Monday, May 9, 2016

Human Genesis!

Last fall, the publication of the Homo naledi discovery sparked an unpredictable journey for me.  I first began just doing my usual baraminology research, as I've done for countless other discoveries.  Then I began emailing with Kurt Wise about the discovery, after which I cajoled him into writing up his own creationist perspective based on the paleontology.  Then I discovered that someone else had done their own baraminology study and submitted it to the Creation Biology Society's journal.  The next thing I know, I was emailing just about everyone I knew to scare up a set of papers giving a creationist perspective on Homo naledi and human origins.

Today in a special issue of the Journal of Creation Theology and Science Series B Life Sciences, those papers have been published.  There are nine papers, and only three by me.  This set of papers is a bit unique, since it includes a paper by W. Gary Phillips describing his own "pastoral perspective" on discoveries like this.  There are three papers that address Homo naledi, all of which agree that it's human (no surprise there).  I also included a short note on skull sizes (cranial capacity), and there are two book reviews.

As I've talked with more and more people over the past three years as president of Core Academy, I've become increasingly aware of the simpler needs of the church - needs that are very different from my own scientific questions and interests.  For example, I recently gave a lecture on the hominin fossil record and how I as a young-age creationist interpret it.  At the end, one student asked if I believed in a historical Adam.  At the time, I was a little annoyed because as a young-age creationist, of course I believe in a historical Adam, but after thinking about it more, I see once again that the average church goer gets lost in all the talk about ancestral population sizes or australopith postcranial remains.  Hence, my invitation to Dr. Phillips to contribute to this special JCTSB issue.

That sensitivity to the needs of the greater evangelical world led me to think of a place where I could present the best scholarship on human origins that I could find (or do).  I wanted it to be better organized and more stable than my blog, and I wanted it to connect people with reliable information about creationist views on human origins.  And so was born Human Genesis.

Human Genesis is an outreach of Core Academy of Science.  It is our attempt to help Christians (especially fellow evangelicals) understand how fossils, DNA, and Genesis all work together in the creationist perspective.  It is very much a work in progress, which is why it's not just a book.  At the rate science is going, a book would be out of date as soon as I finished the manuscript.  The site is also supposed to be multi-media, and I included seven new videos, which you will find there (it will take about an hour to watch them all).

Astute readers will notice that I don't have much in the Human Genesis genetics section, and that's because I focused on fossils for the launch.  I definitely understand that genetics is important, though.  In fact, for my next big project, I want to tackle that business of "ancestral population size."  Remember though that Human Genesis is just the beginning of understanding the story of how we got from Adam to us.

I hope you'll enjoy all of this work, and I hope you'll let me know what you think.

JCTSB Special Issue on Human Genesis

Feedback? Email me at toddcharleswood [at] gmail [dot] com. If you enjoyed this article, please consider a contribution to Core Academy of Science. Thank you.