CREATION BELIEF AND THE PARADIGM OF EMERGENT EVOLUTION

In: Philosophia Reformata

Renewed attention on Darwin over the last few years has not brought to a halt the clash between belief in creation and the theory of evolution. In Christian circles, too, opinions clash. In this article, the author sketches the diverse positions of creationism, Intelligent Design, and Theistic Evolution. He formulates his reservations against these three approaches and suggests that both evolutionary science and the biblical faith in creation need to be re-examined. Over against philosophical materialism or naturalism, on which evolution theory is usually based, he introduces a theory of emergent evolution. The process of evolution had its starting point in physical reality but has shown stepwise novelties at crucial moments. In successive organisms, irreducible new ways of being came to the fore. Evolution includes chance, but the ascent to higher modal levels of being refers to plan and purpose in the phylogenetic development of life. Not in theory but in faith, we can see evolution and its ascending line as being embedded in the creation order. However, the creation message of Genesis 1 does not only concern what happened in the past. It is a dynamic motive and includes liturgical and prophetic references to a new world of shalom.

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