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December 19, 2006

Evolution: God’s Plan?

In Collins’s Case for Evolution and The Case for Design, readers have been discussing whether evolution and Christianity are compatible—specifically, whether evolution is the process God used in his creative work. Technically, this is called theistic evolution. Other than belief in God and belief in evolution, the tenets of TE are quite flexible. Some adherents believe that evolution is a part of God’s “cosmic blueprint” which, once spoken into existence, caused all of the diversity and complexity of creation without further intervention. Others believe that evolution requires divine tweaks and corrections along the way to conform to God’s sovereign plan. Still others embrace a form of TE in which not only creation, but God himself is progressing through an evolutionary process.

For nearly all, a key motive is to find intellectually satisfying way of reconciling science with the biblical record. However, when we examine the scientific “evidence,” we discover that macro-evolution (theistic or otherwise) is fraught with not only gaps, but downright deception and fraud.

Consider the well-known “peppered moth” photos or the embryology sequences of Ernst Haekel which were exposed as fraudulent over 100 years ago, but still adorn modern day biology textbooks. Or how about the fossil “record,” that despite the abounding forgeries, has failed to produce evidence of the expected intermediate life forms? If evolution is a mechanism God used, the fossil record should contain just as many, or at least very many, intermediate fossils. Yet the silence is deafening. Then there’s the countless generations of fruit flies undergoing radiation exposure that have yielded dead flies, defective flies or unaffected flies, but never a trans-species superfly.

Now, none of this means that God couldn’t have used evolution to create—He surely could have. But if He did, it seems that the biblical account would have given more evidence of his gradualistic methods. Yet even with a metaphorical rendering of Scripture, macro-evolution is difficult to reconcile. The Bible portrays the magnificent works of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, not as the products of some glacial process, but of singular, instantaneous events. With a command, a touch, a word, the universe is birthed, a sea parts, the blind see, the sick are healed, the demons exorcised, and the dead raised. Although God deals patiently and ploddingly with mankind in his spiritual development, there is no hint of gradualism in God’s creative, curative and miraculous works in the material realm of reality.

At least for this student of Scripture, it seems that if gradualism was the way God worked, the biblical narrative would have more clearly revealed that modus operandi.

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There is one class of thing which God cannot do: go against His own character, from which all morality flows.

Therefore the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob cannot have created according to evolution as defined either by Darwin or the neo-Darwinian synthesis.

Just as Christians who hold to theistic evolution have unwittingly totally undermined the Gospel. Historically it is usually the following generation that realizes the destruction sown by the previous, just as Barth's compromise with the Bultmanians led to the "God is Dead" movement.

Undermine God's very character, undermine the Law, and you have removed any point to Jesus dying on the Cross.

You can live with the cognitive dissonance, but your children or grandchildren will see the problem and assume that if evolution is true, then evolutionary psychology and not Biblical Law is true, and therefore God the Son could not have died upon the Cross, so Jesus must be someone else, and the greatest commandment would become "do whatever you have to do to have more descendants than your neighbor - murder, steal, commit adultery, whatever it takes."

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