Evolution vs. Bronze-Age creation Myths

Carlosbyu, believes in a theory of creation that I described as “stupid.”  Gap theory has been an accepted answer to explaining very old bones starting in the 1600s. (And Carlosbyu, my friend, I meant no personal disrespect in describing your theory as “stupid”.  The best people I know have stupid theories about scientific and philosophical subjects.)

I remember reading as a child that Brigham Young’s explanation was that God had, in fact, taken parts of older worlds and put them together as this world, dinosaur bones at all. By that time I fully believed that evolution was the best way of explaining the material cause of human life.  But I knew that it did not explain the efficient cause of existence, nor the final cause, or purpose, of human life.

Brigham’s was a clean way of solving the problem, if laughably implausible. I actually admired it for it’s audacity and simplicity. It was a prophetically audacious way of saying “creation theories don’t matter”.

Tim’s question of Carlosbyu, as I am sure it would be of Brigham Young:

“If God was using pre-existing elements to create the earth we inhabit, why didn’t he break the dinosaur bones down to the most basic and unrecognizable forms? Why leave them in tact at all?”

Tim’s question begs mine: Why did an all-powerful God use the 13-Billion-year process of evolution to create the universe rather than popping it into existence like Bronze-aged creation myths depict? The answer to both of these questions is “strange and inscrutable are the ways of our Lord.”

The problem Carlos faces is the one that faces most all of us on this issue: we all have a theory.  At some point, most sane people come up with a very simple theory about how the Universe came about and then just operate on that theory. Those that endlessly obsess about a complete theory are monks or scientists.

Ultimately, it is easier to believe a cleaner, if somewhat laughable, depiction of creation, than grasp the messy and incomprehensible complexity of reality–taking into account all that science has proven. Nobody has a theory of everything that we should not laugh at.

Whatever we theory we choose is always going to be a myth because nobody can explain human life and the universe in one simple theory that can be written in one book.

Evolutionary myths, just like nature, are endlessly complex and breathtakingly beautiful in their simplicity. However, most people believe that there is almost no consequence to their lives if they don’t take these myths seriously. Bronze-age myths are laughably stupid when it comes to explaining history or creation, but most people believe there are massive consequences for not taking these sorts of myths seriously.

Why Carlosbyu’s and Brigham Young’s position makes us nervous, is that many reasonable Christians believe that—despite the fact that Evolutionary myths don’t jibe with Biblical creation myths—taking them seriously is extremely important.  They see that those that don’t drastically waste and pollute the environment.  They know that the Bible never has given humans great direction on managing natural resources in a national or global way.  

Brigham Young’s explanation of old bones was laughable, but his approach was reasonable.  It makes sense to append or curtail the message of scripture to take into account what has been proven by science.

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10 thoughts on “Evolution vs. Bronze-Age creation Myths

  1. Jared,

    I am typing on my phone, excuse the incomplete answer, I understood Gen 2:15 command to work and keep the Garden to speak against waste and pollution.

  2. Jared,
    Thanks for sharing your own personal opinions about my personal speculations and the gap theory, you can always disagree with me, but that does not mean you are right.

  3. Carlos, just so you know, you can go ahead and stop saying that everything is everyone’s opinions and they’re entitled ot them and you are entitled to disagree.

    Because, as I said before, IT ADDS NOTHING TO THE DISCUSSION.

  4. I understood Gen 2:15 command to work and keep the Garden to speak against waste and pollution.

    A good principle, but it would need a whole lot of fleshing out to make it functional on a global scale. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to consider evolution as part of the fleshing out of that principle.

  5. I don’t understand how evolution would add anything to our knowledge of a responsibility of stewardship for God’s creation.

  6. If you get into this about 15 minutes, you’ll see why none of that stuff matters:

    [audio src="http://theoldadam.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/pastors-class-the-gospel-of-john-part-2.mp3" /]

    I listened to this class today at work. It address just this question that is raised here.

    Well worth a listen. It’s a marvelous class.

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