The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Evolution, The Flood, and God’s True Nature


#121

Am I mistaken? Does intelligent design describe something more narrow than that?


#122

Of COURSE you are mistaken, qaz!!

Just kidding :wink: I have heard the term used as a pejorative paired up, usually, with ‘creationism’, by fools that don’t know any better.

Until I started investigating, I had NO IDEA HOW INTELLIGENT the design is!! The book “Show Me God” shows a universe that humbles the imagination and the spirit. Thrilling.


#123

At the beginning of this thread, I mentioned the following:

I just watched a great show today on Netflix: Is Genesis History? (2017)

In this documentary, you can see Mark Armitage examining the soft tissue from a triceratops horn.


#124

Thinking that less than 1% of scientists have the age of the earth right while over 99% have it wrong is a strange, strange way of thinking.


#125

Last week, one of Jehovah’s witnesses rang my door bell. When I came outside, she presumed I was ignorant of the things she was telling me. I informed her that I was familiar with her organization. Then she handed me a “Watchtower” magazine, expressing the desire that I would read it.

Late I began to read it. One of the first articles was entitled “OUTDATED OR AHEAD OF ITS TIME?” The subheading read "THE BIBLE IS NOT A SCIENCE TEXT BOOK, YET IT CONTAINS STATEMENTS THAT WERE WAY AHEAD OF THEIR TIME. CONSIDER A FEW EXAMPLES.

One of the “examples” was the claim that in Isaiah 40:22, "The Bible writer Isaiah referred to “the circle of the earth,” using a word that may also be rendered “sphere.” I looked up the Hebrew word “chuwg” and the Greek equivalent in the Septuagint “γυρος” (“guros” or “gyros”) and can find no evidence that either word ever means “sphere.”

In all the translations to which I have access, the word is Isaiah 40:22 is not translated as “sphere” although Darby’s translation as “globe” suggests the same idea. It is translated as “circle” in AKJV, ASV, AV, KJ21, LEB, NHEB, YLT, NRSV, ESV, Orthodox Study Bible (which translates the OT from the Septuagint) and interestingly enough the New World Translation (by Jehovah’s Witnesses). The NEB and the Jewish Study Bible render the word as “vault,” and the Dead Sea Scrolls Bible as “disk.” I am confident that Isaiah viewed it the same. Thus:

However, if Isaiah had visualized the earth as a globe, what would it mean for God to sit ABOVE it? For all directions away from the earth are UP!
For example, for those living in Quebec, “up” is exactly the opposite direction from that which is “up” in Australia.


#126

Re the circle of the earth:

creation.com/isaiah-40-22-circle-sphere


#127

Are you aware, they also have their own Bible translation? For the record, I don’t agree with much of their theology. see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jehovah%27s_Witnesses


#128

I would pretty much HAVE to be aware, wouldn’t I?— to have written the following in my post above:


#129

In today’s news:

SCIENCE CONFIRMS GENESIS FLOOD ACCOUNT, AGAIN:
[i]Oceans of water found deep within mantle of planet
[/i]

(This article is a reaction to a research paper published last Thursday by the journal Science, titled, “Ice-VII inclusions in diamonds: Evidence for aqueous fluid in Earth’s deep mantle.”)

It begins:

As to the idea that the worldwide Flood of Noah was sent by God, as I said earlier,

Blessings.


#130

EXCITING. From Fox News this week:

In one of the most provocative and misunderstood studies of the year, scientists in the U.S. and Switzerland have made an astonishing discovery: All humans alive today are the offspring of a common father and mother – an Adam and Eve – who walked the planet 100,000 to 200,000 years ago, which by evolutionary standards is like yesterday. Moreover, the same is true of nine out of every 10 animal species, meaning that nearly all of Earth’s creatures living today sprang into being recently from some seminal, Big Bang-like event.

…That’s how Stoeckle and Thaler concluded that ninety percent of all animal species alive today come from parents that all began giving birth at roughly the same time, less than a quarter-million years ago. “This conclusion is very surprising,” Thaler avers, “and I fought against it as hard as I could.”

…In their report, published in Human Evolution, Stoeckle and Thaler offer other possible explanations, including, Thaler explains, “ice ages and other forms of environmental change, infections, predation, competition from other species and for limited resources, and interactions among these forces.” Whatever the explanation, he adds, the takeaway is this: “all of animal life experiences pulses of growth and stasis or near extinction on similar time scales.” [The Flood of Noah?]

From the linked research summary:

The mass of evidence supports the hypothesis that most species, be it a bird or a moth or a fish, like modern humans, arose recently and have not had time to develop a lot of genetic diversity.


#131

Well, I was wondering where to put this article…from a recent Patheos Catholic newsletter. I’m afraid if I asked folks here:

Where should I put this article?

They may say something like:

Well, I can tell you where to put it. But I don’t think it would fit!

Any, there is the article:

“Life is not about how fast you run or how high you climb, but how well you bounce.”-- Vivian Komori


#132

Interesting!
I lean toward an “old-earth, young-humanity” position, but I could not back that up except in a very general way. These findings might be bolstering for that view.
If you see anything that follows up on this article pls let us know.


#133

The original paper makes no such claim that most species arose recently. Here is what the authors say in a summary of their work.

A straightforward hypothesis is that the extant populations of almost all animal species have arrived at a similar result consequent to a similar process of expansion from mitochondrial uniformity within the last one to several hundred thousand years.”

In other words, they did not find evidence of the first appearance or arising of these species in the last one to several hundred thousand years. Those species were already present for various periods of time longer ago than that.

What they actually found was this. They traced back from the genetic diversity found in the mitochondrial DNA of today’s species, using estimates of the mutation rate of this DNA, to a time when this DNA was uniform. From that method, they predicted the mitochondrial DNA of all of these species was uniform within each species one to several hundred thousand years ago. That does not mean the species arose at that time. It means the mitochondrial DNA of these species was uniform at that time. That uniformity could have been caused, for example, by reduction in population size of these species at the same time, such that members within each population had the same or a very similar mitochondrial DNA composition.

To say their findings mean most species arose at that time is a serious misreporting of the study results.


#134

@lancia What conclusion was Thaler ‘fighting against’?


#135

I guess it would be the conclusion that so many of the species they studied were similar in how long ago their mitochondrial DNA was uniform within their species. But this similarity could have resulted from glaciation that has also been predicted to have been occurring at that time, glaciation that would have dramatically reduced population sizes similarly across many species at the same time.


#136

Ah so.Thanks. What I don’t know about mitochondrial DNA would fill an ocean.

For me as a layman in this area, the saddest thing is the politicization of science; for my generation (dinosaurs) science was revered - naively, probably, since we were not sophisticated enough to differentiate between scientific method and the aims/agendas of some scientists. Really, what we want is: "This is what we were trying to prove, this is how we went about it, results can be replicated by anyone who follows our method "AND - be honest enough to say: “what we Did Not look for and here are the other possible alternatives to our conclusions.”
IOW, scientist as someone without a dog in the fight.

I appreciate your perspective on the state of the evidence for/against some evolution theories. Are you knowledgeable as a professional in this matter, or as a very educated observer of science?


#137

I have a Ph.D. in biology (specifically in aquatic biology); was a university professor for 35 years (now retired), teaching various courses such as general biology, ecology, experimental population ecology, and biological science writing; and have published 70 papers on my research.


#138

So, you’re basically just a layman like I am? :rofl:

I’m encouraged that you are here, thanks for weighing in. Perhaps I’ll keep my big mouth shut for awhile :slight_smile:


#139

Thanks. I have enjoyed being here, one of the two religious forums I regularly view each day.


#140

Nevertheless, the assertions by these researchers that new evidence “implies that the extant populations of most animal species have, like modern humans, recently passed through mitochondrial uniformity,” and, “The mitochondrial variation within the modern human population is about average when compared to the extant populations of most animal species,” are very exciting, in light of the Bible stories of Creation and of Noah’s ark.

In his Origin of Species (1859), Darwin raised a lack of transitional fossils as a possible objection to his own theory: “Why, if species have descended from other species by fine gradations, do we not EVERYWHERE see INNUMERABLE transitional forms?” (Emphases mine.)

What concerned Darwin in 1859 is in the same vein as what these researchers are still concerned with in 2018: “The tight clustering of barcodes within species and UNFULFILLED sequence SPACE AMONG THEM are key facts of animal life that evolutionary theory must explain.” (Emphases mine.)

My interpretation of Genesis is that everything that has been created was created during the first six days of Creation Week; that there was subsequently a Fall, followed by the appearance of corruption and death in nature; and that this was eventually followed by a worldwide flood, with only a limited number of people and animals surviving to repopulate the earth.

Thomas Kuhn, in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962), pointed out that there are competing paradigms (subjective filters) in the interpretation of evidence; and of course Darwinian macro-evolution is currently the dominant paradigm.

If the authors of this paper are saying that most species experienced a mitochondrial genetic “bottleneck” in the past, I consider that it may have been Noah’s ark.

The various chronological dating methods in the sciences were developed with certain presuppositions which are theory-based. And speaking of dating techniques, you may recall that I began this thread with consideration of soft tissue being found in dinosaur remains, both the triceratops and the T. Rex. Here is quote from above: