Re: [asa] Dawkins on the fossil record

From: Dennis Venema <Dennis.Venema@twu.ca>
Date: Wed Dec 09 2009 - 12:31:56 EST

A few quick comments:

You misunderstand. No one is saying that the genomics data supports a "multiple origins" approach to human evolution. What it says is that we are derived from an ancestral population that had at least 1000 individuals. We speciated as a population - one population.

You said: "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"?

Yes, you are very wrong. Humans are created in the image of God, share ancestry with other forms of life, and I hold that these are not in conflict. It should be pretty obvious which side includes the "special creative act".

My reason for asking if you used a pseudonym was because I do not like conversing with folks online in any depth if they choose to remain anonymous. Especially if they are prone to misrepresent the positions of others.

I take it from your answer that you are using a pseudonym, then. Why is that the case, Greg? What do you have to hide?

If you would like to have a more in-depth conversation on these topics with me, I would be happy to do so provided you reveal and use your genuine name to do so.

Dennis

On 09/12/09 2:46 AM, "Gregory Arago" <gregoryarago@yahoo.ca> wrote:

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!

________________________________
Be smarter than spam. See how smart SpamGuard is at giving junk email the boot with the All-new Yahoo! Mail <http://ca.promos.yahoo.com/newmail/overview2/>

To unsubscribe, send a message to majordomo@calvin.edu with
"unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.
Received on Wed Dec 9 12:29:29 2009

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Wed Dec 09 2009 - 12:29:29 EST