Monthly Article September 2013 – Strength of evidence

By Phil Robinson

On what strength of evidence would you believe and trust something? It is often the simplest of life lessons that instructs us to be more careful. The other morning my wife informed me that our wheelie bin had not been emptied by the council, but that our neighbour’s had. My wife told me that she had come to this conclusion by tilting our neighbours’ bin, and it felt empty. I consider my wife to be an intelligent woman so I took her word for it. I was annoyed, rightly so I thought, at the council for not emptying our bin. I made a call to the council and left a message left, to ask why our bin had not been collected but our neighbour’s had. A short time later I was outside and decided to check for myself and did so by looking into our neighbour’s bin, and to my complete surprise I found it still contained rubbish. The bin men came round and emptied all the bins later that afternoon. 

Lessons to be learned:

It can be very easy to trust people without really thinking about what they are saying. However there are a number of reasons why we should think carefully about what people tell us, especially when the consequences of what they say about our origins could have eternal consequences. 

1. The information could be unknowingly wrong. That was the case of my example above. A sufficiently thorough and rigorous test of the evidence was not carried out by me, which led to my annoyance and the unnecessary phone call. When I checked into the facts more thoroughly myself, my perception of the situation changed.

Often in the media we are presented with evidence for ‘evolution’ which does not stack up with the facts. For example, evolutionists teach that whales evolved from land creatures, and in 1983 presented a fossil called Pakicetus as evidence for this change. Pakitecus was depicted as swimming in the sea chasing fish, and was described as being “perfectly intermediate, a missing link between earlier land mammals and later, full-fledged whales”. At this time the researchers had only a few bones of the skull belonging to Pakicetus upon which to base these grandiose claims. The Bible states in Romans 3:4, “Let God be true, and every man a liar”. God has clearly revealed in Genesis 1 that animals were created in their distinctive kinds and would not evolve into other kinds. When more bones belonging to Pakicetus were unearthed the story changed drastically. When the findings were published in 2001 Pakicetus was no longer depicted as swimming under water but running on its four legs as a land mammal. In the case of Pakicetus the first paper published on the skull fragments was quite clearly wrong; a sufficiently thorough and rigorous test had not been applied to the available evidence and the conclusions were based on incomplete data. When further information came along, namely a significant portion of Pakitecus’ skeleton, then the conclusion radically changed. For references and pictures of Pakicetus click here

2. The information could be deliberately wrong. It is an unfortunate fact of life that people tell lies. People whom you want to trust, people whom you should be able to trust and even people who speak from a position of authority. I am not saying that everyone tells lies all the time, but where people accept the naturalistic evolutionary worldview there is no moral basis for telling the truth. This is especially so if it helps you to promote your cause or earns you more money. For example, evolutionist Bora Zivkovic, Online Community Manager at PLoS-ONE, an open-access journal from the Public Library of Science, stated in relation to teaching on evolution, ”It is OK to use some inaccuracies temporarily if they help you reach the students”.(1) Zivkovic also commented on a teacher who used how the face of Mickey Mouse has changed since its creation in 1928 to today as an example of evolution. Despite Zivkovic agreeing that it’s a erroneous example he warrants teaching it by saying, “If a student … goes on to study biology, then he or she will unlearn the inaccuracies in time. If most of the students do not, but those cutesy examples help them accept evolution, then it is OK if they keep some of those little inaccuracies for the rest of their lives. It is perfectly fine if they keep thinking that Mickey Mouse evolved as long as they think evolution is fine and dandy overall. Without Mickey, they may have become Creationist activists instead”.(1)

We need to think a lot more carefully about the examples of evolution we have been taught, as many are either erroneous or simply natural selection and adaption, which is not evolution but variation within a biblical kind. An example of an evolutionary fraud that was published on the front cover of National Geographic in 1999 was Archaeoraptor, a supposed link between dinosaurs and birds. Despite the massive hype at the time it is now a well documented case of fraud, involving the combination of two different fossils, sold to National Geographic for financial gain.

The reality is that some people have an agenda to deceive others. In contrast, Jesus declared that he is the truth (John 14:6), and that people need to be born again (John 3:3) out of their spiritually dead and sinful lives. I would invite you to read the Bible for yourself and examine Jesus’ claims, for there you will find only the truth.  

3. The presuppositions are different. The Christian’s presupposition (starting point) should always be the Bible, which is the self-disclosure of the Triune God who created everything. That means that when we look at the world around us and try and explain a particular aspect of it we always start with the Bible.

Take fossils, for example. Starting from the Bible, we know that an historical event, the Flood in the time of Noah, covered the whole earth with water to a minimum depth of about 7 metres. Such an event would have laid down very deep layers of sedimentary rock containing the remains of many plants and animals. Thus the Bible provides a coherent explanation for the origin of many fossils and reminds us of the judgement of God. Evolution on the other hand starts with the presupposition of naturalism, which allows no divine origin or interference and comes to a different conclusion in regards to fossils, their origin and meaning. Same material fact – the fossils in the rocks beneath us – but two very different conclusions. 


How often do you actually examine and check the facts for yourself (particularly in relation to origins) rather than take someone else’s word for it? How often do you question whether what you accept is factually true, whether it is a deliberate fallacy, or what the presuppositions are that underlie the interpretation of the evidence? Are you able to defend what you believe after asking yourself these questions? I have often found when I talk with people about their origins, that they have not asked themselves these basic questions. Delving further I usually find that they do not understand how evolution works and fail to answer the most basic of questions about evolution, such as how life originated or the mechanism for evolution (how it purports to work); but they believe it because they have heard it from so many authoritative sources without critically thinking any of it through. (See 15 Questions for Evolutionists for more questions.) I have also found that people generally allow a very low threshold for the strength of evidence for evolution with which they are presented. 

However considering what is at stake, people’s eternity in either heaven or hell, I am always very saddened by how low their threshold is for belief in evolution. I always encourage the evolutionist: “Don’t leave it too late – check out what your faith stands upon – ask the most basic questions of it and see if it stands up to scrutiny – you will find that it does not – and ‘Remember your Creator in the days of your youth’ (Ecclesiastes 12:1).”

Evolutionist, check things out for yourself, read the Bible, examine it, study it, pray over it, delve into it, acknowledge the true Creator, and find Jesus having faith in him and repent of your sin. You will not find Him lacking in any way. 

Christian, you too have to check things out for yourself, read the Bible, examine it, study it, pray over it, delve into it, know your Bible, be able to defend your faith, and, “Go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19).


1 – Zivkovic, Bora (aka “Coturnix”), Why teaching evolution is dangerous, <> 25 August 2008.