This is a question that comes up often when considering the first 2 chapters of Genesis.
As I read Genesis 1 and 2 and I think about creation and evolution, I think that there is only one question and one answer that means a whole lot to me. Q: Where did the world come from? A: God made it. One thing all scientists have had to conclude is that the world had to have a beginning, no matter what got us here in 2009, it had to start somewhere. Some scientist give it a name like “the big bang” and that’s fine, but who made the big bang? The fact is, that if evolution does exist God made evolution. God also made science. And he made our minds, and gave us freedom to deny him or believe him with those minds. Pretty trippy, huh?
But it is important when considering this to do a real heart check about why you think or do not think it is an important question to answer. You can almost bank on the fact that any time you put an “ism” at the end of the word, it means that there are lots of people out there who have made a religion out of whatever that ism is about. CreationISM and EvoltionISM are two good examples. I think that these are people in two distinct groups who sound like they are talking about the origin of humanity but between-the-lines they are saying either “the bible is literally accurate” or “the bible is a fraud”. Of course they are both making it far too simplistic. Personally, I believe in evolution, but not the way the evolutionists do. I also believe in creation, but not the way the creationists do. Creationists want to say that the world was created in 6 literal days as described in the bible. Pictures of people with dinosaurs are ways of emphasizing those believes. These people are also called literalists. While I do believe that God could indeed created the world in 6 days (or a mere snap of his finger), I don’t think this is the point of Genesis 1 and 2. The point is simply that God was first, and he is the one who created. The 6 days may simply represent some important divisions of God’s creation, as well as emphasizing the all important 7th day where God rested (something I hope to do someday too).
By the way, this worldview has a name, it’s called “Intelligent Design”. It’s simply the belief that our world was indeed created by a higher being. Whether that was in 6 days, or 600 billion years, it was still created by something, someone, greater. 2 Peter 3 says that “With the Lord a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years is like a day.” So even 6 days as written in Genesis, could really be a long long time. As a follower of Jesus, I believe that the higher being that created everything was God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit).
Most evolutionists who don’t believe in a creator are atheists who don’t believe in God at all, or agnostics who believe that even if there is a creator or ‘initiator’ that being has no connection or interaction with us. These are also the same people who hold up Charles Darwin as a kind of ‘hero’ of evolutionary thought. However, what is rarely discussed among evolutionists today, is the fact that Darwin’s theory of evolution has very serious scientific holes in it. If you’re curious, check out best sellers like “Darwin’s Black Box”. This is not to say that evolution is not credible, but only to say that the man that is so widely renown as a hero to scientists and atheists was really only the author of a theory not a scientifically proven fact. Even my high school science book called it Darwin’s Theory of Evolution, but this theory was taught like it was fact, and it is always talked about like that, as if the word ‘theory’ doesn’t mean what it really means. I mention this only to point out the fact that there must clearly be some religious-like biases on the side of many people to promote the ideas of evolution as if they are proven fact. Similarly there are religious-like biases on the side of the creationists who talk about 6-day creation like it is a proven fact. Obviously we are dealing with a case of radical beliefs that have radical followers. But at the end of the day the important thing is still who made it, not how it was made.
The final thing that I didn’t mention is that it’s not just a creation vs. science thing. Science is often on the side of the idea of creation, and there are lots of great, credible scientists out there who are great men and women of faith. They simply know when to stop looking for proof, and when to start believing in something greater than they could ever comprehend.