“Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was mighty in words and in deeds.” (Acts 7:22) There is nothing wrong that I can see in understanding that Moses received an oral record of Genesis and copied it, refining it, fitting it for his pen. There is nothing wrong that I can see with being satisfied that it portrays the truth of man’s appearance on this planet in the dawn of prehistory. The oral account traverses the centuries before the advent of writing or preservation of artifact.
Men, apes, and dolphins have physical similarities. There is nothing new here. Many species including some apes are extinct, as adaptation and survival continue in a hostile environment. There is nothing new there. But biology is not the be all end all of understanding of prehistoric life forms, just as natural science offers no accounting of supernatural events. God’s purpose with man, created as man, lay beyond a free will fall to a free will submission; a being in His image; that is of His breath.
It is intriguing that Genesis gives the account of a falling (from how high?). The first man was better than subsequent men. Not better meaning less primitive, but that first man lived longer, was probably larger, surely smarter and healthier. Mankind since Adam has not evolved away from savagery. We know this already in our hearts, admitted or no. The Genesis account rings true to us in all cases whether seen as poetry, myth (a symbolic representation of non-historical truth), or literal fact. Genesis is not a systematic assault on prehistory but yes, yes, it is the way it must have been. This prehistory elaborated from oral song has arrived to us through the hand of Moses, the “meekest (most humble) man upon the face of the earth,” (Numbers 12:3) as directed by God.
The descent of man theory (an ironic label), put forward popularly though not uniquely by Darwin teaches the opposite, an ascension if you will, that man is becoming throughout vast and necessary swatches of time in all ways better, smarter, healthier, than his progenitors. Development can be taken any way you want. It like several other words that are caught up in an analysis of the “descent” of man may fluctuate in its meaning and in the end perhaps have none at all. Evolutionary theory as it pertains to mankind has no relevance to man. Pictures, statues, and literature imagine pre-adamic men with fur tunics draped across one shoulder, stooped, grunting and pointing. Genesis portrays Adam speaking with God in complete sentences. Here is a man come forth from the elements and a woman came forth asexually from the man, alert and communicating with their Maker. They are conscious at once of time, space, and matter and each is aware of self and the other, sharing breath with their Creator.
But have not fallen, primitive humans adapted and become more civilized and learned? I believe so. Then has not religion itself evolved? I think not, for truth must be revealed as surely as rational man must be created. True religion has ever been taught by God Himself and mankind has been generationally and generously given as much as he can grasp. (“My cup runneth over.”) Truth as truth and man as man have begotten forth directly from the mind and spoken will of God, the revelation completed with the manifestation of the Word of God in the flesh, Jesus Christ of Nazareth. The Holy Spirit has graciously provided through historical hands a written account of this Perfect Revelation. Education allows it to be read, civilization allows it to be heard. Grace allows Him to be believed, “for without faith it is impossible to please God.” (Hebrews 11:6).