I’m no Young Earth Creationist…
…and I don’t have a problem with evolution playing some role in the creation of the human person. However, I do find it fascinating when little tidbits from science fly over the transom and dovetail so suggestively with the story in Genesis. The biggest dovetail in the last century was, of course, the evidence for the Big Bang. However, others pop up from time to time (like the proclamation a decade or so ago that we are all descended from a single female (“Eve”) who live about 200,000 years ago [dunno if that Immutable Scientific Fact is still popular or not]). Then there was the evidence for a colossal catastrophic Flood in the area of the Black Sea thousands of years ago. Now there’s this curious piece on the “near extinction” of the human race.
As I say, I’m not one of those people who demands that every word of Genesis be taken literalistically. I merely note the odd patterns of congruence between the (current) data and the biblical account of things. However, I’m fully aware that the current data tends to be in flux and that Genesis is not trying to do science, so I don’t bet the farm on science “proving” anything about Genesis just as I don’t bet the farm on Genesis being “disproven” by science. For a fuller account of my views on the relationship between science and the Genesis account, see my book Making Senses out of Scripture. The thing all modern authors have to remember is that the most extended treatment of scientific questions in the Old Testament is found in Job, where God says, “Do you know how I made all this stuff? Of course not!” and then doesn’t bother to answer the question because he’s got more important matters to deal with. Genesis is primarily interested in “Who” and “Why” question. Science is asking “How” “What” “When” and “Where” questions. Not a lot of overlap there.
Okay: Cue the evolution/creation debate.