Reply to "introduction of evolution..."


(Jeffery) #1

Continuing the discussion from When should you introduce your child to evolution?:

The Bible says “a day is as a thousand years and a thousand years is as a day”, so who knows what a “day” refers to as written in the account of creation.

"Worms are examples of both members of a mating pair are DOUBLE-gendere"
And worms are STILL worms. I used to think there was no God that was relevant, but the more I learn the more I realize it takes more faith to believe that all life evolved from the proverbial “primordial soup” However there lies a fine line between this and how I see creation/evolution, after all, the Bible does say that God created us from the Earth, so yeah, some might see it as mere semantics but it goes way beyond that. Where the lines do cross is that I believe that God created individual species from the same “soup”. I don’t believe that all the species evolved along side each other from the same “parent specie”

Is it TOO amazing? I think yes, if mankind once was asexual and over time evolved into two separate sexes, why are there no human species that are still asexual? Certainly not every example will have evolved identically, that would go against everything macro evolution is based on, yes/no? If it was simply a case of cells dividing into new species, there would no doubt be several humanoid species, not just one. In fact, there should be hundreds of variations of “humans” roaming the Earth today. It is not too much of a stretch to suggest that there should be “every” possible variation over billions of years


(George Brooks) #2

Sounds like you want to play both sides of the argument…

"Dont really know what a Biblical “day” means " <<<< WELL YEAH!!! Tell that to the Evangelicals!

AND

“Evolution is too amazing to be real…” <<<<< But the BioLogos position is that if you believe a step in Evolution is TOO AMAZING … there is GOD.

Are you sure you are on the right forum?

George


(Andrew M. Wolfe) #3

I missed the background context for this conversation, so this may not answer your question, but let me give this particular question a shot.

According to the scientific consensus, the existence of two separate sexes did not come about independently in homo sapiens. Rather, sexual reproduction actually evolved once in the history of life, waaaay back at one of the common ancestors of plants, animals, and fungi (and others). In other words, the fact that an apple tree has sexual reproduction and humans do, too, is because we share a tiny little common ancestor that also reproduced sexually.

For more, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_of_sexual_reproduction.


(Matthew) #4

On a side issue to this thread, in answer to Jeffery’s comment, the word ‘day’ in the creation account of each creation-day, will always refer to a single earth rotation day when combined with a numeric and ‘evening and morning’. The reference to the thousand years refers to God’s patience, not that the ‘day’ in Genesis refers to a thousand years.

Just a side!

Matt


#5

I don’t understand this observation. Why would saying that God doesn’t experience time like we do—no doubt, because time is something God created when he create a matter/energy universe—mean that the Hebrew word YOM in Genesis 1 can’t be understood?

Why is that a problem? Why shouldn’t worms still be worms?

Why do you think it takes faith? There are enormous quantities of *evidence" for the evolution of life on earth. (We can observe it all around us as well as see the evidence of evolution in the past.) If the Theory of Evolution were based upon “faith”, it wouldn’t be science. The fact that theists, atheists, agnostics, and everybody else in the science academy can look at the mountains of evidence and recognize the merits of the Theory of Evolution tells us that it has nothing to do with religious faith or any other kind of faith.

But what always surprises me most with this topic is that so many people react negatively to “primordial soup”. The Bible says that humans and other animals are built from “the dust of the ground”, which science certainly affirms. (“The dust of the ground” sounds to me like a perfectly reasonable way to refer to the chemical elements of the earth’s crust. When we eat food, we are eating nutrients which ultimately are derived from soil.) And surely everyone agrees that water is essential to life, so what do you get when you mix “the dust of the ground” with water? The phrase “primordial soup” sounds as good of a summary as any. Primordial soup certainly in no way conflicts with what I find in the Bible.

I too believe God created “individual species from the same soup also.” The Bible God gave us doesn’t tell us any details about that but the creation God gave us certainly does: and it tells me that God created “individual species” by means of amazingly powerful evolutionary processes. (I praise God every time I learn more about ways in which evolution operates.)

If what I just wrote is false, I’m left with a HUGE problem: Why would God give us a creation filled with deception? Why would God create a biosphere packed full of a history of life on earth which never happened? I refuse to believe that God is a trickster deceiver deity who lies to us and then tests us on our ability to see past his lies. No, that is one of the reasons why I now consider my anti-evolution (and young earth) views and preaching of years ago both embarrassing and borderline blasphemous. At the time I didn’t allow myself to consider just how dishonoring my views were towards the doctrine of God’s holiness. (I have no ill will towards those believed my sermons then and continue to hold those beliefs. My point is that as a teacher/preacher, both an academic and a church elder, I was and am accountable to a higher standard. I should have been far more careful, especially in going “beyond that which is written” as I did in those days.)

I’m not exactly sure what “too amazing” would mean—but, personally, I consider the God of the Bible a God of superlatives by definition. I see amazing things throughout creation. And even when I can understand the physical/chemical processes behind God’s designs in the universe, that doesn’t make them any less amazing to me. (In many ways, they actually make the works of God more amazing.)

Never in all my years of studying biology have I seen/heard anyone claim that mankind was once asexual!

In any case, why do you think that something which once was must persist in nature until today? I don’t understand your reasoning on this. Lots of things change over time. There were once Mammoths in my area thousands of years ago. The fact that there are no mammoths walking around the area today doesn’t somehow erase that real history.

I’ve never read/heard any evolutionary biologist say that “every example” of anything must “evolve identically”. You lost me on that. Could you explain further?

Perhaps more importantly, what are you assuming that “macro evolution” is based on? Perhaps this will help explain what is unclear here.

Why? Nothing about the processes described in the Theory of Evolution demand that there be “several humanoid species” today. I remain baffled by your statements here. What you are describing sounds nothing like the evolutionary processes I’ve studied.

There are BILLIONS of “variations of humans roaming the earth today”, so I certainly agree with you on that. Evolution couldn’t occur without variation and we see “variation” wherever we see living things. Changes in allele frequencies over time is exactly what evolution is—and if that variation ever stopped, evolution would cease to diversify and adapt life on earth.


#6

This myth has been made popular by a number of ministries but there is no rule of grammar or lexicography somehow demanding this. Indeed, anyone with general training in linguistics (and lexicographic methods) recognizes a number of logic errors in this claim even if they have no training in Semitic languages.

Some people assume that if every instance of some linguistic phenomenon throughout the Bible has a particular meaning, then that is some sort of rule of the language. No. It may simply be a characteristic of a given text or collection of texts.

99.9% of the Bible deals with the daily lives of the human experience. So we would expect most uses of the Hebrew word YOM, for example, to refer to 24-hour days. But that contextually-based fact does not thereby impose a rule which restricts the word YOM accordingly. The same could be said for evening/morning. For example, some of my colleagues insist that “the evening and the morning was…” in Genesis 1 was an idiom meaning “from start to finish.”

I wish I had on hand a paragraph one of my linguistics professors composed to illustrates how he could use words like “dawn”, “sunset”, “day”, “age”, “evening”, “morning”, and related words to describe the ways in which the space program of the 1960’s represented the end of one technological era and the beginning of another—and be entirely understood by native speakers of English even though not one of those nouns was used in what some would call a “literal way”. (I always wince a bit at the use of the word “literal” because it is so commonly used incorrectly and/or ambiguously that the word has become largely unhelpful for such discussions. One need only ask the average person for their definition of “literal” to see why it can lead to confusion and misunderstanding.)

By the way, I’m NOT taking a particular position here on the meaning of “the evening and the morning was the Nth YOM” in Genesis 1. I’m simply saying that “the word ‘day’ in the creation account of each creation-day, will always refer to a single earth rotation day when combined with a numeric and ‘evening and morning’” is not something I can presume to say as a linguist or Hebrew lexicographer. There is no such “rule” in Hebrew, neither classical nor modern.

P.S. I just now recalled a presentation which Carl Sagan once did on my campus which expanded upon a famous segment of his Cosmos TV series. The “Cosmic Calendar” used a single year as an analogy to illustrate and describe the history of the universe with quantities that can be grasped by the average non-scientist. It placed the Big Bang at the beginning of January 1 and made the present moment midnight of December 31. In that schema, the sun formed on September 2. Photosynthesis began on September 30. The first dinosaurs appeared on Christmas Day. The first mammals appeared the following day! Flowers first blossomed two days later on December 28. Primates appeared on December 30, and Sagan used to say, “Hominids didn’t appear until the afternoon of the next day, after non-avian dinosaurs had died out around sunrise that morning. It was hours after sundown, very late in the evening, when primitive humans first appeared, probably around 10:24pm on December 31—just 90+ minutes ago!” Did any of us from the Linguistics Dept stand up and object to his “misuse” of common English words? No. Everybody understood exactly what he was saying.


(Henry Stoddard) #7

I agree about what you are saying about the word Yom.


#8

Something I find fascinating about the claims of many “literalists” that “the evening and the morning phrase in Genesis 1 obviously must refer to a 24 hour day” is that it ignores the obvious fact that a “literal” evening-and-morning, at best, spans only a portion of a 24-hour day, the period from close to sundown through the forenoon at the very most! The ancient Hebrew defined a typical YOM/day as the period from one sunset to the next. Yet, the phrase many assume telltale and “obviously a 24 hour day” indicator only refers to evening and morning! What about the nighttime? What about the daytime?

This is an excellent example of how a hermeneutical tradition can become so entrenched that many people start assuming that something is “obvious” and unambiguous when it is obviously not and even remains contradictory to the claim!


(Jeffery) #9

“Never in all my years of studying biology have I seen/heard anyone claim that mankind was once asexual!”

It was in response to gbrooks9 statement “There seems to be plenty of information and evidence on the development of TWO-GENDER reproduction. Worms are examples of both members of a mating pair are DOUBLE-gendered” that suggests male and female humans came from a former two-gender (human) being.

The main reason I can’t believe that humans evolved from the same “soup” as every other life form is that I see the evolution of both male and female reproductive systems as a bit too fantastic. For such an evolution to happen both the male and female reproductive systems would have had to evolve entirely independent, but yet perfectly matched to each other. The explanation that the human(oid) somehow had reproduced while this “male” and “female” reproductive system “evolved” could only be explained by the species first being asexual (if that makes sense).

“I’ve never read/heard any evolutionary biologist say that “every example” of anything must “evolve identically”. You lost me on that. Could you explain further?”

What I was referring to is for male and female of a species to “evolve” (as opposed to being created) both the male and female would have had to evolved independently but yet perfectly complimentary to each other. I find the odds of that happening for one, much less millions of species a bit too great. Certainly not impossible given God’s role in the matter, I just find it far easier to believe that God created separate species, male and female, the odds are so much in favor of the latter.

The mention of “worms still being worms” was simply to worms did not evolve to a higher state of being, they are still worms. Much like the proverbial "why are there still monkey’s if we evolved from monkey’s

“what are you assuming that “macro evolution” is based on?”

Random selection as opposed to specific species being created as a specific species

“Why would God create a biosphere packed full of a history of life on earth which never happened?”

God didn’t


(Jeffery) #10

“Evolution is too amazing to be real…”

If you believe that all species, both male and female of each species evolved purely from a process of random selection, then for sure there must be a God because that would be an astounding miracle. You would also have to accept that that God gave no consideration whatsoever as to what the end result of his “creation” would be. Personally I like to think that God had something more specific in mind for his creation

If creation was just a mere crap-shoot I fail to understand what the motivation for creation was in the first place. If we are just a fluke in God’s mindless creation, where do we draw the line as to what is good and what is evil? How could evil exist if God simply turned mad scientist and let the cards fall where they may? If such was the case, wouldn’t whatever path creation took be acceptable and good?


(George Brooks) #11

JBWright … I think you have things confused.

This quote of yours (above) is from one of your EARLIER posts … not from something I wrote.

"The Bible says “a day is as a thousand years and a thousand years is as a day”, so who knows what a “day” refers to as written in the account of creation.

“Worms are examples of both members of a mating pair are DOUBLE-gendere” And worms are STILL worms. I used to think there was no God that was relevant, but the more I learn the more I realize it takes more faith to believe that all life evolved from the proverbial “primordial soup”

The reference to 2 gendered worms is an example of how simpler creatures had various gender strategies for reproduction !.. not humans!

I did write this: “Worms are examples of both members of a mating pair are DOUBLE-gender” But nothing like this was applied to humans or any mammals…

By the time life forms had arrived as mammals… mammals were clearly single-gendered…

The whole concept of 2-gendered reproduction is to help promote genetic diversity in each generation … those life forms that didn’t have enough diversity created in each generation were vulnerable to extinction events if ecological factors changed more quickly than the gene pool could.

George


(Benjamin Kirk) #12

Hello Jeffery,

Can you kindly explain what you mean here? I ask because “random selection” is an oxymoron in the context of evolution.

If you think that male and female evolved anew with each species, I’d say that a basic understanding of both biology and evolution is lacking.


(Jeffery) #13

What I mean is this, for a reproductive system that requires both a male and a female, what was the means of reproduction whilst the two seperate male and female reproductive systems "evolved? How did the male and female reproductive systems of the same specie’s evolve idealy suited to each other, one not knowing of the other? They are clearly two entirely different systems but yet complement each other perfecly.

As to whether or not said systems evolved and then “moved” into various species or each species evolved its system independently is irrelevant, at least until the seperate but idealy suited male and female systems are explained. For the male reproductive system to evolve perfectly suited to the female reproduction system, the one would have to have “knowlege” of how the other system works/will work once evolved.


(Jeffery) #14

“By the time life forms had arrived as mammals… mammals were clearly single-gendered…”

Well that just completely avoids the entire question I posed in the first place. How did the male and female reproductive systems evolve as two distinct systems but yet perfectly suited to each other?

You are at best making the assumption that somehow two gendered reproduction came along to “help promote genetic diversity in each generation”. And again, completely avoid the question of “HOW” two independent systems evolved, one perfectly suited to the other. The allegation that two gendered reproduction came along to “help promote diversity in generations” is nothing more than what you were told and you didn’t bother to think beyond that

If diversity were a “goal” of evolution, evolution could have created said diversity far more simplistic in the “old” asexual system. You fail to explain any reason for or the HOW or WHY of the two gender reproduction. If you disagree with my use of the word “goal” in the process of evolution, then you contradict yourself in suggesting two gender reproduction began as a way to “promote diversity”.

What I quted before was not something I said however it could have been what someone else said. I am new to this site and it functions differently than any other site I have been part of. Sorry about any confusion


(George Brooks) #15

The emergence of TWO genders, and other accidents of “diversity”, happened around the time of worms…

You do know that some species of worms have BOTH genders, right? And for them, mating is a MUTUAL exchange of gametes.

All it would take is for a variety to emerge where, due to a less than perfect division of chromosomes, one kind of worm suppressed one of the genders, and became especially effective in a given gender.

George


(Christy Hemphill) #16

You might want to check out this post about misconceptions about evolution.

It is fine to come discuss your reasons for rejecting evolutionary theory and ask how any Christian could possibly accept it, but it might be a good idea to get a clearer idea of what you are rejecting first. You probably are not going to get the most accurate picture of what the theory of evolution actually claims if you only get your information from people/organizations whose main reason for existing is to mock it. Just like you won’t get a very fair picture of God or the Bible if all you read is Richard Dawkins.


(GJDS) #17

The link you provided states: “Evolution begins with careful observations (e.g., I found this bone in this layer of rock); then hypotheses are offered for why those specific observations were made (e.g., the bone belonged to a species that lived 65 million years ago); as the hypotheses are developed, they give rise to predictions of other observations…”

This is the type of reasoning that leaves scientists such as myself, unsatisfied and becoming suspicious of claims made for evolution. Just to illustrate, if anyone finds a bone anywhere, we would not need a hypothesis - it is a plain observation based on the knowledge that bones are derived from a broad class of animals. Dating the rocks and what have you does not identify any species, but be that as it may, developing a hypothesis based on scientific work requires more than simple observations and descriptive/narrative outcomes. What can be verified from such observations - nothing unless we degenerate to “travel in time” arguments to make clear observations (first hand) and classifications based on a well developed data base that may take years based on species the observer can identify and study first hand.

I am not advocating a lengthy exchange with anyone regarding evolution in whatever form people promulgate - I am making a straightforward statement showing where discussions on evolution suffer from outlooks that within a highly developed scientific context, appear banal.


(Jeffery) #18

That is not ALL it would take. Asexual reproduction generates offspring that are genetically identical to a single parent. This already makes a non-identical offspring, such as an asexual species that suppresses one gender to specialize in another suspect. An offspring that has one gender suppressed would not be identical, or are we to make the assumption that the author didn’t quite understand “identical”. Though it could be, this wouldn’t be my argument.

My argument is that the species would, over millions of years have two new groups of individuals, a male and female, this according to your statement. Now over the course of millions years, members of these two new groups/genders would have to evolve the absent male and female sexual organs, male and female respectively. Then all the while this evolution is taking place, the now seperate(ing) male and female of the species, must somehow continue to reproduce.

If a member of the species produced an offspring that had a suppressed gender, it would just die off as it would not be able to reproduce, their would be no mate. There would also be no sexual organs to reproduce sexually even if it did have a mate. Am I to believe that over the course of time, these gender suppressed offspring somehow developed the neccesary sexual organs even though each specific example could only have had a very short life, one that likely did not have any connection to any simularly evolving gender?

How is it that the evolving male of the species and the separately evolving female or the species happend to evolve sexual reproductive organs that were perfectly suited to each other? Niether of which had any knowlege of how the other was developing?

It is not enough that one kind of worm suppressed one of the genders, and became especially effective in a given gender, each gender still had no way of interacting with the other. This also demands that each developing gender continued to reproduce asexually whilst forming the required organs to reproduce sexually, this makes no sense since there would be no motivation to develop a second reproduction system.


(Christy Hemphill) #19

Sexual reproduction is hypothesized to start in a single-celled eukaryote that was a common ancestor for plants, fungi, and animals. Do you think each individual species had to evolve sexual reproduction separately? That is not what it proposed. In a single celled organism, it wasn’t a matter of developing complicated compatible reproductive organs separately.

Here is a thread where the question is addressed by a scientist, with links to an explanation:


(George Brooks) #20

JB, I don’t see the point of investing increasingly large chunks of my time on someone who knows less about evolution than I do …when, there is virtually nothing that you can be told that you will believe.

Below is an image of 2 worms INTERACTING with each other … mutually… both male and female modes fully operational.

All that has to happen is for one of the genders to be genetically suppressed… and you instantly have a single gendered variant.

George