cognitive dissonance and uncertainty in the realm of origins
and the authority of Scripture. God’s Word is trumped by
the ‘high thing’ of ‘science’ and millions of years and many
local floods that are nowhere found in Scripture.
When reaching out to those trapped in the web of
evolutionary falsehoods, we, like Paul in Athens, must be
strategic. The first step in this strategy is to learn exactly
what the specific ‘imaginations’ are that are standing
between those we are trying to reach and the ‘knowledge
of God’. These ‘imaginations’ make up the knowledge
strongholds that keep people from knowing God. What
are the specific pillars of evolution theory that are the most
believable to Christians and non-Christians alike? What
specific evolutionary lies are causing many believers to leave
3 Knowing these specific imaginations will help
guide Creation Ministries to focus on certain areas when
it comes to dismantling the lie and constructing the truth.
To illustrate the importance, we will contrast two
different creation ministry approaches. Consider situation
A: Bob, a passionate creation speaker, learns that his son’s
biology class is taught ‘whale evolution’ as fact and decides
to give a ‘Debunking Whale Evolution’ talk at his local
church. If 100 people show up, including many skeptics
who were asked to attend by church members, what should
he cover? Bob’s talk is excellent—he effectively dispels the
idea that whales evolved over millions of years. How many
people in the audience are transformed by the presentation?
Likely only a scant few. Situation B is the same, but the topic
is human evolution. How many people would be swayed
to abandon the lie of evolution in exchange for the truth
if this topic was highlighted rather than whale evolution?
According to our research, many times more!
To find answers to these questions and define the
evolutionary imaginations, we surveyed4 student-aged
respondents (aged 14 to 24) to identify the ‘best’ and ‘next
best’ evidences for evolution (regardless of whether they
believed in evolution). Their open-ended responses (404
total responses, of which 292 were complete) were then
coded into 10 categories (see table 1).
The polling was done by the professional polling agency,
Pollfish, which stops after they obtain the number requested,
which in this case was limited to 600 requested subjects, as
it was felt this would give a large enough sample to make
reasonable deductions given the budget limits of those
sponsoring the survey. Of the requested sample, 292 subjects
properly and fully completed the form (49% usable) and
produced interpretable, valid responses to either. This usable
response rate is common for this type of survey. This is
why captive audiences such as college classes are preferred
but have their own problems such as lack of a wide level of
The sample surveyed was: 44.7% male, 55.3% female;
37.5% between the ages of 14 and 17, 62.5% between 18
and 24; and 60.2% identified themselves as ‘Christian’.
Interestingly, there was no statistical significance at the
.05 level difference between the frequencies of the ‘best
evolution evidences’ when the data file was split between
‘Christians’ and ‘non-Christians’.
5 The location of the
respondents was not asked, but likely relates to Amazon
customers, thus a reasonably valid sample of middle and
They were asked: “Regardless of whether you believe
in evolution, what is the best evidence that evolution is
true?” or “Regardless of whether you believe in evolution,
Creation speakers selected typically included persons
with at least a bachelor’s degree, most had a master’s degrees
or higher, with 15 or more years’ experience in speaking in
this area and a reputation as an effective creation speaker.
Most were also popular speakers involved with a formal
creation ministry, such as Creation Ministries International,
and most had many publications and/or books to their credit.