Thursday, February 14, 2008

Theistic Evolution

When you read the title of this post, what did you think? When you read several descriptions of "theistic evolution" in previous posts using imagery of God creating, then winding a watch and stepping aside, did you interpret those descriptions as support for theistic evolution, or merely a description of what theistic evolutionists believe? Let's be perfectly clear. I support neither naturalistic neo-Darwinism nor theistic evolution. Let's explain why...

Several major transcendent creation events are evident along the timeline of history of earth life. Powerful evidence in the fossil and archaeological record supports this belief. The first event was the remarkably sudden appearance of microbial life. There is no naturalistic explanation. There were several other geologically sudden appearances of fully formed creatures, including the "Cambrian Explosion" 530 million years ago. Dozens of new phyla (body plans) appeared in a geological overnight. This has been called a "riot of disparity." Much later, following several major extinction events, there were other abrupt appearances of new life forms such as birds and later, mammals. Finally, modern man himself burst on the scene in what even secularists call a "cultural explosion," a proliferation of technological advance, creative thinking, and artistic and spiritual capabilities.

Ancient Hebrew scripture has several words (bara, asah, yasar) having different shades of meaning centering on "create." "Bara" sometimes, but not always, refers to creation ex nihilo, out of nothing. However, the term always refers to God's action in events such as creation of the heavens and the earth (the entirety of matter and space) in Genesis 1:1, creation of a great variety of living creatures in Genesis 1:21, and the creation of man in Genesis 1:27. Theistic evolution does not allow for transcendent miracles along the timeline of life's history on earth. It places emphasis on natural processes and de-emphasizes supernatural events. In this way it alters the meaning of "bara" in the scripture quotations above. The geological record, with its periodic sudden appearances of new forms, and scripture, with its references to God's direct creative action, appear to be in harmony.