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Interesting look at why the chromosome number is different in man and chimps; two species whose DNA is so similar in other ways.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zi8FfMBYCkk
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On why this is not evidence for common ancestry:

Finally, a piece of evidence Dr. Miller commonly cites as demonstrating human/chimp common ancestry is the fusion of chromosome 2 in humans, which he argues has a structure similar to what one would expect if chimp chromosomes 2a and 2b were fused together, end to end. Without belaboring the details (which are covered elsewhere23), the evidence for human chromosomal fusion simply indicates that our ancestors once had 48 chromosomes. But it tells us nothing definitive about whether our lineage leads back to a common ancestor shared with with apes. Human chromosomal fusion merely shows that at some point within our human lineage, two chromosomes became fused. That’s it.

http://www.evolutionnews.org/2009/11/confusing_evidence_for_...
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On why this is not evidence for common ancestry:

By itself, perhaps. But combined with all the other data (gene sequencing and lots of other technical stuff that Anthony and centromere often tell us about), it further reinforces the conclusion (as opposed to refuting it**).

1poorguy

**You do realize that this was significant because the creationist line was that we couldn't be related because the chromosome count was different...well, guess what...they used to be the same before two of ours fused.
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Human chromosomal fusion merely shows that at some point within our human lineage, two chromosomes became fused. That’s it.

I think you are forgetting the part about how if the chromosome fusion had not taken place, that humans would have exactly the same number of chromosomes as the other great apes. This is another great example of how science works.

1) Make a hypothesis based on current understanding of the science; ie. "If humans are as closely related to apes as gene sequences suggests, then the discrepency in chromosome number must be the result of chromosome fusion"

2) Test hypothesis by looking for telomeres in the middle of the chromosome, and a chromosome with two centromeres, one of which should be inactive.

3) Analyze the data showing the telomeres and centromeres exactly where they were predicted to be found.

4) Hypothesis confirmed.

On why this is not evidence for common ancestry:


If the fusion took place after the diversion of the human and chimp lineages (I'm not sure if this part has been shown yet), then this work certainly is evidence for common ancestry, unless, of course, you believe in the deceptive designer, in which case anything is possible !
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On why this is not evidence for common ancestry:

It's evidence of a falsifiable prediction of evolution, which isn't falsified.

What's the falsifiable predictions of ID again? I always forget.
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I think you are forgetting the part about how if the chromosome fusion had not taken place, that humans would have exactly the same number of chromosomes as the other great apes. This is another great example of how science works.

And if they originally had 48, so what? The fact that humans have a fused chromosome says absolutely nothing about their common ancestry with apes.

Yes, unfortunately this is a great example of how pop science works, as practiced by Miller. If humans had 48 chromosome, it still would say nothing about common ancestry.

If the fusion took place after the diversion of the human and chimp lineages (I'm not sure if this part has been shown yet), then this work certainly is evidence for common ancestry,

Why? I think you are letting Miller's hype cloud your judgement. It doesn't matter when the fusion took place, because the fusion event says nothing about whether they had a common ancestor.

unless, of course, you believe in the deceptive designer, in which case anything is possible !

The designer would be deceptive only under Miller's ridiculous premise. But that's not the only way to look at the data.

Here's another hypothesis, one that fits with the data under discussion:

1. a designer created an ape precursor with 48 chromosomes
2. the designer reused the basic dna program to create humans, modifying it where needed to produce the differences we observe, including fusing two chromosomes (for some undiscovered purpose)

I don't see how this is deceptive, nor how it is ruled out by the mere fact of two fused chromosomes.
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Here's another hypothesis, one that fits with the data under discussion...

We've already established that there is no discovery or observation which wouldn't fit with hypothesis of intelligent design. I don't see how it's particularly enlightening to point out that this observation is, like every other possible observation, also does not rule out intelligent design.

There is no observation that can be made which would rule out intelligent design.

Your hypothesis fits with any data.
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And if they originally had 48, so what? The fact that humans have a fused chromosome says absolutely nothing about their common ancestry with apes.

That's a bit like saying that the similarities in characters between Godfather I and Godfather II says absolutely nothing about their common ancestry.

It doesn't matter when the fusion took place, because the fusion event says nothing about whether they had a common ancestor.

For evolution as a mechanistic explanation to be credible, it has to be able to mechanistically explain whatever genetic differences are found between chimps and apes. The fact that it continually and consistently can is strong support.

If a genetic difference is found that cannot be explained by evolutionary mechanisms, that would be evidence against evolution. That's why evolution is falsifiable. For example, suppose humans were found to have 12 genes essential to "humanness" that used a completely different genetic code than that found anywhere else. That would falsify evolution.

Now consider your designer. Give me a genetic difference between chimps and humans that your designer could not produce. Can't do it? That's why your hypothesis is not falsifiable. That's why it isn't science.
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There is no observation that can be made which would rule out intelligent design.

Miller, bringing religion in to save his faulty scientific argument, claims that God wouldn't do it this way, so common ancestry is the only option.

I'm saying that's not true, that even this line of argument fails.
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Now consider your designer. Give me a genetic difference between chimps and humans that your designer could not produce. Can't do it? That's why your hypothesis is not falsifiable. That's why it isn't science.

Is Miller doing science when he appeals to what God would or wouldn't do?
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Is Miller doing science when he appeals to what God would or wouldn't do?

The "God" of your mythology might not do it that way but who is to say that Zeus wouldn't? Perhaps the intelligent designer was Zeus, Odin, or Ra. Can't rule it out.
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Is Miller doing science when he appeals to what God would or wouldn't do?

Be specific. What appeals of Miller are you referring to and is Miller claiming these appeals represent a "scientific" argument?
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The "God" of your mythology might not do it that way but who is to say that Zeus wouldn't? Perhaps the intelligent designer was Zeus, Odin, or Ra. Can't rule it out.

Would a scientist who appeals to God or Zeus to make an argument be doing science?
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What appeals of Miller are you referring to and is Miller claiming these appeals represent a "scientific" argument?

His argument in the video linked in the OP
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Is Miller doing science when he appeals to what God would or wouldn't do?

No.
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If a genetic difference is found that cannot be explained by evolutionary mechanisms, that would be evidence against evolution. That's why evolution is falsifiable. For example, suppose humans were found to have 12 genes essential to "humanness" that used a completely different genetic code than that found anywhere else. That would falsify evolution.

Why would humans having a different genetic code "falsify" evolution? You believe natural processes created the genetic code we have. Why would it be impossible for natural processes to create another one?

A lot of genetic modifications are claimed to have happened to humans after their lineage split off from the apes. Why would the evolution of a different code for some genes refute all the evidence of evolution you've cited over the years?

As far as I can tell nothing would falsify evolution.
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Is Miller doing science when he appeals to what God would or wouldn't do?
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No.


I'm curious, as an atheist, do you find Miller's argument more convincing when he appeals to what God would or wouldn't do?
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Why would the evolution of a different code for some genes refute all the evidence of evolution you've cited over the years?

We have plenty of observational evidence about the rates at which genes can change via mutation. If the fossil record or analyzing the DNA of humans and near relatives (or non-near, if TOE is wrong) required too great a rate of change the theory would be falsified and have to be modified.

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/section5.html#morpho...
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/section5.html#geneti...

It could have turned out that the human genetic code was so different that observed rates of mutation could not support it, consistent with dating of hominid fossils. That was not the case.
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the theory would be falsified and have to be modified

Then it's been falsified many times, since it is continually modified to accomodate new data. But I don't think that is what scientists mean by falsifying evolution.

It could have turned out that the human genetic code was so different that observed rates of mutation could not support it, consistent with dating of hominid fossils. That was not the case.

I don't think you are talking about the same thing centromere is talking about. Our genetic code is based on 4 DNA bases. I thought centromere was talking about evolving a different code, as in a different system for coding proteins, and not just differences in DNA sequences.
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Why would humans having a different genetic code "falsify" evolution?

All life that we know about is based on a universal genetic code. Given the variety of genetic codes possible, this universality strongly suggests this particular code was present in an organism that was the common ancestor of all existing earth life. If humans were found to have a subset of genes that are structurally unique, it would indicate that a subset of human genes are not derived from common ancestry with the rest of earth life.

I believe common ancestry is important to current models of human evolution.

Why would the evolution of a different code for some genes refute all the evidence of evolution you've cited over the years?

Oddly worded question in that you ask why would the evolution of something refute evolution.

Two very different genetic codes must have different origins. Therefore, if an important part of human beings have a different origin than the rest of the living things on earth, it brings into the question the notion of common ancestry for humans.

As far as I can tell nothing would falsify evolution.

Its because you refuse to try to understand evolution with an open mind.
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Why would humans having a different genetic code "falsify" evolution? You believe natural processes created the genetic code we have. Why would it be impossible for natural processes to create another one?

When things occur through natural processes, they follow a particular path that is directed by the laws of physical universe.

I believe that natural processes produced the stars, planets, and satellites. A second moon suddenly appearing in the sky would cause me to rethink my position.

A simple single celled organism with internal processes different from what we have here on earth would make me think panspermia.

A complex organism with a genetic code different from what we see here would make me think a creator.

There is an artificial aspect to creation. Water naturally flows downhill. Intelligence pumps it upward into buildings. Gravity causes particle to accrete, intelligence brings stuff from somewhere else and assembles it.
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A simple single celled organism with internal processes different from what we have here on earth would make me think panspermia.

A complex organism with a genetic code different from what we see here would make me think a creator.



If a single cell organism like that makes you think panspermia, why wouldn't aliens with a different genetic code make you think natural processes stumbled upon a different recipe for complex life?

What is it about an alternative genetic code that argues creator?
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If a single cell organism like that makes you think panspermia, why wouldn't aliens with a different genetic code make you think natural processes stumbled upon a different recipe for complex life?

Because a singled celled jobbie could conceivably find its way to earth via natural processes ie, a chunk of rock is ejected from planet Xoonon, the cell freezes, the rock hits earth, and we have something new.

A complex organism would require the aliens to bring it here. Could happen, but there would be additional evidence, like all the corn in my back 40 would be mashed down in circles.

What is it about an alternative genetic code that argues creator?

Artificiality.
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Then it's been falsified many times, since it is continually modified to accomodate new data. But I don't think that is what scientists mean by falsifying evolution.

Context matters, of course, but I would say that Darwin's TOE has been falsified and modified many times.


I don't think you are talking about the same thing centromere is talking about. Our genetic code is based on 4 DNA bases. I thought centromere was talking about evolving a different code, as in a different system for coding proteins, and not just differences in DNA sequences.

You were right.

If humans had DNA entirely different from all other species, the TOE would be unable to explain that. If our place in the genetic tree (a root for a new tree) was so different from our place in the morphological tree (a branch of hominid), the TOE would be unable to explain this.

No natural mechanisms I'm aware of could explain no-life to human life in such a short time. IMO universal common ancestry would be considered false. The origin of humans would become an open question.



I'm curious, as an atheist, do you find Miller's argument more convincing when he appeals to what God would or wouldn't do?

No. I tend to tune out God-talk. :)
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Then it's been falsified many times, since it is continually modified to accomodate new data. But I don't think that is what scientists mean by falsifying evolution.

Sort of. A given version is falsified when new data is found that the version cannot explain. Sometimes the whole thing is tossed, sometimes it's just a "tweak". Often the "tweak" can lead to new, testable predictions for the theory.

Finding a rabbit skeleton in the pre-Cambrian would blow the entire theory out of the water. No minor tweak here...it would be dead. THAT'S falsification.

I won't speak for c-mere, but I don't think he was talking gene mutations when he posited a means to falsify evolution. I think it was more than that. Entirely different (or more or less) bases in the DNA...something like that. That's how I interpreted his comment.

1pg
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I won't speak for c-mere, but I don't think he was talking gene mutations when he posited a means to falsify evolution. I think it was more than that. Entirely different (or more or less) bases in the DNA...something like that. That's how I interpreted his comment.

1pg


Wouldn't both ways create an issue? Entirely different base pairs, even different chemicals, would suggest at least two divergent evolutionary pathways. To just see it in the end product of just one species would scream some kind of recent intervention.

But a human with genetic patterns more in common with an iguana than a chimp would also be of issue.

What's bothering Bryan is the probability issue.

You lose your keys and they show up six months later in a suit that the cleaners lost. You sent the suit to the cleaners two weeks before the keys went missing, so no way your memory is shot or the date on the ticket is wrong, it had to have been those damned leprechauns at work again.

Science will always look for another physical, material explanation when a current one is shown to be wrong. The metaphysical guys want a bad material explanation to open the door for anything. Unfortunately, they remain two different play grounds as probabilities can only be calculated on the material, and even a one in a graham's number chance is better than the incalculable.
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There is an artificial aspect to creation. Water naturally flows downhill. Intelligence pumps it upward into buildings.

Trees pump water upward into the branch tips.

Gravity causes particle to accrete, intelligence brings stuff from somewhere else and assembles it.

Wind pushes sand into dunes and snow into drifts.
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There is an artificial aspect to creation. Water naturally flows downhill. Intelligence pumps it upward into buildings.

Trees pump water upward into the branch tips.

Gravity causes particle to accrete, intelligence brings stuff from somewhere else and assembles it.

Wind pushes sand into dunes and snow into drifts.


Good points to my bad examples, as we all know we can distinguish a tree from a water pump and a space station from a sand dune.

What we can't distinguish is a dune you created by patiently moving sand handful by handful, and letting build up, or one the wind brought in, which was the point I was making with great effort to prove in the poorest possible way. Leaves the door open for more head bashing.
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Entirely different base pairs, even different chemicals, would suggest at least two divergent evolutionary pathways.

Of course. C-mere followed up a few posts later saying basically that. If the human DNA sequence was, in effect, not derivable from other sequences, then clearly a second chemistry is present and "common descent" crumbles. Especially if there are no precursors to the human sequence (i.e. other species to which we are related, and therefore share a common ancestor somewhere). However...this is not the case, and thus evolution is NOT falsified.

I really don't want to be snarky, but IMO probability is not the only thing bothering Bryan. He can't get past his early childhood training. With that as a base he has no choice but NOT to see what c-mere and Anthony have been explaining, and what the data does (and does not) mean.

I would like to think that if confronted with clear evidence of a deity that I could simply say "huh...interesting...guess I was wrong before". But I won't really know until it happens.

1poorguy
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1. a designer created an ape precursor with 48 chromosomes
2. the designer reused the basic dna program to create humans, modifying it where needed to produce the differences we observe, including fusing two chromosomes (for some undiscovered purpose)

If the designer used "precursor" ape chromosomes to create humans, then humans descend from apes. Why would the fact that a creator "did it" instead of undirected processes make it no longer a lineage, derivation from an ancestor, descent or whatever you call it ? The ape-human relationship and chronology are just as real in the creationist model. Funny thing is that evolution says humans didn't evolve from apes but from a common ancestor, and you, as creationist, now claim that humans did derive from apes, whereas I always thought creationists find this idea unbearable.
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If the designer used "precursor" ape chromosomes to create humans, then humans descend from apes.

You read it wrong. They descended from a precursor that was not an ape. But the "decent" in this process is different than the entirely natural process proposed by evolution theory.
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Is Miller doing science when he appeals to what God would or wouldn't do?

Reading through the thread, you seem to be making the same logical errors you've made in the past. If evolution is wrong, that doesn't logically lead to ID/creationism being right. And, if ID/creationism is wrong, that doesn't make evolution right. Evolution is a scientific theory, the assumption of evolution leads to testable predictions and the theory has the potential to be falsified. ID/creationism is not scientific. The assumption of ID/creationism does not lead to predictions (testable or otherwise) and it is not falsifiable.

The places where Miller does appeal to what the designer/god might do are solely dealing with ID/creationism, and thus he can't be doing science. Science doesn't apply. But, it does make sense to ponder how a designer might approach the problem. As a molecular biologist, fusing two chromosomes together the way ours were is one hell of a kludge. It would be much better for meiosis to pull the genes you wanted out of one chromosome and put them into the second chromosome, leaving the centromere and telomeres behind.

Yes, unfortunately this is a great example of how pop science works, as practiced by Miller.

At least Miller is practicing science. All Behe and the Discovery Institutes give us is pseudoscience.

-Anthony
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You read it wrong. They descended from a precursor that was not an ape. But the "decent" in this process is different than the entirely natural process proposed by evolution theory.

And by 'different' you mean 'magical'?
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They descended from a precursor that was not an ape.

What precursor was that?
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The places where Miller does appeal to what the designer/god might do are solely dealing with ID/creationism, and thus he can't be doing science. Science doesn't apply. But, it does make sense to ponder how a designer might approach the problem.

Miller appeals to God to support his theistic view of evolution, where God apparently set things up, but let natural processes evolve everything from first life on, but wouldn't do something like fuse a chromosome.

Why is it not "doing science" to speculate what a designer might do?
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Why is it not "doing science" to speculate what a designer might do?

It's been explained pretty clearly here. Maybe you need more detailed information.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_method
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And by 'different' you mean 'magical'?

If by magical you mean "God monkeyed around with it" then yes.
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What precursor was that?

The bdhinton™ model theorizes that God directly created some diversity at some level mid-way up the modern classification chart, then let natural processes do their thing, monkeying with the process where needed. Probably a lot of monkeying.

At some point in the history of life, there was a precursor to what would eventually become the human lineage and the chimp lineage. Sometime after the human branch and the chimp branch diverged, the precursors to modern humans experienced the fusion event.


Now I forgot what precursor you're asking about.
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What precursor was that?

There's a "your momma" joke to be made here but I'm feeling uninspired.
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Why is it not "doing science" to speculate what a designer might do?

I can speculate what you may do, what a chimp may do, I can even reasonably speculate on what archaic hominids did based upon archeological evidence and current knowledge of both human and primate behavior, but with no existing model of supernatural behavior, speculating what god may or may not do is no different than speculating on what Harry Potter might do at a World Cup game.

If someone can provide a god test, then it will become science. Until then, it's metaphysical.
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The bdhinton™ model theorizes that God directly created some diversity at some level mid-way up the modern classification chart, then let natural processes do their thing, monkeying with the process where needed. Probably a lot of monkeying.

At some point in the history of life, there was a precursor to what would eventually become the human lineage and the chimp lineage. Sometime after the human branch and the chimp branch diverged, the precursors to modern humans experienced the fusion event.


And how do you determine where the "monkeying" occurred and where it didn't?
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And how do you determine where the "monkeying" occurred and where it didn't?

I'm planning on hiring Anthony and centromere to work on that
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Why is it not "doing science" to speculate what a designer might do?
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I can speculate what you may do, what a chimp may do, I can even reasonably speculate on what archaic hominids did based upon archeological evidence and current knowledge of both human and primate behavior, but with no existing model of supernatural behavior, speculating what god may or may not do is no different than speculating on what Harry Potter might do at a World Cup game.


I'm not talking about speculation based totally in some supernatural realm. At least it would be based in the natural, observable data we have on the history of life as recorded and preserved in our DNA.

I don't see how it's any different than speculation about other universes. Unless you're going to say that's not science either, then you'd be consistent at least.
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I'm planning on hiring Anthony and centromere to work on that

In other words, no predictions on anything. Anything explained, no monkeying, anything not currently explained, monkeying could have occurred.
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I'm not talking about speculation based totally in some supernatural realm. At least it would be based in the natural, observable data we have on the history of life as recorded and preserved in our DNA.

I don't see how it's any different than speculation about other universes. Unless you're going to say that's not science either, then you'd be consistent at least.


It's not science when it speculates on untestable phenomena. It's theoretical musings. It becomes science when they build colliders to see if specualted dimensions and particles can be shown to exist.

Let's get back to Harry Potter. He's watching the US Algerian game right now. Algeria scores on a bicycle kick from a cross between the defenders legs, deflects off Bornstein's back, hits the cross bar, ricochets off the back of Howard's head, and rolls just over the end line.

Since you believe so deeply in the apparent obviousness of supernatural intervention in the physical world, please tell me how you could possibly make any reasonable determination if Harry flicked his wand or if it was just normal game play?
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I will try not to be snarky. But it's tough because it often seems the IDists haven't tried to understand a single one of the thousands of pro-evolution posts on this board.

Miller appeals to God to support his theistic view of evolution, where God apparently set things up, but let natural processes evolve everything from first life on, but wouldn't do something like fuse a chromosome.

Miller is a scientist. Miller is a theist. Miller understands the distinction. So when Miller appeals to God, he is talking theology. When Miller appeals to the empirical evidence, he is talking science. Miller believes in evolution because that is what the scientific evidence indicates. He adjusts his theistic beliefs accordingly.

In contrast, the IDist has theistic beliefs and adjusts the scientific evidence to fit that belief. That might be good theology. It is not good science.

Now if you want to propose that God directed the creation of humans in such a way that it is indistinguishable from evolution using all empirical detection methods, I have no problem with that. I doubt Miller would either. I would just point out that since it is by definition not testable by science, it isn't a scientific proposal.

Why is it not "doing science" to speculate what a designer might do?

Speculation is important to science. But it is not science, anymore than my speculating about Hawaii is "taking a vacation". The question is whether such speculation leads to a testable hypothesis.
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I thought centromere was talking about evolving a different code, as in a different system for coding proteins, and not just differences in DNA sequences.

Right. Four DNA bases (A, C, G, T) encode for 20+ amino acids. This is done via a triplet code, combinations of three bases. For example, the base combination of CAC specifies for the amino acid Histidine, while CCC specifies Proline. It could have been different. It could have been AGA or AAA specifying Histidine. But it isn't. In fact, in all plants and animals examined so far, CAC specifies Histidine. The same is generally true for the rest of the amino acids.

The triplet code is conserved (kept pretty much the same with minor variations) in all known living things.

Why is that? The simplest answer is common ancestry. The common ancestor happened to have evolved a particular code, and everything that follows carries the same code.

One can make the analogy with language. Suppose you find a group of people in Canada who speak a certain language. You find another group in Fiji that speak a very similar language. Similar words, similar meanings, similar spelling. Do you assume the languages have a common ancestry? Is the alternative proposal that the two languages have independent origins plausible?
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And how do you determine where the "monkeying" occurred and where it didn't?

Anywhere where there is a 'gap' in our knowledge.



Oh, and the gaps are moving targets.
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Since you believe so deeply in the apparent obviousness of supernatural intervention in the physical world, please tell me how you could possibly make any reasonable determination if Harry flicked his wand or if it was just normal game play?

I don't think it is obvious in the context of evolution as a competing theory.
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Why is that? The simplest answer is common ancestry. The common ancestor happened to have evolved a particular code, and everything that follows carries the same code.

I agree this is the simplest answer. I just don't think this code happened by chance, nor that common ancestry is totally natural.

One can make the analogy with language. Suppose you find a group of people in Canada who speak a certain language. You find another group in Fiji that speak a very similar language. Similar words, similar meanings, similar spelling. Do you assume the languages have a common ancestry? Is the alternative proposal that the two languages have independent origins plausible?

I would look for historical evidence of a connection between the groups, ie assume common ancestry
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I just don't think this code happened by chance,...

Last I heard, neither do the scientists. "In accordance with natural laws, physics, chemistry...". Etc.

Taken on its own, your statement really is talking more about abiogenesis. Evolution tells us nothing about that. It just tells us what happened afterward. Which appears to be where Ken Miller is in his thinking too.
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I just don't think this code happened by chance,...
--------
Last I heard, neither do the scientists. "In accordance with natural laws, physics, chemistry...". Etc.



I forget, do you think anything happens by chance? Is there such a thing as chance?

Is there some undiscovered natural law that dictated the DNA code?
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I forget, do you think anything happens by chance? Is there such a thing as chance?

QM says 'yes'.

Don't know enough about chemistry and genetics to comment on your second question (though maybe A or c will). Though, in general, if it's "undiscovered" then we don't know about it. And given that we occasionally find new things, it seems plausible to me.
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I forget, do you think anything happens by chance? Is there such a thing as chance?

(grin)

How are we defining chance?
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I agree this is the simplest answer. I just don't think this code happened by chance, nor that common ancestry is totally natural.

But here is my point. Evolutionary theory REQUIRES common ancestry. Therefore, if earth organisms had turned out to have had different genetic codes, it would been a powerful argument AGAINST evolution.

Therefore, evolutionary theory can be falsified.

So will you stop posting nonsense like "As far as I can tell nothing would falsify evolution"? And will you now admit that when other IDists make that claim, they are wrong?

I would look for historical evidence of a connection between the groups, ie assume common ancestry

Exactly. You would assume an evolutionary relationship between the groups is the most likely and look for empirical evidence to support that claim. You would consider unlikely the assertion that the similarities between the languages were due to an unknown supernatural force acting in unknown ways for unknown reasons.
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Evolutionary theory REQUIRES common ancestry. Therefore, if earth organisms had turned out to have had different genetic codes, it would been a powerful argument AGAINST evolution.

Therefore, evolutionary theory can be falsified.


I don't think this would falsify evolution. It would only falsify common descent from a single origin of life event.

If science discovered organisms with a different DNA code, the most simple conclusion would be that life originated more than once.

Or would you really conclude that "God did it"?

So will you stop posting nonsense like "As far as I can tell nothing would falsify evolution"? And will you now admit that when other IDists make that claim, they are wrong?

Of course I won't stop saying it. You haven't made your case yet.
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I don't think this would falsify evolution. It would only falsify common descent from a single origin of life event.

If science discovered organisms with a different DNA code, the most simple conclusion would be that life originated more than once.

Or would you really conclude that "God did it"?


er...no. For the same reason you don't think a freak goal in the world cup was the work of magic, or the noise coming from your car engine is gremlins, or your lost keys are the work of leprechauns.

Materialistic explanations work over and over and over again. If one fails, it's only common sense to look for another one.
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If science discovered organisms with a different DNA code, the most simple conclusion would be that life originated more than once.

Or would you really conclude that "God did it"?


I don't think the choices are that digital. Is there a chain of organisms with different DNA that can be traced backwards to another common ancestor? If so, then perhaps there were two evolutionary lines (i.e. originated more than once, and then evolved from there). However, if it's just one organism that exists apparently isolated (genetically) from the rest of the animal kingdom, then the origin of that organism is in question (and evolution may be found to be lacking since it couldn't explain such a thing).

Maybe god did do it. Heck, maybe god did abiogenesis and set everything up that we have observed ever since. Not relevant to the validity of the process we call "evolution".

Of course I won't stop saying it. You haven't made your case yet.

Oh yes he has. In spades, as they say. You remind me of Mr Barnhard: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQFKtI6gn9Y

c makes a coherent argument, and you come back with "no it isn't" (for all practical purposes).
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Materialistic explanations work over and over and over again. If one fails, it's only common sense to look for another one.

Then do you agree with me, that centromere's scenario would not falsify evolution, just one version of it?
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However, if it's just one organism that exists apparently isolated (genetically) from the rest of the animal kingdom, then the origin of that organism is in question (and evolution may be found to be lacking since it couldn't explain such a thing).

Don't know why that would be a problem. We have millions of organisms that appear suddenly in the fossil record, exist for a time, then go extinct, with no known precursors.

You chose, like Dawkins, to take it on faith that there were precursors and intermediate beneficial stages:

“There cannot have been intermediate stages that were not beneficial. There’s no room in natural selection for the sort of foresight argument…It doesn’t happen like that. There’s got to be a series of advantages all the way…If you can’t think of one, then that’s your problem, not natural selection’s problem.
<...>
Well, I suppose that it is a sort of matter of faith on my part since the theory is so coherent and so powerful."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UgawTkyp5Qk&feature=playe...
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Then do you agree with me, that centromere's scenario would not falsify evolution, just one version of it?

I agree with centromere's assertion that you conflate apples and oranges.

The changing of living organisms on earth over time through the influence of environment and genetics has been shown at work. One aspect of evolution is that these changes can all be traced back to one common ancestor, the great-great grandpappy of us all, some pathetically simplistic chemical ball that managed to replicate itself.

Finding a whole new set of codes would not falsify the basic theory that life evolves, ie changes over time, to best survive and fit in what ever particular niche it occupies as long as we can show we have two very distinct pathways. It would seem to me discovering this would bolster natural process, as it would suggest self replication isn't the impossible task it appears to be.

Finding a completely different set of code within just one species today would create issues as it would strongly suggest some agency is involved that can circumvent the enormous amounts of time evolution requires.

Your creator has my sense of humor. All he's offered you is changes you can't explain that happened a long time ago. In other words, he's made his handiwork look just like evolution.
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n other words, he's made his handiwork look just like evolution.

That's because some of it IS evolution.
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“There cannot have been intermediate stages that were not beneficial. There’s no room in natural selection for the sort of foresight argument…It doesn’t happen like that. There’s got to be a series of advantages all the way

I don't subscribe to this. Why can't there have been changes which were completely irrelevant? Suppose they were entirely neutral in terms of advantaging the species one way or another?

Indeed, we have seen some of those, in which the fossil record demonstrates accumulated changes, and only geological times later did those changes become "apparently" beneficial - helping that species survive climate changes, or feathers (on dinosaurs for warmth) become useful for the propagation of flight.

So long as the changes do no harm, I fail to see why they should be disallowed by the theory of evolution.
 
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That's because some of it IS evolution.

And for the umpteenth time, how do you distinguish which is which? What tests are being done to demonstrate when what appears to be evolution is really the creator monkeying?
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As far as I can tell nothing would falsify evolution.




Except for that fossil rabbit in the precambrian.
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I'm curious, as an atheist, do you find Miller's argument more convincing when he appeals to what God would or wouldn't do?




Anytime we find something less than perfect, it's evidence that a perfect god was not responsible.
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The bdhinton™ model theorizes that God directly created some diversity at some level mid-way up the modern classification chart, then let natural processes do their thing, monkeying with the process where needed. Probably a lot of monkeying.


Was it a lot of monkeying all at once, or at multiple points throughout history?


That's an important question that you and every other IDer on the planet refuse to anwer.



I predict that you'll refuse to answer again.


By the way, "midway up the classification chart" is unclear. Evolution claims that all new higher levels of classification started at the species level. Are you claiming something else?
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We have millions of organisms that appear suddenly in the fossil record, exist for a time, then go extinct, with no known precursors.

You chose, like Dawkins, to take it on faith that there were precursors and intermediate beneficial stages:




Your argument is dishonest. Are you claiming that *all* fossils have no precursors, or only that *many* of them do?


Are you claiming that transitionary fossils are *not* constantly being found according to predictions made by evolutionary theory?


If your answer is that many fossils *do* have precursors and that more are being found according to predictions, then you're not really making much of an argument, are you? Your only argument is that science hasn't found all of them YET.


I predict you'll ignore that point, too.
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What tests are being done to demonstrate when what appears to be evolution is really the creator monkeying?


Hell, what research of any kind is being done by IDers? Anyone?
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I don't think this would falsify evolution. It would only falsify common descent from a single origin of life event.

Geez, gotta spell everything out here. Suppose every species had a different genetic code. This would argue against the evolution of species from a common ancestor.

Suppose every animal with a different body plan had a different genetic code. This would argue that the different body plans were created separately, they did not arise via evolution from a common ancestor.

Suppose every irreducibly complex structure was associated with a unique genetic code. This would be evidence that each structure was created separately and argue against such complexes evolving from a common set of simpler structures.

See how evolution can be falsified yet?

If science discovered organisms with a different DNA code, the most simple conclusion would be that life originated more than once.

Another way of saying that is that the two organisms are not evolutionarily related. In other words, the possibility that the two organisms evolved from a common ancestor has been falsified.

Or would you really conclude that "God did it"?

Once again for the 3,982,087th time, the falsification of evolution is not evidence that "God did it."

Of course I won't stop saying it. You haven't made your case yet.

The case is pretty obvious to one with an open mind. Evolution is the mechanism proposed to explain the diversity of life on earth. If one or more species of earth life have completely unique genetic codes, it makes evolutionary theory for those species untenable.

Suppose humans had a unique genetic code, one completely different from all other known creatures. I doubt that anyone would believe in the evolution of humans
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Miller appeals to God to support his theistic view of evolution, where God apparently set things up, but let natural processes evolve everything from first life on, but wouldn't do something like fuse a chromosome.

Why is it not "doing science" to speculate what a designer might do?


To answer the question, one first has to understand what "science" is. Science begins with one or more observations. From those observations, one creates a model (hypothesis) that both explains the data and leads to additional predictions that can be tested. Speculating what a designer might do does not really involve initial observations, does not involve the construction of a model, and does not involve any objective testing. I can argue that I would or would not do something a certain way, but this is a logical argument with certain assumptions rather than a scientific argument based on the scientific method.

What Miller is doing is what many theists do, he is rationalizing away the inconsistencies between his religious beliefs and the scientific data. You've done the same thing. Consider your interpretation of Genesis. You accept the scientific data that the Earth is billions of years old and that life has changed much over that time period. To reconcile the inconsistency between Genesis and the scientific data, you've constructed this alternate interpretation of Genesis centered on the idea that a "day" doesn't really refer to a 24 hour period, even though the context of the passages indicate a 24 hour period, that for thousands of years everyone thought it meant a 24 hour period, and that there are no similar passages where it doesn't mean a 24 hour period. Both you and Miller rationalize to create a sense that your religious beliefs and the data are harmonious. This is not doing science.

The bdhinton™ model theorizes that God directly created some diversity at some level mid-way up the modern classification chart, then let natural processes do their thing, monkeying with the process where needed. Probably a lot of monkeying.

At some point in the history of life, there was a precursor to what would eventually become the human lineage and the chimp lineage. Sometime after the human branch and the chimp branch diverged, the precursors to modern humans experienced the fusion event.


The problem here is that you don't have a model. You simply arbitrarily claim "God did something here." That, of course, is one of the main problems with ID/creationism. You guys have no model, and thus you can never get to the point of doing science.

I'm not talking about speculation based totally in some supernatural realm. At least it would be based in the natural, observable data we have on the history of life as recorded and preserved in our DNA.

I don't see how it's any different than speculation about other universes. Unless you're going to say that's not science either, then you'd be consistent at least.


Some mathematical models of multiverse theories make testable predictions, at least in principle, thus they can be considered science (though not proven at this point).

Speculating what a designer might do... Where do you get data for that? Not from "the history of life as recorded and preserved in our DNA." That would be assuming what you're trying to prove. What laboratory experiment could you do to measure what a designer might do?

I don't think this would falsify evolution. It would only falsify common descent from a single origin of life event.

If science discovered organisms with a different DNA code, the most simple conclusion would be that life originated more than once.

Or would you really conclude that "God did it"?


"God did it" is never going to be a scientific answer (see the above explanation of what science is).

Regarding the hypothetical organism with a different genetic code, it would depend on what the organism was. If it was some bacterium, then it might only falsify common decent from a single origin of life event. In contrast, if you were talking about, say, a primate or some other organism with several extent related species and decent coverage in the fossil record, that would be a huge problem for evolution.

I won't go through the math now, but consider that humans have roughly 30,000 protein coding genes over 100 amino acids in length. Without getting into the details of how this could even begin to happen, just consider that changing the amino acid one single codon codes for would change more than 2 amino acids per protein on average, or more than 60,000 changes. There's a fairly good chance that one of those substitutions is going to be lethal. Now repeat this many more times. The idea that humans could have a substantially different genetic code from other primates and the data could still be consistent with an evolutionary models is pretty preposterous. It flies in the face of everything we know about genetics and protein synthesis.

In addition, if humans were the only species with an alternate code, then you'd have to reconcile the fact that, in 3 billion years, the code barely changed. No genetic drift to speak of, not a single change in codon usage, every species using the same genetic code. And then suddenly, in one and only one species over a period of 5 million years, it changed rapidly. That would be a tough sell.

-Anthony
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Thanks for your thoughful response. I do have to take exception to this though:

You accept the scientific data that the Earth is billions of years old and that life has changed much over that time period. To reconcile the inconsistency between Genesis and the scientific data, you've constructed this alternate interpretation of Genesis centered on the idea that a "day" doesn't really refer to a 24 hour period, (1) even though the context of the passages indicate a 24 hour period, (2) that for thousands of years everyone thought it meant a 24 hour period, (3) and that there are no similar passages where it doesn't mean a 24 hour period.

On each point (1-3), you are simply mistaken.

1. Biblical scholars disagree that the context indicates 24 hr period
2. Theologians back to Augustine and earlier held to a non-24 hour view
3. There are other passages where "day" does not mean 24 hr.

In addition, if humans were the only species with an alternate code, then you'd have to reconcile the fact that, in 3 billion years, the code barely changed. No genetic drift to speak of, not a single change in codon usage, every species using the same genetic code. And then suddenly, in one and only one species over a period of 5 million years, it changed rapidly. That would be a tough sell.

It might be a tough sell, but that hardly rules it out as a possibility. If a genetic code can originate once, why can't it originate twice? That it apparently hasn't doesn't say it couldn't. You guys are constantly telling me how improbable things happen all the time.

What it boils down to are perceptions. centromere says evolution would be falsified if some organism was found with a different genetic code, or if humans say were the only ones with a different genetic code. How do you prove what the scientific community would conclude from such a discovery as that? It's speculation. The things that have proven wrong in the past with evoltutionary theory lead me to believe that science would merrily incorporate any new data into the theory, with appropriate modifications.

Evolution would live on.
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If a genetic code can originate once, why can't it originate twice?

Clearly, it could. But it would most likely be unable to compete with the organisms that have a 4.5 billion year head start on it, and it would definitely not be multicellular.
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1. Biblical scholars disagree that the context indicates 24 hr period

Biblical scholars have disagreed about nearly everything, always. The great majority believed that a "day" was a 24-hour day, at least until there was some indication that it might not have been.
http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/am/v2/n4/early-chur...

2. Theologians back to Augustine and earlier held to a non-24 hour view

Same answer. The fact that they have disagreed about things only demonstrates that they disagreed about things. It says nothing about whether they are right or wrong, obviously.

If a genetic code can originate once, why can't it originate twice?

Of course it could. If it was unlikely in the first place, it is unlikely to the <unlikely> power to happen twice. But you're right, it could happen.

What it boils down to are perceptions. centromere says evolution would be falsified if some organism was found with a different genetic code, or if humans say were the only ones with a different genetic code. How do you prove what the scientific community would conclude from such a discovery as that? It's speculation.

Well, yes, everything on the internet is speculation. But if humans were shown to have a genetic code than everything else, then it would be a logical conclusion that "evolution", as it is presently defined, would not be a factor in the creation of humans. Evolution requires genetic similarities, as small changes accumulate, changes happen, traits survive (or don't), and new species come to be.

The things that have proven wrong in the past with evoltutionary theory lead me to believe that science would merrily incorporate any new data into the theory,

Which things have been "proven wrong?" You couldn't "merrily incorporate" the fact that humans have no genetic similarities to any other organism into evolutionary theory. It's the antithesis of evolutionary theory. It's the opposite. It's falsifiable. Get it?

(No, I don't expect you to actually get it. You never will.)
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On each point (1-3), you are simply mistaken.

1. Biblical scholars disagree that the context indicates 24 hr period
2. Theologians back to Augustine and earlier held to a non-24 hour view
3. There are other passages where "day" does not mean 24 hr.


Let's start with #3. What passages that include references to the morning of the "day" and/or the evening of the "day" use "day" to mean something other than a 24 hour period?

It might be a tough sell, but that hardly rules it out as a possibility. If a genetic code can originate once, why can't it originate twice?

The case we're talking about does not concern the second origination of a genetic code. We're talking about changing one code into another, all the while maintaining a viable organism. That is quite a different challenge.

What it boils down to are perceptions. centromere says evolution would be falsified if some organism was found with a different genetic code, or if humans say were the only ones with a different genetic code. How do you prove what the scientific community would conclude from such a discovery as that? It's speculation.

It isn't speculation. I'm a member of the scientific community. So is Centromere. Many of my friends also are. We, and most biologists, would agree that humans having a different genetic code would be disastrous for the theory of Evolution, given the fossil record, the similarities in protein sequence as measured by immune reactivity, etc. The few that would disagree already reject Evolution for religious reasons, so they're a bit biased already.

The things that have proven wrong in the past with evoltutionary theory lead me to believe that science would merrily incorporate any new data into the theory, with appropriate modifications.

Oh, please! We've been down this road before. There's only been one substantive change in the theory since it was first proposed: genetic drift. And that's only due to the fact that scientists didn't understand genetics yet. The rest of evolution (genetic variation, natural selection) hasn't changed. It's clear here that you are mere looking for a reason to reject the theory of evolution rather than evaluating the evidence objectively.

-Anthony
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It's clear here that you are mere looking for a reason to reject the theory of evolution rather than evaluating the evidence objectively.

Is that supposed to be a news flash?
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There's only been one substantive change in the theory since it was first proposed: genetic drift. And that's only due to the fact that scientists didn't understand genetics yet. The rest of evolution (genetic variation, natural selection) hasn't changed. It's clear here that you are mere looking for a reason to reject the theory of evolution rather than evaluating the evidence objectively.


http://www.darwinspredictions.com/

I don't think I'm the one in denial.
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Let's start with #3. What passages that include references to the morning of the "day" and/or the evening of the "day" use "day" to mean something other than a 24 hour period?


Here's a good place to start:

http://www.answersincreation.org/word_study_yom.htm

A little more technical, but more to your point:

http://www.accuracyingenesis.com/day.html
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There's only been one substantive change in the theory since it was first proposed: genetic drift. And that's only due to the fact that scientists didn't understand genetics yet. The rest of evolution (genetic variation, natural selection) hasn't changed. It's clear here that you are mere looking for a reason to reject the theory of evolution rather than evaluating the evidence objectively.


http://www.darwinspredictions.com/

I don't think I'm the one in denial.


I've read the first two "falsified predictions." The first case is about abiogenesis, not evolution. The second isn't a prediction of evolution. It was a prediction actually assuming evolution didn't play a major role:

The most popular theory is as follows. The code is arbitrary, in the same sense that human language is arbitrary. In English the word for a horse is “horse,?in Spanish it is “caballo,?in French it is “cheval,?in Ancient Rome it was “equus.?There is no reason why one particular sequence of letters rather than another should signify that familiar perissodactylic mammal ?All living species use a common, but equally arbitrary, language in the genetic code. The reason is thought to be that the code evolved early on in the history of life, and one early form turned out to be the common ancestor of all later species ?The code is then what Crick called a “frozen accident.?The original choice of a code was an accident; but once it had evolved, it would be strongly maintained.

The only involvement of evolution was in maintaining the code according to this hypothesis. The failure of the prediction was not on the part of evolution. The failure was due to initial assumption.

I don't have all day to pick these apart. Why don't you pick out one example that you think actually constitutes a failed prediction of evolution, and then explain in your own words how that prediction stems from the theory of evolution and how the prediction was falsified.

-Anthony
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If a genetic code can originate once, why can't it originate twice?

It could.

What it boils down to are perceptions.

Not perceptions. Just simple reasoning.

centromere says evolution would be falsified if some organism was found with a different genetic code, or if humans say were the only ones with a different genetic code.

Don't think I said that. I said that evolutionary theory is falsifiable. I said that one example would be finding that humans had an entirely different genetic code than other animals, such as chimps. This would falsify the assertion that humans and chimps had a common ancestor.

To fully understand why, you would have to understand that the mechanism underlying evolution has to do with mutations in genes that alter proteins. These mutations have their affect within the context of a specific coding system. Consider the common ancestor to chimp and humans. That ancestor has a particular genetic code. Mutations in one segment of that ancestral population results in the chimp line. Mutations in another subgroup will eventually produce humans. In other words, both the chimp and human lines are derived from the same ancestral genetic code.

Therefore, evolutionary theory predicts that chimps and humans will have similarities in their genetic code. In fact, because the genetic code is so highly conserved in other organisms, such as insects and plants that are evolutionarily very distant, evolutionary theory requires that the chimp and human genetic codes be virtually identical.

And it is. If it weren't, it would falsify evolutionary theories arguing that humans and chimps evolved from a common ancestor.

Hence evolutionary theories can be falsified.
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centromere says evolution would be falsified if some organism was found with a different genetic code, or if humans say were the only ones with a different genetic code. How do you prove what the scientific community would conclude from such a discovery as that? It's speculation. The things that have proven wrong in the past with evoltutionary theory lead me to believe that science would merrily incorporate any new data into the theory, with appropriate modifications.

Just to clarify a bit. You ask how evolutionary theory can be falsified. There are two levels to this question. Keep in mind I am keeping this within a scientific context, so I am considering evolution as a physical mechanism involving genes and selection rather than a philosophical concept (e.g., natural versus supernatural origins) or a simple phenomenological statement ("things change over time).

1. Falsifying in general: The evolutionary mechanism requires these two things to be true, sufficient time and genetic similarity. If the universe is 10,000 years old, then there is insufficient time for life to have evolved and evolution is falsified. If species show no genetic similarity with each other, then they are not heritably related and evolution is falsified.

2. Falsifying in the specific: Even IDists use evolution to explain variation within species so a general falsification of evolution is not expected. Instead, one has to ask more specific questions, like could humans have evolved from an ape ancestor or could flagellum have evolved from simpler biochemical pathways. These are statements that can be empirically falsified. In fact, IDists constantly claim this to be the case, e.g., observations of "chance" events demonstrate that the evolution of flagella is so statistically improbable as to be effectively impossible. You can't simultaneously claim something can't be falsified and that it has been falsified. Well, you might be able to but rationally one really can't.
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1. Falsifying in general:

This is what I understood you to be talking about. Your clarifications are helpful and I see that my assumption was wrong.


You can't simultaneously claim something can't be falsified and that it has been falsified.

Agreed, though scientists have repeatedly done this with ID.
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Agreed, though scientists have repeatedly done this with ID.

I know of no scientist who has claimed to have empirically falsified the existence of a supernatural intelligent designer or has asserted that such a thing is possible to do.

I know many scientists who believe ID arguments are logically deficient and therefore false.

There is a difference, which becomes obvious if you simply think about the issues in an open-minded way.
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Let's start with #3. What passages that include references to the morning of the "day" and/or the evening of the "day" use "day" to mean something other than a 24 hour period?

Here's a good place to start:

http://www.answersincreation.org/word_study_yom.htm

A little more technical, but more to your point:

http://www.accuracyingenesis.com/day.html


I was hoping to start a discussion regarding context rather than a couple links you pulled off the internet. Neither link really addresses the context in which we find "day" in Genesis 1.

The first link actually argues against using context to understand how "day" was meant to be interpreted. For instance, it says:

Young earth creationists say that whenever Yom is used with an ordinal or cardinal number (1st, 2nd, 1,2, etc) that it always represents a 24 hour day. However, this is not true. In Zechariah 14:7-9, the "one day" refers to a period of time when the Lord shall be king over the earth.

Forget the YECs and look at Zechariah. 'One day' is being used in the way I might say, "One day I will become king." "One day" is not referencing a period of time. Rather, it is referencing that an event will occur in the future. Even if the logic were not faulty, all of the "examples" given only refer to the use of "one day" and thus fail to address the use of the "second day", "third day", etc. The context strongly suggests a 24 hour period of time.

Regarding the use of morning and evening, the website says:

Does the use of evening and morning indicate a sunrise and sunset for each creative day? First, let's look at what evening and morning are not. They are not actual evening and mornings, as this requires a sunrise and sunset. According to young earth theory, the Sun was not created until Day Four, thus there could be no sunrise or sunset for the first three days of creation.

This argument neatly ignores the fact that on the First Day God created Day and Night, which you also can't have without the Sun. One might suggest then that the whole creation story in Genesis must therefore be bunk, unless Day and Night have alternate meanings, too. If you can have Day and Night on the first day, you can easily have morning and evening, too. And thus context still clearly indicates that "day" should be understood to be a 24-hour period.

I'll just highlight one more passage from the first link:

Young earth advocates counter that traditionally, church fathers have always held that sunrise and sunsets do not constitute a day, and they accepted the sun creation on Day Four with no hint of the first three days being anything other than 24-hour days. For instance, Sarfati in Refuting Compromise mentions Luther and Calvin (page 84-86). However, Luther and Calvin did not have the means of modern science at their disposal. At the time, geocentricity was still accepted!

This passage reinforces what I've said in the past. Old Earth Biblical Literalists start with the answer we got from science, and then reinterprets the Bible to fit the data. The Bible by itself is simply not a reliable source of information on the origins of the universe, the Earth, or life. The pseudologic thoughout the first link is also interesting. The argument boils down to "If my opponents argument is faulty, my conclusion must be correct." In that way, it closely parallels the ID/creationist arguments.

The second link is the more "Behe" of the two. It tries to wow and dazzle you with something technical and fancy looking, but the argument quickly falls apart when you examine it closely closely,:

How about evening ('ereb #6153) and morning (boqer #1242), can they be associated with a long time period? They appear in this order only a limited number of times in the Scriptures. In Genesis 1 of course, and a couple of times in connection with Aaron in the tabernacle from evening to morning (Exodus 17:21 and Leviticus 24:3), and once in Psalms (55:17; Evening, and morning, and at noon, ...), and twice in the eighth chapter of Daniel as shown in Fig. 5 below.

They claim to find a grand total of four instances where evening and morning are mentioned along with "day" and where "day" means a long period of time (Daniel only has one as far as I can tell). But have they really done so?

I can't comment on Exodus 17:25. The Bible versions I usually use say that Exodus 17 ends at verse 16. Leviticus 24:3 says that Aaron's going to do something every day from evening to morning for a long time. Clearly this usage is not related to the passages in question in Genesis. Psalms 55:17 tells you that you can call on God, any time, day or night. Again, quite dissimilar to Genesis. Daniel clearly references visions of many mornings and evenings. Again, this doesn't support a reading of "day" to meaning anything other the a 24 hour period in Genesis 1. I'll also simply note that the web page you cited does nothing to compare and contrast the four cited passages with the numerous passages where morning and evening occur with "day" and "day" refers to a 24 hour period.

The question at hand is not whether "day" might have more than one meaning. The question is whether the context we find "day" in in Genesis 1 indicates a 24 hour period or not. I think it's clear that it means a literal day.

-Anthony
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The question at hand is not whether "day" might have more than one meaning. The question is whether the context we find "day" in in Genesis 1 indicates a 24 hour period or not.

I agree. I only bring up the issue of different meanings of "day" in Hebrew to establish a range of possible meanings. Context then tells you which meaning is intended.

The use of the literal Hebrew phrase "evening was and morning was, day x" is unique to the Bible, so you really can't argue what the phrase means from other contexts or usages.

This phrase is not the normal way the Hebrew language marks a 24 hour day. If it is being used that way, then it is unusual.

But let's grant for the sake of argument that the text intends a literal 24-hour day. Some old-earth interpretations grant that, but suggest that these are summary days, or representative days, and that long periods of geologic time passed between them. In this way there is no conflict with science.

You imply that reinterpreting the Bible in light of scientific findings is somehow wrong. I don't see it that way. If a particular interpretation is discovered to be faulty, the honest thing to do is to adjust to a new understanding.
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The bdhinton™ model theorizes that God directly created some diversity at some level mid-way up the modern classification chart, then let natural processes do their thing, monkeying with the process where needed. Probably a lot of monkeying.
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The problem here is that you don't have a model. You simply arbitrarily claim "God did something here."



He doesn't even claim that much. When asked specifically when God monkeyed, he won't say. When asked where, he won't say. When asked how many times, he won't say. And it doesn't theorize at all, because there is no way to falsify it.
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I agree. I only bring up the issue of different meanings of "day" in Hebrew to establish a range of possible meanings. Context then tells you which meaning is intended.

The use of the literal Hebrew phrase "evening was and morning was, day x" is unique to the Bible, so you really can't argue what the phrase means from other contexts or usages.


That's ridiculous. It's not like for thousands of years, people stood around and scratched their heads because they had no idea what Genesis 1 is trying to say. It's a little poetic (or maybe Yoda-esk), I'll grant you that. Getting something along the lines of "this was evening and morning, the nth day" from the "literal translation" seems fairly straightforward.

But let's grant for the sake of argument that the text intends a literal 24-hour day. Some old-earth interpretations grant that, but suggest that these are summary days, or representative days, and that long periods of geologic time passed between them. In this way there is no conflict with science.

You imply that reinterpreting the Bible in light of scientific findings is somehow wrong. I don't see it that way. If a particular interpretation is discovered to be faulty, the honest thing to do is to adjust to a new understanding.


You've avoided or omitted the most important question: Is the interpretation faulty, or is the text faulty? The honest thing to do would to first ask the question, "Should I have an expectation that the events described in Genesis 1 must match up with the scientific findings?"

Genesis, as you use it, is a lot like the writings of Nostradamus. With the believers in Nostradamus, events occur and then they go back to reinterpret a passage "predicting" that the event would occur. We all know that Nostradamus did predict these things. It's just our ability to understand it that is faulty, right? In the same way, you take Genesis and reinterpret it to fit the data.

As I said in the beginning, what both you and Miller do is engage in rationalization. Is that wrong? Perhaps not. Clearly it is a way for people to find comfort in something even when comfort is not warranted. However, when taken too far, rationalization inhibits learning and understanding.

-Anthony
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The use of the literal Hebrew phrase "evening was and morning was, day x" is unique to the Bible, so you really can't argue what the phrase means from other contexts or usages.
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That's ridiculous. It's not like for thousands of years, people stood around and scratched their heads because they had no idea what Genesis 1 is trying to say. It's a little poetic (or maybe Yoda-esk), I'll grant you that. Getting something along the lines of "this was evening and morning, the nth day" from the "literal translation" seems fairly straightforward.


You seem to think I said the meaning can't be determined. I said you can't argue from other contexts what this phrase means, since it only occurs in Genesis 1. Doesn't mean you can't determine a meaning, or more likely a range of possible meanings. It does argue that it's hard to be precise.

As far as people's historic understanding of the text, theologians have had a couple of different interpretations of the chapter, from the day = age, to the 24hr day, to the allegorical day. These views have been held for the last 2000 years.

Some people do have a lot of emotional investment in their particular view.

You imply that reinterpreting the Bible in light of scientific findings is somehow wrong. I don't see it that way. If a particular interpretation is discovered to be faulty, the honest thing to do is to adjust to a new understanding.
---------------
You've avoided or omitted the most important question: Is the interpretation faulty, or is the text faulty? The honest thing to do would to first ask the question, "Should I have an expectation that the events described in Genesis 1 must match up with the scientific findings?"


You can't determine if the text is faulty unless you first determine what it means. Easier said than done with Genesis 1.

Since I think that the events in Genesis 1 are historical events, regardless of how what is described there fits with a scientific understanding of the text, I think it is possible to derive predictions from the text.

For example, in from verses 2-9 we get the picture of the early Earth being covered with water. So we can derive a prediction that science will find evidence of such a condition in the early stages of Earth's development.

Genesis, as you use it, is a lot like the writings of Nostradamus. With the believers in Nostradamus, events occur and then they go back to reinterpret a passage "predicting" that the event would occur. We all know that Nostradamus did predict these things. It's just our ability to understand it that is faulty, right? In the same way, you take Genesis and reinterpret it to fit the data.

How have I reinterpreted Genesis? In relation to what? If you mean the original view that Genesis 1 is talking about 6 consecutive 24hr days, then I don't agree that this is THE interpretation of Genesis, nor has it ever been.

As I said in the beginning, what both you and Miller do is engage in rationalization. Is that wrong? Perhaps not. Clearly it is a way for people to find comfort in something even when comfort is not warranted. However, when taken too far, rationalization inhibits learning and understanding.

What do you call it when a skeptic, wanting to believe in the superiority of science and naturalism over a religious worldview, insists that the Bible must be interpreted in a way that most shows it at odds with the current scientific understanding of the world?

Science was not the first to discover the universe had a beginning. In fact, science taught that the universe was static, eternal, until the implications of Einstein's theories became clear.

“Now we see how the astronomical evidence supports the biblical view of the origin of the world....the essential elements in the astronomical and biblical accounts of Genesis are the same. Consider the enormousness of the problem : Science has proved that the universe exploded into being at a certain moment. It asks: 'What cause produced this effect? Who or what put the matter or energy into the universe?' And science cannot answer these questions.”

“For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountain of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.” - Robert Jastrow

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Jastrow
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As far as people's historic understanding of the text, theologians have had a couple of different interpretations of the chapter, from the day = age, to the 24hr day, to the allegorical day. These views have been held for the last 2000 years.

Too bad the original author of Genesis 1 couldn't have made himself more clear. Why do you think the author used poetic language to describe an historical event? Why, instead of saying, "and the evening and the morning were the X day," could he not say, "millions of years later"? Would using precise language have increased or decreased explanatory power?

For example, in from verses 2-9 we get the picture of the early Earth being covered with water.

How did the author of Genesis know this?

“For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountain of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.” - Robert Jastrow

I've got another quote:
It is rather amusing that, after years of violent hostilities between religion and a scientific discovery, a modern Christian will claim that the Christian faith (properly understood, of course) really supported the new theory all along. Evolution ceased to contradict divine creation only after the evidence for evolution became overwhelming. Now every enlightened theologian can deliver an impressive account of how evolutionary theory actually magnifies the greatness of God." - George H. Smith
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Too bad the original author of Genesis 1 couldn't have made himself more clear. Why do you think the author used poetic language to describe an historical event? Why, instead of saying, "and the evening and the morning were the X day," could he not say, "millions of years later"?

I don't know. But why should Genesis 1 conform to your expectations? Would you really believe in God if it said, "and after eons and eons had passed, God created x" ?

For example, in from verses 2-9 we get the picture of the early Earth being covered with water.
------------------
How did the author of Genesis know this?


Lucky guess or revelation.
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JamesBrown: Too bad the original author of Genesis 1 couldn't have made himself more clear. Why do you think the author used poetic language to describe an historical event? Why, instead of saying, "and the evening and the morning were the X day," could he not say, "millions of years later"?

bdhinton: I don't know. But why should Genesis 1 conform to your expectations? Would you really believe in God if it said, "and after eons and eons had passed, God created x" ?


But your premise, if I understand it, is that the Genesis account is uncanny. It's accurate to an unheard-of degree, something which science did not and could not duplicate until umpteen centuries later. And your conclusion is that there's no way a bronze-age author could have known how the universe came about on his own, therefore Genesis has magical properties.

Given that, I find it hard to combine "uncannily accurate" with "deliberately vague and poetic" and conclude, "God did it."

***

JamesBrown:How did the author of Genesis know this?

bdhinton:Lucky guess or revelation.


Neither choice is a scientific answer, of course. Nostradamus had lucky guesses. Krishna had revelations. So there must be a third way to determine truth from falsehood--and that is the scientific method. "Show your work" is a bedrock principle of the scientific method, something that the author of Genesis did not do.

So if the author of Genesis truly said that the Earth was covered with water in the distant past, I'm inclined to lean toward 'lucky guess.' And of course, this doesn't include all his lucky guesses that turned out to be completely wrong:
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=25871704
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So if the author of Genesis truly said that the Earth was covered with water in the distant past, I'm inclined to lean toward 'lucky guess.' And of course, this doesn't include all his lucky guesses that turned out to be completely wrong:
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=25871704



It's your unshakeable meme that these things are wrong, but I already gave reasonable answers to each:

http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=25872048
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I already gave reasonable answers to each

I disagree that they were reasonable. They were more, "Now you see accuracy, now you see poetry, and only I get to decide which is which."

I answered all your explanations:
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=25874827

Oh hell, that entire thread is just rehash of where this one is going, so anyone might as well read that instead: http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=25809559&sort=who...
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that entire thread is just rehash of where this one is going,

sorry, not my intent to rehash old ground with you
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It does argue that it's hard to be precise.

Here's "precise"

Genesis 1:26-27: "Then God said, 'Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.' So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them' "

God created man. Then he created animals.

Genesis 2:7-19: "And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being . . . Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name"

Got created animals. Then he created man and Adam named them.

The text is very precise, and exactly contradictory.

How is that possible? Perhaps the magic book has it wrong? If it is wrong once, why not twice? (Genesis also contains different stories of when the heavens and earth were created, on which days the sun shone, and so on.) If twice, why not all over the place? Why not the alternate theory that the stories were made up by primitives, as they have been in different ways in every different society on the planet, and that there is no more "truth" to them than any of the other made up stories?

I have looked for, but been unable to find a footnote where the writers of the Bible said "Hey, the first story is the right one, we were only kidding about the second."
 
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The text is very precise, and exactly contradictory.

That old dog just won't hunt:

Many commentators have maintained that in this verse one finds a classic illustration of a major conflict between the sequence of creation in 1:1—2:4a and that in 2:4bff. In one (1:24-25) animals precede man. In the other (2:19) animals come after man. It is possible to translate formed as “had formed” (so NIV). One can, however, retain the traditional translation and still avoid a contradiction. This verse does not imply that this was God's first creation of animals. Rather, it refers to the creation of a special group of animals brought before Adam for naming.

(Victor Hamilton, The Book of Genesis, The New International Commentary on the Old Testament, 1994)
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This verse does not imply that this was God's first creation of animals. Rather, it refers to the creation of a special group of animals brought before Adam for naming.

Which are the special animals which get named by Adam? Did he name ticks and chiggers, or just the cool animals like lions and dogs?

The license to speak in symbolism that can be interpreted differently by every reader is one of man's greatest inventions. One story tailored to any reader. Just because the tool is divine doesn't mean the words are.
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That old dog just won't hunt:

There are so many of those "dogs" in Genesis, I should think you would throw up your hands and give up.
 


Man & woman are created together:

Genesis 1:27: So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

Man was created first, then animals, then woman from man:

Genesis 2:18-22: And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them.... And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
 


Creation of earth took one day:

Genesis 2:4: These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens.

Creation of earth took six days:

Genesis 1:3-2:3: And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. ... And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
...

And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
 


Plants came first:

Genesis 1:11-13: And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so .... And the evening and the morning were the third day.
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them .... And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.


Humans came first:

These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth ... And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground. But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground. And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground.
 


Animals came from the water:

Genesis 1:20-21: And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

Animals came from the ground:

Genesis 2:19: And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.
 


I could go on with literally hundreds of conflicting stories. There are two separate and distinct creation stories in Genesis alone, and they are self-contradictory as to the timing of the creation of the various parts: heavens, earth, seas, and so on. Indeed, they barely agree with each other on anything.

Then you take the astonishing number of other contradictions between other chapters of the bible, and you begin to see that it is merely a collection of fables, told and repeated through the ages to propagate the religious beliefs of a particular sect.

For instance:
 

The stars were made after earth:

Genesis 1:16-19: He made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven.... And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

The stars were made before earth:

Job 38:4-7: Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? ... When the morning stars sang together.
 


The list is nearly endless. Except for apologists, who can find some weasel way of squirming out of each contradiction, but only by contorting themselves into unimaginable positions which any sensible person would reject out of hand.
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I should think you would throw up your hands and give up

I do. Your ability to distort human language is beyond my pay grade.
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Uhhh...he didn't contort anything. He quoted easily-verifiable Bible passages. Those passages contorted themselves. He had nothing to do with it.

Lists of these contradictions have been published all over the web, and can be double-checked at biblegateway.com. If you have the intellectual courage to confront it. I can't claim to have checked them all, but I have verified at least a dozen of them...probably more. You could fail to see them only if you choose not to see them.

1poorguy (notes you didn't refute a single one of his examples...because you can't)
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Your ability to distort human language is beyond my pay grade.

This form the guy who says day doesn't mean day? Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

The interpretation of the bible has historically been a giant distortion of both the language and reality.

Maybe, just maybe the light bulb might go on that an all powerful super intelligence wouldn't deliver his wishes to his children in such a garbled manner. You know, like we give clear and easy to understand commands to a dog or our own children.
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Maybe, just maybe the light bulb might go on that an all powerful super intelligence wouldn't deliver his wishes to his children in such a garbled manner. You know, like we give clear and easy to understand commands to a dog or our own children.



Godlrushes Principle: god doesn't talk to just Anyone. god only talks to the Saved (sort of like -i don't talk to some people /cuz i don't think they're worth the effort).

from which it follows: only the Saved can correctly interpret the bible ..and if YOU find it confusing or inconsistent --just proof that you're damned.



(>,
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from which it follows: only the Saved can correctly interpret the bible ..and if YOU find it confusing or inconsistent --just proof that you're damned.

Kind of like when my ancestors where wrapped in chains and tossed in the drink and if they lived they were burned as witches, but if they drowned, they were pure?

Can't be hurt by imagination, just by those who believe that the imagined is real.
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from which it follows: only the Saved can correctly interpret the bible ..and if YOU find it confusing or inconsistent --just proof that you're damned.

Kind of like when my ancestors where wrapped in chains and tossed in the drink and if they lived they were burned as witches, but if they drowned, they were pure?




similar 'logic' /different effect.. the only effect of the former *should* be an understanding that it's pointless for the non-believer to argue 'scripture' with the believer.
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the only effect of the former *should* be an understanding that it's pointless for the non-believer to argue 'scripture' with the believer.

And here I was thinking it was the other way around . . .

A five-year old can get the message of Genesis 1-2 pretty easily:

God created the heavens and the earth.
God made the animals.
God made Adam.
God made Eve (Adam thought this was a very good idea)
God said to make babies and take care of the earth (Adam apparently thought this was a good idea too)
God said don't eat the forbidden fruit.

That's about it. It really isn't that complicated.
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the only effect of the former *should* be an understanding that it's pointless for the non-believer to argue 'scripture' with the believer.

---
And here I was thinking it was the other way around . . .



that too ...but Believers rarely argue --mostly they preach.



A five-year old can get the message of Genesis 1-2 pretty easily:



reminds me of a friend who used to say, "We teach children that Christmas is about SantaClaus and Jesus ..then when they're six or so we tell them Santa is a myth, but Jesus is .Real. ...and wonder why they're confused."

treating Genesis like "Night Before Christmas" sounds about right ... a nice bed-time story for 5 yr olds

but alot of Christians want it taught in HighSchoo Biology class
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but alot of Christians want it taught in HighSchoo Biology class

true . . . but probably not a good idea.

I was taught evolution in HS. I don't think it caused me any permanent damage :)
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A five-year old can get the message of Genesis 1-2 pretty easily:

Yep. And they can get Aesop's Fables message pretty easily, too.

That's about it. It really isn't that complicated.

Until someone starts insisting that Genesis is the divine word of god.
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A five-year old can get the message of Genesis 1-2 pretty easily:

If I read those passages to my six year old, she would call me out on trying to trick her - she would pick up on those contradictions. I did the same when I was a kid (don't remember how old.) Not only did it read like Greek myths / American Indian myths / etc. but it couldn't keep its own story straight.
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A five-year old can get the message of Genesis 1-2 pretty easily:
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Yep. And they can get Aesop's Fables message pretty easily, too.



Nigel, my comment was really in response to this from you:

Maybe, just maybe the light bulb might go on that an all powerful super intelligence wouldn't deliver his wishes to his children in such a garbled manner.

First you say the message of what God's wishes are is garbled, then you agree that a 5 yr old can understand it.

I'm having a hard time figuring out what your problem is with the message of Genesis 1-2.

But you were probably referring to something else?
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If I read those passages to my six year old, she would call me out on trying to trick her - she would pick up on those contradictions. I did the same when I was a kid (don't remember how old.) Not only did it read like Greek myths / American Indian myths / etc. but it couldn't keep its own story straight.

So you agree with Mr. Hoofy that the six days of Genesis 1 and "in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens" (2:4) is a contradiction?

I expected better reasoning from you. I can understand Hoofy and 1poorguy stumbling all over themselves in bass ackwards attempts to debunk Genesis (actually I can't--they are highly intelligent people in many areas, but loose all objectivity about the Bible), but you've always impressed me as a fair-minded skeptic.

Check the Hebrew lexicons, if you need to, but I think you already know that the Hebrew word for "day" has a range of meanings, from the daylight portion of a 24hr day, to a 24hr day, to an indeterminate period of time. It's similar to the range of uses of the English for day.

Given that, when faced with the juxtapostion of two accounts of creation, each with obviously different aspects in focus, and you read about 6 "days" in chapter 1, what are your choices for interpreting "day" in 2:4?

Why would you insist that the author of 2:4 meant "24hr day", when you know it could mean "period of time", like "well, back in *my* day, we…"
?

To have any credibility in discussions like this, you have to be fair. Goofy's arguments about "contradictions" would not impress a biblical scholar, just like the old "dogs don't give birth to cats" cause no concern to evolutionary biologists, because it represents a profound misunderstanding of science.

Just like these "contradictions" represent a profound misunderstanding of Hebrew, translation theory, and history.

But look, if you think one of those contradictions represent a serious challenge, tell me which one it is and we can go over it. At least you don't end the discussion before it starts by insults and taunts.

-Bryan
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So you agree with Mr. Hoofy that the six days of Genesis 1 and "in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens" (2:4) is a contradiction?

I didn't look at that one specifically. The differing orders I definitely agree with - plants before animals then animals before plants, IIRC.



Why would you insist that the author of 2:4 meant "24hr day", when you know it could mean "period of time", like "well, back in *my* day, we…"

Because that's what the context suggests.
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Why would you insist that the author of 2:4 meant "24hr day", when you know it could mean "period of time", like "well, back in *my* day, we…"
-----------
Because that's what the context suggests.


What specifically about the context suggest a 24hr day interpretation to you? For me its the exact opposite, the context suggests a period of time, and obviously refers to the six days of creation from chapter 1.

Not only that, but a number of OT/Hebrew scholars who have written commentaries on Genesis have translated the word "day" much like the NIV "This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created":

S. R. Driver, "at the time"
H. C. Leupold, "at the time"
E. A. Speiser, "at the time"
Victor Hamilton, "when they were created"


I'm not sure why I should ditch these experts in the field for some other interpretation. Heck, Driver was a co-author of the most respected and well-known Hebrew lexicon. You'd think he would know how to translate the word.

Authorities can be mistaken, but I'm sorry, I just don't see how a reasonable person could conclude there is a proven contradiction here.

What am I missing?
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First you say the message of what God's wishes are is garbled, then you agree that a 5 yr old can understand it.

I'm having a hard time figuring out what your problem is with the message of Genesis 1-2.

But you were probably referring to something else?


The message, once distilled down in the form you presented it as an adult is an easy message for a 5 year old to understand, but the original text, no way. I doubt any child would get the messages you simplified from the text any more than a child could grasp the intent of Shakespeare.
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The message, once distilled down in the form you presented it as an adult is an easy message for a 5 year old to understand, but the original text, no way. I doubt any child would get the messages you simplified from the text any more than a child could grasp the intent of Shakespeare.


The Bible, like any subject, can be difficult in some parts. That's why you need teachers.

And if you force them to read some archaic translation like the King James Version, it makes it even more difficult. But with a variety of good modern translations like NIV, NET, and NLT, there's no excuse for making kids struggle through the KJV.
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The Bible, like any subject, can be difficult in some parts. That's why you need teachers.

OCD: controllers of interpretation. We're not talking accepted interpretation of human literature, we're talking interpreting the supposed divine word of god as he wanted it delivered to his creation.

Why does god need human teachers to deliver his message?
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I hurried my reply and answered inaccurately. My answer about context was about Genesis 1 and 2 in general, not Genesis 2:4 specifically. Biblegateway defaults to NIV, which reads

"4 This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created. When the LORD God made the earth and the heaven..."

So, I agree, I don't see the word day in there at all.

My answers below may or may not meaningless, since they aren't in answer to the question you actually asked. (I was trying to hurry a reply before taking the kids to see a movie.)


What specifically about the context suggest a 24hr day interpretation to you?

Here it is, in context:

"1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

3 And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light.

4 God saw that the light was good, and He separated the light from the darkness.

5 God called the light "day," and the darkness he called "night." And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.

6 And God said, "Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water."

7 So God made the expanse and separated the water under the expanse from the water above it. And it was so.

8 God called the expanse "sky." And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day."

The fifth verse specifies a day being a period of evening and morning. Straightforward. It even re-specifies it in the 8th verse. Heck, it gets reinforced when God rests on the seventh day and therefore people should rest on the seventh day.


Not only that, but a number of OT/Hebrew scholars who have written commentaries on Genesis have translated the word "day" much like the NIV "This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created":

(checks again)...the verses above are from the New International Version, according to biblegateway.com.

Obviously, I am no Hebrew scholar. I'm relying on the translators.
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The Bible, like any subject, can be difficult in some parts. That's why you need teachers.
------------
OCD: controllers of interpretation. We're not talking accepted interpretation of human literature, we're talking interpreting the supposed divine word of god as he wanted it delivered to his creation.


Right. Some teachers are good, some not so good.

Why does god need human teachers to deliver his message?


I'd say he doesn't need them. But he uses them. A good teacher helps you learn.

Why do we need math teachers, or school for that matter? You can just check a book out of the library and teach yourself (assuming you've taught yourself to read already).
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Why do we need math teachers, or school for that matter?

To quote Kirk:

"Excuse me… Excuse me. I’d just like to ask a question… What does God need with a starship?"
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My answers below may or may not meaningless, since they aren't in answer to the question you actually asked. (I was trying to hurry a reply before taking the kids to see a movie.)

My comments only relate to the context of the original claim, that there is a contradiction between "six days" of Genesis 1 and "in the day" of 2:4.

I agree that Genesis 1 is talking about 6 "days". What kind of day it was is at issue, but that's a different issue.

Spending time with your kids is better than arguing with nuts on the internet. I need to follow your example :)
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To have any credibility in discussions like this, you have to be fair. Goofy's arguments about "contradictions" would not impress a biblical scholar

The Bible presents the story in logical, chronological order. Whether a "day" is 24 hours, an "epoch", or "a million years", it doesn't change the fact that the ORDER OF CREATION is entirely different in the two stories.

You cannot have a story which is "true", when it is contradicted by its own self just one chapter later. One of them has to be wrong. HAS TO BE WRONG.

If one of them is wrong, the Bible cannot be inerrant. It must, and does contain mistakes. If it contains mistakes, who is to decide what the mistakes are? Somebody who believes it has no mistakes, refuses to recognize simple logic, and casts aspersions on anyone who points out these obvious contradictions?

You accuse me of "twisting words", when all I did was QUOTE DIRECTLY from the source material, without interpretation and largely without comment.

And then you come back with this ass/2 commentary? No wonder no one takes you seriously.
 
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You accuse me of "twisting words", when all I did was QUOTE DIRECTLY from the source material, without interpretation and largely without comment.

Hoofy, in this very case you are twisting words as well as language. You quote Bryan as saying that you are twisting words when in fact he said:

http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=28623505
Your ability to distort human language is beyond my pay grade.

Then, apparently true to form, as Bryan stated is the norm for you, you end with an insult:

No wonder no one takes you seriously.

Well, I do take Bryan seriously. I guess that makes me a no one.

It is easy to to look at words in the Bible, seek and find where words contradict each other. There are more than 800 places where words appear to contradict each other. But if you only look at the words and claim that the Bible has contradictions, then the language gets twisted into a meaning it isn't meant to contain. You can just go on listing words that contradict, but it is far more difficult to take the Bible, made up of books written at various times in ancient history, and in various cultures with differing languages, sometimes poetic, sometimes factual, sometimes in parable, etc, and find how the language would fit together. I think neither Bryan or I have the time or pay grade to research each instance of presumed conflict, requiring knowledge of the author, historical timeframe, cultural language, language of the author, language of the subject, original text, issues with translation, etc. There are books and internet pages with explanations for contradictions, but then you have already dismissed them out of hand as "contorting themselves into unimaginable positions which any sensible person would reject out of hand."

To hold such an air of arrogance, dismissing Bryons first response to the original contradiction you accused the Bible of without one word of response other than to insinuate all such responses should be dismissed out of hand by any sensible person, then in your last post here to belittle him as someone no one will take seriously, I think I understan why he has said the things he has said, and he is right.

You should not think so highly of your skills and lowly of the Bible when you are not so inerrant in keeping straight whether we are discussing words or language. There is a big difference between the two.

I will refer back to one accused contradiction between different books in the Bible that you claim:

The stars were made after earth:

Genesis 1:16-19: He made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven.... And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

The stars were made before earth:

Job 38:4-7: Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? ... When the morning stars sang together.


This is a case where the language in Job appears to refer to something other that the stars that twinkle in the sky. At first blush, these stars apparently sing together. I quickly find that something to be looked into, because not only does this seem to contradict Genesis, it seems ti contradict what stars do, which is to twinkle. Nothing convoluted yet in my reasoning? Ok, good, then I can continue. Lets look at what Matthew Henry has to say about this:

http://www.apostolic-churches.net/bible/mhc/MHC18038.HTM

3. Let him repeat, if he can, the songs of praise which were sung at that solemnity (v. 7), when the morning-stars sang together, the blessed angels (the first-born of the Father of light), who, in the morning of time, shone as brightly as the morning star, going immediately before the light which God commanded to shine out of darkness upon the seeds of this lower world, the earth, which was without form and void. They were the sons of God, who shouted for joy when they saw the foundations of the earth laid, because, though it was not made for them, but for the children of men, and though it would increase their work and service, yet they knew that the eternal Wisdom and Word, whom they were to worship (Heb. i. 6), would rejoice in the habitable parts of the earth, and that much of his delight would be in the sons of men, Prov. viii. 31. The angels are called the sons of God because they bear much of his image, are with him in his house above, and serve him as a son does his father. Now observe here, (1.) The glory of God, as the Creator of the world, is to be celebrated with joy and triumph by all his reasonable creatures; for they are qualified and appointed to be the collectors of his praises from the inferior creatures, who can praise him merely as objects that exemplify his workmanship. (2.) The work of angels is to praise God. The more we abound in holy, humble, thankful, joyful praise, the more we do the will of God as they do it; and, whereas we are so barren and defective in praising God, it is a comfort to think that they are doing it in a better manner. (3.) They were unanimous in singing God's praises; they sang together with one accord, and there was no jar in their harmony.

Perhaps I am a believer, and perhaps I have studied the book of Job recently, and perhaps you are not a believer, but I would say that Matthew Henry's commentary is a good fit and makes more sense than stars that sing being the same as the stars referred to in Genesis. The book of Job is written in poetic verse. Genesis is factual. Genesis is attributed as authored by Moses. Job was possibly written by Moses, Solomon, or Elihu, or Job. The setting of Job is the land of Uz sometime 2000-1800 BC. The setting of Genesis begins with the Creation, but mostly the region presently known as the Middle East and written 1450-1410 BC.

To keep Job in perspective (the supposed contradiction is a distraction from someone who is honestly trying to study the Bible), the purpose of Job 38 is not to say how god did his creation, but to say that God made creation and understands it such that no human witnessed its creation. Job, as any other human, does not understand the workings of God's physical creation as well as God, and therefore is not in a position to know God's moral order better than God.

Taking that last paragraph one step further, no human being present at the genesis of the universe also means that unless the God who did it tells us how it was done, we cannot be certain how it was done. We can take existing scientific evidence to the extreme of our capabilities, but how do we know our capabilities and subsequent interpretations derived from our limited evidence is accurate. Is it impossible for God to make his creation in 6 literal days, and for us after a number of years, after all events, to find the evidence that we have about the Earth?

Paul
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it doesn't change the fact that the ORDER OF CREATION is entirely different in the two stories.

You cannot have a story which is "true", when it is contradicted by its own self just one chapter later. One of them has to be wrong. HAS TO BE WRONG.



i wonder which version the Creationists teach ..

apparently for the not-quite-so-literalists The Answer is that THE Message is what you can derive from it that's simple enough for a 5 yr old (ie, "god did it!") .. and the conflicting details are unimportant (except as perhaps a test)

i know i often change a story with the re-telling ..sometimes to test whether the audience is listening.


=b
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Then, apparently true to form, as Bryan stated is the norm for you, you end with an insult:

Of course I end with an insult. His comment is moronic. He addresses not a single issue of fact in the post. He merely tosses it off with a "Oh, I won't bother discussing it, but you're wrong." That is the argument of a 5 year old.

Perhaps I am a believer

Perhaps?

I will refer back to one accused contradiction between different books in the Bible that you claim:

You pick out a single point, and then go to incredible lengths to "interpret" it in a way that conforms to your pre=existing beliefs. OK.

Try this one:

The order of creation in Genesis 1 (1:1-2:3) is:

1. Heaven and Earth
2. Light (night and day)
3. Sky
4. Plants
5. Sun, moon, and stars
6. Fish and birds
7. Land animals
8. Man and woman at the same time

The order of creation in Genesis 2 (2:4-2:25) is:

1. Man
2. Plants
3. Birds and land animals
4. Woman

Feel free to "interpret" your way out of that.

This is simple fact. There is no "interpretation" required. The language is plain, direct, and simple. There are two conflicting accounts.

They cannot BOTH be right. Therefore the Bible contains contradictions, otherwise known as "wrong information." Again I ask, if once, why not twice? If twice, why not three times, or ten, or a hundred?

Why is it so hard for Bible people to read the text and admit that there are contradictions in it? Why do you have to twist yourselves into pretzel knots and pretend there aren't? Will that somehow destroy your faith, or make everything else you believe untrue? (And if it did, so what? You are happy to believe in things which are not true? Where is objectivity?)

Perhaps at some point we should recognize that the Bible was written by human beings, and at a point where scientific knowledge was nil, and that they had some odd ideas about things which have, over time, been shown to be flat wrong. And perhaps we could give a bit of skepticism to the idea of talking snakes, talking burning bushes, the idea that slavery is OK, that rape is allowed if you pay the father, and so on. Just a thought.

Incidentally, here's a very on-topic synthesis of a series of scientific experiments which show... well, why not read it and think about it?

http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/articles/2010/07/11/...
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then the language gets twisted into a meaning it isn't meant to contain.

I can read just fine. Who are you or anyone else to tell me what it's "meant" to mean? Why does god need anyone to interpret his intent? He is god, you know.

Oh I know. It's a way for a guy with penis envy to think he's important.
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You pick out a single point, and then go to incredible lengths to "interpret" it in a way that conforms to your pre=existing beliefs. OK.

Try this one:


I made an honest attempt to start a debate with you about the Genesis-Job verses, and you made not one attempt to show me where my interpretation has problems, except to say the above. Job is, in fact, poetic verse. That does enter into how the verses are interpreted. Stars do not sing, and they do twinkle. The commentary I quoted is from a well know biblical scholar and is instructive on the verses.

If all you do is accuse me of biasing my response based on my belief, then all I need say in response is that you do not interpret the verses likewise to me because of your own bias, and the article you referenced proves my point as well.

There is no discourse from you on the content of my response. It is essentially a non-response because all I need to do is hold up a mirror and the finger you point at me now points back to you.

Why is it so hard for Bible people to read the text and admit that there are contradictions in it? Why do you have to twist yourselves into pretzel knots and pretend there aren't? Will that somehow destroy your faith, or make everything else you believe untrue? (And if it did, so what? You are happy to believe in things which are not true? Where is objectivity?)

"Bible people" whoever they are, perhaps people who seek to understand the Bible. Perhaps by looking for what's right about the Bible, "Bible people" find what can never be understood by non-"Bible people". It isn't that "Bible people" begin reading the Bible with pre-existing beliefs and interpret it that way. "Bible people" read the Bible to seek and understand what there is to believe in.

There are plenty of reasons for non-"Bible people" to scorn the Bible, as it has difficult parts to understand. But what is the real reason for two schools of thought on the Bible. That is a difficult subject in itself.

But I digress. I was looking for a response on the content of my last post and I did not see that. I cannot move to provide content on another set of verses when there is so little hope of receiving a response worthy of thoughtful debate.

Paul
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I can read just fine. Who are you or anyone else to tell me what it's "meant" to mean?

I didn't mean to tell anyone anything that they figure they already know about. Again, Nobody cares to discuss content of my post and explain to me what the verses mean to them or why.

Tough crowd here. But again, I am a believer in creation and that is what I get for my belief when I discuss it in circles like this.

Oh I know. It's a way for a guy with penis envy to think he's important.

Please interpret the conflict in that statement for me. Freud came up with penis envy, which he atributed to girls envious of men because men have one and they don't. So a guy with it? Hmmm.

Anyhow, I suppose I am better off leaving this to the one who I believe made me, and yes he gave me one and I still have one so I have no envy. If you have nothing good to say it is better to say nothing (meaning you Nigel).
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I made an honest attempt to start a debate with you about the Genesis-Job verses, and you made not one attempt to show me where my interpretation has problems, except to say the above.

Is there a reason you chose to overlook all the other verses which GoofyHoofy mentioned? Because from my reading, you're just as guilty as you claim he is of failing to respond to the points of discussion.

The Genesis/Job comparison was merely the final of many observed contradictions that GoofyHoofy pointed out. It seems to me that a response to him "worthy of thoughtful debate" would at least attempt to address the full scope of his post and not just the convenient morsel you chose.
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I didn't mean to tell anyone anything that they figure they already know about. Again, Nobody cares to discuss content of my post and explain to me what the verses mean to them or why.

What? It was explicitly laid out in the hoofster's post. The order of creation is contradictory in genesis. Then you respond with "no no, you obviously don't know what it means."

We're not talking an experts interpretation of a piece of literature. We're not talking an experts interpretation of a piece of music. These things have human creators that may or may not wish to provide their own expert accounts of what the work may mean, but they are purely human creations.

The bible is the supposed divine word of god. As it was delivered to only a few individuals that he created. That is only truly understood by those that take the world as literally inerrant.

I'm calling bull crap on that. The entire construct is absurd, that god would chose to punish or reward all humans over all time based on what he slipped to a chosen few.

The construct makes sense in terms of political power and as a means to control a population. The construct makes sense in terms of a nomadic small population needing to provide rules and laws for a civilized and settling population that must police itself by understanding that certain actions are "good" because they promote peaceful coexistence in a stationary and impacted environment, and certain actions are "bad" because they lead to chaos, anarchy, or disease the more impacted the populace.

But the construct makes no sense whatsoever when one says an all powerful creator gave us the bible to instruct his creations on how he thought we should live unless one accepts that this god is an imp.

Please interpret the conflict in that statement for me. Freud came up with penis envy, which he atributed to girls envious of men because men have one and they don't. So a guy with it? Hmmm.

It wasn't directed at you specifically. It's was aimed at any sanctimonious male claiming he actually has a grasp on what god wants of me or what god actually and really meant when he gave his divine word to a bunch of ancients. The very notion is really, really bizarre. That god wants me to live my life a particular way, but instead of telling me that, he tells some folks several thousand years ago how I should live my life? And what about the folks that lived before those who wrote the bible? How'd they get the memo? Please explain to me how this all powerful god is too busy to not talk to any and all of us? I mean, when you can do anything, what's the big deal?

Look, you guys keep falling back on how god is real because all existence makes more sense to you with god than without. Let me ask an honest question.

You get called to jury duty. A family man is on trial for killing a gang member street thug. Evidence connects him to the crime, but there is no eye witness. The victim had his head smashed in with a cinder block. The defendant's testimony is that he was in fact there, but he didn't do it. He claims god stuck the man dead for being evil.

Would you find the defendant not guilty based on that testimony? If not, why not?
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The Genesis/Job comparison was merely the final of many observed contradictions that GoofyHoofy pointed out.

There are hundreds of alleged contradictions, and as I pointed out before, there is a considerable effort to address just one. If time were of no consequence to me I might consider talking to more of them.

I chose to respond to the Genesis-Job issue because, as I said, I had recently studied Job. From the discourse that there has been here, I find that the discussion is illustrative of some fundamental issues concerning the approaches made to understanding the issues.

One is that there seems to be a complete lack of common ground, stemming from two differing viewpoints of the Bible. My view, which is that the Bible is accurate and inspired by God, and the other viewpoint that the Bible is no more that a compilation of a book of stories filled with Fairy Tales.

I mentioned that Job is Poetic and that is a big clue as to what verse 38:7 means. It is an important element of the language, and without considering it, the verse is not as easy to understand. That is one issue here and unless we can come through that and similar issues it is folly to continue discussing other alleged contradictions. Most here aren't interested in that, though and I end up doing the work for my own edification, and maybe Bryan also.

JMHO

Paul
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I mentioned that Job is Poetic and that is a big clue as to what verse 38:7 means. It is an important element of the language, and without considering it, the verse is not as easy to understand. That is one issue here and unless we can come through that and similar issues it is folly to continue discussing other alleged contradictions.

OK, suppose I grant you that your position on Job is compelling. How about the contradictions within Genesis itself? Your position on that one is much more interesting to me for precisely the reasons you describe in your response regarding Job.

The contradictions in Genesis (which you chose to ignore in your response) are clearly not just poetic license ore allegorical ambiguity.

Most here aren't interested in that...

That's an unfair and baseless accusation. It's no more productive than if I were to suggest that you're purposefully avoiding the majority of the discussion because you're uncomfortable facing the reality of discrepancies and contradictions in your holy text.
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The contradictions in Genesis (which you chose to ignore in your response) are clearly not just poetic license ore allegorical ambiguity.

Several have already been dealt with in this thread:

http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=28623250
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=28626049
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=28626166

I don't see the need to repeat these answers, or to continue dealing with so-called "contradictions" when each answer would be met with the same response: ignoring it and moving on to something else.

Besides that, what's the point in discussing anything with someone so close-minded that it's obvious there's no interest in the answer nor in the possibility of there being any answer.

I can deal with misinformation, but I don't have the time or experience to deal with the psychology.
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Of course I've read those three posts you linked, both when originally posted and again just now to review. I don't see how they resolve the observed contradictions in genesis sequence or respond to the issue in any meaningful way.

The fact that I don't find your pasted responses convincing is not evidence that I am closed-minded or unwilling to discuss the issue. Neither is anyone ignoring your replies, as is clearly evidenced in the subsequent thread. You received many replies to those posts, several on topic and specific rebuttals. Surely you read them, right?

There is no conspiracy -- the fact that this issue keeps coming up is simply because your apologetics are woefully inadequate to explain away the contradictions.
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Of course I've read those three posts you linked, both when originally posted and again just now to review. I don't see how they resolve the observed contradictions in genesis sequence or respond to the issue in any meaningful way.

One was not meant to address the sequence issue, but rather the claimed contradiction between 6 days in ch. 1, with 1 day in ch. 2.

I take it you did not find this explanation an acceptable resolution. What issues do you have with it?

There was a brief mention of the sequence issue in another post, one which gave the NIV translation "Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man ..."

This indicates that at some time in the past, God had made animals. Now, he was bringing these previously made animals to Adam to be named. So there is not contradiction between when animals and man was made.

This may not be the best solution to the problem, but it at least suggests that it is not impossible to resolve. Another source I've checked says that Gen 1 establishes a chronology, while ch. 2 is not laying out a strict chronology, rather focusing on the creation of man. In other words, pressing ch. 2 for some kind of chronology is asking more than was intended by the author.

Again, whether this is acceptable to one person or another will be determined by many factors. But to imply (as others have, not you) that there is no explanation, and any attempt to explain it is meaningless or dishonest, is not the best way to engage in discussion.

The fact that I don't find your pasted responses convincing is not evidence that I am closed-minded or unwilling to discuss the issue.

Sorry, I didn't mean to imply that you did this.

your apologetics are woefully inadequate to explain away the contradictions.

That's in the eye of the beholder. But I'm open to hearing why you think the specific explanations don't work.
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This indicates that at some time in the past, God had made animals. Now, he was bringing these previously made animals to Adam to be named. So there is not contradiction between when animals and man was made.

Non-believers were not the first to surmise that Genesis 1 & 2 appeared to be two different traditions brought together by editors. The apparent contradiction is often explained away by focusing on a single word in 2:19: "the Lord God had formed..." A single word is a slender reed on which to support this harmonization, but whatever.

The arc of this thread, as I understand it, is the assertion that Genesis is a scientifically accurate text, depending on how it's read of course. But in your effort to explain away a contradiction, you bring emphasis to what can only be an error. By claiming that Gen 2 is "not laying out a strict chronology" you are therefore claiming that the "creation" of Adam and that of Eve were two different events.

Isn't that what Gen 2 is saying? Adam is alive, sexually mature, and in all the world there is not a single human female appropriate for him. God "shows" him every animal and bird from around the world, but none were good enough. How long did that little exercise take, by the way? Then God performs invasive surgery, and then and only then is there a fully human female.

So then, in direct contradiction to the scientific evidence, Eve did not come from the same gene pool of near-human hominids as Adam, but was instead a special creation long after the fact. How you can get scientific harmony out of that is beyond me?

Furthermore, do you, Bryan, believe that Adam actually named all the animals and birds? Is what we call 'lion', 'penguin', and 'platypus' the modern-day equivalent of whatever Adam thought up in his head? Did hundreds of thousands of birds and animals truly journey from, say, Antarctica to Mesopotamia to take their place in line, to await their brief moment to stand before a naked ape and be named (and to check to see if they would be appropriate for naked ape sex)? Did they, having been duly ennobled by their appointed dominionist master, then turn and march back to their native habitats, across the wide deserts, mountains, and oceans?

Did they really?

Let me help you. It's a yes-or-no question.

If the answer is 'Yes,' then Genesis 2 is in direct contradiction to the scientific record, both in the place setting of humanity's origin as well as the method thereby. This is no, "God used evolution to create man and gave him a soul" argument. This is an out-and-out made-up story to explain away what didn't need to be explained.

But if the answer is 'No,' this didn't really happen, then we can set aside the notion that Genesis is uncannily accurate when it comes to human origins, and that therefore we must give it reverence and homage as a supernatural precursor to On The Origin of Species.

In other words, if Genesis 2 really happened, then it's wrong. If it didn't really happen, then it's as scientifically irrelevant as any other creation myth. Which side do you fall on, Bryan?
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Me: "Most here aren't interested in that..."

Mac: "That's an unfair and baseless accusation. It's no more productive than if I were to suggest that you're purposefully avoiding the majority of the discussion because you're uncomfortable facing the reality of discrepancies and contradictions in your holy text."

Ooops, did I say that. I do accept your reply on that one. I got rushed to finish before lunch ended and my fingers worked faster than my mind. I do apologise for that.

The contradictions in Genesis (which you chose to ignore in your response) are clearly not just poetic license ore allegorical ambiguity.

Correct. Job is the first book in the Bible to have poetic language. One final word on that if you indulge me, Job 38:7 is a Hebrew poetic form called parallelism, where the first part of the verse is synonymous with the second part:

http://www.foigm.org/theexistencenumberandnatureofangelspt2

Second, the Book of Job is an Old Testament poetic book. A major characteristic of ancient Hebrew poetry was parallelism, where two lines express the same thought but through different words. The two lines “the morning stars sang together” and “all the sons of God shouted for joy” of Job 38:7 are an example of Hebrew parallelism; therefore, they express the same thought and do not represent two sets of beings

And there is at least one other reference I found at work, which is at work and I am at home so I defer to this one. I want to be sure that the affect of the poetic verse is clarified in this case.

How about the contradictions within Genesis itself? Your position on that one is much more interesting to me for precisely the reasons you describe in your response regarding Job.

Seek truth only. Truth will set you free. I have to fly. Time is short for now. Family calls.

Paul
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The arc of this thread, as I understand it, is the assertion that Genesis is a scientifically accurate text,

Nope. It's about (most recently) alleged contradictions in Genesis 1 and 2.

But in your effort to explain away a contradiction, you bring emphasis to what can only be an error. By claiming that Gen 2 is "not laying out a strict chronology" you are therefore claiming that the "creation" of Adam and that of Eve were two different events.

This is supposed to be an error? Of course the creation of Adam and Eve were separate events.

So then, in direct contradiction to the scientific evidence, Eve did not come from the same gene pool of near-human hominids as Adam, but was instead a special creation long after the fact. How you can get scientific harmony out of that is beyond me?

Why was Eve not from the same gene pool as Adam? The material taken from Adam had human DNA in it, right? In fact, it would have DNA from the same gene pool as Adam. What scientific evidence is this supposed to contradict?

I'm not sure what your issue is here. You are the one claiming that this thread is about the scientific accuracy of the biblical account of human origins. YOU made that up.

I see a conflict between an evolutionary account of the origins of modern humans, and the biblical account. I've never stated otherwise. You need to get your facts straight.
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Why was Eve not from the same gene pool as Adam? The material taken from Adam had human DNA in it, right? In fact, it would have DNA from the same gene pool as Adam.

Interesting science fact:

if both the mother and father have the identical DNA, then any offspring will be clones of the parents, excepting for any minor mutations which might occur in a single generation, and it would take hundreds, or more likely thousands of generations to introduce enough variability into the strain that you might reasonably get two separate individuals.

Or is it that God, at the moment he took Adam's rib and created Eve, also changed all the DNA so that wouldn't happen? I don't recall reading about that in the Bible, although I'm sure someone here will "interpret" it beyond all recognition and demonstrate that it is, somehow, someplace, in there.
 
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Or is it that God, at the moment he took Adam's rib and created Eve, also changed all the DNA so that wouldn't happen? I don't recall reading about that in the Bible, although I'm sure someone here will "interpret" it beyond all recognition and demonstrate that it is, somehow, someplace, in there.

I don't think this can be demonstrated or inferred from the Bible. We have at best a 5-minute high-light reel of creation, with few details.

Of course (pulling out the theist trump card from the bottom of the deck), if God can create life in the first place . . .
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Of course (pulling out the theist trump card from the bottom of the deck), if God can create life in the first place . . .

...we can make up anything we want.
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Of course (pulling out the theist trump card from the bottom of the deck), if God can create life in the first place . . .

...we can make up anything we want.



not just Anything .. it has to match with previous Made Up St***


=
..... interesting sort of 'trump card' --that only works on a specific subset of Believers. more like a 'Last Straw, grasped at'
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This is supposed to be an error? Of course the creation of Adam and Eve were separate events.

Well, as evolution supporters often say, Populations evolve, not individuals. (http://preview.tinyurl.com/34srygj) Even theistic evolutionists who accept common descent (like Behe) acknowledge this.

This is a fundamental point that's often misunderstood by YEC'rs and those who deliberately spread falsehoods about evolution (like Ray Comfort and Ken Hovind.) They posit an absurd situation such as a male elephant born to non-elephant parents, and that the elephant is so distinct from its forebears that there is no individual in the entire world suitable for it to mate with (sound familiar?) However, due to an extremely lucky chance, a female is born with exactly the same mutations as the male so that it is equally elephant-like, and she is born at the same time and the same locale so that the two of them can get together and make a new species . . . and then that process has to be duplicated for every single plant, animal, bird and fish in the entire world, including all the species that are extinct. And since the chances of all that are infinitesimally small, therefore evolution is a lie.

PZ Myers tried to get this point through to Ray Comfort: "Species do not arise from single new mutant males that then have to find a corresponding mutant female - they arise by the diffusion of variation through a whole population, male and female."(http://preview.tinyurl.com/aqrgap)

The problem that OEC'rs have to overcome with Genesis 2 is this: out of a gene pool of hominids, one male must be born we'll call Adam. And per the record, there wasn't a single female in all the world suitable for sexual reproduction. So God had to step in and specially create an Eve. God didn't have to do so for Adam's parents, or his grandparents, or any other forebear--they simply evolved the way God intended when he kick-started evolution three-and-a-half billion years ago.

See the problem, Bryan? Let me rephrase what the biologist Myers said, only changing it slightly in order to make it relevant to this discussion:

"[Humans] do not arise from single new mutant [named Adam] that then has to find a corresponding mutant [named Eve] - they arise by the diffusion of variation through a whole population, male and female."

Myers wrote "Evolutionary biology is always dealing with changes in populations," but according to Genesis 2, we're only dealing with changes in individuals - two individuals, to be precise. That's the fundamental error in Genesis 2. You've been trying to harmonize Genesis 1 with Genesis 2 by calling Genesis 1 a loose interpretation of billions of years of evolution writ large, and calling Genesis 2 a specific snapshot detailing the rise of one particular species (homo sapiens sapiens).

But you can't do that. If we accept the mechanism inherent within Genesis 1 (speciation via gene drift) then the mechanism in Genesis 2 (speciation by leapfrog) becomes a negation of Genesis 1. Here's Myers again with regard to elephants:

A speciation event occurred. This does not mean, as [Comfort] seems to think, that an African elephant gave birth to an Asian bull calf, that then wandered off forlornly to find a female Asian elephant. There was a large population of these ancestral elephants and they split — a group in one area or environment was breeding largely within its own group, while a group in another area was breeding largely within its group. They could have been isolated by geography, or by the emergence of a genetic isolating mechanism, but either way, you wouldn't have been able to tell them apart if you had a time machine and were right there. These populations — populations, not individuals — lived and bred and died apart from each other, and gradually enough variations accumulated that we could tell them apart; the Asian elephants had smaller ears than the African, for instance." (emphasis added)

See Bryan? If Genesis 1 is as you claim--a poetic high-level summary of evolution--then at no point would an elephant have to carefully inspect millions of animals to see if any one was suitable for mating, because there wasn't a wide chasm between the elephant and the others in its herd. And if an elephant didn't need to do that, then Adam wouldn't have had to do that either, as you insist he did in Genesis 2. That's the contradiction, and its a contradiction that you can't just wave away by cracking open a Hebrew lexicon.

Unless of course, you wish to invoke magic and say that God needed to roll up his sleeves and work some mojo specifically for Adam and Eve, in which case we can remove Genesis from the consideration for scientific insight, just like we don't carefully study the work of Harry Houdini when considering quantum entanglement.

Plus, you failed to address the absurdity of Adam 'naming' all the animals. Did he really? What for? It's not like the animals could understand what he was saying, could they? There weren't any other humans around to appreciate Adam's nomenclature skills, right? How did the author of Genesis know that Adam named millions of species--did Adam write any of these names down anywhere?

From there, we move into Genesis 3, which covers talking snakes and fruit that can mutate DNA and an anthropomorphic god walking around on two legs, unable to find Adam hiding in the bushes, and the notion that Genesis has anything scientific to say to us becomes even more of a stretch.

This is why creationism in any of its mutated forms has no place in a scientific classroom. The humanities class, where mythologies are carefully studied and unpacked and enjoyed, is down the hall.
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> The arc of this thread, as I understand it, is the assertion that Genesis is a scientifically accurate text,

Nope. It's about (most recently) alleged contradictions in Genesis 1 and 2.

I thought it was about the number of chromosomes in primates. :P
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JB: If Genesis 1 is as you claim--a poetic high-level summary of evolution…

Never said that, and explicitly denied this when I said You are the one claiming that this thread is about the scientific accuracy of the biblical account of human origins. YOU made that up.
I see a conflict between an evolutionary account of the origins of modern humans, and the biblical account. I've never stated otherwise. You need to get your facts straight.


Ok, I get it now. You have no idea what my position is on anything, and you haven't paid any attention to my responses to you.

This is just your opportunity to rant on evolution and the bible. Fine, I'll step out of the way.
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I thought it was about the number of chromosomes in primates. :P

We're both wrong. Now its about the voices in JamesBrown's head and his imaginary conversation with biblical literalists on how the bible teaches evolution.
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A five-year old can get the message of Genesis 1-2 pretty easily:



When I was five, they tried to explain Genesis to me in Sunday School. They said God made the world. I told them I figured it had always been there. Nonsense, they said. Somebody had to make it for it to exist. Then I asked who made God. Don't be silly, they said. God has always been here. Then I pointed out that if someone had to make the world, then someone had to make God, right? Shut up and play with your coloring book, they said.
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JB: If Genesis 1 is as you claim--a poetic high-level summary of evolution…

Never said that, and explicitly denied this


Oh, perhaps an apology is in order. I said that based on the following:

"Another source I've checked says that Gen 1 establishes a chronology, while ch. 2 is not laying out a strict chronology, rather focusing on the creation of man." http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=28629567

"[T]he text of Genesis 1 is written like a chronology, one event after another....What's there is compatible with the scientifically established chronology....I don't think Genesis got it wrong" http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=25874723

"Some think that Genesis is compatible with evolution including the evolution of man; others, evo up to the special creation of modern man (evolution doing the previous changes)...I think it is much more interesting to take it fairly literally." http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=25872048

"Since I think that the events in Genesis 1 are historical events, regardless of how what is described there fits with a scientific understanding of the text, I think it is possible to derive predictions from the text." http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=28620846

"A five-year old can get the message of Genesis 1-2 pretty easily:

God created the heavens and the earth.
God made the animals.
God made Adam.
God made Eve (Adam thought this was a very good idea)" http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=28625632

So I'll go ahead and apologize for saying that you believe what I said you did. Now I realize that you have only been quoting other people who do believe that, calling them "another source" and "some." You didn't discount what those others believe, leaving the question wide open. I just went ahead and presumed that if you're going to marshal an argument in your defense then you at least feel the defense is valid. I'll have to remember such is not true in your case.

My apologies.
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JamesBrown quoting me from 2007:
"Some think that Genesis is compatible with evolution including the evolution of man; others, evo up to the special creation of modern man (evolution doing the previous changes)...I think it is much more interesting to take it fairly literally." http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=25872048

Then writes:
So I'll go ahead and apologize for saying that you believe what I said you did. Now I realize that you have only been quoting other people who do believe that, calling them "another source" and "some." You didn't discount what those others believe, leaving the question wide open. I just went ahead and presumed that if you're going to marshal an argument in your defense then you at least feel the defense is valid.

If your misattribution was unintentional, then no apology necessary. But I find it hard to believe that you remember what I said 3 years ago and were responding to that yesterday. Heck, I can't remember what *I* said yesterday.

But regardless, the quote you provided pretty much sums up my (tentative) position, the part that starts "others…" . It is not supported by modern science, since the evolutionary model does not allow God to do anything but sit in his celestial principle's office taking down names. But it allows for evolution to do a lot, and God to monkey with everything as much as he wants to.

And no Nigel, I don't know which organism or pa