Re: [asa] Ken Miller's mantra

From: Dennis Venema <>
Date: Thu Oct 15 2009 - 18:52:34 EDT

I think this is my fourth post for the day, so, last word from me on this issue.

Gregory, I'm not really interested in playing semantic games. I'm aware science isn't monolithic; I'm aware that you frequently take umbrage at the use of the words "evolution" or "science" et cetera; but I'm not interested in the word game. Sorry.

Re: monogenesis vs. polygenesis: the evidence currently strongly favours monogenesis, but that is besides the point for my purposes here. For this discussion, I am only interested in the question: "do humans share ancestry with other forms of life?" Monogenesis or polygenesis aside, this is the issue Christians care about. We can leave the issue of whether viruses / archaea / mitochondria / etc are a separate creation for another day.

How about you? How do you answer that question? Is our species related to chimpanzees?

If you say not, what evidence do you have to support your position? What explanation do you have for the myriad lines of evidence that support the conclusion that humans do share ancestry with other species?



On 15/10/09 3:34 PM, "Gregory Arago" <> wrote:

"game over for YEC and OEC, as well as for anti-common descent forms of ID." - Dennis

You don't sound like a very playful guy, Dennis! : )

When you write, "While science doesn't offer absolute proof, it can offer..." what do you mean by 'science'? Is evolutionary psychology an example of 'science' that passes the 'test'? You sound 'monolithic' in the way you pronounce the word 'science,' but that could be just my hearing from several thousands of kilometers away.

Your position seems to defend 'specialism', which is of course fine. But if we recognize multiple levels of 'science' (i.e. this word that is used to describe a certain kind of knowledge that is done or sought in various locations by variously 'trained' persons), then there will inevitably come a time when that specialism has to give way to generalism.

On the topic of 'common descent,' it seems you are not flexible or open at all to alternative views, do I understand you correctly? So you are a monogenesis kind of guy, as opposed to a polygenesis guy, is that right?


From: Dennis Venema <>
To: John Walley <>; Jon Tandy <>; ASA <>
Sent: Fri, October 16, 2009 2:18:45 AM
Subject: Re: [asa] Ken Miller's mantra

Yes, this example is a nice one because its implications are readily seen even by non-specialists. The point to drive home, however, is that this is but one example of thousands and thousands that converge on the same conclusion.

While science doesn't offer absolute proof, it can offer what my PhD supervisor used to call the "Bl**dy obvious test" - apologies for the language. Comparative genomics is well into "bl**dy obvious" territory on this issue. Only large-scale denial or misrepresentation of the issue will suffice for an anti-common descent apologetic.

So, in my view, game over for YEC and OEC, as well as for anti-common descent forms of ID.


On 15/10/09 2:57 PM, "John Walley" <> wrote:

"but the presence of pseudogenes don't imply the game is over for YEC"

Yes in a way it does because at least in the case of psi GULO, it forks their design argument by making them defend why God wanted humans to have scurvy.

This example of a pseudogene alone convinced me to become a TE. Any other example could conceivably be argued to have some type of unknown or unappreciated design characteristic to it but this one with its obvious deleterious effects is really hard to defend.


From: Jon Tandy <>
To: ASA <>
Sent: Thu, October 15, 2009 1:42:23 PM
Subject: RE: [asa] Ken Miller's mantra

I don't think this is really the case. The standard answers probably apply here: "God made it that way", and "it may be that we will find a use for the so'-called junk DNA and pseudogenes" serve pretty well as answers, just like "the earth is young, even though it may appear old". Whether such arguments are convincing for those reasonably acquainted with the strength of the evidence is another matter, but the presence of pseudogenes don't imply the game is over for YEC.

Jon Tandy

From: [] On Behalf Of Dehler, Bernie
Sent: Thursday, October 15, 2009 10:40 AM
Subject: RE: [asa] Ken Miller's mantra

I see your point.

How about this "We don't self-manufacture vitamin c; we win." Then you explain why we don't have vitamin c internally produced, unlike our descendents, because of bad gene copies (the pseudogene argument using vitamin c as a poster-boy).

Although fossils are easier too comprehend, it seems like the YEC's also have a good time-tested twist/story on them, at first glance. But when it comes to pseudogenes, the argument is over, and there's no good comeback for a YEC.


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Received on Thu Oct 15 18:49:59 2009

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