Thus far the main controversy between Christianity and mainline scientists has been over evolution. Many Christians have tried to resolve that dilemma by embracing “theistic evolution,” the notion that God did create every living thing, but that He used evolution to do it. (Never mind that Darwin’s theory of evolution specifically insists on the randomness of mutations and of natural selection. Believing that evolution is directed is beyond the pale of actual Darwinism and is just another form of Intelligent Design, despite what the theistic evolutionists claim.) Anyway, theistic evolutionists often still affirmed the historical existence of some kind of Adam and Eve, the first humans however they evolved, who, in some way, fell from their paradisal state and transmitted original sin to their descendants, who were redeemed by Christ, the Second Adam.
But now a new front in the battle has opened up, which, according to Christianity Today, is raising new questions and opening up a new level of controversy. According to recent genetic evidence, the human race did not begin with two people. Rather, it must have begun with a population of around 10,000. Otherwise, according to the geneticists, there is no way to account for the genetic diversity that we can currently observe. See The Search for the Historical Adam | Christianity Today | A Magazine of Evangelical Conviction.
It’s hard to imagine how 10,000 creatures could, at the same, evolve into the same species. I can’t help but wonder where they came from. Who were their parents? (Can anyone explain how the geneticists answer that?)
An accompanying editorial in Christianity Today says that without an historical Adam and Eve, the whole Gospel comes apart, since there would be no original sin and no “Second Adam” who could redeem us. Does that take it too far? Could “Adam,” which means literally “man,” refer to human beings in a collective way, all of whom have re-enacted the Fall in their own lives,whereupon Christ, in His Incarnation, did indeed become “man” and thus “Adam,” to redeem the human race. Some are arguing that a story can be true in its meaning, even if it does not recount literal historical events. Should Christians be seeking an interpretation like that? Or reject the genetic findings? Or just not jump to conclusions, since scientific findings are never complete and are themselves always being re-interpreted?
At any rate, I suppose this evidence should bother me or shake my faith in the Bible, but, strangely, it does not. How about you?