It is an interesting read about the Reasons to Believe model of human origins. (@AJRoberts)
If I was to summarize, it seems that RTB holds:
- Homo sapiens = “human”
- Image of God = capacity for religious practice, art, music, and a spirit, awareness of an afterlife, and a spirit.
- Everything without the Image of God = Beast
- Neanderthals do not have Image of God, but Homo sapiens do.
- Any notion of the Image of God is seriously threatened if there is not a sharp divide between Neandertals and Humans.
- Adam, Eve, and their descendents exclusively have the image of God.
RTB does not at all make clear on their website, whether or not they think there was Neandertal-Human interbreeding. I’ll plan on asking them this week what their real position is. Though the YEC Todd Woods, says,
“the RTB model” persists in classifying these obvious humans [Neandertals] as animals. In direct contradiction to Rana’s previous claim to the contrary, they now say that human/Neandertal interbreeding does not falsify their model.
Neandertals in bizarro world
What I do not precisely understand is how they are certain that humans must be Homo sapiens. Why not just say that there is a sharp line somewhere, but we can’t say for sure where. After all (vis a vis Woods), the genetic data is unclear where the line is:
It certainly is not clear how to draw the line for species there, and Neandertal are much more like humans than chimpanzees (despite’ Rana’s analogy).
Uncertainty about the precise definition of human, at the very least, would give them flexibility to adjust with scientific findings. Seems like that could have some real value in preserving the theology that is important to them. Then @vjtorley (human = Homo antecessor) or @Agauger’s (human = Homo genus) models might even work for them.
Any ways, aside from RTB’s model, what do you all think. Do Neandertals have the Image of God?