RE: Johnson on Bible Answer Man

From: Alexanian, Moorad (
Date: Sun Mar 16 2003 - 19:40:08 EST

  • Next message: Alexanian, Moorad: "RE: Johnson on Bible Answer Man"

    The notions of collective effects, quasi-particles, elementary excitations are all microscopic effects that manifest themselves at the macroscopic level but are not thought of as microscopic. However, superfluidity, Bose-Einstein condensation, superconductivity, etc. are microscopic phenomena at the macroscopic level---atoms lose their individual identities and behave as a single quantum entity. The scale in both instances is from the very small to the very large yet they are different in that the microscopic manifestation can be either macroscopic or microscopic.

    In group theory, there are discrete and continuous groups. Discrete groups are those studied in crystallography and solid-state physics and the elements of the group cannot be obtained by means of infinitesimal changes. However, the continuous groups are such that finite transformation can indeed be made up by infinitesimal transformations. Of course, it seems to me that mutations would always involve finite changes rather than truly continuous changes.

    Of course, if you compare humans to animals at the purely physical level, then we may be rather similar. However, one may suppose that man is nothing but matter but that certainly goes beyond science by making some rather strong philosophical assumptions.


            -----Original Message-----
            From: Jim Armstrong []
            Sent: Sun 3/16/2003 6:38 PM
            Subject: Re: Johnson on Bible Answer Man
            I understand your point, though I differ. In science, micro and macro are usually used to indicate orders-of-magnitude differences in scale, not kind. All of evolution is about changes at the genetic level (all at the same general spatial dimensional scale). However unintentional, microevolution and macroevolution are perfectly descriptive when understood as relating to timeframes that are between one or more orders of magnitude different. The evolutionary creature changes observed in micro- and macro- time frames seem to me to be all about degree. I just submit that if you pile up enough micro changes (with the passage of appropriate time), they would be indistinguishable from a macro change. That seems so straightforward to me.
            "Kind" is another one of those words which represents a loose collection of differentiators, and many of those differentiators are continuing to fall by the wayside in light of the remarkable genomic work. Take the case of the genomes of mus musculus (house mouse) and us. We now know that 99% of our genes are equivalent to (and 80% of those EXACTLY identical to) those of the mouse. We both have about 30,000 genes and only 300 are unique to our or their kind! A tail gene is not unique. We both have it. Fortunately, the tail gene is unexpressed for the vast majority of us humans. We both also have a horn gene, but this one is unexpressed for both "kinds". We both have an eye gene that codes for a simple single-lens eye. But swap that mouse-eye gene into the eye-gene location of a fruit fly, and it expresses as an appropriately small compound (multi-lensed) eye! That's a real result. So how fundamentally different are we in kind - as different species (another sort of artifici!
    al and troubled term of differentiation)? The answer seems to be, "not very", at least in the basic genetic and even architectural terms. Moreover, the differences that exist seem to be precisely the result of "the passage of 'enough' time."
            Finally, Liquid crystals, as near as the watch on your wrist, can go "continuously go from one to the other." That's another understanding that has changed in recent years.
            Jim Armstrong
            Alexanian, Moorad wrote:

                    The meaning of the terms micro and macro in physics is clear. That is the way I use such terms in general. Microevolution is changes at the microscopic level that can manifest themselves at the macroscopic level, e.g., dog breeding. The genetic changes are minuscule and within a given species. Macroevolution is by nature a change in kind rather than degree and means changes that may not be possible by the passage of “enough” time. Crystals and fluids are of that sort. One cannot continuously go from one to the other. Moorad
                            -----Original Message-----
                            From: Jim Armstrong []
                            Sent: Sun 3/16/2003 12:27 AM
                            Subject: Re: Johnson on Bible Answer Man
                            I know this is not new turf, but it seems to me that the terms
                            microevolution and macroevolution are just a bit of sophistry (as is
                            perhaps contrasting "fact" with "assumption"). Those micro- and macro-
                            terms and the dividing line between them seem to be artifacts of the
                            evolution discussion and not descriptive of some well-defined stay-put
                            dividing line in nature. Calling a spade a spade, isn't the real issue
                            either the timeline (micro becomes macro with the passage of "enough"
                            time) or the special creation of man?
                            Whether intentional or not, your last sentence captures well the
                            challenge experienced by some of us in attempting to balance intent and
                            worldview. I wonder if it is a right-brain vs left-brain conflict thing?!
                            Regards - Jim Armstrong
                            Alexanian, Moorad wrote:
    >I am not defending PJ’s personal interactions with others. My statement refers to his scientific/philosophical view that correctly criticizes the statement of evolutionists that macroevolution is a fact rather than a scientific assumption. As a Christian, I please God and not my ego when discussing scientific issues but I will not be deterred from calling a spade a spade. Moorad
    > -----Original Message-----
    > From: Michael Roberts []
    > Sent: Sat 3/15/2003 2:09 PM
    > To: Alexanian, Moorad; Jim Armstrong;
    > Cc:
    > Subject: Re: Johnson on Bible Answer Man

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