Years ago, as a Protestant fundamentalist evangelical Christian, I was taught (and believed) such notions as:
These views are not compatible with the notion that new species evolve from existing species (macro-evolution).
These fundamentalist evangelical Christian views troubled me to various degrees. My concerns (in the order in which they greatly troubled me):
As a result, I began to distrust the Protestant fundamentalist evangelicals who taught such things, and some time later I converted to Catholicism, preferring their respect for science. (My journey did not end there, but that is not the topic of this article.)
God created matter, energy, and the natural laws; these are sufficient to explain the development of geological features. Assuming the existence of the Big Bang, the following stages of development:
Note that God did not need to intervene for any of this to happen. He created the universe in such a way that this would happen "all on its own."
Certain locations in the early stages of the earth's development had conditions suitable for the building blocks of life to be formed.
When some molecules became self-replicating natural selection began. During the early days of the earth there was more radiation than now, and more volcanic activity, even under the ocean.
A word about irreducible complexity. I think it is wrong to say that biological organs with many interrelated parts could not form via evolution. Complex changes to the chromosomes caused by radiation could result in new complex structures when guided by God. These would persist if each step of the progression was not harmful to the organism. For example, humans have an appendix which serves no apparent purpose. But it does not harm us either.
I assume natural selection to be true.
People seem to assume mutations would result in only small changes to the organism. I don't see why this must be the case. Human DNA has billions of molecules and contains encoded instructions for the characteristics and development of humans. If a small mutation affected a part of DNA involved in some critical stage of development, it is easy to imagine the effects could be large.
A thought experiment: Consider two strands of DNA from two similar creatures; one with some "new" organ and one without. What kind of mutation would be necessary for the one creature to become the other creature? Perhaps a massive mutation event could occur causing such changes all at once.
A factor often overlooked: Suppose a creature experienced mutations affecting its offspring and they survived it. If there were multiple offspring, presumably this mutation would express itself in multiple ways. Thus, one mutation would be magnified. This would be especially pronounced in creatures with many offspring.
Consider if both the mother and the father had mutations to the same part of the chromosome. As these mingled together there would be additional complex interactions.
As these various complex mutations propagated through subsequent generations it would result in various forms.
In conclusion: A small mutation could result in large changes. I can imagine that life started and evolved in this way. But God established His creation so that this could and would happen and he guided it all.
There must be different kinds of souls corresponding to the different kinds of awareness. For example, ants have a different kind of soul than apes. Souls can experience pleasure, pain, emotion, rational thought, etc. depending on what kind of soul (creature) it is.
Each soul is unique. God creates each one. Only man has a soul which can sin or worship God. But as the proto-man creatures became more and more manlike, they displayed humanlike characteristics.Thus, they used tools, they painted, they buried their dead, etc. but they were not yet human, created in the image of God.
I accept the view that modern humans arose 200,000 years ago and that agriculture began only in 10,000 B.C.Sometime after Adam there was a massive local flood, probably the Caspian Sea flooding after the icepacks to the north melted.
The idea of the firmament as a solid dome above the clouds having the stars on its inside surface is a key component of ancient cosmology. We now know this to be false yet the Genesis creation account tells the story from this vantage point, from this ancient perspective. Fundamentalist evangelical Protestants who wish to claim the Genesis creation account is literally true in every detail typically get around this by interpreting the meaning of the word "firmament" as a non-solid "expanse". This seems dishonest to me; we should understand the text the way the writers did. When Moses looked up, he thought there was a solid firmament up there.
Of course, I agree that the Genesis creation account,and all of the Bible, is literallytrue in every detail. Yet it is clear that the writers all-too-often often had false ideas about things, even immoral attitudes and behavior (for example, polygamy, slavery, genocide during war.) But in our day, we can harmonize the biblical text with modern science because truth is truth whatever the source, whether from science or from divine revelation. The writers of the Bible wrote truth irregardless of their wrong views of things; the Holy Spirit prevented their errors from propagating to the written text.
In the case of the firmament, the word is used without insisting on the false cosmology. In the case of slavery or unjust war or polygamy, the historical events are discussed without condoning or approving of the immoral aspects.
I think the key is to understand the way the word "firmament" is used in the book of Genesis. It is mentioned in 2 places, once meaning sky,and once meaning universe or interstellar space.Both are harmonious with the idea of the firmament as a solid dome but also with the correct modern view of cosmology. Based on this, it would appear that Moses the writer of Genesis had in mind the space between things as he used the word firmament. Likely his understanding of all of this was incomplete, confused, scrambled, and even wrong, but the truth was also mixed in and this is what finally made it to the biblical text.