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Evangelical Scientists Debate Creation Story

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the at-least-no-one-else-has-dogma dept.

Science 1014

Hugh Pickens writes "Polls by Gallup and the Pew Research Center find that four out of 10 Americans believe humanity descend from Adam and Eve, but NPR reports that evangelical scientists are now saying publicly that they can no longer believe the Genesis account and that it is unlikely that we all descended from a single pair of humans. 'That would be against all the genomic evidence that we've assembled over the last 20 years so not likely at all,' says biologist Dennis Venema, a senior fellow at BioLogos Foundation, a Christian group that tries to reconcile faith and science. 'You would have to postulate that there's been this absolutely astronomical mutation rate that has produced all these new variants in an incredibly short period of time. Those types of mutation rates are just not possible. It would mutate us out of existence.' Venema is part of a growing cadre of Christian scholars who say they want their faith to come into the 21st century and say it's time to face facts: There was no historical Adam and Eve, no serpent, no apple, no fall that toppled man from a state of innocence."

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Fixer (-1)

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Do You Have a Link? (0, Funny)

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The name of the solution is spyware... (1, Offtopic)

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Re:Fixer (-1)

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Re:Fixer (-1, Offtopic)

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Re:Fixing such a thing... (-1, Offtopic)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 2 years ago | (#37176638)

I know its a spambot but "Their gigabits were running slower as ever" just cracked me up.

Re:Fixing such a thing... (0)

buanzo (542591) | more than 2 years ago | (#37176682)

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Re:Fixing such a thing... (0)

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Re:Fixing such a thing... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37176672)

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Re:Fixing such a thing... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37176742)

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Re:Fixing such a thing... (0)

cbiltcliffe (186293) | more than 2 years ago | (#37176872)

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Re:Fixing such a thing... (1, Funny)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#37176930)

Prozium has no negative side effects.

Why do they even discuss it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37176624)

Where does the bible say is Kain's wife from?

Land of Nod (2)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 2 years ago | (#37176636)

Where does the bible say is Kain's wife from?

The Land of Nod [wikipedia.org] (Genesis 4:16) It also can be interpreted as nomadic peoples (at least that's what my Catholic school upbringing taught me).

Re:Land of Nod (1)

54t4n (257535) | more than 2 years ago | (#37176804)

Perfect! This explain the diversity. Save by bible again! Let's now down that damned branas theory...

Re:Land of Nod (2)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 2 years ago | (#37176948)

And there is the clinching point - the bible never claims what evolutionary biologists call a bottleneck of two individuals (i.e. what the cheetah went through in the last ice age), rather that if you trace back far enough, everyone can trace back to the same two individuals.

Going back 10 or even 6 thousand years, assuming four generations a century (400 per thousand years), that's 2400 to 4000 generations.

That could account for a lot of diversity, even if *everyone* could trace back to the same one couple somewhere in their lineage (and that couple is not the entirety of that "level" of the tree).

Cain married his sister (2)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37176806)

Cain married his sister, and they had children together before "this absolutely astronomical mutation rate" had had a chance to occur. There were two mutation spurts in Genesis: one after the fall of man and one after the flood. Only about a thousand years after the flood did Jehovah God make laws against incest.

Science vs Religion: Contradictions? (2)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 2 years ago | (#37176634)

evangelical scientists are now saying publicly that they can no longer believe the Genesis account and that it is unlikely that we all descended from a single pair of humans.

Science and religion rarely mess when comparing facts. I guess this is news because it's evangelical scientists? They're still pushing creationism, aren't they?

Re:Science vs Religion: Contradictions? (4, Insightful)

Nursie (632944) | more than 2 years ago | (#37176680)

Yes, yes they are.

I think perhaps the title is misleading. Evangelical Scientists would be scientists who were evangelical about science.

These people are Evangelical Christian "Scientists", who are part of the evangelical christian movement. While it's good they realise that the genetic evidence gives a good case against their religion, what they have failed to realise is that they are now no longer fundamentalist evangelical christians because they have just put reality over and above the idea of inerrant scripture.

Re:Science vs Religion: Contradictions? (0)

kraut (2788) | more than 2 years ago | (#37176728)

Only a very small fraction of Christians - even evangelical Christians - insist on taking every word of the Bible literally.

Sadly, that fraction is very vocal, and concentrated in the US

Re:Science vs Religion: Contradictions? (1)

barlevg (2111272) | more than 2 years ago | (#37176738)

Well, Evangelical is uses as shorthand for the specific sect these days. Just read any mainstream newspaper article about the religious views of Michele Bachmann or Rick Perry. I will concede that it's likely that this usage isn't as common outside the US.

Re:Science vs Religion: Contradictions? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37176764)

a few points about your post. firstly, you make the assumption that believing scripture is inerrant requires a belief in a 7-day literal reading of genesis. many evangelicals do not read the start of the bible in this literal way. further, the article itself discusses how a non-literal reading is not an issue. secondly, you have prepended "fundamentalist" to the phrase "evangelical christian". evangelical and fundamentalism are not necessarily the same thing.

Christian Science (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37176838)

These people are Evangelical Christian "Scientists"

But they can't say it that way because it'd be confused with Christian Science [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Science vs Religion: Contradictions? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37176874)

Evangelical Christians believe they have been reborn and saved by Jesus and it's there duty to spread the word. Fundamentalists Christians believe in the literal interpretation of the bible as being absolute (despite over a thousand years of modifications, but I digress). You can be an Evangelical Christian and believe in Evolution. You just can't be an Evangelical-Fundamentalist Christian and believe in evolution.

Re:Science vs Religion: Contradictions? (0)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#37176890)

I think perhaps the title is misleading.

The subject line of the post is also extremely misleading.

You know you're dealing with uneducated provincials when they use religion and Christianity as a pure 1:1 mapping / synonym.

The article talked about extreme fringe christians, not "religion". Religion would imply they were also comparing known scientific facts and theories to all religious beliefs, such as native animists, buddhists, greco-roman mythology, scientology, hinduism, wiccans, and literally about 10K other mutually incompatible belief systems.

Re:Science vs Religion: Contradictions? (1)

gmack (197796) | more than 2 years ago | (#37176936)

Evangelical Christians tend to take the bible literally so these are by definition not evangelical and on top of that they are removing the "fallen man" part of the story(central to most evangelical belief systems). They are trying to influence evangelicals but they themselves are not.

Re:Science vs Religion: Contradictions? (2)

csnydermvpsoft (596111) | more than 2 years ago | (#37176878)

Science and religion rarely mess when comparing facts. I guess this is news because it's evangelical scientists? They're still pushing creationism, aren't they?

Many evangelicals are young-earthers, but not all. Calvin College, which is much of the focus of the NPR story, teaches evolution with little regard to the Genesis account. Any mention of God in science classes is much the same as in any other non-religion course at Calvin: care and awe for his creation, our work on earth as reformers (which can take a number of forms, not just the ones the Christian Right champions), and so on. You won't find any professor in the biology, physics, chemistry - or even religion - departments who would claim that the earth was actually created in six days. Unfortunately, the college president is more conservative than the faculty (though I don't think he's a young-earther), and seems to be on a holy war to champion "correct" interpretations of Genesis in the religion department.

I am a somewhat recent Calvin alumnus, and my take on creation and evolution as it's taught at Calvin is that they absolutely can mix together in a seamless fashion. All of our scientific discoveries show us a little more of how God created this world. Genesis was never meant to be taken literally - it is similar to many other creation accounts of its era, written in language that the people of the time would understand. It is unfortunate that the current (thankfully outgoing) president of the college feels differently, but his views are far from the most common on campus - especially among the faculty.

Re:Science vs Religion: Contradictions? (1)

V!NCENT (1105021) | more than 2 years ago | (#37176942)

Well there is room for that.

First of all the Big Bang was supposed to create its own logic (shape) and time. So no matter how logical your reasoning for the absence of a creator is; it's only valid within our universe. 'Outside', 'before' or 'behind' (can't find the propper words) there might as well be a two headed bunny rabit who sneezed the universe into existense. There might as well be a creator and you would have nothing scientifically valid against the existence of a creator. Furthermore the creator might be everywhere and always has been because the creator is not confined to space, time and logic.

Heaven and hell might as well be different universes.

Now there is this smart neurological researcher called Dick Swaab who sais that he has found that due to evolution, the human brain got a piece of religious brain function. But that doesn't mean that if there is a creator who can create an entire universe, might not also planned the Big Bang all the way into humans with religious brains. It also doesn't mean that there is no creator. For example; if humand were to obtain a piece of brain that deals with Newton laws, does that mean that laws of Newton are invalid, just because it has evolved into your brain? I personaly don't think so.

I'd say let them create a theory for non religious scientist to scientifacly disprove, or confirm. That way, we can at least figure out what is NOT the case.

v_v (1, Funny)

Haven (34895) | more than 2 years ago | (#37176642)

The BioLogos Foundation and Center for Cognitive Dissonance

Re:v_v (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37176684)

It's pretty funny, actually. They take their smartest creationists, put them in a room together, and tell them to think about it for a while. The result? "Yeah, this can't actually be true."

What, exactly, did they think would happen?

Re:v_v (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#37176910)

It's pretty funny, actually. They take their smartest creationists, put them in a room together, and tell them to think about it for a while. The result? "Yeah, this can't actually be true."

What, exactly, did they think would happen?

I think they were honestly expecting the old "satan planted this false evidence to test our faith in our god", but it turns out they just couldn't intellectually stoop that low.

The first step is admitting that you need help... (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37176644)

Baby steps, creationists, baby steps. One day, you'll be able to recognize, and accept, that there is no evidence for the existence of a God.

Re:The first step is admitting that you need help. (1)

Moryath (553296) | more than 2 years ago | (#37176868)

We'll see how long it takes them to get to the next zebra crossing.

People still believe that? (4, Interesting)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 2 years ago | (#37176646)

When I had religion in primary school they had basically told us that the Genesis was to be taken metaphorically and not literally, in secondary school we had a light analysis of certain Jewish cultural things in that story (like 7 days, and a garden being paradise for a tribe which lived in the desert...)

I didn't think people still believed it LITERALLY, this is news to me.

Re:People still believe that? (4, Interesting)

rufty_tufty (888596) | more than 2 years ago | (#37176696)

I'm intrigued, how did they suggest you choose which should be taken as metaphors and as fact/instructions? Or did they indicate that all of the bible should be taken as a metaphor?

Re:People still believe that? (0)

inasity_rules (1110095) | more than 2 years ago | (#37176768)

Context. Other passages and cultural information is used to decide. It is not random.

Re:all of the bible should be taken as a metaphor? (3, Interesting)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 2 years ago | (#37176800)

The really funny part is that the Bible itself says that it uses allegory! (Trivia question! Name a word which occurs exactly once in the entire Bible!)

http://scripturetext.com/galatians/4-24.htm [scripturetext.com]

Which things are an allegory...

Re:People still believe that? (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 2 years ago | (#37176914)

I'm trying to remember...

I have memories of our teacher trying to explain to the class how moses split the sea (if I remember correctly the conclusion was that the red sea wasn't an actual sea but a "lot of reeds" . So I think we analysed most of the bible in a metaphorical manner.

I think the main point of it was suggesting that the bible was to be taken mostly metaphorically and we should just see the message underneath and live it. Which is pretty much what I think religion is meant to be.

Re:People still believe that? (1, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#37176724)

When I had religion in primary school they had basically told us that the Genesis was to be taken metaphorically and not literally

That's because you were from a group that was not completely, shit-in-your-pants insane, like a certain group of presidential candidates that have been in the news lately.

Re:People still believe that? (1)

inasity_rules (1110095) | more than 2 years ago | (#37176752)

You must be new here?!

All of slashdot is always complaining about fundamentalist christians...

Re:People still believe that? (2)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 2 years ago | (#37176778)

Small guess: Not from the United States?

This "discussion" has been going on for years in the States. I only got aware of it by following atheist blogs and podcasts (Pharyngula, Atheist Experience). There has been a big trial [wikipedia.org] of which, when I first heard of it, thought it played somewhere in the early nineteen-fifties or so. Not so... 2005.

In Europe this literalism is much less widespread. Catholic doctrine says evolution is true (by now, probably not 100 years ago) so that eliminates literalism across a huge part of Europe. Also, in Europe, religion is supposed (and accepted, from my point of view) as a largely personal thing, not to be shared or proselytised.

Re:People still believe that? (3, Interesting)

slim (1652) | more than 2 years ago | (#37176814)

According to Karen Armstrong's book "The Case For God", taking religious stories literally is a pretty new development. She reckons that right back into prehistory, people understood that creation myths were just that -- myths. Stories with a point; something to teach us about how to live our lives, but still just stories. This is why the stories were so malleable, or why the same culture could have more than one, contradictory, creation story on the go at once.

She reckons that was true of mainstream Christianity for most of its lifetime; literal readings being a 19th-20th century thing.

Re:People still believe that? (3, Interesting)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 2 years ago | (#37176880)

Unfortunately there are nutjobs like that still in existence. If you read a book you always should know about its creation and its cultural background. Thats what most of those nutjobs never do and know.

The Bible was written about 400bc in the babylonian exile, which basically fortified the one god believe in israel. Add to that that basically every religion in that area had its own creation myth and those did not live in isolation and most of this was oral tales you end up with nice stories which might have some historical background or roots. For instance adam and eve could have existed but not alone and definitely not as first humans on earth but as historical persons sometime in the early bronze age.

The prophets probably have been in existence given the timeframe of 1000-400 before the canonization, but even the existence of david and salomon are under question up until now at least as universal rulers over israel. I personally dont doubt both existed, but I personally doubt Salamon really was the ruler over the huge rich realm. But in the end, who really cares about all this.

So there is a load of things in the old testament which is rather questionable from a historical point of view.
Also have in mind that the middle east countries always have been countries of tales and fables, and all this stuff is dark bronze age.

But back to those nutjobs, they read the bible word by word and think everything happened without even knowing an inch about the surrounding where it was written, when and by whom and which agenda was on the table. The political situations back then and why it was written (To give israel a solid cultural foundation and to fortify the one god believe which slowly but surely was winning thanks to the exile)
You should never ever read a book written in the bronze age like you would do a historical book today. The mentality does not fit. Those books were not written for political accuracy but for giving tales to their people to live on and to answer the questions which arise in every generation, which have had ben orally transmitted and changed for hundreds of years.

Any Rabbi worth his salt could have told them. (1, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 2 years ago | (#37176650)

Genesis is allegory.

-jcr

Re:Any Rabbi worth his salt could have told them. (3, Funny)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#37176790)

Any Rabbi worth his salt could have told them. Genesis is allegory

And any evangelical could have told them, "Why would you listen to someone who's going to burn in Hell for not believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, anyway. Genesis is Science. (Go Rick Perry!)"

See, when you have one religious believer arguing with another, it's like a retard fight. There are never winners, only losers.

Re:Any Rabbi worth his salt could have told them. (1)

WillAdams (45638) | more than 2 years ago | (#37176966)

Yep. From a previous post (here http://news.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1970862&cid=35031350 [slashdot.org] for the curious) ... Anyone whose faith is so fragile that it could be damaged by a rigorous class in evolutionary biology should go back to CCD or Sunday School or whatever their faith's equivalent is. ...

People who believe in the literal Word of God as the Bible remind me of the grand-daughter of a family friend --- he was a woodworker, old school, wanted me to be his apprentice so he could put me to work re-sawing wood rather than purchase a band saw. He made a cradle as a gift for the grand-daughter in question, for her to keep her dolls in --- she was very impressed when her mother told her, ``Your grandfather made this by hand.'' and immediately evinced a desire to see him and to see his shop and to watch him make something. The visit was arranged and upon arrival, the young lady was taken out to the shop and the large door rolled open, revealing rack upon rack of chisels, saws, hand planes, a simply unbelievable quantity of clamps and other hand tools --- the girl let out a shriek such as only a 5 year old girl can and yelled, ``Mommy! You lied! Grandpa doesn't make things by hand! He uses tools!''.

God is quite capable of using DNA and RNA and quantum mechanics and other theories which we have yet to learn about to make people and the world.

Moreover, those who believe that humanity is incapable of learning how God works are being blasphemous and not remembering the lesson of the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:6) which indicates that humanity's learning capacity is without limit.

William

So what faith are they reconciling, exactly? (5, Interesting)

xyourfacekillerx (939258) | more than 2 years ago | (#37176652)

Why even bother with a theology you must admit contains errors? Which part of the Bible contains the facts, and which doesn't? And if you don't know, then what's the point of your faith? Only when it apparently contradicts science you can reject a doctrine, or what is the verification principle at play here for these "Christian" "scientists".

Notice I'm not coming out in favor or against either science or religion here. I'm pointing out, I think these people are nothing more than deep-cover atheists. Their entire movement hinges on reconciling contradictions, by discarding the one assertion (religious dogma) in favor of the other (science), and then claiming the religion saved - which is at worst, a willful deceit, at best (I'm being charitable here) a collosal failure in the history of all rationality, and casts their ability to do logical inquiry into doubt. Neither alternative makes me willing to trust them.

Re:So what faith are they reconciling, exactly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37176694)

I was never taught the Creation story was fact, but that it was parable.

Re:So what faith are they reconciling, exactly? (2)

Wild_dog! (98536) | more than 2 years ago | (#37176860)

I was taught that Creation was an exact account of reality handed down from God.

There are a lot of people for whom this is so.

Re:So what faith are they reconciling, exactly? (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#37176722)

Which part of the Bible contains the facts, and which doesn't? And if you don't know, then what's the point of your faith?

A mythology can still contain useful and popular cultural stories, even if they're all not literally true. Look at the diet of TV animated fiction we feed our kids, Aesops fables, greco-roman mythology, santa claus, some history books, both D and R political party platforms ...

I'm no fan of "their" beliefs, but even I can see we as a culture are not getting rid of christmas anytime soon...

Re:So what faith are they reconciling, exactly? (2)

Moryath (553296) | more than 2 years ago | (#37176896)

The Japanese celebrate Christmas as pretty much a secular holiday. There's something to be said for a holiday whose primary functions are getting people together, spending time with family/friends, showing your appreciation for others in a positive way, and injecting a little levity into the darkest (literally) part of winter.

I doubt we'll lose Christmas. But hopefully we'll lose the insane religious nuttery that goes with it.

Now if only we could get rid of all the terrorist crap associated with Ramadan and Eid, and the crazy insane thousands-of-people-dead crap that happens at the end of Hajj each year...

Re:So what faith are they reconciling, exactly? (2)

digsbo (1292334) | more than 2 years ago | (#37176946)

There's a great deal of corroborated history throughout the bible. The actual events, such as the schism of the two kingdoms (Judah and Israel), the many wars, the diaspora, the repatriation to a weakened Israeli state under Roman rule, and even into the New Testament with the persecution of the early Christians under Roman rule. Of course you see very quickly that much of the Old Testament in particular (which is concerned more with the material effects of piety than the New Testament is) directly links the causes of the events it describes to the feelings of God, explained through the prophets (the New Testament doesn't portray anywhere near as direct a causality between God and events). Take that part of why things happened away from the Old Testament, and you are still left with a fairly accurate history that most scholars would agree has enormous value. In the New Testament it doesn't really matter, because with the exception of a few miracle narratives and the highly controversial and symbolic Revelations there's nothing at all to doubt from a historical perspective (Josephus' Antiquities documents a Christos and a rise of a new religious sect, and other historical documents and studies/facts corroborate the evangelism of this sect to various places described in Acts). Most of the rest of the New Testament is letters, which a Catholic bible, at least, attempts to give an honest accounting of the likelihood of the authorship claims for.

Re:So what faith are they reconciling, exactly? (1)

aeroelastic (840614) | more than 2 years ago | (#37176754)

I'm not religious, but it's very easy to explain if you take the Bible as parables, and not factual accounts. It's just a story to teach important life lessons to a developing desert culture with little to no formal education.

Re:So what faith are they reconciling, exactly? (3, Insightful)

localman57 (1340533) | more than 2 years ago | (#37176794)

Why even bother with a theology you must admit contains errors? Which part of the Bible contains the facts, and which doesn't? And if you don't know, then what's the point of your faith?

Why even bother with history, when you must admit it contains errors? Which part of History Books contain facts, and which doesn't? Then what's the point of history?

Same with the bible. The problem with the Bible, as I see it, is the fact that it's been hijacked by the all-or-nothing crowd. Read it. Decide what part of it (none, some, most, all) you believe. My denomination tends to see it as one of the leading human efforts to record a combination of history, myth, and philosophy. Other texts, including ones not yet written, may prove equally useful for exploring your faith, and relationship with God.

BTW, even if you're a dyed-in-the-wool athiest, take a thumb through Proverbs sometimes. Theres a lot of good stuff in there (although some of it is a bit trite).

Re:So what faith are they reconciling, exactly? (2)

Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) | more than 2 years ago | (#37176830)

Which part of the Bible contains the facts, and which doesn't? And if you don't know, then what's the point of your faith? Only when it apparently contradicts science you can reject a doctrine, or what is the verification principle at play here for these "Christian" "scientists".

The point of faith is to live, do, and be better, where the metric of better is normative. Of course there is a verifiability/epistemelogical problem with what is better, but there is in science too. (I know, gasp, shudder, science has reproducable results--the point is how you decide what's best, what to aspire to and how to act. We make a normative decision to have faith in science the same way we do to have faith in religion. The difference is that once you make the normative decision to subscribe to science, your further normative decisions become explicitly goal-oriented, at least if you are thorough about it.)

Put another way, Star Trek or Grand Theft Auto? I'll give you a hint: the difference is *not* that one espouses science.

Re:So what faith are they reconciling, exactly? (2)

inasity_rules (1110095) | more than 2 years ago | (#37176848)

Which part of the Bible contains the facts, and which doesn't?

Context decides this. That context must include both related passages in the book, and conditions/culture of the time and even archeology. The idea that genesis is not literal does not start in science, but in theology actually. St Augustine was one of the first christian thinkers to assert(though he later changed his mind) that genesis was not literal. There are huge theological problems with taking genesis literally, even if science supported it.

Re:So what faith are they reconciling, exactly? (1)

robthebloke (1308483) | more than 2 years ago | (#37176854)

and casts their ability to do logical inquiry into doubt

Religious faith and logical inquiry have never been the best of friends.....

Single source? (2, Interesting)

Compaqt (1758360) | more than 2 years ago | (#37176658)

>it is unlikely that we all descended from a single pair of humans.

I thought that Lucy/African Eve was the one that we're all descended from. Or was that a single pair of humans ... Lucy and multiple males.

Or if we don't all descend from a common source (the rest having died or being killed off), does that give weight to racist arguments that blacks and whites are separate species?

Re:Single source? (3, Interesting)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 2 years ago | (#37176740)

Not if you define seperate species as species that are unable to interbreed. Various lines of Homo could have descended separately down the evolutionary tree for a while, but not diverged enough that when they came together again, they were unable to interbreed.

Re:Single source? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37176756)

Lucy is considered a related species, not an ancestor.

Re:Single source? (2)

dmitrybrant (1219820) | more than 2 years ago | (#37176770)

It's possible for all of us to have descended from Lucy/African Eve because she lived several million years ago, instead of the Biblical Eve who purportedly lived 6000 years ago. It's the 6000-year figure that makes it impossible for this much variation to occur.

Re:Single source? (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 2 years ago | (#37176808)

Misunderstanding due to the bad use of "Eve".... Who Was Mitochondrial Eve? [youtube.com]

Re:Single source? (2)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#37176822)

>it is unlikely that we all descended from a single pair of humans.

I thought that Lucy/African Eve was the one that we're all descended from. Or was that a single pair of humans ... Lucy and multiple males.

Or if we don't all descend from a common source (the rest having died or being killed off), does that give weight to racist arguments that blacks and whites are separate species?

The word you don't know to google for is "speciation"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speciation [wikipedia.org]

The really short version of a really long subject using a /. car analogy is that 99.9% of parts for one model in adjacent years are interchangeable, but over an extremely long run, lets say pickup truck model from 1950 vs 2000, there eventually ends up being zero parts interchangeability ... they've drifted into "separate species" somewhere between 1950 and 2000, but at no individual model year could you really say this exact spot is THE birth of the new species of truck.

There's plenty of space in evolution for racist arguments based on differences in environmental selection pressure, no need for convoluted miscegenation arguments.

Re:Single source? (1, Interesting)

Ardeaem (625311) | more than 2 years ago | (#37176862)

>it is unlikely that we all descended from a single pair of humans.

I thought that Lucy/African Eve was the one that we're all descended from. Or was that a single pair of humans ... Lucy and multiple males.

No. Lucy is the name given to some skeletal remains, we are HIGHLY unlikely to be descended from her. "African Eve" is a completely different idea.

Or if we don't all descend from a common source (the rest having died or being killed off), does that give weight to racist arguments that blacks and whites are separate species?

No, it doesn't. The idea that "blacks" and "whites" are separate genetically, much less different species, is ridiculous.

Re:Single source? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37176894)

You're confusing mitochondrial eve and Y-chromosome Adam. It is a simple mathematical fact that if you go back far enough in time every living member of any population will share a common ancestor of each gender. These common ancestors will almost certainly not exist at the same time and place. These individuals also were not alone, by any stretch of the imagination. Just look at the common fallacies portion of the Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitochondrial_Eve .

Re:Single source? (2)

Dr. Manhattan (29720) | more than 2 years ago | (#37176900)

It's true, we're all descended from one female, the "Mitochondrial Eve" [wikimedia.org] - in the sense that she's the most recent common matrilineal ancestor. That is to say, by chance, she had daughters, and they had daughters, and so forth. There were other women alive at the time, but at some point or another their great^n granddaughters had all sons.

One major confusion is that species don't form from individuals. There's no 'single mutation that produces a new species'. There's always a population that diverges.

For a much clearer picture of how species really do come about, look up 'ring species'. For example, the Larus gulls are several subspecies where variants live in a ring around the Arctic. The Herring Gull in the U.K. can interbreed with the American Herring Gull, and the American can interbreed with the Vega Gull in Russia. And so on, until you come to the Lesser Black-Backed Gull in the Netherlands. It basically can't breed with the Herring Gull. Hybrids are extremely rare and don't seem to be fertile, like mules.

So, is it a separate species? You could breed it with its relative to the East, and so on. But what if, say, the Vega Gull went extinct? Would you have separate species then?

Now, imagine such variations happening across time instead of (or as well as) space, and you've got an idea how species actually do form, instead of the 'saltationist' strawman that many try to imply. (Not saying you are, just that it's a very common misunderstanding that's often deliberately promoted.)

Note also that human 'races' are all entirely cross-fertile, and thus are decidedly not 'separate species'.

Double Standard (2)

sunderland56 (621843) | more than 2 years ago | (#37176660)

So, if the Church and 4 out of 10 Americans believe the Biblical version of creation, why are they so dead set against incest?

Seeing how this is a Christian thing... (1)

ebonum (830686) | more than 2 years ago | (#37176674)

There is only one proper response.

BURN HIM!

Science and Christianity can't mix... (5, Interesting)

Anita Coney (648748) | more than 2 years ago | (#37176690)

If there was no fall, there was no need for redemption. If there was no need for redemption, there was no need for a savior. And without a savior, there is no Christianity.

Will it make any difference? (1)

Panaflex (13191) | more than 2 years ago | (#37176702)

: Catholics have used the fourfold method of exegesis and Jews have Rabinnical texts - they still want to believe that the whole Bible is literal and that God through his holy scribes was incapible of metaphor?

We still love our Christian brothers and sisters - even when they're uncomforttible eating Dino-shaped chicken nuggets.

Weeks of years, parables, and other metaphors (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37176952)

they still want to believe that the whole Bible is literal and that God through his holy scribes was incapible of metaphor?

Of course the Bible has metaphors. Jesus taught using "parables", the ancient counterpart to the modern "car analogy". Several "weeks" in the Bible have proven to be weeks of years [aboutbibleprophecy.com] as in Daniel 9, and some "days" may be a thousand years [creation.com] (2 Peter 3) or longer. Where the denominations differ is which parts of the Bible are considered literal and which metaphors.

We still love our Christian brothers and sisters - even when they're uncomforttible eating Dino-shaped chicken nuggets.

Of course dinosaurs were around in biblical times: what do you think taninim were?

Take the plunge already! (1)

dmitrybrant (1219820) | more than 2 years ago | (#37176706)

"...no serpent, no apple, no fall that toppled man from a state of innocence..."

Come on, you can do it, just one step further... -> No God!

creation denies evangelical buybull stories (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37176708)

the moon & the stars are unmoved by man'kind''s fist shaking, but may determine that some atmospheric adjustments are needed.

truth telling & disarming are the only spiritually & mathematically correct (life supporting) options. read the teepeeleaks etchings. many million babys+ playdates are still being scheduled. see you there.

No Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37176710)

"There was no historical Adam and Eve, no serpent, no apple, no fall that toppled man from a state of innocence."

First things first, when contradicting Christian Biblical creation stories, make sure you contradict what is actually in the Christian Bible and not a the strawman of the populist "Hallmark card" synthetic bible. Apple was never mentioned in the bible. The modern belief that it was came from a Latin pun equating malus (apple) with malum (evil)".

Don't get me started on how many wise men there were in the Nativity story, whether they were kings, what were their names... None of this is in the Bible, but if you'd like to contradict it, be my guest.

Oh USA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37176714)

You so funny!

Allegory (2)

NonSequor (230139) | more than 2 years ago | (#37176744)

There was no historical Adam and Eve, no serpent, no apple, no fall that toppled man from a state of innocence."

Let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater. If there's any meaning in this story it's allegorical. It's just a framework which was contrived to carry an idea.

The story goes that man is created in a perfectly ordered universe, but has no active role except to assign labels to things. Adam and Eve decide to seize the means to take on decisions of greater consequence. As a result, they're cast out into the place where shit gets real and things have real consequences. If you want to make real decisions then those decisions have to have real consequences. Having free will means living in a world where you at times when you have to deal with suffering. That's the whole point of the story.

Re:Allegory (1)

Ragondux (2034126) | more than 2 years ago | (#37176978)

If you want to make real decisions then those decisions have to have real consequences. Having free will means living in a world where you at times when you have to deal with suffering. That's the whole point of the story.

I think "Spiderman" is a better story, with more or less the same message. We should replace the Bible with it. And maybe in a thousand years people will have forgotten that it's a fiction.

OH BOY (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#37176760)

Now this is going to be interesting to observe the heads of evangelical Christians explode, that even the scientists who are themselves Christians no longer can maintain that those biblical stories have anything there but a fairy tale.

On a lighter note, here is some NSFW [livejournal.com] but still quite political material that may cheer some of those Christians up. On the other hand there are naked boobs there, so what do Christians say about naked boobs?

Adam and Eve.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37176772)

I have always found it amusing that the church condemns inbreeding but still maintains that humanity is descended from a single male and female which is a state of afforest that could not have come about without inbreeding.

Evangelical Scientists? (1)

hargrand (1301911) | more than 2 years ago | (#37176796)

... no fall that toppled man from a state of innocence

If they deny the fall, then they also necessarily deny the existence of sin. Therefore, in their worldview, the death of Jesus on the cross accomplished nothing, meaning these scientists are not Evangelical Christians.

Problem with literal interpretation (0)

RicRoc (41406) | more than 2 years ago | (#37176802)

A literal interpretation of holy writings soon leads to confusion, obscures the truth, and makes it unnecessarily hard for rational individuals to realize the spiritual truths enshrined therein.

The stories of Adam and Eve, Noah, Moses provide spiritual teachings, such as: “God the Creator”, “God the Protector”, “God the Provider” - they are not historical accounts.

In this day, now that Christ has returned, such stories, and the teachings they provide can be viewed as the necessary steps and fundamental building blocks of our current task: to build the Kingdom of God on Earth.

PS. The return of Christ: http://www.uhj.net/bahaullah.html [uhj.net]

Of course!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37176812)

Of course people did not come from a single pair of humans. They are coming from a single pair of monkeys, where genes were randomized by a nuclear explosions...

Dear Evangelicals, (4, Insightful)

Wubby (56755) | more than 2 years ago | (#37176816)

Welcome to the 19th Century.

Sincerely,
Science

Well Duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37176818)

Here:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/77/Neighbor-joining_Tree-2.png

Also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neoteny

What's being going on is that humans, by selection or stupidity have been selecting the humans with more Neotenized features. Basically had we never invented ships or airplanes we'd all end up looking like Japanese or Native Hawaiians. This isn't a bad thing. It somewhat explains why Asians seem obsessed with cute things while Europeans aren't. There's likely some genetic preference. The ability to travel is causing more genetic diversification.

But the point is that human skin color evolved out of climate change, but all other features have been genetic preferences. North Americans and Australians in 200 years have had the unfortunate problem of breeding in obesity because this was a preference util the 1960's when TV started telling people they have to be thin to be attractive. Meanwhile Asia hasn't had this problem because they're genetic selection had preference for smaller cuter types to begin with. Yes obesity occasionally shows up in Asia, but you don't see it like you do in the Americas.

Maybe in another 200 years the average North American will be some blend of Asian, European and African. If only we can breed the stupid out, I'm fine with that.

Welcome to reality (1)

belthize (990217) | more than 2 years ago | (#37176820)

Drinks are in the kitchen, pizza should be here shortly. There's a game on later or you can just lounge around outside in the garden. I think there's even an apple tree.

Token Creationist here (1)

Voyager529 (1363959) | more than 2 years ago | (#37176824)

Genuine question here. No, I didn't read TFA, but TFS indicates that it'd be an astronomical chance that all the genetic diversity in humans that we see today came from a single pair of humans. The alternative to that seems to be that there were multiple sets of humans who evolved into humans during a similar period of time on an evolutionary scale. Given the complexity of a human being as-is, the gradual change of humans over a period of several thousand years (assuming a Creation-based timetable of 10,000-50,000 years, no I don't believe the 6,000 number either) into the genetic diversity we see today seems no more remote a possibility than (switching gears to evolution and TFS) having multiple apes each independently evolving into human beings that have sufficiently equivalent DNA and reproductive systems compatible enough to themselves reproduce.

Re:Token Creationist here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37176934)

Genuine question here. No, I didn't read TFA, but TFS indicates that it'd be an astronomical chance that all the genetic diversity in chickens that we see today came from a single pair of velociraptors. The alternative to that seems to be that there were multiple sets of velociraptors who evolved into chickens during a similar period of time on an evolutionary scale. Given the complexity of a chicken as-is, the gradual change of chickens over a period of several thousand years (assuming a Creation-based timetable of 10,000-50,000 years, no I don't believe the 6,000 number either) into the genetic diversity we see today seems no more remote a possibility than (switching gears to evolution and TFS) having multiple velociraptors each independently evolving into chickens that have sufficiently equivalent DNA and reproductive systems compatible enough to themselves reproduce.

Re:Token Creationist here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37176956)

Except for, you know, everything we've carbon-dated older than that, stars billions of light years away whose light could never have reached us in a 50,000 year old universe, models of geology that work better with gradual change over millions of years than with a single catacalysmic flood....

Twilight Zone episode - Probe 7 (1)

schwit1 (797399) | more than 2 years ago | (#37176826)

It was Adam and Eve. [wikipedia.org]

Fruit (1)

Ceiynt (993620) | more than 2 years ago | (#37176852)

Of course there is no historical evidence there was an apple. No where does it ever say it was an apple. All Genesis ever refers to is a fruit, or in the Greek, froúto(phonetic).

Oxymoron of the day (1)

beef3k (551086) | more than 2 years ago | (#37176902)

"Evangelical scientist"

Biologos and Creation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37176906)

Biologos is headed up by a fairly well known scientist by the name of Francis Collins (think Human Genome Project). His scientific credentials are impecable. He also happens to be an evangelical Christian. He ascribes to a belief that God used evolution and that Genesis was written in a poetical structure and its purpose was not to teach literal history.
For what it is worth (and that is fairly little with the /. crowd), there are people developing mathematical models of the same HapMap data that leads Francis Collins to his conclusions from a young-earth time frame. They are attempting to grapple with actual analysis or actual data.
We could all stand to be a bit less derisive of those with whom we disagree.

Christianity relies on original sin to be true... (3, Interesting)

StabnSteer (705930) | more than 2 years ago | (#37176908)

One of the biggest problems with denying the Adam and Eve story is that it negates the fundamental reason Jesus appeared - that is, to take on "our sins" created by the fall. Denying Adam and Eve pretty much throws a wrench into the whole works of Christianity, so this is bigger than just admitting that it is allegory or metaphor...

Scientists miss the point of 'faith' (1)

subreality (157447) | more than 2 years ago | (#37176916)

tries to reconcile faith and science. ... Those types of mutation rates are just not possible. It would mutate us out of existence.

These guys are missing how faith works. It's not based on logic and reason; in fact, it is explicitly the virtue of believing something despite logic and reason. Reasoned arguments are pointless when the counterargument is "god guided evolution to create our diversity, and lovingly saved us from mutagenic self-destruction".

Trying to reconcile faith and the scientific method is nonsensical. Trying to do it in context of creationsim, one of the deadest horses to ever be beat, is just foolish.

Extrmely Poor Evangelical Position (1)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 2 years ago | (#37176922)

Seems like an extremely poor evangelist. Lets see, you can believe God created the heavens and the Earth. You can believe God created man. But you also believe believe God CAN'T mutate man? God's powers are literally infinite except, of course, he lacks the ability to mutate and/or genetically manipulate man. WTF?!? The inability to use critical thinking here is astounding.

Impossible to look at this story as reporting on either extremely poor evangelists, scientists, or both.

I hate to burst the hateful bubble, (2)

OrgnlDave (1791106) | more than 2 years ago | (#37176932)

I hate to burst the hateful bubbles present, but tons of evangelical scientists have always supported evolution. It is only just a very strong push into education and other areas of life by certain evangelicals who became the 'squeaky wheel' that everyone hears that brought about that stupid bubble. Except it was more like an incessant roar that drowned everything out.

Here's a bad example: Westboro Baptist Church. The Phelps cult sure as heck aren't baptists, despite the name on the sign. They have also been officially disowned by all legitimate church associations, including the 'Primitive Baptist' movement they claim to be a part of, and other Baptist associations.

Yet still I get asked about them in regards to my faith.

Disclaimer: I am an 'evangelical' who volunteers at a nominally Southern Baptist college church in the Northeast USA. I'm an old-world creationist, which means I believe God created the universe way back a long time ago, and that he wasn't absent in our evolution.

Cherry Picking Quotes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37176950)

The article quotes Fazale Rana about the possibilities of errors in the Bible and whether or not this is an important issue within the church. They failed to include his opinion on the issue itself, which would feature the fact that it's the English translation of the Bible that seems to require the Earth to be only a few thousand years old. I'm familiar with Dr. Rana and the organization he works for. He comments routinely on human mutation rates and how they align with Genesis days as the original Hebrew allows for: long periods of time. He finds much of evolutionary theory to be valid, but finds in the data supporting evolution shortcomings that are congruent with the idea that some "kinds" of things were created apart from natural evolutionary processes.

Which brings up the next point. These scientists who are questioning the validity of Genesis failed to notice that the creation of mankind is a miraculous event. As such, they shouldn't be surprised to find disagreement between a strictly natural evolution and a supernatural creation. The headline could read "Christian finds evidence of miracle, denies miracle occured". Whether you believe in miracles or not, these people are contradicting themselves.

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