Friday, June 16, 2017

Friday Science: Adam and the Genome 2

1. I am blogging through a new book by Dennis Venema and Scot McKnight called, Adam and the Genome: Reading Scripture after Genetic Science. Both are men of strong faith. Yesterday, I gave a sort of personal preface.

The Foreword by Tremper Longman III gives a taste of the recent conundrum. If evolution were not already difficult for many Christians to harmonize with the Bible, recent DNA research has suggested that "humanity begins not with a single couple but rather with an original population of some thousands of people" (vii).

2. The Introduction then gives a little more personal detail on the two authors. Dennis Venema wonders "if my path would have been less circuitous if the church had had a better relationship with science to begin with." Venema teaches college biology at Trinity Western University in Vancouver. Interestingly, he did not become convinced that evolution was correct until after he had actually become a college professor (11)!

Venema makes a comment that I have been making for years. The real issue for Christianity and evolution is not in Genesis. That's easy. The real issue is in Paul's writings and, more specifically, with the theological problem of Sin, evil, and death.

Scot McKnight is a New Testament scholar who is coming at the problem from the other side, from the biblical side. He is wrestling with this question that Longman mentions in the Foreword: "The DNA in current humans could not have come from a pool of fewer than approximately 10,000 humans" (xi).

I'll stop there to today, as other things press... See you next Friday, dv.


John Mark said...

Interesting. I have been told that the E Orthodox church has always taught that Adam and Eve were not alone, but (and I am unclear on this) they were perhaps 'representational' in some sense of the word. Are you aware of this? Does it matter? I have come to believe that our reading of Genesis is 'too small' and when forcing it into a literal sense we do the text injustice. I look forward to what you have to say on this. Thanks.

Ken Schenck said...

JM, I believe this is John Walton's suggestion, that Adam and Eve were sort of the royal representatives of the humans living at that time.