Author: Professor Walter J. Veith, PhD
Summary: Explore the various theories of compromise between Creation and evolution.
Over the last decades, theories of compromise between science and Scripture have become more common. However, the two worldviews—a literal six-day Creation and a naturalistic evolution—are mutually exclusive if we wish to accept them in their fullness.
For example, in 1949, leading evolutionist George Gaylord Simpson made it clear that evolution is a random and accidental process when he wrote this:
Man is the result of a purposeless and natural process that did not have him in mind.i
This view is in direct conflict with the plainest statements of Scripture, and any compromise here requires substantial intellectual gymnastics. The Scriptures plainly state that the origin of the physical and biological world lies with God, and that man was created in the image of God for a purpose:
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth (Genesis 1:1).
God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth (Genesis 1:27-28).
Models of Compromise
In his book Origins: Linking Science and Scripture, Ariel Roth lists and discusses models that have been proposed to bridge the gap between these two views.ii Compare Scripture with some of these popular theories to see for yourself that compromise between evolution and Creation simply doesn't work.
The Gap Theory proposes two cycles of Creation. In the first cycle, there is an initial six-day Creation. Everything is then destroyed by God, and a gap or period of time occurs. Then, the Creation described in Genesis occurs.
This interpretation allows for long time periods. However, there is no evidence of a gap in the fossil record and this model raises more questions than answers.
Progressive Creation suggests that God created numerous times, and that these Creation episodes were spread over long ages. Scripture does not support this theory.
Theistic Evolution says that God directs the process of evolution and helps it along when it comes to the difficult barriers.
Death, according to the Scriptures, is a consequence of sin, but according to the theory of evolution, death is the means of advancement. The survival of the fittest and the death of the less fit is the means of progress. Without the constant cycle of death and survival, no evolutionary progress is possible.
Once again, the two worldviews are in disharmony with each other. This however, is not the least of the compromises that the theistic evolutionists have to make in order to fit their worldview into the Scriptural texts.
Deistic Evolution adheres to the concept of some form of deity, but denies Scripture and the personal nature of God. God, according to this model, is not active in human affairs.
Space Ancestry, also called Panspermia or Cosmic Creation, proposes that life did not evolve on Earth but was transported to Earth via meteorites or other stellar sources. This idea originated in response to the fact that evolution on Earth is not a viable option. In a sense, this theory merely transports the problem to space.
These theories of compromise are not substantiated in biology or geology, and contradict the Word of God.
Creation in Scripture
Jesus—God Himself—created the universe, the earth, and everything in it:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God...All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made (John 1:1,3).
For thus saith the Lord that created the heavens; God Himself that formed the earth and made it; He hath established it, He created it not in vain, He formed it to be inhabited: I am the Lord; and there is none else (Isaiah 45:18).
The heavens, according to Scripture, were not derived from an arbitrary process but were created by God and proclaim the glory of God:
By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth... For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast (Psalm 33:6,9).
The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork (Psalm 19:1).
Thou, even thou, art LORD alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth thee (Nehemiah 9:6).
It is also clear from Scripture that the world was created in six literal days.
George G. Simpson, The Meaning of Evolution: a Study of the History of Life and of its Significance for Man (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1949).
ii. Ariel A. Roth, Origins: Linking Science and Scripture (Review and Herald Publishing Company, 1998).