I am going to be speaking about Genesis 1-3 and Human Origins as part of a conference later this year. While I certainly have my own areas of interest (the ANE cultural and literary elements of Gen 1-3, what role does “historicity” play, what makes a human “human”, etc), I’d love to know the questions that others are asking.
So … when you hear someone say “human origins”, what questions come to mind?
– April 2013 update –
As I put the final touches on my PowerPoint for the BCMB Conference, I thought I’d take a couple of minutes and summarize the six models of origins that Gerald Rau suggests in Mapping the Origins Debate: Six Models of the Beginning of Everything. I’ve found them to be quite helpful in categorizing and cataloguing my own thoughts.
It is not possible for a short posting like this to do justice to all of the research, information, and synthesis contained in the book, but if I were to pull out a few key points they would be these (and yes, they are taken out of context and grossly oversimplified!):
- Naturalistic Evolution
- Process: random, natural, spontaneous
- Genesis: ancient myth, no God
- Nonteleological Evolution
- Process: universe created, then undirected natural processes
- Genesis: ancient myth, God exists
- Planned Evolution
- Process: universe created perfectly, no subsequent intervention
- Genesis: noncondordist, Adam and Eve not individuals
- Direction Evolution
- Process: intervention by direction of natural processes
- Genesis: nonconcordist, Adam and Eve are individuals
- Old-Earth Creation
- Process: major body plans created separately
- Genesis: concordist, days extended
- Young-Earth Creation
- Process: each kind created separately
- Genesis: concordist, days literal
Whew, there is a lot packed in that short list, isn’t there? 🙂 As I look at the list (and after having read the book), there are some models that I can’t connect with how I read the Bible, but there are a couple of options that seem to fit well. I still have more thinking to do …
What about you? If you had to choose a model, which one would it be?