What do you think about the claim that evolution is in fact not directed–that natural selection was undirected and that neo darwinism is right about this?  I want to.understand science and scripture. agree with Biologos foundation?


It is my personal belief that, first, evolution is real and that species have evolved at least in part by random mutation and natural selection. Second, I do not believe that the process of evolution is fully random. It is God’s nature that there should be free will. God does not intervene often, but normally lets things take their course. God allows history and people to do as they will do, but, rarely, he does intervene, for example in bringing his people out of Egypt or in bringing Jesus into history. I do NOT believe that the process which led from the simplest one-celled organism to produce humans was completely random.  I do not believe that fully random processes ever could have led from the simplest life to produce human beings.  I believe that God has intervened at various times and in various ways. For this reason I do not agree with the majority at Biologos. By the way, I know the man who used to be the president of Biologos, and I know from personal conversations that he does not agree with the general consensus of Biologos. He believes that God has intervened and directed the path of evolution.

The problem here is that we cannot use science to prove that God intervened, because such an intervention would be breaking the laws of nature and scientists can really only discuss what is natural. Science cannot rule out the supernatural. It cannot rule out that God intervened. But, on the other hand, science cannot use such a miraculous intervention as part of science, because the supernatural is outside of the range of what science can describe.

Christians have often made the really bad mistake of taking every unexplained thing in nature and trying to say, “Look, here is a place where God intervened.” I think Christians ought to avoid such things. Gaps in the fossil record are not proof that God intervened. Very complex proteins are not proof that God intervened. They may point this way, but we should be careful to propose a God of the gaps, because such gaps have a way of being filled in by science.

However, having said that, I believe that most at Biologos have committed themselves to a philosophy of God of no gaps. To them, it is an error to ever even propose that God might have intervened. They are committed to a presupposition that all processes in nature from the beginning have been fully random. I strongly oppose taking this as a presupposition.

These are difficult questions because they have to do with speculation about what might have happened in the past. I will let you decide where you fall in the continuum between what I would call the deistic theory of evolution (God of no gaps, Biologos) and the theistic theory of evolution (God did intervene in the process of evolution).

John Oakes

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