What is theistic evolution

Theistic evolution

The following important information is missing from this article or section:
This article mainly presents positions in the Catholic Church; there are no views of Protestant, Jewish or Islamic theists
Help Wikipedia by researching and pasting it.

The term theistic evolution describes a range of perspectives on the tension between theistic religious belief and scientific theories on the origin and evolution of life. Many devout theists believe that a god plans or controls the development of life in some way. Some theists only assume the influence of a god on psychological phenomena, some go so far as to speak of a direct creative intervention by a god in natural processes.

In contrast to advocates of evolutionist creationism, followers of theistic evolution generally do not assume that the Bible is inerrancy. Some natural scientists and numerous theologians take the view that the theory of evolution and the belief in a creator God are compatible with one another without contradiction. On the other hand, very many believers of the major denominations consider science and faith to be independent of one another. Whether and how far the latter is still under the generic term theistic evolution fall is controversial.

Basic theological ideas

Evaluation by natural scientists

Since Teilhard de Chardin and Hoimar von Ditfurth, other prominent natural scientists such as the evolutionary biologist Kenneth Miller, the paleontologist Robert Bakker and Francis Collins, the head of the human genome project, have postulated the view that evolutionary theory and Christian belief can be reconciled without contradictions . Miller and Collins in particular emerged as resolute opponents of creationism and intelligent design. Both are members of the Biologos Foundation, set up by Collins for this purpose, to which other renowned scientists belong and which stands for the compatibility of science and Christian faith. Several Anglican theologians have also presented some very extensive works on this topic. In addition to John Polkinghorne, Arthur Peacocke should be mentioned in particular, who had previously worked as a university lecturer in biochemistry for over two decades.


From an evangelical point of view, the following speaks against theistic evolution: According to biblical teaching, it was only through human sin that suffering and death came into the world. This means that the evolutionary “end product” of man cannot have come about after the painful death of many generations of animals.



  • Francis Collins (from the English by Arne Feddersen): God and the genes. A scientist decodes the language of God. Verlag Herder, Freiburg 2013, ISBN 978-3-451-06353-4 (The English edition was on the New York Times bestseller list for many weeks)
  • Thomas Christian Kotulla: The rationale of the world: How we find what we are looking for. Brunnen Verlag, Giessen 2013, ISBN 978-3765520129 (Amazon best seller)
  • Herrmann Stinglhammer: Introduction to Creation Theology. WBG (Scientific Book Society), Darmstadt 2011, p. 100 f. (And passim).


  • Kenneth Miller: Finding Darwin’s God: A Scientist’s Search for Common Ground Between God and Evolution. 2000, ISBN 0-06-093049-7
  • Kenneth Miller, J. Levine: Biology: The Living Science. 2002.
  • Kenneth Miller: Only a Theory: Evolution and the Battle for America’s Soul. 2008, ISBN 978-0-670-01883-3

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ↑ cf. Rainbow / Meyer, Dictionary of Philosophical Terms (2005) / creatio continua
  2. ↑ Teilhard de Chardin: Man in the cosmos, 1955.
  3. abHoimar von Ditfurth: We're not just of this world 1981.
  4. ^ Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel: Phenomenology of the Spirit, 1807.
  5. ↑ - (Memento of May 13, 2009 in Internet Archive)
  6. ^ Pope Pius XII .: Humani generis. Circulars to the Venerable Brothers, Patriarchs, Primates, Archbishops, Bishops, and other Pastors who live in peace and communion with the Apostolic See on some false beliefs that threaten to undermine the foundations of Catholic doctrine (August 12, 1950).
  7. ↑ Pope John Paul II: Christian image of man and modern evolution theories. Message to the members of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences on the occasion of their plenary assembly on October 22, 1996.
  8. Discover the plan in nature Wording of the guest commentary by Schönborn in the New York Times
  9. ↑ http: //oe1.orf.at/inforadio/72955.html (Memento from February 4, 2008 in Internet Archive)
  10. ↑ - (Memento of February 3, 2006 in Internet Archive)
  11. Schönborn: “I'm not a creationist”. In: derStandard.at. July 11, 2005, accessed December 8, 2017.
  12. ↑ - (Memento of August 8, 2006 in Internet Archive) Cardinal Christoph Schönborn: About biodiversity
  13. ↑ Pope Benedict XVI. to the "intelligent plan of the cosmos": Pope speaks of the “intelligent” plan of the cosmos