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

Glenn Morton (
Thu, 04 Apr 1996 22:52:59

Hi Terry,

Once again, I am going against your very excellent theological knowledge.
They say "Fools never learn", and I guess I know what that says about me.

You write:
>I am sympathetic with you and do think that there is a unity to knowledge:
>God is the author of both special revelation and general revelation. Thus
>you mis-read me when you think that I am saying that there are two
>contradictory accounts talking about the same thing but saying the opposite
>about each.

Other than that you say you thought Kidner was correct, I was arguing against
what I see Kidner as saying. It appears to me that he is making two separate
realities. See my reply to Alice Fulton.

>Here is a key question for you. What is the basis for Biblical authority?
>Is it agreement with scientific accounts of origins? I don't think so.

I agree with you. God is the basis for Biblical authority. But part of the
authority for the Bible must come from the fact that it is TRUE in a
metaphysical and empirical sense. You can see what I mean by looking at how
God has dealt with mankind. God expects faith from us, but it is not a faith
divorced from events in our lives. "Consider Abraham: He believed God and it
was credited to him as righteousness." NIV Galatians 3:6. What did Abraham
believe? That Abraham would have an heir. This actually did occur in history

and in Abrahams lifetime. The fulfillment justified Abraham's faith. But do
you think that if Sarah had died, and Abraham reached his deathbed and there
were no heirs, do you think Abraham would still have beleived God during the
final few weeks or days of his life?

Consider Noah. "By Faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy
fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and
became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith." NIV Heb. 11:6 The
advent of the flood was the PHYSICAL justification of Noah's faith.

The disciples believed Jesus was the Messiah. They took the real risk that
Jesus was David Koresh. The physical resurrection was the physical
justification of their faith.

Jeremiah prophesied by faith that the Babylonians would conquor Jerusalem.
That conquest was the PHYSICAL and HISTORICAL justification of Jeremiah's

I could go on and on. The point is that God expects faith, but he often
fulfills our faith in physical ways. As a YEC I had had faith that God
created the world and that there WAS an explanation for how he did it. But
after years and years of not finding any explanation, I had reached the end of
my puny ability to have faith. Only then when I was at atheisms door, did God
show me a way (not THE way) that the detailed scientific data could be made
to concord with the scriptures.

>The Bible derives its authority from other bases and thus gives us
>confidence that what it is saying is true.

Can you name those " other bases" without naming a physical or historical
"base"? Technically you have used the plural here so you can't simply say
"God" :-) [Well I guess you could say God is plural. :-) ]

>Finally, I must say that not all events can be connected neatly with the
>fossil and anthropological record. Let's suppose that the Kidner's
>proposal is true and that at some point in time God gave man a truly human
>soul and constituted him to be the divine image (we could allow Clouser's
>view here for this point). What physical, biological, and anthropological
>evidence do you expect to see? I'm not sure there is any necessary. So I
>don't see what is so strained about this view. Even Niles Eldredge while
>here at Calvin admitted that at this key juncture in human evolutionary
>history that a theistic evolutionist might want to see a special
>intervention that produces distinctly human traits. In his book *Dominion*
>(you should read it Glenn; it's a nice summary of the human evolution field
>from a punctuated equilibriumist perspective) Eldredge uses the word
>"sudden appearance".

I almost always read what you suggest I read. I just got Davis Young's "the
Contemporary Relevance of Augustine's View of Creation" PSCF 40:1 p. 42-45
from the library today. It looks interesting. I will order that book

If we assume that Kidner is correct that and God implanted a soul, in an
individual hominid, and then that hominid reproduced and took over the world,
I would expect to see physical evidence for a sudden change in behavior.
Before this occurrence I would expect to see no human-like activity and after
I would expect to see a fair amount of it. There is no place in the fossil
record that you can point to and say "There, that is the point of alteration
of behavior." What we see is a gradual appearing of human-like activity.

2.7 Myr ago. Gona Ethiopia first manufactured stone tools -A.T. Chamberlain,
"A Chronological Framework for human origins," World ARchaeology, 23:2 1991,
p. 143

Only man modifies stones for the making of tools.

1.5 Myr ago. Stone tools used in woodwork. Kathy Schick and Nicolas Toth,
_Making the Silent Stones Speak_, Simon and Schuster, 1993, p. 160

Only man makes a tool and uses it to make another tool.

I will not document the rest but if anyone wants a reference I can provide

1.5 Myr ago, first evidence of body painting with red ochre.

1.4 Myr ago, first evidence of fire use.

400,000 earliest spear

300-400,000 earliest evidence of habitations

330,000 earliest art object (a venus figuring from Golan Heights Israel.)

130,000 querns and pounders. These are objects used to make flour.

35,000 years on, massive amounts of art

19,000 invention of the sewing needle

This does not look like a sudden change in behavior. It might be that there
was a sudden change in behavior before 2.7 million years ago and what we have
is merely the development of technology. Or it could be that the behaviors
were gradually evolving. Eitherway, the fossil record does not support a
sudden massive change in the nature of the artifacts of anthropology.

Niles Eldredge wrote:
>"But there is something else about human existence between 30,000 and
>10,000 years ago that is exciting, important, and at the same time
>tantalizingly hard to understand. It is the sudden appearance of--for want
>of a better term--human sensibilities." (pp. 87-88)

This may be nothing more than the invention of tools with which to create
better art work. Maybe this was the time of the invention of the paint brush
(an object not likely to be preserved)

Scupture can not be made unless you have a fine engraving tool capable of
cutting stone. It is no coincidence that the timing of the increase in
sculpture corresponds to the time of the invention of the burin, a cutting
device which allowed finely detailed objects to be cut.(see D. Bruce Dickson,
The Dawn of Belief, (Tuscon: The University of Arizona Press, 1990), p. 47
Without the burin, it is impossible to carve bone or stone into figurines! It
was only slightly later (27,000 years B.P.) that the first baked clay
figurines are found. That also is a technology which needed invention. Bake
the clay wrong and it crumbles.
Stringer and Gamble write:

"A reconstruction of one of the huts excavated at Dolni Vestonice, probably
27,000 years old. The site has yielded the earliest evidence for a ceramic
technology that produced artistic figurines as well as pieces of fired
clay."~Chris Stringer and Clive Gamble, In Search of the Neanderthals, (New
York: Thames and Hudson, 1993), p. 206

So why should we feel that the invention of a technology represents the
implantation of a spirit? But many christians and non-christians, like
Eldredge, stand in awe of the invention of the burin and or ceramic
technology. Does the invention of the automobile mean we have a new spirit?

>J. Gresham Machen, in a very interesting article (cited BTW in my trial
>defence), posed the same question about the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ.
>Of course, Jesus was fully human. Machen claims that judging by
>scientific standards, physical, biological, anthropological, that there
>would be no reason from the scientific record to suggest that he was
>anything other than a man. He even says
>"But I really do not think that there is much doubt but that, if His body
>as it was when He lived on earth were still somewhere upon earth--which, as
>a matter of fact, it is not- and if some archaeologist or geologist should
>discover remains of it in the rocks or in the soil, those remains would
>show the most thoroughgoing similarity to the bodily structure of previous

But in Genesis we are largely not dealing with spiritual matters but with the
creation of a physical world. I agree that we will never be able to
scientifically or observationally prove that Jesus was more than just a man.
His skeleton was indeed just like mine. But with the creation, with the
flood, these are physical events which should leave traces of what
And if God is revealing to Moses that He was the creator, you would expect
that the actual creator would know something about what actually happened and
would reveal some of it. Of course a false creator,as we say here in Texas,
wouldn't know spit.


Foundation,Fall and Flood