Creationists Presenting Wrong Information about Natural Selection

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen 

As stated many times before, Christians and creationists are called to a higher standard using evidence, logic, and apologetics than unbelievers. Further, we must show godly integrity in everything we do.

One of the main principles in a debate, formal or informal is to honestly and accurately represent the opposing view. Otherwise, people make disingenuous straw man arguments. (Evolutionists frequently do this to creationist views.) Unfortunately, some influential creationists are making false statements about natural selection. Although I am not influential, I have been doing this to some extent as well.

Lightbulb with world, Pixabay / PIRO4D
Atheists try to slap leather with us, and are frustrated when a knowledgeable creationist returns fire with truth and reason. The abusive ad hominem "liar for Jesus" is falsely asserted when we know something of which they are ignorant, or simply do not like. However, we must not give them any basis to make that accusation.

Of course, we are human and we make mistakes. When we are informed about our errors, we need to adjust our thinking and procedures, sometimes abandoning them completely. There is room for disagreement in the creationist camp, sure. We do it about models, evidence for the Flood boundary, and so on — but we hold to the inerrancy and truth of the Word of God as our foundation.

The Institute for Creation Research and Dr. Randy Guliuzza

One of the oldest creation science organizations is the Institute for Creation Research. Dr. Randy Guliuzza was made president and Chief Operating Officer for ICR on 1 August 2020 [1]. He had been with them for about twelve years before that [2]. He is soft-spoken, makes presentations, and clearly has a love for Jesus and biblical creation.

Dr. Guliuzza has made it known that he rejects natural selection. This is ridiculous, as natural selection exists. It was first described by creationist Edward Blyth, and is completely within creation science teachings. Darwin bushwhacked it and retooled it for his own purposes.

We will now look at some of the background from main participants who have given Randy opportunities to learn. I need to get the background established and provide references for those who want to saddle up and ride those trails. Some people may want to skim the next section.

A Timeline

Dr. Nathaniel T. Jeanson worked for ICR before moving to Answers in Genesis. In the Answers Research Journal, Nathaniel took Randy to task in "Does Natural Selection Exist?" [3] Guliuzza gave lengthy responses in ARJ [4]. Drs. Sarfati and Carter wrote "The fact of natural selection" in 2014, which was updated in March of 2022 [5].

"Understanding Natural Selection" by Drs. Georgia Purdom and Jeanson was published on 16 February 2016 for Answers in Genesis, and Dr. Guliuzza was mentioned several times [6]. Dr. Jason Lisle, founder of the Biblical Science Institute [7], previously worked at both AiG and ICR, and wrote a detailed paper about Randy's errors on 5 December 2018, "Refuting Dubious Claims Regarding Natural Selection [8]."

Dr. Jean Lightner expressed disagreement with Lisle [9], and Lisle disagreed with her disagreement [10]. I mention the last couple to show that creationists are not in lockstep, and will publicly disagree with one another in peer-reviewed scientific journals. For that matter, "Recent challenges to natural selection" was published in the Journal of Creation in 2012, and two of the referees were not happy with it but allowed it to encourage discussion [11].

Dr. Lisle Refutes False Assertions

Dr. Guliuzza was in a video podcast for ICR called "What's the Issue with Natural Selection?", and Randy made a prairie schooner-full of false statements [12]. Dr. Lisle thought it was time to pull back on the reins and holler, "Whoa!"

Jason made two videos discussing the errors of Randy, and he warns the rest of us not to be deceived, and especially not to pass along Guliuzza's false information. They are "Discerning Truth: Refuting False Claims Regarding Natural Selection - Part 1" [13], and "Part 2" [14].

"How were you spreading false teachings, Cowboy Bob?"

That's the next section.

Personal Failings and Lessons Learned

Although I did not read those articles linked above (I skimmed some), I was becoming uneasy with Dr. Guliuzza's teachings from ICR. In fact, when he became their president and was continuing to rail against natural selection, I canceled my monthly donations.

Later on, however, he seemed to back off on denying the existence of natural selection. When that video podcast [12] came along, I was more at ease because I thought he was targeting Darwinian natural selection, which was made into a false god for evolutionists through reification.

Dr. Lisle essentially grabbed me by the ear and took me out behind the woodshed (well, he might have if he knew I exist). Listening to those videos [13], [14], I learned about how I was disunderstanding the fallacy of reification (treating something abstract like it was a person). This meant I had to cowboy up and admit my mistakes.

Yes, evolutionists do the reification thing with natural selection, but apparently it is only fallacious when used in an argument [15]. "Natural selection" is frequently used as a metaphor or figure of speech. Non-entities do selecting, and the Bible uses reification as metaphors as well. That aspect of the concept didn't sink into my mind far enough.

Lisle explained that Guliuzza, others, and myself do have it right when we point out when Darwin's disciples take natural selection too far when they make it into an entity. Although Dr. Guliuzza sounded reasonable when I thought he clarified his position on natural selection, Dr. Lisle showed where he was wrong — and misleading others.

Those of us who want to teach will be judged with greater strictness (James 3:1). I think one reason for that strict judgment is that people accept that kind of authority, even if it's not entirely deserved. Randy deceives people, and I trusted his credentials, experience, and that he represented ICR. (It sounds like I'm making excuses, but that's how it happened.) Then I inadvertently misled people. Once I received instruction, I was compelled to fess up and also sound a warning. Some of my earlier work where I overstated the problem with natural selection has been tweaked.

People who read material from the Institute for Creation Research should use caution. Am I going to drop them entirely? No, but I'm going to be more selective, naturally.

I'd be much obliged if you would not only watch the videos (listed again, below), but share my embarrassing experience here to other creationists. We can also be praying for wisdom at ICR and that Randy repents. Follow the links, and there are several articles linked by Dr. Lisle that he wants us to know about:

Again, natural selection is real, originally stated by creationist Edward Blyth [16], and is a part of biblical creation science beliefs.