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27. Theistic Evolution--No Real Answers and a Barrel of Problems

Early in May, 1985, I was the only creationist attending a two-day university symposium on "Information, Entropy and Evolution." In the formal addresses and discussion periods brilliant scientists and philosophers made heroic efforts to tie biology, physics, and cosmogony and evolution together in a unified system of scientific theories. Overarching every consideration was the grand assumption that evolution of the universe and of life is a "fact." Therefore, life, physics and evolution must be tied together in some way. But it was evident to more than one person there that the necessary evidence is still missing. The only thing which presently ties these areas together is philosophy. It is the philosophy of materialism, the belief that everything can be explained by the properties of atoms and the laws of physics--when scientists learn enough. Any other explanation, creation by a God, for example would have been hooted off the floor. To this observer the spirit of rejection of God our Creator often could almost be felt in the auditorium. As David observed in Psalm 10:4 concerning the wicked, "God is not in all his thoughts."

On the second day of the symposium one of the attendants introduced himself to me as a friend of a mutual acquaintance from over thirty years ago. He has been teaching in the biology department of a public college for 21 years. He explained enthusiastically how he teaches a course about evolution, accepting evolution as true, but believing that evolution is the method God has used to create. In other words he believes in theistic evolution. He indicated that holding this view makes him acceptable to the college administration and enables him to share the Christian faith with college professors and students who would not give him an ear if he believed in special creation. He said that in his classroom he offers theistic evolution to his students as the way to be scientific while retaining one's faith. At the lunch table I explained what I believe to be the right position for a Christian to hold concerning science, creation and evolution. Our Creation Essays have developed this pretty thoroughly, but we have not dealt with the idea of theistic evolution.

So What Is Wrong With Theistic Evolution?

1. Theistic evolution (TE) contradicts the plain words of the Bible.

a. In Genesis 1 we are told ten times that God created each kind to reproduce "after its kind," not to change into another kind. The types of creatures specifically mentioned are grass, herbs, fruit trees, marine animals, birds, beasts of the earth, cattle, and crawling animals. Man is set in a class by himself, created in the image of God and placed in dominion over all other creatures.
b. In Genesis 2 Moses reports that the first man, Adam, was formed of the dust of the earth, that he was alone, and that Eve was formed from tissue taken from his side. (Note: Eve was the first "clone.") TE would have Adam and Eve appearing in history as superior members of a tribe of yuppie apes. These two views of the origins of man are mutually exclusive.

2. TE, since it simply accepts and baptizes materialistic evolution, is subject to all of the scientific objections to materialistic evolution.

3. Belief in TE places a person right in the middle of an intellectual no man's land where he is a target shot at from both sides of the battlefield.

a. The Bible-believing Christians (that's us) charge believers in TE with undermining the Scriptures.

1) By destroying the meaning of language, and
2) By accepting fallible human science as the arbiter of what the Scriptures mean, or when they are to be considered to be in error.

b. In the modern theory evolution is by definition a totally purposeless, unguided materialistic process, without any goals. Theistic evolution, in contrast, is by definition a guided process with divinely determined goals. Thus these are two mutually exclusive theories. Therefore, anyone who chooses to believe in theistic evolution should logically repudiate the Darwinian evolution which the secular establishment of science and education teaches! If, on the other hand, the believer in TE holds that God simply accepts for His creation whatever creatures a totally materialistic chance process of evolution produces, God the Creator is reduced to a mere bystander, a cosmic wimp, hardly worthy of the title, Creator, for He really did not designs or create anything.

c. Although TE believers propose TE as a more scientific way than special creation for understanding biology, TE is really a religious notion, not a scientific one. It is just as religious and no more scientific than is special creation. The God of TE is supposed to use evolution, divinely guided in some manner, or controlled by divinely established laws or by chance alone, to carry out His work of creation. But the fact is that there is simply is no scientific evidence for a process of evolution guided by God. Therefore, TE is an attempt to mix science and religious faith in a manner which can be sustained by neither scientific evidence nor biblical evidence. Consequently, TE offends both secular scientists and Bible-believing Christians.

4. TE is not a solution for the problems related to teaching origins theories in public school science. It is simply another religious viewpoint which differs sharply from the materialistic and the biblical viewpoints. As such it would be a violation of the First Amendment rights of believers in special creation to attempt to balance materialistic evolution with some teaching of theistic evolution.

5. TE requires God to use the deaths of untold billions of animals and of pre-humans to do His work of creation. This surely casts a cloud over His character as a God of mercy and love and wisdom, not to say of sovereign power.

6. TE makes human nature merely modified animal nature, and human behavior merely modified animal behavior. For all practical purposes the biblical concept of an absolute moral law for mankind becomes indefensible. The natural lawlessness of unregenerate humans becomes the norm, and improvement is deemed possible only by evolution or genetic engineering.

7. Among other virtual biblical doctrines which TE undermines is the doctrine of the unity of the human race in one man, Adam (Romans 5:12-21, I Corinthians 15:21-23, 45-50). TE really does away with this unity by denying the historicity of Adam whom Christ affirmed to be a real historical person when He confirmed the Mosaic account of the creation of Adam and Eve (Matthew 19:4-6). The passages cited above in Romans and I Corinthians teach the divine plan of redemption is tied to the unity of the race in one man Adam, so that the Church might be redeemed by the last Man, Christ. But TE eliminates both this unity and the need of salvation for a race of improved apes who can have no more moral responsibility than did the tribe of more primitive apes from which they supposedly descended. Thus in several ways TE strikes at the central doctrine of biblical Christianity, that of the redemptive ministry of Jesus Christ, rendering it both unnecessary and impossible.

8. TE makes the Lord Jesus Christ, whom the Bible reveals to be God incarnate, into a made-over ape, one who just happened to be more successful than other humans in overcoming the bestial influences of his animal ancestry.

9. TE requires God to wait for billions of years for His words of creation quoted in Genesis 1 to be obeyed. Thus His omnipotence and sovereignty over the universe are brought into question. In actual fact, the Scriptures seem to indicate immediate fulfillment of His creation command (Psalm 33:9, 148:5).


Biblical special creation, we believe, not theistic evolution, provides right answers and solves problems concerning faith and science.

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