As the battle between Darwinism and the Bible rages, some evangelicals have backed away from maintaining that Adam and Eve were real, historical individuals created in the way Genesis 2 relates:
“… the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. … So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man.”
In a just-published article from the Westminster Theological Journal, Westminster Theological Seminary professor Vern Poythress brilliantly explains why such a surrender is wrong biblically and scientifically. Poythress, with both a Th.D. and a Harvard Ph.D. in mathematics, is well-positioned to write about both theology and evolutionary theory. He has published 13 books, including Redeeming Science and Redeeming Sociology, and numerous scholarly articles. We post this new one with the author’s and WTJ’s permission. —Marvin Olasky
ADAM VERSUS CLAIMS FROM GENETICS
Did Adam and Eve exist? Does science say otherwise? The human genome project has produced voluminous data about the information contained in human DNA. Various news media and scientists tell us that this information demonstrates our ape ancestry. How do we evaluate these claims?
Evaluation is important for theological reasons. As the claims based on genetics have mounted, the theological discussion about Adam has heated up. From people with biblical and theological training we hear the argument that we must revise our understanding of the Bible and theology because we have to accept that evolution is an established fact. In response, we hear the opposing argument that the Bible and theology call on us to retain the conviction that Adam was a historical individual whose fall into sin resulted in guilt and sin for all his descendants. On both sides, people with training in biblical studies have understandably avoided discussing in detail the character of the scientific claims, and yet these have obviously greatly influenced the side that has abandoned the traditional understanding of Adam. It is important to undertake a theologically informed evaluation of claims coming from genetics.