The Meaning of Life–Where Did We Come From?
In our look at the meaning of life, we asked the question: Where did we come from? With the help of some science we’ve just seen where the universe came from. The Theory of Relativity shows us there must have been a First Cause for the universe. This First Cause we call God. From this we concluded God must be eternal, infinite, omnipresent, omniscient, immaterial, transcendent, self-existent, unchanging, and personal.
But what about we humans? Where specifically did we come from? We turn to the Bible’s answer in Genesis:
Genesis 1:26–28 (NLT):
26 Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.” 27 So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
Genesis 2:7, 18-24 (NLT):
7 Then the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground. He breathed the breath of life into the man’s nostrils, and the man became a living person…
18 Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.” 19 So the LORD God formed from the ground all the wild animals and all the birds of the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would call them, and the man chose a name for each one. 20 He gave names to all the livestock, all the birds of the sky, and all the wild animals. But still there was no helper just right for him.
21 So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. While the man slept, the LORD God took out one of the man’s ribs and closed up the opening. 22 Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib, and he brought her to the man.
23 “At last!” the man exclaimed. “This one is bone from my bone, and flesh from my flesh! She will be called ‘woman,’ because she was taken from ‘man.’ ” 24 This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.
There is a lot here to unpack, but today we are only interested in man’s creation. Some people, even Christians, think of this tale as symbolic, a nice story, but an unlikely sequence of events. It’s beyond their experience that any living thing could be made simply from “ground” or “dust”. Yet that’s exactly how the Bible describes the process.
Does it matter if Adam and Eve were real people and that the events of Genesis 2 happened as described? I submit that it does. And in subsequent posts I will present arguments from the fossil record and evidence from DNA and elsewhere to show that science actually supports Genesis’s description of man’s creation.
Yet even without this evidence, why would we think that a God who could create the universe from scratch—in a single instant—could not also “form” a fully grown man—in an instant—using elements from the earth? Would such a feat be beyond God? We’ve already shown God is omnipotent. Omnipotence means he is all-powerful, able to perform any act not contrary to his nature. I submit: For such a supreme Being, creating man from dust should be “child’s play”.
Thus we conclude that all of mankind are children of this first couple. From them we inherited both “God’s image” and their fallen nature. We’ll talk more about this later. For now, we have an answer to our first question on the meaning of life: Where did we come from?
But now we must address the world’s answer to the question of man’s creation—evolution. For the next three posts, we’ll look at the arguments against evolution. That will be the end of our “science posts”.