Is Evolution Contrary to the Biblical Teachings?
Many believers despise the idea of evolution and see it as an attempt by atheism to undermine God, the scriptures and all that is holy and good. Just mentioning the word in any context will make their hair stand on end.
Then there are other believers who accept evolution in varying degrees, seeing that God uses this mechanism of creation. Some literalists tolerate such views where others see any such acceptance as apostasy and heresy.
Let us start our discussion by examining what we know for sure about the subject. Fundamentalists often speak of evolution as if it has no true existence anywhere, but this obviously is not true. Here are some areas where we should all agree evolution does take place.
(1) A child evolves into an adult.
(2) As we study our learning evolves from the simple to the complex.
(3) Computer programs evolve and become more capable and sophisticated.
(4) Civilization has evolved. We have evolved from hunters and gatherers, to farming, to manufacturing, to the space age, to the computer age, and show few signs of slowing down.
(5) Through selective breeding animals, plants and insects have been observed to evolve within their species.
(6) We have found skeletons of ancient humans that were definitely less evolved than modern man.
Okay, so certain types of evolution technically exist but the question at hand concerns the Bible’s teaching on it. Does the Bible really teach that there s no evolution?
First we must understand why many Bible believers see evolution as taught by science is not in harmony with scripture.
Many maintain that Genesis tells us that God created the earth, life on it and man from the dust of the earth, not some random selection from evolution. There is no mention of Adam and Eve evolving from a lower life form.
On the other hand, many believers have looked at the evidence of evolution as well as Intelligent Design and concluded that both may have played a hand. Perhaps God did use some type of evolutionary process in his work of creation.
That said, let us now look at what the Bible actually says or doesn’t say about the creative process.
(1) The word “evolution” is not mentioned in the Bible. It is doubtful that such a concept even entered the heads of any of the thinkers in Old Testament times. Since this was not a concept available to those who actually wrote the Bible then one cannot expect it to be argued for or against there.
(2) The Bible tells us that God spoke commands and then creation took place. As we noted earlier the time frame of creation is not clear, but in addition it doesn’t say clearly how the words of God were fulfilled.
Let us suppose I was telling a child a quick story of the things created by Steve Jobs saying, “And Steve said, let there be an iPhone created. And it was so, just as it was commanded, and Steve saw that it was good.”
Is this statement truthful? Yes. Steve did give orders for the iPhone’s creation and he was happy with the finished product.
Does this mean he just snapped his fingers and it instantly materialized?
No. Of course not.
So, when God ordered he creation of the sun, moon and stars does this mean they all instantly appeared?
No. The Bible leaves out the details of how creation took place. It takes a tremendous leap of belief and reason to think that the trillions of stars materialized within 24 hours of a command.
(3) The Bible does give us a hint that evolution was a part of the creative process. It says:
“And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.” Genesis1:11
“Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.” Genesis 1:20
“And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.” Genesis 1:24
Notice that God spoke and the earth and the life on earth just didn’t materialize but the earth and the waters cooperated to “bring forth,” or perhaps evolve the life that we now see around us.
Concerning the creation of man, the Bible doesn’t give many details except to say that he was created from the dust of the earth, something we all acknowledge to be true. Many believers think that God just said the word and a fully formed human appeared in an instant, but that is not what the Bible says. Exactly what process was used is a mystery, but nothing in the Bible rules out the possibility of evolution guided by the intelligence of God.
Copyright by J J Dewey 2014
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