Intelligent Creationism

I don’t know why people argue about opinions. Opinions are like crazy relatives. Everyone has one and none of them is quite right.

For example, the argument between creationists and evolutionists makes me crazy. Grossly simplified, creationists believe that God created the universe, with life pretty much the way it is now, about 6,000 years ago. Evolutionists believe that the universe was formed billions of years ago by the Big Bang, and that life evolved spontaneously from that event.

First of all, are these really the only two choices? Darwin’s disciples scoff at the Christians, dismissing them as zealots – nothing more than mindless religious fundamentalists. The faithful dismiss the scientists, thinking they are lost in spiritual darkness. I think that both the creationists and the evolutionists are religious fundamentalists. Both are lost in blinkered darkness. Both are intolerant of contrary opinions, blind to any position but their own. Both are apt to sweep any dissuading evidence under the carpet of dogma.

I propose a compromise, not only because I like compromises, but because in most cases a compromise actually comes closer to the truth. This may not be a new idea, but it is something I have thought about for a very long time. It is an idea I call “Intelligent Creationism”.

Assuming there is a creator, isn’t it possible that he created the universe by way of the Big Bang?

Maybe that is how he chose to get this party started. In this version of intelligent design, God set up a perpetual system of natural and spiritual laws that would govern the formation of the stars and the planets and of life itself. Among the many processes that God set into place was evolution. So if it is the case that Homo sapiens evolved from lower forms of life, then perhaps that was how God intended it to be.

So stop fighting about it. Maybe you are both wrong, or right.

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10 Responses to “Intelligent Creationism”

  1. Steve Says:

    This is one of my personal pet peeves. It is in incorrect to exclusively equate creationism with the notion that the earth is 6000 years old. I (and many others) belief that God created the cosmos ~13.7 billion years ago in the Big Bang, as you suggest.

    Young-earth creationists get a lot of press for bad science or even for fear of science. As a Christian, I see no disconnect between observation of the natural world (i.e., science) and faith. My view is that both science and Scripture come from God and thereby can’t conflict. Any apparent conflict is a result of misinterpretation of science or misinterpretation of Scripture, or both. The YECers often do both.

  2. imabbb Says:

    Steve, we are not so far apart then. The only thing I would say is that in my view, scripture is a misinterpretation of the truth. If the truth about God were known I believe it would agree with science, as long as the science was also true. Interpretation is a very tricky thing.

    Unfortunately, neither science or religion has the complete answer, although both try very hard. I think one thing that religious as well as scientific fundamentalists have in common is their need for an answer to things that are unanswerable.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Okay, sort of… I wouldn’t say that ‘scripture is a misinterpretation of the truth’, but we’re going to differ on that. Scripture (in my view), like science, is true. Both will suffer from misinterpretation and misapplication. I guess if you’re a non-Christian, though, Scripture is all pretty much meaningless nonsense.

    To use a really bad analogy, Scripture is like differential calculus, in that it’s meaningless until someone makes it clear. Then again, there are no eternal consequences for getting differentials wrong. (I told you it was a bad analogy.)

  4. imabbb Says:

    Thank you for your willingness to discuss this intelligently. Let me explain my view of the Bible a little more clearly.

    First, you should know that I was a fundamentalist Christian for many years. (From age 18 until I was about 40.) I attended church every week, studied the Bible every day, led adult study groups and youth groups, and even attended Christian college for a few terms. I tithed (and I mean I tithed over and above my regular offerings), and I evangelized at every opportunity.

    I became deeply involved in nearly every church I joined, and there were dozens. I tried them all from Episcopalian to Baptist to the holy roller denominations. Each denomination thought they were the only one that had it just right. Every one of them was sure they were right.

    Each one of them interpreted the Bible differently! That is what I meant when I said that scripture was a misrepresentation of the truth. I think that when the words came out of the mouth of Jesus they were probably pure, but what does that have to do with the Bible we have today?

    The early Catholic church destroyed the purity of scripture during the canonization process, which was really just a censorship of the gospel designed to help the church leadership maintain power and control the masses.

    Even so, I believe the Bible has a lot of truth in it. The Bible contains truth but does not contain all the truth there is. Also, and most importantly, not everything in the Bible is from God. Much of it is from people who did not have your best interest at heart.

    As you have said, it is ok for us to differ. Thanks for your thoughtful comments.

  5. amy Says:

    You’re all wrong. There is no god. The idea of any god (especially the Christian God) is completely unreasonable. No one knows the answer, but there’s definitely no god.

  6. imabbb Says:

    Amy – To say there is no god is just as unreasonable as saying there is one. Maybe even more so. Even if one believes there is a god, it is unreasonable to say that anything about that god can be known for sure.

    The best we can do is speculate, but I think it more reasonable to believe in a creator god than not. Why? Look around you. Everywhere you look there is stuff. Stuff that came from somewhere.

    To say there is no creator is to say that our universe spontaneously came into existence from nothingness. I concede to the Big Bang Theory, but that changes nothing in my view. Where did the singularity that scientists believe precipitated the Big Bang event come from?

    Don’t ask me to believe it just happened all by itself. Doesn’t physics tell us that matter is never created or destroyed? That it just changes form? Even science tells us that stuff doesn’t just pop into existence by itself.

    In the absence of definitive proof to the contrary, it is more reasonable to believe that the Big Bang was caused. Your atheist viewpoint just requires too much blind faith for me. In their own humanistic way, atheists are just as religious as Christians! Atheists and religious fundamentalists are the extremes; the truth about God is somewhere in between.

  7. Jim Swilley Says:

    I just left a message on a previous article, but I also want to say that I am completely on the page with you on this. I just said these very same things to my congregation. Thanks for the sanity!

    • imabbb Says:

      Jim – Your congregation? I have seldom known a pastor that was concerned about sanity. I am VERY glad to make your acquaintance, especially if you are open-minded enough to read my blog, let alone teach such independent concepts from the pulpit. Kudos!

      Feel free to add some of your ideas on this topic.

  8. Kassul Says:

    “Don’t ask me to believe it just happened all by itself. Doesn’t physics tell us that matter is never created or destroyed? That it just changes form? Even science tells us that stuff doesn’t just pop into existence by itself.”

    Actually, according to modern physics pairs of particles are created and destroyed all the time. Google/wikipedia/read a physics book regarding ‘virtual particles’ and quantum foam.

    They’re very important to our understanding of Hawking radiation, the casimir effect, etc…

    Your ignorance of, or discomfort/unwillingness to accept the results of physics does not itself constitute a good reason to believe that our understanding of physics is flawed. If you know of genuinely compelling reasons to think that there are specific flaws then work it out and publish your findings.

    Until then, your assertion that some sort of god is needed to explain the universe is not IMO justified, any more than resorting to a god was justified to explain how the solar system formed. So far all the cosmological proofs for god I’ve heard of are flawed, do you know of an obscure one that works? If not, why include another entity in your explanation? (And if you DO know of some obscure cosmological proof that works, why is it still obscure? You’d think it’d feature in all sorts of apologetics)

    • imabbb Says:

      Ok, let me say that I am not a scientist and so I will accept what you say, as far as it goes. At one time science believed that matter was never created or destroyed, it just changed form. Now, according to your expert testimony, science has changed its mind. In fact, science often believes it knows the Truth only to disprove the theory of the day and develop another holy Truth. So, don’t ask me to believe that there is no God based on the ever-changing tenets of your religion of science.

      In your own words (sort of): “So far all the scientific proofs against the existence of God I’ve heard of are flawed, do you know of an obscure one that works?”

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