I have been having an interesting conversation on Facebook with someone who describes himself as a young-earth creationist. I was surprised when this individual said that it is a problem for Christians who accept evolution that God is said thereby to have made diseases and other things which Christ fought against.
It seems to me that the opposite is the case, and so I asked him whether he doesn’t believe that God made the flesh-eating bacteria, the parasites, the viruses, all in response to the “Fall,” unleashing them on all life on this planet at the same time he gave the command for saber-tooth tigers to start eating meat.
I wonder how many young-earth creationists have never thought through the implications of their claims. Their view has God continuing to create after the six days of creation are over – creating specifically with the aim of causing terrible suffering.
Perhaps one alternative, if they really want to blame Adam and Eve and shift responsibility for these things away from God, might be for them to acknowledge that the story in Genesis is symbolic, and say that Adam and Eve were scientists, whose genetic and other experiments carried out in disobedience to God created viruses and genetic anomalies and split the Earth’s crust and so on.
But that would be to turn a perfectly good myth into second-rate science fiction.
On an evolutionary view, bacteria and viruses and death are all by-products of the same processes that have produced us, with our ability to laugh and make music and ponder the meaning of existence. Whether it is worth it is a good question. Few of us would prefer not to exist, to never have existed, over existing in a world like this one.
And for those asking from a Christian perspective why God would create through evolution, while we can only speculate at the answer, one plausible one is free will.
If God had literally created as per the Genesis story, are we to understand that Adam and Eve were created as adults, or as children? Either way, not having the human upbringing that their descendants would have, they would have had to have been preprogrammed to be able to speak and do various other things appropriate for that age. And being preprogrammed by God could be viewed as detracting from the free will Christian theology emphasizes as so important in our creation.
If Adam and Eve had been made as newborns, would they have been raised by angels? The free will issue pops up again. But when sentient life is brought about through a long process of evolution, these issues disappear, even if new ones are created in the process.
And so creation through evolution provides an account of God creating to accomplish what Christian theology has traditionally said was a key aim in creation. And it does so while removing the need to have God intelligently design flesh-eating bacteria and bubonic plague for no other reason than to torture and kill.
Young-earth creationism, on the other hand, emphasizes that God finished everything on the sixth day – but on closer examination, they seem not to really mean it.
Can someone explain to me why anyone finds the inconsistent nonsense that is young-earth creationism, with its depiction of God as cruel and sadistic, is preferable to accepting what science has to say?