Re: [asa] Question for all the theistic evolutionists

From: George Murphy <>
Date: Tue Mar 13 2007 - 15:35:59 EDT

I'm not a geneticist &/or anthropologist & am not going to debate those
matters here but will point out that it's hardly just people like Ross or
Rana with theological axes to grind who want the origin of humans to be on
the order of 100kyr. Just recently I heard a talk by Spencer Wells of the
National Geographic (author of _The Journey of Man: A Genetic Odyssey_ -
also a TV documentary by this title) who dates the African origin of
humanity to 60,000 B.P. I couldn't discern any religious ax being ground.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Glenn Morton" <>
To: <>
Sent: Tuesday, March 13, 2007 6:14 AM
Subject: RE: [asa] Question for all the theistic evolutionists

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, and
occasionally by us TE's that make us look stupid. In our debate about the
age of humanity, both ID and TE's often totally ignore the details of the
human genetic system. The fact is, that mt DNA will not give a populational
history. 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 to
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 ago
(Hugh Ross used to say 60kyr ago and no more but Fuz Rana at least dragged
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 that.)

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 5,
at most we can have only 5 haplotypes for any given gene system.(a haplotype
is a family of similar DNA sequences which are clearly related by mutational
descent. But, last time I looked, the Major Histocompatibility Complex
(MHC), has over 100 different haplotypes. Ayala, I believe, once said that
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 faster
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 and
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 hold
that humanity arose in the last 200 kyr are as laughably wrong as the YEC
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 the
same thing as YEC--making us look silly, stupid, and in denial of the data.

And when I try to raise the issue that to be consistent with the scientific
and observational data, I get snide remarks from people like you about the
imaginary scenarios I offer. But that is ok, I get plenty of snide remarks
from YECs when they deny the clear geologic data that shows the age of the
earth. I see what I am doing as dealing with the data that y'all ignore.
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 universe.
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 14:36:33 2007

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