I have a few questions about evolution. First of all evolution means death of animals before sin and that is super inconsistent with the Bible and there is no way God would allow death and suffering. And the last thing is if we evolved over time couldn’t we humans evolve into something else? Would that new creature be made in the image of God? So evolution also means there’s nothing special about humans and we’re just like all the other animals.
I normally hesitate to use labels in my responses, but in this case, I will make an exception. It is clear that you have been exposed to Calvinist theology. It is in writings by Calvinists, with their false theology of Original Sin and Total Depravity that you will find the strange belief that there was literally no death before Adam and Eve fell. The Bible simply does not teach this. I want to ask you this: Where in the Bible does it say that there was no physical death before Adam and Eve sinned? The answer is that this is not found in the Bible. The Scripture does teach that death came into the world because of sin (Romans 5:12), but Romans 5:12 is talking about spiritual, not physical death. If Calvinists are right, then God intended lions, mice, turtles and fish to be immortal. Really? Does this make sense? It is an extreme Calvinism that created this really odd belief that there was literally no death before Adam sinned.
If that were true, then we would have a lot of explaining to do. If we look at the fossil record, we will find that many millions of years before there were any humans on the planet, dinosaurs and trilobites and all kinds of other creatures were living and dying. Animals were not created to be immortal. Neither were humans–at least not in the bodies that we have in this life. You seem to think that death of animals is evil, but this simply is not true. Think about it. Let us imagine that Adam and Eve had been living for one month before they sinned. Don’t you think that they stepped on at least one insect? Do Calvinists propose that flies and beetles were intended by God to be immortal? Calvinists, or some of them at least. believe that carnivorous animals did not eat meat before the Fall. Again, this does not make any sense, biblically or otherwise. Trust me, tuna and eagles have never eaten plants. Is it evil that foxes eat mice? Did Tyranasaurus Rex eat plants? Calvinism takes us down some deep rabbit holes here.
Evolution is part of God’s plan to allow his created species change over time. When the environment changes, different species evolve to survive in the new conditions. God created life, but God also created death. Evolution is part of God’s wonderful plan for nature, but some Calvinists literally deny the reality of evolution! Let me suggest this: Maybe you should take a course on evolution from your local college. I am a PhD scientist, but I decided to take a class on evolution a few years ago. It was fascinating to see how God allowed creatures to change over time. What is it about the theory of evolution that contradicts what the Bible says? I have not seen anything in this theory that opposes what God has said. The Bible gives credit to God for creating life, and for creating all species, but does not specify exactly what process God used for this. Science can help us to understand these processes.
You say that evolution says that there is nothing special about humans. I have taken a course in evolution and there was nothing in that class that said that humans are not special. I did not complete that course thinking that I was somehow less special. Our specialness is found in our having been created in God’s image. We are the image of God, which means that we have the ability to love, that we have self-awareness, that we have the ability to create and to know God. We are also animals and part of the natural world, but our specialness is in our having a soul and a spiritual nature, which was imparted to us by God. If we accept the rather obvious evidence that species evolve over time, how does that decrease the specialness of human beings? Humans are different, not in their physical makeup but in their ability to have a relationship with God and to contemplate the meaning of life. Dogs do not know God and they do not contemplate the meaning of life. But in our physical nature, we are much like other created species. How does this lessen us? The answer is that it does not.
You ask if we evolve over time, that might somehow makes us different. Well, yes it does. People living closer to the equator, where there is a lot of intense sunlight, have evolved to have darker skin, whereas people living farther from the equator have evolved to have lighter skin because too much melanin means not enough vitamin D. Yes, humans evolve slightly over time. How does that make us “something else”? Again, our specialness is found in our being created in the image of God, not in the darkness of our skin. Evolution has allowed humans to live on virtually every part of the earth. Thank-you God for allowing humans to evolve over time.
It appears that you were raised in a church in which it was said that belief that evolution has happened is in opposition to belief in God. I say quite the contrary. I want to suggest two books which might be helpful here. One is The Language of God by Francis Collins. The other is my book Is There a God? which is available at www.ipiboks.com
Evolution is not the enemy. Sin is the enemy. Satan is the enemy.
In conclusion, there are a number of believers who have, unfortunately, been exposed to a rather extreme form of Calvinism and who have, therefore been exposed to the rather odd idea that there was no death of animals before the fall of Adam and Eve. This teaching is not found in the Bible and scientific evidence tells us that it is an absurd proposal. Evolution is a perfectly good scientific theory and, as far as I know, there is no real conflict between the idea of evolution of species and the Bible.