Developed from a series of sermons on creation and evolution, Dwight K. Nelson’s revised edition of Creation and Evolution appropriately appeared in 2009 while the world celebrated the 150th anniversary of the publication of Darwin’s Origin of Species.
Nelson begins with a discussion of the dangerous practice of taking the account of Creation in Genesis 1 and 2 allegorically in order to harmonize the discoveries of science with the Bible. Using the “Java Man,” Nelson shows that belief in the evolutionary theory requires greater faith than belief in the biblical Creation.
After a colorful discussion of Michael Behe’s powerful mouse trap illustration of “irreducible complexity,” which convincingly refutes macro-evolution, Nelson turns to one of the most telling arguments that he formulates in the book. Concerning the cruel process of evolution and its negative effect upon the character of God if the Creator is linked to the process, Nelson asks, “Dear reader, in the holy name of God, why would the Creator resort to such a strange and bloody method for the Creation and bringing into existence of a being after His own image?” Nelson’s powerful point is that God would not do so, thus showing that God did not create life forms through the evolutionary process.
Nelson also opens a fascinating discussion that sexual reproduction presents a challenge to the biological sciences by quoting George Williams in this respect: “The persistence of sex is one of the fundamental mysteries in evolutionary biology today.” Why? Howard Peth answers with a question: “How could male and female sex organs that perfectly complement each other arise gradually, paralleling each other, yet remaining useless until completed?” Nelson gives the same kind of cogent treatment to the issue of the geologic column as an alleged challenge to a recent creation and the seventh-day Sabbath as evidence for the existence of a Creator and His marvelous plan for the human race reflected in the “7-day biorhythm in the human body.”
Nelson concludes by appealing to the reader through John Lennon’s famous song “Imagine.” Could Lennon be right? Nelson asks. Should humans wish for a world without religion or God?
Creation and Evolution is indeed a must-read for pastors, scholars, and interested, informed professionals who want to become more familiar with the issues surrounding the origin of life on our planet. A close read equips one with strong reasons for faith in a loving Creator God who recently made us in six days and rested with His creation on the seventh day.