The Voyage That Shook the World: An Interview with Carl Wieland
- Monday, November 16, 2009
The film actually explores that [second] question. Of course, there is no way of knowing for certain. But the message is clear: since Darwin was a careful observer, and since the evidence that he saw with his eyes and interpreted through the "glasses" of Lyell's long-age geology theories is nowadays not believed to support things the way he believed, he may well have not put his theory forward. In fact, that presents a dilemma for today's Darwin-worshipper—we are putting forward, very subtly, the proposal that since the evidence is so clearly different today in many areas from what he thought, then either (1) as a good scientist, he would change his views, or (2) if not, he cannot be said to be as good or objective a scientist as today's hymns of praise maintain.
TOS: Many people don't realize that the idea of an ancient earth preceded Darwin's theory of evolution. The old Earth view has long held substantially more credibility than the theory of evolution. Even today, many people who reject Darwinian evolution firmly believe that ancient universe cosmology is beyond doubt due to hard evidence in the fields of geology and especially astronomy. Do you find that CMI receives as many questions and criticisms regarding its stance on "deep time" as it does evolution? How much attention is given that issue, both in the film and in CMI literature?
Dr. Wieland: Time is obviously a crucial issue. Because if the millions of years are true, then not only is grand-scale evolution much easier to swallow (in fact, without deep time, there is no evolutionary theory), but also the notion of a good world that fell into sin after people were on the earth is clearly wrong, because if there were fossils millions of years ago showing evidence of death, disease, and suffering, they cannot be the consequence of the Fall. And the Gospel is all about the origin of sin and death. So the millions of years destroy the logic of the Gospel.
A great deal of attention in our literature and resources in general is devoted to this key question. The film spends a good deal of time on geological issues, in relation to deep time. We see the places Darwin saw and how he interpreted them to support the millions of years. Then we see how they would be understood today in light of better knowledge.
TOS: A few years ago, a speaker boldly asserted the claim that in fifty years evolution would be looked back upon as the greatest hoax ever perpetrated upon mankind. While still firmly entrenched in the popular mindset, evolutionary theory is more and more revealing its soft underbelly. For the first time in living memory, a significant and growing number of secular scientists are seriously and openly challenging its plausibility. Strong creation ministries such as CMI, the birth of the ID movement, and an increasing number of films such as Voyage reveal that the theory is in crisis. Is there a chance that we could, in our lifetimes, witness the debunking of the theory of evolution?
Dr. Wieland: I find that a dubious proposition. Romans 1 tells us that unregenerate people naturally reject God. The only way to be able to not want to retain God in one's knowledge and still be intellectually consistent is to have some way of escaping from the witness all around us of this incredible created world. So some form of evolution is a philosophical necessity for unbelief. Darwin's is just one mechanism of "how"—the belief itself has been around since the times of antiquity. The best book on this subject is going to come out in a few months at the latest: Creation Without Compromise, by Donald Crowe.
So even though I am not intrinsically a pessimist, realistically I do not envision this in my lifetime. Perhaps neo-Darwinism will give way to a neo-neo-Darwinism, but as far as being overthrown totally, it would require people to believe in the miracle-working creator God of the Bible. And I don't think it will happen unless and until a majority of people in the world become born-again believers. The two go hand in hand. Because if the Bible is right about creation in six days, then it's right about heaven and hell, the whole box and dice—and as Paul said, that carries with it all of the "offense of the Cross." But I am hopeful that in this ferment of questioning we are seeing at present, that there could well be millions of people liberated from materialism and led into the light of the glorious Gospel. Ultimately that's what it's all about. To see it as purely related to the overthrow of a particular theory would be to see the whole concept of creation ministry short.
Miracles happen, and the fact that we were able to raise over $700,000 U.S. dollars globally made us aware of the providence of God more than ever in our history. To us, the idea that we would be involved in a million-dollar production was not believable a couple years ago. But God can do great things if believers get behind it.
Darren Nelson currently resides outside Knoxville, Tennessee. A high school mathematics teacher for many years, he has taken an indefinite sabbatical from the classroom to be the primary homeschool educator of his two children, Muriel and Noah.
Copyright 2009. Originally appeared in The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, Spring 2009. Used with permission. Visit them at www.TheHomeschoolMagazine.com. For all your homeschool curriculum needs visit the Schoolhouse Store.
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