Theistic evolution

Here’s a cartoon by reader Pliny the in Between inspired by yesterday’s post on theistic evolution. It’s called “Seems like a lot of work.” And indeed it is: God not only has to watch the sparrows fall, but make sure that every nucleotide in every individual either doesn’t mutate (after all, He’s “sustaining creation”) or mutates in the right direction.

If you can’t read the text, it says “Micromanaging the diversity/earth/one set of hydrogen bonds at a time.”





  1. GBJames
    Posted June 24, 2016 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    A good one, PTIB.

  2. rickflick
    Posted June 24, 2016 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    This makes the Hindu pantheon more appealing. All those gods and goddesses (some with multiple arms) would have much less difficulty, as a collective, with maintaining the bonds. Come to think of it, you’d be driven to a form of pantheism, I suppose, like the sophisticated theologians espouse. Some kind of ground of being.

    • Scott Draper
      Posted June 24, 2016 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      No, god just needs to spawn separate worker threads as necessary to accomplish tasks in parallel, just like Windows or Unix does. These threads have Divine authority, but not actual god-hood.

      • rickflick
        Posted June 24, 2016 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

        Effective but less fun than monkey-gods.

      • JohnnieCanuck
        Posted June 25, 2016 at 1:16 am | Permalink

        You speak of daemons, then?

        • Scott Draper
          Posted June 25, 2016 at 1:27 am | Permalink

          Ha! Sure.

  3. Randall Schenck
    Posted June 24, 2016 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    After hearing about the whole idea yesterday it just seems to be, the christians want to have their cake and eat it too.

  4. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted June 24, 2016 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    ‘Our Father in heaven, Mendeleev be your name. Your orbitals come, your octet rule be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our covalent bonds, and forgive us our oxidations, as we also have forgiven our reducers. And lead us not into chemical equilibrium, but deliver us from free radicals.’

    • darrelle
      Posted June 24, 2016 at 8:46 am | Permalink

      I think bacon needs to be in there somewhere.

    • Filippo
      Posted June 24, 2016 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

      Deliver us from having to hear “Bless you!” when we sneeze.

    • rom
      Posted June 25, 2016 at 2:47 pm | Permalink


  5. Jeff Lewis
    Posted June 24, 2016 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. I really don’t understand singling out theistic evolution over theism in general. I mean, if you’re any type of mainstream Christian, you believe in an intervening God who affects the world. The more liberal you are, the lighter the touch you might imagine, but the Christian God is a hands on God. Going through a drought? Pray. Have a sick family member? Pray. Worried about getting a promotion? Pray. You may still accept meteorology, medicine, or the value of hard work in general, but you believe that God can and probably does influence all these things.

    So, in effect, Christians believe in theistic meteorology, theistic medicine, theistic everything. Why be surprised when they say that yes, they think their God has also tinkered with evolution. They’re just being consistent.

    And I’ve said this before, too, but there is a difference in principle, not just degree, between theistic evolution and creationism. Creationism denies that evolution could happen at all. But like I implied above, theistic evolution is like theistic meteorology. You accept all the principles of the science and accept that it would still work whether or not God was intervening. God’s not necessary for the process. But, he can still tweak things imperceptibly to guarantee particular outcomes, so that, for example, it doesn’t rain during your family reunion, or that a certain ape lineage becomes more specialized for a savannah habitat.

    • Kevin
      Posted June 24, 2016 at 10:49 am | Permalink

      Afterlife, baby. They all wants the heaven town and they dos anythings to gets it.

  6. Posted June 24, 2016 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    Correction – all the hydrogen bonds at the same time – gosh He-she-It is clever!

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