First, let me state what I believe. Then I will explain.
- I believe in six consecutive, twenty-four hour periods of work, followed by one twenty-four hour period of rest in which God shaped the blob of matter He that had just created into the planet that we call Earth.
- I believe that these one hundred and sixty-eight consecutive hours occurred approximately six thousand years ago.
- I believe that God created all the base forms of life, the unique ancestors of every genus that we see on this Earth today.
- I do not believe that certain forms of evolution are impossible, and I do not believe that God created every species that we see on this Earth today.
Let's take a look at domesticated animals: dogs, cats and horses. Each kind of animal has a common ancestor, and yet there are many different breeds with unique characteristics within each. I have heard that some people who disavow evolution believe God created every sort of animal we see today. While I don't doubt that God designed for things like crossbreeding, God did not create Labrador retrievers as Labrador retrievers. He did not create Tennessee Walkers as Tennessee Walkers. Those are human-supervised variations in species due to selected breeding. This form of evolution has been going on almost as long as history has been recorded. It is documented, proven science.
Another form of evolution that is documented, proven science is something called adaptation. This is variation in species due to environmental factors. The aforementioned Galapagos Finches display numerous variations in beak size based on diet. This is due to inherited changes brought about by environmental factors. Natural selection plays a big role in survivability: if an organism simply cannot adapt enough to survive in an environment, it becomes extinct. However, if an organism can adapt enough to survive, it survives. I do, however, doubt that God makes these natural selections completely random. He designed the food chains and the systems of adaptation to be self-sustaining, much like the systems that make up any living organism.
One prime example of adaptation is people of African ancestry. They are primarily dark skinned (though still humans; I hate to use "race"), and the obvious reason is that the people that migrated to the deserts of Africa needed darker skin to avoid many of the problems associated with overexposure to the sun. This variation was inherited and is still seen today. I don't think it was a random mutation, either. It was God saying, "This is what they need to survive. Make it so, Number One."
Any demonstrable natural evolution is driven by the Divine hand. Similarly, any demonstrable unnatural variation is driven by human hands. It is not random mutation that gets the job done; if left unchecked, nature on this sinful Earth would be devoid of beauty and filled with chaos. The fact that a flower blooms is evidence that somebody has His hand in the harmony of the universe.
AN ARGUMENT OF ORIGIN
Now, shall we discuss the biggest argument between creationists and evolutionists? Yes, let's. The two biggest complaints Creationists have with the Theory of Evolution are abiogenesis and the common-ancestor theory. Abiogenesis is the formation of life in the primordial sludge of the young Earth, and the common-ancestor theory states that every form of life (at least within the animal kingdom) has a common ancestor in that primordial sludge. The most notable series of evolution are that of the horse and that of homo sapiens.
Let's start with abiogenesis. When you mention it to a run-of-the-mill evolutionist, you receive flack; they state that "Evolution has NOTHING to do with abiogenesis! It has to do with how life has changed over the years!" Oops, problem. You see, when a run-of-the-mill creationist thinks of Evolution, they automatically think of the old-style theory that contains abiogenesis, billions of years, asteroid impacts that ended the reign of the dinosaurs, etc., placing a heavy emphasis on the notion that God does not exist and had nothing to do with the origin of life. Current evolutionary theory, according to those I've spoken with, has almost nothing to do with origins and more to do with non-theoretical evolution such as intraspecies variation. Why, then, are people so vehemently opposed to teaching intelligent design in schools? Could it be that they are in the business of teaching things like adaptation, things which are not theories, but science? My biggest guess is that the reason ID is never really even brought up is that people automatically think "YOU'RE PROSELYTIZING OUR KIDS!" That, and they misrepresent ID as an explanation for our current variations rather than an origin theory, which is what it is. They make the same mistake Christians do in thinking that Evolution, which itself has evolved since Darwin's time, is an origin theory and not an explanation for the variety we see in life today.
Now let's talk about the common-ancestor theory. The theory that hominids share a common ancestor with apes is a subject of much debate since the Bible says God created man in His image. The Evolutionary Theory states that apes and humans are two different evolutionary paths of the same organism. This I must disagree with. Humans are the only sapient creature on the planet Earth. There are, I would argue, other sentient creatures, but as intelligent as they are, they still don't have the ability to philosophize. I think apes probably do have a common ancestor, but they do not share it with humans. I've heard people talk about the upright-walking gorilla Ambam as evolving before our eyes. I can't agree with this, though; his standing upright is obviously imitative of the people he sees at the zoo every day.
I could go for pages and pages about the reasons I don't believe in as broad of a common-ancestor approach as the evolutionists, but I think I've covered the topic well enough. I believe that God created life and the base forms of all organisms. I also believe that God set in motion processes which allow organisms to adapt to their environments. All the animals we see today are descended from versions of themselves, be the evolution divinely supervised or the cause of human intervention. Burn me at stake all you want; that's what I believe about the origin of species.
Your Brother in Christ,