Ask an Evangelical: Do Evangelicals Believe in Scientific Evolution?
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Do Evangelicals believe in scientific evolution or do they believe each and every species was individually created?
Commentary by Scott McIntyre | FāVS News
This is the second reply to a reader’s questions, that we received in 2023. The first — titled “Who or What do Evangelicals Believe God Is?” — also included a response to another question, that seemed to fit the first article better than number two — ”Is God for them (Evangelicals) an image of a human man but not a woman?”
Now, I’m getting all “scientific,” which is a bit strange for me since I don’t recall doing very well in any of my high school science classes and there hasn’t been much study on the topic since then. So, do I believe in scientific evolution?
There seems to have been some “evolutionary” processes that occurred to get our world to where it’s at today, but overall, the theory of scientific evolution is not what I believe explains how each species was created.
Book of Genesis
The first chapter of Genesis describes the six days it took for God to create the universe and our “little” world with its animal and plant life, plus our human ancestors. In verse 26, God is recorded as saying, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
Later in the book, Adam and Eve are identified as the first two humans created on the planet and neither existence is identified as the result of evolution. Could God have used an evolutionary process and simply had their “birth” recorded instead of describing how they came into being through the process of evolution?
It’s possible and discussed in articles from the Pew Research Center and Wikipedia, but I can’t find a good enough explanation for that possibility that would make me change my mind. More on that later, but I did find that 24% of Protestant Evangelicals, according to the Wikipedia article, do believe “that evolution is the best explanation for the origin of human life on earth.”
Why Didn’t God Write It that Way?
Why don’t I share their opinion? If evolution was the process God used to bring human life to this world, I think he would have directed the writer(s) of Genesis to state that clearly and not have it written in such a way that some people, like me, could conclude he created mankind in a moment of time out of his power. And there’s another reason.
In a previous article on FāVS News, I looked at Adam and Eve’s failure in the garden and how the negative consequences could explain how humans, “the Smartest Life form on earth,” could continue displaying unhealthy and hurtful thoughts and actions, while “animal species are successful, due in part, to their ability to eliminate negative behaviors and adopt conduct that contributes to the healthy growth of their group.”
Got Another Question?
Well, that’s it and when you read this, it will be my 33rd published Ask an Evangelical article. Will there be more? I certainly expect that, and I’ve got several ways it could happen.
- Browse our other Ask an Evangelical articles and let one bring up a question for me in your mind.
- Check out my Ask an Evangelical Facebook page (liking it is OK, too) and see if a certain post will get that question popping.
- Look through the Google search results for “What do Evangelicals Believe” and perhaps you’ll start wondering ‘why’ about something.
The views expressed in this opinion column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of FāVS News. FāVS News values diverse perspectives and thoughtful analysis on matters of faith and spirituality.
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