Did God Create Us or Did We Evolve from a Common Ancestor with the Apes?
Question of the week: Do you believe God directly intervened to create the first modern humans or did we evolve from a common ancestor with the great apes?
My answer: I do believe God directly intervened to create the first humans. Specifically, I hold the position that all humanity is descended from a single male (Adam) and a single female (Eve) whom God specially created and from whom all human beings are descended. Genesis 1 and 2 uses Hebrew verbs (bara, asa, yatsar) for the origin of Adam and Eve that leave no other option than that God directly and miraculously intervened to bring about the origin of Adam and Eve. Genesis 3:20 states that Eve would become the mother of us all. Acts 17:26 declares that from one man God made every nation of people.
Scientific evidence that we humans are not the product of naturalistic evolution is found in the many unique attributes we possess among Earth’s life. We humans truly are exceptional. We alone among Earth’s creatures are spiritual beings. We alone invent and use symbols for complex communication. We alone have the dexterity and the eye-hand coordination to manufacture complex tools. We alone exhibit technological advance. We alone ponder the mysteries of the universe and what exists beyond the universe. My colleague Fazale Rana has documented many other evidences for human exceptionalism in articles posted at reasons.org.
I also believe God directly intervened to create the great apes and all the bipedal primate species that preceded humans. Conservation biology field experiments show that for land mammal species with an adult body size greater than 3 kilograms (about 7 pounds), those species will go extinct before they can evolve into a different mammal species. Note, too, that half of all mammal species that existed at the origin of humans have gone extinct and that during that time not a single new mammal species has appeared. For more details and reasons why God would create a specific sequence of bipedal primate species before creating human beings, see my books More Than a Theory; Navigating Genesis.