By L. Alfred James
“You Christians believe in your religion merely by a leap of faith! You believe simply because your religion makes you feel comfortable.” How many times have you heard this? I’ve heard it hundreds of times. I’ve even heard Christians say that they don’t have any evidence for their beliefs, they are “just based on faith.” However, this is a very naive understanding of the Christian worldview. Christianity is not something we believe in just because we want to. On the contrary, the Apostle Paul says quite the opposite:
1 Corinthians 15:17-19 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.
Notice how he does not say, “If your belief makes you feel good, then that is all that matters, whether it is true or not.” No, he says that—if Jesus has not really been raised—we are to be pitied more than anyone else. Why? Because we are living a lie. If Christ has not really been raised from the dead then our worldview is just a delusion. Thus, Paul clearly implies that Christians should stop being Christians if Christianity really isn’t true.
This has huge implications for Christianity. It means that it can be proven false. And it isn’t too hard to imagine how this could happen. Suppose archaeologists found the bone box of Jesus, and suppose multiple lines of evidence (perhaps from newly-discovered historical documents) indicated that the apostles had faked Jesus’ resurrection, and more evidence demonstrated that these same apostles were never truly martyred (that is, the stories of their martyrdom were simply legends). If the evidence were this conclusive, we would have to give up being Christians. Our beliefs would have been proven false. In such a situation we should not continue believing that Jesus has been resurrected, no matter how comfortable it might have made us.
This fits perfectly well with those other parts of the New Testament in which the apostles used evidence and logic to persuade people that Jesus was the Messiah. They told folks that they were “eyewitnesses” of Jesus’ ministry and resurrection (e.g., Acts 2:32; 2 Peter 1:16). Indeed, Paul explicitly said that the resurrection of Jesus is “proof” that He will one day judge every human being (Acts 17:31).
So, despite what many folks may say, Christianity is a worldview that demands sound reasoning of its followers. We are not told to believe in the resurrection of Christ simply as a leap of faith. We come to believe it on the basis of evidence and proof. The resurrection—being the central piece of evidence—is very well attested, and it clearly entails that the Christian worldview is true. Nonetheless, if it were proven false, then we should drop our theological beliefs like a hot iron.
However, the same cannot be said for human evolutionary theory. Surprisingly, it requires many gigantic leaps of faith. Some of them have already been discussed in previous articles. But there is one leap of faith that I have not yet mentioned. This is a leap of faith that is largely unknown to the average person. And to understand why it is such a gigantic leap, I need to fill you in on some background.
According to mainstream evolutionary theory, a mere 30 million years ago the monkeys of South America evolved from populations of monkeys in Africa. However, according to mainstream geology (which I fully accept) Africa and South America separated from each other approximately 100–120 million years ago. That means that Africa and South America were separated a long, long, long time before these South American monkeys supposedly came into existence. But this poses a serious problem: if these monkeys evolved only 30 million years ago, and South America had already been separated from Africa, how in the world did they end up in South America?
This is a question that has thoroughly stumped advocates of evolutionary theory. The fact that said monkeys are now located across an ocean (nearly 2,000 miles of water)—far, far away from their supposed point of origin—is a serious problem for the whole theory. One cannot say they walked there, as there were no land-bridges or ice-bridges at any time in history that would realistically facilitate their immigration. Worse, there is no fossil evidence (or any living evidence) in North America to indicate that the monkeys walked across the Bering Strait and down to South America (not to mention how the cold Russian temperatures would kill them). To be blunt, there simply is no plausible explanation that fits with evolutionary theory.
How do advocates of evolution respond? Brace yourself. It is shocking. Indeed, gather round, my friends, and I will now regale you with a tale of such giant leaps of faith that it will astonish and frighten you. You will think it hails from some bizarre cult that meets in the dark places of the earth, speaks only in whispers, and blindly follows some bizarre cult-leader who has whipped them up into a frenzy. But no, these folks are nothing of the sort. They assemble in the hallowed halls of scientific institutions, and speak with calm voices, intonations that bespeak rationality and wisdom. (And they have greater influence than any cult-leader, indeed any pope, has ever wielded.) I’m talking about true-blue scientists here. People with advanced degrees who are highly respected in our academic institutions, people who sound perfectly rational. Yes, it is these people who have woven a tale for the ages. And they admit their story is a far-fetched one, but plead for mercy since it has to be true in order to preserve evolutionary theory.
The story that they propose is that…
…the monkeys rafted across the ocean.
Yes, you read that correctly. The monkeys hitched a ride on some kind of raft, all the way across the ocean. It sounds more like Gilligan’s Island than science, but this goes by the name of science.
Mind you, we are not talking about a short journey. This was no three-hour tour. The journey would have taken many weeks. What in the world did they eat? Monkeys can’t go 4 to 6 weeks without food and stay alive. Besides that, what in the world did they drink?
And how did they reproduce in the new world? There needs to be a lot of monkeys if this group is going to have a chance to flourish in their new home. Are we to believe that numerous monkeys just “accidentally” made this journey together?
Please note this: We have never observed any species of animal to raft (on unguided floating material) across any ocean. Not even a mouse or a squirrel, let alone a monkey. Evolutionary advocates often say that our science should only be based on things that we observe. They decry intelligent design theory because it entails an unobserved designer. But their own theory involves many things that have never been observed. And this particular story of rafting monkeys is among them. It is not based on anything empirical. There is not a shred of evidence that anything like it can ever happen. It is totally, completely, one-hundred-percent A LEAP OF FAITH. And it is a big leap at that. In my opinion it takes a lot less faith to simply believe that God supernaturally created us, and that He created the rest of the primates, than to believe this far-fetched story.
Don’t miss this. If you are going to believe the standard theory of human evolution, you must embrace the rafting monkey story. You must swallow this pill. It’s a bitter pill. But it’s part of the package. Human evolution entails evolution for all primates, even the monkeys of South America. And there is no other explanation for how monkeys got to South America.
So the next time your secular friends tell you that they reject Christianity because it involves too big of a “leap of faith” be sure to ask them about the amazing oceangoing monkeys of South America.