The Common Ancestor for the Australian Marsupial Dispersal?

@anon46279830 has been pretty clear about this.

  1. He thinks the Scriptural case for a genealogical Adam is strong.

  2. He is unconvinced by unguided evolution and common descent.

  3. He still is not opposed to evolution, and is not going to invest time arguing against it.

Totally reasonable.

For these reasons he is on board with what we are doing here, and occasionally asks questions about evolutionary science.

You have more in common than you think. Give him time to figure things out for himself, and know he still might disagree at the end of the day. Having OECs around is a good thing as it build a bridge to the RTB crowd too.

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Three passages from my book although I fear it won’t make much sense without the ground work being laid. The text really is describing a middle ground…

"That being said, if ever there was a day and an area of creation in which earth responded without His further intervention it was within this third day. God commanded the land to bring forth vegetation (the “grass” in the King James is misleading) and seed plants and fruit. The earth then did so without it being recorded that God did anything to help the earth do it.

What I am getting at is that plants seem to be more likely candidates for “Theistic Evolution” than creatures of the sea or land, or certainly Mankind itself. God simply produced the initial conditions in which plants could thrive and then commanded that the earth produce plants. That sounds a lot like God simply got things set up right and let the creation itself handle things from there. If any form of life is subject to “macro-evolution” its plants.

Not only that, the Earth could have still continued this process and be continuing it today. God did not need to directly do anything else in order for the Earth to bring forth such plants. He never told the earth to stop bringing forth plants. So it is reasonable to suppose that the earth continued to bring forth different seed plants and fruit plants on days four, five, and six- and that it is still doing so today. "


"In theistic evolution God designed the universe to unfold in such a manner that advanced life would be the result even if He never intervened in the natural universe after He created it. That is not what the text in Genesis one describes.

Rather, God intervenes repeatedly after the creation of the universe. He has to create the templates or first examples. Only then can nature fill the seas with creatures of that type in accordance with His directive. To obey God’s command and fill every niche of the seas nature may produce variations within a kind, but they are variations on a theme produced by God. Maybe there is more variation within a kind going on here than a strict creationist would be comfortable with, but there is surely more Divine Creation going on than an evolutionist would be comfortable with.


If you have been following along with me, by now you see the pattern. In verse twenty-four God initiates the sixth day by commanding the land, in whatever realm it may be natural or supernatural, to bring forth living creatures after their kind. The land in the supernatural realm, the third heaven, does so immediately and exactly as God says. High Heaven then reports “And it was so.”

But while the land above performs His word completely, we learn in verse twenty-five that in our world God Himself must act in order to fulfill His word. Our natural world can’t seem to get started until God makes “kinds” of land animals. Unlike in the heavenly realm, the earth only brings them forth after God has made the kind, or category, for the earth to work with.

Notice that the word “made” is used here, not “created” as was used on day five. Again, this indicates that God was basing something in this realm off of something which already existed in the realm above. He was working from a heavenly pattern- like the tabernacle on earth was built on a heavenly pattern. When the work was done the natural realm reported that God “saw that it was good.” Maybe not perfect, as in the world above, but suitable and attractive nevertheless.

Ironically, what occurs in the land above sounds a lot like “theistic evolution”. God commands the land to bring forth the living creatures by kinds and the land does so. But it is not our land. It’s the land those who love God will enjoy in the life to come. Down here on earth, creation can’t pull this process off without God’s continued direct intervention. God has to “make” the land animals kind by kind. He puts on the earth patterns of what is heaven and the earth then takes it from there.

In this view of things, the many disputes between those who think life diversified via theistic evolution versus those who believe God used direct creation seem almost irrelevant. Which view is correct? Well, both are correct in their respective realm. On the one hand, in the realm we live in God had to directly make prototypes of the animals by kinds. So that’s divine creation. On the other hand, its only divine creation because this realm doesn’t have it together yet- what happened in the land above looked more like theistic evolution.

According to this passage that is not what happened down here though. God directly intervened and got things going for “the land.” In the record of nature that might still look a lot like theistic evolution, because nature (the land) was working off of a pattern which worked very much like “theistic evolution” in the heavenly realm. In this mixed realm of darkness and light, the land could not pull it off alone. God had to step in and make examples for the land to work with, called “kinds”. So both sides are right and both are wrong. Can’t we all just get along here?

To be a little more exact…

(I think GA shares the correct model of early Genesis, which I call the “Christ Centered Model” which I received independently from looking at the scriptural, not scientific, evidence. I still don’t know if GA within that framework is strictly necessary, but am 100% onboard with the model or framework which GA proposes, and have the synthesis of scripture necessary to support it.)

(As a total explanation. I think it was what nature was trying to do, but could not pull it off without further intervention at some points.)

(Unless provoked)

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Well, evolution is not a total explanation. So what exactly is the debate about?

Oh yeah…

7 posts were merged into an existing topic: Octopus not an Extraterrestrial

@anon46279830 (and @swamidass ), you’ll be happy to know that your posts have helped me identify why I have a problem tracking your views.

I earlier posts, you were discussing why you thought Australia’s marsupial evidence doesn’t convince you about Evolution. You see, I’m used to Christians who either favor “Evolution” that God doesn’t guide… or Christians who favor Evolution that God works through constantly - - the so-called “God-Guided” Evolution option.

It never occurred to me that anyone had developed a third option. So @swamidass, make sure you read his prior posting that I’m quoting here. It is a NOT chocolate or vanilla. It’s something completely different.

But before I get to my specific comments on this third option, I should point out that your third option really doesn’t embrace the Evolutionary camp in my “twin-edged” analogy. No… your position replaces that camp. Even though the camp already confesses “God’s Guidance”, it is still inextricably connected to the principles of “Common Descent” and the use of “Natural Selection” by God.

And so what I have been wondering about has been answered. And @swamidass, you should read for yourself why @anon46279830’s scenario is neither Milk nor Cream: it is half and half. He thinks the so-called term Macro-Evolution is really more applicable to plants, not animals. And rather than a chain of common descent, he sees a “chain of special creations”, with minor speciation occurring between the events of special creation: "Rather, God intervenes repeatedly after the creation of the universe. He has to create the templates or first examples."

Well, now that I’ve seen how complex your version of serial Special Creation is, we can discuss it out in the open.

Firstly, your Half-and-Half dairy substitute is not going to satisfy the Christians who believe there is too much evidence for Evolution (with Common Descent and Natural Selection) to be ignored. Why? Because you are ignoring the evidence, of course.

How so? Well, let’s go back to the Australia example. It appears that you are either going to say that the Tazmanian Devil, Marsupial moles and Marsupial Bandycoots are either “just variations of a single kind” - - or you are going to agree that they are significantly different, and so God created each template [ by means of special creation ] and evolution can proceed from each template.

I completely reject the first conclusion: I offered Australia as a laboratory set specifically because the three groups of marsupials are clearly and significantly different. You cant compare a ground-sprinting carnivore with a subterranean vegetarian mole and say they are “basically the same”.

And I reject the second conclusion even more energetically. Why would god use a bandcoot genetic template to create a mole? This genetic evidence tells us that either God uses natural selection and common descent as one of his tools for animal creation, or that he is intentionally trying to make us think he does.

So, am I happy now? No. I’m even more distressed than I thought I would be. Because you not only reject the evidence for common descent that unites all the animal phyla, you even propose that once God makes each template [by Special Creation] he then ignores the resulting minor evolution that might happen after each template is established.

This seems as such an utterly un-necessary position - for three reasons:

  1. I can’t imagine a hybrid position more complex,
  2. a hybrid position less supported by the natural evidence, and
  3. a hybrid position less popular with Christians who “adhere to the idea of
    Common Descent because there is no reason not to”.

@swamidass, I’ll leave you two to discuss more if you like. But I’m satisfied that I finally got the explanation that I was seeking all this time.

While @anon46279830 rejects Common Descent (except in the smallest pockets of species), he actually rejects God-Guided Evolution rather thoroughly - - since in his own words he says God doesn’t really need to do anything once he has made his long chain of Special Creations. The irony here is that he is actually more comfortable with un-guided Evolution, but only if it deals with minor variations - - because the big variations are due to God’s special creations of a sequence of Templates, rather than due to nature’s ability to create dramatic speciation by means of Natural Selection (with or without God guiding mutations and changes in the environment).

I am saying that we lack the controls/info necessary to determine which of those options or a third option actually occurred. Or it could be that they all radiated from a single ancestor as you propose simply using the methods God set up, but gaps bigger than that needed more direct Divine input.


The debate is about a third category of mixing “special creation” with “minor common descent”.

Even your compromise position of your scenario is not a “fit” for his approach.

All you are doing is re-stating the exact two options that I described - - both of which I completely reject.

You are a “third way” that doesn’t fit the natural evidence… but fits your view of the Bible just fine.

PostScript: Natural Selection and mutation (both of which can be influenced by God’s will) are perfectly able to generate the large and the small leaps we see in the fossil record and are consistent with what we see in the genetic evidence. And you reject that analysis, in preference to thousands of separate and specific “special creations”. I see these “special creations” as only occurring in Eden, with a limited number of animals that have already been created outside of Eden by means of God-Guided Evolution.

@swamidass I hope you can see why I hedged with the “unless provoked”!

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@anon46279830 (and @swamidass) , I can sure see why you hedged your statement.

Something was strange about how you were categorizing natural events… all without being willing to accept “macro-evolution” or “common descent” … so obviously we all needed to find out exactly what you were thinking about.


So which scenario do you prefer for the Cambrian period?

1] God engaging in serial Special Creations?

2] Alien virus installing some or all of its genetic sequence into key life forms?

3] Arrival of octopus eggs from deep space?


That said, such a situation could still involve natural descent, but that would not be where the key modification would come from. Take the gap between a fish and an amphibian. What if over the course of thirty or forty generations God acted to put just enough changes in each generation that they would still be able to be birthed and bred by natural means but each generation would also be further toward the amphibian end of things? This so that even though no amphibian was created out of thin air, or clay, one still had a very different creature though only forty generations removed from the fish. That result would be due to genetic engineering moving things a bit further along each generation. That is “descent with modification” but the modification that matters is via genetic engineering. So is that evolution, special creation and intelligent design all rolled up into one?


So, are you saying that God can nudge the mutations along (which is, after all, the point of God-Guided Evolution), until God’s evolution creates amphibians from fish?


Are you saying that the first amphibian must be one of God’s Specially Created templates?

Maybe you can define “God-Guided” evolution? I was thinking on the lines of the top one there and the example was a “might” not a “must”. To me, what I am describing here is both creationism and evolution. Just not evolution through strictly “natural” means. Whether we have the tools to detect the interventions is an open question. Perhaps we can only hope to find “anomalies” cause undetermined.

Well, until you posted your recent explanation, I was pretty sure we either had Godless Evolution, or God-Guided Evolution where crucial mutations (or even a series of mutations) were created in various genomes at just the right time… using Natural Selection and Common Descent principles to process the populations in question towards the desired, Divine, end points.

But then you established a second kind of Divine Engagement, which (while God-Guided) is not really Evolution:

  1. God Specially Creates templates at various times, from which minor evolution (not macro-evolution) may create varieties with no major or dramatic shifts in form/function.

  2. From a high-view of the process, this approach creates a fossil record that looks like Nature produce the big jumps in speciation (via Common Descent and Natural Selection) - - but it is not actually how it happened.

So… excluding any Young Earth options, we have three approaches for interpreting the fossils in an
Old Earth context:

1] Godless Evolution
2] God-Guided Evolution
3] Special Creation of templates for key shifts in Phyla, Class, Order, with room for minor changes via
Natural Selection. [< in other words, there is only Common Descent within kinds of animals, not
Common Descent leading from one kind to another kind.]


#3 best describes my beliefs, with the caveat about the mixed process which I outlined above.

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2 posts were split to a new topic: Octopus not an Extraterrestrial

If creatures came from the ark then the uniqueness of marsupial dominance in australia etc needs to be explained in YEC models.
i insist its easily explained by changing classification.
the marsupials are just the same creatures as elsewhere but adapted, in minor ways, with like triats called marsupial traits.
Thats why you have such glorious likeness in marsupisal lions, wolves, mice, etc with lions, wolves, mice elsewhere.
Its just that simple and obvious. likewise this concept has other examples in the fossil record.
another famous one being the Iipopterns (sp).