God Guided Evolution


I asked him what he thought was BETTER than God-Guided Evolution. He suggested “God-Governed Evolution”. Until someone can reason why this is not better, I will use the term.


Yes, the video is pro-Creationism. And my point is, the problems supposedly resolved by that video are better resolved by God-Governed Evolution scenario!

The problem identified in the video is how is it that Evolution can create so many amazing life forms.

How does God use Evolution? As I have said, Dr. H’s article explains that.

I capitalize different words at different times to produce effects in emphasis… get over it.

Why not just “evolution” without the qualifiers? That works better (in my opinion).

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I don’t know… I don’t agree with the video.

The solution to any imaginable problems, from the Christian perspective, is to stop trying to separate God from Evolution.

There are no possible problems if God is the one that actually created and uses Evolutionary processes.


You and I have a communication problem. I say things that lots of people understand … with the rather consistent exception that belongs to you.

If you cannot SPECIFY what it is that you are missing, I will never be able to give you a possible answer.

Frankly, I don’t think there is an answer that will satisfy you.

It’s also possible that others have a hard time understanding you but simply choose to suffer their confusion in silence.



It seems unlikely that @John_Harshman is the ONLY one unwilling to suffer silently.

Did YOU read the Prof. L Haarsma article? Did you find it difficult to understand? I think the article is superb for ALL THE MANY WAYS it discussed how to interpret, even misinterpret, a specific phrase or statement.

Do you think my position on the role of Evolution in God’s creation is inscrutably difficult to follow?
If so, in what way is it inscrutable?

Nope, haven’t read the article, so I can’t really comment on it.

I will say that your liberal use of BOLD EMPHASIS and Strange Capitalization induces a kind of unsettling visual anxiety in my brain that makes your actual meaning more challenging to discern than it would otherwise be.

In any case, that’s rather off topic, and I’ll now return to my usual silence.


There are no possible problems with God, except that is itself a problem. Any question in science, not restricted to evolution or biology only, now becomes a matter of just brainlessly declaring that God Did It. Why is this geiger counter suddenly making noise? GOD. What is causing those cloud shapes? GOD. Why did this milk spoil so quickly? GOD.

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You are delving into Tar Baby Category #1. In a conversation between Creationist Christians and Evolutionist Christians, raising issues about the existence or plausibility of God is not a trust-building exercise.

I hope you understand what I am saying here.

What about any imaginary problem?

Who are the people that understand what you say? Maybe they could explain to me, since you can’t.

I have specified. I have asked very simple questions which you refuse to answer.

How would you know if you haven’t tried?

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@swamidass will always be your best source for understanding me.

I see no long list of postings from people who say they don’t understand the Haarsma article… it is the BEST of any article I have read.

Here is the text from the article. If you don’t understand it … that, my dear sir, is upon you completely.


Three Misunderstandings About God-Guided Evolution

Loren HaarsmaBy Loren Haarsma

Published on April 16, 2019 < Published last year!

When I talk about evolutionary creation I am sometimes asked, “Why not just say, ‘God-guided evolution’?” I hesitate to use that phrase because I know, from experience, that if I did say “God guides evolution” many in my audience would misunderstand me.

Let’s look at three of the most common misunderstandings:

  1. Evolution is not limited to small-scale changes.

Many people would interpret the phrase “God-guided evolution” to mean something like the following. “Evolution is limited to making small-scale changes in species. For really big changes – like making new life forms or increasing complexity – God has to do something more than ordinary evolution. Instead of doing big miracles all at once, God might do a series of guided mutations over time which add up to something new and extremely improbable without God’s guidance.”

The challenge with this misunderstanding is that science does not support it– evolution is not limited to making small-scale changes1 . I believe that God designed the laws of nature so that biological evolution could, through its ordinary operation, bring about new life forms and increases in complexity. As a Christian, I believe that God could cause a series of guided mutations whenever God wanted to. As a scientist, however, I believe that God didn’t need to do so in order to create the rich diversity of complex life we see in the world today.

  1. God is never absent in the evolutionary process.

Some people would interpret the phrase “God-guided evolution” to mean something similar to: “OK, perhaps evolution isn’t limited to making small-scale changes. But evolution left on its own would mean God wasn’t really doing anything.”

This misunderstanding is one that I call “episodic deism.” I think this is poor theology because it says that God usually lets nature run “on its own” except when God intervenes to push it in certain directions– but I don’t think that nature ever runs “on its own.” The Bible repeatedly affirms that when things happen in the natural world, God is still doing it. The sun goes down; God brings darkness. The beasts of the forest prowl; God gives them their food. Birds of the air eat seeds and insects and worms, and they receive their food from God (Psalm 104:19-21, Matthew 6:26). When things are happening in the natural world the way they always happen, in ways we can describe scientifically, God is just as much in charge as when God performs a miracle.

  1. God didn’t need to micromanage evolution to get what God wanted.

Misunderstanding #3: Some people would interpret the sentence “God-guided evolution” to mean something like the following. “Evolution isn’t limited to making small-scale changes. And of course God is in charge all the time so evolution never happens “on its own.” But evolution had the potential to go down many possible paths. So God acted from time to time to select, or to nudge evolution down particular paths to produce particular species and ecosystems.”

The challenge with this misunderstanding is that it might be too restrictive. Some evolutionary creationists hold this view, and I think it’s a fine view. I’m OK with the science and I’m OK with the theology. But it’s not the only version of evolutionary creation.

Theologically, I believe that God sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. Scientifically, I describe rainfall in terms of evaporation and condensation and warm fronts and colds fronts. I don’t think God needs to “nudge” the clouds to make it happen the way God wants (although of course God could do so). Theologically, I believe that God makes trees grow. Scientifically, I would describe trees growing through photosynthesis and transpiration and lots of other chemical processes. I don’t think God needs to nudge the molecules in order to make each tree grow (although of course God could do so).

I affirm evolutionary creationists who believe that God nudged evolution down particular paths. But I also affirm an evolutionary creationist who might say something like the following. “Theologically, I believe that God created every species, including humans. Scientifically, we describe how it happened in terms of evolutionary mechanisms. I don’t think God needed to nudge it down particular paths in order to produce what God intended.”

If I said “God-guided evolution,” some people would misunderstanding me as ruling out this second version of evolutionary creation.

Those are three common and conflicting ways to interpret the phrase “God-guided evolution.” It’s not surprising that they’re common. God’s providence and guidance of the natural world is a complicated theological topic. Evolution is a complicated scientific theory. But none of them are what I mean. So while I can affirm that “God-guided evolution,” I rarely say it. I’ll instead choose other phrases – probably a lot longer and less pithy, but harder to misunderstand.

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God is ever-present in the evolutionary process, but isn’t micromanaging it? Makes no sense. Then what is he doing, macro-managing it? Is he watching it happen or making it happen, or both, but not micro, then … macro?

When things happen in the world it’s God doing it. But he’s not making it do it, but he is still doing it.

Can someone else make sense of this?



Who said God was NOT micro-managing? If Creationists can think every molecule of “dust” has been micro-managed into Adam… then certainly I can think God equally micro-manages with Evolutionary processes.

So he affirms the poor theology that God usually lets nature run “on it’s own”(because he isn’t micromanaging, he’s just ever-present and making everything happen… or something). He’s totally not an episodic deist, except when he is.

I don’t think you should be getting your ideas from Dr. Haarsma, George.

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They guy you are quoting here:

Or are you going to say that suggesting God didn’t need to, is not by implication to be understood as God did not?


@swamidass, please explain what “God-governed evolution” means to George. You could also explain what it means to you, if you like.

Is this quote from Haarsma what you mean by “God-governed evolution”? "I believe that God designed the laws of nature so that biological evolution could, through its ordinary operation, bring about new life forms and increases in complexity. " So God does nothing, but he arranged the laws of nature. If so, your term seems ill-advised, unless it’s a pun on “law” and “governed”. If that’s the case, God is currently doing nothing.

I do not understand this at all, and it seems the heart of the confusion. How does God do by not doing? One could with as much justice say that I’m doing all that stuff, since God and I are equally uninvolved. This leads into the question I have asked twice and you have ignored: How does God make the trees grow? How does it differ from me making the trees grow?

Haarsma, in the article you cited to explain your position. What is your position, actually? What does “God uses evolution” mean?

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Pretty sure I already have, many times: Guided or Providentially Governed Evolution?

I am happy to answer more focused questions on another thread. I encourage you to use the search function of the forum too. It works really well.

That doesn’t explain anything. In fact you explicitly deny that you have an explanation. You say that God governs evolution but you don’t know what if anything he does. It’s a term without meaning other than expressing a faith that somehow he’s there.


The biggest problem there, however, is that vanishingly few creationists are in the least bit trustworthy. So trust-building is a rather Quixotic endeavour. The Evolutionist is only setting himself up to be deceived if he thinks he has arrived at a position where the creationist can be trusted.

This is very important to keep in mind.

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