'Young Earth creationists' are often a target of jokes, ridicule and even vitriol. Consider this little gem: “To put it bluntly but fairly, anyone today who doubts that the variety of life on this planet was produced by a process of evolution is simply ignorant—inexcusably ignorant, in a world where three out of four people have learned to read and write” (Daniel C. Dennett, Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life).
Apparently, Young Earth creationists are ‘inexcusably ignorant’ if not downright unintelligent.
Even in the Christian community, Young Earth creationists are sometimes treated like ‘flat-earthers’ and are even seen to be ‘unhelpful’: “The debate that has been conducted in terms of "creation versus evolution" has gotten caught up with all kinds of other debates, and this has provided a singularly unhelpful backdrop to the would-be serious discussion of other parts of the Bible” (N.T. Wright, Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense).
Surely Young Earth creationists can’t be serious scientists!
Well, that perception (among others!) is quickly dispelled by a recent documentary called, ‘Evolution’s Achilles’ Heels’ featuring no less than 15 Ph.D scientists. These 15 intelligent, articulate, passionate scientists have some major issues with the theory of evolution and they give their reasons, as scientists, why they hold the views they do.
Compelling viewing … please read on.
(The following personal comments, are based on the DVD ‘Evolution’s Achilles’ Heels’ and not the book which is authored by 9 Ph.D scientists).
In 2015 ‘Evolution’s Achilles’ Heels’ was awarded the runner-up documentary prize at the Christian Worldview Film Festival. It was a significant achievement for a very important film directed and produced by Gary Bates and Dr. Robert Carter.
The documentary deals with the following critical topics:
- Natural Selection
- Genetics and DNA
- The Origin of Life
- The Fossil Record
- The Geologic Record
- Radiometric Dating
- Ethical Implications
Within the brief review that follows, I am not going to pretend that I have understood all the intricate scientific arguments presented by these learned people. However, having said this, it should also be stated that I have followed the creation vs scientism debates with some interest over the past 3-4 decades. And over that time it has become clear to me that the controversy is not always about ‘science’ as much as it is about competing worldviews that involve an array of agendas - philosophy, ideology, epistemology, theology and dare I say it – pride, envy, deceit, power, corruption, misinformation, politics and even a denial of some basic human rights.
The strengths I see of 'Evolution’s Achilles’ Heels' are as follows:
- each scientist not only seeks to present scientific views which he holds as a qualified scientist but also as 'truth'.
- each scientist honestly (not fraudulently) believes that his view is consistent with the Biblical record. That is, all set out to be faithful to Genesis as history.
- the negative 'implications' - 'consequences' - of the theory of evolution are clearly articulated. These implications transcend 'science' and need to be taken seriously (see 'Ethics and Morality').
- the 8 designated topics are well chosen and the individual summaries for each topic are helpful. Each topic area is addressed very well. None are weak and all require a truly 'scientific' response from evolutionists
- presenters do not just highlight the mind-boggling complexity of life but ask ‘how’ this can be accounted for apart from guided intelligence? For example, the existence of language and information coding (DNA/RNA) in every cell which is then duplicated every time a cell divides requiring an explanation about the origin of life (not to mention how it is that a normal cell functions so intricately and with such complexity)
- the bankruptcy of ‘chemical evolution’ is explained very well indeed.
- the topic area of cosmology was especially helpful. Is cosmology actually 'science' or 'mathematical modelling/speculation'?
- the last section is called: Ethical Implications (back cover of DVD). It is a sober way to end the documentary with some very personal comments enunciated. There is also the message of hope presented - the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
- Bonus Features are actually most helpful!
Whilst ‘Evolution’s Achilles’ Heels' claims to feature ‘striking footage and brilliant computer animations’ it must be said that these are good – often very good – but not that good in some parts of the DVD! I have seen better in some cases (eg DNA/RNA graphics) but it certainly passes as more than acceptable. To be fair, there is certainly ‘striking footage and brilliant computer animations’ within the documentary.
Also, some of the interviews could have been done much better technically in terms of location, background, etc.
Overall – 'Evolution’s Achilles’ Heels' - is an important documentary that is well worth the modest purchase price. If you are not a so called ‘Young-Earth creationist’ (YEC) then even more so should you purchase the DVD and study it carefully (if for no other reason than analysing where YECs are actually coming from).
Frankly, the arguments presented in this impressive documentary need to be heard by as many people as possible simply because competent creationists need to present their views. This needs to be without the often ugly commentary that is clothed in heavy bias and distortions (I also should add 'hatred') against their views.
To be even more frank, some Christian ‘theistic evolutionists’ need to be less lazy in understanding what Young Earth creationists are actually saying (and not saying) and why they are saying it! Allow them to speak for themselves and this becomes the single strength of ‘Evolution’s Achilles’ Heels’ – a vehicle for much needed clarity on the YEC position via rational, intelligent presentations and arguments. It should be noted that most of the speakers used to believe and teach macro evolution.
Well done all those involved in this powerful documentary that I personally found challenging and encouraging.
It reinforced my own view that cultures propose their own 'creation myths' to explain origins, and the unguided-evolutionary-model is the most pervasive of all 'creation myths'.
Scientific speakers included in the documentary are:
- Dr Don Batten
- Dr Peter Borger
- Dr Stuart Burgess
- Dr Rob Carter
- Dr David Catchpoole
- Dr John Hartnett
- Dr Mark Harwood
- Dr Matti Leisola
- Dr Jim Mason
- Dr Marcus Ross
- Dr John Sanford
- Dr Jonathan Sarfati
- Dr Emil Silvestru
- Dr Horace Skipper
- Dr Tas Walker
"If we could award “Evolution’s Achilles’ Heels” more than five Doves, our best rating, we would! This is an intelligent and remarkable look at the holes in the theory of evolution, and it features fifteen professors with Ph.D’s that closely inspect the various downfalls of this theory." (The Dove Foundation)