Quick notes on American Scientific Affiliation meeting, Day 4 #ASA3Org

And finally, just some notes on the concurrent sessions on the final Monday.  See also:

Day 1 Notes
Day 2 Notes
Day 3 Notes

Science as Understanding Creation 5

Joel Duff and Gregg Davidson – “Young-Earth Evolutionists?  Adaptation of Young Earth Creationist Models, and Implications for the Church”

  • What is the modern YEC model [especially the Answers in Genesis model] of biological origins?
    • Genesis 1:11,24
    • Emphasis on “kinds”
      • This word was originally just thought to refer to the types of animals we know
      • Recent desire is to associate “kind” with one type of taxonomic group
        • All the species of the Earth could not fit on the ark
        • Today, displays on the ark encounter in Kentucky list 1,387 kinds
        • There are 33,000 living land vertebrate species, around 200,000 total species ever that we know of
        • So the current YEC viewpoint requires a whole lot of speciation going on
    • Kinds are separate creations, but since that time kinds diversified into the species we see today
      • Animal kinds (and all other kinds) can trace their ancestry to common ancestors
      • So Adam didn’t encounter the animals we are familiar with today
    • Each carnivore family is a “kind”
      • Species within those kinds came from common ancestor
      • But there are no links between kinds
      • The AIG common ancestors are those secular scientists think are common ancestors
      • AIG shows mitochondrial DNA phylogeny diagram shows common ancestors of each kind
      • So YEC actually now accept in part many tenets of modern evolutionary theory
        • Beneficial mutations
        • Jumping genes
        • Gene duplication
        • Genetic drift
        • Natural selection
        • Vestigial organs
        • Genetic imperfections
        • Punctuated equilibrium
        • Transitional fossils
        • Descent with modification
      • They are really young earth evolutionists
    • But what are the differences?
      • Evolution only within kinds
      • Front-loaded genetic diversity in original kinds
      • Hyper-fast speciation after the ark
      • All mutations represent a loss of information
    • Scientific assessment
      • Genetic variation should be running out over time in AIG model, things are only getting worse
      • Genetic entropy should be leading species to become weaker with increasing extinction
    • Theological impacts
      • Migration from biblical orthodoxy
        • Young earth “kind” undermines the Biblical “kind”. Nature is more orderly than YEC implies.  Cows only give birth to cows in the Bible – now they say Adam didn’t even know what a cow looked like.
        • Bible animals are familiar and geographically consistent with our world
          • There are over 100 animals listed in the Bible that we recognize
        • No mention of rapid speciation in scripture
          • Contemporaneous art show the same animals we understand today
        • A prohibition on increases in genetic information is imposed on scripture, not drawn from it
        • Idea that creation had a perfect genetic code
          • Why is increase in information disallowed?
            • Increases in information can be detrimental or helpful
          • Sin is the new creator
            • All carnivores are the result of sin
            • So we should be in awe of these organisms?
              • Or, adaptations that are designed to hide from carnivores?
              • So sin is a creative force producing beautiful creatures
        • God is turned into evil
          • The heavens declare the glory of God
          • His invisible attributes are seen
          • So, nature has declared the same message since creation
          • Earth and cosmos declare the corruption of sin
            • Predation can’t be good because it sin the product of sin
          • A god of limited power to preserve
            • Noah’s rescue failed 55% of vertebrate kinds
        • Fine-tuning abandoned
          • YEC is always bending the rules of nature
    • Questions for the church
      • Why are we willing to abandon the traditional Biblical understanding of kinds?
      • Are we ready to say that Adam and Noah didn’t know what a sheep or a goat was?
      • Who created the exquisitely designed predators after day 6?
      • Why are increased in information disallowed after Eden?
    • Continue exploring
      • Greg Davidson, Friend of Science, Friend of Faith

Luke J. Janssen – “The Bible Tells Me Otherwise; Besides Even Scientists Don’t Believe this Stuff, and it’s Not My Problem Anyway”

  • Are the public and scientists on the same page?
  • Can science infrom Christian theology?
  • Conflict?
    • Church v Galileo
      • Nature of the cosmos
      • Earth motionless and immovable
      • Or not?
    • Pew survey
      • Compared general public to AAAS members
      • Did humans evolve over long periods of time or have they always existed in their present form?
        • 2% of AAAS says no, about 1/3 of general public says no
      • General public – “even scientists don’t believe this stuff”
  • We are “fallen” – we have fallen short of our potential. Falling short of our goal.  Too much baggage around terms like “broken image bearers”.