Can There Be Both a Creator and Evolution? Yes.

Can life on earth have been created by some being higher than ourselves, yet continue on as a process of evolution? Sure. I think so. I don't think that God is some debauched Zeus atop a mythical Olympus. Nor do I imagine God as some mystical ethereal unquantifiable essence, as many religionists do. The God I imagine is a perfected human being who, because he is perfect, lives by natural law.

Many scientists are dismayed that evolution is still considered even controversial. I agree.  We don't know everything about the mechanics of evolution, but it is clear that it occurs. Most importantly, I don't think this presents a problem at all for there having been a creator.  The creator god that I imagine is not some Zeus who is ready at any moment to unleash chaos upon the world. My creator is someone who has, as a prerequisite to achieving perfection, not only completely come to understand natural law, but has agreed to be bound by it.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches that each person who is born on earth lived as a spirit with a unique individuality in a premortal existence with our heavenly parents. What did we do there? We don't remember, nor has much been revealed. But allow me to reasonably speculate.

As we prepared to come to this earth, we learned not only something of what it would be like to live here, but also how the earth would be created and how our mortal bodies would be created, eventually to house our spirits. Those of us who were interested went to "school" to learn the science of it all.  I imagined that we learned geology, astronomy, biology, and botany. And I imagine that we learned how physical beings evolve from one state to another. I imagine that we learned that, with God's help, and with the help of the Atonement of his son, Jesus Christ, the process of our evolution could be sped up dramatically.

Why does religion have to remain in the realm of the mystical and miraculous? It doesn't. As more and more truth comes to be known, religion should become less mystical and miraculous, until, some day, we know all things, and to us it will be completely un-mystical and un-miraculous.

As Kenneth Miller puts it in Finding Darwin's God:
We have been freed to understand the change of seasons not as divine whim, but as a consequence of the tilt of the earth's axis in relation to its orbit around the sun. We watch the movement of the tides under the calculable power of gravity, produce new substances by rearranging the atoms of raw materials, and exploit the energy of elementary particles to power our homes and send messages through space. We have learned enough of the natural world to understand that it operates according to the physical principles [of] science.

Finding Darwin's God, page  168

What's so hard, then, about believing that life itself "operates according to" the same principles? It involves, I think, the fear that, if we let go and recognize science for what it is, that it will somehow demolish God or take away our need for belief in him.

I think that is preposterous.  Such short-sighted beliefs give religion a bad name.

As Miller writes:
I find it puzzling and disappointing that so many would have pinned their religions hopes on the inability of science to explain the natural world. In fact...an accurate and complete understanding of the world, even in purely material terms, should deepen and strengthen the faith of any religious person.

Finding Darwin's God, page  169


 Hear, hear!


Comments

  1. I believe your conclusion is faulty because your premise if faulty. The Bible clearly defines God as having existed in the beginning (Genesis 1:1), and having created everything in the beginning (John 1:1-3). As a result, your article denies God as being the first cause and you reach a premise that is flawed (my summation, not your statement).

    You cannot become a god, for God has told us there are no other gods, can be no others, will be no others, and He alone is God (Isaiah 40-45).

    Your end is destruction. First physical death, followed by immediate judgment (Hebrews 9:27; Ecc 9). Unless you repent and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ (Mark 16:15, 16).

    "For by grace are ye saved through faith and NOT OF YOURSELVES it is a gift of God NOT OF WORKS lest any man should boast." (Ephesians 2:8,9). Directly contradicting 2nd Nephi 25, and thus proving the book of Mormon, Joseph Smith Jr., and the whole Mormon system as a set of false teaching leading people to spend eternity in the Lake of Fire (Revelation 21:11-15). If, as many Mormons do, you say I am wrong, then you go your merry way as a happy Hell bound "saint." But if you truly seek God, and His word, stop listening to the lies of your leaders, do not follow the brethren into the Lake of Fire, and glorify God through turning to Jesus Christ in faith.

    I post this as anonymous because I don't have an account with the other options. My email is utahforchrist@yahoo.com.

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  2. I'm confused by this. At first you say "As more and more truth comes to be known, religion should become less mystical and miraculous, until, some day, we know all things, and to us it will be completely un-mystical and un-miraculous." Then you say "...the fear that, if we let go and recognize science for what it is, that it will somehow demolish God or take away our need for belief in him. I think that is preposterous. Such short-sighted beliefs give religion a bad name."

    It seems to me that to be open to truth, we have to be open to the idea that there is no God, at least as you imagine Him to be. There is already a great deal of scientific work on the human need for belief in God, and there are also millions of humans who have no need for belief in a God.

    The question of whether evolution or any other scientific theory conflicts with religious belief is a religious question, not a scientific one. The reason so many religious people don't believe in science is that their religion is too small, too restricted, too primitive. To understand science and scientific principles, one has to be comfortable with ambiguity. One has to accept that there are no hard and fast rules, no "truths" which are unassailable. Those are generally difficult concepts for many religious people to accept. I'm unclear from your post whether you accept them or not.

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  3. Keep it up. Hope you're getting the occasional comment that agrees with you and motivates you.

    I agree God and evolution are not mutually exclusive.

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