RE: The death of the RTB model

From: Dick Fischer <dickfischer@verizon.net>
Date: Fri Feb 17 2006 - 12:16:05 EST

Hi Doug, you wrote:
 
I apologize if I'm not up on the precise details of how Glenn and others
use these human population genetic data in constructing models of
concordance with the biblical story, but how are the differences between
these alternative evolutionary models particularly important to the
theology/science topic? What about your own models, Glenn or Dick,
depend on one or the other of these genetic models being correct? Both
models involve some form of expansion out of Africa.
 
Ross, head of Reasons to Believe, is a progressive creationist.
Essentially, PCs use the same sort of tactics and use, (misuse, and
abuse) of science that YECs do, with the exception that they admit to an
old earth and universe. What both have in common is that any scientific
evidence that supports their methodology is flaunted, and anything that
refutes their case is ignored.
 
So where PCs can make a case with anthropological evidence that archaic
man (specially created, of course) was entirely replaced by modern man
(direct descendants of Adam himself) they cite it. The genetic evidence
that points to mutual-shared, common ancestry between man and chimp (and
every other species) is fatal, so that is dusted under the rug.
 
In light of what we now know about the genetics of man and our closest
relative the RTB solution is DOA scientifically anyway, it didn't need
any additional knife in the back from Templeton. A corpse is still a
corpse regardless of the number of additional stab wounds you give it.
 
The RTB method of resolution with the Bible was to place a specially
created Adam at the 100,000 year mark (it was 60,000) so that he could
be ancestral to all mankind and we wouldn't be related to creatures more
hairy. The archaic humans replete in the fossil record simply died out
leaving nothing of their genes behind that would be pre-Adamic. What
Templeton showed is that there was gene flow between archaics and
moderns as far back as 1.9 million years ago. In his published article
he refers to the man-chimp split at 6 million years ago as a benchmark.
 
As to my solution, it does not rely upon, but is in total compliance
with modern anthropological science, including everything that is known
about our genetic makeup to include mutual-shared common ancestry
between man and the other higher primates. Either the multi-regional
theory or the out of Africa theory works for me whichever comes out
ahead eventually, because all that anthropological history predates the
introduction of Adam who historically belongs to the Neolithic period
and can be dated biblically with the culture of southern Mesopotamia,
the fertile crescent talked about in your high school world history
books.
 
Where biological mankind replete with all the genetic markers that show
connection with the rest of the phyletic tree of life comes together
with the biblical narrative is at the patriarch, Noah. There are
significant clues in Genesis.
 
Adam, Noah, and Abraham are standout patriarchs in the chain of
patriarchal history. Eve and Sarah are named and described in Genesis.
Noah's wife is conspicuously anonymous. Genesis tells us that Noah is
"perfect in his generations" and is silent about the generations of his
wife. All the previous patriarchs have their first child within the
first 200 years of life while Noah lives to 500 before he marries and
has kids. All the patriarchs from Adam to Abraham have "other sons and
daughters" except Noah who has three boys and then no further offspring.

 
The long lives enjoyed from Adam to Noah begin shortening up starting
with Shem who lived 600 years tapering down to Abraham who died at 175.
This is alluded to in Genesis: "My spirit shall not always strive with
man ('adam in Hebrew or Adamite) for that he is also flesh: yet his days
shall be an hundred and twenty years (Gen. 6:3)." And 120 years as a
lifespan is a fairly good outer limit to this day.
 
My conclusion, based upon biblical testimony, is that Noah's wife came
from outside the Adamic race. She was probably Sumerian or Ubaidan.
Thus the MtDNA evidence present in Jewish women today from Noah's wife
extends back to mitochondrial Eve just as women everywhere have the same
lineage.
 
Whether Adam himself had natural parents, or was created out of dust, or
was carved on a stump makes no difference to my overall theory, except I
have my own prejudices which I need not articulate as it has no effect
either way.
 
In essence, Bible, science and history comes together on this one method
of apology, nothing I know refutes it, and no other method that I know
about fits the data as this one does.
 
That doesn't mean there aren't a few dangling loose ends that can be
dredged up in opposition. How did a Mesopotamian flood last a year?
Mankind is thought to be synonymous with 'adam among Bible expositors.
How do we interpret Acts 17:26?
 
But it is universally true with scientific theories that a few data bits
will normally fall outside of the proposed explanation. The best we can
do is to devise a theory that conforms to as much of the evidence as
possible while maintaining internal consistency and adhering to
principles of logic. And this one does that. It could even be true!
 
Dick Fischer
~Dick Fischer~ Genesis Proclaimed Association
Finding Harmony in Bible, Science, and History
www.genesisproclaimed.org <http://www.genesisproclaimed.org/>
 
-----Original Message-----

Dear friends,
 
I think several of you are overstating things on both sides. Glenn
places too much confidence in Templeton's analysis, while Terry
underappreciates its significance with respect to some of the very
specific claims of the RTB model. To say it in the positive sense, Glenn
is reminding us that we were wise not to build a theology of concordance
with the RTB model, while Terry is reminding Glenn (and all of us) that
we also should not build a similar theology solely on the story that
Templeton tells based on his analysis, as if it were the final answer or
the only way to think about human genetic history.
 
I apologize if I'm not up on the precise details of how Glenn and others
use these human population genetic data in constructing models of
concordance with the biblical story, but how are the differences between
these alternative evolutionary models particularly important to the
theology/science topic? What about your own models, Glenn or Dick,
depend on one or the other of these genetic models being correct? Both
models involve some form of expansion out of Africa.
 
From an ethics/morality/theological perspective, I think the more
important part of Alan Templeton's analyses are what they say about the
lack of historical distinctness between races (see related article:
http://news-info.wustl.edu/tips/page/normal/184.html). I did my PhD at
Wash U, where I took population genetics and other courses from Alan
Templeton (and he was on my committee). I remember him talking about how
concepts of race are social rather than genetic. He contrasted the views
about "black" in the U.S. vs.Brazil, where I think he had done a
sabbatical. In the U.S., you are considered black if you have any
black-like features; in Brazil it is largely the opposite; you are
considered white if you have any white-like features. On a related note,
DNA ancestral analyses are revealing surprising things to many African
Americans about their ancestry (see article in USA Today last week).
 
Of course the coalescence analyses were focused on more ancient
population genetics. And even Alan would not deny that different
patterns of physical features did evolve in different geographical
areas. However, the only reasonable conclusion from his analysis seems
to be that there has always been a significant level of gene flow within
the entire human species (i.e., among human populations). This should
not come as a surprise to anyone who has read history. The Israelites
couldn't keep themselves from intermarrying at some level with all the
nations around them, even when God commanded them to. And we know that
few other civilizations did any better. With regard to Isreal, one could
make a strong case that God was more concerned about cultural
distinction than genetic isolation; he wanted Israel to maintain its
faithfulness to God. I'm speaking off the top of my head, so don't take
these as my definitive views. My point is that these seem to be a more
interesting points for discussion as tangents from Alan Templeton's work
than the origin of humans.
 
Sincerely,
Douglas Hayworth
Received on Fri, 17 Feb 2006 12:16:05 -0500

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