Here is a response from my personal blog to Thinking about Evolution, written by Femi Owagbemi, a medical doctor in Nigeria. I couldn’t resist posting it here. This and other responses from Square One can be found here.
Evolution is not just a biological concept. It occurs in all facets of life. It is neither merely a human phenomenon but is common to all life and even sometimes to non-living things as we manipulate them to suit our own evolution. I believe the aim of all evolution is to increase the chances of survival and to improve the quality of that survival.
I will not pretend to fully understand biological evolution by natural selection as it is a concept that requires some serious study to be fully apprehended. Moreover, there are many theories as to the processes involved and as to the actual members of the supposed ancestry of modern Homo sapiens or Homo sapiens sapiens and our said relationship with this ancestry.
What is certain is that fossils have been found and probably many more will be. If these findings are real, as I am apt to believe they are, and not forged, then these so called human species from the early Australopithecus to the late Homo must have existed. The facts speak for themselves. Whether what is propounded from these findings is correct is another matter entirely. Science itself evolves as more information becomes available. Many of the theories that reigned back in the day are now obsolete. The Earth was once believed to be flat and suppuration was once thought to be essential for wound healing.
Faith that is true does not deny the facts. It seeks to offer the truth about them. This is where controversy should arise if there are dissenting views and not over undeniable facts. Creation science has therefore given room in creationism for the facts presented by the fossils. This young-earth creationism and non-traditional old-earth creationism does not deny the facts but offers possible explanations while maintaining belief in creation. Their theories are Flood Geology for young-earth creationism and the Day-Age and Gap theories for old-earth. Traditional creationists, I believe, still stick with creation without entertaining the possibility of pre-historic man’s existence.
I believe that all life as we now know it was created by God at a time that the earth was without form and void or unoccupied. I believe that all of mankind as it exists today is from the first man and woman – Adam and Eve, both of whom were created by God and did not evolve from a lower life form. Adam was formed as a man and he came to life when God breathed into his nostrils. He formed Eve from the rib which he took out of Adam and thus set humanity into motion. They only needed to procreate thereafter.
They both started as intelligent beings capable of social interaction. I believe Lucifer was cast down after his rebellion before this creation or re-creation if you choose. This may have led to the destruction of the world which existed then and probably had all these pre-historic creatures such as the so-called ancestors of man and dinosaurs, fossils of whom we see today. Hence, the earth became formless and vacant.
I can understand adaptations such as a weight-lifter building muscle and having his/her bones become more sturdy or the loss of such muscle mass in times of starvation. I can also understand an increase in my skin pigmentation when I’m exposed to more intense sun rays and a return to my normal complexion when I’m back to less ‘radiation’. I can even understand how long powerful arms and curved fingers, features that made australopiths agile in trees became less pronounced in Homo who did not need to be a good climber.
What I’m yet to understand though is how these phenotypes translate into the genes for expression in generations in the distant future or how organisms from distant phyla or classes could have been related in the past however distant that past might be. Homo sapiens sapiens may therefore someday evolve into some species yet unknown once we can no longer interbreed and thus become reproductively isolated, right?
My limited understanding however does not repudiate the possibility of biological evolution. I in fact tend to believe that the power that makes it possible for mankind to be perpetuated by procreation such that only one man and woman needed to be created, and that fertilization produces a mass of cells which becomes an embryo, fetus etc., that such power can also cause organisms to evolve to higher life forms.
I am therefore not afraid to believe biological evolution could have taken place sometime. I however believe Adam was not a product of this process. I also think it is paradoxical to believe God has power to create the world we live in and to do all we believe he has done, indeed to say he is both omniscient and omnipotent and yet deny the possibility that he could carry out something as simple as biological evolution – at least as simple as the naturalists or Darwinists have portrayed it.
I will end by conceding that just as the scientists have insufficient information to make incontrovertible conclusions from their findings, creationists may also have insufficient information to refute the theory of evolution by natural selection save to say Adam was not a part of it. This refutation in the extent to which it can go is based on the bible which I must say, we have not yet fully understood. The scientists work ceaselessly to improve their assertions. Creationists must also seek to understand the bible better.
I must add that I also do not believe that man as we know him now, being the most complex of species, will evolve into any higher life form. I believe everything the bible says about our origins and our destination.
OAU Teaching Hospitals,