Thursday, July 26, 2007

"Problems of Evolution" book outline: Contents

Now that I have started a second blog, The Shroud of Turin, I have decided to focus my now more limited time here on CED

[Left (click to enlarge): Diagram of "the bacterial flagellum ... a huge protein complex made of about 25 proteins" Protonic NanoMachine Group, Osaka University (my emphasis)]

into largely confining my posting to an outline of the book "Problems of Evolution" that I have been trying to write since at least 2004!:

© Stephen E. Jones, BSc. (Biology)

12. CELL
17. MAN
21. LAW

This Contents page will contain the hyperlinks to each chapter, and each chapter in turn will contain the hyperlinks to each section in it. Each section will have its own page. The numbering of sections and even of chapters will probably change as the book outline grows. If I make changes to an existing section I won't post it again. I will try to post at least one new section a week, not necessarily in chapter or section order. Because of the limitations of Blogger's format, each section will have to be brief, which is not necessarily a bad thing! While I may occasionally post here on other creation (including Christianity), evolution and design issues, writing this book outline will be my main focus on this blog.

Comments are welcome but as per my stated policy, I no longer have the time or inclination for extended debate, so I will generally only respond once to each comment that appears.

Since I still intend to use this material eventually as the basis of a published book , I hereby assert copyright over this page and all "Problems of Evolution" pages under it.

Stephen E. Jones, BSc. (Biology).
My other blog: TheShroudofTurin

"There are, of course, difficulties in the theory of evolution. You raised a selection of the most serious ones. ... It is never, however, necessary to postulate a leap which would imply prevision by a designer. That is why one finds no example of ... the wheel ... which would be useless till fairly perfect." (Haldane, J.B.S., in "Is Evolution A Myth?," C.A. Watts & Co/Paternoster: London, 1949, p.90. My emphasis)

"THE WHEEL is the proverbial human invention. Take apart any machine of more than rudimentary complexity and you'll find wheels. ... Whenever humans have a good idea, zoologists have grown accustomed to finding it anticipated in the animal kingdom. ... Why not the wheel? ... There is one revealing exception to my premise. Some very small creatures have evolved the wheel in the fullest sense of the word. ... Many bacteria, of which Rhizobium is typical, swim using thread-like spiral propellors, each driven by its own continuously rotating propellor shaft. ... The bacterial flagellum is attached to a shaft that rotates freely and indefinitely in a hole that runs through the cell wall. This is a true axle, a freely rotating hub. It is driven by a tiny molecular motor ... a molecular turbine. ... " (Dawkins, R., "The Ancestor's Tale: A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Evolution," Houghton Mifflin Co: Boston MA, 2004, pp.543, 545, 547. My emphasis)

Monday, July 16, 2007

NASA's Spitzer Finds Water Vapor On Hot, Alien Planet

NASA's Spitzer Finds Water Vapor On Hot, Alien Planet, ScienceDaily, July 11, 2007 ... A scorching-hot gas planet

[Left: Artist's impression of gas giant planet HD 189733b transiting its star HD 189733 A]

beyond our solar system is steaming up with water vapor, according to new observations from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. See also: ABC, BBC, Discovery News, EurekAlert!, New York Times,, Telegraph, The Age, The Australian. First, this is another great technical achievement and my criticism is only of the hype that usually accompanies such discoveries, in support of an Epicurean materialistic "plurality of inhabited worlds" worldview. The headline, "NASA's Spitzer Finds Water Vapor On Hot, Alien Planet" may be a sign that journalists and editors are starting to realise that in fact, "More than 200 extrasolar planets have been found so far, but none is like the Earth" (my emphasis)!

The planet, called HD 189733b, swelters as it zips closely around its star every two days or so. Astronomers had predicted that planets of this class, termed "hot Jupiters," would contain water vapor in their atmospheres. This was a fairly safe prediction in that it was already known that in our Galaxy, "water is the third most common molecule in the regions studied." But see below that a rocky planet having an atmosphere, let alone it containing water vapour (or liquid water on its surface), is not automatic, and indeed my well be the exception.

Yet finding solid evidence for this has been slippery. These latest data are the most convincing yet that hot Jupiters are "wet." While "hot Jupiters" may very well have water vapour (i.e. superheated steam) in their atmosphere because presumably it cannot escape due to such massive planets' strong gravity, logically just finding it in one and not yet in any of the other ~100 is not "convincing" evidence that all (or even most) are "wet".

"We're thrilled to have identified clear signs of water on a planet that is trillions of miles away," said Giovanna Tinetti, a European Space Agency fellow at the Institute d'Astrophysique de Paris in France." Tinetti is lead author of a paper on HD 189733b appearing today in Nature. Although water is an essential ingredient to life as we know it, wet hot Jupiters are not likely to harbor any creatures. Water is only one of many "essential ingredient to life as we know it." Christian astronomer Hugh Ross points out there are "more than a hundred different requirements ... for life to exist on any given planet."

But even if all the requirements for life (i.e. all the ingredients of a bacterium) were together at the same time and place (which itself would be a miracle!), as origin of life researchers Morowitz and Shapiro have shown, the probability that the "essential ingredient to life as we know it" would spontaneously assemble is of the order of "1 chance in 10100,000,000,000" which "is so large that it reduces all considerations of time and space to nothingness ... the time until the black holes evaporate and the space to the ends of the universe would make no difference at all" (my emphasis):

"We are now ready to handle the chances for the spontaneous generation of a bacterium. ... For our purposes, we will want to overestimate and select the largest number of random trials that might have been attempted on the early earth, as the actual number would be very difficult to determine. We need to know two items, the length of time needed for a single trial and the number of trials that can take place simultaneously. Under the most favorable conditions, an E. coli colony can double in about twenty minutes. In other words, it takes twenty minutes for a bacterium to assemble a replica of itself from simple chemicals. It is unlikely that a bacterium would come together more quickly by random processes. Let us presume, however, that a simpler bacterium than E. coli is involved, and estimate one minute as the time for a trial. If we accept the evidence of the fossils and the usual age cited for the solar system, then a maximum of 1 billion years, or 5 x 1014 minutes, was available for the origin of life on earth. What about available space? As a maximum estimate, we can assume that the entire earth was covered by an ocean 10 kilometers deep, which was available for experiments. Further, we will allow that space to be divided into small compartments (1 micrometer on each side) of bacterial size. We would then have 5 times 1036 separate reaction flasks. If a separate try was made in each flask every minute for 1 billion years, we would have 2.5 times 1051 tries available. .... As a rough rule, we will consider that an event becomes probable when the number of trials available is of the same order of magnitude ... as the adverse odds on a single trial. ... We cannot compute these odds precisely, but approximations will serve our purposes quite well. ... A more realistic estimate has been made by Harold Morowitz, a Yale University physicist [Morowitz, H.J., "Energy Flow in Biology," Academic Press: New York NY, 1968, pp.5-12]. He has calculated the odds for the following case: Suppose we were to heat up a large batch of bacteria in a sealed container to several thousand degrees, so that every chemical bond within them was broken .... We then cooled this mixture slowly, in order to allow the atoms to form new bonds, until everything came to equilibrium. In this state, the most stable chemicals (those with the least energy) would dominate the mixture, while those with higher energy would be present to a lesser extent, in accordance with the laws of statistics. Morowitz asks, what fraction of the final product will consist of living bacteria? Or in other words, if a single bacterium was used to start the experiment (ensuring that the appropriate atoms, in proper amounts, were present), what would be the chances that a living bacterium would result at the end? The answer computed by Morowitz reduces the odds of Hoyle [1 in 1040,000] to utter insignificance: 1 chance in 10100,000,000,000.... This number is so large that to write it in conventional form we would require several hundred thousand blank books. We would enter `1' on the first page of the first book, and then fill it, and the remainder of the books, with zeros. ... The Skeptic will want to rewrite Professor Wald's conclusion: Improbability is in fact the villain of the plot. The improbability involved in generating even one bacterium is so large that it reduces all considerations of time and space to nothingness. Given such odds, the time until the black holes evaporate and the space to the ends of the universe would make no difference at all. If we were to wait, we would truly be waiting for a miracle." (Shapiro, R., "Origins: A Skeptic's Guide to the Creation of Life on Earth," Summit: New York NY, 1986, pp.125-128).

See also `tagline' quote below from Morowitz' book (minus most of the math symbols) that, to summarise:

"When we encounter such small numbers as" 10-10^11 = 10-100000000000 "no amount of ... arguing about the age of the universe or the size of the system can suffice to make it plausible that such a fluctuation would have occurred ... a number of authors on the origin of life have missed the significance of vanishingly small probabilities. They have assumed that the final probability will be reasonably large by virtue of the size and age of the system. ... this is not so: calculable values of the probability of spontaneous origin are so low that the final probabilities are still vanishingly small" (my emphasis)!

That is because, as Princeton Professor of Biology Harold F. Blum pointed out ~45 years ago, even if all "the proper molecular compounds" were to occur together, "whether on the earth... or elsewhere" then the problem would be to assemble them into a "living machine" in the same way that "an automobile" would not "spring spontaneously from a mixture of all the chemical species from which it is composed" (my emphasis):

"The living machine is clearly not just a mixture of chemicals, yet there seems to be widespread belief that, once the proper molecular compounds were there, life would appear, whether on the earth, on Mars, or elsewhere in the universe. This no more follows, I may point out at the risk of being thought overly facetious, than that an automobile, 1962 model, might spring spontaneously from a mixture of all the chemical species from which it is composed." (Blum, H.F., "Time's Arrow and Evolution," [1951], Harper Torchbooks: New York NY, 1962, p.178G)

So this entire field of astrobiology is based on a collective self-delusion (2Thess. 2:11) that if a truly Earth-like exoplanet is eventually discovered (and none have been yet), that will somehow show that life is common in the Universe and therefore `we are not alone'. It would show no such thing. They would still have to show what that have not been able to show in over a half-century of laboratory experiments, how the "essential ingredient to life as we know it" could, in the absence of intelligent design: 1) all occur together at the same time, same place and in the correct proportions and concentrations; and 2) how they could then self-assemble into a "living machine"!

Previous measurements from Spitzer indicate that HD 189733b is a fiery 1,000 Kelvin (1,340 degrees Fahrenheit) on average. And presumably all such "hot Jupiters" are "not likely to harbor any creatures." So if "hot Jupiters" turn out to be the majority of exoplanets (and not just the majority discovered to date) then the odds would become that much more unfavourable that life existed elsewhere in the Universe.

Ultimately, astronomers hope to use instruments like those on Spitzer to find water on rocky, habitable planets like Earth. The problem is that at those vast distances ("HD 189733b is located 63 light-years away") astronomers can detect only giant planets, like "`hot Jupiters,' which orbit their stars from a distance closer than Mercury is to our sun" that is "at a distance that is 30 times closer than that between the Earth and the sun." The huge difference in size between Jupiter-like and Earth-

[Above: The size of Earth compared to Jupiter, etc, "The Size Of Our World"]

like planets, coupled with the latters' much greater distance from their star, means that it may well be that astronomers will never be able to detect whether "rocky, habitable planets like Earth" are even there, let alone whether they have "water" on them.

"Finding water on this planet implies that other planets in the universe, possibly even rocky ones, could also have water," said co-author Sean Carey ... This is fallacious to extrapolate from a sample of one. It is also misleading (deliberately so since he should know better). Having an atmosphere in the first place, and then for it to contain water vapour, is not automatic for "`terrestrial' planets or moons-those with solid bodies," since even in our solar system not all the "rocky" planets (i.e. not Mercury, Venus or Mars have atmospheric or liquid surface water," because "It turns out that getting an atmosphere-and holding on to it-really comes down to how big and how close to the sun you are ... or ... how close you are to a really big planet":

"Saturn's moon Titan belongs to a very select club within the solar system. It is one of only four `terrestrial' planets or moons-those with solid bodies, as opposed to those made largely of gas, like Jupiter and Saturn-that has a substantial atmosphere. The other three that wear blankets of gas are Venus, Mars, and our own Earth. Why just these four? Why not also, say, Mercury, Jupiter's biggest moons, our moon? How did those lucky four come by their atmospheres? It turns out that getting an atmosphere-and holding on to it-really comes down to how big and how close to the sun you are (or, for Titan, how close you are to a really big planet). ... The story of planetary atmospheres begins back at the beginning of our solar system, when the planets were forming. During that period, the so-called inner planets-Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars ... had sufficient gravity to draw these two gaseous elements in from the solar nebula, the vast cloud of gas and dust that surrounded the sun early in the solar system's history. In that primordial time, the sun was not very bright and thus not very hot, and this allowed the four inner planets to hold onto those atmospheres. ... This is where the how-close-you-are-to-the-sun part comes in. On Earth, all that water vapor belched out of volcanoes condensed in the young atmosphere into liquid water, then fell to the surface as rain. Over eons, this formed the oceans. Most of the CO2, meanwhile, became incorporated into the seas and into sedimentary rocks. ... As for Mars, its secondary atmosphere had two strikes against it from the start: the planet's size (too small) and its distance from the sun (too far). In its first 500 million years or so, the Red Planet had a warm atmosphere and liquid-water oceans, just like Earth. But Mars is so small that its internal heat engine burned out early on, and it is so far away from the sun that all the water vapor that its once-active volcanoes had erupted eventually froze out of the atmosphere, becoming trapped beneath the surface as ice. .... Mars still has an atmosphere, but its pressure is 100 times less than Earth's and it's almost entirely composed of CO2-about the last thing we'd want to breathe. Venus has roughly the same concentration of CO2 as Mars, yet its atmosphere went in precisely the opposite direction. Size wasn't an issue: Venus has about the same mass as Earth so is plenty hot within. But distance from the sun has made all the difference. Venus is near enough to our star that all the water vapor released from its volcanoes burned off long ago, and without liquid water, the planet could not form oceans that could absorb the CO2. " (Tyson, P., "How to Get an Atmosphere," NOVA, March 2006)

The new findings are part of a brand new field of science investigating the climate on exoplanets, or planets outside our solar system. Such faraway planets cannot be seen directly; however, in the past few years, astronomers have begun to glean information about their atmospheres by observing a subset of hot Jupiters that transit, or pass in front of, their stars as seen from Earth. So it may be that astronomers will not be able to detect the atmospheres, let alone whether they contain water, even for all "hot Jupiters," but only those that transit their star in a line of sight with Earth?

Earlier this year, Spitzer became the first telescope to analyze, or break apart, the light from two transiting hot Jupiters, HD 189733b and HD 209458b. One of its instruments, called a spectrometer, observed the planets as they dipped behind their stars in what is called the secondary eclipse. This led to the first-ever "fingerprint," or spectrum, of an exoplanet's light. Yet, the results came up `dry,' probably because the structure of these planets' atmospheres makes finding water with this method difficult. Later, a team of astronomers found hints of water in HD 209458b by analyzing visible-light data taken by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. The Hubble data were captured as the planet crossed in front of the star, an event called the primary eclipse. Now, Tinetti and her team have captured the best evidence yet for wet, hot Jupiters by watching HD 189733b's primary eclipse in infrared light with Spitzer. In this method, changes in infrared light from the star are measured as the planet slips by, filtering starlight through its outer atmosphere. The astronomers observed the eclipse with Spitzer's infrared array camera at three different infrared wavelengths and noticed that for each wavelength a different amount of light was absorbed by the planet. The pattern by which this absorption varies with wavelength matches that created by water. "Water is the only molecule that can explain that behavior," said Tinetti. "Observing primary eclipses in infrared light is the best way to search for this molecule in exoplanets." Again, this is a great technical achievement to detect water vapour at such a vast distance, i.e. "63 light-years away" (see below).

The water on HD 189733b is too hot to condense into clouds; however, previous observations of the planet from Spitzer and other ground and space-based telescopes suggest that it might have dry clouds, along with high winds and a hot, sun-facing side that is warmer than its dark side. HD 189733b is located 63 light-years away in the constellation Vulpecula. .... It doesn't say how much water (i.e. steam) there was, just that there were detectable "water ... molecules." Presumably at "a fiery 1,000 Kelvin (1,340 degrees Fahrenheit) on average" all the water this planet has would be existing as superheated steam in its atmosphere and the total quantity of water could still be comparatively small?

Stephen E. Jones, BSc. (Biol).
Blogs: CreationEvolutionDesign & TheShroudofTurin

"At equilibrium, what is the probability that this system will, in fact, be a living cell? ... Suppose we were to grow a very large batch of cells of a bacterium such as Escherichia coli. We then centrifuge the cells into a tightly packed pellet of volume V containing N cells; transfer the pellet into a container of fixed volume V, and raise the temperature to some very high value (on the order of 10,000°C) so as to destroy any traces of the original chemical state of the system. Now slowly cool the system to 300°C and allow it to age indefinitely at this temperature. ... At this point, we can place an upper bound on pL by applying our knowledge of the chemical bonds found in actual living systems compared to the bonds found in the normal equilibrium state. ... From a thermodynamic argument, it is possible to compute the difference between the heat of formation of a group of biochemical compounds and the heat of formation of the lowest energy state possible for a system of the same atomic composition, volume, and temperature; hence, on the basis of gross molecular composition, we can estimate the energy difference between biological systems and their corresponding equilibrium systems. ... we shall set up a model system that will permit the calculation of pLmax. For the moment, we may anticipate the results of that calculation which shows that pLmax is the order of magnitude of 10-10^11 for a typical bacterial cell. The reason for pLmax having such an infinitesimally small value is that a living cell represents a configuration showing a very large amount of energy as configurational or electronic bond energy relative to the amount of thermal energy when compared with the equivalent equilibrium system. The living state has a very unlikely distribution of covalent bonds compared with the equivalent equilibrium state either at the same total energy or at the same temperature. ... Next, let us return to the number 10-10^11 which requires some discussion as many people are not accustomed to dealing with such infinitesimally small numbers. The number may be written 10-100000000000 or as a decimal; it may be written as a decimal point followed by 99,999,999,999 zeros followed by a 1. The number occurred as the maximum probability of a given ensemble member being alive. Suppose we have an ensemble of W members and we sample it at the rate of X times per second for Y seconds. We may then ask the question: what will be the probability of a living member having occurred once? This will be pLWXY. To place our argument in the context of terrestrial biology, let us assume the maximum possible values of W, X, and Y for the surface of the earth. (a) Wmax = 10100. This is a very generous estimate of the number of atoms in the universe and must, therefore, represent an outside upper limit to the numbers of members of the ensemble. (b) Xmax = 1016 sec-1. Since we are dealing with atomic processes, sampling times cannot be appreciably shorter than times for atomic processes which have a lower limit of about 10-16 sec. (c) Ymax = 1011 sec. Assume that the age of the universe is ten billion years, which appears to be an upper limit from current estimates. Utilizing these estimates, WmaxXmaxYmax is equal to 10134. Note, however, that pLmax ... ~ 10-10^11 ... When we encounter such small numbers as pLmax, no amount of ordinary manipulation or arguing about the age of the universe or the size of the system can suffice to make it plausible that such a fluctuation would have occurred in an equilibrium system. It is always possible to argue that any unique event would have occurred. This is outside the range of probabilistic considerations, and really, outside of science. ... We may sum up by stating that on energy considerations alone, the possibility of a living cell occurring in an equilibrium ensemble is vanishingly small. It is important to reiterate this point as a number of authors on the origin of life have missed the significance of vanishingly small probabilities. They have assumed that the final probability will be reasonably large by virtue of the size and age of the system. The previous paragraph shows that this is not so: calculable values of the probability of spontaneous origin are so low that the final probabilities are still vanishingly small." (Morowitz, H.J., "Energy Flow in Biology: Biological Organization as a Problem in Thermal Physics," [1968], Academic Press: New York NY, Second printing, 1969, pp.5-7,11-12)

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Australian Aborigines, Europeans Share African Roots, DNA Suggests

Aborigines, Europeans Share African Roots, DNA Suggests, National Geographic, Kate Ravilious, May 7, 2007 ... An older article from my backlog, but an important one.

[Above: Map of early human migrations according to mitochondrial population genetics, Wikipedia]

Where did we come from? Part of the answer may lie in a new study that suggests Australian Aborigines and Europeans share the same roots-and that both emerged from a wave of African migrations more than 50,000 years ago. Both populations can be traced back to the same founders, according to study co-author Toomas Kivisild of the University of Cambridge. The finding may strike another nail into the coffin of the "multiregional" hypothesis-the idea humans evolved separately in different parts of the world. The scientists took blood samples from modern Aborigines and Asian populations and compared their DNA. The researchers then traced the family tree backward through their mitochondrial DNA (the female lineage) and Y chromosome DNA (the male lineage). "We could trace back to where the branches join by counting mutations in the DNA," said study co-author Phillip Endicott of the University of Oxford. Assuming an average DNA mutation rate, the scientists calculated how many years had passed since the populations split.

Boost for "Out of Africa" All of the Australian lineages fell within four DNA branches, which are associated with the exodus of modern humans from Africa between 50,000 and 70,000 years ago. As the theory suggests, Africans are believed to have migrated on foot to Eurasia, the large landmass where the European and Asian continents join. The descendants of these migrants may have been able to cross a land bridge between Australia and neighboring New Guinea when sea levels were lower 50,000 years ago ... . Previously archaeologists have argued that the change in skeletal features seen in Aborigine fossils-from slender about 40,000 years ago to stocky about 13,000 years ago-signals a mixing between modern humans and more ancient populations such as the Neandertals ... . But the new DNA results suggest no such intermingling occurred. "This result provides strong evidence for the 'Out of Africa' hypothesis and gives the multiregionalists much less room to move," said Richard Gillespie ... at the Australian National University in Canberra. Gillespie was not involved in the study. The research will be published in tomorrow's edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

No Outside Influence The findings may also influence the debate over whether Asian groups migrated to Australia more recently. Over the last 10,000 years the archaeological record in Australia has changed significantly, including the first appearance of the dingo-a type of dog-and new stone tool industries, "which (may) represent the intrusion of new human migrations into the continent," study co-author Endicott said. However, the distinctiveness of the Aborigine DNA means the population has remained relatively isolated, ruling out the possibility of later influxes into Australia from Asia. "If there had been Asian migrations, we would have expected to see regional specific subgroups in the Aboriginal DNA," Kivisild, of Cambridge, said. "But they were completely absent." ...

As the article says, this finding is "another nail into the coffin" of what is today called the "multiregional" hypothesis but originally was called Polygeneticism, i.e. that the human race tree stemmed from multiple roots. This is opposed to what has been called the "out of Africa" hypothesis, but which more recently is being called (e.g. by Wikipedia), the "recent single origin hypothesis." This was originally called Monogenticism, the view that humans all stemmed from a single root.

This latter is consistent with the Biblical view. Indeed, as paleoanthropologist Richard E. Leakey noted, originally the "`out of Africa' hypothesis" was called, "the `Noah's Ark' hypothesis and the `Garden of Eden' hypothesis" (my emphasis)!:

"Instead of being the product of an evolutionary trend throughout the Old World, modern humans are seen in the alternative model as having arisen in a single geographical location. Bands of modern Homo sapiens would have migrated from this location and expanded into the rest of the Old World, replacing existing premodern populations. This model has had several labels, such as the `Noah's Ark' hypothesis and the `Garden of Eden' hypothesis. Most recently, it has been called the `Out of Africa' hypothesis, because sub-Saharan Africa has been identified as the most likely place where the first modern humans evolved. Several anthropologists have contributed to this view, and Christopher Stringer, of the Natural History Museum, London, is its most vigorous proponent. The two models could hardly be more different: the multiregional- evolution model describes an evolutionary trend throughout the Old World toward modern Homo sapiens, with little population migration and no population replacement, whereas the `Out of Africa' model calls for the evolution of Homo sapiens in one location only, followed by extensive population migration across the Old World, resulting in the replacement of existing premodern populations. Moreover, in the first model, modern geographical populations (what are known as `races') would have deep genetic roots, having been essentially separate for as much as 2 million years; in the second model, these populations would have shallow genetic roots, all having derived from the single, recently evolved population in Africa." (Leakey, R.E., "The Origin of Humankind," [1994], Phoenix: London, Reprinted, 1995, pp.86-88).

The late Baptist theologian Bernard L. Ramm (1916-1992), more than 50 years ago echoed the point of the late Presbyterian theologian, Benjamin B. Warfield (1851-1921) that, "The unity of the human race [monogeneticism] is one of the most important matters in Christian theology ... Theology is more concerned with the proof that man is one, rather than the near or far antiquity of man. Polygeneticism [multiple origins] is far more damaging to theology than any teaching of the vast antiquity of man":

"The unity of the human race [monogeneticism] is one of the most important matters in Christian theology. The Genesis record implies the unity of the race. and Paul's affirmations in Romans 5:12-17 and 1 Cor. 15:21-58 clearly teach it. Warfield writes:
So far from being of no concern to theology ... it would be truer to say that the whole doctrinal structure of the Bible account of redemption is founded on its assumption that the race of man is one organic whole, and may be dealt with as such. It is because all are one in Adam that in the matter of sin there is no difference, but all have fallen short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:12f.), and as well that in the new man there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, bondman, freeman; but Christ is all and in all (Col. 3:11). The unity of the old man in Adam is the postulate of the unity of the new man in Christ. [Warfied, B.B., "On the Antiquity and the Unity of the Human Race," in "Biblical and Theological Studies," Presbyterian & Reformed: Philadelphia PA, 1911, p.261]
... The unity of the human race is capable of real defence. Anatomically the human body is the same form from pygmies to the giant Wattusies and from the fairest Scandinavian to the darkest negroid. Racial differences are superficial and are certainly of little survival value. Physiologically the race is one. Tests on pulse rate and breathing, show some variations which are not significant. Psychologically speaking, the powers of perception, the patterns of reaction, and the function of the central nervous system are similar in all the races. Physically the unity of the race is proven by racial interfertility. As far as we understand, the modern scientific anthropologists agree that mentally and physically the human race is one. ... Warfield asserts:
[The antiquity of the human race] has of itself no theological significance. It is to theology, as such, a matter of entire indifference how long man has existed on earth.' [Ibid, p.261]
The reason for this assertion is obvious. The sin of Adam imputed to humanity depends on the unity of humanity, not on the antiquity of humanity. Theology is more concerned with the proof that man is one, rather than the near or far antiquity of man. Polygeneticism [multiple origins] is far more damaging to theology than any teaching of the vast antiquity of man. In order to clear the atmosphere about the antiquity of man certain notions very widespread among evangelicals must be corrected. (Ramm, B.L., "The Christian View of Science and Scripture," [1954] Paternoster: Exeter UK, Reprinted, 1967, pp.214-216. Emphasis original).

However, this also is "another nail into the coffin" of the view (which I myself for many years held) that the Biblical genealogies can be stretched back "between 50,000 and 70,000 years ago" to a literal Adam and Eve who are the biological ancestors of the entire human race. But if Adam (Heb. "Man") and Eve (Heb. "life") are reinterpreted as symbols representing the unity of mankind, then "the two books of God ["Nature and Scripture"]" can be seen to "recite the same story":

"If we believe that the God of creation is the God of redemption, and that the God of redemption is the God of creation, then we are committed to some very positive theory of harmonization between science and evangelicalism. God cannot contradict His speech in Nature by His speech in Scripture. If the Author of Nature and Scripture are the same God, then the two books of God must eventually recite the same story." (Ramm, Ibid., p.25).

Stephen E. Jones, BSc. (Biology).
Also The Shroud of Turin blog.

Leviticus 26:36-39 36" 'As for those of you who are left, I will make their hearts so fearful in the lands of their enemies that the sound of a windblown leaf will put them to flight. They will run as though fleeing from the sword, and they will fall, even though no one is pursuing them. 37They will stumble over one another as though fleeing from the sword, even though no one is pursuing them. So you will not be able to stand before your enemies. 38You will perish among the nations; the land of your enemies will devour you. 39Those of you who are left will waste away in the lands of their enemies because of their sins; also because of their fathers' sins they will waste away.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

My new blog, TheShroudofTurin

I assume that most readers of CED are primarily interested in creation, evolution and intelligent design issues and only secondarily (if at all) interested in Shroud of Turin related issues, and vice-versa.

[Above: Perfect fit of overlay of the Shroud of Turin on the Sudarium of Oviedo, Wikipedia]

Therefore I have started a new blog, TheShroudofTurin (TSoT), solely devoted to the Shroud of Turin and related issues. In future I will (with perhaps only rare exceptions) post all my blogged articles and comments relating to the Shroud of Turin (including the Sudarium of Oviedo), there and not here on CED.

Accordingly, I will continue with my series, "Bogus: Shroud of Turin?" from part #10: "The Sudarium of Oviedo's blood and pollen closely match the Shroud's" on my new blog.

I will try to divide my blog postings equally between the two blogs.

Stephen E. Jones, BSc. (Biology).

Leviticus 26:27-35 27"'If in spite of this you still do not listen to me but continue to be hostile toward me, 28then in my anger I will be hostile toward you, and I myself will punish you for your sins seven times over. 29You will eat the flesh of your sons and the flesh of your daughters. 30I will destroy your high places, cut down your incense altars and pile your dead bodies on the lifeless forms of your idols, and I will abhor you. 31I will turn your cities into ruins and lay waste your sanctuaries, and I will take no delight in the pleasing aroma of your offerings. 32I will lay waste the land, so that your enemies who live there will be appalled. 33I will scatter you among the nations and will draw out my sword and pursue you. Your land will be laid waste, and your cities will lie in ruins. 34Then the land will enjoy its sabbath years all the time that it lies desolate and you are in the country of your enemies; then the land will rest and enjoy its sabbaths. 35All the time that it lies desolate, the land will have the rest it did not have during the sabbaths you lived in it.