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A question from an atheist here.

Many Christians seem to oppose Darwin's evolution theory and specifically the notion that man evolved from apes. You see this in the press, you see this in politics, I also happened to talk with some devoted Christians who consider this idea heresy.

Why is that? I understand it is written in the Bible that God created humans. It isn't written, how exactly. What's wrong with the concept that God created the Universe in a way that 13.7 billion years later, the evolution of living species on Earth produced humans? It would have certainly been a huge job, worthy of God, much more grand than creating humans directly?

The seemingly random evolution still follows the laws of nature (specified by God) and produces results (that God intended) - what's wrong with this view? The fact that something seems random to us (and even our science can prove it's random) doesn't mean it is random to God, who is not subject to our laws of nature.

So why do many Christian oppose the evolution theory?

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    There are many questions about evolution on this site - just take a look at some of them highlighted on the right hand side of this page. I found an old question with some good Christian answers. Does this answer yourquestion? christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/4824/…
    – Lesley
    Dec 15, 2023 at 15:20
  • Welcome to Christianity.SE! and thank you for your contribution. When you get a chance, please take the tour to understand how the site works and how it is different than others. I would also recommend reading the Help Center's sections on asking and answering questions.
    – agarza
    Dec 15, 2023 at 15:57

5 Answers 5

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TL;DR: Because it's wrong. And it's opposed to Scripture.

First off, we need to get our terminology straight. Most if not all Christians don't oppose "evolution", although many prefer the term "natural selection". Organisms change over time; the evidence for this is pretty incontrovertible (just look at breeds of dogs, or of any other domesticated animal). Most people that oppose "evolution" actually oppose Common Descent, or the idea that all organisms are descended from one or a few common ancestors. (Abiogenesis, or the idea that life began from non-life without help, is also contentious.)

With that out of the way... a number of non-Christians oppose Common Descent and Abiogenesis. The Discovery Institute in particular is dedicated to this point of view, and the major reasons are that there are significant scientific problems with Abiogenesis and Common Descent, even setting aside theological considerations.

In short, there are mountains and mountains (and some literal mountains) of evidence that Abiogenesis is impossible, that Common Descent is (at best) severely flawed, and that the age of Earth and the entire universe is rightly measured in some thousands of years. (Not tens of thousands, not millions, and certainly not billions.)

As to why Christians, specifically, oppose Common Descent, let's start with some of the points in your Question:

I understand it is written in the Bible that God created humans. It isn't written, how exactly.

This isn't entirely correct. "The Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life." (Genesis 2:7) The idea that humans are 'created from dust' is repeated multiple times in Scripture, and many Christians see this verse as fairly literal, suggesting that Adam was created in a manner not unlike someone forming a statue from clay. (The likening of God to a potter is also Scriptural.)

The case gets even more explicit when we get to Eve. "The Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man." (Genesis 2:21-22)

It needs to be noted, however, that humans are special. This in an of itself is an objection to Common Descent, but the more immediate point is to compare how non-human life was created. For example, "God said, 'Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds—livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.' And it was so." God Spoke, and it happened; not in millions of years, but immediately. The image of God's Word having immediate and omnipotent power is found throughout Scripture.

What's wrong with the concept that God created the Universe in a way that 13.7 billion years later?

"In six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them." (Exodus 20:11) Scripture is clear that Creation happened in "six days". Genealogies and other texts make it clear that the Genesis narrative starts circa 4,000 BC. Scripture consistently refers to the Flood as a real, historical event... as do hundreds of other accounts from cultures all across the globe. Peter even goes so far as to call out those who deny the Flood. "They deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished." (2 Peter 3:5-6)

Scripture, read without trying to impose outside ideas on it (exegesis, not eisegesis) clearly teaches Fiat Creation and thousands of years; the ideas of Common Descent and billions of years are nowhere to be found. Not only that, the Creation narrative specifically conflicts with the Materialist narrative on multiple points.

The original idea of "deep time" is based on the idea of "Uniformitarianism", which has been thoroughly discredited. It is upheld primarily on the basis of radiometric "dating", which is full of assumptions, conflicts, and even suppressed results. Simply put, it is not a viable idea... except for those with a vested interest in keeping God out of the picture. Unfortunately, it has been played up enough (and the issues downplayed) that many people believe the fairy tale in spite of its shortcomings.

Seemingly random evolution still follows the laws of nature - what's wrong with this view?

This is the least objectionable point, but it's still problematic, because it reduces God to an entity that is bound by nature. In effect, it elevates "nature" above God.

God is above nature. God Created natural law, and God is not bound by natural law. It's true that God usually works in a regular, predictable way, but He also steps outside these rules on occasion. We call those occasions "miracles", and Scripture documents many. Water turned to wine. Humans healed or even resurrected. The week of Creation.

When we insist that God must interact according to natural law, we deny God's sovereignty. More importantly from the standpoint of a search for truth, we exclude a category of causal possibilities. Such an approach to science is artificially constraining itself to potentially produce answers that are not merely "wrong", but catastrophically so.

...And I still haven't even started on why Common Descent destroys the core of Christian theology. Humans being a "recent addition" to history makes Christ a liar. Death before humans (in particular, before the Fall) trivializes the consequences of Sin and makes God a liar when He declares His Creation "very good". (Note that "very good" here means something quite different from "great"; the denotation is rather one of supreme perfection.) Belief in Common Descent and billions of years undermines the trustworthiness of Scripture.

Common Descent is also bad for society. It is inherently and necessarily racist. It is inherently opposed to morality and sanctity of life. If incorrect, it is even harmful to scientific research, especially medical research. The reasons to oppose it are myriad, and not limited to Christian beliefs.

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  • What is your basis for rejecting the utility of radiometric dating? Dec 16, 2023 at 4:39
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    @HoldToTheRod, where to start? ¹⁴C in things "millions of years old". Results suppressed when they don't match the "expected" dates. Wildly different results (reportedly by a factor of 1,000 in some cases) using different methods on the same sample... and those are just the direct evidences that radiometric "dates" are utter garbage. Add to that all the evidence that a) the Flood did, in fact, happen, and b) ~6ky is a more realistic age for Earth, etc. More than I can hope to share in an Answer, much less a comment.
    – Matthew
    Dec 16, 2023 at 6:09
  • An excellent and well balanced refutation. Thoroughly excellent. Up-voted +1.
    – Nigel J
    Dec 16, 2023 at 9:07
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    It is not known when the instability in matter (called radioactivity) began. It is unlikely that it was a part of creation. More likely is that it is the effect of certain angelic powers (whose existence is necessary for energy and matter and space to exist in the first place) being removed from power, either when they 'left their first estate' in the days prior to Noah and the judgment of the Flood or when Satan and his demons were removed from heaven (by Michael) after the resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ. Thus radioactivity cannot be relied on as back extrapolation to creation.
    – Nigel J
    Dec 16, 2023 at 9:12
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    Mathematicians and statisticians also point out that 13 billion years is nowhere near enough time for even a single protein necessary to life to have randomly formed even if every atom on earth were only those atoms which ultimately form amino acids and proteins. +1 Dec 16, 2023 at 14:03
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Some Christians oppose evolutionary theory because they believe it contradicts the Bible. Other Christians see no contradiction between the concept of evolution and the creation account in the Bible.

To be sure, there isn't just one theory of evolution, there are several (Stephen Jay Gould, anyone?), and even the original theory proposed by Darwin has been extensively modified over several generations. Therefore, it is possible that a Christian (or anyone else) might accept one theory of evolution and reject another.

It appears that the most common reason for Christian resistance on this topic is that atheists have overplayed their hand. Zealous atheists saw in Darwin's work an opportunity to claim that God has been proven not to exist. Darwin's work does no such thing. There is no inherent contradiction between the existence of God and the existence of natural selection.

The remarkably religious zeal demonstrated by atheists in trying to use evolution to dissuade belief in God has served to alienate people from and erode confidence in scientific research -- this is a shame, because such an outcome is entirely unnecessary.


For my part, as a devout Christian I love science and see it as one of the ways God reveals truth: He created a universe that follows laws, which laws we can test and discover.

I am of the view that perfect science and perfect theology agree perfectly; it is our imperfect understanding of both that creates the illusion of conflict.

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Many Christians do not countenance the concept of an alternative explanation of the creation of man for several biblical reasons.

Luke gives a genealogy that charts the history of humanity back from the birth of Jesus Christ, seventy generations, to Adam and to God. There is no hint in that genealogy that one of the participants is not 'real'. Any reader assimilating the words on the page is left with the distinct impression that humanity can be so represented. There is no reason to think otherwise.

Paul the apostle refers to Adam as a real person 'Adam was first formed, then Eve' ; 'Adam was not deceived but the woman ...' ; 'The first man Adam was made a living soul' ; 'as in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive'.

This matters, not just from an historical angle but because solid Christian doctrine is based upon it. Disbelieve that Adam was real and one throws away the doctrine of the gospel relating to release from sin through the death of Christ and release from the first humanity (Adam and all his seed) to be under another headship (Jesus Christ himself as head of the body - a new humanity).

Jesus, himself, refers to the direct creation of Adam and quotes his words.

Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, 5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? 6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. [KJV Matthew 19:3-6 ; see also Mark 10:2-9]


All of the arguments opposing the direct creation of Adam and Eve can be answered, one by one. Many were answered, scientifically, in the book 'The Genesis Flood' by Morris and Whitcombe who showed that a great deal of evidence being used to support the opposite concept is, in fact, evidence of the Flood in the days of Noah and fully supports the historic biblical accounts.

This agrees with scripture for we read :

For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: 6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: 7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.[KJV 2 Peter 3:5-7]

By being willingly ignorant of the effects of the Flood over the whole earth 'to the tops of the mountains' the opposing parties have built another view upon that same evidence.

But that Flood was a warning to all, that Judgment is coming which, this time, will be a permanent and utterly catastrophic end to the entire universe.

Thereafter, shall be 'new heavens and a new earth'.

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Because the Bible is truth and the Holy Spirit who spoke through the mouth of Moses to write the Genesis stories of creation is the same spirit that inspired prophets who were strangers to me, yet they knew my name and told me my entire life history. This experience showed me that God is not only real but has got your whole life in his fingertips and will use it to condemn or promote you on judgement day. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth and in Him are no lies. I cannot choose to believe a man like Charles Darwin over Him who knew me before I was even formed in my mother's womb. The Holy Spirit is every where at all times and nothing escapes the eye of God.

Evolution is false because the men of old were smarter than us and that's why the designers of the board of Checkers did it approximately 3000 BC. The engineers of the pyramids of Giza continue to fascinate the modern world. This advancement in technology is driven by research and not evolution as they claim it.

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In early times, Christian philosophers warned against unscientific pagan or superstitious literal interpretation. Augustine, see his interpretation of Genesis, he emphasized the need of scientific reasonable interpretation in order to not be a laughingstock among unbelievers and thereby defame the Gospel, but in time people forsake the tradition. The denial of science among Christians become mainstream very recently as a response to Darwin and the growing scientific atheism during that period.

While it is true that Christians follow an unscientific world-view by emphasizing distrust on reason, it is not representative of all Christians or the Bible itself.

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  • So you are for evolution? There is no reason to believe in evolution because there is no evidence. Why can't the people of today invent the checker board? Or invent the pyramids? There is no increase in complexity due to evolution but due to research Dec 16, 2023 at 13:31
  • Evolution has been proven with all the evidence. People can build pyramids but it is too expensive. Read biologos site and ask science teachers or something, search on youtube for scientific education.
    – Michael16
    Dec 16, 2023 at 13:44
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    Evolution is a theory, not a fact. The fact is biodiversity. The theory attempts to explain the fact. Theories never become facts. Just as Newtonian gravitational theory was overturned by general and special relativity while the fact of gravity remained. Evolution may or may not be a good theory but it has not been 'proven'. Dec 16, 2023 at 13:58
  • @MikeBorden, exactly my point. Dec 16, 2023 at 14:09
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    Natural Selection has been as thoroughly demonstrated as Gravity. Common Descent has not been demonstrated, period. Nor has Abiogenesis. There is substantial evidence against both. Claiming that "evolution has been proven with all the evidence" is misleading at best.
    – Matthew
    Dec 18, 2023 at 17:48

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