I’m all for creating as many options for people as possible. A while ago, I proposed one way a special creationist (such as RTB) might come to peace with evolutionary science, without affirming physical common descent. I’m curious everyone’s thoughts, especially @Revealed_Cosmology, @Guy_Coe, @jack.collins, @jongarvey, @kkeathley and @AJRoberts. I’ve developed this a bit from the original suggestion here.
There are some creationists that argue God periodically create new species by special creation in a particular way: by copying their genomes, tinkering a bit, and instantiating a new species. This possibility is raised by Reasons to Believe (RTB).
Depending on the exact manner in which God does this type of special creation, it is possible that this could be consistent with the data (not indicated by the data). God would have to be creating us from lower species, using transformations of our genomes that are readily understandable by known biochemical mechanisms (like point mutations, chromosome fusions, neutral drift, and transposons). Perhaps these special creation events were periodic “guidance.” Is this possible? Absolutely. He can do all things. Perhaps it is even true.
Evidentially speaking, this type of progressive creation might be no different than common descent, and could produce the genomes we see today. I would note, anyone who adopts this model is tacitly agreeing that evidence for common descent (without progressive creation) is strong, so strong that they have chosen a creation model to be consistent with it. This does not mean it is false, but it should tamper their attempts to argue against common descent.
To be clear, this is not a scientific theory precisely. It is a type of evidence driven theological model, much as is the Genealogical Adam. Such models are legitimate, and should be taking seriously, but they are not science as I understand it. Breaking free of scienctific strictures, we are still constrained by theological reflection.
We could ask why would God do this? Why would He choose a creative mechanism that is so easily understood through the lens of common ancestry? Why was evidence against evolution not part of His design goals? Maybe the theologians can help us here. One important, and nearly self evident fact, is that God does not seem to prioritize revealing Himself clearly in genomes. This should trouble no one. There is no good a prior reason to think he should directly reveal Himself in Genomes. He does this another way: Peace Be With You.
Some will certain make objections about the “appearance of common descent,” suggesting that God is somehow deceptive in this scenario. I’m not convinced this is a valid objection. If God has no desire to reveal His mechanism of creation, there is no reason to expect we should detect it.
This leaves us, again, with the theological question. God could have made us to have genomes that were obviously inconsistent with common descent. He did not. Why not? It seems the natural theology of this model is to conclude that God’s design goals were not to disprove evolution. If that is true of Him, it might be good to follow His example here. After all, He already makes himself known through Jesus.
I want to offer this as one viable option for old earth creationists that cannot personally accept common descent (i.e. evolution) for some reason. Is this not theologically sound? It seems to me, also, that this is a scientifically sound position, even if it extends beyond the limits of science.