Creation, Evolution, and Design:
Questions in Theology & Science

( web-pages by Craig Rusbult, Ph.D. )

        The Homepage for Origins Questions will give you a quick overview of what I've developed as editor of the ASA Website for Whole-Person Education.  And an FAQ about Creation, Evolution, and Intelligent Design (it's a set of responses to Frequently Asked Questions) is a summary of my views as an author who "is writing the FAQ for ASA, but does not claim to speak for ASA, ... so you can think of it as a ‘personal editorial’ [for this part of the ASA website] that is one ASA-FAQ rather than the ASA-FAQ."  The FAQ "combines my descriptions of general agreements (by most scientists, or most scholars, ASA members, Christians,...) and disagreements, plus personal opinions (I think...)." 
        I suggest exploring the first two levels of the FAQ — a "read me first" introductory outline (this is a good place to begin because it's shorter), a medium-sized overview (it's the best balance between brevity and thoroughness, my favorite among all of the pages I've written about origins, and I especially like Sections 5A-5G, asking "What can a Christian believe about evolution?"), after you read the "brief summary of my views" below.
 


 
        a brief summary of my views:
        Theologically, I think that:   God initially designed the universe and created it "from nothing", and is now involved in natural process by sustaining it and sometimes guiding it;   miracles are possible during the formative history of nature — and might seem probable IF this history was analogous to the salvation history of humans recorded in the Bible, which included divine action that was usually natural-appearing and occasionally miraculous-appearing — but miracles during formative history are not theologically preferable or necessary.   The characteristics of most miracles in the Bible, such as the healing in Acts 3, provide theological support for divine creations by a modification of existing organisms and genomes, rather than creations that are independent from (without any hereditary relationship to) previously existing organisms.
        Scientifically, based on evidence-and-logic, I think God created the universe 14 billion years ago, with a fine-tuning of nature so it would be mostly self-assembling, but perhaps not totally self-assembling.  My theories (held with appropriate humility) for "how God created" are independent miraculous-appearing creation of the first life, followed by a progressive creation of complex life in a continual creation through natural-appearing evolution (probably guided by God, sometimes or always) over billions of years, possibly supplemented with occasional creation by miraculous-appearing genetic modifications.  But if God created in other ways, including an all-natural evolutionary creation, I wouldn't be surprised or dismayed.  All modes of divine creation during formative history — in a design of nature, natural-appearing action, or miraculous-appearing action — would be intelligent design.
        Methodologically, in science I think naturalism (assuming "it happened by natural process") should be flexible, not rigid;  it should be viewed as the most useful starting point for science, as an assumption we make and then test, instead of a conclusion that must be accepted.  A methodological naturalism is theologically acceptable because it is not the same as a philosophical naturism claiming that "only nature exists."  In principle, but maybe not in practice, some types of design-directed action (as in a miraculous-appearing creation of life, or a modification of genomes) might be detectable by using the methods of science, leading to a probabilistic conclusion, by a logical evaluation of empirical evidence.
        Relationally, my goals are accurate understanding and respectful attitudes because our relational views (our views of other views and other people) are an important part of life.  These goals are consistent with my recognition that an appropriate level of humility, about theology and science, is justifiable and useful.  I claim to have some productive ideas about Origins Questions, rather than The Origins Answer.  But humility should appropriate;  for some questions (such as age of the universe & earth) we can be confident, because even though humility can be logically justifiable and is useful (both intellectually and relationally) we often have reasons for rationally justifiable confidence, so I think postmodernism "goes too far" and converts a good idea (re: humility) into a bad idea (re: skeptical extremes and radical relativism and Reality 101).
        Educationally, my philosophy and goals — as editor of the ASA website for Whole-Person Science Education — are described in the home-pages for Creation Questions and Origins Evidence and in Accurate Understanding & Respectful Attitudes and (more generally) in the homepage for Whole-Person Education and in a page explaining how the link-pages are designed to allow a Quick Education (and Deep Education) for you.

Here are two of my favorite pages, written as an author, not as editor:
  • Biblical Theology for young-earth Christians begins with an invitation, "if you are a Christian with young-earth views, or if you're wondering what to think about age, this page is written for you, to share Bible-based ideas that you'll find both challenging and comforting."
  • Young-Earth Creation Science "looks at four types of arguments — two (used by proponents of a young earth) are non-scientific, and two (used to evaluate claims about age of the earth) are scientific — plus some strong evidence about age," which seems to be billions of years.

details about my views
 


 
MORE, in other areas:

World Views (reality,...) and Quantum Mechanics  (my web-pages about worldviews)

Exploring Education: Learning, Thinking, Teaching  (my web-pages about education)
also Ideas for Education developed during 2011.

Christian Education for the Whole Person (Principles, Motivations, and Worldviews) was
written for a multi-author ASA book project in 2004, along with other ideas for the book.

a brief bio-page (with information about the author)
 




 

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http://www.asa3.org/ASA/education/origins/rusbult.htm

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