If you’ve been paying any attention to the news over the last week or so, I’m sure you are aware that a fossil discovery made a number of years ago has recently been revealed to the public. What makes this fossil discovery of interest (at least to those that are hyping it) is that it supposedly provides evidence of a link between primates and humans–that elusive so-called “missing link” that, until this discovery, popular science has dismissed as not being a real problem. (Strange that, isn’t it? Something that isn’t really a problem suddenly becomes a problem when they believe they have solved the problem, but when it was really a problem, it wasn’t really a problem. But I digress…) I’m no scientist, but from what I gather, the fossil is a lemur-like creature that exhibits certain traits that appear to be “human.” Now, I have not read the scientific papers on the fossil, and I know there are some elements of the scientific community that are being a little more circumspect in their pronouncements about this, but, of course, the media and pop science are all over this, claiming it to be “final proof of evolution.”
As Christians, how do we approach such discoveries? Do we give up the faith? I’m sure there are some that will, or at least will feel tempted. There are others who may want to take a second look at alternative theories of human origins that try to compromise between pop science and Scripture by undermining the integrity of Genesis 1. Others may want to stand firm in their faith, but feel the pressure from jeering friends or snide commentators who will use this kind of thing to belittle the faithful. Whether it’s Ida the Fossil, or the Talpiot Tomb, or the Gospel of Judas–how can the average lay Christian maintain their trust in God’s Word in light of such assaults?
In some cases, the believer may have to do a bit of research, dig into some history, and acquire facts. Thankfully, there are those skilled in specific areas of study that have provided resources to help (e.g., Dr. White’s book on the Talpiot Tomb is a great help to those dealing with finds of this nature). However, each one of us, by God’s grace, has been given a brain, and most of us are able to use whatever mental capacities we have to ask simple yet profound questions that help us get to the real heart of the matter. Take the case of the Ida fossil. There are good scientific reasons to be skeptical about the claims made for this fossil, and I will provide a link to the Answers in Genesis page below for more information about the find and the truth behind the science. But that aside, ask yourself: what is it they have found? A fossil. What does that fossil indicate? That a lemur-like creature once existed that had a couple of human-like features. How does this prove evolution? The evolutionists say because the theory requires a link between “apes” and humans, and this gives such a link. But what if the theory is wrong? Then no such link is necessary. In essence, this only “proves” evolution if you assume evolution happened. I think of this fossil like a photograph–a portrait. To say this fossil is related to humans is the same as saying that a photograph of one person is related to another simply on the basis of a few common traits–same eye color, same hair color. They *might* be related, but the mere existence of a photograph doesn’t *prove* the relationship.
So, the bottom line is that Ida is only proof of evolution if you first assume evolution to be true. If you dismiss the theory of evolution, Ida becomes simply another form of primate with some special characteristics: another kind of lemur that God created amongst the many, many types of creatures he created within those first six days of earth’s existence. Remember Romans 1:18ff. Unbelievers are trying very hard to suppress the knowledge of God, and it really isn’t that hard to see through their efforts, as long as you apply the correct presuppositions.
Here’s the Answers in Genesis page: Click Here.