Article Highlight: An Old-Earth Creation Model for the Origin of Humanity

What is it to be human? This is an important question. Perhaps it is the most important question we could ever ask. The answer has profound and wide-ranging implications. In many respects, this question can’t be adequately addressed unless we examine a more fundamental question, “Where do humans come from?”

In the West, influenced by a Judeo-Christian worldview, the response to this question was largely based on the first two chapters of Genesis. Namely, human beings were created as a primordial pair, made in God’s image. And all humanity ultimately descended from a literal, historical Adam and Eve. This view of humanity prevailed in the Judeo-Christian world until the early 1870s with the publication of Charles Darwin’s detailed work on human origins, The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex.

Darwin proposed that humanity evolved through a process of descent with modification from an ancestor shared with apes. As he put it, “In a series of forms graduating insensibly from some apelike creature to man as he now exists, it would be impossible to fix on any definite point when the term ‘man’ ought to be used.”1

For many Christians, Charles Darwin did the unthinkable: he interpreted humanity in a fully mechanistic and materialistic fashion. According to this view, all of human nature, not just humanity’s physical makeup, emerged under the auspices of natural selection. Darwin regarded humanity’s mental powers and intellectual capacity, as well as moral sense and religious beliefs, as evolution’s invention….

Some believers today feel that overwhelming proof for human evolution exists and that it is now necessary to abandon the historic Christian view of human origins. Instead, they propose the Church adopt the view that God used evolutionary mechanisms to create (theistic evolution or evolutionary creation). However, many evangelicals and conservative believers remain reluctant to embrace this proposal. I am among the skeptics.

In February 2012, I was invited to participate in a John Templeton Foundation workshop entitled “Becoming Human in Theistic Perspective,” where I presented and defended a view on human origins from the vantage point of an old-earth creationist. As part of my role in the workshop I was asked to submit a paper outlining my position.

The link below will take you to my full-length paper:

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One thought on “Article Highlight: An Old-Earth Creation Model for the Origin of Humanity

  1. There are several different types of old earth creationists. My view is that there was more than one creation event, and that Gen 1 and Gen 2 could possibly (but not necessarily) be two different events. Solomon said in the book of Ecc.

    Ecc 1:9 The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.
    Ecc 1:10 Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.
    Ecc 1:11 There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after.

    Ecc 3:15 That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past.

    Solomon says that which has been done in the past, will also be done in the future, and that these things were done in the “old time which were before us”. Solomon also says in 3:15 that which will be be in the future (today) , has already happened in the past.

    Most people interpret that passage as simply referring to previous generations. I do not because Solomon goes on to say no one has any remembrance of this “old time” he is referring to that existed “before us”, which I believe to be humans

    Solomon did have a remembrance of previous generations via the scriptures just as we do, so the “no remembrance” of that time would not apply to Solomon or to us today.

    The Hebrew word for old times is ôlâm which is defined “properly concealed, that is, the vanishing point; generally time out of mind”

    One of the main arguments used against a pre-Adamic race (who I believe to be Neanderthals) is in 1 Cor 15:45

    1Co 15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.

    Thus Adam being the “first man” proves there could not have been men before Adam. However the word Adam is the Hebrew word for our species. Both Adam & Eve were called aw-dawm’

    Gen 5:2 Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.

    Thus the first Homo sapien Adam was made a living soul.

    ======

    Also there are differences between Gen 1 and Gen 2.

    In Gen 1 God told both male and female the could eat of all the trees which were upon the face of all the earth, there were no restrictions on what could be eaten in Gen 1.

    Gen 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
    Gen 1:28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
    Gen 1:29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

    In Gen 2 we have God commanding Adam in the garden not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. even before the Eve was created.

    Gen 2:8 And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.
    Gen 2:9 And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

    Gen 2:15 And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.
    Gen 2:16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
    Gen 2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

    Gen 2:20 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.
    Gen 2:21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;
    Gen 2:22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.

    ===========

    And the “scientific” evidence for the age of the Mitochondrial Eve is also in question.

    “Molecular clock debate: Time dependency of molecular rate estimates for mtDNA: this is not the time for wishful thinking” N Howell

    “For more than a decade, Dr Bandelt has been wholehearted in his efforts to simplify mtDNA evolution and, especially, to champion the use of simple mtDNA clocks. It is our contrary view, based both on our research and that of many other groups, that mtDNA evolution is not clock-like and that the evidence for time-dependent rates should not be dismissed. When it comes to mtDNA, one should not use a sundial as a stopwatch”

    “It is worth noting at this point that a three- to fourfold pedigree/phylogenetic discrepancy has been observed for rate estimates of the Y chromosome microsatellite sequences (Zhivotovsky et al., 2006)”

    I believe the Y-Chromosome Adam dating will also prove to be inaccurate eventually proving both Adam & Eve less than 10,000 years of age.

    “Family tree shows our common ancestor lived just 3,500 years ago” Michael Hopkin

    “Besides dating our most recent common ancestor, Rohde’s team also calculates that in 5,400 BC everyone alive was either an ancestor of all of humanity, or of nobody alive today. The researchers call this the ‘identical ancestors’ point: the time before which all the family trees of people today are composed of exactly the same individuals”

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