Key Points Christian Kids Need to Understand About Evolution

4 Vital Things Christian Kids Need to Understand About EvolutionThe other day, I saw a post on Facebook from a mom who was concerned because her teenage daughter was turning away from God after learning about evolution. The mom was considering pulling her out of public school because she wasn’t sure what to do about it.

It breaks my heart when I see parents who feel unequipped to dialogue with their kids about evolution and age of the Earth issues. These questions are so crucial for parents to be able to discuss with their kids that I devoted 8 of the 40 questions in my book to explaining the scriptural and scientific considerations at stake.

Today I want to bring to light four key points I think Christian parents need to make sure their kids understand about evolution, but are often left unaddressed. This post could easily have been 101 things kids need to understand about evolution, but that would be another book! This is far from comprehensive, but I hope it will get the conversation going.

 

1. Evolution isn’t necessarily an anti-Christian concept.

A lot of Christian parents think of evolution as a dirty word. They immediately assume it’s the antithesis of Christianity and are quick to state their opposition to everything associated with it.

But the word evolution, in its most basic sense, simply means that a species has undergone genetic change over time (a species is a group of organisms capable of interbreeding—for example, humans are a species and dogs are a species). This basic concept of evolution isn’t controversial at all. Genetic change within species is a well-documented fact that scientists can observe within a human lifetime.

Christians of every viewpoint (young-Earth creationists, old-Earth creationists, and theistic evolutionists) all agree that evolution, in this sense, takes place (sometimes people refer to this as “microevolution”).

What is controversial is whether the same mechanism that drives change within a species is capable of changing one species into another (sometimes called “macroevolution”). Ultimately, evolutionists claim that all species on Earth today descend from a single species that lived 3.5 billion years ago. This is the claim most Christians object to.

When Christian parents negatively overreact to the mere idea of evolution, they can quickly lose credibility with their kids for not understanding and interacting with the issues more deeply. Our kids need us to understand what they are learning and how to process it scientifically and scripturally. If this is an area you don’t feel confident talking to your kids about, it’s important to get up to speed.

 

2. There is scientific evidence both consistent and inconsistent with evolutionary theory.

I didn’t hear much about evolution growing up, but I do clearly remember my youth group leader laughing it off one day: “Yeah, right, like we all really came from apes!” I chuckled along, because that thought did seem crazy.

But there were two problems with what he said. First, it wasn’t even a technically accurate representation of what evolutionists claim. Evolutionists do not claim that humans descend from modern apes, but that we share a common ancestor with them. That might sound like a fine detail, but it’s clear to me in retrospect that my leader didn’t understand evolutionary theory at all.

Second, it’s not good critical thinking to dismiss something because it sounds weird. It’s weird but true, for example, that we live on a big rock that jets around the sun and we don’t feel a thing.

Unfortunately, I have heard far too many Christians trivialize what evolution is in favor of caricatures like those of my youth pastor. When I eventually learned about the scientific evidence for evolution as an adult, my life-long faith was initially shaken in a matter of hours. No one had ever told me there was actually extensive scientific evidence that could be consistent with evolutionary claims. Based on the light-hearted handling I had seen from other Christians, I had assumed evolution was an idea that could easily be dismissed.

In reality, there is significant scientific evidence both consistent and inconsistent with evolutionary theory. Our kids need to 1) have an accurate understanding of what evolution is and 2) have a thorough understanding of the scientific evidence that is both consistent and inconsistent with it.

 

3. The age of the Earth and evolution are related but separate scientific subjects that Christians must grapple with.

A common misunderstanding many Christians have is that questions about the age of the Earth and evolution are all part of one issue. They’re related, but actually pose separate scientific (and theological) questions for Christians.

As a basic background, mainstream scientists estimate that the Earth is 4.5 billion years old. Young-Earth creationists estimate that the Earth is 6,000-10,000 years old, based on a timeline deduced from biblical data on historical events and genealogies. These young-Earth estimates are derived first and foremost from the biblical data, but there are young-Earth scientists who work to support those estimates with scientific evidence and models (called “creation science”). Conversely, to my knowledge, there are no mainstream scientists (Christian or non-Christian) who believe the Earth is 6,000-10,000 years old based on scientific evidence ALONE.

Here’s the bottom line.

  • Evolution requires billions of years in order to even possibly have the amount of time necessary for small genetic changes to amass into the diversity of species we see today. In that sense, evolution and an ancient Earth do go hand-in-hand.
  • However, the reverse is not true. An ancient Earth does not necessarily mean evolution took place. The scientific evidence for an old Earth is mostly independent from the evidence for evolution. For this reason, there are many Christians who are “old-Earth creationists”—accepting the scientific evidence for an old Earth, but rejecting evolution.

 

4. Theistic evolution (the belief that God used evolution to create life) has significant theological implications.

While some Christians are too fast to dismiss anything related to the word evolution (see point 1), others are too fast to embrace it without understanding the full implications. For example, I’ve heard many people say, “It doesn’t matter whether God used evolution or anything else to create the world!”

While it’s true that God could have used evolution, many people don’t realize the broader theological implications of accepting evolution as His creative mechanism:

  • The Bible states that humans are made in God’s image—a very different, morally accountable, creature than animals. If all life evolved from one common ancestor, however, we are biologically no different than animals. (Theistic evolutionists believe that the properties related to God’s “image” are those of a person’s soul, and that God could have imprinted His image on humans at an unknown point in their evolutionary development.)
  • Most theistic evolutionists do not believe a literal Adam and Eve existed. If a literal first couple did not exist, the important question of how and when sin entered the world is left unanswered. Why is that so important? Well, the Bible overall is a story of the problem of sin and God’s “rescue plan” through Jesus. If you’re left without any biblical explanation of how the “big problem” arose, it can diminish the need for the “big solution” of Jesus. (Theistic evolutionists differ in how they address this.)

There are many other implications, but these are two of the most important to understand.

Biologos is the leading organization that promotes theistic evolution (they prefer the term evolutionary creation). Whether you agree with their viewpoint or not, they publish good resources for helping Christians better understand evolution.

Post edited to add: Based on multiple requests from readers of this post, I will follow up soon with a new post dedicated to providing resources for learning more about evolution and age of the Earth issues!

I’d love to hear about the experiences your kids have had with evolution in the classroom. Please share your thoughts in the comments! If there are specific subjects on this topic you’d like me to address in the future, please let me know how I can help.

54 Comments

  1. Doug Beaumont on June 10, 2015 at 7:00 AM

    I am glad to see someone taking this “inner-circle” issue on! I am also happy to see some balance being brought to the discussion – it is not all or nothing when it comes to evolution.

    The one issue I take with the above presentation is the characterization of macro-evolution (species-change) being “the claim most Christians object to.” Actually. “most” Christians do not have (or have to have) a problem with evolution on a macro or micro scale (because most Christians are either Catholic or Orthodox – and neither tradition rejects either). Even “macro-evolution” (species-change) can be compatible with God’s special creation as well as a literal Adam and Eve so long as God is the creator of the human soul (which is what makes matter into a human).

    Thanks again for your work, you are a rare voice of reason in a crazy world!

    “Methodical research in all branches of knowledge, provided it is carried out in a truly scientific manner and does not override moral laws, can never conflict with the faith, because the things of the world and the things the of the faith derive from the same God. The humble and persevering investigator of the secrets of nature is being led, as it were, by the hand of God in spite of himself, for it is God, the conserver of all things, who made them what they are” (CCC 159).



    • Natasha Crain on June 10, 2015 at 7:36 AM

      Thanks very much, Doug!

      By “most Christians,” I mean in the numerical sense (based on Gallup polls). Based on research, fewer Christians hold to theistic evolution than any other view – regardless of any specific position held by their church.

      I agree that theistic evolution does not rule out a literal Adam and Eve. However, since the (vast?) majority of theistic evolutionists see them as symbolic, I included this as a key consideration of the view.



    • Paul on June 10, 2015 at 4:27 PM

      Well said, Doug. Thanks for the clarifications. More should read Plantinga’s Where The Conflict Really Lies.



  2. Jamie Beasley on June 10, 2015 at 7:49 AM

    You state that you are unaware of any scientists, christian or secular, who believe the Earth is 6,000-10,000 years old based on scientific evidence. The Institute for Creation Research has a number of christian scientists who believe just exactly that. They put out a magazine every month called Acts & Facts to show the evidence that is being gathered around the world that supports a young-earth creation. Whether you agree with their ideas or not, to say that nobody really believes the earth is young based on scientific evidence is just untrue.



    • Natasha Crain on June 10, 2015 at 7:54 AM

      Hi Jaime, Actually, that’s not what I said. I said no one that I know of believes the earth is young based on scientific evidence ALONE. That’s an important qualification! Please re-read the paragraph before that for the fuller context:

      “These young-Earth estimates are derived first and foremost from the biblical data, but there are young-Earth scientists who work to support those estimates with scientific evidence and models (called “creation science”). Conversely, to my knowledge, there are no mainstream scientists (Christian or non-Christian) who believe the Earth is 6,000-10,000 years old based on scientific evidence alone.”

      Even organizations like Answers in Genesis and ICR acknowledge that their starting point for dating the earth is the Bible, and not science. They date the Earth from biblical data and then do scientific research in support of it. That is what’s called “creation science.”

      Does that make more sense? Hope it helps. 🙂 I put ALONE in caps in the post to highlight the above.



      • Jamie Beasley on June 10, 2015 at 8:20 AM

        I understand what you’re saying. I guess my view is that if we’re going to say our beliefs and our lives are going to be lived according to the Bible, then maybe the Bible in fact is where we SHOULD start. The creation story is not presented as metaphorical. It’s presented very much as fact. Adam and his descendents are included in the genealogical records in the Bible. This is more or less stating that we should accept evolution as a fact because for the last 100 or so years scientists have been saying it is so. Scientists also use to think the world was flat. Just because scientists says it is so doesn’t mean it is. There is also scientific evidence backing up a young-earth theory. Everybody, christian and secular, starts with the idea they want to be true and tries to find evidence to support it. Hopefully, if they’re honest, if the evidence doesn’t support their theory they will admit this. Often people don’t. They don’t want to give up their belief, so they twist their findings to support it. This can happen to both secular and christian scientists alike. This post just strikes me as giving in to evolutionists in order to make christianity not seem so “backwards” to the secular world and thereby to our children.



        • Natasha Crain on June 10, 2015 at 8:41 AM

          This post isn’t intended to be a debate of any particular view, but rather to factually address points on evolution – I’m not sure what here would be seen as “giving in” to evolutionists given that every point is purely factual/descriptive and should be without controversy regardless of view (YEC, OEC, TE, ID, etc.).

          For example, no one would disagree that there is scientific evidence consistent with evolution (be sure to note that consistent with doesn’t mean “demonstrates evolution is true” or “is the only explanation of the facts”). Young-Earth creationists acknowledge this as well. For example, everyone accepts the order of the geologic column. The “fact” that it is roughly “ordered” from the most simple organisms on bottom to the most complex on top would be “consistent” with evolutionary theory (in which organisms have moved from simple to complex over time). That doesn’t mean that there aren’t other interpretations, however. Young-Earth creationists, beginning with the Bible (for the reasons you state), look at this same ordering through the lens of a global flood and create models to explain how that “sorting” could have taken place.

          So, there’s nothing here that should be controversial unless a person feels that kids should not understand the scientific and scriptural implications of the varying views Christians have on origins. I believe kids should understand those things regardless of the specific view their parents are advocating.



        • Ryan on June 10, 2015 at 2:18 PM

          What scientist used to think the world was flat?



        • Ken Wolgemuth on March 24, 2016 at 10:49 AM

          The phrase of “If they’re honest” is crucial. So much material about geology coming from ICR and AiG is not honest. Watch for our book coming out next month from Kregel, written for the church by mostly Christians. “The Grand Canyon, Monument to an Ancient Earth: Can Noah’s Flood Explain the Grand Canyon?”



          • Tim Helble on April 24, 2016 at 3:31 PM

            Natashia – want me to send you a copy of the book Ken mentioned? I’m sure you would find that it would be an excellent resource for people to have on the age of the earth issue.



    • Chris Falter on June 12, 2015 at 9:06 PM

      Hi Jaime,

      The Institute for Creation Research published a study called RATE in 2005 that pursued a variety of methods for dating geological formations. They dated one rock using several standard radiometric techniques to arrive at a date of approximately 500 million years old. When error bars are taken into account, the techniques differed by only 10-15% in their result.

      To account for the difference between 500 million years and 6000 years, the RATE team postulated that due to some completely unknown mechanism that fundamentally changed the laws of physics, the rate of radioactive decay must have increased by a factor of approximately 500 million during the flood year, then stopped.

      You can already see why the vast majority of scientists reject this: constants like the weak force, strong force, gravitation, and electromagnetism are called constants because every observation ever made, anywhere, shows precisely zero deviation. They are more constant than death and taxes. Postulating completely unknown mechanisms to change them is not a definition of science, it is completely speculative and has not a shred of scientific evidence in its favor.

      But that isn’t the greatest difficulty for the RATE report; even if we grant that the rate of radioactive decay dramatically increased for just a year, the amount of heat and radioactive energy released would have boiled off the oceans and killed every living being with radioactive poisoning.

      So the RATE report authors speculated that there was some unknown mechanism that shielded the living creatures on the ark and in the waters from the radioactivity, and that there was some unknown mechanism for dispersing the heat energy from the earth.

      When you read the headlines from ICR or Answers in Genesis, for some reason they omit these details. Why do they omit such details? observed.



  3. Kimberly on June 10, 2015 at 8:04 AM

    Thank you so much for addressing a crucial issue parents face today. One thing I feel that your post lacks – in light of your stance on the importance of parents getting up to speed/not fearing discussion with their children – is a brief list of reputable resources to help parents do just that.

    To point out a need/weakness without the encouragement of helpful resources can leave motivated but ignorant parents discouraged rather than empowered to move forward. Science is not a simple subject for the common layman to take on – evolution/age of the earth details included. So if in future you could keep in mind this friendly request, we your readers will be better served by your admonition. Thank you so much for considering this.



    • Natasha Crain on June 10, 2015 at 8:42 AM

      Point well taken, Kimberly! I had actually started to put various links throughout the post originally, but it got so long that the links were distracting to the flow of the actual points. So I took them out and decided to create a resource post with links and books very soon. So stay tuned! 🙂



      • Joanna Morrison on June 10, 2015 at 9:37 AM

        Yes this would be useful…course there is nothing to stop us doing a bit of legwork ourselves and looking around for resources – if we are really motivated that shouldn’t be a problem. If anyone comes up with any maybe they could leave a comment here and we could share/critique any recommendations and help ourselves get a good list on the go.



  4. Rojan Dominic on June 10, 2015 at 10:14 AM

    I always believed evolution did happen and Adam was the first Homosapien. May be at that point, the God might have thought about creating human in his image.
    I think God allowed evolution to take place because he is so concerned about his people. He created the world so brilliantly that we have all the natural resources available for our existence.
    Bible says the first thing that was created by God is knowledge and everything else was created through that. According to me Science is nothing but discovery of new things by human that were created by God. Even bible says that nothing will be impossible for human. So why should we reject God?



  5. Kim on June 10, 2015 at 11:06 AM

    Another argument I’ve heard against theistic evolution is the idea that death did not enter the world before sin. If death wasn’t present until Adam and Eve, then how would there be “millions” of years of fossils.



    • Daniel on June 10, 2015 at 7:53 PM

      To some degree, that is an issue with Old Earth Creationism also. If dinosaurs lived and died 65 million years before humans, where did death come from? Maybe it was only humans who weren’t supposed to die, or perhaps humans would have physically died anyway, but the Fall brought about a spiritual death.



      • Dominic on June 11, 2015 at 10:06 AM

        This one has to be figured out. Chances for spiritual death is very unlikely since there was no human before Adam and Eve. Further, animals are said to have no spirits. So, what could be the possible explanation for this?



        • Leigh Ann Ford on June 11, 2015 at 6:49 PM

          Quick question about no death before the Fall. If God tells Adam that the consequence of eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil will be *death*, does Adam ask what death is? Is God’s explanation just missing or does Adam already know?



    • Chavoux on July 10, 2015 at 3:50 AM

      One issue I have with this stance (I.e. no death among animals before the fall), is that it appears to be contradicted by the Bible itself. If all living things lived eternally (no death), why is there any reason for the tree of life to be planted in the garden in Eden? Why are Adam and Eve driven out of the garden to prevent them from eating its fruit and living eternally after they sinned? To me it seems to imply that their living eternally before the fall was somehow connected to the tree of life and thus not necessarily (or likely) true for the animals outside the garden.



  6. Wendy on June 10, 2015 at 12:05 PM

    Natasha, we are a homeschooling family with two grads and two to go. We have used many resources over the years from AIG and our science is the amazing Apologia series by Jay Wile. We also use YouTube to watch folks like Jason Lisle, Randall Niles, Illustra Media and 4th day alliance. I don’t feel I need to have all the answers for my kids, but need to be able to say “let’s look for the truth together” and go and dig. Wendy, South Africa



  7. Paul Short on June 10, 2015 at 12:45 PM

    When I was a christian, I was a theistic evolutionist. The reason was simple. To believe otherwise would be to say that I knew something more than what the combined efforts of millions of biologists over the last 150 years could come up with.

    I’ve never been that sure of anything.

    And, of course, you have to be *very* careful when you invoke AiG and ICR. Both sites are explicit in their “about” sections when they say that if science and the bible disagree, that they will side with the bible. That means that even in the face of irrefutable evidence, they will maintain their worldview.

    That is a definitively un-scientific approach.

    If I’m honest, I’ve never heard an objection to Evolution that wasn’t grounded in a flawed understanding of what evolution actually is.



  8. M. VanOpstal on June 10, 2015 at 12:56 PM

    It’s so great to read your posts, Natasha, and to see the encouragement you’re giving to Christian parents. Most teachers are jubilant when their students have questions, and we parents should be too — though admittedly it can be frustrating not to have ready answers. That, I hope, is why your book will be a best-seller 🙂

    In particular, this topic of evolution is is freighted with strong emotions, and is unfortunately treated with relatively little nuance. I’m delighted and impressed that your post has made some of the most important distinctions, and in an accessible way. Just one small thought: a point which might be worth unpacking a bit farther is the spectrum of “theistic evolution,” since not everyone in the spectrum is susceptible to the critical points you raised. BioLogos is open to discussion of issues relating to the historical Adam, for instance, but is no longer formally affiliated with scholars like Peter Enns who take a particularly radical view on that point. Somewhat to the “right” of BioLogos, on the other hand, there is a small slew of somewhat more conservative Christian thinkers (e.g., William Lane Craig, Tim Keller) who embrace Progressive Creationism, or an evolutionary process accented by special acts of divine creation.

    But, I know that if every commenter’s quibble were heeded, your posts would quickly become much less succinct and engaging, so I understand that all these points can’t always be addressed. Thank you again for your posts!



  9. Ryan on June 10, 2015 at 2:10 PM

    Hi there! I’m curious about what scientific evidence you have been told that is inconsistent with evolutionary theory? Thanks!



    • Leigh Ann Ford on June 11, 2015 at 7:17 PM

      The origin of the genetic code doesn’t seem to be settled science to me. Also, convergent evolution (appearance of similar adaptive traits like echolocation in species in totally different environments–bats AND dolphins?–around the same evolutionary period) isn’t explained well by anything evolution has to offer, IMO.

      I would appreciate more examples, too!



      • Ryan on June 12, 2015 at 10:52 AM

        Hi Leigh Ann,
        While the origin of DNA is not settled (not surprising given the distance of a 3+ billion year emergence), that certainly doesn’t mean that it’s inconsistent with evolutionary theory. In fact, the discovery of DNA has served to bolster evolutionary theory by providing the mechanism by which genetic information gets shared.
        As for analogous traits, that too is a prediction based on selective pressures, which are not necessarily a function of the same environment. A good example is bat wings vs bird wings. The wings are analogous traits responding to the selective pressure on both animals to fly. It’s interesting that once we do look at their common ancestor, we see homologous traits on their (and our) basic forearm construction. Hope that’s clear. 🙂



        • Chavoux on July 10, 2015 at 4:02 AM

          What about the close anatomical similarities between some marsupial and placental mammals? Similarities in ecological niche just doesn’t cut it, since kangaroos provide a simple counter-example…. same niche, very different from other mammalian herbivores.



  10. NumbersAndSense on June 10, 2015 at 4:51 PM

    Natasha,

    Great article! As a Christian and a public high school science teacher, I was very interested when I found it. You do a great job of succinctly presenting the main issues – you’re right – it could easily be a whole book (and has several times over). Christians are far too scared of evolution and science in general. If we don’t engage with it in meaningful dialogue we will continue to be viewed more and more as uneducated, irrelevant, and out of touch.
    One thing I would add to your points on Theistic Evolution: Included in the problem of no historical Adam and Eve is the loss of the “First Adam” or “First Man” that Paul discusses in comparison to Christ as the “Last Adam” or “Last Man.” If Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, held that Adam was literal (which he must for his argument to make sense), then I think that presents strong evidence for a literal Adam.
    -N&$



  11. Patrick on June 11, 2015 at 6:12 AM

    Natasha, thank you for another excellent article. I think you’ve done a good job explaining why the issue of evolution can be so nuanced – and why, as Christians, we need to be careful not to be dogmatic about it. Complicating the issue, as you point out, is that it ties into other issues that can be divisive amongst Christians; e.g., age of the earth, death before the fall, etc.

    When discussing science / faith topics with my kids (and teaching Sunday School apologetics), I prefer to emphasize that God reveals himself in two ways: Scripture (special revelation) and nature (general revelation), and that the facts of Scripture cannot contradict the facts of nature (where they overlap). However, INTERPRETATION of the facts of Scripture (theology) and the facts of nature (science) are human endeavors, and can both be flawed.



  12. clarence on June 11, 2015 at 9:15 AM

    I do know that I have a God who.can do anything. And even things we CanT explain like angels, the raising of the dead cripples walking etc. We all seem to need an explanation these days for everything. Even to be born again needs an explanation. Well I can’t explain it but I believe in one true God and his son who lives in me(explain that) and the work of the holy spirit (what is that?). It seems we explain our way into knowledge and away from our Savior Jesus.Check out his words about evolution.



  13. Nick Tavani on June 11, 2015 at 12:59 PM

    Reasons To Believe (reasons.org) is a great place to explore this topic and is exemplary in dialogue with BioLogos which you cite in your column.



  14. Dan on June 11, 2015 at 3:40 PM

    Hi Natasha, thanks for this article, and all the hard work you’ve done on the rest of your site and for your book. Very nice!

    If we consider evolution and deep time to be true and consistent with Christian beliefs, I’m wondering what your opinion is on what’s actually happening in Genesis chapters 1 and 2. Something straightforward isn’t jumping out at me.

    Also, what other parts of the Bible would you believe are describing things in a similar way. For instance, some other chapters tha people have thought of as more straightforward than what’s actually being said?



    • Chris Falter on June 15, 2015 at 11:45 AM

      Good questions! Luther, Calvin, and Philip Melanchthon (among other key Reformation scholars) thought that the plain sense of many Scripture passages (such as Joshua 10:12 and Psalm 104:5) led to the inescapable conclusion that the sun revolved around the earth. Since the time of Isaac Newton, if not before, scholars have interpreted those verses in a less straightforward manner. If you are interested in more details, google for a blog post entitled “Faith-Based Science” on my blog. (You can find the blog of any commenter (who has provided it) by clicking the link on their name at the top of his/her comment.)

      As for what’s really happening in Genesis 1 – 3, check out John Walton’s “Origins Today: Genesis Through Ancient Eyes” video on vimeo. His view is consistent with both evolutionary creationism and a literal Adam and Eve. He’s a top-rate Old Testament scholar at Wheaton College, so I am confident you’ll learn a lot by watching, whether you agree or disagree with him.



      • Dan on June 15, 2015 at 2:47 PM

        Thanks for your reply, Chris. I looked up the post you mentioned, and read a few others.

        I have read “The Lost World of Genesis”, but I’ll have to check out this video you mentioned. I know some people I trust who hold to this “cosmic temple inauguration” view, but before I put my trust in the view itself, I would like to know more. I want to know how far this rabbit hole goes.

        Let me be a little more straightforward in what I’m wondering about.

        Walton doesn’t mention the flood in his book, from what I remember, but I’m assuming someone holding to long-age views will also have another explanation for the flood. (I’m not sure the same argument holds, but I’m sure there is something else to be considered. If it was a local flood, I wonder why Noah didn’t use sandbags, as it would probably have been easier and more practical.)

        Maybe there is a laundry list somewhere that discusses other portions of scripture where the meaning could be unclear, have other implications.

        For instance, if our “new heavens and new earth” are being brought about by similar processes, would that mean either we’ll be waiting a long time (serial process for them to be prepared), or maybe they are being prepared already (multiverse sort of concept)? Maybe it doesn’t matter? When Jesus says he is “the way” does that mean he has the technology to open a “wormhole” to the other universe for us?

        I’m assuming the long human ages listed early in Genesis are … therefore based on months instead of years? (I heard that a long time ago.)

        I have heard there is little or no evidence for the captivity or the exodus or the entrance to the promised land. Where would we be on that? Maybe it doesn’t matter?

        Sorry, I know some of my examples are a bit tongue-in-cheek, but I’m still actually interested in what else we may have “missed”.



      • Dan on June 16, 2015 at 5:54 AM

        Chris, I had a chance to watch the video you mentioned. This reminded me of my thoughts on the book (I read it a long time ago).

        I’ll have to admit, I just don’t “get it” when it comes to the temple inauguration idea.

        He gave a lot of examples in the video of bringing “order” out of “chaos”. He used action verbs like “unpacking” to describe that. However, when he discusses what God did, he basically says it was “naming”.

        What I’m saying is, under this view combined with standard notions of deep time, day (-1) was indistinguishable from day (1). I’ll give my own example of this. When I was young, men landed on the moon and planted a flag. Then they left. I think this is much more analogous to the “naming” idea. To me, this is not so much “bringing order out of chaos” (that would imply more of an action verb), but “bringing understanding to what is already orderly” (more like the naming idea).

        I’d say it’s kind of like God flew out of his wormhole, found some people on a planet having a picnic, and said, “Hey, don’t call those things “gronks”, call them “birds” — And those “birds” don’t “xaberly”, they “fly”. Thus says the Lord”.

        Anyway, I’m having a really hard time with this idea.

        As far as science having answers to such questions, I would point you to an article in “The Lancet” dated April 11 by Richard Horton called “What is medicine’s 5 sigma”. I have done a lot of personal research into health issues, and I can tell you I have come to a similar conclusion years ago. Here is a quote from the article: “The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue.” Unfortunately there really is no way to properly compare something like particle physics, where you can perform very rigorous experiments, to origins, where you can’t do anything nearly as rigorous.



      • Caleb Rowe on February 2, 2016 at 5:17 AM

        Chris!!! Thank you so much for sharing that video!! It so perfectly articulates my perspective on Scripture (Old Testament, and Genesis most specifically). Can’t wait to show this to my mom, to help me better explain to her my point of view! Thanks again Chris!! 🙂



  15. Anna Kruger on June 12, 2015 at 9:52 PM

    In regard to the fact rhat death did not enter the world before sin, read Peril in Paradise by Mark Whorton.



  16. Chris Falter on June 13, 2015 at 3:32 PM

    Hi Natasha,

    Good article with a very Christ-like tone. Thanks!

    I think your portrayal of the scientific community’s opinions could be a little more precise. The number of scientists from the “relevant” disciplines (such as biology or geology as opposed to, say, meteorology or pharmacology) who are (1) actively publishing peer-reviewed research and (2) committed to young-earth creationism is quite tiny in comparison to the population of mainstream scientists.

    Of course, truth is not determined by majority vote. At the same time, the scientific community has been pretty good at refining the prevailing theories as research accumulates. For example, over the past 200 years physicists have regarded electromagnetic radiation first as a wave, then as a particle, and now they regard it as both. If the vast majority of the scientific community remains unconvinced by an argument (such as cold fusion or YEC) after decades of advocacy by its proponents, we should probably regard the argument as scientifically unconvincing.



  17. Steve Williams on June 13, 2015 at 8:07 PM

    Natasha,

    There have been species observed arising from other species, so the micro/macro-evolution cutoff is actually closer to Genus. Aside from that, I liked the article.

    For you folks looking for an objection to Neo-Darwinism which doesn’t rely on a flawed understanding of science, look up mutation rates and The Cambrian Explosion.



  18. Christinewjc on June 15, 2015 at 4:27 PM

    Good points and a great way to start a conversation that I think are important to know and share with children. Would like to see the total 101 points that you mentioned! Of course, it depends upon the ages of the kids how far into detail a parent might want to go regarding this issue.

    I was wondering if it would be wise to share (with children) all of the debunked fossil “evidences” that evolutionary proponents have tried to trick the public into believing were “real” in order to claim that there are transitional fossils from one kind to another kind? [e.g. the evolutionary fossil “Piltdown Man,” which was held up as “proof” only to find out decades later that it was all a hoax.]

    Regarding theistic evolution, I would imagine that the “theists” may not necessarily believe in the absolute truth of the Bible and/or the proof of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. That would explain why they can dismiss what is clearly written in God’s Word on this matter.

    Is man in his origin the product of a purposive act of divine intelligence, or is man a cosmic accident? Are we creatures of dignity or creatures of cosmic insignificance?

    In this comment, I will focus in on the theological objections to theistic evolution. A Christian (IMHO) cannot believe that he is a cosmic accident and at the same time believe in the sovereign God and the Creator God. Theistic evolution must make a complete allegory out of Genesis 1:1 – 2:4, for which there is no warrant. The suggestion that humanity is derived from a non-human ancestor cannot be reconciled with the explicit statement of man’s creation in Genesis 2:7. Man did not evolve but rather was created from the dust of the ground. How can I know for sure? As a Bible believing Christian, I recognize that if Adam was not a real historical person, then the analogy between Christ and Adam in Romans 5:12-21 utterly breaks down.

    Certainly Christ believed in a literal creation of Adam and Eve (Matthew 19:4; Mark 10:6). (Christ would know, for He is elsewhere portrayed as the Creator – John 1:3; Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 1:2,10.) Jesus Christ’s words have the authority to be trusted in this particular matter as surely as His words can be trusted in other matters.

    Romans 5:8 and John 3:16 reveals God’s love for us through Christ the Redeemer. As far as Christianity is concerned, if there’s no creation, then there’s nothing to redeem. If we come from nothing and go to nothing, then we are nothing under any objective analysis. Nehemiah 9:6 explicitly rejects such a notion.



  19. Sian Boyd on June 16, 2015 at 2:20 PM

    Hi Natasha,
    I have not posted before but I just wanted to let you know how positive your blog has continued to be for me. It has prompted me to be more ‘mindful’ and proactive of my own parenting.

    Your blogs prompted me to contemplate what my now 14 year old son, who loves science, and loves God may have been learning at school and what questions may arise for him as a christian.

    Early on in his secondary school education we discussed theories he may be taught and have given him some understanding of what evolutionary beliefs are. My husband, who is now a christian was brought up as an atheist and was schooled in evolution, so understands this view very well. Our own church family believes that God made the world in 7 days. (Here in England we are called ‘fundamentalists’ because of this. There is political and media anger and disdain to this belief, to the point where it has been talked of as child abuse to teach creation !) You have helped me to understand that I should teach my son what others believe, and this will enable him to interact confidently with those who hold different beliefs to his own and fully understand what he himself believes and why. You have helped me see that it is good for him to ask questions, and that an understanding of others beliefs as well as his own leads to tolerance and healthy debate.

    My son is studying triple science and these days he regularly has debates with his close friends about evolution/creation – and they are still friends! I believe talking about this with him at home and discussing what he is being taught at school has given him the confidence to do this.

    Early on we also discussed that he would need to sit exams on what he has been taught and how he might cope with essay questions demanding evolutionary answers to life on earth. We talked about starting sentences with ‘It is taught that’, ‘scientists say that’, ‘ scientists believe’ etc. In other words, answering questions in ways that give the answer without saying that it is what he himself believes. He has felt very comfortable with this approach.
    Thank you for prompting us parents to think!



  20. Luke Nix on June 19, 2015 at 6:10 AM

    Natasha,
    Thank you for this post. It is quite helpful.

    I do have a suggestion that I believe will help clarify one issue. You state that evolution could produce the diversity of life we see today in billions of years, so evolution and the age of the universe are related (but co-dependent). I would add a single qualifying word: guided. Guided evolution could accomplish this in merely billions of years; however, unguided (naturalistic) evolution cannot- the universe is orders-of-magnitude too young for naturalistic evolution to even produce life, much less the diversity of life we see today.

    My wife and I will be homeschooling our kids once our adoption is finalized. Your blog is a great encouragement to us as parents (and me especially, as a defender of the Faith who wants to impart critical thinking to my children).



    • Paul Short on June 20, 2015 at 2:37 PM

      I’ll ask you the same question I’ve asked everybody who uses that kind of language…

      What control group did you use to determine the odds of life evolving, and the timeline that it would take?



      • Luke Nix on June 20, 2015 at 9:55 PM

        Anything outside the lab is the control group. Anything inside the lab is the experimental group. The only way a true control group can exist is for no intelligent agent to be involved (scientists); anything they touch, guide, or manipulate is no longer “by nature,” thus not a legitimate member of a control group. Please see this book on creating life in the lab by biochemist Dr. Fazale Rana:
        http://lukenixblog.blogspot.com/2012/06/book-review-creating-life-in-lab.html



        • Paul Short on June 21, 2015 at 12:17 PM

          So Dr Rana has studied other universes and tracked evolution in them, and compared them with our own?

          Interesting.



  21. […] 4 Key Points Christian Kids Need to Understand About Evolution: http://christianmomthoughts.com//4-key-points-christian-kids-need-to-understand-about-evolution/ […]



  22. John S on April 28, 2016 at 9:56 AM

    Mrs. Crain,

    I think there is a crucial #5 that you need. “Why it matters?” There is a big, long running fight within the culture over evolution, yet as a PRACTICAL matter, it’s barely more significant than an angel’s dance card at the PinHead Ball. Seriously, unless one is going into the biological sciences, knowing the mechanism of macro evolution is IRRELEVANT. IF one is going into the biological sciences, then it is STILL almost irrelevant, because macro evolution happens so slowly as to be a process that we cannot manipulate. Even in the biological sciences, macro evolution’s only real value is in providing the basis of a categorization system, a system that can, and will, be replaced by one based on genetic information.

    So we’re back to the question, “Why does it matter?” Well, one of it’s most obvious uses today is as a form of virtue signalling. If you believe, you’re one of the “smart people”, you’re not an “ignorant bible thumper.” Yet, even that isn’t it’s most important role.

    The reason it matters is because the Theory of Evolution serves as the origin story for the secularists. THAT is why a scientific theory that has ZERO educational value until one gets into university level work, perhaps even graduate level, is pushed starting in KINDERGARTEN. Take a close look at how Evolution is taught in schools, and consider how it differs from how other scientific subjects are taught.

    Newton’s 3 Laws? A grade schooler can design and conduct experiments on those. Various chemical processes? Ditto. Same with electricity, fluid dynamics, germ theory, photosynthesis, etc, etc. Things get pretty tough with geology, but EVEN there experiments on sedimentation, erosion, and the ever popular volcanic eruptions can be conducted. Heck, if one lives in the right area, one can even observe first hand plate tectonics in action. Can’t really experiment, but one can observe the process. Now, contrast this with how Evolution is taught. Here is an example, from the National Science Foundation. https://www.nsf.gov/discoveries/disc_summ.jsp?cntn_id=117390 Notice what is barely included: Actual experimental science, and even that is only weakly related. The very core of the scientific method, left out.

    The Theory of Evolution can NOT be and is not used to teach the scientific method in K-12. The very methods used to teach it are those used to teach history. A particular history….



  23. Kevin on June 25, 2016 at 2:33 PM

    Is this post about evolution or something like it found in your book? Thanx!



    • Natasha Crain on June 27, 2016 at 11:54 AM

      Hi Kevin,

      Yes, absolutely! Eight of the 40 chapters are on these questions of origins. I look at the scriptural and scientific case for/against young Earth and old Earth creationism, then have a chapter on what evolution is, then two chapters that look at the evidence for/against evolution, and end with a discussion on intelligent design. Here’s a link to the book where you can see the table of contents: http://keepingyourkidsongodsside.com/



      • Kevin on June 27, 2016 at 1:16 PM

        I’m ordering a copy today and thank you for responding!



  24. Bill on August 17, 2016 at 6:37 PM

    Great article, Natasha.



  25. Mimie on August 24, 2016 at 11:02 AM

    Thank you for this post!!! When my husband and I were considering a school for our daughter, I considered sending her to a public school, as opposed to a Christian school because I know that the theory of evolution will either not be taught or easily dismissed and this is what is happening now. I know that there will be perceived conflicts between science and our faith. My husband and I still decided to send her to a Christian school because the values that she’ll learn and being surrounded by people of similar faith was more important. My responsibility as a parent would be to fill in what I think any school would not teach my daughter. I don’t believe that schools have the sole responsibility of educating children. Parents share a responsibility in that, too.

    But now I am troubled. My daughter came home from school on Friday and told me that the teacher discussed evolution and then said that it wasn’t true. I don’t think it’s right for the teacher to discuss evolution and then dismiss it as false. My dilemma now is how to approach the teacher regarding this subject. I am not the type to impose my faith or my beliefs on others but I want to say something because I have a feeling that other parents share the same sentiment but will not say anything. I want my daughter to learn about evolution and I would more than gladly teach her that. But it creates confusion when she is being told it’s not true. Do you have any suggestions on what the right approach should be?



  26. Emmanuel Lacoste on July 26, 2018 at 4:08 PM

    Wow, a great article. I’m not Christian, but I am always looking for better understanding of world views and people beliefs. In to many of these articles, the comment section become a battle ground for both sides to argue in a irrational manner.

    I guess what I am saying is that while the article was excellent, I am even more impressed with the tone of the conversation that followed by the readers. A very pleasant read with rational people sharing their thoughts.

    I wish the conversation and debate could remain this positive every-time. it would lead to better relationship between both sides for sure.