Biblical creationism and the study of evolution have been a controversial debate for decades. Creationism argues that faith should take precedent over science, basing its understanding on religious beliefs. Evolutionists believe that the earth is much older than what the Bible describes and that plants, animals, and humans result from a natural progression called evolution.
To those who believe in evolution, men’s common ancestor is a simple organism, not Adam. It was a natural selection process stemming from inorganic compounds and nature.
For many people in the scientific world, it is hard to take a final stance on this issue since there is evidence of evolution.
There are some of those who tried to compromise creation and evolution. Scientists who believed in God claimed that religious teaching is compatible with modern science, and thus it was God who guided the evolutionary trajectory. Francis Collins (American physician-geneticist) declared, “Evolution is real, but God set it in motion.” This is Theistic Evolution.
However, theistic evolution still cannot explain how creationism could fit into the evolutionary process. The Bible claimed Adam was the first man, as he and all life on earth appeared simultaneously. Most pro-evolution scientists will not buy the idea that Adam plays a part in evolution.
How does evolution work?
Our earth is about 4.5 billion years old! The earliest undisputed evidence of life on earth dates from at least 3.5 billion years ago. The timeline of life is water, followed by a single-celled life, all the way to multi-cellular life and finally life as we know today.
Most scientists in the 19th century believed God created man, and the universe, nature, earth, like, and human originate with the supernatural act of divine creation. Then came Charles Darwin, who shattered these beliefs.
Charles Darwin, a naturalist from the University of Cambridge, explained with evidence how evolution occurred. It all started in 1831; Darwin followed an expedition traveling for five years around several continents. Darwin studied life specimens and fossils collected from his travels, which gave him a clue that life evolved.
Darwin argued that all animal and plant species, including humans, weren’t independently created. Still, they descended from a common ancestor, which later diversifies through Natural Selection with no interference from God. Thus evolution is the development of life on earth which began billions of years ago and continues to this day.
Can Creationism and Evolution compromise?
“Have not the disbelievers see; how the heaven and the earth were one piece, and we parted them, and we created every living thing out of water? Will they then not believe?” (Quran 21:30)
Many Muslims shared the belief with their Christian and Jewish brethren about the origin of life. Ask any of them, and most will agree to the idea of creationism. Most Muslims believe Adam is the first human and life existed on earth existed simultaneously and remains unchanged.
However, the Muslim holy book, the Quran verse above, will show that creation is just part of the story, as “every living thing created out of water.” Since every living thing originated from water, it meant the Quran supports the idea of evolution.
In an evolutionary theory, all animals and plants originated from a simple life form, and this life form requires water to start the process rolling. Therefore, not all religions began with the idea of creationism. If the Muslims were to read their Quran carefully, they would discover that this book supports the theory of evolution.
What about Adam?
“And when the Lord said to the angels: Lo! I am about to place a viceroy on the earth. They said; wilt Thou place one who will harm, and will shed blood, while we hymn Thy praise and sanctify Thee? He said; surely I know which you know not!” (Quran 2:30)
If we accept the Christian, Muslim, or Jewish views of creation, they will say Adam is the first human being to be placed on earth. That would be a big problem to counter the argument about human evolution because of the extensive fossil evidence pointing humans existed millions of years ago.
But if we understand the statement made by the Quran above, Adam was the emissary, not the first human. The angels must have witnessed the destructive power of humans before Adam.
We saw from documentary videos how animals like ants, cats, and dogs fight for survival. We also saw even chimpanzees used tools such as rocks and sticks to hurt and kill their fellow apes. The early humans might have done the same thing, and the angels bear witness to this. Therefore, when God was about to place his representative on earth, the angels were very concerned about the chaos and corruption this viceroy could do.
Evolution of men
Life did start billions of years ago. All organisms on earth started from a common ancestor, sparked by chemical reactions as soon as there was enough water on earth. From this reaction, a chain of events called evolution occurred.
Humans evolved directly from the hominid family (Great Apes). The evolution was, however, not linear, rather like a web. Genetic studies show that primates diverged from other mammals 85 million years ago.
Men, who related to other primates, faced evolution as their lineage trajectory parted to become apes and humans. The earliest human fossils existed over 3 million years ago. About 1.8 million years later, humans, known as Homo-Erectus, started walking upright. Almost all hominids fossils were found in East Africa.
However, 60,000 years ago, scientists started naming men as homo-sapiens. Before this, the population of men, threatened by climatic and environmental changes, declined. Constant warfare among each other might also be a factor in their declining numbers.
Then suddenly, humans could understand and tamed nature. They understood arts and language. They could walk to distant places without fearing the hostile animals or environment. All these were possible because they learned the knowledge from their father, Adam.
The picture is apparent; it is undeniable evolution took place millions of years ago, and along the evolutionary trajectory, hominid appeared. In the 1960s and the 1970s, scientists discovered hundreds of fossils primarily found in Africa. Thus Africa was called the Cradle of Humankind.
Before 60,000 years ago, men lived the life of hunter-gatherers. Probably they lived like wild animals we saw nowadays; eat, mate, and fight. Men don’t understand art, nor do they have complex languages. Five hundred thousand years ago, the best they can do was tame fire and use simple tools.
Men faced the possibility of extinction as their numbers dwindled because of climatic and environmental changes. The fight for survival among the hominids due to lack of food might have made things worse.
Either Adam was sent directly from heaven, or one hominid mutated to become Adam; his existence changed humans forever. They quickly multiplied, as they now had the power to control nature. They know art, and they invented complex languages, and they could solve difficult problems. Therefore, scientific evolution and the biblical accounts of Adam’s creation were correct.
Jason cross-reference the Bible and Darwin’s theory. He sipped his tea and jotted down more points. Jason put the pen in his mouth, and soon he would continue his lecture. He had made his final preparation on the subject “Creation or Evolution,” and he would be presenting to his students very soon.
The Viceroys of God: Chapter 8, Page 72