This is a follow-up of sorts to Joshua Sowin’s Why I’m Not a Creationist (Anymore). For the purpose of consistency with his post, I will also use the term creationist to refer to YEC (young earth creationism – 6ky to 10ky earth aging).
But as much and as easy as it is for many to reject YEC, the adoption of evolutionary models is often done with such haste so as to miss some serious issues in those models. Common descent is merely the assumption behind the models; it is not the model. The models that are evolution are many and include the various mechanisms that describe the rate of change. Whether one chooses phyletic gradualism, uniformitarian gradualism, punctuated equilibrium, or a synthetic solution that attempts to resolve some of the conflicts of each, the lack of consensus leaves the student with a difficult question: What am I accepting? At this point one only accepts the assumption and then builds his/her own model around the mechanism of choice.
There is room for creation, at least in the beginning. This has, at its minimum, been acknowledged. But after the beginnings of the universe the field is still wide open, at least as far as “science” is concerned.
One of the conflicts we face is in educating the evolutionists about our theological language. For instance, a “literal” interpretation of Genesis 1-2 does not require the granularity of YEC but can employ a literary framework approach to discern the content. We can also deal with the evolutionists understanding of our view of creation and correct the misunderstanding (which is employed as a red herring in evolutionary material) that the original creation remains unchanged.
The net, as I see it, is that Creation includes evolution: C(e). The theistic evolutionist seems to hold the inverse of this, that evolution includes some later factor of creation: E(c). I find this problematic theologically. The science can fit either framework. But it seems most prudent to keep theology in its rightful position.
My view of the when of creation is wide open. The age of the earth and all on it is generally indeterminable. There seems to not have been enough time for the full speciation we see today in the time allotted by the naturalist evolutionist. One can note, for instance, the criticism of Gould by Dennett that PE amounts to a type of saltationism.
There remain too many unanswered questions to allow evolution the upper hand. But YEC is equally weak. Still, creation has its proper place and the genetics behind evolution are likewise useful. The truth of a real, actual creation lies in between.