Monday, March 19, 2007

What about evolution?

One of the great stumbling blocks for many who do not believe is the concept of evolution. That is, the idea that humans and all other life has evolved from an initial simple single cell life form which spontaneously came into being on earth millions of years ago. I will call this macro-evolution, it being agreed by most that minor adaptations due to environment are found in the world today (micro-evolution). There are a number of things to state which indicate that macro-evolution is of far less importance than some on both sides of the debate argue.

1. Macro-evolution is a faith not a fact. It is argued that macro-evolution is proven in many quarters. This is not the case. The lines of evolutionary descent drawn by proponents are unproven. While it looks coherent, at no point has evidence been given that proves the change. Hence when one considers the multiplicity of ‘supposed’ unproven changes required in macro-evolutionary theory it is a faith not a proven fact.

2. Macro-evolution is less believable than most religions. Most religions require one or so aspects to be true. So for Christianity to be true all that is required is for the Gospel account to be true and that Jesus rose from the dead. Macro-evolution requires an almost endless progression of minor unproven changes over many millennia. It is easier to believe in Christianity for many than macro-evolution in that it requires a smaller range of belief.

3. Macro-evolution still requires God. Were we to still maintain that macro-evolution has occurred still begs the ultimate questions. How did life form initially? Where did the earth come from? What caused the bang if indeed the big bang started off the universe? What caused life to evolve in its many forms and for the environment to be so perfect. Has there really been enough time for this complexity to form in such wonder? In addition, the order of the creation account coheres pretty well with the order in which macro-evolution adheres to. For me, it is possible then that God used an evolutionary process to create.

4. The process of creation is unclear. Christians are not all uniform in their understanding of creation. The creation accounts refer to pre-history and predate contemporary understandings of the world. It is feasible that they are more symbolic than some think and may not be literal. There are some aspects of the language that suggest this (e.g. the Hebrew for day can be a long period, the sun and moon were not created until the fourth day raising the question of the literal length of the days, and the language is full of symbolism). That being the case, we cannot be utterly certain of the process. This raises the possibility of macro-evolution. That being the case, the arguments concerning macro-evolution or no macro-evolution become a red herring. That is, either way we need God to make it work! So I suggest we should examine the life of Jesus to decide on Christianity or not.

5. A reasonable case can be made for a literal creation as per Gen 1-2. Creation scientists have and continue to demonstrate that there are real problems with macro-evolution theory. In addition they also argue and demonstrate the possibility that the accounts are to be taken seriously and that life as we know it was created in 6 days (or over 6 time periods).

6. Nothing in contemporary science requires macro-evolution. Many scientists will claim that evolution alone explains existence and such things as genetics. However, that is not the case. The existence of a creator who ordered his creation according to his preset scientific principles explains every finding of contemporary science. The understanding of bio-sciences are in fact the discovery of the hand of the creator.

7. The closeness of some animal species to humanity does not require macro-evolution. The similarities between primates and humans does not necessarily suggest a relationship. They can equally reveal the creativity of God seen across the whole range of flora and fauna. Arguing for a relationship actually blurs the immense differences in intelligence and spirituality between the limited primates and humanity. We are clearly different, intellectually superior and capable of spirituality. We are made in God’s image and they are not.

8. The problem of the limits of macro-evolution. I often ponder why evolution has reached where it has uniformly. Why have some humans not developed wings; they would be extremely helpful? Similarly why did we dispense with gills? Why do some of us not still have gills? When one goes down this track there are a huge range of questions that are raised! Macro-evolution would lead to a far greater evolutionary diversity among humanity that we currently have. Creation and the non-existence of macro-evolution makes much more sense.

9. Macro-Evolution depends on chance. It remains inconceivable to me that all that we see is a result of nothing becoming something, the nothing exploding into the universe as we see it, by some freakish chance water emerged and in one primordial pool an amoeba spontaneously burst forth into life and then evolved spontaneously into a billion life forms! Such a view is an absurdity without the hand of a creator. This leaves two realistic options, theistic evolution (God creating by evolutionary processes) or macro-evolution as a myth!

10. Macro-evolution is western European’s creation myth. All societies have a creation story and the macro-evolution story is in fact just a myth created by western European atheistic scientists. It has no more warrant than any other creation story.

11. Macro-evolution fails to answer the ultimate questions. Macro-evolutionary theory does not answer the ultimate questions of why? How did it begin?

12. The mode of creation should be worked outward from Jesus. Jesus rose from the dead demonstrating his claim to be the Son of God. As such all postulations on original creation must work backwards from this event. He supported the biblical accounts literally. As such I hold by faith to the view that the world was created either as per Genesis either in a literal 6-day 24 hour period or in a 6 unspecified length periods. Both these views are consistent with the possibilities of Gen 1-2. Beyond that, who knows????

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