Reconciling creation and evolution

Often, the pro-creation or anti-evolution argument looks to the first chapter of Genesis as its basis, that God created all kinds and so nothing evolved from something else. What strikes me as odd is the presumption that this same omnipotent God is bounded by what we perceive as time. Why is it hard to accept that God conceived of–not literally “created”–everything at once but that some would only come to manifest at a certain point in time? This would indeed have all scientific appearances of evolution, of one kind of beast becoming another, but God still having done this magnificent deed during the act of creation.

Even in Genesis, God “evolves” woman from man, taking a part of him and creating something new that did not exist before. This is absolutely testament that evolution happens and that God may indeed be at the center of its happening. Yet, pro-creation arguers insist that evolution doesn’t happen? This is absurd at best.

Similarly, the pro-evolution arguers insisting that such miraculous events could occur purely by random chance seems too optimistic for my tastes. We have very little evidence of “evolution gone horribly wrong” which would inevitably need to happen much more frequently than evolution getting it right to get us to where we are today. Yet, the fossil record is clearly lacking this proof. Apparently, the evolutionary stasis in the observed fossil record is clear.

Scientists have coined the term punctuated equilibrium to describe the short bursts of evolutionary improvement that happens. Why is it so hard to accept that these apparently miraculous core changes to a species wasn’t guided somehow? Believing that these rare and unlikely events, which now seems to not stem from constantly failed random attempts, can happen repeatedly is like winning the lottery every time you buy a ticket, and repeatedly buying tickets and winning every time! Sorry, that kind of luck is … Godlike, to say the least.

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Comments

  1. Simon C. Ion says:

    We have very little evidence of “evolution gone horribly wrong” which would inevitably need to happen much more frequently than evolution getting it right to get us to where we are today. Yet, the fossil record is clearly lacking this proof. Apparently, the evolutionary stasis in the observed fossil record is clear.

    Neanderthal man was one of these unsuited organisms.
    Also, consider the evolution of drug-resistant bacteria and viruses. Those that are killed by the drugs are “evolution getting it wrong”. Those that are not are “evolution getting it right”. IDK what the common ratio of dead “bugs” to live ones is, but I’d be willing to bet that it’s pretty abysmal from the bugs’ POV. (After all, we’re not all dead from something like drug-resistant staph.)

    It’s my understanding that fossilization is a “finicky” process. The conditions needed for preservation of an organism *rarely* ever happen. The likelihood of getting a fossilized “limited edition” broken organism is extremely low.

  2. Simon C. Ion says:

    Bah. Blogger doesn’t support the “q” tag. Consider the first paragraph a direct quote. : /

  3. There is a vanishingly small chance that “evolution gone horribly wrong” would leave any fossil record. Most instances would have been still-born or never come to term (in mammalian version). For a single fossil to make it to our attention requires that there have been a lot of that individuals living at one time – the odds of leaving a fossil are really low. I attended a lecture once by a paleontologist in which he described observing the fates of rural road kills: not once in several years did any of the remains fail to get scattered by scavengers.

    @Simon: I would not consider Neanderthal to have been “unsuited” – they were around for quite a long time. I suspect that we, H. Sapiens, may just now be getting to be as old as H. Neanderthalensis was at the time of his demise.

  4. Simon, Stephen: Thanks for your insights!

    Regarding the odds of leaving a fossil being low – I totally appreciate that. However, if there were endless failed occurrences of evolution, wouldn’t the probability eventually yield at least one fossil that we would discover? The fine difference here is between “infinitessimally small” vs. “none” – believing in the theory of gradual evolution without actual evidence that it happens is just as irrational as the belief in God without evidence of its existance.

    This is where the “punctuated equilibrium” folks cheat and handwave, which my response is: punctuated equilibrium looks a lot like guided evolution at specific inflection points, like by that of a God. Ironic.

  5. Tom Reingold says:

    Arguing about creationism with a fundamentalist is like teaching a pig to sing.

  6. Rupert says:

    Duck-billed platypus ?

    Sickle-cell stricken humans as an evolutionary solution to malaria ?

    What do you expect the “failures” to look like ?

    For a good read with some discussion of evolution, try Greg Bear “Darwin’s Radio”.

    Note that there are as many flavors of evolutionist as there are flavors of creationist.

  7. This seems like a perfectly sensible post, to me. Why can’t more people see that God and Science are not mutually exclusive?

  8. Hey Dossy your Twitter Karma tool is very nice, thank you for creating it.

    “Similarly, the pro-evolution arguers insisting that such miraculous events could occur purely by random chance seems too optimistic for my tastes. We have very little evidence of “evolution gone horribly wrong” which would inevitably need to happen much more frequently than evolution getting it right to get us to where we are today.”

    I also used to think that evolution was being guided by an intelligent mind, but a friend pointed out to me that at its core, evolution is just the survival of the fitest. So there are constantly things being born in all species that are slightly different each other (i.e. birds with longer beaks that make them better at gathering more food) and the strongest variants have the best ability to survive, and therefore have the highest chances to reprodce(and the mutations with lesser atributes don’t have as high of a chance to reproduce and eventually die off).

    Everything is just Zeros and Ones, to be, or not to be.

    I used to believe in God, but now I think We are God. To be Self Aware is to be God.

    Heres a good speech George Carlin made, its pretty interesting http://www.celebatheists.com/?title=George_Carlin

    Peace~

  9. God conceived of–not literally “created”–everything at once but that some would only come to manifest at a certain point in time? This would indeed have all scientific appearances of evolution, of one kind of beast becoming another, but God still having done this magnificent deed during the act of creation.

    I agree in part with the above. I would accept that creation and evolution are interrelated. We are created in the womb as a single cell entity then evolved and at last born as a human. The same would be with other that the human species. It’s very difficult and impossible for me to believe that humans evolved from apes and suchlike

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