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

From: James Patterson <>
Date: Thu Oct 30 2008 - 07:36:46 EDT

John wrote:

> There is no need or reason to combine your second and third miracles. It

> have all been one if the natural processes and intelligence needed to

> life to man was all embedded in the second. This takes nothing away from
God or

> theology and is most consistent with the science.


(1st: creation of universe, 2nd: creation of life, 3rd: creation of man)


If I understand your point, then you have very little difference from my
point of view. It is simply of matter of how much God is involved. However,
I must differ with your statement "most consistent with the science". That
statement (as are my statements to the contrary) is where we part ways.
First off, are you using "science" as defined by the National Academy of
Science? I should hope not, as they are heavily weighted with atheists, and
insist on methodological if not metaphysical naturalism.


> In contrast, your insisting that man had to be a separate third miracle is

> conflict with the science, specifically the evidence for CD and is what

> Christianity the scorn of the scientific and thinking community. And it is

> solely based on a desired theology and literal reading of Genesis that is

> totally superfluous and unnecessary.


First, I am not a YEC, if that is what you are thinking. The title of this
thread no longer reflects the content of the discussion. I am OEC or PC,
whichever you prefer to call it, but I am, on the spectrum of belief,
closest towards the TE position than many if not most of my kind. I think
there is a posting up a ways from someone who seems to think I am YEC.
Perish the thought.


Second, beyond what YEC has done to earn the scorn of the scientific
community (and it is plenty), I will not apologize for my position as a
Christian. Those in the scientific arena who insist on worshiping the
neoDarwinian model have more faith in what they believe (because the
evidence just isn't there, so it must be faith, lol), than what I do.


Third, I do not *insist*, but simply believe that it is most consistent with
the evidence. If you can show me (and CD doesn't convince me) that the
process from cyanobacteria to man occurred by only the natural processes
that God sat in motion with the creation of the first life, I *will* be
convinced. I am not PC because I just want to be, I am in this camp because
that's where the evidence points to. There are numerous points along the way
where neoDarwinian processes do not provide an answer to the questions at
hand, or are just plain wrong. I've already pointed a few of them out.


James said:

>> If God had custom designed the DNA of man (or any organism for that

>> matter) to be "perfect" then it would have been like putting a signpost >

>> there stating "God was here"


John said:

> So this seems to be saying that God allowed this "appearance of

> to throw seekers off the trail of finding God in His creation. I think we

> that He doesn't prove himself in His creation although He easily could

> but I think it is a stretch to take it this far and say He goes out of His

> to deceive.


I don't think it is deception at all. That's just how it happened - if you
add God more actively involved in in the process, helping the process along
(instead of distant), then what would you get? Does God need to
custom-define a gene? No, if he wants the psi-Gulo gene off, then as far as
I know, the way it was done was the best way. Define "best" or define
"perfection". To say that the way it was done doesn't match God's will is
just as much a presumption as it is to say that it is exactly God's will. I
*think* it's the way God wanted it. I admit it looks quite a bit like we
have a common ancestor, because with God in the picture, there probably *is*
a common ancestor. I have no problem with that, it's just the naturalist bit
all the way from a bacteria that doesn't work. If you want to believe that
God could "naturally" direct a bacterium to evolve into man over the time
span available, then you have a lot of faith in that...because where's the
evidence for it occurring that way? The model says one thing, and the data
says quite another, I don't care how many high school textbooks get printed
saying the contrary.


James said:

>> but unless and until you find all the transitional intermediates,

>> including that missing link, it remains potentially true, in my opinion.


John said:

> This reveals the creationist position boils down to faith in spite of the

> evidence and with an impossible standard for disproof, just like YEC, and

> it is therefore falsifiable and anti-science.


Actually your position boils down to faith as well, because (for example)
you have faith that the Cambrian explosion is consistent with random
mutation/natural selection, when it clearly is not, you have faith that
convergent evolution is consistent with random mutation/natural selection
when it clearly is not, etc. Now if you wish to say that God *caused* these
events to occur this way by loading the original DNA and/or original
bacterial cells with the mechanisms to do those things, then the subsequent
steps from bacteria to man are natural, and should be discoverable. It is my
position, sir, that we should have discovered quite a bit more of them by
now, and also that the current model does not fit what we have discovered.
However I will be happy to convert (back) to TE should you provide me with
sufficient evidence that your position has provided the answers necessary to
justify the naturalistic model. I don't see that.


> Whereas in contrast TE/EC accepts the scientific evidence as a valid
witness of

> God's creative activities without subjecting it to any specific
theological or

> doctrinal presuppositions, and therefore can be compatible with science, a

> superior position from which to engage and influence our culture.


I think this too is a major departure from the RTB position, and one where
we will likely will have to disagree permanently, should you choose not to
be swayed. I am not a "literalist" or a "fundamentalist" or a "creationist"
as history has defined those words - they relate mostly to the YEC arena.
However, I do believe that the dual-revelations of the Bible and God's world
should and do agree. I think RTB's position on this is the clearest and most
consistent that I have seen. If you have another position that you would
like to share, I would be happy to look at it. But I am a Christian who
accepts the canon, not the gnostic texts, et al. I see no problem with
Genesis 1 vs Genesis 2, for instance, and know of at least one TE (a former
pastor of mine) who rejected Genesis because of this apparent difference in
creation order. The RTB position, description, explanation, and exegesis of
Genesis may not be perfect, but it simply is the best I have seen.


I believe that the scientific evidence is a valid witness of God's creative
activities. I just don't think that evidence is clearly and convincingly
consistent with the model of neoDarwinian evolution using just naturalism
from bacteria to man. It is most consistent sir, in my opinion, with the


> No I don't think so. I too was an RTB PC like James for years until I read

> Francis Collins and found someone who dealt with the scientific evidence

> honestly. That is why I say psuedogenes are the smoking gun for CD. Once

> accept that, the only intellectually honest conclusion is TE, which is
where I

> came to, albeit kicking and screaming.


I just read "The Language of God" recently, because of the conflict the book
stirred up in the listserve at RTB. I didn't go back and read the old
threads on that from a few years ago, however. That may have been you, John?


I liked the book! It was quite good, but Collin's worldview was clear from
the 1st chapter. I think he's a great guy and a great writer, but he
presupposes evolutionary processes are explanatory for the whole of history.
LOOK at the data. The data simple does NOT fit the model. You can say it
does, you can believe it does, you can tell me it does, all I ask you to do
is one thing: show me. I am not just referring to CD here...I think I have
explained that above and in my post yesterday. CD is not a smoking gun.


We have two models: neoDarwinian evolution from the viewpoint of TE, and the
TCM. Look at the data, and show me where the TCM fails. If CD is the only
place, then how does my position above fail to answer it?


> I understand and empathize with the RTB PC position and I know giving it
up is

> painful, but it just doesn't work.


Yes it does.


> And you draw a false distinction by implying that creation by TE is not a

> miracle. I think it is, but just not a sudden miracle, a timed release
one. TE

> and OEC are not that far apart on most issues except this very one but it
is a

> major one. It means the difference between science and faith, and
relevance and

> scorn.


Perhaps it does, but not in the way that you think. You need more faith to
believe neoDarwinian processes can explain all that has occurred! Tell me
exactly how DNA encodes tertiary information in the cell. Tell me exactly
why we have hundreds of examples of convergent evolution, if neoDarwinian
evolutionary processes as described in your model are correct. I'm waiting
to hear.


> But I will rephrase my use of "'the scientific and thinking community" to

> rational and thinking community". I know there are exceptions like YEC

> including scientists but again I contend that the only rational conclusion

> the evidence of CD is TE. All this hand waving and appeals to "appearance

> imperfection" arguments are embarrassing and just really immature.


As is faith in Darwin. Right back at you.


> Hey John,

> I'm probably best classified as a TE myself. One thing I'm curious of,
though -

> I accept CD in a biological sense. But I've seen criticisms by scientists

> was directed at Behe in particular, in this case) where it's said that if

> particular species was directed/guided, CD would be 'broken' because the

> concept is based on an uninterrupted, unguided view of evolution. Ergo,

> guidance would constitute a break.

> Keep in mind, I'm not a scientist, and I can tell right off that any

> view of evolution as 'unguided' in such a sense is no longer purely

> 'scientific'. But if there was some kind, any kind, of outside,

> intervention with humanity at some point in their developmental history,

> that in your view change CD's relevance?



"guided" TE = RTB's TCM! I highly recommend it.


All for today. Thanks for the great debate, more tomorrow.


James Patterson

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Received on Thu Oct 30 07:37:10 2008

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