Re: News on fossil man

Kevin O'Brien (
Thu, 1 Apr 1999 16:54:29 -0700

>> >The Bible would deny that the creation days were long periods of
>> >time....
>> >
>> Actually, that's not true. The Hebrew word for day can mean age or
>> epoch....
>Two points. One, you've taken my statement out of context. I was
>Ross's hypocrisy by pointing out his inconsistency (Ross has one of the
>highest levels of nonsense per paragraph of any prolific book-writer I'm
>familiar with).

I was responding to the statement itself (which can stand alone as an
assertion of fact), not to your comments concerning Ross.

>Two, cut to the chase. You've seen the claim that the
>creation days were 24 hours many times, and you can bet that I've seen your
>argument (day=epoch) countless times. How about revealing how the Bible
>lets us know that it means "epochs" when it says "day" in the first

Why should I, considering that the weight of historical opinion is behind
me, going all the way back to the early church itself. Besides the
references to "evening" and "morning", what can you offer as evidence that
the Bible means "day" when it says "day"?

However, I'll bite. Out of all the evidence I could name, I'll discuss two.
The first concerns the fact that the English version of Genesis 1 looses
many nuances that are clearly evident in the original Hebrew. If you read
Genesis 1 in the original Hebrew you get a clear feeling of great time, as
if God is not trying to rush creation through on a timetable but is taking
His time to make it "good".

The second is the way this account ends, with the sentence, "These are the
generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created." The
Hebrew word translated as generations means "descent" and refers to a family
history. This suggests that each successive stage of creation had to derive
from a previous stage. As such, each stage is no longer simply a period of
time, but an actual period of events, that derive from a previous period of
events and must be completed before the next period of events can occur.
This is more in keeping with natural history than the calendar day timetable
of a literalist interpretation. The implication is thus that each period
has no set time, just a set of events that must be fulfilled. And if there
is no set time, then the references to evening and morning cannot be taken

>Then you can address how things lived without the sun....

First of all, this is somewhat hypocritical, considering that most plants
cannot survive even one day without the sun.

Secondly, Genesis 1 is a quasi-mythical theological statement. The priests
who wrote it were adapting an older mythological motif to express their
unique theological beliefs. It wasn't meant to express scientific concepts,
such as photosynthesis or natural history. As such, it is irrelevant that
it contains scientific errors. You are treating as literal history an
account that even those who wrote it knew wasn't real history. They
believed that God made the heavens and the earth, but they were not so naive
or arrogant as to believe that He did it as they described.

However, as the account itself states, God made light first, before He made
the sun. We can assume that this light would nourish life as well as the
sun would, couldn't we? Otherwise God made a mistake no human would make,
creating plants before there was a sun to nourish them.

> to reconcile the
>different order with the secular version of Earth's past.

See above.

>You may start
>with the plead "The sun existed first, but only became visible to the
>non-existent human observer on the 4th day."

That's what you creationists offer to explain how plants can survive without
the sun, even though they were created before the sun. It is rather
hypocritical of you to suggest that this apologetic is wrong when in fact
you would probably use it yourself if necessary.

>> Same in what way? The same identical nucleotides, the same identical
>> biochemical apparatus? Obviously true. The same identical
>> sequences, even
>> the same identical genes? Obviously false. Human DNA shows the same
>> kind
>> of diversification pattern that we see when we sequence the same gene
>> from different species, the kind of pattern predicted by evolution.
>What exactly is the pattern, and how does Evolution predict it?

You are asking for a specific pattern. Evolution does not predict a
specific pattern, only a general one. Evolution predicts that if organisms
are descended from each other, then one should be able to see in the protein
and gene sequences a pattern in which the more closely related two species
are phylogenetically, the more similar their sequences should be. If
evolution were not true, one would either predict no sequence differences
between species or a pattern of differences that would be totally random.
Instead, we see in nature a pattern in which twp species that are closely
related by morphology are also closely related by sequence as well. There
are some minor discrepencies, but we have never found a case where two
species thought be closely related morphologically are discovered to be
sequentually very distantly related.

And the pattern revealed by one protein or gene is complimented by the
pattern revealed by another protein or gene. In other words, the sequence
patterns of different genes and proteins match very closely. Again, there
are minor discrepencies, but so far we have never found a case where one
gene establishes that birds evolved from reptiles, another that birds
evolved from amphibians, another that birds evolved from fish, etc.

Among modern humans we see the same basic pattern: all humans are related
to one another through a common ancestor, but some human groups are more
closely related than others.

>> On the contrary; Darwin described evolution as the descent with
>> modification
>> of all modern lifeforms from previous lifeforms. This predicts that
>> some, if not most, species should share a common ancestor.
>Evolution does not predict that all humans share a common human ancestor.

Let's be clear about what we are saying. Evolution states that all
organisms evolve from other existing organisms, as such evolution predicts
that these organisms should share certain common ancestors. In fact, if we
can find a modern or extinct organism that shares no common ancestor with
any organism known or unknown, extinct or living, evolution would be
refuted. Most major groups of organisms would be distantly related with one
another, but all should share at least one common ancestor somewhere in the

This is true of humans as well. However, as you point out evolution does
not predict that all modern humans must share a human common ancestor.
Hypothetically the last common ancestor between Africans and non-Africans
might have been an amphibian back in the Devonian period. However, analysis
of hominoid and hominid fossils has revealed that modern humans in fact do
share a human common ancestor. It may not have been a modern human, but it
was still human.

>Remember, it's populations that evolve.

Yes, populations of one species evolving into a different species, while the
rest of the populations of the old species remain unchanged. As such, that
new species would have the old species as an ancestor. If then more than
one population of the old species evolved into new species, all the new
species would share that old species as a common ancestor.

>If some, if not most, species are
>demonstrated to share a common ancestor (of essentially the same species)
>then Evolution has sunk even further in the deep doodoo it's in.

In fact it has been demonstrated that the vast majority of species are all
inter-related through common ancestors. How does this refute evolution,
when in fact evolution predicts exactly this result?

>> These common ancestors
>> have been found in the fossil record, plus we can reproduce the descent
>> of two
>> new organisms from a single common organism in the laboratory, so the
>> prediction has been verified.
>Is that an attempt at humor?

Try reading the scientific literature for a change; there you will find all
the documentation you will need to demonstrate that what I have said is

Or better yet, provide your own evidence that what I have said is
impossible. Don't just restate your argument, back it up with evidence.

>> >You better keep it hush hush. No doubt 30 years from now, Evolutionists
>> >will deny that they ever even considered the possibility that
>> >African's and
>> >non-Africans don't share common ancestry among modern men.
>> >
>> If evolutionists censored that information, how was Glenn able to
>> read about it in a scientific journal?
>Didn't I say 30 years.

Irrelevant. To be able to deny it in 30 years they would have to start
suppressing it now, otherwise it will spread too far to suppress. Besides,
by suggesting that Glenn should suppress it, you are implying that
evolutionists are already suppressing it. So again I ask, how could Glenn
read about it if evolutionists are suppressing it?

>It's like some decades ago when some Evolutionists
>claimed that whites were move evolved than blacks because of larger cranial

True; so what?

>Now, Evolutionists not only deny that they (as a group) even
>considered cranial capacity (in humans) to be an indication of degree of

They don't deny that; it is still one basis of describing how the various
hominoid and hominid species relate to one another.

Nor do they deny that some evolutionists once tried to apply this to modern
human races. What they deny is that cranial capacity is an indication of
evolution within the modern human species, especially as applied to race.

>...but that all those old studies of cranial capacity were all
>fatally biased.

Those that were meant to indicate the evolutionary superiority of one race
over another were; those that are used to established the evolutionary
pattern among hominoids and hominids are not.

>(and, what new studies have they replaced the old ones

Are you suggesting that one race really is evolutionarily superior to

Speaking of denial, do you realize that creationists deny they once used the
Bible to legitimize racism?

Kevin L. O'Brien