Thanks for your message.
However, my policy is not to get involved in private discussions on creation, evolution or design, so as is my usual practice when I receive a private message on those topics, I am posting my reply to my blog CED, after removing your personal identifying information.
----- Original Message -----
To: Stephen E. Jones
Sent: Thursday, November 16, 2006 2:00 AM
>Excellent webpage. Its great seeing a fellow Christian at work here.
Thank you for your encouragement, which is much appreciated.
At the outset I wish to emphasise that although I am an Old-Earth Creationist and therefore consider Young-Earth Creationism to be wrong in its claim that the Earth and Universe are ~10,000 years old, I regard YEC as right about the main point, "namely that natural processes and ordinary providence are not adequate to explain the world" and that "God has added supernatural, creative actions to the process," so we both (YEC and OEC) "fall into the category of supernatural creationists or special creationists":
"Creationism General meaning: affirms that the universe is a creation of God, and hence that a world-view such as naturalism is untrue. Young earth creationism: the belief that the earth and universe are less than about 15,000 years old. This is commonly connected with the calendar day interpretation of Genesis 1. Some adherents of the Calendar Day view, however, do not take a position on the age of the earth; and some adherents of the other views do not require that the earth be `old.' Old earth creationism: creationism that allows that the natural sciences accurately conclude that the universe is `old' (i.e. millions or even billions of years) Two sub-categories of old-earth creationism: - theistic evolution: belief that natural processes sustained by God's ordinary providence are God's means of bringing about life and humanity. - progressive creationism: belief that second causes sustained by God's providence are not the whole story, but that instead God has added supernatural, creative actions to the process, corresponding to the fiats of Genesis 1. Some confusion can arise because progressive creationists vary in the degree of biological change they are willing to countenance in between the creative events. The progressive creationists and the young earth creationists agree on a key point: namely that natural processes and ordinary providence are not adequate to explain the world. They both fall into the category of supernatural creationists or special creationists." ("Report of the Creation Study Committee," Presbyterian Church in America: Atlanta GA, 2000. Emphasis original).
As I say at the top of my uncompleted web page "Problems of Young-Earth Creationism (YEC)," to which I assume you are referring, "I do not personally regard attacking Young-Earth Creationism (YEC) as a high priority, compared to attacking our common enemy, naturalistic (atheistic) evolution" and that "The things we" OECs and YECs "have in common are much more important than those on which we differ":
CreationEvolutionDesign (CED) I was increasingly debating YECs, so I thought I might as well start including my arguments here under these headings to make them more permanent. I agree with this quote by Old-Earth Creationist (OEC) Alan Hayward, that "The things we" OECs and YECs "have in common are much more important than those on which we differ":
"In the next few chapters I shall be obliged to oppose the notion that the earth is young. But I shall not attack it; one does not attack one's own friends. If we must use a military metaphor, I hope my allies will view me as exhorting them rather than attacking them. I am appealing to them to stop using the strategy and weapons of a bygone age in our common fight against unbelief. For recent-creationists are my friends and allies. Let there be no mistake about that. The things we have in common are much more important than those on which we differ. We share a belief in an inspired Bible. We agree that Darwin was mistaken, and that God is the Creator of every living thing. Compared with this, the question of the age of the earth pales into insignificance." (Hayward A., "Creation and Evolution: Rethinking the Evidence from Science and the Bible," , Bethany House: Minneapolis MN, 1995, reprint, p.79. Emphasis in original)
>However, I thought one thing was wrong with it in regards to the YECS position. I'm a YECS, and I think you're misrepresenting our position here. We agree with Natural Selection, Speciation and Variation. What we disagree with is the Darwinian interpretation of it. It was discovered by Edward Blythe.
I assume you are referring to the following:
1. Requires a higher rate of evolution than even evolutionists claim
If YECs claim that Noah's Flood was global, then all today's land animals must be descendants of pairs of animals on the Ark. But to fit all the world's land animals on the Ark, it needs to claim that they were a smaller number of "kinds". However, then YEC requires a higher rate of evolution than evolutionists themselves claim for the "kinds" on the Ark to give rise to today's land animals (as well as those it claims became extinct after the Flood, e.g. dinosaurs), in the ~8,000 years since the Flood:"The Biblical [i.e. YEC] account of history not only accommodates such rapid changes in body form, but actually requires that it would have happened much faster than evolutionists would expect. As the animals left the Ark, multiplying to fill the Earth and all those empty ecological niches, natural selection could easily have caused an original `dog kind' (e.g.) on the Ark to `split' into wolves, coyotes, dingoes, etc. Because there are historical records showing some of these subtypes in existence only a few hundred years after the Flood, this means that there had to have been some very rapid (non-evolutionary) speciation. So it is encouragingly supportive of Biblical history when some such rapid changes are seen still occurring today. And this is being repeatedly confirmed. But since evolutionists mistakenly interpret all such adaptation/speciation as `evolution happening', they are left stunned when it happens much faster than their traditional interpretations of the fossil record would allow." (Catchpoole D. & Wieland C., "Speedy species surprise," Creation Magazine, Vol. 23, No. 2, March 2001, pp.13-15. Emphasis original. Answers in Genesis, 2006).
"Creation scientists teach that all animals ate only plants until Adam and Eve rebelled against God's authority. Because carnivorous activity involves animal death, they presume it must be one of the evil results of human sin. Accordingly, they propose that meat-eating creatures alive now and evident in the fossil record must have evolved in just several hundred years or less, by natural processes alone, from the plant-eating creatures! The size of Noah's ark and the limited number of humans on board (eight) present an equally serious problem for them. Even if all the animals aboard hibernated for the duration of the Flood, the maximum carrying capacity by their estimates for the ark would be about thirty thousand pairs of land animals? But the fossil record indicates the existence of at least a half billion such species, more than five million of which live on Earth today, and at least two million more lived in the era immediately after the Flood, as they date it. The problem grows worse. Shortly after the Flood, they say, a large proportion of the thirty thousand species on board dinosaurs, trilobites [sic], and so on- went extinct; so the remaining few thousand species must have evolved by rapid and efficient natural processes alone into seven million or more species. Ironically, creation scientists (quietly) propose an efficiency of natural biological evolution greater than even the most optimistic Darwinist would dare to suggest." (Ross, H.N., "The Genesis Question: Scientific Advances and the Accuracy of Genesis," NavPress: Colorado Springs CO, 1998, pp.90-91)
Bear in mind that YECs claim that all supernatural creating was completed by the sixth literal day of creation, so all that they have left after that is natural processes. So it is therefore inconsistent of YECs to criticise the same natural processes of speciation that evolutionists propose when YEC itself depends on them!
2. Attacks Darwinian random mutation and natural selection but then depends on it
A prominent YEC of the 1920s, Byron C. Nelson (grandfather of YEC philosopher and ID theorist Paul Nelson), in a book reprinted up to 1980, and endorsed on its covers by leading YECs Whitcomb and Morris, claimed that the mechanism which transformed the "kinds" on the Ark into today's species was "Natural selection, working upon Mendelian or `genic' variations," i.e. Darwinian random mutation and natural selection, which Nelson called "a true evolution":"Light has been thrown upon the whole problem of animal distribution and adaptation-or what may be called `a true evolution.' After the Flood each species began to `mutate' and new forms began to arise. Among the cattle varieties were produced having short hair, such as is found in the Zebu of India or the Red Africander. Such a coat being better adapted to a hot climate, these varieties migrated to warm, equatorial regions. Other varieties were produced having long, warm coverings of hair, such as the West Highlander and Galloway, or the prehistoric wild ox of northern Europe called the `auroch.' These varieties migrated northward. Natural selection, working upon Mendelian or `genic' variations, produced all the evolution there is. Such evolution is strictly in accordance with what is taught in all Scripture." (Nelson B.C., "After Its Kind," , Bethany Fellowship: Minneapolis MN, Revised edition, 1952, Nineteenth printing, 1967, pp.119-120).
So again it is inconsistent of YECs to criticise Darwinian random mutation and natural selection when their own position depends on it! [...]
If so, nothing I said misrepresents YEC's position by saying YEC does not "agree with Natural Selection, Speciation and Variation." And while most YECs might (like yourself) sincerely think that YEC "disagree[s] with ... the Darwinian interpretation of" "Natural Selection, Speciation and Variation," any Darwinian would be very happy with leading YEC's claims above that, "natural selection ... caused an original `dog kind' ... to `split' into wolves, coyotes, dingoes, etc" and "Natural selection, working upon Mendelian or `genic' variations."
>We state, that we agree that beneficial mutations take place, but no new information is added. Thats about all we've got there.
If "beneficial mutations" did "take place" then that could be "new information ... added." I myself don't deny that mutations can add information and then natural selection and speciation can preserve it. However, I do deny (because there is no evidence that it did or even can) that random (i.e. undirected) mutations can add information, at least of the quantity and quality to build "the sort of complex multidimensional adaptation ... the 'Paley's watch', or 'Organs of extreme Perfection and complication', kind of adaptation that seems to demand a shaping agent at least as powerful as a deity":
"The theory of species selection, growing out of that of punctuated equilibria, is a stimulating idea which may well explain some single dimensions of quantitative change in macroevolution. I would be very surprised if it could be used to explain the sort of complex multidimensional adaptation that I find interesting, the 'Paley's watch', or 'Organs of extreme Perfection and complication', kind of adaptation that seems to demand a shaping agent at least as powerful as a deity." (Dawkins, R., "The Extended Phenotype: The Long Reach of the Gene," , Oxford University Press: Oxford UK, 1983, p.108)
that Darwinian (or any fully naturalistic evolutionary) theory requires.
But that was not the point I was making, which is that YEC depends on Darwinian mechanisms and yet attacks those mechanisms, when YECs should, if they were consistent, enthusiastically support Darwinism in its mechanisms. That is, my point was only that YECs are inconsistent when they: 1) attack Darwinian mechanisms (like "Natural Selection, Speciation and Variation"); but then 2) depend on such fully naturalistic mechanisms to get from the `basic kinds' on the Ark to all the thousands (if not millions) of land animals alive (and extinct) since their proposed global flood only ~8,000 years ago.
As Old-Earth Creationist Hugh Ross observes (his repeated (see above) blunder about "trilobites" - an extinct class of marine invertebrates being on the Ark notwithstanding), this is effectively "Young-Earth Darwinism" (my emphasis), because YEC requires that from "about 30,000 pairs of land animals" on the Ark" those "species must have evolved by extremely rapid, hyperefficient natural processes into millions of species" in only ~8,000 years, which "exceeds by many orders of magnitude the most optimistic Darwinist estimate ever proposed":
"YOUNG-EARTH DARWINISM ... Young-earth creationist leaders' views on the Fall (Adam and Eve's original sin) and on the Genesis Flood drive them-knowingly or not-into the surprising corner of belief in ultraefficient biological evolution. Since the first chapter of Genesis (supported by other Bible passages) says that after the sixth creation day God ceased to introduce new life-forms on Earth, young-earth creationists need an explanation for the huge number of new species of animals they say appeared suddenly, after the Fall, and proliferated again in the short span since the Flood of Noah's day. How did these creatures get here, since God didn't create them? According to young-earth teaching, animals ate only plants until the moment Adam and Eve rebelled against God's authority ... Carnivorous activity (considered evil because it involves animal death), they assumed, would have been one of the consequences of human sin. Based on this perspective, all meat-eating creatures alive now and evident in the fossil record must have evolved rapidly (in several hundred years or less) from the plant-eating creatures God made during the creation week. And since God is no longer `creating,' they must have evolved strictly by natural processes. A young-earth interpretation of the Genesis Flood exacerbates this speculated speciation problem. According to this interpretation, a global deluge wiped out all land-dwelling, air-breathing life on Earth, except those pairs on board Noah's ark, and all Earth's fossils and geological features resulted from this one relatively recent cataclysmic event. Even if all the animals aboard Noah's boat hibernated and did not drink or urinate for the duration and recession of the Flood, the ark's maximum carrying capacity (by young-earth leaders' estimates) would have been about 30,000 pairs of land animals. However, the fossil record documents the existence of a half billion species or more. At least 5 million species are alive on Earth today, and at least 7 million lived in the era immediately after the Flood, as young-earth interpreters date it. The speciation problem intensifies from that point. Shortly after the Flood, according to a young-earth perspective, many or most of the 30,000 species on board-dinosaurs, trilobites [sic], and others-went extinct. So the remaining few thousand species must have evolved by extremely rapid, hyperefficient natural processes into millions of species. This efficiency of natural speciation exceeds by many orders of magnitude the most optimistic Darwinist estimate ever proposed." (Ross, H.N., "A Matter of Days: Resolving a Creation Controversy," NavPress: Colorado Springs CO, 2004, pp.121-123. Emphasis original).
Continued in part #2.
Stephen E. Jones, BSc (Biol).
Genesis 11:1-9. 1Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. 2As men moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there. 3They said to each other, "Come, let's make bricks and bake them thoroughly." They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. 4Then they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth."5But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower that the men were building. 6The LORD said, "If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. 7Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other." 8So the LORD scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. 9That is why it was called Babel-because there the LORD confused the language of the whole world. From there the LORD scattered them over the face of the whole earth.