If an intelligent designer was going to design and build a working eco-system with operational food chain, it would make sense that he would start with simplistic single celled organisms and work his way up to more complex life. While it is possible that he could have established the entire hierarchy of life in one snap of the fingers, that does not seem consistent with his alleged “personal nature.”
If you investigate the bible, you see instead that he takes his time to interact with individuals. I’m in love with the idea that he built each creature one at a time over many years. This is not evolution. I repeat, although it is not evolution, the results might look similar in the fossil record we now observe.
Let’s imagine that he were to create a certain “type” of creature in a particular range of time. He might start with single celled aquatic life. After building, testing, and observing, that’s the scientific method folks, he notes things that are good. As he watches his little creation in action he decides the ribosome structure and the endoplasmic reticulum work really well, however the doomaflatchy gorgonalous could be reworked. This is consistent with the creation story in Genesis, where God first does something and notes that “it is good.” It doesn’t tell us if he tries some things that are less good, but we notice that there is a difference between the level of ‘good’ between the humans and everything else, when he calls man “very good.” So it seems that some things, in his mind, are more good than others.
I’m proposing he did this process of ‘good’ and ‘needs improvement’ on a microscopic level as well. So once he’s decided what he wants to keep from the last creation, he incorporates it into the next thing he creates. The Ribosome, and endoplasmic will stay, but now maybe he wants to add some chloroplast. Once one design proves it’s effectiveness to operate within the natural world, he takes what worked best as he makes his next creation. This method of creation would be difficult to distinguish from biological evolution, because it implies that more complex organisms would share similar designs with their less complex predecessors.
If he builds his way up from least complex to increasingly so, then it could easily look as if these creatures evolved from each other. Scientists can trace the development of certain cellular structures in the fossil record as they get more complex. Evolution is one possible explanation for that, but a scientific minded intelligent creator is another possible explanation. He builds on his previous creation with more complex structures. Each design is a unique new creature, but he uses the best parts of the last to build the next. It’s a theist form of natural selection, because naturally he will select the best parts to go into the next model.
This might be illustrated by the idea that the first ford model of vehicle was very simplistic. Now the modern car is packed with the most complex features ever conceived. We could say that the car evolved, but only in the proverbial sense. Each model was individually created based on proven engineering from the previous model. What if God, rather than decide to do creation all at once, decided that he wanted to take his time and test each engineering strategy as he went along. Each new creature’s design would be at least partially based on the last. This could explain the evolving structures of the natural world that we find in the fossil record.
You might ask, “if he’s omniscient why would he do this?” I think there are a few possible answers to this. First, he was setting an example for us. He instructed us to subdue the earth and rule over the natural order. So in that sense one of our long term tasks is to build civilization. Civilization takes study, trial and error, science, and engineering. He knew we wouldn’t get it right on the first try, so he set up the example of building complexity step by step. He gave this example as a time capsule that we would eventually discover when we became astute enough to discover it.
The second reason why I think he created in this striated manner rather than all at once is because it gave him joy. Owing to a biblical description of him, we see his personal emotional nature that he exhibits toward his creation. He takes joy. Revelation says says that God, “created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.”(Revelation 4:11 KJV)
Could he have done it all in a single snap of the fingers? Of course, but that is so much less personal and so much less fun. Imagine the difference between working for wealth and inheriting a fortune. How much more proud of your wealth are you if you worked for it, than if you inherited it. It’s a beautiful idea that God worked like a tireless engineer to bring about the best in creation. This is a much more personal approach than the genie in a bottle method.
Thirdly I think the reason he may have done it this way, is because it leaves a really great mystery for us to unravel. He not only did this for his own joy but for ours. He has given us the greatest of all mystery novels. It’s called nature. He left bread crumbs so that we could follow his trail. He left little cryptic notes written in DNA that point us to his whereabouts. He tucked clues into the natural world that would draw us in. He did not create the world to be known, but instead to be studied and wondered at. Paul said it this way, “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead” (Romans 1:20 KJV).
A fourth reason he might create by this method is because he loves us. He wanted to not only use the best of the best for his masterpiece, but he wanted us to know that he was using the best. A painter’s masterpiece is usually done toward the end of their life, not the beginning. Although we agree that God did not have to do it this way, I believe that he created through this method of building complexity to show us that he cares for us. Why else would he design, test, build, and engineer, for so long before he constructed a human. I think it’s because he wanted us to know how special we are. We came at the climax of a billion years of engineering. Wow, it’s mind boggling. Everything in our bodies had been invented, tested, and workshopped, right here on the soil we now occupy. He did it because he wanted to show us he loves us. He knew that someday we’d be able to understand how much he did to bring about the human race. After all, we are the one thing that he said is “very good.” It’s amazing to think, that it’s all handmade from the ground up.
If this is true then, science is the search for God. Science’s success lies in its ability to introduce us to God. If science has not found God yet, it doesn’t mean that it has failed, it just means it is not finished yet.