ardiIt was announced today that the oldest human skeleton–a four foot female, named “Ardi” by scientist,  who walked upright about four million years ago–offers new clues to the evolution of humanity (read CNN article here). For Darwinian Evolutionist this is another “ah-ha” moment disproving the Judeo-Christian creation narrative. For young earth creationist this is another hoax; it is another attempt to disprove that God created everything that will eventually pass away like previous “missing links”. What about those of us who reside somewhere in the middle? We have been dubbed ‘theistic evolutionist’. What do we think of Ardi?

About a week ago Nick Norelli raised this question in response to a video by Old Testament scholar Tremper Longman III (see here). In the video Longman suggest that Genesis 1 & 2 do not prevent Christians from accepting the evolutionary hypothesis about the origins of humanity. Rather, Adam may be the first “human” that evolved from a lower species and at some point in the process God did something powerful and creative that distinguished us from the rest of the created, evolving order (my view). Or maybe “Adam” and “Eve” are meant to serve as representatives of the earliest humans (plural), but not literally one man and one woman (Nick’s view here). Longman himself has not settled on either one of these possibilities, but as Nick and I would both agree, there is plenty of room for either in one’s reading of Genesis 1 & 2.

Earlier Jay Bakker asked via his Twitter account if this changed anyone’s opinion on Adam and Eve. My answer: No. When Gen. 2:7 says that God formed Adam from the dust of the ground it does not say how this occurred, only that it occurred. Did it happen in a moment? Over a longer period of time? Whatever the case may be I do not see how “from the ground” is any better than “from the same species that apes also evolved”. It is as if many read Gen. 2:7 as saying God created humanity ex nihlo–from nothing! It does not say that. Therefore, it is not incompatible with evolution.

I must say though that if Eve looks like Ardi it is a miracle that Adam found her so attractive (see 2:22-23)!

Also: For humor watch Steven Colbert’s recent interview with Richard Dawkins here.

Update: Scot McKnight is discussing the subject here.

Update: Alister McGrath on Augustine of Hippo’s view of Genesis 1 & 2 here.

Update: We were shunned by the ‘The Biblioblogers Carnival of Ardi” over at Dr. Jim’s blog! See here. It may be because ‘Near Emmaus’ is not a top 50 blog, but hey, we have 113 comments! HT: Jim  West.

UPDATE on the last UPDATE! Dr. Jim includes us! And he even dedicated a YouTube video of a country song written by Adam himself.