RE: Mu (Was Re: CT article: Darwinists, not Christians, stonewalling the facts)

From: Glenn Morton <>
Date: Tue Apr 05 2005 - 21:29:12 EDT

> -----Original Message-----
> From: George Murphy []
> Sent: Tuesday, April 05, 2005 6:35 PM

> Sure, today. But Gen.1 was written ~2600 years ago &
> it's just wrong to
> insist on shoehorning it into modern categories.

But of course, George, you are ruling out the entire point. Unless life
got here by some other means than evolution, one would hope that the
Deity knew he evolved things and could somehow have indicated that to
the poor slob who was being inspired to write the account.

If it doesn't fit what accually happened, which by DEFINITION MUST be a
modern category because scientific understanding is MODERN and decidedly
so, then it won't fit the task I am trying to see accomplished. Of
course it must be a modern category.. That is the entire point!!!!!

> Well, of course it is even today in one sense. If God
> isn't the creator
> of the grain that grows in the field, why are you asking him
> for daily bread
> in the Lord's Prayer? But the biblical writer wasn't talking
> just about his
> own experience. He was using that experience to describe how
> God brought
> plant life into being to begin with.

Agreed, and in Nachmanides' view, it was a force. And Nachmanides cites
a talmudic source from circa the first century.

> OK but don't ask me for a letter of recommendation. I didn't
> say it was a
> good scientific theory, just that it was a scientific theory.
> OTOH, it's
> not bad if it isn't presented as history, as I said.

Oh, I wouldn't ask for a letter of recommendation from many here. It
really wouldn't do me much good anyway any place I would wish to be
recommended for.

> Of course we can't prove that any historical event - in the Bible or
> elsewhere - happened in the same way we prove a math theorem.
> But there are
> different degrees of conviction that intelligent & honest
> people can have
> about putative historical events. We "know" that Lincoln was
> shot in Ford's
> Theater & we're quite sure that the tale of Washington & the
> cherry tree
> didn't happen. It's simply perverse to suggest, e.g., that
> claims that
> Jesus was crucified under Pilate have no more historical
> support than the
> your speculative story of a 5.5 Myr Adam.

Sorry, George, sometimes I don't think you do pay attention. It isn't
the crucifiction which is important. Who cares if the guy was
crucified. It is the resurrection which has much less evidence for it
than even the crucificition. We know that Spartacus and others were
crucified. None of them resurrected. I would say the actual historical
support for the resurrection is less than for my speculative story about
Adam. I have all sorts of geological data telling me that the
Mediterranean was dry. What do you have for the resurrection? A video?
Come on!

 If you wish you
> can go down at
> midnight to the coal cellar & claim that all cats are black
> but include me
> out.

Why don't you deal with the real issues rather than talking about cats.
The fact is you start with the resurrection. There is no extrabiblical
evidence for the resurrection. All of those accounts were written by
people who had axes to grind and were written many years after the
event. While I believe the resurrection, I have no real evidence for it
and neither do you. So when you start with your apologetic at the
resurrection, you start from a fideist position. One that is more
fideist than my position.

At least I know:

The mediterranean was dry and re-filled.
Hominids appeared on earth just around the time of this event.
They were small brained but small brained hominids were capable of
higher cognitive processes.
I know that there was a 48->46 chromosome fusion event
I know that these events are common in mammalian evolution but are often
debilitating. But it occurs in rat evolution, equine evolution, canine
evolution etc.
I know that human behavior including things which look like religion go
back at least 800 kyr meaning that humanity was capable of spirituality
at least that far back and maybe further given that few things are
preserved from those early ages--especially wood and fiber.

What do you KNOW about the resurrection upon which you start your

> This is intriguingly close to the standard ID argument: Somehow our
> ancestral line went from 48 to 46 chromosomes & we don't
> understand how that
> happened so it was a miracle.

Oh that is so ridiculous, George. You should be ashamed of this one. I
have never said such an idiotic thing. I know some things that you
seem not to care to know. Note the asterisked part.

        "A strong argument used by supporters of a negligible role
for chromosomes is that two closely related species may have very
different karyotypes. Conversely, two clearly differentiated
species may have similar chromosomes. Indeed, our present study
yields information in this vein. For instance, among the Lemurs,
L. fulvus an L. mongoz have the same karyotype and cannot
interbreed. On the other hand, the two subspecies lemur fulvus
collaris and L. fulvus albocollaris differ by eight Robertsonian
translocations but can breed and their hybrids are not sterile,
although their gametogenesis is somewhat abnormal. The same
accumulation of Robertsonian translocations is observed in some
species of rodents, or insectivora and in many other orders more
distant from the primates. The most extreme situation may be
that of the Cervidae of the genus Montiacus, where two closely
related species (Indian and Chinese) have radically different
karyotypes (2n=6 or 7 for the first, 2n=46 for the second) and
can breed. Another example is known among the primates. It
concerns two platyrrhines, of genus Callicebus.
        "In fact, these situations remain exceptions, and the
argumentation developed from these examples may not be entirely
valid. In our opinion, the most spectacular changes in the
karyotype, and especially in chromosome numbers, do not indicate
that a drastic change has occurred in the chromosomal mechanics
or function. ****For instance, we have observed an extreme variation
in the number of chromosomes (from 1 to 46) in a patient. This
variation was due to an end-to-end fusion of the chromosomes, and
although the karyotypes appeared to be drastically modified, it
was possible to find all the chromosomes and to show that they
were complete. It was supposed that a single point mutation was
responsible of these somatic changes."**** ~ B. Dutrillaux,
"Chromosomal Evolution in Primates: Tentative Phylogeny from
Microcebus murinus (Prosimian) to Man," Human Genetics,
48(1979):251-314, p. 292-294

Now, these things occur quite naturally. The only reason I hold to the
miraculous during the fusion is to match the Biblical record. So,
George, it is NOT a case of 'we don't understand it thus it must be a
miracle.' How stupid, how ill-informed of you! And it disappoints me in

 But (a) we don't know that
> that couldn't have
> happened by some natural process (& here I confess I'm no
> evolutionary
> geneticist & it would be helpful if someone who is would
> weigh in) & (b)
> even if it was a miracle, how do we know it was the
> particular miracle
> you've thought up? So your claim for historicity is about 4
> removes from
> plausibility.

George, I already knew this. You simply want to see things wrong in my
views and are going to some considerable lengths here.
> ....................................

> You can get even better than that. In the 4th century
> Gregory of Nyssa
> developed a kind of evolutionary view not just of plants but
> of humanity,
> going from a vegetative soul to an animal one to a rational
> one - see the
> quotations in Ch.8 of my recent book. But it's one thing to
> observe that
> Gen.1 suggested evolutionary ideas to someone centuries after
> it was written
> and quite another to say that the writer of Genesis was
> expressing such
> ideas.

I am aware of that as well. I just posted that last week on Christian

> That isn't science, it's theology. But I'm glad to see you
> accepting my
> description of it.

No, I don't. You seem to be reading things that aren't written. If God
uses mediate creation, almost by necessity, he must use physical
objects, which then places one in the position of having the physical
universe create life. That, my friend, is NOT theology, but

> > And that means that apologetically we have to find grounding in
> > reality. Most YECs understand this. Most OEC's don't.
> Yes, that where my theological argument begins. But it is based on
> historical claims about Jesus, claims that can be evaluated
> by historical &
> literary means without making that theological assumption.

I sincerely doubt you have no theological assumption. You assume there
is a god, you assume theism rather than animism etc etc etc. Those are
theological assumptions. They certainly aren't scientific assumptions.

> But how much better is your argument?

It doesn't hide the assumptions I make and then I don't claim I am not
making theological assumptions.

 You claim to find
> support for the
> claim that that the God that Genesis talks about is the true
> God because in
> the Bible he revealed some things about how the world came
> into being. But
> where did you get the idea that a "God" is communicating
> anything in the
> Bible?

Well, George, if he isn't communicating anything, then the whole thing
is farce. That is what I am trying to determine with my approach. Did
God communicate anything. If not, then all your basis in your
non-theological, theological assumptions is worthless.

There's certainly nothing wild about some smart guy
> in the 6th
> century BC picturing life starting by plants coming out of
> the ground.

Well, I know I can rule out those religions which believe that the earth
is on an elephant's back. I know I can rule out much of the Greco-Roman
religion who had Atlas holding the earth. Those are clearly wrong. It
isn't quite as clear with genesis which is held by the 3 semitic

> that matter, there no reason people couldn't think of the
> idea that some
> deity made the first humans from dust - there are such
> creation stories in
> other religions. What justifies the claim that God was communicating
> anything by these stories, even if we agree that they are some remote
> approximation to a modern scientific description.

If there was such a religion, I would be very interested in looking at
it. Isn't it better to at least look at a religion which seems to
actually offer reality rather than mere fideism?

> just started with
> the traditional idea that the God of Israel inspired the
> Bible & then come
> up with a couple of things that you think support that idea.
> But others -
> atheists, those of other religions - can explain those things
> without your
> assumption.

NO, I didn't start there. I actually was into eastern religions before
I became a Christian, but then I was also into demonology. I have moved
from YEC to OEC. I hope that the Bible can be interpreted in a way that
makes it real. But, george, I have always said, over and over, that if
the Bible can't have any reality in it, I will reject it. Why would I
believe something that I believe to be false or fideistic? That is the
importance of my program.

 That doesn't address the
> issue I am
> > raising--Is Christianity the most laughable pseudo-theology ever
> > published.
> Yeah, it was a short communication (originally a paper I gave
> at an ASA
> meeting). But I should have thought that the extension was
> fairly obvious.

Not if you epistemologically start at the resurrection. Historically
there isn't the support for it that you seem to assume.

Good luck with your upcoming grandchild. Being a grandfather is
wonderful. I am now one twice over.
Received on Tue Apr 5 21:30:33 2005

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