RE: [asa] Question for all the theistic evolutionists

From: Dick Fischer <>
Date: Tue Mar 13 2007 - 13:16:23 EDT

Hi Dave, you wrote:


If the flood was about 5,000 years ago, I don't believe there were any
non-human hominids roaming about at that time.


Dick Fischer

Dick Fischer, Genesis Proclaimed Association

Finding Harmony in Bible, Science, and History



-----Original Message-----
From: [] On
Behalf Of David Opderbeck
Sent: Tuesday, March 13, 2007 9:00 AM
To: Glenn Morton
Subject: Re: [asa] Question for all the theistic evolutionists


Fact is, we humans can NOT be younger than the oldest gene system
in our bodies. By oldest human gene I mean the largest calculated time
coalescence for the gene as observed across the human population.

Why? It seems to me that you're engaging in some kind of genetic
determinism here. Obviously, if humans are the product of evolution, we
will carry many genes that are far, far older than whatever it is that
essentially makes us human. You might as well say Adam was a
single-celled bacterium.


I'd suggest that it's a mistake to think of our common ancestry from
Adam & Eve (or the Noahic survivors) in genetic terms. Biblical
lineages know nothing of genetics. It's too easy for us to foget that
just a little more than 50 years ago, genetics was still a black box.


Using a non-genetic geneological model, the MCRA of everyone living
today probably lived only several thousands of years ago. (Wiki: ) We cannot
all trace our genes back to Adam or Noah, but we could very plausibly
all be able to trace our geneologies back to them. And geneologies are
what matters in scripture, not genetics. (This of course is assuming we
need to think of these figures as historical individuals (which I
believe is most consistent heremeutically but I wouldn't stake my life
on it))


The real problem with the MHC (as I understand it primarily from one of
the essays in "Perspectives on an Evolving Creation") is not how ancient
the oldest lineage is (undoubtedly it's ancient), but the diversity of
alleles in the human population as compared to other animal populations.
Human MHC diversity suggests that there could not have been a population
of only a few human individuals any time in the recent past. However,
this depends on probability assumptions about mutation rates and
molecular clocks that are controversial and that may not hold for the
human MHC. Or, it may indeed mean that our concept of humans created
with the imago Dei needs to handle the fact that we humans interbred at
different times with non-human hominids (and also that some such
non-human hominids may have survived the flood) -- difficult
considerations, but it seems to me not imposible ones, paricularly if we
drop the eisegetical notion that Biblical anthropology and Biblical
geneology have anything to do with genetics.


On 3/13/07, Glenn Morton <> wrote:

George wrote:
> I hope it was clear that I was expressing the views of the
> clergy I referred
> to, not my own. Of course I agree with your objections to
> those views - &
> would add the fact that by allowing YEC views they contribute
> to making
> Christians seem stupid.

It isn't just YEC views. It is silly unfactual things said by ID folk,
occasionally by us TE's that make us look stupid. In our debate about
age of humanity, both ID and TE's often totally ignore the details of
human genetic system. The fact is, that mt DNA will not give a
history. Fact is, we humans can NOT be younger than the oldest gene
in our bodies. By oldest human gene I mean the largest calculated time
coalescence for the gene as observed across the human population.

Many TE's and ID folk insist on believing that humans arose 100-200 kyr
(Hugh Ross used to say 60kyr ago and no more but Fuz Rana at least
him into the 1980s and convinced him that humans arose 100kyr ago and no
more, ignoring of course that mtDNA data says it has to be older than

The model whereby we believe humans arose from a single pair, or are
descended from 5 people at the time of the flood, has certain genetic
implications. Genetic diversity can't be very large in any gene system
under either of those scenarios. If we are liberal, and take the Noahic
at most we can have only 5 haplotypes for any given gene system.(a
is a family of similar DNA sequences which are clearly related by
descent. But, last time I looked, the Major Histocompatibility Complex
(MHC), has over 100 different haplotypes. Ayala, I believe, once said
it would require 30 million years to give rise to this suite (however, I
believe there is some evidence that this area of the genome evolves
than Ayala assumed). The MHC requires long periods of time to evolve and
means that we can't get that much diversity in 200kyr which most ID's
TE's believe in. So, they make us look silly and stupid.

If coalescence times are 5.5 million years, that means we can't have
had a
genetic/populational bottleneck, as the Bible requires for the past 5
million years. If one believes that humanity came from a very small
population of people, either 2 or 5, then current ID and TE views which
that humanity arose in the last 200 kyr are as laughably wrong as the
views of a 6000 year old earth. And it means that the ID's and TE's are
doing exactly what the YECs are doing--ignoring data on the age of
something! They deny the age of the earth, ID's and TE's deny the age of
human genes. So, I would conclude that I see ID and most TE views doing
same thing as YEC--making us look silly, stupid, and in denial of the

And when I try to raise the issue that to be consistent with the
and observational data, I get snide remarks from people like you about
imaginary scenarios I offer. But that is ok, I get plenty of snide
from YECs when they deny the clear geologic data that shows the age of
earth. I see what I am doing as dealing with the data that y'all
The fact that y'all find my views personally incredulous is no more of a
reason to reject this view of the age of humanity than is the personal
incredulousness of the YEC who rejects the age of the earth and
As the preacher said, There is nothing new under the sun.

They're Here: The Pathway Papers
Foundation, Fall, and Flood
Adam, Apes and Anthropology

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Received on Tue Mar 13 13:16:31 2007

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