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picturingchrist
Post  Post subject: Biblical Model for...  |  Posted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 1:28 am

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Most science textbooks that address cosmology credit Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson with the discovery that the universe arose from a hot big bang creation event.

While it is true that they were the first (1965) to detect the radiation left over from the creation event,1 they were not the first scientists to recognize that the universe expanded from an extremely hot and compact state. In 1946 George Gamow calculated that nothing less than the universe expanding from a near infinitely hot condition could account for the present abundance of elements.2 In 1929 observations made by Edwin Hubble established that the velocities of galaxies result from a general expansion of the universe.3 Beginning in 1925 Abbé Georges Lemaître, who was both an astrophysicist and a Jesuit priest, was the first scientist to promote a big bang creation event.4

The first direct scientific evidence for a big bang universe dates back to 1916. That is when Albert Einstein noted that his field equations of general relativity predicted an expanding universe.5 Unwilling to accept the cosmic beginning implied by such expansion, Einstein altered his theory to conform with the common wisdom of his day, namely an eternally existing universe.6

All these scientists, however, were upstaged by 2500 years and more by Job, Moses, David, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and other Bible authors. The Bible’s prophets and apostles stated explicitly and repeatedly the two most fundamental properties of the big bang, a transcendent cosmic beginning a finite time period ago and a universe undergoing a general, continual expansion. In Isaiah 42:5 both properties were declared, “This is what the Lord says—He who created the heavens and stretched them out.”

The Hebrew verb translated “created” in Isaiah 42:5 is bara’ which has as its primary definition “bringing into existence something new, something that did not exist before.”7 The proclamation that God created (bara’) the entirety of the heavens is stated seven times in the Old Testament. (Genesis 1:1; 2:3; 2:4; Psalm 148:5; Isaiah 40:26; 42:5; 45:18). This principle of transcendent creation is made more explicit by passages like Hebrews 11:3 which states that the universe that we humans can measure and detect was made out of that which we cannot measure or detect. Also, Isaiah 45:5-22; John 1:3; and Colossians 1:15-17 stipulate that God alone is the agent for the universe’s existence. Biblical claims that God predated the universe and was actively involved in causing certain effects before the existence of the universe is not only found in Colossians 1 but also in Proverbs 8:22-31; John 17:24; Ephesians 1:4; 2 Timothy 1:9; Titus 1:2; and 1 Peter 1:20.

The characteristic of the universe stated more frequently than any other in the Bible is its being “stretched out.” Five different Bible authors pen such a statement in eleven different verses: Job 9:8; Psalm 104:2; Isaiah 40:22; 42:5; 44:24; 45:12; 48:13; 51:13; Jeremiah 10:12; 51:15; and Zechariah 12:1. Job 37:18 appears to be a twelfth verse. However, the word used for “heavens” or “skies” is shehaqîm which refers to the clouds of fine particles (of water or dust) that are located in Earth’s atmosphere,8 not the shamayim, the heavens of the astronomical universe.9 Three of the eleven verses, Job 9:8; Isaiah 44:24; and 45:12 make the point that God alone was responsible for the cosmic stretching.

What is particularly interesting about the eleven verses is that different Hebrew verb forms are used to describe the cosmic stretching. Seven verses, Job 9:8; Psalm 104:2; Isaiah 40:22; 42:5; 44:24; 51:13; and Zechariah 12:1 employ the Qal active participle form of the verb natah. This form literally means “the stretcher out of them” (the heavens) and implies continual or ongoing stretching. Four verses, Isaiah 45:12; 48:13; and Jeremiah 10:12; 51:15 use the Qal perfect form. This form literally means that the stretching of the heavens was completed or finished some time ago.

That the Bible really does claim that the stretching out of the heavens is both “finished” and “ongoing” is made all the more evident in Isaiah 40:22. There we find two different verbs used in two different forms. In the first of the final two parallel poetic lines, “stretches out” is the verb natah in the Qal active participle form. In the second (final) line the verb “spreads them out” (NASB, NIV, NKJV) is mathah (used only this one time in the Old Testament) in the waw consecutive plus Qal imperfect form, so that literally we might translate it “and he has spread them out . . .” The participles in lines one and three of Isaiah 40:22 characterize our sovereign God by His actions in all times, sitting enthroned above the earth and stretching out the heavens, constantly exercising his creative power in His ongoing providential work. This characterization is continued with reference to the past by means of waw consecutive with the imperfect, the conversive form indicating God’s completed act of spreading out the heavens. That is, this one verse literally states that God is both continuing to stretch out the heavens and has stretched them out.

This simultaneously finished and ongoing aspect of cosmic stretching is identical to the big bang concept of cosmic expansion. According to the big bang, at the creation event all the physics (specifically, the laws, constants, and equations of physics) are instantly created, designed, and finished so as to guarantee an ongoing, continual expansion of the universe at exactly the right rates with respect to time so that physical life will be possible.

This biblical claim for simultaneously finished and ongoing acts of creation, incidentally, is not limited to just the universe’s expansion. The same claim, for example, is made for God’s laying Earth’s foundations (Isaiah 51:3; Zechariah 12:1). This is consistent with the geophysical discovery that certain long-lived radiometric elements were placed into the earth’s crust a little more than four billion years ago in just the right quantities so as to guarantee the continual building of continents.

Finally, the Bible indirectly argues for a big bang universe by stating that the laws of thermodynamics, gravity, and electromagnetism have universally operated throughout the universe since the cosmic creation event itself. In Romans 8 we are told that the entire creation has been subjected to the law of decay (the second law of thermodynamics). This law in the context of an expanding universe establishes that the cosmos was much hotter in the past. In Genesis 1 and in many places throughout Job, Psalms, and Proverbs we are informed that stars have existed since the early times of creation. As explained in two Reasons To Believe books,10 even the slightest changes in either the laws of gravity or electromagnetism would make stars impossible. As already noted in the accompanying article, gravity, electromagnetism, and thermodynamics yield stable orbits of planets around stars and of electrons around the nuclei of atoms only if they operate in a universe described by three very large rapidly expanding dimensions of space.


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picturingchrist
Post  Post subject: Biblical Model for the Origin of Life  |  Posted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 1:33 am

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The Case for a Supernatural Origin

When defending the Christian faith from the hard line of naturalism, pointing out the acknowledged problems with naturalistic origin-of-life scenarios may be important—but it is not enough. Christians must first make a positive case for the supernatural origin of life. Secondly, the case for life’s supernatural beginnings must comport with all of Scripture, not just one or two passages. And finally, for scientists to take seriously the case for a supernatural origin of life, that case must be testable. Paleontologist Niles Eldredge makes these points forcefully in his book The Triumph of Evolution and The Failure of Creationism. (In this work, Eldredge fails to demonstrate the triumph of evolution and only demonstrates the failure of young-earth creationism.7)Referring to young-earth creationists, Eldredge states,

Creation scientists have not managed to come up with even a single intellectually compelling, scientifically testable statement about the natural world. . . Creation science has precious few ideas of its own—positive ideas that stand on their own, independent of, and opposed to, counter opinions of normal science.8

So, in the end, there is as little substance in the scientific creationists’ treatment of the origin and diversification of life as there is in their treatment of cosmological time. They pose no novel testable hypotheses and make no predictions or observations worthy of the name. They devote the vast bulk of their ponderous efforts to attacking orthodox science in the mistaken and utterly fallacious belief that in discrediting science . . . they have thereby established the truth of their own position.9

Reasons To Believe scholars seek to address the important and valid points made by Niles Eldredge and other critics of creationism head-on by developing a biblically based, scientifically testable creation model—one that makes testable predictions. Creation can be tested. Creation can be science. An overview of the Reasons To Believe Creation model appeared in a previous issue of FACTS for FAITH (Q2 2000) and will be the topic of a conference on June 28-30, 2001. Numerous scientific and theological tests support that model.10

Presenting the biblical account of origins in the form of a testable creation model provides a powerful and exciting new approach to evangelism and apologetics. Offering up a testable creation model not only demonstrates the truthfulness of the Bible but also can lead to scientific advance. The standard naturalistic model and the biblical creation model for the origin of life both make predictions; thus, these predictions can be compared with some of the new major discoveries. Not surprisingly, the biblical description of the origin of life agrees with recent scientific discoveries. In sharp contrast, the most recent scientific data contradicts the predictions made by the naturalistic origin-of-life model.

Evolutionary Scenario for the Origin of Life

The textbook11, 12 or standard materialistic scenario for the origin of life begins shortly after Earth’s formation. The earth in its primordial state was markedly different than today. Evolutionary researchers take advantage of the lack of certainty about Earth’s early conditions by postulating that reducing gases—hydrogen-rich gases such as ammonia, methane, and water vapor—made up the early earth’s atmosphere. They speculate that no oxygen was present. Under these conditions energy discharges, such as lightning, propagating through the early earth’s atmosphere would lead to the production of small organic molecules, such as formaldehyde and hydrogen cyanide.

According to this scenario, these prebiotic molecules would then accumulate in the earth’s oceans over vast periods of time to form the legendary primordial or prebiotic soup. Within the prebiotic soup, again over long periods of time, the small prebiotic molecules would react to form more complex molecules, such as amino acids, sugars, fatty acids, purines, and pyrimidines. These molecules would in turn function as building blocks for the complex molecules that eventually would lead to the biomolecules found in living systems today.

This explanation for the origin of life requires that the chemical reactions taking place in the prebiotic soup eventually produce molecules with the ability to self-replicate. As their concentration increased in the prebiotic soup, the large, complex molecules would be expected to aggregate to form protocells or prebionts. Over time, through random chemical and physical events, the self-replicating molecules found in the chemical aggregates would transfer this capability to the prebionts. Evolutionary processes (e.g. natural selection) would eventually lead the prebionts to become increasingly efficient self-replicators and increasingly more complex.

Finally these prebionts would yield an organism referred to as the last universal common ancestor (LUCA). LUCA presumably resembled a modern bacterium. LUCA, then, would have given rise to the major domains of life.

Table I lists some of the most important predictions that reasonably follow from the textbook origin-of-life scenario.

Table I
Some Predictions Made by the Naturalistic (Evolutionary) Origin-of-life Scenario
Chemical evidence for the prebiotic soup will be found in the geological record.
Placid chemical and physical conditions existed on the early earth for long periods of time.
Chemical pathways leading to the formation of biomolecules will be found.
Chemical pathways that produce biomolecules would have been capable of operating under the conditions of the early earth.
Life emerged gradually over a long period of time.
Life originated only once.
Life in its minimal form is simple.

Biblical Model for the Origin of Life

Genesis 1:2 provides the starting point for the biblical description of life’s beginnings:

Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

This passage describes the earth in its primordial state.13 According to the text, the Spirit of God was moving above the surface of the waters, so the context of this passage is the earth’s surface. Positioned on the earth’s surface, a hypothetical observer would experience only darkness. He would also note that Earth’s surface was covered entirely with water. An observer would also see Earth as unsuitable for life. The Hebrew word translated as formless, tohu, connotes a desolate wasteland.14

The Genesis 1:2 description of the earth’s primordial conditions finds remarkable agreement with the scientific description of the earth’s initial conditions. The interplanetary debris of the early solar system and thick primordial atmosphere of early Earth would keep sunlight from reaching its surface.15 Darkness would, indeed, be pervasive on the planet. While scientists debate the mechanism and timing for the formation of the earth’s oceans, consensus holds that continents did not exist when the earth formed. Early in its history Earth was, indeed, a water world.16 From the time of its formation (approximately 4.55 billion years ago) until 3.5 billion years ago, the earth experienced numerous collisions that would have rendered the earth a desolate planet largely unsuitable for life.17

Genesis 1:2 also describes the supernatural creation of the first life on Earth.18 The original language makes even more apparent than the English that the Spirit of God is doing more than simply hovering over the surface of the waters. The Hebrew word translated as “hovering,” rahap, may also be translated as “brooding.” In its only other biblical use, rahap describes the Spirit of God “protecting” the wandering nation of Israel (Deuteronomy 32:10-11):

In a desert land he found him, in a barren and howling waste. He shielded him and cared for him; he guarded him as the apple of his eye, like an eagle that stirs up its nest and hovers (rahap) over its young, that spreads its wings to catch them and carries them on its pinions.

Transposing this imagery onto Genesis 1:2, we see the Spirit of God “brooding” over the surface of Earth as a mother eagle, hatching and jealously protecting her young.19 As an added note, the nation of Israel is seen wandering in a land of desolation. Here, tohu is translated as howling waste, further linking Deuteronomy 32:10-11 and Genesis 1:2.

Table II lists some of the most important scientific predictions that arise from the biblical description of life’s origin.

Table II
Some Predictions Made by the Biblical Origin-of-life Scenario
Life appeared early in Earth’s history.
Life appeared under harsh conditions.
Life miraculously persisted under harsh conditions.
Life arose quickly.
Life in its minimal form is complex.

Recent Scientific Discoveries in Origin-of-life Research

Comparing the predictions made by the two origin-of-life scenarios with the record of nature provides the best means of assessing the validity of the two competing models. Some of the most recent breakthrough discoveries in origin-of-life research specifically address predictions made by the two models.

(more at link above)


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picturingchrist
Post  Post subject: Biblical Model for the Origin of Humanity  |  Posted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 1:39 am

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Did man crawl his way into existence over millions of years? Or did he leap to two feet by supernatural design? Did humans emerge from amoebas or did a Creator intend for life to possess purpose, value, and meaning? Answers to such questions mightily impact how human societies respond to their most pressing problems. A divinely-designed, sentient, spiritual creature deserves greater care and consideration than does a random fluke of nature.

Some scientists say that human beings are a mere quirk of fate—intelligent apes produced by chance events taking place over the last 5 million years. They claim natural selection played a role in the process that led to modern humans. Competitive, predatory, and environmental pressures gradually selected inheritable changes, they say. These changes supposedly imparted increased survivability and reproductive success. Thus, natural selection would have operated on random variation again and again, producing a succession of new species until finally by chance modern humans came to be.

Along with large brain size (actually, brain size-to-body mass ratio), manual dexterity, and advanced culture, bipedalism constitutes one of the most important defining characteristics of humans. For evolutionary anthropologists, understanding the emergence and development of bipedalism equates with understanding the origin of humanity.

In sharp contrast to evolutionary thinking, the Bible reveals human beings as the pinnacle of God’s creative activity, made in His image and distinct from all other creatures.1 Biblical accounts of man’s beginnings leave no room for God’s using an ape-to-human evolutionary transformation process to create man. Scripture describes God’s direct involvement in creating the first humans, physical and spiritual creatures of immense worth from the time of their inception.

With its focus on testability,2 a powerful new approach helps discriminate between the biblical and evolutionary explanations for the origin of humanity (see sidebars). Predictions made by these origin models can be subjected to the rigors of scientific testing. The one with the greatest support from the scientific record and with predictions that best accommodate new discoveries exemplifies the most accurate scenario.

Recent advances in paleoanthropology (the study of the bipedal primate fossil record) and the paleoecology (study of ancient ecologies) associated with bipedalism present an unusual opportunity to make data comparisons. New discoveries in these, as well as other disciplines, argue against a naturalistic origin to bipedalism and provide substantial affirmation for the biblical record.

Evolutionary Scenarios

According to the evolutionary paradigm, since an ape-like ancestor gave rise to both the ape and the human lineages, bipedal primates must have evolved from knuckle-walking quadrupeds. Knuckle-walking exists as a special type of terrestrial quadrupedalism (ground-based locomotion employing all four limbs) possessed by chimpanzees and gorillas.3 Knuckle-walkers rest their weight on their knuckles, not on their palms or fingers. This design allows chimpanzees and gorillas to walk on all four limbs while still having the dexterity of long curved fingers for climbing and swinging through trees.

Paleoanthropologists propose a myriad of hypotheses to explain how bipedalism could arise from natural processes. One early explanation suggests bipedalism emerged to free the hands for tool use. Since the fossil record contradicts this notion, evolutionary biologists have rejected this idea. The archeological record clearly shows the existence of bipedalism at least 2 million years before tool use appeared.4

Most hypotheses seeking to account for bipedalism’s emergence depend on East Africa’s transformation from a woodland and forest environment to an arid, open savanna.5 With such changes, terrestrial quadrupeds faced reduced food supplies, increased risk of falling prey to predators, and the inability to avoid direct sunlight.6

Bipedalism offers a way to address these challenges. Walking erect served as a more energy efficient means of locomotion at slow speeds.7 This allowed bipedal primates to traverse long distances foraging for food. Once having found food, bipedal primates could carry the foraged food long distances as they returned to their “home-base” to provide for their young.8

By the height of their heads, bipedal primates are more effective at avoiding predation in an open savanna than quadrupedal apes. Standing erect would allow these animals to detect predators sooner and from greater distances.

Bipedalism also offers a thermoregulatory advantage.9 A bipedal primate standing upright absorbs 60 percent less heat than does an ape walking on all four limbs. A quadrupedal stance exposes the entire back to direct sunlight, whereas standing erect exposes only the head and shoulders.

Evolutionary biologists have yet to reach a consensus on the selective pressures that could have produced bipedalism in primates, nor have they demonstrated a mechanism that can bring about such dramatic changes in the time permitted (see the following section). To date, the only reasonable source of evolutionary pressure behind the four-to-two transformation remains the loss of a woodland habitat throughout East Africa.

Anatomy of Bipedalism

To transition from a knuckle-walking quadruped to an upright biped involves extensive anatomical changes.10 These changes include the following:

Relocation of the spinal cord opening

The foramen magnum (the opening in the base of the skull that receives the spinal cord) must be relocated from the back to the center of the skull base. In this position the vertebral column effectively balances the head, eliminating the need for powerful neck muscles.

Restructuring of the inner ear bones

The inner ear bones, which play a role in balance, must be altered to support bipedalism.

Introduction of spinal curvature

The lower and upper vertebral column must possess forward curvature to maintain bipedalism. This forward curvature coupled with the backward curvature in the middle of the spinal column allows the backbone to function as a spring, facilitating movement.

Restructuring of the rib cage

Apes’ inverted funnel-shaped rib cage accommodates arm use for locomotion. The barrel-shaped rib cage of bipeds permits effective use of the arms for nonlocomotory functions.

Reshaping the pelvis

To accommodate the hip joints and muscles necessary for bipedalism, the pelvis of bipedal primates must be lower and broader than that of knuckle-walking apes.

Altered lower limbs

Bipedal primates not only have longer lower limbs than quadrupeds, the valgus angle (the angle that the femur makes with the midline of the body) is also different. Longer lower limbs shift the center of mass towards the lower body. Angling the femurs inward moves the center of mass closer to the midline of the body. The altered center of mass allows stable bipedal locomotion.

Enlarged joint surfaces

Not only does the knee need to be restructured to accommodate the changed valgus angle, but joint surfaces must also be enlarged. This enlargement increases the contact area, helping the knee and other joints withstand the stress of standing or walking upright.

Restructured foot

Even the feet must be structured differently to support bipedalism. A platform foot with an arch allows for a greater surface area, one that can better withstand shock. In bipedal primates, the big toe is more elongated and aligned with the other toes and, thus, needs a different location. This new placement allows the toe to make the last point of contact with the ground as the leg swings forward during a bipedal stride.
Restructuring of the body’s musculatureIn order to accommodate the extensive skeletal changes required by the transition from a quadruped to a biped, much of the musculature must also be altered.

Predictions

The dramatic anatomical changes that must occur to transform knuckle-walking quadrupeds to bipedal primates thwart efforts to envision how this transformation could take place. Nevertheless, if bipedalism did emerge through natural-process biological evolution, it should occur gradually and appear well after the time that apes and humans are supposed to have diverged. Moreover, the first form of bipedalism to appear should be crude and inefficient. Once appearing, it should gradually transition to the more efficient obligatory bipedalism of modern humans. Lastly, significant evolutionary pressure would be necessary to force knuckle-walking apes, perfectly suited for their environment and lifestyle, to change into upright walking primates, if such change actually could occur.

Recent Scientific Advances

Several recent discoveries from the fossil and geological records have radically transformed paleoanthropologists’ view of the origin and natural history of bipedalism. These new scientific advances sharply contradict predictions stemming from evolutionary scenarios.

(more at link above)


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picturingchrist
Post  Post subject: Re: Biblical Model for the Origin of Humanity  |  Posted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 1:49 am

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Out of Africa Hypothesis

In a nutshell, this model (also called the replacement model) maintains that modern humans evolved recently (about 100,000 years ago) in East Africa from a small hominid population and then migrated around the world to replace pre-existing hominids. Proponents believe that Homo neanderthalensis and Homo erectus are evolutionary side branches and dead ends.

Relative Proportion of Harmful Mutations in European and African Populations

One recent study, carried out by an international team, examined genetic variation in fifteen African American and twenty European Americans. These workers characterized genetic variability by examining single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and categorizing the DNA sequence differences as benign, possibly damaging, and probably damaging.

They noted that African Americans harbor a greater degree of SNP diversity than European Americans. Interestingly, European descendents have a greater proportion of harmful variations than people with an African ancestry.

These results find explanation if humanity arose in East Africa from a small population, and recently migrated into Europe through a genetic bottleneck. Bottlenecks result when a population drops to low levels and then recovers its numbers, or if a small subpopulation becomes separated from the main group and then later grows in size.

Genetic and Copy-Number Variation

Another study characterized the genetic variability of twenty-nine populations from around the world by monitoring 525,910 SNPs and 396 copy-number differences.

Again, the patterns of genetic variability noted in these two studies for people groups from around the world fit with the predictions of the Out-of-Africa hypothesis.

A third recently reported study focused on about 650,000 SNPs found in the genomes of 938 people representing 51 populations from around the world. The SNP data clustered into a number of groups displaying a geographical relationship that indicates an African origin of humanity and subsequent spread around the world.

Overwhelming Evidence for the Out-of-Africa Hypothesis

These three new research reports can be thrown into a large simmering kettle of studies that support the Out-of-Africa model. (For a detailed discussion of the myriad evidences in favor of the Out-of-Africa Hypothesis see the book Who Was Adam? Collectively, the consensus that emerges from this work indicates that humanity originated recently (about 100,000 years ago) from East Africa (near the location theologians ascribed to the Garden of Eden) from a small population. Amazingly, studies using mitochondrial and Y chromosomal DNA markers trace humanity’s origin back to a single man and woman. These studies also indicate that humanity’s migration around the world began at or near the Middle East.

Though often presented and discussed within the context of the evolutionary paradigm, this model has profound biblical implications. In some respects, the Out-of-Africa hypothesis appears to be the biblical model awkwardly forced into the evolutionary framework, like an incorrect puzzle piece. If humanity’s genesis happened in the way described in Scripture, the genetic diversity patterns observed among people groups around the world would be very similar to those discovered by anthropologists. It looks as if Adam and Eve really existed, giving rise to all humanity.

Next week I will describe another study using DNA extracted from ancient head lice that also lends credence to the biblical account of humanity’s origin. I decided it would be best not to describe this work for now. I didn’t want to ruin anybody’s appetite.


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picturingchrist
Post  Post subject: Re: Biblical Model for the Origin of Humanity  |  Posted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 1:51 am

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Some Christians perceive that scientific advance affirms evolution and negates biblical creation. But in reality, scientists investigating humanity’s origin have made no discoveries that challenge a biblical understanding of origins. In fact, recent advances in genetics provide compelling support for that perspective.

Geneticists have found new ways to characterize humanity’s origin and expansion by studying human disease. These techniques rely upon genetic analyses of pathological microbes. Intimate association with humans allows these microbes to function as surrogate indicators of their hosts’ origin and migrations.

A team from the National Institutes of Health recently dated the origin of the malaria parasite (Plasmodium falciparum) to coincide with the origin of humanity.1 In a separate study, an international research team showed that the genetic fingerprints of Helicobacter pylori, a bacteria implicated in gastric cancer and peptic ulcers, affirms the migration of humans from east Asia into the Americas about 11,000 years ago.2 This finding dovetails with a prior study based on the genetic profile of the human JC virus. The virus work demonstrated that humans migrated from east Asia to the Americas and the Pacific Islands and dates the origin of the JC virus between 50,000 and 100,000 years ago.3

A new study by an international research team discovered that Helicobacter pylori clusters into seven subpopulations based on genetic makeup that correspond to distinct geographical locations for humans. The Helicobacter pylori population patterns find ready explanation in the view that humanity arose from a single geographical location and then spread globally. Early humans probably established ancestral groups in Africa and central and east Asia, followed by subsequent migrations to Polynesia, the Americas, Europe, and Africa (the Bantu expansion into the sub-Saharan regions of the continent).4

These studies of human pathologies together with other genetic studies add weight to evidence for a biblical account of origins. Genetic diversity, mitochondrial DNA, Y-chromosomal DNA, and linkage disequilibrium (the movement of genes relative to one another) in modern human population groups all combine to indicate a recent origin (in the neighborhood of 50,000 years ago), in a single location, from a small population of men and women. These studies also demonstrate that humanity spread from the Middle East to populate the rest of the world. While this description fits awkwardly within the evolutionary framework, it fits comfortably with the biblical description of humanity’s origin.

Scientists derive satisfaction and a sense of certainty when disparate methods, based on different assumptions, converge to yield the same conclusions. Both genetic characterization of indigenous human parasites and direct genetic analyses of human population groups agree—and, at the same time corroborate the Bible’s account of humanity’s origin.


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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: Biblical Model for...  |  Posted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:32 am
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Mod Note: Multiple threads merged and spam links to blog removed.

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Falconer360
Post  Post subject: Re: Biblical Model for...  |  Posted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 5:03 am
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I have tried to read all of what you have posted but seeing as how each post is so long and full of information my mind is having digestive issues with it all. Maybe it's that I'm tired, but I am having trouble discerning your exact positions on these subjects. You seem to be posting from some other source? Anyways, from what I gathered, you support the idea of an old universe and an old Earth. However, I am unsure of your stance on evolution. I'll try and reread these again in the morning, after I get out of class.

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iceaura
Post  Post subject: Re: Biblical Model for...  |  Posted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 5:41 am
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Quote:
Evolutionary Scenario for the Origin of Life

The textbook11, 12 or standard materialistic scenario for the origin of life begins shortly after Earth’s formation. The earth in its primordial state was markedly different than today. Evolutionary researchers take advantage of the lack of certainty about Earth’s early conditions by postulating that reducing gases—hydrogen-rich gases such as ammonia, methane, and water vapor—made up the early earth’s atmosphere. They speculate that no oxygen was present.
That is deduction from overwhelming evidence, not "speculation".
- - - -
Quote:
Finally these prebionts would yield an organism referred to as the last universal common ancestor (LUCA). LUCA presumably resembled a modern bacterium.
No, it likely didn't. Modern bacteria are products of billions of years of evolutionary change since then, and there are entire realms of living beings - the Archaea - that seem to have predated them.

Quote:
Table I lists some of the most important predictions that reasonably follow from the textbook origin-of-life scenario.
The people who can give you a list of predictions made by evolutionary theory are people who know it well and work with it a lot.
Quote:
According to the evolutionary paradigm, since an ape-like ancestor gave rise to both the ape and the human lineages, bipedal primates must have evolved from knuckle-walking quadrupeds.
That isn't true. The evolutionary paradigm says nothing about whether the last common ancestor knucklewalked, and the latest findings seem to indicate that it did not.


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picturingchrist
Post  Post subject: Re: Biblical Model for...  |  Posted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:56 pm

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Falconer360 wrote:
I have tried to read all of what you have posted but seeing as how each post is so long and full of information my mind is having digestive issues with it all. Maybe it's that I'm tired, but I am having trouble discerning your exact positions on these subjects. You seem to be posting from some other source? Anyways, from what I gathered, you support the idea of an old universe and an old Earth. However, I am unsure of your stance on evolution. I'll try and reread these again in the morning, after I get out of class.


Yes, well, I had these in different threads by the specific topics they were addressing (origin of universe, origin of life, origin of humanity), but iNow merged them all together. He also removed the links to the original sources, calling them "spam", even though they give references for the data provided and go into much more detail than the brief summaries I posted here.

Yes, I do believe in an Old Universe and Earth. I believe that evolutionary models are entirely inadequate when it relates to all of those topics listed above, as well as the origin of any new species above the level of viruses and bacteria.


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picturingchrist
Post  Post subject: Re: Biblical Model for...  |  Posted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 3:04 pm

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iceaura wrote:
That is deduction from overwhelming evidence, not "speculation".


Except the most recent evidence suggests that the atmosphere of early Earth, when life would have begun, was much too rich in oxygen. Most abiogenesis models that require very little oxygen and a "primordial soup" are being abandoned in droves right now.


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The people who can give you a list of predictions made by evolutionary theory are people who know it well and work with it a lot.


Oh, so evolutionary biologists don't publicize their predictions for other scientists to see...? That's a terrible way of doing science.

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That isn't true. The evolutionary paradigm says nothing about whether the last common ancestor knucklewalked, and the latest findings seem to indicate that it did not.


Can you link to sources describing these findings?


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marnixR
Post  Post subject: Re: Biblical Model for...  |  Posted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 6:12 pm
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picturingchrist wrote:
Except the most recent evidence suggests that the atmosphere of early Earth, when life would have begun, was much too rich in oxygen.


again, citation please ?

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picturingchrist
Post  Post subject: Re: Biblical Model for...  |  Posted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 10:42 pm

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marnixR wrote:
picturingchrist wrote:
Except the most recent evidence suggests that the atmosphere of early Earth, when life would have begun, was much too rich in oxygen.


again, citation please ?


http://www.reason.org/articls/origin-of ... l-creation
Quote:
Fitting with the lack of evidence for a prebiotic soup is the growing recognition that the early earth’s conditions would not have supported the synthesis of prebiotic molecules. For example, mounting evidence indicates that the early earth’s atmosphere was neutral, not reducing, composed of N2, CO2, and H2O.33, 34 Even with the absence of O2 (an inhibitor to the process of forming life molecules), prebiotic molecules cannot be produced in this type of atmosphere.35, 36 Strong evidence also has emerged that there were low, but significant levels of O2 not only in the early earth’s atmosphere, but also in the early earth’s hydrosphere.37-39 The presence of O2 would serve to inhibit the formation of prebiotic molecules.

37. Jonathan Wells, Icons of Evolution: Science or Myth? (Washington, D.C.: Regnery, 2000), 14-18.

38. Charles B. Thaxton, Walter L. Bradley, and Roger L. Olsen, The Mystery of Life’s Origin: Reassessing Current Theories (Dallas: Lewis and Stanely, 1984), 76-93.

39. Ivan G. Draganic, “Oxygen and Oxidizing Free-Radicals in the Hydrosphere of Early Earth,” presentation at the 12th International Conference on the Origin of Life and the 9th meeting of the International Society for the Study of the Origin of Life, San Diego, Calif., 1999.


Here's another article on the topic from Dec. 2011:

http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/20 ... ounds.html
Quote:
Scientists at the New York Center for Astrobiology at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have used the oldest minerals on Earth to reconstruct the atmospheric conditions present on Earth very soon after its birth. The findings are the first direct evidence of what the ancient atmosphere of the planet was like soon after its formation and directly challenge years of research on the type of atmosphere out of which life arose on the planet.

The scientists show that the atmosphere of Earth just 500 million years after its creation was not a methane-filled wasteland as previously proposed, but instead was much closer to the conditions of our current atmosphere. The findings, in a paper titled "The oxidation state of Hadean magmas and implications for early Earth's atmosphere," have implications for our understanding of how and when life began on this planet and could begin elsewhere in the universe. The research was funded by NASA.


And another:

http://www.evolutionnews.org/2011/12/post_34053831.html
Quote:
A recent Nature publication reports a new technique for measuring the oxygen levels in Earth's atmosphere some 4.4 billion years ago. The authors found that by studying cerium oxidation states in zircon, a compound formed from volcanic magma, they could ascertain the oxidation levels in the early earth. Their findings suggest that the early Earth's oxygen levels were very close to current levels.

Organic reactions are reactions that involve carbon-containing compounds. For the purposes of origin-of-life research, we are interested in nucleotides, the organic compounds that comprise DNA and RNA, or amino acids, the organic compounds that are the building blocks of proteins. Among origin-of-life scientists, the RNA-first world hypothesis has gained much ground. (See here for an article about recent research in this area.) However, RNA comes from other RNA molecules, and proteins come from other proteins. So the first molecules of life must have arisen by another process, different from how they are formed today. Miller and Urey conducted experiments to show that under certain atmospheric conditions and with the right kind of electrical charge, several amino acids could form from inorganic compounds such as methane, ammonia, and water. Several experiments have been done using various inorganic starting materials, all yielding a few amino acids; however, one key aspect of all of these experiments was the lack of oxygen.


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marnixR
Post  Post subject: Re: Biblical Model for...  |  Posted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 10:57 pm
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hang on, what you're referring to is the finding (made abut half a century ago) that the atmosphere was not dominated by NH3, CH4 and H2, but instead consisted of the oxides CO2, H2O and free N2

it definitely does not imply the abundant existence of free oxygen (O2)
and that makes all the difference - prebiotic chemistry could not have existed in the presence of free oxygen, but it could easily happen under an atmosphere of CO2, H2O and N2

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picturingchrist
Post  Post subject: Re: Biblical Model for...  |  Posted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 11:39 pm

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marnixR wrote:
hang on, what you're referring to is the finding (made abut half a century ago) that the atmosphere was not dominated by NH3, CH4 and H2, but instead consisted of the oxides CO2, H2O and free N2

it definitely does not imply the abundant existence of free oxygen (O2)
and that makes all the difference - prebiotic chemistry could not have existed in the presence of free oxygen, but it could easily happen under an atmosphere of CO2, H2O and N2


No, the more recent evidence suggests that there was relatively high levels of O2 in the atmosphere and hydrosphere - much higher than thought earlier, even comparable to current levels.

And what are your sources that it could "easily happen" in an atmosphere of CO2, H2O and N2?


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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: Biblical Model for...  |  Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 12:48 am
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I will also take this opportunity to note that your citations are crap. You've cited blogs and books, and any damned fool can publish either. As I've said before, it's exactly equivalent to citing Harry Potter books as evidence of wizards. Are you familiar with the concept of a scientific journal and peer review?

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SkinWalker
Post  Post subject: Re: Biblical Model for...  |  Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 3:01 am
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I've moved this to Pseudoscience.


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picturingchrist
Post  Post subject: Re: Biblical Model for...  |  Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 3:04 am

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iNow wrote:
I will also take this opportunity to note that your citations are crap. You've cited blogs and books, and any damned fool can publish either. As I've said before, it's exactly equivalent to citing Harry Potter books as evidence of wizards. Are you familiar with the concept of a scientific journal and peer review?


You should take this opportunity to admit that a) you have abused your Mod power to censor my threads, jumble up different topics and remove my links because you are dishonest and deceitful (yes, I will attack you personally, because you have proven to deserve it), and b) you have no idea what you're talking about, as usual.

With regards to b), are you seriously challenging the New York Center for Astrobiology and Nature as legitimate and credible institutes and publications, comparing them to Harry Potter books? Did you even follow any of the previous links provided before you erased them? And, more importantly, can you come up with with ANY sources, in peer-reviewed scientific journals or otherwise, that dispute the evidence provided? If not, please stop wasting our time with your ingorance.


Last edited by picturingchrist on Wed Oct 03, 2012 3:07 am, edited 2 times in total.


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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: Biblical Model for...  |  Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 3:06 am
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What evidence have you provided, though? We've been through this.

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picturingchrist
Post  Post subject: Re: Biblical Model for...  |  Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 3:19 am

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SkinWalker wrote:
I've moved this to Pseudoscience.


Wow. This is the definition of intellectual dishonesty, malicious censorship and generally childish behavior. You guys can't come up with any legitimate responses to the arguments provided, so you abuse your moderator authority and start editing and moving people's threads and comments around.

I have proven that neither you nor iNow know anything about legitimate historical analysis in the other thread, and now I have established that you guys know nothing about legitimate scientific investigation... or, even worse, you DO know that I am making good scientific arguments, but have decided to be deceitful and lie just so you can protect your selfish prides and egos.

I wonder how many other people have suffered this same fate of censorship at the hands of you two. Either way, you win... you have successfully censored all intelligent challenges to your worldview, maintained your stranglehold on naturalistic groupthink on this forum and I have much better things to with my time. The fact that you two irrational and scientifically inept people have achieved moderator status on this forum reflects very poorly on it as place for anyone to teach or learn, so I'm done here.

I am being very sincere when I say this - may God be with you and eventually penetrate your egoistic minds and your hardened hearts.


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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: Biblical Model for...  |  Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 3:22 am
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picturingchrist wrote:
I am being very sincere when I say this - may God be with you

Which god(s)?

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SkinWalker
Post  Post subject: Re: Biblical Model for...  |  Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 3:51 am
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picturingchrist wrote:
SkinWalker wrote:
I've moved this to Pseudoscience.


Wow. This is the definition of intellectual dishonesty,


How so? The thread began with "biblical model for..." this is not science. The forum you began the thread in is "The Scientific Study of Religion." You framed the OP as if it were science. Therefore pseudoscience. I get that you disagree -I even get that you're offended. By I moved it based based on this and this only.

Quote:
malicious censorship


Nothing was "censored" since nothing is being suppressed. The topic is merely being given a more appropriate venue to continue. Moreover, you have no guarantee of "free speech" here, so given your tendency to soapbox, claim to present "evidence," and generally gish-gallop about, you've been given more than a fair benefit of any doubt.

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and generally childish behavior.


You tend to react badly to responses that offend you. This is clear. You say "childish" but what you really mean is "I don't like it." Either get over it or leave. You're not compelled to post here.

Quote:
You guys can't come up with any legitimate responses to the arguments provided, so you abuse your moderator authority and start editing and moving people's threads and comments around.


Honestly, I haven't the time to even read all the crap you've copy/pasted into this forum in just a few days, let alone respond to it. Nearly every single piece of claimed "evidence" you give is anecdote or someone else's words so far as I've been able to tell. I've yet to see a shred of evidence or even the slightest indication that you're willing to concede even the slightest that you might be wrong. And, in the interest of transparency, we've only kept you around because trolls and crackpots are good for the forum business. I hate to break it to you, but you are a troll and/or crackpot by forum standards. :-) Our traffic has nearly doubled if I just count existing members' visits. Thanks.


Quote:
I have proven that neither you nor iNow know anything about legitimate historical analysis in the other thread,


No you haven't. In your mind you did, but you've "proved" only that you exist in a state of cognitive dissonance where you have certain conclusions to which you only see data that are confirming. When data that are in disagreement are presented, the data are automatically disqualified for reasons known only to you.

Quote:
and now I have established that you guys know nothing about legitimate scientific investigation...


Yes, the crackpot troll has it figured out. I'm sure no science forum ever saw that coming. :-D

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I am being very sincere when I say this - may God be with you


Yawn.


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marnixR
Post  Post subject: Re: Biblical Model for...  |  Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 7:01 am
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picturingchrist wrote:
And what are your sources that it could "easily happen" in an atmosphere of CO2, H2O and N2?


first for lack of oxygen in the early atmosphere, how about this one ?

Mass-Independent Fractionation of Sulfur Isotopes in Archean Sediments: Strong Evidence for an Anoxic Archean Atmosphere

or this one ?

Redox state of the Archean atmosphere: Evidence from detrital heavy minerals in ca. 3250–2750 Ma sandstones from the Pilbara Craton, Australia

or this one ?

Late Archean Biospheric Oxygenation and Atmospheric Evolution, which places the oxygenation event about 2 billion years after the earth's formation

as for prebiotic chemistry on the early earth, i didn't have to look very hard, just google "archean prebiotic chemistry", and you find articles such as this :

The Origin and Early Evolution of Life: Prebiotic Chemistry, the Pre-RNA World, and Time

and this :

Prebiotic Chemistry on the Primitive Earth (have a look at p.8 - "The Urey/Oparin atmospheres (CH4, NH3, H2O) models are based on astrophysical and cosmochemical models, while Rubey's CO2, N2, H2O model is based on extrapolation of the geological record.", and p.12 - "Little is agreed upon about the composition of the early atmosphere, other than that it almost certainly contained very little free O2.")

or this :

MAJOR EVENTS IN THE HISTORY OF LIFE - have a look at p.5-6, "Prebiotic chemistry and the ‘primitive soup’"

Quote:
Although it is generally agreed that free oxygen was absent from the primitive Earth, there is no agreement on the composition of the primitive atmosphere; opinions vary from strongly reducing (CH4 + N2, NH3 + H2O, or CO2 + H2 + N2) to neutral (CO2 + N2 + H2O). In general, non-reducing atmospheric models are favoured by atmospheric chemists, while prebiotic chemists lean towards more reducing conditions, under which the abiotic syntheses of amino acids, purines, pyrimidines, and other compounds are very efficient. The possibility that the primitive atmosphere was non-reducing does not create insurmountable problems, since the primitive soup could still form. For instance, geological sources of hydrogen, such as pyrite, may have been available; in the presence of ferrous iron, a sulphide ion (SH-) would have been converted to a disulphide ion (S2-), thereby releasing molecular hydrogen (Maden 1995).


to imply that my statement is without any foundation, as you appear to be doing, beggars all belief
in fact i'd say more : to deny the validity of my statement you have to ignore practically every scientific contribution of the last few decades to the understanding of the archean atmosphere and its interplay with the prebiotic chemistry on earth

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KALSTER
Post  Post subject: Re: Biblical Model for...  |  Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 7:18 am
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As is so often the case, picturingchrist has built an extensive fort of straw around himself, which he imagines is made out of brick. I am not sure where or if he actually fits in somewhere in the structures of the Discovery Institute or similar, but he seems to have taken all of their nonsense to heart. Their campaign was successful in roping him in, which is sad.

His confirmation bias and presumptions are obvious to all but himself and he fails to realise that many of us atheists/agnostics/non-fundamentalist theists did not start out that way. A great many of us were simply lead to our positions by an honest attempt to consider the available evidence objectively and by understanding the scientific method.

Sadly, I think he has decided to leave us, taking his role as discussion stimulator with him.

Anyone with another controversial subject? How about Free Will again?

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Prometheus
Post  Post subject: Re: Biblical Model for...  |  Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 12:02 pm
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Its true picturingchrist, there is way too much stuff to wade through on your posts. Why don't you focus on just one point in one thread at a time? I noticed you challenged the out-of-Africa hypothesis at some point. Start a thread on this and we can all discuss it in great detail.


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marnixR
Post  Post subject: Re: Biblical Model for...  |  Posted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 8:42 pm
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the following is not a bad summary of creationism of the last half century

Creationist Makeovers

(from "Once we all had gills" by Rudolf A Raff)

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