Science in Christian Perspective
Letter to the Editor
The Bible and Human Evolution
From: JASA 20 (June 1968): 61-62 Response by Horner
Although I am not qualified to be a member of the American Scientific Affiliation, I do receive the journal and find it extremely helpful and stimulating.
Because of my lack of scientific training, I hesitate to criticize with very much dogmatism; but I would like to mention some points in Mr. Horner's article, "The Bible and Human Evolution" which appear to me to be erroneous. I am not so sure of myself that I do not welcome correction so would appreciate such by Mr. Horner or some other qualified person.
1. The author states "Nor is the Bible clear in stating that Adam was the first man. In f act, the name 'Adam' first appears in Genesis 2:19 after the creation of 'male and female' in Gen. 1:27." 1 am not disrupting the possibility of a pre-Adamic race; but wonder if the reasons stated by the author are valid. The Hebrew word translated 'man' in Gen. 1:27 is the same word as is translated 'Adam' in Genesis 2:19 (actually a transliteration). Newer translations of the Bible correct this peculiarity which is found in the King James Version. Furthermore, Chapter 2 verse four connects the man created in 1:27 with the man found in chapter 2.
2. The author states, "Adam is not the first biological man. He is the first man carrying God's promise into the world." He supports this by suggesting that Cain could not have married his own sister. However, if there was a pre-Adamic race, it appears that it no longer existed since Eve received her name, "because she was the mother of all living." Romans 5:12-21 also indicates that Adam did more than just carry the promise; he passed on a sinful nature to all his descendants . . . all humanity.
3. After giving three kinds of organic change defined as evolution the author states that strictly speaking only "Quantum" (jumping gaps) is really evolution since it alone meets the definition of evolution which he says is ". . . the gradual development This appears to be contradictory.
4. He states that figure 3 shows some of the fossil evidence defined as man and their approximate dates". . . there is no doubt as to the veracity of these facts." Apart from catastrophism which seems to me to still be a possibility, considering the great variety of dates given to these fossils I question the accuracy of that statement. For example, Leaky places Australopithecines at 1,750,000 but Schenk (The History of Man) places him 600,000 to 400,000 (p.10). And, he seems a bit confused himself, for on Pp. 64,65 he puts them at 1,000,000.
Am I wrong in thinking that Wadjak I and II were found at the same level and lower than the original Pithecanthropus? If so, shouldn't we admit that dating Wadjak I and II at 10,000 and Pitbecanthropus at 700,000 could allow for some doubt?
While on the subject, I wonder if someone could recommend a good book which gives a good summary of most of these ancient gentlemen (including publisher). I have found Schenk and a number of other such books as very incomplete and confusing.
5. Mr. Homer assumes that tools is an evidence of being a Homo Sapiens. This is standard thinking; but I do remember a stimulating article a few years back in the A.S.A. journal which questioned this conclusion. Today I heard on the radio of teaching chimpanzees how to play "tic tac toe". It would seem that this is an area which could use more thought.
6. Again, another article indicated that the tools supposedly belonging to Zinjanthropus probably belonged to Homo Habilis who apparently feasted on Zinjanthropus. Mr. Horner said nothing about this and considered Zinjanthropus to be human. Why? Is there some new knowledge about the relation between Zinjantbropus and Homo Habilis?Frank Cole