Adam and the Genome— Part Seven


Let’s consider for a moment Venema’s observation on p. 64—“These children descend uniquely from one man (for the Y chromosome DNA) and one woman (for their mitochondrial DNA), but from at least four ancestors for their regular chromosomal DNA.” Let’s have a conversation about Mitochondrial Eve and Y chromosome Adam and the 10,000 other ancestors for our regular DNA. I don’t see anything in Genesis 1-5 or elsewhere in the Bible which rules out such observations. Again, what the Bible is about, after the description of the initial creation, is the history of God’s people. Where did God’s people come from, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob etc.?? The answer is Shem, and Noah, and before that Adam (see the genealogy in Luke 3). The Bible is simply not the story of every race of human beings. Other non-Hebrew peoples only come into the story in so far as they intersect with or interact with God’s people. Full stop. This is not different than the observation that in the Gospels, persons other than Jesus only come in for discussions in so far as they interact with or have some bearing on the Jesus story.

One of the odd things about Venema’s discussion is that at times he talks about evolution as if it had a mind of its own (see e.g. p. 86, he talks about evolution solving problems, overcoming defects, and so on). Now processes, even something as big as the process of evolution are not brains, not minds, they do not have willful intentions and plans and purposes. They just don’t. Why not discuss the fact that these processes suggest not merely a mind behind it at the start, but a mind involved with it right along, helping it to adapt?

Why talk about an object or process that can ‘self’ assemble (p. 89),when in fact we could talk about the providential guidance of God in such matters? My point is— it’s not enough to talk about a ‘powerful mind behind it all’, some assembly required thereafter (good luck). My point is God is not merely the creator, he is the sustainer of it all. He works all things together for good for those who love him. He’s not just the designer, he’s the weaver of the tapestry, and the maintenance person as well. The fact that you cannot see his fingerprints literally, is neither here nor there. You cannot see his Spirit either, but you can certainly see the effects of the Spirit’s work on humans and other things.

Indeed, many of the most important realities in this world are not tangible, nor can they be studied under the microscope, for instance the love of God. For that matter, history as well cannot be subjected to empirical lab tests where one can replicate things until you figure out its nature because no two historical events are alike. And this leads us to the second half of the book, which we must attend to more closely.

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