Quest for the historical adam

Each of God’s creations was whole, complete and perfect. Mankind was one of these creations.

He created them male and female, with the power of language, each possessing a soul.

God has never created a half-creature. He did not create a ‘hominid’ or upright walking, human-looking, non-human nor cause it to evolve from apes.

The historical Adam could be located 6000 years ago in the Neolithic, or come from prehistory 750 000 years ago with Homo heidelbergensis, or be located at the origin of the genus Homo some 2-3 million years ago.

Primitive members of the genus Homo; Homo habilis, the tool-maker or Homo ignis (Homo erectus), the fire-maker may have looked slightly different to ourselves and have a low hair-line on the forehead, but these were full human beings. Even the oldest fossils of all belonging to the human line, when reconstructed with human features rather than ape features, come out looking human.

The status of early, primitive members of the human line, in the eyes of the Creator, was that of having the original perfection and dignity of Adam and Eve, although we know they fell.

Quest for the historical Adam

The first humans

Creation of at least one gene

Haven’t we all met someone who has said, ‘I can’t believe in Christianity or go to church because I believe in science’?

And what do we say?  We fumble about for some kind of answer – that we also believe in science – but then we appear to abandon our faith to some obscure private domain of irrationality.  Do we really sell the Good News to anybody with regards to science and faith?

I want to use these few words to present to you a new view of creation and a new understanding of evolution.  Genetics is the key to this new idea and Incarnation is the sign.

Science today tells us that everything has simply evolved.  No need of a Creator God.  No need of purpose, no meaning and no message.

Over the past 150 years the church has, by and large attenuated this stark conclusion by claiming that evolution was God’s method of creation.  Each Sunday we proclaim God as maker of heaven and earth, but it is unclear to most people what this means.

I had been studying science, genetics and biological evolution, and reflecting upon creation for 14 years when the Lord showed me the implications of the Incarnation: 

At the overshadowing of Mary by the Holy Spirit, God performed a miracle that allowed Jesus to be fully human and yet be born from a virgin.  Mary provided an egg that started to develop without fertilization from a human father.  This means that Mary provided all of Jesus’ DNA and all of his genes.  But there was one gene that no female can provide.  It is a gene on the Y chromosome called TDF.  If God had not directly created this one gene, TDF, as a minimum requirement, the Messiah would have been female, not male.

This shows – at least to us Christians – that God is able to create genetic codes – genes made of DNA.  I am not a six literal days Creationist, but I know this great truth: God created life. 

I propose that God created life by creating the genetic code at the microscopic, nanoscale level of cells.  This new way of seeing creation opens the way to a new understanding of evolution.  The science of genetics is now revealing – and this was not known before – that modification of traits through the processes of evolution is almost always based on mutations that switch off genes.  Mutation is error in the replication of DNA.  However, and this is the very big however – switched-off genes can sometimes bring about useful traits in the physical bodies of plants and animals.  When these new traits are useful, they are selected by natural selection.  The natural processes of evolution allow plants and animals to adapt, be modified and diversify into many different species. 

God does not create through error.  Mutation which is error simply modifies what God has created in perfection.

A new understanding of evolution shows that its source is in creation, and a new view of creation shows that life was created to adapt and evolve.  The genetics of the Incarnation shows that the genetic code within cells is the message, the message that carries life and the message that proclaims God as Creator. 

October 2018

Read more in the article ‘Genetics and the Incarnation’ on the Incarnation page of this website.

Job’s Dialogue with God

Job came from the land of Uz. He is probably Jobab mentioned as a younger son of Joktan in Genesis 10:26. If so he was a descendant of Noah via Shem who lived before the tower of Babel and before Abraham.

Uz was his grand father’s nephew, or some sort of second cousin twice removed (Uz appears in Genesis 10:23). Lands were named after tribal leaders.

Uz was located somewhere where the Sahara Desert is now found in North Africa. At the time, this land provided pastures for the herds of camels, sheep, oxen and donkeys which Job owned. He was a rich man.

In Job 6:15-17 Job makes reference to intermittent streams that flow from thawing ice and become torrents from melting snow. At the end of the Ice Age the climate of the Sahara was very different to what it is now. This shows how ancient the Book of Job really is. It may date from the earliest written texts of about 3200 BC.

The Book of Job gives a unique insight into life during the early Neolithic among the Semites and their strong faith in God prior to the time of the Patriarchs of Israel.

The story recounts a tale of woe: Job’s extensive herds of oxen, donkeys, sheep and camels were carried off in tribal raids and his servants were killed; then his brother’s house collapses on his sons and daughters killing them as they were feasting; finally Job is afflicted with an unsightly disease of sores. Satan who appears in the story says to God that Job will curse Him to His face when his own body is struck. Job’s wife says to him, “Curse God and die.”

The rough time that Job is experiencing gets even rougher when his friends pass judgment upon him saying he only has himself to blame for the suffering in his life. Job will not concede that this is the case. Job will not admit guilt and holds onto his integrity.

The book of Job is mainly about understanding God’s justice, but it is also the context of one of the most ancient references to God as Creator. At this time people thought that God clothed Himself with the clouds of the storm, throwing lightning to the earth like spears and spoke with the voice of thunder. This is voiced by Elihu in his discourse in Job chapter 37.

god speaks to job from the storm and out of the thunder

God answered Job from out of the storm. This is a paraphrase of Job:38-42: God thunders:

Who is this that darkens my counsel with words devoid of understanding? Stand up and brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me.

Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth, when the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?

Have you ever given orders to the morning, or shown the dawn its place? Have you comprehended the vast expanses of the earth?  Tell me if you know all this?  What is the way to the abode of light?  And where does darkness reside?

Can you bind the beautiful Pleiades?  Can you loose the cords of Orion?  Can you bring forth the constellations in their seasons, or lead out the Bear with its cubs?  Do you know the laws of the heavens?  Can you set up God’s dominion over the earth?

God mocks Job and asks him, were you born when I created all these things? He goes on, who endowed the heart with wisdom or gave understanding to the mind?

The Lord finishes his discourse saying, will the one who contends with the Almighty correct him? Let him who accuses God answer him.

Then Job answered the Lord: I am unworthy – how can I reply to you?  I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted.  Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know.  My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.

It ends with the Lord saying that Job’s three friends had not spoken of Him what is right, while Job had. Job is ordered to make sacrifices on their behalf to obtain forgiveness. After this Job is restored to health and prosperity, coming to own twice what he had before, and has seven more sons and three daughters.

The book of Job is an extraordinary book of drama, poetry, observations of nature and truth about God and the human condition.

I wish to conclude with the thought that none of us were there.  Nobody witnessed creation nor saw the Beginning.  But someone was there; God was present, the Creator of the universe.  He alone knows how creation happened.  He alone has power to create.  He brought matter out of nothing and created life from non-life.  

God alone saw creation as it unfurled. We cannot comprehend the fundamental things unless God reveals His purposes to us. Humility is the condition required for the gaining of knowledge and the understanding of things. To find wisdom let us seek it with the One who does know the answers to our questions.