Youth Pastors and Parents ask: “Why does human origins matter?” 

Did you know that public school students in California are taught that they are cousins of gorillas…starting in 6th grade?

The first two chapters of the 6th grade textbook History Alive! The Ancient World, portrays mankind’s earliest ancestors as a group of hairy, primitive, upright African apes,1 while the 10th grade Miller & Levine Biology textbook puts humans on the same family tree with chimps, monkeys, and lemurs.2

"Lucy" (Australopithecus afarensis) as she appears on pages 14-15 of 6th grade California textbook History Alive! The Ancient World.

“Lucy” (Australopithecus afarensis) as she appears on pages 14-15 of 6th grade California textbook History Alive! The Ancient World.

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This year, many public school students will also be exposed to evolutionary teaching about man through the Smithsonian Institute Human Origins Program’s currently-touring traveling exhibit, ’Exploring Human Origins: What Does it Mean to Be Human?,’ which is being set up in public libraries around the country.3

Human origins is by-far the hottest point of controversy in the origins debate—and for a good reason. Meaning and morality depend on where we came from and who (or what) made us. If God created us, our meaning and standard of right and wrong come from Him, but if evolution is true, then we are nothing more than animals with a conscience, with no ultimate purpose or morality other than to simply survive and pass on our genes.

Origin also determines destiny. According to Scripture, the only remedy to the sin and death brought into the world by our ancestor Adam is the atoning sacrifice of our blood-relative, Jesus Christ, the Last Adam. But if we are evolved animals, then there was no Fall of man, sin does not exist, death is not the result of sin, and there is no ultimate reason to our existence. You live only for yourself, and when you die, you are accountable to no one for your actions.

Since most Christian students attend public school, this should be a cause for great concern. Scripture warns us to, “Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.” (Colossians 2:8) How much more should we teach the next generation to do the same? 

Instead of allowing our students to be stolen by evolutionary ideas, we need to train them to be, “casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5) This is our mission at Genesis Apologetics: to equip parents, students, and youth pastors with tools to help them think critically and biblically about evolution.

In an effort to answer questions specifically on the origin of man, over the next several weeks we will be posting articles on our blog answering the claims of your jr.-higher and high-schooler’s history and science textbooks. Here is the lineup:

  • Is the search for man’s origin really an exact science?
  • Was ‘Lucy’ really our great-great grandma?
  • Was Homo habilis really the first ‘handy-man’?
  • Was Homo erectus really an ape-like brute?
  • Were there really ‘cave-men’?
  • Does our body really have ‘leftover’ parts from evolution?

Also, a full-length book by Genesis Apologetics researchers on human evolution is currently in the works, so stay tuned!

Free Resources for Further Learning:

Did Humans Really Evolve From Apelike Creatures? 

Couldn’t God Have Used Evolution?

Why Shouldn’t Christians Accept Millions of Years?

Does Genesis Matter to the Gospel?

Bibliography:

1Frey, Wendy, John Bergez, and Amy Joseph. History Alive!: The Ancient World. Palo Alto, CA: Teachers’ Curriculum Institute, 2004. 5-22. Print.

2Miller, Kenneth R., and Joseph S. Levine. Miller & Levine Biology. Boston, MA: Pearson, 2006. 766. Print.

3“Exploring Human Origins: What Does It Mean To Be Human?” Smithsonian Institute Human Origins Program. Smithsonian Institution, n.d. Web. 12 Sept. 2015. <http://humanorigins.si.edu/exhibit/human-origins-traveling-exhibit>.