A quick note to give people something to chew on since I'm taking a day off tomorrow. Subject? Evolution. Once again, this is my own opinion; in fact, just about everything in this post will be opinion rather than dealing with what I would consider key issues of Biblical interpretation, so some readers who have criticised me for taking off on flights of fancy or "comic book stories" can just skip this and come back on Wednesday.
Most Christians, particularly those who are towards the more literal side of Biblical interpretation, see this chapter of the Bible as being anti-evolution. Generally, the idea is that since God created everything that ever was, there's no random biological processes that cause evolution to occur, whatever the term "evolution" happens to mean. I note that in my experience, when evolutionists and creationists are debating, one of the big problems is a lack of definition of terms.
More specifically, literalists lean on the repeated phrase "after his kind", as it is rendered in the KJV. Surely, the reasoning goes, this is an indication that every animal will give birth to an animal that is just like it, and not another animal unlike it. (Particularly, of course, that a monkey did not give birth to a human.) I think this sort of over-emphasis on a particular interpretation of the meaning of these words is a far worse offense than most atheists are prone to make in criticism. Most of all because evolution in its simplest terms--which has nothing to do with whether or not man has any particular ape-like ancestors--is something that you'd have to be very foolish to miss out on.
What exactly does "kind" mean here? A cat's going to give birth to a cat, that's clear and obvious. Does that mean that a cat will only give birth to a cat that's identical to its parents? That's also obvious: obviously false. Aside from everyday traits like color and fur texture, there are a host of other aspects of a cat that may widely differ from its parents. Most cats have 18 toes, five on each front paw, and four on each back one. When I was a kid, I had a pet cat that had 20 toes, five on each paw, and the front paws actually had thumbs! Somewhere in this cat's ancestry, there probably was a regular 18-toed cat, but this cat was different. It also had kittens that had extra toes. One kitten had 28 toes, seven at the end of each leg! I say each leg, because three of the four legs seemingly ended in two separate paws. (Look up "polydactyl" if you're curious. It happens in many animals including humans, but is very common in cats.)
There was an interesting belief among locals that the marshy conditions that existed in the area where I lived favored cats with oversized paws, and so such oddities were more common in that area. This may or may not have been true, but this sort of variation, along with classically-known stories like the peppered moth are simple examples of evolution in action. Before the creationists reading this deluge me with refutations of the peppered moth story (believe me, I've heard quite a few of them, including that the whole thing may have been a hoax), understand my point. Variation in colors of moths and variations in numbers of toes of cats are really no more shocking in many ways than variations in skin tone among people of the world, whom Christians believe to be descended from just two people. My point is that I don't think Christians should be afraid of evolution just because the party line is that it doesn't happen. Some of it, maybe a lot of it, actually makes sense, and in no way contradicts anything in the Bible.
Is the idea that humans evolved from monkeys somewhat offensive and anti-Biblical? Yes. But there are no real evolution-understanding biologists out there who actually believe that to be true. Really. You should check it out. Atheists reading this who think I'm full of crap should check it out with reputable sources, too. I'll probably catch a lot of crap for this post because I somehow wasn't completely precise in wording something, but hopefully some of you will know what I'm saying and not misinterpret it. I guess I'll see when I get back in a couple days.