Reconciling RTB and BioLogos Biblical Creation Models

The evidence down here shows that all species share a universal common ancestor. Can this evidence influence how we interpret the text? This relates to what I said earlier:

“Why wouldn’t the truths we learn about the universe through science influence those same models? The scientific discoveries made by Galileo influenced the models that Christians held for the movement of the Earth, Sun, and other planets, so why couldn’t the same thing happen in biology and geology?”

If the evidence conflicts with the interpretation of the text, shouldn’t the interpretation of the text be questioned? This is what happened when evidence came forward for Heliocentrism, so why shouldn’t it also apply to findings in biology and geology?

Mutations add information to genomes all of the time, and those happen through natural processes. Mutations are the steps in evolution, and with a lot of little steps you can travel far distances, just as putting one foot in front of the other will move you one yard and repeating the process can move you miles at a time. The genetic differences that separate the human and chimp genomes are the result of mutations accumulating over time.[quote=“Mark_Moore, post:17, topic:37468”]
Actually we have been more than looking. We have been actively “forcing” evolution via animal domestication. And what we have learned is that domestic breeding had limits. We can only take things so far from the archtype before problems arise and limits assert themselves.
[/quote]

There are limits to how much change can happen over a short amount of time. However, those limits increase as you have more and more generations that have more and more mutations. You might as well say that you can’t walk 10 miles because you can only travel a few feet in one second.[quote=“Mark_Moore, post:17, topic:37468”]
That may be you, but the text says what the text says.
[/quote]

Then you should believe that the Sun orbits the Earth.

“I say that if there were a true demonstration that the sun is at the center of the world and the earth in the third heaven, and that the sun does not circle the earth but the earth circles the sun, then one would have to proceed with great care in explaining the Scriptures that appear contrary, and say rather that we do not understand them than what is demonstrated is false. But I will not believe that there is such a demonstration, until it is shown to me . . . . and in case of doubt one must not abandon the Holy Scripture as interpreted by the Holy Fathers. I add that the one who wrote, “The sun also riseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose,” was Solomon, who not only spoke inspired by God, but was a man above all others wise and learned in the human sciences and in the knowledge of created things; he received all this wisdom from God; therefore it is not likely that he was affirming something that was contrary to truth already demonstrated or capable of being demonstrated.”–Cardinal Bellarmine, 1615

The accumulation of little jumps is all you need to produce new families and orders.

2 Likes

Of course it does, especially since evolutionary theory has never claimed the existence of a “great leap.” The notion that there are existential distinctions between “little jumps” and “great leaps,” when the “great leaps” have always been asserted to occur via “little jumps,” is incoherent.

In other words, to say that we have seen no “great leaps” in a few thousand years is the logical equivalent of saying that we have seen no new mountain ranges formed in the same time. It’s true, but it says nothing at all about the theories that explain taxa and mountain ranges.

3 Likes

Mutations can add information to a degree, yet there are only so many mutations any living thing can take and still produce viable offspring. They bombarded fruit flies with radiation for thousands of generations and got the same batches of mutations over and over. All the evidence we have suggests that mutation as a method of evolution has its limits, and the mechanisms we know of are far far short of being able to produce all the various times of animals present in the earth’s history. And I am Old Earth- I grant you all 543 million years since the Cambrian Explosion, and of course a few little experiments before that.

Your claim that enough short hops can result in one great leap (or better every great leap we see in animal life) is simply an assertion. It has not been demonstrated via science. This not like uniformitarianism in mountain building, where the same force acts for millions of years in the same manner. The genetic code is orders of magnitude more complex and each change has to confer some advantage and in some cases many of the changes have to happen at the same time.

Your quote from the bishop is off point as well, since I am not defending his model, but mine. Save that one for when you are discussing things with a flat-earther. Its not my view of the text. I might as well throw up a quote from some racist who uses evolution as justification for their beliefs and lump you in with them- both that and what you are doing would be distractions and less than fair ones.

I once did the math, using estimates from an evolutionist has to how many groups of animals different enough to be considered their own families have existed in the earth’s history. I divided that number by the time since the Cambrian Explosion and we discovered that to continue to produce families at the implied rate would mean that evolution would have to produce differences great enough to evolve an new family once every 1,500 years or so- and I used numbers favorable to him. It would have been more often had I not. We don’t see that. We see waves around a mean. He did not like math in that case.

In this article ( https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090211161840.htm they report the results of measurements of the genomes of macaques, orangutans, chimps, and humans. The scientists assumed they all evolved from a common ancestor 25 million years ago, with chimps and humans sharing the most recent common ancestor 6 million years ago. They wanted to see where along the evolutionary line the genetic changes occurred. Were they spread evenly over time or did they cluster at some point?

I will let them tell you what they found:

Eichler’s research team found an especially high rate of duplications in the ancestral species leading to chimps and humans, even though other mutational processes, such as changes in single DNA letters, were slowing down during this period. “There’s a big burst of activity that happens where genomes are suddenly rearranged and changed,” he says. Surprisingly, the rate of duplications slowed down again after the lineages leading to humans and to chimpanzees diverged.

Please allow me to translate into plain English. The genes show the most “changes” in humans. The “changes” were not evenly spread out over time, they accelerate towards the human end. Yet once chimps and humans diverged, these reorganizations quit happening at the rate necessary to explain the vast differences in chimp and human genomes within the time they think it happened.

Now they don’t dare consider what this evidence points to, but since I don’t have grant money to lose I will spell it out. The evidence they discovered fits perfectly with creationist theories that humans are the result of Intelligent Design. There was not a “burst” of genomic reorganization that later “surprisingly” slowed, at least not by naturalistic evolutionary means. What they have done is find the fingerprints of the Designer in His handiwork, but they are locked into a dogma that will not let them consider it as such.

Instead they have to say EVOLUTION clustered all the changes on the human end of these genomic changes. They have to say that EVOLUTION somehow produced a “big burst” of activity that for some reason slowed. Notice we have never observed “evolution” producing changes of this magnitude, just as Creationists have never observed God creating a new type. The mind-set is that same, but only one side seems to get a pass. Creationists say “God did it” and they laugh that off as a non-answer. But they do the same thing by ascribing god-like powers to a process that has never been observed to have them.

They should admit that the actual results they found are not what they would EXPECT to find if the evolutionary hypothesis is true. They should EXPECT that the changes should be more or less evenly spread out over time, and the rate of change should be consistent with the rate of change we can observe now, somewhere anyway. They should not have to refer to some mysterious “burst” of genomic reorganization that they can neither observe in the field or make work in the lab. That is to say, make work in the lab apart from performing an act of intelligent design.

You see, there are some examples of genes being rapidly reorganized in higher animals, such as mice that glow green from genes normally found in jellyfish or goats that give milk rich in medicine. But these examples of a “burst” of genetic reorganization are invariably the result of intelligent designers performing genetic experiments and creating new types of organisms not found in nature. So whenever we see rapid genomic reorganizations in the present, it is due invariably to intelligent design. Why don’t we at least consider the idea that rapid reorganizations of genomes in the past are on account of the same force?

Mice and humans differ by hundreds of millions of mutations, yet both are still doing just fine.[quote=“Mark_Moore, post:24, topic:37468”]
They bombarded fruit flies with radiation for thousands of generations and got the same batches of mutations over and over.
[/quote]

Reference?

What limits? Can you show me a DNA sequence difference between the chimp and humans genomes that mutations could not have produced? What about the human and mouse genomes?[quote=“Mark_Moore, post:24, topic:37468”]
Your claim that enough short hops can result in one great leap (or better every great leap we see in animal life) is simply an assertion. It has not been demonstrated via science.
[/quote]

It is demonstrated every time we compare two genomes. The differences between those genomes are the accumulation of mutations.[quote=“Mark_Moore, post:24, topic:37468”]
Your quote from the bishop is off point as well, since I am not defending his model, but mine.
[/quote]

They are the same model where your limited and literal interpretation of scripture trumps what we see in the world around us.

This claim is not only unproven, a detailed look at the evidence makes it unlikely as well as unproven. Here is one article noting the many problems… http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2009/08/more-chimp-human-genome-problems.html

The differences in our CODING DNA are very small, and why should a protein which digests a certain plant fiber be any different in a chimp than us, they perform the same function? But the regulatory regions are very different. So different that six million years is not enough time to have realistically produced these differences. I wish I could find the link, but every chimp has something like 300 genes that no human has, and every human has about the same number that no chip has. That is in addition to the differences in our genes that we share! Even if each of these changes provided a benefit, it is not credible that they spread through EVERY member of our species in that space of time AND 300 genes that chimps found useful enough to keep were eliminated from our genome as if they were a huge detriment in that amount of time (or I suppose added to theirs because after millions of year of getting by without them they suddenly become useful after the split from humans).

How does a change in the rate of duplications point to a supernatural deity making changes in genomes? Why can’t this be a natural process?

From the article:

“Surprisingly, the rate of duplications slowed down again after the lineages leading to humans and to chimpanzees diverged. “You might like to think that humans are special because we have more duplications than did earlier species,” he says, “but that’s not the case.””[quote=“Mark_Moore, post:26, topic:37468”]
They should admit that the actual results they found are not what they would EXPECT to find if the evolutionary hypothesis is true.
[/quote]

We would expect to find an increase in recombination rates after duplication of homologous sequences. This is because naturally occurring recombination is increased in areas with complementary sequence simply because complementary sequences stick to one another. There is absolutely no reason why recombination rates should be the same across a genome or through time simply because the production of duplicated DNA is not going to be steady through time. You are simply making this up.

That’s not even close to the same. In mice, we see a gene from a very distantly related species suddenly appearing in the mouse genome. This isn’t what is happening in ape genomes. In ape genomes there was in increase in the rate of recombination where DNA already present in the genome copied itself and shuffled pieces of the copies between different copies. We don’t see genes from distantly related species suddenly showing up in ape genomes.

It was proven (beyond a reasonable doubt) in an article published on this very site:

The differences between the human and chimp genomes exactly mirror the biases that naturally occurring mutations have.[quote=“Mark_Moore, post:28, topic:37468”]
The differences in our CODING DNA are very small, and why should a protein which digests a certain plant fiber be any different in a chimp than us, they perform the same function? But the regulatory regions are very different. So different that six million years is not enough time to have realistically produced these differences.
[/quote]

Why hasn’t there been enough time?[quote=“Mark_Moore, post:28, topic:37468”]
I wish I could find the link, but every chimp has something like 300 genes that no human has, and every human has about the same number that no chip has. That is in addition to the differences in our genes that we share! Even if each of these changes provided a benefit, it is not credible that they spread through EVERY member of our species in that space of time AND 300 genes that chimps found useful enough to keep were eliminated from our genome as if they were a huge detriment in that amount of time (or I suppose added to theirs because after millions of year of getting by without them they suddenly become useful after the split from humans).
[/quote]

Do you have some science to back up these assertions?

Good discussion, and I think the above is consistent with current evolutionary theory. It is a misconception that evolution progesses on a continuous steady basis, and this misconception is common in the lay literature. We see science fiction representations of the big brained future humans, but it just doesn’t work that way, especially now that we essentially have one worldwide population group . You have to have environmental pressure forcing change to get new species, and relative isolation of a population under that pressure. As those populations tend to be small, it is difficult to find in the fossil record, but a remarkable number of supporting fossils are there. Most of all, it takes time, so it would be very unlikely to see a new species in the time we have been keeping records.
If you look at the plant world, one rather interesting case, however, is that of corn or maize. genetics has shown that all corn varieties come from a small area in Mexico, derived from wild teosinte. Human domestication pushed the evolution of course, but was it was not purposely genetically engineered in the sense we think of that.
Time to get back to work. We had a big Christmas dinner here at work, and had all KINDS of goodies. Will need to hit the diet again in a few days.

But we know that. Just who is suggesting that new families and orders have evolved in human history? We have been here for only a relatively short period of time (geologically speaking).

I do. First paragraph from “Discussion” section http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0000085

" Our results indicate that the human genome contains 1,418 genes—6.4% of all genes—that do not have orthologs in the chimpanzee genome (689 gains in humans+729 losses in chimpanzee/22,000 total genes)"

Of course they chalk it all up to “evolution”, and note similar gaps in other families, but just take the case of humans and chimps and think about what this means.
689 new genes not found in any chimp would have to appear in one of our ancestors would have to be so advantageous that it spread to EVERY member of our new species. This would have to happen 689 times. While this was going on some 720 genes useful to our common ancestors enough to hang around in both of us would have to be lost in EVERY member of the chimpanzee species.

Beaglelady I am saying that if you take realistic estimates of the number of “families” that are thought to have existed since the Cambrian Explosion and divide by the years since that time then you get a number which suggests that in the past new families were coming along so fast that on average we SHOULD see changes enough to consider something a new family several times over just since written human history began.

So let’s see your calculations and we’ll let scientists here take a look, ok?

1 Like

Yes and since human domestication of animals those pressures have been applied with a specificity and a degree unequaled by nature. And yet no new families have arisen even though reasonable estimates of the number of animal families since the Cambrian Explosion / Years since that time would indicate that new families came along once every 1,500 year or so. Something is not adding up- the mechanism proposed for the changes does not work fast enough or big enough to produce the changes.

I agree with your statement that it happens in “bursts” but we should be in a burst. And we are, but those are small bursts which produces speciation at most. It is a wave function around a mean, not an unlimited ability to reshape a given type of life. Domestic breeders all agree you can only take a breed so far before it loses viability.

Regarding plants you will notice that on the third day God did NOT have to help the earth bring forth vegetation, nor did He ever command it to stop. IOW, neither I nor the text of Genesis has any problems with the theistic evolution of plants on earth.

I used the estimates of evolutionists last time but I will give it a go. There are almost 10 million species on earth right now. That is a bit over the known number but we are still adding to that number. On average I will say that each family contains ten species. Some contain many more of course, but others only have one. So that is one million families of animals alive today or extinct in historical times.

Next we must consider how many different families existed in the past. I am sure you are aware that the earth’s animals have been changed many times over. The ice age animals were not so different, but there was a group of animals after the dinosaurs and before the ice age animals that were quite different indeed. How long should we allow for until we say a new set of families has come and gone? For ease of calculation, let’s say 54.3 million years produced another million families that are now gone. Pretty conservative considering that is comparable to the number we have just in historical times.

So 543 million years since the Cambrian. The one million families per segment times ten segments = 10 million groups of creatures distinct enough to be considered their own “family” have existed since the Cambrian Explosion.

Has anything in my numbers seemed all that off base so far? Well there is but one more step then.

543 million years/10 million families = 54.3 years per family.

Why aren’t we seeing evolutionary change which is great enough to produce new families within human historical times?

That article is only measuring something that proves that many mutations have had time to occur since the first chimp and the first human- that is not the same thing as proving they evolved from a common ancestor. If a common Designer used a lot of the same code in both and mutations crept into the code over time you would get similar results. What I am looking at is the number of NEW genes in each group and LOST genes and deciding how plausible it is that known evolutionary mechanisms are the only explanation.

Where do you get your information?

The numbers I start with are common knowledge. Any google search would find similar numbers. But let the “scientists who frequent this site” find better ones if they can. Even if I am off by a factor of ten, or even a hundred- and I am not- then macroevolution seems to have a time and distance problem. If you saw an inchworm on my fence one morning and then saw it on the neighbor’s fence that afternoon, you would accept that it crawled there by natural means. But if you see the same worm in another city, it got some help somewhere.

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

This is a place for gracious dialogue about science and faith. Please read our FAQ/Guidelines before posting.