(I include the above photo simply for fun.)
The word "evolution" is a slippery one. I'm referring to the fact that it is used in a variety of ways by various people. This often leads to lack of actual communication and accompanying consternation/frustration for everyone involved.
In general "evolution" means change. We've all seen change, both good and bad, occur in almost uncountable ways in our lives. For example, the technological evolution just during the past thirty years is immense. I can remember when we bought our first microwave oven. Nowadays we can't live without the internet. These are significant changes.
When it comes to the world's beginnings, we must be clear in what we are talking about. Darwinian evolutionists demand that macro evolution occurs through processes of natural selection, mutation, and random chance. They state unequivocally that no higher intelligence is behind it. No discussion/debate on the issue is tolerated (especially within secular universities).
This is fascinating because the positive changes we've experienced in this world occur through much planning and intelligence. The evolution we have seen in technology has come from many smart techno-folks logging long hours to create software, computers, cell phones, flat screens, etc. None of these types of changes have happened through people simply sitting around waiting for something to happen by chance.
Evolution, when simply meaning change, can be a positive thing only when intelligence is behind it. On the other hand, evolution apart from intelligence and planning leads only to a big mess or worse. A great example of this is the state of my kids' bedrooms. I've blogged about this before, so I'll simply say here that order does not stem from chance. Their bedrooms only become clean through much effort and planning.
This is not to say that God controlled evolutionary processes to bring this world into existence. That is simply not the case. Genesis 1-2 makes it clear that God crafted this world in a highly organized, step-by-step process.
Changes do, however, occur in this world. Evolution, meaning simply change, even happens within species over time. However, it never happens at the macro level. Species tend to remain the same, not change from one to another.
Let's be careful in our definitions. Statements such as "I don't believe in evolution" are not helpful because they are not precise enough. In order to have intelligent conversation on this issue, we must define what we are talking about.
There was no evolution in the creation process.
There is evolution (meaning simply change) in the world as we know it. Positive change only stems from intelligence and planning.
Changes that come from lack of order or planning are only negative ones. Order never comes as a result of disorder.
As followers of Jesus we must be clear in what we are talking about as we engage the world on these issues.