RE: Kline article in PSCF (D. Kidner on Adam)

Glenn Morton (
Wed, 03 Apr 1996 06:05:33

Thank you Terry for posting this.

Kidner wrote:

> The second picture, that of palaeontology, a mosaic of many
>fragments, depicts a species fashioned over perhaps a million years or more
>into the present human form, showing the outward characteristics of modern
>man upwards of twenty thousand years ago, not only in his bodily structure
>but in his practice of making tools, using fire, burying his dead, and, not
>least, creating works of art comparable with those of any period. Even at
>this remote time the apparent forerunners of our chief racial groups seem
>to be distinguishable, and the species had already spread widely over the
>world, displacing another type of hominid, 'Neanderthal Man', whose own
>relics, rough as they are, indicate that tools, fire and burial had been in
>use for long ages before this. On the other hand, the first known signs of
>pastoral and agricultural life and, later, of metal working (e.g. by
>hammering copper or meteoric iron; cf. on 4:19-24) are much more recent,
>appearing in the Near East, on present evidence, somewhere between the
>eighth and fifth millennia BC at earliest.

The data Kidner cites is a little outdated. Morphologically modern man
appeared 120,000 years ago. Near-morphologically modern man appeared prior to
the appearance of Neanderthal in the form of the archaic Homo sapiens. The
earliest evidence for a flint sickle is from 11000 B.C.(Grolier's Online
Encyclopedia) The first quern (a grain grinding device is from 130,000 years
B.P. (see Fagen _The Journey frm Eden, p. 61)

> The answer may lie in our definition of man.
> Man in Scripture is much more than homo faber, the maker of tools:
>he is constituted man by God's image and breath, nothing less. It follows
>that Scripture and science may well differ in the boundaries they would
>draw round early humanity: the intelligent beings of a remote past, whose
>bodily and cultural remains give them the clear status of 'modern man' to
>the anthropologist, may yet have been decisively below the plane of life
>which was established in the creation of Adam. If, as the text of Genesis
>would by no means disallow, God initially shaped man by a process of
>evolution, it would follow that a considerable stock of near-humans
>preceded the first true man, and it would be arbitrary to picture these as
>mindless brutes. Nothing requires that the creature into which God breathed
>human life should not have been of a species prepared in every way for
>humanity, with already a long history of practical intelligence, artistic
>sensibility and the capacity for awe and reflection.

This raises the problem of having someone who looks like me not be a truly
spiritual individual because he wasn't descended from Adam.

> On this view, Adam, the first true man, will have had as
>contemporaries many creatures of comparable intelligence, widely
>distributed over the world. One might conjecture that these were destined
>to die out, like the Neanderthalers (if indeed these did), or to perish in
>the Flood, leaving Adam's lineal descendants, through Noah, in sole
>possession. Against this, however, there must be borne in mind the apparent
>continuity between the main races of the present and those of the distant
>past, already mentioned, which seems to suggest either a stupendous
>antiquity for Adam (unless the whole accepted dating of prehistory is
>radically mistaken, as some have tried to show - e.g., Whitcomb and Morris,
>op. cit.) or the continued existence of 'pre-Adamites' alongside 'Adamites'

> If this second alternative implied any doubt of the unity of
>mankind it would be of course quite untenable. God, as we have seen, has
>made all nations 'from one' (Acts 17:26) . Genetically indeed, on this
>view, these two groups would be of a single stock; but by itself that would
>avail nothing, as Adam's fruitless search for a helpmeet makes abundantly
>clear. Yet it is at least conceivable that after the special creation of
>Eve, which established the first human pair as God's viceregents (Gn. 1:
>27, 28) and clinched the fact that there is no natural bridge from animal
>to man, God may have now conferred His image on Adam's collaterals, to
>bring them into the same realm of being. Adam's 'federal' headship of
>humanity extended, if that was the case, outwards to his contemporaries as
>well as onwards to his offspring, and his disobedience disinherited both

According to molecular data, this would have to have occurred somewhere
between 800,000 - 100,000 B.P. because that is the range of when the last
common human ancestor existed.
Foundation,Fall and Flood