The fossil record fits best with progressive creation

(Andrew M. Wolfe) #403

Interesting proposal. But then why would there be similar mutations in, say, rats and mice, with other rodents (say, capybaras) sharing more mutations with rats and mice than with humans? Your anthropocentric theory of mutations fails on this point, I think.

(Christy Hemphill) #404

This kind of contention is an example of the kind of YEC response that I personally find incredibly lacking in theological rigor. In your statement, “The Fall” is treated as some kind of proactive agent with creative power. “The Fall” is not an agent. It is an event. God is the Creator. How does the rebellious choice of a pair of humans have creative power to dramatically transform and essentially recreate genomes? Sin is not an independent entity with creative power. Corruption is a totally different concept than “production.” Your description treats the Fall as some kind of magic Disney-esque moment that unleashed swirling-darkness-curse-tentacles into the world with the power to make everything bad. How is that biblical?


To be fair, I think @Edgar was more likely referring to the curse of the Fall as widely understood among most evangelicals today. It’s the age-old assumption with which we’re all indoctrinated that God introduced natural woes into the world following the first sin, derived from a literal understanding of the thorns and thistles and multiplied pain in childbirth. I know you already know this, but I just want to be fair to him. He wouldn’t say that the Fall is an agent.


Thank you. The curse (resulting from the Fall) on all creation is mentioned not only in Genesis 3, but also in Romans 8:

“18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. 23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.”

(Christy Hemphill) #407

But this way of talking is a common way of avoiding attributing the actions they are describing to God.


Yes, this is the other main passage cited as evidence of the cosmic effects of the Fall on all of creation. The question is: what does it mean that the creation was subjected to futility and corruption? Was the world truly “perfect” (as we define it) prior to sin, without sickness, suffering, death and geologic catastrophes?

We need to start off by realizing that God can’t be threatened by anything we can discover about the world he has made. In nature we see evidence of millions of years of death in the fossil record. This is necessary in a world with limited resources and allows for new life. Plate tectonics that cause earthquakes also contribute to the magnetic field, protecting it from radiation that would be incompatible with life. Predation is crucial for biodiversity. Why should these features of God’s good creation be understood as consequences of the fall?

In Genesis 3, God said, “I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children." This assumes Adam and Eve already had a knowledge of pain.

Then in John’s gospel:

As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. John 9.1-3

This would have been the perfect opportunity for Jesus to give a lesson in original sin as the cause of the man’s blindness. Instead he says the reason is for God to demonstrate his power in the man’s healing. So these are a few clues in scripture that “natural evils” are not necessarily a consequence of human sin. In the future, I’ll be on the lookout for more evidence for (or against) this view in scripture. The evidence in nature certainly abounds.

(Randy) #409

Very good! Thank you.


So I already argued for what I don’t think happened as a result of the Fall but never answered this question. I tend to agree with this statement of Tim Keller of the Fall’s implications:

The result of the Fall, however, was ‘spiritual death’, something that no being in the world had
known, because no one had ever been in the image of God. Human beings became, at the same time,capable of far greater and far worse things than any other creatures. We now die eternally when we die physically. And since we are now alienated from God, the world is under the power of the forces of darkness in a way that would not have occurred without the fall. The physical world now ‘groans’ under disintegration because human beings have failed to be God’s stewards of creation. Greater ‘natural evil’ is combined with human, moral evil to create a dark, chaotic world indeed. The world will finally be renewed, and become all it was designed to be (Romans 8:19-23), only when we finally become all we should be through the work of the Second Adam (1 Cor 15:42-45.)


Then ask them why we can’t find any species, living or dead, that have feathers and three middle ear bones. Ask them why we can’t find any species with flow through lungs and mammary glands. Ask them why we can’t find species with fur and gills. How do they explain why we find certain characteristics together but not others?

Also, how do they explain why introns share less sequence than exons when we compare genes between species? How do they explain why transition mutations are more common than transversion mutations when we compare the human genome to the genomes of other apes?

I would love to hear their scientifically testable theory on why we see these patterns.


If that were so then we shouldn’t see a nested hierarchy, but we do.

Until you show how Progressive Creation can explain the observations there is no explanation to reject. The reason that Progressive Creation is not science is that it doesn’t make testable predictions.

(Haywood Clark) #413

I would disagree with that.

Progressive Creation predicts that we should only see nested hierarchies restricted to “kinds,” not within AND between them. Since we see the latter, progressive creation is DOA.

But Edgar et al. are not willing to look at the evidence God provides–it’s too risky. They prefer to go with after-the-fact rationalizations of other humans over the Word of God in nature.


They seem to bluster their way through it, in my experience. When we discuss how the twin nested hierarchy is evidence for evolution we usually get the grand pronouncement, “Progressive Creationism would also produce a nested hierarchy”. The problem is that a) they usually have no idea what a nested hierarchy is, and b) they have no idea why Progressive Creationism would produce a nested hierarchy over any other pattern of shared derived traits. They just claim Progressive Creationism would produce a nested hierarchy to make it look like they have an argument.

The most revealing moment is when they proclaim that things like automobiles fall into a nested hierarchy. When asked to show this phylogeny of vehicles they are never able to produce one.

(Haywood Clark) #415

I agree completely. That is consistent with their avoidance of the evidence God provides for all of us can see.

(Matthew Pevarnik) #416

For reference here is an article on automobiles and the fossil record by Fuz Rana at RTB:

And he basically concludes that:

The approach the UCLA research team used to study technology development, once again, highlights the fact that the sequential changes seen in the fossil record just as reasonably reflect the work of a mind as mechanism.

But, it is possible to take the implications of their work one step further. Not only can we argue that the progressive anatomical changes observed in fossilized organisms reflect the Creator’s handiwork, but so do overall patterns in the fossil record. The UCLA study demonstrates that when it comes to technology produced by human designers, the number of design variants and the rate that designs appear and disappear from the marketplace have a rational basis. Though the rationale may be different than what the UCLA researchers discovered for the automobile’s evolution, it becomes all the more reasonable to view changes in biological diversity and origination and extinction rates in the fossil record as reflecting a Creator’s intentional activity.

In other words, the evidence (the fossil record and homology) that biologists insist provides compelling support for the evolutionary paradigm actually finds ready explanation from a creation model perspective.

Another method employed would be related to casting doubt upon any phylogenies or relationships:


You seem to have missed the point: Thermodynamics has endless practical uses in applied science. Conversely, common descent has no practical uses in applied science.

No, it isn’t; explaining the natural history of species is not at all important in biology. What is important in biology is facts, not untestable theories (aka stories) about what might have transpired millions of years ago, which are completely useless in any practical sense.
Atheist scientists, on the other hand, place a great deal of importance on these evolutionary tales of yore because they have a powerful psychological need to believe that’s what happened. It seems you’ve been caught up in all the atheist hype.

None of these things are important because none of them are practically useful in biology; they are mere curiosities that some scientists theorise about (in the case of atheists, obsessively). No pharmaceutical companies and no animal or plant breeders, for example, waste time studying how feathers, or whales or humans or genomes (supposedly) evolved, because such theories are irrelevant and offer them nothing that’s practically useful.

“This theory (evolution) has helped nothing in the progress of science. It is useless”.
Louise Bouroune, Professor of Biology, University of Strasbourg.

“That, by this, evolutionism would appear as a theory without value, is confirmed also pragmatically. A theory must not be required to be true, said Mr. H. Poincare, more or less, it must be required to be useable. Indeed, none of the progress made in biology depends even slightly on a theory, the principles of which [of how evolution occurs - Ed] are nevertheless filling every year volumes of books, periodicals, and congresses with their discussions and their disagreements.”
Louis Bouroune ( Professor of Biology, University of Strasbourg), Determinism and Finality, edited by Flammarion, 1957, p. 79


You appear to have it back-to-front: My Progressive Creation model is predicated on the fossil record.


You seem to be implying that one of the most distinguished paleontologists of the twentieth century is not worth quoting. Is this because you know the fossil record better than even Gould did, or because you simply don’t like what he says?

My Gould-quotes came from my copy of one of his books, The Panda’s Thumb. If you believe I have quoted him out of context, kindly demonstrate how.

I have no idea how you came to this conclusion. I freely admit that I have no direct knowledge of the fossil record, but rely on the opinion of experts (as most evolutionists do, btw).


Sorry, I don’t understand your point. Can you try rephrasing it, please?


The theory of evolution does have practical use in explaining why species look the way they do, why fossils look the way they do, and why genomes look the way they do. The theory of evolution has endless practical use in explaining natural history.

It may not be important to you, but it is very important to biologists. You see, biologists are curious. You may not be curious, but scientists are. They want to know how nature arrived at its current state.

Are you really saying that knowledge isn’t worth pursuing unless it has immediate practical use?


And yet your Progressive Creation model makes no predictions about the pattern of shared features for those fossils and living species. Why do we never find a fossil with feather impressions and three middle ear bones? How does Progressive Creation explain this? Why don’t we find fossils with a mixture of bird and mammal features? How do you explain the nested hierarchy that fossils fall into, along with living species?