Re: [asa] Ken Miller's mantra

From: Gregory Arago <>
Date: Fri Oct 16 2009 - 07:50:39 EDT

Hi Dennis, I'd appreciate if you'd answer the questions that I ask too, so that we can have a dialogue. I'll answer your question directly.   You wrote: "How about you? How do you answer that question? Is our species related to chimpanzees?"   It does seem to be that way. Evidence for common descent appears strong. You speak to me like I was a YEC, when I'm not. Cameron has answered to such a tendency in your voice as well.   The issue of 'meanings' is surely *not* one of 'semantic games' (meant by you in a pejorative sense, of course). It is about communication, which is extremely important, even for doing 'science.' Don't you agree? Especially on a list like this one where people come from different academic fields, one must be clear with what they mean or be ready to be misinterpreted.   Now, to my previous question. Will you please answer this:  Is evolutionary psychology an example of 'science' that passes the 'test'?   Yes, I know that this is not your particular field. But now that I have spoken about a field that is not mine, perhaps you will respond in kind to give your answer.   What I seek to understand, Dennis, is how *you* as a geneticist *limit* the use of 'evolution' and 'science' and whether or not there is (or even *could be*) a time or place when 'evolutionary theory' slips out of 'science' and into 'ideology' or 'worldview.' You have little to lose by saying that 'evolution is limited in such and such a way,' other perhaps than your reputation in the eyes of those evolutionary biologists and other natural-physical scientists who elevate 'evolutionary theory' into an 'ideology' or 'worldview.' It is undisputable that such people exist and I imagine that you, as a professor at a private Christian university, would wish to do his best both in distancing himself from such people as well as promoting 'good science' in its limited realm(s).   You have an important opportunity, given your specialisation, to offer a way out of the ideology of evolutionism, yet you don't seem to make use of it. Why not? Or maybe I've just not witnessed your efforts, but you are making them indeed!   Gregory ________________________________ From: Dennis Venema <> To: Gregory Arago <>; John Walley <>; Jon Tandy <>; ASA <> Sent: Fri, October 16, 2009 2:52:34 AM Subject: Re: [asa] Ken Miller's mantra 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? Best, Dennis 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? > >Thanks, >Gregory > > ________________________________ 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. > >Dennis > > >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. >>  >>John >> >> ________________________________ 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 >>To: ASA >>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. >>  >>…Bernie >>  >> >>  >> >  >________________________________ Ask a question on any topic and get answers from real people. Go to Yahoo! Answers. <> > __________________________________________________________________ Yahoo! Canada Toolbar: Search from anywhere on the web, and bookmark your favourite sites. Download it now

To unsubscribe, send a message to with
"unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.
Received on Fri Oct 16 07:51:10 2009

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Fri Oct 16 2009 - 07:51:10 EDT