If you are a Christian, do you believe

If the theory of evolution were true, how would you evade the logic that would conclude that God orchestrated the entire development of life on this planet with the overt intent to convince humans in modern times that he did not.

In my experience, it is creationists who try to convince people that God did not create through evolution.

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I don’t think there would be a reasonable way to evade that logic if your pre-existing assumptions were true (but they aren’t). If God was trying to hide the fact he used evolution as his creative process, he did a pretty bad job. We have a coherent picture of how life developed, regardless if you see it or not. Science doesn’t depend on your perception of what the evidence should be.

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Good point, T. From my perspective, the development of life through evolution takes nothing away from God. The bigger question is if he did not, what kind of god would leave such a deceptive history in nature? So, you could ask, “How could you be a Christian if you believe God would leave such a deceptive history, and claim in his revelation through scripture that it represents his nature?”

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About the same way I would avoid any other nonsense masquerading as logic such as Zeno’s paradoxes concluding there is no such thing as motion. Simple observation shows that this logic must be incorrect. Thus the plain evidence tells us to work on the tool of logic we have constructed and the premises we adopt until they produce conclusions which match observed reality.

If I understand your challenge correctly, you are wondering how any theist could think that humanity was a planned result while simultaneously beliving that a long and seemingly random process of billions of years of intermediate forms led up to humanity.

My response to that reasoning is not so much to logic my way toward proof that “God did that” as it is to recognize that the original logic (“it’s either God or nature - can’t be both”) failed its goal. I have no trouble accepting a theological context that “God sends sunshine and rain” while simultaneously also accepting that very random-to-us processes cause air mass collisions with temperature differentials to produce rain. The “logic” that suggests it’s either “the Bible” or else it’s “explanations of moving air masses” is bad theology. And when I discover bad theology, I don’t jettison the science. I get rid of the bad theology, and study and read more so that I can replace it with more sound theology.

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Comparison to reality is the gold standard. In all other situations we have two choices when there is a disconnect between literature and reality. One, we have interpreted the literature incorrectly. Two, the literature is wrong. It would seem to me that the first option would be the better of the two for Christians who are trying to relate Genesis to the reality around us. It is only with Creationism that we see people trying to claim that reality is wrong and can’t be trusted.

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Considering that evolution is a process that is anything but random and without purpose as some try to make you believe there is no logic in the conclusion that there is any intention to hide that away from humans in modern times but it just shows that as predicted there will always people that live in denial of his existence.

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I’m not sure I understand your question, but from my perspective, a better question would be as follows:

If God created all species or some original “kinds” via supernatural means, why didn’t he make it more obvious that he did so, especially at the genetic level? Why are our genomes and other species’s genomes scattered with remnants of genes that would have existed in a common ancestor long in the past? Probably my favorite example is how all mammals have remnants of a gene for digesting insect chitin, with those species who presently or more recently would have eaten bugs having more functional or partial copies? But instead it seems maybe the only evidence he left was there are some things scientists can’t currently explain.

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Conservation of exon sequence is quickly becoming one of my favorites.

CAPZA2 isn’t very photogenic because it has small exons and relatively long introns. MMP9 is a bit better, which I mapped out using the UCSC genome browser. (click to enlarge)

We see the same pattern. Strong sequence conservation between exons but very little if any in the introns. This would mean that God would need to change the introns a lot more than the exons . . . for no discernable reason. The vast majority of intron sequence has no function, so it doesn’t need to be any specific sequence. So why change it at all between created kinds? Even more so, why change introns more than exons? Why change introns more between monkeys and fish than between monkeys and mice? None of this makes sense except in the light of common ancestry and evolution. It’s as clear of a signal from evolution as one can get, and there is no reason why it should be there if kinds were created separately.

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What logic? Evolution is as much a fact as cheese and abiogenesis and little green apples and quantum mechanics. How do I then make the non-sequitur that God had anything to do with any of them let alone hide His traces?

The Jesus story invites us to believe that God is the ground of being. I really, really want that to be so. But it certainly ain’t necessarily. As the first and popular agnostic song says.

That God is so powerful and so cool, He doesn’t need to do anything else. Nature does the rest. From eternity. He instantiates the if null then not null principle. That’s it. That’s enough. As His name El Shaddai says. He’s also that humble. He has to let nature do the rest. He has no choice whatsoever. It’s that. Or nothing. I.e. nature either exists because God doesn’t and it can or because God exists and instantiates it and it wouldn’t if He didn’t (instantiate it, just to remove the most perverse misinterpretation). That’s logic.

So in what way is evolution not random and what is its purpose?

Nicely put.

I’m not exactly sure what you’re asking but based off of comments I think I understand it.

I am a Christian who believes in the Bible as being inspired by the Holy Spirit. It teaches us the truth. It teaches us the truth like autobiographies do. It teaches us the truth like history books do. It teaches us a truth like fairy tales do. It teaches us the truth like tall tales do. It teaches us the truth in many ways.

I don’t think Yahweh created us intentionally. I think somehow he jump started something. I’m not sure what. It’s not important to me. But I don’t believe he guided evolution. I think that we see a pattern happening again and again. Yahweh at some point during human evolution he reached out his chosen people and guided them to promise land. Adam, Eve and Eden.

I don’t think this is logical. Accepting evolution doesn’t entail God didn’t create things. I think he gave us brains and senses so we could explore and makes sense of our world and understanding evolution is part of that. It makes more sense to me that God wanted us to discover how his creation works than that he gave us the Bible that we have to interpret literally as a test of our faith and in so doing deny what we can see with our eyes and calculate with our brains. That doesn’t seem logical at all.

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But all the evidence from the Earth and sky says He did – that evolution is the correct understanding of the origin of the species. This is what the majority of scientists and Christians listen to. There is only a small group of people trying to convince people to ignore the evidence and call God a liar. It is no different than the flat earth groups trying to convince people that the world is flat despite God showing us all that the Earth is not flat.

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I really do not understand the have your cake and eat it too position that evolution does not entail abiogenesis. Of course it does. Which does not entail that God does not contain eternal infinite nature. To suggest that God has to initiate life on the trillions of worlds in this insignificant universe of infinite, but that He can then leave it to get on by itself, is unsound. Absurd. Is just a point on the ID continuum. What other gaps are there, that He might fill? We don’t yet and will never yet know why matter omms in the keys of c, e, G and h so God-done-it? There are no gaps whatsoever. There is no lack in nature. There is our existential, evolved yearning, that reaches but cannot grasp God in Christ.

When will faith ever be humble? Like God?

Why? The theory of evolution only applies at the population level to living things that reproduce and asserts that the allele frequencies in populations of (already living) species change over time as the population adapts to a specific ecological niche. Might someone who accepts it be inclined to wonder where the first life came from? Sure, but that doesn’t mean there is a logical entailment from the definition of the evolutionary model that I just gave that “therefore abiogenesis.”

I don’t believe this and neither do most Christians I know who accept evolution. That’s Deism, not the God of the Bible. The God of the Bible sustains creation in an ongoing way, is intimately involved in the lives and destinies of his creatures, and has a telos for the cosmos which is unfolding according to his divine plan and with his ongoing interaction and responsiveness to the free will he has given creatures. Science doesn’t describe God’s interaction with creation because the tools of science cannot investigate supernatural agency. Scientific knowledge is not the only or the most superior form of knowledge. We have other tools for acquiring knowledge about God.

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doesn’t science tell us that we don’t have free will?

Not that I am aware of. Pretending that all our choices can be chalked up to inevitable chemical reactions and a deterministic evolutionary drive to survive is reductionistic and not something that has been definitively established.

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“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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