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The Bible and Science:
Origins of Man
One of the great conflicts between the Bible and anthropology is the origin of man. Was man created 6,000 years ago by God, or did he evolve over millions of years? Let's look at the evidence. Dating methods show that the earth and man are older than 6,000 years.
Lived about 3.9 - 3.0 million years ago.
Lived about 2.5 - 2.0 million years ago.
There is a gradual increase in the brain cavity, from Australopithecus 450-500 cubit centimeters (cc) to Neanderthal with 1500-1600 cc. which is more than triple in size.
Evolution means change over time. We see this everywhere. Language is changing (Old English to Modern English), computers are changing, the earth is changing, and the universe is changing. Life itself is changing. Bacteria that once was stopped by penicillin has now evolved to be resistant to penicillin. Man himself is changing.
The Bible itself seems to declare this. In Genesis 1:11 God commands, "Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed" God does not directly create the plants.
Verse 12 "the earth brought forth grass" This seems to be a clear statement of evolutionary process from scripture.
In Genesis 1:20 God commands, "Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life" The waters bring forth life. God does not directly create them.
In Genesis 1:24 God commands, "Let the earth bring forth the living creature after its kind" Again the earth not God brings forth life.
Most admit that "kind" does not mean "species," but a larger grouping, and this is only after they are brought forth or evolved by the earth. It would be better to translate "kind" as "all sorts of." All sorts of plants and animals were brought forth from the earth.
Language is evolving
There are three major groups of languages from which all other languages have originated, except Sumerian. They are named after the three sons of Noah, Japheth, Shem, and Ham (Genesis 10:1).
Tower of Babel
According to the Bible, it was at the Tower of Babel when God changed man's language (2300 BC?), but there is no evidence for this. There were different languages before this time, and new languages have evolved after this time. It is more likely that the story of Babel reflects an influx of foreigners into southern Mesopotamian through war and peace times (Fischer, Dick. 1996. The Origins Solution. Lima: Fairway Press, 341). There is a similar legend in Sumerian about one language (Kramer, Samuel Noah. 1959. History Begins At Sumer. Garden City: Doubleday, 222).
Languages have evolved after Babel
From Latin the five Romance languages of today have evolved:
Even English has drastically evolved from Old English to Modern English. See if you can read Old English?
History of the English language.
Old English 499-1100 AD.
Matthew 6:9 "faeder ure bu be eart on heofonum, Si bin nama gehalgod."
Middle English 1100-1500 AD.
Matthew 6:9 "Oure fadir that art in heuenes , halewind be thi name."
Early Modern English 1500-1800 AD.
Matthew 6:9 "Our father which art in heauen, hallowed be thy name."
See if you can read the original KJV 1611.
Modern English 1800-Today.
The Bible has Evolved
The Bible was formed over a period of about 1,000 years or more. The books of the Bible have been written, complied, edited, updated, copied, and reorganized into the Bible we have today.
The Dead Sea Scrolls
The Dead Sea Scrolls give evidence for the Bible's evolution. Manuscripts from the Dead Sea Scrolls like 4Q Samuel has fewer vowel letters than later Masoretic texts. The spelling stems from the post-Exilic period (after the 6th century). Early texts from the time of Moses would have no vowel letters. Vowel letters began around the 9th to 8th centuries BC.
The Dead Sea Scrolls (DSS) like the magnificent Isaiah scroll closely follow the MT (Masoretic Text), but there are a few exceptions. For example, Psalm 136 is an alphabetical psalm. Each verse begins with the next letter in the alphabet, but "N" verse is missing in the MT and KJV. In the DSS it is there, so somehow a scribe left this verse out.
There are a number of addition Psalms in the DSS than in our Bible. Psalms 1-89 are basically the same are ours in the DSS (Psalm 32, and 70 are absent). From Psalm 91 on there are radical differences in arrangement, and/or in different Psalms that have never been seen before (Psalm 90 is not preserved). There are a total of 15 different Psalms which are not included in our present Bible, nine of which were completely unknown. None of the Psalm scrolls found has our present day arrangement of the Book of Psalms.
Another important difference is in the Book of Samuel where it varies widely and frequently from the Masoretic Text. 4QSama preserves a number of superior readings that help correct errors in the Masoretic Text (DSS Bible, 213).
One dramatic example is in I Samuel 11 where the MT and KJV left out the first paragraph. The Longer reading in the DSS explains what happens in this chapter. It says:
"Nahash king of the Ammonites oppressed the Gadites and the Reubenites viciously. He put out the right eye of all of them and brought fear and trembling on Israel. Not one of the Israelites in the region beyond the Jordan remained whose right eye Nahash king of the Ammonites did not put out, except seven thousand men who escaped from the Ammonites and went to Jabesh-gilead" (The Dead Sea Scroll Bible translated by Abegg, Flint, and Ulrich page 225). Then verse one of I Samuel 11 starts.
It seems that the Qumran community viewed the Book of Enoch and the Book of Jubilee as scripture (DSS Bible 1999, xvii).
The book order of the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Bible is different.
The Septuagint, LXX
The LXX gives evidence for the Bible's evolution. The Book of Jeremiah is 13% shorter than in our present Bible. This is also true in some of the DDS (4QJerband 4QJerd). There are also variant readings that reflect a different text type.
I remember having to translate a section of the LXX Jeremiah. I could clearly tell where a different translator started and stopped his translation by his style.
Ancient seals give evidence for the Bible's evolution especially in the spelling of names. There are two bullae (impression made by a seal) that are from Jeremiah's secretary "Baruch son of Neriyahu the scribe" (Jeremiah 36:32). The bullae say: (belonging) to Berechyahu son of Neriyahu the scribe"(COS, vol.2, 197 or 2.70). Note the longer spelling of the name of Baruch. Berechyahu means "YHWH has blessed" (Ibid.). Even "Yahu" is a shortened form of YHWH.
The designs of the royal seals from Hezekiah? are clearly borrowed from the Egyptians.
(Picture from the University of Penn Museum)
Theology has evolved
Even in the very fundamentalist schools that I attended, they were taught progressive revelation. God progressively revealed himself. Yet they will get upset if you say progressive creation. The theology of progressive revelation is a 20th century idea (Darwin's influence??).
Even down through the ages one can see the evolution of theology, from the simple creeds of the early church to the Summa Theologiae of Thomas Aquinas in the Middle Ages to Calvin's Institutes of the Reformation.
Churches have changed drastically in just the few years that I have lived. The churches that are thriving are those that are able to adapt. Calvary Chapels and Willow Creek ministries are examples.
Technology is Changing
I remember growing up during the great space race to the moon. I prayed that the US would make it to the moon first. I saw a picture of a future space shuttle, and thought this would never fly. Now the Hubble Space Telescope is making many new discoveries. The computer was what could only fit into a large room. Now there are portable hand held ones.
The Earth is changing
The seashore is eroding. Islands are rising and sinking. The ozone layer is shrinking.
The Universe is changing
Once Mars had lots of water. We can see stars forming, and stars dying. We can see stars in their different stages of evolution. We can see black holes sucking in stars and galaxies. We can peer back in time to the very edge of creation with cosmic background radiation left over from the Big Bang. The Universe is continuing to expand in size.
Life itself is evolving
The rocks of the earth give fossil evidence for how life has changed over millions of years. Man is not found in the Cambrian Period, or the Mesozoic Era, but millions of years later in the Pleistocene Epoch.
By Jonathan Wells
His Website: http://www.iconsofevolution.com/
What I Found Shocking:
What I found shocking was that Jonathan Wells is a follower of Rev. Moon. Some of his writings about Rev. Moon are posted on the Unification Church's web site. See The Words of the Wells Family.
Reviews of Icons of Evolution
- Don Lindsay's List of Reviews
- An Iconoclast for Evolution? Review from Larry D. Miller for World and I, February 1, 2001.
- Should Students Be Taught the Truth about Evolution? Wells' Response to Miller.
Darwin was born February 12, 1809 in England. In 1831 he went on a five year survey voyage around the world on the H.M.S. Beagle. One important stop was the Galapagos Islands. The data collected from this expedition provided the basis for his theory of natural selection.
|The Darwin Legend by James Moore, Baker, 1994.|
- Darwin's book Origin of the Species was published in 1859.
- Darwin's book Descent of Man was published in 1871.
Did Darwin covert on his death bed?
There is a tract that keeps circulating around with the story from Lady Hope that Darwin converted to Christ on his death bed. This story is not true. For the full story see the book The Darwin Legend by James Moore, 1994.