If humans weren’t intended to be the end result of evolution, how does God and Christianity fit in? I generally take the EC view expressed on here. God ordained evolution but didn’t intervene in it.
But if humans weren’t intended to be the end result with evolution in the first place why are we here unless someone decided we would be? I am aware of the God of the gaps argument but I don’t believe we just got here without any type of outside intervention or someone ordaining it.
I am confused.
Maybe it’s just hard to pinpoint any kind of “end result” when life is constantly changing. At this moment, we’re all as advanced as we could be, but who knows how long our species will last and what will come after? Maybe God simply chooses to meet creation where it’s at, whenever that is.
That is the coloquial
“light the blue touch paper and retire imediately” viewpoint.
I think most Christians think God had a little more involvement than that. How much is more debatable.
The “God of the Gaps” movement came and went at the end of the last millenium. Part of the probem being that Evolutionary theory claims no gaps.
It does seem that Theistic Evolutionists are reuctant to specify where God is involved, only that he must have been. Whether it is the passive setting of parameters that funnels develpment in specifc directions or a more pro-active hands-on approach iit is pure speculation.
You will find those who beleive tht the precise form ddoes not matter, so that God would (does) interact with any and all who are capable of doing so. Howeever Scripture would seem to state that The precise form of humanity was in God’s image and therefore specified.
What matters, at the end of the day, is that we are here and offered a relationship with God.
The mechanics of that relationship are subject to personal belief and understaniding. Some will say it is specific, and others, including myself, will claim it is more individual.
I would argue that biological homo sapiens is not necessarily the end result. The Bible talks about how we will have glorified bodies after the final resurrection, which requires at least some continued future change. Furthermore, within the Christian tradition, there is the idea that humanity will continue to become every more glorious after the final resurrection (thinking specifically of Saint Irenaeus of Lyons). This is all consistent the possibility that humans will continue to evolve and change, either through biological evolution or through technological progress. I know transhumanism is controversial, and I don’t agree with every assertion made by transhumanists, but Jesus after his resurrection was transhuman in a very broad sense.
Guess it depends on various views.
I don’t think God created us or designed laws to result in us. I think are naturally occurring. I don’t think evolution or God had humans in mind as the final point of anything. So I don’t really understand why what’s an issue personally. I don’t get the contention.
Additionally I think “god” is more than just Yahweh. I don’t think he just happened to have a Hebrew name before humans existed. I think he accommodated the ancient Jews in many ways including his name. The Jewish faith also seems to have been an accommodation. It’s quite similar to other Mesopotamian faiths even borrowing from it.
I think this same God also accommodated ancient Indians as Vishnu or the Trimurti. Their faiths are similar to many other Asian faiths in that area.
When people say yeah but Hinduism teaches different things from Judaism I just point out so did Jesus. Jesus changed many things. Eye for an eye to turn the cheek for example.
So now it comes to Jesus. I don’t believe in the trinity. How could I if I think the same god is also Vishnu. But even within Christianity we see a fourth deity often speaking as god himself and that’s the angel of the lord. So that’s more than three right there. I think Jesus was a man, and was conceived by a man and a woman. I don’t think he was half magically made. But was fully human. He was given special attention by God and was given all power and authority and a name above all names. I think he simply became a vessel for God to work through much in the same way a possessed person did.
I think there is a chance that aliens exist. I have faith that out of the 94 billion light years across wide observable universe with trillions of planets and stars there is intelligent extraterrestrial life. I think the same god here is the same god there. I think they also have been accommodated. I think Christ as god essentially visited them as well or something.
In the end it’s all faith.
Challenges of definition:
How much further change is enough to call the result an end result different from what we have now? Humans, and all other biological populations, are continually undergoing evolutionary change. Will humans change enough in the future to be considered a different end result than modern humans? It depends both on how much further change may happen and on how much change you think is enough to become a different end result.
Do we distinguish between “the end result” and “one part of the end result”? Affirming that making humans was an important aspect of God’s evolutionary plan does not require that none of the plans for other organisms are of importance.
What is included as part of the evolutionary end result? C. S. Lewis suggested that one might see redeemed humanity as having made the next evolutionary step. There are problem in thinking of evolution as progress, but it’s a concept that ties to the question behind the thread.
Intervene is a loaded word and people mean different things by it. Lots of Christians who accept the evolutionary model have room in their theology for God guiding or sovereignly ordaining results or creation having a “telos” without positing supernatural “interventions” in natural processes. You just can’t come up with a scientific explanation for how that all works, because Gods’ sovereignty is outside the purvue of scientific inquiry. So when you describe evolution (a scientific model) it necessarily limits the explanation to the natural world and random chance and changes that are not perceptibly guided.
How could God guide something like Evolution which is supposed to be unguided?
How do you suppose that unguided evolution without God would be an improvement or different than unguided evolution with God?
It’s unguided from a natural standpoint, because a natural standpoint can’t take into consideration God’s actions. Random just means we can’t, from our vantage point, predict a pattern in a sequence or outcome. Evolution works through natural selection of random mutations. It is unguided in that sense. But just because we cannot describe God’s guidance through math or statistics or probabilities doesn’t mean God can’t guide processes that are random.
Oh ok. That makes more sense.
What do you mean? I assume it would result in the same thing.
No. I think God created the planet and set up the conditions for evolution to occur then let it happen naturally because He knew what the end result would look like anyway.
According to a fellow student in my university days it would have taken only seven interventions by God to get from the first cell to intelligent, warm-blooded bilaterally symmetric upright creatures such as us. I wasn’t a biology student and don’t remember his arguments, but given the branching presently believed to be correct on the “tree of life” it doesn’t seem to me that many more than that would have been needed.
I vaguely recall a discussion branching from that arguing over whether life has to be carbon-based – I was on the “yes it does” side – and from my understanding of carbon chemistry and of how mutations work his conclusion seems to be at least in the right range.
Which is to say that God could have intervened and we would have no way to tell – which fits just fine with what we observe.
What are our defining characteristics? Warm-blooded, upright, bilaterally symmetrical, able to manipulate physical items, mobile in pretty much all terranean environments, employing sexual reproduction, intelligent enough to make good use of the above . . . those could well be the seven items my university friend had in mind.
To be accurate, it appears unguided, i.e. we can’t tell the difference between what happened and a ‘chance’ process. But to take one example, God could have sent a cosmic ray at just the right time and place to trigger a desired mutation, and we would not be able to distinguish that from any other cosmic ray.
Okay but that’s a total phase change, not a progression!
Given your citation of Irenaeus I’d say that Jesus after His resurrection was the first proper human – wasn’t Irenaeus one who held we only beciome truly human when we die (and are resurrected)?
Someone once argued that carbon-based lifeforms would inevitably arrive at something very much like humans, close enough to appear basically the same, given enough time. I didn’t take organic chemistry so I have no basis for evaluating such a claim, but it is an interesting one.
If the entire universe is regarded as a wave function, God’s purpose could be postulated as the hidden variable. There would be no way to discriminate an ordained outcome from random. That way, everyone is happy. Atheists, because they can consider God as superfluous. Calvinists, because God would have a lock on sovereignty.