Re: The Origins Solution

From: Dick Fischer (
Date: Sun Oct 07 2001 - 22:45:54 EDT

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    Vernon Jenkins wrote:

    >Having read the Introduction and Chapters 3 and 4 of your book "The
    >Origins Solution" the following matters are now clear to me:
    >(1) You are convinced (as are many on this list) that the findings of
    >science confirm beyond doubt the fact of evolution - and it is with
    >considerable zeal that you have set out to impart this 'truth' to others.

    Unfortunately, there isn't just one commonly accepted definition. If we
    define it simply as "descent with modification," where is the complaint?
    Maybe you should tell us how you define it.

    You may have noticed that I am critical of Darwin's idea of gradualism,
    and that "punctuated equilibrium" better fits the fossil record. Also, it
    does appear that organisms are able to adapt to environmental changes
    and may pass these adaptations to their offspring such that genetic
    change may not be quite as random as has been presumed.

    But I think there is enough genetic evidence to make the case that
    human beings do appear to be connected to the phyletic tree of life.
    That's the part that some Christians may find unpalatable, but I think
    the sooner we concede that aspect of the theory of evolution the sooner
    we will shed unworkable creationist explanations and start looking for
    better solutions such as the one I advocate.

    >What troubles me with this whole agenda is your manipulation of the
    >concept of 'special revelation'. Surely, by definition, this is a fixed
    >and inviolable body of information that the Creator has graciously
    >provided for our edification - information that we could obtain in no
    >other way. So the logic of the situation for the Christian is that it is
    >science that must yield to this revealed truth - and not vice-versa!

    Perhaps you are aware that I, unlike the majority of those on this list,
    regard the Old Testament as an inerrant revelation of God. I get criticized
    for that. The reason there appears to be discrepancies between what we
    have understood the Bible to say and what we have learned through
    scientific discovery is due largely to accumulated errors in Old Testament
    transmission, translation and interpretation.

    What I focus on is Genesis 1-11, and point out that we have largely
    missed the boat because some of our underlying assumptions were
    wrong. We assumed Adam was presented in Genesis as the first of
    our species where it is far more probable that Moses was telling the
    children of Israel the history of their people beginning with Adam who
    lived in southern Mesopotamia about 7000 years ago.

    Adam was not the first of the human race, he was the first of the Jewish
    race and their offshoots. A small difference perhaps, but it makes a lot
    of difference how we understand certain phrases.

    The "image of God, "fountains of the deep," "the whole earth was of one
    language," don't mean what we have traditionally believed when placed in
    local context. Adam was a representative of God, his son Seth came to
    represent his father. The "deep" referred to any body of water in Sumerian
    and Accadian writings, and "fountains" pertains to irrigation. And the tower
    builders were engrossed in one topic of conversation.

    It is not that Scripture is in error. The early Christian fathers, and
    indeed the
    King James translators placed Genesis 1-11 in the context of what they
    assumed, that Adam was the first human being, that the flood enveloped
    the entire earth, and that all the worlds spoken languages began at Babel.

    It is only through scientific discovery and the unearthing of historical
    evidence that it is now possible to understand the meanings of Genesis
    that have been there all along had we only recognized it.

    >To parody the words of one of our current generation of sages: "The
    >simple acceptance of God's revelation enables one to be an
    >intellectually-fulfilled Christian and YEC."

    My article, "Young-Earth Creationism - A Literal Mistake" has been
    accepted for publication in PSCF. I think you will be interested to learn
    that not only does YEC ignore science and history, it even runs afoul
    of the Bible - when taken literally. It will be interesting to me to see what
    YECs will cling to when stripped of the very Bible they profess.

    Dick Fischer - The Origins Solution -
    "The answer we should have known about 150 years ago"

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