Early Cave Art Supports the Image of God

Watching Faz Rana twist, weave, and bob is quite entertaining:


Hey Faz, are you not a fan of Denisovans art?

I appreciate Faz’s efforts, but find it unnecessary to find a specific demarkation in time when humanity emerges as “created in God’s image,” as though the text requires that to be a sudden event.
The Hebrew verb 'bara gives absolutely no information on the duration, means, or methods of God’s action. It only denotes the accomplishment of something novel, as the result of God’s work.
It is absolutely fine to see that as occurring along a gradient, over an extended period of time. The Hebrew requires nothing more precise than that.


Certainly the Hebrew does not. But what about the implications for human rights and dignity?

You don’t mind the idea of people groups being half imaged, 3/4ths imaged, etc? What about the idea of equality? Certainly this would be cause for racism, no? I’m not a literal Adam guy, but the GA doesn’t solve this problem.

Did some of these people half sin and then fully sin? Do the people that fully sin have a right to put the half sin half imaged people in cages, run experiments on them, put them in a zoo?

I think these need adequate answers. I believe in human evolution and am very skeptical of a historical Adam but nevertheless…these are problems for any Christian. I have some tentative thoughts…

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Good questions, @Mark. The simple and straightforward answer is that Genesis 1:26 declares God’s intention to make all of early humanity equally “created in God’s image, male and female” and verse 27 reports that as having been accomplished by God.
So, whatever capacitative inequalities may have existed prior to this, they are declared moot by God Himself, creating a clear ethical obligation for humanity in how it is to regard other, fellow humans.
There is no concept offered of mankind being something less than fully “created in God’s image” after Genesis 1:27, and only the barest hint of it, by implication, in Genesis 1:26, which was rectified by God universally.
As for those who “sinned less,” somehow, being treated differently, look at the wording of Romans 5. There are no humans who have never sinned (there are those whose sin was not explicit, in the absence of any law from God) --except Jesus Himself.
“Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned—for until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many.” --Romans 5:12-15 NASB

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I’m sorry, but biblical texts themselves don’t even begin to address these issues. The biblical text indeed makes a sharp distinction between human beings and other animals. So does scripture as a whole.

However, if “being human” is on continuum, as a gradualist evolutionary account would imply, that sharp distinction is gone.


If we take C.S. Lewis’s famous description of the fall in light of evolution, is this sort of scenario scientifically feasible today given incomplete lineage sorting, and the idea that maybe the Out of Africa Model needs some big adjustments?

Is it encumbent upon us to imagine groups of people geographically scattered everywhere suddenly receiving Lewis’s human spirit? Or if we go back far enough, we could get all of humanity in the same locale? If we try to apply Lewis’s scenario to what we know now scientifically.



Given that you’re goal is to help people like Tim Keller come to a position that is both biblical faithful and not prohibited by current science, maybe you could help a no-Adam Christian come to a position that is also not scientifically prohibited. :smile:

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I will. This is a good question. I’ll have to help you with it in a few weeks. In the mean time, you might want to do the best you can to clearly specify the constraints of your model. As far as I know, Lewis didn’t care if everyone was in a geographically localized place. Did I miss something? Or is this just some extra requirements you are adding?

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haha. It just seems very difficult for me to imagine that all of a sudden everyone regardless of location suddenly is “different.” I’m not sure why being in one location seems more plausible but it does.

I suppose if this stipulation didn’t matter, then there would be no scientific issue. God’s intervention could always be undetectable.

When was the last time that humans were all in one location? This is obviously a question that is relevant to @Agauger and Ross and Rana’s model as well, though I don’t think it needs to be one human pair.

Also, it would seem that this is also of interest to those in favor of a GA unless GA supporters are ok with the idea of half-imaged quasi-human beings in the evolutionary lead-up to “real” human beings. Under the GA model, the existence of the humans in Genesis 1 still needs a scientific explanation.

Um, no.

How about fully imaged real people who are just not the descendants of Adam to whom Scripture refers. To quote Ramm (curtosy of @TedDavis) , we should make a distinction between biblical man and fossil man.

That’s actually one of the reasons I have preferred H erectus and a first pair as a beginning point. Their origin is a mystery. They really could have begun off screen as a first pair. (Well, with a few other necessary things too)

They began someplace nobody knows where (Africa), and some time, (between 2.2 an 1.8 MYA?) depending on who you ask. They are found in a cave Georgia about 1.8 MYA, then spread rapidly around the world,

So it solves the problem of everyone suddenly having to stop and receive a soul.

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Sure! When did this “full-imaged” humanity start? At what point? Homo Erectus?

Right after Apollo 17. :sunglasses:


I don’t get it…:frowning:

Humans were spread all over the Earth for hundreds of thousands of years. Expect for the few who went to the moon. Ok dumb joke.

I think you are going to be hard pressed to confine humanity to a specific location as humanity was all over Africa, Eurasia for hundreds of thousands of years.


It is not clear this is the case 700,000 years ago or at 2 million years ago.

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If being protohuman was ever on a continuum, prior to humanity being “created in the image of God,” in Genesis 1:27 (and as outlined by Romans 5 --and in light of the GA model --but, let’s be clear that @swamidass offers that we can also concieve of Adam as de novo) this perspective makes it clear that if there was a period in time involved in nonhuman to human development, the really important transition is described as being the result of an act of God, which may or may not be able to be elucidated scientifically.
I have views about this, but not dogmatic ones.

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There was no GA. Why would intelligent people discuss such nonsense. Genesis is a story. Get what ever you want from the story, but don’t make up another story to fit with the ancient story. You all just look silly.


I thought I saw you saying that maybe Adam was a person based on @Alice_Linsley’s stuff. Now it’s all silliness?