The Evolution of Evolution · 19 January 2019

Evolution has taken on a new meaning. Apparently, now it means redesign or recreate or reinvent. Or maybe even just modify. It is an interesting evolution, I mean reinvention, of a word.

Evolution used to mean the changing of a species through natural selection and survival of the fittest. It was what was used to show how plants and animals morphed into what is around us in the natural world. Genes underwent some mutation (usually beneficial) and voilà, something different appeared. Hopefully, something better. Of course, in the natural order of things, if the change was not for the better, poof, that branch of the species was not supposed to survive.

As a Christian and science minded person, I never really had a problem with evolution. After all, natural selection is shown to be true. But there are parts of evolutionary theory that just do not fit the data. (That is a much different story.) I had a problem with the new definition of evolution too. At least until I thought about it.

All the recent ad campaigns seem to point to the new definition of evolution as being redesign. After all, products do not change through their genes having some mutation that benefits the users. Products cannot really evolve since they have no genes to mutate. But advertisers seem to think that product designers are evolving their products. That opens up a new discussion of creation. Or at least it ought to.

I am not talking about Intelligent Design. Which is a legitimate scientific theory and a great argument for the Creator, but it gets brushed aside with nary a thought. (Even though it should not.) But to change, nay evolve, the definition of evolution to mean recreate should open up a whole new can of worms. At least for the evolutionist. After all, whenever the subject of evolution is brought up in any discussion, critical thinkers should at least ask themselves whether the meaning is the current or former meaning. Does the speaker mean the newest design or the newest form of the latest gene mutation?

Popular culture creates all sorts of openings for Christians to bring God to the discussion. After all, why do the stories that ring most true and bring the most tears to the eyes have a person or persons sacrifice themselves to save another? Why is it that the most gut-wrenching stories are those of having to give up something you love for something you love just as much or more? Why is it that we must create? Does everything really happen for a reason?

Well, this was not going to be a discussion about how to start God-centered discussions with people, but the new use of the word evolution is a crazy phenomenon. It reminds me of the words of Jesus, “These things will pass away, but my words will not pass away.” These things are everything else. Everything in the universe will come to an end except the words of Jesus. The words of God. And one of the best contemporary examples of that is the thought that evolution just happens.

Think about it. The new definition of the word evolution has at its core the thought that there is a designer who changes things for the better. And as it is in the manufacturing (and advertising) world, so it is in the natural world. There is a Designer. And He is in charge. Maybe I like what seems to be the new definition of the word evolution after all.

© 2019 Michael T. Miyoshi

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