Humble question for Christian evolutionists


(Jin Zhang) #1

Hi,

I am glad to find this forum, I am a Christian, a computer science professional (i.e. logical thinking is my job).

I heard there are fellowship Christians who believed human beings evolved from other species.

I am really curious whether there are evidences really supporting that?

My understanding is that there is no real solid 100% evidence that can support human being evolved from other species (BTW, that means it shouldn’t be taught at school as science, which I believe, if true, that everyone should stand up to speak against it),

I am not sure what’s the probability you can give (<10%, 10-20%, 30-40%, etc) as confidence that human beings evolved from other species?

thanks,

Jin


(Phil) #2

Welcome to the forum! It is good to have you here. Rather than try. To give you a percentage, I would invite you to examine the evidence and come to your own decision. The are a lot of resources on the site to help you, and books that you would enjoy are referenced, such as Adam and the Genome.
It sounds like you come from a literalist background, so I might suggest focusing on the theology aspect of study also, as that seems to be the more difficult issue for many.


(Curtis Henderson) #3

Hello, Jin, and welcome!

You will find many brothers and sisters in Christ here that also work in professions that involve logical thinking. And yes, virtually all of the routine contributors to the forum accept the theory of evolution.

Is there real, solid, “100% evidence” for the divergence of humanity from subhuman species? I would have to say that there is VERY little in science with 100% evidence, including common ancestry of humans with other primates, simply because we are forced to use current information to derive conclusions about the past. Should Einstein’s theory of relativity no longer be taught in schools because there are still problems with the theory and it has not been proven 100%?

There are multiple lines of evidence that support evolution, in general, but also common ancestry. As Phil has already mentioned, there is a lot of reading material here at the site. This may be a good place to start:


(Phil) #4

Even though I said to decide for yourself, I will ago ahead and say that to me, I would give it an estimate of about 99%. It seems that every new discovery or technology supports evolution of our species, though we do not have all the details worked out and all the blanks filled in, and probably never will.


(Christy Hemphill) #5

Is it just human evolution that concerns you, or do you doubt the concept of common descent in general?


#6

Do you happen to live not too far from a good natural history museum? Nothing would be better than viewing the fossils of our ancestors for yourself!


(Steve Schaffner) #7

I would put my confidence in the common ancestry of humans and other species at easily greater than 99%.


(George Brooks) #8

@jinz0420

Perhaps the stakes are just too high, and the explicit details are too few and far between, to answer your specific question (“did human beings evolve from another species?”) - - to your complete satisfaction.

It’s that last clause that throws a wrench in all our efforts… .YECs have a very complex criterion for what is “proof to their satisifaction”.

But if we choose a slightly different question, don’t we do just about the same thing?

I would propose “Has it been demonstrated that virtually all of the Earth’s current animal life (with the temporary exclusion of humans for now), appeared from prior species, sometime during the 65 million years since dinosaurs died off.”

Please note the question, Jin: It invokes the following kinds of evidence:

1] Evidence that dinosaurs did not die less than 10,000 years ago;

2] No large mammals ever lived with dinosaurs, or were ever food for dinosaurs.

3] Mammoths, which for the most part went extinct more than 10,000 years ago, have been found with meat still on their bones; the mammoths with meat had not yet been fossilized.

4] And yet, thousands of dinosaur fossils, without meat, have been found, making for a clear deduction that dinosaurs died off long before mammoths did, and so much longer before Mammoths that we can only find remnants of connective tissue that have been preserved by the Heme molecules in the animal’s blood stream.

  1. Nothing in the Old Testament, or in any YEC flood scenario, explains the “magical” appearance of large mammals (elephants, horses, giraffes, zebras, tigers, rhinos, etc. ) from out of the midst of the geological column… long after they were presumed to have exited Noah’s ark less than 10,000 years ago.

(Jin Zhang) #9

brother Phil, Curtis,

thank you for the reply.

One thing I am kind of puzzled, do you think you have evidence that demands a theory that the species are evolved and not created by God like that right from beginning, i.e. evidences that can only be explained by inter-species evolution and cannot be explained by God created them like that?

in Him,

Jin


(Jin Zhang) #10

hi, Beaglelady,

I live in silicon valley. well, my question is that, if I see those fossils, it could be either:

  1. just human being fossils (then it doesn’t prove human evolved from other species), or
  2. fossils of some other species (how do I know human evolved from those species)

thanks,

Jin


(Jin Zhang) #11

Curtis,

a few related comments:

  1. the field of physics and the field of evolution are not all that comparable in some ways. I would say “physics” has a better credit report score, in some sense :slight_smile:

  2. some of the physics students that I studied together with, they explicitly told me that certain theories (like big bang) are “hypothesis”, they are very prudent when they talk about these things. They also kind of publish their (hidden) assumptions. That’s one thing I admire of the physicists.

while I am wondering whether evolutionists can also come up with the list of assumptions that they are making while drawing the conclusions.

thanks,

Jin


(Jin Zhang) #12

hi, George,

Thanks for the reply.

  1. the evidences 1), 3) and 4) are contradicting each other, right? is that what you are trying to convey?

  2. I am also puzzled how were the evidences (actually, they should be called conclusions, not evidences) drawn? if three of those conclusions are contradicting with each other, there is probably something wrong with the basic methodology how people are studying in this field, right? And if the basic methodology is questionable, I am thinking many of the conclusions are not so trustworthy at all.

thanks,

Jin


#13

Are you going to put some effort into this endeavor?


(Curtis Henderson) #14

This is an excellent question - and will likely determine the kind of responses you will receive. Are you genuinely interested in learning, or is the matter already settled in your mind?

It is noteworthy that you ask if there really is evidence rather than asking what the evidence is. Yes, there really is evidence, but how willing are you to have the evidence explained? And how willing are you to do some reading in order to understand the evidence?


(Phil) #16

In my opinion, the real evidence is that of the age of the earth. Once you realize the earth is ancient, then everything else falls into place. Now, God could have sequentially created the millions of different species individually as ordered in the geologic record if he so wished, as some old earth creationists may suggest, but the I do not think that is well supported Biblically.


#17

@jinz0420

Exactly. The age of the earth is based on simple physics with no need to get into the biological evidence. To me at least the physics is much easier to understand than the biology.


(George Brooks) #18

@Bill_II, you are my personal hero !!!

Think how much time has been “sunk” into discussions with YEC who want to argue about protein folds, or on “O.rigin O.f L.ife” disputes!


(George Brooks) #19

@jinz0420,

If @cwhenderson doesn’t mind me jumping in on your points:

Point 1) “. . .the field of physics and the field of evolution are not all that comparable in some ways…”

Jin, the Evolutionary science is special only to the extent that it uses multiple science disciplines to arrive at corroborated conclusions. If Physics, Biology, Cosmology, Chemistry, Archaeology and even Taxidermi - - all point to the same conclusions, this is not a frivolous finding. Evolution rests on the shoulders of older disciplines. That is its strength, not its weakness.

Point 2) the meaning of the term “hypothesis” and the relevance of the Big Bang.

Jin, I don’t mean to be sarcastic, but when you mentioned that physics students called “certain theories” as hypotheses, it reminded me of the old story about a doctor “hazing” a brand new nurse’s assistant by asking her to go to the supply closet and bring back a box of Fallopian Tubes !

Jin, it would be far truer to say that virtually all theories are hypotheses !

But unlike the “Big Bang”, Evolution is much easier to test than to study multiple Big Bangs!
< Right ?!?!

As each hypothesis in Evolution becomes confirmed or rejected, evolutionary science takes the confirmed hypotheses and builds increasingly more specific hypothesse for the next round of testing.

As for the “Big Bang” . . . you are not familiar with the history of this theory? Before the Big Bang was proposed, Cosmologists were tempted to write things like:

“The Universe has always existed”
“The Universe will always exist”
"There was no beginning of the Universe"
etc. etc.

"Georges Henri Joseph Édouard Lemaître Associate . . . [born 17 July 1894 – died 20 June 1966)] was a Belgian Catholic Priest, astronomer and professor of physics at the Catholic University of Leuven. "

“[Lemaître] . . . proposed what became known as the Big Bang theory of the origin of the universe, which he called his “hypothesis of the primeval atom” or the “Cosmic Egg”.”

His proposal was his attempt to bring the divine and miraculous to Physics. - - and, not to forget, because it was Good Science!


(George Brooks) #20

[quote=“gbrooks9, post:8, topic:36906”]

@jinz0420:

You assert that points (1), (3), and (4) contradict each other. Below are those points:

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
1] Evidence that dinosaurs did not die less than 10,000 years ago;

3] Mammoths, which for the most part went extinct more than 10,000 years ago, have been found with meat still on their bones; the mammoths with meat had not yet been fossilized.

4] And yet, thousands of dinosaur fossils, without meat, have been found, making for a clear deduction that dinosaurs died off long before mammoths did, and so much longer before Mammoths that we can only find remnants of connective tissue that have been preserved by the Heme molecules in the animal’s blood stream.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

No, that is my assertion - points (1) and (3) does not contradict (4) !
“If three of those conclusions are contradicting with each other, there is probably something wrong with the basic methodology how people are studying in this field, right?”

No, that is not right. [1] and [3] does not contradict [4]. Mammoths are giant mammals… that evolutionary science says could not have existed at the same time as the dinosaurs. It was the dinosaur hegemony over the world’s ecosystems that made it virtually impossible for mammals to become very large. Once they reached a certain size, instead of being ignored by hungry meat-eating carnivores, they would become actively hunted!

Some of suggested that the Dino-killing asteroid 65 million years ago was part of God’s plan to make it possible (eventually) for the rise of humans within the Primate family. I find this perfectly plausible.


(George Brooks) #21

You have to start from the very beginning, @jinz0420. And the very beginning is why Geologists say the Earth could not be under 10,000 years old. Using the work of Geologists (and others) as a foundation, scientists have pulled ice cores out of the arctic regions that, when compared against more established ice strata, are able to distinguish between “seasonal melts” vs. “layerings” caused by seasons of snow fall.

From these ice cores alone (but confirmed by pollen counts, trace elements and more), they have put together 100,000 of uniterupted Earth history. No global flood. And no evidence of a global flood in Egyptian culture either - - the Flood, no matter which chronological premises you start with - - comes after the 1st Dynasty of Egypt (and probably somewhere around the 5th dynasty). No matter how you slice it, we would have seen the results if all the Egyptians had been wiped out. In fact, if there was a flood that coincides with the biblical record, ithere is a limit to how big it could have been - - since not a single scribe or priest of Egypt makes any mention of such a thing happening “in the East”!