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Author Topic:   The Post-Noah's Flood Period is Explained by Evolution
Jenifer
Junior Member (Idle past 5909 days)
Posts: 5
From: Texas
Joined: 05-10-2008


Message 1 of 66 (465803)
05-10-2008 6:12 PM


Please see Message 2 for a clarfication of the topic of discussion. --Admin
Now, I admit to being a rank amateur when it comes to this debate, but I've been aware of it my whole life. Whenever you see this in the news, it's always been an either/or debate, as if God's Creation couldn't evolve. Why have people made this assumption?
My ideas run this way, and you can agree or disagree. I'd like to hear both sides of the argument, frankly.
First know that I take the Bible quite literally, unless the passage states specifically that it is speaking in metaphor. So I believe that God created the world by His will alone. God, therefore, wrote the rules that nature abides by. Those rules include evolution! If nature, which has no will of its own, can change itself, it can only do so because God allowed it to do so. The changes have been documented. They have occurred, so it is obvious that God allows evolution to occur.
Now, with the flood, God knew that Noah could only do so much. He couldn't possibly build a boat big enough to house dinosaur species along with the cattle, cats and critters. He had to be selective, but still give the individuals, both animal and human, enough genetic diversity to repopulate the Earth and end up with healthy populations. He chose the smaller of the two types of pachyderms, leaving the mammoth to become extinct. He chose the smaller birds, leaving the dinosaurs to become extinct. He chose the smaller insect species, leaving giant dragonflies and mosquitoes to die out (which I am thankful for). But to ensure that these representatives of their species would be enough to repopulate the Earth, mutation would have had to occur almost immediately! We see this mechanism at work even today when a population becomes isolated. The Florida Panther, a type of cougar, became isolated by human encroachment and hunting. Then people started noticing that it was changing. It developed a cowlick along it's back and a kink in its tail. The mimic octopus of Indonesia has mutated to give it extraordinary survival capabilities.
So, that's my theory. God wrote the world using the language of science. Any takers?
Edited by Admin, : Add comment at top.

Replies to this message:
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Admin
Director
Posts: 13084
From: EvC Forum
Joined: 06-14-2002
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 2 of 66 (465875)
05-11-2008 8:25 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Jenifer
05-10-2008 6:12 PM


Hi Jenifer,
I'm going to promote your thread, but I'm going to try to focus discussion so that I can release this as a science thread instead of a religious one, and so that the topic isn't too broad.
So I'm going to change the title from "Why should Creation and Evolution be mutually exclusive?" to "The Post-Noah's Flood Period is Explained by Evolution", and I'm going to ask discussion to focus on just this topic.
To everyone:
The pre-Noah's flood period is off-limits, and geological issues are off-limits. Anyone who would like to discuss these topics should find other threads or propose new ones.

--Percy
EvC Forum Director

This message is a reply to:
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Admin
Director
Posts: 13084
From: EvC Forum
Joined: 06-14-2002
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 3 of 66 (465876)
05-11-2008 8:28 AM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.

  
Taz
Member (Idle past 3401 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 4 of 66 (465888)
05-11-2008 10:37 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Jenifer
05-10-2008 6:12 PM


Jenifer, what's your take on the time frame?

I'm trying to see things your way, but I can't put my head that far up my ass.

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Coragyps
Member (Idle past 844 days)
Posts: 5553
From: Snyder, Texas, USA
Joined: 11-12-2002


Message 5 of 66 (465893)
05-11-2008 11:44 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Jenifer
05-10-2008 6:12 PM


but still give the individuals, both animal and human, enough genetic diversity to repopulate the Earth and end up with healthy populations.
You'll need a way for that to work, Jenifer. Two mice have at most four genes for some particular protein. But we now have several hundred species of mice with scads of varying genes. Were ark-mice equipped with hundreds of chromosomes to hold all that "genetic diversity?"
He chose the smaller birds, leaving the dinosaurs to become extinct.
Well, except that there is not so much as a milligram of evidence that nonavian dinosaurs and any modern mammal ever coexisted. And there is literally tons of evidence that humans and nonavian dinosaurs never coexisted.
If that second point is too geological, I'll drop it right now.
Edited by Coragyps, : add last sentence

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Coyote
Member (Idle past 2216 days)
Posts: 6117
Joined: 01-12-2008


Message 6 of 66 (465899)
05-11-2008 1:07 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Jenifer
05-10-2008 6:12 PM


You create severe problems with an interpretation that places the evolution of genus Homo after the flood, but creationists still propose such things. One writes, for example:
Adam and Eve, and not the australopiths/habilines, are our actual ancestors. As pointed out by other creationists [e.g., Lubenow9], Homo ergaster, Homo erectus, Homo heidelbergensis, and Homo neanderthalensis can best be understood as racial variants of modern man-all descended from Adam and Eve, and most likely arising after the separation of people groups after Babel The non-transitions in ”human evolution’-on evolutionists’ terms[/i], by John Woodmorappe.
What is particularly amusing are the implications if this wonderful bit of creationist “science” were actually correct. For every tweak they make in established science there are several unintended implications.
For example, let's look at the claim that the change from modern man, i.e., Adam and Eve, to these four species of fossil man took place since the Babel incident, which is usually placed after the global flood and in the range of 4,000 to 5,300 years ago.
This change from modern man to Homo ergaster would require a rate of evolution on the order of several hundred times as rapid as scientists posit for the change from Homo ergaster to modern man!
This is in spite of the fact that most creationists deny evolution occurs on this scale at all; now they have not only proposed such a change themselves, but see it several hundreds of times faster and in reverse!
This problem of creation "science" illustrates what happens when you try to twist established science to fit a biblical framework. For every forced fit there are many more unintended complications. Eventually you have to realize, after tweaking the facts to accommodate still more complications and creating still more problems, that natural history and human evolution just can't be force fit into a strict biblical framework.
And nothing short of abandoning all of science for a purely imaginary world can make them fit.

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Straggler
Member (Idle past 175 days)
Posts: 10333
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 7 of 66 (465902)
05-11-2008 1:51 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Jenifer
05-10-2008 6:12 PM


There are many
Hi Jenifer
There are many who would agree that theism and science are wholly compatible in terms of evolution etc. This is not a new point of view but a well established a very very widespread one (despite what the Christian fundamentalist anti evolurtion brigade might claim). I believe that the pope himself could be considered a theistic evolutionist.
The question that need to be asked are 'Why is God needed' in any such scenario?
And is there any evidence for God's involvement in any such scenario?

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Rahvin
Member
Posts: 4046
Joined: 07-01-2005


Message 8 of 66 (465907)
05-11-2008 2:45 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Jenifer
05-10-2008 6:12 PM


Hi Jenifer,
Your idea closely mirrors what I would have believed when I was a Christian. I agree that, if a deity exists, science is the best and most accurate method of determining what that deity did and how.
Unfortunately, it simply doesn't match the evidence. The most direct and simple way to test the Flood (and this works whether you use "superevolution" or have literally every species on the Ark, either way) is to test for a genetic bottleneck.
The Flood story specifically states that unclean creatures came in pairs, and the clean creatures came in sevens. There were also only a few humans on the Ark, restricted to Noah's family.
Genetic testing can detect population bottlenecks where all of the members of a species descended from just a few original members. We have detected such bottlenecks in some organisms. Humans, in fact, had a genetic bottleneck a few thousand years ago - unfortunately, it was over 10,000 years back, not the 4,000 or so deducted from a literal reading of the genealogy timeline from the Bible, and the bottleneck was not 12 individuals, but rather a few thousand.
This bottleneck, if the Flood happened, should correspond for every species on Earth, because all species should have been constrained to just the individuals present on the Ark. For those species we do detect bottlenecks, they do not correspond to a similar date range. For most species, there is no bottleneck at all. This means that, without a direct miracle (and if you allow those there is no point in a scientific inquiry or rationalization with the Bible, because you can break any of the rules on a whim with magic), the Flood story as literally told in the Bible is in direct and specific contradiction with the evidence we observe.
Further, Noah would need to have sufficient numbers of the "precursor" species of all present species within walking distance of the Ark's construction site, and would need to sail the entire world to deposit the necessary species in their specific habitats. For instance, whatever precursor to marsupials (like kangaroos) would need to have originated in the middle-east, and then be deposited in Australia after the Flood to allow the family to "super-evolve" into the variety currently seen in marsupials.
So unfortunately the evidence directly contradicts your attempt at apologetics. It's certainly feasible for an all-powerful deity to use miracles to account for these things, but at that point you're assuming that the deity would miraculously engineer evidence in such a way to specifically contradict what he actually did, and that doesn't fit with a deity who supposedly never lies.

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Archer Opteryx
Member (Idle past 3707 days)
Posts: 1811
From: East Asia
Joined: 08-16-2006


Message 9 of 66 (465983)
05-12-2008 7:29 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Jenifer
05-10-2008 6:12 PM


The Newspaper God
Jenifer:
First know that I take the Bible quite literally, unless the passage states specifically that it is speaking in metaphor.
This policy statement is your first and greatest mistake.
Your difficulties originate in your treatment of literature, not science.
The Bible is a collection of books. Books are literature. Your policy statement has nothing to do with how literature is read.
Fair-minded readers don't force genres onto texts before they examine them. They ask. They pose questions like 'What kind of story is this?'
You assume the genre automatically before you even read. You declare that every narrative, every story in this eclectic assemblage of texts gathered over centuries will be read by you as a newpaper story unless you feel forced to consider other possibilities. You assume.
You have been taught that assuming is a smart thing to do. But how can it be, when countless literary genres exist? Many of these genres are primarily symbolic in their mode of expression. Some are primarily factual. Many mix both modes of expression. Some describe realistic events that, for all their realism, are fiction--yet these stories convey truth just the same.
Symbols appear in all sorts of writing. Almost never does the storyteller 'inform' you 'specifically' that symbols are being used. This is silly. Good writers aren't pedantic. They expect a minimum of savvy from their readers, and normally they get it.
Wise people understand that an unlimited Being is free to speak in any form at all. God is under no obligation to express himself in the single literary genre you happen to like.
But, sadly, you do not grant God this freedom. You have been taught your prejudice in favour of newspaper stories. You have been taught that newspapers represent the supreme literary form. You have been taught that the highest respect you can show a story is not to approach it in an open-minded way and ask what it is, but just to assume it's a newspaper and treat it that way.
The newspaper is your default setting for God. It is the only genre you permit God to use to talk to you. You deny him the freedom any human author would enjoy to express himself as he chooses.
This prejudice in favour of newspapers remains just a prejudice. Nothing more. The Bible itself never demands that you treat its texts this way.
No commandment given at Mount Sinai reads:

Thou shalt take my Scriptures quite literally, unless the passage states specifically that it is speaking in metaphor.
Jesus never said in the Sermon on the Mount:

Blessed are they take the Bible quite literally, unless the passage states specifically that it is speaking in metaphor.
John of Patmos never said in the closing pages of his Apocalypse:

Thou shalt take this book quite literally, unless the passage states specifically that it is speaking in metaphor.
No, you did not get your 'newspaper rule' from the Bible. You did not get it from God. You learned this policy statement somewhere else.
Which means you are free to discard it.
And it's time to discard it. You already noticing that your 'newspaper rule' puts you at odds with everything that is known of the age and size of the universe and the natural history of the planet you live on. The discrepancy bothers you enough that you feel the need here to negotiate some sort of compromise with reality that will let you keep reading your Bible as a newspaper. But half-measures don't work for a mistake this basic.
It's time re-examine your investments--not in God, but in newspapers. It's time to ask whether newspaper writing is so important that you should ever have automatically equated it with the mind of God.
God doesn't have to write you a newspaper story. God can speak to you any way God wants. God can do anything. God is God.
--
We're exploring this in detail in another thread: the Two Trees in the Garden. Feel free to visit if you get the chance.
________________
Edited by Archer Opterix, : brev.

Archer O
All species are transitional.

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bluescat48
Member (Idle past 4299 days)
Posts: 2347
From: United States
Joined: 10-06-2007


Message 10 of 66 (465992)
05-12-2008 9:32 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Jenifer
05-10-2008 6:12 PM


As with the comments of those who responded to your post, the one factor can be summed up as:
Science asks questions and seeks the answer whereas, creationists give the answer, then bend the question to fit the answer.

There is no better love between 2 people than mutual respect for each other

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Jenifer
Junior Member (Idle past 5909 days)
Posts: 5
From: Texas
Joined: 05-10-2008


Message 11 of 66 (466022)
05-12-2008 1:41 PM


What I'm trying to say, I guess, is that God changed the entire world while it was covered up. For an all-powerful being who created it all in the first place, I don't see the problem. Once the flood had receded, however, He promised never to do it again until the judgement day. The changes He'd made were set, now, to run on their own.
I'd address the time issue, but I think that's in another thread.
Edited by Jenifer, : No reason given.

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Rahvin
Member
Posts: 4046
Joined: 07-01-2005


Message 12 of 66 (466025)
05-12-2008 2:08 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by Jenifer
05-12-2008 1:41 PM


What I'm trying to say, I guess, is that God changed the entire world while it was covered up. For an all-powerful being who created it all in the first place, I don't see the problem. Once the flood had receded, however, He promised never to do it again until the judgement day. The changes He'd made were set, now, to run on their own.
I'd address the time issue, but I think that's in another thread.
That sounds all well and good, but it still doesn't address the observed fact that most creatures do not have the genetic bottleneck they would need to have if their populations were restricted so much, and those that do have bottlenecks don't match up to anything approaching a similar date range as they should if the Flood happened.
If you dismiss everything with miracles, it begs the question of why your deity feels the need to cover his tracks so deliberately. It also puts you in the uncomfortable position of having a compeltely unfalsifiable and untestable argument, where not only is nothing known but it is in fact impossible to know anything with any degree of accuracy. It puts you on the same level as suggesting we are living in the Matrix, and it's an intellectual dead-end.

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Coragyps
Member (Idle past 844 days)
Posts: 5553
From: Snyder, Texas, USA
Joined: 11-12-2002


Message 13 of 66 (466028)
05-12-2008 3:23 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by Jenifer
05-12-2008 1:41 PM


is that God changed the entire world while it was covered up.
"...while it was covered up" with what? Water? All evidence to date shows that not only has that never been the case in the last ten thousand years, but also never in the last couple of billion. That "global flood" deal didn't happen! The Genesis version of it is a reworking of older stories from the Tigris-Euphrates area - about Tigris/Euphrates floods, most likely. And it's there in Genesis to convey some arcane moral point or the other, not to record any history.

"The wretched world lies now under the tyranny of foolishness; things are believed by Christians of such absurdity as no one ever could aforetime induce the heathen to believe." - Agobard of Lyons, ca. 830 AD

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onifre
Member (Idle past 3061 days)
Posts: 4854
From: Dark Side of the Moon
Joined: 02-20-2008


Message 14 of 66 (466037)
05-12-2008 6:52 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Jenifer
05-10-2008 6:12 PM


Jenifer writes,
He chose the smaller of the two types of pachyderms, leaving the mammoth to become extinct. He chose the smaller birds, leaving the dinosaurs to become extinct. He chose the smaller insect species, leaving giant dragonflies and mosquitoes to die out
The problem is that here you suggest God selected them for extinction. I thought they were killed by the flood though?
However, even if there was a flood and if you are suggesting that the Bible is the literal word, the flood would have occured sometime within the last 6000-4000 years according to Biblical scholars. What kind of 'mutations' and adaptations are you saying took place within these time lines? Seems like a short period of time for drastic mutations to occur. Im not an Evolutionary Bio. expert but, given that most mutations are neutral you kinda need those millions of years in between there to have it work properly.
If you change the flood date to a further date, to say 100 million years ago, you run into a problem, no genus homo...in fact theres barely any mammals(if any at all). Homo-sapiens like that of Noah don't come into the picture till about 100-200K years ago. If you say the flood took place some time after then you will still run into the problem of, not enough time to evolve, plus now your not really taking the Bible as the literal word anymore and are adjusting it to fit with modern day sciences' discoveries. So either let us know how literal you take it or explain further what you mean. Good theory though, I think we should call it "The Theory of Convenience". LOL, just kiding, had to though ;o)
Edited by onifre, : No reason given.
Edited by onifre, : No reason given.
Edited by onifre, : No reason given.
Edited by onifre, : No reason given.

All great truths begin as blasphemies

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Replies to this message:
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Zucadragon
Member
Posts: 113
From: Netherlands
Joined: 06-28-2006
Member Rating: 2.7


Message 15 of 66 (466280)
05-14-2008 6:33 AM
Reply to: Message 14 by onifre
05-12-2008 6:52 PM


Responce to onifre
given that most mutations are damaging to the species you kinda need those millions of years in between there to have it work properly.
Isn't it that the effect of a mutation depends on the environment the organism is in, that most mutations are effectively neutral, but in some environments these mutations have a positive and in some a negative effect on te fitness of the organism ?

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