Why did God let humans evolve, rather than create them?


(RiderOnTheClouds) #1

@Edward_T_Babinski has a blogpost here on the shortcomings of reconciling Science with Faith. He is an example of an atheist whom I like. I think he is absolutely correct when he states that:

in such an accommodationist scenario one is stuck with the fact that God made aggressive impulses, predation, suffering, death and extinction, even felt they were necessary in order to squeeze out upright primates in the end.

This is perhaps one of the first ‘actual’ issues I’ve discovered when reconciling science and religion. It is definitely a valid concern that an Omnipotent, Omnibenevolent God would go through the trouble of using death and extinction in order to bring about his desired life-forms, when he could have just instantaneously created them, and certainly it is more than just Genesis which has to be considered when reconciling science and faith.

Now as someone who personally leans towards belief in the God of process theology, I am personally not dogmatic about God’s omnipotence, so this is not a huge issue for me, but how would those of you who hold to traditional christian view on God’s nature answer this dilemma?


(Larry Bunce) #2

When we say “God could have…” we are saying only what sounds good to us, without having God’s wisdom behind it, or even thinking through the consequences of our decision. A child might pick a diet consisting of candy, ice cream, and cake as perfect. Its parents would certainly not be having to cajole the child to eat, but we can easily see the problems this diet would cause.
In the case of creating the world we see around us, God had to start with a ball of molten rock and transform it into a haven for life. The first living creatures had to survive conditions that would kill later ones, and vice versa. The conditions on earth are constantly changing, so life needs to constantly adapt. God chose to create a cycle of birth and death to solve this problem. Dying might seem cruel, but how boring would it be if we lived forever in an unchanging world. The knowledge that we all must die makes our lives and loved ones all the more precious to us, and God gave us the knowledge that we will meet again in a better life to ease the pain of parting.


#3

Larry is correct, the concept that we humans could have chosen how God “should” have done things is logically indefensible and almost unbelievable. We have to take a look at how things are and, perhaps, hypothesize and how God chose to do it that way. However we cannot make that decision ourselves.

I will point people to this BioLogos article which I think has some importance and can provide insights to this discussion.


(Laura) #4

I agree with others that this is not really a question that we can answer – and honestly, if we’re going to ask this question about evolution, I have a lot more questions I would have loved to have answered before I even considered accepting evolution: Why did God allow the serpent into Eden in the first place if he’s all-powerful? Why wasn’t Jesus’s death enough to remove sin from the world once and for all, instead of making all of humanity wait until his return, if he’s all-powerful? Why did God allow Satan to have any dominion at all – why not just throw him into the abyss the moment he rebelled?

It can be very difficult to reconcile an all-powerful God with sin, but as smarter people than me have pointed out, perhaps this is simply the price we pay for free will – it’s the only way we can truly make our own choice to love God rather than being forced to like puppets on a string.

(Sorry, I meant this as a general reply, not specifically to you, Korvexius)


#5

No worries. The idea of the serpent in Eden though is solved by scholarship of Old Testament antiquity and the ancient near east regarding the theology of the divine council and … I might as well just give the video that explains the scholarship here.


(Edward Miller) #6

I feel that Theistic Evolution that we now call evolutionary creation is creation. That is only the method God used.

Edward


(George Brooks) #7

@Reggie_O_Donoghue

The day that someone can tell me why God would punish children who had no knowledge of Good and Evil (i.e. Adam & Eve) for doing evil is the day that I will feel obligated to find an explanation for why God used Evolution to create humanity.


#8

I notice that both of you seem to say that we should not limit God to how we would have chosen God to have done things but then you jump right into that same trap and do precisely what you advocate against.

The best guide we have is a plain and straightforward reading of Genesis 1. It clearly indicates that God created everything as GOOD in the beginning. Then sin entered and mankind’s sin got so gross that God had to wipe them out in a great flood.
So according to a straightforward reading we can gather that what we see today is definitely not how things were in the beginning at creation.

It is only when we assume an atheistic worldview of big bang, abiogenesis and darwinian evolution that the world seems to have always been the way that it was in the beginning. This is precisely what 2 Peter 3:5-7 warns against.

5 But they deliberately overlook the fact that long ago by God’s word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water,

6 through which the world of that time perished in the flood.

7 And by that same word, the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.

Notice how Peter’s description of the world formed out of water differs remarkably from the assumption of a “blob of molten rock”? That clearly indicates the difference from the atheistic worldview.


#9

Maybe enticed by the promise to be like God and being able to determine their own destiny and then followed by the disobedience against what God had expressly told them what not to do?
God created intelligent agents who clearly was informed as to what DEATH was, otherwise there would be no meaning behind the command not to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil with its resultant consequence.

God did not create via evolution. Nowhere is this supported in the bible. Anywhere. In fact just the opposite. Miraculous(from our point of view) creation at the start.

That is clear from a straight-forward reading of Genesis 1. Everything was GOOD right from the start. Why else would death be so bad that we need a new heaven and earth to do away with it? After all if death was part of the plan all along, why does it need to be done away with?


(Lynn Munter) #10

Perhaps it may help you to really examine the alternatives to death. Let’s start with growth. Life reproduces life by its nature (Genesis 1). Yet resources for life are limited. This leaves only three options that I can see:

  1. Growth is unlimited and infinite. God just keeps providing more real estate and more energy/food/resources to an ever-expanding biological behemoth.

  2. Life is designed to be stagnant and unchanging. When the world is filled with life, it will stop reproducing and continue as-is indefinitely. You and I might think this would get unspeakably boring, but maybe God could miraculously eliminate boredom.

  3. Death is the consequence of error. When a living thing becomes injured, ill, crippled, or crazy, it does not continue indefinitely to decline in pain and suffering. It may recover or it may reach an end to its suffering.

    None of us are perfect and therefore all of us eventually give way to the next generation, that they may in their turn strive further towards perfection. This is growth bounded by consequence: there are better and worse ways of being, and there are real effects, on ourselves and on others, from our choices and actions.

I think that might look like a “very good” world, don’t you?

P.s. If I haven’t said lately, I’m not Christian. I’m a pantheist.


(RiderOnTheClouds) #11

By that logic, cars, movies, and mobile phones also don’t exist. A key argument made by members of the TE/EC community is not that the Bible mentions evolution, but rather that it is silent on the matter. My view is that Genesis 1 is not concerned with the ‘how’ of creation, but the ‘why’ of it.


#12

You can’t conflate the Big Bang with atheism. Anyhow, I’m not contradicting myself at all. You can’t choose how God should have done it. You must look at how things are, and then reason why God did it that way. Sin is obviously the cause of all the problems.


#13

Perhaps if one examines one’s own limited understanding of God’s wisdom and power to do whatever He wishes, one can become much more creative in imagining so much more than what you’ve proposed.

There’s billions of stars out there with presumably billions of planets around them. What is there that limits us from actually going there and populating those planets. Currently, death itself is an obstacle to such adventures. But going forward, if we were to have bodies like Christs there is no limit.

Death is an intruder in the GOOD that God had planned for us. Death is the last enemy to be defeated. It is NOT the way it was supposed to be.

God said to Adam and Eve - “Be blessed, go forth and multiply” - clearly without limit. Look at the promise to Abraham - “count the stars if you can”.

To accept that death is the giver of life is just over the top bizarre. Which is of course what happens within the atheistic religious dogma.


#14

You are certainly entitled to your view. I prefer to believe that the silence about evolution is simply because it is not true and was not part of the creation as clearly spelled out in Genesis 1. It just doesn’t compute in real life. Genesis 1 flat out contradicts any idea of evolution being part of God’s plan in creation. It’s just from your own personal view that it is true that you find it necessary to wrangle the clear words into some obscure meaning to suit.

Bringing in cars, movies and mobile phones is simply a red herring because they have nothing to do with creation but are simply artifacts created by human beings endowed with the amazing abilities God has given them. Abilities, by the way, that cannot be gained via darwinian evolution since that is impossible.


#15

Actually, I can. The atheistic tendency to naturalism has created a significant problem with regards to how the universe came into being. By doing an unwarranted extrapolation of the observed red shift they ended up creating everything from nothing. They are FORCED to come to that conclusion because they do not have Isaiah 40 He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in. to guide them. There’s no apparent naturalistic cause of such red shift and because they cannot stop arbitrarily at some point they have to follow it to its logical illogical conclusion.

But what if your looking at how things are is faulty? Then you’re going to come to the wrong conclusion about God and how He created. Why not just go straight to the source: The word He left for us that tells us that He miraculously did it in six plain human understandable days?

Why would you accept the miracle of Jesus rising from the dead even though that is scientifically impossible yet deny the miraculous 6 day creation?


(RiderOnTheClouds) #16

Evolution is only one of many scientific theories not mentioned in the Bible, or the Genesis creation narrative, alongside:

  • Heliocentrism.
  • Plate tectonics.
  • Aerodynamics.
  • Photosynthesis.
  • Gravity.
  • Relarivity,
  • Germ theory.
  • Quantum physics.

Therefore the cars, phones and movies anecdote ‘does’ count, for it appears to be the logic you’re using.

That is your personal view as well. I won’t deny that the Ancients probably did take Genesis 1 literally, but they did so because their worldview was primarily function oriented to begin with, not because that was what God intended.

image


(Lynn Munter) #17

@Prode, I think maybe you meant to direct this reply to me?

Well, our current technology level limits us now, but that’s more likely than not to change in the next few centuries if we don’t all fall on our faces. But colonizing other planets is only a temporary solution. When you’re talking of infinite life spans, with infinite population growth, sooner or later you run out of energy to feed everybody. Unless by “bodies like Christ” you mean bodies that don’t require food or oxygen or warmth. Don’t forget that regardless of whether space is infinite, the stars will eventually scatter and burn out, light and heat and energy dissipating until there is none left.

Who we are when we are old is almost unrecognizable from who we are as a newborn baby. I don’t mean just how we look, but the sum of our experiences and choices and thoughts. Would you recognize yourself if you lived a billion years into the future, do you think? How could you possibly stay the same?

And yet if you become a completely different person, is it really “you” that’s living forever?

If that’s making your brain balk, think of it this way: the person I was yesterday no longer exists. I have changed from that person to the person I am today; small changes, comparatively, but real. That person that existed yesterday will never exist again. Is that a kind of ‘death?’

Do each of us ‘die’ every moment to make room for the new you?

You can have change or you can have eternity. I can’t see how both are possible.

So you’re saying God’s plan didn’t work? He didn’t plan well enough? If death was such an enemy, why did God make animal skin clothes?

Look, considering that the next words are “Fill the Earth” I don’t think you are justified saying “clearly without limit.”

This?


#18

The Big Bang is simply a term that describes the history of the universe right after the ‘beginning’ point, including the inflationary period and subsequent expansion.

Atheism is the view that there is no God.

So you can’t conflate the two. You can be an atheist and believe the Big Bang. You can be an atheist and not believe the Big Bang (the only real physicists that don’t believe in the Big Bang are atheists since they can’t come to terms with the beginning). You can be a theist and believe the Big Bang. You can be a theist and not believe the Big Bang. In other words, you can’t conflate the Big Bang with atheism. I’m curious as to if you even understand the Big Bang inflationary model. Do you mind trying to articulate it?

By citing Isaiah 40, you basically agree with the Big Bang that the universe is expanding. So where’s the problem?


(George Brooks) #19

@Prode

And so, again, you are wrong here. You could make the same argument that nowhere in the Bible does it talk about God using Evaporation to make things rain. But clearly he does. Though I’m okay if you want to say he uses evaporation sometimes, and other ways other times.

You could argue that nowhere in the Bible does it talk about God using fusion to make the Sun’s light. But clearly He does. But I’m okay if you want to say he uses nuclear fusion sometimes, and other ways other times.

For Evolution we have this statement in Genesis:

Gen 1:24 & 25


"And God said,
Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind,
cattle,
and creeping thing,
and beast of the earth
after his kind: and it was so.

And
God made the beast of the earth after his kind,
and cattle after their kind,
and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind:
and God saw that it was good.

This is clearly a doublet - - where the narrator is intentionally putting how something was made
as equivalent to God making it.

The “Earth” brings forth the creatures. It doesn’t say God “poofed” them into existence.

What is a “kind”? A “kind” is clearly not a category. A “kind” is any unique population, that is
able to reproduce the next generation of the population.

And since we know that populations do change genetically over time, it is quite clealry
true that populations change over time, making the “kind” in question a fluid and dynamic
thing. Whether it be micro- or macro- evolution, it is the next generation that validates the
population as a kind. And there is Zero evidence anywhere in the bible that generations do
not change over time. It is an obvious truth of biology. It is an obvious truth of chemistry.

If it were not true, then even your belief that all the present terrestrial species of the world
come from survivors of Noah’s Ark could not be true. There is some million or millions of these
species, all different kinds, and science shows that different populations share common
ancestors.

@Prode, I like your points about Adam and Eve knowing what death was. It has interesting
ramifications. But it really doesn’t respond to the Bible’s point that Adam & Eve didn’t know
Good and Evil.


(system) #20

This topic was automatically closed 6 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.