There are more than 300,000 types of flowering plants in the world today, and more than 10,000 different species of ants. There’s even a spider with markings on its body that look just like a smiling face. What then explains this variety? What or who is the source for all the marvels and wonders of this world?
Some ascribe this diversity to evolution. Others say this all happened by divine decree. But what if both are true? What if the reality is evolution is a process for the development of all life on earth? And what if God also brought about these wonders using evolution?
But first, let’s get more precise on the terms we’re using. Evolution or evolutionary biology as a field of science sometimes gets mixed up with evolutionism, which is a worldview or belief. The science of evolution is a complex and rigorous study of the development of life on Earth. This study is ongoing with new discoveries continuously being added to the body of knowledge.
Evolutionism is a belief system which applies evolutionary science to areas where it doesn’t belong. It views physical reality as the only reality, denying the existence of God and claims evolved humans have no higher purpose or meaning. But this all goes beyond what science alone can say.
The thing is, one doesn’t have to subscribe to evolutionism to accept the scientific evidence for evolution. Evolutionary creation is a God centered view of evolutionary biology, believing God created all living things, including humans in his image. God works through the evolutionary processes he designed to create each new species. Just as he works through processes he designed to bring each human from a single cell to a newborn baby over the course of nine months. To believe God is at work in evolution, then, is to recognize him as the source of all life.
So what does this all mean? It simply means faith and science aren’t at odds. It means we can glimpse the amazing creativity of God, even as we attempt to understand the way he creates. And it means one can, with both faithful sincerity and intellectual integrity, ascribe value to all life as having been God created and witnessed the wonder of that creation as it has evolved over time.