“Dad! Did you know that horses used to be no bigger than our dog? Imagine riding a horse the size of Buddy!”
How do you answer your child when he or she hears evolutionary concepts presented as facts?
There is no escaping the fact that our children will be exposed to evolutionary teachings—whether in public school, nature shows, science books or museums. The theory of evolution has been embraced and promoted as fact in almost every aspect of society—while the Creator God has been rejected and minimized to religious myth.
Does the debate matter?
Some parents who believe in the Bible may assume that evolution vs. creation is just an academic debate for adults to argue about. Nothing could be further from the truth! It is critically important that our children learn that all things were literally created by a very real, living God. Jesus Christ is described as the Creator who made Adam and Eve with His own hands, not through evolution (1 Timothy 2:13; Colossians 1:16).
It is essential that parents begin teaching their children about the existence of God from a young age. We must not wait to begin teaching this vital truth to our children until they are older! The god of this age (2 Corinthians 4:4, referring to Satan the devil) begins indoctrinating our children at a tender young age. We must be proactive in equipping our children to overcome this powerful deception.
Believing in the Creator is a fundamental prerequisite to any person coming to Him. “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is” (Hebrew 11:6, emphasis added throughout).
The angels in heaven are constantly mindful that God created everything—and are moved to praise Him as a result. “You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created” (Revelation 4:11). This is an excellent example for us earthly mortals—of all ages—to follow.
Specifically, how do you equip your child to believe firmly in the Creator God and refute the false teachings of evolution? Here are some suggestions:
Talk About God Regularly
“And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up” (Deuteronomy 6:6-7).
False teachings will come quickly to our children through many avenues. Therefore we must make conversation about the true God even more natural and routine. “Train up a child in the way he should go, and [even] when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).
For example, you might comment on the creatures in your backyard—the amazing agility God built into the squirrel or the aeronautical abilities of the bird that surpass any man-made aircraft.
Equip Yourself With the Basic Teachings of Evolution
You are your child’s most important teacher! Therefore you need to have a working knowledge of what evolution actually teaches. We highly recommend that you read some of the materials listed in the sidebar “Creation vs. Evolution Resources.” Some of these you can read for free at your local library or on the Internet or find as used books for purchase at low prices.
Having some knowledge of evolutionary theory will prevent you from describing it inaccurately—such as simplifying it to “human beings came from monkeys.”
Learn About Intelligent Design With Your Child
In the last two decades, microbiologists have made astonishing new discoveries about the living cell. Each discovery adds to the growing mountain of evidence that this mind-blowing complexity can only have come from a superintelligent mind capable of the most complex engineering.
It is critically important that our children learn that all things were literally created by a very real, living God.The intelligent design movement is leaving evolutionists with fewer arguments to stand on. The sidebar lists several recommended resources. As you begin reading some of these, you’ll quickly realize that most “intelligent design” authors choose to approach this subject purely from an analytical position, that is, showing clearly that evolution fails to explain the origin and complexity of life, and that a superintelligence was necessarily involved. Most are not claiming to bring the God of the Bible into the picture.
Those who believe the Bible know who this superintelligence is, and learning facts from these books about His creative genius can be inspiring and helpful.
For example, after reading Darwin’s Black Box, you could illustrate the principle of “irreducible complexity” to your child by taking apart a mousetrap or putting together a bicycle, explaining how each part must be made in a specific shape and positioned precisely for the whole system to have any useful function.
Video animations of living cells can also be excellent teaching tools. These show the amazing complexity of the billions of parts that work harmoniously together in every living cell. You can find many of these videos on YouTube by searching for “living cell animation.” When you see the astonishing complexity required to give us life, you (and your child) cannot help but have a deeper awe and reverence for the great Creator God!
Creation vs. Evolution Resources
The Case for a Creator
Lee Strobel, 2004.
A journalist investigates scientific evidence that points toward God.
Darwin on Trial
Phillip Johnson, 2010.
A professor of law examines scientific detail that argues convincingly against the theory of evolution.
Darwin’s Black Box
Michael Behe, 2006.
A professor of biochemistry shows that the building blocks of life are far too complex for their codependent parts and processes to have evolved.
Stephen C. Meyer, 2013.
A geophysicist and Cambridge-trained philosopher of science makes the case that intelligent design is the best explanation for the sudden explosion of life shown in the Cambrian fossil record. Also by the same author: Signature in the Cell.
Evolution: A Theory in Crisis
Michael Denton, 1985.
A biochemist examines features of the natural world that mutation and natural selection cannot explain.
Icons of Evolution: Science or Myth?
Jonathan Wells, 2000.
A molecular biologist tackles 10 of the most prominent illustrations used in teaching evolution and shows how each is misused.
Address Evolutionary Teachings Promptly
Since you have the primary responsibility for the education of your child, you need to know what others are teaching him or her. Start the habit of discussing what was taught in school each day as a matter of routine, perhaps at dinner.
Whenever your child encounters evolutionary concepts—whether in school or in a TV show or book—discuss it at your earliest opportunity. If you have equipped yourself with some facts disproving evolution, you can help your child process what he or she has just heard on a level you know your child can best understand.
It is good to remember that if evolution had occurred, many missing links would have been found. Instead we see vast gaps in the fossil records where Darwinian evolution predicted there would be transitional creatures. See our LifeHopeandTruth.com article “The Fossil Record and Creation.”
When it comes to evolutionary teachings at school, there are a few more points to consider:
- If your child worries about having to put down answers he or she doesn’t believe when taking tests, here is one idea. When the “correct” answers would be evolutionary concepts, your child can simply add a note at the top of the test page such as, “According to the book” or “According to the theory of evolution.”
- Advise your child not to start arguments in the classroom. Arguing with teachers who do not believe in the biblical account of creation will only cause unnecessary conflict or resentment toward your child in the long run. No teacher likes to be put on the spot or shown to be wrong in front of a class of students.
- Prepare your child to “be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you” (1 Peter 3:15). This is a principle we all need to practice. This requires being adequately armed with the knowledge of the truth. Remind your child that he or she is not alone; there are many others who believe in the Creator God rather than evolution. We can—and should—have confidence in knowing the facts are solid, true and irrefutable.
Coach Your Child in Making a List of His or Her Own Personal Proofs of God’s Existence
Your child’s list can be added to or modified as he or she grows in understanding. It would, of course, be a good idea to first have your own personal list!
We believe the 15 articles in the “Is There a God?” section of the Life, Hope & Truth website can help you in your responsibility to equip your child to deal with evolutionary teaching and to develop a growing relationship with our Creator. We invite you to bookmark the site and visit it often.
Parents, God has given you the responsibility to equip your children with the knowledge that will help them build a strong relationship with their Creator!