'Adam and Eve' - Could The Evolutionists Possibly be Wrong and the The Creationists Right ?!
Adam and Eve???
Creation and Intelligent Design - Correct???
Creationists believe that God designed and created ~ well, that He designed and created everything.
In the case of Christian Creationists, they believe that this occurred just as described in the Holy Bible ~ in the Book of Genesis.
They believe that 'Genesis' provides a combination of 'history' and 'science'!
Even some highly educated and highly qualified scientists believe this ~ and a scientific gloss has been placed on this religious belief ~ it is often called 'Intelligent Design.
I have to say here, right at the beginning, that I, personally, accept evolutionary theory as true ~ but many people feel that they have good arguments against it, so, I am going to ask an important question:
~ Is it at all possible that the creationists could have got it right?
'Was Darwin Wrong?' - Documentary
The National Geographic Channel recently aired an hour-long documentary, entitled:
~ 'Was Darwin Wrong?'.
The programme addressed a number of points, put forward by Creationists, as evidence against evolution.
I will address the contents in another hub.
First: The Bible
What does the Book of Genesis actually tell us ~ and what can we make of it?
I am most interested in the supposed origins of life.
I shall be examining parts of the Book of Genesis
~ Chapters 1 and 2.
Since it is in the public domain, I shall concentrate on the King James Version, but shall make comparisons, where useful, with other translations.
Genesis 1 - Creation of The Universe:
'In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep .......'
The idea that there was 'nothing' ~ and out of this 'nothing', 'everything' was created, corresponds, loosely, with ‘The Big Bang Theory’ ~ a theory, originally proposed by a Christian ~ a Roman Catholic priest.
The Evolution of Plants
Wikipedia provides information on the evolution of plants.
Plant evolution resulted in ‘increasing levels of complexity’. The earliest ‘plants’ named are ‘algal mats’. ‘Evidence suggests that an algal scum formed on the land 1,200 million years ago’.
Wikipedia notes that ‘it was not until the Ordovician period, around 450 million years ago, that land plants appeared.’ Bryophytes were very early, non-vascular, land plants. They reproduced via spores, so did not produce either flowers or seeds. ‘Lycopodiophyta’ is the ‘oldest extant vascular plant’, having appeared around 410 million years ago. They reproduce by shedding spores.
It was not until the mid-Devonian period that plants with leaves, roots and secondary wood appeared ~ and seeds did not evolve until the late Devonian. (The Devonian lasted from 416 – 359.2 million years ago, so the middle point would have been around 388 million years ago.)
Gymnosperms (eg conifers, cycads, gnetales and gingko) and angiosperms (flowers) are the seed-bearing plants. Of these two, Gymnosperms came first.
‘Ferns first appear in the fossil record 360 million years ago in the Carboniferous’
It appears that flowering plants started to evolve in the Triassic period ~ around 200 million years ago ~ and, about 130 – 140 million years ago ‘flower-like structures first appear in the fossil records’. The important characteristics of flowering plants include ‘flowers, endosperm within the seeds, and fruits that contain the seeds’.
Grasses were the latest major plant group to evolve, becoming important about 40 million years ago ~ in the mid Tertiary.
Genesis 1 - Creation of Plant Life:
'God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.
'the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
'And the evening and the morning were the third day.'
Evolutionists agree that plant-life inhabited our Earth before animal life did.
According to Richard Dawkins, ‘425 million years ago .. plants were colonising the land.’
But these would have been very simple plants ~ not fruit trees!
How does the New International Version 2010 version translate this Bible extract?
'God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds”.'
This is not quite in accordance with the evidence.
Relatively early 'vegetation' ~ yes (but not at the beginning of time).
And seed- and fruit- bearing plants were certainly not amongst the very earliest ones.
However, they would have been the ones grown ~ important ones for food ~ at the time that the Bible was written.
Bryophytes: Anthoceros + Moss
Genesis 1 - Creation of Animal Life of the Sea and the Air:
'God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.
'And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.
'And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.'
The NIV, 2011 says:
'God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.”
'So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the fifth day.'
Rather than 'whales' or 'great creatures of the sea', the New American Standard Bible has: 'great sea monsters'.
The Bible tells us that on God's fifth day he created the creatures of the sea and the air. The implication is that these were the first ever 'animals'. Certainly evolution agrees that the first Earth creatures were sea creatures, but the fossil record tells us that only very simple organisms existed in the earliest times.
The earliest creatures did not include whales, for example. Whales are mammals and, though they, like the rest of us, originated, ultimately, in the sea, they actually evolved from land creatures ~ and the fossil evidence exists to prove this.
The NIV does not mention 'whales' ~ this is intriguing, since the Bible should be the straightforward true word of God, yet here are two different translations. This is very confusing!
Any more alternatives?
According to the New American Standard Bible, God created 'great sea monsters'.
As for flying creatures, there is evidence for relatively early flying insects ~ but not right at the beginning of life on Earth.
As for 'fowl', fossil evidence proves that birds came along much later.
The Whale and One Of Its Hippo-Like Ancestors
Genesis 1 - Creation of Animal Life of the Land (Non-Human)
'God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.
'And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.'
This was, supposedly, on God's sixth day ~ and we do not know how long a Biblical day was supposed to last. Cattle definitely arrived much later than primitive life.
However, it would appear that day six refers to all of the land creatures (as opposed to those of sea and air ~ which were, apparently, created the previous day).
Out of all of the animals, which have ever lived on Earth, only cattle are named. Why would this be?? ~ Possibly because they were important to the men who wrote the Bible.
But what about mammoths and dinosaurs? What about the myriad other creatures ~ like gigantic sloths, for example?
I am guessing that the author of Genesis wrote what he knew ~ and he did not know about extinct or foreign creatures. If God had created these creatures, then he would have known about them, and if the Bible were the word of God, then he would have included them
Genesis 1 - Creation of Animal Life ~ Human:
'God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
'God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. ...... And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.'
Richard Dawkins on Evolution
On the sixth day, after God had already created cattle and creeping things, he, apparently, went on to create beings to have dominion over them ~ humans.
Humans do seem to have dominion over the Earth ~ but this has not always been the case. At one stage, centuries ago, man almost became extinct.
A world where man has dominion over cattle is a relatively recent one. Man the farmer is not an ancient phenomenon.
If God created man ~ Homo sapiens ~ then this would have been a nomadic hunter-gatherer, who competed for food with other wild animals.
The Genesis description of man, and his relationship with animals, equates with the time when the Bible was written ~ not when 'man' first appeared on Earth.
Furthermore, one has to ask which 'man' was created at this time? Was it Homo Sapiens, or was it one of his ancestors?
What about Homo neanderthalensis ~ Neanderthal man?
How does he fit into this scenario?
And what about Homo ergastor? Or Homo habilis?
According to Creationists*, one species cannot give birth to, or turn into, another ~ so where do these other 'men' come from?
The Bible does not deal with this matter at all.
(Evolutionists* do not believe that creatures turn into, or give birth to, totally different creatures, either, by the way!)
'God Created Man'
Adam and Eve
Genesis 2 - Creation of Animal Life ~ Human: Creation of Adam and Eve
Creation of Adam and Eve
Thus the heavens and the earth were finished ... And on the seventh day God ended his work ... and he rested .......
... every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew ... and there was not a man to till the ground. ...
... God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. ........
'LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet ... And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field ... Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet ...
'And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam ... and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh .... And the rib ... made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.'
John Gribbin - 'Stardust'
In Genesis chapter 2, we seem to have a second creation story.
This one implies that 'man' was created after the seventh day, rather than on the sixth day.
However ~ it could just be a summary of what had, supposedly, already happened.
Since it only confuses matters, though, one wonders why it had to be included, or, at least, why it could not have been clearer. The Bible is, supposedly, inspired by God, so why did God make it so confusing?
NIV, 2011 states:
'Now no shrub had yet appeared on the earth and no plant had yet sprung up ... and there was no one to work the ground'.
The word 'yet' could indicate that this is looking back over the same story. However, it is not clear and one would expect God's word to be clear.
In Genesis 1, we have;
'God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them'
In Genesis 2, we have:
'God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.'
'God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet .... and the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam ... and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh .... And the rib ... made he a woman'
Certainly, man is made up of the same minerals as his planet, so, symbolically, humans are, indeed, made 'from' the earth or dust of our planet. John Gribbin states that we are 'stardust'.
However, the idea that man was physically moulded from earth by a God who breathed life into him sounds highly unlikely. As an allegory, it could be fine, but as reality, it is less acceptable.
God Created ....
Steve Jones - Geneticist
The 'Creation story', found in the Bible, sounds like the attempt of an early people to answer the age-long human question: Where do I come from?
If 'the beginning' was 'the beginning' then, of course, there would be a 'nothing' with the potential to be 'something'. Story-tellers probably came up with myths to explain and entertain ~ and the oral history was eventually written down. By this time ~ and in the hands of a good writer ~ it became the beautifully poetic story that we recognise today. A similar pattern occurred in many tribes.
Beautiful, and symbolically adequate, but not scientifically correct.
Fruit trees did not blossom at the beginning of time and cattle were not kept by humans at the beginning of time. What we have here is a description of what this tribe knew and what was important to them. Cattle provided milk and meat. Fruit and seeds provided nourishment ~ and also the possibility to grow new crops.
Dinosaurs, megaladons, mammoths and mastodons and giant sloths were unknown to these people ~ so are not mentioned. But, if God had created them, then they would not have been unknown to him ~ and the Bible is supposed to be the very word of God, or, at least, inspired by God ~ so this omission does not make sense.
As for the 'creation' of people, the idea that man was moulded out of clay and then 'magically' turned into a living being is the stuff of fairy tales and ancient myths. It is reminiscent of Pinocchio's story. It is not something that would ~ or should ~ be found in a science book ~ or, indeed, a school science lesson.
And the likelihood of a woman being made from a man's rib is even more unbelievable. Creationists find it hard to accept that humans are related to apes ~ whom we resemble ~ yet find it perfectly acceptable to believe that a human rib turned into the first woman.
Of course, if God exists and is omnipotent, then anything is possible, but, if he did this ~ created all creatures more-or-less together, by moulding them from clay ~ then why did he leave us so much evidence in favour of evolution?
And science shows us ~ evolutionary science and genetics ~ that there was no 'first man' or 'first woman'. The first 'human people' were an ape-human overlap. Our genes and the fossil evidence support this ~ as they support the 'scientific theory of evolution'.
Unless God created us, and placed us in a world that was meant to confuse, then I can see no reason to believe the Bible over science so, in conclusion, having checked the very document that they use, I cannot see how the Creationists may have 'got it right'.
David Attenborough on the Creation of Woman:
'Was Darwin Wrong?' Links
My 'Evolution' Hubs
- Evolution and Creationism - My Take On Them and How I Arrived Here
- The Facts of Life: Reproduction and Evolution
- Evolution - The Human Difference ~ Chimps and Men (and Women)
- Brain Size, Evolution and Usage
- Evolution - Could the Creationists Have Got It Right ??!!
- Evolution - Creationists Right and Darwin Wrong ??!!
Other Hubbers' Evolution Hubs
- Evidence Of Evolution In The Human Body
- Evolution And Creationism: A Personal Side To The Debate
Related hubs from Other Hubbers:
Wikipedia on Plant Evolution
- Gymnosperm - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
- Evolutionary history of plants - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
- Flowering plant - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
- Fern - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
- Bryophyte - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
- Devonian - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
- Lycopodiophyta - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
- Plant - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia