Human evolution and alcohol have been together in the news a lot recently. Discover Magazine wrote about a new study that was aimed at discovering when our supposed human ancestors “acquired the ability to consume foods containing ethanol, such as fermented fruits.” This study, “using the tools of paleogenetics,” supposedly “traced the evolutionary history of an enzyme that helps us metabolize ethanol, the principal type of alcohol found in adult beverages. Scientists believe early human ancestors evolved their ethanol-digesting ability about 10 million years ago to fortify their diet as they shifted from a tree-based lifestyle to a more ground-based lifestyle.”
How should Christians understand this study from a biblical worldview? Well, according to the Bible, humans were created fully formed and functional in the image of their Creator (Genesis 1:27). Adam was created from the dust, and Eve from his side (Genesis 2:7, 22). Humans did not shift from a “tree-based lifestyle to a more ground-based lifestyle” because humans did not evolve from ape-like ancestors. And the history of human origins described in the Bible is supported by the observational evidence. For example, when the human genome was mapped in 2003, the researchers declared that there was only one race—the human race. While evolution predicted that there were many different races, the Bible teaches that everyone is the descendant of Adam and Eve, so there is only one race. And this is supported by the observational evidence.
Also, evolutionists, despite all their efforts, have been unable to come up with even one indisputable human ancestor. All of the examples given by evolutionists for our evolutionary ancestry easily fall into one of three categories. They are either parts of humans and apes put together (such as the famous hoax Piltdown man), apes that have been upgraded to a humanlike status by emphasizing certain characteristics (such as Lucy), or humans that have been downgraded to ape-like status by emphasizing certain characteristics (like Neanderthals historically have been). But none of these are real ape-men—they are only ape-men in the minds and imaginations of those committed to the worldview that life evolved over millions of years. To learn more about supposed ape-men I encourage you to order Dr. David Menton’s Three Ways to Make an Ape-Man DVD.
Now, alcohol is mentioned throughout the Bible (Genesis 27:28; Proverbs 20:1; Ephesians 5:18), with the earliest reference being post-Flood when Noah consumed too much wine and became drunk (Genesis 9:21). Our bodies having the enzymes they need to be able to metabolize the ethanol found in alcohol (these enzymes are also used to break down natural alcohol molecules found in various foods) has nothing to do with evolution.
When we read studies or news articles like the recent story about human evolution and alcohol, we need examine them in light of what the Bible teaches. Life, including human life, did not evolve so there is no reason to search for the evolutionary beginning of anything.
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This item was written with the assistance of AiG's research team.