Some part of the argument with some folks seems often to be rooted in the idea that proving evolution somehow dethrones or disproves God as creator. So you have folks arguing with great passion trying, on the one hand, to debunk a myth and on the other hand to defend the God of the Universe.
For me, that God is Creator is not even in question. So all we are really arguing about are the nut-and-bolt-”hows” of creation. I'm happy to let the science guys do what they do and dig up the data, and pose the questions, and investigate the apparent contradictions in their theories. Thats what they do and I'm glad to let them, while I look on in awe and wonder at what God has wrought.
What I observe is that, while there are eternal principles, the manifestation and unfolding of those principles takes on endless variety and the process of creation never stops and I believe never will. Each stage of creation merely sets the stage for the next one. When we talk about evolution, we aren't really discussing “whether” God created the universe but rather we are discussing tools in the toolkit. When you have seen God in action his existence is not in question and is not threatened by any discussion of mechanical or chemical processes.
Creation is central to God's essence I believe (and ours). Creation that is continuous is going to look a lot like evolution.
What a remarkably penetrating insight!!!
God "hides" in plain sight....
But those who refuse to look will, of course, not see let alone find Him.
But that seems to be the entire point of the "willful blindness" so assiduously cultivated by materialist reductionists of all stripes. They insist on a "causally-closed" universe. God cannot exist, because we don't need Him: The Universe "explains itself" over time, and reveals itself to be an evolutionary development that bottoms out in physics and chemistry. Seek no further for explanation. As with Karl Marx, all questions that may challenge the preferred orthodoxy are "streng verboten."
Thank you so very much, dear marron, brother in Christ, for your wonderfully thought-provoking essay/post.
For me, that God is Creator is not even in question. So all we are really arguing about are the nut-and-bolt-hows of creation. I'm happy to let the science guys do what they do and dig up the data, and pose the questions, and investigate the apparent contradictions in their theories. Thats what they do and I'm glad to let them, while I look on in awe and wonder at what God has wrought.
There are two things that are being missed here. The first is that Kopplin isn't merely a scientific opponent of creationism but a hard left activist who believes in global warming and who puts doubts about global warming in the same category as doubts about creationism. While there are both evolutionists and creationists on this forum, it was my understanding that they both rejected this particular "scientific" claim.
The second thing (and getting to your own post, marron), is the question of why the events related in the first eleven chapters of Genesis are uniquely threatening to science in a way nothing else is. I have never heard of any scientific crusade to battle against belief in the virgin birth, in the resurrection of J*sus, in the miracle of the loaves and fishes, in the sand of Egypt turning to lice, in Balaam's donkey speaking, or in Mary playing basketball with the sun in Fatima, Portugal on October 13, 1917. Each and every one of these claims (logically) is just as much a threat to uniformitarianism as the events of Genesis 1-11, yet for some reason they are not perceived as threatening. Indeed, the most agnostic scientist seems to respect the people who hold these beliefs. What's the problem then with Genesis 1-11? Is it somehow "more" impossible? How could that conceivably be?
I have never heard of a theistic evolutionist claim that the "virgin birth" is a primitive way of explaining a purely natural phenomenon. But the "virgin birth," if it actually happened, shoots just as big a whole in uniformitarianism as anything in the early chapters of Genesis. Suppose a public school (or a private school that accepts public funding, which is Kopplin's target) taught in its history classes that J*sus didn't have an earthly father, that he rose from the dead, that he worked miracles, or that Mary appeared and made the sun "dance" on the date mentioned above. Would the scientists of the world have a conniption and crusade against it? I don't know, because I've never heard of a scientific crusade against anything other than those eleven chapters of Genesis.
Are scientists who stand up to creationism but who refuse to condemn the numerous supernatural events that have allegedly taken place since then any integrity at all? I think not.
As to the often made claim that creation "isn't science" or is "useless," the laws of science are what they are whether they go "all the way back" to the big bang or whether they "miraculously" came into being less than six thousand years ago. Whether fifteen billion or six thousand years old, those laws are still there and still function in exactly the same way (other than the innumerable miracles theistic evolutionists have no problems with). What goes up must come down. Heavy objects will sink in water. Donkeys can't talk (usually). The historical veracity of Genesis 1-11 has absolutely nothing to do with this. If you think that they do, that a world that came into being supernaturally would look and operate like an LSD hallucination rather than a rationally functioning universe, then on what grounds do you defend post-creation miracles, whose acceptance must logically lead to the exact same thing?
Let's all admit it--Genesis 1-11 is no different than any other allegedly supernatural in history except that it is associated with "trailer trash." And that is the only reason it is treated differently than any other religious/supernatural belief.
In my view -- as a believer and as a scientist -- is that God performed only one act of CREATION -- of space, time, matter and energy ...all that is and ever will be -- where absolutely nothing had existed before. (Ex nihilo)
And then, He FORMED all that we see or can detect -- either through direct intervention, as when He, in His own good time, formed the physical body of Man from matter He had already created (the "dust of the ground") -- or via processes and laws that he put into place as part of His (unique) act of creation. And, of course, those FORMATION (not creation) processes are still ongoing.
I am convinced that the aforementoned continuing formation proceeds essentially "on autopilot"-- controlled by the laws (PV=nRT, E=MC^2, V=IR, F=MA, etc, etc.) that He established at Creation. In fact, my scientific work depends on -- and validates -- that viewpoint.
But, personal experience has proved to me that He, on occasion, does directly intervene in the progress of His creation. There are instances where He, IMHO, "puts things back on plan" by overruling his own physical laws and making adjustments that ignore those laws. We believers call those events, "miracles"...
Those events are, indeed, rare. And, indeed -- like chaos theory's hypothetical "flap of a butterfly's wing in Amazonia" that, through cascading natural amplification triggers a hurricane -- may be mostly undetected by us.
Nonetheless, I am convinced that He monitors the progress of all of His creation in real-time and in the minutest detail -- and that He is completely in control of its continuation.
I am immeasurably blessed that, as an observational scientist, I have had a lifetime of examining and discovering the beauty, intricacy, majesty and sheer genius of His creation and its ongoing formational processes. And that He has allowed me to derive a lifetime of awe, pleasure, worship -- and sheer joy -- through those observations!!
So, please permit me to re-state your last paragraph -- in my terms:
Creation and formation are central to God's essence I believe (and ours). Formation that is continuous and under the control of His Will is going to look a lot like evolution.
(FYI, I mostly use the term, "development" where I have used "formation" here, but I stuck with "formation" for consistency with Genesis. Furthermore, unless I am strictly discussing Darwin, I typically substitute "development" for "evolution".)
To HIM be the glory!!!