Biblical Perspectives Magazine, Volume 24, Number 19, May 1 to May 7, 2022

A Defense

By Billy C. Sichone

Central Africa Baptist University


Much has been said about origins from either side of the pundit coin. One side claims that things have always been (i.e. always existed) and consistently evolving from one form to the next bereft of any particular order, form or purpose. This school of thought asserts that no intelligent being dares to be brought into the picture at all but everything revolves around the human. On the other hand, another school asserts that the Universe points to an intelligent being that planned all things and everything is happening according to plan to the end that His name may be glorified. Theists claim that God, the intelligent creator has originated all things and sustains them through predictable laws that humans must discover through good, objective science to the Glory of God. Within this school of thought are the theistic evolutionists (Such as the Biologos team: claiming that God indeed created the world but that He used evolutionary processes to achieve His purposes. What is the Christian to make out of all this? Which position are they to take? This paper highlights some of the salient features that come to the fore as one considers this matter in relation to Humanistic, evolutionary thought that is nigh all pervasive in academia today.

What the Issues Are

In a day where an information avalanche is consistently and ferociously being generated at phenomenal rate, research relentlessly progressing and interpretations never ending, the Christian encounters many competing voices, each claiming to be the most authentic. Time was when the Bible was the primary source of information but with passage of time and a shift away from theism to atheistic humanism, thoughts, trends and approaches towards arriving at truth have equally changed. Today, the Academia is entirely hijacked by humanistic thinking that has no place for the Judeo- Christian world view that once dominated the world (Craig 2008; Dockery & Thornbury 2002). The publishing of Charles Darwin's epical Origin of species in 1859 was a significant starting point though deep thoughts and similar sentiments had been voiced long before him. What Darwin did was to collate ideas and courageously publish them to an already hungry waiting public. For a while, his ideas were wrestled with before they became the predominant basis for thinking in present Academia. If one wishes to receive renown, they must hold a humanistic, naturalistic view point to origins. If they are religious and want to retain some credibility before men, theistic evolution appears a reasonably good compromise, so some claim. Men like Hugh Ross and more recently, William Craig (In Quest for the Historical Adam, 2021; it is claimed that apart from his rationalistic leanings, Craig wrestled with Hosea 6:7 leading to his abandonment of literal biblical interpretation and reading, if ever he held such a position) among others, are convinced and avowed theistic evolutionists and will not hesitate to state what they believe. But there is more to the present climate. The issue of origins and how the universe arrived at its present state still generates much speculation, debate or discussion. Einstein's relativity theories and others generate much discussion too. The evidence for evolution is still not yet complete but every available evidence is summoned to prove a point, at times, to the extent of even trying to deceive. The Piltdown man story comes to mind. What is the reader to make of all this? How are they to trudge through this messy landscape that is presently far from conclusion? The reader is encouraged to consider evolution in its three fold senses and decide which one makes sense approximating to truth. This paper therefore attempts to highlight a number of issues and leaves the reader to make the final choice on what they will believe about origins whether Uniformitarianism or Catastrophism.


Evolution is the humanistic belief that the world has evolved from lower disintegrated matter to organically morphed complex beings we see today. It posits that evolution is purposeless, random and has no end in mind, having hailed from the big bang leading to coalesces, planetary formation, spontaneous generation and by some long time metamorphic processes, today, people walk the earth. Evolution claims to presently take place at macro levels though at a very slow pace hence the need for billions of years for its effects to be visible. Species are said to evolve, mutate and adapt to their environment without any supernatural or intelligent being aiding or intruding into the process.


Creationism on the other hand, claims that behind everything that exists is a supreme being that designed everything, sustains all things to their purposeful intended end. There is nothing that is (visible or invisible) that God did not fiatly create or sustain. What has been created was complete (Genesis 1:31) but what God now does is to sustain his creation using existing natural laws. Thus, according to creationism, God created all things in a literal 24 hour six day period and rested from His work now focusing on sustaining all things for His glory and pleasure (Genesis 2:2).


Uniformitarianism (or gradualism) is a teaching claiming that all things that we see in nature have come about through the process of evolution without any supernatural intervention or deity. Uniformitarianism has connections to humanism and Darwinism rejecting the supernatural in favour of natural processes. It further holds that the fossil record is a result of progressively systematic uniform sedimentation and layering of matter as time went on rather than resulting from a sudden catastrophic event such as a Global flood or a sudden advent like an Ice Epoch.

Assumptions and root of Uniformitarianism

As earlier hinted at, Uniformitarianism is interconnected with humanism and Darwinism thus resting on an evolutionary premise. It has its roots from the thoughts of men like Darwin, Hutton and Lyell among others of the 1800s. Others include Kant or Huxley. It posits the idea that natural processes led to what we observe today rather than divinely instigated catastrophic events in the past. Uniformitarianism therefore assumes everything that is came about by natural progressive means over a long period of time presently not observable to the human eye.

Why Uniformitarianism abhors theism (creationism)

Naturally, Uniformitarianism abhors theism because it clearly goes against its primary tenet-No God but natural processes. Further, Theism (i.e. special creation in this case) tends to deny the long epochs of time to achieve Uniformitarianism's claims. As though that were not bad enough, theism seems to point to time clocks in nature attributing them to God rather than nature. Uniformitarians infact claim that theism limits enquiry, research and inquisitiveness. For these and other reasons beside, Uniformitarianism cannot be friendly to Creationism


Catastrophism contrasts uniformitarianism in that it posits that some catastrophe or a cumulative number of them, some of global nature happened in the past thus contributing to the shaping of the world today. Catastrophism holds that some of the events in the form of rifts or even impacts from space disturbed the pristine earth. One of these was the biblical Flood of Noah that affected the entire globe. These sudden violent upheavals account for the inexplicable fossils found in unlikely places. Proponents of this view includes Georges Cuvier (1769-1832).

Have there been Floods with profound impact?

According to both Catastrophism and Uniformitarianism, there have historically been floods with varying impacts. Both schools of thought acknowledge the existence of flood(s) in the past and present.

What sort (of flood) was it: local or Global?

The types of floods have varied and most of the have been local, impacting the immediate surrounding. The schools disagree as to whether there has ever been any one flood of global proportion. Catastrophists claim that there has been one in Noah's time that submerged the entire planetary land masses while uniformitarians reject this suggestion. Both bring forth evidences to their claims.

The evidence

Both sides adduce evidences from different sources to prove their case. We here merely mention the sources that either sides summon in point form. Readers are encouraged to enquire further to satisfy their curiosity. We need to state here that one's hind grids affect their interpretation of data or artifacts presented before them. For the naturalists, evolution is a given while for the creationist, God is behind everything there is. Below are some insightful places to look:

1. The fossil record

2. Evidence in nature

What is the possible explanation of the Ice Epoch?

Both uniformitarianism and catastrophism agree that an ice age once enveloped the earth. They agree that his Epoch covered great parts of the earth and what we see today is the remnant of that age. What may differ however, is where this age came from, how long it lasted and when it ended. One school within catastrophism claims that a cataclysmic event occurred, probably from an asteroid impacting the earth thus causing the epoch. A uniformitarian view would posit that the earth goes through geological ages over long periods of time through natural phenomena. What should one believe? The quandary is deep at this juncture. Catastrophism summons various arguments including the fact that prior to the ice Epoch, the planet earth was once warm but suddenly changed on impact or some such occurrence. We briefly review these arguments.

Evidences of the once warmer planet

* Antarctica ancient maps: points to mountains, rivers, plants etc suggesting was once warm and habitable

* Perfectly preserved animals species appear suddenly frozen, with undigested fresh food in their bellies

* Points to a sudden death, probably due to some sudden catastrophe brining about an Ice epoch

* The Planet could have shifted on its axis

1. The Atrophysical evidences

2. History of astronomy in relation to the solar system

What others have Said or Written about Catastrophism and Uniformitarianism

As alluded to in earlier sections of this paper, many have undertaken to write about matters bordering on origins, from different perspectives. Catastrophism has had many high level champions that include Isaac Newton, Edmund Halley, Price, Abramson, Patten, Whiston, Wallace, Henry Morris, Whitcomb among many others. These people have argued from different angles proving that there is a purpose to creation and that God is behind everything. He is the source and sustainer of all things evidenced by indicators in nature here on Earth and elsewhere in the Universe. They point to the meticulous order, design and laws indicating the existence an intelligent designer. Further, people like Morris have used their extensive scientific learning to prove that the global flood actually is feasible and actually happened. Each of these contributed in a unique way to the theistic argument. On the other hand, there have been a fair share of pundits that have held a contra view, ejecting any suggestion of an intelligent designer, creator or sustainer of the world. They have argued that the world has always existed right from the big bang and has progressively been evolving. These humanists hold uniformitarianism assuming that no major catastrophe ever occurred to propel the Universe to where it presently is. They argue from an evolutionary perspective that there is no purpose, order or design to nature. Everything is random and will go on as usual, with energy just changing into some other form. People such as Voltaire, Hutton, Immanuel Kant, Dawkins or Stephen Hawkins among others vehemently reject the suggestion of a creator preferring to imbibe what they claim is a more scientific approach under the guise of evolution to enquiry. That, in itself, presupposes a religious faith in what is known as "atheism". That said, both sides generate quite some interesting arguments and insights worth exploring.

Benefits and Importance of this Consideration

The subject of origins or auxiliary offshoots in one of the hot subjects of the times. It divides people, churches or even schools depending on what presuppositions one holds. A firm and detailed study or understanding of this subject is therefore important. This paper therefore comes in handy for the individual seeking some basic insights. Sadly, even Seminaries where biblical truths should have had a safe haven are now desecrated with humanistic theories. Theological arguments side-line biblical truth to the side, if not relegated to the obscure terraces of history. In the quest to appear intelligent, intellectual or abreast with the times, truth is shoved to the side. This discourse summons key materials (as evidenced in the reference section) to which we urge authentic Christians to avail themselves. Reading through them much delights and warms the heart. It is amazing to learn and note that much has been written in favour of creationism. In the same breathe, it was worrying to discover that much more remains to be delved into, explored and written about God's creation. Equally worrying is the relatively falling number of biblical creationists as many cross over to the theistic evolution camp. Giants like Lane Craig leave one weeping for having once championed creationism, albeit, not in the exact creationist sense, but now deserted their post for views inconsistent with scripture, at least on the historical Adam. In this paper, as we read about great scientists of the past and present, we cannot help but admire their dedication, willingness to sacrifice as well as support each other. They studied and mused over God's creation and the secrets hidden there in. Though God is inscrutable, nature is. All said, Psalm 19 comes alive as one studies cosmology.

Lessons Gleaned from the Study

There numerous lessons that can and must be learned from a deep and sober consideration in relation to origins and development of the creation. A thorough investigation, contingent on the lenses one is using points to either direction. Ones' world view colours interpretation. There is no neutrality at all. Below are some take home points that we learn from this subject. They are by no means exhaustive but scantily representative:

* There are different evidences adduced in this module proving that Creationism is more reasonable over evolution.

* Evolution, in its pristine or even present form, needs serious overhaul because it cannot stand scrutiny, despite being the preferred theory in the scientific circles.

* Questions around Coal formation, oil formation point to some sudden compression of organisms to form these resources.

* Gradual sedimentation/settling of fossils is not in sync with evolutionary claims (i.e. sedimentary deposition).

* Abramson is atheistic evolutionist but rejects classical evolution that tends to claim millions of years to be tenable. He instead tends to favour a shorter period closely aligned to the Biblical creation.

* Abramson further believes in the existence of UFOs and Extra-terrestrial life. It may exist, according to him.

* As earlier pointed out, the evidence from the fossils points to a young earth, according to Abramson.

* The records of Scripture (i.e. including the Dead Sea Scrolls discovered in 1947) prove the reliability of scripture.

* Josephus, the Jewish historian, and other ancients talk about the existence of the flood, relics of Noah's ark having existed in his day.

* There is evidence that in the past, Earth's climate was warmer, including at Antarctica- given the ancient maps that narrated physical features such as flowing rivers, mountains, trees etc.

* The ancients were remarkably accurate about celestial bodies such as moon of Mars.

* Science changes as new facts become available and so do theories.

* Abramson thinks true science and the Christian faith are not antagonistic.

* The Grand Canyons could not have been formed over billions of years, if we use the erosion rate as a measure.

* The undigested food in the stomachs in ancient animals in the coldest regions of the world point to: 1. Sudden catastrophic end (Catastrophism); 2. The planet was perhaps warmer at one point before the Ice age suddenly enveloped parts of the Earth.

* The logic of evolution at times not consistent with facts.

* Order in the Universe points to an intelligent being called God.

* The Spirit world is very much alive and active.

* Abramson believes in a global universal flood, given the various stories from every continent that wrote independent of each other. He further believes that the most accurate and complete account is found in the Bible.

* Abramson once held a theistic evolution perspective but now holds special creation. He thus claims the earth is less than 6,000 years old, not millions of years as alleged by others.

* More and more scientists are increasingly proving that scripture claims are true through the use of archaeology, so some sources assert.

* Carbon dating methods are not entirely reliable or accurate. Despite the claimed improvements or accuracy, they still give varied readings in some instances.

* Abramson thinks the Ice Epoch came later caused by several factors including comet/asteroids collision ushering in the age.

* There are three types of evolution namely: "Guided" from above b. Micro evolution (this is ok and scientific) and Macro-evolution (most atheistic evolutionists hold this one and taught in our schools). The latter is clearly untrue, going against the grain of scripture.

* Catastrophists of the past (and present) include; Isaac Newton, Whiston, Cassinin, Edmund Halley, Huygens, Wallerius, Price, B Nelson, Rehwinkel, H. Morris and T. Barnes.

* Some unbelievers are catastrophists too. These include; HapGood, I Sanderson, Velikovsky and D Hooker.

* Views about the nature of the universe and solar system have varied over time including:

– Claudius Ptolemy (2nd Century AD)-The earth centre of solar system (Geocentric). Some still argue that the earth actually does not move!

– Corpenicus (1473-1543)-Planets revolve round the Sun in perfect circles (Heliocentric). Corpenicus published his works shortly before his demise (1543).

– Tycho Brahe (1546-1601)-Some planets revolve round the Sun while the Earth centre of the Universe with Sun revolving round it.

– Johannes Kepler (1571-1630): Elliptical orbits around the sun discoverer. He refined the findings of Brahe.

– Edmund Halley (1656-1742), William Whiston (1667-1752), Pasteur and Isaac Newton (1642-1727) among others.

* Attempts to demonstrate that events in the past explain the present orbits of terrestrial bodies have historically been made.

* The Craters on Planet/satellites surfaces attest to the existence of Catastrophes.

* Some Planets like Pluto are believed to be 'run away' Satellites from Planet Neptune.

* Pluto has an eccentric orbit taking over 247.7 earth years to revolve around the sun. The 2015 visit to Pluto by a space probe New Horizons generated new insightful information about this remote celestial body.

* Our Moon is a satellite akin to others such as Titan or Triton on Saturn & Neptune respectively.

* Pluto is sometimes the eighth furthest Planet (though now demoted from Planet) from the Sun, it was last closest to the Sun in 1969 and is presently in retreat before returning.

* The Neptune system has Planets and comets such as Nereid and Halley 's Comet.

* As planets/Bodies get closer to each other, at a given distance and due to gravitational pull, one of them tends to disintegrate or fragment. This could explain the Saturn rings as well as the Asteroid belt.

* Some believe Pluto was once a Neptune Satellite.

* Others argue that it came from some distant regions Space and thus intruded into the Neptune path.

* Jupiter has a three comet family.

* Fossil record points to a younger Planet and that Catastrophism took place by Flood and Sudden Ice Epoch.

* Different people react severally to the idea of a global flood. Some agree such as Curvier. Others revolt preferring Uniformitarianism such as Voltaire, humanists and Kant.

* At times, in attempt to solve the issue of origins, we think it is one big puzzle but could be several puzzles to give bigger picture.

* Two views: Catastrophism ("The doctrine that changes in the earth's crust have generally been affected suddenly by Physical forces") and Uniformitarianism ("The doctrine that existing processes, acting as at present, are sufficient to account for all geological changes").

* Uniformitarianism is clearly inadequate. In its present form, it is wholly lacking in many areas and at times goes against logic and evidence around yet people would rather believe it. The assumptions need serious questioning though.

* Uniformitarianism has taken over from Catatsrophism in the Academia and scientific circles. People like Walter Lang hope that Catastrophism (creationism) will once again reclaim its place in the Academia)

* Champions of Uniformitarianism include James Hutton, Charles Darwin and Charles Lyell among others.

* The flood was Universal rather than local. Noah's flood was the most severe yet on record apart from the other sudden catastrophes that may have impacted the planet. Presently, bodies like NASA are actively looking out for stray asteroids that may threaten the planet, akin to the one that suddenly impacted the Earth in Russia a few years back. Thankfully, it fell in a depopulated area and scarcely any fatalities recorded. That said, it had tremendous effect generating a significant impact with its blast. The impacts from such asteroids could be responsible for causing the planet shift on its axis ushering in the Ice Epoch/age.

* Catastrophists need to work hard to research, investigate and document findings if they are to be a dominant force once again.

* Both Catastrophists and Uniformitarians accept catastrophes though they differ in the proportions, magnitudes and impact of these.

* The Judeo-Christian heritage generally accept that within the last 4,000 years, the global Flood took place with water arising from the springs in the earth and later rain. The springs caused the flooding and this appears reasonable from a hydrological perspective. It is believed that there is far much more water beneath the surface of the earth than what is seen. Another source could be the polar ice.

* Charles Lyell, one of the leading Uniformitarian Geologists (1797-1875) made many estimations relating to the age of the earth and changed them over time. He made suggestions ranging to over a million years (BC) when the ice age ended, revising it later to 35,000 BC.

* These three theories are interconnected: Humanism, Uniformitarianism and Darwinism. Each impacts on and leads to the other.

* Uniformitarianism holds that the earth's layers are progressive with the older at the bottom. Thus sedimentation and fossils are progressively not suddenly formed/made.

* Uniformitarianism, as earlier hinted at does not agree that Catastrophes have shaped the Earth.

* Instead, it holds that the earth has evolved over billions of years.

* Uniformitarianism asserts that the flood (if any) was local rather than global.

* Multiple stories about the flood exist, over 250 of them. Uniformitarianism claims that these are merely folklore and cannot be relied on. But how could people in separate places tell a similar story?

* Uniformitarianism rejects the supernatural, existence of God and everything is purposelessly natural in occurrence.

* Uniformitarianism is consistently in flux as new evidence comes about.

* Natural selection and humanism are interconnected.

* Evolution fossil record is presently incomplete and thus cannot be proved/relied on

* Catastrophism teaches that there was indeed a flood of global proportions

* A sudden ice age epoch ensued at some point, explaining why some frozen fossils still have freshly undigested food. An asteroid impact is a probable cause, shifting the planet on its axis.

* Truth does not change as declared by God.


The evidence around the universe points to a purposeful intelligent design. Things may appear in flux but certain predictable laws of nature point to the existence of God. The fossil record does not consistently support Uniformitarianism but rather points to catastrophism at more points than one. The earth appears not to be as old as some pundits suggest, it is in fact far younger than claimed, given the time clocks available in nature.


Abramson P.(1998-99). A Defence of Creationism, available at:, accessed on 09th November, 2021.

Craig W.L. (2008). Reasonable Faith, Crossway.

Dockery & Thornbury .(2002). Shaping a Christian World view: The foundations of Christian Higher Education, Broadman & Holman Academic.

Patten W D.(1966). The Biblical Flood and the Ice Epoch

Morris H.M.(1974). Many Infallible Proofs: Evidences for the Christian Faith, Master Books

Morris H.M. & Whitcomb J. (1961). The Genesis Flood: The Biblical Record and it's scientific implications, Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing House.

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