Christian Anti-evolutionism in Light of DNA Evidence

The sad state of apologetics

When I was an arrogant young 19 year old, as opposed to being an arrogant 70 year old now, I became a Christian and was surrounded by YECS. At the time, I knew no geology, barely knew physics, and I read a creationist book. I was thinking, these are Christians. They will be among the most honest people on earth. I didn’t think they would make up data (what a mistake). I didn’t think they would twist data (what a mistake). I didn’t think they would ignore data (what a mistake). Believing that what I was being told was absolute truth, and that there was no data that they would refuse to tell me, I began 17 years as a YEC.

But I was working for an oil company and was forced daily to see contradictions between what Christians were telling me and what I personally saw. In 1979-81, I was an arrogant 29 year old in charge of hiring and training geophysicists for ARCO. I had 60 people working for me and a private secretary and flew business class to colleges all over the US recruiting. And I went to CHC, the college associated with Institute of Creation Research. I met Henry Morris, Duane Gish, Steve Austin, Gerald Aardsma and others. Morris was a vapor canopy advocate and Jody Dillow had done a mathematical model of it showing that the world would be cool. I went over the math, found an error, and told Henry Morris of that error. Henry wasn’t interested. He didn’t care to hear anything that went against his view. I was learning how little YECs cared for observational data, or for being correct.

In the Genesis Flood, Henry cites a delta which formed in a matter of a few days. When I went to look up the reference what Henry didn’t tell his readers, who are obviously thinking about the Mississippi River Delta forming in a matter of days, is that Jopling’s delta is 20 feet long and 1.5 foot thick! This is egregious behavior for a Christian!

I wrote articles in the CRSQ trying to explain the problems I saw. My articles were not received well and indeed; creationists didn’t want to know the problems. In 1985 Emmett Williams became the editor of the CRSQ and I was told directly it was with the purpose to stop me from publishing in CRSQ. I must say I was disillusioned by my fellow Christians, whom I had started out believing would be truthful in all things( what a mistake).

In 1986 my last real gasp as a YEC gave a paper at the Inter. Conf. On Creationism in Pittsburgh. It was entitled, Challenges to a Young-earth. I showed geological problem after problem; and I showed pictures. I really wanted help on the issues I presented from my fellow YECS. That was not to be.

Before I went to Pittsburgh, Robert Schadewald had read a couple of my CRSQ articles, called me, and wanted to have breakfast with me and Kurt Wise. As I recall, Kurt wasn’t at breakfast but Bob introduced me to Kurt later in the day. Schadewald was an atheist, who spent his life ridiculing and ripping people from our faith. While he and I became friends, and I reviewed his posthumously published book, we never saw eye-to-eye. He always knew I was a Christian and would shake his head about it.

After I gave my talk, John Morris came up on stage to challenge what I had just said. He claimed to have “had experience” in the oil industry. I asked him what oil company he had worked for. I am going to let an account of this published in the Skeptical Inquirer in late 86 or early 87. It was written by Robert Schadewald. Of this event, Schadewald wrote:

" *John Morris went to the microphone and identified himself as a petroleum geologist. He questioned Morton’s claim that pollen grains are found in salt formations, and accused Morton of sounding like an anticreationist, raising more problems than his critics could respond to in the time available.Morris said that the ICR staff is working on these problems all the time. He told Morton to quit raising problems and start solving them.
"Morton chopped him off at the ankles. Two questions, said Morton:
‘What oil company did you work for?’ Well, uh, actually Morris never worked *for an oil company, but he once taught petroleum engineering at the *University of Oklahoma. Second, How old is the Earth?’ 'If the earth is more than 10,000 years old then Scripture has no meaning.’ Morton then said that
he had hired several graduates of Christian Heritage College, and that all of them suffered severe crises of faith. The were utterly unprepared to face the geologic facts every petroleum geologist deals with on a daily basis. Morton neglected to add that ICR is much better known for ignoring or denying
problems than dealing with them.

It is truly sad when an atheist can say this of a Christian organization. At the ICC in 1986, I was presenting the problems because I wasn’t smart enough to solve them, so John telling me to solve them, well, I was not capable, and John was not capable of correctly describing his academic and work background. I knew that John was not a petroleum geologist. We both went to Oklahoma U. and he was a year or two behind me. My roommate was friends with John at the time. If anything, he is a petroleum engineer, and those guys don’t take geology courses. They are concerned with drilling wells. I checked his Thesis and Dissertation out of the library and point it out here to document what is said above:

John’s Masters Thesis was entitled "Tidal Power State of the Art -1977

His Ph.D. was entitled, “Development and properties of a self-bursting Pellet as Agglomerated from Coal Fines by Use of an Organic Binder,” 1980

His Ph.D. dissertation includes only one legitimate geological reference "S. A. Friedman, “Investigation of the Coal reserves in the Ozarks Section of Oklahoma and their Potential Uses,” Oklahoma Geologic Survey, Special Publication 74-2, 1977.

His Masters Thesis also includes only one legitimate geological reference. D.J.P. Swift and A. K. Lyall, “Origin of the Bay of Fundy,” Marine Geology, 1968, 6, pp 331-343. A three page article on geology! Having hired about 130 geoscientists, I know this isn’t a geological thesis.

All other references are to engineering and mathematical texts. He isn’t a Ph. D. in Geology as he claimed on the Radio Show Science, Scripture and Salvation, on July 10, 1994. Why do people exaggerate their education? I don’t know. Why do Christians go light on the truth? Again, I don’t know.

When I left YEC in disgust in the in 1987, the biggest part of my disgust concerned the utter lack of interest in geologic data. I could put data in front of them, show them pictures, explain what the pictures meant, and the data was still ignored, treated as if it didn’t exist.

Sadly in my interactions with old earth Christians, I have often had the same experience. Data seems not to matter to us Christians, of any stripe and this grieves me greatly. Old earth creationists have ignored or lightly researched anthropological data which says archaics have capabilities they don’t want them to have. We all make mistakes, but when everyone makes the same mistake, what is one to think? Maybe it is that no one wants to look deeply at those issues

The fact that pain in childbirth goes WAY back to 2.4 myr, doesn’t seem concern anyone who says Eve was a Neolithic woman whom God cursed with what she already had. Same for sweat with Adam.

I had a year long debate with Fazale Rana, about art and music being much older than their arbitrary cutoff of 60,000 years. Rana was stuck on the claim that Neanderthals and H. erectus were mere spiritless animals. The data didn’t matter to their belief at the time that Adam was less than 60 kyr old. Now, after about 18 years, they finally have Adam at 150,000 years of age. They still claim N’s and H. e.'s are spiritless animals. They should have been able to know the age of Adam 30 years ago.And still there is much ignored evidence that Adam is even older than that. Same with my friend Dick Fischer. It seems that our job as apologists is to not dig too deeply into the science and present to the unsuspecting public something that can be easily disproven? That was the problem with YECs. They presented theories that could easily be disproven.

I suspect that part of this is to not run off readers, or to go along with the crowd. When we claim as Venema did, that there was no population bottleneck in the past 200 kyr, so no Adam and Eve, without even trying to look for an alternative, one must wonder what is more important–eliminating Adam and Eve or searching for other options which can make the Scripture true. The statistics he uses only apply IF Adam was a H. sapiens. If he wasn’t, Venema’s arguments fall apart. Venema’s view is based on the Out of Africa theory, which has now fallen inside of Anthropology itself. A form of multiregionalism has won the day. We have too much DNA from Neanderthals, Denisovians, and the Ghost species of West Africa.

When I left YEC in 1986, I spent loads of time looking at the data from the point of view of ‘where am I wrong?’ not ‘How is my theory correct?’ I had been egregiously wrong about YEC for 17 years or more. Thus, for the rest of my life, when I got an idea about something, the first thing I did was find out what was wrong with it. That allowed me to learn the data, but also, ensure I had solid answers for what anyone would throw at my theory. I fear, Christians don’t use that approach, but use the confirmation bias approach-- take the data if it supports the view, and ignore it if it doesn’t. The artwork I have shown from the archaic species is new information to most on this list. It shouldn’t have been.People like Ross, Rana, and others should have been at the forefront of displaying it, but doing so, undermines their claim of non-personhood for Neanderthals and thus, such data can’t be shown, ever! But pointing it out leads to unpopularity .

I can guarantee one and all, if I had my preferences, I would never have suggested the concordism approach I have–with Med flood and an extremely old Adam. I know John Walton, the OT scholar thinks I am nuts–but he wouldn’t listen long enough to see what I have to offer. He isn’t the only one. Many people just don’t respond to me. I offer my view because I firmly believe the data conforms to the theory. It makes Scripture be true rather than mythological or just plain false. Life would have been much easier for me, if I had gone along to get along with a Neolithic Adam and a Mesopotamian flood. I might even have been popular and influential.

To me the troublesome concern is, “Is ignoring evidence or lightly researching an area the way Christians should work?” and, “Is this the excellence God expects from us?” We seem not to care about Col 3:24: “Whatever you do, work at it with your whole being, for the Lord and not for men,”

On this side of the vail, we cannot prove what God did. All we can do is create theories that match the observational data. While God may tell me I am utterly wrong in a few months, I can at least stand and say I applied the best work ethic and research I could do even as I was dying. If I am wrong, it is not for lack of trying and it is not because I ignored data so as to save a popular view. I do believe we will stand before God for his judgment. I want and hope to hear, Well done…and I have done my research to the best of my ability, be it right or wrong. At least I am not telling everyone something I know to be false nor am I telling everyone something that doesn’t match the facts of geology, anthropology and physics. This should be the goal of every Christian in science.

Let’s look at some dates.
MSC 5.3 Ma
Oldest known Australopithecus 4.2 Ma
Oldest known Homo habilis 2.8 Ma
Homo ergaster 1.9 Ma
Homo erectus 2 Ma

You want to move Homo habilis back to the MSC so that is a minimum of an additional 2.5 million years before the earliest known fossil. This would also require pushing Australopithecus back far enough to allow it to evolve into habilis. It also means there is now 3.4 milion years between habilis and ergaster.

You can argue “missing fossils” if you wish but to me that is just appealing to a rescuing device. The gaps between the later homo groups are much smaller than 3 million years.

It is not a ‘rescuing device’. It is fully consistent with the paleontological knowledge.
I have said repeatedly I don’t know what species Adam would have been. It is possible that he was an early habilis, but that doesn’t mean the habilis of 5.3 myr ago, if he existed, was identical to the habilis of 2.5 myr ago. The H. erectus of 2 myr ago is different from the H. erectus of 500,000 years ago in many ways. There are always small changes. . That said, have you ever heart of punctuated equilibrium, in which a fossil group remains unchanged for a long time and then rapidly speciates? It was proposed by Niles Eldridge and Stephen Jay Gould in 1972 and was rapidly accepted as fact by most paleontologists.

This is old, but this is the ‘stasis’ times or average life spans of species for various groups

average species life speciation
Eocene mammal species 3 million years p. 11
flowering plant species 10 million years p. 15
Gastropod mollusks >10 million p. 15
Marine bivalves >10 million years p. 15
Fresh water fish 3 million p. 24
foraminifera 30 million years p. 16
Steven M. Stanley, “Evolution of Life: Evidence for a New
Pattern”, Great Ideas Today, 1983, (Chicago: Encyclopaedia
Britannica, 1983)

What I am proposing is nothing out of the ordinary paleontologically speaking. These are average times so some speices live longer and others live shorter.

I have become somewhat comfortable with a much more ancient Adam and Eve and I have looked into H. Erectus and a lot of what you have stated about early hominids and the ability to have large brains, and the possibility of making tools and language and other such things. But my question is what do we make of others like Enoch, Noah and the descendants leading up .to Abram? What do we do with the Tower of Babel episode and the Flood? That is my question. Thanks advance @gbob

When I read this I was taken aback. You put “fully consistent” next to “I don’t know”. Strange combination to me at least. And if my memory is correct you are always using evidence from Homo Habilis to advance your argument. If you don’t know Adam’s species what can you use for evidence except your belief you are correct?

And going back to the paper you used to establish the location of the Pison. In Figure 2 there are a total of 5 canyon thalwegs indicated. And this is just the study area of the paper so are there more? You picked the one that matches you theory but don’t the other 4 indicate that other rivers were flowing into the Med? If so wouldn’t that mean there were more than 4 rivers flowing into your Eden? I guess you could say if there are 8 or more rivers flowing than there is always 4. (there is a bit of humor in this if you don’t see it)

Very good and very tough questions. I presume by Enoch you mean him being translated. My view of Enoch starts with God’s expectation that we live by faith, something I know I don’t do very well, indeed, I do it rather badly. I think Enoch one of two guys who lived such a life of faith that they were translated. But they were not sinless, and my personal view is that Enoch and Elijah are the two witnesses in Revelation (I know, there I go again believing the bible. lol). Even Elijah and Enoch were not sinless and as Steven King says in the Green Mile, a death is owed.

I want to say, that because of the age of these events, they could not have been handed down by oral tradition. The information in the scripture would have to be evidence of divine inspiration–real communication from God to the writer. This is no different than God telling Abram he was going to have a son as an old man with a very old wife. Somehow God communicated something REAL to Abram, so I don’t see a problem with God communicating real info elsewhere.

I am going to address the flood first. I don’t know if you have read my views on the flood or not so If I am repeating for you, forgive me. I have addressed that here on biologos and have a slightly updated version on my blog

6 my ago, the strait at Gibraltar rose and cut off the Mediterreanan from the Atlantic, causing the waters of the Med to evaporate. Just last month I ran into geologic data which made a match betwween the biblical description of Eden–Tigris, Euphrates, Nile and Pison were all flowing into the desciccated Mediterranean basin. I was both excited, shocked and rubber-legged, knowing the reaction this kind of stuff gets. People tend to think Im nuts. lol But the only time in geologic history that these 4 rivers were together was from 6 myr until 5.3 myr I will post the map of sediments from these rivers, all of which were mapped by other geoscientists in the search for oil. It is important to note these sediments are from the time just before the catastrophic infilling of the Med basin took place.

There are so many things from the Bible that fall into place if we place Eden where I suggest.

  1. Deep basins get very little rain, especially the end of it which is on the upwind side as was the Eastern Med at that time.for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth" I would translate ‘earth’ as land’ for that is the most common meaning of ‘erets’. So we need to look for a land where it didn’t rain. That rules out Mesopotamia.

  2. No rain, no rainbow. The special mention of the rainbow after the flood indicates to me that it is a novel phenomenon.

  3. The Bible gives us a hint about when Eden was. " and there was not a man to work the ground*." This was before the Neolithic-- And the beginnings of agriculture go back as long ago as 15,000 years.
    The word translated as till mostly means ‘work’, so that is what I chose to do with that verse.

Abad: “to labour, work, do work. 1A2 to work for another, serve another by labour. 1A3 to serve as subjects. 1A4 to serve (God). 1A5 to serve (with Levitical service). 1B (Niphal). 1B1 to be worked, be tilled (of land). 1B2 to make oneself a servant. 1C (Pual) to be worked. 1D (Hiphil). 1D1 to compel to labour or work, cause to labour, cause to serve. 1D2 to cause to serve as subjects. 1E (Hophal) to be led or enticed to serve.” Strong, J. (1995). Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon. Woodside Bible Fellowship.

The first clear evidence of a successful and long term settled community comes from people caned the Natufians, who lived in the Near East from about 15,000 to 11,500 years ago. They occupied lands on the eastern side of the Mediterranean, in the region that is now Israel, Jordan and Syria. The early Natufians gathered the wild emmer wheat and barley that grew there. They made stone sickles to cut the cereal grasses, and the sickles bear signs of the characteristic polish caused by the silica in cereal stalks.” Nicholas Wade, Before the Dawn, (New York: The Penguin Press, 2006), p. 126

The sickle is a characteristic tool of Agriculture. 12000 year old Adams is long after “there were men to work the ground”

Of the people running up to Noah,I outline the technology issues in Gen. 4 in post 76, 81, and 85 in the thread Did Noah’s flood Kill All the Humans except his family? But I don’t get the feeling your question is about technology. My guess is that you are wondering about lifespans and what kind of people they were. Of lifespans, my view is if god wants someone to live a thousand years, they will live a thousand years.

  1. the hydrology described in Eden can only happen in a deep basin.–rivers splitting into many, and artesian flow causing mists out of the ground. 5.3 myr ago is the only time such a deep basin existed on earth, The hydrolic head on artesian flow would be large.

  2. When the dam at Gibraltar collapsed, Atlantic waters roared into the basin at 223 mph. This is the fountains of the deep, or a good immitation thereof. Here is a numerical model of the catastrophic flood. 100 m/s is the red–that is over 200 mph

  3. This flood lasted 8 months to a year. The model above says it took 200 days for the eastern basin to be filled. If the eastern basin was what Noah was aware of then we are somewhat close (models can be tweaked) to the Noah entered the ark 2nd month, 17th day. the ark grounded on the 7 month 17th day. That is 5 months or 150 days. A bit bigger opening to the atlantic in the model above would solve that misfit.

  4. because the basin was about 12,000 feet deep, this flood also covered high mountains. “And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the land; and all the high hills” Mesopotamian flood have no high hills to cover! The land is very flat. This is the only flood in geologic history of which I am aware that matches the Biblical description of Noah’s flood.

  5. This happened at the time hominids (our group) first appear on earth.

  6. This time 5.3 or so myr ago is the only time genetically we can have a primal pair. Our oldest genes are this old!

In my experience good theories have things fall into place. Bad theories require snipping and cutting. What fell into place this last month was the realization that geology is consistent with the 4 rivers of Genesis.

Tower of Babel. The story doesn’t say how high the tower was. The materials they were making it of would not support a very high tower. “Go to, let us make brick, and burn them throughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter”

In Genesis 10, the word used for the ‘father-son’ relationship is yalad, and it merely means ‘ancestor of’. Because of this, the Bible doesn’t give us much of a clue how long after the flood this happened. But I believe it happened. I do believe it happened, I have some controversial linguistic support for Babel on my blog. One of the interesting things is that if each of these language groups remained small and isolated, their language wouldn’t change over time rapidly.

Another problem that has vexed glottochronology is that languages may evolve at different rates. Both modern Icelandic and Norwegian are known to have evolved from Old Norse, which was spoken between AD 800 and 1050. Norwegian and Old Norse have 81% of their Swadesh list words as cognates, correctly implying a separation of 1,000 years ago. But modern Icelandic, which has been much more isolated, shares 99% of its words with Old Norse, wrongly implying the two languages separated only 200 years ago. Rate variation can be taken account of in the maximum likelihood approach, essentially by choosing trees with the minimum amount of variation necessary to fit known dates of language divergence.” Nicholas Wade, Before the Dawn, (New York: The Penguin Press, 2006), p. 214

The reason this is important is that such slow language change in small groups might have made the Babel signature last much longer than normally thought. Thus the controversial stuff on my Babel page.

If it happened in the land of Babylon (shinar) it would have had to happen shortly after Noah’s descendants started moving south out of the mountains of Ararat.

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I was just using Enoch as an example along with Noah as examples to try and understand the long ages. But as you have stated God could make someone live a long life if He so wanted to. My question is how do we understand the long life spans, if not the genealogy itself from long ago to Adam? That was my question.
The issue of the Flood seems to have been answered so I will move to the Tower of Babel.

For me the Tower of the Babel has an ziggurat type of theme to it in a way (i.e. trying to reach God and have Him come down for the sake of “trying” to control/twist God’s arm to get favors) and it wasn’t tall as we would define “tall” but to the ancient audience it would have been huge.

Sometimes I don’t think you and I live in the same universe. The ‘I don’t know" referered to something I have said over and over. I dont’ know what speices Adam was. Am I supposed to lie about it? Make up data and defend it to the death like other apologists? No, when I don’t know, I say, “I don’t know”. it is the honest thing to dow.

The fully consistent with paleontology, it is. I showed you Stanley’s list of species average life spans. I don’t see what the problem is.

No it wouldn’t. small streams are always to be found on sloping surfaces with small draingage. They are not worth mentioning. I view Genesis as naming the major rivers, and they were the major rivers, each having deposited lage sedimentary deposits. I am going to show you what happens just offshore to the El-Arish and Afiq canyons. The sands are from the lower pliocene, just after the flood, but the channels once incised into the continental shelf would have joined up in the Miocene as well. Below is the Lower Pliocene Yafo sand There is no blue outline–I got rid of it.

Once the channels joined, they would go into the basin together. That is normal for such environments.

But you seem to think that the Bible should name every tiny insignificant creek that flowed into the Mediterranean? Why? There were lots of other rivers flowing into it at the time, likely the Danube, I know the Rhone flowed into the Mediterreanean out west. there was a small river off of Cyprus. There was a big river off of Libya. None of them were named. If your bar for my theory is that every insignificant creek must be named or my view is false, well, then I will say you have an unreasonable standard. Some of those canyons joined up with the Tigris. Some joined up with the Afiq canyon (pison). But they joined up offshore. So big deal to this criticism.

But two of them are labeled Ashdod Canyon, just like Afiq Canyon. So what is the difference?

Except for the Pison. Even you said it didn’t carry a lot of sediment. So it is really 3 and a small stream you added to get to 4. And once you added it why not the one in the Ashdod Canyon? Maybe because that would get you to 5?

I view Genesis 10 as a very widely spaced group of people. Both yelad and ben are words for 'son of" or begat, but both words have usages that require that these are not necessarily parent child relationship. they might be, but they don’t have to be. Thus we can have room for lots of gaps if we need it. From my book Foundation Fall and Flood, p. 16

" The final point is that the Hebrew term that is translated as “beget” or “the son of” does not have the same connotation for the ancient Hebrews as it does in Modern English. In English the term clearly implies a father-son relationship, but the Hebrew term would be better translated as “ancestor of.” This is determined by comparisons of one genealogical list with another. The King James Version translates I Chronicles 26:24 as “And Shubael the son of Gershom, the son of Moses was ruler of the treasuries.” This use of the term “the son of” obviously means “descendant of,” a fact which the New International Version recognizes in its translation. Many other examples could be cited. The important thing is that once again, the English translation is really no assurance that there was an unbroken chronological sequence in Genesis 11. *
One atheist I discussed this with argued strongly that the genealogies in the Bible were father-son relationships. He argued for this position so that he could disprove the Bible. He knew that most modern people wouldn’t believe that the world was created in 4,004 B. C. And he would use this to lead people into atheism. His argument was that there are two Hebrew words for beget: ben and yalad. Ben does mean ‘ancestor of’. In 1 Chronicles 26:24 the word used is ben. And indeed Shubael is not a son of Gershom. Then my atheist friend said yalad is only used for parent-child relationships and never for relationships of ancestor. Strong’s Hebrew Dictionary defines Yalad as:

"to bear young; causat. to beget; med. to act as midwife; spec. to show lineage: bear, beget, birth ([ day]), born, (make to) bring forth (children, young), bring up, calve, child, come, be delivered (of a child), time of delivery, gender, hatch, labour, (do the office of a) midwife, declare pedigrees, be the son of, (woman in, woman that) travail ( eth, ing woman)."

He would point out that yalad is used in the genealogies of Genesis 1-11 proving that there were no gaps and proving that the Bible erroneously taught that the world was created in 4,004 B.C.
This argument at first took me back. It was an entire reversal in tone from the usual young-earth argument that viewed a complete genealogy as positive evidence that God did create the world recently. What was the solution? It turns out that yalad is used in at least one instance with the connotation of ‘ancestor’. Genesis 10:15-18 uses yalad to indicate that Canaan was the father of the Hittites, Jebusites, Amorites, Girgashites, Hivites, Arkites, Sinites, Arvadites, Zemarites and Hamathites. Since there is no way that Canaan could possibly that promiscuous, yalad must indicate an ancestral relationship in this case. Could it indicate an ancestral relationship elsewhere in Genesis 5 and 11? Of course*." Glenn R. Morton Foundation Fall and Flood, p. 16

Lol, I think I said SIZE is the difference, and I do think that the Ashdod would join the El arish and Afiq.They are so near to each other.

The afiq (pison) is still bigger than the others, so what exactly is your point? Secondly, the bible describes where Havilah was, in Arabia. All thress of these canyons drain Arabia. If you like another canyon to be the Pison, I won’t argue with you. The Pison has been the mystery and for me, until I saw this data I had had no hope that a river came off of Arabia, and thus I didn’t actually believe what the Scripture said. I should have.

Sealkin, I thought about this question of genealogies overnight. For the moment, lets assume that Ussher’s values are correct for the sake of argument. No matter where we put Adam, be it 12,000 years ago or 200,000 years ago, or as I do, 5.3 myr ago, there are lots and lots of gaps. The genealogies have (assuming I did my math correctly, and given the bad night last night that is not a certitude), I calculate the average generation time from Adam to Abram is 97.8 years. There are 20 people And Abram lived around 2000 BC (rounding for easy math). So Swamidass has Adam at 10,000 BC (12000 years ago), requiring a 400 years per generation value to get to Abram’s time.
This would mean we miss 3 out of 4 of the people in the genealogy.

If we believe Adam was 200,000 years ago, well, the gaps are monstrously large, and as with my view, the names could not have been handed down by oral tradition over a period of 200 kyr. They have to be there via divine inspiration. Again, if I did my math correctly we would have 1 in 101 of the names that should be there.

If we don’t believe the numbers at the birth for these patriarchs and presume that the times were more in line with modern humans, well, then we have 1 name for every 8000 or so people in the list. Once we have this much gap time in the genealogies, what is the difference or big deal about adding more people to the gap. The only function I see in the genealogies is that I think they are true but very incomplete. And this incompleteness must extend to any view that is not the view of Ussher. And we know Ussher’s chronology is wrong. As I said, both words used for begat or father of, are also used in an ancestor-descendant relationship as well.

I view the genealogies this way. When my great great grandfather gave birth to my philandering great grandfather, he at the same time he became the ancestor of all who would flow from my great grandfather, including my beloved grandfather, his sisters, his half brother(a mob boss/killer/pimp), a third half brother from a different woman(and his 14 grandkids) and one line hidden by adoption records–at least 4 different families and then my father, me, my 3 sons and my 8 grandchildren. That is what these words mean according to the way they are used.

Yalad is used in this passage:

And Canaan begat Sidon his firstborn, and Heth, 16 And the Jebusite, and the Amorite, and the Girgasite, 17 And the Hivite, and the Arkite, and the Sinite, 18 And the Arvadite, and the Zemarite, and the Hamathite

If begat here ‘yalad’ means ‘Im your real daddy’, then imagine the wife’s surprise when hundreds of people from 9 tribes pop out of her womb! No one gives birth to tribes unless they are viewing it as I said above–ancestor/descendant relationship. But every ‘ite’ I bolded is a tribe of people, not a son.

Matthew 1 tells us all we need to know about how Jewish people thought about the word ben.
the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham

There are big gaps in that genealogy there–true but very incomplete.

If Matthew 1:1 was in hebrew it would have been:

toledoth Jeshua Meshia, ben David, ben Abraham"

My point is how many rivers can be said to have drained Arabia in the last 5 million years? You even said the region was tilted in a different direction now verses then. Given the (I am assuming here) number of possible rivers that fit the vague Genesis description what makes this the right choice? You always seem to have vast quantities of data available. Dazzle me.

I am not here to dance to your tune, nor do I exist to ‘dazzle’. You remind me of Herod who wanted Jesus to do some miracle for him Luke 23:8. I personally like the rendition from Jesus Christ Superstar:
King Herod’s Song

Alice Cooper, Andrew Lloyd Webber

Jesus, I am overjoyed to meet you face to face.
You’ve been getting quite a name all around the place.
Healing cripples, raising from the dead.
And now I understand you’re God,
At least, that’s what you’ve said.
So, you are the Christ, you’re the great Jesus Christ.
Prove to me that you’re divine; change my water into wine.
That’s all you need do, then I’ll know it’s all true.
Come on, King of the Jews.
Jesus, you just won’t believe the hit you’ve made around here.
You are all we talk about, the wonder of the year.
Oh what a pity if it’s all a lie.
Still, I’m sure that you can rock the cynics if you tried.
So, you are the Christ, you’re the great Jesus Christ.
Prove to me that you’re no fool; walk across my swimming pool.
If you do that for me, then I’ll let you go free.

Edited to at video

Since this is your attitude towards me, I will not play your game

I asked you a simple question. If you are unable to answer it just say so.

The “Dazzle me” was a reference to King Herod so I guess you got that right. And I can pretty much sing (badly) that song from memory.

No bill, you asked me to Dazzle you and your questions are just like those of Herod in the video. You don’t like my view. You don’t need a reason to reject my view, just reject it and go your way.

Getting the quote correct is not a good thing. At least you admit your questions are of Herod’s kind. Bye Bill. Reject and forget my theory. Nitpicking is all you have done in all the threads you come to. Go nit pick someone else. I am finished with answering Herod style questions. I have more self-respect than to do that and dance to your pharisaic tune

A Look at Eden:

5 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. 6 But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground. 7 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 soul. The Holy Bible: King James Version . (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., Ge 2:5–7). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems

Commentators say this:

The whole passage refers only to Eden and it informs us that it was not a rain country; it was rather a territory watered by river overflow and irrigation.” R Laird Harris, " THE MIST, THE CANOPY, AND THE RIVERS OF EDEN", BULLETIN OF THE EVANGELICAL THEOLOGICAL SOCIETY , Volume 11, No. 4 — Fall 1968 p. 178

Right off, this rules out Mesopotamia about which it could never be said that they didn’t have any rain. Since I place Eden in the deep basin of the desiccated Mediterranean, and since we know, such deep basins get far far less rain than other places on earth because they are in the rain shadow anyway the wind blows, and since the Mediterranean basin was the deepest basin the world has ever seen, it is quite likely that that land never had rain but was only watered by the rivers which poured over the lip.

" The scene opens not with the garden, but with the world outside, termed the adamah This is pictured as an uncultivated, parched region without rainfall, but watered by ground-swells or floods from the earth . (For the discussion of Hebrew ed, “mist,” see articles by Albright and Speiser.) Since there was neither a gardener to care for the soil, nor proper irrigation, the adamah did not produce the “plants of the field.” This implies only the absence of field-crops, not the state of the earth before the third day’s work when all forms of vegetation were created. Von Rad sees the adamah as a “Desert in contrast with the Sown.” Adam was formed not only of the adamah but upon the adamah, before he was placed in the garden. " Arthur H. Lewis, The Localization of the Garden of Eden," Bulletin of the Evangelical Theological Society, 11:4(1968), p. 170

Let’s look at the word Eden. Commentators say:

" There is general agreement on the derivation of Eden from the Akkadian edinu with the connotation of “plain,” “steppe,” “wilderness.” The homonymous eden of Hebrew for “delight,” or “voluptuousness,” is a tempting, but less likely etymology . Arthur H. Lewis, The Localization of the Garden of Eden," Bulletin of the Evangelical Theological Society, 11:4(1968), p. 170-171

" The name Eden comes from either an Akkadian word meaning “steppe” or “desert,” edinu, or a West Semitic word that describes “luxury,” “delight,” and abundance, adan ." Mangum, D., Custis, M., & Widder, W. (2012). Genesis 1–11 (Ge 2:4–25). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

it is interesting that when artists draw what the desiccated Mediterranean looked like they draw it like this, as a grass covered plaim. a ste[[e or dry grassland.

This is based upon real paleontological knowledge because hippos and elephants were living on this steppe or plain and they require lots of grass to eat.

Elephants also crossed to Cyprus during this time when the Med was dry. Again, they needed much foliage. After the flood, they like the hippos shrank in size, a common island phenomenon known as Island dwarfism.

Some authors have tried to say that the elephants swam to Cyprus from Turkey at the time of the last glacial maximum, when sea levels were about 100 m lower than today. The problem is that lowering the sealevel by 100 meters doesn’t change the 84 kim distance from Turkey to Cyprus by more than a kilometer or two. Both Turkey and Cyprus’s bathymetry drops deep rapidly offshore. Below is a bathymetry map in meters.

84 km is how long in elephant swim times to an island they don’t know exists?

The longest swim time I have found for elephants is 24 hours and it required 2 to help each other rest on the way.

Also, here is a nice anecdote!:

Amazingly, in the late 1970s, two bulls swam from Zimbabwe’s Spurwing Island across Lake Kariba to Kariba town, a distance of at least 25km. These 20-year-olds took turns to rest, one placing his forelegs on the haunches of his companion in front. Apparently their 24-hour-long trip followed an old elephant migration trail that had been covered by the lake for 25 years!

Both facts are from the website: if you wanna check out any more information.

The above is from

One answer give the max speed, but over 24 hours, no animal can swim at max rate. 1 km per hour for the first 24 hours and probably slower after that. This would mean 3.5 days of swimming for these intrepid elephants to swim there during the glacial low stand.

But let’s say they are correct that the elephants swam there during glaical low stands. The hippos couldn’t have swum there. They don’t swim!

For all intents and purposes the hippo does not swim,” said Douglas McCauley, an assistant professor in the department of ecology, evolution, and marine biology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. “It almost always maintains some contact with the bottom and walks or bounces off the bottom using these bottom contact points as a source of propulsion. ” Adrienne LaFrance, “Hippos Can’t Swim–So How Do they Move Through Water?” The Atlantic, April 26, 2017,

So, was Cyprus above sea level in the late Miocene–the Messinian time? Yes and it formed the refugia for the elephants and hippos during the flood.

The water depths would totally isolate Cyprus from hippos. Besides, Cyprus was biologically isolated.

" The isolation of Cyprus is also indicated by the fact that before the arrival of humans there were only 5 species of endemic terrestrial mammals present on the island, four of which are presently extinct (Hadjisterkotis and Masala, 1995). On the contrary, on the nearby mainland there are large numbers of terrestrial mammalian species (Harrison and Bates, 1991) ." E. Hadjisterkotis "The arrival of elephants on the island of Cyprus and their subsequent accumulation in fossil sites in Elephants in Maya Aranovich and Olivier Dufresne, Editors, Ecology, Behavior and Conservation, Chapter: 2, Publisher: Nova Science Publishers, Inc. January 2012

So if the hippos came down the Nile and found refuge on Cypress after the flood, there is little reason to doubt that the elephants did as well, since elephants are found in basinal sediments from Italy and Sicily, which have been uplifted since the Messinian and are now accessible. One can see many of the animals that lived on that dry ocean bottom here.

Now we know from biogeography that the water drawdown of the Med had to be at least 1200 m. but we know from the Canyon excavated by the Nile in solid granite that the water level had to be 4000 m below sea level for a long while. Why? Rivers don’t cut canyons in granite below sea level.

I am going to take a break. I have something and have spent most of the day in bed. My youngest son, who had been house isolated came to visit last week (and I was not going to deny him that visit). The next day he had a 101+fever, got a covid test (negative but only 63% chance of being correct. He had at the very least pneumonia but is feeling better afer IV antibiotics. Well, This morning, this morning,8 days later, I woke up feeling awful, with a 99.5 and now it is 100.5. If it gets to 101, Im calling the doctor. So, If you see me in a day or two this is nothing. Otherwise until I get back here. I won’t see any replies for a while, I am going back to bed, but I had done the above work, and didn’t want it lost. God’s blessings on yall.

No the Dazzle me was a reference to Herod. The question was an honest question which you don’t seem to want to answer.

After spending yesterday in the emegency room with a 101.5 fever, getting tested for covid, scanned poked and having the doctor tell me this is high chance of covid, but without a positive test we won’t hospitalize you. I have something but they dont’ know what it is.

I have one more thing to say to Bill, No, Bill I have seen people like you in science and in life, and it is always ‘one more question’. When Jesus told us not to cast our pearls before swine he wasn’t talking pigs, he was talking about people whose entire goal in life is to find one more question and who have zero interest in the data. For 20 years C. Vance Haynes stymied the advancement of New World Anthropology by always asking for one more test to ‘prove’ the case that native americans were here prior to Clovis. Adovasio, who excavated Meadowcroft in Pennsylvania, a pre-Clovis site, after years of this torment said:

"Then, suddenly and in a sense parenthetically, the talk turned to Meadowcroft, and Haynes told me and the assembled multitude that if only I would date just one seed or one nut from the deepest levels at Meadow-croft, he might be led to believe in t he antiquity of the site."
"That was it, I burst out in derisive laughter. Over the years, in scientific paper after scientific paper, “Haynes had asked for yet another date, yet another study, raising yet another picayune and fanciful questions about Meadowcroft, most of which had been answered long before he asked them=not just in the original excavation procedures but in report after report. Up until this time in Monte Verde, I had complied.”
. . .
"Horse{you know what), I said constructively. I told Vance Haynes there and then that never would I accede to any request he made for further testing of the Meadowcroft site because if I did he would simply ask for something else in a never-ending spiral of problems. I explained that the matter of Meadowcroft’s antiquity was settled as far a s most other professionals and I were concerned,and that if any remaining skeptics did not believe it, I could not care less. I then stormed out of the bar with Tom to cool off outside in the parking lot. J. M. Adovasio with Jake Page, The First Americans, (New York: Random House, 2002), p. 223-224

I have had the most ridiculous debates with you Bill from you claiming velocity had something to do with saturation point. You claimed that everytime a river changes course, it requires a new name and thus my labels on my maps can’t be right because they were not the same river courses as today’s river. We have debated what is the source of a river system. We had the most ridiculous debate about how rain occurs When you asked me how inspriation works and asked if I had a verse, you then told me the verse wasn’t profitable for understanding the origin of man, totally taking out of context what I said. All ridiculous. I will not play Charlie Brown to your Lucy with the football. I will not answer another question for you. I have only a few months of life left, so the docs tell me, and I will not waste my time on your Herodian disingenuous questions. I feel like Adavasio, If you remain a sceptic, I could not care less!

I think I have presented almost all I can of my views. I think I am going to leave Biologos. now… I have some other things I need to do before I leave this world, my oncologist today told me that there really wasn’t much more they can do for me–they are out of ideas. I am going to try to figure out if I had covid with this 5 days of fever and feeling miserable–I am better now, but not back to normal. Anyway, my blog is which I have told my kids to keep alive. Yall take care. This debate has taken more out of me than I thought it would. God bless.


“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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