Can anything in nature operate independently of God? Your questions along this line make it sound like if it’s natural, it’s not God. That doesn’t make any sense to me, coming from a Christian.
I don’t think God made a natural process and then has to supernaturally give it a kick now and then. If God already knows He wants man, why not build that into the process to begin with?
Now how much involvement God has with natural processes, I can’t say. God makes sure the birds are fed and the plants are watered. The Divine Rain analogy was a good one, but it seems you didn’t understand it, maybe because you have a false dichotomy going on.
So when you were an evolutionist for 40 years, were you also an atheist that whole time? Your other comments sound like that’s the case. I wonder if you’re still thinking under the atheist ideas that natural = not God? I went through an atheism stint last year, but I never saw natural as necessitating no God, perhaps because I’d come from Christianity in the first place.
I read The Language of Science and Faith recently, and one line I remember in there was suggesting that we not let atheists do our theology for us. The atheist thinks that if it can happen naturally, God can’t be involved. The Christian should think that God is involved in all things natural. My point about evolution is that it requires no supernatural help any more than rain requires supernatural help. God created nature to work well, and work well it does! How much God is specifically involved day to day is a mystery we cannot know. Science can’t detect God’s involvement. Science just explains the process God created.
I hope that explains my position a bit better. If not, I can try again.