Some people say that life evolved. Others contend that God merely started creation off and then let the process of evolution take over. What does the Bible say?
Does the Bible’s creation account rule out the possibility that the universe began with the big bang?
The Bible simply says: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1) It does not comment on exactly how God created everything. So even if a cosmic explosion produced our universe, that would not contradict what is stated in the Bible. Rather, Genesis 1:1 would answer the question, Who caused the big bang?
Of course, many scientists believe that the big bang was a spontaneous, undirected event that led to the self-arranging of particles of matter into stars and planets over a period of time. The Bible does not support that view but states that the formation of the universe was a direct act of God, whether he employed some sort of cosmic explosion or some other method of creation.
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”—Genesis 1:1.
Does the Bible’s account allow for living things to change over time?
Yes. The Bible says that God created living things “according to their kinds.” (Genesis 1:11, 12, 21, 24, 25) Can variation occur within a kind? Yes. However, does observed adaptation within a kind prove that eventually new kinds can evolve? No.
Consider an example: In the 1970’s, researchers studied finches on the Galápagos Islands. They noted that climate changes caused finches with slightly larger beaks to survive more readily. This, some concluded, provided evidence of evolution. But was it evidence of evolution, or was it simply adaptation? Years later, the finches with smaller beaks once again dominated the population. This experiment led Jeffrey H. Schwartz, a professor of anthropology, to conclude that while adaptation may help a species survive under changing circumstances, “it is not creating anything new.”
Can the Bible and the theory of evolution be reconciled?
The Bible says that “[God] created all things.” (Revelation 4:11) He did not “rest” until his creative work was complete. (Genesis 2:2) The implication is clear: God did not create a simple organism and then rest, or take a backseat, while that organism evolved over millions of years into various kinds of fish, apes, and humans.* That idea, called macroevolution, denies the role of a Creator, who the Bible says “made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them.”—Exodus 20:11; Revelation 10:6.
“You are worthy, Jehovah our God, to receive the glory and the honor and the power, because you created all things.”—Revelation 4:11.
To learn more: The Bible says that God’s “invisible qualities are clearly seen from the world’s creation onward, because they are perceived by the things made.” (Romans 1:20) Learning about God can give real meaning to life, for he has a loving purpose that includes all who sincerely seek him. (Ecclesiastes 12:13; Hebrews 11:6) For more information, visit www.jw.org or contact Jehovah’s Witnesses. Look under BIBLE TEACHINGS > BIBLE QUESTIONS ANSWERED.
Contrary to the claims of creationists, the Bible does not support the idea that God created the earth in six 24-hour days. For more information, see pages 24-27 of the brochure Was Life Created? The brochure is published by Jehovah’s Witnesses and is available for free download at www.jw.org.