Did Adam and Eve Really Exist? Covenant Seminary And Non-dirty Old Men

Collins might respond that he himself is not arguing for these different scenarios. In fact, he argues in his book Science and Faith that dust in Genesis 2:7 refers to soil out of which God fashioned the first man. If that is Collins view, then what is the problem? The problem is that not just the views which a person affirms are important, but also the views which a person is willing to accept are also very important. For example, what if a person affirms that he believes that Scripture teaches the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ, but then he is also willing to receive as acceptable, or within the parameters of what Scripture teaches, the view that Christ only arose in a spiritual sense? Such a stance would cause major problems because it would allow the possibility for unacceptable views to be considered as acceptable. This has implications for what should be considered as acceptable views for ministers of the gospel within our churches and presbyteries. Should presbyteries accept candidates for ordination who do not hold to the view that God created the first man Adam from the dust of the ground?

via Did Adam and Eve Really Exist? By C. John Collins; A Review.

Professor Belcher is free to prefer a church setting in which people like Francis Schaeffer and Benjamin Warfield would be unwelcome to minister; but let him come out and say that this is his preference. I myself cannot imagine what good would come of such an arrangement.

…I wonder whether we can conduct such disagreements without insinuating that the other party has somehow undermined the authority of Scripture. Be that as it may, I do think that we owe it to one another, and to the Church, to give an accurate representation of the views we find displeasing. I find that Professor Belcher has done neither of these. Reviews, including severely negative ones, are of course part of a fair game. But I am left wondering why, if someone comes to suspect that a brother minister in the same denomination has articulated things that seem to have compromised his ordination vows, the first thought isn’t, “That can’t be right! Let me call that guy and see if I understood him correctly before I get us into the process of public warning which calls forth a public reply.” It would sure save a lot of time.

via C. John Collins Replies to Richard Belcher, Jr. – Reformation21 Blog.

I think he has confessed. Ambiguity is the word mush of the postmodern. Why wouldn’t a person just say, “I believe in fiat creation of Adam out of the ground.” Or, “I reject any other mediate creation of Adam?” We care less of BB or of Schaeffer, they are not the authority of Scripture. It seems clear that by authority what the professor means is what icons of the faith have said, rather than what the Scripture says. At least that is the most that one can take from his closing paragraphs.

Human Life: What A Conception

A person’s a person no matter how small.

-Horton

The DNA of humans contain something close to a thousand million bits of information. It would take a library of about a thousand volumes to hold this much information. Contained within these volumes would be intricate algorithms in encoded form specifying the growth and development of billions of cells.

If a computer of this magnitude existed, we would be compelled to say that it came into being as the result of the efforts of an intelligent designer. In fact, if someone were to declare that such a computer came about by random Darwinian processes followed by selection, he would be dismissed as crazy.

When the Darwinian theory was developed over a hundred years ago the information theoretical aspect and nature of the DNA molecule was totally unknown. The chemical basis of the genetic code with its supreme information storage and retrieval system, its replication mechanisms and its self-diagnosis of defects and the chemical repair systems were all undreamed of.

The biological cell is now known to be the most complicated von Neumann type of machine known to science. How could such a complex machine ever have arisen in random processes subject to natural law only, followed by natural selection seeing that even a simple machine cannot and does not so arise?

It takes an incredible faith to believe that a supremely complex machine system of information storage and retrieval, servicing millions of cells, diagnosing defects and then repairing them in a telenomic [purposeful] von Neumann machine manner, arose in randomness — the antipole of information. An information storage and retrieval system allegedly arose in randomness, the opposite and antipole of the information with which it deals.

It also takes incredible pride and narcissistic audacity to believe that one can kill an unborn whose magnificent, unique humanity is equal to the one who wills to kill.

A. E. Wilder Smith wrote the definitive works disproving evolution.  But like other great scientists, because he stood against popularism and political forces within liberal academia, he has all but been forgotten. The unmitigated reality is that the information systems and their ability to inform one another and fabricate life is so complex, so far above the puny mind of man that there is only one logos of reality:

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.  And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.  And God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so. And God called the expanse Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.  And God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good.  And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the third day.  And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. And God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.  And God said, “Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens.” So God created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day.  And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds—livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so. And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.  Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”  So God created man in his own image,   in the image of God he created him;   male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:1-27 ESV)

Enns/Mohler Reviewed By Doctor James M. Hamilton Jr.

Three Objections Enns Makes to Mohler: Apparant Age, Authority, and World-Picture | For His Renown#comment-37186.

My comment:

I wonder how Enns knew what every Jew thought? Sounds like assumption to me. Beside, Isaiah didn’t think that way, and he was a very well known authority. But that brings up another point, the Jews recorded and looked to history for their theology, irrespective of what the popular opinion might be. It is by the means of history that truth is conveyed, so intimately so, that the Prophets are embedded in it just as their prophecies are and cannot be extracted as independent elements without changing both. There are two things at work in the OT, the Law and the Prophets, as principle means of revelation. The Law is historical, the Prophets its interpretation. Paul is recalling the history of Christ as a prophet, using history as the hermeneutic for his Soteriology, just as the prophets before him, and it makes no sense to exclude a real Adam as history for the sake of a consistent apologetic. History is Paul’s authority. Reducing the hamartiological reference of Adam to an allegorical essence creates more problems than it solves, for as we read allegory in Scripture it is not clear and is open to many diverse interpretations. That would simply not do for an essential doctrine of the faith. If Adam was not truly the first Adam, then neither was Christ the second, historically, or soteriologically, necessarily, but only in an interpretive allegorical sense. Then just as likely, Paul could make his doctrine not truly revelational, and false, for perhaps Jesus wasn’t uniquely incarnated, perhaps he was only one of a series of Christs and in process of becoming. The purpose of history is to anchor the revelation so that it cannot be changed, just as Moses was to make everything exactly a representation of what is in heaven, Paul says that this creation reveals that: His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. And though it is as Law, insufficient without the revelation of the Grace of God in Christ’s incarnation (history), it remains what it is so that the latter stands upon a rock which cannot be moved.

Update: And a non (an anonymous unlinked attack-bot) named Steve showed up to criticize my response above. He said:

Ironically you criticize Enns for claiming to know what every Jew thought and then, in the following sentences, yourself make claims about what “the Jews” did and how they thought. I’d love to know how you move from your understanding of the claims of a handful of Israelite-Jewish sources to making claims about what the 95% or more of illiterate Israelites/Jews did and thought.

Thought it would be fun to draw attention to your self defeating rhetoric here…wherein you engage in the exact kind of claims about the extant evidence and ancient Jews for which you dismissively criticize Enns in your opening sentence. But again, in the world of polemics, boundary policing, and enforcement, who needs nuance and critical self-reflection?

BTW, good job representing “the Jews” in the image of your ideal evangelical: “the Jews recorded and looked to history for their theology, irrespective of what the popular opinion might be.” Got any arguments to show that the sources making up the extant corpus of Israelite/Jewish literature don’t “syncretize” (by Hamilton’s implicit folk-polemical definition of the term) and trade in some of the various cosmological, “scientific,” and the like positions of their times?

Finally, love how you tagged your post about this and Enns on your own blog under “liberalism,” “Deception,” and “apostasy.” I’m sure if I did something comparable about your blog posts I would never be called out for slander, ad hominem attacks, willingness to sling accusations online while being unwilling to handle such serious matters the way the Bible outlines, and so on. I probably also wouldn’t be accused of polemically misrepresenting a brother in Christ.

Steve the Syncretistic Christian

I will respond here.

No, I didn’t. What I intended is Jews as in those who wrote Scripture. We do have that record, we don’t have the record of every Jew. Yes, there were Jewish people who were Cabalists, a host of other paganish Jews and myth believers of all sorts in the community of all of Judaism. We have some of those records, not all, but the topic is not them, it is what the Scripture has to say, and not even of those who wrote the words of it, but what they were told was meant by them is. So, the definition of Jew in my response has to do with what should be the proper subject of inquiry -not what all Jewish people might have thought, but what those writers of the OT did think, and not as those being idiosyncratic, but as prophetic.

I didn’t express my image of what the Jews did in writing history. It is simply the nature of history. The only accurate history we have, for our purposes, is that of Scripture itself. The source of prophecy within the context of Scripture is its history, but that history records the words of the Prophets. It is not the history outside it which records that meaning. You might not like that, you may caricature it as dismissal. I am simply pointing out that Paul used that hermeneutic, and that to use another will necessarily change the meaning of Adam.

In short, our starting point is different, and so the outcome will be. The pointed question is upon what authority does one operate in selecting the hermeneutic. If we use Scripture to establish its own meaning it will say one thing, if we use natural revelation, it will say another.

I don’t hide behind any smoke-screen, I enabled my link. So, the worst that can be said about me is that I am transparent and wrong. You on the other hand are a non-person. What you do is launch random missiles, infer that I am so and so and such and such and have the audacity to criticize my doing the same somewhere else. Great, now enable your link, so that others might be able to find out something about you.

I am, unlike you, accountable. I have a church with Elders, who have access to what I write and say. If there were such sinful behavior on my part, they would intervene. Not only that but I have invited such. I am wondering, since you post essentially anonymously, just how do your Eldlers hold you accountable for the robot attack? By the way, making whips and turning over tables is often the most gentle thing that can be done. And by the way, I don’t know Enns as a brother. I do know him as promoting false teaching, and all false teaching does divide and that word is heresis. I have been known to be guilty of it myself. But, just so you can get it together, I think Calvin in promoting infant baptism, was a false teacher. I also reject certain convenantal teachings. I would be out of the Standards, but well within my right to descent, because those things are not essential nor do they necessarily undermine any fundamental. I think that my fellow members of the PCA I attend are just as false in holding to what Scripture doesn’t teach. If they thought those disputable matters the only truth, the whole truth, and there was no other truth, they would not allow exceptions. Now, that doesn’t make them enemies of the faith, heretics of that sort. It is not as if they promote justification by works, or deny inerrancy which by its nature would undermine salvation by faith alone. So, I wouldn’t deny Enns membership based upon his false teaching on evolution unless it undermined inerrancy, but since he denies inerrancy, we have already crossed that bridge. I wouldn’t let him teach as an Elder if I could stop it, if he taught evolution, or denied the six-day creation (see the PCA position paper citation below) just as my Elders would not allow me to teach as an Elder, or at all, if I began to contradict the fundamentals from the “pulpit.” As far as I understand, Enns was ruled within the WCF by the Presbytery, but outside of it by the Board at WTS. I would agree with the Board that Enns rejects the historical orthodoxy of the Christian church which they would say is the position of the WCF. Now, what their Presbytery ruled is what it ruled. And so he wasn’t defrocked. But I am not of that Presbytery, and obviously the Board of WTS thought better. Though they couldn’t defrock him, they did the next best thing. Enns would have to be accepted within our Presbytery, on the other hand. It is not likely that he would pass muster. But then again, the PCA has its liberal components, vis-a-vis the NT Wright controversy. Others, D. A. Carson, Paul Helm, and G. K. Beale, have said no less than I. He has overthrown the necessary doctrine of the inerrancy of Scripture. In not soft terms, he has embraced soul killing heresy.

So you are free to disagree with me, but do not take my tags, or categories as the whole story. Those are drawing points not definitional of the posts. They are cheese bites on the mouse-trap and you’ve been caught.

Next time take time to read my response. You might just understand it better. Rather than jumping to the defense of your allegiances, try, really hard, to set aside the prejudice. As you should have seen, I didn’t neglect the difference between some Jews and other, as Enns does. I in fact infer the stipulation that there is a distinction to be made. To universalize the perspectives of the Jews into a monolithic whole simply neglected the reality that all do not use the same hermeneutic, ergo Isaiah. It should be obvious that a perspective from being caught up into that heaven from which he describes the Lord’s habitat is quite different from the Jew in the market describing it. Again, that isn’t the problem really. The problem is by what authority does one apply any hermeneutic. If that authority doesn’t come from Scripture, it is no authority at all.

“We know where to put some biological theories of origins. We know this because they take as their starting point a metaphysic that is irreconcilable with Scripture. Precisely the question, then, is where do we put cosmological and geological theories regarding the age of the cosmos and the earth? We have at least two options: (1) to say that our exegesis of Scripture demands that the earth and universe are “young,” so any theories that contradict that must be wrong; (2) to say that our exegesis of Scripture allows a latitude of belief on the age question, so long as the core metaphysics of our faith (such as the idea that the universe has a beginning; God is free to perform miracles according to his purposes; and that the first humans were specially created, and all other humans descend from them) are respected. Those who take the second option should be careful not to identify their exegesis too closely with specific scientific theories such as the Big Bang.”

The thrust of this is as I said above. Where and when theories of origins overthrow the supernatural revelation in any way is the precise point at which it is the antithesis of Christianity. It is, then, not what might be, but what must be for this to be held in its own integrity. The supernaturalism of the revelation speaks of its own supernatural origin, and that origin, as the position paper remarks, must allow for God’s supernatural creation of that revelation. The natural reading is of creation, not process. Not only that, but the whole is one of supernatural intervention and preservation of revelation, and creation, from a supernatural beginning, to the supernatural recreation of the whole of the cosmos. So, it is not just my evangelical perspective, but one that originates without me within Scripture. (The PCA is not an evangelical association.) Making Adam only allegorically the type of another in reality only obscures, it does not further the meaning, as I also said. Is it polemic? Only in some sense, but that sense is drawn from the available science and the available texts of Scripture. The first has yet to discover anything which remotely can explain the origin of man. It can only speculate. The later explicitly states what were the facts. The natural reading is one of history. The unnatural reading is to make it mean something else for which there is no counter part in Scripture, nor is there anything definitive in science.

Just For GIGOLs: What’s Perry Got To Do With A Hot African Eve And Cold French-Canadians?

Leftists are all over Perry like water off a ducks back. Spieling the political line from the mainframe, like little output devices, they can’t put the facts together because of prior programming. By crucifying Perry because of his statement comparing himself to Galileo, the mainstream liberal media, fully linked in to the borg mothership, expect their readers to assimilate. The mainstream liberal media’s problem resides in their data banks which are being fill we bad information. GIGOs, would be the appropriate name for the way the MLM handle the facts if they were indeed just computers and not merely acting like them. Gigomalism might be an appropriate epidemiological name for their malady, or maybe gigomilmiasis. That’s a little cumbersome. GIGOL’s fits nicely seeing they exude the same discernment and behavior of naive, giggling, Junior High girls being hit on by the low-life college boys.

Galileo was a scientist but also a churchman… he was also philosopher, in short a theologian. Just as were his opponents. The two, science and religio/philosophy, can not ever be clearly separated for each depends upon a presuppositional epistemology grounded not in science, but metaphysics. Galileo’s opponents were the professors of academia and the political police of their time, militant suppressors as stewards of the Church of Rome’s sacred teaching. Galileo was a heretic in their view, departing from the college of priests whose academic expertise formed the scientific consensus of the Magisterium. What was Galileo’s crime? Well, better science even though it departed from the mainstream media’s beliefs. Their’s was the encyclical of Rome. He was just a minority. Yet, he was one of the academicians charged with protecting the Church’s teaching. His OP-ED pieces were rejected by the press. But just as the GIGOLs and the complicit, mind-numbed mass followers of modern liberal science, such as public school teachers, who receive the sacrament of the official politically correct position, the Magisterial rulers, the majoritarian ignoramuses of their time, saw any other perspective than theirs, even if science based, as a threat to their power, prestige and paycheck.

Enter Perry. The fear is that a strong political figure might just sway the ignorant masses to not so slavishly imbibe the wafer and wine of the establishment data stream, and not bow to the powers that be, and rather than let the fallacy of GIGOL papal authority be the end all of the conversation, to let the facts, all the facts, speak for themselves. In that way, Perry is just like Galileo. He fights against the prevailing political correctness of the pseudo-scientific priests of modern-day, and for the liberty of the people from the oppression of the dark forces of authoritarianism. If Perry survives the pyres of the Magisterial Mainstream Liberal Media, he, like Galileo, might just bring balance to the currently lop-sided dialogue and become a hero to future generations freed from the dark forces of ignorance.

Losing power by losing face by being shamed with the facts is intolerable to GIGOLs, however. And if they could they would make sure that hell’s fires are stoked for Perry. Perry represents a breath of fresh air in the debate. Then again, letting the issues surface and letting them catch their breath is not what those who have drowned the issue beneath the flood waters pop-science want. The left is fine with a dead science, a flat earth and a meocentric clulture. It makes them rich and keeps their cathedrals standing and their power intact.

Hopefully Perry won’t recant as Galileo did when faced with the Inquisitors of the left. Whatever the outcome, the proper way to understand the paradigm is to realize that it is not Perry who represents the church. He is only a politician. On the other hand, the GIGOL’s, that is leftists of the media and academia do represent a specific, pseudo-scientific religion of pop-culture more vested in their own perpetuity than the truth. Until they can allow a fair hearing to opposing scientific views, they will continue to be the modern version of the Jesuits, maintaining control through misinformation and intimidation.

You can find information on the scientific facts about global change myths like this:

…A couple of years ago, Julienne Stroeve and colleagues from the National Snow and Ice Data Center analyzed the rate of Arctic sea ice loss projected by a host of climate models used by the IPCC and then compared the model projections against the observations. In Figure 3, we reproduce the major finding from Stroeve et al.’s study (including updating the September sea ice extents through (an estimated value for) 2011). Figure 3 demonstrates that the observed sea ice is declining at a rate about twice as fast as climate models projected. A fairly larger body of scientific work has been focused on explaining why this is the case, with most studies concluding that natural variability (in such factors as wind and ocean circulation patterns) has been responsible for the extra amount of ice loss over the past several decades…

here.

Below is just one example of evolutionary theoretical myths about humans the GIGOL’s don’t want you to know.

Before this evidence of paternal inheritance was discovered it was assumed that mtDNA was strictly the result of maternal inheritance. Based on this assumption, it was assumed that the mitochondrial offspring would get exact copies of the mitochondria that the mother had except if there was a mutational error. This error rate in the non-coding portion of mitochondrial DNA has long been thought to occur once every 300 to 600 generations, or every 6,000 to 12,000 years for humans.

The Berkeley biochemists who developed the theory, Allan Wilson, Rebecca Cann, and Mark Stoneking, made several apparently reasonable assumptions. Since there were no DNA changes due to genetic recombination events (ie: with paternal DNA – now known to be a wrong assumption), they assumed that all changes in the mtDNA were the result of mutations over time and that these mutations occurred at a constant rate. On the basis of these assumptions, the researchers believed they had access to something like a “molecular clock.” Because mtDNA is thought to mutate faster than nuclear DNA (nucDNA), it was thought that the faster mutation rate of mtDNA would make for more accurate time keeping than nucDNA.

The original 1987 study involved mtDNA from 136 women from many parts of the world having various racial backgrounds. The analysis seemed to support the idea of a single ancestral mtDNA molecule from a woman living in sub-Saharan Africa about 200,000 years ago. Later, more detailed studies seemed to confirm this conclusion. Unfortunately though, there was an undetected bias in the computer program as well as with the researchers themselves. The researchers used a computer program designed to reveal a “maximum parsimony” phylogeny or the family tree with the least number of mutational changes. This was based on the assumption that evolution would have taken the most direct and efficient path (which is not necessarily true, or even likely). Also, the computer program was biased by the order of data entry to favor the information entered first. This problem was recognized when the computer gave different results depending on the order that the data was entered. Now, after thousands of computer runs with the data entered randomly, it appears that the “African origin” for modern humans does not hold a statistical significance over other possibilities.26

The problems with these studies were so bad that Henry Gee, a member of the editorial staff for the journal, Nature, harshly described the studies as “garbage.” After considering the number of sequences involved (136 mtDNA sequences), Gee calculated that the total number of potentially correct parsimonious trees is somewhere in excess of one billion.25 Geneticist Alan Templeton (Washington University) suggests that low-level mixing among early human populations may have scrambled the DNA sequences sufficiently so that the question of the origin of modern humans and a date for “Eve” can never be settled by mtDNA.22 In a letter to Science, Mark Stoneking (one of the original researchers) acknowledged that the theory of an “African Eve” has been invalidated.23

Another interesting aspect of the “molecular clock” theory is the way in which the mutation rate itself was determined. Contrary to what many might think, the mutation rate was not initially determined by any sort of direct analysis, but by supposed phylogenic evolutionary relationships between humans and chimps. In other words, the mutation rate was calculated based on the assumption that the theory in question was already true. This is a rather circular assumption and as such all results that are based on this assumption will be consistent with this assumption – like a self-fulfilling prophecy. Since the rate was calculated based on previous assumptions of evolutionary time, then the results will automatically “confirm” the previous assumptions. If one truly wishes independent confirmation of a theory, then one cannot calibrate the confirmation test by the theory, or any part of the theory, that is being tested. And yet, this is exactly what was done by scientists such as Sarich, one of the pioneers of the molecular-clock idea. Sarich began by calculating the mutation rates of various species “…whose divergence could be reliably dated from fossils.” He then applied that calibration to the chimpanzee-human split, dating that split at from five to seven million years ago. Using Sarich’s mutation calibrations, Wilson and Cann applied them to their mtDNA studies, comparing “…the ratio of mitochondrial DNA divergence among humans to that between humans and chimpanzees.”24 By this method, they calculated that the common ancestor of all modern humans, the “African Eve”, lived about 200,000 years ago.

Obviously then, these dates, calculated from the mtDNA analysis, must match the presupposed evolutionary time scale since the calculation is based on this presupposition. The circularity of this method is inconsistent with good scientific method and is worthless as far as independent predictive value is concerned. The “mitochondrial clock” theory was and is basically a theory within a theory in that it has no independent predictive power outside of the theory of evolution. It is surprising then that scientists did not catch this inherent flaw earlier. Interestingly enough though, this flaw in reasoning was not detected for many years and perhaps would have remained undetected for much longer if a more direct mutation-rate analysis had not been done.

Eventually, scientists, who study historical families and their genetic histories, started questioning the mutation rates that were based on evolutionary phylogenetic assumptions.These scientists were “stunned” to find that the mutation rate was in fact much higher than previously thought. In fact it was about 20 times higher at around one mutation every 25 to 40 generations (about 500 to 800 years for humans).It seems that in this section of the control region, which has about 610 base pairs, humans typically differ from one another by about 18 mutations. 3 By simple mathematics, it follows that modern humans share a common ancestor some 300 generations back in time. If one assumes a typical generation time of about 20 years, this places the date of the common ancestor at around 6,000 years before present.But how could this be?!Thomas Parsons seems just as mystified. Consider his following comments published April of 1997, in the journal Nature Genetics:

“The rate and pattern of sequence substitutions in the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) control region (CR) is of central importance to studies of human evolution and to forensic identity testing. Here, we report a direct measurement of the intergenerational substitution rate in the human CR. We compared DNA sequences of two CR hypervariable segments from close maternal relatives, from 134 independent mtDNA lineages spanning 327 generational events. Ten substitutions were observed, resulting in an empirical rate of 1/33 generations, or 2.5/site/Myr. This is roughly twenty-fold higher than estimates derived from phylogenetic analyses. This disparity cannot be accounted for simply by substitutions at mutational hot spots, suggesting additional factors that produce the discrepancy between very near-term and long-term apparent rates of sequence divergence. The data also indicate that extremely rapid segregation of CR sequence variants between generations is common in humans, with a very small mtDNA bottleneck. These results have implications for forensic applications and studies of human evolution.

The observed substitution rate reported here is very high compared to rates inferred from evolutionary studies. A wide range of CR substitution rates have been derived from phylogenetic studies, spanning roughly 0.025-0.26/site/Myr, including confidence intervals. A study yielding one of the faster estimates gave the substitution rate of the CR hypervariable regions as 0.118 +- 0.031/site/Myr. Assuming a generation time of 20 years, this corresponds to ~1/600 generations and an age for the mtDNA MRCA of 133,000 y.a. Thus, our observation of the substitution rate, 2.5/site/Myr, is roughly 20-fold higher than would be predicted from phylogenetic analyses. Using our empirical rate to calibrate the mtDNA molecular clock would result in an age of the mtDNA MRCA of only ~6,500 y.a., clearly incompatible with the known age of modern humans. Even acknowledging that the MRCA of mtDNA may be younger than the MRCA of modern humans, it remains implausible to explain the known geographic distribution of mtDNA sequence variation by human migration that occurred only in the last ~6,500 years.” 27

The calculation is done in the following way: Let us consider two randomly chosen human beings. Assuming all human beings initially have identical mitochondrial DNA,after 33 generations, two such random human families will probably differ by two mutations, since there will be two separate lines of inheritance and probably one mutation along each line. After 66 generations, two randomly chosen humans will differ by about four mutations. After 100 generations, they will differ by about six mutations. After 300 generations, they will differ by about 18 mutations, which is about the observed value.

These experiments are quite concerning to evolutionists who previously calculated that the “mitochondrial eve” (who’s mitochondria is thought to be the ancestor mitochondria to all living humans) lived about 100,000 to 200,000 years ago in Africa.1The new calculations, based on the above experiments, would make her a relatively young ~6,500 years old. Now, the previous notion that modern humans are up to 10,000 generations old has to be reevaluated or at least the mtDNA basis for that assumption has to be reevaluated – and it has been.2

More recent direct mtDNA mutation rate studies also seem to confirm the earlier findings by Parsons and others. In an 2001 article published in the American Journal of Human Genetics, Evelyne Heyer et. al., presented their findings of the mtDNA mutation rate in deep-rooted French-Canadian pedigrees.

Their findings “Confirm[ed] earlier findings of much greater mutation rates in families than those based on phylogenetic comparisons. . . For the HVI sequences, we obtained 220 generations or 6,600 years, and for the HVII sequences 275 generations or 8,250 years. Although each of these values is associated with a large variance, they both point to ~7,000-8,000 years and, therefore, to the early Neolithic as the time of expansion [mostly northern European in origin] . . . Our overall CR mutation-rate estimate of 11.6 per site per million generations . . . is higher, but not significantly different, than the value of 6.3 reported in recent the recent pedigree study of comparable size . . . In another study (Soodyall et al. 1997), no mutations were detected in 108 transmissions. On the other hand, two substitutions were observed in 81 transmissions by Howell et al. (1996), and nine substitutions were observed in 327 transmissions by Parsons et al. (1997). Combining all these data (1,729 transmissions) results in the mutation rate of 15.5 (Cl 10.3-22.1). Taking into account only those from deep-rooting pedigrees (1,321 transmissions) (Soodyall et al. 1997; Sigurdardottir et al. 2000; the present study) leads to the value of 7.9. The latter, by avoiding experimental problems with heteroplasmy, may provide a more realistic approximation of the overall mutation rate.” 44

Also, consider an even more recent paper published in a 2003 issue of the Annals of Human Genetics by B. Bonne-Tamir et al. where the authors presented their results of a their study of “Maternal and Paternal Lineages” from a small isolated Samaritan community. In this paper they concluded:

“Compared with the results obtained by others on mtDNA mutation rates, our upper limit estimate of the mutation rate of 1/61 mutations per generation is in close agreement with those previously published.” 45 [compared with the rate determined by Parsons of 1/33 generations, a rate of 1/61 is no more than double]

One more interesting paper published in September 2000 in the Journal Scientist by Denver et al. is also quite interesting. These scientists reported their work with the mtDNA mutation rates of nematode worms and found that these worm’s molecular clocks actually run about “100 times faster than previously thought” [emphasis added].46

“Extrapolating the results directly to humans is not possible, say the scientists. But their results do support recent controversial studies suggesting that the human molecular clock also runs 100 times faster than is usually thought. This may mean that estimates of divergence between chimpanzees and humans, and the emergence of modern man, happened much more recently than currently believed, says the team. ‘Our work appears to support human analyses, which have suggested a very high rate,’ says Kelley Thomas of the University of Missouri. ‘This work is relevant to humans,’ says Doug Turnbill of the institute for Human Genetics and Newcastle University, UK. ‘If the human mutation rate is faster than thought, it would have a lot of impact in looking at human disease and forensics, as well as the evolutionary rate of humans.’ . . .

Mutation rates of mtDNA in humans are usually estimated by comparing sequences of DNA from people and other animals. ‘This is kind of analysis that was used to determine that the African origin of modern humans was about 200,000 years ago,’ says Thomas. ‘The problem with this approach is that you are looking at both the mutation rate and the effects of natural selection,’ he says. The technique would also miss multiple mutations in the same stretch of mtDNA, says Paul Sharp of the Institute of Genetics at Nottingham University, UK.

More recent studies have looked at the mtDNA of people who are distantly related but share a female ancestor. This approach has revealed higher mtDNA mutation rates. But the results have not been accepted by many scientists [emphasis added].

Knowing the exact rate of mutation in humans is very important for forensic science and studies of genetic disease, stresses Turnbill. Forensic identification often rests on comparing samples of DNA with samples from suspected relatives. Faster human molecular clocks could complicate established exact relationships, he says.” 46

Obviously then, these rates, based on more direct observations, are nowhere near those based on indirect evolutionary assumptions. This certainly does “complicate” things just a bit now doesn’t it? Isn’t it strange though that many scientists are still loath to accept these results? The bias in favor of both evolution as well as millions of years for assumed divergence times between creatures like apes and humans is so strong that changing the minds of those who hold such positions may be pretty much impossible.

DNA Mutation Rates and Evolution.

On Homosexuality And Marriage: Correcting The Course

12. True or False: “The preferred form of marriage through the ages has been between one man and one woman” (taken directly from Coontz’s quiz).
True. Four out of five of the great religions that gave birth to large complex civilizations (encompassing the vast majority of people ever born) have had monogamous marriage systems. And while polygamy has been common in many tribal societies, almost every known society throughout the ages considers marriage a male-female sexual bond with procreative implications. “The unique trait of what is commonly called marriage is social recognition and approval . . . of a couple’s engaging in sexual intercourse and bearing and rearing offspring” (Kingsley Davis (ed.), Contemporary Marriage: Comparative Perspectives on a Changing Institution). Professors Margo Wilson and Martin Daly write in Evolutionary Psychology, Public Policy and Personal Decisions:

Marriage is a universal social institution, albeit with myriad variations in social and cultural details. A review of the cross-cultural diversity in marital arrangements reveals certain common themes: some degree of mutual obligation between husband and wife, a right of sexual access (often but not necessarily exclusive), an expectation that the relationships will persist (although not necessarily for a lifetime), some cooperative investment in offspring, and some sort of recognition of the status of the couple’s children. The marital alliance is fundamentally a reproductive alliance.

13. True or False: Religion has no effect on divorce rates.
False, false, false. Mere religious affiliation may not reduce divorce, but religious practice clearly does. One longitudinal analysis of the National Survey of Family Growth found that couples who attended church as often as once a month had divorce rates less than half that of couples who attended church once a year or less. Similarly, a recent study of the National Survey of Families and Households found that marriage in which both couples attend church regularly have the lowest divorce risk (David B. Larson and James P. Swyers, 2002, “Does Religion and Spirituality Contribute to Marital and Individual Health?” in John Wall et al (eds.) Marriage, Health and the Professions).

via Maggie Gallagher on Marriage on National Review Online.

Keep To The Code

So the brain and its circuitry is phenomenally detailed and complex, the different parts are tightly integrated, and they have a low threshold to change. This adds yet more problems to the evolutionary narrative. The PSD proteins are even more sensitive to change than typical proteins (see here and here). Evolutionists must believe that these proteins underwent huge changes in their evolution. Not only is there scant evidence of intermediate designs leading to the known proteins, but the evidence we do have is that these proteins do not tolerate change.

So the evolutionary narrative, as usual, must believe that the biological world underwent radical, unheard of levels of change, though mysteriously today such change is not tolerated. All the while luckily creating an astonishing world of biological wonders.

via Darwin’s God: Post Synaptic Proteins Intolerant of Change.

A Frog Revival: A Hoppy Ending

And even though global warming is no longer considered to be the guilty party (of course, exonerated with much less fanfare than it was accused), the amphibian story does show the resiliency of nature—a resiliency that is grossly underplayed or even ignored in virtually all doom and gloom presentations of the impacts of environmental change.

via World Climate Report » A Frog Revival.

The Bullogic Of BioLogos’ Theology Rejects Theology

Dr. Sprinkle kindly invites me “to come and see what I see in the hearts and lives of people in the BioLogos community.” I am willing and eager to enter into any conversation that serves the cause of the gospel. But a conversation that serves the cause of the gospel cannot avoid talking about what the gospel is — and that requires theology.

via AlbertMohler.com – No Pass from Theological Responsibility — The BioLogos Conundrum.

Dr. White points out that the heresy of the rejection of the inerrancy and authority of the Scripture is shared by BioLogos and Doug Pagitt.

Gaga Evolutionists Clueless In The Antartic

WASHINGTON –

In a surprising discovery about where higher life can thrive, scientists for the first time found a shrimp-like creature and a jellyfish frolicking beneath a massive Antarctic ice sheet.

Later on in the article:

“They are looking at the equivalent of a drop of water in a swimming pool that you would expect nothing to be living in and they found not one animal but two,” said biologist Stacy Kim of the Moss Landing Marine Laboratories in California, who joined the NASA team later. “We have no idea what’s going on down there.”

“It’s pretty amazing when you find a huge puzzle like that on a planet where we thought we know everything,” Kim said.

Like, duh… can anyone say climate gate?

There we have it from Doctors Don’tknowitall at the site of the Wayback Machine. This has been Rocky and Bullwinkle reporting on your tax dollar and NASA’s higher life. Now back to Mr. Peabody and Sherman somewhere at the NYSE dumping shrimp futures.