The most common objection I have seen to Theistic Evolution by both Atheists and Creationists seems to be the idea that an all powerful, all loving God would use processes such as evolution which rely on large scale death in order to function. The argument being that this is inconsistent with his nature.
I beg to differ. I find that evolution is probably the best mechanism a creator would use. If a teacher did all of a child’s school work for them, what would they learn? Likewise, God could have created life fully formed and in his image instantaneously, but by doing so his creations would be less equipped for survival.
Spot on! Theistic evolution-ism violate the very character and nature of who God is. A God of order and design using chaotic random process? Don’t even let me get started on God creating evil etc…
Man! You ask great questions
Not only that, but would be the sense of sin? What would be the consequence of sin? If death, decay and disease were already occurring over billions of years. How does one even know if and when sin entered creation? since sin is the reason death entered the world.
Theistic evolutionism turns the bible on its head.
In my opinion, this is just a matter of poor perspective. Why focus on God using death? All of these extinct creatures, just like us, survived for a certain foreordained duration of time, enjoying the wonder of being alive, before expiring and returning the breath of their lives to their God.
Why not focus on how God so wonderfully provides genetic mutations that allow populations of His creatures to better find His provision of food for them? Why not focus on evolutionary creation as an outgrowth of God’s provision?
I’ve mentioned this perspective before on the Forum, and I seem to remember getting some pushback, but with my foggy brain I no longer remember what the pushback was, so I welcome the pushers-back to re-push-back.
Sure. This is another positive way to discuss evolution without making the whole process sound morbid and dastardly, “red in tooth and claw.” Predation is a good thing (in the Genesis 1 sense of “good,” I dare say), not only because it provides predators with food, but because it helps prey not to overpopulate their habitats and thereby they live healthier lives. I can’t recall the reference but I read a fantastic article a couple of years ago about the salutary effects of wolves in the habitats of Yellowstone. Great stuff.
It does not turn the Bible on its head. It just asks us to re-think the belief that death is evil. Death is the wellspring of New Life. Did not Jesus point out that a grain of wheat does not fulfill its full potential unless it falls to earth and dies? If eaten, the wheat grain fulfills part of its potential–feeding another life. But its full potential is in the information that evolution will use to feed future lives.
One interesting thing I’ve been thinking about these matters lately is that these kinds of questions usually assume that a godless universe would have life come to be by means of a gradual process, while a God containing universe would have it coming to be by just “poping” out of nothing. However, I’ve seem many physicists talking about how in our current understanding of physcis, it is actually much more likely that we would just “pop out of randomness” than coming to be the way we are right know by the means we did (big bang, etc). This talk give a pretty nice overview of that problem:
By no means I’m saying that this “proves God”, Sean Carroll himself is an atheist and not really very friendly to religion, in fact, most physicists I’ve seen talking about that think that it just means that we are missing something, but no God involved. But it is and interesting thing to think about, nonetheless.
Yeah, but the point of the video is that it would be way more likely for the earth to pop out into existence from random fluctuations than it would be for the big bang to happen by the same means. Sure, he is assuming a scenario in which the universe would be still be essentially at thermal equilibrium, but that is a totally possible (and actually more likely) scenario, but it is not the one whe are living in nonetheless.
The basic idea is that the universe has a finite (ridiculously large, but finite) number of states, and given that it has reached its maximum entropy, it is much more likely that it will return to a state similar to what we are living now (I.E Our solar system just pops out into existence out of random fluctuations of matter) than for all the matter in the universe to reassemble itself in a single point to start another big bang (a situation of much lower entropy). So why our universe started in a such unusually low entropy state? That is a legitimate question which worries cosmologists. Of course, one answer could be “God did it!”, but that is not an scientific statement.
I never said it did, in fact, we know it didn’t. I’m just saying that the way things actually happened is very a unlikely scenario, which makes it a mistery why we live in a universe which originated from the big bang rather than one that just popped in the way it is right now.
Funny, I have no problem finding the prevalent conception to be pretty credible…
1st - a singularity.
2nd - a boom
3rd - universe opaque with energy
4th - universe suddenly clarifies…
The idea that in the midst of all this we should find Yahweh, Earth and Birds being created out of the waters … and me shaking my head at the screen over my keyboard … seems nothing but another Sci-Fi fantasy premise for writing a book, or designing a first person shooter game…
It is credible, but it generates a paradox because of the statistical nature of entropy. To me personally, the answer is that God designed the universe in such a way that it would be inteligible to us, and poping out of nowhere would give us no clue about the origins of the universe, but that could totally be the case and it wouldn’t violate the laws of physics at all! Taking God out of the equation and sticking strictly to what we know from science, this paradox seems inevitable. Of course, that doesn’t mean that it won’t go away after we refine our models of physics and take more things into account.
It isn’t “chaotic” or “random”. I think you don’t understand the term random with regards to evolution. It isn’t quite as I thought either years ago.
About as random and chaotic as a seed growing into a tree. The end state of the tree can be used for nutrition, but it’s end-state may or may not have been known. Will the root go this way and avoid the rock? Or hit the rock and then change directions and go around it? That seed isn’t still alive, it has been past dead. Probably not a single physical part of that seed is in the tree (though there is a microscopic level that is the same) Much like a first living organism that evolved into a human probably has not a single physical tribute of it, but the “innards” are the same. Some seeds fall and produce more trees, so now you have a tree miles from the original seed planted. That seed still used “chaos and randomness” to become that fruit miles away.
Death and disease could have occurred before Adam, I don’t see why not? That is death of everything that wasn’t an image bearer. Who says death is bad or sinful, or a result of sin? Spiritual death in Humans (i.e God’s image bearers) is bad, and a result of sin. Physical death is a blessing, so we didn’t have to live an eternity apart from God (i.e. hell). Trees die to make new trees, the nitrogen cycle keeps God’s earth healthy and warm to humans can exist and be slightly comfortable. Earth was made for us, we were given the vocation of subduing it (whilst honoring Him in the process and using His gifts He gave us). Animals were made for us. Death is not bad or a sin, it is beautiful, and as God intended it to be. The tree’s are like an honorable soldier. When they die, it was an honor to serve God, but it’s time to go. Stars burn out, the universe is powered by death and re-creation through it.
How does any of that turn the Bible on it’s head?
Sin is like the law, it is necessary. If there was no sin, we couldn’t comprehend the glory and holines of God. Just like the law was there to show us sin, so we can know God. God wants us to know Him, and gave us laws, laws show us how holy He is and sin took advantage of that law, we missed that mark (sin). Thankfully God is loving and gracious, allows us to still be with a holy God, but requires the sacrifice of His Son for this.
Lets say God just willy nilly forgives everyone’s sins at the snap of a finger (or spoken word). Will everyone go to heaven then? What is heaven? Those in heaven will forever praise Him, they chose Him on earth, and chose Him and His will in heaven forever. If those who had finger snapped forgiveness were in heaven, they still reject God? That is sin. Sin is serious, because God’s holiness is serious. This requires a serious sacrifice to show the seriousness of sin and His holiness.
An old salesman pitch I was told. You will never sell anything if you can’t realize that value has to be greater than the price. In sales, you can’t really lower the price, but you can raise the value (or perceived value). They do that through many means, one being the “shotgun” approach. You can this knife on food…OR, you can use this knife on carrots, potatoes, pears ect. One of those will hit someone with “hey, I use knifes to cut potatoes”, this has some value to me. My knifes get dull, these ones that don’t have value to me ect. Also works conversely. If something has a high price, it has a high value.
Something that is extremely valuable (how God see’s us as valuable) will have a massive price on it. This is why God won’t just snap forgiveness to everyone. There is no price paid, there is no value. We would all sin willy nilly, be automatically forgiven, and this world would be hell, all of us separate from God. But this high price paid in His only Son (which we can as humans relate to as having great love for one’s only son) shows the great value and love He has for us, and the seriousness of sin and how holy He is.
God decided to play things out like that. God rarely just snaps His fingers and things happen. There is usually a process, and a reason for that process. Jesus was planned before Gen 1:1. Just like humans could have been planned before Adam. How do we know what the first creation was like? By looking at the second creation.
Like a seed planted. Some grew and some died, and some gave great fruit. Jesus was planted back in Gen 3:15, and came to fruition 3-4ish? thousand years later. The first creation started with a big bang, a seed, that came to fruition when Adam was made image bearer. A slow and mysterious process. Some species grew and died, some lived, some evolved to a human, and then were deemed good to be image bearer and told that by God. Abraham was a seed, that grew and died, Jacob and David, all seeds that died. Many seeds planted, but it wasn’t until Jesus that the second creation came to fruition. Jesus didn’t save the world in 6 days (it took ~33 years), nor do I think the world became what it is in 6 days.
16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.
We were all created for Jesus, who is God, and for His glory. But His glory can’t be known, until He is known. We had to be given the choice to not chose His will, to see that His will is best. To sin, to see that He is holy. To see His holiness to know Him. To know Him, to want Him, and Jesus came so that we can be with Him, now that we know Him, and we can then glorify Him.
A slow process, like a seed becoming a fruit bearing tree?