Does Evolution disprove God?


(Emily) #1

I am posting because I am having trouble holding onto my faith. And I’ve read various posts on BioLogos and like a lot of the points made.

Evolution tells how life became more complex after it had already appeared. So I believe God was the reason for the first life.

So does Evolution disprove God?


(Christy Hemphill) #2

The theory of evolution doesn’t aim to prove or disprove God. It aims to make sense of evidence we can observe in the fossil record, in similarities between existing species, and in DNA. It tries to explain how the current diversity of life on the planet came to be and how life changed over time. It doesn’t offer a model for how life came to be and it doesn’t make any claims about God’s existence.


#3

Not any more than gravity disproves God.


(Roger A. Sawtelle) #4

@Celticroots

Thank you for your question. No evolution does not disprove God.

The Bible says that God created the heavens and the earth. The Bible says that God also created life and living creatures. When God created life, the earth was very simple. As the earth changed physically and became more complex, God used evolution to change the living world so plants and animals could be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth. That is why evolution made life more complex, because that is the way God designed it to be.


#5

I’ve always found it interesting that Ken Ham and Richard Dawkins are of one mind on the idea that evolution and the existence of God are somehow “obviously” linked. Stranger yet is Ken Ham’s and Ray Comfort’s insistence that one’s salvation does not depend upon rejecting evolution----but then they go on to basically say that any Christian who affirms evolution is not a “true” Christian and is an enemy of God. (I’ve seen Ray Comfort doing Q&A and leave an audience absolutely confused on whether or not a Christian can affirm the Theory of Evolution and be anything but an enemy of God.)

Ham often criticizes other Christians for agreeing with “godless scientists” but then he agrees whole-heartily with Dawkins on this false dichotomy.

The strangest explanation I hear is that “If evolution is true, then God is left with nothing to do.” Seriously? Is keeping God busy really at issue? (Why would anybody think that God was somehow subject to the dimension of time, something he created within the matter-energy world?)


#6

Nothing to do? Isn’t he busy with intelligent falling so we don’t drift off into space?


#7

Yes, the idea that God needs to constantly “tweak” the creation that he didn’t get right from the beginning has always disturbed me. It sounds like a less-than-omnipotent deity.


(George Brooks) #10

@Socratic.Fanatic

This is semantics.

If Natural Law rules everything…“tweaks” are not necessary.

If Natural Law does not rule everything… then “tweaks” is almost by definition required.

And among these so-called “tweaks” there is communicating with souls in REAL TIME.


(Wookin Panub) #11

Evolution does not disprove God, but it doesn’t do God any favors, either. Evolution is a worldview that forces others to reinterpret scripture through the lends of evolution. It reminds of Satan in garden when he told Eve, Did God really say? Evolution questions the word of God :frowning:


#12

Does the Law of Universal Gravitation “do God any favors”? Do we evaluate scientific theories on how well we think they “help out” God? Is God really that weak and insecure that he is challenged by his own creations?

Did the scientific explanations of electricity force people to view lightning strikes as something other than divine retribution on sinners?

Did the science of meteorology force people to no longer respect God’s power over nature, such as in wielding the destructive powers of storms and waves? Did seismology explain away earthquakes and therefore “do God no favors” because they don’t seem like divine judgment anymore?

Show me where God said something that denies the Theory of Evolution, and I will take your claims more seriously.

If I thought the Theory of Evolution in any way defied God’s revelations, I would not affirm it.

What you are actually saying is that the Theory of Evolution appears to conflict with your favorite traditions and your chosen personal interpretations of various Biblical passages.

Not at all. If you think it does, explain.

My Bible says that animals reproduce after their own kind. Modern science and the Theory of Evolution agree. (In fact, if ever an animal was found to produce offspring that were not very similar to the parents, that would be a powerful argument against the Theory of Evolution.)

If anyone thinks that anything which God created, including evolutionary processes, somehow challenges God (i.e., “doesn’t do God any favors”), I would have to question their grasp of the magnitude of the power and wisdom of God.

Indeed, one of the best things about leaving behind the Young Earth Creationist traditions of my youth is that I no longer worship the puny deity of “creation science”, a creator who didn’t get it right the first time and has to continually supervise, tweak, and adjust the created universe in order to keep it from falling apart and failing to fulfill God’s plan for it. I now believe in the God of the Bible, who created a universe where the laws of physics inevitably brought about life and the evolutionary processes which diversified that life and adapted organisms to changing environments.

Christians need not live in the constant conflict of science-denial. We can accept the history of our planet (and life on this planet) which God has revealed to us within creation itself, all while recognizing that the Bible states nothing to conflict with that revelation.

@Celticroots, I wish for you the same peace I found when I discovered that I didn’t have to ignore or defy science in order to grow my faith in God. I had been impressed by the traditions of my Church but mistook those traditions for the “Word of God”. I’m not saying that it is an easy process to work through the appearance of conflict. But for me it was very much worth it. The God I worship today is far “bigger” than the deity I used to imagine as a young Christian. My study of the scripture evidence and the creation evidence (aka science) brought me to a much greater respect for the power and wisdom of our Creator! Praise YHWH ELOHIM and the salvation which comes through the Lord Jesus Christ!


(Jamie) #13

Not if souls are not part of natural reality…


(Jamie) #14

I’ve been where you are. [quote=“Celticroots, post:1, topic:5132, full:true”]
I am posting because I am having trouble holding onto my faith. And I’ve read various posts on BioLogos and like a lot of the points made.

Evolution tells how life became more complex after it had already appeared. So I believe God was the reason for the first life.

So does Evolution disprove God?
[/quote]

I’ve been there. I’ll save you some time and tell you that Abiogenesis is a good scientific explanation for the first life, so if you base your faith on that you will once again be in danger down the line.

Here’s the thing: God created the universe without holes. It has a perfect back story. He thought of everything. The theory of evolution along with cosmology, etc… shows how complex and coherent the universe is. All this “declares the glory of God.”

If you want to feel more reassured of God’s existance, the best thing to do is to work on your relationship with him. But from the apologetics side, this may help you.


(George Brooks) #15

@pacificmaelstrom

That would be covered under point two above: "If Natural Law does not rule everything . . . then "tweaks"
are almost by definition required.

This is consistent with the BioLogos position that God is involved in a NON-DEIST way.


(Jamie) #16

I think there may be a 3rd option here: God may work through the natural order.


(George Brooks) #17

@pacificmaelstrom,

And so we come full circle… yes, the 3rd option … “God may work through the natural order.”

Wow… you and I sure think alike!

Here’s what I wrote before:

@Socratic.Fanatic wrote:
Yes, the idea that God needs to constantly “tweak” the creation that he didn’t get right from the beginning has always disturbed me. It sounds like a less-than-omnipotent deity.

I wrote:
This is semantics.
(1) If Natural Law rules everything…“tweaks” are not necessary.
(2) If Natural Law does not rule everything… then “tweaks” is almost by definition required.
And among these so-called “tweaks” there is communicating with souls in REAL TIME.

the only difference is that I numbered God using the natural order as the FIRST option … (I don’t think we need a third option.


#18

It may seem like nothing but semantics.

Almost? Then we agree. It is not required. It is a misunderstanding of causality.

I tried to imagine how to explain this in a couple of paragraphs. I freely acknowledge that I don’t think I can. Graduate philosophy classes for me are foggy in the too distant past.

Others are no doubt better qualified to address the topic. William Lane Craig handles this very well. I do not.


(Jamie) #19

I think the tweaks are never NECESSARY, but certainly POSSIBLE. Tweaks (miracles, revelation) are specifically targeted at humans. God can do anything he wants WITHOUT needing any tweaks, because he is in total control of the system from the beginning, so tweaks are only for our benefit when God wishes to SHOW us that he is working. It is like a highly skilled painter deliberately adding flaws to otherwise perfect artwork so that other people can tell it isn’t a photograph.


(George Brooks) #20

@pacificmaelstrom,

Including in the category of TWEAKS is speaking with your human charges.

While any individual event appears optional… I don’t know a Christian alive who isn’t quite certain that God speaks to his people now and then, here and there, without let up.

They are NECESSARY tweaks…to comply with our understanding of God’s nature.

But let’s not get confused. For the most part, my view is that God harnesses natural law to everything else.

To use Eddie’s term - - I endorse a FRONT-LOADED system, where God arranges his creation perfectly and exactly at the moment of creation.


(Jamie) #21

They are not necessary because it is not necessary that God reveal himself to us, but only by his grace that he does so?


(George Brooks) #22

I think you are interpreting my thoughts on this correctly.

God doesn’t HAVE to speak to anyone… but based on our knowledge of God, is unthinkable that God would not speak to someone, once there is someone to speak to…