Dr. Nathaniel Jeanson – Finding Adam in the Genome: Part 1 of a Response to Chapter 2 (and Chapter 4) of Adam and the Genome

This article series has been responding to Dennis Venema’s and Scot McKnight’s book Adam and the Genome.1 Our primary focus has been on Venema’s scientific claims. In our previous post, we explored chapter one which deals exclusively with nongenetic data. Venema’s remaining chapters dive into the subject of genetics. In this post, we begin exploring Venema’s evidences in chapter two, titled “Genomes as Language, Genomes as Books.”

Naturally, with a subject as technically complex as genetics, our task might seem daunting. Nevertheless, in previous posts, we made a critical observation that simplified our task. We discovered that evolutionists refuse to read young-earth creationist (YEC) literature because they think that YECs are liars. Consequently, when evolutionists cite evidence to support their claims, they effectively fit facts to conclusions.

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Simon Turpin – The Creation of Adam: Unique Revelation or Ancient Myth?

Introduction

It is widely known that the early chapters of Genesis do not stand alone in the history of the ancient Near East (ANE). Other texts parallel the biblical account of creation and the existence of similarities between Genesis, and ANE literature has led critical scholars to conclude that Genesis was dependent upon the Mesopotamian texts.

Today, however, there are many professing evangelical scholars who argue that the early chapters of Genesis were influenced by these ANE myths.

The points of similarity between Genesis 1–2 and other ANE accounts have led these evangelical scholars to conclude that Genesis is not historical but “is an ancient Near Eastern form of science.” In other words the role of these texts in the ANE was, as John Walton explains, “like science in our modern world—it was their explanation of how the world came into being and how it worked. . . . Mythology is thus a window to culture.” The connection then, for these scholars, between the biblical and the ANE worlds is that, just as with ANE literature, so Genesis 1–2 helps us “see how Israelites thought about themselves, their world, and their God.”4The similarities then are associated with the fact that the biblical and ANE accounts “share a conceptual world,” which is why Genesis 1–2 is seen as “ancient cosmology.” The similarities between these ANE texts and Genesis 1–2 have convinced many of these scholars that Adam never existed or that he is anything other than the first human, who was supernaturally created. These scholars believe their view of Adam is based on careful analysis of the ANE context of Genesis 1–2. For example, after describing several ANE texts about the creation of man, such as Atrahasis and Gilgamesh Epics, Denis Lamoureux states,

Clearly, these last three examples of the de novo creation of humans are similar to Genesis 2:7, where the Lord acts like a craftsman and forms Adam from the dust of the ground…So what exactly am I saying about Adam? Adam’s existence is based ultimately on an accident conceptualization of human origins: de novo creation. To use technical terminology, Adam is the retrojective conclusion of an ancient taxonomy. And since ancient science does not align with physical reality, it follows that Adam never existed.

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Dr. Nathaniel T. Jeanson and Jeffrey P. Tomkins – Did Humanity Arise from a Large Population or a Pair of Individuals?

II. How Many: A Population or a Pair?

For many years, the discussion of the number of individuals that spawned the modern human race was not accessible to science. Fossils don’t record population sizes, and the antiquity and geography of our ancestors offer little in the way of direct data on the number of individuals alive on the planet at the dawn of Homo sapiens. Only with the advent of modern genetics have scientists been able to more directly explore this question.

However, the raw genetic data say nothing about ancestral population sizes. The evolutionary conclusion that humanity arose from a large population1 rather than a pair of individuals is a consequence of the arbitrary constraints that evolutionists bring to bear on the question. Implicit in the evolutionary claims is the assumption that DNA differences can arise only via the process of copying errors (mutations) that we discussed in the previous section. In other words, under the evolutionary model, the immediate reason why you are genetically different from your parents is that you inherited DNA from each parent. However, according to evolutionary reasoning, the ultimate reason why genetic differences exist at all in the human population is mutations in the distant past.

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Simon Turpin – “In Adam’s Fall We Sinned All”: Does Genesis 3 Teach the Fall of Man?

Introduction

Critical scholars have long rejected Genesis 3 as an accurate account of actual events, such as the Creation and Fall of man. However, in the recent debate over the historical Adam, many professing evangelicals, and once-professing evangelicals, who have adopted the methods and conclusions of critical secular scholarship, have pointedly argued that the doctrine of the Fall, which teaches original sin, is not original to the text of Genesis 3. These scholars see the doctrine of the Fall and original sin as an invention the church Father Augustine of Hippo (354-430) read into the text. In the recent book Adam and the Genome, which rejects a historical Adam, theologian Scot McKnight argues:

What we call the “fall” story of Genesis 3 borrows a later Christian term and, more importantly, in borrowing a later category, reads the text in ways that miss what the text meant in the ancient Near East. . . . In fact, the whole of Genesis 1–3 barely — if ever — makes another appearance in the entire Old Testament; so while many would say Genesis 1–11 is the foundation for reading the whole Bible, that is certainly at least an exaggeration if not a serious error.

It has also been pointed out that because Genesis 3 contains none of the language associated with disobedience, such as sin, evil, rebellion, transgression, and guilt, it therefore cannot be a passage that teaches the doctrine of the Fall.

Are these objections valid? Does Genesis 3 say anything about the concept of a Fall? Have Christians read something into Genesis 3 that is simply not there? I will argue that the doctrine of the Fall is a biblical concept and can be derived from the biblical text. It is important to defend the biblical concept of the Fall and original sin because “no doctrine is more crucial to our anthropology and soteriology.”

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Michael Horton – Glorious Traitors

Secular humanism has no way of explaining either the greatness or the tragedy of human existence. However, the biblical story of creation and the fall provides the basis for affirming both human dignity and depravity. We are born into the world “in Adam,” that is, as glorious traitors.

Glorious in Every Way

God created us for His glory. We exist for Him, not He for us. And yet, unlike the rest of creation, we were created in God’s image for a special relationship with Him, naturally “endued with knowledge, righteousness, and true holiness, after his own image; having the law of God written in [our] hearts, and power to fulfill it” (Westminster Confession of Faith 4.2). According to Scripture, human beings are neither semi-divine nor demonic, but creatures who have been given a royal dignity as God’s viceroys.

Adam and Eve were both created in God’s image, but God made Adam the federal head of the human race. Would Adam acknowledge gratefully his dependence on God and His revelation? Or would he seek to usurp God’s throne, determining for himself what he would believe and how he would live?

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Jonathan Sarfati – Genesis: Bible Authors Believed it to be History

Ever had someone tell you, ‘You’re missing the whole point! The purpose of Genesis is to teach that God is our Creator. We should not be divisive over the small details. Genesis teaches the theological truth of “Who?” and “Why?” not about the “How?” and “When?”’ Or else they say that the Bible is a book for faith and morality, not history.

An obvious answer is, why should we trust Genesis when it says God created if we can’t trust it on the details? After all, Jesus told Nicodemus, ‘I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things?’ (John 3:12). So if Genesis can’t be trusted on an earthly thing, such as Earth’s age, the sequence of creative acts upon it, or the Flood that covered it, then why trust it on a heavenly thing such as who the Creator was? Also, if Genesis 1 were merely meant to tell us that God is creator, then why simply not stop at verse 1, all that’s necessary to state this?

However, the critic has overlooked something even more important—Genesis is written as real history. This is why the rest of the Bible treats the events, people and time sequences as real history, not parables, poetry or allegory.

What does the rest of Scripture say?

The age and unique creation of Adam and Eve mattered to Jesus

When teaching about marriage, Jesus said:

‘But at the beginning of creation God “made them male and female. … For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” So they are no longer two, but one’ (Mark 10:6–8).

Here, Jesus quoted Genesis 1:27 and Genesis 2:24 about a real first man and first woman who became the first couple, and this was the basis for marriage between one man and one woman today. Not a man and a man, or a woman and a woman, or more than two people. Evolution teaches instead that a whole population of humans evolved from a population of ape-like creatures.

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Terry Mortenson – Adam, Morality, the Gospel, and the Authority of Scripture

Introduction

In the preceding chapters several important propositions have been thoroughly established.

1. Genesis 1–11 clearly teaches, and the rest of the Bible confirms, that God supernaturally created Adam from dust and Eve from his rib (not from any pre-existing living creature) on the sixth literal 24-hour day of history a little over 6,000 years ago.

2. All humans are uniquely made in the image of God and all humans who have ever lived are descended from Adam and Eve, regardless of their language, skin color, eye shape, etc. There is only one race — Adam’s race.

3. Until the 20th century, this was the universal belief of Bible-believing Christians about Adam (except for some in the late 19th century who after denying any chronological value to the genealogies of Genesis 5 and 11 pushed back the date of Adam’s creation several tens of thousands of years).

4. The fossil evidence does not support the idea of human evolution, but rather confirms Genesis. Controlled by a naturalistic (i.e., atheistic) worldview, the evolutionists have misinterpreted the evidence. The public has been deceived by imaginative art and relentless dogmatic claims that do not survive careful scrutiny.

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John MacArthur – The First Adam, the Last Adam, and the Gospel

Was Adam a Real Person?

The church has historically affirmed that Adam was a historical man, yet with the acceptance of evolutionary science, some now claim that this is not the case. Those who believe that the earth is millions or billions of years old will not accept that God fully formed the human Adam a few days after creating the universe. However, Genesis presents Adam as a real historical man, not the result of eons of evolution.

The simplest and most natural interpretation of Genesis 1 declares that God created the specific person Adam on the sixth day of creation. Genesis 2 then offers more detail on the creation of Adam and Eve. Adam’s connection with other historical persons supports the claim that he was indeed a specific person. Adam is the father of Cain, Abel, and Seth (Gen. 4:1–2, 25; 5:1–3). Adam is also said to have had conjugal relations with his wife Eve to bear Cain and Seth, and Genesis 5:3 further states that Adam fathered Seth at age 130. These details cannot be legitimately identified as poetic or figurative language describing something other than reality.

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Terry Mortenson – When Was Adam Created?

Introduction

When did Adam come into existence? Evolutionists say Homo sapiens came into existence 200,000 to 400,000 years ago (depending on which evolutionist you consult, because they do not all agree on what a Homo sapiens is). Can we harmonize that with the teaching of God’s Word? Today, many Christians, including many leaders and scholars, think they can.

From my reading and interaction with old-earth creationists of all varieties in 25 countries over the last 35 years, I think one reason many of them think they can harmonize the two is that they have not paid very careful attention to the relevant biblical texts. They have just assumed that the scientists have proven the age of the creation to be billions of years and the age of mankind to be many tens or hundreds of thousands of years. They often recite the mantra that “the Bible is not a science textbook” (thereby confusing the vital difference between origin science and operation science, as discussed in this book’s introduction). Therefore, it is claimed, the Bible does not deal with the issue of the age of mankind or even how man came into existence.

Another reason that a great many Christians think that the age of man and the universe does not matter and that the scientific establishment’s view does not conflict with Scripture is because they or their teachers have been influenced by William Henry Green.1 The famous Old Testament professor at Princeton Theological Seminary wrote an article in 1890 in which he argued that “the genealogies in Genesis 5 and 11 were not intended to be used, and cannot properly be used, for the construction of a chronology.”2 He concluded that “the Scriptures furnish no data for a chronological computation prior to the life of Abraham; and that the Mosaic records do not fix and were not intended to fix the precise date either of the Flood or of the creation of the world.”3 In other words, Green contended, the Bible is silent about the age of man and also the age of the earth and universe, so scientists are free to determine these ages according to the scientific evidence, and Christians need not reject or fear any date so determined.

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Russell Grigg – Pre-Adamic Man: Were there Human Beings on Earth before Adam?

jungle

Could there have been human creatures, commonly called ‘pre-Adamites’, living on Earth before God created Adam? Many readers, no doubt, will think this a foolish question, but it is, in fact, the belief of many evangelicals. And leading ‘progressive creationist’ Hugh Ross teaches something similar when he says that “bipedal, tool-using, large-brained primates roamed Earth for hundreds of thousands (perhaps a million) years”.

Ross does not believe in biological evolution, although he accepts cosmic and geologic evolution and the evolutionary timescale. He also believes in the same general sequence of events and the same order of appearance as evolutionists. Although he believes that God made Adam from the dust, he also accepts the evolutionists’ long-age interpretation of the fossil record. But human fossils are found ‘dated’ earlier than Adam’s genealogies could possibly allow. This requires Ross to postulate the existence of creatures with human-like characteristics, but ‘spiritless’ (see Skull Wars).2,3 Ross says, “… these creatures went extinct before Adam and Eve came on the scene.”

Why did they ‘become extinct’? According to Ross, because the world was a place of death, violence and decay for hundreds of thousands/millions of years before the Curse recorded in Genesis 3:14–19. He makes the extraordinary statement: “The step-by-step approach to bipedal primate creation that we can see in the recent fossil record may reasonably reflect God’s understanding of the difficulty other life-forms would encounter in adapting to sinful humans.”

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