Should Christians Believe in Evolution?

My views on evolution have, well, evolved. All through my childhood and teenage years, I believed that life today existed as a result of small changes over time. These changes caused bacteria to evolve into plants and animals, sea creatures to evolved into land animals, and monkeys to evolved into humans. Why? Because that's what I was taught, it seemed to make sense, and I had no reason to believe otherwise.

Even after I became a Christ-follower, I still believe in this process of evolution. I remember taking  Introduction to Biology my Junior year, and studying this topic, and that a friend (and brother in Christ) said to me, "I can't believe that we are forced to learn this junk, when it's not true." I gave a non-committal answer, since I still believed in evolution.

But then I figured that I didn't want to go by what any "expert" said -- whether that was a textbook or a pastor. I wanted to study it for myself, and come to my own conclusions. I read books by Josh McDowell, Philip Johnson, and Michael Behe.

I learned a lot, but two things jumped out at me:
  1. The case for evolution (as in organisms growing more complex by a series of small changes over time) is not as solid as I had always thought.
  2. The very word evolution can mean different things.
This second point is crucial. Because it means that someone saying, "Evolution is completely true" is both right and wrong. And it also means that someone saying "Evolution is not at all true" is also both right and wrong.

That's why I love Should Christians Believe in Evolution? by Will Little. In this article, he explains distinctions among four core definitions of evolution, and compares each of those to what the Bible teaches.

Here are some other snippets from his post, which reflect his honesty and humility:
  • "Christians have absolutely nothing to fear from scientific discoveries."
  • "It appears to me that modern evidence does suggest that natural selection acting on genetic changes . . . can alter populations to the point of producing new species."
  • "To be honest, I still have more to learn and I'm open to having this clarified."
Be sure to read the full article.

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  1. The only option I think that is completely off the table is evolution as a theory of everything, i.e. no supernatural input at all and a universe that is completely deterministic from t=0. There are too many defeaters for that position for it to be credible.

    I have my biases on the other ones but in the short (and long) run I don't know for sure and don't really care. Not that it wouldn't be interesting to find out, it's just not one of the big nagging thoughts in the back of my mind all day long.

  2. What's funny is that it used to be nagging for me. As I've grown, some might say I've compromised, but I'd say that I'm learning to be more focused on what really matters.