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Ancient Teeth May Change the Scientific Story of the Origin of Humans

January 3, 2011

“We may be found and induced by the testimony of the Church to a high and reverent esteem of the Holy Scripture. And the heavenliness of the matter, the efficacy of the doctrine, the majesty of the style, the consent of all the parts, the scope of the whole (which is, to give all glory to God), the full discovery it makes of the only way of man’s salvation, the many other incomparable excellencies, and the entire perfection thereof, are arguments whereby it doth abundantly evidence itself to be the Word of God: yet not-withstanding, our dull persuasion and assurance of the infallibly truth and divine authority thereof, is from the inward work of the Holy Spirit bearing witness by and with the Word in our hearts.”  (Westminster Confession of Faith, written in 1643-46)

This means that the words of Scripture are “self-attesting”. They cannot be “proved” to be God’s words by appealing to a higher authority. For if any appeal to some higher authority (like historical accuracy or logical consistency) were used to prove that the Bible is God’s Word, then the Bible itself would not be our highest or absolute authority: it would be subordinate in authority to the thing that we used to prove God’s word. As renowned theologian Wayne Grudem says,

“If we ultimately appeal to human reason, or to logic, or to historical accuracy, or to scientific truth, as the authority by which Scripture is shown to be God’s words then we have assumed that the thing to which we appealed to be a higher authority than God’s words and one that is more true or more reliable.” (Grudem, Systematic Theology)

One major problem with holding scientific knowledge as a higher authority than the Word of God is that it is always changing. We learn more and we realize preconceived notions were wrong. Human knowledge is in a state of becoming. God is not. His knowledge is absolute.  The discovery mentioned in the video above is an excellent example of this. They have discovered human teeth in 400,000 year old rock in Israel. This is a major find and upsets preconceived ideas for the evolutionarily timeline of man. In essence, the time period for ‘homo sapiens’ living on earth just doubled overnight. Doubled! That is not trivial. This is the equivalent of the carpet being pulled out from under everything we have ‘learned’ about the origin of the human species. As the archaeologists who discovered the remains, Avi Gopher, stated, “It’s very exciting to come to this conclusion. This changes the whole picture of evolution.”

On Sunday December 26th the scientific community went to sleep confident in the belief that modern man and the Neanderthals descended from a common ancestor in Africa. On Monday they learned that it is indeed possible that modern man in fact originated in the Middle East (as stated in the Bible). The point is that it is wrong to use imperfect human knowledge as the judge for the credibility of divine revelation.

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