As articles post on our website, they automatically post on our Facebook page. This week’s Feed Back concerns Facebook comments made concerning an article from Creation.com about C.S. Lewis (C.S. Lewis: Creationist and Anti-Evolutionist) that was posted on this week. The following is the exchange between George A. and myself, along with my more in depth response.
From George A:
Wow, a fiction writer that didn’t understand biology. How surprising.
Lewis understood a lot more than you realized. He was an excellent theologian who understood the implications more than most people.
theologian ≠ biologist
Who cares if he rejected evolution? He wasn’t a biologist. Sure, he was smart enough to recognise the implications that the ToE had on the genesis story, but from there he made his choice that he didn’t want to reject his faith so chose his fairytale over something that conflicted with it. Hardly groundbreaking.
The issue here is that Lewis put his trust in the unchanging infallible Word of God instead of the fallible ever changing word of man. But according to your logic, one must be an astronomer to reject stellar evolution or a theologian to reject the Word of God. That also would require the opposite to be true in that one would have to be a biologist to understand and accept the theory of biological evolution or a theologian to understand and accept religion. Where does that leave the average person with no formal training? They are not qualified to accept or reject any belief. That is according to your logic.
No, I didn’t say he ‘couldn’t reject it’ because he wasn’t a biologist. I pointed out that as an argument from authority, as you posting this info was clearly intended to be, it is extraordinarily weak.
As in my second post … who cares if an author rejects a theory pertaining to biology (or science in general)? It’s hardly surprising.
So, yeah … you have my logic all twisted. Anyone can reject anything, it’s the weight that others should apply to people’s rejection or acceptance of ideas that I was talking about.
You probably shouldn’t put much weight in my knowledge of the Bible because I have only read through it once; that is my point.
You’re first statement stated that C.S. Lewis didn’t understand biology. How do you know that? Is it because he was an English literature professor and not a professor of biology? To follow this logic, Charles Darwin’s formal training was theology (at which he failed miserably), so what made him qualified to write about biology?
We are not told in the article about Lewis or if he had an interest in biology or not. It may have been an interest of his or even a hobby as happens with many others. Therefore, your opening statement may have been an unfair assumption made about someone you didn’t know.
Many great discoveries have been made by people who were formally trained and worked in other areas. One example is Sir William Herschel (Sir William Herschel – Father of Modern Astronomy). He was a trained musician and composer. He originally made his living as a music teacher. However, his hobby was Newtonian calculus and astronomy. Herschel ended up discovering the planet Uranus and two of its moons, along with hundreds of doublet stars, nebulas and a number of comets. He also proved mathematically that the universe is orderly and not chaotic. Herschel was also a devout Christian and creationist. He saw the order of the heavens as proof of God’s handiwork. Herschel’s sister Caroline also a musician was a noted astronomer in her own right who discovered several nebula and comets. Herschel’s son John continued in his father’s work as an accomplished astronomer and said:
All human discoveries seem to be made only for the purpose of confirming more and more strongly the truths [that] come from on high and [that are] contained in the sacred writings.
Had you read an article about the Herschels that only covered their music careers, you may have made the same assumption about their lack of knowledge as the basis for their apparent blind acceptance of biblical creation.
I’m not saying that C.S. Lewis had a knowledge of biology as I do not know that he did, but can you say for certain that he did not?
The emphasis of the article on Lewis was that he was an accomplished theologian and Christian apologist. It was his thorough understanding of the Bible and theology that lead him to reject the theory of evolution and refer to it as ‘pure hallucination.’ He clearly understood that the revealed Word of God is infallible, inerrant and never changing, where the theory of evolution is based upon man’s word which is fallible, errant and always changing. One does not need to be a biologist or geologist or astronomer to be able to weigh the authoritative differences between Scripture and evolution.
As Creation Revolution has repeatedly stated, the underlying issue is not the suppose evidence for evolution or creation. It doesn’t matter what your background or training is. It all boils down to our presuppositional beliefs. We all have certain foundational beliefs that govern how we view the world around us and interpret what we see.
We all have the same world, the same evidence and the same facts. Our presuppositions will dictate how we interpret the evidence and facts. Someone who believes in billions of years of evolution will look at something like huge sedimentary layers of rock that covers thousands of miles all over the earth as evidence for millions of years of gradual sedimentary deposition. Someone who believes that God is the ultimate and supreme authority for all knowledge will interpret the same sedimentary layers as evidence of a worldwide flood that God tells us about in Genesis 6-8.
C.S. Lewis understood the importance of presuppositional foundations and made it known that he chose to accept God’s authority over man’s authority. This is his reason for rejecting evolution. Any knowledge of biology would not have made any difference.
Besides, I know a number of formally trained biologists that reject evolution for two reasons. One is their presuppositional belief in the Bible and secondly, because evolution actually defies the foundational laws of biology. Several Ph.D. biologists became Christians and creationists because of their understanding of biology. They recognized that the principles of evolution are the exact opposite of what they observe in biology.
In my own case, I was a creationist before I was a Christian. As a student of biology, I readily saw how contradictory evolution and biology were. That led me to realize that everything had to be created. Several yeas later I turned my life over to Christ. So as you see, having a knowledge of biology is not the issue with C.S. Lewis.
I do want to commend you for having read through the Bible, even though it was only once. I can’t begin to count the number of Christians who have never read the entire Bible. It’s a sad commentary for the Christian faith and partial the reason why so many of them fail to live their faith. This is why we post the Daily Readings to help make it easier for everyone to read through the entire Bible in a year. I pray you and others will take advantage of this.
I hope you understand the problems with the logic behind your statements concerning the article on C.S. Lewis and that its use is not a weak argument but a powerful one for the authority of Scripture over the authority of man being the real reason to reject evolution.
With his usual brilliant clarity, Jonathan Sarfati, author of the best-selling Refuting Evolution (Vols. 1 and 2) has produced a comprehensive and resounding refutation of the position of ‘progressive creationist’ Hugh Ross, whose views are causing massive confusion about science and the Bible. The most powerful and scientific defence of a straightforward view of Genesis creation ever written.
Updated & expanded in 2011.