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This site is for thoughtful Christians learning how to answer the hard questions people are asking today
Evolution only within Bible categories; animals never become humans
PURPOSE: Helping Christians engage in intelligent conversations with doubters and unbelievers

Did God create everything in six 24-hour days?

Evolution is only within walled categories

Humans are not from apes

'Then God said, Let us make man [Hebrew ’ā·ḏām, humankind] in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.

'So God created man in His own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

'And God blessed them and said to them, Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground' (Genesis 1:26-28).

People did not evolve from apes

The Bible makes it clear that humans were created by God as a separate and superior kind of life on earth, not an improved animal as taught in public schools and depicted by this common type of illustration.

Christians typically say that evolutionary science teaches that humans came from apes. To be honest, that's a mischaracterization because they teach that humans and apes both evolved from a common ancestor. But even that is contrary to what the Bible teaches.

Humans did not evolve. They were created as humans at a specific point in time as God's crowning creation.

Evolution needs definition

'Evolution' is an emotionally charged word for some Christians. It frequently implies a universe that happened by itself from nothing without God, with man being an evolved animal as illustrated above, and as taught universally in public schools and universities.

Actually, 'evolution' in its generic sense is just a word that means the process of gradual change that takes place over vast numbers of generations – within God's creation – during which species of plants and animals slowly arise, change physical characteristics and eventually die out, all within walled categories and all according to God's dynamic master plan.

The term 'evolution' becomes emotionally charged and offensive when people expand the meaning to include 'godless.' Therefore, the word's usage requires definition.

What Americans believe about evolution

Based on a recent national Gallup poll on this subject, here's what Americans believe about evolution:

'Forty percent of U.S. adults ascribe to a strictly creationist view of human origins, believing that God created them in their present form within roughly the past 10,000 years. However, an increasing majority of Americans believe that humans evolved over millions of years – either with God's guidance (33%) or, increasingly, without God's involvement at all (22%).'

Basically, there are three views of evolution in American today:

  • No evolution (40%): God created everything less than 10,000 years ago essentially as we now find it. This is the traditional Christian view that has been taught in churches for centuries.
  • Theistic evolution (33%): The method and timing used by God to form his creation in stages over long periods of time. Belief in theistic evolution does NOT diminish God as designer/creator and does NOT change Christology (birth, life, teaching, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.)
  • Godless evolution (22%): God has no part in it. Life just happened by itself from nothing, without design, by random chance and survival of the fittest.

And, within theistic evolution, there are two subviews:

  • Single-cell evolution: All life started from a single cell organism that has evolved over a long period of time into all life forms.
  • Evolution only within categories: There is abundant evolution within each major category of life, but a life form in one category never morphs into a life form in another category. There are no in-between life forms. Humans are a unique creation and did not evolve from animals or any common ancestor.

This site finds strong evidence for theistic evolution within categories.

Certainly, God is powerful enough to create all of life from a single cell OR creations within categories. The issue is not what God can do, but rather what God actually did, as best we can observe and understand it.

How much evolution?

More than 99% of all species that have ever lived on earth are estimated to have died out. This is clearly evident from archaeological finds and modern knowledge of biology. We observe hundreds of species dying out every year.

Evolution is a fact of life. Even the staunchest traditional Christians acknowledge that at least some degree of change is at work in nature around us, regarded at least as 'microevolution,' which operates within sub-classifications of plants and animals.

Some degree of evolution is indisputable, but how much?

From common-sense observation alone, we see that evolution occurs within various categories of life ... but a life form in one category never evolves into a life form in another category.

Walled categories

Genesis 1 shows the evolution walls, corresponding to creation 'days,' diagrammed here.

Graph of God's six day creation categories

Each category is more profound than the one that precedes it ... at first, no life at all ... then life from seeds, then eggs, then live births ... and ultimately humans, with physical AND spiritual life.

Each category is necessary for the food chain to support the next category ... and, ultimately, humans can have eternal life.

Common observation confirms that a stone never turns into a bush ... a bush never turns into a fish ... a fish never turns into a bird ... a bird never turns into an animal ... an animal never turns into a human.

The categories are walled. There is evolution within categories, but not between categories.

Humans are becoming larger, stronger, and smarter but are not evolving into another life form. The Bible says that the six 'days' (stages) of creation have ended and that humans are God's final crowning earthly creation.

The only thing higher for us is eternal life in a new and better realm of existence, offered through Jesus, as explained throughout this site.

Science searches but cannot find missing links

No part-way creatures are bridging the categories. Scientists have not been able to find the supposed missing links. Just looking around, we know this from common-sense observation.

If there were an evolution from a single cell all the way to man, there would be abundant links, halfway creatures at borders of the main categories. The links are still missing – even after centuries of archaeology and scientific search – affirming that there is no cross-over.

Attributes that define humans are not evolutionary

The attributes that most separates humans from animals are NOT evolutionary, such as laughter, music, art, mathematics, language, and worship. These qualities are unique to humans, created into us, not evolved into us, and not found in any other creatures.

Humans are not improved animals. Genesis 1:26 says that God made humans in His own image, and we have some God-like attributes.

Furthermore, evolutionary theory is limited to the body and has no way of coping with soul and spirit ... no way of dealing with the total person.

Examples of slow evolution: plate tectonics and glaciers

Plate tectonics. Some things are so large that we don't think of them as evolving. The surface of the earth, for example, is slowly and constantly being reshaped by tectonic plates of solid rock crust 5-20 miles thick, floating on molten rock. The sheets collide, cause earthquakes, reshape continents, and form mountains. The plates move over vast distances but at a speed of only an inch or two per year.

Glaciers. There have been at least five major ice ages on earth. The last one began about 110,000 years ago and ended about 15,000 years ago. Even now, 10% of the world's land surface is still covered by glaciers.

Arctic glaciers slid down past the Great Lakes, scarring the landscape and leaving lakes, rivers, and moraines after the melt.

There is so much evidence for the times and effects of plate tectonics and glaciers that no informed person can honestly doubt that they actually happened. Any claim that the universe is less than 10,000 years old, and that all this happened in one week, is ludicrous to well-educated people and turns them away from Christianity.

It makes God too small and blunts Christian witness when people try to shrink God's limitless time into puny calendar time just to defend a misleading translation of a single Hebrew word (yō·wm) in the Bible.

Examples of fast evolution: bacteria and viruses

Just as evolution works on huge things like tectonic plates and glaciers, so it works on small things like bacteria and coronavirus.

There are now about 10 million species of life on earth that can be seen with the naked eye, but when microorganisms are taken into account, researchers say that the earth might be home to a staggering one trillion species.

Bacteria. Bacteria are the smallest – and perhaps the oldest – organisms on earth. They are single-cell, too small to see without a microscope. Bacteria are everywhere, including soil and air. There are about 10 trillion bacteria in the human body, and they evolve (mutate) rapidly. Most bacteria are good for the body and essential for human survival, but some (we call them germs) are bad.

Covid-10 and Bible: an example of fast evolution

Viruses. Even more amazing are viruses, some good, some bad. Unlike bacteria, they do not reproduce by themselves but quickly evolve into new forms so that, upon entering a host cell (as a human body), a bad virus can cause the cell to reproduce the intruder's DNA or RNA, resulting in serious infection and disease, and sometimes death, for the host.

Coronaviruses are a family of viruses – including MERS-CoV, SARS-Cov, and COVID-19 – that evolve rapidly and can appear suddenly as new deadly species and spread quickly around the world.

For most people, the most disastrous world-changing event in our lifetime thus far is COVID-19 ... the rapid evolution of a single microscopic virus and its variants. Pandemic is a current example of evolution.


Thinkers Bible Studies / Topic 1.2


Did God create everything in six 24-hour days?

for an informed answer
Insight 1: Bible credibility

Why timing matters

The real issue here is whether or not the Bible is a credible book of truth. People conclude that if the Bible is wrong about our origin, it's probably wrong about our destiny too. This is a big barrier to faith.
Insight 2: yō·wm is Hebrew word for Bible creation day

'Day' (Hebrew yō·wm) is an 'age'

From the original Hebrew manuscripts, the word 'yō·wm' has been translated as 'day' in English. This is a correct translation but it can mean either a 24-hour period or a long indefinite time, depending upon the context. See how a careful reading of the creation account in Genesis 1 shows that 'day' is a long period of time.
Insight 3: What God created in each 'day'

What God created in each 'day'

See what God made in each stage of His master design plan. The sequential order is not intuitive, but now confirmed by modern science. The ancient writer of Genesis could not have known God's method and sequence more than three thousand years ago without special knowledge direct from the Creator.

Meaning of 'evening' and 'morning'

The Bible uses a repetitive phrase at the conclusion of each stage of creation, but that doesn't necessarily mean a 24-hour period. In fact, time as we know it didn't even exist until visibility of the sun in Day 4.

Evolution is only within walled categories

There is abundant evidence of evolution within each major category of life, but a life form in one category never morphs into a life form in another category. Humans are not evolved but are a special creation in God's own image. The attributes that most define humans – intellect, laughter, music, art, mathematics, language, worship, etc. – are not evolutionary.

Real age, not 'apparent age'

The apparent age theory says that the earth is not actually old but just looks old. This theory is not biblical, requires a world of fakes, and is incompatible with God's character. God is not deceptive.  

Bible gives eight reasons for long 'day'

See eight passages of scripture which show, right from the Bible, that creation 'day' is longer than a 24-hour calendar day. These verses are usually overlooked in a casual reading of the first three chapters of Genesis.

Tradition vs. Bible

Common Christian belief about the days of creation comes more from tradition than from the Bible. Theologians have debated it for centuries. Prominent theologians have concluded that the Bible does not compel a 24-hour meaning for each 'day.' See reasons why this topic is usually buried in silence.

Here's where we combine the eight Insights to get an informed biblical answer: Did God create everything in six 24-hour days?

The insights here are like pieces of a puzzle. Put the pieces together and see the big picture! Now you'll be prepared to engage intelligently and coherently with anyone on the subject of God's creation days. Also see reader comments.
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Helping Christians engage in intelligent and coherent conversations with doubters and unbelievers