Creation Verses Evolution in Court – Dr Mark Harwood  

Thursday, March 1st, 2018

‘Guilty or not guilty – How do you plea?’

Mark assumed God used evolution to create.

“It seemed to be a logical conclusion because I thought the evidence for evolution was irrefutable.”

Billy Graham said, ‘Adam was no gibbering caveman he was fully developed and words to that effect. The point being Adam made a conscious decision to rebel against God.”

Mark recalled it was as if the Lord spoke to him at that moment and asked, ‘Do you believe that?’

“In the courtroom if there was an eyewitness present at the scene of the crime, then their testimony carries a great deal of weight…the Bible is like God’s eyewitness account of what He actually did at the beginning.”

Dr Mark Harwood played a key role in the development of Australia’s national satellite system. Today after a career as a pioneering satellite engineer Mark is now a speaker, writer and scientist for Creation Ministries International.

‘God used evolution’ Mark assumed

At the outset Mark wasn’t a believer in the creationist sense and had plenty of room to manouvre across the spectrum of evolution and creation.

Mark would probably have described himself as an agnostic evolutionist when he entered university. He had a scientific bent and wanted to pursue science as he pressed ahead with his engineering studies.

It was in this environment that Mark assumed God used evolution to create.

“It seemed to be a logical conclusion because I thought the evidence for evolution was irrefutable.”

“After all there it all was. How could you say the text books were wrong? The scientists do amazing things. We have all this fabulous technology we use today, so how can you argue against that?”

But all questions aside, the Bible told him something totally different and as a youngster growing up and going to high school and university, Mark somehow held opposing views in his head.

Dr Mark Harwood

‘Do you believe that?’

“I didn’t think too much about it until after my post-graduate studies and away at a church camp.”

“I was reading a book by Billy Graham called ‘Peace With God’ published around 1952 and one of the early chapters is on sin.”

“In that chapter Billy Graham said, ‘Adam was no gibbering caveman he was fully developed and words to that effect. The point being he made a conscious decision to rebel against God.”

Mark recalled it was as if the Lord spoke to him at that moment and asked, ‘Do you believe that?’

“It was not an audible voice but more of a very strong impression and I remember thinking, ‘Yes I do believe that.’”

“And then I started to think it through. If Adam’s rebellion against God is what brought death and suffering into the world, that means it could not have been there before Adam.”

Christians with a foot in both camps

“And if it wasn’t there before Adam that means the whole evolutionary story is inconsistent with the basic Gospel message.”

“For me it was like a theological conversion,” Mark acknowledged.

But what about the many Christians who continue to have a foot in both camps? How does that effect the strength of their faith? Mark said it affected him.

“As a young man I was a Christian but I believed in evolution and I was confused and I couldn’t share my faith effectively as a student,” Mark said.

“The classic question I couldn’t answer – ‘If God is a good God why is there death and suffering in the world? Why doesn’t He just fix everything up?”

Mark said at the time he didn’t have an answer to those fundamental questions.

‘It made me an impotent Christian’

“In fact as I was growing up I went to my church leaders because I didn’t understand why Christ went to the Cross for me.”

“I’d reason, why couldn’t Jesus have just come to the earth and lived a good life and then been transfigured up into heaven? Why the agony of the Cross?”

Sadly, Mark’s church leaders couldn’t explain it because they too believed God used evolution to create. “It made me an impotent Christian.”

Mark said it was the church camp encounter that started him on a journey of research, reading, and discovery.

“I discovered to my great delight that not only could I believe what the Bible says right from the beginning, and I could because the evidence all supports it, but that I should.”

‘The price of my sin was death’

The reason Mark believed was the reason Jesus came – to pay the price for his sin.

“The price of my sin was death,” Mark stated.

“That’s what came when Adam rebelled against God. So if you take that away, suddenly you have no credible or comprehensible reason for Jesus suffering on the Cross.”

If we were to sum it up for ourselves we might think we are either in one of two camps – creationists or evolutionists. But Mark thinks there are three camps.

“There are those who believe God’s Word and what it says, that God spoke the universe into being in six days just as Genesis tells us. Then at the other end of the scale is the very secular view, a synonym for atheism.”

“The third position is the one I used to adopt – that maybe God used the processes of evolution. But of those three there’s actually only one that makes sense of the universe around us.”

‘The accused is guilty?’

“That’s what God tells us that He actually did,” Mark declared before he commented on what he would say to a creationist denier or doubter.

“I always start from what the Scriptures say. The line of argument I would use is this.”

“If you were in a courtroom and you have a prosecution who looks at the evidence and he interprets all the evidence as meaning the accused is guilty.”

“Then the defence lawyer stands up and he looks at exactly the same evidence and he interprets it to mean the accused is innocent.”

Mark said it’s the same evidence being interpreted in radically different ways.

“That’s the situation each of us is in when we look at the world around us; that the evidence we see in the physical world is interpreted according to what we actually already believe!” Mark highlighted.

God’s eyewitness account

Bottom line – it’s a choice as to whether we choose the secular atheist view or the literal biblical six-day creationist view.

Mark said Creation Ministries is encouraging people to take off the secular glasses that say there is no God, and put on Christian biblical glasses and start with God’s eyewitness account of what He actually did.

To explain further Mark returns to the courtroom scenario.

“In the courtroom if there was an eyewitness present at the scene of the crime, then their testimony carries a great deal of weight in determining whether the accused is in fact guilty or innocent, particularly if they’re a reliable eyewitness.”

“Now the Bible is like God’s eyewitness account of what He actually did at the beginning.”

“So here we have an account. The All Powerful, All loving, All merciful and Gracious God spoke the universe into being and He’s recorded for us exactly what He did.”

“He took six days to do it, He rested on the seventh, and He laid down a pattern for mankind and here we are today observing a seven-day week,” Mark observed.

‘Take off those secular glasses’

In his summing up, Mark began with the eyewitness account. “And then I say, ‘Does the evidence I see in the world around us make sense?”

According to Mark that’s where there’s a whole fascinating discussion that goes on.

“The evidence that’s presented through our culture today, TV documentaries, science curricular in high schools, universities and the like, all begins with the secular atheistic assumption there is no God.”

“It’s when you apply those glasses to interpret the evidence you get a completely different set of explanations.”

“So, take off those secular glasses that say there is no God, and put on Christian biblical glasses and start with God’s eyewitness account of what He did.”

If you would like to listen to the full audio interview click play below


Footnote

Mark Harwood completed his tertiary education at the University of Sydney where he received B.Sc., B.E. (Hons) and Ph.D. degrees. His postgraduate studies were focused on radiotelescopes and computer techniques for antenna design and measurement.

Mark played a key role in the development of Australia’s national satellite system. He has now retired from the aerospace industry where he was General Manager, Strategy and Planning for the Optus satellite business.

During his university years, Mark was something of a ‘closet Christian’ because he could not understand the basis of his faith. He assumed that God must have created through the processes of evolution but that idea provided no meaningful basis for Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross. But when he was confronted on the historical truth of the creation account in Genesis he realised that those opening chapters were actually true. Then God’s plan of redemption finally made sense.

Dr Harwood is now employed by CMI as a speaker and scientist and he has oversight of the speaker development program for the Australian and Singaporean ministries. Today, he speaks passionately, both in Australia and internationally, about the scientific credibility and the Gospel relevance of the Genesis account of creation.

https://creation.com/dr-mark-harwood

Key Articles:

Created or evolved?Where do we come from? Find your answer to the vital creation vs evolution question

Genesis: Missing piece of the puzzleUnderstanding the cause of the decline of Christian faith in the once-Christian ‘West’ and what we can do about it.

Did God create over billions of years?How attempts to marry the Bible with the ‘deep time’ of the secular worldview contribute to the decline of Christian culture.

Engineer goes back to schoolHow the global flood of Noah explains landforms, rocks and fossils without millions of years.

The evolution train’s a’comin’ (in the wrong direction!)—How the claimed mechanism for evolution does the wrong thing.

It’s not science!What is science? Is creation science? Is evolution science? Are matters of history such as origins open to scientific ‘proof?

15 Questions for evolutionistsFundamental questions about the origin of life and all living things that evolution does not answer.

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