At the Christ and Creation conference last Friday morning Dennis Venema and Scot McKnight gave back to back talks based on their new book Adam and the Genome. The major points in 25 minutes each. Both excellent talks followed by a joint (but brief) Q&A time. Both talks were excellent and inspired many in attendance to buy the book. (Baker ran out of the supply on hand well before the afternoon sessions were over.) I am slowly working through the book, starting with the evidence for evolution in general and human evolution in particular. Whatever you think of the pathways for integrating the evidence with Christian faith, it is important to take the evidence seriously. If you are not a biologist and wonder why biologists and most other scientists find the evidence compelling, buy this book and read Dennis’s overview. This is an excellent introduction to a complex topic.
Analogy to Language. In Chapter 2 of the book Dennis uses several different illustrations to help the lay person understand the basic principles of evolutionary biology. None of the analogies are perfect, as Dennis makes clear, but each is helpful. We can understand elements of the evolutionary process better if we step back and consider the case of language. Consider six “English” versions of John 14:6
- ca. 990 AD. Se Hælend cwæð to him: Ic eom weg, and soðfæstnys, and líf: ne cymð nan to Fæder, buton þurh me. (Anglo-Saxon)
- ca. 1395 AD: Jhesus seith to hym, Y am weie, treuthe, and lijf; no man cometh to the fadir, but bi me. (Wycliffe Bible)
- ca. 1535 AD: Iesus sayd vnto him: I am the waye ye truthe and ye life. And no man cometh vnto the father but by me. (Tyndale Bible)
- ca. 1611 AD: Iesus saith vnto him, I am the Way, the Trueth, and the Life: no man commeth vnto the Father but by mee. (King James)
- ca. 1769 AD: Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (King James)
- ca. 1982 AD: Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. (New King James)