Re: [asa] Microevolution

From: George Murphy <GMURPHY10@neo.rr.com>
Date: Fri Sep 19 2008 - 07:54:55 EDT

Jon -

The initial assumptions you cite are manifestly flawed even before we get to any considerations about the implications just what constitutes microevolution or its implications. Just for starters -

a. If this is understood to rule out evolution then it also rules out any change at all.

b. "Kind" is not identical with the modern concept of "species."

c. This is false. For one thing it depends on the environment. The sickle cell mutation has beneficial features for populations in areas with high incidences of malaria.

d. This would make sense only if we had no traits in common with apes (from whom, of course, we didn't descend).

Connecting with our earlier discussion of the Reiss affair, it would be much better to challenge the basic theological and exegetical assumptions of YECs than to try to make inroads via scientific arguments.

Shalom
George
http://home.neo.rr.com/scitheologyglm
  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Jon Tandy
  To: asa@calvin.edu
  Sent: Thursday, September 18, 2008 11:38 PM
  Subject: [asa] Microevolution

  It seems that most of those today who are anti-evolution based on a literal reading of Genesis are willing to accept "microevolution" (which they define as variation within species or possibly change between species, but not at higher levels). This morning I thought about several claims, which I think are generally held. The first, second and fourth claims are religious, the third is scientific (not saying that any of the claims are necessarily correct).

   

  a. If God declared his creation "good" and "finished" in the first two chapters of Genesis, then evolution's claims that species can adapt and change over time contradicts a literal reading.

   

  b. God created the various "kinds" and told them to reproduce "after their kind", which is taken to mean that there can't be change between species. They continue to reproduce according to how God created them originally.

   

  c. All mutations are detrimental.

   

  d. Evolution of humans from apes and other animals with common traits as humans puts humans on the level of animal, and nullifies the special of humans who were made "in the image of God".

   

   

  However, given that microevolution is accepted by creationists, what does microevolution entail?

   

  1. Species can mutate from their originally created "good" condition. This means that the creation was not "finished" in Genesis 2, but continues to adapt and develop over time.

  2. Natural selection along with mutation can be observed to cause species to develop in beneficial ways for their perpetuation, which means that natural selection must be accepted by anti-evolutionists as a viable mechanism for positive change within or between species.

  3. This means that not all mutations are necessarily detrimental or "bad".

  4. If a given species can change over time so that it produces entirely different "kinds" of entities, to me this undercuts the whole idea of animals always necessarily reproducing "after their kind" (meaning within the same originally created "kind").

  5. Just as humans share common, apparently inherited characteristics with other animals, humans are also made of the same atoms and chemicals as all the rest of creation. If chemistry and particle physics don't contradict the special "image of God" nature of humanity, then why should common biological elements be considered any differently?

   

  Thus, acceptance of microevolution (which is tacitly acknowledged by most creationists) requires acceptance of the possibility of beneficial mutations and natural selection and fundamental change from God's originally created "kinds". Acceptance of the common chemistry within the human species is equivalent to the common elements of biology. Thus, all the above arguments against macroevolution seem to be contradicted by logical comparison with microevolution.

   

  Does this line of reasoning make sense?

   

  I realize this still doesn't answer the belief that "kinds" include not only species but genus and maybe even family, and some allow for microevolution within groups larger than the species. In response it is asserted that the creationists' definition of "kind" is ad hoc and inconsistent, meaning simply "all the areas in which I don't want to admit the possibility of macroevolution."

   

  And of course another line of evidence is the biological data showing not only change between species, but between families, orders, and even phyla.

   

  Jon Tandy

   

   

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Received on Fri Sep 19 07:55:28 2008

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