Re: Accepting Genesis 1 as scientific truth

David Campbell (
Fri, 28 May 1999 15:35:10 -0400

We may not be defining TE in exactly the same way, so I should clarify. I
am using it to refer to someone who accepts the truth of the Bible and
believes that God's primary method of creation of organisms can be
described as evolution. I am not referring to theological liberalism,
which rejects the absolute authority of the Bible.

>You seem to imply that 'science' is, somehow, an essential component of
>'truth'. Generations of scientists who were also men of faith had no
>problem with Genesis 1. They accepted it as revealed truth.

So do TEs. The question is not whether Genesis 1-11 is true or
authoritative. Rather, the question is what information does God intend
for us to learn from it.

>I am intrigued by this statement! In my view, the unopposed claims of
>evolution have created many problems for Christians. For example, a real
>Adam who fell appears to be an essential component of Paul's theology.
>Again, the genealogy provided by Dr.Luke (Lk.3) takes us back through
>Adam directly to God (Lk.3:38)! How are you TEs to explain these

Several TEs do not explain them away. There are two ways to incorporate an
individual couple, named Adam and Eve, into a TE system. One option is to
assume that they were the physical as well as spiritual ancestors of all
humans. The evidence is quite strong that God created our bodies through
"natural" processes, as the biochemical similarities with other primates
are quite strong (including many non-functional similarities). Adam and
Eve would be the first individuals of a new species, endowed by God with a
spiritual nature.

Another possibility is to have Adam chosen out of an existing population of
individuals who were physically human. This idea is not confined to TEs;
it was suggested in the 1650's if not earlier, based on Paul's arguments.
As the second Adam was not the physical ancestor of anyone though the
spiritual ancestor of many, Paul's analogies would hold up. Adam would
thus be a kind of "first Abraham", being called out of his surroundings.

Those that do explain them away would see Adam as a figure for humanity.
Such an interpretation is more difficult to reconcile with the text, but

>No, I am reasonably happy with my original statement [science as a god].
>>Encouraged by its practitioners, by the media, and by the multitude of
>>technical wonders it has spawned, science has become a hallowed thing in the
>>minds of the people.

I think it is more often its popularizers, the media, and the wondrs of
technology that promote "science can achieve everything" claims. Most
practicioners of science are aware of its limitations, at least in their
own field. Also, such claims tend more to make us gods or to make science
our tool to make ourselves gods, rather than idolizing science itself.

>Yes, I am aware of such a translation, but - because in the view of many
>scholars, it is forced - regard it as a sop to the TE. Does Speiser
>elaborate on the matter of an ex-nihilo creation?

TEs, as defined above, all believe in creation ex nihlo, as the Bible
clearly asserts that all things were created by God. It is creation of
individual items ex nihlo after the initiation of creation that they would
tend to question.

>I have already drawn David's attention to the fact that our Lord (and
>Creator) appeared to believe (and taught) that what was written in the
>early chapters of Genesis was to be accepted as true. Have you not
>considered that, from the beginning, he has foreseen the current efforts
>to discredit the Gospel, and has taken the appropriate action? Don't you
>find it interesting that every word of Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek is also
>fairly interpretable as a number? These phenomena surely serve to
>elevate rather than depress. I really think you should examine them
>carefully before coming to erroneous conclusions.

I accept it as true as well; I do not accept the young-earth
interpretations of it as correct.

David C.