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What is an Evolutionist

QUESTION: What is an Evolutionist?


What is an Evolutionist? There are two types of evolutionists -- naturalistic and theistic. The naturalistic evolutionist believes that the universe began about 14 billion years ago from an explosion or expansion of matter. Galaxies took their places and the earth fell into its orbit about 4.5 billion years ago. Complex chemicals developed on earth’s surface until life began spontaneously from these chemicals. Originally small and relatively simple, life has been evolving -- or developing gradually -- ever since. An evolutionist who believes in pure naturalism believes that only natural processes drove the evolution of the universe and life -- that is, nature is all that exists, and there are no deities who contribute in any way. Others believe in one or more gods who are not involved in the process. Some of these evolutionists are Deists who believe that God created the universe, started it in motion, left the universe, and allowed natural processes to originate life and drive evolution.

Theistic evolutionists, in general, believe in the evolutionary timeline and the mechanisms that drove evolution, but they believe that it was a tool used or controlled by God. A theistic evolutionist would say that the early chapters in the Book of Genesis in the Bible are not to be taken literally.

What naturalists, deists, and theistic evolutionists share is the core belief that our world today, with man living in it, is the result of a long process of change which brought more and more complex systems – cosmologically, chemically, and biologically. Theistic evolutionists look for a way to reconcile the evolutionary model with belief in a Creator-God, while naturalists see no need for a designer or life-giver to aid the process. Does science favor one of these models of evolution? Or even an entirely different model of origins? What does natural science have to say about the plausibility of the evolutionary process and the possibility of intelligent design.

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