Jesus' genome

(Mitchell W McKain) #62

To paraphrase a favorite movie “Ink,” I think their life and choices mean something to them… Just because it seems a little simple minded compared to our own lofty thinking doesn’t change the importance they attach to their own choices. And many of our choices are not so deliberate or fully conscious, doesn’t mean they are not choices. I certainly do think that the baby chooses which of the overwhelming number of different stimuli to respond to. You may think it is all robotic, mechanical, and determined, but I do not.

I disagree. Like I said, I can show you the mathematics behind how this happens. The making of choices is fundamental to all living organisms. They are NOT machines. They do make choices and they learn by the results. Not all to the same measure but even in the virus, I believe it is there to the smallest degree – not neurological to be sure and not individual either but yes I think it is there.

(Stephen Matheson) #63

Can we take moment in the last minutes of 2018 to laugh at the fact that the apostate secular humanist is the only one defending the incarnation and the ascension?


Perhaps you should ask to be pointed to all her papers in peer-reviewed journals.

(Randy) #65

Thank you. I would still be interested in your citations but here is at least one paper supporting what you wrote. It is amazingly important to bond early on. Thank you and my apologies, @Shawn_Murphy ttps://

(Stephen Matheson) #66

I found a handful of old papers on PubMed. She might have done fine work but she seems not to be known for influential findings in cognitive science. There’s a lot of interesting stuff going on in that field, right now, and there are sure to be some interesting surprises and breakthroughs. Our mutual friend John Farrell had a nice interview with one of the best known current experts, Stan Dehaene.

(Roger A. Sawtelle) #67

You are right in saying that referring to the Bible as God’s Word is not per se a problem. Believing that the Bible is God’s Word is the problem.

It is a fact that too many Evangelicals believe that the Bible is God’s Word and those who know better need to let them know that this is a serious mistake, esp. since many think that it is the right thing to do.

(Randy) #68

I appreciate your point and admit frankly I do not know enough about this. Can you suggest a good primer? Thanks. It might even be worthy of a new thread.

(Stephen Matheson) #69

I was in a reading group 15 years ago on the topic, and cite one of the books in my piece linked earlier in the thread. I think the place to start is to look at how the creeds emphasize the incarnation and the ascension. Look at, and think about, how the Nicene Creed (the one I grew up reciting as a Catholic) asserts “begotten not made” and relentlessy insists on Jesus’ “one in being with the father.” Then think about how the creeds were to a large extent (or even completely in some cases) responses to errors (aka heresies) that were widespread and seen as threats. (Or maybe in some cases it’s more accurate to say that the creed asserted a newly emerging consensus on an orthodox position.)

Gnosticism, in general terms, is probably the biggest threat to Christian belief from within. (From outside, the biggest threat is the lack of credibility of Christians, and therefore of god’s claims about his influence on his people.) It is an ancient heresy, one of the first big crises of orthodoxy, and a rampant religious temptation in modern American Christians. You can hear it almost daily on this Forum, from believers and from some of those advancing heterodox claims. It’s basically the belief in secret knowledge, as opposed to public truth. One interesting thing about the ascension is not so much that it’s ridiculous to think that a person levitating into the stratosphere is “going to heaven” but instead the pains to which the NT writers went to establish the event as a public occurrence observed by many.

That was me rambling, sorry, and I apologize in advance for errors of emphasis re the history of creeds. Definitely worth learning about; for one thing, it puts American evanglicalism into sharp contrast with historical creedal Christianity, to the extent that some (including many Christian friends of mine) are willing to call evangelicalism false religion.

(Mervin Bitikofer) #70

You aren’t alone - you have some admirers in audience at any rate (or at least one I guess if I speak just for myself). Laughing the new year in with friends seems a great way to go. I think laughter is an under-rated activity that I wish the Bible would have more explicitly carved out a place for, because it is such a valuable part of the human experience. But I content myself to read it in - reading between the lines. “Sons of thunder” indeed! I’m betting Jesus & friends got invited to a lot more parties after news about the Cana incident spread around some. :wine_glass:

Happy New Year everybody!

(Cindy) #71

You are not alone. Taken literally, Christian teachings can seem bizarre. I think that these sort of conversations are beneficial as they help us examine what, exactly, we do believe. I also think that Jesus was a lot more fun than people think. :slight_smile:

(Randy) #72

Prov 17:22 “A joyful heart does good like medicine.” Good medical advice, sometimes!

(Mitchell W McKain) #73

No God does not have a genome. He does not have an ethnicity, eye color, sex or nationality. He chose to become a human being with those things. This is not the same thing. He is God become man not man become God. There is no genome or ethnicity in his origins. He has no limitations or particularity except what He chooses and that particular choice does not limit Him in any way. He can still become another human being with a different genome or ethnicity if he so desires.

(Stephen Matheson) #74

Thanks for sharing your assertions. They don’t seem to consider the ascension, or the fact that the bible refers to Jesus as the “lamb slain since the foundation of the world,” but it seems you are mostly interested in telling us what you think as though your opinions are obvious.

(Mark William Frazier) #75

This is an interesting conversation. Perhaps considering what a genome is would be a rewarding direction. A genome is the entire complement of DNA that an individual maintains in each of its cells (usually referring to nuclear chromosomal DNA, but mitochondria contain a chromosome as well). The term can also be used in a more abstract sense when used to describe the composite genetic information of a population (e.g. “the human genome”). DNA is a material remarkable in its properties that allow it to preserve and propagate biochemical information, most notably primary amino acid structure, and thus indirectly, phenotype. DNA has multiple functions providing information necessary for metabolism, adaptation, self-regulation (homeostasis), and reproduction.

One of the most amazing and intriguing aspects of DNA is the historical record that it contains. DNA sequence analysis is a primary tool in determining the history of humanity and life itself. We can now take our human fascination with geneologies and lineages much deeper than could have been imagined a couple of generations ago. The human Jesus, like all of us, carried the deep history of life within his genome. Like our genomes, his genome was shaped by retroviral insertions, gene inactiations, duplications, and rearragements. Jesus’s human genome and the structure of his cells would be related to all other eukaryotes all the way back to the Last Universal Common Anscestor (LUCA). The history of life goes back another two billion years before that, to the first simple replicating cells. These biochemical systems are dependent upon and emerge from the geochemistry of the planet in its early life (adamah).

Surely Jesus must carry this history of life, as he is the Lord of Life. As God incarnate he is human, and carries our shared history and origin.

(Christy Hemphill) #76

40 posts were split to a new topic: Human thought and language acquisition

(Mitchell W McKain) #84

No, I do not have any interest in a theology you have made up about Jesus ascending into heaven as if that were actually some place in the sky or whatever else you want to change this imagery into. Nor do I have any interest in a theology which annihilates life and consciousness by turning the whole world into a story which has already been written. I certainly don’t think any of this is anywhere close to obvious let alone worthy of an expectation that others should agree. Atheism is a perfectly rational alternative. What does interest me is that Christianity doesn’t have to be this magical deal where you have purchase salvation in exchange for rational thought and the objective evidence of science - because only a rational Christianity holds the slightest interest for me. I don’t think Christianity has to be fairy story, or fantasy story right out of a comic book. I think Christianity can be rational, meaningful and about the reality we experience everyday.

(Stephen Matheson) #86

Golly, I’m flattered that you think I made that up. But… news flash… the story was written in the first century AD, and its importance in “theology” established sometime around AD 325 when it was written into the Nicene Creed.

(Doug Webber) #87

Here are my thoughts on the issue, which I had summarized earlier in a blog in celebration of Christmas: Why Jesus was born of a Virgin, and the Origin of the Soul

(Mitchell W McKain) #88

I guess I didn’t express myself clearly enough. I wan’t talking about the story but about inserting this theology that somehow Jesus going to be with the father meant God has a genome. And the fact is, I see no reason to believe that the resurrected spiritual body Paul talks about in 1 Cor 15 is something with a genome, or even atoms or any of that physics stuff. The spiritual body (not a natural or physical body according to Paul) is clearly something that has nothing whasoever to do with the laws of nature and thus there is no need for DNA chemistry which is by nature fragile and perishable.

(Mitchell W McKain) #112

That would certainly be a reason for saying this isn’t a valid scientific hypothesis let alone a scientific theory. But the according to the more general definition of the word “theory,” your objection isn’t correct. But to be sure this is more in the realm of religious belief and I would tend to agree with you that this isn’t one that agrees very well with what can be tested. I certainly disagree with all such pre-existence ideas even when there is no claim of knowledge retention.

Sounds a lot like the Gnostics, who believed we are all trapped in the evil world of the Demiurge, and this is a large part of why I don’t like any of this “soul” stuff. I prefer Paul’s explanation of a spirit body in 1 Cor 15 which comes after the physical body.