After I gave a presentation on taking Genesis as literal history, including taking the six days of creation as ordinary days as the context requires, a pastor challenged me about our stand on a young earth and universe. The pastor said, “I just can’t accept your insistence of a young earth and universe, because the majority of scientists accept millions of years. Surely the majority of scientists couldn’t be so wrong on this issue.”
I replied, “But just because the majority believe something doesn’t mean it’s correct.”
The pastor responded, “But the majority of scientists use all these dating methods. I just can’t accept the majority of scientists could be so wrong.”
I then stated, “But there have been many instances in the past I could show you where the majority of scientists believed something but were wrong. In the mid-nineteenth century, the majority of doctors didn’t believe washing one’s hands helped stop the spread of disease. The majority were wrong. It was the minority who had it right.”
He replied again, “But how could the majority be so wrong about the age of the earth? Millions of years versus thousands is so different. I just can’t understand how the majority of scientists could be so wrong.”
Somewhat frustrated, I blurted out, “The majority of scientists didn’t believe there would be a global flood in Noah’s day. The majority were wrong.”
Over the years, I’ve had many Christians use much of the same argument that we need to trust the majority when it comes to evolution and millions of years.
Over the years, I’ve had many Christians use much of the same argument that we need to trust the majority when it comes to evolution and millions of years. But when it comes to issues that we can’t directly observe or repeatably test, such as the topic of origins, I insist we need to be immediately suspicious of the majority belief. And why is that? Because we can’t ignore the spiritual state of man. Consider God’s Word:
- The heart of man: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9).
- The state of the majority: “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few” (Matthew 7:13–14). The majority are on the wrong road.
- The bias of a sinful heart: “And people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil” (John 3:19).
- A person’s heart determines their worldview: “For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45).
So for a Christian, we understand that we must be suspicious of what the majority believes when it relates to origins—life’s purpose and meaning—because man’s heart is against God. But we can test what the majority claim against the word of the one who never tells a lie and knows everything—the absolute authority of the Word of God. We need to be like the Bereans in Acts 17:11, who examined “the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.” That’s how to test what the majority believe and see if it is so!