RE: [asa] Cameron- question of Adam

From: Dehler, Bernie <bernie.dehler@intel.com>
Date: Mon Jun 22 2009 - 18:09:39 EDT

George said:
"Cameron is right on the basic point here: The "apparent age" argument - of which appropriate fabrication of human DNA would be a special case - cannot be refuted scientifically"

We all know how strong the DNA evidence is in a court of law. If you are accused of killing someone, and have the victims blood all over your clothes and on your person, yet claim to have been somewhere else when the murder happened, the "science" takes over and no one will believe your story. The DNA evidence must be accepted. It is overwhelming. It is not absolute 'proof,' but it is obvious.

In the same way, the DNA evidence for evolution is overwhelming. In the same exact way, any court of law could say evolution happened beyond a reasonable doubt, because of the DNA evidence.

If theologians want to put their head in the sand, they can, but I see no valid scientific way to explain away the DNA evidence- and it is on exhibit in the 'court of public opinion.' It is the same as if they rejected heliocentricity for theological reasons. Anyone can claim heliocentricity can't be proved scientifically too- but of course they would be quite ignorant scientifically to deny heliocentricity. Same exact thing with the DNA genomic evidence.

About 10 years from now, to argue against the DNA evidence for evolution would be the same ridiculous thing as arguing against heliocentricity, as genomic studies make the case stronger and stronger. It is already an "open and shut case" but meanwhile, the genomic evidence keeps building. But 10 years from now I think kids in grade school will be learning these things- just as they now learn about heliocentricity in grade school.

To even be accepting of ignorant people (preachers at our local churches no less) who reject the DNA evidence is a mockery on Christianity. Atheists claim that Christians are idiots, and this serves to justify their claim.

Just my opinion.

And Cameron- I have a strong opinion, not because I accepted evolution and am doing a boomerang. It is because I have a strong interest in evangelism and meet regularly with atheists. The short-comings of Christianity need to be identified and corrected. If we don't self-correct, we either rot, or have to get corrected by outsiders. It is time to clean house. Too many are resigned to living in a condemned home, because they are comfortable within it, or because acceptance of peers is more important to them than truth... (correcting is painful). Correction, I'm sure, is NEVER fun.

...Bernie

-----Original Message-----
From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On Behalf Of George Murphy
Sent: Monday, June 22, 2009 12:09 PM
To: Cameron Wybrow; asa
Subject: Re: [asa] Cameron- question of Adam

Cameron is right on the basic point here: The "apparent age" argument - of
which appropriate fabrication of human DNA would be a special case - cannot
be refuted scientifically or, for that matter, philosophically. Among
philosophers of science this goes by the name "Russell's Paradox."
(Bertrand Russell, who pointed it out, obviously was not trying to defend
the historicity of Genesis!) One discussion of it is Malcolm Acock, "The
Age of the Universe", Philosophy of Science 50, 1983, 130. The argument
against apparent age has to be basically theological, & I think can be made
pretty strongly.

Shalom
George
http://home.roadrunner.com/~scitheologyglm

----- Original Message -----
From: "Cameron Wybrow" <wybrowc@sympatico.ca>
To: "asa" <asa@calvin.edu>
Sent: Monday, June 22, 2009 12:34 PM
Subject: Re: [asa] Cameron- question of Adam

> 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 18:10:24 2009

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