Re: Dating Adam

Terry M. Gray (
Thu, 23 May 1996 13:50:55 -0400

Glenn wrote:

>Unfortunately, Paul, your friend's suggestion is about as workable as
>saying that the speed of light has changed because it ignores a whole lot
>of evidence for human activity prior to the advent of anatomically modern
>humans. It also ignores the fact that when anatomically modern humans
>first appear, they do nothing different for many millenia than the older
>populations were doing. Evidence of human activity gradually appears in
>the fossil record long before the appearance of anatomically modern

[List of pre-anatomically modern humans' human behaviors excised.]

Glenn and I have discussed this in the past and I guess have decided to
simply disagree, but I thought I'd toss out this point again for the sake
of discussion and for others to comment on.

All modern humans are members of the the same species -- homo sapiens. The
consensus seems to be that the multi-regional theory of orgins is wrong and
that all modern humans descend from some common small ancestral population
(Eve hypothesis--dating and location is controversial, but is irrelevant to
my point). This conclusion is primarily derived from genetic data. I
think that Glenn would agree with me.

Glenn seems to have a problem with having human behaviors -- tool making,
weapon making, speech, art, burial rites, etc. present in "non-image of God
bearing" beings. Some of his resistance to a recent Adam and Eve (recent
in my book is within the past 100,000 years) seems to stem from this

I have no problem with the pre-humans displaying human-like behaviors. I
see no reason not to expect it given the full complexity of what it means
to be a human being and a human being in the image of God. I have no
problem saying that modern homo sapiens, all deriving from the ancestral
small population (among whom were Adam and Eve), ALONE bear the image of

I believe that Glenn errs in cast the net of image-bearing too widely and
that he doesn't allow for "anticipatory" properties and behaviors. This
unnecessarily rules out the possibility of correlating the events of
Genesis 2ff. with the origin of anatomically modern man. From a
genetic/biological perspective such a correlation makes a great deal of
sense and is not incompatible with much of Biblical theology.

Terry G.

Terry M. Gray, Ph.D. Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Calvin College 3201 Burton SE Grand Rapids, MI 40546
Office: (616) 957-7187 FAX: (616) 957-6501

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