Sunday, May 6, 2012
The Riddle of Theistic Evolution, Part 5
“And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good,” Genesis 1:24-25.
We have entered the sixth day, and just prior to the creation of man God creates cattle (domestic animals) creeping things (small animals that moved closer to the ground) and wild beasts (larger non-domesticated animals). Note that with the creatures in the sea, the fowl of the air, and the beasts of the earth God described them as “living,” but not so with plant life.
Scripture teaches that animals have souls: “For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity. All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again. Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?” Ecclesiastes 3:19-21.
Animals have a consciousness that plants do not possess. This delves deeper than the definition of purely biological life; it entails an awareness that supersedes flesh and blood. Man has a consciousness which the animals do not share, being made exclusively in God’s image, Genesis 1:27. Were Evolution a reality ultimately all life is related in ancestry (rather than possessing a common Creator). Man, despite his emotions, intelligence, passions and ability to conceive ideas that have no correlation in the physical, material world, is no better or worse than plants and animals.
“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So 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 1:26-28.
The dominion God gave man applies to both sexes; men and women were created to govern this planet. God made man in His likeness but refers to “man” as “them” numerous times foreseeing Adam and Eve’s creation. God blessed “them” (Adam and Eve) and commanded them to replenish (or fill) the earth and subdue it. This command was clearly given to Adam and his wife. As was the command that both male and female had dominion over the animals of the earth; in other words by virtue of their unique creation in God’s image they were custodians or stewards of all that God gave over to them. The psalmist writes the same: “What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet: All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas,” Psalm 8:4-8.
“Man” in the context of Genesis chapter one and the Psalm quoted above means “mankind.” The race of mankind was given dominion over the earth. The authority man possesses was given by a direct sanction from God. Evolutionary theorizing places man (for the moment) at the top of the food chain merely because natural selection and mutation have equipped us with the tools to conquer everything around us. We have authority over the earth because we evolved enough to usurp it by force from potential rivals.
The Bible, from Genesis chapter 1 onward, teaches that mankind is one race, or one species. Caucasian, black, Asian, what have you; all of mankind is one blood, Acts 17:26. Evolutionary theory proposes various sects of mankind arising from ape-like ancestors, (Cro-Magnon man, Neanderthals, etc) who in turn in fact arose from the great apes. Evolutionists aren’t all racist by any means, but Charles Darwin in fact very much was, as were many of his contemporaries. If Evolutionary theory holds true than racism seems to have found justification, for clearly one race of men must have advanced beyond his peers. This was Hitler’s and Nietzsche’s dream: the “superman.” Eugenics, the science of population control through sterilization, etc, also has its roots in Evolutionary theory. Hitler, an avid evolutionist, killed millions of his fellow men because he believed in racial superiority. Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, had the same contempt for life and targeted Jewish, Latino, and other ethnic groups as being “dysgenic and diseased races” who need to have their “reckless breeding” curbed.
The Bible paints mankind as one race created in God’s image, who received a measure of our genetic material from our first parents and are in a line of descent beginning with Adam. Adam had, as our first father, an amazing genetic diversity, and every racial trait we see today across the globe was in his DNA “in the beginning.” Evolution paints a picture of man ascending from primate to advanced races that seem only better at killing one another and taking advantage of another’s weakness. Never mind that we don’t see progression or advancement but rather degradation and extinction of races.
In fact, this behavior should be encouraged to propagate or cultivate the strongest breeders because the fittest survive, and they prove their fitness by surviving. A considerate Christian must now pause and consider: is this how the Bible tells us God created mankind? Is this even congruent with what we know of God’s character, mercy, grace, love, and righteousness? I agree with the Evolutionary theory in one area: if it is true, there certainly is no God, because a God who used the mechanism of Evolution to bring about life as we know it is a cruel and heartless monster.