The Role of God in Evolution
The Role of God in Evolution
Most scientists have supported the idea of the human population evolving from primitive apes. However, about 4 in 10 are under the impression that a creator guided the process of evolution, which explains why human beings have a conscious. All scientists agree with the theory of evolution, but 40 percent augment this theory by including a supernatural being that controlled the process. A notable mathematician believes that there is a possibility for God to operate through evolution. Curves that are shaped like bells define the distribution of characteristics, which, to a certain degree, God might be acting through certain processes that human beings might perceive to be random.
The belief that evolution is God’s work is called theistic evolution, although a disparity on the level of God’s intervention exists among theists. Theistic evolution argues that God created the universe and principles of energy and matter, which then guided the evolution process. Considering the disparity mentioned, some scientists argue that God did not guide the evolution process. Instead, he created conditions that facilitated the process. The theist approach to evolution and the role of God in the process is faced by various uncertainties owing to the numerous explanation of how the earth came to be.
Theistic evaluation, similar to evolution in general, has various distinct ideas. The most basic explanation of evolution is the change of organisms over time. These changes over time are seen in the difference in the organisms that are on earth today and those tested in fossils. Other smaller changes include the alteration of genome in what is called microevolution. The growth of bacteria to the extent that they develop resistance towards antibiotics can also be considered a form of evolution. These definitions of evolution can be combined with theism to get an idea that God causes change over time. This idea is undisputed by both Christians that God is behind the changes that are happening. Biologists, on their part, also do not present any objection that evolution has been a gradual, continuous process that has been happening within limits. This presents one sense of the term evolution and one corresponding sense of theistic evolution.
The second description of evolution is that change over time has been gradual and has been occurring essentially without limits. A good illustration of biological history is better illustrated using Darwin’s figure of the life where all the branches of the tree being representations of all the life forms seen today. All these forms have risen through small gradual changes that pint back to a single simple life form, the one cell organism (Rice, Olson, & Colbert, 2011). This is based on a theory of one family where everything shares a common ancestry. Theists believe that caused this change and everything is linked together, creating the right picture of biological history considering the virtues of believers.
The third idea of evolution corresponds with the third idea of theistic evolution and is probably the most contentious notion. It is the idea that the process of national selection and random mutation and similar undirected natural processes have produced all the change and forms found on earth today as implied by the tree of life. Evolved organisms are the result of this purely natural mechanism referred to as natural selection and random mutation. This mechanism has bee sufficient to produce all the forms seen today and is rather creative and also explains the appearance of design that all biologists identify in living organisms. According to Richard Dawkins, biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance to have been designed for a purpose.
The key word in the Dawkins definition of biology is appearance. Things appear designed but are not really designed since this pure naturalistic unguided mechanism has created that appearance and illusion. The mechanism merely imitates the powers of a designing intelligence. It is not accomplishing the goals of intelligence which is, it is not purpose or goal-driven. Theistic evolution embraces this mechanism as a creative process and without specification says that God is behind it or is a part of it or upholding it or mutation-selection mechanisms is God’s sense of creativity.
Theistic evolution has faced a lot of criticism in recent years. Scientists consider theists people that suppose God cannot do what he cannot do. According to the belief in God, he does not do things that are not logical. God can no more direct an undirected process in the same manner that he cannot create a squared circle; this is precisely what a theistic evolutionary viewpoint presupposes. Evolution thrives in the best scientific evidence, not changes within kinds but macroevolution. There is nothing in science that contradicts the biblical worldview, and people just read into the ideas creating the illusionary problem that ideas such as theistic evolution seek to solve. The origin of theistic evolution was necessitated by the feeling of believers to respond to the pressures of science, although there was no pressure (Peterson & Ruse, 2016). Science does its own activities without the motive to disapprove the biblical worldview. However, believers develop there own imagination that science is out to discredit the biblical worldview.
Science in whatsoever does not act to disapprove the biblical worldview but only seeks to get a deeper understanding of the origin of the universe. The Bible was never intended to cover certain things. It was never intended to say how old the universe is or when man came into existence. The intention of the Bible is to tell us that God created one man from whom he made a whole nation of man. There is an actual Adam and Eve, a genealogy that is given but not comprehensive or sequential.
Theist, when looked form a certain perspective, is a derogatory term by “true Christians” who do not agree with the faction that believes in science. If you look at it, theist evolutionist is not a compliment but rather a mockery. It signifies that they are traitors and may be equated to Judas Iscariot in a language Christians understand. Creationists strive to propel the idea and impose it in schools and have it taught in science classes. This is why a person who supports both views cannot be considered an ally of creationists. Rather they are viewed as aiding the enemy.
There are certain understandings of theistic evolution that are logically contradictory, but several are not contradictory. The most classic contradictory understanding of theistic evolution is, evolution says that the development of life is a completely unguided process that is random and follows the natural law (Meyer, 2018). There is no guiding the process in any direction because a definite endpoint does not exist. Theistic evolution accepts that the process is unguided, but then they say that God, to a certain extent guided it that is why we the term theistic evolutionists. It is not logical to have a system that is not guided and guided at the same time. It is an outright contradiction.
Some theists would say that the process of evolution was, in fact, guided by God, but in order for them to be good theistic evolutionists, they cannot allow what God did to be detectable. Because if the actions of God were detectable, then theistic evolution would conform to intelligence design and would eventually lose by having the actions of the creator conforming to science. So their idea remains that God guided the process as long as no one can tell what He did, which is similar to saying he did not guide it in the first process.
The word theist is a compromise for the integrity of science. The people who associated with this ideology and used this term, create the implication that a supernatural being had to preordain the result of evolution or at the very least control it through to create the universe and what is seen today (Farrell, 2016). Scientists on their part believe their theistic colleges in a way or the other are trying to include a supernatural aspect to the idea of evolution.
In conclusion, the idea that God had a role in evolution has no ground and cannot survive criticism directed towards it. If theists say that God guided an unguided process, then an automatic logical contradiction presents itself, not even God according to logic cannot guide and unguided process. Theists that say God is not guiding an unguided process then an issue in theology comes up because it then questions the role of God in this theistic evolution combination.
Rice, J. W., Olson, J. K., & Colbert, J. T. (2011). University evolution education: the effect of evolution instruction on biology majors’ content knowledge, attitude toward evolution, and theistic position. Evolution: Education and Outreach, 4(1), 137.
Peterson, M., & Ruse, M. (2016). Science, evolution, and religion: A debate about atheism and theism.
Farrell, J. (2016, March 19). It’s Time To Retire ‘Theistic Evolution’. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnfarrell/2016/03/19/its-time-to-retire-theistic-evolution/#398ea8c85046
Meyer, S. (2018, July 28). Stephen C. Meyer: Theistic Evolution. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mN41M732I_I