Monday, March 23, 2015

The origin of human beings: One Adam or many "adams"

Last Sunday someone asked a great question about whether Adam could have been just one of many early people on earth--in other words, the idea that humankind did not all originate from Adam but from many "adams.'  Below is a slightly edited version of my e-mailed response:

You asked whether Adam could have been just one of many early people on earth.
The idea that "Adam" was just one of many does not come from the Bible but from science. 

Most scientists operate from the philosophical presupposition that if God exists at all, he would never involve himself in human events. They, therefore, believe that any idea of God must be completely ruled out of any scientific inquiry (In other words, IF God had anything to do with the origin of life, most scientists would never know about it because they have ruled God out their research as a matter of methodology).

These scientists conclude that if life just happened to originate from non-living material in one instance, there is no reason it couldn't have done so independently in multiple instances.

To say that this hypothesis is scientifically flawed is a huge understatement. That is because even the very simplest organism (one-cell organisms) are so incredibly complex it is scientifically impossible for them to have evolved in only 15 billion years (the supposed age of the universe). I once read that even the simplest one-cell organism is more complicated in some ways than a modern computer!

Even the DNA in those single-celled organisms is too complex to have originated and evolved in 15 billion years just by chance and random selection alone-the DNA is quite literally similar to a chemical computer code. This was the conclusion of a world-renowned atheist philosopher named Antony Flew. He eventually came to the conclusion that atheism was scientifically impossible (he hasn't become a Christian yet-he's still looking for an explanation).

There is another philosopher who is also a scientist who studied the origin of life at Cambridge University-one of the most prestigious universities in the world. He studied every single theory of the origin of life ever proposed and concluded that not a single one of them is scientifically valid-ALL of them are flawed. None of them can adequately explain the origin of life from a purely naturalistic (i.e. ruling out God) perspective.

All this doesn't prove God did it, of course, but it does give scientific reason to believe that the origin of a single living creature on earth is extremely improbable if not outright scientifically impossible. And if that is true, the independent origin of multiple living creatures is exponentially impossible!

Some of us, therefore, choose to believe the Bible's explanation over science's deeply flawed explanations. And the Bible is very clear-in Genesis and elsewhere (e.g. Romans 5)-that all human life came from Adam who was created directly by God

Anyway, I guess the bottom line with regard to Adam and Eve and the origin of life is that I could 1) believe some scientific theory that many scientists and philosophers argue is scientifically impossible, 2) believe the Bible's explanation that God created a human being in his image and all others came from that one or 3) throw up my hands and say we just don't know.

In my humble opinion, the first option takes more faith than I have. The third option is an honest option but is, I think, a head-in-the sand approach. The second option makes the most sense to me.

If you'd like to read more, I've written some short articles on my blog about science and the origin of life: