American Majority Accepts Evolution as God-Guided! Is BioLogos part of this?

@Christy

Well, now you have me wondering what your question really means?

When I first established my position that God guides Evolutioni … I was challenged by a poster or two … wondering just how that would work.

My basic premises were, at the time, and still to this day:

  1. All mutations are selected and executed by God.
  2. All changes in ecosystem which ultimately effect natural selection are guided by God.

For me, the text book example is the dino-killing asteroid!

It is easy to see God “firing an asteroid” to collide with Earth. As long as large and small carnivorous dinosaurs were around, mammals would always be small enough to avoid consumption.

And so it was also easy to imagine God using other “long range” energies to “effect a mutation” - - cosmic rays filled the bill!

But as I’ve said, eventually, and more recently, there is a whole list of other energies and factors that trigger mutations (flawed replications of genetic material). But at the time, I thought it would be most difficult to challenge the long range efficaciousness of cosmic rays.

So, @Christy, now that I’ve explained myself … where is your line of inquiry taking you?

But these premises are overkill and do not agree with the evidence which makes it clear that evolution is not under God’s absolute control – for that would mean that God is an inept bungler. Instead, I suggest you take a considerably large step back and simply say that God is responsible for SOME of the changes in the environment which affect both natural selection and some mutations in the early stages of evolution. In the later stages of evolution organism have developed mechanisms for intentionally introducing variation into the genome themselves in a much more controlled and limited manner (like sexual reproduction, for example). In this way, evolution is a learning process by which species figure things out for themselves rather than a design process by a deity who keep making mistakes for some peculiar reason.

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George, I like some of what you say, but cannot help but agree its @mitchellmckain that it is a bit of overkill. To sustain creation and to guide creation is little different concept, and to put each atom in a specific place still another. I to am content with the mystery, but think it is illustrated in Genesis when God planted a garden. When you plant a garden, you place seeds or transplant plants, provide nutrients, water, prune and give space and light, but allow the innate potential of each plant and seed to express itself, wherein lies the joy of watching it grow. As I believe we have a measure of freedom of will and expression, so do I believe God allows such in creation, and perhaps takes joy in seeing it grow to goodness. Of course, he engages us in to process.
Jesus said, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.” Perhaps that applies in more ways than one.

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It’s not a line of inquiry. Maybe I still have a junior high mentality, but I can completely sympathize with the fact that any sentence that juxtaposes God and gonads elicits some ribbing. So when you say you concluded that no one here at BioLogos can countenance the idea of God guiding evolution and the evidence is that people laughed at your idea of God aiming cosmic rays at creatures’ gonads, I just find that a little funny.

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You made it the point. Actually, you made it about yourself, and how you singlehandedly carried the banner of God-guided evolution here at BioLogos for oh, so many years. Me, myself, and I … JUST ME …

See above. I didn’t say you were one. I said the megalomania of your new environs was rubbing off on you. If you don’t know what I mean, then you don’t know whose banner it is that you’re carrying.

No. Still a silly idea. But that’s just me …

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And we guys when thinking about bombarding cosmic rays tend to gird our loins defensively.

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Any leads on where I can order some 6-inch thick lead underwear? …guess I better look at some sturdy suspenders to go with that.

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@mitchellmckain

Any NOVICE Biblicist understands that there is sufficient diversity of texts within the Bible that you can have, simultaneously, Calvinists and Free Will Christians in the same room at the same time, and both groups are absolutely convinced of the veracity of their position.

WOW… what a shock.

You think you have a reason to have God ignore evolution. I do not. Another big shock.

I hope you don’t think you are going to convince me otherwise. I certainly have no expectation of convincing YOU otherwise.

I know, I know… yet ANOTHER big shock!

@Jay313,

I guess we must find each other to be quite odd.

You say you are a 100%er … and yet you are pronouncing limitations on how God effects his mutations. How exactly does your 100 percent work … if you think there are methods of mutation off limits to God?

@Christy,

It’s deliciously funny.

But when the ribbing turns into statements of complete dismissal… then it becomes a bias that is pretty hard to defend… and I mean the bias of many here at BioLogos.

P.S. For example, @Jay313 makes a big flourishing gesture about stating that God is 100% engaged in evolution which, presumably, means that all mutations are designed and effected by God.

Perhaps he meant it in some other way.

I’m inclined to suspect this, since he then states in yet another posting, adamantly, that God would never effect a mutation by means of Cosmic rays in ovary or sperm related tissue.

Since there is every reason to think that Cosmic rays are quite capable of effecting a mutation … what are we to conclude about Jay’s 100% position on God being fully engaged in Evolutionary processes?

In an article about BioLogos acknowledging corrections to the BioLogos interpretation of Keller’s work, we read this fine sentence stating BioLogos’s position:

Please note my personal emphasis of the word “first” as part of the phrase “… to create a first pair.”

BioLogos, and I, both reject the idea that Adam and Eve had to be the “first two humans”. (I can go further and state that Adam and Eve may have been miraculously created as a “special pair” of humans in the midst of evolved humanity.)

And I’m certainly in agreement with the last part of the quote:

"…we instead argue that God used the natural mechanisms of evolution to create the first group of Homo sapiens."

So… did God just “sorta arrange” for this Evolution?
Did God just make a few changes here and there… and crossed His fingers hoping the next steps don’t take too long?

Or did God arrange for every mutation necessary to arrive at Humanity from the Great Apes branch of the animal kingdom?

Comments welcome, criticisms expected! :smiley:

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I have reason to believe God created life and the universe precisely because He is not a control freak who has to be in absolute control of everything all the time.

I really don’t care frankly. What you believe is your business. I only know that the controlling god of some religions does not interest me and I will continue to believe in a God who chose love and freedom over power and control. But I do think the power control God with a sin=disobedience theology is an invention of people who have reshaped Christianity into a tool of power and manipulation, for such a god remade in their own image is what best serves that purpose.

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It seems there would be some middle ground between God “crossing his fingers” and watching it all play out, and God arranging for every mutation.

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Here’s what I said in April 2018:

I see this whole topic as very similar to how I see “God’s will” for my life. I think God works through and with our choices and chance events to bring us to a general destiny that could be accomplished an infinite number of ways. I don’t think it was God’s one and only plan for my life that I marry the person I did, or that my children be born the exact genetic makeup that they are. If I had decided to try to get pregnant a year sooner, or later, I would have ended up with a different family. God could have easily worked with different children or a different husband to sanctify me and build his kingdom.

I don’t think God micromanages the details of our destinies (or at least not most of them) and I don’t think he micromanages the details of nature either. But I do think there is intentionality and design in the big picture of it all, and that God is actively orchestrating things on a large scale to achieve his general plan and destiny for the world. I think this will and design could be accomplished by an infinite number of paths though.

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@Jay313,

So why would Cosmic Rays be excluded from the scope of this well-worded paragraph?

@Christy

As a Unitarian Universalist, I feel no conflict in agreeing with you about these things.

But I also hold to the Chess Master Scenario, where God accomplishes things he very much wants without violating our freedom.

And making all mutations precisely doesn’t seem to be a violation of anyone’s freedom at all.

Ummm … because I said so? haha.

But, if you want me to treat it seriously, my answer would be along these lines: Anything is possible, but you’re treating God like a sniper armed with a rifle, firing individual bullets at individual targets, when I envision him more like the Commander in Chief, having an entire arsenal at his disposal.

Andy Walsh in his book “Faith across the multiverse” has an interesting chapter 3 on Gods sovereignty and our free will. Through Henon maps (above my pay grade to really understand) he shows how we can have (constrained) free will and God gets what he wants.

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I also enjoyed Walsh’s book, and last night at Bible study we discussed how in Paul’s missionary journeys, chaos and changes in plans took place off and on, but in the end the mission was accomplished, though perhaps not as Paul would have planned or expected.

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