Macro-Evolution and Genesis 1 & 2

“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.

Material Creations:

  • 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)

Animal Creations:

  • 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.

Human Creation:

  • 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.

God’s Blessings,

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2 thoughts on “Macro-Evolution and Genesis 1 & 2

  1. ” Science can only address material creation and not spiritual matters of life. Thus, Creation is not entirely beyond science.”

    If Creation involves an all-powerful God creating Everything out of Nothing, and if it is a Miracle, it is along the same lines of the other miracles.

    Jesus –> Walking on water, Supernatural explanations.
    God the Father –> Creation, Supernatural explanations. Sure we can learn of the universe in such a way as it even confirms the finite status of the universe (2nd law of Therm, Rate at which Stars expand in the galaxy, Heat Death, Big Band, etc). But that does not change Creation being a miracle, and me being well-off siding with Scripture’s revealing of the Beginning, confirmed by intratextual commentary.

    “Don’t confuse the Creation (which can and must be studied in its material manifestations) with the Creator (Who can and also must be studied, theologically at least, but Who is infinitely more than His own Creation).”

    Again, notice the parallel between the miracle of Creation and the Miracle of walking on water. I do not confuse the divine person of Jesus by understanding him theologically, and then the denial of buoyancy as containing some scientific materialistic understanding. A divine person is performing a divine act. We understand their occurrence through the purity of scripture’s testimony.The same with The miracle of Creation and the Creator. You’re asking me to separate the Creator from the miraculous account of Genesis’ creation account. As seen in John’s challenge, where would this stop? Am I supposed to separate Jesus’ miracle of turning water into wine with Jesus, as you’re requesting I do with the account given in Genesis and it’s creator.

    No.

    Science will not explain water into wine, miraculous healing, dividing the Red Sea, multiplying fishes, walking on water, and resurrecting. Nor should we expect it to. Look how ridiculous such attempts have been to explain the resurrection (swoon theory, stolen body theory, mass hallucination theory, and even a theory proposing Jesus had a twin!!!).

    Should we then be surprised to find it troubling for science to explain the very creation of everything? Should we be surprised to see that a science built on observing materialistic patterns should find it troublesome to explain the creation of a finite universe from nothing? And again, this does not mean science is useless, or un-needed (and some would wish to impose as being argued by, what they perceive to be, ‘fundamentalists’).

    “Were Adam and Eve God? Where they “extraterrestrials”? Were they not human?”

    I have no idea what these questions seek to prove. “God created man in His own image… He created them male and female.” It appears they are clearly human beings, the first ones of that, that we are directly related to, and spawned from. 1 Chronicles and other passages show they are our direct ancestors, and shows the link. I don’t doubt the soft science of anthropology, but you still have not acknowledge the point.

    I can see by your rendering of the Hebrew for man, Adam, that you suggest it a mythical account for the beginning of Humanity (the type of argument my wife’s liberal feminist jewish professors taught her at the UM Religious Studies department, alongside Adam being a hermaphrodite, and being a Siamese with Eve on the other side). Adam is an appropriate name for the first human being, as Jesus’ name is appropriate given “you are to name Him Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins.” (Mt 1:21). I don’t look at Jesus’ name and say, like Liberal Theologians would, that Jesus is not historical, but rather metaphorical myth, and that He really simply represents the ‘saving of our sins’ we receive when we model ourselves after him. No, simply because his name means something theologically significant, doesn’t mean he isn’t a historical person. Same with Adam.

    The same with Adam. His name reflects his station in humanity, as Jesus’ reflected his purpose (such as “they will name Him Immanuel, which is translated ‘God is with us’.” Mt 1:23). Adam is not reflecting some general mythification of a cluster of early humanity. No, he is representing the person of Adam, in which humanity/mankind will be propagated from, as Jesus represents the God with us who will bring about salvation (both of their purposes implied in their names).

    Again, Adam is treated like a historical person, just as Jesus.

    How does 1 Chronicles begin? Chapter titled From Adam to Abraham: “Adam, Seth, Enosh… Noah, Noah’s Sons…Serug, Nahor, Terah, and Abram (That is Abraham).” (1 Chronicles). There is nothing here to suggest Adam is symbolic of humanity, and Adam is not. As I’m sure a simple reading confirmed by the Hebrew would assure, Adam is placed alongside Seth as a person. The listing in this genealogy continues to include Noah and Abram. By your suggestion, these would also be mythical? The account here does not say “Pre-historical man, Seth, Enosh…etc”. No, it is CLEARLY relating a historical person whose identity as a historical individual is on par with Noah, Abram, David, and Solomon.

    Furthermore, Matthew takes this and goes from Abraham to Jesus, fulfilling the inclusio of 1st to 2nd Adam (intertextuality would show, given Matt’s jewish character, that he is completing the genealogy that Chronicles summarizes). Am I to interpret Jesus as myth? Absolutely Not! And scripture treats the subject the same. It treats Adam as a person, not a representative group.

    This is not being a ‘fundamentalist’. Nor is this ‘hyper-literalism’. Throw the terms away, they’re silly, they scapegoat, and when not properly used can simply come off as aggressive (like me calling someone ‘Popeish’). Scripture presents the event of Creation, and the person of Adam, as individuals and events. Chronicles and NT authors show Adam to be a historical person. You would argue otherwise. I would side with the perspective given in such earlier quoted texts.

  2. God clearly established the world with certain laws of nature (such an example being the use of observing the second law of thermodynamics and the theory of Big Bang, and coming to an understanding of the finite nature of the universe, which scripture reveals). Such things as cosmological constants do much to edify us in our understanding of God, given scripture is ripe with passages that relay the message that God is observable in the order of creation (as such constants would hint). When responding to Job’s objections regarding his suffering, what does God do? Does he justify himself? Explain himself? No, he points Job to the heavens, which display but an ounce of his wonder and power.

    I would not use the Bible to teach science. Science teaches science, and is handicapped there-to. I would use the bible to teach truth. As such, I would use the Word of God to teach that He created the world out of nothing, with the two historical persons of Adam and Eve, in a span of 6 sessions of equal time (whether they be 6 literal days, or other sessions between two periods of time). I would spend my time browsing the Word to learn of it’s author, God, and His redeemer, Jesus.

    What I am warning against is simple: Creation is perhaps, next to the incarnation and the resurrection, the greatest of miracles. It conveys something beyond science: namely, the source of All. Everything. I would not approach it, and render a reading outside of how it is interpreted in scripture, simply because it does not give way to our scientific theory.

    The comparison is accurate. We can constantly observe that left to itself, water does no turn into wine. We can test, observe, and verify this. Nor do heavy material objects such as a body defy consistent laws of gravity and buoyancy and walk over liquids. To observe the laws of gravity and buoyancy, and thus determine such miracles deserving of materialistic explanations in line of science, is the error of liberal theology. The great error. It leads to terrible theology (such as how they approach sexual morality, etc).

    I simply assume the supernatural, given I assume a supernatural all-powerful Creator. From your response I would assume you agree with this. The same way I approach the reality of a miracle which confirms Jesus divinity, so do I approach the reality of the Creation miracle which confirms God’s power (and mastery over laws). I see Creation as I see the Resurrection and the Incarnation, a great Miracle. A miracle I can only understand through revelation. I do not try and explain it away as a myth, or parable, or fiction, simply because it runs contrary to certain scientific laws and theories, and I do not do the same with the other mentioned miracles. I seek to understand it, first and foremost, through revelation. Thus, why I consistently stress, searching how inspired scripture views Adam and Eve, which I believe has been articulately argued to be historical persons. I would point again to the passages, but I’m sure such an argument has been properly proposed.

    I wouldn’t use a biology textbook to learn about the Trinity. Nor would I use biology to learn about Adam and Eve…

    My gratitude for sharing.

    God’s Blessings,

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