As previously announced here, acclaimed scientist and theologian, Dr. Gerald Schroeder, presented a lecture last evening in Austin on the origins of humankind from a scientific and biblical perspective. By my count, over 150 people attended the lecture, with the audience skewing very young. Dr. Robb Wilson of The Scholar Redeemer audio-recorded the lecture, and we should have a podcast of sorts available here within the next few days. In the meantime, here is a brief summary of the event.
Dr. Schroeder began with his explanation for reconciling the biblical calendar with the scientifically-calculated age of the universe of 14 billion years using the well-studied phenomenon of time dilation that arises from the expansion of the universe. His explanation hinges on an ancient interpretation of Genesis 1, which says that the first six days are distinct and separate from the rest of the biblical calendar. He argued that these six days actually contain billions of years if looked at properly. Genesis time stops partway through the sixth day with a special event — the creation of Adam — at which point the conventional biblical calendar starts. Dr. Schroeder then segued into the main topic by announcing that Adam had parents. I suspect some people were rather shocked by this notion, but Dr. Schroeder laid out the overwhelming scientific evidence for pre-Adam hominids as well as evidence from the Bible itself. The key point was that the creation of Adam was a spiritual creation, not a physical one. Human-like beings existed prior to Adam, but they were not human because they lacked the neshama (which we may be tempted to call the “soul,” but it’s more than that). After Adam received the neshama, he is described as becoming a “communicating spirit.” This tells us that the defining quality of Adam as a human being, what separated him from his predecessors, was the ability to communicate with God.
The lecture ran slightly long, which unfortunately only left time for half a dozen questions from the audience. But they were all good, substantive questions; one in particular (which I can’t remember, but will hopefully be audible on the recording) was of particular interest to Dr. Schroeder. Several young people approached Dr. Schroeder after the lecture with more questions and comments and requests for book signings. I noticed that several of them were also taking photos of the diagrams he made on the whiteboard during his talk. For any of our readers who were present at the lecture and would like to know more about the information in those diagrams, I strongly encourage you to read his best-selling book, The Science of God.
Update: Due to some unforeseen difficulties posting the audio recording, there will be no podcast of the lecture. Sorry.