Let the failure begin... I wasn't able to finish my planned section of the philosophy book for today. I used all my writing time finishing, polishing, and editing the previous chapter. So I'll share some of what I worked on yesterday in this regard, and move on.
It is beyond the scope of this book to engage in Christian debates over the science of macroevolution.  Over the last few decades, a significant literature has emerged against it by scientific creationists and more recently, by those who hold to Intelligent Design theory (ID). The former group marshaled biologists, geologists, and other scientists in the 1970s to argue for a young earth whose complexion is best explained on the basis of catastrophes like
the biblical Flood.[i] Their model of the earth’s geology is thus called catastrophism, as opposed to the uniformitarianism of Darwinism. Uniformitarianism assumes that the earth’s geology has resulted from the same slow processes we observe today, just over billions of years.
Darwinism: the idea that evolution has taken place gradually over millions of years simply by nature “selecting” organisms better equipped to survive in particular environments
mutation: a change in the fundamental molecular structure of an organism
neo-Darwinism: a revision of Darwin’s theory that understands mutation as the method by which organisms arise that are better equipped to survive in particular environments
scientific creationism: a Christian approach to scientific evidence that arose in the 1970s to counter belief in macroevolution. It assumes a literal seven day creation and explains the earth’s geology by recourse to a world-wide flood
Intelligent Design theory (ID): a more recent Christian approach to scientific evidence that suggests it cannot be explained adequately without recourse to an Intelligent Designer, namely, God
uniformitarianism: the idea that the earth’s geology can be explained on the assumption that conditions have largely remained the same over the course of its history
catastrophism: the idea that the earth’s geology is largely explained by a major catastrophe, namely, a world-wide flood
Intelligent design theory takes a slightly different tactic.[ii] It suggests that certain aspects of life reflect an “irreducible complexity” that could not have evolved by chance. They attempt to demonstrate that the evolution of certain things like proteins is a mathematical impossibility by chance, because they are so complex. Unless they were designed, we cannot account for their existence.
At the same time, the evolutionary community has not stood still either. Many evolutionists no longer hold to the strict uniformitarianism of Darwinism and now suggest that the most radical phases of evolution may take place “quickly” in various spurts (quickly meaning over thousands rather than millions of years). This process is sometimes called punctuated (not spontaneous) equilibrium.
Again, our purpose is not to examine the science involved. We can refer to a body of Christian scientific literature that makes scientific arguments against macroevolution.[iii] Other Christian scientists argue for theistic evolution, the idea that God directed the evolutionary process.[iv] When the theory of evolution first began to gain prominence, some Christians strategized to fit it with their Christian understanding. For example, some suggested what became known as the “gap theory,” the idea that dinosaurs and other extinct animals might have lived in between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2. They suggested that Satan’s fall from heaven might have caused the world of 1:1 to become “formless and empty” in 1:2.
Over time, however, evolution was used as an excuse for social Darwinism, the idea that the rich and powerful should naturally run over the poor and powerless in society. After all, they were the fittest! It is quite possible that William Jennings Bryan, who famously argued against evolution in the famed Scope’s Trial of 1925, was so vehemently opposed to evolution primarily because of what he saw as its unchristian social implications, more than because it violated a literal understanding of the Bible.[v] That emphasis of scientific creationism came more to the front in the 1970s.
We might briefly mention the biblical texts that most come into play in such debates. The first is obviously Genesis 1, which presents creation in terms of seven “days.” Theistic evolutionists take such language as figurative and poetic rather than a straightforward, literal description. Perhaps the days represent ages of history, they might say. At the same time, fundamentalist interpreters put a high premium on taking the days as literal 24 hour days. Similarly, when Genesis says God made everything “after its kind,” this description is taken to preclude evolution between species.
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social Darwinism: the application of the idea of “survival of the fittest” to its “have’s” and “have not’s,” justifying the domination of the powerful over society’s weak
theistic evolution: the idea that God in some way directed the evolutionary process or at least that macroevolution is compatible with belief in God
Perhaps a greater challenge to the theistic evolutionist view comes from the book of Romans in the New Testament. In Romans 5, Paul tells the Romans that death entered the world through sin, through the sin of Adam in particular (e.g., 5:12). From the similar passage in 1 Corinthians 15:22, it is clear that Paul includes physical death in what he is talking about.  Yet evolution requires lots and lots of death to take place before Adam. The theistic evolutionist must thus take Paul’s argument somewhat less than literally.
For some, like Kenneth Miller, the Adam and Eve story might shift into the category we explored at the beginning of the chapter: a story expressing a mystery that does not refer to historical figures.[vi] This solution of course then removes for us Augustine’s “free will” explanation for world-wide evil and natural calamity—we would have no human parent on which to pin the “Fall.” Other theistic evolutionists see God much more involved in the process of evolution. They might accept the existence of an Adam and see him as the first homo sapiens into which God put a soul. They would then see Paul’s language of death really having more to do with spiritual death than physical death. Indeed, they might argue that Adam and Eve themselves were designed to die unless they ate of the tree of life (Gen. 3:22).
What is non-negotiable for the historic Christian is that God created the universe and has all power and knowledge of it as He sees fit. Further, God is involved in the world and through Christ will eventually set right everything that is wrong in it. Within these boundaries, we find some variety of perspective among faithful Christians. Each one will have to decide what they think is acceptable to believe.
 For the spectrum of positions Christians have taken on this issue, see Greg Boyd, ed., Across the Spectrum (***).
[i] E.g., Henry M. Morris, Scientific Creationism (Green Forest, AR: Master, 1974).
[ii] E.g., Michael J. Behe, William A. Dembski, and Stephen C. Meyer, Science and Evidence for Design in the Universe (San Francisco: Ignatius, 2000).
[iii] In addition to nn.ii-iii, we might also mention Michael J. Behe’s, Darwin’s Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution, 2nd ed. (New York: Free, 2006).
[iv] E.g., Finding Darwin’s God: A Scientist’s Search for Common Ground between God and Evolution (New York: Cliff Street, 1999).
[v] See Mark Noll, The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1994), 189.
 For an arugment that Paul does not have physical death in view, see David Snoke, A Biblical Case for an Old Earth (***).
[vi] See n.iv. Another excellent resource for Christianity in relation to science is Francis Collins' The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief (***).