Now, it seems to me, that if evolution did occur, then it would’ve had to have been a miracle. In other words, evolution is literally evidence for the existence of God.
The debate, before nearly 8000 people, took place on June 27, 1993 in Buffalo Grove, Illinois and aired live on radio in the greater Chicago area.
Transcription of William Lane Craig
“Now, what about the question of evolution? Let me submit to you that is a complete red herring. The theory of evolution is irrelevant to the truth of the Christian faith. Genesis 1 permits all manner of different interpretations and Christians are not necessarily committed to special creationism.
Howard Van Till of Calvin College, a Christian school, asks, “Is the concept of special creation required of all persons who trust in the creator God of Scripture?”
An Unnecessary Component of Christian Belief
“Most Christians in my acquaintance, who are engaged in either scientific or biblical scholarship, have concluded that the special creationist picture of the world’s formation is not a necessary component of Christian belief.”
“And, I want to emphasize, this is not a retreat caused by modern science. St. Augustine, in the 300s in his commentary on Genesis, argued that the days needn’t be taken literally nor need the creation be a few thousand years ago. He didn’t even envisage special acts of creation. He said the world could have been made by God with certain potencies that unfolded in the progress of time. This interpretation was enunciated 1500 years prior to Darwin and, therefore, this is a position consistent with being a Christian.”
“Any doubts that I might have about the theory of evolution really are not biblical, but scientific. Namely, what the scenario envisages is just so fantastically improbable. In their book, “The Anthropic Cosmological Principle”, Barrow and Tipler lay out 10 steps necessary to the course of human evolution, each of which is so improbable that before it would occur the sun would have ceased to be a main sequence star and would’ve burned up the earth.”
“Now, it seems to me, that if evolution did occur, then it would’ve had to have been a miracle. In other words, evolution is literally evidence for the existence of God.”
The Only Game in Town
“In fact, the Christian has an advantage over the atheist, here. We can be open to what the evidence shows us. But, as Alvin Plantinga points out, for the atheist, evolution is the only game in town. So, he’s stuck with it no matter how fantastic the odds, no matter how poor the evidence. He’s got no choice. but the Christian can be open to follow the evidence where it leads and, therefore, I think, can be more objective.”
20 Years Later
While answering a student’s question at the Veritas Forum, Craig makes a layman’s comparison between the theory of common ancestry and theories of evolution.
The Metaphysically Modest Role of Science
After deciding on the title, “The Miracle of Evolution”, for this article, I found another of the same title, by Stephen M. Barr. As a theoretical physicist at the Bartol Research Institute of the University of Delaware, Stephen writes …
The proper ”and ultimately most effective” response is (as I have written before) to distinguish sharply the actual hypotheses of legitimate science from the philosophical errors often mistakenly thought to follow from them. We must draw as clear a line as possible between science and philosophy, not to elevate science above philosophy, but to restore science to its proper “metaphysically modest” role, to use the fine phrase Cardinal Schönborn employed in First Things last month, replying to criticisms I had made of his earlier writing on evolution.
This metaphysical modesty means not allowing philosophical systems to masquerade as science.