|Distant spiral galaxy NGC4603 [Courtesy NASA]|
Many religious fundamentalists reject the notion (adopted by many scientists as well as theologians) that God accomplished the creation of the Earth or even the entire universe indirectly through natural processes. More to the point, these fundamentalists deny that God accomplished the creation of life on Earth via an evolutionary process.
Typical of those in this camp is Steve Lemke, who recently wrote [Lemke2012]:
The Darwinian account removes God from being directly involved in much of creation by utilizing natural processes instead, while the biblical account presents God as directly involved in the details of creation, both in the beginning and throughout history through his providential care.Ken Ham of Answers in Evolution is even more emphatic [Ham2009]:
The real issue is one of authority -- is God's Word the authority, or is man's word the authority? So, couldn't God have used evolution to create? The answer is No. A belief in millions of years of evolution not only contradicts the clear teaching of Genesis and the rest of Scripture but also impugns the character of God. He told us in the book of Genesis that He created the whole universe and everything in it in six days by His word: "Then God said ... ." His Word is the evidence of how and when God created, and His Word is incredibly clear.Regardless of whether or not one accepts the Darwinian view of the formation of life on Earth, or, more generally, whether or not one believes in a Deity that in some sense initiated or guided the creative process, is the assessment of biblical scripture inferred by Kempe and Ham correct? In particular, does the biblical text rule out the possibility that an evolutionary process was employed for the creation?
[D]oes God really directly create babies and form them in the womb? Do we really believe that God directly created each of us in our mother's womb?What's more, Moritz observes that the formation of humans in the womb is not an instantaneous creation, but instead is a nine-month long process of growth, differentiation and specialized development, a process that is entirely analogous to the evolutionary process that scientists have hypothesized (and very strongly confirmed) for the formation and proliferation of life on Earth.
In a larger sense, however, it is abundantly clear that the Bible was never even intended by its ancient authors to be a scientific text. One can search in vain for even a single passage that is in the highly precise, quantitative, data-driven style of a modern scientific research paper. Not one. The prophets and scribes who wrote the early biblical texts had far grander themes in mind -- the purpose of creation, morality, sin and atonement, and principles for rearing of families and conduct in society. These are precisely the themes that great religion should be about. Technical questions about the processes that were followed over the eons of the creative process are better left to the world of modern scientific research.
For additional details, see Bible chronology, Bible-cosmology, Bible-inerrant, Bible science, Creation and Creationism.