Saturday, July 04, 2009

More on Primate Ancestors

The Reformed Academic blog asked me to add this post to their blog as comments, which can be found here. Dr. Van der Meer graciously responded with a series of comments. I reacted with this (I'm sure it will appear on their blog in due time):
With respect, I do not think it is correct to say the following (quoting Dr. Van der Meer): “Abraham Kuyper as well as Bavinck and Klaas Schilder also include in their understanding of God’s creative work God-guided evolution of creatures in time.” (At least, not in the context of an argument for common ancestry of humans and chimps.)

When I read, e.g., Klaas Schilder (H.C., 3:268), I do not see him as opening the door for the idea of common ancestry. I do not see him possibly affirming the premise that chimps and man have a common ancestor. Schilder says, “A created evolution of things can never be a stumbling block for the one who believes in scripture.” He then writes about the relative variability of the created things. Undeniably, there is development. I believe we call that “micro-evolution.” But to see that there is a constant varying within species is vastly removed from the idea of theistic evolution.

Clearly, room must be offered for the biologist, astronomer, and other natural scientists to pursue their research, but shouldn’t their conclusions be somewhat tentative? Dr. Van der Meer seems to be so sure about common ancestry—more sure, I believe, than he should be. Again, I say this with respect for my brother. The history of science is littered with the castings of old premises, working hypotheses and theories. The day may come that today’s firm convictions will be flotsam and jetsam cast overboard for new ideas.