What is Evolution?

We need to define some terms before we get going too far into the discussion. In this and future posts on this topic, I would like to define my use of the term evolution to refer to the grand theory of evolution, which states that a simple, single-celled, original and common ancestor (and all subsequent descendants) experienced random genetic mutations, and thus, through the process of natural selection, changed into all living creatures, including mankind. This process is said to have taken almost four billion years (referred to as “deep time” hereafter.) Today, this story is taught as the Neo-Darwinian synthesis. Atheists tell us today that this process (mutation, selection, and deep time) requires no intervention from a supernatural entity. If we go back to our original question, “could God have used evolution as his creative mechanism?” we must now ask “Why should Christians explain creation with both the evolutionary mechanism and deep time, which requires no God, to explain something that God did?” Where did the ideas of billions of years and naturalistic evolution come from? In other words, do the original ideas of deep time and Neo-Darwinian mechanisms come from committed disciples of Christ or someone else?

The grand theory of evolution is central to the atheist origins story since it is said to be a completely natural process requiring no intervention from an intelligent designer. In the words of Richard Dawkins, “Although atheism might have been logically tenable before Darwin, Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.” Evolution is the primary pillar of the atheist’s origin story as it is an attempt at explaining living organisms without the Creator. Why should Christians attempt to bring harmony between the primary pillar of atheism and the narrative that carries throughout scripture? It is not only unnecessary (scientifically), it is untenable according to the whole of scripture.

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