Skip to comments.Even Richard Dawkins is Right Sometimes (Is the Biblical story of Adam and Eve a myth?)
Posted on 11/29/2011 12:32:30 PM PST by SeekAndFind
For the last several months there has been a flurry of discussionmostly online, of courseabout the impossibility of a literal Adam & Eve (see, e.g., here and here and here). This ruling-out has been accomplished recently by the Human Genome Project, which indicates that anatomically modern humans emerged from primate ancestors about 100,000 years ago, from a population of something like 10,000. In short, science has confirmed what many of us already knew: there was not a literal first couple. So what else can we learn from this story?
Plenty, it turns out. Peter Enns, a biblical scholar who blogs at Patheos, has been following the discussion with some care. Lately he has done us all a great favor: written a series of posts pointing out recurring mistakes made by many of those doing the discussing. Many of these mistakes are rhetorically effective but collapse upon even modest inspection.
But not all of them.
On Friday, he listed one held mostly by the pro-science crowd: Evidence for and against evolution is open to all and can be assessed by anyone.
Enns declares that this is not so. The years of training and experience required of those who work in fields that touch on evolution rules out of bounds the views of those who lack such training, he writes.
This is true but it misses the point. The open-access-to-science cliché, usually trundled out by those who wish to contrast the transparency of science with the supposed obfuscation of religion, carries some truth.
Science actually is transparent in a way that religion is not. Thats because, in science land, there is nothing but to follow the evidence. Its out on the table, after all, able and willing to be poked and prodded and analyzed and figured out and held up and turned around and looked at from new angles. Also, what counts as evidence in science is pretty well-defined. And if you do become an evolution expert, you actually will see that 99% of all scientists back evolution for a reason: the evidence demands it.
This is the great generosity of science, and its great strength: It is actually all right there, ready to be seen and understood. It is relievedly explicit. It takes effort, sure, just as Enns suggests; its not easy to become a professional research biologist. But the reason biologists agree on evolution is because its a relatively simple matter to be objective about fossils and genes. Unlike the objects of religionthe divine and humanitys relation to itthe objects of science give themselves up for abstraction and analysis without a fight.
Therefore Richard Dawkins (for example) is right when he says, as he has on many occasions, that the evidence for evolution is there to be inspected by anyone. It is sitting out there on the table, waiting patiently for most of humanity to catch up to it, waiting to tell us its time to bid the historical Adam & Eve a final, if fond, farewell.
then the pope is calling God a liar.
English Standard Version (©2001) then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.
Young's Literal Translation And Jehovah God formeth the man -- dust from the ground, and breatheth into his nostrils breath of life, and the man becometh a living creature.
Douay-Rheims Bible And the Lord God formed man of the slime of the earth: and breathed into his face the breath of life, and man became a living soul.
Did God say that He used the dust of the earth or not?
Do you presume to know better than God?
I don’t care if the pope is the pope. If he denies what is clearly and plainly stated in divinely God breathed Scripture, he IS calling God a liar. He IS claiming to know more than God.
As is anyone who agrees with him.
Ask Richard Dawkins what he thinks about your screwy “virgin birth.”
So at last you answer ONE of my questions!
So the Pope is calling God a liar by accepting evolution - thank goodness! I thought that somehow I was the only one that was supposedly calling God a liar by accepting the theory of evolution!/s
The Bible tells me that I too am made “from dust” and “to dust” I will return. But I was also made through cellular processes involving DNA.
Was my creation “from dust” somehow less literal than the creation of Adam “from dust”?
If there was no Adam and Eve... there was no fall..if there was no fall there was no need for a savior...
There is no scientific evidence for evolution ...
"Do you mean that when you hear "growth", you think "teology"?" ~ tacticalogic
"[In light of what I just wrote] I think we are now in a position to coontemplate DeKoninck's orthoparadoxical statement that "Every natural form tends toward man. The idea of man bursts forth from no matter what form, even from a material point of view. The essential desire of prime matter, which always indefinitely exceeds any form received, is to be actuated by the immobile form of man. And in this perspective, subhuman forms are much less states than tendencies."
Ah, dear hearts, do you see the point, and how DeKoninck cannot not be speaking the truth? For you see, "truth is not just a property of knowledge, but a transcendental quality of being as such" (Balthasar). To know any truth is to know all truth, at least in potential.And to know this is to know the final cause of existence, as the cosmos completes and perfects itself in the life and truth and being of spirit.
Whoever can dictate the terminology cotrols the debate, and will always have the upper hand.
Greetings allmendream, you said this:
***Good do your research - then come back and tell me how a difference ten times as great is micro and perfectly able to be accomplished in a thousand years or less - but a difference one tenth as much is macro and impossible even after six million years!
Do you recognize this as a huge disconnect? How do you reconcile this huge discrepancy?***
Since genetics is not my area of expertise I sought out an expert. He has a PhD in Marine Biology and he is currently doing research on human genetics.
Here is what he said (verbatim):
1) Mice and rats have a much shorter generation time and a much higher reproductive output. More generations and more babies with a more or less constant population size = more mutations, more selection, more drift, and more rapid separation of genetic lines.
2) Whether or not they are the same created kind is an open question. The questioner is assuming common ancestry, which may or may not be true. Even if it is true...
3) Each type of organism must be treated separately. They have different DNA repair systems (or at least different variants of common systems), different reproductive modes, different selection constraints, etc., etc. Once the “molecular clock” is rejected, and it should be, one realizes that mutations will occur at different rates in different species.
4) Add to this the fact that we do not know how many individuals God created within each created kind, except for humans, and one of those was made from the other. For most animal groups, the fossil record is rich in diversity, especially when compared to the morphological paucity within these groups today (e.g., there were many unusual variations just in fossil rhinos!). Therefore, even if mice and rats belonged to one created kind, the two individuals on the Ark could have had carried a huge amount of genetic diversity, which would have been quickly partitioned in the rapidly-spreading post-Flood mouse-rat population.
5) With so much room for evolutionary experimenting, why have mice and rats remained, well, so mouse-like? With much less evolutionary experimenting, humans, with all their advanced thinking, (supposedly) evolved from something that anyone today would call an ape, and this occurred in less time than mice and rats have supposedly been separated. The differences between humans and chimps, even if only a few %, and that is debatable, are profound. Given equal time and opportunity, why are chimps still so stupid? Genetic distance is almost irrelevant, and so is the argument.
I’m sure this won’t satisfy you, allmendream. Nothing does.
As for the rest of your post:
***No. Human beings did not evolve FROM chimpanzees. According to the evidence and the theory of common descent - Humans and Chimpanzees share a common ancestor. Do you understand the difference?***
You insist on mocking, don’t you. I didn’t say that you believe humans evolved from chimps. I asked if that was your premise based on the way you framed the question.
***From the VERY beginning of creation God made humans male and female? Is that what you are claiming? Or is it that sometime AFTER the very beginning of creation - WHEN God made humans - he made them male and female (the context being no divorce - that God intends us to couple and to stay faithful) - or is it one male and TWO females (Lilith) as other sources have it?***
I claim no such thing. Jesus Christ does. I, of course, believe Him. Lilith? Are you intending to put “other sources” on par with scripture?
By the way, here’s something Jesus said in Matthew 24:
37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.
So in this passage Jesus verifies the flood. I believe I’ve read your mocking diatribes on that subject as well.
This is Luke 16:31:
31 He said to him, If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.
This would validate the writings of Moses including the Creation account.
The Bible speaks of you as well, allmendream:
12 Mockers resent correction,
so they avoid the wise.
Perhaps that is why you refuse to answer anyone’s questions.
Jude Verses 17-19
17 But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. 18 They said to you, In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires. 19 These are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.
So, allmendream.... we are told to expect you.
I believe you have some soul-searching to do, allmendream. You say Jesus is your Lord but you reject what He says. You can’t have it both ways.
I’ll be praying for you.
The different “molecular clocks” of rodents and primates doesn't account for this either.
Two individual animals - unless magical - can only have a maximum genetic diversity of FOUR - IF each individual is a total hetero-zygote at each genetic loci and the mated pair don't have any variations at all in common. Four.
Mice and rats are extremely well adapted - what would you expect them to change into within our lifetime? If you have come to expect the differentiation of the rodent “kind” into mice and rats within a thousand year span you will be disappointed. It took many millions of years to accumulate that much difference in genetic DNA - ten times the difference as between humans and chimpanzees.
You did ask exactly if I thought humans evolved from chimps. Shared a common ancestor is not the same thing.
So can you answer how ten times the amount of genetic difference can be called “micro” and be possible within a thousand year span - but one tenth the difference can only be called “macro” and be impossible even after six million years?
The answer I gave you is from a PhD who is doing genetic research right now. If you won’t accept what he tells you, why would I want to dance with you any further on this? It wouldn’t matter if God Himself refuted you, you wouldn’t accept it anyway.
You have throughout this process refused to answer any questions while insisting everybody else answer yours, all the while mocking and deriding.
I believe I’ll stand right where I am. As I said before... you need to do some soul-searching in regard to Jesus Christ.
I’ll leave you with this which I posted quite a while ago. I’ll repost it here:
One of these statements is true:
1. Matter/Energy do not exist.
2. Matter/Energy are eternal.
3. Matter/Energy spontaneously generated out of nothing.
4. Matter/Energy were created.
Option #1 is falsified by the Scientific Method.
Matter & Energy are observed everyday.
Option #2 is falsified by the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics which states (basically) that energy is running down and we will eventually have no usable energy left. At that point we will suffer heat death....the sun can not burn forever, it will eventually run out of fuel. If the universe were eternal, this would have happened already.
One more thing on this.... secular science is all-in on the Big Bang theory, admitting that there was a beginning and therefore the universe is not eternal.
Option #3 - Spontaneous generation is falsified by the 1st Law of Thermodynamics (By natural processes, energy cannot be created or destroyed), The Law of the Conservation of Matter (By natural processes, matter cannot be created or destroyed although it can change form) and the Law of Cause and Effect (every effect must have a greater and preexistent cause).
That leaves us with Option #4... that matter and energy were created. This does not violate any natural law.
Can I prove that the universe was created? No. I cant.
However, natural law itself has falsified all the other options..... Naturalists, who believe only in nature and in nothing Supernatural have to ignore natural law to believe what they believe.
Nothing your guy said addressed the issue how one change that was ten times as much could be micro - and could happen in a thousand years; while the other change that is ten times less can only be called macro and is supposedly impossible even after seven million years.
Your supposed geneticist point #4 is contrary to a basic knowledge of genetics. FOUR variations at any given genetic loci.
My point at the beginning of this thread stands.
Creationists say they don't believe in evolution or speciation or common descent of species - but apparently believe in it at thousands of times the rate and with an amazing power to change species over a very short period of time - as long as you call it “micro”.
You need to do some soul searching. Some actual research from non creationist sources - one who can count loci might help. I will pray for you.
Can you answer ANY of the questions I posed?
Ummmm, He already did and amd already didn't.
Which ones, because I answered a ton.
Can you explain to me why your guy cannot count loci?
Can you explain to me what you mean by “micro” and “macro” evolution?
Can you explain to me why you cannot seem to argue against a scientific theory without making an argument against atheism?
Can you explain to me why you try to make it personal and about my own salvation?
I will pray for you.
"Without a doubt, the ultimate Black Swan is whatever it was that permitted merely genetic human beings to emerge into full humanness just yesterday (cosmically speaking), some 50,000 years ago.
Prior to this there was existence, but so what? There was life, but who cares? With no one to consciously experience it, what was the point? Without self-conscious observers, the whole cosmos could bang into being and contract into nothingness, and it would be no different than the proverbial tree falling in the forest with no one there to hear it.
One of the reasons why this is such a lonely and unpopular blog is that it takes both science and religion seriously. Most science and religion are unserious, but especially -- one might say intrinsically -- when they exclude each other.
A religion that cannot encompass science is not worthy the name, while a science that cannot be reconciled with religion is not fit for human beings. And I mean this literally, in that it will be a science that applies to a different species, not the one that is made to know love, truth, beauty, existence, and the Absolute. Science must begin and end in this principle -- which is to say, the Principle -- or it is just a diversion. ...."
I have read a number of the comments in this thread, and I must commend you. Your ‘arguments’ are right on and I support and agree with you. Be blessed.
“In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was already with God in the beginning. Everything came into existence through him. Not one thing that exists was made without him. He was the source of life, and that life was the light for humanity. The light shines in the dark, and the dark has never extinguished it.” (John 1:1-5)
“The Word of life existed from the beginning. We have heard it. We have seen it. We observed and touched it. This life was revealed to us. We have seen it, and we testify about it. We are reporting to you about this eternal life that was in the presence of the Father and was revealed to us. This is the life we have seen and heard. We are reporting about it to you also so that you, too, can have a relationship with us. Our relationship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.” (1 John 1:1-3)
“I will pray for you.”
Allmendream, to whom do you pray?
Why, do you think God doesn’t listen to the prayers of believers like myself (and the Pope) who accept scientific theory?
“Why, do you think God doesnt listen to the prayers of believers like myself (and the Pope) who accept scientific theory?”
Why do you put scientific ‘theory’ above what God says in His Word? God’s Word is not theory. True science and God’s Word are compatible.
Here’s another response allmendream.... this one is from a PhD in Microbiology who has been published 10 times in scientific journals:
“He makes several invalid presuppositions. Is he so indoctrinated with ‘evolution’ that he assumes the creation model is just ‘fast’ evolution? Who says the creation model has to account for genetic descent from the mouse to a rat - in a short or long period of time? The creation model is NOT a model of common descent. That is a key difference between it and evolution. There is no reason to assume that mice and rats began as the same created ‘kind.’ I’m not sure if there is really a 10x difference between them, but if there is, so what? The creation model states that God created “kinds” individually, so it is very easy to assume that mice and rats represent separate created kinds. Thus, the genetic difference between them was placed in their genomes by God at the moment of creation - just as the Bible says (Gen 1 - Kinds were created individually and reproduced after their specific kind). Perhaps what the Bible says is not that important to this “Christian.”
The creation model has no need to account for the genetic difference by a process of mutation (as the evolution model does), since mice and rats don’t have to share a common ancestor. The creation model does not have God creating a proto-type organism and everything ‘evolved’ from that. That is his model, not ours.
Instead, what his model has to explain is the utter lack of genetic evidence that such changes could occur in over long periods of time. Lenski’s work with E. coli shows that over 50,000 generations (1 million years worth of human evolution), the only genetic changes found are degenerative and fall far far far short of the changes evolution would need to account for in a 1 million year period. A follow-up experiment with Fruit Flys is even less supportive. In 600 generations of Fruit Flys there were virtually no genetic changes that occurred, and the authors dejectedly concluded that the results were less than they had anticipated. In other words, from an experimental perspective, evolutionary change driven by mutation (i.e., Neo-Darwinism) could not be supported from the data. Funny this doesn’t seem to be making the ‘public rounds’ too much. On the other hand, both of these experiments are EXACTLY what the creation model would predict. Any genetic changes that do occur (and there can be significant changes, esp. immediate post Fall and post Flood) are degenerative in their nature and not useful for common descent, but certainly capable of introducing variation and diversity among the created kinds.”
schaef21 now speaking: I feel pretty silly, actually. I had accepted your premise.
So there is apparently no need to account for how “kinds” differentiated into different species (which is a model of semi-common descent) in “the creationist model”. That is why “the creationist model” is of no use in explaining or predicting anything.
It is easy to assume that mice and rats are different created kinds? You didn't think it was easy. You said the difference between the two was “micro” - do you now want to change your answer?
Again an attack on my faith. Would this august authority (who hopefully can count this time) put scare quotes around the Christianity of the Pope and every other Christian who accepts scientific theory?
“Any genetic changes that do occur (and there can be significant changes, esp. immediate post Fall and post Flood) are degenerative in their nature and not useful for common descent, but certainly capable of introducing variation and diversity among the created kinds.
So NOW we are back to discussing genetic changes - something that the “creationist model” a few paragraphs before never ever had to account for - and he admits EXACTLY to my initial premise - that there can be SIGNIFICANT CHANGES “immediate post...Flood” - apparently at THOUSANDS of times the rate proposed by evolutionary biology - oh but you cannot call it evolution or (semi) common descent! And you have to call it “micro”!
Your supposedly credentialed creationist never explained what “micro” or “macro” was - or how the difference between a mouse and a rat would be “micro” as you asserted and be possible within a thousand years- while one tenth the difference can only be called “macro” and would be impossible after seven million years.
allmendream, you’ve become a caricature.
This will be the last post regarding this. I’ve had two PhD level scientists respond to you but you apparently think you know more than they do.
This is from the FIRST PhD in response to these things that you said:
***”A shorter generation time does not explain how ten times the difference can supposedly accumulate in a thousand years and be characterized as a micro change - while one tenth the difference is a macro change and would supposedly be impossible even after seven million years.
The different molecular clocks of rodents and primates doesn’t account for this either.
Two individual animals - unless magical - can only have a maximum genetic diversity of FOUR - IF each individual is a total hetero-zygote at each genetic loci and the mated pair don’t have any variations at all in common. Four.
Mice and rats are extremely well adapted - what would you expect them to change into within our lifetime? If you have come to expect the differentiation of the rodent kind into mice and rats within a thousand year span you will be disappointed. It took many millions of years to accumulate that much difference in genetic DNA - ten times the difference as between humans and chimpanzees.”***
***”Can you define macro or micro for me such that it would be explainable?
Nothing your guy said addressed the issue how one change that was ten times as much could be micro - and could happen in a thousand years; while the other change that is ten times less can only be called macro and is supposedly impossible even after seven million years.
Your supposed geneticist point #4 is contrary to a basic knowledge of genetics. FOUR variations at any given genetic loci.”***
Here is his response:
He did not listen to anything I said. His reply makes the same assumptions as his original and does not take into consideration any of my points. He also makes ridiculous statements like, “Mice and rats are extremely well adapted - what would you expect them to change into within our lifetime?” Who said anything about short-term changes?
1) Again, who said mice and rats are the same original created kind?
2) The differences in molecular clocks certainly weighs on the argument. A female Mus musculus, can have up to 10 litters per year. The average historical human generation time is 30 years. Their generation time is 1/300 that of man! Also, since the population size is more or less constant, the entire population turns over up to ten times a year, on average. After all that, there is ONLY 10-times the difference between rats and mice as between chimp and man? This is a surprise even under evolutionary assumptions.
3) He has not characterized the genetic differences between rats and mice. He is probably reiterating a fact he learned, but cannot decipher the details behind the fact for lack of experience in the field. Not trying to insult the guy, but facts are sometimes worthless without background understanding. In fact, there is more diversity within the common house mouse than within all of humanity put together, and much of the mouse diversity deals with karyotype variation (chromosomal inversions, fusions, and breakages). Etc. Etc.
3) microevolution vs. macroevolution. These terms, which focus on small v. large changes, distract from the key issue of information. That is, particles-to-people evolution requires changes that increase genetic information (e.g., specifications for manufacturing nerves, muscle, bone, etc.), but all we observe is sorting and, overwhelmingly, loss of information. We are hardpressed to find examples of even micro increases in information, although such changes should be frequent if evolution were true. Conversely, we do observe quite macro changes that involve no new information, e.g. when a control gene is switched on or off. Interestingly, even high profile evolutionists (e.g. Mayr, Ayala) disagree with the idea that the observed small changes in living things are sufficient to account for the grand scheme of microbes-to-mankind evolution.
4) We do not need four alleles per variable locus to explain current human genetic diversity. In fact, all we need is two, and these would fit neatly into Adam: http://creation.com/historical-adam-biologos
Schaef21:I suggest that you actually read what he says and take the time to dig into it.
The last one I sent you got a response in about 5 minutes. There’s no way you could have even digested it.
These answers are not from Joe Schmo they are from professional scientists working in the field who have attained PhD status.
Who said anything about short term change? YOU DID. It is the assumption that within a thousand years the rodent “kind” could differentiate into mice and rats - a “micro” change as you characterized it.
The molecular clock differences between rodents and primates is not sufficient to explain a proposed many thousand fold difference in rate of change - where ten times the difference can supposedly accumulate within a thousand years - but one tenth the difference would be impossible to accumulate even after seven million years.
The molecular clock differences are accounted for in the estimates of most recent common ancestry - and the human - chimp difference and the rat - mouse difference cannot be accounted for thus as ‘possible within a thousand years’ and ‘impossible even after seven million years’ within the context of the molecular clock that would predict ten times as much genetic difference based upon the molecular clock and time of common ancestry.
I did characterize the difference between mice and rats as being ten times the difference in GENETIC DNA as between a human and a chimp. The background understanding is that you assumed the difference between a mouse and a rat was “micro” - but insist that the difference between a human and a chimp is “macro” - but the one you call micro is hilariously TEN TIMES LARGER than the one you call macro!
His point on “micro” and “macro” left them undefined other than the typical dodge of “information”.
Perhaps your guy can explain to me why a bacteria under stress expresses an error prone DNA polymerase that will introduce mutations into its genome rather than the usual high fidelity DNA polymerase? I mean if there are scant examples even of adaptive “micro” evolution - why would the bacteria survive better during stress via introducing mutations?
Human genetic diversity is far greater than just TWO alleles. The supposed bottleneck limiting all animals to a maximum of FOUR different alleles is not enough genetic diversity to even explain the diversity within modern species - let alone enough diversity to explain how one “kind” can give rise to several different species.
Where did this genetic diversity come from?
I not only digested it, I dealt with every point! It was quite easy because your supposed experts apparently cannot even count!
So do you now want to change your answer about the difference between mice and rats being a “micro” difference?
I would understand why you would want to. But be warned! Once you allow actual evidence to change your opinion about creationism you may not be able to stop!
AMEN!!! to that, dear Matchett-PI!
I suspect allmendream may be a little confused AFAIK, neither Pope John Paul II nor Benedict XVI has ever said that human beings come "from pre-existent and living matter." Neither man is hostile to the idea of biological evolution. But that is not the same as saying that the origin of life is (tautologically) pre-existently living matter. If this is what Darwin's theory requires, then neither of the Holy Fathers could plausibly be called a Darwinist.
Matter is dumb and lifeless. It is not the "source" of the living body, but the "building blocks" of it....
The "dust of the earth" was pretty much nothing, until God breathed life into it....
Gagdad Bob hits it out of the ballpark yet again! Thanks, Matchett, for the ping!
The Pope has said that “there is much scientific proof in favor of evolution, which appears as a reality that we must see and which enriches our understanding of life and being as such..
“Proof” and “reality” - yeah - that is sure ambiguous. NOT!
A most penetrating insight, schaef21!
RE: naturalist/materialist theory, there seems to be something "unnatural" about Natural Law: It does not fit within either evolutionary theory or scientific methods. So are we just to disregard it?
But if we disregard Natural Law, then how can we make sense of the world? The fundamental insight of Natural Law theory is that there is a direct correspondence between the natural world and the structure of the human mind which is what makes the world intelligible, knowable by us.
Because a picture is worth a thousand words, I drew one, based on insights from the mathematician/theoretical biologist Robert Rosen:
Another point: Natural Law, or any law, is by definition what philosophy calls a universal. Universals are "supernatural" in that they are not direct observables they are non-phenomenal objects, intangible, and thus cannot be tested by the techniques of science.
Rather, science proceeds according to the fundamental insight of Natural Law theory: that the universe is fundamentally knowable by the human mind.
If science didn't believe that, it wouldn't have a single thing to do.
Thanks so very much, schaef21, for your outstanding essay/post!
The universe IS fundamentally knowable to the human mind - but all such knowledge about the universe has been through attributing natural knowable and predictable causes to natural phenomena.
Attributing supernatural causes to explain natural phenomena has not resulted in better knowledge and application of that knowledge about the physical universe.
That is why Science is of use.
Creationism is useless.
I agree. Here's more:
"There is a rabbinical tradition that attempts to read between the lines of scripture to discern its hidden meaning. In so doing, the rabbi will invent a midrash to illuminate a passage. These are often full of paradox, puns, wordplay and other midrashcally rabbitorahcal devoices, almost like zen koans.
"Sometimes a midrash is necessary when you encounter a couple of Bible passages that seem to contradict each other. I have always been intrigued by the fact that Genesis tells two very different versions of the creation of man. Most people seem to just skim over this inconsistency, but maybe God is trying to tell us something. Perhaps we need a midrash to reconcile the two.
"Boris Mouravieff had an interesting way of reconciling the two passages. That is, he felt that they were not referring to the same event, but to two distinctly different ones. In the pre-Adamic account in Genesis 1:27, both man and woman are created simultaneously. But in the second version in Genesis 2:7, God forms man out of the dust of the ground, and more importantly, breathed into his nostrils the breath of life so that he became a truly living being with a divine spark within.
"You might say that God first created horizontal man, who is capable only of organic or biological growth. But he then corrected this deficiency by creating vertical man who is capable of spiritual evolution. This new kind of man, who had had a living soul breathed into him, possessed in a latent state a potential that the purely animal world does not possess, that of passing on to the human and even superhuman stages of development."
"Before you get all high and mighty, bear in mind that this was all before the fall and much subsequent miscegenation between the children of light and the daughters of the earth: Pursuing the mirage of temporal goods, Adam and Eve lost touch with the higher intellectual center through which they had enjoyed direct contact with God. The beauty of the daughters of men did the rest. Adam turned away from his real I and identified with his personality.
"....Higher mammals may have some vague sense of the passage of time, but they are too immersed in it to gain anything like a clear view. My dogs can sometimes get (or at least look) bored, but they know nothing about the history of canines, to say nothing of how boring it is. Only man can be in the river of time while simultaneously laughing about it on the way to the bank.
What we call "Darwinian" evolution is obviously horizontal. It doesn't take a genius to notice that there are prokaryotes, then entry level eukaryotes, followed by reptiles, mammals, and humans, yada yada. But it cannot make any value judgments about the process, because in order to do so, one must stand in a transcendent, vertical space of qualities -- qualities such as truth, compassion, beauty, etc.
From a strictly horizontal Darwinian perspective, there would be no essential difference between, say, a cave painting and a spider's web or bird's nest. Or, if the differences are essential, then Darwinism has proved its own insufficiency.
Again, horizontal is to time what vertical is to space; science can pretend that only the former is "real," but the truth of the matter is that man cannot exist outside this total cosmic sensorium of vertical and horizontal, or quality and quantity, form and substance, facts and values, music and words, etc.
It is in this vertical sense that the cosmos "completes" itself in man -- or in the psychospiritual activity of man. Even looked at only horizontally, the cosmos is always surpassing itself, e.g., from matter to life to mind.
But it also transcends itself vertically in every act of knowing. Nothing in the cosmos is "complete" in itself. Rather, everything moves toward completion via relationship. Objects are related to, and find their completion in, the subjects who know them. And a subject cannot "be" itself unless it is situated in a world of objects that yield real knowledge.
But at the same time...." bttt
If the Holy Father had particularly wanted to endorse Darwin's theory, he would have done so. The fact remains he did not.
I believe what the Pope was saying is that there is scientific "proof" (at least abundant evidence) for biological evolution even cosmic evolution for that matter.
But this is what we would expect in a divinely created Cosmos evolving in space and time according to the divine Logos of the Beginning, from Alpha to Omega.
Darwinism carries absolutely no brief for that idea, certainly. Rather, the very contrary is asserted: In a nutshell, Darwinian evolution is not purposeful; it is "random," "unguided," essentially "accidental" and "opportunistic"....
How could you expect the Holy Father to endorse such an idea?
Do you think God has no power over random processes? That HIS power stops at the casino door?
The Bible says that every dice roll (or casting of lots) is determined by God. Why would “random” genetic mutations be any different?
If science didn't believe that, it wouldn't have a single thing to do.
Thank you for sharing your insights, dearest sister in Christ!
Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. - Romans 1:21-25
Very simply, rolling the dice or casting lots does not increase [nor decrease for that matter] information. Even to decrease information in computer code takes intelligence, time, trial and error in order to still have working code.
You don’t have to spend much time programming a computer to begin to understand that introducing random changes will very quickly break the code [rather than increase it’s usefulness]. Breaking the code would compare favorably with death, and population extinctions.
On the other hand it takes a lot of thought and trial and error to add wholly new features and abilities to any system of code.
For someone so pompous you surely do miss the obvious time after time.
Furthermore God is not random and the quote you referred to from the Bible says ‘Man casts lots and God controls the outcome.’ From that context one should deduce God controls things - there’s no room for ‘random’ with God being all powerful, all-seeing, and all-knowing.
Theistic evolution = about as high up as one can get on the fence for belief vs non-belief.
Mutations change information. Any breakdown in the code that results in non viability is immediately removed. Any breakdown in the code that results in reduced reproductive success is eventually removed. What is left behind is an increase in useful variations.
I asked previously “where did these variations come from?”. If immediately after the Flood there was a maximum of four alleles at any genetic loci - and now there are many species supposedly derived from each “kind” of animal - and much more genetic diversity in each species than just four different types of alleles - WHERE DID THESE VARIATIONS COME FROM?
Why do you suppose bacteria would have an error prone DNA polymerase that would be expressed during stress that would introduce mutations into the genome; if such modifications of its code would lead to detrimental outcomes?
Did you, in your pomposity, miss this critical fact and its obvious ramifications?
Very simply the ‘junk’ DNA as you prefer to call it.
All changes that allow for adaptation and survival had to be pre-programmed into the code by a higher intelligence.
Mutations simply do not increase the amount of information.
Since it was Einstein who said the solar system movements could be thought of either way and the math still works, I am fine waiting as long as it takes for this to be resolved - even if that means God himself revealing all knowledge in Heaven.
You, once again, are the pompous one, acting as if any science is at 100% resolution on this point while stating otherwise whenever it fits your current argument(s).
I'm very sorry to say, dear allmendream, that here we do part company.
It seems to me the best knowledge of the world we have from the scientific side has come from world-class thinkers engaged in the explication of natural phenomena Aristotle, Bacon, Newton, Einstein, Bohr, oh so many others to be grateful for!
What all these men had in common, each in his own distinctive way, was the understanding that the "universe" was One single ordered (that is to say, hierarchical) manifestation of divine Being however to be sliced and diced in doctrinal dispute.
I do not know how to "explain natural phenomena" without reference to a relatively "supernatural" criterion of explanation. "Relatively" here meaning that the phenomenal world, proceeding ("evolving") along the "horizontal extension," finds its intelligibility (meaning at any given point) only along the "vertical extension."
IOW, fact is what it is naked event having no meaning or value. If all of life, of all the world of experience is, is a succession of heaven forfend!!! purposeless events, then how can we even speak about a world of Reality?
According to materialist theory, consequent existence occurs only along the "physical," horizontal extension, or plane. Another postulate of this theory holds that all immaterial, non-physically-realized (i.e., non-directly-observable entities) do not really exist. The theory concedes, however, that randomness, in principle, is inexplicable thereby further conceding that it cannot promote itself as any kind of model of logically effective causation in Nature. IOW, the inexplicable cannot explain anything.
At the same time, it seems clear from what you have written that you, dear brother AMD, have religious notions and aspirations. And I wonder how you hold the two "spheres" together in your mind and spirit, when they seem so mutually opposed in mind.
It seems the only way to get out of this paradoxical dead-end is to imagine the world has a vertical extension imaginable as a different dimension of Time, supervening on the events of the world which we call facts. We need that dimension to think: The meaning of things is not just another fact, evolving along a horizontal timeline in a locally-caused event-line, ad infinitum and don't even ask what it means.
Which is why I believe down to the bottom of my soul that the current popular idea of religion and science "faith vs. reason" as antithetical, mutually-exclusive entities is totally bogus.
To me, they are the fundamental complementarities of our world, of our being, of our understanding of the Cosmos.
But try to locate the "cause" of that idea along the "horizontal extension!"
Thank you so very much for writing, dear allmendream!
So why would they express error prone DNA polymerase? How would introducing mutations help to unlock what was supposedly “pre-programmed” in?
Mutations CHANGE the information - instead of coding for glutamine - a mutation could cause the codon to specify alanine - for example. How would this be a “loss of information” rather than just a change in the information?
Why would mutations during stress be a good idea for a bacteria if all mutations were going to do was make the bacteria “lose” information?
How about gene duplication? Is that a loss of information as well? If a gene is duplicated and one version changes and the other remains the same - wouldn't that be a “gain” of information?
Einstein was not a Geocentrist. Do you suppose you have a superior understanding of the ramifications of relativity than Einstein?
There is not a 100% resolution on any scientific issue and never will be - how pompous and presumptuous of you to assume I was saying there was such resolution.
But Geocentrism is just not possible given what we know about gravity - there is no model consistent with gravity that would make it work.
Creationists take note - once you start denying evidence in preference to what you would rather believe theologically - the logical end result is Geocentrism!
AND THAT IS SO FUNNY!!!!!!!
And so does this mean that you believe that God completely determines everything that happens in the Universe?
If so, how do you make this insight compatible with what orthodox Darwinian evolution theory predicts that all "progress" in the biological universe is attributable to random accident, somehow attuned to "results" (survival of the species) without there being any purpose-intending result in mind?
A biology of "successful reproduction" on the basis of natural selection doesn't explain anything about the nature of the Reality the "successful replicants" have to "select" for, or against, in order to leave progeny.
God is Power. He could utterly determine everything, were that His design, or purpose.
Yet evidently He chose to do otherwise: He chose to leave man, His own created son, "free."
Which certainly makes for an interesting world.... For man, and I daresay, for God....
But I digress. What I would most like to ask you for, dear AMD, is your list of citations; i.e., re: That God's "dice roll" equals "random mutation," among other things....
My religious beliefs are not at all in contradiction with evolution through natural selection of genetic variation - only your strawman of it - the typical Creationist bugaboo that “random” somehow means ‘beyond the power of God to control’.
If I say I am offering to play you a game of chance - and that there is a random chance that you will win or lose - and that there was no “result” that is more likely than the other - that doesn't imply that I have escaped the power of God to determine that I am going to win and you are going to lose.
You want the Bible passage that speaks of the result of casting lots being from the Lord?
This is why Creationism is useless.
The supernatural causation Creationism ascribes to natural phenomena are inexplicable and therefore cannot explain anything. They therefore lead to no further knowledge, no useful application, and has no predictive value.
Creationism is useless because the causative forces it invokes are inexplicable.
At the root, in the absence of time, events cannot occur and in the absence of space, things cannot exist - and yet space/time does not pre-exist but is created as the universe expands which means there was a beginning of real space and real time. This is an 800 lb gorilla in the living room whenever we mention things or events - whether phenomena, matter, energy/momentum etc.
Except that anatomically correct humans have been around for 1 million years. They’re called homo erectus.
Does it make you feel better, or justified in your beliefs, or vindicated, because you think you can appeal to some sort of spiritual authority to validate your belief in evolution over the words of God in Scripture?
It makes me instantly recognize how ludicrous your most frequent argument against evolution is - namely that one cannot be a Christian and accept the Bible and also accept the theory of evolution; because by that simple minded formulation you are saying the Pope is not a Christian and doesn’t accept the Bible.
I don’t care who you are - that right there is FUNNY!
It reduces that line of ‘reasoning’ to the absurd.
It also frequently allows rather nutty anti-Catholic creationists to “out” themselves as small minded historically ignorant bigots.
A “Win win”. :)
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