Origins and Models

Origins and Models January 9, 2013

Mapping how a variety of scholars, scientists and theorists understand the universe’s and our origins is needed, so I am happy to recommend Gerald Rau’s Mapping the Origins Debate: Six Models of the Beginning of Everything as a good place to get the big picture.

Rau’s aim here is not to sketch all the nuances; instead, his approach is to provide six models.

Conceptual models provide idealized types in an effort to provide explanations.

Where are you?

I will today provide a big-idea sketch of Rau’s six models, which are sifted through these ideas:

theology, teleology, intervention, geneaology, cosmology, and process.

There is plenty of discussion for each category and model, and I suspect this book will be an exceptional source for adult study groups and Christian college classes. I think pastors would benefit from this book, too.

Naturalistic Evolution:
Theology: no supernatural.
Teleology: no purpose.
Intervention: no intervention.
Geneaology: common descent.
Cosmology: old universe.
Process: spontaneous natural processes only.

Nonteleological Evolution:
Theology: Creator
Teleology: no purpose
Intervention:no intervention
Geneaology: common descent
Cosmology: old universe
Process: conditions necessary for life established at creation.

Planned Evolution
Theology: Creator
Teleology: purpose
Intervention: no intervention
Geneaology: common descent
Cosmology: old universe
Process: perfect creation naturally fulfills God’s purposes.

Directed Evolution
Theology: Creator
Teleology: purpose
Intervention: intervention
Geneaology: common descent
Cosmology: old universe
Process: changes in universe and life subtly directed over time.

Old-Earth Creation:
Theology: Creator
Teleology: purpose
Intervention: intervention
Geneaology: de novo creation
Cosmology: old universe
Process: major body plans created over millions of years.

Youth-Earth Creation:
Theology: Creator
Teleology: purpose
Intervention: intervention
Geneaology: de novo creation
Cosmology: recent creation
Process:each ‘kind’ created in one week, within the last 10,000 years.


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