Adam and the Genome– Part Two


Perhaps it will be well if I first state a few personal disclaimers. I have: 1) no problem with the idea that different areas of knowledge require different methodologies to arrive at theories that explain the facts; 2) also no problem with the usual observation that the Bible is not a scientific textbook, it does not teach cosmology, biology, anthropology, geology etc. 3) no problem with the observation that a proper critique of modern science cannot rest solely on pointing out gaps in the fossil record, or the lack of positive evidence for missing link creatures to connect critter A to critter B through evolutionary processes; 4) also no problem with the notion that a species can adapt and change as its environment changes over time, indeed being effected by the environment. In other words, I have no issues with micro-evolution within a species; and finally 5) I have no problem with the notion of a very old earth and a long pre-history before human kind created in God’s image shows up on planet earth. Genesis 1 is a piece of Hebrew poetry that demonstrates the divine origins and design of it all. It does not tell us how long it took to accomplish the process, nor does it fill in all the blanks along the way. In a broad sense, in any case, it comports with evolutionary ideas about human beings being the apex and most complex of all living things.

On the other hand, what is a problem with science is an assumption that one can globalize a scientific theory to be all encompassing, even impinging on areas outside the discipline of genetics, areas such as history and theology. What I mean by that is that the presuppositions of modern science are purely naturalistic or better said materialistic. All things can be explained if we just figure out the natural processes which produced these facts, and then connect the dots.

The problem with this is of course it assumes that God, at least in these spheres, only works by natural processes. It rules out miracles a priori. For example, it takes for granted that when you find common physical features in a whale and in a tetrapod that is a purely land-based creature, there must be a link and a transition between A and B. This leads to the quite proper question– If God is the CEO and director of all creation (not merely the one who fired the starter gun, having provided the raw materials for the human race and other creatures) why in the world could God not simply use some of the same features in two different species of creatures? No reason is given. Why for example is it not possible that God decided fish would have vertebrae and at least front limbs, and so would humans without any necessary connection between these species? These differing types of creatures could have each developed along their own natural lines, but shared some features in common with other species. Genetic similarities do not necessarily lead to the conclusion of genetic connections.

The real problem here is when science impinges on human history, not animal history. The Bible may not teach science, but it certainly teaches some specific things about human history, as we shall see in this review.