USA Today had a story on the front page last week detailing the discovery of a fossil which many believe could change the way science textbooks write about human origins.
According to the article, the discovery of “Adri” (a 4.4 million-year-old fossil) shows that human beings and apes may not share a common ancestry in a being that closely resembles a modern-day chimp. Rather, a more civilized creature that is human-like is the origin of humans while chimps are the evolutionary off-shoot.
While perhaps some in the traditional Christian community do not find this more pleasing than the typical Darwinian interpretation that has dominated the public square for more than a century, I find much encouragement in this discovery.
Given the highly intensive nature of the scientific and theological debate over cosmological and anthropomorphic origins, each side (macro-evolutionists and creationists of all stripes) have fiercely fought for “their way.” The result, I have seen, has been a robust scientism in both camps that has vanquished much humility, charity, and cooperation with other credentialed scientists. Even I, an amateur philosopher by training, side with “my guys” like Thomas Kuhn, Karl Popper, and Michael Poyani.
Yet, each new discovery and slight paradigm shift has the tendency to further entrench most into their respective hermeneutical camp. But the possibility of intellectual honesty and humility to grasp all within the scientific community, both Darwinians and creationists, is also present.
Instead of focusing on courts, legislation, and the politics that very much shapes, directs, and guides scientific inquiry and publication – perhaps a more “open” view of others who just as much value the free enterprise of knowledge and research through the scientific method will allow greater unity among the growing number of dissatisfied scientists with either the establishment or the dissension. And such openness needs to come sooner than later if my generation (mosaic, emerging, postmodern) is to put any sort of credible faith into science. My prediction is that if shouting and fist-clenching continues amongst academic elites in science then younger generations will eventually reject the beuracritized system that both evos and IDs both have created through their lack of love and communication.