God designs what only God can design. The rest is delegated to lesser beings who design lesser things. In being the greatest being of all, God therefore designed only the greatest things of all, that which cannot be created by any other being in existence. That thing is existence itself.
Lesser beings design only what lesser beings can design. Those beneath them lack the ability to create the same, and those above them would be interfering with the purpose of Creation if they denied lesser beings the opportunity to advance through exploration of their own potential.
Therefore higher beings don’t interfere with what is only for lower beings to do, and lower beings can’t interfere with what only higher beings can do. Therefore everything is designed only by the lowest order of intelligence that can design it. Therefore God did not design everything in existence.
God designed existence but does not micromanage it. Through the freewill and intelligence of conscious beings inhabiting that existence, existence continues designing itself. God is both beyond existence as a singular infinite being who created it, and within existence as the total plurality of finite beings experiencing it. This is about an infinite being exploring its infinite potential through an infinity of finite beings1.
Again, everything is designed only by the lowest order of intelligence that can design it. Your car did not come together solely by natural causes, nor was it assembled by God, rather it was built by humans.
Some things are completely the products of nature. Nature is the lowest intelligence of all since it is simply the framework of matter, energy, and spacetime that operates according to the rigid laws of physics2. Some higher being must have designed those laws, but that higher being did not design everything that resulted as a consequence. Thus if a rock is stirred by the wind and falls off a cliff then splits in two upon hitting the ground, the two halves were not designed by the higher being, rather it was blindly “designed” by nature through the convergence of deterministic factors that lead to it splitting in a certain way.
Modern science attempts to explain everything as the convergence of deterministic factors. Life is just the deterministic consequence of atoms coming together to form molecules, and those molecules deterministically combining to form DNA, and so on. But as quantum physics has shown, not everything is deterministic. The laws of physics alone are not enough to account for everything that happens. For instance, nothing of science can predict when exactly a radioactive particle will decay. Some mysterious factor originating outside the physical universe determines the timing. This mysterious factor cannot be found within the physical, thus it is metaphysical. And so the the existence of God is proven through the inability of atheism and scientific materialism to offer up material causes for quantum processes.
What is Life?
What separates an inert chemical from a living organism? Where does life begin? It begins when nondeterminism enters the picture. Chemicals combine according to known laws, and chemical reactions can be predicted to perfection because nature blindly obeys its programming without the freewill to deviate. But when a system of atoms and molecules becomes complex and sensitive enough that quantum processes at the subatomic level begin influencing big changes on the macroscopic scale, that is when factors outside the physical universe start influencing processes within the physical universe. That is when the transcendent infinite God, or at least an infinitesimal extension, penetrates into the physical universe and begins locally influencing it.
This forms the tiniest seed of life. Life within this universe arises when soul (the metaphysical system) couples to body (the physical system). This coupling happens via quantum processes that allow injection of the metaphysical into the physical. Both the physical and metaphysical then grow in complexity through a mutual feedback loop whereby a more complex body enriches the spectrum of experience available, and the resulting growth in consciousness allows for greater influencing of the physical system toward more complex states.
If nature were the sole driving force behind evolution, then natural selection and random mutation would be the only ways in which species can advance. Those ways do indeed occur; in a situation of survival, the strong survive, and thus the species becomes stronger over time. And natural factors like cosmic rays can disrupt DNA to create mutants with a survival advantage. Such random mutations are shots in the dark, however. There are too many harmful mutations possible versus healthy ones to account for the successful evolution of species toward stronger and healthier ones.
There are countless more ways to break something than to fix it. Mutations are entropic and destructive unless guided by an intelligence that can drastically cut down on the number of attempts needed to reach success. Something is needed to shape the probability of mutations toward those that are healthy and have purpose.
Notice that the term “random” in “random mutation” simply means it is something that science cannot predict or explain. The same term is used in physics when referring to quantum jumps, which are also said to be random. Sometimes randomness stems from lack of information about the actual physical cause; other times randomness stems from the cause being nondeterministic and nonphysical. Science refuses to distinguish between these in an effort to pin everything on material causes and turn a blind eye to everything metaphysical.
The Driving Forces of Evolution
So some “random” mutations may in fact be intelligently guided mutations. This does not mean that, as Creationists believe, God is the sole intelligent designer of all life. That is because lesser beings are capable of driving evolution. What lesser beings?
Nature, the lowest and least conscious being of all, could drive a small component of evolution but not all of it due to the sheer improbability that purely random factors can produce something as complex as the human being from primordial microorganisms within the time span of several billion years. Also, no life processes can continue solely via mechanical deterministic factors, thus something beyond nature takes part in life, and therefore nature alone likewise cannot produce complex living beings like ourselves.
The next higher intelligence would be the consciousness of the species, whether that of the individual member of that species, or some collective consciousness or group soul unique to that species. If consciousness can couple to the body due to its complexity, then why not a group consciousness that couples to the greater ensemble of members of that species? This would be an intelligence with some level of purpose and intent since its own growth is at stake, and that would shape the types of “random” mutations that occur. Probability can be bent so strongly that irreducibly complex structures may form that are otherwise too complex to be formed solely by nature. If telekinetics can bend spoons and move objects with their minds, consciousness can influence genetics. For those familiar with occult principles, the physical is patterned after etheric structures, and the latter is what is molded by consciousness. If the consciousness outgrows its bodily form, an impulse could arise that drives a rapid series of purposeful mutations toward a more suitable form.
The next higher intelligence would be direct intervention by advanced beings through genetic engineering. Even if life evolves by default through a bootstrapping process whereby the evolving consciousness evolves the bodily form of its species, that does not mean species cannot also be modified or created by other species through genetic engineering. Further, even if it were extremely improbable for life to arise on a planet, such that according to calculations earth is virtually the only planet that ought to have life, the fact that we can and will achieve interstellar space travel and master genetic engineering means one world can seed life on another, meaning we ourselves are likely seeded, modified, or created by those from other worlds who matured before us. Thus sentient life in one place in the universe can spread to other places, multiplying life exponentially, and offsetting whatever dismal chances of life are allotted by the most pessimistic of scientific calculations. In other words, sentient life spreading life elsewhere is not taken into account by the Drake Equation or any other traditional science calculations.
Examples of Intelligent Intervention
Humans are most certainly the products of purposeful genetic engineering by various alien factions, although these aliens more likely modified or combined existing species instead of creating humanity from scratch. A few other species like cats and pigs are also odd enough in their characteristics and rapid appearance in history to warrant suspicion of having been genetically engineered. Other species on earth evolved on their own through natural and self-directed intelligent evolution. God is the watchmaker who set it all into motion and then experiences it, intervening theistically only when nothing else can.
Between the theistic view of Creationists and the atheistic view of Darwinians lies a whole spectrum of in-betweens where the truth is more likely found than at either extreme. Lloyd Pye and William Bramley make good cases for alien intervention in human evolution and history. Bruce Lipton explains how our own consciousness can modify our DNA through epigenetic processes. I strongly recommend everyone check out their works.
With all these options available and evidence pointing to different causes for different examples, the greatest error would be sticking solely to one explanation as the cause of everything. To believe that aliens designed all life on earth is an error. To believe that all life arises from purely physical causes is an error. To believe all life-forms were created as they are by God is an error. To believe all life evolves itself morphogenetically without external interference is an error. The truth is a combination of all of these, depending on the case.
1 The formal term for this philosophy is Panentheism.
2 The term “nature” used in this article refers to an omnipresent computer-like intelligence that goes by the following names in other sources: Word/Logos (Bible, Greeks, Ra Material), P’tah (Egyptians), Malkuth (Kabbalah), Ormethion / First Density (Cassiopaeans), Artifact (Philip K. Dick), Demiurge (Greeks and Gnostics), and Base Level Consciousness (my older writings).