Are humans just advanced apes or have they been specially created in the image of God? Publications by scientists almost never ask the question, whereas publications by theists seldom examine the scientific data that relates to the question. However, two scientists raised in non-Christian homes, Fuz Rana (Ph.D. in chemistry) and Hugh Ross (Ph.D. in astronomy), have written a new book (Who Was Adam?: A Creation Model Approach to the Origin of Man) that examines the question of human origins by comparing biblical and evolutionary models.
The second in a series of books designed to produce a comprehensive biblical creation model, Reasons To Believe scholars, Rana and Ross present a biblical creation model that makes 13 specific predictions on the nature and origin of mankind, then go on to examine the evidence published in the latest scientific studies. One example from the biblical creation model is the predicted discrepancy between the origin dates for male and female genetic lines. The Bible claims that there was a genetic bottleneck at the Genesis flood. Whereas all females can trace their ancestry back to Eve (through the three wives of Noah's sons), all males trace their Y-chromosomes through Noah (through his three sons). This predicted discrepancy for molecular dates of Of or referring to the mitochondria, the organelles that generate energy for the cell.mitochondrial Deoxyribonucleic acid: the chemical inside the nucleus of a cell that carries the genetic instructions for making living organisms.DNA and Y-chromosome data is actually seen in the scientific literature. In addition to the Genetic material found in mitochondria, the organelles that generate energy for the cell.mtDNA and Y-chromosome data, Who Was Adam? examines molecular dates from nuclear Functional and physical units of heredity passed from parent to offspring. Genes are pieces of DNA, and most genes contain the information for making a specific protein.genes, numerous varieties of DNA that does not carry the information necessary to make a protein.non-coding genetic elements, and human parasites. All these data confirm a recent origin date for Homo sapiens sapiens. Other chapters examine the hominid fossil record as it relates to specific evolutionary models compared to the biblical creation model. Chapter 5 examines the question whether we can detect the image of God in modern humans that differentiates them from hominids in the fossil record. Specific hominid species are examined in detail, including Homo erectus, Homo neandertalensis, and chimpanzees. A chapter devoted to the development of bipedalism shows that the extensive changes required for this form of locomotion appeared in early hominids, with no apparent selective Darwinian driving force. An examination of hominid brain sizes shows no gradual increases within species, but large jumps as new species appeared on the scene. Opponents of the idea that humans are intelligently designed often point to the presence of "junk" ( DNA that does not carry the information necessary to make a protein.non-coding) Deoxyribonucleic acid: the chemical inside the nucleus of a cell that carries the genetic instructions for making living organisms.DNA in the All the DNA contained in an organism or a cell, which includes both the chromosomes within the nucleus and the DNA in mitochondria.genomes of both apes and humans. Chapter 14 examines the most recent evidence that shows that DNA that does not carry the information necessary to make a protein.non-coding Deoxyribonucleic acid: the chemical inside the nucleus of a cell that carries the genetic instructions for making living organisms.DNA is certainly not junk, but provides vital regulatory functions for coding Functional and physical units of heredity passed from parent to offspring. Genes are pieces of DNA, and most genes contain the information for making a specific protein.genes.
One chapter stands out as being somewhat out of place in a book on human origins. Chapter 6, "The best possible time" examines the timing of the appearance on humans in the context of the history of the universe and the history of the earth. Although peripherally-related to the question of intelligent design, it would seem to be more relevant to discussions of cosmology and the anthropic principle.
Although the book seems to be marketed to Christians (from the title), it will probably have more broad appeal within secular circles, since it does present an excellent, up-to-date review of the current scientific literature on human origins. Does a biblical creation model for human origins present a scientifically-respectable alternative to neo-Darwinian evolution? Read the book and make your own decision.
Last Modified September 11, 2005