Thursday, October 22, 2009

Farewell, Ida

Everybody remember 'Ida,' the much-hyped missing link that proved evolution once and for all? Well, you can all forget it now, as well. MSNBC: ‘Missing link’ primate isn’t a link after all. Apparently, rather than being an ancestor of humans and apes, this creature is related to lemurs, which certainly disquaifies it from holding its much coveted 'link' status.

Somehow, I don't see this changing anybody's minds one way or the other. All I can hear right now is a thousand naturalists getting out their picks and shovels again, spending their lives digging in the soil for something to confirm the worldview they're predisposed towards.


  1. Why does it have to be one way or the other? Do you believe that it is impossible that one believes in evolution and is also a born again believer? I don't find that the two beliefs have to contradict one another--one can believe in the inspiration of holy scripture and also in science. They address distinct topics.

    Nice book that touches on this: The Language of God by Francis Collins, head of the human genome project and also a professing Christian.

  2. Well, in terms of naturalism vs. theism, yes it does have to be one way or the other. In terms of evolution vs. creation, I am a bit more... open minded. For example, I believe in an old earth, whereas most of my Reformed, presuppositionalist brothers would not be, so much. I don't freak out when evolution gets mentioned, but I do have a problem with Ida being touted as the "missing link" when it's really all just hype.

  3. I just finished reading the excellent post and commentary on the letter from "Wizard" and then the responses to the Atheist experience video. Was there ever a part 2 that I somehow missed?

  4. To Adam and Stinerbean:

    I think the question is: Does Scripture limit us to viewing Genesis 1 as happening within the space of six days (to use the language of the WC)? If Scripture really does teach that the creation week was six consecutive 24-hour-periods, then all speculation about an old earth, or God using evolution, are rendered moot. So again the question: Does Scripture limit us to viewing Creation Week as six consecutive 24-hour-periods? If it does, then it would seem that the discussion (at least among Bible-believing Christians) about the age of the earth ought to be over. Science, as valuable as it is, has its limits. Science would have us believe that resurrection is impossible. But Scripture teaches otherwise, so we believe Scripture as opposed to any earthly authority.

  5. I will make my response brief, John, because as much as I love a good debate, I'm not really interested in a debate on the age of the earth. My main reason for this is that it's almost at the bottom of my list of things I believe to be important.

    I have a strong appreciation for those who love Scripture and believe, based on a wooden textual reading of the text of Genesis, that the universe was created in six literal 24 hour periods.

    I believe that there is some textual evidence that the seventh day of God's rest is not a literal 24 hour period. In Hebrews 4:1-10, the author speaks of the Seventh day of God's rest continuing on even to this day.

    But beyond this, I have a deeper epistemological reason for believing that the universe is much older than a few thousand years. I will now post my argument for the age of the universe.

    Oh boy, this probably will turn into full on debate. Oh well.

  6. John Stebbe,

    As I stated in the post on the age of the earth, I would consider myself a "young-earther." However, just to be clear, Adam could hold to an old-earth model and still take Genesis 1 and 2 as six literal 24 hour periods. The young-earth model is dependent on two main facts. First, that the earth was created in one week and second, that the genealogies in the Bible have no significant gaps of time in them. Adam could hold to the first point and simple reject the second point.

  7. Josh, I tend to think of the universe as being very old, having been made in stages (spoken of in Genesis as "days"). Human beings are special creations which, as best I can tell came on the scene as recorded in the Genesis narrative of the creation of Adam and Eve somewhere around 10,000 years ago. I do not believe that human beings came about as a result of evolution. I just want to be very clear on that; I do not defend theistic evolution.

  8. Adam, you mentioned God's seventh day of rest, and Hebrews 4:1-10. Your theory is that if God's seventh day of rest is continuing until the present, then it can't be 24 hours. And if the seventh day is not 24 hours, then it would seem that we need not reckon the first six creation days as 24 hours, either.

    However, the Bible does not say that the seventh day continues forever. It does say that God's rest from creation continues. But it is a logical leap to say that if I began resting on Saturday, and on Monday I am still resting, then today must still be Saturday.

    Here's a good article about the topic:

  9. So I guess there wasn't a pt.2?

    As for this discussion. Has anyone read John Waltons new book on Gen. 1? I haven't had a chance yet. I know Beale relied on his work rather heavily in the responses to Enns, so I'm interested.

    Personally, I've found Waltke's OTT, Collins "Science and Faith," and Poythress "Redeeming Science" very helpful from a Reformed perspective. Since all are OT scholars, you really get a feel for the context of Genesis within the ANE world.

  10. Sorry, Ranger.

    Wizard never did get back to us with the second set of problems that he wanted us to address. After our first encounter here on the blog, the dialogue stopped. I don't know if this was because he changed his tune or if he just decided this wasn't the best way to move forward. Either way, things didn't go forward as planned, because there was definitely supposed to be a Part 2 to our discussion with Wizard.

  11. Thanks for the response. I'll continue to keep him in my prayers. I think his situation is similar for many, and clearly a spiritual issue (that masks itself as an intellectual one).

  12. John, my reference to Hebrews 4 served only one purpose: to demonstrate that the writer of Hebrews interpreted the book of Genesis in a non-literal way, at least enough to interpret the seventh day in a non-literal 24 hour sense. It is difficult to deny that the author of Hebrews held a less than wooden understanding of what the seventh day is after you read what he writes in 4:1-10.

  13. The real problem with Theistic Evolution is Romans 5:12. If Adam is not first and only what does that do to Paul's argumentation regarding Christ's relationship to Adam and Adam to us and us to Christ?


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