Hi to my 2 readers, I’m back! (for now).
Enough heresy hunting, here’s some Orthodoxy. This position is fairly complex and subtle, but I think (and believe) that it gels most effectively with science and the Christian faith.
Anti-science Creationists like to cite supposed negative consequences of teaching evolution, particularly the descent of Man. I could write equally disparaging things about silly creationist models that are based on bizarre, selective misreadings of the physical evidence. Asserting young-earth creationism also implies the creator is out to deceive the world, most of the worlds scientists are deceived or malicious, and reality is an illusion.
Theistic evolution is good science *precisely because* it is compatible with evolution — the standard scientific model for the origin of life. Evolution is based on facts and evidence. Who cares if Theistic Evolution is “good” theology! Is it TRUE? Is the Bible true? I say yes to both questions.
And in fact Theistic Evolution is good theology because:
a) the big bang theory (attested by cosmic background radiation, red shifts etc) implies an uncaused First Cause (God)
b) there’s no need to take Genesis 1 so literally
c) it’s the Catholic Church’s position on the question of origins
d) it acknowledges the unseen hand of God throughout history — and that’s compatible with an observable fact: God is invisible. Theologically it’s uncontroversial to say that to us Earthlings, God’s glory is veiled, but He is transcendent and immanent.
e) it shows that God is a God of order, sustaining Creation by His word (law). YEC implies God changes the laws of physics on a capricious whim.
f) humanity’s part in evolution, and God’s patience in developing the species, shows that our material existence is of great value, and our sojourn on Earth is part of the grand design. This contrasts with the Gnosticism inherent in anti-science creationism.
Here are some examples of how it fits with the Bible.
It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings.
Ecclesiastes 3 even explicitly states that men are beasts and that a man has no preeminence above a beast!
18 “I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts.
19 For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity.
20 All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.
21 Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?”
For this is what the LORD says—
he who created the heavens, he is God;
he who fashioned and made the earth, he founded it;
he did not create it to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited—
“I am the LORD, and there is no other.”
Since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities — his eternal power and divine nature — have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
Science is about knowing, while religion is about believing. In John 20:29 Jesus said,
Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.