According to the modern worldview, doctrines of God must align with the truths of science. Among many questions of science, there is evolution, but it works perfectly without God. There is no issue here…or so the argument goes. When looked at closely, there are a number of serious scientific issues with evolutionary theory. Not to say that evolution does not exist, as we see it with our own eyes, but what it really is and how it develops is a question that continues to beg for an answer.
Is there evolution in the simulated universe of Simulation Creationism, a theory proposed by Nir Ziso, the founder of The Global Architect Institute? Too often secularists avow that there are supporters of evolution and then there are creationists. Every thinker is a creationist, as we all believe in the creative powers of God. Simulation Creationism is one creation theory. It does not argue that the world is less than 6000 years old, nor does it argue that it is millions of years old. This question is somewhat misplaced. Still, if there is The Simulation, what about evolution?
Theology observes nature, the world, and the human beings in it – but under the guidance of God. The Bible begins with Genesis. In the first chapter, it describes the creation of the world, numbered in “days” (Genesis 1). It seems that God started a chain of events to make the universe as we see it today. We hold an image of black emptiness – a vast, empty, and dark space – in which God began to create. This is a dangerous image as God is just a physical being with far more power in the universe, and He makes things similar to how we do. We do not create: we change what is already present. We create a table, but in essence, we are just changing the shape of the wood. We did not create the wood after all. It is valid to remember: “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps” (Proverbs 16:9). As Simulation Creationism explains creation through Simulation, evolution must serve a purpose. In other words, it must be a teleological process that confirms and supports The Simulation. There are three important elements of evolution. First, there are changing gene frequencies over time. Through evolutionary lineage, certain traits become more or less common. The second element is a common ancestry that all living beings spring from a single common ancestor. The third, the changing gene frequencies over time are just referring to something observed, but evolution also involves certain mechanisms that explain these changes. Theology grasps these ideas in a variety of ways. One needs to distinguish between the evolutionary story and the various claims about origins as revealed in sacred texts. Religious believers in many traditions believe that God was involved in some way in the origin of life, or at least that of humanity: “Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness” (Genesis 1:26).
Some biologists point to evolution as a completely random process with no purpose. This is in direct contrast to theology: “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted” (Job 42:2). The struggle between the two asks for “evidence” of teleology or purpose in the overall course of evolution. In modern times, more and more biologists are claiming a certain number of directionality in evolution. Whether it is purposive directionality is another question. Most theists believe that God’s purpose is being lived out in the natural world, and there should be something leading creation in a particular direction, where human intelligence thrives: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11). For a pure naturalist and evolutionist, these are paradoxes. The only way to resolve them is to invoke a divine creator who ensures that what we hold is a reliable belief.
There are two ways it can fundamentally happen. One is from the beginning and the ways laws were constructed and enabled, even though it seems random on the surface, with a clear teleology built into the process. God did not have to do a lot in this process, as He managed everything like a clockwork (see e.g., “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you”, Jeremiah 1:5). The other way is this: whatever it was to begin with, God had to make minimal interventions (e.g., “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them”, Ephesians 2:10). In the course of the history of theology, there was a fierce debate over these two vastly different poles. The first view says that God brings about laws in motion and all others are not sustainable because of the kind of randomness we find in the world, at least according to the scientific point of view. Such an assumption is probably wrong. Even if there are random processes and God put in place certain guardrails, this randomness is still God’s work. It was created teleologically, as God wanted it to be that way. However, nothing is random, according to Simulation Creationism, as The Simulation works not to distract us but to point us to the right way, albeit with some challenges. (We will explore this teleology in the next part of this article.)