That Pesky Evolution Problem

Darwin’s theory on the evolution of species has had its detractors from the beginning. If we evolved from apes, they say, what happens to that Bible narrative on the creation of Adam and Eve? An excellent question, and one they choose to simply sweep under the rug. And then not bring up in their evangelical colleges. And oh, by the way, stay away from that museum down the street that has dinosaur bones dating back a few hundred million years.

This post from Mathew Schmalz extends the question much further. In it, he talks about how Catholics have never had the problems with evolution that evangelicals do. And then he continues:

But there is a problem with evolution nonetheless. My views in this regard have changed in dialogue with many evangelical colleagues whom I respect. For them, the issue is not Biblical inerrancy as much as it is probing the theological implications of Darwin’s theories. For example, if there is no radical distinction between humans and animals, when do human beings become “human?” When does a human have a “soul” that can be saved? More broadly, what theological sense can Christians make of a natural world that operates on Darwinian principles?


To be sure, much of the resistance to evolution comes from a need to defend a particular construal of “Biblical truth”-after all, if the Bible is shown to be false in one aspect, it throws into question the entirety of scripture. Some of the resistance also stems from a misunderstanding of what a scientific theory actually is. But the real problem with evolution is that Christians have yet to reflect deeply on how they fit into a Darwinian world.

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