Re: [asa] Advice for conversing with YECs (Cheek turning)

From: Dennis Venema <>
Date: Tue Oct 28 2008 - 00:14:11 EDT

Hi James,

You said: Why do you thing the actual gene has to be completely gone to prove God's existence or action?

the point I was trying to make was that pseudogene evidence is difficult to reconcile to an "independent creation of humans" model. Sure, you can always say "well, I guess God just decided to do it that way" but that doesn't make the data fit your model. It's explaining data away, not explaining data. There is no reason for the GULO pseudogene to be present in the human genome. It's only there because it was once useful - and the fact that other primates have the same mutation in it means we have inherited it from a common ancestor. So, the loss of it may have been providential - but that still doesn't change the fact that it is compelling evidence for common descent.

I do see the handiwork of God in nature. You would seem to say that anything "natural" isn't part of God's handiwork. That seems an odd position to take. I see everything as God's handiwork. Did you follow the Timaeus threads? We went over very similar ground, repeatedly.

I have no problem with miracles (why is this such a common misconception about ECs)? I think God can do whatever He likes, whenever He likes. Accepting evolution doesn't mean denying miracles any more than accepting a weather forecast does.

What "gaping holes" did you have in mind? Also, how do you see OEC as superior to TE based on the data?


On 27/10/08 8:38 PM, "James Patterson" <> wrote:

Interesting thread!

Dennis Venema [] wrote:

> It may be that forcing us to include vitamin C in our diet does make for
> healthier humans in general - but why then have the remains of a clearly
> once-functional gene for Vit C biosynthesis present in our genome?

Why not? What do you expect God to do with it...delete it, and put a "this space intentionally left blank" sign? :)

> If lack of Vit C synthesis is the goal, why not just exclude this enzyme from the genome all together?

I believe that's what happened, functionally. Why do you thing the actual gene has to be completely gone to prove God's existence or action? Why do you insist on God's involvement being opaque to you, instead of transparent? How can you determine whether this was a providential act of God, or a supernatural act of God, given that?

> Why have evidence for a previously functional version (in the same genomic area as in other mammals)?

Once again, why not? I don't think it is wrong to believe in the relatedness of organisms. I think the genetic evidence is clear. I also believe that God created man in his own image. That may very well be a spiritual only image. However, it was by God's action that man was created.

Whether or not man was created:

a. Directly from the dust of the earth by special creative (supernatural) works of God, 20K - 100K years ago
b. From special creative (supernatural) works of God on some poor unsuspecting hominid (who was once dust), 20K - 100K years ago,
c. From (natural/providential) evolutionary processes working on the genome of hominids, who evolved from X, who evolved from Y, back to when God first (supernaturally) created life on this planet 3.9 BYA,

man was still created by God. As far as I can tell, it gets down to a philosophical difference. TE's believe that God should not have to "intervene" in what he set in motion to "fix" evolution - this gives the impression that it was broken, and therefore God is not perfect. OEC's believe that it's not "fixing" something broken, it is that God is actively involved in our world (and our lives) pretty much all the time. And yet both camps believe in both providence and the supernatural power of God, it's just a question of how much of which! I think the distinction is artificial at some level. When I was in the TE camp, I always used the phrase "stirring the pot". I think it fits.

So I ask the question here, that I asked in another thread.

What is perfection, in the context of an evolving creation? Why is it that some cannot see (or refuse to admit) the gaping holes in evolutionary theory, that are glaringly obvious to others? I have a BS in Biology, it was my major...and I was TE for years. I see and admit that the OEC model has flaws. All models do. In my opinion, it is the better model...better than TE. I admit that CD is a strong argument for TE, but it is by *no* means the critical issue that some make it out to be. I think we are related to chimps. And dogs. And dandelions, and bacteria. I don't have a problem with that, and I know that some OEC (and especially YEC) folks do. I just do not see the continuity of the data, from point A (LUCA) to point Z (man).

God created the heavens and the earth. First miracle.

There is no LUCA, there was no pre-biotic soup (Schidlowski, 1988), there wasn't enough time or the right stuff for life to evolve. God created life. Second miracle.

God (somehow) created man. Third miracle.

God did all the other miracles in the Bible. Including those real important ones, the virgin birth, and the resurrection of Christ. Forth and fifth miracles.

There. You don't have to believe in any other miracles for the moment. Just leave it at that. You can even argue about abiogenesis if you insist on "we don't know what happened". We still have miracles. They've happened. And so why do you insist on *further* restricting God's miraculous involvement, if you already believe in the supernatural power of God?

If you don't see the handiwork of God in nature, then I worry that you are choosing not to see it. And if you are choosing not to see it, I worry that you are denying God.

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Received on Tue Oct 28 00:15:34 2008

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