Friday, July 15, 2005

Introduction to CED

My name is Stephen E. (Steve) Jones. I am 58, an evangelical Christian and have recently completed a biology degree. Since 1994 I have been debating creation/evolution/design on the Internet.

Since February 2001 I have been moderating a Yahoo eGroup called CreationEvolutionDesign, which I am going to terminate because I want to write a book, "Problems of Evolution" and after over a decade of debates I find most debates largely a waste of time. I regard this blog (CED) as a successor to my list (CED).

I plan to continue posting science and other news items on creation, evolution and design issues as well as Christianity. I invite comments, but those I consider low-quality I will ignore or delete.

Stephen E. Jones, BSc (Biol)
"Problems of Evolution"

1 comment:

Stephen E. Jones said...

AN (copy to CED blog, with minor changes)

Thanks for your comment. See my latest comment on my blog CED [] about my policy of not getting involved in private discussions on Creation (including Christianity), Evolution and Design topics, but to copy my responses to my blog, after removing the sender's personal identifying information. I will copy my response to my very first blog post, "Introduction to CED" []. Feel free to respond via my blog comments (you can do so anonymously), otherwise my policy of not getting involved in private discussions on CED topics applies.

--Original Message Text---
From: [...]
Date: Mon, 1 Aug 2005 08:51:34 -0700 (PDT)

AN>Hey professor, I love your web blog.

Thanks for your positive feedback, which is much appreciated. But I am not a "professor", just a plain *Mr.* Jones.

AN>I'm a christian, and I have a question? What are the human origin fields revealing the more we study it.

That humans share a common ancestor with apes and with all life on Earth.

AN>Do you believe in a young or old earth?

The latter. The evidence that the Earth was hundreds of millions of years old, far older than the ~6,000 years that Ussher and others worked out by taking the Genesis 1 days literally and the Biblical genealogies as father-son, was already known before Darwin's day, having been worked out by Christian creationist geologists like Murchison and Sedgwick (see tagline). Then in the early 20th century, radiometric dating discovered that the Earth was actually billions of years old.

OTOH, there is no *scientific* evidence that the Earth (and Universe) is ~6,000 old. On my list CED I used to ask YECs (Young-Earth Creationists) for this, but they never responded. My point was that if the Earth and Universe were only ~6,000 years old, then the signal in the noise would be *deafening* (being so recent and being both the same date - within a week of each other), and *all* the age indicators would be pointing to ~6,000 years, when in fact *none* are!

BTW, it is one of the `trade secrets' of YEC that even Whitcomb & Morris, in their book, "The Genesis Flood", that revived modern day YEC, admitted that they could not take the genealogies literally, because, "all the postdiluvian patriarchs, including Noah, would still have been living when Abram was fifty years old; three of those ... would have actually outlived Abram ... [and] ... such a situation would seem astonishing, if not almost incredible":

"If the strict-chronology interpretation of Genesis 11 is correct, all the postdiluvian patriarchs, including Noah, would still have been living when Abram was fifty years old; three of those who were born before the earth was divided (Shem, Shelah, and Eber) would have actually outlived Abram; and Eber, the father of Peleg, not only would have outlived Abram, but would have lived for two years after Jacob arrived in Mesopotamia to work for Laban! On the face of it, such a situation would seem astonishing, if not almost incredible. And the case is further strengthened by the clear and twice-repeated statement of Joshua that Abram's `fathers,' including Terah, were idolaters when they dwelt `of old time beyond the River' (Joshua 24:2,14,15). If all the postdiluvian patriarchs including Noah and Shem, were still living in Abram's day, this statement implies that they had all fallen into idolatry by then. This conclusion is surely wrong, and therefore the premise on which it is based must be wrong. Consequently, it seems that the strict-chronology view must be set aside in order to allow for the death of these patriarchs long before the time of Abram." (Whitcomb J.C. & Morris H.M., "The Genesis Flood: The Biblical Record and its Scientific Implications," [1961], Baker: Grand Rapids MI, 1993, Thirty-sixth Printing, pp.477-478)

But if YECs do not adhere to "the strict-chronology interpretation of Genesis 11" then they are no longer Biblical literalists, and their attacks on OECs (Old-Earth Creationists) for not being Biblical literalists is a classic case of the hypocrisy of noticing "speck" in their brother's eye, while ignoring the "plank" in their own eye (Luke 6:42).

AN>What about the supposed transitions between ape and men?

A brief answer is what I wrote in answer to a similar question on my list CED:

On Fri, 15 Apr 2005 09:05:37 +0800, Stephen E. Jones wrote:

SJ>Briefly the fossil evidence "that man and apes share a common ancestry" is *conclusive* (to anyone who is open to the evidence), e.g. there is a pattern of increasing dissimilarity between "man and apes".

~7 mya Apes only

~7-2 mya Apes and early-middle hominids, e.g. Australopithecines,

H. habilis (bipedality, increasing brain size)

~2-0.1 mya Apes, early hominids decreasing/extinct, middle hominids
and later hominids, e.g. H. erectus, H. neanderthalensis, archaic H. sapiens, anatomically modern H. sapiens

~0.1-0 mya Apes, early middle and later hominids extinction, behaviourally modern H. sapiens (Cro-magnon man, modern H. Sapiens)


PS: Hayward is an OEC.

"Recent [young-Earth]-creationists usually ignore this historical fact. Their literature abounds with incorrect statements like this: `Why, then, do geologists say the rocks are hundreds of millions of years old, when they may only be thousands of years o
ld? The answer is that they are trying to agree with the theory of evolution that needs enormous lengths of time to explain all the forms of life we know today." [Andrews E.H., "From Nothing to Nature", Evangelical Press, Welwyn, 1978, p.63] Such unfounde
d accusations are grossly unfair to all the early geologists. Not only did they reach their conclusions many years before Darwin launched his theory of evolution, but many of them were Bible-believing Christians and creationists. Among them were William B
uckland and Adam Sedgwick. Buckland held the chair of geology at Oxford in the early nineteenth century, while Sedgwick was his counterpart at Cambridge. Both were leading churchmen, and both preached the plenary inspiration of Scripture and argued in favour of special creation. In their early years they held that some geological features, and especially the fossil-rich deposits found in caves, were relics of the Biblical Flood. After a while Sedgwick came to see that even this limited version of 'Flood geology' did not fit the facts, and strongly denounced it. Eventually Buckland abandoned it, too." (Hayward A., "Creation and Evolution: Rethinking the Evidence from Science and the Bible," Bethany House: Minneapolis MN, 1995, pp.72-73. Emphasis in original)
Stephen E. Jones, BSc (Biol).