Re: Social problems and evolution

Russell Maatman (
Tue, 10 Mar 1998 09:59:12 -0600

Dick Fischer wrote on Tuesday, March 10, 1998 12:56 AM

> Russell Maatman wrote:
> >One thing that particularly bothers me when it's assumed that physical
> >similarity between human beings and animals, living or extinct,
> >evidence for the descent of human beings from animals. Rather, I want to
> >assume that God creates in a way so that whatever it is, it "fits" into
> >this kind of universe. So DNA similarity or any other kind of similarity
> >no more than an indication that it was created to fit.
> If the genomes of our animal "cousins" consisted entirely of functional
> and we had nothing but functional genes in our DNA, then your rational
> identical genetic sequences don't necessitate common ancestry might hold.

> But 97% of our genetic information is non-functional, AND identical
> sequences also can be found in other higher primates. What would be the
> rational for that? Did God create identical "junk DNA" in other animals
> that appear to be related in other respects to give us the "appearance of
> common ancestry" to go along with the "appearance of age" of a young
> Evidence of genetic linkage between man and other higher primates can
> also be derived from an endogenous retroviral sequence imbedded in our
> DNA that is also found at the same point in the DNA of chimpanzees.
> Retroviruses are a class of virus, which includes the HIV virus that
> causes AIDS, for example. These viral agents have the ability to annex
> themselves directly into a DNA sequence, and an ancient virus apparently
> The entire genetic code was then passed down from a common ancestor to
> man and chimp including the retroviral sequence. Thus we have markers
> tie us to the animal kingdom. Maybe we don't like it, but how do we
> from the young-earth crowd if we can't take a dose of facts now and then?

A few minutes ago I wrote on the list to George Murphy suggesting he was
invoking ignorance of mechanism, an argument that sounds to me a little
like the God-of-the-gaps people, who have an ever-smaller God as science
progresses. Your argument sounds to me as if you are invoking our ignorance
of what much of the DNA is "for"--it's even called "junk DNA." Once again,
it's a case of using ignorance to fortify a previously held belief. It
won't wash.


Russell Maatman
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