Creation and Evolution

Subject: Religion
Type: Informative Essay
Pages: 7
Word count: 1956
Topics: Theology, Bible, Social Issues

Table of Contents

Theistic Evolution

Concerns regarding the existence of the universe and life have been there since time immemorial. As such, humans seem to have shifted into this topic after their search for God’s true nature and origin became fruitless. In this regard, it is worthwhile appreciating that there exist several accounts regarding the origin of the universe. Notably, the biblical teachings about the origin of world and life, as described in the book of Genesis, exists as one of the reliable accounts of these issue as taken by believers. Others include theological and scientific claims advanced by humans to explain the origin of life and universe. As such, the existence of these varying accounts concerning the origin of the universe has led to significant rifts between the various bodies advancing them. That way, many of these groups have ended up looking for ways that they can harmonize their belief concerning creation and source of life in a bid to advance more precise and more comprehensive explanation of this great parable. Importantly, many of the theologians seeking to explain creation have based their work on the biblical teachings. In this regard, the theologians have intended to prove to people that the evolutionary theory that many people use to explain the origin of life is in line with the creation. Such include the supporters of theistic evolution which this paper maintains hold much water compared to the other accounts explaining the origin of life and universe. 

To begin with, Bird (2013) defines theistic evolution as a theological account explaining the origin of life and universe by combining science and religious teachings. As such, the account brings together evolutionary and creation concepts concerning universe origin. It integrates the scientific (evolutionary) concepts within the biblical teachings by adequately showing that God is still the father, designer, and controller of nature (Bird, 2013). In this regard, theistic evolution argues that everything, since universe was being made, follows the will of God; its maker. That way, theistic evolution holds the idea that evolution is real and happens through God’s intervention (Bird, 2013) and (MacDonald & McMenemy, 2012). Moreover, while many other theologians tend to believe that evolution was only active during the times described by Charles Darwin, the supporters of theistic evolution maintain that evolution is still active to date that God continuously designs the universe through evolution. As a proof that evolution is a part of creation, theistic evolutionists provide the example of the purported ape that evolved into the today’s man while living in the forest to the creation’s story of Adam and Even having been created and put by God in Eden, that is a jungle. Moreover, theistic evolutionists also relate the fact that Adam and Eve, as per biblical teachings, were covered by fur just like the apes suggested by Darwin’s evolution story. That way, theistic evolutionists maintain that the evolution account as advanced by Charles Darwin was just but the biblical creation story being told using a mortal brain. As such, theistic evolutionists reiterate that evolution story thus managed to win many people because of its simplicity to figure out using the human’s mind. Consequently, the supporters of theistic evolution see no reason for Christians to keep on conflicting with the scientific evolutionists since they only talk about one complicated thing but using different tongues.

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Additionally, Marinov (2014) defends theistic evolution from criticism by saying that there was no harm in trying to prove natural things, such as creation, using science. However, the scholar warns that the only mistake committed by scientists advancing pure evolution theology is the desire to understand divine acts using physically provable techniques while neglecting God’s continuous control of the universe. As such, the scholar remains appreciative that the many people challenging theistic evolution simply do that because of the inability to understand God’s work using their noble minds. In this regard, Marinov uses the example of the already proven aspects of creation such as the sharing of similar ancestors to argue that evolution was just but a mere explanation of creation. That way, the sharing of ancestry lineage based on genealogy is said by the scholar to be normal since all living things originated from one source, that is God. Moreover, the authors defend their argument by saying that humans simply differ from the other creatures by having God’s image, as described by the holy bible, and which science has failed to prove. Notably, Bird (2013) challenges those opposed to theistic evolution, such as the Intellectual Design supporter, due to claims that it makes God’s work simplistic and erroneous by quoting the example of the gene mutation that has up to date been hard to understand using human’s mind. In this regard, the researchers maintain that it was this God controlled mutation of genes that led to the evolutionary described issue of natural selection. That way, the scholars successfully show that evolution concepts agree with the creation story and that they are related and inseparable. 

Furthermore, MacDonald and McMenemy (2012) say that linking theistic evolution to atheism is a wrong move that is based on fallacies. In this regard, the authors defend theistic evolution by maintaining that the idea that evolution was an atheistic aspect and thus connecting it to the biblical creation teachings gave way to advancing atheistic principles as wrong. However, the researcher remains appreciative that many people originally buying the idea of evolution as the origin of life were atheists but further warns that such never meant that all evolutionists were atheists. Consequently, they compare such thinking by people opposed to the theistic evolution to the fallacy that because dogs are animals, then all animals are dogs, which they say holds no sense. Notwithstanding, Cooper (2013) argue that there exists a significant difference between theistic evolutionists and pure evolutionists who have decided to remain atheists. For instance, the scholar reiterates that the theistic evolutionists’ appreciation of the existence of one God who put the universe in order and still controls it distinguishes them from the pure evolutionists. That is because the absolute evolutionists simply believe in the natural existence of apes that then started to evolve as climatic changes occurred to become humans through natural selection. Moreover, Cooper, (2013) say that relating theistic evolutionists to the pure evolutionists is a mistake move. That is while considering the pure evolutionists simply think about the origin of life while they hardly care about how the universe came to be. In this regard, the evolutionists tend to be hanging, which is entirely different from theistic evolution supporters. As such, the latter believe that God started His creation work by first preparing a place for humans who were then created lastly. Such differences thus make those critiquing theistic evolution on the grounds of supporting atheism mistaken. 

One of the groups directly opposed to theistic evolution is the young earth creationism supporter. As such, the young earth creationism majorly differs from the theistic evolution in that it does not accommodate scientific involvement in explaining the origin of universe and life (Numbers, 2006). Consequently, supporters of the young earth creationism strictly follow the teachings of Genesis regarding creation and origin of life. For instance, they believe that life, Earth, and the universe are about ten thousand years. Such age is calculated based on the biblical codes provided in the book of Genesis that describes God’s creation of the universe, Earth, and all life on Earth (Young & Stearley, 2008). Notably, this creation position is primarily adhered to by a group of Christians who understand the holy bible, and more so its creation story, literally, and who remained opposed to any contradicting interpretation of the Bible’s creation narrative. That way, that way, they believe that God created the universe and all its constituents within six days each having twenty-four hours duration. Importantly, the group directly refutes scientific figures regarding the age of the Earth and the universe. That way, the young earth creationism exists as an exact opposite of the old earth creationism that relates the scientifically acquired age of Earth to the teachings of the Bible, and further majors on the metaphorical interpretation of Genesis. In this tone, the young earth creationism seems to have more weaknesses than strength in explaining the origin of the universe. For instance, its continuous refutation of provable facts makes it weak and fanatical. That is more so while appreciating that a majority of the biblical writings are full of parables that do not have a direct meaning. Additionally, the bible also says that God hardly views days as humans do. As such, the Scripture teaches that a thousand years based on humans’ understanding constitutes a single day in God’s understanding. Therefore, the fact that young earth creationism is based on a mistaken ground makes it significantly weak to explain the complicated aspect of creation and the origin of the universe (Bird, 2013). 

Equally important, the Intelligent design differs from theistic evolutionism as well as young earth creationism due to the evolution concept as well as the appreciation of scientific findings respectively (Ayala, 2007). As such, this creation narrative version uses scientific based evidence to argue that there is no way that humans might have existed with simpler components as advanced by the evolution theory. For instance, the intelligent design advocators use the example of human cells that, based on the scientific study, have complex nature that performs complex roles to argue that God created humans in the very nature they are in today. In the same token, intelligent design supporters use the many gaps experienced when humans try explaining God’s work using science to argue that there is God. As such, they say that God’s work is never simple for humans to understand. That way, they say that some information regarding creation can never be found and thus trying to use the science of whatever humanistic understanding to explain creation and the origin of life lead to no reliable results. However, such conclusions have made the intelligent design approach come under severe criticism. For instance, many critiques argue that the position is filled with ignorance. That is more so by appreciating that sone of the reasons that the intelligent design supporters say God exists is because they have lacked adequate skills and knowledge to explain the works of creation. The group is also blamed for its selective use of science to suit its mentality while opposing other scientific facts such as those presented by the theistic evolutionists. Lastly the fact that intelligent design position is based on findings acquired through controlled empirical studies too gives it significant criticism where many people hardly believe it (Padian & Matzke, 2009). 

Out of the three creation and evolution positions discussed above, it is clear that the theistic evolution concept best narrates the origin of the universe and life. As such, the account tries to match the evolution theory and the biblical teaching about the origin of human. That way, theistic evolution views evolution theory as a noble humanistic trial to explain God’s work using a mortal brain. Consequently, the position accepts the many faults committed by humans in trying to figure out the divine work of creation. Importantly, the above work managed to differentiate it from the atheistic connection that many people attach it to. Furthermore, the above discussion also assists in understanding that the term ‘natural’ hardly means ‘without God’s involvement’ as confused by many people critiquing theistic evolution stands. Lastly, the discussion had ended by describing as well as refuting two critical creation positions whose supporters actively challenge theistic evolution narrative. These include the young earth creationism and the intelligent design accounts that have been shown to majorly fail because of their basement on fallacy and fanatism respectively.

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  1. Ayala, F.J. (2007). Darwin’s Gift to Science and Religion. Washington, D.C.: Joseph Henry Press. pp. 6, 15–16, 138. ISBN 978-0-309-10231-5.
  2. Bird, M. F. (2013). Evangelical theology: A Biblical and systematic introduction. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.
  3. Cooper, J. W. (2013). Created for Everlasting Life: Can Theistic Evolution Provide an Adequate Christian Account of Human Nature?. Zygon: Journal of Religion & Science48(2), 478-495.
  4. MacDonald, A., & McMenemy, D. (2012). Availability and organization of creationist literature in UK public libraries. New Library World, 113(3), 107-117.
  5. Marinov, G. K. (2014). Theistic Evolution in The Postgenomic Era. Zygon: Journal of Religion & Science49(4), 829-854. doi:10.1111/zygo.12130
  6. Numbers, R. (2006). The Creationists: From Scientific Creationism to Intelligent Design. Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-02339-0.
  7. Padian, K. & Matzke, N.J. (2009). Darwin, Dover, ‘Intelligent Design’ and textbooks. Biochemical Journal, 417 (1): 29–42. doi:10.1042/bj20081534.
  8. Young, D.A. & Stearley, R.F. (2008). The Bible, Rocks, and Time: Geological Evidence for the Age of the Earth. Downers Grove, Illinois: IVP Academic. ISBN 978-0-8308-2876-0.
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