Could God Have Used Evolution?


Posted by Matt Postiff April 9, 2011 on Matt Postiff's Blog under Creation 

The question before us asks what God could do, but really the right question to ask is, "What did God do?" For that, we have to carefully exegete the text of Scripture to determine what it says. As I have been arguing in my "essentials of young earth creationism" series, the plain interpretation of the text inevitably leads to the conclusion that God did create in six days.

But, to the question...Let us forget for a moment what God did do and consider the hypothetical case.

1. In a sense, we could say yes. God can do anything, with the caveat that He can do anything that is in accord with His holy nature. So we could say, hypothetically, God could have used evolution just as well as he could have created everything in a nanosecond or in six 24-hour days.

2. But all things considered, no, God could not have used evolution. If God had used evolution, then certain things would have to be true:

  1. Evolution requires many multiplied generations of living things for the necessary changes to occur.
  2. Evolution requires many deaths to make progress and improvement.
  3. Survival of the fittest requires death of those living things that are not most fit.
  4. God would have had to design in death somehow as part of the system for evolution to work.
  5. Death would have applied to all species leading up to homo sapiens.
  6. Death in homo sapiens would have naturally have continued simply as a result of the design of the entire system based on evolution.
  7. But according to Romans 5:12, human death is a result of sin. (I believe all death is a result of sin, but let us just limit our discussion to human death for now).
  8. There seems to be a conflict here—is death a natural continuation of the way things always have been, or is it the result of sin? Biblically, only the latter is tenable.
  9. But someone might say that death is a result of sin and that death started millions of years ago because sin entered right from the beginning. But then the question is, what sin? Was it the sin of Satan? It could not be the preceding sin of personal beings, since personal beings did not exist until far later in the evolutionary timetable. But if earthlings were punished for Satan's sin, then God's character would be tarnished because He would be punishing the earthly creation for the sin of someone else. This is not just.
  10. Or did God allow death to enter, knowing that sin would later enter? Such an "anticipatory punishment" does not seem just either.
  11. Or, perhaps God simply designed limited lifespans with death to make evolution work. But this would not be a very good creation. It seems crummy to require death as a tool of "improvement." Such a system is broken from the start. It does not fit the "very good" pronouncement of Genesis 1:31. And it means that "the wages of sin is death" is not the only way that death comes: "the wages of using evolution is death." But sin is always pictured in the Bible as having the wage of death, and death is not a wage of anything else.

In short, if God had used evolution, he would have had to use death to accomplish creation, and that is not "very good" nor very just nor does it harmonize with Romans 5:12 very well. I conclude then that God could not have used evolution. The hypothetical is an impossible hypothetical because it is not in agreement with God's holy nature.

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