Is Evolution Biblical?

A Biblical Evolution Model

Is Evolution Compatible With The Bible?perrymarch13

Can you be a Christian and believe in evolution?

Some say: “If God chose to create us via evolution, I’m fine with that.”

Others see evolution as a threat… with grave theological difficulties: The nature of man, original sin, the necessity of Christ. Some insist evolution undercuts

the entire Biblical narrative.

Is evolution a slippery slope? Do we even have evidence for evolution in the first place?

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Presentation PDF

Hi, my name is Perry Marshall and in 1994 astrophysicist Hugh Ross set my mind on fire. I listened to his “Biblical Creation Model.” He explained how the Big Bang and modern cosmology match the Biblical story like hand and glove. (Courtesy of a few elegant, well-chosen assumptions.)

Hugh’s model made predictions. It was bold and testable. Light years superior to anything I’d ever seen before. He founded “Reasons To Believe” to tell the good news: Big Bang = Jesus Christ!

A universe engineered to produce stars, galaxies and conditions favorable for life, exploding from a single, fine-tuned instant was far more elegant than a series of solo creation events.

But… Reasons To Believe hesitated to extend that thinking to the development of life itself. Life, according to Ross, was still a product of numerous special creation events.

Then, a decade later I went down the evolution rabbit hole. Eventually wrote “Evolution 2.0: Breaking the Deadlock Between Darwin and Design.” I came to different conclusions. Which we explore in this talk.

So… Who was Adam? Mythical figure? Archetype? Real person? What makes man different from animals? What about the theology?

Here, I present a model you’ve likely not seen before. A testable, Biblical Evolution Model.

This meeting was hosted by Reasons To Believe Chicago, a community that believes there’s no conflict between science and Christian faith. While not fully endorsing my views, Bob Clapper and RTB Chicago were graciously willing to bring me to their gathering so we could discuss and debate this important matter.

Related Articles:

A Closer Look at Genesis 1

“Who is Adam?”

The New Atheism, Genesis 2 and Symbiogenesis

 

89 Responses

  1. Rene J.Kirchheimer says:

    9 months it takes from “egg” to “baby”; the “egg” evolves into a full fledged human being. Do you need a better example of “evolution”? The universe is structured in such a way that everything keeps “evolving”, “adapting” (is the process that helps an organism survive in its environment). Even “mutations” come into play.
    Religion was an “effort” of ancient people to “find” an explanation to the marvels of the universe, so that’s how everything is attributed to a “CREATOR”, but the “creator” creates things individually according to the bible (as man would); if you insist to believe in “Creation”, well yes but, “Creation” when and if it happened (I wasn’t there) was summarily accomplished; that would include all the “laws of nature” the “why” things happen the way they do. The bible doesn’t mention “gravity”, “inertia”, because they ignored such things (as well as many others) as a result their “explanation” of how things came to be had to simplistic, or of a “supernatural” cause. So yes “GOD” created “evolution” , you may believe in both.

    • Richard Morgan says:

      The egg does not “evolve” into a full fledged human being. It develops into a human being. Therefore it is not an example of evolution. The fully-fledged human being and the egg are not two different species.
      Linguistic accuracy is important, Rene.

      • Fortunately we have lots of evidence for the processes of speciation and how that connects up step by step to larger scale changes, such as the reptile-mammal transition. So while the fertilized egg to human example is not terribly relevant to the notion of evolution (natural branching common descent), let’s not pretend that the data that do support evolution isn’t there to be drawn on instead.

        • Seumas MacLaren says:

          You made me smile again James, when you wrote: “..let’s not pretend that the data that do support evolution isn’t there to be drawn on instead.”
          No, no James. Let’s instead pretend that that they are there! Much more fun! -It may be a pantomime of make believe (a well constructed one, with many an esoteric twist in the plot), but this year, as our favourite Fairy Godmother of Evo-Land, as always, you are set to break the world wide (web) record in magicking up all sorts of exciting imaginary things which don’t exist (except in your head), in discussion, and deftly, never showing what is actually in your hand. Nothing! Superb sleight of hand, that is the mark of the true evo-cult believer. -No data whatsoever that can demonstrate even the origin of, say, a fly, or a the first mammal, while all along, at your feet is a pile of stones in which are a myriad fossil forms… Some large, some small, but which cry out to you “Form!”, “Beauty!”, “Graceful consistency of design!”, and “Unique and remarkably distinct life in all layers of fossils!” “No contunuum of any transition!” Even in the Cambrian! In fact, one could say, especially in the Cambrian, which the late Stephen Jay Gould illustrated so well in his books, yet, like you, believed his own version of the Great Deception.

          There is nothing there James. Nothing there at all for us. The only conclusion that we can come to is “Life is fearfully and wonderfully made.” The king has no cloths! Let it go! ‘Mother nature’ has made nothing different to itself, attested by much scientific deep knowledge of evidence, at ANY stage of the supposed billions of years of time since life some evolutionists say may have appeared by itself.

          Insects, spiders, sharks, and ..bats:
          You are aware, I assume, that insects (such as the common fly, various ants and beetles), and many spiders, have been discovered in specimens of amber, in which it is plain that the species or variety inside is identical in all of its appearance to some modern day species crawling around nearby in the same landscape or somewhere else in the world (the planet clearly having changed; nobody is denying that). So much so, that the species can be named in full, without even removing the specimen from the amber! Well, there would be no point in removal, would there? For a start, there can’t be any carbon 14 remaining in the specimen after “millions of years” can there? We know that without testing for it, Mr Downard? The species which are within these amber samples – are some really around 100 million years or more (a million centuries old), preceding by 95 millions of years any shadow of the supposed appearance of mankind? Or is that one of your illusory ideas perhaps?

          Ever wondered too how it is that fossil teeth of ‘ancient’ sharks (several millions of years?) are washed up on beaches, but show far too little, or no rounding at all of their edges for quite such large palm sized ancient “teeth”? Some show almost no damage or wear at all. Yes. Folks, you guessed it, the evo’s have got an explanation for that too. The teeth were hidden and then broke free so show no wear! Ever wondered how it is that T.rex teeth, all layers intact, even showing the tiny ridged areas on the lead cutting edges, are discovered from time to time in farmers’ fields? No deterioration and no fossilization, yet 800,000 centuries old? Strike you as anything strange at all?

          By the way, is there any chance you could show us some actual fossils of the evolving bat precursor spp.? You know – the ones that show how the forelimb was shaped during transition, and how the animal got around and fed with a pair of limbs that were neither useful legs nor wings for millions of years? Good! It would be so interesting.

          I asked before, but you did not reply with an argument or explanation as to what or how bats evolved. You just waved your hands at some papers. But that was a mistake, as not ONE of them has the faintest idea of an explanation of what a primordial bat had to do to get WINGS!

    • Caiden says:

      The bible does mention those things. You are arguing semantics. Just because those particular words did not exist then, doesn’t mean they cannot be explained differently. You should actually read the bible and check for yourself.

      • Kevin says:

        Ms. Candice,

        So we are clear on the context, please provide biblical references to your point.
        Thanks

      • Juls says:

        Yes i read the bible it contains immoral teachings. Therefor it should not be a reference for a truth arguments. Because you may pick and chose only in the book which is comforatble to you.

    • Ray says:

      As soon as you admit I was not there you should keep silent if you do not accept the truth of creation all around you and within every cell of your body. Just as we marvel at an plane and it many modern marvels taking us up and safely landing again, so there is not argument it was designed and created. Just so was the world and universe we all live in. It is important to get it right for if we are not careful, we will be held to account for how we use all that we have been given and come out on the wrong side.

    • Tim says:

      The explanations in the bible are perfect for its audience. Please try to remember that most of the people were illiterate. They couldn’t understand the concepts you mentioned. So, the Bible was written in a way they could understand. The bible was never meant to be a literal work.

      • John Fowler says:

        I would argue that the Bible was meant be to be a literal work. It’s audience was for all people, in all time and space. While literacy had been very low, I would argue your point that it was written for illiterate people and rather written very cleverly for both.

    • Greg says:

      Mathematical Impossibility of Evolution … http://www.icr.org/article/mathematical-impossibility-evolution/

      • Greg,

        Use your full first and last name please.

        Yes I know it’s “mathematically impossible” but that assumes it’s random. It’s not. And it’s empirically demonstrable. http://evo2.org/darwinists-creationists/

      • Tell us, Greg, how you fact checked the sources in the old Morris piece you culled from the ICR as an authority? Also, how you think the calculations in there bear on all the paleogenomic data regarding natural evolution over the last half billion years that antievolutionists in general (and the ICR in particular) pay scant attention to? Your invocation of another “Origins or Bust” argument (and a dated one at that) speaks volumes about your own method.

    • Hristijan Bogdanovski says:

      Rene J.Kirchheimer yes everything “evolves” except your body, in less then a century probably it will be turned into rotten body, in two centuries it will most likely turn into skeleton and if Jesus doesn’t come in few more millennia it might turn into dust as well. I believe in devolution, everything in this universe is actually decaying (and that’s exactly what the Bible says) except the Creator who is ever glorious and the beings from his other universe. I believe in Adaptation (a.k.a Micro-Evolution), which is actually scientifically provable, but I do not believe in the pseudo-science of Darwin or Evilution (which is the main doctrine of Communism, Stalin’s, Mao Zedong’s, Pol Pot’s and most of the other loyal comrade leaders who were instumental in the bigest genocides ever, Hitler’s Holocaust, guess what all of these guys have in common, “On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.” by Charles Darwin, followed by Hitler’s masacrated perverted modified “bible” that was his favorite book and the great majority of believers in this book are actually the “atheists” who are by far the most susceptible people to suicide because of their worldview which produces nothing but hopelessness and death, just check the facts it surpasses the death toll of all religions combined, including all the Crusades and Jihads ever done by far, which makes Evolution the most evil system of belief ever invented by men and satan, after Catholicism and Islam, which are nothing but idolatries who totally misrepresent the living God of the Bible and the way of salvation and lead streight to hell)

      For the wages of sin is death…
      Romans 6:23

      And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment…
      Hebrews 9:27

      …18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. 24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. 26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. 27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. 28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, 30 backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; 32 who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them…
      ROMANS 1:18-32

      BTW the Bible is pretty big even without talking about the laws of nature much, God in His letter to menkind, tells what’s most important for their created-eternal souls which go either in heaven or hell after this short life in this dying and God-hating world (as we see in ROMANS 1-3), first things first, God knows what’s the greatest need of man, you better read it, really hope you will read it 🙂

  2. Rene J.Kirchheimer says:

    “Life, such as it manifests on Earth, is none other than the result of a love story which, through time and space, has incited the union of matter with consciousness. Humans are an example of this union, for they are body and soul. This explains why we are constantly subjected to two forms of love: the love inherent in the particles composing our bodies; and the love that strengthens the virtues of our soul. This duality of love is responsible for the greatness of the human species in that it gives humanity the power to love the material world while experiencing the attraction of spiritual beauty. In this respect, we must never forget that our earthly environment is the mirror that reflects Cosmic Harmony.” Christian Bernard.

    • Excellent comments.

    • Bill Fowler says:

      So where did the “matter” originate? For that matter (no pun intended), where did “consciousness” come from, if not from a Creator? I left the cosmic consciousness scene back in the early 70’s. I suggest you do the same.

      • Another “Origins or Bust” argument I see. The first (where did matter come from) has been rather settled, as inevitable outcomes of the development of the Big Bang. Now if one assumes that an Uncaused Cause is involved in that, and further assume that the Universe itself cannot be that Uncaused Cause, and in turn assume that some Creator entity must be that Uncaused Cause, and in turn ignore or rule out all other contenders and pencil in just one particular supernatural entity as that Creator, then of course one can be happy in the giant conclusion jump you’ve just made her Bill. But we do spot all the intervening and arbitrary assumptions involved.

        Now, as for “consciousness,” that too is an issue where there is a lot of science data accumulating on how our self-awareness arises within the brain. Btw that doesn’t preclude Creators, who could engineer purely mechanistic automatons just as easily as ones with incorporeal spirits attached. Any hypothesis of an incorporeal spirit, though, needs to overcome that obvious snag that we go unconscious repeatedly, which is rather difficult to square with the idea that we have a spirit that is not dependent on the physical modalities of the brain for its existence. Then again, neuroscience is another of those fields that doesn’t get covered much in religious apologetics (including the antievolution cannon). I keep track of such things at my #TIP project http://www.tortucan.wordpress.com on the methodology of creationism.

        • Daniel says:

          Still a couple of unanswered questions as to an atheistic view as far as I’m concerned.
          As far as my limited understanding goes the Big Bang started off with some sort of “fluctuation”. My question is “What caused the “fluctuation” in the first instance?
          I’ve put this question to other atheists but have received no response. Perhaps you could explain it to me, or point me to the scientific research which investigates this theory (belief).
          Also, if “consciousness” arises only in the brain how do you explain premonitions and prophecy ( the foretelling of a future event) such as when some people have a premonition about a plane crash or a prophecy made by secular people such Edgar Cayce, Nostradamus, Baba Vanga etc., and, those made by biblical prophets.
          I have an answer coming from a Christian view:
          1. For the secular prophets the bible says in Ecclesiastes 3:11 “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end”.
          The word “eternity” means forever or “yesterday is today is tomorrow”. There is no time where God dwells (in eternity). He can tell what happens tomorrow, and, He has put a little “eternity” in mans hearts (spirits). And no, we do not know everything about the future but every now and then man gets a little insight.
          2. For the Biblical prophets, need I say more. The eternal God has revealed all to them so that we humanity may know that He alone is in control of governments and the affairs of men.

          Like to know your thoughts.

          • Seumas Maclaren (UK) says:

            Daniel, I admire your clear challenge to the restrictive, scientific humanism of Mr Downard (who appears to be here to try to put a supposed ‘scientific’ wedge into any faith in a first cause Creator – let’s be clear – although I have not found the Bible and testable science to be contradictory), and I of course agree with the rebuke of the popular humanism (of Christian Bernard) quoted by Rene, but apparently praised by CosmicFingerprints, which was rather odd. For a christian, I would agree with you that this is completely unbiblical and antithetical to the first principle that the Creator is intimately associated with all of life, and that the mind of Christ (the Word of the Creator) should be our reference point. Only human beings have the privilege of knowing this great mind, and it is known, by coming into a personal and very special relationship with the Christ. However, it seems clear that Mr Downard does not accept that, so we are attempting to discuss things from two completely different presuppositional reference points. Mine: “the Creator has demonstrated that He exists to our minds, from what has been made in space-time reality (Romans 1 agrees), and this Creator has confirmed, coming into the world as Jesus the Christ, that not only he is the Creator, but that He cares intimately for, and loves each human person.” Downard’s: “There is no requirement from logic, science and other human perspectives for any creator.” We shall I am sure disagree for sometime, until the Creator reveals His love to Downard, but the conversation I hope will continue. In prayer,

            • Daniel says:

              Seumas,

              Yes, I’m sure the conversation will continue as humankind reaches out for answers. Will unregenerate man find or hope to find those answers without his Creator? Probably not even though he thinks he has or will. Will we Christians ever convince the hardest atheist of the truth? Certainly possible but it will take lots of prayer without which nothing good can be accomplished. I once heard the saying, “the church advances on its knees”. How true I think. And regardless of how much the atheist thinks has the people of God licked we must remember the power lies with us and we must use it always while there is yet time.

  3. Al Borkes says:

    No matter how far we go in understanding how we and the world got to be, without our Creator there is no answer to the question: how out of nothing something got to be? When the atheist pretend to give us the answer saying that there was a singularity in a nothing, well, that singularity was the something a Creator put put out of nothing. So, my position is: I couldn’t care less if evolution is true or not, nothing will negate for me my Creator

    • Rene J.Kirchheimer says:

      “You can’t convince a believer of anything: for their belief is not based on evidence, it’s based on a deep seated need to believe”
      Carl Sagan.

      • I find this statement to be consistently true of atheists, who believe all sorts of things with no evidence whatsoever.

        • Richard Morgan says:

          I find these statements to be consistently true of every sentient being. We all believe all sorts of things with no evidence whatsoever. Without a certain kind of blind acceptance, a pile of assumptions, life would become unlivable.
          Note that we tend to look for evidence when things don’t work out as they should. The scientist and the engineer seek solutions through trying to identify the minutest details of the problem.
          We all have a deep-seated need to believe. Some have a deep seated need to do scientific research. Others have a deep seated need to debate. Others, like me have a deep-seated need to understand what deep-seatedness means, where it comes from.
          Those who are absent this spirit of linguistic inquiry will never seek evidence in this endeavour of understanding sentient beings.
          If it works, don’t fix it.
          Some of us have a deep-seated need to fix things.
          Perry’s entire book is based on a problem that he encountered and his deep-seated need to solve this kind of problem.
          Thank you Perry, Rene and Carl for unwittingly identifying the common thread of humanity that under-girds all of this.

        • Such as?

        • Rene J. Kirchheimer says:

          Your statement is misleading, because atheist choose not to believe anything for which there is no evidence.

      • Ray says:

        My witness is that I did not need to believe. God came to me in Jesus Christ and convinced me.

      • James West says:

        Just as true: You can’t convince an unbeliever of anything, for unbelief is not based on evidence; it’s based on a deep seated need not to believe.

  4. Lance says:

    the whole “story” that their are “stellar nurseries” and that stars are still forming is a “story”. No science involved. Physics prove it cannot happen as well as observation. We have not observed a single new star formed. We should be seeing millions of new stars forming daily. But we don’t. Just like with the fossil record we see STASIS.

  5. Bill Freeman says:

    Bill,

    Between North and South Korea there’s a “DMZ,” a De-Militarized Zone. A strip of land a couple of miles wide. A buffer between the two sides. A place where people from both sides can go and not get shot.

    Comment:
    Perry, I find this Zone a necessity as normally the academians, scientists, biologists are married to the Darwinian hypothesis, and simply close their ears. This is history as tenure in politically correct Universities will not be approved for associate professors if they question the theory. There are many good examples: one I am familiar with is Dr. Caroline Crocker who left George Mason University. Her book, which I read, is titled “Free To Think: Why Scientific Integrity Matters”. (2010). I met her in Austin, Texas at a Church Conference which provided an avenue for a Science/Faith Conference in 2011. In 2010, the Southern Baptist Seminary in Ft. Worth, Texas sponsored one as well. William Dembski (ID member) was a professor at this Seminary.

    Incidentally and for fun, electrical engineering is a good profession, but so are all the other engineering professions which have their place to make the total engineering profession very valuable. My profession, chemical engineering, is recognized by Shell Oil to be valuable and can be used interchangeably with petroleum engineering, which I worked in for a few years in drilling and producing oil and gas wells. I later became a pioneer in the environmental engineering profession, which was not a recognized profession before 1975. But remember, the fossil fuel industry was essential to make our Country what it is today. Without it, there would be little electricity, thus no computers or highly prized electrical engineering careers. For example: “While the Nation’s overall energy history is one of significant change as new forms of energy were developed, the three major fossil fuels–petroleum, natural gas, and coal, which together provided an average of 87% of total U.S. primary energy use over the past decade–have dominated the U.S. fuel mix for well over 100 years. In EIA’s Annual Reference case, which assumes continuation of current laws, regulations, and policies, projects continued significant reliance on the three major fossil fuels through at least 2035, when they still provide over three-quarters of the Nation’s overall primary energy supply. Until the Industrial Revolution began in Britain, too few recall that the relatively recent Industrial Revolution of the 18th and 19th centuries — dependent on fossil fuels — was one of the two greatest advances human society since humans lived in caves and hunted for food. The other was the Neolithic agricultural revolution when human groups began cultivating crops and domesticating animals. The Fossil Fuel Industry is very, very valuable to this Country. Kindle has a short essay written by Kathleen Hartnett White titled “Fossil Fuels: The Moral Case” (2015) for 99 cents. Ms. White was recently the Chair of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (3000 employees) that regulated air, water and land in Texas). She presently works for the Texas Public Policy Foundation in Austin, Texas.

    I have 50 years of experience in the oil and gas business in producing/processing oil/gas and protecting the environment. The Global Warming/Climate Change hypothesis to attack the fossil fuel industry on CO2 emissions is much like the Darwinian hypothesis, much propaganda is laid out there by liberal elitists and academia who both make many dollars on maintaining this issue. My biggest concern Perry is that the society is dumbing down and not studying important issues. Instead, they listen to the liberal news media and academia who are in on the dollar making. They simply accept what they hear without challenge, verification, or proof.

    The DMZ has a number of buildings for talks between the two sides.

    Evolution 2.0 is a De-Militarized Zone for the evolution debate.

    We need this desperately. Why?

    Because it doesn’t exist anywhere else!

    Comment: I agree. I will stop here and return to your issue on Darwinism in my next comments.

    • Let’s make that DMZ bigger and get some real conversations going.

    • Stephen Wiggins says:

      Why call it “fossil” fuel? It isn’t.

    • Seumas Maclaren (UK) says:

      Hullo Bill, “The Global Warming/Climate Change hypothesis …is much like the Darwinian hypothesis, much propaganda is laid out there by liberal elitists and academia…”
      – Agreed wholeheartedly sir. Science, though a good tool in the hands of those who love truth, is not without fallibility issues where fallible and biased men and women are involved, and especially those who will not allow the special intervention of the Creator to be part of even a potential outcome of their thinking.

      In the 30 years of reviewing the evolution debate, and attempting to clarify the key issues, I have found that the same is true, and never more so than in this arena of ‘science’, which, at the final analysis cannot demonstrate the origin of anything alive today, yet pretends to be able to do so ‘scientifically’, and evolution is thus taught as plain fact to all age groups, without any opportunity to contest it; since those who do, whether employed or student, are ridiculed. Essentially our beef is that, scientifically, it is impossible to falsify by standard means, and must posit assumptions as fact in order to do so. The positing of assumption is not theory, but hypothesis, at best. Nothing will ever change this truth. The mountains will come down, and Christ shall return for His church triumphant, but evolutionism will never be show to create life from non-life, or the diverse phyla from a supposed abundant original phylum or life form.

      Let’s face the facts, that is not about the evidence alone, per se, but about the a priori position against God that so called men of science take before they even look into the evidence. No indeed: Instead, due to foundational bias (which they presume is ‘normal’ science but is actually ‘scientism’), what are seen as ‘results’ actually stem directly from their initial ‘conclusions’ rather than the correct way around. A perfectly valid track of logic of the action of a Creator on His creation is denied, despite it being fully intellectually sound, and held by thousands of top-flight scientists over the past two centuries, many of whom have held, double science doctorates or professorships. Perry and his friends, though well meaning, muddy what were living waters of truth, there for the taking, as they will tell you that these people are ‘confused’ or ‘deceived’, which is supposed to include me. Yet we are far from deceived, and constantly point out the deception of the evolutionistic pre-programming of a modern training in scientific thinking which appears in writing in all media, day in, day out, as The Truth.

      Believers in God who subscribe to evolution as their creation story (untestable, and untested), often as a result behave like evolutionary atheists, as I have found that they are most virulently against, and insulting (or at least derisory) of the position I hold. They start to ask inane questions, assuming we have not studied science. Yet, gentlemen, if we had tried to pose that type of questioning to the late professor Wilder-Smith, or today to professor John Lennox, and many others of great learning, we all know that these would successfully provide excellent examples of why evolutionism is a faith, and not a science. It is also demonstrable that this position is what Jesus himself clearly took (as he spoke directly about the beginning of beginnings), along with the prophets and apostles. It matters not a jot what the modern day RC or other church governments teach. They also teach that there are continuums of morality! Yet truth is truth eternal. What does the Bible teach, and what is it possible to understand from the remains of life on this Earth that was? -The Bible does not lie, and every word of it was inspired and purposed for our benefit. It is clear that God intends all men and women to understand a plain reading of His glorious and powerful Word of life. Yet, today, we disdain that form of plain interpretation, and want to wrap it in the provisos of ‘science.’ So, so sad. Nothing actually discovered FACTUALLY, about say, the origin of man, or even how the vast majority of fossils could have been produced can be made to disagree with any portion of the scripture.

      I am grateful to Perry for making this site available, but the position in evolution 2.0 is not one I can subscribe to, since we do not see any evidence of evolution (which evolutionists used to define as the descent of organisms with modification via mutation and natural selection from a single original ancestor) being able to supply deep structural design data for organisms to the genome (i.e. data for new organs, lifestyles, biochemical pathways etc); we only see the variation of the expression of genes, not their de novo appearance from some internal information generation system. It is just not there. – But God is. He designs, and to Him alone be the glory in Creation.

      • Tom Godfrey says:

        Seumas,

        Thanks for submitting your thoughts here for general consideration. Well said. I agree with you completely on all of those points, and I especially appreciated your mention of Professor A. E. Wilder-Smith. Back in 1976, a friend gave me a copy of his book, entitled Man’s Origin, Man’s Destiny, and this book changed my mind dramatically. I had been what might be called a theistic evolutionist, but then I became a biblical creationist. The creationist movement has made great strides since then, leaving the professor’s book somewhat outdated now, but I still remain convinced that a straightforward interpretation of Genesis is the true story of the origin of the universe and of life on earth, including mankind. Many questions remain unanswered, of course, but we have at least a solid foundation upon which one may speculate about reasonable solutions of mysteries.

        As far as I am concerned, true science is all about a study of nature and the laws of nature through observation and use of the scientific method, which includes hypotheses and repeatable experiments. For this kind of science, it makes sense to presuppose that miracles are not involved when experiments are run and results are observed. Except for the specialized branch of forensic science, science is not concerned with developing a speculative account of what took place in the unobserved past, based on a study of physical evidence under the same no-miracle presupposition. With this presupposition firmly in place, physical evidence is actually irrelevant to the question of whether Genesis is correct. Not even a peek at any evidence would be needed to reject Genesis as myth or legend, since it describes acts of supernatural intervention not considered scientific, and the presupposition cannot be converted into a conclusion without begging the question.

        • Gary Mayer says:

          Tom, You say, “many questions remain unanswered.” But many questions have been answered, but people do not search and find these answers. (1) The inspiration of the Bible has been answered in the affirmative. (2) The truth of evolution has been answered in the affirmative. (3) The the Bible also teaches two creations, one of Adam and Eve directly out of the ground (Gen. 1) and the other creation many years before this (Gen. 2). I have proved this to be true both mathematically in my book and also exegetically from the Hebrew and Greek. My blog is http://www.garytmayer.blogspot.com. Half of my book is on academia.edu. This scenario harmonizes the Bible and science with resorting to myths. I hope this helps.

  6. Bill Freeman says:

    Perry: A continuation on your letter I received.

    The average church won’t touch it with a ten foot pole.
    Comment:
    First, Churches are not geared to address science problems such as this. Second, in my Sunday School Class, we discuss these issues, and some of us join in the discussion in the public as I am now.The majority of my study group are engineers, lawyers, and finance persons. Still, one of my concerns in my Church is a number of the members do not even know what the doctrine of the Church is. At times, I am flabbergasted. We are talking to them when possible.

    The creationist websites are offended at the very thought of evolution.
    Comment:
    The word “creationist” is too general. Most of my friends are old-earth, however, I find it amusing that Darwinian believers are not called “Chance” creationists. After all, they have a hypothesis about how the earth was populated with species (plants, animals, and humans). Yet, they have no workable hypothesis for how the “origin of life” event took place. I certainly have never read anything that had much or any credibility. Too many open assumptions without justification, junk in-trash out.

    The Discovery Institute, which is the Intelligent Design think tank, routinely equates “evolution = atheism” in their articles, books and blog posts. Even though the two are not at all the same.
    Comment: Not sure what you mean here. Certainly, the Darwinian hypothesis emancipates person’s from religion. God is not involved in the creation of the Universe or its activities. Deism says that God created the Universe, but did not intervene in the development of it at some point. What is that point? According to a few books I’ve read, Thomas Jefferson was a deist and so was Benjamin Franklin. Further, John Adams did not believe in the Trinity. Also, there is much debate about George Washington not being a Christian. However, these men believed that “reason” was to be used when developing documents such as the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. “Special Revelation” in Scripture, was not acceptable for doing this. General Revelation or Natural Law could be used in writing statutes for law however. I’ll leave it here. But, the Darwin hypothesis does exclude Supernatural involvement (methodological naturalism). Darwinism is an atheist/agnostic hypothesis to explain the origin of life and the mind/brain activities. The Trinity best explains it all now, not later.

    The two main camps – ID and the Darwinists – both omit or downplay the significance of evolution’s “Swiss Army Knife” – the cell’s astonishing ability to re-program itself. Systems like transposition and symbiogenesis.
    Comment: The cell does not have consciousness. In my view, the cell is programmed with “what if” statements. The Supernatural did this at the beginning. I will discuss this later when discussing “beyond a reasonable doubt” statements.

    You stated in another message to me under ID, “You may be right, but we cannot be sure that there is no principle in nature we haven’t yet discovered which explains how purposeful behavior might emerge from matter.” As you know this is an answer used by Darwinist in today’s world. One day we will find out they say. This type position is not falsifiable or never will be. What will it take, 100 years, 500 years, 1000 years, or what? My answer is philosophical. Philosophy is truth and knowledge as well. For example: the parts of a pie are always less than the whole. Or, the immaterial mind can only grasp the universals, the material brain cannot.

    Best Regards,

    • I’m not sure how you can know that the cell does not have consciousness.

      How does purposeful behavior emerge from matter? I don’t know, and nobody gets to claim they know until they’ve solved the Evolution 2.0 prize: http://www.naturalcode.org.

      • Define consciousness and then we can proceed. I would contend that only organisms with nervous systems and sensory awareness can be conscious. It also requires levels of feedback loops (our own case involves several brain modes). The circumstances that cause us to be conscious would not appear to be applicable to any single cell. Likewise for inanimate objects like doorknobs. If you’d care to dive into some relevant neuroscience issue on this, fine, but it would seem the onus is on you to offer any reason how a cell (in an organism or as a stand alone bacterium) could ever possess consciousness. Ball in your court.

        • Back atcha, James.

          YOU define consciousness and then we can proceed.

          No one in the history of academia or philosophy has ever been able to fully or properly define it. We only know what we all seem to experience.

          You can’t be certain whether your dog, your cat, your fish or a bacterium is conscious. You throw a steak on the table and you tell your dog “Don’t eat that” and he looks at you all sad. And you leave the room and he either crawls up on that table and hungrily consumes your steak, or he obeys you. But either way he is making a decision and he is doing something that no watch, computer or machine does.

          You can plainly observe it. And any three year old can tell the difference between what machines do and what animals do.

          And living things do something that no man-made thing does: They evolve. In real time. We can watch it happen. Bacteria can develop resistance to antibiotics in 30 minutes and they do NOT do this randomly. Not at all. They run thousands of PERMUTATIONS (not random mutations!) and they do it through what modern marketers would label as split testing.

          Give software millions of copies and millions of years and all it will do is crash and break.

          Give living things millions of copies and millions of years and they adapt and evolve into entire ecosystems. Including cutting, splicing and re-arranging their own DNA in real time. It’s absolutely astonishing. And again it’s not random – which is the thesis of Evolution 2.0. If you don’t believe me, read my book from cover to cover. I document ALL of this in rigorous detail. With 300+ scholarly references.

          Given the fact that NO man-made system does this, and living things do… therefore man has no idea what is really going on at the core of living things.

          We don’t know how to create life. All synthetic biology borrows heavily from what is already there.

          For that matter, nobody can even give you a rigorous definition of life itself. Ask 100 biologists what life is and you’ll get 100 different answers.

          As a technologist, I look at what life does from the outside and I posit: The only way that living things can do what they do is by having some level of self-awareness. Beyond that I really don’t know. Is your digestive system self aware? I don’t know… but what we do know for absolute fact is that even the bacteria in your digestive tract are social and talk to each other using sophisticated language (see Bonnie Bassler’s TED talk “How Bacteria Talk) and I say that the closest category we have to what they do is self awareness.

          And we have buckets of proof that they at least ACT like they have some minimal level of animal self awareness. It’s right in front of your eyes.

          Just watch white blood cells attack germs on a Youtube video and you can see it for yourself.

          Humans are the only creatures that seem to have “reflective self-awareness” but every living thing I can think of behaves as though it has some minimal level of awareness. Even insects.

          I know of no way for you to refute what I just said. It’s just a plain and simple statement of the obvious. Furthermore, the only way ANY machine evolves is by adding some level of human or animal self awareness, goals inserted from the outside. Genetic algorithms prove this out. It takes a LOT of work to get a GA to produce software that actually works – usually more work than just hiring a programmer.

          If you know of any exception, please tell me. And please be extremely specific if you attempt to make any claims. Because I will hold your feet to the fire.

          Are bacteria self aware? Watch Bonnie’s video and decide for yourself:

          http://evo2.org/intelligent-bacteria/

          • Seumas Maclaren (UK) says:

            Hi Perry, I enjoyed your reply to J.Downard, who is full of arrogance and ridicule for anyone of faith. He is not truly arguing a scientific case in some of his replies, so I have no bothered to respond to him. Anyway, someday, I shall have to carefully read your book, as you do have much to say. It may be that I actually have more in common with you than i thought – My ‘red line’ is the idea of an ancient earth with creatures evolving from supposed primordial phylum / phyla before the creation of mankind, which for me is an impossibility. I believe that the evidence points to an original created set of phyla, complex, and rich genetically and hence able to adapt (‘evolve’ within their own groups in that sense only).
            I admit I am not yet sure of what you believe on that topic, so I shall have to investigate! It is clear for me that man did walk with dinosaurs, and has hunted them to final extinction after the Flood and subsequent ice age of the Northern hemisphere. The meaning of the mammoths and many other creatures preserved in the permafrost, for example in Russia, is clear.
            Best,

            • Seumas,

              I think creationists have more in common with me and perhaps a lot of other people than is generally recognized. I believe if you read Evolution 2.0 you will find much that you can agree with. I encourage you to do so. At the end of the day it’s all about evidence and I’m open to any that anyone can bring to the table.

            • Seumas, your qualms about the origin of phyla will not slow down the regular science working things out about them, an extensive literature that gets only short shrift from the antievolutionists (YEC or ID no matter). To take out own chordate phylum, the examples known to have existed in the Cambrian are exactly what evolutionists were expecting basal chordates to look like, lamprey-larvalike), and what happened to that phylum since is tracked remarkably well: the development of jawed fish, then lunged aquatic tetrapods, that invade the land in due course and diversify into groups like the amniotic synapsid “reptiles” that in turn ever so gradually (took a hundred million years) spawn the mammals (a paleontological trail I have explored at length in “Evolution Slam Dunk,” including the failure of all antievolutionists to come to grips with that dataset), one of whose placental branches developed the primate hominins that we count as our more proximal ancestors. No religion on earth had a lore that even vaguely suggested anything like the picture of Deep Time that we have uncovered by scientific hard work, and if pointing out that lapse counts as “arrogance and ridicule,” then I am far from alone in that. It comes with the factual territory.

              • Seumas MacLaren says:

                James Downard, Dear me. You seem unperturbed by the banality and unscientific nature of what you are stating.. “..the examples known to have existed in the Cambrian are exactly what evolutionists were expecting basal chordates to look like,….and what happened to that phylum since is tracked remarkably well.” Remarkably well James? HOW ‘well’ is that remarkability? You go on to trot out all the usual heinously unscientific assumptions of evo-speak (the ‘development’ you pretend to of the Chordata (but without evidence of any actual development, as you have only distinctly different – REMARKABLY different – types of organism). The great gaps between organism groups, you pretend, are bridged by “development”, an a priori assumption of fact that you have no right to make, and for which you would do well to spend time documenting, with due diligence and respect to proper science which provides evidence for such hypothetical leaps. -James, what exactly is your source of evidence? Let me answer simply, because it is very simple: The extremely good preservation of all kinds of species in sedimentary layers laid down by water, very quickly, since many of these fossils are soft-bodied or delicate creatures that would otherwise have rotted in hours, or been scavenged by other organisms. Just what does that excellent preservation of form demonstrate in addition? Surprisingly, it shows that all the major groups of life that we see TODAY on earth, with few exceptions, were cast into fossils in near perfect preservation, or, if not, then many whole fossils still exhibit rapid burial features. Very little else – You see James you insist on the evolutionary long ages timeline, because you need it desperately. Without it, the “so gradually (took a hundred million years)” tale is even more meaningless than today. And you want to tell us you know that timeline, yet you do not know it, and all the most recent evidence of some other “remarkable” fossil finds, that of giant dinosaurs such as Tyrannosaurus, and Hadrosaurus, and many others, including Tricerotops are showing the strange truth that there is un-decomposed flesh within the medullary bone and elsewhere on extracted material which shows it has not been fully fossilized. Funny that. Funny too, that it smells of death, as that material begins to rot again as it is handled outside of the deep freeze. As you will know, if you have a proper degree of interest in the opposing argument to the delusion of long ages of supposed ‘common descent’, the demonstrable carbon/nitrogen ratios including C14 assessed by different AMS instruments in several blind samples in different institutions have shown ranges of theoretical ages of these samples from 20 to 50 thousand years. Preserved wood from rocks showed carbon ages of somewhere around 15 to 20 thousand years, and the wood could still be burned. Evolutionary age assumptions only make out these things to be impossible. They cannot demontrate that they could not be true; they only assume it.

                You speak of anti-evolutionists’ supposed failures to get to grips with the ‘datasets’, yet one of the secrets of evolution’s long descent into the abyss of non-science is the rather sad lack of data (and denial of real science carried out by other investigators, with a refusal to even read it – let alone review it), with REAL data such as the above being highly relevant to considerations of relative age and origin. Notice I did not use “absolute age” as it is impossible to deduce.

                And you want to make out, despite all other knowledge from years of study in forensics, for example regarding protein degradation, that this material is really – some of it – ONE MILLION centuries old? You do realize that 80 million years is the staggering figure of 800,000 centuries, which exceeds by a factor of millions the presumed time during which proteins of various sorts might be expected to survive? Yet, tissue from the early T.rex name Sue, tested by Dr. M. Schweitzer et al ellicited active antibody responses on test species typical of the collagen material it was later analysed to be. In fact the material was ‘fresh’ enough to be able to show cellular structures containing apparent nuclei, and branching tubular structures like blood vessels (extracted from the same bone).

                You boast that you have “Deep Time” (the capitals demonstrate your extreme fascination / admiration for this idea) ” that we have uncovered by scientific hard work.” For that “work”, we should actually read “prognostication, assumption, and denial”, since the only means you have, in scientific fact, of associating the long time periods you need with the formation of the species in the fossils is by assuming that the sediments are as old, or of similar magnitude of ages as those that have been extracted and assumed from the igneous rocks from the Earth’s volcanic activity.

                Worse still, you count as evidence (somehow) the idea (without any formal evidence other than scraps of fossil bones and generally incomplete skeleton of what are clearly ape-like mammals) that mankind sprung from one of the placenta branches. Problem being, James, that the so-called placental branch does not exist. We have non-plancentals and we have placentals. We do not see any other types which might be able to show us that there was ever a “branch” as you guys must assume.
                Yes James, your claim to factual territory is so full of holes I could navigate an elephant through the the smaller ones. In fact, by all means, since you are so very good at telling stories and extrapolating ideas like knicker elastic to get around fact (and put it out as fact to school children) please do provide us the root and demonstration of why you guys imagine so beautifully and completely the origin of the elephant and mammoth families. It will be highly amusing to read your further emotional launches into conjecture-land, whistling a happy little tune with your fingers in your ears to truthfulness and REAL science. Sure, no-one else is claiming to be able to provide accurate dates of origins of any of our amazing world’s wildlife either, much though we would like to be able to do. But the clarity of the evidence is NOT on the side of the vast ages of slow and gradual self-design: Please don’t imagine you have the monopoly on scientific evidence and its interpretation. We all have to apply interpretation where the work is forensic in type and relies on gathering the circumstantial evidence, which of course can never demonstrate exactly what events took place in the past, by definition.

                • Good gravy that was a long piece of retelling of the mythic desires of young earth creationism tropes. I capitalized Deep Time because it is as much a common science term these days (for those who read the science directly) as Punctuated Equilibrium or Neo-Darwinian Synthesis. The point I raised about the chordates (and I specifically highlighted that) because we do have a nice set of fossil tracks on our phylum, and however much antievolutionists are oblivious to the details their secondary sources don’t tell them, I am aware that evolutionary thinking by the 1960s was expecting early chordates to resemble lamprey larvae, which is exactly what the Cambrian fossils resemble. I have been exploring all these topics at some depth for some time, as Seumus is presumably aware, since he did post an inquiry at my #TIP “Troubles in Paradise: The Methodology of Creationism” website http://www.tortucan.wordpress.com.

                  As for the soft tissue preservation claims that YECers are burbling about, Schweitzer herself is most annoyed at the spin and ignorance purveyed by those on the YEC side, as she expressed in her interview by Paulogia https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9TCtLoSdFVg

                  It’s nice to see Seumas flushing the forensic observation science down the drain so easily, but the fact remains, as Thoreau once quipped, Some circumstantial evidence is conclusive, like finding a trout in the milk. In the world of science I’ll continue to be more impressed with the side that pays attention to all the data (and also actually does the work), which pretty much leaves out the antievolutionists, who can’t seem to get past data parsing in service of non-negotiable dogmas.

                  • Seumas MacLaren says:

                    James, You write: “we do have a nice set of fossil tracks on our phylum, and however much anti-evolutionists are oblivious to the details…”. -Funny that I have never seen an evolutionist lecture on the slow and gradual changes demonstrated in the chordates as they are supposed to have “conquered the land from the oceans” with any proper evidence where it is clear that the original organism was in fact the progenitor type of the more ‘recent’ organism. The only lines that connect them James are the lines of the evo-family tree, which are not demonstrable. Perhaps you could, in simple language, explain what this fossil track evidence is for our shipmate fellow chordates, since, in the 30 years I have been following the evolutionists, I have only ever seen the evidence for distinct forms of life, for all kinds of creatures, including plants, and ALL of which (the fossils) are represented in groups still present on Earth today in – incredibly – similar forms. Extinctions are clear.
                    Can you present any new major family level group that can be demonstrated to have appeared since the supposed hundreds of millions years in some cases since the original species was fossilized. Does that not strike you as a bit odd? -That the only change we see over that period (from one standpoint) is an set of extinctions, and the apparent adaptation of other forms, into new species or sub-species? After all, James, I think I would be right in saying that the appearance of ALL major phyla very low down in the (cambrian) fossil beds – i.e. ‘early on’ from an evolutionary standpoint – is as much a mystery today as it has always been?
                    Why are spiders unchanged, as far as we can tell? Yet, there are no proto-spiders in the fossils, that could be the source of the original genome of the animals.

                    WHAT, pray, is the origin of insects? Evolution struggles with that one too. A recent repeat of the discovery of a “100 million year old” ant encased in amber turned out to be a South American ant, the same, as far as can be deduced, as today’s. Once again, you are full of air, and verbage. You boast of ‘data’, yet share not a jot.

                    WHERE is the science? The vast data sets you speak of actually reveal little change except that which is also reflected in our world, today. Adaptation.

                    Its all talk James. and you seem to have nowhere to run to hide – the data must be so very extensive, if you cannot discuss any of them. Any chance we could see some figures, demostrating any mathematical basis to what has been discovered?

                    I request that you detail not Tiktaalic (which is again of doubtful relevance, since there have been other creatures like it, but which are now extinct).

                  • Seumas MacLaren says:

                    and James I had asked for “the data” on the evolution of elephants, too, thinking that it would be interesting to see what you came up with. I am not actually aware of what the most recent thinking is, I admit, on this. But I am well aware that this is all it will be; thinking. There have been no massively heralded discoveries since I cannot remember when…)
                    James, how DID the elephant evolve, and get her trunk? Do we see any elephant family groups today without trucks for example, that we also find in the fossils?

                    • Seumas if you are going to spend time discussing evolution at all, don’t waste your time on throwaway questions. Focus on something that can really get some traction.

                    • I hope you realize (or maybe you don’t) that soft tissue on trunks aren’t easily fossilized. To some extent the nasal position can tell clues about such things (as in the gradually backward moving nostrils in cetaceans). The fossil record of proboscideans is a broad one, here’s a fairly recent review of the main characters https://www.thoughtco.com/50-million-years-of-elephant-evolution-1093009. Why did you think elephant trunks are a problem at all, Seumas? Or is it just a trope you’d gleaned from antievolutionists apologetics

          • I do not think a case can be made for bacteria being “conscious” in the sense we, and dogs and cats are (organisms with “movies in the brain” sensing and observing their environments). I am well aware of Bassler’s work, eg Steven T. Rutherford, Julie S. Valastyan, Thibaud Taillefumier, Ned S. Wingreen, & Bonnie L. Bassler. 2015. “Comprehensive analysis reveals how single nucleotides contribute to noncoding RNA function in bacterial quorum sensing.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 112 (3 November): E6038-E6047. But that is still a most natural process, even as it expands the range of how much sophisticated reactive behavior can occur without a conscious mind. While we’re at bacterial level, they also illustrate the deep roots of morality, where cheaters don’t always prosper. If the need to rescue the incorporeal spirit leads one to try and hijack bacterial behavior to the cause is that strong for you, fine, but I’ll still remind that an incorporeal spirit is difficult to square with our ability to forget or misremember things or be unconscious in sleep, as I explored at more depth in chapter 5 (“Planet of the Apes”) of my “Troubles in Paradise: The Methodology of Creationism” work at http://www.tortucan.wordpress.com.

    • Woodrow Francia says:

      The triune image of man reflects the image of the triune ID.
      But the reflection will always be distorted for we base our judgement from what we see in the reflected image. So we explain it by trying to clean up ourselves, we leave the mirror and go for another shower only to find out we are looking at the same murky distorted mirror, short of knowing the flawless image of God in us.
      Some of us dug deep to explain the physiology of our body, even tried understanding characteristics and behaviour of our soul but touching the spiritual world becomes a taboo lest we see the dreaded realms of an ID , our Creator – then we stop being an atheist.

  7. Daniel Murphy says:

    Perry,
    I have 90% read your book Evolution 2 and it is amazing. Thanks for your time and effort in producing it. I’ve always thought Christians were smarter than the average John Doe. I live in Australia and would like to promote and sell/give away/distribute your book in my country. Is there anyway of purchasing wholesale?
    I am fully convinced that your Theory (for the want of a better word) is close to the truth, but, there is just a question that niggles me.
    If humankinds knowledge were to explode via using the Evolution 2 approach (or any other approach) would we be in danger of “…reaching forth, taking of the tree of life and living forever” (Gen 3:22)? The warning God gave just after Adam and Eve ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
    Also, would not our increased scientific knowledge discourage faith in God for miracles (interventions from God) seeing we would become more like God and therefore more capable of solving our own problems?
    Would love to know your thoughts about this.
    Blessings.

    • Daniel,

      So glad you like the book! You can contact the publisher http://www.benbellabooks.com I’m sure they would be happy to talk to you about distribution. And by all means do write an Amazon review, I would really appreciate that.

      We are in the realm of “knowledge of good and evil” and have been ever since man fell. The toothpaste is out of the tube, Pandora’s box is open. It’s not gonna get shut. That road forked long ago.

      It’s only a question of whether we pursue knowledge with the direction and guidance of the Holy Spirit or not. And I am quite serious about that. I know the Holy Spirit, I know He gives guidance, I experience this in my life every day.

      So the real question is whether Christians are going to be on the cutting edge of science, as they were from the middle ages until about 1900? Or are they going to take a back seat because they’re afraid to deal with complex messy questions and engage with the rest of the world? It’s time to stop abdicating and pursue knowledge of science as an act of worship with reckless abandon.

      Anyone with a broad understanding of history knows that technology potentially creates more problems than it solves. But again the toothpaste is out of the tube. so, “If any man lacks wisdom let him ask of God…..”

      • Daniel Murphy says:

        Perry,
        Thanks for your very wise reply to my question about the tree of knowledge of good and evil, I am satisfied with your answer and my conscience is clear should my grandchildren want to assume a career in the sciences (as long as they are led by the Holy Spirit).
        I promise I will attempt to write an Amazon review (I’m not that good at writing) and also I don’t feel qualified enough in this area of science to make a forceful enough comment. However, If I can distribute some of your books to a wide range of interested lay and professional people hopefully we can find a few good reviews from them.
        I did read one of the Amazon reviews from an (atheist) scientist before I bought the book. I am sure he didn’t even read it. Maybe prayer is the answer to changing peoples stony hearts. I will be praying for this to happen.
        Once again thanks for writing the book and every success for the future.
        In Christ.

        • I appreciate your words.

          Yes, that atheist scientist to whom you refer barely skimmed the book. Clearly didn’t read it with much care. Most of the rest are just trolls.

          Thanks for your support!

          • Daniel Murphy says:

            Perry,
            At least with your work and exceptionally informative and scientifically factual book atheists have had the chance to to review and change their beliefs. They are now without excuse and stand condemned by God should they continue along their atheistic pathway.
            You have done your part as a good and faithful servant and your reward is in heaven. Nothing more than that can be expected.

  8. Adam Thompson says:

    Why do people take the writings we know as Jewish prehistory parables and use their own understanding to put God and His creation into a small box that is simple for us to understand.
    Evolution really is just creation on a much wider scale than people could imagine when Genesis was written.

  9. Tom Godfrey says:

    Perry,

    Most of the comments here are rather old, so your talk at Reasons to Believe Chicago must not have been a recent event, but I did just find out about it and listened to your whole talk with interest. By the way, I also believe “there’s no conflict between science and Christian faith.” If this seems incredible, it may be because of a difference of opinion about what science is. Rather than getting bogged down with any side issue, however, I would like to comment on your “testable biblical evolution model.”

    Please correct me if I misunderstood, but I believe your key to solving theological problems with the model you propose is your contention that the life and death described in Romans 5 is spiritual, not physical, and similarly, the breath of life mentioned in Gen. 2:5 was not supposed to be mere oxygen or the creation of a living physical body but rather a reference to a spiritual creation or imparting the image of God to mankind after untold generations of hominin evolution. You believe that those ancestors would have already been breathing oxygen for millions of years at that point, right?

    Your position can be contrasted with two others. One is that the life and death in question were only physical in nature. Your slide with “physical” inserted several places in a quotation of Rom. 5:12-18 seems to reference this view. Who holds it? I do not, so for me, any attempt to knock it down is straw man nonsense. The other position that I have in mind combines the first two, holding that the life and death in those passages has both physical and spiritual components. Again, please correct me if I misunderstood, but it seems to me that your “testable biblical evolution model” fails if the Bible actually teaches that those mentions of life and death did have a physical component too and were not purely spiritual in nature.

    As you probably realize, almost any nonsense can be believed if only the problems with it can be ignored, dismissed, or otherwise rejected. I think this may be what is going on here. Your call to recognize the spiritual aspects of life and death can seem reasonable, because it is undeniable that the Bible teaches this angle. How else can we make sense of verses like Rom. 7:4, Gal. 2:20, Eph. 2:1-5, and Col. 2:13? But how does your model hold up if there is a real physical component as well? I think it can hold up only be ignoring or rejecting the biblical support for recognizing a physical component too.

    What am I talking about? I suppose, to keep the length of this comment reasonable, I should leave this question mainly as an exercise for the reader, but let me at least get the ball rolling here. Back in Gen. 2:18-25 we read about the creation of a wife for Adam, since it was not good for him to be alone. If anyone can honestly read it and conclude that it is all about some sort of spiritual creation for a man who is supposed to have been specially selected in a community of pre-existing hominins, then his mind must work in a completely different way. Can you explain it? Over in the New Testament, we read that the wages of sin is death (Rom. 6:23), but if this is a reference to spiritual death only, then did our Lord really need to die a physical death to atone for our sin? Should a mere spiritual death while remaining quite alive physically have been quite adequate?

    The whole concept behind your thesis fires my imagination. I wonder if, after Adam had tasted the forbidden fruit, he asked Eve to pinch him. Might he have said something like this? “God told us we would die if we ever ate from this tree, but we are both still quite alive. All of a sudden, I do feel terribly naked and afraid to face God like this, but he did say we would die, so maybe he was just talking about a spiritual death. Maybe we can keep on eating this fruit to our heart’s content without ever having to worry about a physical death. That serpent may be a lot smarter than we realized. If God is just going to lie to us, who needs him?” As I see it, God did not lie to them, and the death of which he warned was not purely spiritual (Gen. 5:5). Satan’s trick of asking, “Did God really say …” ought to be too well known to fool anyone today, but I may too optimistic.

    What can I conclude about your interpretation that the life and death in key passages is spiritual only? Does it come from your study of the Bible? It appears to be an interpretation that you would like to impose on the Bible, probably based on an underlying belief that scientists should tell us what really happened in the history of life on earth. Their approach to understanding this history through a study of physical evidence involves the no-miracle presupposition. Should this be a problem for those of us who believe the Bible?

    Before I close this evening, let me cover one other issue. You had an “Adam & Eve” slide that says, “Human population does appear to have one common male ancestor and one ‘mitochondrial eve’ … But it appears unlikely that they knew each other.” Can you explain this to me, maybe with an abbreviated family tree diagram? I think evolutionists would teach that each of those individuals would have had lots of ancestors, and as we go back in time along our line of ancestors, not one of them could be considered definitely human while his parents would have been some kind of nonhuman primate. It was supposed to be gradual the whole way. By the same token, they would teach that “creation” was never finished but is ongoing, so, if humankind survives, millions of years from now, the physical bodies of our distant descendants might have a rather different appearance, but there would never be a clear break along the way where one modern human individual happened to have a nonhuman offspring. This does not strike me as biblical, but isn’t this the tree-of-life dogma that you have accepted as true?

    • Gary Mayer says:

      Tom,
      I agree with you that you must include physical death in the warning to Adam and Eve; however, I agree with Perry that theistic evolution occurred. In face, Adam and Eve were created out of the ground 6000 years ago is biblical teaching. I might add that he NT proves that physical death resulted from Adam’s sin as is shown in 1 Corinthians 15:21-23. Verse 20 sets the context, believers who have died. Verse 21 says that by one man (Adam) death was the lot of believers and by one man (Christ) the resurrection from the dead was the inheritance of believers. Verse 23 tells when the resurrection occurs for believers; it will be at the resurrection of Christ. As the resurrection is basically physical, so is the death physical.
      So how can I believe that the death penalty was physical and in theistic evolution? The way we harmonize evolution with the creation of Adam and Eve is to realize that the Bible teaches both creations. God created the human race as told in Genesis 1, and He created Adam and Eve as told in Genesis 2. I intend to explain this in a general comment below. My blog is http://www.garytmayer.blogspot.com. The first half of my book is on academia.edu.

  10. Tufail Dhana says:

    Yes, ok, It is interesting and educating debate. Religions of prehistory explained origin of universe and life. Classical religions presented new explanation. It was evolution of religion explained on the basis of creationism.It was not scientific explanation.Religions presented social packages.Religion was philosophical contribution of prophets to manage social life.religion was social product. Evolution is scientific reality.We should not expect religion to explain evolution.

  11. Edward Field says:

    It is noteworthy that the matter of creation is covered in only two chapters of Genesis. Why? Because the purpose of the Bible is not to explain material existence, but to deal with the relationship between God and humanity. For the same reason wars and discoveries are mentioned in passing, but murder with a rock or a nuclear weapon is still murder. It is the heart issues which the Bible addresses. This is why Jesus did not contest Roman authority – because his kingdom is of a totally different sort. I am fascinated by scientific discovery, but my faith in God does not hinge on any critique of Genesis 1 and 2. That said, I welcome all exploration of how those chapters somehow encapsulate creation before getting on to dealing with the human condition. For those who dismiss Christian faith, thinking that ‘real science’ could not be compatible, it is instructive to realize that Isaac Newton, the father of modern science, was far from arrogant about the role of science; instead, he said at the end of his life that he felt like a child playing with pebbles on the beach of God’s creation.

  12. Glen H. Kippel says:

    One thing that we have to remember that Darwin’s first book was “On the Origin of Species,” not on the origin of life. And he was really a geologist, not a biologist. But, as to the origin of the universe, physicist Michio Kaku said that everything that we see is made up of vibrations of superstrings in hyperspace. This corresponds to Hebrews 11:3 which says that everything we see is made of things that cannot be seen.

  13. The parochial nature of the topic speaks volumes. Why biblical, and not quranic … or vedic … or Fill in the Blank-ish. Does the Flying Spaghetti Monster get to play? In just the biblical case, though, it’s rather the case that modern scientific concepts can be rammed into absolutely any theological frame (just read Hindu or Islamic apologetics, who play the same games as here) if one is willing to knock off or ignore all the parts that don’t fit. Rationalizing away all the bumpy bits (like the screwball Day 4 of Genesis stellar creation sequence that the Bible authors evidently nicked from the equally wrong Babylonian Enuma Elish creation myth, and the Flood likewise nicked, and the Tower of Babel story likewise nicked) puts Biblical rationalization in the same ballpark as Nostradamus believers, who are equally gymnastic in playing picky choosy with how well their prophet fits in with subsequent history.

    The short form is that nothing suggests the Bible writers were inspired by any minds that had any back-door access to knowledge about how the universe worked. It’s certainly possible to write accurate science in ways intelligible to unschooled minds, however, so the absence of such cleverness is yet another hurdle for the “is (fill in the blank) science compatible with (fill in the blank) religious doctrine.”

    • Edward Field says:

      Mr. Downard – It is unfortunate that you make your points in such a mocking manner. Just as “it is possible to write accurate science in ways intelligible to unschooled minds”, it is also possible to make a point without ridiculing. Your point that Christianity should not reasonably be considered the only religion with which to fill in the blank is an interesting one, because the majority of religions hold to the existence of a creator/designer. In this sense, belief in a creator-God would be a more universal position of religions in disagreeing with mindless evolution. Considering the size of the universe, it is not reasonable to think that human intelligence is the greatest intelligence existing in the universe. That parochial position, though unstated, seems at the heart of an atheistic approach to science.

      • Edward, I suspect that what counts as “mocking” to you is merely pointing out the obvious, which does not presume that your particular “sacred” is any more nor less so than anybody else’s. The believe in “a” creator-God is not something shared by all religions, let alone that it is the same one in each, that is what I meant by the parochial nature of largely Christian apologists acting as if their game were the only one in Pascal’s Las Vegas, awash with competing & mutually contradictory faiths, all competing for the potential convert’s attentions. The notion that “atheism” is somehow “parochial” by noting that not all religions can be simultaneously true is a fascinating leap in logic: would atheism be somehow less “parochial” if it paid less attention to the other faiths of the world? Interesting.

    • Tom Godfrey says:

      James Downard, if you are still following this, I hope you will consider a late response. Yes, *anyone* certainly does get to play, even someone who seriously believes that the Flying Spaghetti Monster is a serious contender for honor as the creator of the universe. This applies regardless of the preferred holy book with a story of origins. What should interest anyone who cares about the truth is the strength of the case that can be advanced. Do you know of at least one nonbiblical alternative that ought to be considered superior to the biblical candidate being discussed here? If you think any origin story associated with the FSM is in this category, you must be pulling our leg, but seriously, which nonbiblical candidate qualifies? Can you offer a rational, side-by-side comparison that puts it in a better light than the Bible?

      It may well be true that any of the candidates for a credible origin story could be twisted, as the Bible has been twisted, so that modern scientific concepts are rammed into them, and “playing picky choosy” and “ignor[ing] all the parts that don’t fit” can certainly be useful strategies in such an endeavor, but not everyone is going to be fooled. From my perspective, there is no point in ramming modern scientific concepts into any origin story, because this would imply that those modern concepts are based on a higher authority. In this case, can ancient testimony have any value, besides for entertainment, maybe just for children? If the testimony is known to be technically unreliable, when it is interpreted without any twisting, what credible contribution to a study of origins can it possibly make?

      Besides this, Genesis clearly claims that supernatural intervention was involved in creation of the universe and life on earth. Any scientist who puts on his historian hat and writes an alternative origin story based on a study of physical evidence under the no-miracle presupposition is bound to miss the truth if it was indeed a miraculous work of God, as claimed in Genesis. This presupposition is all that it would take to dismiss Genesis as myth or legend. Not even a peek at physical evidence would be needed in this case, and the presupposition could not be converted into a conclusion based on evidence without begging the question.

      Your comment reflects a dim view of the claims of Genesis, and you evidently concluded that its oldest narratives were stolen (“nicked” in British English) from more ancient myths. What is the rational basis for this position? As you must realize, a lot depends on the dates of original authorship and details of their histories of transmission down to our times. We should agree that many of these details remain a mystery, so we are left to speculate based on available evidence. I think a good case can be made for the hypothesis that the Enûma Eliš is actually a cultural corruption of the true creation account that could have been widely known in the beginning of human history and is still told accurately only in Genesis. The same goes for other alternative accounts plausibly parallel to Genesis. If you know a good way to refute this idea, I am interested.

      But what about the “bumpy bits” that you mentioned? For example, is the “Day 4 Genesis stellar creation sequence” really as “screwball” as one might think? It could seem that way, if unreasonable assumptions are made. The plants created on Day 3 need sunlight, right? Should we assume that God etiolated them until the following day? Nonsense! This is just the unreasonable assumption that the light created on Day 1 was inadequate. Now for Perry Marshall’s favorite, should we assume that any stars hundreds of thousands of light-years away could not possibly have been created only about 7200 years ago? He has no problem believing that the edge of the observable universe is about 46.5 billion light-years away even though the universe itself is supposed to be only about 13.8 billion years old.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Observable_universe
      The discrepancy of 32.7 billion years is explained without invoking any miracle by appeal to natural expansion of space. Perry evidently assumes that God could not have miraculously expanded space or “stretched out the heavens” (Is. 45:12) in the beginning. This also strikes me as nonsense, unless one feels obligated to accept the no-miracle presupposition, in which case, as explained above, no one needs physical evidence to conclude that the story of any miracle in Genesis is screwball. I see nothing screwball about Genesis, provided we concede that God can and does perform miracles. Perry has made this concession but evidently cannot follow my logic on this point. If *I* am not thinking straight, maybe someone here can explain the problem.

      In any case, skeptics may well want more evidence that the Bible in general and Genesis in particular provide us with accurate history. You may not be familiar with the work of Gerald Aardsma, who has devoted much of his adult life to a study of biblical chronology. He has uncovered plenty of physical evidence that the Genesis genealogies have been accurately recorded and preserved for us.
      http://www.biblicalchronologist.org/
      Notice that his newest book (on aging, top banner) is available as a free PDF download. What other ancient story of origins provides at least as much testable chronological information? If you can find one, how much of the chronology is just as well confirmed to be accurate?

    • Gary Mayer says:

      James, I apologize for the Christian community. We have not been diligent to find a solution to what most people think the Bible teaches and what it actually teaches in the original languages. The approach of many Christians has been to point fingers at the scientists. I have found an answer to the problem of harmonizing science and the Bible without ramming scientific concepts into a theological frame. I simply show that the Bible teaches that God created mankind by evolution and Adam and Ave by special creation many years later. Please see my blog http://www.garytmayer.blogspot.com. Also I intend to leave a comment below.

      • Tom Godfrey says:

        Gary Mayer,

        If your comment was addressed to James Downard, you might not get any reply. At least I have been waiting since August 30, 2017, for a reply from him. While you are waiting, may I jump in with a response?

        You are concerned with “the problem of harmonizing science and the Bible without ramming scientific concepts into a theological frame,” but why might this be a problem? How do you define science? From my point of view, science is all about understanding nature and the laws of nature as they are currently observed. Scientists use the scientific method, which involves hypotheses and repeatable experiments to test them. Their discoveries can often be applied to make predictions or to support advances in technology. None of this applies to questions about ancient history. Why would any Christian need to point fingers at scientists engaged in truly scientific activities?

        I suspect that you have in mind a rather broad definition of science, one that includes modern speculation about origins and ancient history based on a study and interpretation of currently available, necessarily incomplete physical evidence. Scientists normally work under a no-miracle presupposition (methodological materialism)—no supernatural intervention allowed. When they take off their scientist hat and put on their historian hat, they keep the same presupposition. Any “scientific” account of origins therefore immediately hits a problem in the very first verse of the Bible, which claims that creation involved the active participation of a supernatural agent (God), not to mention creation of the heavens and the earth at the same time (in the beginning, whenever that was). How can you harmonize the Bible with any “scientific” account of the origin of life itself? Proposing that God miraculously created mankind twice only doubles the problem.

        I have visited your website and reviewed some of what you posted there. This is no place to address everything, but I would like to answer challenging questions that you listed for people like me. http://garytmayer.blogspot.com/2010/07/questions-for-those-who-believe-in.html#more

        1. You actually have three questions here.

        (a) Gen. 2:5 says what it says to provide a setting for the beginning of the narrative that follows, but notice that the description of this setting actually begins in the previous verse.

        (b) Your second question makes no sense to me. Gen. 2:5 is about shrubs and plants “of the field” only, and there wasn’t supposed to be any of this kind at this time, so why are you asking about the unexpectedly early arrival of vegetation in general? I don’t get it. Please clarify this part of your question.

        (c) You assume that the land could be dried off at this point only through a process of natural evaporation after water had run off of it, initially leaving the soil soaked, right? If so, where do we read about water running off of the land? According to Gen. 1:9, God said, “… and let dry ground appear.” The ground was evidently already dry on Day 3 because this is what God commanded, and it was so. We have no obligation to figure out the details.

        In any case, how do any of these three questions present a problem for those of us who believe in 24-hour days of creation?

        2. Why must we accept your premise that all plant-eating creatures had to be scavengers? Does Gen 1:29 specifically exclude any plant likely to be cultivated by farmers? I think only plants that bear no seeds are excluded. You may be trying too hard to justify your idea that Adam and Eve were created long after the events covered in the first chapter, so that you can justify believing that the earth is much older than just a few thousand years. From my point of view, you seem to be grasping at straws with this question.

        3. Why should we accept your premise that תולדות (toledoth) in 2:4 must literally mean descendants? This article covers an alternative that makes more sense to me.
        https://www.gotquestions.org/toledot.html
        Here is another article with even more detailed discussion of the way this word is used in Genesis.
        https://creation.com/who-wrote-genesis-are-the-toledoth-colophons
        The toledoth issue may be more complicated than we realize, but I don’t think insisting that 2:4 refers to descendants of the heavens and the earth helps your case, all things considered. It only muddies the water. It certainly does not show that “Adam and Eve must be the beginning of a new race created in a different manner.” If this were the case, I think there would be more support for this doctrine in the rest of the Bible. Matt. 19:4-6 ought to put the idea to rest.

        4. A better question would be, if those six days were long periods of time of unspecified length, why does each one have an evening and a morning? The issue you raise here does not help your case either. Suppose the order were reversed, so that morning came before evening. Then one might wonder why it is consistent with our modern idea that a 24-hour day begins at 12:00 AM (morning first) instead of at sunset (when evening begins), as in the Hebrew system. As the text stands, each day begins with evening, as expected, and morning follows, but there is no mention of an afternoon. So what? Again, I think you are grasping at straws.

        5. Your reasoning here seems a bit convoluted. Gen 1:5 says “day one” in Hebrew, and this phrase with a cardinal number is actually unique among the six days. Nevertheless, we agree that God was defining a creation day, all right, specifically, the one that came before a second day, so it must also have been the first day. We can be sure that the six creation days were all like ordinary days of an ordinary work week because of the references to them in Exodus.

        6. I do not follow your point about the ו (vav) at the beginning of Gen. 2:5. I think you overlooked problems with your analysis. Gen. 2:5 does not begin with the beginning of a sentence, so its opening conjunction does not link 2:4b to a new report of a later event. If you think it must, what do you have to say about the same conjunction that appears in the middle of 2:5? Here are some articles that address your idea that Genesis has two separate creation accounts. Does your book cover all of the points that these conservative authors discuss?
        https://www.icr.org/article/two-creation-accounts
        https://answersingenesis.org/contradictions-in-the-bible/two-creation-accounts/
        http://apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=6&article=1131
        https://creation.com/luther-on-evolution

        • Gary,
          Please be aware that Tom Godfrey doesn’t believe science can be used to determine what has happened in the past, so I have determined that there is no common ground on which for him and I to have a conversation.

          • Tom Godfrey says:

            Perry Marshall,

            You are right. Without resuming a conversation with me, please consider letting Gary Mayer know whether you believe that any origin story involving God or a miracle should be considered scientific in any normal sense of the word. You might be able to disabuse him of the notion that he has harmonized science and the Bible better than I can.

        • Gary Mayer says:

          Tom,
          Thank you for your reply. In regard to the introduction to your comment, as a thinking person that acts on reason, I found myself troubled with the stark disagreement that exists between the teachings of science and what I personally thought the Bible taught. Many Christians can live with this, but I could not. For twenty some years I read young earth material, then for a long stretch I read Reasons to Believe materials, but I came to realize that neither of these had harmonized the Bible and science from my point of view. So I decided that I must solve the discrepancy myself. I read intelligent design books, books on the fossils, books on the genome, etc., and I was convinced that theistic evolution is a correct view, but not the common ID view. In other words, I studied both views. I really believe that I was obeying Proverbs 18:13:

          He who gives an answer before he hears,
          It is folly and shame to him. (NASB)

          You are concerned about the matters in which unbelieving scientists have gone too far. This is not my concern. Bible believers know that God created the heaven and the earth. Perry Marshall may very well be correct in his belief that the first cell was created with code and all. In regards to my view of science, I view science as the study of the physical universe, and I regard the truth that can be gleaned from this study the fruit of their labors. It becomes up to me to decide what part of their conclusions that I am going to believe. I have found that when I study the findings of the majority of the scientists, including Christian scientists, on the matter of the young earth vs, old earth question and on the matter of evolution, I agree with the old earth/evolution scenario. What is more, when I studied the Bible on these subjects, I found its teachings also best harmonize with the old earth/evolution scenario. Admittedly, you would never come to these conclusions from reading an English Bible. You must go to the Hebrew and the Greek. God begins new eras with miracles: creation of the universe, the making of the earth a livable planet with living organisms, the creation of Adam and Eve at a later date, the calling of Abraham, the freeing of the Hebrews from Egypt, the giving of the Jewish Law, the conquering of the Holy Land, the coming of the shekinah glory to the temple, the virgin birth of Christ, the resurrection of Christ, the coming of the Holy Spirit, and the future rapture, etc. Of course, the question is how did God choose to create the biosphere? Evolution seems to be a good method because then as the climate changes and catastrophes occur, the biosphere will already be used to adapting.
          Please let me illustrate my view of how I make conclusions regarding the past based on what I observe in the present. This summer I noticed perfectly bored holes in the wooden member above our garage door, and it was necessary for me to wash reddish spots from the door. I asked the neighbor what this was. They said it was done by boring bees. So I bought a can of carburetor fluid and sprayed it into these holes. Sure enough out fell a wasp. How did our neighbor know that those holes got there from boring bees? They knew that this was the only reasonable explanation for it. It was not because they watched the bees do their work. Likewise, when I see it illustrated that the human chromosome 2 is nearly like the chimpanzee’s chromosomes 2A and 2B spliced together. And when I compare the position of an extra non-functioning centromere that is in the portion of the human chromosome at the same place that the active centromere is in the chimpanzee’s 2B chromosome, I realize that these two species must have the same ancestor. If one searchs for more such evidence from the genome that the scientific community has discovered, he will find that thousands of comparisons of segments of chromosomes have been documented that prove evolution. Two good sources on this subject are Relics of Eden by Daniel J. Fairbanks and “Human Evolution: How Random Process Fulfils [sic] Divine Purpose” on the internet at https://www.asa3.org/ASA/PSCF/2008/PSCF6-08Finlay.pdf. This article was written by a Christian scientist who had had much experience. He explains how DNA transposons and DNA retrotransposons prove evolution. He notes that the reproducing of the flanking bases are naturally reproduced on the opposite side of the insertion. This is a natural process of the cell machinery. I don’t have to trust the scientists’ logic because I use my own reasoning ability that the Lord has given to us all. Then if you add all the other types of evidence for evolution that has been gathered by the scientists the evidence becomes overwhelming. Of course, as soon as you admit to macroevolution, you must also believe in a very old earth. Where many Christians go wrong is that they trust those Christian young earth proponents to be honest and aboveboard and to know what they are talking about. It has been my conclusion after years of study on the subject that placing too much trust in certain people is a mistake! I spent this time on the subject of evolution because, if you don’t see the problem, you will not appreciate my solution. Now for your questions:
          1a. First it is necessary to realize that verse 4 must, according to Hebrew syntax, refer to what precedes it, not to verse 5 and following. This syntactical rule has been lost from the Hebrew scholars. I had to rediscover it. The appendix of my book in at http://garytmayer.blogspot.com/2010/06/genesis-24-must-refer-to-creation-of.html#more; it explains the matter.
          1b. In my study of Genesis 2:5, I check other OT passage to see if dry meant that the land was arid or that it was not covered with water. This study showed that it does not need to mean that it was arid, and in the context of Genesis 1:9 it does not mean arid. But aside from this question, the whole need for an explanation for plants to be absent seems to me a little unlikely; as I studied it this was my impression. Below is what I wrote in my book New Evidence for Two Human Origins: Discoveries That Reconcile the Bible and Science, 2015 edition, published by ArthorHouse, pages 231-32:
          – – – – – – – –
          Now we shall observe a very interesting subtlety in the presentation of the creation account which shows us that, in order to make good sense of this Bible passage, the earth must have been created more than 6,000 or 7,000 years ago. Please observe carefully Genesis 2:5-6 which I shall quote below. From these two verses it can be shown that either the creation days were much longer than twenty-four hours or Adam and Eve were created considerably after the six creation days or both. In previous chapters, we saw that Adam and Eve were created considerably after the six days of creation; in this chapter, we shall show that Genesis 1 does not indicate the length of days of creation, because these six days of creation are not solar days. We have already shown in chapter 6 that in the following verses the Hebrew word translated “earth” in the NASB should have been rendered “land,” since it is referring to the local area in the vicinity of the Garden of Eden. I shall quote Genesis 2:5 inserting “land,” since “land” is a better translation. And I shall rewrite Genesis 2:5-6 as I translated it myself in chapter 6:

          Now no shrub of the field was yet in the earth [land], and no plant of the field had yet sprouted; for the LORD God had not sent rain upon the earth [land]; and there was no man to cultivate the ground. (Gen. 2:5, NASB) But a flow went up from the land over and over again and kept watering the whole surface of the ground. (Gen. 2:6, my translation.)

          Verses 5-6 are an explanation of why no wild plants and domestic herbs had grown up: it had not been receiving rain. This pictures a considerably long period of time when no shrubs and plants grew. This text speaks of a time when it did not rain upon the earth and no vegetation grew. This was a long enough time to make it worth mentioning. I shall give a little discussion of Genesis 2; it may throw some light upon the matter.
          These verses are leading up to the creation of Adam and Eve. Let us suppose that the days of creation were twenty-four hours in length and that the passage is speaking of the entire earth; this verse would be telling us why the vegetation had not come up. That the author should include such an explanation would be inappropriate for a number of reasons. (1) The earth had been covered with water on day 3 and man was created on day 6. To give a reason that the vegetation had not come up in three twenty-four-hour days would have been out of place. (2) If the earth had been covered with water on day 3, how could it be completely dry from the lack of rain on day 6 only three twenty-four-hour days later?
          The whole assumption in the first place that the passage is speaking universally is incompatible with the facts. The earth sprouted vegetation on day 3, so how could it say in Genesis 2:5, “Now no shrub of the field was yet in the earth”? From considerations spelled out earlier in this book, it would be best to conclude that the “land” of Genesis 2:6 refers to a local area of the earth.
          Now that we understand that Genesis 2:5-6 is referring to a relatively small area, does it invalidate our conclusion that we must see a lengthy time between day 3 of creation and the setting for the creation of Adam and Eve described in Genesis 2:5? No. Essentially the entire earth was covered with water at the beginning of day 3; therefore, the setting of Genesis 2:5 must have been much later. The author was giving an explanation as to why no plants had yet come up. A conclusion that only three twenty-four-hour days separated day 3 from day 6 would still certainly be a mistake. To suppose that the earth had dried up in three days would be unreasonable. Therefore, we can confidently conclude that these creation days were much longer than twenty-four-hours, according to the Genesis text itself, or that Adam and Eve were created much later than the seventh day of creation or both.
          – – – – – – – –
          1.c. If you believe that the land mass was created on day 3 and that the land on day 6 was only a small portion of it where no vegetation happened to grow on its own, then maybe your 24-hour-day view would be compatible. But Genesis 1:6 seems to indicate that the waters were covering the land at the beginning of day 3 because of the exact wording of the verse: “Then God said, “Let the waters below the heavens be gathered into one place, and let the dry land appear and it was so” (NASB) I am not the only person who has noticed the problem with Genesis 2:5. I read of a similar view one other place.
          2, I don’t see in the paragraph that you are commenting on concerning scavengers, but in Genesis 1:29 we read from the Green’s literal translation:

          And God said, Behold, I have given you every plant seeding seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree in which is the fruit of a tree seeding seed—it shall be food for you.” (The Interlinear Bible: Hebrew-Greek-English, © 1976, 1978, 1980, 1981, 1984, 2nd ed. 1986 by Jay P. Green, Sr. (Lafayett, IN: Sovereign Grace Publishers). The Literal Translation of the Holy Bible, copyright © 1976, 1978, 1980, 1981, 1984, 1985 by P. Green, Sr. This work was contained in the side column of Green’s work referenced above.)

          Genesis 1 shows that the humans were to be scavengers and that the plants seeded themselves, which is much different from what God told Adam in chapter 2. Genesis 1 fits pre-9th millennium culture and Genesis 2 fits later culture, in which farming with irrigation was the custom along the rivers. The Genesis 2 account occurs much later than Genesis 1.
          3. The Hebrew word toledoth could also in some contexts be translated as “lineages” or as “genealogies,” but where the formula, These are the descendants of… occurs, “descendants” is the best translation. I discuss toledoth in my book on pages 137-56. Maybe you should obtain a copy of my book. It is now $3.99 for a Kendle book and it is the 2015 edition. To be sure to get a paperback, but one needs to probably order it form AuthorHouse in order to be sure to get a 2015 version. Concerning Matthew 19:4, this verse does not contradict a dual origin thesis because of the context of this passage.

          And the Pharisees came near to Him, tempting Him, and saying to Him, is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every reason? But answering He said to them, Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning created them male and female? And He said, “For this reason a man shall leave father and mother, and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” So that they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, let not man separate. (Green)

          Jesus was suddenly engaged in a debate. His first argument was something that every Jew knew—God made mankind male and female. This needed no Scriptural support. His second point is that married couples become one flesh. To back this up, Jesus quoted Scripture to them. This Scripture came from the second chapter of Genesis, but this does not necessitate the conclusion that Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 are giving the same creation of the human race. As to the argument that the beginning of creation must mean the beginning of the process of creation rather than the beginning of a completed creation, see 2 Peter 3:4 where the latter meaning must be the meaning used here because all things certainly did not remain the same during the six days of creation. I discuss this on pages 347-49.
          4. Genesis 1 does not teach that “evening” and “morning” are God’s long evenings and mornings as most old-earth expositors teach. My view is that the “evening and morning” phrase must refer to the twelve-hour periods that separate the long days of creation. The creation days contained many 24-hour days, and Moses points to a literal evening and morning to separate each of the long days. The text says, “And there was evening and there was morning, one day” (NASB). One would have expected it to say, “the first day, or “day one,” but it says, “one day.” This makes the reader think that this phrase is defining the first day here rather than only telling us that it was the first day. The text had already defined a day as daylight. Why redefine a 12-hour day? This was how the Hebrew reader knew from the beginning of this account that the creation days were not 12-hour days as defined in verse. Yes, the account begins at night but it then ends in the morning after a second night. The text, if this were speaking of 24-hour days would have said, “a second day.”
          5. For Genesis 1:5 see my answer to #4. I dealt with the Exodus 20 and 31 on pages 248-51 of my book. The text never says that God rested on the Sabbath day; it always says he rested on the seventh day. God’s long days had already been established for the reader in Genesis 1.
          6. Tom, I read your four references. By the way, the first two references in the apologeticspress.org website were works by Gleason Arther. When I was writing my book I called my former Old Testament biblical introduction professor, Gleason Archer, and told him that I was taking a new view of Genesis and writing a book on it. He was very encouraging and told me to go for it. Later I called him regarding my book, but his daughter answered and said he was not able then to read it. He had failed too much.
          Even though there are differences between Genesis 1 and 2, if we had some good reason to believe that they are speaking of only one creation, we could accept this view. However, this is not the case. These expositors were not aware of what I can show about the use of the Hebrew article in narrative genre. Actually, Moses, using the rules of the Hebrew vav, tells us that Genesis 2:5ff begins an account that occurred after what occurred as told in Genesis 1. If I told you I went deer hunting and that I shot a deer, and next I told you that after this hunting trip, I went deer hunting and shot a deer, would you think that I meant that I just went hunting once and only shot one deer? I think not! I deal with this subject in my book on pages 82-92, 397-407, and 409-412.

          • Tom Godfrey asks if I’m OK with God or miracles being part of scientific theories.

            My book and prize answer this question. Especially ch 24 “beyond god of the gaps.” I hold out the possibility that the origin of life may be a literal miracle and give ample evidence that, given the actual scientific knowledge we have right now, it has every appearance of being so.

            However this also opens up a scientific question of how you get from chemicals to code; this is a very productive question, and I refuse to pronounce that a solution is impossible. Thus I gave up my “God of gaps” argument for lent, you could say. Solve the problem, win the money.

            Had I clung to god of gaps with respect to evolution I never would have stumbled onto the work of McClintock Margulis etc. So I have learned my lesson well.

            Meanwhile we have miracles here and now, which I consider to be acts of God: http://www.coffeehousetheology.com/miracles. So… if you want a miracle, witness a modern one. They are happening all over the place. Meanwhile let’s explore the natural miracle that is science and appreciate the creator for making a universe that makes itself better all the time.

            • Tom Godfrey says:

              Gary Mayer,

              I appreciate Perry’s attempt to say whether he is “OK with God or miracles being part of scientific theories,” but I hope you notice that he actually dodged this issue, maybe because he is more interested in “a scientific question of how you get from chemicals to code.” I actually join him in refusing to pronounce that there cannot be any way to demonstrate lifeless chemicals yielding code naturally, but all of us should admit that we do not know about any such demonstration and recognize how unlikely it is that one will ever be announced in the future. I suspect that his prize money is quite safe. Nevertheless, in the meantime, it is important to avoid argumentum ad ignorantiam.

              You and Perry evidently remain convinced that a modern study of physical clues is a good or valid way to concoct a true story of our origins and the history of life on earth. My point is that acceptance of scientific, methodological materialism makes it impossible to harmonize Gen. 1:1 and 2:22 with any such alternative story. If God has an active part to play in it, I don’t think it should be considered a scientific account.
              https://www.astronomynotes.com/science-religion/NormLevan/s3-annot.htm
              If you are still convinced that you found a way to harmonize science and the Bible (by your own definition of science), I think you must not have thought about this deeply enough. Maybe Perry hasn’t either. On the other hand, maybe you have thought about this even more deeply than I have. If so, please explain where my analysis goes wrong.

              On Perry’s prize, I think it is important to realize that a modern demonstration of getting code from chemicals would not constitute proof that this is what actually took place when life first appeared on earth. It might lead to new speculation based on assumptions about primitive conditions on earth that have not been absolutely verified or falsified, but such speculation is certainly not the same as firmly established history.

              Perry mentioned “god of the gaps,” so I would like to counter the charge that creationists are guilty of invoking divine intervention just in cases where no purely naturalistic explanation has been found. From my point of view, the charge does not stick. My beliefs about origins do not rely on a modern study of physical clues, so I do not notice gaps and fill them with miracles performed by God. Instead, I believe that God did what the Bible says he did. The gaps in the origin story that I believe are open questions that the written record does not answer. Such mysteries open the door to speculation that might be based at least partly on a modern study of physical clues. For me, it is not God of the gaps but rather modern speculation inside gaps in what God has told us. Those gaps may never be filled completely, but that’s fine with me.

              In your comment addressed to me, you gave the fine example of holes in wood bored by insects. You and your neighbor adopted methodological materialism in your quest for knowledge of what happened in the past, and this seems entirely reasonable to me. You did not have an account of the history of those holes from anyone who actually saw them being made, did you? Your neighbor used the clues and speculated that the holes were made by bees. You investigated further and found one wasp, so the first hypothesis might have been at least partly wrong. On the other hand, the wasp you saw might have been trespassing in a hole made by bees. For a full account of the holes to be accepted with complete confidence, maybe you really needed an eyewitness.

              I accept your holes investigation as scientific, provided you accepted methodological materialism. Holes like the ones you found could be made again elsewhere at any time, so you were learning about nature and the laws of nature as currently observed. This is the kind of science that benefits technology. It is not just all about unrepeatable history. Now how much of this applies to a study of the origin of the heavens and the earth? Would the same methodology be useful in writing an interesting history of the Revolutionary War in America, assuming that all related written accounts and documents are excluded and dismissed as unreliable?

              When it comes to ancient history, I think we normally prefer accounts based on documents and testimony deemed credible, perhaps supplemented with the results archaeological studies, if available. It seems unreasonable to me to make an exception in the case of origins, so I reject the no-miracle presupposition in the context of origins and go with Genesis instead of modern, tentative speculation based on available clues, always subject to change as more is learned.

              By the way, I appreciate your earlier long and detailed response, and I intend to address it separately, but I have a suggestion that may help make your long comments easier to read. Whenever you want to start a new paragraph, please press the Enter key twice. Otherwise, there might not be any noticeable gap between it and the one before it. Perry’s message is a good example of following this advice.

              • Gary Mayer says:

                Hi Tom,

                Actually a few days later we found more wasps.

                One has to take everything into account when firming up his view on creation. Also a good theologian brings everything into his decision. I did give this topic a lot of time of hard reading and thinking, and I ask God many times for help. It was quite a discovery when I realized that you could prove mathematically that the dual origins thesis is correct. You should go to academia.edu and study my bar graphs. I mean here to put emphasis on study and get the impact. But again, this type of evidence may not interest you.

          • Tom Godfrey says:

            Gary Mayer,

            Thank you for carefully considering my comments in such great detail and for renewing your commitment to hear first and answer later.

            I am not really concerned about unbelieving scientists going too far. As far as I am concerned, they can do whatever is legal and go as far as they please. It is just that I do not accept their speculation about origins as necessarily true. I consider the Bible to be a higher authority, over them, not under them. While some of them may believe that the universe we observe, including all life on earth, sprang out of absolutely nothing billions of years ago, I don’t understand how this fails to count as a violation of the first law of thermodynamics, which is well established. Gen. 1:1 seems more credible and reasonable to me, regardless of how many atheists or scientists reject it. Rejection of their origin story is by no means a rejection of true science itself, at least not by my definition.

            Plenty of nonsense can be believed if only the problems are ignored, dismissed, or rejected without good reason. I suspect that this may explain why you prefer the origin stories of scientists committed to a variety of ideologies over the one in Genesis as traditionally understood. Your comments provide some cases in point. The beauty of daring to participate in a conversation like ours is that we both expose our views to critical scrutiny, and problems swept under the rug earlier may come to light for reconsideration.

            You mentioned the issue of chimpanzee chromosomes, for example, as though you still find this convincing evidence for a common ancestor. You even believe that “If one searchs for more such evidence from the genome that the scientific community has discovered, he will find that thousands of comparisons of segments of chromosomes have been documented that prove evolution.” This is no place to discuss thousands of examples, but we can consider at least one of them and see how it goes, hopefully one that presents one of the most compelling cases available. I assume that the one you mentioned is in this category.

            Have you really heard creationists on this issue before you answered that they are wrong? Have you read articles like these? If so, have you found good counter arguments? Can you explain them or point me to them? Maybe I am the one who needs to do more hearing first.
            https://creation.com/chromosome-2-fusion-1
            https://creation.com/chromosome-2-fusion-2
            https://creation.com/chimp-y-chromosome
            You may not trust “Christian young earth proponents to be honest and aboveboard and to know what they are talking about,” but if you hope to convince others, you need to document good reasons for your lack of trust. Maybe those who disagree with creationists shouldn’t be trusted because of their own bias, so let’s appeal to reason rather than trust. If a human/chimpanzee chromosome argument is flawed, then irrational or ad hominem arguments should not convince anyone who cares about the truth.

            Graeme Finlay, in the PSCF article that you linked, claimed in the first paragraph that the genomic revolution of this century has established that macroevolution has taken place. I should explain something up front. Even though I am a creationist, I believe in evolution, but only in kinds of evolution that have actually been observed by modern experts. Maybe someone can claim that macroevolution has been observed if it is defined to be practically indistinguishable from microevolution, but I define it as evolution from one kind of plant or creature into another, dramatically different kind—from a frog (or any other kind of amphibian) to a human prince, for example.

            You might protest that macroevolution in this sense takes millions of years. Well, okay, but this means we have to talk about a long, unobserved history. I think what Finlay writes about is a body of clues from modern genomic studies used to speculate about what happened in the past. I reject this approach as unreliable. Finlay’s abstract makes his approach quite clear: “These shared [genomic] features provide compelling evidence that (1) the human species is descended from ancestors shared with other mammals, so establishing the truth of speciation (our own) and of macroevolution, …” As you read the text, you see how this works. Two kinds of animals are observed to have matching DNA segments in their genomes, and this is supposed to count as compelling evidence for a common ancestor. I don’t buy this kind of reasoning. Why are the problems with this not even considered? Why must the possibility of separate creation be ruled out?

            Finlay wrote, “DNA transposons are short segments of self-propagating DNA that reside in the genomes of many organisms. Their origins are lost in remote history” (p. 106). I appreciate this bit of honesty, but he goes on to present alleged facts about their history, such as, “Many of the DNA transposons scattered throughout our genome have acquired genetic functionality since the time they inserted into the primate germ-line.” How does he know that there was a time in the past when they had no such functionality? It seems to me that this whole approach to constructing a story about the past is flawed. Understanding how genomes function now strikes me as a worthy goal of the scientists doing real science instead of speculating about the past.

            On your 1a point about Gen. 2:4, we agree that 2:4a refers to what precedes it, closing the global opening narrative, but you seem to be ignoring the paragraph break between 2:4a and 2:4b, where the author begins a description of the setting for a new narrative that follows. Gen. 2:5 continues the description, so this verse is not the beginning of the new narrative. You evidently disagree, because you wrote, “Moses, using the rules of the Hebrew vav, tells us that Genesis 2:5ff begins an account that occurred after what occurred as told in Genesis 1.”

            It may be convenient for you to skip over the opening clause in Gen. 2:4b, but if you dare to include it in your analysis, you may realize that you miss what the text says about the time setting for the new narrative. Was it millions or even hundreds of thousands of years after the events in chapter 1? Gen. 2:4b answers no, it was “When the Lord God made the earth and the heavens, …” so this is the timeframe for what follows. When did the Lord God make those things? Gen. 1:1 provides the answer—“in the beginning”!

            Notice that 1:1, 2:1, and 2:4a are all part of the first, global narrative, and they are say “the heavens and the earth” in that order. Now we read “the earth and the heavens” in the setting for the new narrative with a focus on mankind. This might suggest that there really was only one beginning for both. God evidently did not create the heavens in one beginning and then the earth in a second beginning that came billions of years later. The order is irrelevant, except perhaps for showing focus, because both were made or created in the same beginning. Anyway, the first clause in the setting description narrows the time of interest down to Creation Week.

            Verses 2:5-6 narrow the setting time down even further. It must be after dry land appeared on Day 3 and before the creation of man on Day 6, because there was “no man,” and mist or streams were watering “the whole surface of the ground.”

            Your original 1b question was simply, “How could you expect to have vegetation this soon[?]” Even after your lengthy explanation, the question still makes no sense to me for the reason I explained earlier. You still believe that “shrub of the field” and “plant of the field” mean “wild plants” and “domestic herbs” respectively, or “vegetation” in general, but is it really so unreasonable to conclude that the fields in question are the ones that mankind was destined to till, given the context? I do not rule out the possibility that 2:5 refers to specific kinds of shrubs and plants in the garden of Eden, ones that would need special care, not to vegetation in general, which existed ever since Day 3.

            I don’t understand why “the setting of Gen. 2:5 must have been much later” than Day 3. On Day 6, the “dry” land (as opposed to the ocean) was hardly arid, since it was being watered (2:6). You wrote, “To suppose that the earth had dried up in three days would be unreasonable.” Maybe so, if you assume that a surface covered by water would take longer than three days to dry out naturally, without any miraculous intervention by God, but I do not grant this assumption. When I read Gen. 1:9, I believe it and assume that “dry ground” miraculously appeared in just one day at God’s command.

            The part about no rain is not the full explanation for the lack of cultivated shrubs and plants. At the beginning of the narrative, they had not yet sprung up because God had not yet finished his creative work. There was no man to work the ground, not even the male and female whose creation is first covered in Gen. 1:27, and there was still a remarkable, perhaps temporary, means provided for watering the land. This situation changes as the story unfolds.

            On your point 2, you still believe, “Genesis 1 shows that the humans were to be scavengers and that the plants seeded themselves,” but you must be reading between the lines. The biblical description of what can be eaten by no means specifies that no farming or gardening is allowed, let alone that the plants to be eaten would forever have to seed themselves. Lack of mention is not the same as a mention of lack. For example, the Bible says nothing about microorganisms, but it does not follow that God did not create any such thing at any time during the six days of Creation. The same goes for mosses, mushrooms, Mars, Jupiter, and many other things undoubtedly included in “the heavens and the earth … in all their vast array” (Gen. 2:1) but not specifically mentioned.

            To address point 3 on Matt. 19:4-6, you said that quoting from both creation narratives “does not necessitate the conclusion that Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 are giving the same creation of the human race.” Why not? I think you want to make a distinction without any clear basis in the Bible. I see just one point or argument in the passage, not two. God instituted marriage, not divorce or separation, between the man and woman that he created in the beginning (not in two beginnings), so the institution should be respected. Let’s apply Occam’s razor here.

            On points 4 and 5, it is true that a day can be just the well-lighted part of a 24-hour day, but I think you must have somehow dismissed the references to six days of creation in Exodus. Day One (י֥וֹם אֶחָֽד or “the first day” in the NIV) in Gen. 1:5 is nothing more than the first one of those six days, right? Does your book explain how the Sabbath law in Exodus could have been enforced, if those six days could reasonably have been understood to be “long days” of unspecified length? If people were commanded to work for six days and then observe a Sabbath each work week, because it was supposed to be modeled after Creation Week, then I think a Sabbath breaker could defend himself and avoid being stoned simply by claiming that his days of labor were just like God’s with regard to length and scheduling. Do you suppose any Israelite judge would buy such a defense?

            On point 6, I think you dodged both of my questions, but that’s okay. I want to move on to another issue related to your claim that you have reconciled the Bible and science. I may need to concede that some Christians who are also scientists are buying your book and may actually consider your interpretation of the biblical account of Creation to be well reconciled with “science,” even though you broom methodological materialism.

            How do you reconcile with “science” (or the origin stories of scientists) the claim in Gen. 2:1-3 that God finished his work and rested? I think you are arguing that God used evolution to create the heavens and the earth over billions of years. What scientist agrees with you on this point and goes on to allege that guided, creative evolution stopped at some point in the past? Wouldn’t most evolutionists protest that the same primordial processes of evolution are still in progress, including both stellar and biological evolution? What do they think is finished? Isn’t evolution from the Big Bang supposed to have progressed without interruption from extreme chaos to the universe and life on earth as currently observed? Besides this, the long march against entropy is also expected to continue indefinitely into the future, right? Is there ever any time in this span for God to rest and stop using evolution for his creative activity?

  14. Dave Nelson says:

    Hugh Ross unfortunately ignores sound hermenutical principles. He is so committed to the evolutionary concept that he has ignored (I use that word purposefully), primarily, though not exclusively, the principle that Scripture interprets Scripture and the explicit always overrules the implicit. There are also many flaws in Ross’ logic. If Ross is your only source of information on this topic you have failed to properly educate yourself. For more information from those committed to interpreting Scripture properly see http://www.icr.org, http://www.aig.org, and http://www.creation.org

  15. Mark says:

    Nice presentation. But you misrepresent John Walton. He believes A&E were historical individuals that were that were archetypal figures for all humanity. His view is honestly very similar to your own. People like myself and Peter Enns don’t think A&E were historical but Walton definitely does. In fact, I bet if he didn’t, Wheaton wouldn’t let him keep his job.

    See his affirmation of their historicty here: https://biologos.org/blogs/jim-stump-faith-and-science-seeking-understanding/interpreting-adam-an-interview-with-john-walton

    • Hi Mark,

      I like John Walton and his lectures are always extremely interesting. I heard him at the Biologos conference a year ago. Yes I would say our views are reasonably compatible.

      Do use your full first and last name when you post.

  16. Let,s cut the bull. Evolution is a fact. You can see it in everything in nature. The age of the earth is 13.5 billion years old. I have no idea how the universe got started and neither does anyone else. Religion has caused most of the wars. The God of the O.T. is a monster and “meek and mild” Jesus is no better. Let,s get rid of religion before it kills and our planet. R.Bishop

    • Edward Field says:

      Hi, Ron. I’m curious what has caused this kind of response? If Christians have somehow been difficult people to get along with, I’m sorry. On the factual side, it is not so cut and dried as you describe. Re Jesus – I think you are speaking with little actual knowledge of the 4 historical gospels and the New Testament documents.

  17. Gary Mayer says:

    Perry,
    One may ask how I can assert that the Bible pretty much teaches that the pre-Adamites evolved through a process of evolution. The problem is that theologians have lost some important syntactical characteristics of Hebrew and Greek. Very important is the Hebrew use of their conjunction waw. In narrative genre, except for certain exceptions, its inclusion means that the narrative is moving on in time. (1) It is often not used in direct quotations. (2) It may or may not be used when the author begins to discuss a new event and he gives the time of the event (directly or indirectly). (3) It is sometimes omitted when a list or some other information (such as an introduction or a summary) is given that really does not move the narrative along. This means that if none of these exceptions apply, if the new sentence begins with the conjunction the narrative is moving on in time. This is the situation in Genesis 2:5, where the narrative moves on from the original creation of mankind to the creation of Adam and Eve, which is much later in time.
    The theologians have lost the rules for the use of the conjunction that informs the reader whether a pronoun refers to what precedes it or to what follows it. These rules include three cases:

    Case 1: If there is a conjunction before the formula, then the formula always looks forward (whether or not a conjunction follows):

    Case 2: If there is no conjunction before the formula and no conjunction after the formula, then (except in 1 Chronicles 1:23-24 where its inclusion would cause misreading of the text) the formula looks forward:

    Case 3: If there is no conjunction before the formula and a conjunction after the formula, then the formula refers backward:

    Applying these rules to Genesis 2:4, we discover, contrary to the view of most translators, the verse must refer to Genesis 1, not Genesis 2. Putting this together with a proper translation of the Hebrew for “generations” (Heb., toledoth), we discover that the Hebrew of verse 4 should be translated “descendants” and that these descendants refer to the people that God created according to the account of Genesis 1. These people, the Bible says, descended from the heavens and the earth. It is noteworthy that my Keyword Study Bible, published by AMG International, Inc. (1984 and 1990), places a heading above the genealogical sections of the Book of Genesis, and these headings read “Descendants of…” rather than “Generations of….”
    There are various differences between the accounts of the creations in Genesis 1 and 2. The people of Genesis 1 may eat from any of the trees, but not Adam and Eve. The trees are self-seeding in Genesis 1, but the Garden of Eden must be tilled as would be the case later in history. Please see my blog http://www.garytmayer.blogspot.com. My 2015 edition of my book New Evidence for Two Human Origins: Discoveries That Reconcile the Bible and Science explains and gives evidence for these assertions, and it gives mathematical proof that the descendants of Adam and Eve married into an existing race.

    • Tom Godfrey says:

      Gary Mayer,

      You may have seen my brief comments on your analysis of the Hebrew text of the opening verses of Genesis 2 in an earlier message, but maybe you would like a bit more detail. The full Hebrew text of Gen. 2:4-6 can be found here:
      https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Gen.+2%3A4-6&version=WLC
      As you can see, the vav conjunction of interest does not occur at the beginning of 2:4a, though it does occur in the phrase הַשָּׁמַ֛יִם וְהָאָ֖רֶץ (the heavens and the earth). Gen. 2:4b starts a new sentence, another one without the conjunction at the start of it, but this sentence continues on into 2:5. I think the conjunction you see at the start of that verse, וְכֹ֣ל׀ שִׂ֣יחַ הַשָּׂדֶ֗ה (and any shrub of the field), has nothing to do with the discourse analysis you have in mind. It seems to be part of a correlative conjunction associated with coordinate clauses in the interior of the sentence that began in 2:4b. The second clause begins וְכָל־עֵ֥שֶׂב הַשָּׂדֶ֖ה (and any plant of the field).

      Notice that 2:6 begins another clause, and this one is introduced by the same conjunction וְאֵ֖ד יַֽעֲלֶ֣ה מִן־הָאָ֑רֶץ (but mist came up from the earth). This is yet another case where we should not expect the conjunction to move the narrative forward to a later time. It only introduces more detail into the ongoing description of the narrative setting. The same is true of the second occurrence of the same conjunction in the same verse וְהִשְׁקָ֖ה (and watered).

      I must admit that my training in Hebrew is inferior to that of a host of real experts, but I trust that most good translations relied on the knowledge of competent Hebrew scholars. Can you find any translation supporting your claim that toledoth in 2:4 “should be translated ‘descendants’ and that these descendants refer to the people that God created according to the account of Genesis 1”?

      The English translation published by the Jewish Publication Society (Tanakh, the Holy Scriptures: The New JPS Translation According to the Traditional Hebrew Text, 1985) certainly should be the work of expert Hebrew scholars. Their translation of the interesting part of 2:4a reads, “Such is the story of heaven and earth when they were created,” and this sentence completes a paragraph that began with Gen. 2:1. There is nothing in the Hebrew text (or in any translation I recall) suggesting that toledoth refers here specifically or exclusively to people. I think it closes a global, chronological account introduced with similar wording back in Gen. 1:1. It is 2:4b that introduces the narrative in the rest of the chapter with a more detailed focus on the part of Day 6 creation covered briefly in Gen. 1:26-28.

      If you disagree with me on any of these points, I am interested in your reasons. If your analysis of Genesis 2 still leads you to insist that “Adam and Eve must be the beginning of a new race created in a different manner,” to be consistent, I think you also need to insist that Gen. 2:19 reports the beginning of new races of beasts of the field and birds of the air, all of them also created in a different manner from those mentioned in the first chapter. Have you thought about this?

      • Gary Mayer says:

        Tom,
        In regard to toledoth, see my comment of November 5 on Evolution vs. Creation Debate site. Concerning Genesis 2:19, of course this verse is relating to the animals that God created and brought to Adam to name and make a judgment as to whether they would make a suitable companion. As with the rest of the Garden of Eden, God wanted everything to be perfect so that when Adam rebelled against God and ate of the fruit, he, as representative of the human race, would have no excuse. God did create these particular animals directly out of the ground so that they would not have any anti-human instincts. God even made sure that there were in the Garden hot springs to water the Garden so that there would be no cloudy days. As I show in my book, New Evidence for Two Human Origins, Genesis 2:6 cannot possibly be speaking of a “mist,” as some translations render the Hebrew.

  18. Gary Mayer says:

    Perry,

    I read your whole excellent book Evolution 2.0 including the footnotes. Please give me maybe this last chance to have your attention. You know me by now since I made other comments and that I am Old Earth. I do still want to explain a little more about my dual origins view because I believe it is the only way to be true to proven history and to thereby harmonize the Bible and Science. Remember the name of my book is New Evidence for Two Human Origins: Discoveries That Harmonize the Bible and Science (2015). You may have missed an important word in this title: it is “[d]iscoveries.” Please stop thinking about what you have believed for a minute. I discovered a way to mathematically prove that the descendants of Adam and Eve married into an existing race, the pre-Adamites. Do you realize what this means. The Jews taught that Adam and Eve were the first humans, Darwin started people believing that humans evolved. But this is only half of the great historical origin of mankind. My book proves mathematically and exegetically from the Hebrew and Greek that God created the human race in two different ways and at two different times and that the descendants of Adam and Eve intermarried. I am afraid that possibly you, like many others, do not even consider that this is possible. Maybe the stylus sharpened in a pencil sharpener was given to my mother to help me press on. Anyway, I still have it. If she had fallen backwards down the stars with the lit lantern before the angel (or Jesus) awoke her, she may have died and I would never have been born. Remember I broke up with my girl friend and so quit my engineering job and went to Bible school. From there I went to seminary (TEDS), from there to SIL, where eventually I took more linguistics including Greek discourse analysis in Dallas, TX (through UTA). Later we went to jungle camp in Mexico, and on and on.

    Finally I am working on my theory of human origins at the kitchen table and it came to me how to begin to calculate the most probable theoretical life spans as you go ahead down the biblical genealogies so that I could compare these with the actual live spans from the Bibles. To my excitement, the actual life spans were close to the most probable life spans. My calculations were based upon the fact (proven to be true by the way the numbers came out) that because over 7,000 genes determine a person’s live spans (Matt Ridley, Genome: The Autobiography of a Species in 23 Chapters (New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1999), 204.), the mother’s DNA will win out half the time and the father’s DNA will win out the other half; therefore, the offspring will be the average of its parents life spans. Also I noticed that when the descends of Noah dwelt at the Tower of Babel, their life spans did not drop, but when God scattered them, the next son was approximately the average of his life span and 60 years. I went on from generation to generation proving my conclusion over and over. To combine these coincidences one would have to multiply them. This adds up to very great odds against it happening by chance. Notice that because it was proven that the actual life spans follow the most probable life spans, the calculations also shows that the original assumption that the offspring’s will have a potential life span equal to the average of its parents’ life span was a correct assumption.

    The above discovery was partially helpful to show what actually happened, but what about showing that this is also what the Bible teaches in its narratives as well as what its genealogies indicate. So I proved that Genesis 2:4 refers to the narrative that precedes it and the Genesis 2:5 moves the narrative on to what happened after the original creation account in Genesis 1. Now it can be seen that in chapter 2 God created only the animals that Adam was going to name. God wanted to make everything perfect for Adam because God was going to test him to show that the human race is sinful due to their fleshly composition (Genesis 6:3). This is why Genesis 5:2 tells us that God named Adam’s race “man”; both human creations are guilty of sin. God made a special snake to test them as he made a special fish to swallow Jonah and thereby save him. Also it was only basically the descendants of Adam that died in the flood. This is why the only “generations” formula that included the word “book” is Genesis 5:1; this was the end of the members of Adam’s race that were holding to the 929 average life span, except for Noah and his family.

    Then I had to bring out that “generation” was a bad translation to use for toledoth; it should have been translated “descendants.” In other words, the Bible actually says that mankind created in Genesis 1 was descended from the heavens and the earth!

    Then I had to show how Paul used the Greek article to mean only sins that were committed against a direct command of God to show that it Romans 5:12 does not contradict the dual origin theory. Also a number of other verses needed to be also explained. It was also necessary to show something unknown about the Greek preposition ek.
    I am sorry to disagree with your view that Adam was a spiritual creation. Unfortunately it doesn’t fit. Too many old-earth exegetes resort to this view. I would be happy to accept it, just like I would be happy to accept the gap theory, if these views would harmonize with the rest of the Bible and with science and history, but they don’t. If the death of Adam and Eve were only spiritual, then why did God place guards by the entrance to the Garden so that no one could get to the tree of life? If the tree of the knowledge of good and evil brought spiritual death, would not the tree of life bring spiritual life and wouldn’t that be a good thing?
    Going to the New Testament, it becomes clear that the death that Adam experienced was both spiritual and physical because otherwise Paul’s argument in Romans 5 would not hold water. Paul proves that Adam’s sin brought physical death by showing that the people who lived between Adam and Moses died (v. 14) even though they had not sinned against a direct command of God as Adam did. So he mentions that the people who lived after Adam but before the Law of Moses was given, all died. Here he was pointing to the obvious—something that you could not debate as to whether the person was spiritually alive or not. He was definitely referring to physical death to prove his point that we are all judged to be sinners. But thank God he goes on to say, “But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many” (Rom. 5:15, NASB). It is true that Paul is concerned about both physical death and spiritual death, but he uses physical death to help prove his point concerning spiritual death. Paul’s point in referencing the people between Adam and Moses was to show that God imputed Adam’s sin to the whole human race, which caused God to permit the flesh to die, both before and after Adam.
    And we can go on to 1 Corinthians 15:35-49, especially verses 44-49: “[I]t is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. So also it is written, ‘The first MAN, Adam, BECAME A LIVING SOUL. The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.’…And just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.” Paul wants to show the reader that the resurrected body will be different from the physical body; he, therefore, compares the natural (or physical) body of Adam with the spiritual body of the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ. He quotes Genesis 2:7 to contrast the natural body with the spiritual body. He says that Adam became a live soul; this has to mean a physical body. This whole passage deals with bodies, not spirits. Someone will say, “But it says here that Adam was ‘the first man.’” By this statement the questioner shows that he thinks this verse means that Adam was the first human. But this is not the context of the passage, which will not allow this interpretation. This is because Christ is the last man, according to 1 Corinthians 15:45. Christ was only the last man of His personal genealogy; so the text is not saying that this “first man” was the first man of all men, but rather that Adam was the first man of Christ’s genealogy. Verse 15 shows what Paul was driving at when he bothered to mention Adam: “But not the spiritual first, but the natural; afterward the spiritual. But note exactly what verse 45 says, “The first MAN, Adam, BECAME A LIVING SOUL. The last Adam became a life-giving spirit” (NASB). The capitalization by NASB was to indicate that it was taken from the OT. But it was in Genesis 2:7: “Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being [soul]” (NASB). To say that this creation was only a spiritual creation goes against not only the very verse that reveals it, but it also goes against the NT interpretation of this verse!

    Consider 1 Corinthians 15:20-23; this whole passage has as its context physical death and physical resurrection: “But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive. But each in his own order, Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming” (NASB). “As in Adam all die,” that is, as a member of Adam’s humanity, all die, but as a member of Christ’s Kingdom they shall be made alive AT THE RESURRECTION. The parallel is between physical death and physical resurrection, not spiritual death and physical resurrection. “But each in his own order” does not begin a new subject; it is physical from start to finish.

    On page 328 you give your view of what is really meant by the creation account in Genesis 2. This account must certainly be only describing the creation of one man and one woman. If this were a spiritual creation, rather than a physical creation, and if this “creation” made them truly human, what was the fate of all the other people who were alive at that time? And who or what are they now? And how do I know if I am a descendant of Adam? And how did God’s granting them a divine spirit cause them and their descendants to live to be an average of 929 years? And what brought their life spans down as recorded in Genesis 5 and 11? And why do the bar graphs in my book prove mathematically that Adam and Eve’s descendants married into a pre-Adamic race? And why only a glance at the actual life spans shows that they went down until their stay at the Tower of Babel and then dropped as predicted by the math? And if the drop in life spans were due to radiation, why does the next life span show an increased life span that lies near one of the most probable life spans?

    Actually there is only one way to harmonize the Bible and science. The notion that Adam and Eve were mythical characters certainly also does not work. One thing we must be sure of, the New Testament teaches that Adam and Eve were real people. For example, Jude 1:14 says, “And about these also Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied…” (NASB). A trip to a concordance will show under Adam many other Bible verses that confirm this. I cannot emphasize the importance of always employing a grammatical-historical hermeneutic. It always leads to the truth. What people fail to realize is that Moses wrote Genesis 1 by using SIMPLIFICATION and CONSOLIDATION. I prove this in my book by showing that Genesis 1:13-14 describing day 4, actually says that God placed them in the heavens on day 4; Moses could have written that he caused them to appear, but he didn’t. He used this word in Genesis 1:9. But I also show that the luminaries created on day 4 were meant to be taken by the reader to be the luminaries that brought the day-night cycle of day 1, the sun and moon working in conjunction. The reader will, therefore, know that the author is CONSOLIDATING each aspect of creation into one day each. The reader understands that this was also the author’s method for the other days. The visible stars came into existence over much of God’s long days, and also did the plants and the animals. The author ends up with a dual triad with eight aspects. The introduction of the general dual triad approach to Genesis 1 was probably by Arie Noordtzij (See page 225 of The Genesis Debate edited by David G. Hagopian).

    Evidences for all my assertions above are given in my 470-page book, that is, the 2015 edition. (A hard copy from AuthorHouse would be 2015 also.) To get to my point, would you please get an electronic copy from Amazon and check it out? Maybe you would find out that I am right. Could it be that the Bible nearly comes right out and says in Genesis 2:4 that the pre-Adamites “descended” from the heavens and the earth. The word “generations” is a very bad translation, as I explained in my book. “[T]he heavens and the earth” in Genesis 2:4 means everything taken together, except of course, that which is descended, which I believe means the pre-Adamic race. We will never get the people who hold an historical-grammatical view of the Bible on our side unless we come to the truth about human origins. Without these folks, we will never reach many people with the message that the Bible does not oppose true science. How many people don’t even consider the truth of Christianity because they believe that it contradicts evolution, let alone search into it? How many of these people would it take to make our effort worth while?

    Thanks for this opportunity to share with you.

    Gary

    • Gary,

      Thank you for your contribution to these conversations.

      I need to apologize to you that at the moment I can’t give your essays the level of attention that you would like or deserve. You have a detailed model and interpretation that you’ve given much thought to.

      Just a brief response to a few selected aspects of your argument:

      I’ve written / spoken several times at length about Romans 5 speaking about spiritual death (separation from God) and not physical death per se, you can find these with a Google search:

      https://www.google.com/search?q=%22romans+5%22+site%3Aevo2.org

      I must also raise another question, that if man in the Garden of Eden was immortal by default, why is the need for a tree of life in the first place, which grants immortality? Why would the tree of life grant them something they already had to begin with?

      If you assume man was immortal from the beginning, then you’re also suggesting that the tree of life only existed just in case he ate from the tree of knowledge later on. But God’s action of blocking them from eating of it inevitably means that this is not what God had in mind when He made that tree. There has to be a different explanation.

      The interpretation that makes sense to me is that man, who was mortal and had communion with God, had an opportunity to either a) choose immortality or b) choose knowledge. He chose (b) which means God in his mercy had to take away option (a).

      When the tree of life appears in the book of revelation, it is only made available to those who have renounced sin and chosen God.

      It’s not obvious to me that this change in interpretation would do damage to your view that there were two races and they blended.

      I do not believe that Adam and Eve were mythical creatures. I don’t believe Adam was the first human, but rather that Adam was the first prophet. My assumption is that Adam was called by God perhaps in some sense the way Abraham was, and that God breathed the breath of life and he became a living being in the spiritual sense.

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