I believe that God is the Creator of all life. That does not mean I dismiss the theory of evolution. I believe evolution is real, but that it was set in motion by God. God created evolution (the ability for living organisms to evolve) - used evolution - guided evolution.
Lets have a quick look at evolution
Below is a nice video that explains how the diversity of life on planet earth is possible.
Evolution can 'explain away' God - it can show how the earth was created by natural processes and how the intervention or direction of a supernatural entity is not required.
But it is only a theory right? Yes, evolution is only a theory, but do you know what a scientific theory is?
A scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that is acquired through the scientific method and repeatedly tested and confirmed through observation and experimentation.Some people think a theory is just one possible explanation for something, but that is called a hypothesis. A theory has gone past the stage of a hypothesis and has been repeatedly confirmed and tested. Darwin might have been the first one that published his findings about evolution, but ever since then it has been confirmed by the scientific community.
Where does God come in?
If evolution can 'explain away' God - how do I know God still created the universe? How do I know God invented, created and used evolution to create the world as we know it?
Simple - I just know.
I can't give you evidence or proof (no one can). That is why it is called faith.
By faith [that is, with an inherent trust and enduring confidence in the power, wisdom and goodness of God] we understand that the worlds (universe, ages) were framed and created [formed, put in order, and equipped for their intended purpose] by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible. - Hebrews 11:3 (AMP)
When I look at nature, when a look at an episode of Cosmos, I am filled with awe. It is just too amazing - too awesome to just be a series of biological accidents. There is a deep spiritual sense of knowing that cannot be explained - it can just be experienced.
The fact that animals and plants evolved on their own does not make God less of the Creator.
I am a computer programmer. If I have to type a 1000 lines of 'I was a naughty boy' - I could type the thousand lines or I could just write one line of code:
for (int i = 1; i <= 1000; i ++ ) Console.WriteLine ( "I was a naughty boy.");Which is more cool? Typing the thousand lines or typing one line of code? The thousand lines was still my work, I just did it in a more clever way.
If God did not specifically invent, design and create every single species on earth, that does not mean He is not the Creator of them all.
If you really think about it, it does make sense that the creation process was on auto-pilot as well. Think about a Mosquito - it is an amazing organism if you look at it from a scientific perspective - but if you take a walk in nature it is simply annoying (and in some countries also very deadly). Did God then really look at nature and think 'this is so perfect, maybe too perfect, let me add something that will make it also a bit annoying' ?? What about the Ebola virus, etc.
God was the spark of life (evolution or science still can't explain where the very first living cell came from). He invented evolution - the ability for cells to copy, evolve, change. He then used that to create the world. While evolution is on 'autopilot', I believe He still got involved over millennia and guided evolution. Maybe He saw a certain species got a bit out of hand and He sent an asteroid to correct the problem. Maybe He saw the need for a species to start walking and made sure the vegetation (trees) got a bit more scares. Maybe ...
In Genesis we read that God created life by speaking. I can just see how God over the ages guided evolution. I can almost hear the voice of God whispering across the universe to guide and create all things.
What about the Bible's account of the creation?
In 1633 Galileo said that the earth orbits the sun (and today we know it does!). The Christian church imprisoned Galileo because they took the bible literally that said the earth stood still (Ps. 93:1, Ps. 96:10, Ps 104:5, 1 Chronicles 16:30). We should not make the same mistake - we can't take very verse in the bible literally.
The Bible is a spiritual book that teach us about Jesus and not a history book or a scientific book. Some Christians can't except the evolution theory as they need to believe creation as described in Genesis. They need to believe it as their faith is based on a believe that the Bible is the inerrant, infallible Word of God (it is not, read article here) and if they can't believe that, their faith falls apart.
Jesus also did not believe that we should take the Genesis account of the creation literally! In Genesis 2:2 is clearly states that God rested on the seventh day - Jesus later said that this was not true and that God never rested (John 5:17). He believed that God created man but He clearly did not believe that the world was created as described in Genesis.
The creation story in Genesis is to show us that God was the One behind the creation - it is not a scientific or historic account of creation.
So, do I really believe we evolved from apes?
Well actually, we didn't. Humans did not evolve from apes, gorillas or chimps. These are all modern species that have followed different evolutionary paths, although humans share a common ancestor with some primates. It is more accurate to say we evolved from a single cell organism resembling modern day bacteria.
I do believe that God guided the evolution process and singled out the human species to create the humans in His image (Genesis 1:27). If you look at evolution, it is all about survival. The human species did not need art, culture, faith, etc. to survive. We are created in God's image - it just took a bit longer than one day.
Why what you believe about the creation is important
If you need to believe that God created the universe as explained in Genesis (taking every verse literally) - then go for it. The problem is if you teach this to your children, one day they will understand that it didn't happen like that - just like we understand today that the earth does not stand still. Will they then not think that maybe everything in the bible is a lie?
Holding on to tradition or to a religion that is based on lies weakens your faith in God.
It is time for you to discover the truth.