What About Intelligent Design? – Part 7 – Is Theistic Evolution a Valid Compromise? « Minds 2 Mentes

What About Intelligent Design? – Part 7 – Is Theistic Evolution a Valid Compromise? « Minds 2 Mentes

Here at SN we are divided about the existence of God, so it falls on the atheist for portions of this argument: we concur with Minds 2 Mentes (M2M) that “the Theistic Evolution stance is a cop-out that has been created to try to conform to the world” but not because “no compromise is possible” rather it is an attempt to hold onto faith in the face of overwhelming evidence for evolution and against portions of creation myths.

I do enjoy the series from M2M because they (apologies if the author was not both M2M contributors) offer up unusual and challenging arguments.  This is refreshing for someone that has been slogging through the same tired arguments for the past 20 years.  Here I will just focus on part 7 and explain why their disputation of Theistic Evolution fails to persuade.

M2M’s first argument is that the two (evolution and creationism) cannot co-exist because they need not co-exist.  Strict evolutionists do not need a creator and creationists do not need a natural selection mechanism.  M2M then confuses a polar system to be a binary one: one where permutations do not exist.  The Theistic Evolutionists’ argument is already more advanced, as they begin with a criticism of such a stark either/or ordering of the debate.

M2M’s next argument is the more interesting one, especially since it focuses on the conception of death.  M2M’s flaw, however, is that they focus on death when their textual evidence focuses on human death.  For M2M death did not exist until The Fall, whereas natural selection requires death to occur.  If there was no death before The Fall then their argument makes complete sense, but that is not the case.  It is entirely consistent with scripture to say death existed among non-humans, after all none of the other creatures were fashioned in God’s image.  This claim also seems to have biblical support as the Garden of Eden had non-humans, which were under human stewardship.  I have always interpreted and heard interpretations (to support carnivorous activities) that these creatures were edible.  Death therefore existed before The Fall, allowing evolution to occur in some senses and still allowing some forms of the creation myth.

Rereading their post again but with a recognition of M2M’s erroneous elision of ‘human’ from ‘human death’ rehabilitates the very theory they try to dispute. They attempt to correct a contradiction that would unravel the theory of salvation.  My method (placing ‘human’ in front of ‘death’ in their post) would also make the same repair but without calling evolutionists stupid (they do it nicely though.)

4 thoughts on “What About Intelligent Design? – Part 7 – Is Theistic Evolution a Valid Compromise? « Minds 2 Mentes

  1. Krista Dominguez

    Thank you for your encouraging words, as well as critique of my post. It definitely helps repair arguments and see where I’ve missed something. For this reason I would like to provide a few clarifying remarks for our readers.

    When it comes to the death topic, I am convinced that death did not exist at all in Eden. First of all, Adam and Eve as well as all the animals were only given the fruit and plants to eat (Gen. 2:29-30). God didn’t permit meat to be eaten until after the flood (Gen. 9:2-3). After the fall we see at least two instances of animal sacrifice in the first couple chapters of Genesis: when God made clothes of skin for Adam and Eve to cover their shame (3:21), and when Abel brought fat portions before the Lord (Gen. 4:4). We are also told that the earth became corrupt and violent after the fall (Gen. 6:11). Before the fall there is no indication of any kind of death or decay. Before the Fall, God declared that all his creation was very good (Gen. 1:31). Death and decay are viewed as consequences of the Fall not only in Genesis but throughout the Scriptures. Psalm 16:10, which is quoted several times in the New Testament, shows that one sign of the Messiah is that his body will not see decay. This was fulfilled by the resurrection (Acts 2:27, 31; 13:34-37). One of our eschatological (end times) hopes is that decay will be overcome (Romans 8:21) and death will be finally destroyed (Revelation 20:14). For these reasons I am convinced that the death in question is death as a whole, not only human death.

    Just one final note: I did not refer to evolutionists as stupid. I highly discourage mudslinging in debate and have written against it several times. It brings shame as well as steals the credibility of the mudslinger, being unable or unwilling to show any respect to the person they are debating with. You do not have to agree with the viewpoint, but you should show respect for the person you are speaking to. (If you are referring to the Voltaire quote, I do not mean any offensive mudslinging by it. I was merely quoting a non-Christian man’s view of himself in regards to the notion of a Creator.)

  2. tneal Post author

    You did not call anyone stupid, fair enough.

    Your textual evidence does not address my nuance. The closest you come to discussing the status of animals is that they were “very good,” but that does not signify immortality, just virtuousness.

    It seems the largest source of disagreement will be about the Bible as evidence. I will spare you the debate about the Bible being accurate (I know I do not have the energy or time to do that dance again, even with a new adversary.)

    It is possible to recognize the accuracy of the Bible and that the Bible did not speak about everything. You say you can find no mention of death before The Fall, but does a lack of mention really mean there was no death, or is it more likely to represent a lack of concern vis a vis more important content. After all, a truly realistic and accurate transcript of everything would be too cumbersome to pass around to later generations and non-believers.

  3. Krista Dominguez

    I neglected to mention one of the most quoted passages regarding death being the result of sin: Romans 5:12 – “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned…” This of course deaths with human death specifically, but I have already discussed why I believe all death is covered by the above passages. I do not think that there is a lack of mention of death. I think the Bible is clear that death did not exist before the Fall, and that at the end of this world death will be eradicated, restoring creation to its original perfection.

    If you change your mind about discussing the accuracy, I addressed it at a while back. Part 1 is here , and you can scroll forward on the days to get all seven days worth of discussion.

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