Alice C. Linsley
The more I study Genesis, the more convinced I become that the book isn't about human origns. It is about the origins of Messianic expectation. Genesis is about the ruler-priests of Abraham's Horite caste and their faith in the promise that the Creator made to their ancestors in Eden.That said, Evangelical scientists are still trying to use Genesis to develop a model that reconciles current scientific (read evolutionary) understanding of human origins with the Genesis creation stories.
Denis Alexander, Director of the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion at St. Edmund’s College, Cambridge recently gave a talk in which he stated this:
Building models to relate biblical texts to science requires no concordist interpretations of the text (in the traditional sense of the word ‘concordist’). The disciplines of both science and theology should be accorded their own integrity. The Genesis texts should be allowed to speak within their own contexts and thought-forms, which are clearly very distant from those of modern science. We can all agree that the early chapters of Genesis exist to convey theology and not science. The task of models is then to explore how the theological truths of Genesis might relate to our current scientific understanding of human origins.
Read more here.
There is a great difficulty here since the very notion of evolution is contradictory to understanding of creation held by those who gave us the Genesis material. They viewed the creation as having a fixed geometry, exhibiting a fixed order, with fixed boundaries between species.
Further, African origin stories can't be forced into an evolutionary mold. The idea that humans evolved from apes is considered an insult. Dr Mathole Motshekga, Executive Director: Kara Heritage Institute (IKS), has written: "The Custodians of African heritage, the Amakhosi and Izinyaka do not know or accept that humanity and Africans in particular descended from the baboons of Maropeng (Sterksfontein), they regard this as an insult visited on them by archeologists and paleontologists. They want the same amount of resources given to these so-called experts to be given to IKS researchers and custodians to research and document the African Genesis (i.e. the true story of our origins)."
In the West, people believe that change over time is progress. That's an illusion because nothing changes. This existence is one unchanging Reality, and prayer is a spiritual nod to this single Reality.
This is why the debate continues between anthropologists who are willing to admit that there is no physical evidence for macro-evolution and biologists who have taken Darwin as their religion.
Related reading: "Q and A on Creaton vs. Evolution"; "Genesis and Genetics"; The Genesis Creation Stories; Overview of Human Origins