Side Comments on Ann Gauger's Response to Themelios Review

Natural selection is inevitable if there is a population of organisms. Some will survive, and some will die.

I don’t see how that’s an argument against special creation.
Edit: And weren’t you promoting dual creation?

If we define special creation as the separate creation of baramins or kinds, then this poses a serious problem given the evidence we have, both on a morphological and genetic level. What we have at both levels is nested hierarchies, and matching hierarchies at that. We know that common ancestry and vertical inheritance should produce this pattern, but there is no reason why special creation should also produce this pattern. For example, you could create a kind of animal that had feathers, teats, three middle ear bones, and flow through lungs. You could create species with a whole host of different features that completely violate the type of nested hierarchy that we would expect from evolution. In fact, it takes way more effort to make sure your designs fall into a nested hierarchy than it would to just start designing them.

We also see the same pattern at the genetic level. First, the similarities and differences between genomes matches the nested hierarchy based on morphology. The specifics of those differences also matches up to common ancestry. For example, exons of shared genes have fewer differences than the introns. This makes sense in evolution since the exons are the part of a gene that are combined to create proteins while the introns are clipped out and aren’t used for anything. Therefore, natural selection would select against deleterious mutations in the exons which results in more conserved sequence in exons as compared to introns. For separate creation, God would have to purposefully add in way more mutations to introns to make them look like they are part of an evolved genome which makes no sense. For the vast majority of intron sequence, you wouldn’t need to change any of the sequence in order to keep whatever function they have, and yet these introns have the most change as we would expect from evolution.

At some point, there is no way around the conclusion that if baramins or kinds were created separately that God purposefully put in a fake signature of evolution into the creation.

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There was a discussion about the patterns possible in common descent when Winston ewerts dependency graphs were thing everyone agrees on is that it’s not purely nested hierarchies. You can refer that.Reticulated evolution is a fact on every level of life.
Your last comment shows that you know nothing about designing stuff. Have you heard of not reinventing the wheel again? If something works, it will be used again and again. This can give the appearance of “nestedness” because of our tendency to classify things.
You can discuss this with @swamidass. He agrees that nested hierarchies is not proof for common descent and that life doesn’t fall into purely nested heirarchies.

Perhaps… or we are missing something. It’s possible genetic drift explains most of the changes described by you. You would have a point if most of the changes actually had some function. Since they don’t, the difference between species needs to be largely explained. For example, for the sake of argument, if all species were created really fast, then it’s possible that genetic drift would create a similar picture in terms of the differences. What needs to be established is that genetic drift accounts for anything more than synonymous changes. And can lead to speciation. If it cannot, then that’s the bigger problem.


What a good question!

I am promoting dual-creation to solve s problem for Christians and Christianity!

One group of Christians sees so much physical evidence for Evolution that he or she cannot, in good conscience, dismiss these natural traces he or she believes were left by God.

But there is ANOTHER group who sees so much Biblical investment in the personhood of Adam/Eve that he or she cannot, in good conscience, dismiss these theological traces in the Bible.

@swamidass has found the math, the science AND THE THEOLOGICAL methods to make it possible, reasonable and even PROBABLE that (from a Christian’s viewpoint) that God engaged in TWO kinds of creation: God-Guided natural selection needed to EVOLVE humanity to a specific stage of development PLUS engage in Special Creation of Adam/Eve when the greater human population was at the right stage!

What everyone does agree with is that there is a statistically significant phylogenetic signal. Also, Ewert’s model fails to explain the divergence of exons and introns, genetic equidistance, and many other features. It also fails to explain why different adaptations are found together, such as fur and cusped cheek teeth.

Then why do we see multiple reinventions of similar functions in the biological world? Cephalopods and vertebrates both have camera style eyes, yet they are designed very differently. Birds and bats both have adaptations for flight, but they are DIFFERENT adaptations. For example, the bird has flow through lungs for effecient oxygen extraction from the air. A bat has highly effecient hemoglobin and tidal lungs which allows it to have the same amount of oxygen extraction as birds. Birds have an airfoil wing with feathers. Bats have a membrane stretched between their fingers. Also, the DNA sequence would work in multiple species for many proteins (e.g. cytochrome c), yet we find different sequences in those species. The same DNA sequence for introns would work in multiple species, yet we find different intron sequences in different species.

Actually, not they wouldn’t. If all species started out with very similar introns then all species would be about the same genetic distance apart at the DNA sequence level. This is called genetic equidistance. That’s not what we see. Instead, we see some species share more DNA in their introns than others. What we see is that the number of differences between genomes correlates with evolutionary distance.

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Why do you waste your time with such nonsense? It seems so beneath you to even be reviewing such a book in the first place and then commenting on 10 articles by Ann Gauger commenting on your comments. Now you are commenting on the comments made on the comments made on a totally unless nonsensical book of TE where nobody has a clue on what TE is or isn’t. Why don’t you continue to concentrate on doing real evolutionary science for the benefit of real people?

The Crossway book was not a “book of TE”. It was a book criticizing TE. And how do you know it is “nonsensical” if you haven’t read it?

Because everything from DI is nonsense.

Yes, but that very same book of Job, which indicates that God’s ways are sometimes beyond our understanding, also is one of the Biblical books containing the most material for natural theology. So the teaching of Job would appear to be that God is in some ways hidden but in other ways not. His rationality can be grasped in the arrangements of nature, even if his reasons for his ways with man are not always plain. The hiddenness of God is one part of the Bible’s teaching, but it’s not all that the Bible has to say about God.

This is where English theology has tended to differ from Teutonic theology. The German theological mind (which includes German-speaking thinkers in Switzerland, Austria, etc.), at least since the Reformation, has sometimes tended toward an exaggerated view in which only God’s hiddenness is stressed. The English theological mind balances that emphasis on hiddenness with the claim that God is partly known to us through the orderliness and rationality of his works. I think the English approach generally comes closer to the balanced treatment given in the Bible.

(For those of us who do history of ideas, this is not the only way in which English thought has tended to be more balanced and less extreme than German thought. It is not an accident that Marx and Nietzsche were both products of the German rather than the English religious atmosphere. But I digress.)

I’m not quite sure why the book of Esther is mentioned here. It is hard to make the case that Esther teaches the hiddenness of God, or teaches anything at all about God, when Esther never even uses the word “God”.

The Crossway book was not produced by DI. It was produced by Crossway.

You seem to have trouble keeping straight the positions of a number of people and groups: NCSE, TE/EC, ID, DI. The way I avoid this problem is actually reading the sources, rather than relying on hearsay. I recommend this method of study to you.

Crossway is a Christian publisher. For the TE book, Crossway was paid by Templeton to produce, publish, and distribute the book just like they do with all the other Christian Porn.

I am well aware of the sources and methods of all of these organizations. I follow the money through the 990’s that all 501c3 corporation must file. All the money coming in, all the money going out, all the salaries, all the grants. The whole shooting match. It you want to know how these organizations work, follow the money stream.

JTF did not fund that book. Is JTF really responsible for both BioLogos and the most visible critique of BioLogos ever?

Right, but it’s not the DI. Is it impossible for you to occasionally concede that you made a factual error? It would make discussions easier.

I see no constructive reason for speaking in this manner, which is bound to gratuitously offend a number of conversation partners here. This is supposed to be “Peaceful Science”, but such statements are not peaceful; they are gauntlet-throwing.

I didn’t know that Crossway was paid by Templeton. If it’s true, it’s actually refreshing, since for the previous 8 years Templeton has been so incredibly biased against ID and so blatantly prejudiced in favor of TE/EC (not surprising when for a time they had a frequent BioLogos columnist on their Board), that I had long since given up hope they would even attempt to be fair or balanced in their distribution of grants to Christians with differing views on faith and science. If Templeton knowingly funded an anti-BioLogos book, there must be a shift in the dominant view of the Templeton Board members.

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I agree with this @Patrick. You are much more convincing when you leave out the gratuitous hits.

No factual errors were made. DI is a political conservative non-profit for the Christian Right in the United States. It’s founders Gilder, Chapman, and Meyer created this right wing conservative organization in 1994 and were the source of the Wedge Document to create controversy in the teaching of evolutionary science. See description below.

That’s changing the topic @Patrick. Seriously?

This is not even an important point. Why not just concede that Templeton did not fund the Anti-BioLogos TE book?

Because Templeton did fund the anti-biologos TE book. And Templeton does funds DI. And Templeton Funds is the primary funder of Biologos. Get the picture yet? Templeton funds all of it. Why? To keep it all alive. To create the controversy and keep the controversies alive. The Evangelical Christian right in this country is in power and want to stay in power. This is all part of it.

Templeton does not fund DI. You don’t really believe that, do you?

Yes it does. I told you that months ago. Templeton funds Biologos. Templeton funds DI. DI’s unvieling of its Christianity is another Templeton Orchestration. Templeton’s interest in you as well as DI’s sudden interest in you are all Templeton orchestrated and funded.

Yes, they were. You said or implied that the Crossway book was published by DI. I pointed out that it was not. And instead of immediately accepting correction, you have typed several circuitous replies. You are still refusing to acknowledge the error.

This is a pattern. You made an error in calling TE/EC “creationism” and despite my correction and Joshua’s, you won’t retract that one, either.

It is not unmanly to admit an error. You might well still be right on your major point, while being wrong on small factual matters. It would look better on you if you conceded the small errors, rather than making others drag an admission of error out of you. Then people would be more likely to listen to you on the big issues. But when you never concede anything, you lose credibility as a conversation partner.

Are you the same Patrick that I used to debate with on BioLogos? Who was from the New Jersey area, and described himself as a “social Catholic” because he was brought up Catholic, but no longer adhered to the Catholic religion?