Neanderthal/human interbreeding - the old-earth response

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A widely publicised paper published on May 7th 2010 announced that a first draft of the Neandertal genome from three individuals - 4 billion base pairs - had been sequenced (Green et al. 2010: A draft sequence of the Neanderthal genome). This was about two thirds of the entire Neanderthal genome. Even more sensationally, their findings seem to show convincingly that Neanderthals interbred with humans and that non-African modern humans contain between 1% and 4% of Neanderthal genes. Because Asians as well as Europeans have these Neanderthal genes, the researchers believe the most likely explanation is that the interbreeding occurred in the Middle East when modern humans first left Africa between 60,000 and 80,000 years ago, and before they expanded into the rest of the world.

A couple of weeks earlier, on April 20th, Nature had published an online article about results presented at a scientific conference by a group from New Mexico, but not yet released in the scientific literature (Dalton 2010: Neanderthals may have interbred with humans). Unlike the Green et al. paper, these researchers did not sequence Neanderthal genes directly and compare them with those of modern humans. Instead, they tried to explain the patterns of variation in gene sequences found in modern humans, and found that the patterns seemed to show humans had interbred with an archaic species at two different periods: around 60,000 years ago in the Middle East, and about 45,000 years ago in eastern Asia. The first of these periods would match up well with the time and place at which Green et al. claim human/Neanderthal interbreeding occurred. The second period might be showing that some humans bred with a late population of H. erectus or H. heidelbergensis in Asia.

The recent discovery of the “X woman” in southern Siberia might also be relevant here (Krause et al. 2010). This fossil, about 30,000-50,000 years old, was an insignificant-looking finger bone whose mitochondrial DNA was not only very different from any modern human, but even more different from humans than Neandertals are. Although we don’t know what its owner looked like or even what species it belonged to, it is striking evidence that some very genetically unusual people were living in Asia at about the same timeframe that the New Mexico group believes some archaic genes found their way into the human population.

Creationists have naturally responded to these findings. Answers In Genesis was delighted, because it supported their long-held contention that Neanderthals were merely modern humans.

But the most interesting creationist response came from Reasons To Believe (RTB), an old-earth creationist organization founded by astronomer Hugh Ross, which argues that all non-Homo sapiens hominids are soulless non-humans. Claims of human and Neanderthal interbreeding would therefore not sit well with them. Just a few days before the news of the sequencing of the Neandertal genome broke on May 7, RTB released a podcast about the findings of the New Mexico group reported in April.

In the podcast, biochemist Dr. Fazale Rana of Reasons To Believe argued against the New Mexico results, on the grounds that they were only indirect arguments, rather than a direct comparison of human and Neanderthal genes, and that interbreeding would have been unlikely because of low population densities (not an argument I find convincing). But he added, leaving himself an out in case interbreeding was ever found to have occurred:

If humans and Neanderthals interbred, it’s uncomfortable for the RTB view of origins, it’s not fatal by any means. It’s a bit disgusting, you know, but again you could look at that interbreeding as reflecting human depravity. … There are commands in the bible against depravity.

This certainly raises interesting theological questions. If a human with a soul breeds with a Neanderthal without one, does the baby get one? Rana may think it’s depravity, but really, how is a poor caveman meant to tell whether a Neanderthal has a soul, when we can’t detect them even with our fancy machines? Neanderthals made tools, must have worn clothes, hunted cooperatively, buried their dead, and very likely had spoken language. It’s hard to see what grounds early humans would have had for shunning them as animals.

No sooner had this podcast been released than Green et al. dropped their bombshell about human/Neanderthal interbreeding. RTB responded rapidly, with a double-length podcast featuring Hugh Ross, Fazale Rana, and theologian Kenneth Samples. It contains a rather surreal discussion by Ross, Rana and Samples, with references to such notable scientific sources as Genesis, Jude and Leviticus. The soul quandry I raised above gets settled to their satisfaction, with all three accepting that the ‘image of god’ (I assume that means the soul) wouldn’t be greatly affected by interbreeding. (Whew! glad that’s settled…) After all, if Downs syndrome children have a soul, why shouldn’t human/Neanderthal crossbreeds? Fair enough, but why not apply the same reasoning to Neanderthals themselves? By all indications, they were also far more capable than Downs syndrome children.

When all the Neanderthal mitochondrial DNA evidence showed no evidence of interbreeding with humans, RTB declared that this was strong evidence in support of their model. Logically then, shouldn’t evidence of interbreeding count against their model? In fact, as Todd Wood bought to my attention, in 2004 Fazale Rana had said: “If Neanderthals interbred with modern humans, then by definition, they must be human.”

In the podcast, Reasons To Believe argues that although human/Neanderthal interbreeding seems at first glance to confirm the Answers In Genesis claim that Neanderthals were just normal humans, it’s not as straightforward as that when you look at the details. And I think they have a good point. There is enough genetic diversity just among modern humans that it is almost impossible for it to have arisen in the last 10,000 years (the young-earth creationist timeframe) at measured mutation rates. For example, the common ancestor of all human mitochondrial DNA sequences (a.k.a ‘mitochondrial Eve’) is estimated to have lived about 200,000 years ago (very approximately; I have also seen an estimate of 140,000 years). If you include Neanderthals in the mix, suddenly you’ve got at least two or three times as much genetic diversity to explain, and only 1/2 to 1/3 as much time for it to happen, because a lot of that diversity had to have happened before the Flood presumably wiped most of it out, say at least 6,000 or 7,000 years ago. And although humans and Neanderthals interbred, they don’t seem to be part of a single large interbreeding population - there was very limited interbreeding, something which seems unlikely in a rapidly expanding population. How do young-earth creationists explain all this? Beats me; I’ve never seen them even try.

RTB also decides that the ‘humans have Neanderthal genes’ finding doesn’t fit with evolutionary theory either. That’s really drawing a long bow. Here are some of their arguments:

“There are very few apparent mutations … for either humans or Neanderthals. In an evolutionary model you’d expect a lot more mutations to show up in the analysis.”

Without some calculation to show how many mutations there should be, this is just handwaving. (Assuming this claim is even true; if the scientists said this in the paper, I didn’t see it.)

“There are only 78 evolutionary substitutions during the last 300,000 years for the hominid line. That’s far too few to support a descent of man hypothesis.”

More worthless handwaving. The “78 substitutions” are in fact the number of mutations that have become fixed in the human line (i.e. they’re shared by all modern humans). There are probably many other mutations, and elsewhere in the paper it talks about 212 regions of the genome which have been subjected to natural selection. Maybe 78 substitutions are fewer than would have been expected, but that’s not the same as being inconsistent with an evolutionary model, nor can one assume that all such substitutions have been found yet.

“A range of dates for when humans and Neanderthals split off from a common ancestor markedly conflict. … you get a date as early as 850,000 years ago or as late as 270,000 years ago. You’d expect consistency.”

Age estimates based on genetic differences are always fuzzy because of the probabilistic nature of mutations, not to mention that different genes might really have different divergence times, and that the Neanderthal genome is still imperfectly known. Even so, they’re misrepresenting this. The paper gives one estimate for Neanderthal/human separation as happening between 270,000 and 440,000 years ago. The 850,000 figure must come from a different source, but is probably the top end of another estimated range, rather than an estimate in itself. So they are not comparing two estimates, as they imply, but the top end of a high range with the bottom end of a low range.

“They also threw in the genome of a 70,000 year old Neanderthal to contrast with the three that were dating at 40,000 years ago and they couldn’t see a difference.”

More misrepresentation. The scientists don’t have a genome for the 70,000 year old Neanderthal from Mezmaiskaya. They generated a small amount of DNA data from that fossil and a couple of others, and compared it to the mostly complete genome from the other three bones. There were no significant differences, but that’s hardly a surprise. As the scientists said: “…these estimates are relatively uncertain due to the limited amount of DNA sequence data”. And given that Neanderthals separated from humans some hundreds of thousands ago, the 20,000 or 30,000 years separating Mezmaiskaya from the other Neanderthals isn’t much. The RTB claim that genetic differences, which are an imprecise measuring stick at the best of times, should be able to readily distinguish similarly aged fossils from small amounts of DNA is just … words fail me.

In short, it’s hard to take Reasons To Believe’s objections seriously.

Old earth creationists are often thought of as being more “science-friendly” than young-earthers, in that they don’t want to throw out as much of modern science - they’re OK with the findings of geology and astronomy, for example. But Answers In Genesis at least pays lip service to the idea that transitional fossils would be evidence for evolution. Reasons To Believe’s approach is to argue that any difference from modern humans, no matter how trivial, means that a fossil is a soulless non-human. It’s a fundamentally dishonest argument that defines away any possibility that a transitional fossil could exist. It’s also unfalsifiable; we’re not going to find fossil evidence for the lack (or existence) of a soul.

For another view of the RTB podcast, read young-earth creationist Todd C. Wood’s three-part review of it here, here and here. (Wood’s blog is worth reading, by the way - he’s honest and smart.)

References

Green et al. 2010: A draft sequence of the Neanderthal genome. Science, 328:710.

Gibbons 2010: Close encounters of the prehistoric kind. Nature, 328:680.

Dalton 2010: Neanderthals may have interbred with humans. Nature Online.

Krause, Good, Viola et al. 2010: The complete mitochondrial DNA genome of an unknown hominin from southern Siberia. Nature Online.

Neanderthals, Humans Interbred–First Solid DNA Evidence, by Answers in Genesis

Reasons To Believe podcast, May 3, 2010

Reasons To Believe podcast, May 10, 2010

102 Comments

Haha, is “design-affirming” the new p.c. term for “science-denying”?

[This comment refers to the previous comment which was deleted for inappropriate content.]

Better trolls, please. Also, I’d advise against anybody clicking on the link in the troll’s post.

Dave C said:

Better trolls, please. Also, I’d advise against anybody clicking on the link in the troll’s post.

Thanks for the warning; I was about to click :-)

I strongly recommend that Jim Foley edit Big Sonichu Fan’s URL to indicate it’s NSFW. I’ll also make that recommendation via the PT backchannel.

Nothin wrong with hitting some hot Neanderthal skank now and then.

Its very telling that a ID’er who claims “Darwiniacs” are perverted retards would know about the link he posted. I had never seen that until today. Who’s polluting who, Big Sonichu Fan?

Call me crazy but shouldn’t they first prove that a soul exists before trying to figure out whether or not Neanderthals had them? Seems like a very sloppy methodology to me.

I am disappointed they didn’t identify the Neanderthals as the Nephilim.

What I thought was great in the original paper was that they brought up all the diseases that are associated with all the genes that have experienced positive evolution since Homo Sapiens Sapiens split with Homo Sapiens Neanderthalis (I am assuming that since they could interbreed, this is the correct naming now, where as if they couldn’t, the name would be H. Sapiens and H. Neanderthalis). Most interesting of them was the disease (I am forgetting the name) that when people suffer from it they gain a barrel chest, recessed forehead and a protuding brow…you know, like a Neanderthal…

RBH said:

I strongly recommend that Jim Foley edit Big Sonichu Fan’s URL to indicate it’s NSFW. I’ll also make that recommendation via the PT backchannel.

On other sites I frequent, the link would be gone, and the poster would be banned. That strikes me as an appropriate response here.

SWT said:

On other sites I frequent, the link would be gone, and the poster would be banned.

I run a (not very successful) Proboards BBS. If I had a user posting porn he’d be history immediately – I wouldn’t even give him a warning. Same as I would do for someone who signed up and then posted blatant spam.

Many evangelicals believe that the soul is something added onto a body , rather than seeing humans as a psychosomatic unity which is the view of moderate evangelicals eg Malcolm Jeeves a psychologist and other Christians.

Hence RTB and YEC will say that Neanderthals have no soul .

This trichotomous view of humans ie people are souls with legs on is common to all Creationists whether OE or YE

Not having run the exact kinds of calculations, but don’t you get into the realm of the absurd in trying to explain a model where Eurpoeans and Asian have a small number of Neanderthal like sequences, and African humans don’t while trying to work around both 10,000 years and the Flood bottle neck? I am having difficulty trying to figure out a sequence of events that will reproduce the data let alone calculate the crazy low probability on the population genetics side.

RBH said:

I strongly recommend that Jim Foley edit Big Sonichu Fan’s URL to indicate it’s NSFW. I’ll also make that recommendation via the PT backchannel.

I say ban him now. There’s no excuse for that.

Michael Roberts: YECs don’t say Neanderthals have no soul; quite the opposite. Not that there’s much evidence for that, of course, but at least it’s consistent with their opinion that humans have souls.

JGB: Yes, my point exactly.

Sonichu’s comment is gone (and the next comment amended to hopefully make clear what everyone is referring to).

Re the Nephilim: Yes, the RTBers discussed the Nephilim, but decided that they couldn’t have been Neanderthals.

It appears that at least some modern humans, or their close ancestors, could mate with neanderthals and have viable offspring. Hardly surprising.

It’s easy to think of scenarios that would explain the approximate percentage of neanderthal genetics in the modern human genome.

1) If there were about 2-4% as many neanderthals at the time of contact and there was more or less undiscriminating interbreeding.

2) If the two groups tended to live in roughly different territories, but frontier zones between the groups contained mixed lineage individuals.

Re the Nephilim: Yes, the RTBers discussed the Nephilim, but decided that they couldn’t have been Neanderthals.

No doubt using the same scientific procedures they utilized to determine whether Neanderthals had souls.

Goliath the famous Philistine warrior was said to be very large and strong. Undoubtedly a Neanderthal.

It is however, unclear if Abraham, Noah, or the people at the Tower of Babel were Neanderthals.

Remember, there were TWO Goliaths, according to our YEC trolls, because there are conflicting stories about someone named Goliath–so there had to be two, right? (Now, YECs, were either Neanderthal?) But there COULD NOT POSSIBLY have been two or more Jesi, despite the fact that there are absolutely conflicting stories about someone named Jesus, especially on Easter morning.

In other words, pay no attention to what the Bible actually says. They’ll tell you what it means. In fact, you’re better off not reading it at all. Most of them never have.

Rana may think it’s depravity, but really, how is a poor caveman meant to tell whether a Neanderthal has a soul, when we can’t detect them even with our fancy machines? Neanderthals made tools, must have worn clothes, hunted cooperatively, buried their dead, and very likely had spoken language.

Sort of like a modern stone age family?

Henry

Jim the Censor said:

Michael Roberts: YECs don’t say Neanderthals have no soul; quite the opposite. Not that there’s much evidence for that, of course, but at least it’s consistent with their opinion that humans have souls.

JGB: Yes, my point exactly.

Sonichu’s comment is gone (and the next comment amended to hopefully make clear what everyone is referring to).

Re the Nephilim: Yes, the RTBers discussed the Nephilim, but decided that they couldn’t have been Neanderthals.

Here we have yet another case of evolutionists using repression to avoid attention called to the truth about themselves!

“Here we have yet another case of evolutionists using repression to avoid attention called to the truth about themselves!”

Uh, no. This is a case of evolutionists deleting your post that contained a link to a porn site to avoid calling attention to the sordid truth about you!

Just Bob said:

COULD NOT POSSIBLY have been two or more Jesi, despite the fact that there are absolutely conflicting stories about someone named Jesus, especially on Easter morning.

Actually, Jesus is indeclinable, so the plural would be Jesus. It may have a plural in Hebrew, but it certainly would not be a Latin second declension plural (*Jesi) as you propose. You might try for a plural in English: ‘Jesuses.’

Helena Constantine said:

You might try for a plural in English: ‘Jesuses.’

And if you’re a computer geek, you could always use “Jesus++”.

Joel said:

“Here we have yet another case of evolutionists using repression to avoid attention called to the truth about themselves!”

Uh, no. This is a case of evolutionists deleting your post that contained a link to a porn site to avoid calling attention to the sordid truth about you!

What is it with these creationists’s preoccupation with porn?

If it weren’t for all their overt projection, we wouldn’t know what actually goes on inside their heads, where we see nothing but prepubescent angst and rebellious anger.

Helena Constantine said:

Just Bob said:

COULD NOT POSSIBLY have been two or more Jesi, despite the fact that there are absolutely conflicting stories about someone named Jesus, especially on Easter morning.

Actually, Jesus is indeclinable, so the plural would be Jesus. It may have a plural in Hebrew, but it certainly would not be a Latin second declension plural (*Jesi) as you propose. You might try for a plural in English: ‘Jesuses.’

The Hebrew sounds more like “Yeshua”, anyway, doesn’t it? Cognate of Joshua.

Does the fact that Asians/Europeans have Neanderthal ancestry of 1-4 percent mean that there is a biological or scientific difference between Asians/Europeans and Africans, who do not have any such ancestry?

Kayleen said:

Does the fact that Asians/Europeans have Neanderthal ancestry of 1-4 percent mean that there is a biological or scientific difference between Asians/Europeans and Africans, who do not have any such ancestry?

Besides Africans being pure Humans?…actually, in terms of genes that have experienced positive selection since at least the split from neanderthals, those positively selected genes for “humanness” (if you will)were shared across all the different regions sampled. Besides, most of that positive selection occurred before the out of Africa event when the interbreeding with Neanderthals occurred.

In other

In other

..words, not really.

Kayleen -

Your question is not meaningful.

Does the fact that Asians/Europeans have Neanderthal ancestry of 1-4 percent mean that there is a biological or scientific difference between Asians/Europeans and Africans, who do not have any such ancestry?

There is a “biological difference” between any two individuals of any species. There is a “biological difference” between me right now and the me of ten years ago.

Whether or not you choose to treat some people badly is a purely subjective, ethical judgment on your part. Neither the theory of evolution nor any other scientific theory can tell you how you “should” treat people, whether you “should” respect them, or hate them, whether they are from Africa or anywhere else.

Understanding the genetics of human beings is of great value. In addition to the pure scientific value, this knowledge is obviously of great value for medicine.

There is no possible genetic discovery that will ever justify hatred or mistreatment of fellow human beings.

harold said:

Kayleen -

Your question is not meaningful.

Does the fact that Asians/Europeans have Neanderthal ancestry of 1-4 percent mean that there is a biological or scientific difference between Asians/Europeans and Africans, who do not have any such ancestry?

There is a “biological difference” between any two individuals of any species. There is a “biological difference” between me right now and the me of ten years ago.

Whether or not you choose to treat some people badly is a purely subjective, ethical judgment on your part. Neither the theory of evolution nor any other scientific theory can tell you how you “should” treat people, whether you “should” respect them, or hate them, whether they are from Africa or anywhere else.

Understanding the genetics of human beings is of great value. In addition to the pure scientific value, this knowledge is obviously of great value for medicine.

There is no possible genetic discovery that will ever justify hatred or mistreatment of fellow human beings.

I was giving her the benefit of the doubt…but then again, I had these same thoughts.

Creationists and other evolution-deniers constantly whine about having evolution “forced down (their) throats,” yet, when they open their mouths about evolution, they demonstrate they know absolutely nothing, nada, zilch about evolution or science beyond the lies and deliberate misinformation that infest creationist propaganda.

Mark In Durango said: Given the sheer volume of recent works by Stephen Myer, Michael Behe, and Fazale Rana to name only few, one wonders at the blind faith by adherents of evolutionary dogma display.

Yes. This is a perfect illustration of the creationist mindset and worldview. To them, truth is not determined by an examination of the facts and evidence. It is found by comparing the weight of the verbiage, and discounting or multiplying that by the authority granted to its producers; but, crucially, this authority is given by the extent to which those producers are members of the creationist’s in-group.

The DI produces books, all much the same, all making much the same long-refuted arguments and setting out the same foolish misconceptions, like Meyers’s attempt to construct the probability of a protein using assumptions that were known to be false thirty or forty years ago, when Fred Hoyle in his dotage made his famous fatuosity about tornadoes and junkyards.

The scientific community produces research and papers that report the results of that research after they have been subjected to peer-review. Rather than half a dozen new books recycling long-exploded myths, the scientific literature, packed with new facts, amounts to tens of thousands of pages at least every year, every one of those facts consistent with evolution.

And still a creationist can actually think it true to say that evolution is not science but religion, the product of “blind faith”, and not tenable scientifically.

It’s astonishing, and to me it illustrates the limitations of the human mind. Almost certainly of my own mind, and I only say “almost” because I can’t see my own limitations.

The further I walk down the corridor of mirrors that is life, the more aware I become that some of the mirrors, at least, should be in the Funny House.

Dave Luckett said:

The scientific community produces research and papers that report the results of that research after they have been subjected to peer-review. Rather than half a dozen new books recycling long-exploded myths, the scientific literature, packed with new facts, amounts to tens of thousands of pages at least every year, every one of those facts consistent with evolution.

And if volume of output is supposed to be important, fantasy fiction has creationist literature absolutely trounced. The sales of the more prominent authors reduce those of creationist literature to insignficance. Fantasy fiction wins on staying power too: is there any creationist literature that could hold a candle to, say, THE LORD OF THE RINGS?

Of course, in contrast to creationist writers – fantasy writers KNOW their books are fantasies.

If abiogenesis or the development of a specific protein is considered to have a probability of ‘exactly’ zero, then what are the chances of a being existing, forever and eternal, with omnipotent powers and an omniscient vision that just happened to create the entire universe, in only 6 days, for no discernable purpose whatsoever other than to condem billions of sentient people to eternal damnation?

I’d say, given the first examples have evidence and theories to support them, and the latter relies on pure Faith, it’s better to put your trust in the former.

It struck me as strange that any religiously inspired person neglects to consider that if God created the world and gave us free will, but the consequence of using that free will to do something he doesn’t like is punishment forever, then in creating that world, he instantly condemned all those people he knew wouldn’t do as they’re told. Strange. He might as well of created 50 billion people, thrown most into hell, kept a few as his pets and not bothered with the whole ‘Earth’ thing.

At least with a view of the universe as being random and unintelligent all the deaths and ‘suffering’ over the millenia have some purpose and, in some small way, they contributed to genetic progress.

fnxtr said:

Ha ha ha:

Ad homonym attack: “You sound like an idiot.”

All this while he refers to us with the pejorative “Libs”.

Did anyone else note that he used Rana as one of his authorities after Jim thoroughly discredited him in his post? It just goes to show that many creationists don’t even bother to read the topic before they comment on it.

Hello, RE: SF stories, The color of neanderthal eyes by Tiptree is also pretty good. Here’s a review.

The gist: Neanderthal=Good. Homo sapiens= Bad.

Mark In Durango said:

henry said:

Mark In Durango said:

This is an interesting discussion, as a layman I am unqualified to make any arguments regarding the similarities of DNA between these two species. I can however, make qualified comments as to what the scriptures say about such matters. The Bible is clear that Angels bred with the daughters of men and the result was a hybrid which was called “Nephilim” Gen. 6:4. Further if one researches the root meaning of “Nephilim” in Hebrew, we understand the word to describe Fellers, as in Fellers of men, which was why the Earth became filled with violence and was corrupt Gen 6:12. It should not be surprising then, that we find evidence of the offspring of this joining and that there are similarities in the genetic code. As these offspring were not son’s of Adam, but rather the result of Angels “forsaking” their proper station in the cosmos, and choosing to cohabitate with a lower life form (Humans were created “a little lower” than angels) they would therefore be humanoid, but not human. As this was not part of God’s purpose regarding human creation, they would not be beneficiaries of the Ransom Sacrifice as provided by the Son of God, only the offspring of Adam are. The argument of whether or not they have souls then becomes irrelevant.

Genesis 6:2, 4 state that the sons of God produced children with the daughters of men.

It doesn’t say that angels were involved. They couldn’t be–only humans can have human offspring.

Maybe, the sons of God should have married the daughters of God and the sons of men should have married the daughters of men.

Greetings Henry; I understand your point, however it is clear two different groups are being discussed in the context of Genesis 6:1-2, three actually if you count “the Daughters of men”. The first the scripture that “men began to multiply”, second that “the son’s of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them”. Hence the Nepilim are the offspring of this union. Further Jude 6 and 1 Peter 3:20 both refer to this reference as a historical occurrence. The point in my earlier comment is that it is not surprising that we find evidence of the offspring of this union as fossils and that there may be some similarities of genetic code. Of course the Bible in the Genesis account would not refer to these as Neanderthal, as that codification was millenniums in the future, those that would make such a comment are just silly. Given the sheer volume of recent works by Stephen Myer, Michael Behe, and Fazale Rana to name only few, one wonders at the blind faith by adherents of evolutionary dogma display. They remind me of the Japanese soldiers on isolated islands who continued to fight because they never got the word the war was over, all that remains for these worshipers is bluff and arrogance as exhibited by responses to my comments. Below is a sample of a review I did on “Signature in the Cell”; This work begins with the concept of what is the best explanation possible for the origin of life based on “historical scientific reasoning”. To answer this question Meyers reviews many origin of life theories, specifically relating to DNA and RNA. Meyer dissects each of these theories, the end result for nearly all of these ideas is that they are based on certain amounts of specified information existing as a premise for the subsequent parts of the theory to function, in other words they do not explain or solve the problem of where biological information comes from, but simply displace the problem, I will not bore you with the details of the competing theories. Meyer goes on to give a very detailed (and extremely interesting) probability analysis regarding the possibility for even one functioning protein to come into existence simply by chance at 10164, to put that number in some kind of perspective, there are only 1065 atoms in the known universe. Meyer further explains how at least two hundred different kinds of proteins are necessary for the simplest cell to exist, which would then put the probability of one cell existing by chance at 1041,000, this is an order of magnitude more than the probabilistic resources of the entire universe. He then quotes recent work by James Brooks and Gordon Shaw regarding geological and geochemical evidence for the prebiotic atmospheric conditions being friendly or not, for the production of amino acids and other essential building blocks of life. Their work is conclusive, there is no evidence in metamorphosed Precambrian sedimentary rocks that such conditions as envisioned by evolutionist ever existed. This puts the probability for evolutionary theory providing a credible explanation regarding the origin of life at exactly zero. (my words, not his). Thanks for your time, I hope the above clarifies matters.

Matthew 22:30 For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.

Angels apparently are sexless so how could fallen angels mate with men and produce children?

henry said:

Matthew 22:30 For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.

Which might mean horny and rampantly engaged in free love with all and sundry.

henry said:

Angels apparently are sexless so how could fallen angels mate with men and produce children?

By getting sexy when fallen - as per Adam and Eve.

Anyhow, in what way are they “apparently” sexless? How many have appeared to you and allowed you to check them over?

I must admit I never thought I’d see PT become the vehicle for two creationists to air their differences about the meaning of scripture. But by all means, gentlemen. We’re tolerant here. Well, mostly.

So, how many angels is it again that can dance on the head of a pin? And does it take two to tango?

fnxtr | June 16, 2010 6:00 PM |

Ha ha ha:

Ad homonym attack: “You sound like an idiot.”

Dave Luckett | June 17, 2010 8:25 PM |

I must admit I never thought I’d see PT become the vehicle for two creationists to air their differences about the meaning of scripture. But by all means, gentlemen. We’re tolerant here. Well, mostly.

So, how many angels is it again that can dance on the head of a pin? And does it take two to tango?

LOLs forever! I really don’t have anything clever to add to that. It’s weird to me that - within the context of any one translation of the Babble - the meanings of passages are explicit (“There were giants, yadda yadda”), but people can still wring centuries of debate out of them.

Nephilim spin did lend itself to a weirdly touching X-files episode. Maybe I just like seeing Gillian Andersen go all method-acty with her maternal instinct. And to see judaeo-christian mythology shown half as weird and creepy as it actually is.

Really, the “Scully loves Jesus” episodes were an interesting detour that show took on occasion. Even though I pretty much despise religion IRLs, it was interesting drama.

I don’t remember much about the nephilim from The Prophecy 3. I think being a nephilim basically made you good with kung fu.

Oh yeah… Neanderthals was the topic. I bet everyone on this thread is part neanderthal. Any pure Africans talking? That being the case, respect your elders!

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This page contains a single entry by Jim Foley published on June 10, 2010 9:12 AM.

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