The human evolution timeline is found recorded in Bible quotes (Book of Genesis). Adam's rib symbolizes the chromosome and is the key to the man ape evolution. In discussing evolution vs creation, many convergences like this one are found.
Someone who holds to the theory of evolution and denies creationism might ask why such an important matter as the creation of human beings would be in a symbolic message rather than in explicit language. And, after all, the Holy Scriptures don`t talk about chromosomes. That is a valid question, which shall be pursued below. First off, the main interest is to see the points of confluence between evolution and creation regarding the appearance of the human being.
Parallelism Between Adam's Rib and Science
There is an amazing coincidence between the numbers in the Book of Genesis involving creationism and numbers in science regarding man's evolution from the ape. The parallelism begins on the Bible quotes according to which God took out one of Adam's ribs and made the woman, Eve, with it.
And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.
The number of ribs - Men have 24 ribs - 12 on each thoracic side. The same number is found in women. The text says that God removed one rib and not one pair of ribs. Had He indeed removed only one rib, man would have different numbers of this bone on each side of his chest. Not only that, but there would also remain a doubt about the number of ribs in a female.
These contradictions disappear if the text is examined from the standpoint of information conveyed by Jesus Christ to His disciples: To God nothing is impossible. God may have removed one of Adam's ribs but He did it in such a way that the woman and all her descendants would have the same number of ribs. However, it is assumed that the rib's removal is symbolic language and explained it cannot be regarded as direct language.
A look at it now from the standpoint of science. The chimpanzee, from which science now admits that man has evolved, has 24 chromosomes in its sexual cells, i. e., 24 chromosomes in each spermatozoon and 24 chromosomes in each ovulum. This is referred to gametes, those sex cells capable of reproducing the species. Therefore, the number of ribs in a man and of chromosomes in a chimpanzee are identical. The other cells in a chimp, as in a human, are diployd, that is, they have the chromosomes in pairs - therefore, they have 48 chromosomes.
Confluence of Book of Genesis and Human Evolution Timeline
Were we to admit that the rib symbolizes the chromosome, the implicit and explicit Bible numbers say that God removed a chromosome from a chimpanzee and made a woman out of it. In other words, the "man", a chimp, lost a sex-cell chromosome and thus a woman was formed.
Indeed, the woman, just like the man, has one chromosome less than a chimp in the sex cells. The human spermatozoon has 23 chromosomes and the human ovulum also has 23 chromosomes. It makes sense. The other cells in the human being are diployd, i. e., they have 46 chromosomes. But it is needed to see what science says regarding the man ape evolution, that is, man's evolution from the chimpanzee.
Man's evolution from the ape - It is admitted that, in the evolution of the species, through some unknown phenomenon, two chimp chromosomes were fused and thus, primitive man, a hominid, came about. Some theories claim that the female came first, which, if true, would give further consistency to the symbolic version of Adam and Eve's story.
In a nutshell, this is what the matter has:
Without wandering too far from these basic issues, it should be asked why there are so many differences between human and chimp, given the "simple" fusion of two chromosomes. Furthermore, those in favor of creationism would argue that, since the similarity between a chimp's DNA and that of a human being is above 98%, humans and chimpanzees ought to be more alike. These are pertinent questions which must be carefully examined.
Starting with the numbers: the difference between human and chimp DNA is less than 2%. For three reasons, this percentage can be very meaningful:
the science is just barely beginning to understand the human genome, that is, the DNA map, that of genes and each one's role. On the other hand, we know also little about the chimp genome. Thus, it is perfectly acceptable that this percentage, though small, means much in terms of anatomical and physiological differences between the species;
the differences may be situated in fundamental parts of the DNA, enough to cause the differences between the species;
the amount of DNA in the cells is not always proportional to their complexity. Therefore, the arrangement of DNA components in humans may be more important than the quantity.
Thus, the slightly less than 2% difference between chimps and humans may become more meaningful. The "simple" fusion of one species' two chromosomes may cause many differences in the resulting species.
Why is the Bible not explicit? - In other words, why, since the issue was raised in the beginning of this article, does the Biblical message not speak directly about chromosomes? At least two answers are possible.
The first has to do with Christian and Jewish dogma: this is a sacred text, dictated or inspired by God, and there is no questioning how God speaks. The second has to do with the Biblical writers: they would be human beings possessing a deep knowledge of evolution timeline and humans nature. They knew that it would not be possible to write what men would not understand at that time (existence of chromosomes, genes, DNA). They further knew that, in a patriarchal society such as the one they lived in, women should remain in a secondary role, in the written version, to make the acceptance of God's word easier.
The faithful cling to the first answer, the dogma.
But those who are not faithful may properly ask how those writers, barely out of a semi-nomadic life, could possess such knowledge about the evolution of the species.
Examined as a book and without any preconceived position, the Bible is a singular book and its writers differed from common mortals. However, as intelligent as they might have been, there was no way they could have held such knowledge. Thus the answer is: this is a mystery.
Book of Genesis & Science: More convergence
In the pleasant study of Biblical numbers involving creation vs. evolution, there are other convergent points. Example: part of the sacred text reproduced at the beginning of this article and science's version of the differences in man/ape. The Genesis expression "closed up the flesh in its place" conveys a special meaning and suggests more parallelisms between religion and science. It could be read as "closed up the frontal lobe in its place".
In the monkeys the frontal lobe is 9% of the brain. In the man it is 30%. The frontal lobe is a tissue ("flesh"), a nervous tissue. The frontal lobe integrates most of the brain functions. Its prefrontal portion is related to the initiation of planned actions, i.e., thinking, idealizing, acting in orderly fashion, and letting out emotional expressions. In the difference is the "closed up the flesh in its place."
The appearance of the human being raises the issue of procreation. In the history of creation, this problem does not exist: once created, Adam and Eve started to reproduce. However, in evolution, ONE individual, from the fusion of the two chromosomes, would not give origin to the human species.
To illustrate,suppose that the fusion of the two chromosomes took place in a female, resulting in 23 chromosomes in the gametes, living with males bearing 24 chromosomes in the gametes. Procreation would be impossible. Even if they copulated, no ovulum would be formed due to the lack of symmetry in the DNA. How, then, would the human being have procreated in evolution?
More likely the phenomenon - physical, chemical or physical-chemical - had by then reached several individual chimps, causing chromosome fusion in many of them, both males and females. In the history of evolution, there is still another peculiarity: the bonobos have more elements than the chimpanzees to be man's ancestors.
Chimpanzees vs Bonobos
Preference for the chimpanzees over the bonobos - In the evolutionary scale, science shows preference for the chimpanzees over the bonobos, even though the latter are more similar to human beings.
See some ones:
the similarity percentage between bonobos' DNA and humans' is greater than that of chimpanzees;
their genitals are more protuding and face forward, as with humans;
except for humans, they are the only primates who copulate from the front;
they engage in homosexual and heterosexual relations;
upon reaching adolescence, the females abandon their group and join another one. In their new group they submit themselves to the female - including sexually - and then copulate with the males;
the females keep together in groups and the male respects them because, together, they will fight him for food;
they stand on two legs more frequently than chimps do and their laughter is more expressive. They are also more cordial in the group.
Despite all this, it is believed that man has evolved from chimps, due to the fact that they are found in many African regions, in wide-open areas, which would have favored their territorial dispersion. Bonobos, on the other hand, live in closed-in woods, in some regions in Africa. However, from the genetic, anatomic, emotional and behavioral standpoints, more likely the human species has come from the bonobos. Perhaps, after their community was hard-hit by a cataclysm, they took refuge in closed-in woods.
Man's Ancestor: Neither Chimpanzee nor Bonobos and Adam`s Rib
Another theory admits that chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas, orangutangs, gibbons, all belong to the primate family known as Pongid, just like the Hominid family, whose sole representative is man, all belonging to the Hominoids super family, and would have come from individuals known as Old World Monkeys.
It is possible that some violent environmental change hit Africa and Asia, altering the genetic structure of many Old World Monkeys (Cercopitecoids) sometime between six million and twenty-five million years ago. Different Pongids came into being.
Why would not different hominids have appeared? Present day human must have featured differences among individuals from the very beginning. For instance, there must have appeared at the same time individuals with white skin and with black skin in Africa and in Asia. Weather conditions and the fight for survival would have made easier for white-skinned individuals to disappear from Africa and for black-skinned individuals to disappear from ice-cold regions.
The theory of a common trunk for all Hominoids does not change the parallel with Adam's rib. The whole Hominoid super family would have come from individuals with 24 chromosomes in the gametes. One family (Pongid) continued with 24 chromosomes in the gametes while another (Hominid) appeared with 23 chromosomes.
Ruy Miranda is a Brazilian Physician and a former University Professor. In http://www.bible-quotes-science-info.com he offers articles on Bible and science; excerpts of his novel Bible Quotes in Crystal Land at http://www.bible-quotes-science-info.com/nove l/index.htm. He is not a religious person.
You may reproduce this article as long as it is in its complete form and that the resource box is included. Copyright © 2004-2005, Ruy Miranda, all rights reserved.
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