Some religious groups oppose the concept of biological evolution, but others accept the idea of “evolutionary creation,” which posits that God created the universe and biological evolution is a natural process within that creation. Scientists have ample evidence that humans evolved from within the process of general evolution. Nature is capable of constructing itself, including bringing forth human beings. And if so, are there any traces in human creativity that reflect how nature creates? This is the question to be answered. Musical compositions will serve as an example to illustrate human creativity.


Thanks to the energy released in the original explosion of the big bang, nature is capable of synthesis. Nature is capable of unifying parts into wholes. Surprisingly, wholes have properties that their parts do not have. Already the Greek philosophers of old, Plato, Aristotle, Plotinus recognized that wholes are, quantitatively and qualitatively, more than the sum of their parts. Of course, the whole cannot exist without its parts; but united, the whole has properties that are radically new. From atoms to molecules to life to consciousness, and from there to human self- consciousness, each synthetic event brought forth new wholes, with totally new properties. The results from sequential synthesis illustrate how nature creates.


Notes are the atoms, the “matter” of music. As such, they are already complex. Their complexity emerges from the oscillations of waves, their amplitudes, frequency, and of course also from the timbre of the instrument on which notes are played. All these various parts are integrated into just one note. Notes can be integrated into various intervals, seconds, quarts, quints, and octaves. Each interval has distinct emergent properties. Intervals sound totally different from their individual notes. Notes and intervals can become integrated into melodies, and from there, can be further synthesized into musical phrases, symphonic movements, and so on. The point is that similar to the generation of novelty through synthesis in nature, composers also generate higher-order musical structures through sequential synthesis. As a result, the architecture of the constructs of nature and musical compositions is the same. Both construct novelty in integrated parts that are, however, already hierarchies themselves.


Over time, the complexity of atoms may increase, for example, through synthesis in the nuclear furnaces of the stars. Most important, the resulting structures are always units, “simple” ones. Even as atoms combine to form molecules, they are again units that integrate a diversity of atoms.

Synthetic events combined molecules into the building blocks of life. Once life appeared, the Darwinian mechanism of variation and natural selection kicked in. Today we start understanding the genetic constructs that are at the base of organismic evolution. The Evolution of Higher-Level Structures in Nature

For organismic evolution to happen, deep changes in their genetic material and its arrangement need to happen. Alterations happen through mutations, duplications of genetic strings, their variation and then re-integration into a working genome. Crises also seem to be necessary through which entire genomes may disintegrate into genetic parts. Nature may take advantage of such liberated genetic elements by recombining old information into totally new genomic constructs. In addition, the variation of timing, when a genetic machine is turned on or off, or for how long it will work, provides an additional power source for organismic change.


Historically, the evolution of musical complexity started from “simple” linear compositions of Gregorian chants. The duplication of such lines led to compositions in which both lines were first sung together, then at intervals, e.g., quints and octaves. Such doubled constructs became duplicated again, some of them even sung simultaneously in different languages. Also, instruments were added to play multiple lines. The discovery that not all musical parts had to be performed simultaneously, but could be organized sequentially, was an important component of the wonderful complexity of emerging Renaissance music. That dissonant vertical musical constructs could be resolved into horizontal harmonious ones was another crucial addition to the dynamic of musical complexity. In addition, timing and speed of playing a musical composition could help transform one style of music into a new one. My colleague Gerald Gabel had the idea to take a piece of music from the Renaissance composer William Byrd, play it on a harpsichord and double the tempo (a time mutation)! By doing this, Gerald created a missing link between the style of the Renaissance and the Baroque – to speak in evolutionary language.


As illustrated by musical compositions, the architecture that results from human creativity reflects the architecture of the constructs of nature. Their architecture is the same, but of course, their “material” of construction is different. In nature and music, the elements of construction are hierarchies. They are wholes (the tip) that integrate parts that are, however, already hierarchies themselves. At any level of either natural or musical constructions, all the elements are “simple” because they are ones, yet their “simplicity” is always complex. Human creativity reflects the creativity of nature. Why? Because both the structures of nature and musical compositions emerge from the same simplex architecture.

Published in: “AM/FM Studios, 9 August 2018.

Art, a view from Christianity.


God is Love; this is the fundamental revelation of Christianity. In God’s logic of love, therefore, creation is God’s gift. The gift is His Word. This Word is God, the Son of God, Jesus Christ. God gives away His Word. It leaves God to become that which is not God but creation. There is this central paradox in Christianity that God can be God in that which is not God. Human logic cannot understand that something can be that which it is not. For God, however, this is not impossible because, in Jesus, God proves that God can become a human being, that which certainly is not God. The same illogicality is central to creation. Here also, the Word of God that is God brings forth creation, nature, that which also certainly is not God. Because the Word of God is given away to creation, nature is capable of becoming itself. This is to say that everything in nature is rooted in its creative center, which is the Word of God in the absolute otherness of creation (nature).

Nature brings forth novelty through the integration of that, which it has already unified. Matter, life, mind, consciousness, including our self-conscious mind, emerged through the integration of elements that nature previously integrated: atoms from subatomic entities, molecules from atoms, life from pre-life molecules, mind from the higher forms of life and our mind from the mind of our animal ancestors. Our mind, therefore, is deeply anchored in the general creative process that brought fort everything in nature. As a consequence, our creative mind also brings forth novelty through the integration of parts. In music, the notes are the parts; in dance, the movements of integrated steps, in the pictorial arts, lines, forms, shapes, colors, are the elements from which unities may emerge. Real unities always have qualities that transcend the parts. What does this have to do with Christianity? Christianity knows that God is Trinitarian, eternal God in the Unity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

God does not participate in existence; He is eternal existence. In absolute contrast, creation exists in time; yet all timely existence only exists as diversity of elements, synthesized into unity. This ontological structure of all created existence is the trace, the watermark of the Trinitarian Word of God, the creative source of all created existence. It is possible to train the senses to recognize this ontological structure in everything that exists, from pebbles to mountains, from a drop of water to majestic seas, but perhaps best in art. For me, the tuning of an orchestra is always a good exercise. The different characters of the instruments in one integrated sound yet with different timbres. All this difference is integrated into one sound- the specific sound of a world-renowned orchestra. As it plays, perhaps a Mozart symphony, it opens dimensions that are brought forth by the musicians playing but creates a reality that transcends time and place. The music may guide us toward the experience of true beauty, lead us perhaps to the creative heart of creation. This because, after all, the music emerges from artists that also have their deep roots in this creative center of nature What then might be a view from Christianity on art? In any piece of art, the unity that emerges from integrated diversity may reflect the beauty of the United Trinitarian diversity of God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.



Whether in the pictorial arts, in music, or dance, any art consists of parts that must be integrated into unities. In paintings, there are colors, brushstrokes, lines, and shapes that must be combined into the whole of the picture. In music, rhythms and notes are the fundamental units that composers may unify into melodies. In dance, it is the sequence of steps that form the units, the words, so to speak from which dance brings forth "poetry in motion."

What does this have to do with science?

If you ask any scientist how novelty appears in the universe, that is throughout cosmogenesis, she or he will tell you that novelty always appears through syntheses. Synthesis is not only creative in the realm of chemistry. Still, it is already the creative force on the level of atoms. For example, if hydrogen and oxygen unite, their unification brings forth water, which of course, is liquid, yet both hydrogen and oxygen are gases. Throughout the universe, syntheses bring forth new unities. These have different properties, different qualities as compared to the elements from which they originated. It is by sequential syntheses that novelties come into existence. What emerges might become parts for the next integrative step. Because each novelty integrates components that were already previously integrated, the process of sequential syntheses necessarily generates increasing complexity. Synthesis is the fundamental phenomenon of general evolution. Subsequent combinations bring forth every level of reality in cosmogenesis. From primordial particles atoms from atoms molecules, through complexification of molecules, the ones from which life emerged. Mind emerged from within the complexification of life. Our self-conscious mind came into existence through growth, differentiation, and diversification of the already existing brain parts in our human ancestors. Like everything else in general evolution, our mind also emerged from the historical, probabilistic sequence of complexification. Our mind, therefore, is deeply anchored in the natural process that brought forth the entire universe. That is why we can explore nature and make models of how it works.


Christian faith holds that creation is created through the Word of God. Christianity also knows that that this Word of God is God, Jesus Christ, the Son of God. It follows that the Word of God that is God brings froth creation, namely that which is not God. The Word of God, therefore, is the creative center from which all that is not God comes into existence.

Christianity further knows that God is eternal Triune existence. God is existence as Unity in the diversity of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Each of the three persons is God, meaning that each of God's Person is triune, united diversity.

The fundamental revelation of Christianity is that God is love. Creation, therefore, is Gods' gift. Since it is the Word of God that creates, the gift that God gives away to creation is His Word, His Son.

The Son of God is God and, therefore, Triune. God is eternal existence, as One in the difference of three persons. Creation, however, is in time. The world comes into existence in a timely sequence of creative events. This historical sequence brings forth new existence. Novelty consistently emerges from the unification of already previously synthesized elements. The process units diversity into unity, it is in this way that creation comes into existence.

Why is this so? The ontological architecture of creation is "unity in diversity" because it is analogous to the eternal "existence" of God, who is united diversity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

There is an even more profound analogy between God and created existence. In exceptional moments in time, we humans are capable of experiencing love, the even more piercing analogy to the creator because God is Love, "Deus Caritas Est."