Re: mtDNA Eve and the determination of humanity

From: Terry M. Gray <>
Date: Thu Feb 23 2006 - 18:16:36 EST


Regarding this and a previous post--you seem to regard me as an
advocate of the so-called RTB model. I guess that's your non-
neolithic Adam of 100,000 or 200,000 years ago. I'm not. I readily
agree with you that these views have the similar problems with
respect to the Genesis account (i.e. requiring a neolithic Adam) as
your view. I'm not quite sure who you're talking about--David Wilcox
and Hugh Ross, I guess. I'm quite content to let the OOA and MRH
debate rage among the experts--perhaps we'll have a clear view
someday--perhaps the Templeton paper will contribute to that clarity.
Perhaps there's a way for both of them to be right. As I've said
elsewhere, I don't think we ought to distort the science with
scripture (or our interpretation of scripture) or vice versa.

I want to respond again to your human/non-human issue. There is no
"homo" alive today who is not fully human. There was no "homo" alive
in Jesus' day who is not fully human. I think it's probably fair to
say that there was no "homo" in 10,000 BC who is not fully human.
Whatever the genetic connectedness between H. erectus, Neanderthal,
and H. sapiens is, there has been only one species of "homo" for all
of recorded history. Agreed? In one sense it doesn't matter if Hugh
Ross denies the "humanity" of Neanderthal if he admits to the current
unity of all humans. It may be that we all "predominantly" (i.e. the
near-null hypothesis) descended from some common ancestor within the
past 100-200,000 years or it could be that we descended from some
common ancestor who goes back to 1 million years ago. Determining
exactly when and how we become human is quite subservient to the more
important claim that their descendants (of today and recorded
history--the predominant stuff of Biblical revelation) are fully human.

Glenn, the reason we go silent, if you will, is because we think your
position is such a stretch. You want a neolithic civilization (i.e.
what's described in Genesis) that goes back 500,000 to 1 million
years ago that has left no trace in the anthropological/archeological
record--there's only bone flutes, cave bear remains, etc. Sure, we
could endorse a theory for which there is no evidence, but there
seems to be some desperation in that.

Your "amazement" about our rejection of your solution is not
dissimilar to Dick Fischer's "amazement" about our rejection of his.
I'd suggest that both of you have a serious reality distortion field
around you if you can't see why people aren't flocking to your
solution. Don't get me wrong here. I'm not suggestion that either of
you should stop promoting your view, nor do I have anything better to
offer, but let's face it, there is not a solution out there that
doesn't have difficulties given our various commitments. That in
itself may be evidence that some of our commitments are wrong--and,
of course, some folks out there in ASA-land (Murphy, Seeley,
Lamoureaux) are pushing in that direction.


On Feb 23, 2006, at 3:03 PM, <>
<> wrote:

> Bill wrote and Jon Tandy endorsed,
> >Terry said what I wanted to say -- only much better. Thanks,
> Terry. It seems to me that since none of the
> >interpretation/harmonization schemes is pefect, and they break
> down at different points, it would be useful to catalog
> >the major interpretation/harmonization schemes (including YEC)
> together with where they fail. The result might be a large
> >projectable chart that could be presented to a variety of
> audiences to show the pitfalls and difficulties of trying to
> >harmonize Scripture and science. Since it would gore everyone's
> ox, perhaps it would be a useful teaching tool.
> I almost added a response to Terry's comment to the last note. The
> biggest thing I hear from people rejecting my views is not that my
> facts are wrong, or that I have some awful illogicalness (like
> poling boats upcurrent and uphill). I hear that the constant
> complaint that Adam is too old to be believable and that he has to
> be neolithic. ) For some reason we have come to believe that it is
> logical to have a non-neolithic Adam of 100,000 years ago (who
> still can't hold the genetic unity of mankind) but not logical to
> have a non-neolithic Adam of 5 million years ago so that evidences
> of religion (which clearly do not define humanity for a number of
> people) and genetics (which shows that some of our genes are that
> old). We are willing to have the chronologies stretched by double
> or more but then if one goes and simply does more and moves Adam
> further back, the rubberband breaks and suddenly what was viewed as
> logical is no longer viewed as ok? So, I would try to make an
> observation here that offering something that fits the
> observational data of science does not ensure success. And if
> someone thinks my facts are wrong on something, I would love to be
> corrected because I would rather have it right than avoid admitting
> I was wrong.
> And one other observation. When one tries to discuss evidence of
> an older Adam, people go silent on this list like YECs do about
> geology. It is truly amazing, but I think I found the evidence of
> antiquity people don't want to accept on this side of the fence.

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 Thu Feb 23 18:17:38 2006

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