Friday, February 24, 2023

I Take On Ken Miller Taking On Swamidass

Ken R. Miller responds to The Genealogical Adam and Eve
Peaceful Science, 3 Febr. 2021

2:05 No. It is not the basis of a claim that species in the Linnean sense are fixed and unchangeable.

Ask a Young Earth Creationist who descends from Adam and Eve, you will find it's not just the varieties labelled as Homo sapiens, but also, at least, Neanderthals, Denisovans, Homo erectus soloensis and probably a few more, depending on where synonymity is presumed (as I presume between Denisovan and Antecessor, Antecessor and Heidelbergian) and depending what one thinks of Rudolfensis and a few cases like that.

For hedgehogs, they are seventeen species now, and they were arguably one couple on the ark.

4:42 The Swamidass scenario could be understood in two ways.

1) "people outside the garden" were not "God's image" in the sense of an arbitrarily tacked on honour, but were still like us - I don't see how a creature can be like us and not God's image;
2) "people outside the garden" were not what we Catholics would recognise as God's image either.

The two very different scenarios each have a problem.

1) On the first view, it's not just Adam and Eve becoming genetical ghosts, it's also their "image of God"-ness becoming a theological ghost - why would original sin arise from that couple's sin, it's so arbitrary?
2) And, on the other scenario, the "people outside the garden" really not being human, though of similar anatomy, their interbreeding with us would involve bestiality insofar as it is a kind of rape, even if not insofar as it is inherently unfruitful.

5:55 The other fault in Swamidass' solution is, no, evolution cannot produce man.

Evolution can turn a hedgehog on the ark into an Atelerix or into a Hemiechinus, an onager like creature into horses, donkeys and zebras, but it cannot turn apes into men.

There is simply no transition which could be functional, and it bypasses "reason" being a faculty at once necessary for language and linked to a metaphysical ontology, a type of being, that's other than that of brutes.

6:53 Oh, it's an attempt to rescue the Genesis narrative before an Evolution believing scientist, not an attempt to rescue the Evolution narrative to a Christian?

7:36 Yes, you have been even marginally involved with this Roman Catholic Biblical Creationist.

8:09 The "false scientific narrative" of Genesis is what you say as, not a science provider, but a Science believer.
But when it comes to theology, I'd go further, it's not just theologically unnecessary, it's theologically impossible.

11:18 Oh, so you are basically quoting Calvin - a heresiarch - for:
  • Bible containing a scientific error
  • and this being no big deal considering who the first audience was ...

Here is the exact wording of Calvin on verse 15, it's far from being as complacent to "science finding factual errors" as you pretend:

15.Let them be for lights It is well again to repeat what I have said before, that it is not here philosophically discussed, how great the sun is in the heaven, and how great, or how little, is the moon; but how much light comes to us from them. (71) For Moses here addresses himself to our senses, that the knowledge of the gifts of God which we enjoy may not glide away. Therefore, in order to apprehend the meaning of Moses, it is to no purpose to soar above the heavens; let us only open our eyes to behold this light which God enkindles for us in the earth. By this method (as I have before observed) the dishonesty of those men is sufficiently rebuked, who censure Moses for not speaking with greater exactness. For as it became a theologian, he had respect to us rather than to the stars. Nor, in truth, was he ignorant of the fact, that the moon had not sufficient brightness to enlighten the earth, unless it borrowed from the sun; but he deemed it enough to declare what we all may plainly perceive, that the moon is a dispenser of light to us. That it is, as the astronomers assert, an opaque body, I allow to be true, while I deny it to be a dark body. For, first, since it is placed above the element of fire, it must of necessity be a fiery body. Hence it follows, that it is also luminous; but seeing that it has not light sufficient to penetrate to us, it borrows what is wanting from the sun. He calls it a lesser light by comparison; because the portion of light which it emits to us is small compared with the infinite splendor of the sun.

So, no, he used a word which did not indicate self luminosity, not one which would have indicated that and been false about the moon.

I think you actually confused the issue.

Calvin mentioned that Saturn is proven to be greater than the Moon. Nevertheless, the Moon, not Saturn, is made the second light.

So, his point is, Moses went by what appears from earth.

That's in the comment on verse 16.

11:35 As having been Evolution believer before I was a Christian, I am aware of the contradiction in sequence.

As for creatures living on land giving rise to creatures that fly (pterosaurs, bats and birds), I deny that being demonstrated.

CMI's page for 404 error is, famously (to those on the debate) I hope, a dinosaur losing his "borrowed feathers" ...

12:21 You cited Lemaître ...

"In 1941, he was elected a member of the Royal Academy of Sciences and Arts of Belgium.[36] In 1946, he published his book on L'Hypothèse de l'Atome Primitif (The Primeval Atom Hypothesis). It was translated into Spanish in the same year and into English in 1950."

In a French report, 1940's are the decade in which sex abuse in clergy starts (among known cases, that is). I make a Romans 1 connexion.

I am not saying he was an abuser, I am not saying he had connexions to some infiltrators, I am just saying, he made more Catholic priests idolaters and therefore likely to go wrong in the flesh.

12:48 "On other questions they were as wise or as ignorant as their generation"

No, this is not Catholic theology about the Bible, it's Galileo's attempt to defend Copernicanism in the teeth of Scripture contradicting it, but it's not what the Church traditionally held.

Apart from the item being wrong, it suggests that Adam and Eve are only a question of Biblical narrative and its inerrancy, while in fact it is also a necessity for Catholic anthropology.

13:02 "especially if those errors were not directly observed by those who wrote about them"

Moses directly observed the six days in a vision. More importantly, Adam and Eve were observed by each other, and so was the snake. We have as much human witness for Genesis 2 as for Genesis 3. And without human witness for Genesis 3, the whole New Testament breaks down, including the Privileges of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

" Concerning the transactions of these early times, parents would no doubt be careful to instruct their children, by word of mouth, before any of the Scriptures were written; and Moses might derive much information from the same source, as a very few persons formed the chain of tradition, when they lived so many hundred years. Adam would converse with Mathusalem, who knew Sem, as the latter lived in the days of Abram. Isaac, Joseph, and Amram, the father of Moses, were contemporaries: so that seven persons might keep up the memory of things which had happened 2500 years before. But to entitle these accounts to absolute authority, the inspiration of God intervenes; and thus we are convinced, that no word of sacred writers can be questioned. H."

From the Haydock comment. Last sentences of his comment on Genesis 3. I favour the LXX based chronology of the Roman Martyrology over the Vulgate based chronology of Ussher, but my own view is not essentially any different. While the six days are with some regularity attributed to a vision by Moses, Tradition never says Moses wrote Genesis 3 (or any parts after the six days account) from a vision rather than from sources preserved from the times.

13:46 What Dobzhansky contrasted with "evolution propelled by natural selection" is not a rational special creation, not a "common designer" but "caprice" - which says sth about the theology of his biographical background, the Russian Empire.

Russian Orthodox theology on creation is not the equivalent on scholastic, either Thomasic or Protestant Neo-Scholastic thought.

What you reject is what Dobzhansky never knew.

14:10 "Creation is not an event that happened 4004 BC, it is a process that began some 10 billion years ago and is still under way."

While the created universe remaining now is due to the same creative power of God as when He first called it into being, there is a distinction from the side of creatures in so far as the event of creation and the process of preservation are different.

Neither time scale is correct, but 4004 BC at least could have been. That he didn't cite 5500 BC (Byzantine Anno Mundi, also LXX based) suggests that his environment in Kyiv was very little imbued with the traditional teachings of Russian Orthodoxy.

Was it his parish and hence his bishop? Or was it his scientific environment either in Kyiv, Ivan Schmalhausen, or in St. Petersburg, Yuri Filipchenko, who were at fault? I think the latter.

"Filipchenko is also known for his work in Soviet eugenics, though his work in the subject would later result in his public denunciation due to the rise of Stalinism[2] and increased criticisms that eugenics represented bourgeois science."

"During these events in 1948 Schmalhausen was removed from the heading positions in Moscow institutions, Institute of Evolutionary Morphology and Department of Darwinism of Moscow University. Until the end of his life he worked in the Zoological Institute in Leningrad as a common senior researcher."

It stands to reason that this threat to Orthodoxy comes, from St. Petersburg / Leningrad at least as plausibly as from Kyiv.

14:42 "between scientific reason and my own faith"

Between scientific unreason and your very own faith ...

But apart from that, you cannot extrapolate gradual humanisation is plausible just because you consider gradual diversification into animal kinds is plausible.

No comments: