Ape to Human evolution

Praise the Lord brother’s… In our church we have plan to make an video. The topic is, “Does Human evolved from Ape”?.

Can anyone help with any videos or documents … :pray:

6 Likes

Hi Jerard,
a great topic; and hopefully this will open up much positive discussion at your church. We also had an outreach session at our church many years ago; and asked visitors “Were Adam and Eve real people?”. It was an interesting evening.

For me Genesis 2:7 is crystal clear. God used the dust of the ground to create Adam; not a pre-existing animal. Here is a video of John Lennox, one of the RZIM speakers in the Core Module, rejecting evolutionary anthropogenesis.

for a more in-depth look; you might like the video @SeanO just shared just recently; which is a discussion between David Berlinksi, David Gelenter, and Stephen Meyer. Very thought provoking.

(there was also some longer discussion which might be of interest, when Joshua Hansen originally posted it quite a while back: Giving Up Darwin)

All the best with your video and I hope it will be of benefit to help more people at your church consider just how wide the line is between the animal kingdom and Mankind: Made in the image of God.

Kind regards
Matt

6 Likes

Science and Human Origins, by Ann Gauger, Douglas Axe, and Casey Luskin, is a good resource. It is a relatively short book that takes a look at this question from an intelligent design perspective.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/193659904X?pf_rd_r=04B5JZ87QRF6VFPSQS4S&pf_rd_p=edaba0ee-c2fe-4124-9f5d-b31d6b1bfbee

3 Likes

Just keep in mind that…

  1. many Christians, such as myself, see an immense amount of evidence for human evolution.

  2. Even a very literal reading of Genesis, including the de novo creation of Adam and Eve, ancestors of us all and without parents of their own, is entirely consistent with evolutionary science.

For those two reasons, the apologetic value of arguing against human evolution is exceedingly low.

5 Likes

You are from india bro? South side??

2 Likes

My family is from south India :slight_smile: . I was born in California.

2 Likes

Really? That’s odd. I’ve never before heard anyone, Christian or otherwise, make the claim that an evolutionary explanation is entirely consistent with “even a very literal reading of Genesis”. I’ve heard various “poetic” and symbolic approaches which have made that argument. But a literal Genesis that’s consistent with evolution? You’ve got me curious - how is it possible to connect those dots?

6 Likes

Yes, this is a bit surprising. It’s a new realization that has been reshaping the conversation. If you google around my name and that topic, you’ll see pretty quickly. :slight_smile:

2 Likes

Joshua, you propose an interesting concept. Christians believing in evolution is nothing new, but as pointed out, a 100%, unadulterated, literal view of Genesis lining up and supporting evolution does seem without question a “new” concept - interesting. It appears as though you have even authored a book on this matter - would you say it’s fair to label you as the founding father of this idea?

In my view, science has always had to play “catch up” to what was written in the Scriptures thousands of years earlier. Earth is round, life of the flesh is in the blood, even Proverbs 15:1 being explained by the influence of chemicals (like oxytocin) in the brain depending on nature of tone and conversation, and so forth This new concept seems to imply that the common view that Christians hold is needing to instead play catch-up to science.

You’ll have to forgive me for not reading your full book yet, but I did comb through the reviews. It seems that the leading pillar of the concept is that there were humanoid beings “outside the garden”, that Adam and Eve and family later intermingled with correct? And that theory is created to explain the question “where did Cain get his wife?” and other Cain-related questions? Is that fair to say?

Do you think Occam’s razor would have any important relevance here? Where did Cain get his wife, the simplest answer being of course one of the many daughters begat by Adam, right? This provides an easy In-Scripture answer. Also why Cain was worried one of the (many?) other siblings might kill him to avenge their brother Abel.

On the notion that there were other human-like beings “outside the garden”, what was the purpose of God telling Adam and Eve to “Fill the earth” if there were already other human-beings out in the earth?

Also, would you consider (if you haven’t already) starting a thread summing up in a nutshell your evolution-creation literal views?

8 Likes

I am not sure what “very literal” means. In any case millions of years verses 6 days of creation in a literal interpretation seems hard to reconcile.

I am not sure how you quantify “exceedingly low”, but count me among the “exceedingly low” number who benefited from Answers in Genesis and the Institute for Creation Research. About 30 years ago, I, and several thousand other people attended an Answers in Genesis seminar in my hometown. Everyone I spoke with at that seminar also seemed to benefit from the discussion.

All of my formal education on origins and biology used the evolutionary model. Just about everything I see on TV, especially on nature channels, teach and assume an evolutionary model. I do not find the explanation there compelling or believable.

Perhaps there is a subgroup where “the apologetic value of arguing against human evolution is exceedingly low.” I think there are probably some people, probably very intelligent and well educated, who will not consider the possibility that nothing evolved. There are probably a lot of unbelievers among that group as well, and, while I believe the doctrine of creation is important, I would not use it as my basis for a Gospel presentation.

6 Likes

In a different line of thinking, wouldn’t the Biblical descriptions on beastiality rule out Adam ever having been created an “ape-man”, or Adam and Eve intermingling with ape-like humanoid creatures?

Beastiality is listed as an abominable sin, one worthy of death (of any partakers in the “monkey-business”), so Adam and his ancestors would have had to regularly practice bestiality in either scenario if he were anything less than fully human physically. The only argument that could get around this would be to claim that monkeys/apes aren’t beasts, which would be…bananas (sorry)

5 Likes

Just a couple of general notes:

First, we need to be more circumspect in how we apply “literal interpretation.” Without going into an entirely tangential thread, we do not interpret every Biblical passage literally. There is plenty of evidence for that. So I believe that it is important for each of us who participate in this conversation to acknowledge that Christians of equally high quality can differ about how to interpret the days of creation. We need to be gracious to each other in our conversations about this matter.

Second, although I cannot speak to the specifics of @swamidass’s thesis, I think that in principle the Bible can be interpreted as he says. The de novo creation of Adam and Eve is clear to all of us, but what about the sons of God and the Nephilim in Genesis 6:1-4? According to Niehaus (2014):

and:

We do not know for sure who these people are, but it is plausible that they are a description of an (in)human race that developed in parallel with Adam and Eve’s descendants and intermixed with them to produce degraded offspring. This allows for a form of human evolution.

To draw this back to the original question:

One approach may be to present different positions and inquire about what the Bible says about them. This topic is more complex than it appears on the surface. We should not be afraid to teach our children how to examine these matters, but in order to teach our children, we must first teach ourselves.

Reference:

Niehaus, J. J. (2014). Biblical Theology: The Common Grace Covenants (Vol. 1, pp. 164–175). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

3 Likes

Certainly not the father of the concept. It has been around for thousands of years.

The part I contributed is showing that it isn’t in conflict with evolutionary science. That contribution I am well known for, and I am the first established scientists to work out that case.

It is a bit more complex than this. However, the question of Cain’s wife has encouraged readers for thousands of years to wonder about people outside the Garden. I didn’t invent that.

I don’t think that is the simplest answer if we care about literalism (as many people do). If you read Genesis 4 and 5, “cain married his sister” solution just makes very little sense. Too much of what takes place requires ad hoc additions to square with that theory. It is far simpler to just say that there were people outside the Garden.

Perhaps I can explain that more…

If you look at the language of Genesis this isn’t a problem really. Genesis doesn’t discuss the origin of “humans” but the lineage of “adam.” So, reading Genesis literally, it is telling Adam and Eve’s lineage to spread out across the globe, which is of course exactly what would have happened.

I just asked the moderators for permission to do so. I don’t want to do anything that violates the site rules. If I’m not allowed to do so, maybe someone else could give it a shot and I could answer questions.

2 Likes

Hi @swamidass I’m also interested in this as well. I’ve been reading through the free except of the book sample from PeacefulScience to start with, thank you for providing it.

I have a general question from viewpoint of theistic evolution.

Just a quote from your book sample of The Genealogy of Adam and Eve (thank you for providing it).

THE GENEALOGICAL HYPOTHESIS
From the sidelines, I listened closely for years, growing ever more skeptical of the conflict. Now, I want to explain what I have found by testing a hypothesis, a precise claim that may or may not be true. I will attempt to falsify this hypothesis with evidence. If I cannot falsify it, the hypothesis may still be false, but the evidence itself does not tell us either way. Scientific inquiry often progresses by careful hypothesis testing of just this sort.
Entirely consistent with the genetic and archeological evidence, it is possible that Adam was created out of dust, and Eve out of his rib, less than ten thousand years ago. Leaving the Garden, their offspring would have blended with those outside it, bio- logically identical neighbors from the surrounding area. In a few thousand years, they would become genealogical ancestors of everyone.11

As written here, this hypothesis matches the traditional account of Adam and Eve, but it leaves out details required for a scientific analysis. Who were the people outside the Garden? How did they arise? This is an ancient mystery, unstated in Scripture, but we need details specified to test the hypothesis.

In this book, I hypothesize that God created everyone outside the Garden through a providentially governed process of common descent, a process legitimately described by evolutionary science. The genealogical hypothesis, with details filled this way, is entirely consistent with the findings of evolutionary science. The DNA of our ancestors, their genetics, would still arise from a population, not a single couple. We would all still share common ancestry with the great apes. None of this is scientific proof that Adam and Eve existed. Evidence that Adam and Eve existed would lie outside our genomes, outside our scientific view, dependent on our understanding of Scripture. We are not reading evolution into Scripture. Evolution would be progressing in the mystery outside the Garden, outside the view of most theological discourse over the centuries. The two accounts, that of evolutionary science and of Scripture, would be taking place alongside one another, outside each other’s view. I am not reading evolutionary science into Scripture, where it cannot be properly found. This, instead, is a precise and testable hypothesis, consistent with Scripture though not found within it, expounding the ancient mystery outside the Garden.
Most of the details in this hypothesis are flexible from a scientific point of view. Adam and Eve could have been de novo created or chosen from a larger population. They could have been in the Middle East, or some other part of the world. They could have been in a supernaturally created Garden, free of death, or in an environment much like our own. Those outside the Garden could be in the image of God, or not.
This hypothesis, therefore, contains within itself many variants of the traditional account, all of which fill the mystery outside the Garden in this one particular way. There are alternative ways of filling the details too. Depending on the details, each alternative may or may not be in conflict with the evidence. We, however, are testing the extent to which the traditional account of Adam and Eve is challenged by evolutionary science. With this goal in mind, we fill in the gaps with the findings of evolutionary science.

My main question is a question under the Moral Category.

At what point on the common ancestor human evolution timeline did individual people become morally accountable before God for their actions - and for whom Christ died? You use word ‘people’ in the phrase ‘Who were the people outside the Garden?’ which is a general term for non-animal moral free will beings. Who were these people, and at what point in the evolutionary timeline did they cease to become animals and become people? Animals are not morally accountable before God.

I’m aware of roughly 8 views of Genesis, but not one that attempts to marry both a literal reading of Genesis 2:7 with common descent of man and apes; so it will be quite interesting to read the book. :slight_smile: God bless you with your ministry.

image

3 Likes

There are a lot of good but distinct questions in this thread. I’m considering the best way to respond.

Perhaps start some new threads with these distinct questions as prompts? E.g. @Shane1 asks about moral accountability, @blbossard asks about literal interpretations and Nephilim, @ericn99 asks about bestiality, and @mgilliam asks about literal days and an old earth (and yes, they are totally reconcilable) . That’s all interesting, but each question is a distinct line. So, perhaps start some new topics?

Beyond that, I’m working out with the @connectmoderators how to best answer here without running afoul of the rules.

My main point, relevant to the OP, is just this:

3 Likes

Couldn’t resist.

The hypothesis that there were people outside the garden before Adam was created seems to be the cause of misinterpretation and misunderstanding.

Sixth day God created humankind - male and female and he rested on the seventh day. End.
(Note: v27 in all translations says to the effect: “in the image of God He created him “) Singular pronoun used.

Second chapter describes Gen 1:26-27 In a Personal and relational style as the Bible needs to be read. (Not a science text).
He describes in detail the actual steps/process He took on the sixth day when He created man from duSt outside the garden. Then He created the garden and placed man in there. Gen 2:15
In the garden on the sixth day God created a woman
End of Gen chapter 2 is where everyone enjoyed a good creation and rested.

Chapter 3 starts with an incident taking place after the 7th day. (Doesn’t say when).

  • The woman remains nameless till Gen 3:20 where Adam calls her Eve ( note this) because she was the mother of all living!

To speak on the topic of evolution - humans work from finite minds - from knowledge gained till today. Science has already aged the moment it is thought of. We cannot imagine beyond our human speculations. We can see how outdated our sci-fi movies are even on the day they are released! We can conceptualise multi-worlds and multi-verses in our powerful God-imaged mind, albeit limited by our fallible, finite, frail bodies. Evolution is logical, rational and seems obvious to everyone in their right mind. The first miracle Jesus performed seemingly forced into it by his mum was - a second ago water made into a 3-6yr old best wine deemed by most important of guests. Creation with human time accelerated at its best - explained scientifically as “speed processing of grape molecules by fermentation” - possibly evolution?

2 Likes

Absolutely right that my point raises a separate question. I meant only to show that there are possible interpretations of the Bible other than a purely Adamic line of humanity. Sunday school is a good place to examine the matter raised by this thread, if done with an appropriately open mind.

1 Like

Please do not use that title. No scientist would ever say that humans evolved from apes. Both humans and apes evolved from a common ancestor. Creationists use this type of phrase to be provocative. It sets up a false caricature of evolution and suggests a misunderstanding of the scientific theory from the outset.

2 Likes

I wholeheartedly agree with this statement. For many years I have said that the evolution/creation debate is a pet peeve of mine, because I believe that the debate draws more people away from the faith than towards it.

I was raised by an atheist and an agnostic, not attending any church in New England, where most of my friends were raised by families similar to mine, or had a nominal faith. Because I was raised without a religion, but had friends with all different types of religions, including Protestant, Catholic, Jewish and Hindu, I often asked people about their faiths, what they believed and why. My favorite subject in high school was biology, and I started my freshman year in college knowing that my long term goal was to get a PhD and become a research scientist. What held me back from faith was the culture in which I was raised, that led me to think that it was not possible to be a scientist and have faith in God: that faith and science were mutually exclusive. My testimony of turning from that idea to becoming born again took a year or so of many encounters with thoughtful Christians and hearing apologetic arguments (none of which had to do with evolution). I met people who talked about having a relationship with God, told me about talking with God in prayer and teaching me about the Bible. I was fortunate to meet many people (in both New England and during my study abroad in Europe) who were willing to engage my questions about why they believed. I was also greatly surprised to learn that a couple of my science professors were believing Christians. At the time, I remember being relieved to learn from them that I could be a scientist AND believe in God.

Due to my personal testimony and observing the culture, I believe that science/creation debates have created the damaging cultural belief that there is a battle between science and faith. If I were the devil, I would hatch such a plan to keep people from the faith: have scientists and Christians debate evolution in the public square to make nonbelievers think that Christians are irrational and unscientific and to draw young people out of the church.

Would you please explain about how you benefited from Answers in Genesis (AiG) and the Institute for Creation Research (ICR)? I have the impression that people who are already Christian use the arguments of AiG and ICR to help them feel more secure in their faith, which is fine. However, I’d be interested to hear the testimony of a nonbeliever who came to Christ through creationist arguments.

I realize that AiG and ICR believe that they are helping by making persuasive arguments to demonstrate that creation science can be concordant with the Bible, Their arguments, as you state, do seem to be effective for many believing Christians. However, the problem as I see it, is that they are not winning over mainstream scientists or nonbelievers. So I strongly believe a different approach would better serve the faith.

Most testimonies I have heard of people who are won over into the faith from unbelief (including that of Ravi Zacharias) are people who describe being won to the love and justice that Christ displayed on the Cross and the hope they find in His resurrection. Those apologetics are the ones that I believe are the most compelling, which is why I support RZIM.

2 Likes

I’m pleased to report that we came to a solution on this. I hope to pick up the conversation here in a few days. Peace.

2 Likes