Trees and Creation
Mon, 9 Aug 1999 12:12:59 EDT

On July 27 George Murphy wrote:

>"Only God can make a tree" may be cute poetry but it's lousy theology.

Here is the complete poem:

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

Joyce Kilmer

It is obvious that Kilmer is referring to trees that he had experienced,
not trees in the Garden of Eden. He understood that these trees were made
through natural ontogenetic processes, but he also recognized them as being
creations of God. Christians routinely view ontogenetic origins in this
way. So why is it such a difficult logical extension for them to view
organisms made through natural _phylogenetic_ processes as also being
creations of God? God still did it, one way or another. Seen in this way,
Kilmer's phrase is very good theology--even for theistic evolutionists.

Paul A. Adams
Biology Department
University of Michigan-Flint
Flint, Michigan 48502-2186