Evolutionary Creation is a belief that God’s creation started everything but evolution is how things work. My question is how do those two not contradict because if God created everything, didn’t he also create “evolution” and science? I lean more towards evolution than God given that I am non religious but evolutionary creation is quite an interesting topic. Some parts of science explicitly reject God so how does that link to God’s creation? And how does evolutionary creation understand evil and the horrors of this word?
Hi and welcome to the forum.
Science doesn’t “reject” God. Science is incapable of studying the supernatural so it doesn’t try.
Given evolution doesn’t address evil in the world EC’s address the problem the same way other Christians do.
Not quite, that’s deism. EC would say evolution is a scientific description of how God creates.
Some scientists explicitly reject God, but science as a discipline is limited to commenting on the natural world and can’t speak one way or another to a supernatural agent’s involvement in nature.
Some things we evaluate as evil because they wreak havoc on things we love are understood as just the natural order of things (genetic diseases, natural disasters, death and predation, etc). Other things that are a result of human volition and immorality (war, violence, hatred, oppressive societal systems, etc.) are seen as a result of human failure to represent God well in taking care of the earth and each other.
Well, except for the part about thinking all evil in the world happens because Adam and Eve ate fruit 6,000 years ago.
What is the difference between believing in Evolutionary Creationism and believing in Evolutionism?
Evolutionary Creationism is a favored label claimed by many Christians who accept the mainstream science just as it is and as it is unfolding and who also see it all as God’s unfolding providence for how things work.
“Evolutionism” may be a bit more problematic as it tends to be a pejorative label applied by critics of evolutionary science who wish to paint all evolutionary science as first and foremost an ideology. And it may indeed be that for some scientists who do wish to push the conflict thesis and plant their ideological flags on their respective hills accordingly. But most mainstream science would not see it so much as a philosophy (like any ‘-ism’ tends to imply), and would just say they’re following the science where it has led.
As said by other people science doesn’t necessarily contradict God and in many ways, it actually agrees with God/the Bible. (Look at the mention of the city of Ur in Genesis 11:31, before it was discovered in the 20th century for example) Some things are just not yet discovered, or cannot be comprehended by our “small” brains. Morality and evil is such a complex idea for humans to debate, but for God is it quite simple, as the creator and standard of morals. I don’t specifically know if God still interacts with his creation for the punishment of evil decisions or otherwise in the EC worldview, or if he just lets the world run after his initial creation. Personally I never really understood how God “created each animal according to its kind” and the idea of evolution can coexist, and am a little confused about the stance ECs have on this. As you said the science rejects God at this moment but ECs take in both viewpoints?
Hi, regarding the topic of evolutionary creation, how do people who believe in evolutionary creation interpret the early chapters of Genesis? (in regards to the creation story, etc.) Similar to what’s mentioned above, the creation story is interpreted differently for different people. I’m new to evolutionary creation so I was just wondering how creation and evolution can be related together.
Hi and welcome to the forum.
There is no single way EC interpret Genesis 1-11 but you provided my answer. It is a creation story which is not intended to tell us the history or science behind creation. The main point is there is one God who created everything.
For me, God created life by using evolution. Just like God created the light of the sun by using nuclear fusion.
When young earth creationists use the world evolutionism, there really isn’t much difference. They use that term for everyone who accepts evolutionary theory and disagrees with their literalist Bible interpretations and young earth creationist beliefs. Some other people use evolutionism to describe an ideology that sees evolutionary theory as a sort of “theory of everything” that holds the key to answering all questions worth asking. So in that sense EC wouldn’t be evolutionism.
Most people who call themselves evolutionary Creationists are Christians who accept that the Bible reveals true things about God. Since the Bible communicates that God cares about his creation, especially humans, and pursues a reconciled relationship with them, they believe God interacts with creation in lots of ways, not just to punish people for being evil.
We would say that the Hebrew authors were describing the natural world from their cultural vantage point. It is true that dogs have puppies and cats have kittens, and this is something they would have known to be true. The point of the message is to point out that the source of life is God, not to make a statement about whether or not common descent is possible. The evolutionary relationships between species were unknown at the time, so the authors of the Bible shouldn’t be expected to include modern science in their worldview. God accommodated their pre-modern understandings of how the world worked when communicating with them.
The reason why I use the term evolutionary creationism or one of the other interchangeable terms is because there is a societal paradigm that many people falsely believe to be true and that’s if you accept science it means you reject religion and vice versa. So if you go into the streets and ask a bunch of random people “ do you believe in God” many will reason d with “ no I believe in science or even specifically no, I believe in evolution” and that means they believe that to believe in evolution means to be atheist. So when they say evolution, there is a silent “atheistic” before it. So it’s kind of like a debate between atheistic evolution versus theistic evolution. Now the terms before evolution does not actually change any of the science. It’s a philosophical term. So the term evolutionary creationism creates contention with the worldview that to be a science believer means you must be a god denier. But it’s simply not true. My belief in God does not alter any of the science that goes into evolution.
The reason why you never see the term theistic gravity is because no one thinks that to accept gravity means to reject God . But with evolution we so see that false correlation.
God, if anything, grounds being from eternity. That means He instantiates the prevenient laws of physics. Nature does the rest.
Actually, the God who is is quite capable of intervening providentially any time and any place he pleases, although his interventions are undetectable by science. They are, however, obvious to the eyes of faith because of the meaning infused by their timing and placing. I surmise that as he intervened in the timing and placing of carcinogenic mutations, he also intervenes in evolution to accomplish his purposes, not the least of which is delighting us with beauty and awing us with complexity.
No. It is simply the assertion that God’s creation and evolution are both true. It is the same as everyday life where both the natural laws of science and the involvement of God in our lives are both true.
What you describe sounds like Deism which was a effort to cling to a belief in God when the laws of nature looked deterministic. But that is old science. Physical determinism is dead because of the discoveries of modern science in quantum physics and chaotic dynamics. The laws of nature are NOT causally closed and both divine involvement in our daily lives as well as incompatibilist free will are rational possibilities.
God created the universe and He is not a liar to make everything in the earth and sky an elaborate deception to make us believe something which is not true.
Incorrect. Science does not and cannot speak to the question of God. At most it may exclude some ideas of God just as it excludes some ideas about Santa Claus… like no visible workshop sitting on the north pole.
Science deals in measurably testable hypotheses and God does not qualify.
That is a religious question and evolutionary creation is not a religion. That question should address the theological stand of a religion. In particular this question is the branch of theology called theodicy.
However, it is my understanding that evolution and the Bible fit together like hand in glove, accepting that there are harsh realities of life which we must accept. For example, evolution tells us there is no life without death and suffering, and the Bible tells us there is no eternal life (forgiveness of sins) without the shedding of blood. I cannot imagine how the atrocities in Bible can possibly be justified UNLESS life requires the kind of suffering and death implied by evolution.
P.S. I was not raised Christian and I would not believe in Christianity if it were not for evolution. Without evolution, atheism would make far more sense to me.
Does the evolutionary creationism believe in macro or micro evolution?
Thank you for explaining! Now I see how they’re both different from each other.
Yes. Micro-evolution is a term popularized by some in the young earth camp that refers to the small changes that take place over short periods, Just about everyone agrees they occur, and mutations and population genetics can explain what is happening. One cannot say the same about some suggestions that hyper-evolution occurred after the flood period to give the diversity of animal life we see in the fossil record and in living animals today. Macro- evolution as defined by some is nothing more than micro-evolution over long periods of time, where small changes add up and build on each other to give diverse forms. The long periods of time required (millions of years in most cases) mean that rather than direct observation, the links are often made by the fossil record, though DNA sequencing has made direct observations of the changes and linkages possible in recent years. Truthfully though, most evolutionary creationists do not often use the terms micro and macro evolution, as it is all just evolution. Only the time frame is different.
Thank you for your explanation. How would EC explain how each person is created in God’s image if they evolved over time? If God created each person in His own image, wouldn’t it contradict the idea that humans evolved to what they look like today? Would it also be different to how the Bible says that animals/creatures of land and sea were created on a different day than humans?
Thank you for your explanation!