A new conviction has come to me. One must be sure of what they believe and why they believe it. When one knows what they believe and why they believe it they can both respond to error and revise any errors they might hold. If sufficient evidence can damage one of the “why’s” of belief, one should change the “why” and if necessary the “what”. Therefore although I speak in terms of: this is my position on said topic, it doesn’t mean I am not open to criticism or changing my view, but rather that certain “why’s” need to be addressed and disproven before I will change or modify my “what”, and I think this is how everyone should be. Now to my topic at hand.
I do not claim full knowledge of my topic, nor have I exhausted every argument and line of evidence, nor do I claim to know or understand every nuance of views on the subject. Simply I will state my current position on the topic and why I hold to said position.
A Theistic Evolutionist I am not. Although I do believe that Science shows us that the universe is older than thousands of years, and I believe that Scripture doesn’t demand we come to a dogmatic position on how old the universe is, I am not a Theistic Evolutionist. When I hear the term Theistic Evolutionist, I immediately think of an Evolutionist who has added God in to fill the holes in the theory. It seems an attempt to take the best things in Evolution, and the best things in Creationism (namely God) and smash them together to come to the “correct” view. As I argue in my previous article: http://www.imthebeggar.com/index.php/archives/evolution-is-dead/ I do think that the term Evolution is no longer helpful and should be dropped by everyone especially those who call themselves Theistic Evolutionists.
I am quite aware there are many different interpretations of Evolution bouncing about these days. Some even argue that more people think of Theistic Evolution’s definition of “Evolution” than the Secular (historical) definition of “Evolution” when they hear the term Evolution using studies like: http://www.christianpost.com/news/poll-4-in-10-americans-believe-in-creationism-48124/ as their support. Besides my doubt in statistics to really give us usable data beyond proving whatever the statition(sp) wishes to prove, I think people should notice that just simply asking people what they think about “Theistic Evolution” doesn’t prove what version they hold, and for all I know they all could be thinking that it simply means that God guided the common notion of what people call Evolution. So simply people have only changed one thing in their beliefs: they stopped believing that Evolution happens apart from God, but now that God guides and uses the process.
Here is my problem with that. Evolution, when spoken alone as I have just said the word, immediately brings to mind Darwin and all the baggage of his views. We think of primordial soup, monkeys turning into men, and men coming from Neanderthals. Unless the word is put into context I think most people would think such things as I have. Now I am aware that many Theistic Evolutionists (called TE from now on) actually believe that such things happened, and there are obviously others who fall farther down the scale towards Creationism (up or down I mean move along scale not commenting on correctness). It seems to me that the TE position is one that admits that Science proves Evolution (again something I argue against in my previous article http://www.imthebeggar.com/index.php/archives/evolution-is-dead/). If TE are simply adding God into fill the admitted (by secular evolutionists) gaps that exist in Evolution, I think they are compromising and are actually not aware that both philosophy and science disprove evolution. *Philosophy is handled slightly in my previous article already linked twice, Science disproves evolution because it demonstrates a complexity that is not adequately explained by a purposeless or random system – disproved is a hard term and “placed seriously in doubt” is a better concept and what I mean by disproved.
I honestly think that TE are good natured Christians who have been duped into thinking that Science proves Evolution, and they are thusly unaware that the Creation (simply that God Created not a young earth view of timing) Science – science interpreted by the view that God exists- answers more questions and leaves less gaps than secular evolution did. In fact I think there is no scientific evidence for evolution on a large scale at all (of course if you use the definition of evolution as adaptation and such, yes evolution exists). I also further think that science cannot make any argument for evolution, because evolution isn’t something that can be proven by science, rather it is something that interprets scientific findings.
Let us exercise what I mean by this through an example. Take a dinosaur bone for example. Science can look at it, predict where it went in the animal, perhaps what it looked like, and ate etc. it may even be able to roughly guess how old the bone is, but it cannot tell us anything more than such things. It cannot say that the dinosaur evolved from a snake or whatever. Here is why I say that evolution is an interpretation, it is not Science. Lets say for example we have evidence of a “transitionary” form of humans. An Ape like man that looks half Ape, half man, has genes of both. Science can only describe what it finds out, it cannot say “missing link” but evolution can and does because it interprets what it sees according to its philosophical world view. Likewise Creationism will say it isn’t a “missing link” but simply another creature created by God. Their argument would be along the lines that although dogs and cats look alike, they do not share a common ancestor but a common creator that is why they look similar. Likewise just because there are similarities between man, apes, and even Neanderthals doesn’t mean they are commonly descended, but it could mean they are commonly created.
Can you see how evolution (and creationism) both are not “Science” but are interpretations of scientific findings. Because of their world views they interpret the findings differently. This is why I cannot understand how a Christian would jump to the Evolutionary interpretation, when the Creation by God is adequate for so many more reasons. Why, I ask my TE friends, are you siding with the view that man evolved from lower primates because Science sees many similarities and not taking the view that interprets the similarities by saying they are similar because they share the same creator?
In the end I really honestly think one’s position on this falls towards how they wish to see the world, and not really on the evidence, because like I said before Science demands neither a Creation nor Evolutionary interpretation, but rather one or the other has to be placed on it. Science merely describes what it sees it cannot interpret what it sees, that is for philosophies to do. Again in other words what Science discovers can be interpreted differently, that is why it is our job to pick the best interpretation. I think Creationism is the best (again I mean simply that God did it, and not in a historical evolutionary sense of things evolving into new species or sharing common decent) because it says we share a common creator, and I think that answers all the reasons why Evolution exists in the first place.
Creation is superior to Evolution because historically Evolution has attempted to describe the world in terms of purposelessness, meaningless, and randomness, all things that I think Science disproves by way of evidence. When Science describes our universe I do not think the terms purposelessness, meaningless, or randomness can come into the conversation at all. In fact when you hear Evolutionists speak (the secular kind) they always speak in terms of design, well simply because everything seems to appear designed and with a purpose. Creation, from the beginning, has always maintained that everything is designed for a purpose with meaning. If it appears designed, and we have no other reason to doubt design, then designed is the best explanation. And I think Evolutionists give us no reason do doubt design because their reasons for God (a designer not existing) all fall short of being persuasive to me. Evolutionists have to argue very hard against the apparent design of the universe, and all the while I’m still wondering what their real motives are for rejecting it (because if things seem designed, they probably are unless we are given really, really good reasons not to go with the plain meaning). *Scripture tells us in Rom 1 that men reject God because they simply hate him and do not want to be ruled by him, and thus I think so lies the motives of all Secular Evolutionists – they hate the idea of God and want nothing to do with him.
Thus I am not TE. First the term is self contradictory (unless one re-interprets either term from its common and historical interpretation). How can one hold that God Created using a purposeless and meaningless, random system? This requires one to redefine Evolution to fit with Theism, a thing I argue against in my previous blog because simply it is unhelpful and only causes more confusion. If one wishes to be clear on their position, I suggest that TE’s come up with a new term to describe themselves, one that doesn’t have all the baggage and misunderstanding that Evolution does (as I am sure many readers have already accused me of misunderstanding Evolution – which proves my point). Therefore the fist Reason I am not a TE is I think the terms are not helpful and confusing, and although I may share many of their beliefs about the universe, I reject being associated with such a poisonous and misunderstood term as Evolution.
The second reason I reject TE is because I am not convinced at all that any form of Evolution which demands the transition of species into other species, or notions of common decent of all things even can stand on its two feet, and I see no evidence that God uses such things in his creation. I see no transitionary forms of anything, dead or alive. I see only different species and things created by God (some which look very similar and some do not). Just because Ape and Men both have arms doesn’t mean they descended from the same thing, but also could mean they just share the same creator who likes giving creatures arms. If one simply means by evolution that things mutate, adapt within their own species and to their environment, sure that makes sense to me (again but why use such a loaded term as evolution?)
A third reason why I reject TE is because it often sounds more Deistic than Theistic. That is they often have a God who is so laid back and uninvolved in his creation (just letting Evolution do it all) that He is better called a Deistic sort of being than the Providential, Sovereign God of the Bible. When I read Scripture I see a God who cares about His creation and Creatures so much that he guides their actions and His creation by his Providence so that no molecule is maverick while fulfilling His Sovereign plan for the Creation, without violating the moral responsibility He has given humans. Another reason, that could be its own category, is simply that I think TE is tying Christianity to a bad (and outdated, on its way out) form of scientific understanding and interpretation, I would much rather see Christianity not tie itself to any interpretation of Science which may change and harm Christianity. *If one says that the true Christian (Biblical) view is TE and then E is sufficiently “disproven” in the future and no serious Scientist even holds to it in any form, what happens to Christianity but that it looks foolish?
Second to last my forth reason I reject TE is because I think a better description can be found. If TEers mean that God is usually invisible in His world, guiding it through many natural means and laws that he set forth, using secondary agents to fulfill his plans and will, then I will not disagree with them. But again when they use the term evolution, they are admitting an interpretation of Science that I do not think agrees with Scripture. To get the idea that God created one form of creature from which all others came, one cannot look at Scripture. I know many TE’ers attempt to read their views back into Scripture, but frankly no TEer, I think, found TE in Scripture first, but went looking there after they became TE. Scripture teaches us that God created everything after its kind, for a specific purpose, and that purpose, we are given no reason to doubt, doesn’t change with time. Bees were not created with one purpose in mind, but then latter evolved to another completely different purpose. Evolution (in many of its uses) strives against Scripture and therefore must be rejected.
Lastly my fifth reason I reject TE is because I believe the idea of Adam not existing (humans evolving not being created human) as a singular, historical person does too much theological damage, and hermeneutical damage, that it must be rejected. I think the singular view of the Church throughout history that Adam was a real historical person, has enough intellectual and traditional weight behind it to never be unseated, not to mention the firm hermeneutical and theological foundation it relies on. Scripture is not a wax nose for us to go looking to fit it into our extra biblical views. It is one thing to allow Science (the interpretation of nature as I often define it) to help us with our theology (the interpretation of Scripture), and it is another thing to allow science or theology to mess with Nature or Scripture. Meaning theology cannot change what is in Nature, nor can science change what is in Scripture. Meaning the interpretation cannot change reality, but rather reality changes the interpretation.
To me the clear, well attested and supported, hermeneutic of scripture clearly states that Adam was a real person, who is our spiritual and physical head, he fell into sin, plunging all of humanity into sin, and getting the whole world cursed because of him. Then Jesus is the promised second Adam, a real person, who fulfills the role of the first Adam for us being our new spiritual head, where-by we can inherit what he earned from God (not sin and death like the first Adam earned for us) but adoption and sonship as co-heirs with Christ our new Adamic head. If we believe, like many TEers, that Adam wasn’t a real person (apart from the clear reading of Scripture may I add) but just a figurative one, then we do not need a real savior but just a figurative one. Scripture clearly teaches that Jesus is a real savior, and the second Adam, clearly we cannot infer that Jesus was just figurative, nor that Adam was, if one was real, the other must be real.
In conclusion I am not a TE because I think the term itself is misleading, unhelpful, and self contradictory. I also think it is an unnecessary position which ultimately is a compromise because Evolution is a dead philosophy and an inadequate interpretation of Science that originally arose from a rejection of God and has been propagated by those who wish no God to exist. And most importantly I think TE damages historical Christianity, confuses young Christians in how to properly interpret Scripture, and ultimately weakens the message of Scripture and the faith there-in. You may not agree with me, but so far that is how this difficult topic is settled in my mind.