Re: The origin of scientific thinking

Glenn R. Morton (
Sun, 30 May 1999 09:24:24 -0500

Hi Moorad,

Moorad Alexanian wrote:
> I have not followed the details of the origin of intelligence discussion,
> but isn't the major difference between Scripture and evolutionary theory
> that whereas in the former there may be a degradation of human behavior and,
> perhaps, intellect while in the latter it is totally the opposite? It seems
> to me that Scripture makes it clear that man was in the very presence of God
> and was able to communicate with Him. If true, we have come a long way from
> that situation to the present one where now man wonders why God is hiding
> behind the creation so silently.

What Scripture is clear about is that God created Adam and Eve special.
Concerning the rest I would suggest that you are reading into the
Scripture what isn't there. Scripture makes absolutely no statement
whatsoever about the intelligence of Adam and Eve (were they Einsteins,
common folk or even mentally inferior to us). It makes no statement
about their language ability level (did they speak on a 5 year old
levele an 8 year old level a 30 year old level?) And the Bible never
makes a statement about the degradation of human intellect although the
fall certainly affected our behavior.

Concerning the intelligence, all that was required for moral
accountability was an ability to understand consequences. Two weeks
ago I attended the funeral of my wife's 66-year-old severely mentally
retarded uncle. Ernie operated on a 3-4 year old level. He loved the
Lord, prayed daily, served in his church, asked forgiveness when he
sinned etc. In short, Ernie had all the intelligence necessary for
moral accountability. So, one can't use this as a criterion to crank the
intellectual level of Adam and Eve up to Einstein's level.

Concerning language ability. The bible makes no statement about how
much language was requrired. Modern primitive peoples have about 5000
words in their languages. THat is all. The primitive languages have
fewer nouns. (Michael C. Corballis, The Lopsided Ape, (New York: Oxford
University Press, 1991), p. 153-154) Modern English dictionaries have
on average around 63,000 words. I have an unabridged dictionary which
has 2128 pages each with 3 columns and each column contains an average
of 32 words. This works out to around 200,000 words. At what point in
this language skill does a person become human?

Because of these considerations I do not believe it is at all within the
Scriptural confines to require an initial high level of intellectual
ability followed by a decline. Adam may very well have been less than we
are intellectually, but before the fall he was our moral superior;
afterwards he was our moral equal.


Foundation, Fall and Flood
Adam, Apes and Anthropology