For the past number of articles we have considered the geological data and methods that would seem to paint a fairly compelling picture of an ancient earth. We turn now to a consideration of the biological kingdom and the light that it might shed on our understanding of Genesis.
In the article that appears below, James L. Hayward, professor of biology at Andrews University, observes that all too often there is a tendency for Adventists to focus on the intricacies and the beauty of nature, while overlooking its darker side. He notes the moral indifference to be found in the biological realm and raises the question, for example, of how we should understand the role intended by the creator of parasites; or of biological forms where birth necessitates death; or of the biological necessity of death in order for other forms of biology to survive. He also considers evolutionary change, including issues of definition and vestigial structures, and time inadequacies that emerge with some narratives we are familiar with. Finally, he discusses the problems with the flood narrative in explaining the distribution of biology such as marsupials.
Dr. Hayward addresses some of the problems that biology presents to the traditional Adventist narrative, though some readers may feel that it inadequately develops robust answers to some of these problems. However, there will be other forthcoming articles that will address more directly the theological component. So, perhaps for now, we should just consider the problems and then allow the theologians in later articles to help us build a new narrative of beginnings that is responsive to the problematic data.
- Jan M. Long
To conclude our "Bringing the Real World to Genesis" series, curated by Jan M. Long, we are republishing 10 articles from the Spectrum journal. This is the fourth article. Previous "Bringing the Real World to Genesis" articles can be found here.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/5750