DID ADAM EXIST?, by Vern S. Poythress

Published on October 7, 2022 by Steve West

P&R, 2014 | 39 pages

A Brief Book Summary from Books At a Glance

by Steve West


About the Author

Vern Poythress (PhD, Harvard University; ThD, University of Stellenbosch) is distinguished professor of New Testament and biblical interpretation at Westminster Seminary, Philadelphia. He is the author of numerous books and articles.



In this booklet, Vern Poythress takes a succinct look at some of the main scientific data that is enlisted in discussions about whether or not the biblical account of Adam and Eve is historically accurate. He examines the DNA evidence and identifies where philosophical assumptions and conclusions affect the conclusions drawn by scientists.



This booklet will focus specifically on the scientific data surrounding the issue of the existence of Adam and Eve. It is commonly said that humans and chimps share 99% of their DNA, and this is taken as proof of common ancestry. Depending on how the DNA differences are interpreted, the number can also be accurately reported as 96%. This number, however, is only arrived at when DNA regions between humans and chimps align, which not every region does. For about one-quarter of our total DNA, there is no immediate genetic link with chimpanzees.

Even when we gather the data, the data requires interpretation. If we are atheists and accept naturalistic evolution, then we will exclude the possibility of a designer and have to account for the existence of human beings by appealing to a long evolutionary process. There is no doubt that there are similarities between humans and chimps, but what do these similarities mean? Science describes secondary causes at work, but the Bible reveals God as the primary cause behind them. Science can describe how God works through processes. It is philosophy rather than science that asserts that the processes we see are purposeless. Gradualism fails to account for the fact that God can do miracles or intervene in one-time, unrepeatable events. . . .

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DID ADAM EXIST?, by Vern S. Poythress

P&R, 2014 | 39 pages

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