Theistic Evolution

1) Theistic Evolution is the belief that God used an evolutionary process that He created to produce all the living species of life.

Wikipedia puts it this way (20/3/06):
Theistic evolution, less commonly known as evolutionary creationism, isn’t a theory in the scientific sense, but a particular view about how the (scientific) theory of evolution relates to some religious interpretations. More specifically, it's the general opinion that some or all classical religious teachings about God and creation are compatible with some or all of the human understanding about biological evolution.

It goes on to say that "Theists reject evolution primarily on the basis of their scriptures." I take issue with this statement as I have actually found the opposite in my conversations with informed Christian theologians and scientists. The main beef with theistic evolution is not the leanings against it in the Bible but in its basic premise accepting current theories regarding naturalistic explanations for evolution. That is, known processes of evolution (change) in populations do not either create life from non-life or explain the diversity of life. Mutation and natural selection are not up to the challenge and only act to disrupt the genetic information available or reduce it. This is honest observation from testable scientific theories. Nonintelligent natural laws do not have the ability to create life or new forms of life. They can only manipulate existing life forms. There is a clear distinction here that many are unfortunately not willing to recognise and poor science is the result.

2) Anyway, back to the definition of theistic evolution. It seems to be appropriated by different perspectives like deism, open theism, panentheism, and pantheism. I'll leave the last three for the moment but regarding deism we can note the following. Theistic evolution has to accept at least two miracles to count as theistic. The first is the creation of the universe from nothing. The second being the creation of first life. If only the first miracle is accepted then the view reduces to deism and the contradiction that that view entails of accepting a big miracle but no others.

3) How ardent a theistic evolutionist is mostly relates to how many miracles they can accept within their worldview and how many of those relate to imposing order on the universe in the creation of different forms of life. Any theistic evolutionist who can accept at least two miracles is probably open to the possibility of others such as Jesus walking on water, or his resurrection from the dead. The Roman Catholic view for the last 100 years or so is more to that end of the scale saying that God supernaturally intervened with the creation of matter, life, and the human soul, with all other diversity resulting from natural laws God set up at the start.

4) As I noted in the first paragraph, the arguments against theistic evolution are the same as against any type of darwinian macro evolution. They are listed on my page regarding intelligent design.


Several ideas for this page are from the Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics by Norman Geisler.

Back to the top

Home -- About Us -- Links -- Site History