The process of evolution is one that most Christians claim as false and against the word of God. Evolution is the process by which living organisms evolve over time. This contradicts what God says He did by creating everything separately. He created animals on day 6 as well as humans from the dust of the earth. However, are evolution and the creation account actually contradicting? You may ask how can they not be? Let’s dive in a little deeper.
Once again, evolution claims that organisms evolve over time, millions of years. Humans evolved from the great apes as well as other animals evolved over time and some to extinction. How can we believe in evolution and a God who created us? For years they have been at odds, but I want to suggest a theory (as have others) that suggest they may be saying the same thing.
Most Christians believe in Adam and Eve, the first humans on the earth. They lived and worked in a garden in the land of Eden. They were tricked by a serpent, and they sinned and were expelled from the garden. Since then, all humanity has come from them. They were the only humans on the earth. Or were they?
As we look at Genesis 1, the last thing God does on day 6 is create humans. He creates humanity, literally, (man) in His own image. He creates male and female and gives them the command to multiply, have children, and rule the land. Then in Genesis 2, we see an account that describes Adam being made from the dust, Eve is made from Adam’s rib and then they are placed in the garden. The text would seem to indicate they are the only ones in the garden. Here are where groups of beliefs separate.
- Adam and Eve were the first humans. No other humans on Earth
- Adam and Eve were NOT the first humans. There were humans outside the garden but they were created by God and put in the garden.
- Adam and Eve were figurative and mythical, not real people.
With these views, I’m sure there are many more in between but these are the ones I wanted to highlight. The first has been traditionally accepted. This would mean that evolutionary science would be off if Adam and Eve were created out of dust by God, then humans could not have evolved from apes.
The second view leaves a little more wiggle room. It still validates the miracle of Adam and Eve being created and still says there were other humans on the earth. This would mean that there were other humans on the earth, outside of the garden. But Adam and Eve were still created separately and put in the garden and we still descend from them genealogically. This view holds that there would have to be interbreeding going on. This allows for evolution to still stay existent as well as Adam and Eve still being created and everything happening in the garden as Scripture dictates.
There are still some bumps with this view because one might point to Genesis 1:26 as proof that humans were created on day 6, with no indication of evolutionary process. One could also point to the same text and say that this was a zoomed out view of the Adam and Eve story, and Scripture might be silent on other humans outside the garden, which suggests that there could have been evolutionary processes involved. This is all based on the interpretation of Genesis 1-2.
However you look at these passages and scientific evidence, one thing remains true about humans. Humanity was created in God’s image (1:26) and again that is the point of the text. Humans were created to rule and we failed, and so we needed a Savior to save us, which points us to Jesus.