Ever since the publication of Origin of Species by Charles Darwin in 1859, a storm of controversy has been raging among theologians and scientists. Some proponents of Darwin's theory have elevated it as a new paradigm to be used to reinterpret the human experience. Others have identified the theory of evolution as the work of the devil with no scientific merit and have committed themselves to a fight against the theory, as if the fight were against the devil himself. Most people stand somewhere in between these two opinions. Richard Bube summarized the controversy in this way: "If the evolutionists usually put too much emphasis on these empirical data, the antievolutionists usually put too little. " [Bube, R. The human quest. Waco, TX: Word; 1971: 207.]
How much emphasis should one put on the scientific data related to the theory of evolution? This treatise attempts to analyze these data, delineate the strengths and weaknesses of the theory of evolution, and point out that the discussion of evolution revolves not so much around empirical scientific evidence but, rather, around philosophical presuppositions.
This book is an expanded version of a paper published in the June 1977 issue of the Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation written during the Faith and Learning Seminar held at Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois, in 1976. The project was supported by a grant from the Wheaton College Alumni Association.
I would like to express deepest appreciation to Dr. Raymond Brand and Dr. Albert Smith of the Biology Department of Wheaton College for their insightful and substantive reviews on Part I of this book. The contribution in the final revision of Part II and Part IV of Dr. Alan Johnson of the Bible Department is greatly appreciated.
I want also to thank other Wheaton faculty members for reviewing Part III: Dr. Arthur Holmes, Philosophy Department; Dr. Zondra Lindblade, Sociology Department; and Dr. James Rogers, Psychology Department. I am indebted to Dr. James O. Buswell, III for his generosity in making available his collection of books pertaining to the evolution controversy to aid in this writing project. The helpful comments on the sections in geology and physical anthropology by Dr. David DeVries of the Geology Department and by Dr. Dean Arnold of the Anthropology Department respectively are also appreciated. Last but not least, the courteous cooperation of Mrs. Kathy Driscoll who helped type the manuscript for this book is gratefully acknowledged.