Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Evidence From Plant and Animal Domestication Strongly Supports the Christ-Centered Model for Adam

A chart from a paper by Melinda Zeder of the Smithsonian Institution. The dates are in years before present that the various animals were found to be domesticated with the core zones shaded. This paper was published without access to a study which came out just afterwards which pushed back the date on cattle domestication.

*****************************************

There is quite a bit of evidence out there, a sliver of which I will reproduce in this post, that Adam was a real, historical person. He wasn't the sole male progenitor of humanity, and surprisingly scripture never actually makes the claim that he was. But there are too many coincidences coming together from our rapidly growing knowledge of antiquity to ignore. Something happened to mankind, starting in a particular place and time- one which perfectly lines up with a particular model of Adam.

There is a titanic amount of theology about early Genesis floating around which is not actually in the bible. The Church has gotten Adam wrong for the same reason that it got the heliocentric model wrong 600 years ago. It took opinions from outside of the teaching of the apostles and distorted scripture to try and justify what they had learned from non-believers. They would have fared better had they started with Christ and interpreted everything through the lens of Christ. In the case of the Sun and the earth, they listened to the pagan Greek philosophers who did not know Christ. If they had listened to the apostles instead, who used the Light as a descriptor for Christ, it may have been easier to accept as fitting and proper that the earth revolves around the source of its light. In the same way the Church has gotten Adam wrong because they merely adopted the view of the text held by Jewish priests who did not know Christ. Had they looked only at the apostle's teachings it is possible we would have had a Christ-centered view of Adam all along.

Romans 5:14 refers to Adam as a "figure of Him who was to come", that is, Christ. And it turns out the scriptural case for Adam being primarily something else instead (such as the sole male progenitor of humanity) is weak to non-existent- see here and here. Rather than be the father of all of humanity, his role was to, among other things, father the line of Messiah. Due to his sin, God Himself had to step in and Father the Messiah. The Adamic line, chosen to be the representative and intercessor between God and mankind, was preserved through Eve, taken from his flesh. Christ was born of a woman.

The Christ-Centered Model for Adam as described in Early Genesis the Revealed Cosmology takes a view of the text that the events in chapter two are not just re-hashing those of chapter one. Rather it is describing a smaller creation within the larger creation of chapter one. The LORD God "sets up" Adam to have an agricultural lifestyle and even provides versions of some animals which would be useful to a farming ecosystem. That is, new domestic varieties of existing plants and animals were provided to Adam. Adam was, as a part of his mission to reconcile humanity to God, given the means to "jump start" civilization from a life of hunter-gatherers to those who truly ruled the natural world.

Here are some things the book (US) (UK) says about Adam...

1) He lived about thirteen thousand years ago, reading the genealogies the "long way" with no gaps in time between listed generations.

2) He benefited from his time with the LORD God, not only in learning how to tend a garden and handle domestic livestock, but even by obtaining access to domestic versions of plants and animals which did not previously exist. The entire world benefited from what even the fallen Adam was able to share.

3) A northern location for Eden, near the source of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, not their mouth. Afterwards Adam lived just east of the Garden.

******************

Now if you compare those things to the drawing at the head of this post, you will see a most amazing thing. Scientists trace the origin of all four our our major domestic farm animals to the same area that the book predicts for Adam, and just after the time predicted for Adam. The world first received its major domestic stock right there.

The same can be said for many plants. Wheat was first domesticated in the same geographic and temporal region.  Grapes can only be grown in a narrow zone, but this same region is in this zone as shown below...(I have circled in red where I think Noah's ark landed. You may recall he made wine soon after landing, domesticated grapes originated in that region or just above it 10,000 or so years ago).



So the evidence we have from domestication of plants and animals indicates there was an epi-center for domestication. The account in Genesis makes the garden an epicenter of domestication. What was begun in the garden then spread to the whole earth, making civilization possible. Then, at the right time, Christ died for the ungodly. Adam was an actual person with a real place and time in history. It may not have been what we were taught in Sunday School, but it was real (and in scripture) none-the-less. We may not be able to find his grave, but the echos of what he did with the gifts given to him resound in our world even today, regardless of whether or not their source is recognized.


Get the book


United Kingdom Readers click here.


Friday, November 2, 2018

The Light He Called Day

2

What is the "context" in which the word "day" (Hebrew "yom") is used in the creation account? Christians have gone back and forth over it. One of the glaring omissions in this debate is what the account itself says that "day" means, note particularly what I have bolded in the passage below......

Genesis Chapter One:
2And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
3And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
4And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
5And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
The Hebrew word "yom" can mean "day" in a lot of different contexts, but this account specifies what is meant by "day". It gives the context. The light is what God is calling "day" in this account. It's not a 24-hour day because the evening has nothing to do with the day, other than the condition which precedes it - things are marked by an increasing condition of darkness. The English translation obscures this because it adds words onto the last sentence of verse five which are not in the Hebrew. There is no definite article in the Hebrew here. It just says...

"There was evening there was morning first day."

When written like this it makes it more clear that the evening is not considered to be a part of the day. The light, which comes forth in the morning, is the day. The night was not a part of it, just the condition which preceded it. This naturally fits and builds with the immediately previous text- as the world in verse three is said to be in darkness to begin with. This condition was then altered by God uttering His first command into creation "Let there be Light".

How did this light come to enter creation? Not by any of the means mentioned in the following days. Once God does a lot of the heavy lifting in the first two days, there is a point where God says something and the text immediately reports "it was so". In these instances some part of creation or God Himself subsequently does something as a part of this process. For example, God divided the light from the darkness once it was present in the world. But he didn't do anything to produce the light itself. There is no verb associated with the creation of the light, such as "dividing". Rather the very act of God speaking into His creation produced the light without any other action necessary. This is a clue, latter affirmed in scripture (see below), that God's Word itself is Light. If I say "I want to speak to you now" then I have accomplished my desire in the very act of saying it. In the same way, God calls light into existence merely by speaking, for His Word is light.

So in the context of the creation account, a "day" is the breaking forth of the light. And the light is God's word. This has immense theological implications. For one thing, it argues against the idea that initial conditions in creation were perfect until the fall of Adam. Creation may not have started sinful, but it started as a place of increasing chaos, darkness and emptiness (evening), only becoming illuminated and orderly once God spoke His Word into it (morning). This is just a small part of why I call this view of the text the "Christ Centered Model" for early Genesis. As the verses below indicate, the apostles made the same connection between Christ as being both the Word of God and the Light of the World.

So this is what is really happening on each of the "days" of the creation account. It has nothing to do with literal 24-hour days, except as metaphor. The sun was not even authorized for the tracking of time until the fourth day! Instead, God speaks His word into some aspect of creation and His word transforms some area of creation from increasing darkness, emptiness, and chaos into increasing illumination, fruitfulness, and order. Without God's word this world is in a condition of evening, getting darker and darker. Decaying. Once His word comes forth this condition is reversed for whatever part of creation God addresses. This includes our individual lives!

Get the book




The Gospel of John Chapter One....
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2The same was in the beginning with God.
3All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
4In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
5And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
6There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
7The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.
8He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
9That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
10He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.


John 8:12 "I am the light of the world"



Thursday, November 1, 2018

Is the Evidence for Neanderthal-Sapiens Admixture Exaggerated and Over-Stated?

Cambridge Zoology Professor William Amos thinks so.  He has an alternative explanation for the data which suggests interbreeding occurred. He says that most of the signal can be explained by a lower mutation rate in the group of humans leaving Africa due to the fact that they had little diversity in their genes to start with. It is worth reading the abstract on the above link. That does not even consider the possibility that at least some of the gene similarities are due to viral infections, not interbreeding. That is, Eurasians and Neanderthals share some genetic material because they were infected by the same strains of virus and viruses can insert material into the genome. Eurasians picked up strains that Africans lacked because they lived in the same area as Neanderthals, not because of interbreeding.

To be fair, even Dr. Amos thinks that "some" inbreeding "probably" occurred, but this is yet another example of how the science media takes a "finding" in an area we are just beginning to really understand and repeats it until it becomes part of the narrative even when a lot of questions remain. Maybe I'm not "1.5% Neanderthal" as my genetic testing (and that of many of European ancestry) claimed. Maybe its half that, maybe a tenth of that. It could even be none.

South African Palaeoanthropologist Sue Dykes thinks it could be none. She writes, "The only reason why people cite admix is because some genes in Neanderthals are highly similar in modern humans. These are all "adaptive genes" and cis-regulatory areas. The stretches of the genome which really count (genes coding for structural elements like bone formation and particularly brain function) are ALWAYS different - these are called "Neanderthal deserts" and puzzle researchers."

"There is a lab at Stanford University that is working on adaptive evolution. About 30% of mutations in the human proteome are driven by viruses alone. It is high time that people started ignoring D stats and started questioning whether, faced with identical viruses in identical areas, all hominin species (including modern humans) would not anyway identically adapt - ie identical mutations happen in both species because they are driven by the identical viruses. The same would be true in Africa, where parasites not present in the Northern Hemisphere are rife, driving adaptive mutations in the opposite direction. Adaptive mutations in two similar species does not mean admix. In Africa, both chimpanzees and modern humans have adapted to malaria by way of a mutation that causes sickle cell anaemia. No-one cites admix in this instance - it's parallel adaptation."

Let's keep testing.....

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Not From Adam's Rib- Neanderthal Rib Cage Study Shows Differences With Humans

I have noticed a full-court press in science media to make neanderthals "human". They keep saying it over and over and over again as if it were an established fact. They repeat it even as they report of facts which show there were substantial differences between us and them.

The attempt to stretch and re-define the term "human" to include other hominids such as Neanderthals is so broad that a contrarian like me automatically wants to resist it. Especially when this rush to redefine words comes in tandem with a stream of evidence indicating this attempt is incorrect.

The ability to make a fancy flint scraper is not what makes us human. When we say "he's inhuman" we don't mean that a person can't make a fancy flint scraper. We don't even mean that they can't draw a picture or think abstractly. We mean that they lack the moral and empathetic condition, the ability to connect on a level deeper than instinct, which is typical of our species, and so far as we know our species alone. We can connect to each other, and our Maker, in a way that animals cannot. Even hominid animals.

In previous articles I showed that neanderthals were genetically distinct from humans and that despite claims to the contrary they almost certainly did not do cave art in Spain 64,000 years ago (again not that the ability to do so is what makes us human).

This article noted..
"The differences between a Neanderthal and modern human thorax are striking," said Markus Bastir, senior research scientist at the Laboratory of Virtual Anthropology at the National Museum of Natural History in Spain.......
 "The wide lower thorax of Neanderthals and the horizontal orientation of the ribs suggest that Neanderthals relied more on their diaphragm for breathing," said senior author Ella Been of Ono Academic College. "Modern humans, on the other hand, rely both on the diaphragm and on the expansion of the rib cage for breathing."
They didn't even breathe like us. The differences were "striking". And yet this article made haste to dismiss the significance of its own findings, declaring "Neanderthals are a type of human that emerged about 400,000 years ago, living mostly from what is today Western Europe to Central Asia." Well, why do they keep saying that when the closer they look, the more differences they find? Why the dogged determination to make "human" broader? 

The rib cage of a gorilla also has ribs which are curved at the back, along with a funnel shape in its overall structure like a neanderthal. The article implies that neanderthals walked even more upright than humans because of this feature. The back may have been straighter, as with that of the gorilla, but the head of the Gorilla still has a lean to it lacking in humans. I think its an example of ruggedness with an attendant lack of flexibility. Perhaps Neanderthals charged straight ahead like gorillas do when they fight. That aspect, rather than an even more "erect" posture than humans seems to me to be a more reasonable consequence of this discovery.

Rib cage of a gorilla from the inside. Note the curves of ribs at spine attachment.

I've seen so many articles repeating that this or that hominid is some kind of "human". It seems to me the fundamental question of what we are is too important to be established by mere repetition and propaganda tactics. It should be addressed on the basis of evidence, not emotional impulses in either direction.
*******
While scientists need to change some of their ideas, the church also needs to change some mistaken ideas about what the text of early Genesis is actually saying. It's a far more Christ-centered document than generally accepted theology accounts for.  The book below, available at no change for those with access to Kindle Unlimited, peels back the layers of misunderstanding and reveals the truth of Early Genesis and how it points to Christ. It takes some work, but for someone willing to do the work  the knowledge of the mystery of Christ in early Genesis is there for the having. 

Saturday, October 13, 2018

The Transmission of the Tablets in the Tablet Theory

The Tablet Theory, sometimes called the Wiseman Hypothesis, is that Moses had help when he compiled the book of Genesis from a series of clay tablets inherited from his ancestors. The original hypothesis has some difficulties in the text, but a modified version of the tablet theory as described in "Early Genesis, The Revealed Cosmology" addresses the main criticisms which have been leveled at it. I will not repeat them here, but these modifications to the theory make it much more palatable.

The competing "Documentary Hypothesis" that Genesis was written much later by scribes who falsely attributed it to Moses is strongly refuted by, among other things, the summation of each account with a phrase popular in clay tablets in Mesopotamia around the time of Abraham (around 1800-1700 BC). Perhaps some place names were updated, as was a common practice then and today, but the essence of the text is from great antiquity.

There is no doubt that there are similarities and common threads in many ancient stories from Mesopotamia and the words of Genesis. It would be a book in itself to lay all this out, and one better written by an archaeologist, but I see signs that those stories are distorted versions and mutations of the account in Genesis, and not vice-versa. Are the pagan versions the only ones found when we excavate temples and palaces? They simply had the advantage of being the "party line" of ruling dynasties who could give their version of events from a state sponsored platform. The accounts we have in early Genesis were those from the family history of the line leading back to Adam. And in the Christ-centered model that was not everyone.

One difficulty with the Tablet Theory is that writing seems to have only been around in a crude form for five thousand years or so. And that was in cuniform not the proto-Hebrew/Canaanite script likely used by Moses (which is basically Hebrew). So far as we know, early Hebrew didn't come into use until about the time of Abraham. 

Unfortunately the answer may be lost in the mists of time. We are therefore forced into speculation within the bounds of what is reasonable or possible. One possibility is that the clan of Adam had a system of writing among themselves which resembled Canaanite (who were of common ancestry with the Hebrews after all) for a very long time and we simply did not find any samples of it until around the time of Abraham. Another possibility is that the original tablets were written in an even more ancient script. In such a case someone would have to know that ancient language and translate them. 

Perhaps it was Moses, with all the learning of Egypt at his disposal. Perhaps he didn't have to because Abraham translated the old tablets into new ones using the then-current language of the land. It is mighty suspicious that of the eleven "generations" or accounts in Genesis, none are from father Abraham, greatest of the patriarchs. This lack would be explained if he were the translator of them all. None were called the "generations of Abraham" because it was Abraham's family library. His job was to put the old accounts into proto-Hebrew, not write one with his own name on it.















Monday, October 8, 2018

Nine Hundred and Seventy Four Generations Before Adam?

It was recently brought to my attention (thank you J.D. Everett) that there is some indirect support in the Talmud for the idea that Adam was not the first man. This is intriguing because part of the Christ-centered model is that Adam's biblical role is not to be the sole father of humanity, but to bring the line of Messiah- he is a figure of Christ (Romans 5:14). To be sure this connection is more tenuous than that suggested by the Two Powers Theology which was a significant minority position of first century Jews, but it is another data point which suggests that the Christ Centered Model for Genesis dove-tails nicely with ideas which have long been on the periphery of theological debate.

The Talmud is a book of ancient Jewish commentary on what Christians call the "Old Testament", I don't consider the Talmud authoritative. It is people commenting on scripture, not scripture itself. Still, I find it interesting that ideas which can be connected with the Christ-centered model from Early Genesis the Revealed Cosmology have been to some extent a part of the conversation for a long time. In this case the idea is that the Torah was given "1,000 generations" prior to its compilation by Moses. Moses is only twenty-six generations from Adam.

The basis for the contention of these rabbis is found in the 105th Psalm. They translate it a little differently than I have seen it in English Bibles. For example the NIV has verses eight and nine saying...
8 He remembers his covenant forever, the promise he made, for a thousand generations,
9 the covenant he made with Abraham, the oath he swore to Isaac.
Their translation of verse eight reads....
He remembered His covenant forever, the word He had commanded to the thousandth generation,
And on the face of it their translation makes more sense than the NIV. Otherwise if taken literally it implies that God's promise to Abraham is limited to 1,000 generations. This doesn't seem to line up well with the attributes or character of God. Thus the Jewish rabbis translated the verse like they did. Since they viewed the giving of the Torah as the written delivery of that promise, and Moses - in the 26th generation from Adam - compiled the Torah, they reasoned that there must have been 974 generations prior to Adam.

Here is an example of their commentary on the issue...
"R. Joshua b. Levi also said: "When Moses ascended on high, the ministering angels spoke before the Holy One, blessed be He: 'Sovereign of the Universe! What business has one born of woman amongst us?' 'He has come to receive the Torah,' answered He to them. Said they to Him, 'That secret treasure, which has been hidden by Thee for nine hundred and seventy-four generations before the world was created."
This is described by Shabbat as being done "before the world was created". That's time before the beginning and leads to some other logical and scriptural problems. If there was no creation and no people, how does it even make sense to measure time at all, much less time in "generations"? Note: this idea is not the same thing as I am saying when I point out that a close look at the text show that there was an unspecified amount of time before the first day.

Some of these scholars thought that the previous people were on a different "plane of existence" and with the creation of Adam there was also a new plane of existence created. I would argue that the Garden of Eden was the new plane of existence and after the Fall it was lost to Adam and Eve, forcing them into the same environment as the rest of mankind. Others thought the souls of the previous 974 generations pre-existed creation but were inserted into the world after it was created. See for example this quote from Chagiga 13b-14b:

"It is taught: R. Simeon the Pious said: These are the nine hundred and seventy four generations who pressed themselves forward to be created before the world was created, but were not created: the Holy One, blessed be He, arose and planted them in every generation, and it is they who are the insolent of each generation. "

All kinds of "odd" ideas were suggested by the commentators as to who the 974 generations were that in their view existed, yet did not exist. Modern Jewish scholars continue to try and reconcile the paradoxes in the text. Here is one that, after reviewing some of the more bizarre speculations, suggests, along with other speculations with which I disagree, that there were people before Adam:
The question is, if Adam had progeny who did not possess a Divine soul, could he have had ancestors who also were similarly spiritually challenged?12 
When the Torah describes a part of Adam's core as the dust of the earth, could this refer to people who "existed yet never existed"? Could it describe an existence that may have had a physical effect on this world but no spiritual effect? Could Adam have physically had a mother while spiritually the breath of God served as an impetus for a new world?13
That is not at all what I teach at all about the "host" created on earth (Gen. 2:1), but I do think they were there. His view of Genesis 6:1-3, like the Christ-centered model, recognizes that there were two groups of humans being discussed, but in my view gets things muddled after that. The commonality is that it recognizes in the text that there were other people walking around which were not the offspring of Adam and Eve:

The introduction to the flood story includes a description the forced relations between the sons of Elohim and the daughters of man-Adam: powerful brutes taking innocent, refined women. The result was the flood, and the eradication of the brutal species. The only survivors are Noach and his descendants. These verses clearly outline the strained co-existence of two types of people. Were these other "men" descendants of Adam, or vestiges of an earlier world?
 My point is not to endorse any particular part of the Jewish speculation on the problem as being correct. My point is that they realized there was a problem. In their view, the text pointed to, in some sense, 974 generations occurring prior to the formation of Adam. They tried to reconcile that with their belief that creation was only six thousand years old, but they never quite developed a clean resolution to the paradox. The Christ-Centered Model does so, without the potentially racist implications about the "brutal species" (which is all of us due to sin).

A generation according to scripture is most often forty years, but seventy years and one-hundred years are also used to describe a generation. The latter figure is a generation connected to a promise and thus might be more reasonable to connect to this verse about God's promise. Regardless of the lack of coherence of their proposed solutions to the paradox, there is a long history to suggest the Jewish people recognized in their scriptures the possibility of generations before Adam. The solution to the paradox is to adopt the Christ-centered model of Early Genesis which places Adam as a figure of Christ for the "host" of humanity created before him. Though by now he is likely to be found somewhere in the family tree of all of us (a view called "Genealogical Adam"), he is the father of the line of Messiah, not all of humanity.

Get the book.


Saturday, September 22, 2018

Neo-Darwinism is Dead. What Replaces it?

Classical Darwinism died about fifty years ago as we understood more about how genetics worked. Neo-Darwinism replaced it, but it too is dead. Not that you would know that from either what is taught to your children in government-run schools or the media, but scientists on the cutting edge of the issues (that's not Bill Nye or Neil DeGrasse Tyson) know it.

Here are just a few of the many quotes I could use to show this:

“Unless the discourse around evolution is opened up to scientific perspectives beyond Darwinism, the education of generations to come is at risk of being sacrificed for the benefit of a dying theory.” – Stuart Newman ( professor of cell biology and anatomy at New York Medical College in Valhalla, NY)

“There is no consistent tendency of evolution towards increased genomic complexity, and when complexity increases, this appears to be a non adaptive consequence of evolution under weak purifying selection rather than an adaptation.” (Eugene Koonin, Darwinian evolution in the light of genomics, Nucleic Acids Research, 37(4), 2009, pp. 1011-1034) Note "Purifying selection" here just means that genomes have a weak tendency to 'heal themselves'. When there is a mutation that has reduced function in a population, it can sometimes get fixed and restored- thus "increasing complexity" by taking things back to where they were before the mutation occurred.

“The Altenberg 16 … recognize that the theory of evolution which most practicing biologists accept and which is taught in classrooms today, is inadequate in explaining our existence [emphasis added]” (p. 19).

“A wave of scientists now questions natural selection’s role, though fewer will publicly admit it” (p. 20).

Both from "The Altenberg 16: An Exposé of the Evolution Industry by Suzan MazurNorth Atlantic Books, Berkeley, CA, 2010


*******************

The evolutionary "Tree of Life" is also facing some serious challenges. It looks like "horizontal gene transfer" is a lot more common than we thought back when the evolutionary tree of life was developed. That is and for example, certain genes may be found in sponges and mammals- and nothing in between! Genes are found in two groups of creatures far apart in the classical evolutionary scenario and not found in vast gaps of creatures which are supposed to be between the two on the evolutionary scale. That doesn't fit the idea that a creature gets all its genetic information from its ancestors as modified by random mutations. Rather, it appears that a living creature is more like a cell phone that can download apps from vastly different sources to supplement and integrate with its main operating system.

But perhaps an even bigger challenge to the evolutionary tree of life is the work of Winston Ewert (see a rundown here). The idea of "nested hierarchies" has in recent times past constituted some of the strongest evidence for evolution. Oh it was not as clean and clear-cut as advocates tried to make it, but it is hard to deny that certain genes and mutations show up in what looks like nested hierarchies in a way consistent with the idea that all groups within them evolved from a common ancestor. And it is doubtless true to the extent which it applies: a group of similar species are a "nested hierarchy" within the same Genus for example. The problem for Neo-Darwinism is that efforts to extend that idea up the tree of life don't produce as good a fit at the higher taxonomic levels. What Ewert has done is used sophisticated mathematical analysis which shows that a "Dependency Graph" based on function is a somewhat better fit for the data than the idea of a Nested Hierarchy.

So "natural selection acting through random mutations" is not powerful enough to explain the complexity and diversity of all of Earth's biota throughout its history. It turns out chance dominates "natural selection". For example, humans have maybe 22,000 protein-producing genes. Each one of them is either more helpful than the average same gene in the rest of the population, or less helpful, or the same. Say one gene gets a hugely beneficial mutation and becomes three times as helpful as that same gene location in the average of the rest of the population. That is a huge leap. The vast majority of mutations are harmful. But even that huge leap would only help overall fitness increase by 3/22,000. Maybe other mutations that person has are more harmful and so overall fitness averages out. Maybe he gets eaten by a lion or steps on a snake and that mutation has no role in saving him. Chance overwhelms natural selection. This is true whether we are talking about weeding out mildly harmful mutations or spreading helpful ones.

Scientists are facing the probability that natural selection plays a minor role shaping life on earth. It weeds out only the most hurtful mutations and effects the details of creatures within their current forms. It's not the major player and perhaps not much of a minor player in increasing complexity and the arrival of new forms.

So if "Natural Selection" has been demoted to a minor player in the shaping of life on earth, what was the major player? "Chance" is all evolutionary scientists are left with. I have heard a couple respond to the inadequacy of natural selection by saying words to the effect of "but that's the old theory, the new one is that chance is the dominant change mechanism." Well, if that's what the data is pointing to then it's only honest to say so, but I am old enough to remember the days when creationists would say that it is not reasonable to assume that chance produced all the diversity and rise of complexity that we see in the earth's living things throughout time. And I remember the response "but we are not saying it was chance, we are saying that it was natural selection acting through chance." So it seems to me they are arguing in a circle, albeit one which has taken two decades to swing round.

Chance doesn't operate like this though. It may produce repeating patterns, but it doesn't drive increasing complexity and any increasing diversity it produces is through a loss of form and function into chaos, not exquisite adaptation. The explanation of "chance" is as unsatisfying now as it was decades ago when evolutionary scientists were assuring people like me that it was natural selection, not chance, driving evolution. 

Of course science is bound operationally by methodological naturalism. As scientists, they couldn't see God if God were standing right in front of them. Nor even acknowledge the gray areas between Evolution, Intelligent Design, and Special Creation. As men and women however, we ought to be able to take off that "science" cap which binds what we are allowed to consider (natural causes only) and realize that natural forces alone are insufficient to explain the diversity of life in Earth's history. To ascribe "chance" as the driving force of evolution is as close to ascribing life's diversity and complexity to God as science can get. And the scripture to some extent agrees. The New Living Translation of Proverbs 16:33 says...

We may throw the dice, but the LORD determines how they fall.

Even the events we see as random are really ordered by Him.

******

While scientists need to change some of their ideas about evolution, the church also needs to change some mistaken ideas about what the text of early Genesis is actually saying. It's a far more Christ-centered document than generally accepted theology accounts for.  The book below, available at no change for those with access to Kindle Unlimited, peels back the layers of misunderstanding and reveals the truth of Early Genesis and how it points to Christ. It takes some work, but for someone willing to do the work then the knowledge of the mystery of Christ in early Genesis is there for the having.