“I know a near-unanimous scientific consensus when I see one … evolutionary biology, at least in its basics, is, and this crosses all ideological boundaries.”
Slow down. This is hardly absolute. Even then, we would need to define what we mean by evolution. To suppose that a Macro-Evolution approach is firmly established would be sloppy. We could easily say say of micro-evolutionary biology, given we have firm testable records of such activities occurring amongst creatures. However, to then go and roundly assume the same regarding macro would personally bring about legitimate protest from not myself, but many established scientists.
Darwin himself established the necessity of (I believe) a fossil record that would justify his theoretical position, which would provide the necessary proof of species-to-species evolution. Hardly do we have any such evidence, and what Darwin would have predicted of the fossil record (the slow progressive steady evolution you’ve mentioned) has turned out to have opposite results. It seems popular now for some Darwinists to even deny the necessity of a fossil record to match such evolutionary progress. In short, given the lack of conclusive testable evidence of species generating uniquely new species, and given the tremendous amount of time Darwinistic Evolution has had to provide such conclusive proof, it would be irresponsible to go about de-rooting scriptural evidence in favor for theoretical projections.
There are significant objections as well, such as irreducibly complex molecular systems. There are a host of scientists such as Behe who provide some significant objections to such macro-evolutionary arguments.
“nor that the Doctor of Grace would not have been scandalized to hear Christians suggesting Adam himself evolved from lower life forms, let alone a common ancestor between he and an ape”
“Am I supposed to believe it’s JUST A COINCIDENCE, that there exist all these homonids, who progressively look more and more human, in the fossil record, that ALL OF THESE were “specially created” and homo sapiens have nothing whatsoever to do with them? The commonalities that humans have with other animals in their DNA – JUST A COINCIDENCE?”
Even with the serious objections given by various in the field against Macro-Evolution (and the lack of Darwin’s key proof), there are some theological problems. Macro-evolution is quite inconsistent with Christian theology. To open the door to animal ancestry is problematic. Genesis is clear on two accounts (1) God created the universe from nothing, (2) Humanity is incredibly unique and central. To accept animal ancestry obliterates a scriptural understanding in Genesis of our uniqueness.
- Usage of the 3rd person decree stresses authority and is rather distance. “Then God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night…” (Gn 1:14)
- Continued usage of the third person decree found with various living creatures. “Let the earth produce living creatures,” (Gn 1:24). Similar depiction of authority and distance.
- In addition, it is noticeable that the “living creatures [are created] according to their kinds,” (Gn 1:24). This ‘according to their kinds’ occurs 7 times, matching the 7 ‘let there be’ decrees.
- Significant changes. “Then God said, “Let Us Make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.” (Gn 1:26). Notice the first person action stressing personal involvement. The Hebrew double positive is used in Gn 1:27 to stress the absolute uniqueness of man (repeating God’s image in relation to man twice).
- Undeniably, man was created completely unique from animal species. This is crowned with the (1) Charge to subdue and rule the earth, (2) “very good” reference in Gn 1:31 in comparison to the simple “good” statements following other created things.
The theological problems are thus evident. If we were indeed the product of an established evolutionary progression rooted in animal ancestry, Genesis 1 comes across as odd indeed! All the emphasis placed on humans created directly in the image of God would be dumped in a favor of being created “according to their kinds [ animals],” that is used exclusively for the animal world (and is evidently contrasted to the human creation account). However, the inspired text is clearly distinguishing Man and Animal from one another. The “according to their kinds” and the “according to Our likeness” imagery clearly distinguishes the two. It’s undeniably evident with a simple reading of Genesis 1. No bizarre exegesis, no gymnastics, just serious consideration of the text.
“I’m unconvinced by your argument. The question of evolution is an historical and scientific one, and to appeal to revelation to “solve” the issue is, to me, intellectually lazy, and it does nothing but make we Christians look foolish.”
Besides (1) the serious scientific objections to Macro-Evolution, (2) The theological conflicts animal ancestry proposes, and the mutilation it imposes on Genesis 1’s emphasis, (3) I don’t see at all how it is “intellectually lazy” to appeal to God’s revealed word… It is a very fine point indeed that a text containing the very revelation of God to be a source we reference to. If anything should be quoted as authoritative, it should be when scripture is itself reading verses in a specific manner. As shown in the verses offered earlier, we have multiple occurrences where Adam is read as a literal historical person on par with Jesus. Hardly would we argue that David and Solomon are ‘mythical figures’ (unless you’re a liberal). The same should be said of Abraham. To suggest these are all mythical figures is to render some serious blows to the Messiah himself (after all, he did fall along their lineage!). This is the grave error of liberal theology!
We find all these figures within the same genealogies. Are you to tell me that genealogies are mere mythical suggestions? What a precedent that would send to the conclusion of such genealogies, namely Jesus!
The Hebrew Bible ends with Chronicles. What does Chronicles, which when read canonically is attempting to revisit and summarize the plight and story of the Israelites, spend 10+ chapters? Genealogy. How does this genealogy begin? “Adam, Seth, Enosh, Kenan, Mahalalel, Jared…” (1Chr 1:1). This same genealogy contains the historical persons of David, Solomon, and the like. Nothing is provided to determine one group is fictional representative myth, while the other is historical. The entire thing is linked together, wedded in the style. Adam is on par with David.
Is it no wonder that, given this is probably the Canonical order Matthews read at the time, he would himself begin with genealogy. Chronicles ends with the decree of Cyrus, pointing hopefully to the coming Messiah. Matthews thus properly answers this hope: “The historical record of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham…” (Mt 1:1). It is rather fitting when placed besides Chronicles, and the genealogies are by all means absolutely significant.
I thoroughly disagree with you. We can nod an approval as micro-evolution, yet macro is a significantly greater issue. In addition, it would appear incompatible with the account of Genesis, as well as undermining significantly the uniqueness and separation placed between Man and Animal. With that comes not only theological difficulties, but exegetical mutilation (reducing Genesis 1 to little more than folklore). Regardless of your disagreement, individuals in the NT do in fact place Adam as a historical personage on-par with Jesus. He is quite essential to the very understanding of sin entering the world. If you accept animal ancestry, what a complicated endeavor to find where ape stops and Adam begins! Greater still the controversy.
Like various figures all throughout the OT and the NT, I would side with the position that Adam was in fact a historical person, whose existence, like the worlds creation, was revealed to man in the form of divine revelation (which then came down on paper).
I’ve also been irresponsible in my time management, and have forfeited necessary studytime in responding to some of these posts. I’ll have to surrender my responses, and provide you with the last words.