Beginning of life: evolution or creation by God

Hi everyone, I am i high school student in a Christian school. In class, we are studying about origins of life. I’m still not clear how the life began. Was it evolution or creation by God? Your input would be really appreciated. Thanks!

First of all, evolution is NOT about the origin of life. Evolution is about the origin of the species. The origin of life is something quite different… try abiogenesis, metabolism first theories, or prebiotic evolution. These are where you will find scientific inquiry into the origin of life.

Secondly, evolution and creation by God are not mutually exclusive. What about when a family member goes to the hospital. Do you have to choose between whether it was the doctors or God answering your prayers? Of course not!

Most of the people here believe that God created the universe and all the living things in it including you and me. But obviously we were not made in a factory by a clever watchmaker as if we were some kind of robot or doll. We are a product of a self organizing process which includes growth, learning, and making choices. We started as a tiny cell too small to see and that was not created by a design and manufacturing process either. This kind of development by growth and learning is the nature of life.

We are rapidly mastering all the machinery of life in biology and have begun to use it for medicine. Does that mean we are designing and creating life? I don’t think so. I think that is contradiction in terms. Things made by design are machines not living organisms. Living organisms are a product of their own growth, development, learning, and yes evolution. I think this is the ONLY difference between living organisms and machines. So to suggest that God is a great watchmaker designer is to reduce us all to machines. And frankly with all of our medical problems we would be hard pressed to believe that God is such a good designer anyway.

I am only a Christian because of evolution. Only this divide between the design of machines and the evolution of living organisms solves the problem of suffering and makes Christianity believable to me. Discarding evolution would require me to discard Christianity also.

I call myself an evolutionary providentialist because I have seen God’s providence in action multiple times, and there are stories here of others who have, too. So I’m not even bothered by abiogenesis anymore. I used to be a YEC and then an OEC, and Intelligent Design was something I endorsed, but now I don’t think it is demonstrable. I still believe in ‘id’, lowercase, but I believe that evolution was providentially guided, not that the when and where are knowable or that they need to be known. God could have arranged for a particular cosmic ray photon to modify a particular molecular precursor or several, as many as necessary, and then again, using whatever means, to clump some intermediate stage partial assemblies to become something more complex. I don’t think our intuition is wrong that things are designed, but I don’t think that it is scientifically provable.

Without a doubt it is obvious – for the believer, anyway – that providential circumstances are designed. Check out Maggie and Rich Stearns.

What have they taught you in class about this? What is the name of your school? Do you know these other folks who registered here about the same time and are asking the same sorts of questions?

I wouldn’t want these kids to reveal the name of their school on a public forum like this. It sounds like the teacher mentioned this forum as a place to do research, and I think that’s a good thing. :slight_smile:


Good point.

Were you told to come here by your teacher?

Hi Gurman, and welcome to the forum. I would agree with the distinction Mitchell makes in the first response, that evolution doesn’t really deal with the beginning of life, but in the way that species developed. The origin of life is referred to as abiogenesis, and I believe that God created life and therefore caused the first instance of abiogenesis. That may mean it’s simply a miracle we’ll never be able to replicate, but God also could have used natural processes. In a similar way, I also believe evolution is the name we give to the process that God used to bring about the world that we know today.

Dennis Venema has a great essay on abiogenesis here at BioLogos:

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There is no conflict between the two. God is the One who started evolution and led all things and is still leading all things to a good end (1st Corinthians 15:20-28) God is the Creator of the universe and evolution is one of the many methods that God has used to make the universe we live in.

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I am only a Christian because of evolution. … Discarding evolution would require me to discard Christianity also.


Oh ok, thanks for clarifying!

Thank you! :smiley:

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