Thank you for your reasoned and polite take on the subject. I do realize that talking about Creation on a forum full of folks who's lives has been utterly decimated by religion is going to elicit strong feelings, even ridicule. However, I do think that reasoned and honest dialog is possible, even in light of all of our pain.
My basic premise is that while all people are equal, ideas most certainly are not equal. And, while we cannot go back in time and see for ourselves what happened, we can try to ground certain ideas with things we know to be facts (premises) now. Things like:
1. All life comes from previous life
2. All information comes from a mind
3. All books have authors
A Transcendent God conclusion doesn't contradict the premises I listed above.
An evolutionary origin does violate them since there are no examples that could falsify the above premises listed.
Neither conclusion can be proved empirically, but that is not the point. The point is; which conclusion best harmonizes with known facts? Of course, if one or more of my premises are not true, then there might be a basis for a different conclusion. But short of that, a Transcendent God is a better conclusion.
Concerning the discussion about the rib account: The account doesn't address genetics at all. So, to suggest that a lack of discussion in the account about genetics is a basis for diminishment of the veracity of the action is a non-sequitur. The conclusion doesn't follow the premise since there are no genetic reconfigurations (other than male/female) going on in a special creation scenario.
The question I addressed was regarding whether or not cloning was a necessary outcome of Eve being from Adam. My answer was that XX from XY did not require ANY additional genetic information. All that was needed was the XX version of XY... a subset multiple of XY
Yet, Eve was not a clone because she was genetically different - the female version of Adam. If God included all possible variations that he wanted in the genome of Adam, then why should Eve receive less (or more)?
There are all sorts of genetic re-configurations possible using any number of segments of DNA that go into action once the process is started with conception. Some traits even skip a generation or two. But that is not the issue with special creation of the original pair which is assumed in the Creation model.
I find it interesting that the rib bone is a rich source of hematopoietic bone marrow containing multipotent, pluripotent, and unipotent stem cells. Ribs are used all the time in modern bone-graft surgeries, especially facial reconstruction, because unlike other bones, if removed properly, ribs grow back to a large extent if not totally.
If you or I were facing one of these kinds of facial reconstruction surgeries with bone removed from our rib, I doubt that a discussion about genetics would even occur with the doctor. They simply are not related.
Another interesting quote:
- "I never use evolutionary biology in my work. Would I be a better surgeon if I assumed that the brain arose by random events? Of course not. Doctors are detectives. We look for patterns, and in the human body, patterns look very much like they were designed. Doctors know that, from the intricate structure of the human brain to the genetic code, our bodies show astonishing evidence of design.
That’s why most doctors -- nearly two-thirds according to national polls -- don’t believe that human beings arose merely by chance and natural selection. Most doctors don’t accept evolutionary biology as an adequate explanation for life. Doctors see, first-hand, the design of life." (Evolution News & Views: March 2007) -
Regarding the conclusion that all embryos are female, I found this:
Mammals don’t start as females, they start as a blank slate with XX/XY genetic code, and for the first 5-6 weeks of gestation only the X gene expresses. Then when the Y gene starts expressing (in genetic XY-males), it releases androgens like testosterone, represses some X gene expression (and estrogen development), and expresses specific Y genes. This process is called sexual differentiation and it leads to what we call male and female.
... the idea that “all mammals start as females” or specifically “all humans start as females” is not technically correct. It is more accurate to say, “until the sex-determination process begins, a developing human (technically an embryo) has no anatomic or hormonal sex (just XX or XY genetic code)
It is more accurate to say, “until the sex-determination process begins, a developing human (technically an embryo) has no anatomic or hormonal sex (just XX or XY genetic code)
In other words, at the moment of conception, the new life is genetically male or female. What the X gene is expressing in the first few weeks is neither male or female. Before the 5-6 week mark, all embryos have undifferentiated structures that will become internal and external sex organs. The suggestion that after the cell divides into two that it is "female" because no male sex organ is observable is a simplistic, clumsy and unnecessary characterization in my opinion.