Title: Scientific Interpretation Concerning Creation of Man in the Bible and the Qur’án
Author: Suparjo (CRCS, 2004)
Keywords: God, creation, evolution, interpretation, and theology
The Bible and the Qur’án use various terms and descriptions concerning creation of man. On the one hand, both scriptures describe direct and instant creation of man by God; but on the other hand, both describe gradual creation of man that reveals continuing creation. This makes people of those scriptures become different in understanding it.
Generally, Christian and Muslim theologians can be divided into two groups. The first group mostly consists of scriptural literalists who understand the scriptures as books of science. They understand some scriptural stories as historical fact, i.e. the story of creation of man. They believe that God, which they describe as personal and anthropomorphic God, directly created origin of human beings; while Adam from clay, Eve from a left rib of Adam. The second group mostly consists of contemporary theologians who understand the scriptures as books of faith, not book of science. They understand some scriptural descriptions as myths or symbols. They understand the story of creation of man as symbolical expression of glorification of God and human relation with Him. They do not understand such story literally so that they promote that human beings come to the earth through evolutionary process controlled by God.
The coming of the theory of evolution also influences Christian and Muslim theologians’ views about creation of man. Many of them try to show that scriptural descriptions concerning creation of man are valid, whereas the theory of evolution is false. They support their idea with scientific data. The most extreme of them promote creationism that understands that God directly created origin of human species. Many others try to understand that between scriptural concepts of creation of man and the theory of evolution are meeting points. Many of them even try to integrate those two ideas. They understand scriptural concepts of creation scientifically; vice verse, they understand the theory of evolution theistically. They promote contemporary theologies, such as natural theology, theology of nature, and synthetic theology. As the result, they understand that the process of evolution is a way that which God created human beings.
Their effort to integrate between both always develops. The integrative explanation today may be revised in the next time because there are still many arguments that have not given satisfying explanation for theological problems, such as salvation and evils, for people who understand that those both ideas—evolution and creation—are true yet. However, they principally understand that God involves in the natural processes.
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