Is Evolution Compatible with the Bible?

Adam Monkey God

Theistic evolution

by Thomas Purifoy Jr.

The evolutionary history of the world teaches that all living creatures are the result of common descent from a single-celled ancestor which lived billions of years ago. This view says that the slow process of random mutations alongside natural selection produced all the life we see around us including human life.

The majority of those who hold this view would consider themselves atheistic or agnostic evolutionists.

Since the time of Charles Darwin, however, some Christians have tried to merge evolutionary theory with the actions of the God of the Bible. They say that God used the process of evolution to create all living organisms. Although His involvement with evolution is scientifically indiscernible, it is necessary both in terms of the original creation of single-cell life and the ongoing evolutionary development of living creatures.

Those who hold this view are called theistic evolutionists.

Recently, theistic evolution has grown in popularity due to its acceptance by some leading evangelical pastors and theologians. They would assert that Genesis 1 does not refer to six normal days of creation, and that the flood recorded in Genesis 6-8 was a local, rather than global, event. Furthermore, they would say that God used evolutionary processes to create everything that has ever lived on the earth.  

An important aspect of theistic evolution is their assertion that there were humans or human-like creatures on the earth along with Adam, Eve, Cain and Abel. One of the observations they make in regard to Genesis 4 is the presence of other people at the time Cain killed Abel. They say these people are testimony to other humans that had evolved along with Cain and Abel.

When we look at the Pentateuch, Moses was often sparse in historical details. He does, however, often provide explanations for certain situations that a closer reading provides. In other words, the evolutionary interpretation is unnecessary when one reads Genesis 4 and 5 together…

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image credit: The Creation of Adam by Michelangelo and Monkey On Rope