is “evidence for” ideas contrary to
Scripture? They likely meant that
there is data consistent with us coming
from more than a single pair.
14 But will
the average reader understand this?
Next, Wood and Francis point out
that creationists come to the human
genetic diversity data with different
assumptions. They point out estimates
of the original population size from
supposedly packaged in the ancient
authors’ culturally conditioned
assumptions. Rather, the Bible starts
from authorial intent, and grounds
theology in history from creation to
Second, Chou shows that more is
made of certain Ancient Near Eastern
(ANE) literature discovered in the last
150 years than deserves to be made.
If there are parallels, they are usually
used in the ANE literature in different
ways for different purposes than is
found in Genesis. Chou argues that the
interplay of parallels and differences
is best explained if Genesis is myth-
busting polemic grounded in history. I
wonder if Noel Weeks’ more skeptical
approach to the significance of ANE
literary parallels is more compelling,
but Chou shows very cogently that the
traditional interpretation of Genesis 1–3
fits well into the ANE context.
Adam and evolution
Evolution presents a massive challenge to the biblical understanding of
Adam (figure 1). Can the patterns of
similarity we observe in fossils and
genetics be explained from a biblical
perspective? Ph.D. creation biologists
Todd Wood and Joseph Francis set out
to answer those questions.
Wood and Francis basically accept
the patterns of similarity evolutionists
cite as evidence for common ancestry.
However, they say it is by no means
clear that these patterns admit of only
evolutionary explanations. Regarding
the fossils, many evolutionary methods of analysing the data assume
evolution, and so cannot detect
discontinuity. Creationists have
instead developed their own methods
for detecting discontinuity, such as
has revealed discontinuity between
humans and apes.
Wood and Francis are much less
sanguine about our interpretive grasp
of the genetic data. The data is often
ambiguous, so that evolutionists
often overstate their case. Though at
present underdeveloped, there are also
many potentially fruitful avenues of
explanation in the biblical framework.
They also present some intriguing
genetic data that may suggest
discontinuity between humans and
“Creationist research has shown
that when we compare human
DNA to other human DNA,
we find a characteristic ratio of
transversions10 to transitions11
(about ten transitions for every one
transversion), but when we compare
human and chimpanzee DNA, the
ratio is significantly different (about
fifteen to one)” (p. 6 8).
Wood and Francis do not aim
to refute evolution. Rather they try to
show that evolutionists do not have
a monopoly on explaining the data.
This method has weaknesses—a
direct challenge to evolution provides
powerful intellectual permission to
explore other options. Moreover, many
creationists question their acceptance of
certain arguments, and the tentativeness
of some of their explanations.
Nonetheless, they successfully convey
a need for epistemic humility to both
evolutionary and biblical approaches
to the data.
Adam and human genetics
Evolutionists have claimed that
modern human genetic diversity
implies humans could not have arisen
from a single pair less than 10,000
13 Wood and Francis respond
by examining whether the Bible can
potentially explain the data.
Wood and Francis outline the
basics of genetics, and the basic
rationale behind evolutionary claims
about human genetic diversity. They
concede the power of the reasoning,
but also say “there is still evidence
in our own genomes that indicates
that we did not come from a single
pair of individuals” (p. 82). Why
would biblical creationists say there
Figure 1. Evolutionists have claimed that
evolution and genetics contradict the historicity
of Adam. However, this reveals more about the
biases of evolutionists than it does about the
reality of Adam.