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Creation & Evolution


Before we leave the topic of creation, as expressed in The Apostles' Creed, I thought it might be helpful to share a bit of what C. S. Lewis believed about creation and evolution. The following is taken from my book, Mere Theology....

Lewis makes it clear in The Problem of Pain that he believes that animals existed long before men.[1]  This is one of the tenets he accepts from the evolutionists.  For Lewis, this does not conflict with the biblical teaching about the creation of the first human beings or the creation days of Genesis 1.  Remember that for Lewis, the early chapters of Genesis are told in the form of a folk tale.  Therefore, it could be argued, that Lewis viewed the creation days of Genesis 1 as a literary framework, rather than viewing them as six, twenty-four hour days.[2]  According to Lewis, the Bible does not limit us to belief in any definite period of time in which the creation of man followed the creation of animals.

Lewis indicates that he believes it possible, and in no conflict with the Bible, that God raised one of the primates eventually to become Man.  Genesis 2:7 says, “the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.”  Commenting on this verse, Lewis writes that man is clearly made out of something else.  Man is an animal, but he is an animal called to be, or raised to be something more than an animal.  Lewis asserts that the difficulties he has with evolution are not religious.  Therefore, on the ordinary biological level, one of the primates is changed so that he becomes man, but man remains still a primate and an animal.  Human beings are taken up into a new life without relinquishing the old.[3]  In another place, Lewis theorizes that for long centuries God perfected the animal form which was to become man and the image of Himself.  God gave to this animal hands whose thumb could be applied to each of the fingers, jaws, teeth and throat capable of articulation, and a brain sufficiently complex to execute all the material motions of rational thought.  Lewis muses that this creature may have existed for ages in this state before it became man.[4]

A third tenet that Lewis accepts from the evolutionists is the possibility that the human race started from multiple numbers of human beings rather than a single pair.  At times Lewis indicates his belief in an historical Adam and Eve.[5]  However, he is open to the possibility that God may have created many human beings in this original, paradisal state.[6]

A fourth tenet of evolution that Lewis accepts is the idea that pre-human forms of life are recapitulated in the human womb.  This point, which evolutionists use to try and prove that Man evolved from lower life forms, Lewis accepts as a matter of course.[7]




[1]The Problem of Pain, p. 133.
[2]One problem, of course, with viewing the creation days of Genesis 1 as six, twenty-four hour days is that the sun is not even created until the fourth day.  How can you have 24-hour days without the earth revolving around the sun?
[3]Reflections on the Psalms, p.115.  It is humorous to note how some Christians object to the idea that man came from apes as being undignified.  After all, what could be more undignified than the idea that man came from dirt (Genesis 2:7)?
[4]The Problem of Pain, p. 77.  See also Lewis’ letter to Sister Penelope of 10 January 1952 in Letters, p. 417.
[5]See again: Wilson, p. 210.
[6]The Problem of Pain, p. 79.
[7]Miracles, p. 138.

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