Suggestion and Questions:

Last night I took my nen’s Genesis Bible study group on a “field trip” to see “The Ark in the Darkness”. We really enjoyed the movie. It was laden with great supporting technical data and evidence. On our way home though, I raised a couple of questions that remain unanswered, and I would LOVE to get a solid rational answer:
  1. How do defend the Young Earth belief against fossilized remains of hominoids such as Cro-Magnon/Neanderthal etc.? Supposed early man was not discussed in the documentary last night.
  2. Post “Tower of Babbel”, could genetic mutations have created all the different races on the different continents today (e.g., Africans, Asias, Indians, Pacific Islanders etc.)?

I really would appreciate any guidance or direction on where to seek answers to these questions. Our objective is to be the best apologists possible and evangelize to all people.


I am glad to see that you are getting your Bible study group out there and thinking!  I am hoping to see this movie sometime soon.

As to your questions, I personally am not a big defender of the young earth view. I believe that God could have created the earth and the universe with an appearance of age, and am therefore willing to defend the young earth idea, but it is not my preferred explanation of the biblical and scientific data. For this reason, I have no desire to defend it against the fossilized remains of pre-human fossils.  By the way, if I understand it correctly, Cro-Magnon were modern humans.  As for Neandertal, I am not convinced that they were human or that they bore the image of God.   I simply am not sure about Neandertal and how this species relates to biblical statements.  It appears that they were genetically quite distinct from modern humans.  I conclude tentatively that they are not descendants of Adam and Eve, and that they were not created in the image of God.

In any case, I believe that the “days” of Genesis 1 are metaphorical, not literal 24-hour periods of time.  Genesis 1 is a polemic against Babylonian religion of 2000 BC, not against modern science!  All the evidence from science supports an ancient earth, and, obviously, an ancient universe.  Light from galaxies 1 billion light years away presumable left those galaxies one billion years ago.  Uranium/Thorium/Lead dating conclusively tells us that the moon, mars, and the earth are all somewhere around 4.5 billion years old.  I have no reason (including no biblical reason) to think differently from this.  I discuss this extensively in my book Is There a God?

On your second question, I believe that the answer is yes.  Evolution is real.  It happens.  Species, including humans, evolve over time.  The amount of genetic variation amongst humans is extremely small, providing evidence that all humans descend from a very small population just a couple of tens of thousands of years ago.  This agrees nicely with the biblical data as well.  The genetic difference between Africans, native Americans, Europeans and Asians is very small.  This amount of variation could have arisen in just a few tens of thousands of years, which implies that humans are a very recent occupant of this planet.  Again, this agrees with the biblical statements.

John Oakes

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