Re: Evolution and Salvation

From: Howard J. Van Till (
Date: Wed Sep 17 2003 - 08:44:37 EDT

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    Richard McGough had asked:

    > Howard, I would be interested in some further details of your robust
    > formational principle. Do you envision specific species like humans as
    > somehow "programmed" into the laws of nature + initial conditions, or do
    > you think that God simply ensured that "something" intelligent would evolve?

    Douglas Hayworth replied:
    > ..... The Robust Formational Economy Principle (RFEP)
    > considers that part of what makes God's creation "very good" is that he
    > didn't have to specifically make certain things happen in a particular way
    > after his first act of creating the universe (or the basic laws
    > matter/energy). God gifted his creation with the properties that make it
    > "fruitful" in its chemical and biological evolution. God certainly
    > delighted in watch the "unfolding" and "coming into being" of all levels of
    > structure and complexity that arose in his creation work. That this
    > fruitful creation eventually gave rise to life, and then to humans, was
    > also a delight to him. Perhaps it was inevitable that it would do so,
    > considering the giftedness of his creation. But this does not mean that
    > God necessarily constrained the outcome to produce exactly what we see
    > today (e.g., human that stand erect with two arms and legs, etc.).
    > Certainly, if something more similar in resemblance to dolphins or
    > something we've never seen the likes of were the life form that evolved a
    > consciousness capable of contemplating meaning and its relationship to the
    > Creator, that wouldn't necessarily be a problem, would it? Nevertheless,
    > in our particular world, we humans are the God-aware creatures. ...

    I think Douglas is right on target here. Given what I have been calling the
    "authentic contingencies" that permeate the universe's formational history,
    I see no way to defend the proposition that the appearance of our particular
    species -- Homo sapiens -- was inevitable. For theological reasons, however,
    I assume that the appearance some (one or more) species of God-aware and
    morally responsible creatures was intended from the outset.


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