Saturday, December 11, 2010

What is Evolution?

I am somewhat appreciative of all the drama over at Biologos. In many ways, I believe they are in direct violation of Titus 3:9. At the same time, it is much like an investigation of heresy - it helps to form right doctrine and to determine error.

I've long held that matters of an Old Earth or Young Earth are a matter of conscience. Let everyone be convinced unto himself (and keep it to himself).

However, the more I dig into things in the course of this Biologos dust-up, the more I am convinced that an Old Earth is incompatible with orthodox Christianity.

In that light, I will need to expand out formal arguments and definitions in a series of posts.

First, the Biologos "About Us" page says:
"We also believe that evolution, properly understood, best describes God’s work of creation."
Now evolution means a lot of things, including:
  1. Deep time - geological periods and time spans; the geologic column, and fossil record
  2. Common descent - the belief that all living organisms descended from a single (very simple) organism or possible a common pool of self-replicating organic material
  3. Macroevolution - in the past referred to as "the transmutation of species", or what might be better termed "transmutation of kinds" (to oppose "reproduction within kinds")
  4. Stellar evolution - the belief that all matter started originally as hydrogen (one proton and one electron)
  5. Microevolution - this is the one thing everyone agrees on. This is "descent with modification" which has been readily observed.
I believe #1 is the main problem. Without it, #2 and 3 disappear (similarly, assuming #1 makes arguing against #2 and 3 very hard). #4 is a separate issue altogether (you can have an old universe and a young Earth).

No comments: