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Of Faith, Fossils and Folly

Some people make truth bendable and for sale to the high bidder. In an article on the unchanging nature of truth, David Sargent related a story from Booker T. Washington's book Up From Slavery. Following the Civil War, many people became teachers thinking it would be an easy way to make money. One man reportedly went from town to town, teaching for awhile and receiving pay for it. As he entered one village, locals asked him if he taught that the earth is round or flat. He replied that he was prepared to teach either way, based on the preference of the majority of his patrons! That reminds me of former Prime Minister of Great Britain Margaret Thatcher's quip: "Of course it's the same old story. Truth usually is the same old story." Thatcher was right, unless your faith is in fossils. A USA TODAY online story (Friday, October 2, 2009) was entitled "4.4-million-year-old fossil could reshape human origins." Written by Dan Vegano, the article reported on info' published in Science magazine by paleontologists (scientists who study prehistoric life). The article reminded me that paleontology is a fluid science, today's conclusions subject to change by new findings tomorrow. Vegano wrote, "The nearly complete fossil of a 4.4-million-yearold human ancestor, a female dubbed `Ardi,' is rewriting the story of human origins, paleontologists reported Thursday." According to Vegano, "The analysis of Ardipithecus ramidus (it means 'root of the ground ape') changes the notion that humans and chimps, our closest genetic cousins, both trace their lineage to a creature that was more like today's chimp. Rather, the research suggests that their common ancestor was a walking forest forager more cooperative in nature than the competitive, aggressive chimp and that chimps were an offshoot of this creature." The Science study involved a 47 member team that published 11 reports on this fossil. One team member, Owen Lovejoy of Kent State University, made the statement that because of this fossil, "We're going to have to rewrite the textbooks on human origins."

There's the problem with the theory of evolution — it makes a monkey out of man. The notion we ought to put complete faith in fossils to explain the origin of human life is pure intellectual folly. Why? Because scientists are in a continual state of "rewriting the textbooks on human origins." A bone here, a bone there, throw in a newly discovered monkey fossil or two, and you have to reshape your ideas about origins again and again. With each new find comes a new guess about how long man has been on Earth and where and who or what he came from. The Bible account of origins remains unchanged. Ten simple words announce mind-boggling events -- "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." Having trouble understanding that? Hebrews 11:3 provides a key some are simply unwilling to use in unlocking the mystery of man's origin — "By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible." Who will you trust for the truth — the Bible or a pile of petrified bones? Is your faith in fossils, or in the eternal Father?

Dan Gulley
Smithville church of Christ