Dr. Ariel A. Roth, Biology

In Six Days: Former director of the Geoscience Research Institute in Loma Linda, California.

Why I Choose to Believe in Creation

Dr Roth is a former director of the Geoscience Research Institute in Loma Linda, California. He holds a B.A. in biology from Pacific Union College and an M.S. in biology and a Ph.D. in biology from the University of Michigan. His research has been supported by U.S. government agencies. During his career he held numerous university positions, including professor of biology and chairman, Loma Linda University. During the latter appointment, Dr. Roth directed a university team for underwater research on coral, which was sponsored by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. He has authored over 140 articles on origins issues and for 23 years edited the journal Origins.

It is sometimes suggested that belief in creation is a matter of faith, while science, which usually endorses evolution, is considered to be more in the realm of reason. While concepts of faith and reason are different to evaluate and quantify we generally recognize that we have to exercise a degree of faith to believe in anything, be it science, evolution, creation or the Bible. However, there are many good reasons to believe in creation by God in six days. In fact, it seems to me that it takes a greater degree of blind faith (where there is no evidence) to believe in evolution than in the creation model of the Bible. The same problem applies to intermediate views between evolution and creation, such as theistic evolution or progressive creation, which have little support from either the data of nature or the Bible.

The origin of life

Probably the most baffling problem which evolution faces is the question of the origin of life. How could living organisms which, even in their simplest forms, are extremely complex arise by themselves? The severity of the problem is well acknowledged by many competent scientists and need not be dwelt upon here.

The problem of complexity

The presence of complexity—interdependent parts that do not function unless other parts are also present—poses another major problem for evolution. For instance, a muscle is useless without a nerve going to the muscle to direct its contracting activity. But both the muscle and the nerve are useless without a complicated control mechanism in the brain to direct the contracting activity of the muscle and correlate its activity with that of other muscles. Without these three essential components, we have only useless parts. In a process of gradual evolutionary changes, how does complexity evolve?

Interdependent parts, which represent most of the components of living organisms, would not be expected from random, undirected changes (mutations) as is proposed for evolutionary advancement. How could these develop without the foresight of a plan for a working system? Can order arise from the turmoil of mixed-up, undirected changes? For complicated organs that involve many necessary changes, the chances are implausibly small.

Without the foresight of a plan, we would expect that the random evolutionary changes would attempt all kinds of useless combinations of parts while trying to provide for a successful evolutionary advancement. Yet as we look at living organisms over the world, we do not seem to see any of these random combinations. In nature, it appears that we are dealing largely, if not exclusively, with purposeful parts. Furthermore, if evolution is a real ongoing process, why don’t we find new developing complex organs in organisms that lack them? We would expect to find developing legs, eyes, livers, and new unknown kinds of organs, providing for evolutionary advancement in organisms that lacked desirable advantages. This absence is a serious indictment against any proposed undirected evolutionary process, and favors the concept that what we see represents the work of an intelligent Creator.

The simple example of a muscle, mentioned above, pales into insignificance when we consider more complicated organs such as the eye or the brain. These contain many interdependent systems composed of parts that would be useless without the presence of all the other necessary parts. In these systems, nothing works until all the necessary components are present and working. The eye has an automatic focusing system that adjusts the lens so as to permit us to clearly see close and distant objects. We do not fully understand how it works, but a part of the brain analyzes data from the eye and controls the muscles in the eye that change the shape of the lens. The system that controls the size of the pupil so as to adjust to light intensity and to reduce spherical lens aberration also illustrates interdependent parts. Then there are the 100,000,000 light-sensitive cells in the human eye that send information to the brain through some 1,000,000 nerve fibers of the optic nerve. In the brain this information is sorted into various components such as color, movement, form and depth. It is then analyzed and combined into an intelligible picture. This involves an extremely complex array of interdependent parts.

But the visual process is only part of our complex brains, which contain some 100,000,000,000 nerve cells connected by some 400,000 kilometers of nerve fibres. It is estimated that there are around 100,000,000,000,000 connections between nerve cells in the human brain. That we can think straight (we hope most of us do!) is a witness to a marvellous ordered complex of interdependent parts that challenges suggestions of an origin by random evolutionary changes. How could such complicated organs develop by an unplanned process?…