John Templeton Foundation Paul Wason Michael J. Murray

There are many Christians who believe that some form of theistic evolution is the only viable alternative to the seemingly endless head on confrontation between creation science and atheistic evolutionism. Theistic evolution and the closely related evolutionary creationism come in many forms, some more convincing than others. But they have in common holding two important ideas together which other perspectives consider incompatible First that God is responsible for the origin of all that is, and, through ongoing creative activity is the source of what we see around us in the world today. And second that all life today has descended, through the cluster of processes we call evolution, from a common ancestor perhaps around three billion years ago. All life forms including humans.

These two ideas are held together by the suggestion that God created a set of natural processes and now works (in part) through them. That is, God has brought into being all the life forms we see today, and he has done it through evolution. Or, the other way round, evolution is real and of immense importance, but far from being a random, unguided, meaningless mechanical process, it has been guided by the Creator.

But if many of us think this closely-related suite of ideas constitutes the only viable alternative either to creationism or to atheistic evolutionism, there are many others who do not believe it viable at all. And there is a third, perhaps much larger group, that may concede theistic evolution as a theoretic possibility but who for one reason or another do not find it convincing. As suggested by the title, it is this problem - why so many people believe theistic evolution is not viable, and what we might do about it - that is the core of the activities proposed here.