On page 100 of The Language God Talks: On Science and Religion, Herman Wouk (if I'm interpreting him correctly) talks about how human beings have been on earth for such an infinitesimal amount of time, in comparison with the vast age of the universe. I once saw a visual aid about this in a museum: it showed a line, which represented the age of the universe, and a very tiny sliver of that line was how long humans have existed.
An atheist I know once made that point to me: If there is a God, he wondered, why did God take so long to create human beings? Of
course, young-earth creationists believe that God didn't take that
long, so they don't struggle with this issue, but those who accept
modern scientific consensus while also believing in God as the creator
may wonder why there were so many millennia before human beings, who are
supposedly the focal point of God's plan, finally appeared. Then
there's the issue of theistic evolution. Many who consider a scenario
that accepts evolution and God as creator may inquire: Why didn't God
simply create human beings in one fell swoop, rather than allowing them
to develop from proto-human creatures?
I have the same
sort of question about the narrative that I got growing up, within
Armstrongism. I was raised on the gap-theory, the belief that there
could be billions of years between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2. The
gap-theory accepted the scientific consensus regarding the age of the
universe, and it was open to the eras of dinosaurs and mammoths
occurring during that time. But I wonder what exactly the point was.
Why didn't God just cut to the chase and make human beings, who, as I
said, are supposedly the focal point of God's plan?
answer is that time is not a factor with God. What to us is a long time
is not necessarily a long time for God. I'm cool with that, pretty
much. I'm a little skeptical when Christians apply that insight to
eschatology, when they argue that Jesus' statements that the end is near
are not necessarily false for the simple reason that "near" to God may
not be what's "near" for us. I'm skeptical because that would be
mis-communication on the part of God: wouldn't you expect for God to
adopt our understanding of "near" when he speaks to us, since that's
essential to communication? Moreover, if God were attempting to comfort
suffering people with the notion that God's reign is near, when it's
not actually near but could occur centuries after their time, then the
comforting message is false.
But, when it comes to
origins, I'm more open to the idea that God may not measure time as we
do, that millions of years could have gone by, but that wasn't much time
Why would God use evolution, though? I'm not sure. Perhaps
God foresaw that evolution by natural selection would lead to the
result that he wanted----intelligent life. God's strategy may not be so
much to micromanage every little detail, but rather to allow events to
unfold, and to be there whenever we want a relationship with God.
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