Re: [asa] How big a deal is homology?

From: David Opderbeck <>
Date: Tue Mar 27 2007 - 13:48:01 EDT

Jim -- isn't the usual reply -- "yes, but the commonalities include things
like bits of viral DNA and pseudogenes that strongly suggest inheritance of
genes over time, rather than the plunking-in of reusable modules. If these
are just reusable modules, they have the appearance of age, much like the
fossil record." Of course, a sur-reply might be, "yes, and assuming
psuedogenes really aren't functional (which isn't clear), God may have
developed stretches of the genome over time and then puncuated that with new
acts of special creation into which he asserted the components he had
developed." It seem to me that sur-reply is indeed reasonable as far as it
goes, but that the discussion then has passed into theological questions
concerning secondary causes and hermeneutical questions concerning whether
any acts of separate creation are implied in scripture.

On 3/27/07, Jim Armstrong <> wrote:
> The problem, as I see it, is that there is a very plausible
> non-technical retort. "If God had a successful recipe, it makes perfect
> sense to use and reuse the same formula with slight variations in all
> living creations. There's no need for an evolutionary explanation for
> such commonalities."
> It's very difficult to respond to that in kind. If anyone has a good
> response, requiring only a comparably slight understanding of the
> science, I for one would sure welcome it. JimA
> Brent Foster wrote:
> >This is a question for those on the list who know more molecular genetics
> than I do (almost everyone!). Now that the human genome has been sequenced,
> as well as that of several other organisms, sequences can be compared and
> checked for similarity. Much has been made of the 95 odd percent similarity
> between the genomes of humans and chimps. And of course the 80 odd percent
> similarity between mice and humans. Anti-evolutiuonists point out that the
> similarity is only 95 or so percent, not the 98% once claimed. Ha! And of
> course mice are even less similar. But isn't the problem that there is any
> similarity at all? Aren't family relationships demonstrated by matching
> identical sequences of DNA that are long enough to rule out coincidence? And
> aren't these same types of similarities found linking different species,
> genera, families etc, such as humans, chimps and mice? Maybe I'm
> demonstrating my ignorance of molecular genetics. Does 95% similarity
> between human and chimp DNA mean!
> !
> > that 95% of the sequences are similar? I ask because I am involved in
> discussion with someone who is skeptical of DNA comparisons.
> >
> >Brent
> >
> >
> >To unsubscribe, send a message to with
> >"unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> To unsubscribe, send a message to with
> "unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.

To unsubscribe, send a message to with
"unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.
Received on Tue Mar 27 13:48:28 2007

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Tue Mar 27 2007 - 13:48:29 EDT