Re: ORIGINS:Creavolution and God's role

David Campbell (
Fri, 28 Feb 1997 16:20:58 -0500

Dick Fischer raised the issue of God's role in the creation of suffering, etc:
>Where I find difficulty is that if we hold to godly guidance which caused
>speciation, for example, where was He when all these genetic defects came
>Then too, the fossil record is a record of annihilation over the millions of
>years. If God carefully ushers in new life forms, why does He seem to not
>care what becomes of them?
This is close to the question of Calvinism versus Arminianism and the
problem of evil, which we're not likely to settle here (unless we're
predestined to, of course). God does care what becomes of living things
(e.g., Mt. 6:26), but exactly what is the best way to care for them is
unstated. The theological implications of non-human death are not agreed
upon-does the declaration in Gen. 1 that creation was "good" allow animals
to die? That would make the command not to eat of the tree more
comprehensible to Adam and Eve ("we shall surely what?").
Another possible source for suffering is Satan's activities. Creation is
affected by sin; it seems possible that tempting Eve and Adam was one of a
long line of attempts at disrupting creation. This is the situation in
Middle-Earth (Tolkien, The Silmarillion) and in C. S. Lewis' space trilogy
(particularly discussed in Out of the Silent Planet), but I don't know of
non-fiction on the subject. If we can decide what aspects of creation are
a result of fallenness, a minimum estimate of the timing of Satan's fall
(if it's in time) could be made. Predation occurs by the late Precambrian,
so if killing (rather than mere dying) is the problem, it goes back at
least that far.
The fossil record can seem to be a greater record of annihilation than it
is. Many "extinct" taxa have living descendants, so the lineages have not
been abandonded but merely changed.
Also, without omniscience it's hard to tell what preparation might be
necessary for the working out of God's plan. Fiction may again be a
helpful illustration-many the time travel stories have a minor change to
the past producing disastrous consequences for what had been the present.

David Campbell