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  1. #101
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    Re: Doesn't Neanderthal and Human interbreeding disprove God exists?

    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    I make no secret that I am new to the Bible but perhaps instead of amusement, you have to realize that I am reading these words for the first time and drawing conclusions that come to me in the text with a modern mind and modern knowledge and modern understandings, and that no deliberate misreading is meant. I only mean to point out there that there appears to be two contradictory creation stories where humans and other animal's creation order is different. However, this has no bearing on the core issue I have that both stories have humans being created separately.
    Fair enough.
    Then let me point out a fundamental flaw in the way that you are reading the bible as you have just stated.

    When you read it, you really have to leave at the door all of your presuppositions such as "modern understandings".

    Because your ultimate goal should be "what is the writer trying to communicate", not "what do I think this means".
    Subtle but important difference.

    I would suggest reading "How to read the bible for all its worth"
    http://www.amazon.com/How-Read-Bible.../dp/0310246040

    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    Saying I'm 'clueless' to whatever dozens of years of indoctrination and learning and apologetics that you have absorbed won't be taken as an insult. It is a fact I am clueless as to how you draw the conclusions you do; even further, I'm baffled at the convoluted runaround and inconsistent leaps that seem to be par for the course in these attempts to square the circle. And all done without answering the core question too - I still remain ignorant as to precisely how my simple question has not yet been answered! I've been told it's not important, it's not a correct reading, it's not imaginative enough, clueless, ignorant, etc. but no reasons as to why that is so; nor an alternative that makes sense; nor an understanding; nor an answer. So let's try and focus on the point at hand and not belabor my obvious ignorance - it's freely admitted.
    There are some points about apologetic you would do well to familiarize yourself with. These that I point out are not about "defending the bible" it is about "understanding the bible".
    there are rules you have to adhere to otherwise you will not be able to bring a valid critique against the bible, because you will be prone to misrepresenting it.

    Such as the idea that Gen has two separate creations of Man. That is Just very very poor "exegesis".
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exegesis

    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    I'm sure after a few thousand years, the apparent contradiction of the two stories is explained so there's no need to go down that particular route. More important is explaining how this separate creation lines up with the DNA that shows no separation. So let's concentrate on that, as directly as possible! I don't mind the metaphorical, allegorical or non-literal readings but please explain the rules of engagement as to when things are supposed to be taken non-literal and when they are: e.g. did Adam and Eve actually not also exist too, and is the original sin, equally a metaphor?
    On a metaphorical reading of Gen, it can be. Adam and Eve may be a reference to "mitochondrial eve" (so called). Or it may be a reference to a specific person (IE the first of our kind).
    I don't subscribe to the metaphorical view, so I can't really nail it down specifically. The problem is that your argument requires ALL metaphorical readings to be incompatible, and the way you have approached it is not from a valid reading of the text in form.

    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    Anyway, enjoy the movie - it really is good. But yes, I am drawing these conclusions all by my mine own self. Note that this is only my second debate on religious matters - I'm usually quite content dismissing theism in toto but my discussion with Mr. Hyde intrigued me in how modern Christians make the decisions they do. If I'm at odds with your own readings, its only because the original text is imprecise, allowing many interpretations. I do retain the right, of course, to hold my own opinions so attempting to minimize those interpretations whilst not answering the main point is not acceptable. Feel free to continue to make me feel bad about not knowing what I don't know, but at least answer the questions as directly as you can.
    Thanks it was a good movie.. my son loved it, and it was a great B-day present to myself(36 now).


    Well, the main objection that I have with your readings of Gen is that you have basically steam rolled through the text with all of your modern baggage in tow.
    You have to recognize.
    1) It was written at a different time. (It be old yo)
    2) It was written in a different language. (Apparently it has poetic elements in it)
    3) It was written in a different culture. (for example the story was intended to be heard, not read).

    These are serious barriers that has to be addressed.

    If we conclude or agree that Gen must be allegorical in nature, then we still must address 1-3.
    What would that allegory be of? What is it about? What kind of detail should we expect?

    You have been placing an unjustified expectation for specifics on a text that would probably not place any value on the information you are seeking.
    I mean a text that is going to sum up an evolutionary(assuming) process with "God said, and it was so" is showing very little interest in the process of HOW what God said came to be and is focusing on a specific level of effect.

    Suddenly the structure of the allegory is very important. Why is creation(a process of billions of years) divided into 7 "days"? Why is the Creation story repeated (first in general, then in greater detail).


    As to your question. I think it is answered in that what the allegory wouldn't reasonably be expected to speak to the issue you are talking about, and it isn't contradictory to a wide range of valid readings of gen, because the allegory placed no value on the "tainting" of the genetic line.
    Something that you seem to think it should have found relevant. The idea that the genetics of man was tainted may be what is referenced by "Sons of God and daughters of Men".
    I apologize to anyone waiting on a response from me. I am experiencing a time warp, suddenly their are not enough hours in a day. As soon as I find a replacement part to my flux capacitor regulator, time should resume it's normal flow.

  2. #102
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    Re: Doesn't Neanderthal and Human interbreeding disprove God exists?

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    On what basis though? The Bible doesn't even mention they exist even though they do take the trouble to point out the Nephalim,
    There’s no indication or a clue in Genesis that indicates the Creator created cave men after his image and likeness. And reasonably so, something physically created after God’s image and likeness is going to be close to perfect spiritually and materially.

    How do you know Neanderthals exist?
    Anthropology which does not conflict with Genesis if we consider that after man fell from grace, he was subject to the Creator’s management tool for physical existence—evolution, not to mention causation.

    It doesn't have to be a science books to have inklings of truth and inklings of non-truths. I am saying that the Genesis story could not have happened as described. I'm fine with it being symbolic but as it stands now, even symbolically it is entirely wrong about our actual genesis
    It may seem wrong to you because you are only willing to consider the events of Genesis through a narrow lens of your chosen bias. If you use a wider lens, move back some and consider a broader context by temporarily suspending your beliefs or lack thereof, it does make sense.

    Genesis is based on the concept that the soul took form. That’s a fundamental premise in Genesis which I understand you don't accept. It’s seems wrong to you because you don’t accept a fundamental premise of Creation. So there’s a missing piece in your reasoning, which in turn doesn't make sense to you.

    There’s no conflict between Genesis and evolution (repeating one more time) if we consider that once the soul took form, and man chose to separate from his source, humanity was subject to the forces of physical evolution. Your response to this earlier was “we were not what God originally created.” Yes, physically we are not the same. But that doesn’t conflict with Genesis. Why? Because at a fundamental level, which is not the physical body, but the soul, we are the same or close to the same – that’s how and why some theists view no conflict between Genesis and evolution.

    So how does this make sense?

    If we consider the statement that man is made in the image of God, for some theists we bear in mind that man is a spiritual being first and foremost, and in his true nature he is spiritual, not material. The true nature is not to be found in the body. (And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Matthew 10:28 -- Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are Gods [a spiritual being] John 10:34.

    The physical vessel is just that, a temporal garment that houses the soul that was cast into the evolutionary cycle and subject to causation. The vessel is relevant in the physical world but in the big scheme of things, it’s not primary though it’s an important tool that serves an important purpose in this reality. The spiritual man that God breathed into in Genesis, this is fundamental; this is the essence of God’s creation. This essence is not easily changeable though we are free to not recognize it or flat out reject it. Thus far, genetics can’t measure the spiritual man.

    But that origin doesn't accord with scientific fact.
    Science can only measure part of the equation of man’s existence. Your argument is that because you insist on only recognizing part of the equation, Genesis is wrong.

    Through our DNA we can look back in time to our actual beginnings and the Bible's account doesn't fit the facts.
    Our current knowledge of DNA does not remove the truth that God created man after his image and likeness.

    Yet some people claim it to be a true account, or even a true allegory, of how their deity created our species. The two do not match, so if Genesis is supposed to be read as some kind understanding about our relationship with our deity then don't you think that it needs to be plausible?

    Our genetic story tells us that we descended from a common ancestor with Neanderthals, and that at some point we bred with them, and that modern humans (including the ones in Genesis, the actual A&E) contained this DNA: that is the true genesis of our species, of the people that wrote Genesis. Now Genesis tells us a different story, that we were made as a separate event from other life on the planet. Yet nothing in our DNA tells us that, so Genesis must be wrong - that we did come about in the same way all other life came about.
    I addressed these points above.

    If God was said to have breathed into some arbitrary primate instead, if Genesis had said that, then I'd have no problem reconciling the two narratives. The genetic story would line up with Genesis exactly. But it doesn't, so the main premise of Genesis, that we are made special, both physically and spiritually, has to be taken with a grain of salt. You may think the spiritual part is important to you but you can't ignore the flaws about the physical part.
    The physical is relevant but it is not the complete equation, even though you insist it has to be because you want it to be. Consider a big picture view, from an Omnipresent mind, the physical body is a small part of the existence equation. It is temporal and subject to constant change. That’s what science can measure today, the change and it can predict how and possibly when the change happened.

    Why would a perfect, complete and omnipresent Divine Creator want to give life, awareness and express itself through that physical form, since it has no form, that is not whole and complete? It wouldn’t. Thus, God created man after his image and likeness. The current state of man’s physical evolution is the sum total of causation at play – not necessarily God’s will but perhaps the consequential will. Causation at play, the change of the human body, does not remove the essence of God’s creation from creation. Man’s separation at some point eons ago from the Creator has indeed caused the physical form to change. That human form and its genetics may be all a secularist is willing to consider, but that’s your choice. Bear in mind that half an equation is just half an equation.

    You're right. I should be saying that I don't understand how any modern educated person could think it is true, based it the story not fitting in with the genetics.
    Some modern and educated people find no conflict between Genesis and evolution.

    It's very precise
    The details probably would have made no sense to the people of era.

    On what basis are you saying that it's true though?
    God created man/woman after his image and likeness. [the essence of man/woman]

    Because you just want it to be true?
    We can test and experiment with truth. “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” 1 Thessalonians 5:21-23

    To claim it to be the 'true' story, as you seem to want it, there needs to be some alignment with the reality
    If we consider that we are spiritual beings having a temporal human experience, we come realize that in view of the fact that our reality is quite relevant for navigation, learning and a growth process in the physical world, this reality is not complete nor the only reality.

    a reality that wasn't available to the Bible writers, but one that they should have known if it were properly inspired by God.
    I can’t support that some of the Bible writers were not spiritually enlightened people and aware of a heavenly spiritual reality. Can you support that?

    So you can't believe that genetics is true and Genesis to be true at the same time. You can't broad brush-stroke away a rather large error like that.
    More importantly you can't create a mechanized version of Genesis, which seems to be what you are trying to do.

    Genetics or Genesis?
    Genetics deals with genes; Genesis deals with man’s essence. They both serve an important purpose, one is material one is spiritual. The two sciences may meet one day, but that day has not arrived.

    I don't think you can have both, or at least you haven't been able to argue it effectively thus far.
    Both don’t conflict, unless we are compelled to complicate the variables because we’re not comfortable with the implications.
    Last edited by eye4magic; April 19th, 2014 at 11:42 PM.
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  3. #103
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    Re: Doesn't Neanderthal and Human interbreeding disprove God exists?

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Fair enough.
    Then let me point out a fundamental flaw in the way that you are reading the bible as you have just stated.

    When you read it, you really have to leave at the door all of your presuppositions such as "modern understandings".
    Uh, where does it say I have to forget what I understand about the world?

    Because your ultimate goal should be "what is the writer trying to communicate", not "what do I think this means".
    Subtle but important difference.
    Of course I accept that ancient humans don't understand the universe the way I understand it! This is precisely how I know it was written by a human and not a deity that would know such things.

    An all knowing deity would not have said that humans were created as a separate process; a deity would have said something like that humans were chosen among an existing species or something that aligns more to the genetic record. There's no reason to obfuscate the genetic truth if the main point is a the breathing of life. As was pointed out earlier, the physical aspect isn't the most important part of the creation of man, so why not just tell the truth? Perhaps it is because it wasn't known to the people that wrote the Bible.

    I don't think what I'm pointing out is particularly controversial or culturally sensitive or open to misunderstanding or requires special knowledge of Aramaic or any other ancient language. I would assume that after a hundreds years of translations into other languages and intense scrutiny, the fact that God made man as a separate event from other life on Earth is an unambiguous reading.


    There are some points about apologetic you would do well to familiarize yourself with. These that I point out are not about "defending the bible" it is about "understanding the bible". there are rules you have to adhere to otherwise you will not be able to bring a valid critique against the bible, because you will be prone to misrepresenting it.

    Such as the idea that Gen has two separate creations of Man. That is Just very very poor "exegesis".
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exegesis
    I have said that the two separate creations is not my core point. My core point was that humans were created separately from all other animals - and this was so important it was mentioned twice. My secondary point (stolen from Yawn..God) is that the presence of Neanderthal DNA is only some of the humans points to the Noah story not being at all true. Again, this is in keeping with exegetical reading per your reference:

    Views of Christian exegesis[edit]

    Different Christians have different views on how to perform biblical exegesis. The two most common views are revealed and rational.

    • Revealed exegesis considers that the Holy Spirit (God) inspired the authors of the scriptural texts, and so the words of those texts convey a divine revelation. In this view of exegesis, the principle of sensus plenior applies - that because of its divine authorship, the Bible has a "fuller meaning" than its human authors intended or could have foreseen.
    • Rational exegesis bases its operation on the idea that the authors have their own inspiration (in this sense, synonymous with "artistic inspiration"), so their works are completely and utterly a product of the social environment and human intelligence of their authors.

    There is no magic with exegesis, it is simply a common sense reading in a particular context. I don't think I'm saying anything exegetically controversial - it is only controversial because what is being said that happened is not being borne out by the DNA of humans.


    On a metaphorical reading of Gen, it can be. Adam and Eve may be a reference to "mitochondrial eve" (so called). Or it may be a reference to a specific person (IE the first of our kind). I don't subscribe to the metaphorical view, so I can't really nail it down specifically.
    Then I suggest you stick with what you do believe - you are otherwise not doing an honest treatment to that point of view if that's something you don't believe in.

    The problem is that your argument requires ALL metaphorical readings to be incompatible, and the way you have approached it is not from a valid reading of the text in form.
    How is that a problem? My point is that either literally or metaphorically that the Bible explicitly separates the creation of man from all the other animals. It explicitly states that Noah's family are the ancestors of all living humans today. Both these readings, again, uncontroversial, both literal and metaphorical are incompatible with our DNA.

    Thanks it was a good movie.. my son loved it, and it was a great B-day present to myself(36 now).
    Happy Birthday! Another notch under your belt!


    Well, the main objection that I have with your readings of Gen is that you have basically steam rolled through the text with all of your modern baggage in tow.
    Well, by modern baggage, you mean facts that contradict what was written then I'd have to object! It's one thing to read the Bible in a context that is culturally/scientifically in keeping with the times but it's a whole other thing to say that we need to forget what we know about the world in doing so.

    Besides, even if you take it as the story of a tiny tribe when make it your own (or more accurately, make it apply to all humans) then you are already applying baggage that likely the original Bible writers couldn't have known even existed. So you'll have to be consistent with 'modern baggage' yourself.


    You have to recognize.
    1) It was written at a different time. (It be old yo)
    2) It was written in a different language. (Apparently it has poetic elements in it)
    3) It was written in a different culture. (for example the story was intended to be heard, not read).

    These are serious barriers that has to be addressed.
    Nothing I have said makes it in any way ambiguous to any of these factors. Two separate events are two separate events - I don't know how this could be read differently.


    If we conclude or agree that Gen must be allegorical in nature, then we still must address 1-3.
    What would that allegory be of? What is it about? What kind of detail should we expect?
    Allegories usually keep the structure of the story and have the subjects of the story represent something else. When God was said to have taken special trouble to make man separately and breath life into it then there isn't much wriggle room in interpreting that.


    You have been placing an unjustified expectation for specifics on a text that would probably not place any value on the information you are seeking.
    I mean a text that is going to sum up an evolutionary(assuming) process with "God said, and it was so" is showing very little interest in the process of HOW what God said came to be and is focusing on a specific level of effect.
    I don't expect Genesis to mention evolution but I do expect Genesis not to make man's physical creation a separate process if it were in keeping with the facts. Remember, what is happening is that we have to line up what the Bible said happened with what actually happened through looking at our DNA. And through looking at our DNA, we are contiguous with all other life, not separate. And the Neanderthal DNA suggests also that the Noah's family couldn't have been the source of all our DNA.


    Suddenly the structure of the allegory is very important. Why is creation(a process of billions of years) divided into 7 "days"? Why is the Creation story repeated (first in general, then in greater detail).
    It's the separate creation process that I am focusing on here, I don't think time has anything to do with it.

    As to your question. I think it is answered in that what the allegory wouldn't reasonably be expected to speak to the issue you are talking about, and it isn't contradictory to a wide range of valid readings of gen, because the allegory placed no value on the "tainting" of the genetic line.
    Something that you seem to think it should have found relevant. The idea that the genetics of man was tainted may be what is referenced by "Sons of God and daughters of Men".
    I don't think I'm talking about tainting of the genetic line - that was several posts ago and I've moved on to focussing on the points I described to Mican. I am explicitly saying that the events described in Genesis do not line up with the genetic facts.

  4. #104
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    Re: Doesn't Neanderthal and Human interbreeding disprove God exists?

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    Agreed but if you're calling it an allegory then it is usually the nouns that are the allegories, not the events or the sequences of actions. For example, we all know Aesop's Fables are not to be read literally, that there is an actual Fox or actual grapes; rather those grapes represents something we want and the Fox, ourselves. Everything else needs to be taken 'literally' otherwise, the story wouldn't hold together: so yes, those grapes had to be out of reach in the same way that other desires we have are also out of reach, and the the Fox needed to have said that he didn't want them anyway, as an analogue for saying we didn't really want the thing we couldn't get. Without take those critical components 'literally' as you put it, whilst keeping the allegory nature of the Fox and the grape, the story would make little sense.
    "literally" in the context of debate is "literally true" as in "it actually happened".

    So no one takes that story literally at all. No one thinks there's actually an instance when a Fox saw some grapes and ended up saying to himself "I didn't want them anyway".

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    Let's approach it from a different direction, which words are you taking as being the literal truth? Some of them? None of them?
    The Grapes story? None of them.

    Genesis? I make no claim either way. I am talking about others perspectives. Some take it completely literally and some think none of it is literally true and there's a whole range in between (some think part of it is actually true and other parts are not).


    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    This is true, your lack of detail is becoming apparent. So I am asking you what are you taking as allegorical and what is literal?
    And again, I make no claim on the issue.

    What I think about the Genesis story is not the issue (btw, I'm not a Christian).

    But CLEARLY there are many Christians who do not take Genesis literally enough to enable the belief that man was created via evolution so the relevant interpretation of Genesis for our debate is "literally enough to qualify as a Christian and not so literally that they reject evolution."

    And clearly there are Christians who do just that. So given that, either Christians CAN believe in evolution and therefore evolution does not disprove the Christian God or these people are not actually Christians.

    So which is it? And if you say it's the latter, then you will need to support that.


    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    My allegory is at least consistent with the DNA record! It's only an example of an allegory that would make more sense than the one Genesis portrays.
    And an allegory is based primarily on how it resembles the actual truth? By that logic, the Fox and the Grapes Allegory would be "better" if the Fox didn't talk for in reality Foxes cannot talk.

    An allegory is not judged primarily on how well it resembles reality so making an allegory more realistic is not necessarily an improvement.

    And keep in mind, that the Genesis story can be taken as a metaphor as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    So it's arbitrary.
    Not at the individual level. I'm sure someone who holds a specific allegorical interpretation of Genesis will be able to tell you specifically what is to be taken literally and what is not and what he allegory is about and why "this" is allegorical and why "that" is not.

    But I'm not a Christian, so I can't provide you a personal example where I draw the line. I've given much thought to whether any of it is suppose to represent something real.



    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    Of course, I'm not saying they cannot draw the line, I'm asking where the line is and what are the rules for doing so.
    The line varies from person to person as does the rules.


    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    They're rhetorical questions to point out that you don't really have any details regarding what can or should or is being taken as an allegory.
    True, but so what?


    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    Challenge to support a claim.Please specify exactly what this allegorical interpretation is.
    I'm pretty certain there is more than one interpretation so I cannot give you an exact answer. In fact, there's millions of potential answers as I'm sure there's millions of ways to interpret Genesis.

    And of course one the interpretations is that the biblical story of Genesis is pretty much bunk (basically primitive myths) and much of the bible is very unreliable and nothing in there should be blindly accepted just because it's in there, which is not to say that it can't have some things that happen to be true but its hard to tell what is reliable so it's all open to questioning and NOTHING should be accepted that contradicts scientific understanding. But if one holds that "Don't take any of the bible serious" interpretation and still accepts Jesus Christ as his lord and savior (and perhaps the teachings of Jesus is the only part of the bible they give credence to), they arguably qualify as a Christian. So perhaps one can discount Genesis entirely and still be a Christian.


    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    You keep pointing out that this exists without stating what it is and how it relates to the text. Please do so.
    Since that issue in no way refutes my argument, I see no reason to heed that request.

    Either accept the argument "Since an allegorical interpretation of Genesis does not require a Christian to hold that God made mankind as a separate event, one is free to be a Christian and accept evolution" or rebut it. And asking me for more information is not a rebuttal.



    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    Without proof that this interpretation exists, your question cannot be answered.
    I didn't ask a question. I made an argument.

    Again:

    "Since an allegorical interpretation of Genesis does not require a Christian to hold that God made mankind as a separate event, one is free to be a Christian and accept evolution."

    If you have a rebuttal to that, let's see it. If you don't, then my argument stands.
    Last edited by mican333; April 20th, 2014 at 07:37 AM.

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    Re: Doesn't Neanderthal and Human interbreeding disprove God exists?

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    JJ: On what basis though? The Bible doesn't even mention they exist even though they do take the trouble to point out the Nephalim,
    Thereís no indication or a clue in Genesis that indicates the Creator created cave men after his image and likeness. And reasonably so, something physically created after Godís image and likeness is going to be close to perfect spiritually and materially.
    The last I looked, 'cave men' are modern humans - are you introducing another sub-species of human into the mix?

    JJ: How do you know Neanderthals exist?
    Anthropology which does not conflict with Genesis if we consider that after man fell from grace, he was subject to the Creatorís management tool for physical existenceóevolution, not to mention causation.
    Which is not even mentioned in the Bible! Now you're entirely making up something that likely has no mention at all. Unless you have some evidence for this then you should retract that.


    JJ: It doesn't have to be a science books to have inklings of truth and inklings of non-truths. I am saying that the Genesis story could not have happened as described. I'm fine with it being symbolic but as it stands now, even symbolically it is entirely wrong about our actual genesis
    It may seem wrong to you because you are only willing to consider the events of Genesis through a narrow lens of your chosen bias. If you use a wider lens, move back some and consider a broader context by temporarily suspending your beliefs or lack thereof, it does make sense.
    That humans were created separately from other animals is not sensitive to any lens; cultural, historical, metaphorical, allegorical or any other way you want to not read that literally. It was mentioned twice (albeit in a different order) so it had to have been important enough to highlight. Unfortunately, the genes that we carry with us today shows that we were created entirely contiguously with all other life on the planet.

    Genesis is based on the concept that the soul took form. Thatís a fundamental premise in Genesis which I understand you don't accept. Itís seems wrong to you because you donít accept a fundamental premise of Creation. So thereís a missing piece in your reasoning, which in turn doesn't make sense to you.
    If Genesis said that the soul took form into one of the existing primates then I wouldn't have any trouble with this. But Genesis said that human beings were created as separate event, from dust from the ground no less. Yet we share the same DNA of all other life. The two different stories do not match up.


    Thereís no conflict between Genesis and evolution (repeating one more time) if we consider that once the soul took form, and man chose to separate from his source, humanity was subject to the forces of physical evolution. Your response to this earlier was ďwe were not what God originally created.Ē Yes, physically we are not the same. But that doesnít conflict with Genesis. Why? Because at a fundamental level, which is not the physical body, but the soul, we are the same or close to the same Ė thatís how and why some theists view no conflict between Genesis and evolution.
    But I am object to the story as to how the soul took form. That is incompatible with evolution and our DNA. God did not make us from dust from the ground, we evolved exactly like all the other animals did.


    The physical vessel is just that, a temporal garment that houses the soul that was cast into the evolutionary cycle and subject to causation. The vessel is relevant in the physical world but in the big scheme of things, itís not primary though itís an important tool that serves an important purpose in this reality. The spiritual man that God breathed into in Genesis, this is fundamental; this is the essence of Godís creation. This essence is not easily changeable though we are free to not recognize it or flat out reject it. Thus far, genetics canít measure the spiritual man.
    But Genesis talks about this vessel three times and all three do not line up with evolution. It's taking the trouble to talk even about the Genesis of sex and how humans are supposed to be monogamous and which gender. So don't tell me that the physical vessel isn't important - to some people of your faith, it appears to be the most important part of our creation!


    Science can only measure part of the equation of manís existence. Your argument is that because you insist on only recognizing part of the equation, Genesis is wrong.
    Thus far, other than handing waving and ignoring what I'm saying, I have yet to see any argument that Genesis is not wrong.

    Our current knowledge of DNA does not remove the truth that God created man after his image and likeness.
    So are you saying that God has DNA too? Or that God is also human? He has certainly interbred with humans so he must be also genetically compatible. But if so then how is it that we also share DNA and anatomically characteristics with all other animals?

    The physical is relevant but it is not the complete equation, even though you insist it has to be because you want it to be. Consider a big picture view, from an Omnipresent mind, the physical body is a small part of the existence equation. It is temporal and subject to constant change. Thatís what science can measure today, the change and it can predict how and possibly when the change happened.
    Right and what science has noted is not compatible with the story that the Bible is telling us. There is no big picture perspective that can reconcile what actually happened with the claims of ancient humans.

    Why would a perfect, complete and omnipresent Divine Creator want to give life, awareness and express itself through that physical form, since it has no form, that is not whole and complete? It wouldnít. Thus, God created man after his image and likeness. The current state of manís physical evolution is the sum total of causation at play Ė not necessarily Godís will but perhaps the consequential will. Causation at play, the change of the human body, does not remove the essence of Godís creation from creation. Manís separation at some point eons ago from the Creator has indeed caused the physical form to change. That human form and its genetics may be all a secularist is willing to consider, but thatís your choice. Bear in mind that half an equation is just half an equation.
    The change did not occur AFTER man's separation. I am talking about the initial creation of man. It doesn't matter how long ago it was because the record of what actually happened is literally written in the DNA of every human being. That record suggests that we evolved contiguously with all other life on the planet and that we were not physically created as a separate process as the original writers of Genesis would have it.

    Some modern and educated people find no conflict between Genesis and evolution.
    I'm sure they don't but evolution has had a terrible history with religion and thus far, no-one has answered my specific point. All you have done is really hand waving without directly addressing the point. I know you think you are but really, you're just ignoring the contradiction.


    JJ: It's very precise
    The details probably would have made no sense to the people of era.
    I'm not talking about the details though. I'm talking about an explicit story saying that God took dust from the ground to create us from scratch, as a separate and distinct event from how all other animals and plants are created. The genetic story says we are continuous with all life and not separate at all. These are very different views.

    We can test and experiment with truth. ďProve all things; hold fast that which is good.Ē 1 Thessalonians 5:21-23
    That sounds to me that you just wish it were true and hope that the proofs come later. If you don't know how to make them compatible and wish it were so, then admit it and move on but wishful thinking isn't productive.

    JJ:To claim it to be the 'true' story, as you seem to want it, there needs to be some alignment with the reality
    If we consider that we are spiritual beings having a temporal human experience, we come realize that in view of the fact that our reality is quite relevant for navigation, learning and a growth process in the physical world, this reality is not complete nor the only reality.
    I don't see how being spiritual means that the rules of logic are suspended or that if there two incompatible stories, one of them has to be false!

    JJ: So you can't believe that genetics is true and Genesis to be true at the same time. You can't broad brush-stroke away a rather large error like that.
    I canít support that some of the Bible writers were not spiritually enlightened people and aware of a heavenly spiritual reality. Can you support that?
    It doesn't matter whether they were or not: you happen to believe it to be true in some way shape or form that is incompatible with the genetic record. I am saying Genesis was written by ancient humans (fact) using knowledge available to them (fact) at the time (fact) that happens to be incompatible with our genetic record (also fact).

    So whilst I'm open to the notion that they were mis-inspired by God, or even perhaps by Satan or the snake, it doesn't change the fact that there are two separate, incompatible stories going on.

    More importantly you can't create a mechanized version of Genesis, which seems to be what you are trying to do.
    It's no more mechanized than taking the story of Adam and Eve as a way to oppress women and people of other sexual identities!


    Genetics deals with genes; Genesis deals with manís essence. They both serve an important purpose, one is material one is spiritual. The two sciences may meet one day,
    Wrong, if that were the case then there needn't have been any mention of the creation of animals, plants and separately, humans. Statements were made to that effect and Genesis is hardly 'science'.

    but that day has not arrived.
    It appears that you just don't know how to make the two compatible, which is a fair enough statement. And an honest one at that - much better than the hand waving you've done so far to mask that you didn't know. What remains unfortunately are still two incompatible stories.

    Both donít conflict, unless we are compelled to complicate the variables because weíre not comfortable with the implications.
    I think this is only uncomfortable with you. I already don't believe any of the Bible is true, whereas you want some parts to be literally true (e.g. existence of Jesus) and other parts to be allegorical (those parts that don't line up with science). The implications with the Bible not being true makes me more comfortable!

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    Re: Doesn't Neanderthal and Human interbreeding disprove God exists?

    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    Uh, where does it say I have to forget what I understand about the world?
    YOu don't, but you can't read that stuff into the bible or specifically exclude it because it isn't referenced how you would like.

    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    Of course I accept that ancient humans don't understand the universe the way I understand it! This is precisely how I know it was written by a human and not a deity that would know such things.
    What you are not accepting is that they talked about some of the same things in a VERY different way, and that they didn't place the same values as you do to some aspects of it.

    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    An all knowing deity would not have said that humans were created as a separate process; a deity would have said something like that humans were chosen among an existing species or something that aligns more to the genetic record. There's no reason to obfuscate the genetic truth if the main point is a the breathing of life. As was pointed out earlier, the physical aspect isn't the most important part of the creation of man, so why not just tell the truth? Perhaps it is because it wasn't known to the people that wrote the Bible.
    What you expect is not reasonable of an ALLEGORY. Why tell a story about animals in "animal farm" if the point is to decry the effects of communism? ... because it is an allegory.

    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    I don't think what I'm pointing out is particularly controversial or culturally sensitive or open to misunderstanding or requires special knowledge of Aramaic or any other ancient language. I would assume that after a hundreds years of translations into other languages and intense scrutiny, the fact that God made man as a separate event from other life on Earth is an unambiguous reading.
    So describing it separately means that it MUST have occurred separably and not that it was simply very important?
    I didn't know allegories where prohibited from making it's point in that way.

    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    I have said that the two separate creations is not my core point. My core point was that humans were created separately from all other animals - and this was so important it was mentioned twice.
    Certainly you are reading it that way, but it is by no means the ONLY valid reading of an alagory.
    Is it POSSIBLE that the reason it is described separately, is to communicate that we were the POINT and FOCUS of what was going on?

    If the goal of the writer was to communicate importance, and not the "literal order of events", then your reading is simply not accurate.

    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    There is no magic with exegesis, it is simply a common sense reading in a particular context. I don't think I'm saying anything exegetically controversial - it is only controversial because what is being said that happened is not being borne out by the DNA of humans.
    No it isn't simply "common sense" because in a lot of ways you have to drop some of the things that make up your personal common sense, mainly because it has all sorts of current cultural ties that simply do not translate.

    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    Then I suggest you stick with what you do believe - you are otherwise not doing an honest treatment to that point of view if that's something you don't believe in.
    I'm fairly capable of accuratly presenting arguments I don't agree with. I do that all the time on ODN.. probably 25%.

    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    How is that a problem? My point is that either literally or metaphorically that the Bible explicitly separates the creation of man from all the other animals. It explicitly states that Noah's family are the ancestors of all living humans today. Both these readings, again, uncontroversial, both literal and metaphorical are incompatible with our DNA.
    As stated above, metaphorical readings allow for the point to be very much different than what you are insisting it must be.
    Just because it is stated as a "separate" event, may simply be the story making the point that we are what is most important in the process that was going on.



    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    Happy Birthday! Another notch under your belt!
    Thanks, as they say.. it beats the alternative


    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    Well, by modern baggage, you mean facts that contradict what was written then I'd have to object! It's one thing to read the Bible in a context that is culturally/scientifically in keeping with the times but it's a whole other thing to say that we need to forget what we know about the world in doing so.
    Well, what I was talking about is the first step in being able to evaluate ate the 'TRUTH' of what the writer was saying.


    For example, suppose that I established that the point of the story was to communicate several facts.
    1) God Created all things
    2) Man is in the image of God
    3) Man is given authority over the earth
    4) Man is the most important.

    If that is the point of gen, then NOTHING evolution simply can't contradict the story at all. Because they are talking about two different things. Evolution is trying to describe "How" and Gen is trying to describe 'WHY".

    So one of the things you have been taking in to the reading of Gen is that it is a description of "how".


    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    Nothing I have said makes it in any way ambiguous to any of these factors. Two separate events are two separate events - I don't know how this could be read differently.
    I am repeating here, but it could be that the order is not given as such because of its strict chronological occurrence, but rather it's attempt to communicate importance.
    Meaning, that the order is not the point of the story, it is simply a vehicle to communicate the point that humans were the point of creation.


    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    Allegories usually keep the structure of the story and have the subjects of the story represent something else. When God was said to have taken special trouble to make man separately and breath life into it then there isn't much wriggle room in interpreting that.
    See above.

    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    I don't expect Genesis to mention evolution but I do expect Genesis not to make man's physical creation a separate process if it were in keeping with the facts. Remember, what is happening is that we have to line up what the Bible said happened with what actually happened through looking at our DNA. And through looking at our DNA, we are contiguous with all other life, not separate. And the Neanderthal DNA suggests also that the Noah's family couldn't have been the source of all our DNA
    That is a flawed reading IMO, because you are expecting a specific form of 1 to 1 event mapping in an allegory, and that simply isn't the case(or not necessarily the case).
    I apologize to anyone waiting on a response from me. I am experiencing a time warp, suddenly their are not enough hours in a day. As soon as I find a replacement part to my flux capacitor regulator, time should resume it's normal flow.

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    Re: Doesn't Neanderthal and Human interbreeding disprove God exists?

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    "literally" in the context of debate is "literally true" as in "it actually happened".

    So no one takes that story literally at all. No one thinks there's actually an instance when a Fox saw some grapes and ended up saying to himself "I didn't want them anyway".
    I'm explaining what happens when you take a metaphorical or allegorical approach to a text. There, it is understood that the Fox and grapes are stand-ins and that the even events in the story only represents the true underlying purpose.

    JJ: Let's approach it from a different direction, which words are you taking as being the literal truth? Some of them? None of them?
    Genesis? I make no claim either way. I am talking about others perspectives. Some take it completely literally and some think none of it is literally true and there's a whole range in between (some think part of it is actually true and other parts are not).
    Well, then it's best that you bow out if you don't actually have something specific to contribute. I am already getting evasive answers from people that do believe in Genesis and even more hand waving from non-believers who don't know the details either is just going to be an exercise in frustration for both of us.

    It's all very well for you to invent interpretations but if they're not in keeping with common practice then there's no point to them.

    JJ: This is true, your lack of detail is becoming apparent. So I am asking you what are you taking as allegorical and what is literal?
    And again, I make no claim on the issue.

    What I think about the Genesis story is not the issue (btw, I'm not a Christian).

    But CLEARLY there are many Christians who do not take Genesis literally enough to enable the belief that man was created via evolution so the relevant interpretation of Genesis for our debate is "literally enough to qualify as a Christian and not so literally that they reject evolution."

    And clearly there are Christians who do just that. So given that, either Christians CAN believe in evolution and therefore evolution does not disprove the Christian God or these people are not actually Christians.
    And clearly, some of the Christians here, haven't been able to answer the question very directly or precisely either. I certainly didn't expect this to be so difficult. Either Genesis is true in some metaphorical way or it isn't. Thus far, I'm still leaning towards it isn't.

    So which is it? And if you say it's the latter, then you will need to support that.
    Well, I have no idea how Christians are interpreting things in order to get contradictory facts to fit into the Bible narrative. That's not my area of expertise. That's why there's a debate. I'm making the claim that it is incompatible and I point out where in the text that contradiction is (or rather are) and seeking an alternative explanation from our Christian friends here.



    JJ: My allegory is at least consistent with the DNA record! It's only an example of an allegory that would make more sense than the one Genesis portrays.
    And an allegory is based primarily on how it resembles the actual truth? By that logic, the Fox and the Grapes Allegory would be "better" if the Fox didn't talk for in reality Foxes cannot talk.

    An allegory is not judged primarily on how well it resembles reality so making an allegory more realistic is not necessarily an improvement.

    And keep in mind, that the Genesis story can be taken as a metaphor as well.
    An allegory is used to tell a story by highlighting certain actions that reflect what happened. That's why I'm asking you how you're seeing it - there's only a single sentence!


    Not at the individual level. I'm sure someone who holds a specific allegorical interpretation of Genesis will be able to tell you specifically what is to be taken literally and what is not and what he allegory is about and why "this" is allegorical and why "that" is not.

    But I'm not a Christian, so I can't provide you a personal example where I draw the line. I've given much thought to whether any of it is suppose to represent something real.
    But it's really not a difficult problem - it's literally one sentence.

    The line varies from person to person as does the rules.
    Right, arbitrary, as I said.


    True, but so what?
    That you're not really helpful in figuring out the answer to how Christians/Muslims & Jews read this.



    JJ: Please specify exactly what this allegorical interpretation is.
    I'm pretty certain there is more than one interpretation so I cannot give you an exact answer. In fact, there's millions of potential answers as I'm sure there's millions of ways to interpret Genesis.
    Then it shouldn't be too hard to find one that makes two separate events into a single event! That's all I ask.

    And of course one the interpretations is that the biblical story of Genesis is pretty much bunk (basically primitive myths) and much of the bible is very unreliable and nothing in there should be blindly accepted just because it's in there, which is not to say that it can't have some things that happen to be true but its hard to tell what is reliable so it's all open to questioning and NOTHING should be accepted that contradicts scientific understanding. But if one holds that "Don't take any of the bible serious" interpretation and still accepts Jesus Christ as his lord and savior (and perhaps the teachings of Jesus is the only part of the bible they give credence to), they arguably qualify as a Christian. So perhaps one can discount Genesis entirely and still be a Christian.
    I thought that too but in my discussions regarding the Christian views marriage, one poster linked all the way back to Genesis and how A&E proves that God mandated that marriage is between a man and a woman. So it does impact the decision making of modern Christians in ways that have very real world consequences.


    JJ: You keep pointing out that this exists without stating what it is and how it relates to the text. Please do so.
    Since that issue in no way refutes my argument, I see no reason to heed that request.
    Your argument is that out of the millions of possible interpretations there is one that will square the circle. That is an explicit claim that you made so you must know what that interpretation is. If you don't then withdraw the statement that there is a possible answer.

    Either accept the argument "Since an allegorical interpretation of Genesis does not require a Christian to hold that God made mankind as a separate event, one is free to be a Christian and accept evolution" or rebut it. And asking me for more information is not a rebuttal.
    You haven't shown that this is true - which parts would be allegorical? I'm asking for more information because you have just made a vague claim about something specific. So what is it? If you don't know (as I suspect you don't) then withdraw your argument because you can't back it up.


    I didn't ask a question. I made an argument.
    Again:

    "Since an allegorical interpretation of Genesis does not require a Christian to hold that God made mankind as a separate event, one is free to be a Christian and accept evolution."

    If you have a rebuttal to that, let's see it. If you don't, then my argument stands.[/QUOTE]
    That's not an argument - that's a vague statement that there is some specific way to interpret Genesis. If that interpretation exists then you should present it. If you don't know what it is then don't make claims it exists.

  8. #108
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    Re: Doesn't Neanderthal and Human interbreeding disprove God exists?

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    I'm explaining what happens when you take a metaphorical or allegorical approach to a text. There, it is understood that the Fox and grapes are stand-ins and that the even events in the story only represents the true underlying purpose.
    Right. But the events themselves are not represented as any kind of literal truth - there is no claim that someone actually saw this fox try to eat grapes. And likewise one can take that approach to Genesis. Adam and Eve did not actually exist and likewise the event of God actually making people as a separate event from other lifeforms evolving into what they are today did not actually happen.


    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    Well, then it's best that you bow out if you don't actually have something specific to contribute. I am already getting evasive answers from people that do believe in Genesis and even more hand waving from non-believers who don't know the details either is just going to be an exercise in frustration for both of us.
    But I know enough to make my argument that Christians can believe in Evolution so I have a direct rebuttal of the OP and therefore will not bow out of the debate.


    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    It's all very well for you to invent interpretations but if they're not in keeping with common practice then there's no point to them.
    I am not inventing interpretations. I am referring to interpretations that already exist. The ARE Christians who hold an interpretation of Genesis that does not force them to disbelieve in evolution. Therefore:

    1. Christians can accept evolution and therefore evolution does not disprove the Christian God
    2. These Christians are not actually Christians.

    Which is it?


    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    And clearly, some of the Christians here, haven't been able to answer the question very directly or precisely either. I certainly didn't expect this to be so difficult. Either Genesis is true in some metaphorical way or it isn't. Thus far, I'm still leaning towards it isn't.
    Assume what you want.


    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    Well, I have no idea how Christians are interpreting things in order to get contradictory facts to fit into the Bible narrative.
    But you don't challenge the fact that some Christians accept evolution and therefore reject a literal interpretation of Genesis, right?

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    That you're not really helpful in figuring out the answer to how Christians/Muslims & Jews read this.
    And since my argument doesn't rely on that, I'm not concerned.



    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    I thought that too but in my discussions regarding the Christian views marriage, one poster linked all the way back to Genesis and how A&E proves that God mandated that marriage is between a man and a woman. So it does impact the decision making of modern Christians in ways that have very real world consequences.
    But that's ONE particular Christian's POV and does not speak for ALL Christians.

    As I said said, one the interpretations is that the biblical story of Genesis is pretty much bunk (basically primitive myths) and much of the bible is very unreliable and nothing in there should be blindly accepted just because it's in there, which is not to say that it can't have some things that happen to be true but its hard to tell what is reliable so it's all open to questioning and NOTHING should be accepted that contradicts scientific understanding. But if one holds that "Don't take any of the bible serious" interpretation and still accepts Jesus Christ as his lord and savior (and perhaps the teachings of Jesus is the only part of the bible they give credence to), they arguably qualify as a Christian. So perhaps one can discount Genesis entirely and still be a Christian.

    So just because A Christians says "Adam and Even proves that marriage is only between a man and a woman", does not mean that another Christian can't say "I don't put much credence in the Adam and Eve story so it's irrelevant to my views on marriage".


    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    Your argument is that out of the millions of possible interpretations there is one that will square the circle.
    I did? Can you show me where I said that?

    Just to make it clear, I am NOT arguing that there is an accurate interpretation out there. I do not even take the position that God exists in debates (I almost always argue as an agnostic since I believe that is the only theological position that can be supported on a debate thread).

    So I am perfectly willing to entertain the notion that the bible is 100% bunk and that any interpretation of Genesis that holds that it is based on anything real is wrong. Interpretations need not be accurate to qualify as interpretations (but if one is to argue that it's a fact that there are no accurate interpretations, they will need to support that assertion).

    But regardless, from my best understanding of Christianity as it is practiced today, one is not required to hold an interpretation of the bible that forbid a Christian from accepting evolution. Therefore evolution does not prove that the Christian God does not exist.

    And of course even it that wasn't the case, one does not have to be a Christian to believe in God but it appears that you have chosen to focus the debate on the Christian God so I will respect that and limit my debating to that issue as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    You haven't shown that this is true - which parts would be allegorical? I'm asking for more information because you have just made a vague claim about something specific. So what is it? If you don't know (as I suspect you don't) then withdraw your argument because you can't back it up.
    I will back up the argument.

    "Molleen Matsumura of the National Center for Science Education found, of Americans in the twelve largest Christian denominations, at least 77% belong to churches that support evolution education (and that at one point, this figure was as high as 89.6%)."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Level_o...atholic_Church

    So I have supported that many Christians accept Evolution. Therefore many Christians do not hold a literal interpretation of Genesis. Therefore an allegorical interpretation of Genesis does not require a Christian to hold that God made mankind as a separate event so one is free to be a Christian and accept evolution

    Now I have fully supported my argument by ODN rules. So either offer a counter-argument (not questions, not requests for more details) or my argument stands.
    Last edited by mican333; April 20th, 2014 at 12:37 PM.

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  10. #109
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    Re: Doesn't Neanderthal and Human interbreeding disprove God exists?

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    Right. But the events themselves are not represented as any kind of literal truth - there is no claim that someone actually saw this fox try to eat grapes. And likewise one can take that approach to Genesis. Adam and Eve did not actually exist and likewise the event of God actually making people as a separate event from other lifeforms evolving into what they are today did not actually happen.
    OK. Fair enough. Then what did happen? Nothing? God didn't create anything? And none of it is actually true at all in any way? That's a fair summary but that isn't really what people believe though is it?

    But I know enough to make my argument that Christians can believe in Evolution so I have a direct rebuttal of the OP and therefore will not bow out of the debate.
    I know they do too, but that's not the discussion. The discussion is specifically how they understand the story of Genesis. If you don't believe, and can't come up with reasons why they'd believe then I'm just arguing with another atheist who has as little of an idea about things religious as I do. I could invent space aliens, time travel, and all manner of ways to get the story to fit as well but that's not what is being believed anyway so what's the point?


    I am not inventing interpretations. I am referring to interpretations that already exist. The ARE Christians who hold an interpretation of Genesis that does not force them to disbelieve in evolution. Therefore:

    1. Christians can accept evolution and therefore evolution does not disprove the Christian God
    2. These Christians are not actually Christians.

    Which is it?
    OK. So what are these interpretations? If you don't have them then there is little for us to discuss.


    But you don't challenge the fact that some Christians accept evolution and therefore reject a literal interpretation of Genesis, right?
    Of course not! What I'm looking for is a non-handwaving detailed explanation.

    And since my argument doesn't rely on that, I'm not concerned.
    OK. Then you've won your point that people exist that believe in both. That still doesn't help me in further understanding the details.

    But that's ONE particular Christian's POV and does not speak for ALL Christians.
    It's not an uncommon notion.

    As I said said, one the interpretations is that the biblical story of Genesis is pretty much bunk (basically primitive myths) and much of the bible is very unreliable and nothing in there should be blindly accepted just because it's in there, which is not to say that it can't have some things that happen to be true but its hard to tell what is reliable so it's all open to questioning and NOTHING should be accepted that contradicts scientific understanding. But if one holds that "Don't take any of the bible serious" interpretation and still accepts Jesus Christ as his lord and savior (and perhaps the teachings of Jesus is the only part of the bible they give credence to), they arguably qualify as a Christian. So perhaps one can discount Genesis entirely and still be a Christian.

    So just because A Christians says "Adam and Even proves that marriage is only between a man and a woman", does not mean that another Christian can't say "I don't put much credence in the Adam and Eve story so it's irrelevant to my views on marriage".
    You do realize that without A&E there'd be no original sin for humans - it makes Jesus' sacrifice and subsequent resurrection a bit pointless. But we can't keep inventing things that we think Christians think. We've heard from a few Christian perspectives, of which there are many, I'm sure, that are going to be able to provide more details than you possibly could.

    M3: I'm pretty certain there is more than one interpretation so I cannot give you an exact answer. In fact, there's millions of potential answers as I'm sure there's millions of ways to interpret Genesis.
    JJ: Your argument is that out of the millions of possible interpretations there is one that will square the circle.
    M3: I did? Can you show me where I said that?
    That's the sequence of our debate.

    Just to make it clear, I am NOT arguing that there is an accurate interpretation out there. I do not even take the position that God exists in debates (I almost always argue as an agnostic since I believe that is the only theological position that can be supported on a debate thread).

    So I am perfectly willing to entertain the notion that the bible is 100% bunk and that any interpretation of Genesis that holds that it is based on anything real is wrong. Interpretations need not be accurate to qualify as interpretations (but if one is to argue that it's a fact that there are no accurate interpretations, they will need to support that assertion).
    Again, I'm not here to argue points I could make myself as an atheist. The point is to discuss with actual Christians as to why they continue to believe in something that is clearly at odds with the science and whether those reasons are valid or not.

    But regardless, from my best understanding of Christianity as it is practiced today, one is not required to hold an interpretation of the bible that forbid a Christian from accepting evolution. Therefore evolution does not prove that the Christian God does not exist.
    'required' is a rather odd term to use. I'm sure there are a large number (50%) that believe that the Flood happened and that's not even including YECs who are forbidden to enter the debate.

    I do agree with your last sentence though, evolution doesn't prove that the Christian God doesn't exist - but it does show that the Genesis story is not true, which makes A&E unlikely, which makes original sin also unlikely and Jesus' purpose. So yes, there's room there for some kind of God to exist, but it's going to be unlikely that it's the Christian one.

    And of course even it that wasn't the case, one does not have to be a Christian to believe in God but it appears that you have chosen to focus the debate on the Christian God so I will respect that and limit my debating to that issue as well.
    Yes, I agree but it is worth bearing in mind that the Genesis story is shared by two thirds of the planet via the Abrahamic religions.

    JJ: You haven't shown that this is true - which parts would be allegorical? I'm asking for more information because you have just made a vague claim about something specific. So what is it? If you don't know (as I suspect you don't) then withdraw your argument because you can't back it up.
    I will back up the argument.

    "Molleen Matsumura of the National Center for Science Education found, of Americans in the twelve largest Christian denominations, at least 77% belong to churches that support evolution education (and that at one point, this figure was as high as 89.6%)."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Level_o...atholic_Church

    So I have supported that many Christians accept Evolution. Therefore many Christians do not hold a literal interpretation of Genesis. Therefore an allegorical interpretation of Genesis does not require a Christian to hold that God made mankind as a separate event so one is free to be a Christian and accept evolution

    Now I have fully supported my argument by ODN rules. So either offer a counter-argument (not questions, not requests for more details) or my argument stands.
    Yes, but I am not saying that there are no Christians that believe in evolution. You might be mistaking the point of the post which is that, genetically, the story of Genesis doesn't appear to be true. That Christians continue to believe this to be true is obvious so I'm surprise you think there'd be any debate on that point. My point is that I don't believe they have a basis to do so.

    If you don't believe in it anyway then I really don't see what your contribution is here. The point of the discussion is to understand how Christians explain the discrepancy and once we've gone through the initial hand-waving, that I've already read about, we may be able to witness the Christian rationalization process.

    And I am fully aware of Pope John's proclamation that there is no incompatibility. Yet, they couldn't have known about the Neanderthal DNA at the time which disputes one of the stories of our genetic origins. Genetics itself appears to point to humans being evolved contiguously with all other life, which is in direct contradiction with the first two genesis stories.

    Anyway, I think you've made your points and I really have no disagreement with you on any of them; I am looking for details as to their rationalizations, not your opinions of what those rationalizations could be!
    Last edited by JimJones8934; April 20th, 2014 at 06:41 PM.

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    Re: Doesn't Neanderthal and Human interbreeding disprove God exists?

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    Depending on which creation story we're supposed to believe; the first has animals created first and then as a special event God created us in his own image. And the second shows the creation of Man first and then a wholly different creation event, the animals. Whereas genetically, we know that all life on earth had a common ancestor. Neither story lines up with the genetics and the Neanderthals throw another wrench in the story.
    Several glaring problems with this analysis.

    1) You fail to understand the role of tense in sentences. In Gen 2:19 the text is "had formed" indicating the use of the past perfect tense. That tense is specifically "used in referring to something that occurred earlier than the time being considered, when the time being considered is already in the past."

    So the text itself says (PS, it is technically improper to quote only a portion of a Biblical verse under both MLA and Chicago guidelines, just so you are aware):

    19 Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.

    So the time being considered here is Adam's creation and placement in the garden. Given the use of a verb tense that indicates action prior to the considered time there is no way to conclude that animals here were created after Adam. The tense structure of the sentence just doesn't support your view.

    2) Your response deals solely with timeline, nothing about different process. I asked you to support that the text supports that humans are created via a different physical process than other animals. Please support that specific claim or retract it.

    3) Neanderthal DNA poses no problem to this account given that the interbreeding occurred after we were modern humans, ie after our origination on this planet.

    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    Because the DNA of humans contains the DNA of all the precursor forms that our all genetic ancestors took, not just the common ancestor of us and Neanderthals.
    This isn't a cogent objection. We have genetic information from a) past ancestors and b) contemporary hominids. How is that at all related to whether or not we were created separately from other species? Windows 8 has has code from Windows XP in it. It also has code from Apple's operating system (to allow for compatibility), how does that imply that it wasn't specifically created?

    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    And since we also know that those humans and Neanderthals must've been contemporaries (otherwise, there'd be no inter-breeding) then why would God do this?
    First, I just need to clarify something. You do realize that only a small segment of the current population might have Neanderthal DNA right? That it isn't in every human.

    Second, that seems to argue that such interbreeding happened after man's creation and as such I'm not sure how it fits into any objection to the creation events at all.

    Third, lets presume, for the sake of argument that it is part of the creation events. Why would it's existence be problematic. Why is some segment of human kind getting outside genetic material into it's lineage problematic for Genesis? We have outside genetic material transmitted by viruses as well, nothing about us getting (pre or post creation) sources of DNA from outside our genetic lineage is contradictory to the Genesis account. What you seem to be implying is that the physical process of man's creation in Genesis is materially separated from any other physical process. That is an underlying presumption you would need to support and support in such a way as to show the inclusion of contemporary DNA to be logically contradictory.

    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    That hasn't been established yet.
    Well it is your OP JJ, you need to establish and support that position then rather than simply appealing to it.

    1) Does Genesis specifically support that AMH (Anatomically Modern Humans) were not all humans and that Adam comes after their existence on the planet?

    2) Does Genesis offer specific reasons why a pre-"human" (assuming you support premise 1) interbreeding with another sub-species would be incompatible with it's text?

    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    Forget species, I withdraw that. I was looking for a term to distinguish us as created by God (with or without Neanderthal DNA) and what we are now.
    Any why would those two be different? Are we no longer the same "species" because of bacteriological infections as well?

    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    Sentience and intelligence, yes.
    Ok, so this is the third time I've had to ask this, so please forgive that I have to resort to tags, but Challenge to support a claim. Support that tool making is synonymous with sentience or retract this point.

    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    Well, we both had a common ancestor so it is more likely we shared genetic traits such as intelligence with them. Plus, they did make tools and other than humans, we were the only ones that we know of at the time that did.
    1) Please support that because we had a common ancestor we did not represent a much larger jump in intelligence from our common ancestor (who you'll need to identify btw) than did Neanderthals.

    2) Please support that AMH and Neanderthals are the only species who made tools at that time.

    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    Yet, it wasn't a parting...
    And?

    What about our expulsion from Eden shows that this is a different story than the account of Gen1? Specifically, please show that the text of Gen 2 cannot be reconciled to the text of Gen 1.

    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    Well, firstly Genesis does indeed mention us interbreeding with the Nephalim.
    Right, which is explicitly part of the narrative and followed through other works. IE, if it wasn't included, subsequent text losses necessary context. What about Neanderthals warrants such a reference? And if it is solely this appeal to interbreeding, is Genesis required to list every interbreeding event in all of our genetic lineage (you do realize that Neanderthals are not the only ones right?)?

    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    The fact is that Genesis is making the claim that God did indeed take the trouble to make man from scratch,
    Ok, I've rebutted this twice already. If you are going to maintain this, you need to offer sources comparable to Strong's Concordance that explain the terms being used here as "from scratch." That seems a completely unwarranted assumption on your part and needs to be supported or retracted. Challenge to support a claim.
    "Suffering lies not with inequality, but with dependence." -Voltaire
    "Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.Ē -G.K. Chesterton
    Also, if you think I've overlooked your post please shoot me a PM, I'm not intentionally ignoring you.


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    Re: Doesn't Neanderthal and Human interbreeding disprove God exists?

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    The last I looked, 'cave men' are modern humans - are you introducing another sub-species of human into the mix?
    Cave men are a product of physical evolution. I can’t support that they are a product of a spiritual reality that Genesis implies where man existed in a close to perfect environment.

    Which is not even mentioned in the Bible!
    1. Lots of events and phenomena aren’t mentioned in the Bible. So…?
    2. Bestiality was practiced by some of tribes in the OT stories. God did warn against this practice. If humans breed with animals, we’re most likely going to a get a lower form of life.

    Now you're entirely making up something that likely has no mention at all.
    I answered your question. Are you claiming cave men didn’t exist?

    If Genesis said that the soul took form into one of the existing primates then I wouldn't have any trouble with this. But Genesis said that human beings were created as separate event,
    That’s right and for many theists there is no conflict with this act of creation and with the process genetics you’ve referenced.

    Yet we share the same DNA of all other life. The two different stories do not match up.
    Right, and the fact that we share DNA with other life doesn’t spiritually conflict with Genesis and the Creator creating man in a separate event.

    But I am object to the story as to how the soul took form.
    You are free to object to the story and the narrative in Genesis. But rejection of the narrative doesn’t change the spiritual significance of the text.

    That is incompatible with evolution and our DNA.
    I would not assume that a nonmaterial phenomena such as the soul has DNA.

    So don't tell me that the physical vessel isn't important - to some people of your faith,
    The physical body is relevant and important in the physical world – but it’s not more relevant then the soul for many people of faith.

    I have yet to see any argument that Genesis is not wrong.
    I can understand how an atheist has this view.

    So are you saying that God has DNA too?
    I wouldn’t assume the Creator (Spirit) has DNA. DNA is the hereditary material in humans.

    He has certainly interbred with humans so he must be also genetically compatible.
    Did you want to discuss the soul and how the Divine works through man?

    But if so then how is it that we also share DNA and anatomically characteristics with all other animals?
    What we may genetically share physically with other forms of life, does not conflict with the spiritual equation of our existence.

    There is no big picture perspective that can reconcile what actually happened with the claims of ancient humans.
    You are free to critically examine this from different perspectives. And, yes, rejection of the big picture is an option.

    All you have done is really hand waving without directly addressing the point. I know you think you are but really, you're just ignoring the contradiction.
    Your contradiction only exists because you are assuming that what we physically share with other forms of life, conflicts with the spiritual equation of our existence (which you don’t believe in) that Genesis is talking about. And because you don’t believe in the soul, you’re just repeating the same thing over again. So I think we’re just about done here.

    The genetic story says we are continuous with all life and not separate at all. These are very different views.
    One of the main difference between Genesis and genetics is that one is a spiritual narrative and the other, genetics, is a material explanation about genes. Repeating for probably the last time, the problem with your argument is that you want to create a conflict between the act of creation in Genesis verses the process of change that we see in genetics. As stated earlier, most theories in the natural sciences account for change including continuous change. Whether or not those changes are describing some biological, cosmological or finite event, they remain processes. Creation accounts for the existence and cause of things, not for changes in things. The creation and existence of the soul that takes form in Genesis does not conflict with any material evolutionary process that is measuring the change or continuous change of that form.

    I don't see how being spiritual means that the rules of logic are suspended
    Our reasoning need not be suspended but it should be encouraged. Being spiritual oriented could mean recognizing that our existence in this world is within the context of a far superior intelligence than our own. “The scientists’ religious feeling takes the form of a rapturous amazement at the harmony of natural law, which reveals an intelligence of such superiority that, compared with it, all the systematic thinking and acting of human beings is an utterly insignificant reflection.” Albert Einstein

    It doesn't matter whether they were or not: you happen to believe it to be true in some way shape or form that is incompatible with the genetic record.
    I have no problem with the genetic record, nor is there a conflict with the creation narrative of Genesis.

    I am saying Genesis was written by ancient humans (fact) using knowledge available to them (fact) at the time (fact) that happens to be incompatible with our genetic record (also fact).
    Right, but that doesn’t matter because our current genetics doesn’t measure the fundamental essence of the Genesis narrative: the Creator and creation. Despite the fact that our material bodies are the product of evolution, there is no conflict between the genetic record or any physical theory for many theists who believe the immaterial soul is part of being human.

    It's no more mechanized than taking the story of Adam and Eve as a way to oppress women and people of other sexual identities!
    Free will has risks and it can cut both ways. Hopefully our sense of reason allows us to make wise choices and not create conflict where there is no conflict.

    Wrong, if that were the case then there needn't have been any mention of the creation of animals, plants and separately, humans. Statements were made to that effect and Genesis is hardly 'science'.
    Genesis is not a science book, as I think I’ve stated several times though you seem to be the one who wants its narrative to be science to support your argument. But there is a science of spirituality.

    I already don't believe any of the Bible is true
    I have observed this.
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    Re: Doesn't Neanderthal and Human interbreeding disprove God exists?

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    OK. Fair enough. Then what did happen? Nothing? God didn't create anything? And none of it is actually true at all in any way? That's a fair summary but that isn't really what people believe though is it?
    For Christians who accept science, they would say that God created the universe and life. So what has happened (Big Bang, Evolution) happened because God willed it to happen.


    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    I know they do too, but that's not the discussion. The discussion is specifically how they understand the story of Genesis.
    There's no one answer because they don't have the same understanding. Some understand it as a literal story and others understand it as a metaphorical story and others don't put much credence in it at all.

    If you want a metaphorical interpretation to analyze, I will forward that it's about the problems of mankind leaving the natural state and becoming self-aware. As I believe the story said, Adam and Eve felt shame for being naked which of course is something that animals never experience. So mankind has gained forbidden knowledge (represented by The Apple from the tree of knowledge) that has cause him all kinds of problems that animals don't experience. And it would be pretty easy to view mankind as in a fallen state (original sin) considering all of the bad things we do to each other and our environment. There is some kind of innate flaw in us that prevents us from creating a very nice world/society even though we have the intelligence to do that.


    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    OK. So what are these interpretations? If you don't have them then there is little for us to discuss.
    And if you don't have them, then you have no basis to make the argument that all interpretations of Genesis contradict scientific understanding. It's your problem if you don't have the information to support your own argument, not mine.


    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    OK. Then you've won your point that people exist that believe in both. That still doesn't help me in further understanding the details.

    If I've won the argument, why are further details needed?



    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    It's not an uncommon notion.
    Nor is its opposite.



    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    I do agree with your last sentence though, evolution doesn't prove that the Christian God doesn't exist - but it does show that the Genesis story is not true, which makes A&E unlikely, which makes original sin also unlikely and Jesus' purpose. So yes, there's room there for some kind of God to exist, but it's going to be unlikely that it's the Christian one.
    Once again, you are relying on a literal translation of Genesis for your argument. Other translations (or discounting the story entirely) remove that issue.



    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    Yes, but I am not saying that there are no Christians that believe in evolution. You might be mistaking the point of the post which is that, genetically, the story of Genesis doesn't appear to be true. That Christians continue to believe this to be true is obvious so I'm surprise you think there'd be any debate on that point. My point is that I don't believe they have a basis to do so.
    Once again, that ONLY applies to a literal interpretation.

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    If you don't believe in it anyway then I really don't see what your contribution is here. The point of the discussion is to understand how Christians explain the discrepancy and once we've gone through the initial hand-waving, that I've already read about, we may be able to witness the Christian rationalization process.
    So you aren't forwarding a debate position that can be challenged?
    Last edited by mican333; April 21st, 2014 at 01:25 PM.

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    Re: Doesn't Neanderthal and Human interbreeding disprove God exists?

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    For Christians who accept science, they would say that God created the universe and life. So what has happened (Big Bang, Evolution) happened because God willed it to happen.
    I'm not arguing against deists though - this is specifically aligning the Genesis story (and its consequences) with the genetic story.


    JJ: I know they do too, but that's not the discussion. The discussion is specifically how they understand the story of Genesis.
    There's no one answer because they don't have the same understanding. Some understand it as a literal story and others understand it as a metaphorical story and others don't put much credence in it at all.
    Right, and it's the metaphorical story I am seeking.

    If you want a metaphorical interpretation to analyze, I will forward that it's about the problems of mankind leaving the natural state and becoming self-aware. As I believe the story said, Adam and Eve felt shame for being naked which of course is something that animals never experience. So mankind has gained forbidden knowledge (represented by The Apple from the tree of knowledge) that has cause him all kinds of problems that animals don't experience. And it would be pretty easy to view mankind as in a fallen state (original sin) considering all of the bad things we do to each other and our environment. There is some kind of innate flaw in us that prevents us from creating a very nice world/society even though we have the intelligence to do that.
    That still does not address that man is explicitly not an 'animal' but made from a different template and as a special act of creation. If he was then why are humans entirely contiguous with the more plausible story of evolution? If man was so special why does he share 99.x % of the DNA with all the other life forms on the planet.


    JJ: OK. So what are these interpretations? If you don't have them then there is little for us to discuss.
    And if you don't have them, then you have no basis to make the argument that all interpretations of Genesis contradict scientific understanding. It's your problem if you don't have the information to support your own argument, not mine.
    I'm not saying that those interpretations don't exist but I have to kick off the discussion, that on my admittedly naive understanding of the Bible, it doesn't seem immediately apparent from the text. There's not that much text but it seems pretty clear.


    If I've won the argument, why are further details needed?
    I'm saying you've won what you thought the 'argument' was about. What I think the argument is about is still an open issue.


    Once again, you are relying on a literal translation of Genesis for your argument.
    Specifically, which part I do you think I'm taking literally?

    Other translations (or discounting the story entirely) remove that issue.
    For example?

    JJ: If you don't believe in it anyway then I really don't see what your contribution is here. The point of the discussion is to understand how Christians explain the discrepancy and once we've gone through the initial hand-waving, that I've already read about, we may be able to witness the Christian rationalization process.

    So you aren't forwarding a debate position that can be challenged?
    No, of course not but debating atheists is sort of the blind leading the blind. That you've already mistaken my argument as 'that there are no Christians that believe in both Genesis & evolution' is an indication of this. At least the Christians responding here are addressing the issue - or at least getting nearer to the point but you have yet to contribute something substantive to the other side of my argument; and I don't expect you to - you're not a Christian who may have had to gloss over certain details in order to maintain their faith. It's this gloss that I am attempting to understand.

    ---------- Post added April 22nd, 2014 at 12:26 AM ---------- Previous post was April 21st, 2014 at 11:16 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    JJ: Depending on which creation story we're supposed to believe; the first has animals created first and then as a special event God created us in his own image. And the second shows the creation of Man first and then a wholly different creation event, the animals. Whereas genetically, we know that all life on earth had a common ancestor. Neither story lines up with the genetics and the Neanderthals throw another wrench in the story.

    Several glaring problems with this analysis.

    1) You fail to understand the role of tense in sentences. In Gen 2:19 the text is "had formed" indicating the use of the past perfect tense. That tense is specifically "used in referring to something that occurred earlier than the time being considered, when the time being considered is already in the past."

    So the text itself says (PS, it is technically improper to quote only a portion of a Biblical verse under both MLA and Chicago guidelines, just so you are aware):
    19 Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.

    So the time being considered here is Adam's creation and placement in the garden. Given the use of a verb tense that indicates action prior to the considered time there is no way to conclude that animals here were created after Adam. The tense structure of the sentence just doesn't support your view.
    I don't believe that is the sequence:

    2:5 5 Now no shrub had yet appeared on the earth[a] and no plant had yet sprung up, for the Lord God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no one to work the ground, 6 but streams[b] came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground. 7 Then the Lord God formed a man[c] from the dustof the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

    This is pretty much saying that man was created immediately after the watering of the planet. You're point about 2:19 is after man was placed in the garden; the animals still came after the creation of man but before man was placed in the garden. It's certainly not as explicit as 1 which has it in the right order.


    2) Your response deals solely with timeline, nothing about different process. I asked you to support that the text supports that humans are created via a different physical process than other animals. Please support that specific claim or retract it.
    2:7 - Then the Lord God formed a man[c] from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

    2:19 - Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky.
    These are two distinct events and two distinct phrasings 'dust of the ground' vs 'out of the ground'.

    BOTH stories do not line up with the genetic record because all animals evolved at the same time, including man. There is no all animals were created first and then man came last.


    3) Neanderthal DNA poses no problem to this account given that the interbreeding occurred after we were modern humans, ie after our origination on this planet.
    But it does question then that we are still the original image that we were when God created us.


    JJ: Because the DNA of humans contains the DNA of all the precursor forms that our all genetic ancestors took, not just the common ancestor of us and Neanderthals.
    This isn't a cogent objection. We have genetic information from a) past ancestors and b) contemporary hominids. How is that at all related to whether or not we were created separately from other species?
    The point is that we were not created separately from other species in any way shape or form. All life, plant and animal evolved at precisely the same time on the same planet and the interaction between all of them (and other environmental changes) eventually produced man.

    Windows 8 has has code from Windows XP in it. It also has code from Apple's operating system (to allow for compatibility), how does that imply that it wasn't specifically created?
    That's not a great analogy - even though there may be code to make Windows operate in a compatible manner to Apple's, those are surface similarities. The two operating systems are compatible because they adhere to well defined network protocols and not because they necessarily share code (or algorithms). DNA on the other hand is actual code sharing, more akin to the Windows 8 & and XP which are both based on Windows NT.

    Genesis seems to be pointing to a Windows vs Apple model whereas the genetic record is showing that everything is a different flavor of Windows.

    JJ: And since we also know that those humans and Neanderthals must've been contemporaries (otherwise, there'd be no inter-breeding) then why would God do this?
    First, I just need to clarify something. You do realize that only a small segment of the current population might have Neanderthal DNA right? That it isn't in every human.
    I did over the weekend and had to adjust my thinking a little; Yawn..God pointed that out in another unrelated discussion. He also raised that this disparity in DNA also puts our common descent from Noah into question.


    Second, that seems to argue that such interbreeding happened after man's creation and as such I'm not sure how it fits into any objection to the creation events at all.
    If it happened after, then it puts into question whether the Bible is still relevant to us since we're certainly not the same beings that God made in our image. I don't particularly buy the idea that 'image' means our spiritual selves. Secondly, the Noah issue kicks in to suggest that our geographic DNA doesn't align with the Noah story anyway (assuming it happened).

    Third, lets presume, for the sake of argument that it is part of the creation events. Why would it's existence be problematic. Why is some segment of human kind getting outside genetic material into it's lineage problematic for Genesis? We have outside genetic material transmitted by viruses as well, nothing about us getting (pre or post creation) sources of DNA from outside our genetic lineage is contradictory to the Genesis account. What you seem to be implying is that the physical process of man's creation in Genesis is materially separated from any other physical process. That is an underlying presumption you would need to support and support in such a way as to show the inclusion of contemporary DNA to be logically contradictory.
    The inclusion of Neanderthal DNA in our creation has been dropped.


    Well it is your OP JJ, you need to establish and support that position then rather than simply appealing to it.

    1) Does Genesis specifically support that AMH (Anatomically Modern Humans) were not all humans and that Adam comes after their existence on the planet?

    2) Does Genesis offer specific reasons why a pre-"human" (assuming you support premise 1) interbreeding with another sub-species would be incompatible with it's text?
    Answered above: G2 suggests humans were created first and both G1 and G2 fail to recognize that man and other animals and indeed all life evolved simultaneously and at their own rate relative to the environment they developed in.

    The interbreeding issues points to a large omission since Genesis does point out interbreeding with the Nephalim, which we certainly have no evidence of existing, whilst not mention that we did breed with Neanderthals, which did. I don't think Nephalims were Neanderthals though since they were described as giant son's of god.


    JJ: Forget species, I withdraw that. I was looking for a term to distinguish us as created by God (with or without Neanderthal DNA) and what we are now.
    Any why would those two be different? Are we no longer the same "species" because of bacteriological infections as well?
    This line of enquiry has been dropped.


    Ok, so this is the third time I've had to ask this, so please forgive that I have to resort to tags, but Challenge to support a claim. Support that tool making is synonymous with sentience or retract this point.
    Because the tools the Neanderthals made were similar to the ones humans made, and possibly before we even made them (http://www.newscientist.com/article/...l#.U1YuKOZdVYs). These tools:

    Neanderthals made spear points with a stone or soft hammer. Traces of adhesive on some stone points suggest they were once attached to wooden shafts, perhaps glued with resin or tar and bound with plant fibers, sinew, or leather. - http://www.amnh.org/exhibitions/perm...nderthal-tools


    show awareness of the environment, intelligence to recognize construct tools in the first place (including weapons) and self-conscious need to use them and to teach other Neanderthals to use and construct them. It requires all the qualities of a sentient, self-aware, self-conscious being to recognize the world, mentally invent a tool to solve a problem, and to teach others and of course learn.

    That said, I would also argue against your implication that animals are not sentient anyway but the point of this is that no mention of another contemporary species similar or even more advanced than man is mentioned in Genesis.


    JJ: Well, we both had a common ancestor so it is more likely we shared genetic traits such as intelligence with them. Plus, they did make tools and other than humans, we were the only ones that we know of at the time that did.

    1) Please support that because we had a common ancestor we did not represent a much larger jump in intelligence from our common ancestor (who you'll need to identify btw) than did Neanderthals.
    I don't think we have discovered the common ancestor yet but it must have existed unless you're denying how evolution works. Otherwise, I don't understand why the jump in 'intelligence' (whatever that's supposed to really mean) is relevant to my main point that they existed besides us and it was not mentioned in the Bible, whereas the Nephalim was.

    2) Please support that AMH and Neanderthals are the only species who made tools at that time.
    Of the sort that required the refinement of multiple materials and put together into a new implement, only Homo Sapiens have done this, that we have evidence of. Again, not really relevant.

    And?

    What about our expulsion from Eden shows that this is a different story than the account of Gen1? Specifically, please show that the text of Gen 2 cannot be reconciled to the text of Gen 1.
    I'm not saying it can't but it's certainly two different approaches to the 'same story'. You'd have to turn being given birth pains a blessing, which of course, you're quite welcome to do.


    JJ: Well, firstly Genesis does indeed mention us interbreeding with the Nephalim.
    Right, which is explicitly part of the narrative and followed through other works. IE, if it wasn't included, subsequent text losses necessary context. What about Neanderthals warrants such a reference? And if it is solely this appeal to interbreeding, is Genesis required to list every interbreeding event in all of our genetic lineage (you do realize that Neanderthals are not the only ones right?)?
    Well, it certainly points out that humans and supernatural beings can interbreed, so yes, I see your point that this is linked how Jesus was supposed to have been created. I think that Genesis' omission likely doesn't point to narrative requirements but actual ignorance of the facts especially since those other species (and yes, including others) interacted with us in very intimate ways. The fact is that Genesis is really not our genesis at all but an ancient rendering of what they believed it to be at the time. Hence, missing our cousins and not recognizing that all life stemmed from a single series of contemporaneous events. They wrote it millions of years after all this has already happened, unknown and undiscoverable for a few thousand years later. That points to it being more human inspired than deity inspired.

    JJ: The fact is that Genesis is making the claim that God did indeed take the trouble to make man from scratch,
    Ok, I've rebutted this twice already. If you are going to maintain this, you need to offer sources comparable to Strong's Concordance that explain the terms being used here as "from scratch." That seems a completely unwarranted assumption on your part and needs to be supported or retracted. Challenge to support a claim.
    And I have rebutted back that your interpretation of 'dust' is just a gaping loop hole that you're just going to jam everything possible into. From scratch means that God created man as a separate event from all the other animals and plants whereas the genetics shows us we are contiguous and archeology shows that we all developed simultaneously.

    The core point remains that Genesis did not say either that he took an existing primate and breathed into him or that he genetically altered an existing primate (our common ancestor) and breathed into that; those would be at least more compatible with genetics.

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    Re: Doesn't Neanderthal and Human interbreeding disprove God exists?

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    I'm not arguing against deists though - this is specifically aligning the Genesis story (and its consequences) with the genetic story.
    Which is only an issue regarding those who argue that the Genesis story is suppose to align with the genetic story. And as far as I know the only people who would argue that is YECs.



    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    That still does not address that man is explicitly not an 'animal' but made from a different template and as a special act of creation.
    And again, it's primarily YECs who say that man was created separately from animals. A Christian does not necessarily believe that is the case. And I have demonstrated that a Christian can interpret Genesis in a way that does not mean that man was created as a separate event.


    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    Specifically, which part I do you think I'm taking literally?
    The part that indicates that man was created as a separate event.


    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    For example?

    The very interpretation I gave in my last post. To repeat:

    As I believe the story said, Adam and Eve felt shame for being naked which of course is something that animals never experience. So mankind has gained forbidden knowledge (represented by The Apple from the tree of knowledge) that has cause him all kinds of problems that animals don't experience. And it would be pretty easy to view mankind as in a fallen state (original sin) considering all of the bad things we do to each other and our environment. There is some kind of innate flaw in us that prevents us from creating a very nice world/society even though we have the intelligence to do that.

    That interpretation in no way says that man was created as a separate event.


    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    At least the Christians responding here are addressing the issue - or at least getting nearer to the point but you have yet to contribute something substantive to the other side of my argument; and I don't expect you to - you're not a Christian who may have had to gloss over certain details in order to maintain their faith. It's this gloss that I am attempting to understand.
    An explanation for the gloss is the belief that the bible is to be taken metaphorically and not as a science book. So when hard scientific facts contradict a literal interpretation of the bible, the facts are to be accepted over that specific interpretation.

    In other words a Christian says to himself "Well, given known facts Genesis cannot be literally true so I will not take it literally and therefore I do not accept that mankind was created as a separate event just because a certain interpretation of Genesis would have me believe that. In fact, I don't believe it was meant to be taken literally."

    So there's an explanation. Now do you hold that Christians cannot have such a belief? If so, I Challenge to support a claim. you to support this. And if you do hold that Christians can have such a belief, then I believe this issue has been resolved.

    If not, then what exactly is your debate position? Please state it clearly as in "I hold that..."
    Last edited by mican333; April 22nd, 2014 at 06:57 AM.

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    Re: Doesn't Neanderthal and Human interbreeding disprove God exists?

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    Which is only an issue regarding those who argue that the Genesis story is suppose to align with the genetic story. And as far as I know the only people who would argue that is YECs.
    I believe some of the Christians here are exactly arguing that point!

    And again, it's primarily YECs who say that man was created separately from animals. A Christian does not necessarily believe that is the case. And I have demonstrated that a Christian can interpret Genesis in a way that does not mean that man was created as a separate event.
    To be honest, I don't place to much attention to YECs but all Christians are by definition Creationists and Genesis is the story of that creation. And I understand you came up with a possible scenario but that isn't one that Christians necessarily adhere to.


    JJ: Specifically, which part I do you think I'm taking literally?
    The part that indicates that man was created as a separate event.
    Yes, because a more accurate alternative could have been used. The singling out of man's creation is multifold, but in describing it as non-contiguous to all other life, which it easily could have, it reads more like other old religions who also had little idea of how things actually were. That speaks more of a human mind than a deistic one.


    The very interpretation I gave in my last post. To repeat:

    As I believe the story said, Adam and Eve felt shame for being naked which of course is something that animals never experience. So mankind has gained forbidden knowledge (represented by The Apple from the tree of knowledge) that has cause him all kinds of problems that animals don't experience. And it would be pretty easy to view mankind as in a fallen state (original sin) considering all of the bad things we do to each other and our environment. There is some kind of innate flaw in us that prevents us from creating a very nice world/society even though we have the intelligence to do that.

    That interpretation in no way says that man was created as a separate event.
    Yes, but that doesn't even mention creation - it's all post creation. Also, it doesn't cover the Noah issue, which brings in the Neanderthal DNA.



    An explanation for the gloss is the belief that the bible is to be taken metaphorically and not as a science book. So when hard scientific facts contradict a literal interpretation of the bible, the facts are to be accepted over that specific interpretation.
    Which is exactly what I am doing. Which is why I am saying the Bible, which is supposed to have been divinely inspired and is claimed to be correct all along according to some of the apologetics I have read, now appears to be entirely wrong.

    In other words a Christian says to himself "Well, given known facts Genesis cannot be literally true so I will not take it literally and therefore I do not accept that mankind was created as a separate event just because a certain interpretation of Genesis would have me believe that. In fact, I don't believe it was meant to be taken literally."
    I understand that this is what they are thinking but that is the hand waving that I have seen too much of without really addressing what is not literal. Even your example takes A&E literally, so how could these two specific humans be so precisely described, right down to their thoughts about nudity and their specific disobediences and not their actual creation. So it appears that you too, are picking and choosing the precise parts you are deciding can or cannot be taken literally.


    So there's an explanation. Now do you hold that Christians cannot have such a belief? If so, I Challenge to support a claim. you to support this. And if you do hold that Christians can have such a belief, then I believe this issue has been resolved.
    Again, I have not said that they cannot have such a belief - because clearly they do. I am saying that I believe they are missing the the details or ignoring the contradictions in order to do so.

    If not, then what exactly is your debate position? Please state it clearly as in "I hold that..."
    I hold that Christians are mistaken in their belief that Genesis represents a true reflection of the origins of humans because it clearly separates man's physical creation from all other life, whereas genetics show humans to have been evolved contemporaneously with all other life; and that the range of Neanderthal DNA also puts the Noah story, whose family is supposed to be our common ancestor after the Flood, in doubt.

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    Re: Doesn't Neanderthal and Human interbreeding disprove God exists?

    Why some scientists find no conflict between evolution and Genesis:

    Dr. Francis Collins
    American physician-geneticist noted for his discoveries of disease genes and his leadership of the Human Genome Project.
    Director of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD
    http://www.genome.gov/10000779

    So, some have asked, doesn't your brain explode? Can you both pursue an understanding of how life works using the tools of genetics and molecular biology, and worship a creator God? Aren't evolution and faith in God incompatible? Can a scientist believe in miracles like the resurrection?

    Actually, I find no conflict here, and neither apparently do the 40 percent of working scientists who claim to be believers. Yes, evolution by descent from a common ancestor is clearly true. If there was any lingering doubt about the evidence from the fossil record, the study of DNA provides the strongest possible proof of our relatedness to all other living things.

    But why couldn't this be God's plan for creation? True, this is incompatible with an ultra-literal interpretation of Genesis, but long before Darwin, there were many thoughtful interpreters like St. Augustine, who found it impossible to be exactly sure what the meaning of that amazing creation story was supposed to be. So attaching oneself to such literal interpretations in the face of compelling scientific evidence pointing to the ancient age of Earth and the relatedness of living things by evolution seems neither wise nor necessary for the believer.

    I have found there is a wonderful harmony in the complementary truths of science and faith. The God of the Bible is also the God of the genome. God can be found in the cathedral or in the laboratory. By investigating God's majestic and awesome creation, science can actually be a means of worship.
    http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/04/03/col...iref=allsearch

    Is not God the author of the laws of the universe? Is He not the greatest scientist? The greatest physicist? The greatest biologist? Most important, is He honored or dishonored by those who would demand that His people ignore rigorous scientific conclusions about His creation? Can faith in a loving God be built on a foundation of lies about nature?

    If God is outside of nature, then He is outside of space and time. In that context, God could in the moment of creation of the universe also know every detail of the future. That could include the formation of the stars, planets, and galaxies, all of the chemistry, physics, geology, and biology that led to the formation of life on earth, and the evolution of humans, right to the moment of your reading this book—and beyond. In that context, evolution could appear to us to be driven by chance, but from God’s perspective the outcome would be entirely specified. Thus, God could be completely and intimately involved in the creation of all species, while from our perspective, limited as it is by the tyranny of linear time, this would appear a random and undirected process.
    http://www.amazon.com/The-Language-G.../dp/1416542744



    QUESTION: As a scientist, have you ever found that your faith has conflicted with your scientific work?

    MR. COLLINS: I actually do not believe that there are any collisions between what I believe as a Christian, and what I know and have learned about as a scientist. I think there's a broad perception that that's the case, and that’s what scares many scientists away from a serious consideration of faith. But, unless one chooses to make an absolutely literal interpretation of the book of Genesis and the story of creation -- which I believe is not a choice that people made even before science came along in the last century to cast some doubt upon the timing of the creation events -- other than that I am not aware of any reasons why one cannot be a completely dedicated person of faith who believes that God inspired the writings in the Bible, and also be a rigorous, intellectually completely honest scientist, who does not accept things about the natural world until they're proven.

    QUESTION: As someone who does combine religious faith and scientific reason in your life, why do you think that so many people do have a problem with that?

    MR. COLLINS: I believe that people mix up the natural and the spiritual. Science's domain is the natural. If you want to understand the natural world and be sure you're not misleading yourself, science is the way to do it. You accumulate data, you make hypotheses, you draw conclusions, you expose them to other people's critical views, and you eventually decide whether it's right.

    The spiritual world is not where science operates. The spiritual world is another part of human existence. I would argue a very critical one, and just as you would not expect necessarily theology to always get it right when it comes to arguments about the structure of molecules, you should expect science to get it right when it comes to the spiritual aspects of human existence.
    http://www.pbs.org/faithandreason/tr...oll-frame.html
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    Doesn't Neanderthal and Human interbreeding disprove God exists?

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    Why some scientists find no conflict between evolution and Genesis:

    Dr. Francis Collins
    American physician-geneticist noted for his discoveries of disease genes and his leadership of the Human Genome Project.
    Director of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD
    http://www.genome.gov/10000779

    [
    But why couldn't this be God's plan for creation? True, this is incompatible with an ultra-literal interpretation of Genesis, but long before Darwin, there were many thoughtful interpreters like St. Augustine, who found it impossible to be exactly sure what the meaning of that amazing creation story was supposed to be. So attaching oneself to such literal interpretations in the face of compelling scientific evidence pointing to the ancient age of Earth and the relatedness of living things by evolution seems neither wise nor necessary for the believer.
    So basically, he doesn't believe in a literal Adam and Eve nor the literal fall of man either? And how is it when science also points to compelling evidence that Jesus' virgin birth, his miracles and resurrection are just as unlikely to be true then he actually, presumably, believes that to be true?

    Or is Jesus supposed to be read metaphorically true? Is there consistency in his appeal to science overcoming the written word of the Bible?


    If God is outside of nature, then He is outside of space and time. In that context, God could in the moment of creation of the universe also know every detail of the future.
    And there we have it, everything predicated upon an 'if' statement. I'm not sure how God could be outside of nature. He has to be somewhat contiguous with it if he created it!

    MR. COLLINS: I actually do not believe that there are any collisions between what I believe as a Christian, and what I know and have learned about as a scientist.
    Then is there proof that deities can interbreed with humans? We can't even breed with other living species so how does that happen?

    Is there proof that dead humans can rise from the dead? No, dead humans usually remain dead. So did Jesus fake his death in order to pull off his supposed resurrection? Or did the early Christians get carried away that he did? Or did he only rise spiritually and didn't in fact return back in human form - that this was invented by to make his claims to be a deity more convincing?

    Do angels exist too? Or the Nephalim not? He seems to ignore that there are plenty of collisions. His picking and choosing seems to be a bit arbitrary. Can you explain?



    So I remain unconvinced that this approach is a consistent one applied honestly throughout the whole Bible. If Genesis can be hand waved away as a total fabrication due to corresponding scientific claims that are more convincing, how then does Jesus' story suddenly get a massive free pass and taken literally. Not to mention that without the Genesis story, there'd be no fall of man for Jesus to claim to sacrifice himself for our behalf.
    Last edited by JimJones8934; April 23rd, 2014 at 06:05 AM.

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    Re: Doesn't Neanderthal and Human interbreeding disprove God exists?

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    I hold that Christians are mistaken in their belief that Genesis represents a true reflection of the origins of humans because it clearly separates man's physical creation from all other life, whereas genetics show humans to have been evolved contemporaneously with all other life
    And that criticism does not apply to all Christians but only some Christians (primarily YECs). So you are not showing a flaw in Christian belief in general but only a flaw in SOME Christian's beliefs.

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    Re: Doesn't Neanderthal and Human interbreeding disprove God exists?

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    And that criticism does not apply to all Christians but only some Christians (primarily YECs). So you are not showing a flaw in Christian belief in general but only a flaw in SOME Christian's beliefs.
    Well, the statement holds for all Christians but YECs have been excluded from the debate. Other Christians do believe parts of it to be true but I believe the allegory approach seems to be flawed. See eye's Crick quote where he agrees that Genesis is not true because of science, yet he probably believes in equally scientifically implausible stories about Jesus.

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    Re: Doesn't Neanderthal and Human interbreeding disprove God exists?

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    Well, the statement holds for all Christians but YECs have been excluded from the debate.
    Since I have shown that some Christians accept evolution, clearly the statement does not hold for all Christians.


    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    Other Christians do believe parts of it to be true but I believe the allegory approach seems to be flawed.
    If that is your actual debate position (the allegorical approach is flawed), then I ask that you support it.

 

 
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