Stott on evolution and pre-Adamic ‘hominid’

In-the-Image-of-God_T_NV“Not many Christians today find it necessary to defend the concept of a literal six-day creation, for the text does not demand it, and scientific discovery appears to contradict it. The biblical text presents itself not as a scientific treatise but as a highly stylized literary statement (deliberately framed in three pairs, the fourth “day” corresponding to the first, the fifth to the second, and the sixth to the third).”

“It is most unfortunate that some who debate this issue (evolution) begin by assuming that the words “creation” and “evolution” are mutually exclusive. If everything has come into existence through evolution, they say, then biblical creation has been disproved, whereas if God has created all things, then evolution must be false. It is, rather, this naïve alternative which is false. It presupposes a very narrow definition of the two terms, both of which in fact have a wide range of meanings, and both of which are being freshly discussed today…”

“But my acceptance of Adam and Eve as historical is not incompatible with my belief that several forms of pre-Adamic ‘hominid’ may have existed for thousands of years previously. These hominids began to advance culturally. They made their cave drawings and buried their dead. It is conceivable that God created Adam out of one of them. You may call them homo erectus. I think you may even call some of them homo sapiens, for these are arbitrary scientific names.”

“But Adam was the first homo divinus, if I may coin a phrase, the first man to whom may be given the Biblical designation ‘made in the image of God’. Precisely what the divine likeness was, which was stamped upon him, we do not know, for Scripture nowhere tells us. But Scripture seems to suggest that it includes rational, moral, social, and spiritual faculties which make man unlike all other creatures and like God the creator, and on account of which he was given ‘dominion’ over the lower creation.” (John Stott, Understanding the Bible: Expanded Edition; 54-56)

What do you think?

About Wisdomforlife

Just another worker in God's field.
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6 Responses to Stott on evolution and pre-Adamic ‘hominid’

  1. Brent says:

    I understand the stylized literary statement in which the days are grouped into three sets of two, with day one corresponding to day four, day two corresponding to day five, and day three corresponding to day six and that there is nothing linguistically demanding an literal six day time span. However, it should not be dismissed that such a literal understanding is what the church has held too throughout most of its history. It remains the most natural reading of the text. And any variant raises an issues that left unresolved completely undermines the gospel, not to mention the entire story line of the Bible. For, death is taught by the the whole of scripture not to be some part of the creation process, regardless of the time frame with which one chooses to interpret Genesis one and two — and if it were then there would be no need for redemption from it. Death, the scripture teaches throughout, is the result of sin, man’s rebellion against his creator. And it is because of man’s sin that all of creation now groans under the weight of sin’s effects, while waiting its redemption.

    • Keith says:

      I think Brent has a point: Stott is reaching with this proposal: either God created Adam and Eve, as a single, notable act of creation, and they didn’t die until they sinned, or big pieces of theology fall apart: Jesus’ sacrifice makes little sense if there was no fall.

      Consider 1 Timothy 2:11-15, where Timothy gives instructions based on those historic events: “[Because] it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve. And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.” If the creation/fall story is allegory, what does Stott do with that verse? Are Timothy’s instructions meaningful if based on events that never occurred?

  2. agnophilo says:

    Your willingness to accept observable reality is refreshing, thank you.

  3. chadvdmk says:

    What a load of rubbish, Why do we Christians feel that we must accommodate the theory of Macro-Evolution when it has not been proven. Not a single “missing link” has been found. The theory of Macro-Evolution is riddled with error and is constantly changing. The main problem is not evolution fitting into the Genesis account but the very nature of the process. Evolution states that mistakes and chance and death and survival of the fittest created all we see… But this is not what the Bible reveals about God. God is PERFECT, how could he get it wrong for billions of years? And why if evolution was his processes, would he stop know… after all we are not perfect. The Bible clearly states that Death and sin entered through Adam… so how could death have been happening for billions of years after?

    The other thing to look at is why the theory of evolution was created in the first place. The Theory of evolution is man’s attempt at proving all things could have come into being without a God.

    The world has thrown many accusations that the Bible is inaccurate, and yet it has ALLWAYS proved itself to be true in the end. Do not lose faith in What Jesus called true… and do not forget that the theory of evolution is a direct attack on Jesus Christ our SAVIOR, as it was he who made all things( John 1). I would trust the word of God over the theory of man any day… especially when there is no proof nor will there ever be any proof found that will make the theory of evolution a fact instead of a theory.

  4. Keith says:

    It’s important to understand the word “theory” means something different in science. A “theory” doesn’t mean “an idea” in science, it’s more like “an explanation”. Confusing, yes, but that’s how it works, I’m afraid.

    For example, the explanation of why hammers fall is called “the theory of gravity”. It’s still just a “theory”, yes, but it’s also a “fact”, there’s no chance the next hammer I drop will float slowly upward.

    Finally, the “theory of evolution” is about as close to “fact” as these things get: we have examples of many “missing links” in the fossil record, and even if we didn’t, the best proof for evolution is in things like the DNA record, things Darwin didn’t even know existed. In short, no reputable scientist (including “creationist” scientists”) would ever argue we’re going to discover evolution didn’t happen pretty much as we think it happened.

    • chadvdmk says:

      The problem with DNA proving evolution is that with each generation genetic code is lost, not found. DNA degrades over time (even within the human body). So in theory we should be devolving not evolving.

      BTW it is not “the theory of gravity” unless you are referring to Newton’s theory of gravity. It is simply called either,gravitation, gravity or the laws of gravity. It is no longer a theory since it has been extensively tested and proven to be true. Macro evolution, on the other hand, has not been proven. Fact is fact not “as close as you can get to fact.” The theory of evolution remains a theory because there are MANY wholes within it.

      Dog breading also proves interesting in this topic. The more a dog bread is bred the more deformities occur. Why is that? If evolution is true then we should see different results. The fact is that the original dog had more genetic information than any current bread of dog today. So if the original dog had more genetic variance than current dogs do, how could evolution stand true?

      Science: The observation, identification, description, experimental investigation, and theoretical explanation of phenomena.

      When we see and study the universe and see the exact opposite of a proposed theory, then it stands to reason that the theory must be flawed if not false.

      What do we observe in the world today?
      Many kinds of animals breading to produce the same kinds of animals. Many kinds of plants producing the same kinds of plants. Genetic information being continually lost, not gained. Things in this world do not improve on their own. Complex things are made from creative, intelligent beings. All things decay over time(2nd law of thermodynamics); things do not gain in complexity nor do they improve (by themselves) over time.

      The evidence stacks against the theory of evolution not for it.

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