Re: [asa] Cameron- question of Adam

From: Cameron Wybrow <wybrowc@sympatico.ca>
Date: Mon Jun 22 2009 - 12:34:46 EDT

Bernie:

You seem to be impervious to even the most careful writing. It should be
clear to you by now that I have not been speaking of my own doubts about the
DNA evidence, but have been trying to explain to you how YECs can justify
those doubts. And technically speaking, they are right -- you cannot clinch
the argument without resorting to a theological assumption -- i.e., that God
would not produce DNA that could be mistaken to imply historical
relationships. But I have never endorsed the YEC conclusion. I have said
that I find the arguments from DNA reasonable. It's just that those of us
trained in philosophy have higher standards for "proof" than Darwinian
evolutionists do, so we qualify all knowledge-claims to a degree which does
not please you.

You are a former evolution denier, and therefore it is not surprising that
you now vehemently affirm evolution, with the confidence with which former
smokers attack smoking or former meat-eaters preach vegetarianism. Such
extreme positional swings are not uncommon in these debates, especially
among those who have swung from YEC to TE. But I was never a YEC and never
an evolution denier. The only thing that has changed for me is that I have
come to doubt that a wholly naturalistic explanation for the evolutionary
process is possible. Darwin and his leading disciples have insisted on a
wholly naturalistic explanation for the evolutionary process. I've come to
think that this is unlikely, or at least that if a naturalistic explanation
is available, it is on Dentonian rather than Darwinian lines.

You say that you are amazed at the stubbornness of YEC people regarding DNA
evidence. I'm amazed at the stubbornness of both atheist and TE Darwinists
regarding the evidence for design in organic nature. Indeed, it's so
obvious that TEs have to resort to a strained application of "methodological
naturalism" (a principle innocent in itself) to rule out of court what every
honest and rational person can see just by looking at nature. But perhaps
Stephen Meyer's new book will convince you of the design of DNA; it comes
out tomorrow. Happy reading!

Cameron.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Dehler, Bernie" <bernie.dehler@intel.com>
To: "asa" <asa@calvin.edu>
Sent: Monday, June 22, 2009 11:08 AM
Subject: RE: [asa] Cameron- question of Adam

> Cameron said:
> "Therefore, your suggestion that I still need a bit of tutoring to
> understand the evidence for evolution rather dumbfounds me. But if you
> are really convinced that I need such tutoring, perhaps you could
> recommend one of your scientific publications to me, and I will look at
> it, to see if there are any arguments that I have missed.
>
> You continue to miss the point of my argument about the fused chromosome.
> I said that it remains logically possible that God created humans and
> chimps independently, with exactly the chromosomal arrangements that they
> have, and that your argument comes down to "God wouldn't have done it that
> way". But YEC people can just retort that God must have done it that way,
> since that is what we see. It is just one theological statement against
> another, and science cannot resolve the impasse."
>
> Cameron- as far as I'm concerned, if you really UNDERSTOOD the evidence
> for fused human chromosome #2, then there's no debate over evolution. You
> are familiar with the DNA evidence for evolution, but you don't know how
> to apply it. I think you are like someone who knows that 2+2=4 yet can't
> apply it to real life (such as 2 apples plus 2 apples = 4 apples).
>
> If the chromosome #2 evidence, by itself, can't prove evolution to you,
> then NOTHING will. On top of that, ther is the pseudogene evidence. Each
> in its own right is enough evidence, but both together is overkill in
> showing that evolution actually happened.
>
> You have to ask your "What evidence would I need to see to be sure that
> evolution happened?" If the answer is "Nothing will prove it to me" then
> you are blind to all evidence. I think if you answer the question
> intellectually and honestly, the answer is in DNA and the answer is in
> fused chromosome 2 and pseudogenes.
>
> Just my opinion, from one former evolution-denier.
>
> I'm amazed at the stubbornness of YEC's to refuse accepting the DNA
> evidence since it has recently been available. And the evidence is
> building rapidly as genomic studies continue.
>
> ...Bernie
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On
> Behalf Of Cameron Wybrow
> Sent: Saturday, June 20, 2009 5:35 PM
> To: asa
> Subject: Re: [asa] Cameron- question of Adam
>
> Bernie:
>
> I spent the early part of my life as a Darwinist and learned my catechism
> well. I could recite the entire litany of pro-evolutionary arguments
> (comparative anatomy, vestigial organs, ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny,
> peppered moths, antibiotic resistance, fused chromosomes, biogeographical
> distribution, etc.) in my sleep. I would have thought that the level of
> my
> discussions would have made this clear to you. Therefore, your suggestion
> that I still need a bit of tutoring to understand the evidence for
> evolution
> rather dumbfounds me. But if you are really convinced that I need such
> tutoring, perhaps you could recommend one of your scientific publications
> to
> me, and I will look at it, to see if there are any arguments that I have
> missed.
>
> You continue to miss the point of my argument about the fused chromosome.
> I
> said that it remains logically possible that God created humans and chimps
> independently, with exactly the chromosomal arrangements that they have,
> and
> that your argument comes down to "God wouldn't have done it that way".
> But
> YEC people can just retort that God must have done it that way, since that
> is what we see. It is just one theological statement against another, and
> science cannot resolve the impasse.
>
> You don't seem to grasp that you will never budge a YEC proponent by the
> fused chromosome argument, or any such argument. The problem is not that
> YECs are dumb at science. Many of them are in fact quite bright at
> science,
> and hold down jobs in various scientific fields. The problem is the way
> that YECs read the Bible. They think that they have the religious duty
> not
> to accept arguments for common descent because they think the Bible offers
> a
> literal account of origins. So even those YECs who have a very keen
> understanding of science will find ways, however contrived, of
> re-interpreting the data in order to preserve literalism. Until you can
> change the way they read the Bible, you are beating your head against a
> stone wall to keep trying to amass genetic arguments, comparative anatomy
> arguments, etc.
>
> As for your comments about outreach, your Americocentric remarks show that
> you are entirely unfamiliar with the Canadian religious and cultural scene
> and are therefore not in a position to say what would or would not work up
> here. It is best that I say no more on this point.
>
> Cameron.
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Dehler, Bernie" <bernie.dehler@intel.com>
> To: "asa" <asa@calvin.edu>
> Sent: Thursday, June 18, 2009 4:29 PM
> Subject: RE: [asa] Cameron- question of Adam
>
>
>> Cameron- you also said that you might think it was possible that God
>> created Adam, biologically, from scratch, from a pile of dirt. First,
>> you
>> need to understand and fully accept the biological origins for humans.
>> You haven't done that completely yet. When you do, you will be able to
>> rule-out the possibility of Adam being made, biologically, YEC style.
>> Then you will come to see the danger of YEC to the evangelical church.
>>
>> The people you want to reach, of course, won't consider Christianity,
>> because they conflate it with YEC... which is unscientific. If you want
>> to reach atheists, I think you also need to simultaneously rebuke the
>> YEC's, who block the path to Christianity from the intellectuals who may
>> want to join.
>>
>> Too many think that you have to believe in a global flood and a young
>> earth in order to be an evangelical. That's why they need to be told of
>> another way into Christianity.
>>
>> ...Bernie
>
>
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Received on Mon Jun 22 12:37:50 2009

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