Creationism versus Evolutionism
A mistaken contradiction
Creationism and Evolutionism are two different ways of explaining the manifestation of living organisms on earth: plants, animals, and human beings. Both have caused till date numerous conflicts between their advocates, as they were presented as mutually exclusive. These conflicts are, however, not necessary as the two concepts are in reality complementary if they are considered from a spiritual viewpoint.
Creationism, which is based on the Bible, states that God created every plant and animal, and then placed them together on earth. And so, everything came directly from the hand of the Creator.
Indeed, we read from Genesis: “And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit… Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth… cattle and creeping thing… So God created man in his own image.” (Genesis 1, 11-21-24-27).
According to some exegetes of the Bible, Creation, comprising all living things, occurred 4004 years before the birth of Jesus Christ. Since then, plants and animals would have populated the earth without modifications to their shapes and abilities as they were already fully formed from the beginning.
Charles Darwin (1809-1882) while studying the shapes of extinct animals preserved as fossils and comparing them to those actually living noted that all animal species appeared as improved variants of preceding ones.
It became clear to him that different creatures did not appear on earth together, already fully formed, but had rather issued from one another. Through the development of its faculties, the simplest creature produced a more elaborate one, which through the same process gave rise to yet another superior to itself and so forth until the appearance of the great apes, and finally Man.
Therefore the various plants and animals known to us today did not exist from the beginning but are the result of a slow process of evolution and development of faculties.
Thus, over millions of years, living species appeared, not simultaneously and fully completed as claimed by Creationists, but successively and gradually perfecting themselves.
When Darwin explained his ideas in the middle of the 19th century, the Creationists strongly opposed him. He was indeed challenging the fundamental vision of the world and Man which had hitherto prevailed.
Man was suddenly relegated to the rank of an animal since he was now a descendant of apes. Another implication was that he had not been created in the image of God but in that of the ape. Worse still, if animal species had issued one from the other it meant that God did not create them but that they had created themselves. The conclusion was that God was not the Creator of everything, and perhaps did not exist at all.
For every believer, including the Creationists, challenging the almighty creative power of God is nonsensical hence the rejection of Evolutionism.
The problem, however, is that the evolutionist approach is based on the observation of concrete and incontestable facts leading to the conclusion that filiations and an evolution of species are logical and objective.
But how can this impasse be averted?
The key: A broader approach
In spite of appearances, Creationism and Evolutionism are not irreconcilable because their elements of truth are not at the same level. In fact, the Creationist refers to the creation of souls while the Evolutionist refers to the physical bodies in which souls incarnate.
For the sake of simplicity we will limit ourselves to animals and human beings. The creation of the animal species followed by that of Man, as described in the Bible, and on which Creationists base their arguments, concerns the animating core of these creatures, that is, the animal soul (souls of dogs, horses, apes, etc.) and the human spirit. They were all created by God, each with its own characteristics.
Now, the human spirit needs a physical body in which to incarnate and sojourn on earth just as the animal soul also needs a body of dense gross matter for the same purpose. But where were these vessels on earth? At the beginning they were not available on planet Earth and needed to be formed.
These vessels were not formed simultaneously as a group but rather developed one after the other through a process of evolution spanning eons, as precisely emphasized by the evolutionist approach.
A lengthy evolution of the physical bodies
The most basic animal soul incarnated in the simplest animal body comprising only one cell. In its struggle for survival that specie brought itself to a higher stage and through its multiplication gave more perfected souls the opportunity of incarnation in these improved bodies. These souls in turn brought their bodies up to a higher level thus allowing yet more elaborate souls to incarnate. The process repeated itself until the forming of physical bodies of the great apes in whose bodies human spirits finally incarnated instead of souls of apes.
These apes became eventually extinct. The incarnation of human spirits in their bodies occurred within a very definite period. The great apes under reference had attained their highest stage of development on earth. Though different, their faculties were nearest to those of human spirits still under-developed at that time since they were at the beginning of their evolutionary journey. Thus the most developed of the lower species was able to provide a vessel to the least developed of the higher species. That vessel eventually became more human so that human spirits could incarnate into human bodies and no longer into bodies of apes.
It must be noted that a more developed body, not a different one, is handed down in the evolutionary process. The animating core actually makes the difference. The ape did not hand down a human body but the body of an ape to the spirit. It is only when the spirit took possession of that body and began to utilise it that it finally acquired a human form.
Souls already created
The progressive evolution of physical bodies here on earth thus gave the various souls in the beyond the opportunity to gradually incarnate, as and when vessels which they needed to come to earth were formed. Therefore an evolution exists at the level of physical bodies, and not at the level of souls which had already existed as such before their incarnation since they were created by God. They do not, therefore, originate from each other. The soul of an ape cannot develop into a human spirit any more than a human spirit can regress to become the soul of an ape. The Creationists and Evolutionists are not in opposition but are complementary. Man, with a spirit core, is not a descendant of the ape; only his body comes from it.