Many of the popular, public debates in American Christendom regarding evolution boil down to competing teleologies. This makes perfect sense: our purpose orders our present, and our beginning creates our purpose.
Christians ascribe divine redemptive-historical purpose to the universe, and consider the natural, observable processes as created and sustained by YHWH himself.
Creationism as a scientific paradigm necessarily ascribes to the universe and humanity a purpose, a telos. Evolutionary theory leaves room for a variety of teleologies: if humanity evolved through what we term “natural processes,” it is then possible to ascribe just about any purpose to humanity–Marxist, existentialist, utilitarian/pragmatist, Christian, etc.
Is the natural/supernatural distinction biblical? Everything happens by YHWH’s hand. However, he does appear to have created the world with certain rules and laws that it obeys; we discover these through scientific inquiry. Yet the Christ event (incarnation, resurrection) is super-natural: the Creator himself joins the creation and breaks the rules that he himself made. Or, perhaps it is more appropriately stated that he is changing the rules.
It is a fatal error to presume that YHWH’s hand is not in natural events; therefore, we affirm that naturalism, the ascription of purposelessness to the human narrative, is unacceptable. But regardless of what “Science” says about the current or past state of the natural world, it is our duty as Christians to ascribe and proclaim YHWH’s telos to the world, against the competing teloi of the age.
Before getting lost in detailed scientific debates about the age of the earth and the fossil record, perhaps we should evaluate the true historical and scientific essentials of a biblical teleology. The bodily resurrection of Jesus is the sine qua non of Christianity. The historicity of Job: not so much…. Is a historical, personal Adam an essential of biblical teleology?