Re: The Evolution of Human Birth

Glenn R. Morton (
Tue, 30 Jun 1998 22:24:03 -0500

Hi Francis,

At 10:16 PM 6/30/98 -0400, Francis Maloney wrote:
> I will readily concede that humans have unique problems in birth
>and need midwives or obstetricians more than wild animals do. It is the
>evolution part that is not substantiated.

here we are probably going to differ. When I look at humans vs apes, one
can look at the chromosomes and see that the banding of the chromosomes
when they are stained is almost identical between ours and theirs.
(Jorge J. Yunis and Om Prakash, "The Origin of Man: A CHromosomal Pictorial
Legacy," Science March 1982, p. 1525.)

98% of their DNA is the same as ours so in one sense, we could say that we
are 98% chimpanzee. (John H. Relethford, Fundamentals of Biological
Anthropology, (Toronto: Mayfield Publishing Co., 1994), p. 17)

Pseudogenes (broken, unworkable genes) are found in the very same spot on
the very same chromosome in man, gorilla, and chimp. And just to emphasize
that these pseudogenes really don't do anything, half of one of them was
deleted in the Chimp.

It seems to me that the common design argument fails when one is forced to
believe that the Designer designed broken parts.

> Because you cannot isolate one of a complex of circumstances,
>conclusions must be narrow and consequently tedious to consider.
>Projection of the results of research beyond the scope of the data should
>be clearly distinguished as such. First assemble the data, second draw
>conclusions from the data and third speculate beyond the data to choose the
>next spot to focus research. These three stages are muddled together in
>this type of book because the researcher has accepted evolution as a
>fore-gone conclusion. This is fine for most readers but I read this list
>because I am incredulous, because I do have questions and because I want,
>for my own peace of mind, to separate fact from fiction.

Let me ask. Have you read the book? Is your conclusion of muddied
conclusions due to personal observation of the book? It is fascinating even
for a description of her work with mothers in El Paso.

I will not deny that she uses an evolutionary perspective. But she may
very well have come to the conclusion that the evidence supported evolution
after studying it. Things are more complex than we often want them to be.
I used to be a young-earth creationist and then I assembled the data and
saw that what I was teaching wasn't supported by the data. I didn't start
with an evolutionary presupposition. And many other evolutionists didn't
either. E.O. Wilson started as a southern Baptist anti-evolutionist. Then
he studied biology and became an evolutionist and an atheist. He had been
told that if evolution was true then the Bible is false. When he came to
believe in evolution, he made the logical decision about the
Bible--incidentally it was the decision his Sunday School teachers had told
him was the only reasonable decision. The sunday school teachers helped
him become an atheist.

> I cannot put my finger on exactly what the Trevathan is saying, but
>I believe her presumption is that human behavior, including compassionate
>assistance, is genetically based and evolutionarily derived. I spent a
>great deal of time studying biopsychology because, wow!, I realized,
>human beings, including their mental processes, can be dissected into
>machine parts by drugs and electrodes. That idea, like evolution, is more
>powerful than the facts that support it. Now I want facts when I read
>about this subject, otherwise I am not interested.
> You admonish me for not having the facts when that was exactly what I
>requested. I do not have the depth of knowledge of geology or physical
>anthropology that you have, and I do not read all of the longer posts on
>this list because I don't have time, but I have been considering the ideas
>presented here. I have sent for your book, Adam, Apes and Anthropology,
>to get a comprehensive look at where you are coming from.

I will be interested in your comments and criticisms, especially the
criticisms. I always want to know if I have a factual error.
Interpretation is something else. Everyone is entitled to their own private
interpretation; no one is entitled to their own personal set of facts.

Where I am coming from is that I want Christians to be able to accept BOTH
science and a historical Bible. Denial of either seems to be a
self-defeating apologetic for Christians. The conservatives honor the data
of the Bible but tend to fight everything in modern science that touches on
Scripture. Liberals tend to honor the scientific data and conclude too
easily that the Bible can't be historically true. To me, both approaches
make one chose between believing the bible or believing science. Why can't
it be both?


Adam, Apes and Anthropology
Foundation, Fall and Flood
& lots of creation/evolution information