Monday, August 4, 2008

Twenty Reasons, Part 2

This is a followup to my last post, in which I looked at the twenty reasons to Reject theistic evolution by Ken Ham and a rebuttal to them provided by "Answers in Creation" and add my own commentary. By the way, I am going to frequently just use the paraphrases that AiC uses (to save space), although I am checking the original AiG article to make sure AiC did not caricature or distort Ham's position.

5. Creation Is Finished. Ken Ham states that, "[M]odern evolutionary theory accepts that evolution is still going on (therefore, man must still be evolving!), so if a Christian accepts evolution he has to accept that God is still using evolution today. Thus, He is still creating. But God tells us that He finished His work of creating. This is a real dilemma for the theistic evolutionist."

AiC Response:
Ham is right...creation is finished. He claims that evolutionists have a problem, since evolutionary principles are still happening today, therefore God is still creating through this process. The answer to this is very simple. During God’s creative period, He would have been guiding and directing the evolutionary process. Now, He is not. Although the same scientific principles are still in effect, the Hand of the Almighty no longer directs them.

My opinion:
Sounds good enough, but this does contradict the position held by some theistic evolutionists, namely Ken Miller, who thinks that God does not control evolution, but simply set up the universe in a way so that life would eventually emerge and then give a soul to some creature. My verdict is that this poses no problem for the theistic evolutionists, so long as they are willing to believe that God was very active in tampering with life on earth to make sure it got the way it is today. Then again, instead of tampering with the evolution of life, why not just create it? That is a questin worth pondering.

6. Dust to Adam, Rib to Eve.

AiC Response:

Ham claims that evolutionists claim that the “dust to Adam” phrase summarizes the fact that Adam came through evolution, and it summarizes the entire millions of years process. In this he is essentially correct. Ham claims that this presents a problem, in that Eve was created from Adam’s rib. To be consistent, evolutionists would have to explain a similar evolutionary origin, explaining how Adam’s rib evolved into Eve. While the logic appears to be sound, we must also remember that we are dealing with God, who can create at His will. If you consider evolution, and the development of humans, the fossil record contains numerous steps in this process, over the last few million years. Once God ended this process with Adam, he had the final product. In order to be a genetic match for Adam, God created Eve with the exact same DNA as Adam. Thus, His final products were perfectly matched to each other. Requiring an evolutionary tale for Eve is merely a young earth complaint, but there is an easy answer. Eve was created from Adam’s DNA, obtained from Adam’s rib. I know that young earth creationists will scoff at this idea...but then again, they scoff at everything. The truth is this is a possible explanation. It may not be the best explanation, but it is possible.

My opinion:
I have, for a while now, considered the Eve-came-from-Adam's-rib story a bit weird: Eve would have been essentially a female clone of Adam. I have a hard time thinking that anyone would be attracted to a female clone of themselves, but that's me. One issue that could be raised here is the fact that this scenario boils down to the worst case of interbreeding imaginable; Yet I'm sure theistic evolutionists would cover this by saying that Adam and Eve had perfect DNA, so there would not be any nasty recessive alleles causing Cystic Fibrosis.

7. The Return to Dust.

AiC Response:
Ham says that some people say that the dust represents the animal from which man evolved. Thus, when God says man shall return to dust, it only stands to reason that he would return to being an animal. On this one I agree with Ham. Man will return to dust and decompose, and his components will re-enter the cycle of life to renew other life. This one is no problem when you consider the life cycle.

My Opinion:
This is a very Buddhist/Lion King Response. It's the circle of life, and it moves us all! I think that AiC should interpret "dust of the earth" to mean the raw materials of earth. We know that primordial earth was swimming in amino acids, nucleic acids, fats, etc., And we are certain that life as we know it began from such. And guess what? After we die, and begin to rot, we are nothing more than a disorganized bunch of amino acids, water, and so on.


Brian said...

I think AiC's answer to number 6 (the rib from Adam) is a very hackneyed response. They're saying Adam evolved into the first true "man," meaning that he had parents that were not "quite" fully human, which is a ridiculous notion. Drastic enough changes to set one species apart from another do not happen in one generation. Additionally, they're saying that Adam was the ONLY MALE HUMAN on earth. If you just think about that for a second, everybody's family tree branches out like a pyramid. Basically, the further back you go, you have a lot more people required in order to make "you."

So what AiC is saying is that thousands, perhaps millions of people, over several generations, each only had one child, and those children were always in equal proportion to being male and female, until eventually there were only two "composite" people left on earth who had a son, Adam. And because there were no females for him, God just took a rib and *poof* there was Eve.

I'm sorry but if you believe that Eve was created instantly and Adam had parents who had parents, so on and so on, all the way back through the evolutionary chain, why would God waste his time with such an elegant and time-consuming process when he could have just *wished* both Adam and Eve into existence to start with?

I understand that AiC wants to reconcile their creation myth with the evidence, but come on! Their answer on this is just absurd. Why can't people read a story about God making a woman with a rib and see it the same way as they see a story about Odysseus and the Cyclops?

AIGBusted said...

Hey Brian,

I do not think AiC is saying that Adam was a "hopeful monster", but rather that he was very similar to his parents genetically, yet was infused with a "soul".

Now, I do see your point about the othr people on earth. Just what would have happened to them after the alleged Garden of Eden?