CREATION: “Where’s The Proof?”
Below is an excerpt from Ken Ham’s organization, Answers In Genesis.org. This is a great read! It is among some of their foundation statements or more accurately as is stated by AIG it is among their “Getting Started” articles. Bible believers and evolutionist are all studying the same evidence it is just a matter of interpretations or, even more fundamental to that, it is a matter of presuppositions or axioms. Also, all of us must learn “…how to think rather than just what to think…”
Creation: “Where’s The Proof?”
By Ken Ham, president, AiG–U.S.December 1, 1999
Over the years, many people have challenged me with a question like:
I’ve been trying to witness to my friends. They say they don’t believe the Bible and aren’t interested in the stuff in it. They want real proof that there’s a God who created, and then they’ll listen to my claims about Christianity. What proof can I give them without mentioning the Bible so they’ll start to listen to me?
Briefly, my response is as follows.
Creationists and evolutionists, Christians and non-Christians all have the same evidence—the same facts. Think about it: we all have the same earth, the same fossil layers, the same animals and plants, the same stars—the facts are all the same.
The difference is in the way we all interpret the facts. And why do we interpret facts differently? Because we start with different presuppositions. These are things that are assumed to be true, without being able to prove them. These then become the basis for other conclusions. All reasoning is based on presuppositions (also called axioms). This becomes especially relevant when dealing with past events.
Past and Present
We all exist in the present—and the facts all exist in the present. When one is trying to understand how the evidence came about (Where did the animals come from? How did the fossil layers form? etc.), what we are actually trying to do is to connect the past to the present.
However, if we weren’t there in the past to observe events, how can we know what happened so we can explain the present? It would be great to have a time machine so we could know for sure about past events.
Christians of course claim they do, in a sense, have a “time machine.” They have a book called the Bible which claims to be the Word of God who has always been there, and has revealed to us the major events of the past about which we need to know.
On the basis of these events (Creation, Fall, Flood, Babel, etc.), we have a set of presuppositions to build a way of thinking which enables us to interpret the evidence of the present.
Evolutionists have certain beliefs about the past/present that they presuppose, e.g. no God (or at least none who performed acts of special creation), so they build a different way of thinking to interpret the evidence of the present.
Thus, when Christians and non-Christians argue about the evidence, in reality they are arguing about their interpretations based on their presuppositions.
That’s why the argument often turns into something like:
“Can’t you see what I’m talking about?”
“No, I can’t. Don’t you see how wrong you are?”
“No, I’m not wrong. It’s obvious that I’m right.”
“No, it’s not obvious.” And so on.
These two people are arguing about the same evidence, but they are looking at the evidence through different glasses.
It’s not until these two people recognize the argument is really about the presuppositions they have to start with, that they will begin to deal with the foundational reasons for their different beliefs. A person will not interpret the evidence differently until they put on a different set of glasses—which means to change one’s presuppositions.
I’ve found that a Christian who understands these things can actually put on the evolutionist’s glasses (without accepting the presuppositions as true) and understand how they look at evidence. However, for a number of reasons, including spiritual ones, a non-Christian usually can’t put on the Christian’s glasses—unless they recognize the presuppositional nature of the battle and are thus beginning to question their own presuppositions.
It is of course sometimes possible that just by presenting “evidence,” you can convince a person that a particular scientific argument for creation makes sense “on the facts.” But usually, if that person then hears a different interpretation of the same evidence that seems better than yours, that person will swing away from your argument, thinking they have found “stronger facts.”
However, if you had helped the person to understand this issue of presuppositions, then they will be better able to recognize this for what it is—a different interpretation based on differing presuppositions—i.e. starting beliefs.
As a teacher, I found that whenever I taught the students what I thought were the “facts” for creation, then their other teacher would just reinterpret the facts. The students would then come back to me saying, “Well sir, you need to try again.”
However, when I learned to teach my students how we interpret facts, and how interpretations are based on our presuppositions, then when the other teacher tried to reinterpret the facts, the students would challenge the teacher’s basic assumptions. Then it wasn’t the students who came back to me, but the other teacher! This teacher was upset with me because the students wouldn’t accept her interpretation of the evidence and challenged the very basis of her thinking.
What was happening was that I had learned to teach the students how to think rather than justwhat to think. What a difference that made to my class! I have been overjoyed to find, sometimes decades later, some of those students telling me how they became active, solid Christians as a result.
If one agrees to a discussion without using the Bible as some people insist, then they have set the terms of the debate…