Re: The death of the RTB model

From: Terry M. Gray <>
Date: Tue Feb 14 2006 - 10:08:46 EST


My "simplistic" reference had nothing to do with the volume of your
library or even the depth of your knowledge in this area. It has to
do with the observation that you take the latest result and find it
to be decisive result from which you can proclaim "victory" in the
debate. Personally, I don't care who wins this one. This whole area
is so muddled both theologically and scientifically, as I read it,
that there is virtually no cause for certainty. i have not hung my
faith or belief in scripture on the debate one way or another (in
that sense I may in fact be sympathetic with your critique of Ross
and others).

This result is a piece of the puzzle--perhaps an important piece--and
may well tip the balance in the professional literature. I'll wait
and see. Biology is a messy science. This "simple" null hypothesis
may be clearly rejected by these kinds of results, but I'm guessing
there are all sorts of more subtle "close to null" hypotheses that
aren't even touched by the analysis.


On Feb 14, 2006, at 4:50 AM, <>
<> wrote:

> >You seem to have an overly simplistic view of how this scientific
> controversy goes. The out-of-Africa folks and the multi->regional
> folks have neither one convinced the other over the past decade.
> I'd suggest that the jury is still out. Of course, >this paper is a
> new part of the discussion, but on such a complex issue, seldom
> does a single result prove decisive.
> Terry, I have a deep respect for you. But I bet I have read about
> 500 more books and probably a 2000 times more articles on anthro
> than you have. I would say this. I don't have a simplistic view of
> how the debate rages and I doubt this article will end it any more
> than multiple lines of evidence ends YECism. But I do have a
> highly developed appreciation for the power of statistics. When a
> hypothesis is rejected at the level the total replacement theory is
> rejected, there is truly little hope for anything but irrationalism
> to save the theory. I will tell you I posted a similar article in a
> place where there are knowledgeable out-of-Africa advocates. On
> that site in the past when I have posted things advocating
> multiregionalism, they have given me all sorts of fits. Some of
> them are quite knowledgeable and have great criticisms of my
> position. But, this time, so far it has been utter silence from
> them. I think they know the problem they now have. Perhaps you
> have a simplistic understanding of the power of statistics with
> genetic systems to discriminate between the two hypotheses. One the
> one hand we have out of Africa claiming total genetic separation
> between the archaics and the moderns (based solely on mtDNA which
> is but a fraction of our genetic heritage) and we have Hugh Ross
> claiming the same. But on the other hand we have a statistical
> examination of nuclear DNA which rejects the above hypothesis of
> total genetic separation at the P<10^-17 level. I spoke with a guy
> here in Beijing who works for Proctor and Gamble about this paper.
> He has to do statistical analyses on chemicals and their safety. He
> said that in his human trials of various chemicals a P<10^-1 was
> sufficient to reject the hypothesis. But for some reason, people
> are emotionally wedded to the idea of a separation of us from the
> archaics--even those who profess evolution like you and are not
> looking at the P<10^-17. You sure like high risk theories if you
> believe in ooA after this.
> The entire case for replacement comes from studies on mtDNA. That
> is such a small fraction of our DNA that to base an entire theory
> upon it giving us the entire picture of human genetic history is
> simply mindboggling as far as I am concerned.
> >Your mindset seems virtually identical to Hugh Ross and others who
> have their scientific proof of the day that proves that >the Bible
> is true. What does happen when scientists change their mind on an
> issue like this? Let's let the scientific debate >rage. If our
> faith in confidence in scripture is dependent on which way the
> argument goes this year, we're to be pitied. I >know that this
> raises all the questions you've been concerned with over the years
> about Biblical reliability, but I suggest >that to put your
> confidence (or lack thereof) in origins (rather than, say, the
> life,death, and resurrection of Jesus) is mistake
> This is a separate issue that has been debated much. I do find it
> odd that people who demand objective proof in their professional
> areas, who also demand that the YECs prove that the earth is young
> will take a position which requires that the Bible not be
> objectively factually true and then claim that anyone who doesn't
> accept that approach is a hopeless concordist. If one can believe
> that which is false, why shouldn't we allow the YECs to believe
> that which is false??????

Terry M. Gray, Ph.D.
Computer Support Scientist
Chemistry Department
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO 80523
(o) 970-491-7003 (f) 970-491-1801
Received on Tue Feb 14 10:09:18 2006

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