Re: [asa] Cameron- question of Adam

From: George Murphy <GMURPHY10@neo.rr.com>
Date: Mon Jun 22 2009 - 20:05:42 EDT

Bernie -

I did not say that apparent age arguments were good, just that they can't be
refuted by arguments that are only scientific or philosophical. From the
standpoint of a sound theology that takes scientific evidence seriously,
they're preposterous. But that's a theological assessment. As soon as a
person responds to your arguments about DNA by saying "But God could have
..." you're going to have to start talking theology & not just science.

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

----- Original Message -----
From: "Dehler, Bernie" <bernie.dehler@intel.com>
To: "asa" <asa@calvin.edu>
Sent: Monday, June 22, 2009 6:09 PM
Subject: RE: [asa] Cameron- question of Adam

> 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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>>
>>
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Received on Mon Jun 22 20:07:27 2009

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