>I joined this list to learn from scientists in fields other than mine,
>physics. I must say that I do not know what happened in the past. I do agree
>that that can be a legitimate field of scientific study. In cosmology, which
>I am somewhat acquainted with, we can conclude all sorts of things from the
>data but that still does not say if indeed that is what happened in the
>past---cosmology is a purely observational and not an experimental science.
Given the limit on the speed of light, I would say that you have nothing BUT
the past to study (observationally). We see Andromeda as it was 2 million
years ago or so.
>As a Christian I have one concern that perhaps you can answer. How does an
>evolutionary development of man brings the Fall of Man into the picture? The
>Fall of Man is necessary in the Christian faith and is essential for the
>understanding of who Christ is and what He did on the cross for us.
I absolutely agree with you that the Fall (a historical Fall of 2 people) is
essential. This was the most difficult item. But there are pseudogenes,
broken genes located at the same place in apes and man. Since a designer
would be unlikely to make a broken gene at the same place in 4 separate
species, this data are strongly indicative of common descent. The reply I
have heard from anti-evolutionists is that we will find a function for these
broken genes in the future. Of course they may be correct, but how long
must one wait?
Anyway, here is how one can unite evolution and the Fall. This is from my
"This is the tricky place. Everybody says that it is impossible to
account for the origin of Adam and Eve by means of evolution and
yet still have the Biblical account be true. This is false.
People have not put enough effort into solving this problem. Here
is what the evidence says.
The apes have 48 chromosomes; we have 46. If we arose from
the apes, there must have been a chromosomal fusion (there are also
other differences like inversions of certain segments etc). The
biggest piece of evidence in my mind connecting us to the apes is
a) the extreme similarity in DNA (99%) and b) the existence of
pseudogene insertions at the same locations in man, chimp, gorilla
and gibbon. (part of this insertion has been removed in the case of
chimpanzee but enough remains to know that it was there at one
time). Since the pseudogene does not work, it can not be claimed
to be there by the mechanism of common design. Why would the
Designer make the same mistake at the same location in 4 species?
Biblically, it states that God made man from the dust of the
ground, that He breathed the breath of life into the man, and that
the man was alone--no Eve. This would appear to contradict
evolution. God is also described as being actively and
supernaturally involved in the creation of man. And that man's
spirit is somehow different from that of the animals. Is there a
way to put all this together? I believe there is.
Assume that God was ready to create a being who was "made in
His image". During this time, there was among the physical ancestor
of man a very rare mutation -- a chromosomal fusion. But this error
was almost always fatal. God took one of these creatures, a still
born, fixed him, and blew his breath into him. Why do I have God
make Adam in this fashion? Because of what God said when Adam
sinned. If you remember the verse Genesis 3:19 God said, "for dust
you are and to dust you shall return." A dead body is "dust."
Adam came from dust and to dust he now will return.
Thus Adam was created. But Adam was alone. He had not
evolved in the normal fashion and so there was no population of
creatures like him with whom he could mate. He also could not
talk. Adam's physical parent could not talk and so he could not
learn from them. God taught Adam to speak. That is what God was
doing when he brought all the animals to Adam.
In this scenario, it is not necessary for Adam to have been
created as a full grown individual. The language lessons may have
lasted years before Adam finally realized that he needed a mate.
At that time, God created Eve in the fashion described.
This is the only way that I have found to be able to retain a
historical view of Genesis and still account for the biological
evidence which indicates genetic connection with the non-human
primates. While this view is somewhat different, it does not
violate anything that the Bible states. That is the basis upon
which this view shoud be judged."
It also doesn't violate scientific fact. It may be absolutely wrong, but it
fits within the dataset of science and scripture. The alternative is to
assume a normal evolution and the mis-fit with scripture or assume the
standard view of human creation with the problem of a creator who makes it
LOOK like we are related to the apes when we aren't. This is normally called
Foundation, Fall and Flood