There’s that one question that has plagued Christians on anthropological origins. Many young earth creationists claim there cannot be any gaps in the genealogy, which is what leads us to dating the time frame of the earth being young. Old earth creationists, like myself, believe that there are gaps in the genealogy. The question is whether it explains anything at all and how much does it explain?
The genealogies are adequate but not complete. No matter how you read the genealogies, you must concede that there are gaps. For example Mt. 1.8:
Asa the father of Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat the father of Jehoram, Jehoram the father of Uzziah.
However, 1 Chron. 3.10-12 reads it differently:
Asa his son, Jehoshaphat his son, Jehoram his son, Ahaziah his son, Joash his son, Amaziah his son, Azariah [also called Uzziah] his son.
Why did Matthew leave out three generations: Ahaziah, Joash, and Amaziah? Scholars cite some reasons for the seeming discrepancy. In many biblical lists of descendants, cadence and pattern hold great importance. Matthew presented three groups of fourteen generations each: fourteen from Abraham to David; another fourteen from David to the Babylonian exile; and a third set of fourteen from the Babylonian exile to Jesus. To maintain the pattern of three fourteens, Matthew dropped names from the list of descendants as he deemed appropriate. I’ve mentioned in previous posts that ‘ab (father) and ben (son) are used as father, grandfather, great-grandfather, great-great grandfather; son, grand son, great-grandson, great-great grandson, etc. In this case the “father” of Uzziah can be understood to be the great-great grandfather. Luke also adds Cainan between Arphaxad and Shelah (cf. Lk. 3 and Gen. 11).
The existence of gaps in the Genesis genealogies should not be construed as flaws. The gaps mean we must treat them as we would abbreviations. The words translated into English say this: “When X had lived Y years, he became the father of Z.” Someone reading the same passage in Hebrew would see a second possibility: “When X had lived Y years, he became the father of a family line that included or culminated in Z.” I think this interpretation is grammatically consistent and is adequate in light of the gaps presented. I spoke with Dr. Wilson over the phone a while back and this was one of the points that he mentioned. I concede that anthropology is a weak area for me for I haven’t studied it as much as I have, say, cosmology. As far as the precise dates for the origin of humanity we know fairly well the dates of Moses and Abraham and the rest of the extrapolation is primarily scientific interpretations because the gaps in the genealogies don’t give precise dates (you can only do this if you trust the record of nature as being factual and being constant, otherwise, there’s no purpose to science). In 1995 a Y-chromosome research project—one which examined a hundred times more nucleotide base pairs than any previous study—fixed the date for the most recent common ancestor of all human males at somewhere between 35,000 and 47,000 BC. The grammatical structure isn’t lenient enough to get the 250,000 years or so that evolutionists would want to claim (I believe Dawkins has mentioned the 250,000 years but I cannot provide an exact citation for that at this time).
 Hugh Ross, The Genesis Question (Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 2001), 108-109.
 R. Laird Harris, Gleason L. Archer, and Bruce K. Waltke, Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, vol. 1 (Chicago, IL: Moody, 1980), 5-6, 113-114.
 Hugh Ross, The Genesis Question, 109.
 Simon I. Whitfield, John E. Sulston, and Peter N. Goodfellow, “Sequence Variation of the Human Y Chromosome,” Nature 378 (1995), 379-380.