If one embraces this version of the creation story, he or she believes that God very literally created Adam, then Eve and that every man, woman and child in existence can essentially be traced back to these first human beings. It is this notion that evolutionists generally scoff at, as they embrace very different constructs regarding how mankind came about. But, as Hagerty writes, it seems there are now some conservative, Christian scholars who are also coming forward to say that they can no longer publicly support the Genesis account of creation.
Take, for instance, Dennis Venema, a biologist at Trinity Western University. When asked how realistic the Genesis version of creation is, he explains, “That would be against all the genomic evidence that we’ve assembled over the last 20 years, so not likely at all.” While some may dismiss Venema as a liberal, scientific mind (possibly even an atheist of sorts), he’s actually a Christian and a senior fellow at BioLogos Foundation.
Last month, The Blaze highlighted some harsh words that BioLogos founder and National Institutes of Health (NIH) director Francis Collins had for atheists. The goal of the Christian BioLogos Foundation is to reconcile science and faith. Collins, also an evangelical Christian, breaks with conservative ranks, as he — like Venema — endorses the theory of evolution and rejections literal interpretation of Genesis.
When it comes to tracing mankind’s lineage, Venema says there’s absolutely no way all of humanity traces back to Adam and Eve. To begin, he claims the human genome shows that mankind emerged from other primates and that we did so as “a large population.” Additionally, he explains that the Genesis time frame of only a few thousand years isn’t long enough to explain these evolutionary developments. Hagerty writes:
To get down to just two ancestors, Venema says, “You would have to postulate that there’s been this absolutely astronomical mutation rate that has produced all these new variants in an incredibly short period of time. Those types of mutation rates are just not possible. It would mutate us out of existence.”
Venema isn’t alone, of course. Others, like John Schneider, who taught theology at Calvin College in Michigan, recently said that it’s time for Christians to abandon the idea of a literal Adam and Eve. He says:
“Evolution makes it pretty clear that in nature, and in the moral experience of human beings, there never was any such paradise to be lost. So Christians, I think, have a challenge, have a job on their hands to reformulate some of their tradition about human beginnings.”
Now, evangelicals who originally saw themselves as being opposed to evolutionists who rail against creationist theory are now also forced to face individuals from within their own ranks. The debate has become so intense that some scientists have allegedly been forced out of Christian schools for their less-than-literal views on mankind’s origins.