An article explaining what is Evolution, how it is possible, and what the Book of Genesis says about it.
By Cristo Rey
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What is Evolution? How is Evolution possible? What does the Book of Genesis say about Evolution?
The purpose of this article is to attempt to answer these questions by a consideration of the philosophical, scientific, biblical, and traditional views on this subject.
The Word of God in the Scriptures does not contain a single reference to evolution, and specifically the Book of Genesis does not allude to it directly as the mechanism by which God, The Creator, created all life forms in existence today. Science, however, has over several centuries uncovered that the process of Evolution did indeed give rise to the complexity of life forms on our planet Earth. On the basis of the seeming absence of any mention of Evolution in the Word of God in the Scriptures, Religion has rejected the findings and discoveries of Science concerning the evolution of life forms on our planet.
However, God is not a comedian, and He has not laid out a very real and palpable physical record for man to be mislead into a Science and a rejection of Him. God is inclusive, not purposely exclusive. In His Supreme power, God need not "test" anyone's faith, and such "testing" is not from God, but as revealed to us by the Word of God all such "testing" of our faith and "temptation" of us away from it is not from God but rather the work of the mythical so-called "Devil," a mythical figure of the primitive, tribal Hebrew religion of the Old Testament.
The author of this article, as a lifelong scientist, with unique, thorough, and intense preparation and experience in the fields of Biology, Evolution, Animal Behavior, Neuroscience, Cellular Biology, and Molecular Biology, with unshakable faith in God, and with a revealed understanding and comprehension of the Word of God as brought to us by Jesus the Christ and the Holy Spirit, hopes to contribute a reconciliation of the findings of these two disciplines concerning evolution, to achieve a unified interpretation of the Creation, its Purpose and Intent, and a revealed projection of the everlasting maintenance of the derived Purpose and Intent of the Creation. The emphasis will always be on the guided revealed conclusions and interpretations to the author, by the Holy Spirit, of the purpose and intents of these creational events.
What is Evolution?
Evolution is the visible and detectable process of change in any system over time. All of the Creation and all of the Created are evolvable creations or entities, that is to say, God created evolvable systems, or systems which can and must undergo changes with time.
The entire Creation itself was the most monumental original "change" carried out by God upon existence and which brought about the Universe and everything that exists within it today.
We evolve during our lifetime, from birth to death, and the physical and functional changes we undergo as we age are readily visible and detectable by us and by others around us (our parents, relatives, physicians). Our environment, the Earth, evolves and changes over time, and these changes are also readily visible and detectable by us and by those who study the Earth (Geologists). The entire universe has evolved, continues to evolve, and its changes are also readily visible and detectable by us and by those who study the Universe (Astronomers and Astrophysicists).
Indeed, no salvation would be possible without our evolution, our being able to change or evolve from being sinful non-believers into becoming saved believers of Jesus the Christ as the Son of God and our Lord and Personal Savior . . .
Perhaps the absence of any reference to "evolution" in the Word of God in the Scriptures is due to the fact that it is in the very fundamental nature of everything created, that is to say, everything created must be evolvable . . . otherwise the creation itself or even our own salvation would not have been possible . . .
We evolve . . . our individual creation or birth is the first change which made our existence itself possible at all . . . our growth and aging, and finally our death are but further stages in our individual evolution.
Evolution is then a fact, a given fact for all of the Created, and not just a "misguided" or an "evil" invention of Science. Indeed, the whole creation groaneth in pain of the genetic and spiritual evolution of a New Humanity worthy of inclusion into the Kingdom of God soon to be established on the New Earth after the end of the present Earth Age.
The progressive Evolution of all life forms, including Mankind, is the way by which God the Creator created the complexity of life forms on our planet Earth.
How is Evolution possible?
Evolution is change, and for anything to be evolvable or changeable, it must have complexity or be complex physically. The complex structures which the basic physical units of the universe, the subatomic particles and atoms, make or create by associating themselves together, are changeable, are evolvable, that is to say, unavoidably undergo evolution.
For a complex structure to be able to undergo any visible or detectable change it must have a basic or primary structure, which we can record, and which can then be the reference for us to be able to detect the change or evolution it has undergone in time.
For living things or beings, the visible specific characteristics which are the expression of their unique and specific genetic constitution form the basic or primary structure which can reliably be used to detect the changes or evolutions which these beings undergo in time.
For all living beings then, the genetic constitution of the individuals is the basic record which is used as a reference, and the information necessary to create the visible specific characteristics which we detect is encoded in their genes; The genes being specific coded regions on the long molecule of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), which makes up the chromosomes in the cells of the individuals.
For example, the information necessary to create "black eyes" in a human being is encoded in several specific regions of the chromosomes of a black-eyed human being, those regions called "genes for black eyes." The information encoded in those regions are the instructions for the production or synthesis of the pigment (Melanin) which renders the color of the iris of the eyes black. Two black-eyed parents then pass this genetic information to their offspring or children, who in turn will have "black eyes" just like their parents, and who can then, in turn, pass that genetic information on to their own children.
A family of black-eyed individuals will be expected to continue to pass the genes for black eyes and have black-eyed children for eternity . . . but in reality not quite so . . .
The deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) molecule making up the chromosomes and genes of the individual is susceptible or vulnerable to change . . . it is evolvable . . .
The genes for black eyes in the ovum (egg) or sperm of the parents in the above example are susceptible to undergo changes, called mutations, and these changes can alter the inheritance of the color of the eyes in the children of the affected individuals. These mutations consist of changes in the chemical structure of the regions or "genes" made up by the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) molecule which makes up the chromosomes. These changes can be spontaneous or can be brought about by radiation, chemicals, or other physical conditions to which the ovum or sperm are exposed.
One such change can be a mutation which degrades the information encoded and prevents the production or synthesis of the pigment (Melanin) which normally renders the eyes as black, the individuals will then have no pigment in their eyes, and the eyes will appear as light "blue" instead of black. This is normally what happens when in a family of black-eyed individuals an "albino" child is unexpectedly and suddenly born.
Should two albino children from different families marry and have children, that is to say interbreed, their children will also be light blue-eyed albinos . . . and if such individuals continue interbreeding with light blue-eyed albinos, then the line resulting from them will always have light blue eyes, not black . . . and a new family line, light blue-eyed albinos, would be established from the original black-eyed family.
An evolution, or a permanent genetic change would have then occurred in the original black-eyed family line . . . and a new family line of light blue-eyed albinos would have been established.
These kinds of changes on the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) molecule which makes up the chromosomes and genes of individuals, be they bacteria, fish, plants, animals, or human beings is inevitable and unavoidable, and this is so because the molecule is susceptible to the physical and chemical agents which can alter it, that is to say, that can cause mutations of the information encoded in the molecule.
These possible occasional mutations are the unavoidable price living beings pay in exchange for having a system which normally guarantees that their offspring or descendants will be just "like their kind" or take "after their kind" in physical and functional characteristics. The system which normally ensures that their offspring or descendants be "after their kind" is the encoded information in their genes which can be passed on to their offspring, and recreate anew the physical and functional characteristics of the parents in their children; This information is susceptible to unexpected and sudden changes, however.
Thus, mutations or changes in the genes of all created living beings, and in the information they encode, are then inevitable and unavoidable . . .
Evolution, or progressive change, is then "descent with modification," and is inevitable and unavoidable in the genetic system of the inheritance of characteristics in living beings . . . the inheritance of characteristics "after their kind."
What does the Book of Genesis say about evolution?
The Book of Genesis is the account by the Word of God of how God the Creator created all living beings, including Mankind, on our planet Earth.
In a straightforward, repeated, and unequivocal way it tell us that God created all living beings, including Mankind, by and with a genetic system of inheritance, that is to say, by a system which guaranteed the inheritance of their characteristics "after their kind:"
And the earth brought forth grass,
and herb yielding seed after his kind,
and the tree yielding fruit,
whose seed was in itself, after his kind:
and God saw that it was good. (Gn 1:11-12)
And God created great whales,
and every living creature that moveth,
which the waters brought forth abundantly,
after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind:
and God saw that it was good. (Gn 1:21)
And God said,
Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind,
cattle, and creeping thing,
and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.
And God made the beast of the earth after his kind,
and cattle after their kind,
and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind:
and God saw that it was good." (Gn 1:24-25)
In stating clearly and unequivocally that He created all living beings, including Mankind, by and with a genetic system of inheritance (after their kind), God is then in effect saying that he created them as evolvable or susceptible to Evolution (change).
In effect, God is saying in the Book of Genesis that He used a genetic system of inheritance (after their kind), and as a result their unavoidable "Evolution" to create the full diversity and complexity of life forms, including Mankind, on our planet Earth.
Food for thought
Concerning our genetic relation to the Great Apes, by DNA testing it can be shown that we share 96% of our genetic constitution with our closest relatives, the Chimpanzees and 98% with the Gorillas, and the ONLY way we could have 96-98% of our genes in common with them is if we inherited them directly from some ancient common ancestor; With this evidence, a good legal case could be made in any Court that we share a common ancestral relative.
As a matter of fact, when a woman accuses a man of being the father of her child, and he denies it, she can demand a DNA test be done on both the man and her child. The court ONLY requires that the DNA of the suspected father and the child be 90-95% identical to scientifically prove that the man is indeed the father of the child beyond any reasonable doubt. And yet we share 98% of our genetic DNA genes as identical with the Gorillas, that is from 3-8% higher than is required to prove legally in court a more than scientifically sound proof that we are very closely related genetically and thus in the SAME biological family.
We are not descended from "Monkeys" as most ignorant "Christian" Pastors assert. What it means is that the ONLY way we can share practically ALL of our genes in common with Gorillas is that we both had a common biological ancestor, that ancestor WAS NOT A MONKEY, but a squirrel-like creature which gave rise to the great apes, a biological family which includes Humans, Bonobos, Chimpanzees, Gorillas, and Orangutans (Wikipedia: Great Apes).
Please read my article about the Nature of Man, By the way, about Man . . . for a clearer explanation about these important matters.