Appropriate Humility about Human Origins
A section in HUMAN EVOLUTION: SCIENCE & THEOLOGY explains why "our humility should be appropriate — not too little, not too much," and includes brief excerpts from three authors. Below you can see their full concluding statements.
John Bloom, in a Survey
of Human Origins:
In conclusion, it is worth noting that both science and theology benefit from the tensions that arise when the interpretations of the data from each field conflict. Neither field can claim to be an absolute guide to truth apart from the other: Theology learned from its geocentric/heliocentric debates with the natural sciences to be cautious in its interpretations, because some biblical language is phenomenological, just as many idioms of regular speech are. Likewise science learned to be cautious in its metaphysical presuppositions when it became clear that the universe is not eternal but appears to be created, something Christian theologians have argued for hundreds of years. In the case of human origins, no obvious resolution of the tension between the models seems possible at present. By watching for blind spots in our presuppositions, double-checking the validity of our data and seeking more of it, perhaps we can arrive at a consensus that is more charitable to all.
David Wilcox, in "Finding Adam: The Genetics of Human Origins" (Chapter
11 in Perspectives on an Evolving Creation):
I want to close by pointing out that it is in this sort of situation where the "rubber really meets the road" in questions of faith and science. The question is the matter of data. Good theology cannot call James "an epistle of straw" when the verses don't fit its theological model. Likewise, good science cannot neglect data that do not fit its theoretical model. It must include and explain everything, or it must leave room for mystery. So, in this case, should I cobble together an "integrative" solution to resolve the tension, or should I wait on the Lord to resolve the issue in his own time through more data? Clearly the Lord knows the answer to these questions. I don't. If I have the faith to walk in obedience, should I be willing to wait with unresolved questions? Or should I insist on an immediate answer? What do you think?
Terry Gray, in "Biochemistry and Evolution" (Chapter 12 in
Perspectives on an Evolving Creation):
Finally, some words are in order concerning the origin of man. The arguments for evolution given above fully include human beings in the macro-evolutionary picture. There is nothing in the biology or biochemistry of Homo sapiens that would suggest that our origin is not explained by this same evolutionary explanation. However, the biblical account of man's origin seems to suggest a rather unique origin of humanity, both physically and spiritually, that would put man outside of this process. Personally, I have to admit that I have not settled this question in my own mind. I think the evolutionary conclusion is the best explanation of the evidence from an examination of the creation itself. On the other hand, I feel the exegetical force of the argument from Scripture that says otherwise. I am content to remain in a state of cognitive dissonance until further clarity comes my way.
footnote 35. Theologians in my tradition, such as B.B. Warfield, have been open to the possibility that man's body could have evolutionary origins but that his soul was specially created in the creation of Adam and Eve. Others have not been open to that possibility. For example, in commenting on the creation of Adam in Gen. 2:7, John Murray wrote, "That which constituted man as man also constituted him as a living creature." He argued that this precluded any sort of animal ancestry of man, even if you restricted it to his body.