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  1. #13

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    Mar 2007
    Fairfax, VA
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Bel
    You said:
    "Setting aside the objectivity question that prompted this"
    so the "objectivity" point is still unrebutted.
    There was a miscommunication. When I said that it was set aside, I was referring to your response. You didn't address my rebuttal, so I assumed you had set it aside. In post 611 you didn't address or defend objectivity, you simply invoked it again, but in the context of a different point you were making. Thus I inferred you had moved beyond that point. If you wish to still argue it for some reason you’d need to address the rebuttal I offered in post 608, that being part of a different instance of the same process does not make one more objective as to the nature of that process.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bel
    I see no reason for biologists opinions here.
    You are literally the only person I have ever talked with that promoted that life evolved from simple to complex and then God gave only one of the Great Apes sentience and that was the "first humans"!....
    I’m sorry you haven’t had more experience with this position, it is quite common in Christian circles in a whole variety of forms. It is common to all ID thinking, theistic evolution, old earth creationism, really every train of Christian thought on the matter that isn’t young earth creationism (which is relatively small as an intellectual movement).

    I think the opinions of biologists are incredibly important when we are discussing biological matters. We just need to be careful to not carry over assumptions from one field to a different one. Just like when people carry over their every day language into law and get worked up about Citizens United. If we conflate definitions across fields we are going to draw incorrect conclusions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bel
    "Speciation" is a human construct is it not?
    Our alien friends likely would not classify Earth life in the same way as humans.
    Biologists would argue that it isn’t. That they are trying to describe something objectively true. I mean clearly there is an objective classification difference between a sea star and a manatee. The question is how do we understand that difference and whose definition most correctly fits the underlying, objective mechanism. [To be fair, evolutionary biologists are in a bit of a crises as they are having a harder and harder time defining exactly what mechanism gives rise to that change].
    Quote Originally Posted by Bel
    On this point I am thinking you are right..?...
    You see Evolution basically as true. The difference seems, when God picks one of the Apes to be sentient (human).
    I will wait to comment on this line further till you have had a chance to say agree/don't agree (in one of your kinda cryptic/esoteric responses... )
    Oh you called it. Cryptic it shall be.

    I am totally fine with evolutionary processes being the final answer, but I’m not sure I would necessarily subscribe to them. There are a lot of current flaws in evolutionary biology (I wish Chad the geneticist were still here) that I think can lead to some reasonable doubt. And even a quick perusal of an evolutionary biology journal will find some pretty fundamental disagreements about what/if that process is.

    Sufficed to say that I am agnostic on exactly the mechanism used to bring about biological diversity on this planet, but that none of the current contenders really seem to be an issue for me aside from the materialist “blind evolution” (which I’m not very concerned about because evolutionary biologists also don’t hold that position).

    TLDR version: Yes I more or less agree with that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bel
    Basically I agree, save this "Eve" has a more diverse DNA pool than a truly "first" human, and the point you are missing, is all of the males she and her children had sex with would not be directly related so no incest issue and no "Adam".
    Your Eve was not the first human woman (pre your source), and no Adam (first human man) is even speculated on.
    1. your source does not lend any credibility to Genesis
    2. your source does not lend any credibility to your claim that "all humans are the product of incest".
    I’m not sure what you mean when you say that Eve “has a more diverse DNA pool than a truly ‘first’ human…” How so? Diverse in what aspect?

    No male is speculated on because we don’t pass along mitochondrial DNA of course. It isn’t some argument that there wasn’t one (hell by definition there has to be a first if we are going to have any kind of speciation definition), just that this form of genetic analysis plays no part in male understanding.

    You are also assuming, against human social and genetic construct, polyandry. Humans are generally monogamous partners (especially in more austere environments where teamwork means survival), and even when we create social constructs that aren’t, polyandry is vanishingly rare (there are exactly two instances of it that I’m aware of, both in societies well under 1000 people).

    I would disagree with you assessment, on both counts. The second claim is certainly not something I’ve said, but something you’ve tried to use to put words in my mouth, so I can put that claim aside since it isn’t something I’ve said nor something I support. The first claim depends on what assumption you bring to the evidence. It is certainly true that it lends credibility to the Genesis account when compared to traditional views on speciation evolution which hold that large swaths of the population continually migrate and dilute DNA alterations and that populations do not bottleneck in this way. In that sense it is a revolutionary finding (which is why it is so discussed in biological literature, obviously not for its theological implications) and paints a story that is far more like the Genesis account than the standard evolutionary account. That, at least, adds some credibility (even if you think it is vanishingly small) to Genesis..

    Quote Originally Posted by Bel
    You are of course correct here, my apologies.
    Ahh, I could never stay mad at you. 

    Quote Originally Posted by Bel
    You gave the premise, "Adam & Eve" being the "first two humans", but also suggested they had "ancestors". I was commenting on that thought.
    Again I will say, you are the ONLY person ever to suggest to me that Eve had ANY ancestors.
    Only person you’ve met, right? 

    Your statement was: “If there were humans before Adam an Eve, then they were not the first humans.” My point was, in order for us to answer this question, I need to know what you mean by “human.” Were Eve’s ancestors humans or something else?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bel
    I know you are saying this does not conflict with Genesis (though I think this is a minority position for a Christian), though does it square with
    "created in the image of God"?
    If God had picked a different Great Ape to grant sentience to, they would be the "human"?
    Since all us apes are related thru evolution we all must be in the "image" or is sentience all that matters to be the "image"?
    Given, as I discussed earlier, that God is spirit, thus without physical form, image can only refer to non-physical traits. There is certainly no discussion in any Jewish or Christian literature that I’m aware of that our “image” refers to anything physical about us.

    But we also need to be careful, because we aren’t defining human as solely as being created in the image of God. This would fall into Docetism, which is a whole set of problems. The answer to your question is I have no idea fully why this particular form was chosen by God to be the physical aspect of humans versus, say Gigantopithicus. This, to some sense, gets back to the asteroid question, is it possible? I guess, I’m not sure why the possibility matters. It certainly isn’t the aspect of our humanity that God has emphasized with us in the Torah, OT, or NT.
    "Suffering lies not with inequality, but with dependence." -Voltaire
    "Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.” -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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