My background is in wildlife rehabilitation, specifically specializing in orphaned and injured hummingbirds and large birds of prey. I know… extreme opposite ends of the spectrum! To really mix things up, I am one semester from having a B.S. in Entomology. I also study Genetics just because I’m super fascinated by all that. I say this so that perhaps it will offer some help in understanding where I am coming from.
Having considered the implications of believing in evolution from a scientific, philosophical and Biblical perspectives, I have not yet found a way to “meld” Darwinian evolution and Christianity.
Trying to be brief here… ha! Not gonna happen…. Lol…
When it comes to evolution, there’s nothing like studying insects that will leave you scratching your head. I’ve sat through many a lecture listening to a professor stumble their way through – or rushing thru – an explanation of how insects just “suddenly” appear. It gets even worse when they go on to explain the “sudden” appearance insects with fully functional wings. The sheer mechanics of it all is insanely complicated. And that’s just for each individual organism.
From a philosophical perspective, Darwinian evolution calls into question the character of God (any god) because nature is (currently), as Lord Alfred Tennyson said, “red in tooth and claw.” Darwin himself could not reconcile the so-called goodness of God with the ubiquitous brutality observed in nature. For example, he wrote of the struggle with this dilemma, citing specifically the parasitic behavior of Ichneumonidae wasps. In an article in Scientific American, Richard Dawkins recognizes this as well when describing animals dying very slowly from death, starvation, disease, parasites while others are running in fear to avoid literally being eaten alive. He concludes that this “pitiless indifference” is exactly what we should expect in a universe without design or purpose. Such a god, if one even exists, would be quite reprehensible and hard to love and worship.
Then we come to the Biblical perspective. As recorded in Genesis, the God of the Bible looks upon His completed creation, declaring it all to be good and very good. Intrinsic to evolutionary theory is a struggle for existence over eons of time resulting in the deaths of untold millions of animals of all kinds. So, Darwinian evolution has millions of years of animal death before the dawn of H. sapiens, which we would have to assume are the equivalent of Biblical mankind. However, the Bible is clear that death and decay (entropy) was introduced because of the sin of humanity (specifically Adam). Romans 5. Some say it only means spiritual death, but then one must ask, if physical death is not the penalty for sin, why the physical bodily suffering and death of Christ as payment for sins? Others say this death excludes animal death, but then we have verses like Hosea 4:1-3 which draws the irrefutable connection that animals are dying because of humanity’s sin. Isaiah 65:25 speaks of an end to carnivorous behavior and has God saying that on His holy mountain, “they shall not hurt or destroy” implying that such behavior is, in fact, NOT “good.”
In wildlife rehabilitation, I see lots of animal death and suffering. Hummingbirds with broken wings or having seizures from head trauma from just smacking into a window. Owls and hawks shot or caught in barbed wire. Others are starving from being inexperienced hunters or because they have internal parasites. Richard Dawkins’ quote haunts me because for 17 years I’ve seen some pretty horrific stuff. If this sin-induced death of which the Bible speaks excludes animals and can only be attributed to their Creator who then declared it all to be “very good,” then Dawkins’ and Darwin’s dilemma would be mine as well.
Sorry for the super long involved answer, but I do hope you find this helpful!