Is Theistic Evolution Untenable Because There's No Semblance Of It In Genesis?



Some creationists argue against Theistic Evolution by pointing out that in Genesis 1, there's nothing in the text slightly resembling it. True, we wouldn't expect people of Moses' day to understand all of the biological complexities of evolutionary theory if it were true, but shouldn't there be some description in The Bible that sort of resembles the Darwinian story if God really used evolution as TE's say? We would expect the text to say something like "And God said 'let the oceans be filled with life' and it was so.'" and later on "And God said 'let the fish gain legs and walk onto dry land, and let the walking fish beget beasts of field and birds of the air.' and it was so. God saw that this was good." However, we don't find something like this in the text.

Well, for one thing, this objection wouldn't apply to Theistic Evolutionists who hold to the allegorical view like Francis Collins, for example. If Genesis 1-11 is allegory, then it doesn't matter if there's no semblance to evolution in the text because the point of the narrative was purely theological rather than historical/scientific. On this view, Genesis 1-11 is more like a really long parable, full of theological truth, just not historical or scientific truth. However, other TE's would agree with young earth and old earth special creationists like myself that the scriptural evidence militates against the allegorical view; particularly what Romans 5 says, and the fact the genealogies in the Chronicles and the gospels link indisputably historical figures (e.g Jesus) back to Adam. It's impossible for a historical person to have a fictional character in their lineage. This would be like saying that Betty White is a descendant of Snow White, or that Ronald Regan is a descendant of Rumpelstiltskin. Given that the genealogies in the gospels link Jesus to Adam, either The Bible is in error, or Genesis 1-11 is meant to be read as history. Fortunately, as I pointed out in "5 Reasons Why I'm Open To Theistic Evolution" one is not forced to adhere to the allegorical view of Genesis to be a theistic evolutionist. There are models of Genesis which show that it's possible for Genesis to be historical even given a Darwinian view of origins.

But given that Genesis is history, why don't we then, see some semblance of evolution if God really used evolution to create life? Well, for one thing, The Bible doesn't describe a lot of things about God's creation that we know are scientific facts. No where in scripture does it say that God constructed material things out of things called "atoms" which have tiny particles in their centers called protons and neutrons and tiny particles orbiting the centers known as electrons. You won't find atomic theory anywhere in The Bible much less Genesis 1. Should we therefore conclude that atomic theory is false and is incompatible with scripture? Surely not. Likewise, The Bible makes no mention of DNA and the 4 different "letters" (A, C, T, G) which constitute the code inside its double helix. Should we therefore claim that DNA isn't real and is incompatible with biblical teaching? I know of no Christian, YEC, OEC, or TE who would make such an argument? Therefore, just because scripture makes no mention of evolution, that does not give us warrant to conclude that therefore God did not use evolution.

The Bible is not a science book. Genesis is focused on giving us the basic information on God's creative activity. It's focused on telling us that God created, and I would argue, the chronological order in which He created, but that's it. Whatever else is true about those 6 creation Yoms, we'll have to look to science to fill in the gaps.

But given that Genesis is focused only on telling us that God created, and not how God created, we are free to look to science to figure out the question. Did He create different species of animal ex nihilo? Did He use evolution to produce them gradually? Was there maybe a blend of special creation and evolution (i.e progressive creationism)? I don't think we can conclusively come to an answer of this on the basis of The Biblical text alone. The Bible seems to leave the how an open question.

This argument against TE commits the logical fallacy known as argument from silence. 

In Conclusion

This is not a very good objection to Theistic Evolution. If we're to conclude that God did not use evolution, it's going to have to be on the basis of scientific evidence. Organizations like Reasons To Believe and the Intelligent Design movement would be good resources for the interested reader to check out scientific arguments against Darwinian Evolution.


*5 Reasons Why I'm Open To Theistic Evolution
*Is Theistic Evolution Ad Hoc?
*Why I'm Skeptical Of Darwinian Evolution.
*How NOT To Argue Against Macro Evolution.