Science vs. Many Scientists?
“God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (Genesis 1:27. All Scriptures from the NASB).
by Ernest Kuenzli
One of the debates between the scientific and religious communities since the days of Charles Darwin has been: how did man come into being. For centuries, Christians believed the scriptural record that the first man and woman were created by God. “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness’” (Genesis 1:26). “Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being” (Genesis 2:7).
Many in the scientific community pushed back against Genesis, and beginning with Darwin, constructed a theory that man evolved without divine or intelligent supervision from the ape family through a “missing link.” The evolutionary perspective has come to dominate biology textbooks as though an accomplished fact, rather than an unproven theory. However, both recent historical and scientific discoveries cast serious doubt on the validity of evolution as the origin of man.
Historical Challenges to Man’s Evolution
For example, “the earliest inhabitants of Mesopotamia … as well as the earliest known people of Egypt, Crete, and Asia Minor, actually had a civilization which far exceeded that of Europe as late as four or five centuries ago; and indeed compared most favorably with ours of the present day.” A leading evolutionist, Prof. John Arthur Thomson, wrote, “Modern research is leading us away from the picture of primitive man as brutish, dull, lascivious, and bellicose. There is more justification for regarding primitive man as clever, kindly, generous, and inventive.”1
These observations support the Biblical record that the first man, Adam, was created perfect: “God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good” (Genesis 1:31). The Bible adds that the eighth generation following Adam included Jubal, “father of all those who play the lyre and pipe” (Genesis 4:21), and “Tubal-cain, the forger of all implements of bronze and iron” (Genesis 4:22) — evidence that the first men had significant capabilities.
Scientific Challenges to Man’s Evolution
There are several scientific challenges to the idea that man evolved. One relates to man’s population, “If man has been on earth for hundreds of thousands of years … why is the planet today so sparsely populated? … The Israelites have doubled their population about twenty-two times during the thirty-eight centuries since Jacob’s day.” Based on this rate of increase, “if man has been upon the earth 7,000 years instead of just over 6,000 assigned by the scriptures, there should now be 137,000,000,000 people living here instead of a mere 6,000,000,000.2 (8 billion now?) … If man has been multiplying on this earth even for 50,000 years or longer, then why does not the world have a much greater population than six thousand million today? Evolution has no satisfactory answer.
A second challenge comes from the idea that more and more complex organisms arose by chance — without any direction or design. Meyer calculates that the chances of an ideal primordial mud generating all the necessary amino acids, thence proteins, for a single living cell, are “1 in 10 41,000.”3 And for random chance to get all those proteins into some cell membrane would violate the Second Law of Thermodynamics! Behe shows that “ever more sophisticated studies demonstrate that, ironically, random mutation and natural selection are in fact fiercely devolutionary.”4
A third challenge relates to DNA. “Approximate dating of ancestors is possible by measuring slight changes in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA, passed from mother to daughter, to daughter, etc.) and segments of the Y chromosome (passed from father to son, to son, etc.). Cann, Stoneking, and Wilson startled the evolutionist world in 1987 by sequencing mtDNA and announcing that all women in the world today are descended from one woman — one common female ancestor. Eight years later Dorit, Akashi, and Gilbert sequenced a portion of the Y chromosome and concluded that all men in the world today are descended from one common male ancestor.”5 “Genesis names these two common ancestors: Eve and Noah.”6
(1) Dawn Bible Students Association, “Creation,” 2nd edition, New York: Dawn Bible Students Association, 2010, (page 16).
(2) Dawn Bible Students Association, “Creation,” New York: Dawn Bible Students Association, 2010, (pages 53-56).
(3) Stephen C. Meyer, “Signature in the Cell,” HarperOne, 2009, page 213.
(4) Michael J. Behe, “Darwin Devolves,” HarperOne, 2019, page 10.
Regarding the ages of these ancestors, “from recently-measured mtDNA mutation rates (~2 x 10-6 mutation/base-pair-year), Gibbons observes of “ ‘mitochondrial Eve’ … using the new clock, she would be a mere 6,000 years old.”7 “Most of the DNA studies suggest that the most recent common male ancestor is more recent than the most recent common female ancestor. That is consistent with Noah being more recent than Eve. … DNA dating sides more with Genesis than with any known theory of evolution.”8
Finally, the lack of a fossil record of man’s evolution, combined with the wide gap between man’s capabilities and those of preceding mammals, supports the Biblical record that God and His only begotten son, the Logos, created the first man and woman. “Not surprisingly, despite the diligent research done in East Africa by paleontologists Richard Leakey and Donald Johnson, there are gaping holes in the evolutionary record, some of them extending for 4 to 6 million years. Modern apes, for instance, seem to have sprung out of nowhere. They have no yesterday, no fossil record. And the true origin of modern humans — of upright, naked, toolmaking, big-brained beings — is, if we are to be honest with ourselves, an equally mysterious matter.”9
(5) Rebecca L. Cann, Mark Stoneking, and Allan C. Wilson, “Mitochondrial DNA and Human Evolution,” Nature 325, pages 31-36 (1 January 1987).
(6) Dawn Bible Students Association, “Creation,” New York: Dawn Bible Students Association, 2010, (pages 57-58).
(7) Ann Gibbons, “Calibrating the Mitochondrial Clock;” Science 279, pages 28-29 (2 January 1998).
(8) Dawn Bible Students Association, “Creation,” New York: Dawn Bible Students Association, 2010, (Appendix 1, pages 90-91). Noah’s three daughters-in-law are not likely all descended from Noah’s wife.
(9) Lyall Watson, “The Water People;” Science Digest 90, 5, page 44 (May 1982).
Superior Capabilities of Man — Abstract Thinking
Man’s superior capabilities compared to other animals demonstrate that he is a created being. One of the most important is his ability to do abstract thinking. This capability has allowed man to create entire avenues of thought regarding his environment, behavior, and other beings that he interfaces with. God appeals to this capability in Isaiah 1:18: “‘Come now, and let us reason together,’ says the LORD, ‘Though your sins are as scarlet, They will be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They will be like wool.’” What other animals on this terrestrial earth does God reason with regarding sin? Only man.
One form this abstract thinking takes is creating and grasping a set of laws or principles to govern man’s behavior. These principles involve not just external risks (is there a predator nearby?) but also, internal emotions and values (love, honesty, selflessness). This ability made it possible for God to set before Adam the first law: “The LORD God commanded the man, saying, ‘From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die’” (Genesis 2:16,17).
God leveraged this same capability to set before Israel, via the Mosaic Law, principles to govern their behavior, emotions, and thinking concerning their relationships between each other, their God and their environment. “Now it shall be, if you diligently obey the LORD your God, being careful to do all His commandments which I command you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth” (Deuteronomy 28:1). This law set before Israel rewards and punishments based on their obedience to this Law. No other terrestrial animal has shown the ability to receive, understand, and comply with such a law except man.
Finally, this capability gives man the ability to recognize and relate to beings and objects one cannot detect with the five senses. Many animals have more highly developed senses than man. But none give evidence of grasping the existence of beings, such as God and angels, whom their senses cannot directly detect. Unlike man, animals cannot observe objects, events, processes, or forces of nature and draw the conclusion that something unobservable (e.g. a being or force) was responsible for the observed. Only man could properly respond to what the apostle Paul wrote: “Do not refuse Him who is speaking. For … much less will we escape who turn away from Him who warns from heaven” (Hebrews 12:25).
Superior Capabilities of Man — Ability to Create
Further evidence of man’s creation is his ability to create tools, power, or other objects to mold or shape his environment. While some animals have the ability to use naturally occurring items (e.g. rock) as a tool to break the shell of a nut or a shellfish to eat what is inside, none can create a tool such as the wheel, hammer, furnace, printing press, computer, cell phone, etc., to make their life easier or more efficient.
This capability will allow man in Christ’s earthly kingdom to demonstrate God’s characteristic of love toward his fellow man and thereby earn the right to everlasting life. “Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me” (Matthew 25:34-36). Man’s ability to create is crucial to his ability to be a help and a blessing to his fellowman.
Superior Capabilities of Man — Communication
Finally, man’s ability to communicate among his own kind, despite differences in language and location, to record and store that communication, and then to disseminate that communication for future generations, is another evidence of his creation. This communication has allowed man to learn and profit from the experiences and discoveries of others who have lived before him. These teach man about his God.
“Come and see the works of God, Who is awesome in His deeds toward the sons of men. He turned the sea into dry land; They passed through the river on foot; There let us rejoice in Him! He rules by His might forever; His eyes keep watch on the nations; Let not the rebellious exalt themselves. Selah” (Psalms 66:5-7).
Conclusion — Obedience to the Creator
Because man is a created being, he owes his existence to the being that created him. It is reasonable that his creator asks man for obedience for continued life, and it is appropriate for man to render this obedience for the continued favor of life.
“Know that the LORD Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving And His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name. For the LORD is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting And His faithfulness to all generations” (Psalms 100:3-5).
Categories: 2020 Issues, 2020-January/February, Kuenzli