RE: [asa] Cameron- question of Adam

From: Dehler, Bernie <bernie.dehler@intel.com>
Date: Wed Jun 17 2009 - 18:03:57 EDT

Cameron said:
"I would *not* firmly deny the YEC view that you mention."

You mention that you do tons of reading, so I'll assume you read Francis Collins book "The Language of God" and know about the DNA evidence for human evolution (pseudogenes and fused human chromosme #2). Given that DNA evidence, why isn't that enough for you to firmly reject the YEC interpretation of God creating the first humans from a pile of literal dirt? What is it about that evidence that still lets you think there's a possibility that man was created by fiat?

I think once you can accept that the YEC view is untenable, then you will see things a lot differently.

Then rather than arguing about design vs. chance, I think you'll want to spend your time enlightening the YEC's who believe in human creation by fiat, because that is the real misinformation campaign that is rampant in today's evangelical church. That is the real scandal. Seems to me that most evangelical churches are YEC or YEC-friendly, and anti-evolution for that very reason. This is gross and sickening to those who know the basics of biology (at the highschool level now). The YEC campaign is an anti-evangelization campaign because it drives the intellectuals FROM church.

...Bernie

-----Original Message-----
From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On Behalf Of Cameron Wybrow
Sent: Wednesday, June 17, 2009 2:32 PM
To: asa
Subject: Re: [asa] Cameron- question of Adam

1. Bernie, brevity is of no value if it sacrifices clarity. The material I
put into my post which you found excessive was necessary for understanding
my answer. I write for those who seek understanding, not for those who just
want to know my position, and don't care about my reasons for my position.

2. I would *not* firmly deny the YEC view that you mention. It *could*
have happened that way. However, I do not *conceive* of it as happening
that way. I probably usually conceive of it as something more like the
"twigging" of a hominid genome by God to produce a new species, homo
sapiens. Other days, I imagine some vast front-loaded evolutionary process
which turns out man naturalistically. But these are my tentative personal
speculations, which do not pretend to be science or even philosophy, and I'm
not deeply attached to them.

3. My point, in which you seem uninterested but which you nevertheless need
to hear, is that "creationism versus evolution", (the YEC-versus-TE
concern), is philosophically and theologically secondary in relation to the
question of "design versus chance" (the ID-versus-Darwinist concern). And I
sometimes think that YEC people, for all their wooden, lifeless
interpretations of Genesis and all their dreadful science, understand the
importance of "design vs. chance" more clearly than a good number of TE
people. I tend to interpret Genesis as a TE would, but I think that TE
evasiveness concerning the operation of chance and design in nature is not
at all admirable, and I give the so-called "fundies" points for keeping
their eye on the ball.

Cameron.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Dehler, Bernie" <bernie.dehler@intel.com>
To: "asa" <asa@calvin.edu>
Sent: Wednesday, June 17, 2009 3:10 PM
Subject: RE: [asa] Cameron- question of Adam

> "I hope that's short enough for you, Bernie."
>
> Actually- I was hoping for much shorter.
>
> So, just to be clear.
>
> Some think Adam was made by fiat- all at once- not from anything
> pre-existing (except literal dirt). These think God literally scooped-up
> dirt, formed man, and breathed life into it. You would firmly deny this,
> correct?
>
> ...Bernie
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On
> Behalf Of Cameron Wybrow
> Sent: Wednesday, June 17, 2009 9:36 AM
> To: asa
> Subject: Re: [asa] Cameron- question of Adam
>
> Bernie:
>
> Asking whether "Adam" was created or evolved is the wrong question,
> because
> the two are not necessarily incompatible. Unless you insist on taking
> Genesis literally, evolution might have been the means of our creation.
> And
> I thought I had already indicated that I didn't take Genesis literally.
>
> The important question, from a religious point of view, is not "creation
> or
> evolution", but whether "Adam" was designed or the product of blind
> chance.
> I maintain -- despite the objections of many here -- that the entire
> raison
> d'etre of the Darwinian form of evolution is to exclude design from the
> actual world of nature, and that Darwinian evolution therefore depends
> essentially upon chance. So let me put the question in this way:
>
> Did "Adam", i.e., the first human being, whoever he was or whenever he
> lived, arise solely or primarily through Darwinian means?
>
> My answer: NO. I think that we have "design" written all over us. In
> fact, I think the entire organic world has design written all over it, at
> least in its general outline. Perfect design, with no accidental
> elements?
> Not necessarily. Design that excludes the possibility of macroevolution?
> No. But design, definitely. And I understand design not merely as some
> here do -- as a personal theological gloss upon facts which, strictly
> speaking, don't require design to explain them -- but as a genuine causal
> factor, without which life as we know it would not exist. That is: no
> design -- no life, no possibility of
> macroevolution, and certainly no Adam.
>
> That's the only sort of answer that you should care about, from a
> religious
> point of view. But perhaps you are insisting on knowing my much less
> important historical opinion about macroevolution and human origins?
> You'll
> be disappointed in the answer.
>
> Bottom line: (1) "Adam" was designed. (2) Darwinism is false. (3)
> Everything else -- macroevolution, chemical origin of life, special
> intervention, action under quantum indeterminacy, front-loading -- is
> negotiable. I keep an open mind and weigh them all according to empirical
> evidence, internal coherence, and general reasonableness. Thus, my
> position
> is (Canadians here, note historical political allusion): macroevolution
> if
> necessary, but not necessarily macroevolution.
>
> I hope that's short enough for you, Bernie.
>
> Cameron.
>
>
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Dehler, Bernie" <bernie.dehler@intel.com>
> To: "asa" <asa@calvin.edu>
> Sent: Tuesday, June 16, 2009 12:39 PM
> Subject: [asa] Cameron- question of Adam
>
>
>> Cameron- just a short question:
>>
>> Biologically- do you believe Adam was literally created by God
>> scooping-up
>> dirt and breathing life into him, or do you think he evolved from a lower
>> life-form? Or was Adam biologically made some other way?
>>
>> Just a short answer please.
>>
>> ...Bernie
>>
>>
>>
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>
>
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Received on Wed Jun 17 18:04:30 2009

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