God and Evolution: Examination of Five Patterns of God’s Action in Nature according to Ian Barbour’s Outlook

Document Type : Research Paper



At the beginning of this article, the author propounds the question whether the theory of evolution is compatible with the idea of God’s intervention in nature. Can we hold both God’s intervention in nature and the laws of nature including the law of evolution? The paper goes to mention briefly theological consequences of the theory of evolution as well as the development of the theory of evolution from Darwin’s time to the emergence of molecular biology as well as to the recent theories about the universal genetics. In the second part, the author takes into consideration four main features in the biological developments: self-regulation, indeterminacy, causality from upside and below, and information interchange. In the third part, the article propounds four pictures of God in regard to the patterns of divine action in nature: God as the designer of an orderly event, God as the determiner of indeterminacies, God as the cause from upside and below, God as the transmitter of information; in this regard, Barbour has examined each of these four patterns and points out some of the difficulties and deficiencies of them. At the end, the paper deals with a fifth pattern based upon the Process Theology and considers the Process Theology’s concept of God as deficient.


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