There is no denying it, micro-evolution exists, although the term itself is quite misleading. Micro-evolution is a term that is commonly used to describe adaptation within a species to help them survive. These adaptations never result in a new species, there is not even one piece of observable scientific evidence to suggest otherwise. Adaptations always result in the same or less information within that species DNA code and for macro-evolution to occur would require new information which simply does not happen.
This blog is not meant to be about the absurdities of macro-evolution. There are great resources out there that go in to much detail about micro and macro-evolution from a Biblical standpoint (Mike Riddle and Answers in Genesis are two resources that immediately come to mind but there are many more). This blog is about what it means for a Christian to believe in macro-evolution (which I will simply call evolution from here on out). So it is my hope that if you have read this far, you will find this helpful and not hurtful.
For a Christian to believe in millions of years of evolution means:
1. The authority of scripture is compromised since the writing style of Genesis is “historical narrative” and not poetry:
The normal order for a Hebrew narrative sentence is:
The order in poetic writing is:
The style of writing of Genesis 1 is historical, using the waw-consecutive to express consecutive action (waw = and).
So for example, if I were to choose to believe that the creation account is not really a literal six day event as recorded in Genesis but a figurative allegorical story, that would be similar to me believing Jesus was not really a literal man but a figurative fictional character. It would be one thing if Genesis were written as poetry but the fact is, it was not. If I were to treat it like it is poetry and not literal, what stops me from doing the same thing with the rest of the Bible?
2. To believe in evolution means man wasn’t made distinct from the animals as recorded in Genesis but is an animal.
“Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.””
“then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.”
The Bible teaches that God made us unique, that there was a distinct moment where we were created in God’s image. Not slowly becoming more human, and thus, more like God over millions of years.
3. To believe in evolution means Eve would not have been made as a help-mate for Adam from his rib.
“20 The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him.
21 So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh.
22 And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man.”
Again, the Bible lays it out clearly, man was literally alone and God took part of Adam to provide a suitable mate for him since no creature that already existed was fit to fill that void.
4. To believe in evolution means thorns, disease, and death would have existed before Adam and Eve since fossils (supposedly existing millions of years before Adam and Eve) show thorns, disease, and death; all of which should have only happened after Adam and Eve sinned.
“And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.”
“16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden,
17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.””
“17 And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life;
18 thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field.”
Using faulty dating methods, the fossil record is believed to show death and disease existing way before Adam and Eve would have existed. But in Luke 3:23-38 it shows Jesus’s bloodline all the way back to Adam who is portrayed as a literal man. This bloodline places Adam roughly 6,000 years ago. If Adam existed 6,000 years ago but we have fossils supposedly hundreds of thousands to millions of years old that show thorns, disease, and the death of humans and animals, then the Bible would simply be wrong. There is no combining evolution and the Bible, there are logical and scientific ways to show that the Biblical account of creation is the most likely and that the scientific assumptions and dating methods currently used today are false.
5. If humans merely evolved instead of being created the way the Bible says we were, that means God used death to create us and it had nothing to do with Adam and Eve’s sin which seems to negate our need for a savior.
“Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned–”
I know there are Christians out there; sincere, God-fearing, and Jesus-loving Christians, who hold to the belief that God used evolution to create us. Aside from a lack of true evidence, it seems to me that it is a serious compromise of the authority of Scripture to hold such a view. I hope this blog has given food for thought to any Christian with a theistic-evolution viewpoint or any Christian who hasn’t really considered how to reconcile evolution and the Bible. I do not mean to try and condemn anyone, only to point out what seems like the logical conclusions of a theistic-evolution worldview.
By Clark Campbell
5 thoughts on “What Believing in Evolution Actually Means”
While I can concede the point of micro-evolution, I fail to see how macro-evolution can account for the human soul/spirit. There is that unique breath of God (so to speak) that doesn’t exist in any other life forms. Moral reasoning cannot be explained by evolutionary processes.
Thanks for sharing!
LikeLiked by 1 person
Well put, although I prefer to avoid the nomenclature of “micro” evolution entirely as it gives the high ground to the evolutionary worldview from the start.
I appreciate your direct application of Scripture to the case. A while back I listened to a panel discussion by several pastors, one of whom I know compromises at least on the age of the earth, who still had to go back to the Fall of Man to explain pain and suffering. We can’t help but turn to these passages to fnd our starting points, why then turn around and call them allegorical?
For me, the character issue involved in a god willing to subject its creation to billions of years of death and pain for no other reason than to make evolution possible is unconscionable. My guess is few TE believers have ever though this issue through carefully.
LikeLiked by 1 person
I rejoice in our fellowship in Christ Jesus, our Lord and God, and through Christ, our ever worship in Holy Sprity our Father, who is only the true God.
I am not a biologist thus cannot judge whether evolution by gradual modification or punctuated equilibrium is true. What I am is theologian who, like you, is passion about God and his self-revelations in many ways through prophets in old and now fully and ultimate in one way Christ Jesus, His Son.
I do not see problem with Genesis 1-2 cosmogony with contemporary scientific cosmogonies, whether our contemporary scientific saga of how the world began is true or false does not matter. These is why:
As readers we are asked to understand the text as it would have been understood by its original audience. We are called to understand ancient Near Eastern worldviews(geography, social-political-economical niche). Genesis was written to them(thus in their language, terminologies, etc) but for us all. The mode of communication is thus cultural dependent(e.g. dome that separate the ocean/waters above and the ocean below, with gates or windows that are open to allow the waters above to fall down(rain),waters preceding land formation, sun moving literally rising and setting and thus can be stopped on its path) but the message is not(e.g. God is the sole and supreme originator of all that came into being).
When we read Genesis as ancient Near Eastern Jewish cosmogony, which has many common science/terminologies with other similar cosmogonies(from same geography and period, Sumerian, Egyptian, Akkadian, Ugaritic, and Hattite) we discover that it is not Roma-Greco cosmology nor worldview. Our academic culture is Roma-Greco in its heritage thus when we read Genesis we cannot help but read it through those glasses. If we read Genesis with ancient Near Eastern glasses then the whole debate young vs old earth creationism, evolution vs bible accounts etc become not only meaningless but misguided.
I would love to go into details but not making this comment not longer than its already is I will stop here and expound more if needed.
Thank you brother Prayson for your reply to the blog.
I am not sure I completely understand what stance you are taking.
When you say you do not see a problem with Genesis 1-2 cosmogony with contemporary scientific cosmogonies, whether our contemporary scientific saga of how the world began is true or false does not matter. Are you saying the ancient Hebrews recorded Genesis as historical narrative because they were not aware of how the world may have truly began, only that God was responsible?
If this is so, and correct me if I am misunderstanding your stance, I am not sure I can agree for multiple reasons, one of the most prominent is that I think God is the Author of truth and would not allow the account of our beginnings to be recorded as historical narrative in error if it were meant to be just a figurative story. The Hebrews have believed since the beginning, as recorded in history, that Genesis had recorded the universe being created by God in 6 literal days, this was the original audience (and this was the language used to write it). It has not been until quite recent times that the idea of millions and billions of years of evolution being used by God became popularized. And I truly believe trying to combine these man-made ideas with Scripture is quite dangerous.
Again, I may be misunderstanding your stance so feel free to elaborate. Thank you again and may God bless you!
LikeLiked by 1 person
Thank you for your response. Thank you for your gentleness and kind spirit that is evident in how you responded.
I am not “saying the ancient Hebrews recorded Genesis as historical narrative because they were not aware of how the world may have truly began, only that God was responsible” but quite the contrary. Cosmogonies, the genesis of order/cosmos, was part and central of ancient Near Eastern worldviews.
Creation happened in six solar days, with the seventh as temple inauguration, namely deity takes rest in a temple that shows that everything is good, working in the intended order. Although there exists uniqueness of each ANE cosmogonies, there exist common knowledge and pattern that is echoed(creation of time, of seasons/weather, and of food, all working towards temple celebration). In ANE creation was defined not primarily by “nonbeing to being”, as in Greco-Roman’s, but by “disorder to order”(“unproductive to productive”) continuum. Creation happened when a deity separated entity X, give X a name and function it play in the divine/temple-ish ordered realm. E.g. Separation of seas above from sea below, period of light from period of no light. Giving of name, sky-land, day-night. Giving function, lights for human festival observation, fruits for human food, etc.
All scientific prepositions in Genesis align with ANE science. E.g. cognitive processes happened in the entrails(heart, liver, bladder and kidneys; they did not have the idea of brain or mind) When God told Israelites to love Him with all their lē•bāb(trans. Heart-Mind), God used common ANE physiology of cognitive process happening in the entrails. We tend to think translation “heart” is metaphor. This was not so in ANE. It was literal. God did not correct Hebrew authors physiology of where the cognitive process took place, but used it to reveal himself. The idea of solid sky, dome that separate the waters above from the waters below, is another science that appears in Genesis 1. Other scientific claims of ANE include pillars holding the land, babies coming from mingling of parents blood, etc. These and many, God did not correct. We could say that God reveal himself to people in their contemporary understand of the world. Using concepts that we’re known to the people.
Science, the natural world as understood by finite beings, is a dynamic art. Our science is not the one that was 500 years ago. 500 years ago science was not that of its previous 500. If God were to reveal himself, it is reasonable to believe that He would use the science that was available at his relation time so as to be understood by His audience.
I would love to explain why their is no contractions but would do when asked to expound more.