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Theistic evolution

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Theistic evolution (also, evolutionary creationism) refers to the belief that biological evolution occurred, but that God guided and guides the evolutionary process that led to humans. Thus it rejects the philosophy of methodological naturalism implicit in Darwinism and in the modern theory of evolution, but agrees that the mechanism of change that Darwin noted was accurate -- he just wasn't aware of the guiding force.

Theistic evolution seeks to reconcile Christian, Jewish and other religious beliefs about God with what many scientists believe about the development of life. Proponents of theistic evolution are also Old Earth creationists as Biblical creation does not have sufficient time for evolution to occur.


Roman Catholic beliefs

L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, reported that "the idea that Darwinism and the Church were at odds had always been "false", noting that in 1996 Pope John Paul II had said in an address to the Pontifical Academy for Sciences that the theory of evolution was 'more than a hypothesis.'[1]


Some theistic evolutionists believe that Adam and Eve were literal people and the literal progenitors of the human race, while others believe that the account of the Fall is allegorical. Traditionally, theistic evolution held an interpretation of a literal Adam and Eve, but recent statements from the Roman Catholic Church have shown that this tenet may have been relaxed, if not eliminated.[2] Regardless of interpretation, a theistic evolutionist usually holds that God imparted a soul into one or more humans, making them the first creatures that would have commune with Him.

Christianity and evolution

Like Old earth Creationism, theistic evolution attempts to reconcile evolution and Christianity.

Scientific and reasonable

The theory of evolution appears scientifically reasonable to some Christians, for example Carl Drews[3]. In Drews’ opinion it is unreasonable to assume without evidence that microevolution cannot lead to macroevolution as Drews knows no “change barrier” that prevents macroevolution. However, "macroevolution" is not simply more "microevolution", as it requires additional genetic information whereas "microevolution" is rearrangement or loss of existing genetic information.[4]

The credibility of Christianity

Theistic evolutionists claim that Biblical creation turns people against Christianity by appearing to be out of step with science.

The credibility of Christianity is at risk due to the Creationism theories. With evangelism and missions at the heart of both Protestant and Catholic organizations, the potential damage to the intellectual reputation of Christianity cannot be ignored.[5]

However, evolution is contrary to the Biblical account, and both biblical creationists and evolutionists have cited examples of a belief in evolution turning people from believing in the Bible.[6]

Theistic evolution and creationism

Theistic evolution is generally seen as separate from Creationism, but it may coincide with Intelligent Design as a subset of that larger belief system.


See also

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