Dinnertime conversation led us to discuss the question that will be asked by friends, coworkers, or classmates in our age when Christianity is looked at with skepticism. I hope our children (and those of our church) will be ready to deliver the loving news of the loving God to a world much in need of grace in spite of the rope-a-dope of skeptics’ questions. Answering this question shouldn’t be aimed at defeating the skeptic but rather at lovingly pointing the way toward thinking clearly about our good God’s word.
The question is thought to expose the absurdity of the Bible. After all, the creation story leaves humanity in an impossible pinch. If God created the first man and woman, how can you explain their son, Cain, finding a wife with whom he can have children? You’re left with two possibilities: 1) there is no wife for Cain so the human race is stagnated at a population of 3 or 2) even worse, Cain must marry his sister and have children through incest. God’s message of grace is debunked. There’s no way out of this one, right?
Actually if you think through the dizzying, statistical improbably long chain of genetic mutations required for a single-cell organism to evolve into a fully developed, 46-chromosome, 20,000-genome person… you’re left in a very surprising scenario. Hmmm.
Think about it. We know what mutations are. Babies, or animals, are born with a missing or extra body part. Now never mind the fact that mutations produce lesser developed offspring not higher (suggesting that evolution could never happen in the first place), let’s just go with it. Geneticists have estimated there need to be billions of mutations all happening in the right order, in consecutive offspring, for a human to evolve. Answers in Genesis says,
So, what are the odds of getting three mutations in a row? That’s one in a billion trillion (1021). Suddenly, the ocean isn’t big enough to hold enough bacteria to make it likely for you to find a bacterium with three simultaneous or sequential related mutations…What about trying for four related mutations? One in 1028. Suddenly, the earth isn’t big enough to hold enough organisms to make that very likely, and we’re talking about only four mutations. (Read the whole article here.)
Get the picture? Evolution is not going to happen at this rate. But let’s just say it does. What do we get? We get ONE evolved parent…1…umm we need two parents, right? So where does evolved Adam find his wife? Well we’ll need to go ahead and just double the mathematical improbability in order to get an evolved Eve for evolved Adam. Again, this is just not possible! But, for the sake of discussion, let’s say it happens. What next?
Then evolved Adam and evolved Eve have a son, evolved Cain. And then what? After all of that mind-blowing, statistical improbability to get the first two parents we end up in the EXACT SAME spot as with the Bible asking the EXACT SAME question, “Where does evolved Cain find his wife?” Quite ironic isn’t it?
It’s possible this discussion could allow time for this friend to really begin pondering the actual message in the life of Cain. He ended up being a guilty person (he murdered his brother, Abel) in need of forgiveness. And that is where we all are.
This is why Jesus came to save us.