Monday, February 25, 2013

Richard Dawkins on junk DNA in 2009. Richard Dawkins on junk DNA in 2012.

My friend Casey Luskin has a great post on Evolution News and Views. He points out that Richard Dawkins sang to quite a different tune about "junk DNA" back in 2009 than he does today.

Dawkins in 2009:

"It stretches even their creative ingenuity to make a convincing reason why an intelligent designer should have created a pseudogene -- a gene that does absolutely nothing and gives every appearance of being a superannuated version of a gene that used to do something -- unless he was deliberately setting out to fool us... 
Leaving pseudogenes aside, it is a remarkable fact that the greater part (95 percent in the case of humans) of the genome might as well not be there, for all the difference it makes."

The 2009 iteration of Richard Dawkins asserts confidently that most of the genome is junk, just as Darwinism predicts! What an embarrassment to Darwin doubters!


Dawkins in 2012:

"I have noticed that there are some creationists who are jumping on [the ENCODE results] because they think that's awkward for Darwinism. Quite the contrary it's exactly what a Darwinist would hope for, to find usefulness in the living world....

Whereas we thought that only a minority of the genome was doing something, namely that minority which actually codes for protein, and now we find that actually the majority of it is doing something. What it's doing is calling into action the protein-coding genes. So you can think of the protein-coding genes as being sort of the toolbox of subroutines which is pretty much common to all mammals -- mice and men have the same number, roughly speaking, of protein-coding genes and that's always been a bit of a blow to self-esteem of humanity. But the point is that that was just the subroutines that are called into being; the program that's calling them into action is the rest [of the genome] which had previously been written off as junk."

The 2012 iteration of Richard Dawkins asserts confidently that most of the genome is not junk, just as Darwinism predicts! What an embarrassment to Darwin doubters!

As you may have noticed (e.g. 'hearts don't have a purpose'), Darwinists will say anything to protect atheism's creation myth. 

42 comments:

  1. No. The 98% figure for the amount of junk DNA within the human genome is wrong. Actually, 1.5% code for genes, producing mostly proteins, but also producing ribosomal and transfer RNA, and 3.5% is strongly conserved, implying that it has a function.

    That gives 5%, implying that pre-ENCODE 95% doesn't have a function.

    ENCODE has been justifiably criticized for its broad definition of 'functional' to include being transcribed into RNA at least once in a cell. And using this very broad definition asserting that between 20 and 80% of the human genome is 'functional'. Which, even if true, doesn't mean that it has a purpose and can't be deleted without adverse effect.

    The fact remains. Most of the human genome doesn't have a function. Including the tens of thousands pseudogenes, broken non-functional genes. And the 800,000 or so SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms), which are free to mutate without effect, but which are a useful marker in family studies for disease associated genes (such as BRCA-1 in familial breast and ovarian cancer) and for DNA fingerprints in crime investigation. And the enormous number of transposons, which act as replicating viruses, existing only for their benefit. And the introns within functional genes, which are transcribed into mRNA, and then has to be spliced out. In large genes, introns make up most, more than 95%, of the gene.

    The fact that junk DNA makes up such a large percentage of the genome of eukaryotic cells is demonstrated by the fact that the size of the genome varies so widely across similar species.

    Anyway, I don't criticize Richard Dawkins for his comments in a debate, which occurred so soon after the ENCODE papers were published. There was a lot to digest before it was realized that the results were just bogus. Debates are entertaining, but not a good way of arriving at the truth.

    The heart doesn't have a purpose. The heart has a function - pumping blood. If you want to define 'purpose' to mean the same thing as 'function', then all you're doing to confusing the meaning of words.

    The function of eyes is to see, to create a useful model of outside reality. Purpose is intentional. You could argue that the purpose of the eyes is to see truth, and I suspect that this is the reason why you're trying to confuse 'function' and 'purpose', and if you are, then you're wrong, because the eyes can't be fooled, by visual illusions, 'seeing' what's not there and not seeing things that are obvious.

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    1. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyFebruary 25, 2013 at 8:51 AM

      Johann, are you really that blindingly stupid? Or are you simply grasping at imaginary straws?

      function: (n) the kind of action or activity proper to a person, thing, or institution; the PURPOSE for which something is designed or exists; role.

      You may also check any thesaurus. If you know what a thesaurus is.

      Do they actually trust you with sharp objects?

      Delete
    2. Adm. Boggs,

      Much of the genome is "functional" in a rather limited sense: it gets transcribed. However, transcription alone does not guarantee that the resulting things perform any further function.

      Here is Ashutosh Jogalekar at Scientific American:

      "Indeed, one of the major problems with the ENCODE study seems to be its emphasis on transcription as a central determinant of “function”. This is problematic, since as the authors note, there’s lots of sequences that are transcribed which are known to have no function. But before we move on to this, it’s worth highlighting what the authors call “The Encode Incongruity” in homage to Robert Ludlum. The Encode Incongruity points to an important assumption in the study; the implication that a biological function can be maintained without selection and that the sequences with “causal function” identified by ENCODE will not accumulate deleterious mutations. This assumption is unjustified."

      Jogalekar links to a peer-reviewed paper that picks apart the dubious claims of ENCODE authors On the immortality of television sets: “function” in the human genome according to the evolution-free gospel of ENCODE. I have not yet read that paper, but it looks interesting.

      Hoo

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    3. Here is the abstract of the paper, drenched in sarcasm:

      "A recent slew of ENCODE Consortium publications, specifically the article signed by all Consortium members, put forward the idea that more than 80% of the human genome is functional. This claim flies in the face of current estimates according to which the fraction of the genome that is evolutionarily conserved through purifying selection is under 10%. Thus, according to the ENCODE Consortium, a biological function can be maintained indefinitely without selection, which implies that at least 80 − 10 = 70% of the genome is perfectly invulnerable to deleterious mutations, either because no mutation can ever occur in these “functional” regions, or because no mutation in these regions can ever be deleterious. This absurd conclusion was reached through various means, chiefly (1) by employing the seldom used “causal role” definition of biological function and then applying it inconsistently to different biochemical properties, (2) by committing a logical fallacy known as “affirming the consequent,” (3) by failing to appreciate the crucial difference between “junk DNA” and “garbage DNA,” (4) by using analytical methods that yield biased errors and inflate estimates of functionality, (5) by favoring statistical sensitivity over specificity, and (6) by emphasizing statistical significance rather than the magnitude of the effect. Here, we detail the many logical and methodological transgressions involved in assigning functionality to almost every nucleotide in the human genome. The ENCODE results were predicted by one of its authors to necessitate the rewriting of textbooks. We agree, many textbooks dealing with marketing, mass-media hype, and public relations may well have to be rewritten."

      Ouch!

      Hoo

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    4. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyFebruary 25, 2013 at 10:58 AM

      hoo, despite the fact that you are obviously capable of copying and pasting, are you illiterate? Frankly, I don't GAF about the genome one way or the other. Thank you for the bullshit that I didn't bother to read.

      My comment was directed entirely toward the imbecilic comment made by Johann.

      Delete
    5. Adm. Boggs,

      Thank you for your concern. I am indeed literate and able to read, process information, and write. You used to be able to do all of that, too, and were quite successful at that in the good old days.

      It appears, however, that your mental capacities have gone down in retirement. There is no reason to worry as this is normal at your age. Reading a newspaper in the morning, solving crossword puzzles, and moderate exercise will help delay the most adverse effects.

      Best,

      Hoo

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    6. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyFebruary 25, 2013 at 11:07 AM

      I suppose that's the best you can do. Pity.

      Delete
    7. That's all well and good, Bachfiend. But you didn't address the point of the post, which is that Dawkins believed in 2009 that junk DNA disproved the hand of a creator in the process of life, while in 2012, he found that usefulness in the world only made the case for evolutionary biology that much stronger.

      This is much like the global warming myth. Everything proves it. Global warming can mean hotter, it can mean colder. It can mean wetter, it can mean drier. No matter what the evidence is, it proves the theory. That's called unfalsifiable.

      Tell me, is there any new evidence that could possibly change your mind? If it arose, how would you deal with it?

      Joey

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    8. Joey,

      The pages in 'the Greatest Show on Earth' Casey Lacks-sense was referring to was in a section on 'molecular clocks', as a means of determining how long ago two species diverged - counting up the number of mutations in non-functional DNA and neutral mutatations within functional genes (which replace one triplet with another triplet for exactly the same amino acid).

      The 95% junk DNA was an aside in a long section, had nothing to do with a proof that God doesn't exist, but had everything to do with the assertion that the Earth wasn't created in the last 10,000 years.

      That said, I think the amount of junk DNA within the human genome is going to be much closer to 95% than 20%.

      Global warming causes global warming. AGW causes warming over the temperature the Earth would otherwise have had. It's just a simple matter of the physical properties of greenhouse gases in absorbing certain frequencies of infrared radiation. Without greenhouse gases, according to the Stefan-Boltzmann law, with an albedo of 0.30 the average global temperature would be -18 degrees Celcius instead of 15 degrees Celcius (work that out in Fahrenheit if you care).

      Global warming doesn't mean that the temperatures are going up all the time and in all places. The Earth is a complex system, with oceans, continents and atmosphere, with a lot of heat sloshing around the globe causing weather. Richard Muller of BEST fame (which looked at all the data from the weather stations - and confirmed that global warming is happening) noted that 2/3 of stations showed a warming and 1/3 showed a cooling - just due to the complexity of the system.

      Greenhouse gases aren't the only factor driving climate, and actually, it's a small effect. The Sun's radiation provides 1000 Watts per square metre. Greenhouse gases, in blocking low energy infrared radiation from radiating into space, accounts for less than a Watt per square metre of the Earth's surface. A small effect, which adds up.

      And there are other factors driving climate too. The so-called pause in global warming is just due to starting with a warm el Niño in 1997 (dumping heat from the oceans into the atmosphere) and ending with a cool la Nina in 2012 (with the oceans taking up more heat from the atmosphere). Plus a solar minimum. And increased atmospheric aerosols from China's and India's industrialization - and burning more 'dirty' coal releasing particulates.

      Criticizing AGW means that you should know what the theory actually states, not what you think it states. AGW means that human caused increases in greenhouse gases will cause global warming above the temperature the Earth would otherwise have had. Not that the global temperature will increase continuously in all places.

      I'm always open to new evidence. Which question are you referring? The existence of God? The functionality of the human genome? AGW? Of course, the evidence has to be adequate. The evidence so far provided against the positions I accept (based on the evidence I've found so far) had just been batshit poor.

      Delete
    9. What I mean is, what new evidence could arise tomorrow that would cause you to abandon belief in evolution? Is there anything that would make you say, "Ah ha! Well, I guess I've been wrong all along."

      Joey

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    10. Joey,

      A fossil rabbit in pre-Cambrian sedimentary rocks, perhaps. The evidence against evolution would have to be very strong and unambiguous to contradict the evidence for evolution, which comes from multiple lines of evidence in multiple fields of science.

      Perhaps if God returns again and announces that the appearance that the Universe and the Earth has a very long and complex history was just a nasty joke on us, and that Henry Gosse was right in 'Omphalos' (published in 1857, two years before 'On the Origin of Species') when he stated that the Earth was just created with the appearance of great age. God as a deceiver.

      Delete
    11. I agree that the earth is very old. It's more like 4 billion years old, certainly not 10,000. But that doesn't prove that one celled organisms became human beings, humpback whales, walabees, and cocker spaniels over time.

      Well, it's good to know that there's something that would disprove it for you.

      Joey

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  2. That paper is a gem. The sarcastic abstract is followed by a few juicy quotes such as this:

    “I would be quite proud to have served on the committee that designed the E. coli genome. There is, however, no way that I would admit to serving on a committee that designed the human genome. Not even a university committee could botch something that badly.”

    David Penny (personal communication)

    Hoo

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  3. The main advantage of science over faith is science advancesby the changing of people’s opinion based on new evidence and observation.

    Without this you end up with absurd claims, like people believing the Earth is less than 10,000 years old, or that Aquinas is still relevant answering existential questions.

    -KW

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    1. When it comes to evolution, it seems that you have a lot of faith and Egnor just wants rigorous scientific analysis applied to it.

      Joey

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    2. No faith, just an open mind and a willingness to go where the evidence leads.

      -KW

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    3. I don't believe that for a second.

      Joey

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  4. "As you may have noticed (e.g. 'hearts don't have a purpose'), Darwinists will say anything to protect atheism's creation myth."

    Darwinists will say anything -- and its opposite -- to protect atheism's creation myth -- and then demand that you disregard the continuous self-contradiction.

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    1. Evolution destroys the Christian creation myth by providing a rational alternative to the Adam and Eve fairytale, but it isn’t a creation myth. It says nothing about the origin of the universe, the formation of our planet, or even the origin of life.

      -KW

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    2. I'm a Christian and I don't believe that the Adam and Eve story is a literal recounting of what happened. How could it be, when there are in fact two versions of the same story in Genesis? I'm open to the idea of evolution, and I'm just now learning a small bit about it from the raging debates on this blog. I must say, the Darwinists seem a lot like the howling banshees that still defend global warming--no dissent allowed, no questioning permitted, and belief in their theory is a minimal requirement for human decency. Their argument always boils down to the same thing: shut up.

      Some Protestant denominations do believe that the Eden story is to be taken literally, which precludes belief in things like evolution or even dinosaurs. (Some rationalize that dinosaurs existed but at the same time as man, which is obviously false.) The Catholic Church does not teach this.

      The official position of the Catholic Church on evolution is that there is no position. Good Catholics can disagree on this issue. Catholics should look at the evidence and decide for themselves whether the case is strong enough to believe the theory.

      From your comments, I gather that you assume that doubters must be clinging to some cherished myth that prevents them from seeing the truth. You, on the other hand, believe yourself to be unbiased, because atheism is not a bias (ha!). You, and only you, can see it clearly.

      Sorry, that's not the case. Dr. Egnor is not duty-bound by his religion to oppose Darwinism, and neither am I. He's one of those Catholics who has examined the evidence and decided that it doesn't merit belief. I'm still learning, myself, yet your side of the debate isn't exactly wooing me with your constant browbeating.

      Joey

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    3. Correction: The Darwinist argument doesn't always boil down to "shut up." I think Bachfiend tries to persuade using evidence. I should say "usually" rather than "always."

      Joey

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    4. Joey,

      Egnor's rigorous scientific analysis goes out the window whenever he is discussing any of his pet theories. Such as Thomistic evolution (how is that supposed to work?). Or his theory that DDT has been banned for malaria control by the actions of environmentalists (DDT hasn't been banned, yet). Or that AGW is a hoax and a conspiracy.

      What he tends to do is to provide a little of the picture and then tell us to shut-up.

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    5. Joey: I'm learning too.

      KW, Bachfiend, Dr. Egnor: If you have any book recommendations, I'm all ears. As a full time mom with a part time job, I don't have a lot of time, but I try to read when I can.

      TRISH

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    6. TRISH:

      Probably the best intro is Jonathan Wells' Icons of Evolution. Phillip Johnson's Darwin on Trial is excellent as well (it addresses more of the philosophical and logical issues with Darwinism). Steven Meyer's Signature in the Cell is the ID desiderata, although very detailed. Mike Behe's Darwin's Black Box and Edge of Evolution are excellent, but rather technical. Anything by Bill Dempski is superb, but very technical as well.

      Good luck. I really would start with Icons of Evolution or Darwin on Trial.

      As you may have noticed, those of us in the ID/Thomist community don't question the fact that evolution has occurred. We question the assertion that there is no design or teleology behind it.

      Much of current evolutionary biology is very sloppy work (as you'll see in Icons), and the atheists' claim that random processes can explain life is scientific garbage.

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    7. Trish,

      How about Ken Miller's 'Only a Theory. Evolution and the Battle for America's Soul'?

      Ken Miller is a biology professor at Brown University. And also a practicing Catholic. It's a very readable argument for evolution and against ID (it doesn't mention Egnor's favorite, Thomistic evolution, because no one actually knows what it is) from a believing Christian viewpoint. And from someone who actually understands the science.

      One good quote from the book; 'Those 6 billion DNA bases are the recipe for building a human being, and they represent the complex, unique, direct, and inspired work of the designer. And very fine work it was. But there's a problem with that analysis, and it's a serious one. The problem is the genome itself. It's not perfect. In fact, it's riddled with useless information, mistakes and broken genes. And there's a more serious problem too: it looks as if our genome was copied from someone else's. The designer, apparently, is a plagiarist'.

      He doesn't use the term 'junk DNA', but he might as well done so. The 'plagiarist' comment deals with the idea of common design not common ancestry. Each species is created de novo, not developing from previous ones.

      God as serial creator. In fact, incompetent serial creator (as Ken Miller puts it), because the fossil record generally shows a sequence of fossils in which one goes extinct abruptly to be replaced by another that's very similar.

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    8. Michael,

      Natural selection is not a random process. Insisting that it is ad nauseum is a sign of serious mental illness.

      'Icons of Evolution' isn't a very good book. One of its chapters deals with the peppered moth and the variation in frequency of the pigmented/normal forms with industrialization and subsequent cleaning of the air due to phasing out of coal in industry. It was a vivid illustration of bird predation of moths resulting in natural selection.

      In the '90s, it was noted that the original experiment wasn't strict enough, having the experimenters place the moths on tree trunks instead of letting them seek their own resting places. The experiment has been repeated using robust methods and the same results obtained. The paper was published last year in 'Nature'

      Delete
    9. @Ilion: "Darwinists will say anything --and its opposite --to protect atheism's creation myth --and then demand that you disregard the continuous self-contradiction."

      What planet have you been living on?

      Aquinas went to great lengths to argue that a our universe is temporally finite because that was consistent with his God, a fact that seems to have been confirmed, but he also went to great lengths to argue that a temporally infinite universe was consistent with his God too.

      Spontaneous generation was used as evidence by theologians to explain the story of Adam coming from dust, Jesus being born without a father, and even the ability of Noah to transport alll those animals on the ark. The rejection of spontaneous generation was then used to support the idea that only God, not nature, could create life (and only those silly atheisitic Darwinists would believe such a thing).

      The centrality of the Earth, or at least the Sun, in the universe was proof that God created our world as a special place. Once it became clear the universe was more vast and complex that any thelogian had conceived, that became proof that God fine-tuned existence to create our world as a special place.

      Theologians have been saying everything and its opposite to prop up their beliefs for centuries.

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    10. Bachfiend and Dr. Egnor: I will pick up those books. They sound interesting.

      TRISH

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  5. Joey, without a literal Adam and Eve the entire story falls apart. Without the fall, there is no original sin, no need for redemption, and no need for Jesus.

    -KW

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    1. I don't think so. It's parable about sin generally, and particularly about sex. "Knowledge," in the Biblical context, means sex. It's a story about man's predilection to sin, which is to say his tendency to say "no" to God. We have a sinful nature because we have free will, which means that we like to do things our way, not God's way. There is original sin, a need for redemption, and a need for Jesus. The fact that the story isn't a literal recounting of what happened one day in a garden doesn't change any of that.

      It's almost as if you're made at us for being too literal in our interpretation of scripture, and then mad for not being not literal enough.

      You are, however, revealing a lot about your own thought process. For you, evolution is the hammer with which you seek to smash religion, something that you hate. You think that the two can't coexist, so if you prove that evolution exists, that must mean religion (mine in particular) cannot. There ain't enough room for the both of us in this town! I think you should get a different hammer because yours doesn't scare me.

      In this regard, you are exactly like the Southern Baptist preacher who thinks humans saddled dinosaurs and rode them like pack animals. You need evolution to be true to validate your worldview, just as the Southern Baptist preacher needs evolution to be false to validate his. That's your bias.

      Dr. Egnor and I belong to a religion that tells us to make up our own minds on the question based on the evidence. He's made up his mind that your theory is hooey. I'm not saying I agree with him because there's still a lot about the theory I don't know. I don't know, for example, what this ENCODE project is, or why it matters. I can see, however, that your belief in this theory is deeply emotional and it would embarrass you if it turned out to be false.

      Joey

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    2. Joey:

      [It's almost as if you're made at us for being too literal in our interpretation of scripture, and then mad for not being not literal enough.]

      I agree. Atheists/Darwinists are panicked by real informed criticism, and they throw up contradictory straw men in an effort to defend their myth.

      I don't take Adam and Eve literally, either, although I don't think the evidence is in. The parable of the Fall tells a deep truth about man. Whether it happened exactly as the Bible said, or the story is a parable, I don't know. It's one of the first questions I'll ask the Lord.

      Delete
    3. Michael,

      Do you realize how batshit crazy you are? How can pose questions to the 'Lord'? 'Summa Theologica' argues in many pages that God as a being with whom one can engage in conversation is just a metaphor. Similar to God being angry.

      You really think that an entity larger than the Universe, but simple, not complex, not consisting of parts, could have a conversation with mere humans, about whether the Garden of Eden was parable or reality.

      A clue; it was parable. You're crazy.

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  6. Excellent post, Dr. Egnor.

    It's quite fascinating to watch how these bizarre people not only lie to others, but lie to themselves. Darwinism is such an emotional crutch to these people that they'd rather live in a lie-filled fantasyland where it's true, than live in reality, where it's clearly false. Their entire life agenda is fibbing for Darwin.

    How utterly strange. It truly frightens me that weirdos like Dawkins and Bachfiend exist in this world.

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    1. Jared Jammer,

      Thank you. I regard it as a compliment to be called a 'weirdo' by the likes of you, a compulsive delusional.

      Delete
  7. "It's parable about sin generally, and particularly about sex. "Knowledge," in the Biblical context, means sex."

    The story of the Fall isn't about sex -- that's an old myth started by the "higher critics" and such. The forbidden tree was not called "The Tree of Knowledge (wink, wink)"; it was called "The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil".

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  8. "I'm a Christian and I don't believe that the Adam and Eve story is a literal recounting of what happened. How could it be, when there are in fact two versions of the same story in Genesis?"

    There are not two versions. Sheesh! That another "higher criticism" myth.

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    1. I'm looking at my Bible right now. Genesis Chapter One begins "First Story of Creation." In Chapter Two, verse 4, begins "Second Story of Creation." Clear enough for you?

      There are slight differences between the two. In the first, the animals are made before Adam. In the second, Adam is made, then God makes all sorts of creatures to be his mate, which Adam names, but ultimately rejects as unsuitable partners. Adam then falls asleep and God creates Eve from one of Adam's ribs.

      Also, I think if you read between the lines, you will see that the story is dripping with sexual allegory. The serpent? A phallic symbol perhaps? Yes, the serpent really tempted Eve because...well, you know.

      Why do you think they realized their nakedness? Why do you think Eve was punished with birth pangs?

      Basically it's a story about mankind's pride. He thinks he knows better than God, so he does what he wants. God permits this because man has free will, but there are consequences. It's a reminder that we are all sinful creatures by nature. We say no to God all the time, in big and small ways.

      I don't know what denomination you belong to. Would you care to share?

      Joey

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    2. What is a higher critic, by the way?

      Joey

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    3. There is no contradiction between Genesis 1 and 2.
      Genesis chapter one relates the strict chronological sequence of Creation. Genesis chapter two is not a chronological recounting of creation, but a continuation of the narrative, AFTER all the creation work was finished, where he simply repeats relevant parts of the creation account in context, and there is no strict chronological sequence implied. 2:18 "So the Lord God formed from the ground all the wild animals ...", according to Hebrew scholars could just as legitimately be translated as "So the Lord God HAD formed from the ground all the wild animals ...".

      Terry

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  9. Dawkins, what a poser.
    And rather a hypocrite, though there's nothing new there.
    He may be a fair zoologist (stamp collector), but as a logical thinker? He sucks big eggs.

    Among all these so-called "new atheists" there is not a single first class intellect. Not one.
    Almost everything they say is self-contradictory, false or ignorance based ideas of the god they've invented for us theists -which is nothing at all like our real God.

    Be honest atheists, if a creationist scientist had shown such inglorious, two-faced, disingenuous lies, you would have been all over them in a flash. Where is the atheist outcry against this conspicuous, public pharisaism?

    That's the real reason Dawkins et al. won't debate Craig in public.

    Atheism is a logical absurdity.

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  10. Advancing Genomics Mandates Prior Rethink-Update Of Genetics

    On “Time’s Arrow” and on “Genetic Mutation Rate”

    A. Evolution Points Time’s Arrow
    http://universe-life.com/2013/01/09/randomness-is-impossible-in-the-universe/

    An evolving system EVOLVES continuously, without randomness. The universe evolves, cyclically, between its all mass pole and all energy pole.
    Period.

    B. A Genetic Mutation Rate???
    http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2013/03/clocking-the-human-exodus-out-of.html?ref=em

    Exasperating ignorance.

    Genetics is THE PROGENY of culture.
    Genes (and genomes) are organisms, molded (i.e. are expressions modified) via natural selection by their reactions to their circumstances (i.e. by their culture).

    Look up Pavlov and Darwin…

    Respectfully,

    Dov Henis
    http://universe-life.com
    My Don Quixotic mission: Un-theosophize religious “Science” of trade-union-church AAAS.

    Genetics is modifications of genome’s expressions in response to cultural variations, which is behavioral modifications in response to circumstantial variations. DH

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  11. Michael said ... "I don't take Adam and Eve literally, either, although I don't think the evidence is in. The parable of the Fall tells a deep truth about man. Whether it happened exactly as the Bible said, or the story is a parable"

    I's like to add a couple of points to the allegory-parable-literal question.
    The words of Christ when he was asked about divorce when he said, "...he which made them at the beginning made them male and female".

    According to Jamieson, Fausset Brown this phrase could be better stated as "He that made them made them from the beginning a male and a female".

    If the singular was Christ's meaning then Adam and Eve were real individuals.
    JFB arn't the only ones with this opinion, Young's "literal translation" uses singular "a male" as well. So does Murdock & the Contemporary English version.

    This, if it were the only NT passage referring to the original man and woman as male & female, would still be a bit difficult to perfectly determine whether there was a literal Adam and Eve. The singular seems valid given the whole discussion centers on marriage! One man & one woman.

    But it isn't the only NT passage like this.

    We read in Paul's letter to Timothy:
    "Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor." 1:14
    Here Paul does not use the normal word for "man" in Greek but a proper name - Adam. αδαμ
    This is significant don't you agree? Why would he do this if not meaning a proper individual?

    He then refers to woman not as "Eve", but as "woman" (Isha in Hebrew, goonay in Greek). γυνη, or transliterated "goonay". Goonay also means "wife" and is used 80 times in the NT as "wife". Paul could be saying or meaning that "his wife was deceived".

    If this were a ref to allegory or all mankind why use the proper name Adam? Why not speak more clearly to the Greek he was writing to? Timothy no doubt took it as meaning two real persons.

    All this seems to me a clear indication that Paul treated the "Adam and Eve" account as referring to literal individuals.

    That would rule out the allegorical Adam and Eve theory.

    To get around this we'd have to claim that Paul is still speaking allegorically which is highly unlikely as this was meant to be simply understood.

    Thus I believe in a real singular Adam and Eve.

    Consider also Paul's word to the Xians at Corinth:
    "So also it has been written, The first man, Adam, became a living soul; the last Adam a life-giving Spirit" -again singular a soul not "living souls".

    Barnes noted, "This is quoted exactly from the translation by the Septuagint [Genesis], except that the apostle has added the words 'first' and 'Adam'."

    Clearly Paul means an individual here and not a collective. Otherwise why use the "first man" & "Adam" all together in the same sentence? The Last Adam also, who is Christ, an individual.

    In plain everyday language anyone would know what this means -a real 1st Adam and a real last Adam, Christ.

    Note that he says "last" and not "second" as per would be expected given his use of "first man". This means there are to be no further "Adam's" and that Christ alone is the head of the new "born again", "regenerated" race.

    Only overly scrupulous theologians can complicate it to the point of creating confusion!

    Lastly, we read in Gen 3 that Adam gave a name to his wife, Eve, (chavah) which means "life". And the Genesis text adds, "because she was the mother of all the living".

    I fail to see this being anything other than a real individual man giving his personal wife a proper name.
    One has to force any other meaning into all this to arrive at a mere allegory of mankind.

    I would love to get your thoughts on this Michael.
    Thanks.

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