Bruce Waltke recently conducted an interesting survey “each president of the Fellowship of Evangelical Seminary Presidents (FESP)” and wrote a 13 page white paper detailing his results: Barriers to Accepting the Possibility of Creation by Means of an Evolutionary Process (PDF).
- The creation accounts of Genesis 1 and 2, when interpreted by the grammatico-historical method [hereafter assumed], cannot be harmonized with creation by the process of evolution. (44%)
- The genealogies of Genesis do not harmonize with evolution (23%)
- Evolution does not harmonize with the doctrine that Adam brought death and decay into the world (34%)
- Evolution calls into question Adam as the father of original sin and of Christ as the Redeemer from the effects of sin (28%)
- Evolution is bad science in part because it presumes an old earth (19%)
- Evolution is bad science, even though the Big Bang occurred 13.73 billion years (8%)
- ID explains the origins of species better than evolution (36%)
- “Scientists only have the present—they do not have the past,” ruling out the possibility of science to theorize the history of origins (17%).
- The apparent age of the universe can be explained by reckoning that God created the universe with apparent age (18%).
- The gap theory explains the fossil record (6%)
- The framework hypothesis does not harmonize with evolution (7%)
- None of the above. I can accept the theory of theistic evolution (46%)
659 Evangelical professors visited Waltke’s (Zoomerang “radio button”) survey site, but only 264 completed it. (I wonder why the other 60% chose not to participate.) You might find Waltke’s survey details and conclusions interesting; he notes some definitional problems.
I’d be interested to see more surveys of this kind distinguish the opinions of different types of evangelical scholars. For example, I’m guessing that there might be a significant difference of opinion between Old Testament scholars and systematic theologians. Environment–the kinds of people they generally interact with–likely makes a big difference too.
Some of you might also be interested in this paper from the BioLogos foundation:
- “Adventist Origins of Young Earth Creationism” by Karl Giberson
Download full PDF
Many evangelicals believe that young-earth creationism is the only authentic and Biblical way for Christians to understand origins, and that until the advent of Darwin’s theory of evolution, young-earth creationism was the only view held by Christians. However, in this excerpt from his book, Saving Darwin, Karl Giberson explains that young-earth creationism is a relatively new phenomenon that stemmed from the 20th century fundamentalist movement.
HT: Thanks to Karyn Traphagen via Twitter. Karyn’s Boulders 2 Bits blog has had a lot of fun posts lately including Shewa fight (for you Hebrew scholars) and 21 Reasons why the English language is so hard to learn (for the rest of us).