Re: Evolution of proteins in sequence space

From: D. F. Siemens, Jr. (
Date: Tue Aug 07 2001 - 16:48:30 EDT

  • Next message: george murphy: "Re: The Wheel of God"

    Your points are well taken if the result has to be a scientific theory.
    There may be some points that could be argued for a different view, for
    example, the control change that made a homologous gene produce the
    pattern of ommatidia in Drosophila and the sensors in the mammalian
    retina, but I doubt that there is any more evidence at the moment than
    the assumptions that the explanation for all must be scientific or that
    there are other possibilities. Assuming the latter, Gordon Mills' view
    that new chromosomal material was occasionally inserted by divine fiat
    into existing creatures which then evolved further is not in conflict
    with any fossil or genetic data that I know of. This fits with the notion
    of the control change I mentioned. The usual form of sequential
    creationism, which has new families or other taxonomic levels introduced
    de novo, has the philosophical objection that this seems to limit the
    creativity of the omniscient One, for surely he could have devised other
    ways to get the necessary results rather than following the same pattern
    across phyla.

    Philosophically, once we assume an omniscient and omnipotent Creator, we
    have to acknowledge that he is competent to produce a universe in which
    all things develop under his continuous providential care without need
    for miraculous intervention. Van Till is justified. But this does not
    require that God created only once. It is certain that he intervened in
    creation in the incarnation. He is eternally free to act outside of the
    natural order, his usual pattern, at will. While I commit to a minimal
    number of order-suspending interruptions, I have not found empirical
    evidence that forces this view.

    On Tue, 7 Aug 2001 14:48:33 -0500 (Keith B Miller) writes:
    > Some responses to Bert Massie --
    > >Not really. If I were to argue for "progressive creation" I could
    > also
    > >argue that I don't know that much about exactly how or when or what
    > just
    > >that the physical record indicates that at certain junctures there
    > was
    > >creation and that it is not known about other junctures.
    > Which "certain juctures."? Without specifics, there is no basis for
    > discussion.
    > >> One of my points is that once you open the category of
    > "supernatural
    > >> form-imposing intervention," there is no limit whatsoever in what
    > you
    > >> could propose. Model B is not a specific testable theory, but a
    > way to
    > >> keep the door open to irruptive interventionism indefinitely. No
    > >> matter how many specific, testable B-type proposals might be
    > defeated,
    > >> another one could be proposed.
    > >
    > >Yes this is true and as such is not a reason to disbelieve in
    > >"progressive creation."
    > But then it must also be admitted that the position is held
    > independent of
    > scientific evidence.
    > >Inadequate sounds prejoritive suggesting that somehow God failed
    > the.
    > >first time. One could just as easily read this as
    > >
    > >"Some Christians see evidence that God intervened in the natural
    > progess
    > >of the development of the universe to assure that certain
    > anti-probable
    > >events occurred. One such example is the origin of plant life on
    > the
    > >earth which was key to causing changes in the earths early
    > atmosphere."
    > Again, the specifics is where such a position falls apart. What is
    > the
    > specific evidence that "God intervened in the natural process of the
    > development of the universe..."? If you cannot provide such
    > rigorous
    > evidence then the claim falls flat.
    > What do you mean by the origin of plant life? Photosynthesis
    > appeared with
    > the cyanobacteria as much as 3.5 billion years ago. The eucaryotes
    > appear
    > to have evolved by the incorporation of symbiotic bacteria. This
    > seems to
    > the origin of chloroplasts in eucaryotic cells. Multicellular algae
    > then
    > appear in the late Precambrian with nearly all major algae groups
    > appearing
    > before the first metazoans. The first vascular plants were were
    > simple
    > rootless and leafless axes with sporangia in the late Ordovician and
    > Silurian. Subsequently scale-like structures developed on the axes
    > increasing surface area. I could continue on through the evolution
    > of
    > terrestrial plants. Seed-bearing plants don't appear until the
    > Pennsylvanian, and flower and fruit-bearing plants don't appear
    > until the
    > Cretaceous. Again when in this chain is the evidence for God's
    > intervention? If you pick one place -- why there and not somewhere
    > else?
    > When oxygen was first produced by phtotosynthesis is encountered a
    > huge
    > oxygen sink in the form of dissolved reduced iron in the oceans.
    > That
    > oxygen sink had to be filled before Oxygen was free to accumulate in
    > the
    > atmosphere. Then there was the matter of oxidizing terrestrial
    > sediments.
    > It wasn't until the late Precambrian that oxygen levels began to
    > accumulate
    > to an extent sufficient to support life in coastal and terrestrial
    > environments. During the subsequent history of the Earth,
    > vegetation and
    > the storage of organic carbon continued to have important effects on
    > Earth's atmospheric composition and climate.
    > >Howard, further, one could see the laws of physics as given once
    > and
    > >forever as part of the original creation (along with the big bang.)
    > and
    > >we could call these "its natural capabilities." Its not about
    > natural
    > >capabilities it is about inserting information and assemblies such
    > as
    > >cells.
    > >
    > >At certain points God intervened to make things from his raw
    > material
    > >such as biological cells for example.
    > Again, at precisely which points? On what basis are those points
    > chosen?
    > Keith
    > Keith B. Miller
    > Department of Geology
    > Kansas State University
    > Manhattan, KS 66506

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Tue Aug 07 2001 - 16:53:18 EDT