Re: [asa] Dawkins on the fossil record

From: Gregory Arago <gregoryarago@yahoo.ca>
Date: Wed Dec 09 2009 - 05:46:06 EST

Hi Dennis, Yes, now I have listened to the end of the talk and to the questions. (And I even checked out your other new presentation on YouTube.) Glad to hear your voice! : - ) Now I understand your position more clearly, but would like clarification still on especially one issue. You write: "There is no evidence to support the hypothesis that the entire human race is derived genetically from two individuals." What I wish to know is this: are you neverthess still *open* to the possibly 'real' existence of two individuals, who are commonly (i.e. in more than a few world religions) called 'Adam' and 'Eve'? Or are you suggesting that 'genetic evidence' contradicts this possibility? There are many implications from what you say in the above statement that perhaps you have not yet thought through. The same is true for me because the implications of the view 'no first two humans' is anything but insignificant! For example, if there were 'multiple origins' of human beings (homo sapiens) in various parts of the  world, then the 'unity of humanity' is challenged. There would be many 'races' of humans and not a'single human race.' And as a sociologist I surely wouldn't take such a view lightly. It is serious (is it serious?)! But first, are you saying (instead of the negative of 'there is no evidence') that there indeed *is* evidence that "the human race" (placed in scare quotes because it seems this *singularity* issue is being called into question) actually *does* 'derive genetically' from *more* than two individuals, possibly in different physical locations? If so, who has published this evidence and where can it be found? Genetics is a relatively young field, as you admit - so how far should it (and its advocates, though not its 'alarmists') be trusted? Further, to the contention that I am misreprsenting you, surely with integrity I don't wish to do this. I commented that Terry had said (my paraphrase) that he “believe(s) in a special creative act. Period." And then I wrote, "Dennis Venema does not accept this." So that I won't misrepresent you, are you saying that I am wrong to suggest that you do not believe in "a special creative act"? If you'll speak to this and the above clearly, then I'll drop the accusation of 'scientism' (which I still think for more than one reason that you cannot avoid, cf. your YouTube singular definiton of 'Science' and language choice as "this is what Science does/is," etc.). Let me remind you that still NO ONE on this list has answered in probably two years to my occaisionally repeated question of how a natural scientist could possibly be 'non-naturalistic'.   You do consider yourself as a 'naturalist' do you not, Dennis? Finally, Dennis, there is no rule against posting under a pseudonym that I am aware of on the ASA list. Otherwise, Mike Gene and Schwarzwald (who have both publically admitted their pseudonyms) would both be banned. If you have a problem with this, raise it with the management. Otherwise, please have the courtesy to engage with the words, positions and arguments that I and others are expressing and refrain from personal attacks. I do believe that we can work together here, and that ASA is such an organisation that promotes cooperation among the sciences. Hopefully you appreciate this too. Gregory Terry Gray wrote: "For example, my own view of human origins allows for common descent of our biological form, but I believe a special creative act is required for our full humanity in the image of God (say, in the creation of the human soul)." G.A. It is a brave thing for you as a scientist to say this Terry! __________________________________________________________________ Make your browsing faster, safer, and easier with the new Internet Explorer® 8. Optimized for Yahoo! Get it Now for Free! at http://downloads.yahoo.com/ca/internetexplorer/

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Received on Wed Dec 9 05:46:55 2009

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