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

From: <>
Date: Wed Mar 28 2007 - 06:49:52 EDT

> This is one thing that bothered me about Collins' book. He certainly
> establishes beyond doubt the genetic relationships that tie all of life together
> and that fact that the human genome has changed over time. But I still think
> there's a big leap between those facts and a complete evolutionary story that
> necessarily elides any acts of progressive creation.

This is one of the places where I struggle against a
Calvinist position and physical realities as I currently
understand them.

In fact, what we have is something that looks like a programmer
(maybe worse than Iain <big grin>) was fiddling. Indeed, horizontal
transfer is not so different from taking another piece of
code you wrote, and integrating it into a program you're
writing. You take large chunks of code, copy it, and
make some changes to get it to work in the new environment.
You also see it "evolve", in the sense that eventually you
may want to make changes independent of the original code.
It also can have the property that it serves an entirely
different purpose than the original code it was used in.

So you have this as the given: what is observed looks very
much like it evolved (in the sense of a rather haphazard
process and apparently unplanned way). Added to that,
there is disease, genetic disorders, &Co. that get thrown in
the family dirty laundry basket.

One issue is whether evolution is how things have worked for
the last 3.5 billion years, the other issue is the theology we
must come up with to address this.

The case for evolution is pretty solid. There does not seem
to be an alternative model that is remotely competitive, and,
whereas there may be margins where one finds discrepancies,
they pale in the face of the driving picture.

The lines of distinctions between theistic evolution, progressive
creationism and intelligent design seem rather blurry frankly.
As evangelicals, we posit that God is active in all things. Would
not sustaining the creation (all that is, was and ever will be) be taking
an "active" role? God can know before all time what will be, and let
it be via God's way. Nothing could be without God, and nothing can
sustain itself without God. It is, then, at the very core of
existence. It doesn't answer theodicy, but anyway, that is another

Another thing to keep in mind is that the 2 or 3 % once view as the only
viable DNA
is now turned to large volumes of non-coding RNA. At least some of this is
thought to be driving alternative splicing. Only a few years ago,
professionals were
asserting that 97% on the human genome was junk with a few selfish parasitic
elements. I
conclude that it is better to speculate on things we know we have some
and realize that we don't know very much.

Even if we can create life de novo in a test tube, it does not tell us that
God doesn't
exists. It simply affirms that the laws of this universe are such that it
comes out this
way, and it says how easy or difficult this might be. Yet, in the final
analysis, who is
the author of those laws and who sustains them. Some claim vacuum
and chance, we claim God. Well, that is the choice we all must make, but I
apart from God, life would be utterly meaningless and abysmally pathetic.
it is down to what Jesus' disciples said: "where can we go?". Where indeed
we go?

by Grace we proceed,

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Received on Wed Mar 28 06:50:13 2007

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