It’s not so much that Dawkin’s doesn’t want to debate, …

Comment on Supreme Court Decision on Church Employment Case by Mack Ramsy.

It’s not so much that Dawkin’s doesn’t want to debate, it’s that debating with a creationist is fairly useless. Take your initial complaint no new information added to the genome. To a biologist (which I am did my dissertation on dengue fever, very unique little bug) that’s a silly and nonsensical question. Any freshman biology student will tell you that Information is added to the genome all the time, bacteria and so on are promiscuous little buggers. In mammalian genomes genes get copied laterally, mutated, replicated again, inverted, tossed out, added back in. How this happens in nature is explained very carefully over several semesters devoted to this precise topic. To the point where they have exceedingly precise calculations of the additional information. As a biologist I can tell you that not only does new information enter the genome all the time, but that it MUST enter the genome. The DNA isn’t stable enough not to have these kinds of events on a very regular basis. Add in all the other assaults to the DNA and you have a very fluid environment as far as information is concerned. if it helps (it probably won’t) think of DNA less like a perfect blue print and more like an incredibly messy garden where people go around trampling in it all the time and pests and deer to eat the cabbages and that sort of thing. That’s a much better picture of DNA. From adversity comes life, there’s probably a lesson in there. How the DNA not only survives but thrives in this environment is an awesome thing, but the one thing we know for certain is that it was designed to change. There are so many back up and redundancies designed to make whatever changes that DNA faces to be profitable for the organism, or if their deleterious to ensure they don’t damage the subsequent generation (yes there are very complex methods for doing this) The immune system in fact does it intentionally. If that’s your only hangup then join the club because that’s the very very least of your worries. I can think up much more serious concerns about evolution than merely “how does additional information get added?” And you think that one little story about a plane lost in the ice flows somehow refutes what we learn in the ice corps? that’s one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever heard. Not that i doubt the story, but it didn’t crash on the glacier but on the seasonal ice flow. You might have noticed that it moved hundreds of feet more than glaciers are known to do. These ice cores are extremely reliable. Not only are there a bunch of them scattered all over the globe, but they’re all in sync, AND they’re in sync with history. You can accurately pinpoint known historical events like major volcano eruptions and that sort of thing. Each layer traps pollen and gives a fairly precise historical record of changes in climate. It’s all very interesting stuff. Nor is evolution “blind faith” We didn’t magically think this up and go looking for data to prove our own pet satanic theories. Observation came first, always has. Only religion asks blind faith of it’s followers. For example we know how prokaryotes turned into eukaryotes. We know how information got copied down to start with so it could be passed along. I never said we didn’t know, I said it was directly observable, in the same way that the signing of the declaration isn’t directly observable. It’s history, there’s a record. All you have to do is know how to read it.

@Faith, I applaud your faith. I literally know how much it means to you. But in this church we’ve never lifted any authority above one another (except possibly EGW) We were always encouraged to go to scriptures and to think for ourselves. In this church we believe that truth is progressive. (EGW Signs of the Times, 26 May 1881 and 26 May 1890). It’s always been understood that God will reveal more truth to us. But the jig saw you hold so dear only works if you ignore vast stretches of reality. I’m not saying there wasn’t a flood. there almost certainly was a local or regional event. I was in New Orleans in ’05 I know how your world can be destroyed in a flood. Metaphorically anyway. It isn’t important that the Biblical flood didn’t literal destroy the whole world what’s important is, what is god trying to say when he tells us this story about a time when the part of the world was destoryed? Does it mean less if God started his creation billions of years ago instead of 6,000 years ago? We’ve got cave paintings that are older than 20,000+ years old (assuming the devil didn’t create them just to confuse us). We’ve got a fossil record, we’ve got gene clocks, we so much physical evidence besides logical problems with the story that it makes more sense to see them as a parable or a legend. A story that reveals something important about our world and the character of god without resorting to history. Jesus did so himself numerous times, perhaps more explicitly than moses, but the idea of telling stories to make a point is an old and honored tradition and is entirely consistent with the rest of the bible.

Mack Ramsy Also Commented

Supreme Court Decision on Church Employment Case
@Bill “Liberals simply don’t like any “challenge” for or against anything.”
Really, Bill? Are you saying that Conservatives love being challenged? Liberals aren’t condemning all to hell for disagreeing with them. Point out a few gaping flaws in logic and torches and pitchforks start getting handed out out a mob mustering on the lawn. This whole thing got started because a few “liberals” started challenging the paradigm of conservatives. You’ve invented an entire conspiracy about the take over of the church and of the world to try and explain a disagreement between honest folk

@Bob My language in this forum is not formal. Try not to get caught up in semantic issues. And I actually agree with you on the little distinction between theistic evolution and atheistic evolution. There is very little difference between them. Science can’t tell you why a system is the way it is, it can only tell you how it works. Science can only examine the world through the five basic senses. Our technology allows us to extend those senses from the very atoms and smaller to galaxies and beyond. We can read the genome like a history book. Needless to say the book is sufficiently complex that when we figured out what the letters were it took us 60 years to learn how to read it properly. Everything we know in biology points to plants and animals and everything to them having changed over a long period of time. If you’re going to believe in God, then you need to believe in a God that fits into that process. If he’s the creator then he created it thusly. It is not blasphemy to suggest otherwise. @Ron actually makes a good point, if you believe in evolution on a small scale you can believe in evolution on a larger scale, because when you study the issue carefully (and I mean scientifically rather than religiously) than the distinctions between micro and macro evolution become increasingly indistinct. Though I included at least one paper dedicated to the exchange of heritable information between various groups and how new information can be generated. Though I don’t suspect that these papers will in anyway change minds. Religious belief has never been swayed by rational discourse and will never be. It’s not about rationality, it’s about Faith. Hard core conservatives feel that reality will be twisted around by belief if it is fervent enough and become true purely on the merits of faith. Let me put it another way, if the bible said that there was a giant hole the size of several mountain rangers in the desert when there clearly wasn’t one, then we’d say that the hole was a metaphorical and spiritual. In fact we’d probably say that the entire desert was a metaphor and spend a thousand years arguing over what it means. Maybe even start the odd religious war. Ardent conservatives would believe in a literal hole so completely they’d start creating little sign posts telling people to watch their step. (worst case scenario there’d be a run on shovels)

We get caught up in our own interpretations of the bible and use those to hurt others (like fire them for the jobs that they were doing brilliantly). Just because people disagree with you is hardly evidence for their inevitable damnation.


Most papers talk about the evolution of the little pieces, the evolution of a particular kind of signal transduction mechanism or environmental response element, that sort of thing. So I included a few of those just because I thought they were interesting. But i thought your question was a little broader than that so I included some more general review articles. The trouble is to be truly comprehensive requires a truly massive book. Whole libraries would have to be devoted to the subject (and there are). This is what I could put together in a few minutes of searching seeing that I do have other matters to attend to in the next few weeks and months.

Early cell evolution, eukaryotes, anoxia, sulfide, oxygen, fungi first (?), and a tree of genomes revisited.
Martin W, Rotte C, Hoffmeister M, Theissen U, Gelius-Dietrich G, Ahr S, Henze K.

Proc Biol Sci. 1999 Aug 7;266(1428):1571-7.
The origin of eukaryotes: the difference between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells.
Vellai T, Vida G.

IUBMB Life. 2003 Apr-May;55(4-5):193-204.
Early cell evolution, eukaryotes, anoxia, sulfide, oxygen, fungi first (?), and a tree of genomes revisited.
Martin W, Rotte C, Hoffmeister M, Theissen U, Gelius-Dietrich G, Ahr S, Henze K.

Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2006 Jun 29;361(1470):969-1006.
Cell evolution and Earth history: stasis and revolution.
Cavalier-Smith T.
University of Oxford, Department of Zoology, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PS, UK.

The phagotrophic origin of eukaryotes and phylogenetic classification of Protozoa.
Cavalier-Smith T.
Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, UK.

Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2010 Mar 12;365(1541):699-712.
Endosymbiotic associations within protists.
Nowack EC, Melkonian M.

Microbiol Mol Biol Rev. 2009 Dec;73(4):775-808.
Biological diversity of prokaryotic type IV secretion systems.
Alvarez-Martinez CE, Christie PJ.

Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2009 Oct 12;364(1531):2795-808.
Evolution of phototaxis.
Jékely G.

Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2008 Sep 12;363(1505):2813-20.
Review. Genetic exchange and the origin of adaptations: prokaryotes to primates.
Arnold ML, Sapir Y, Martin NH.

Supreme Court Decision on Church Employment Case
@Holly Pham: Every College takes substance abuse very seriously. Even ours. But there’s a limit to what can be effectively done about it. Not even the parents of young kids can effectively keep tabs on them. If some idiot teenager wants to smoke pot how would you stop them? At college these are adults who have the right go where ever and whenever they please. Unless you can catch them in the act there’s really nothing you can do. And as anyone who’s worked with people suffering with substance abuse problems, treating someone resistent to help is a futile effort. You can always kick them out, but that’s only if they’re dumb enough to get caught (and you’d have to be pretty dumb). Our colleges do everything they can. They offer counseling, safety and medical care if necessary. Drug dealers are sent to prison and the truly recalcitrant are asked to leave. This is what we do, this is what all institutions do. It’s a great deal more than nothing, but a great deal less than a magic wand to make the problem better.

Supreme Court Decision on Church Employment Case
I think there is some confusion about the role of science here. Science is very explicit about “proof” and “certainty” in that there isn’t any. I presented you with a half dozen articles in a few minutes of searching. There might be better ones out there but from long experience I know that even the best evidence is unconvincing to the close-minded. Like I said before to be comprehensive would take libraries (and you’re welcome to the public access by the way, I included that in my search parameters). That said you’re right the sense that evolutionists may not have a perfect picture of how the world works, but they never claimed to. That claim is reserved by solely by creationists. I never said it would be convincing. In fact I said several times that it would not be. We all achieve the level of enlightenment that we work to obtain. For those who refuse to see truth or reason, libraries of evidence will never be persuasive. The Bar is set too high. You would have to go back in time and observe the events in person without disturbing the events in motion. The only “evidence” that could possibly be convincing is a notarized statement by god saying this is the way it is, which of course you believe you already have. That this doesn’t make sense is readily explained by being the foolishness of the Greeks. This is fine, let’s look at your story and see if that makes sense. The creation story blatantly contradicts itself between chapters 1 and 2, the flood has multiple problems such as number of animals, zoological necessities, sustainable ecology, the coming and going of all the water, the mysterious olive leaf, extant archaeological evidence predating the flood, lack of geological evidence for a truly global flood, the diversity of people and animals, the time it takes to spread from Ararat to the rest of the world, etc. When you look at the stories, it’s quite clear that Adam and Eve and Noah and the Ark are speaking about spiritual truths not literal ones. Ignoring all the physical evidence, logical idiocies, you have the language in the bible. It’s obviously spiritual in nature, the raven finds nothing, the Dove finds an olive leaf. It’s an blatantly spiritual story meant to have a spiritual lesson. This is a very different kind of language used in other places in the bible to talk about more or less literal events. There may well have been a regional disaster on the Mediterranean at some point, but it clearly didn’t destroy the entire world in a literal fashion. It would violate every known law of physics and biology that we know.

Recent Comments by Mack Ramsy

WASC Reviews LSU’s Accreditation
This issue with WASC expressing concern, (meddling) in the hiring and firing decisions of the LSU board reminds of this statement from Prophets and Kings, p 188.

The time is not far distant when the test will come to every soul. The observance of the false sabbath will be urged upon us. The contest will be between the commandments of God and the commandments of men. Those who have yielded step by step to worldly demands and conformed to worldly customs will then yield to the powers that be, rather than subject themselves to derision, insult, threatened imprisonment, and death. At that time the gold will be separated from the dross. True godliness will be clearly distinguished from the appearance and tinsel of it. Many a star that we have admired for its brilliance will then go out in darkness. Those who have assumed the ornaments of the sanctuary, but are not clothed with Christ’s righteousness, will then appear in the shame of their own nakedness. {PK 188.1}

The religion of the “false sabbath” is closely connected with Evolutionism since both directly or indirectly point to the SUN as the creative force which should be honored. Evolutionists can provide no laboratory evidence to explain how carbon based molecules became amino acids, became proteins, became single-celled organisms, but they are unanimous in the belief that the sun had something to do with it. Likewise, Papists and Sunday keeping Protestants can provide no evidence from the Bible for keeping the false sabbath other than the wisdom and traditions of fallen, sinful men who never fully gave up Pagan sun worship!

Notice this point carefully: “The contest will be between the commandments of God and the commandments of men.” What does the 4th Commandment present as its authority for requiring obedience? “For in six days THE LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is…” This truth is the foundation which the entire system of truth known as the third angel’s message rests upon. The enemy knows that if he can weaken the position of God’s people on the issue of origins, then our position on the Sabbath will be greatly weakened as well.

To rephrase the above quote and apply it to the present situation:
“The time is not far distant when the test will come to every SDA Institution. The observance of the false sabbath will be urged upon our schools as condition for continued accreditation.”

Creeds and Fundamental Beliefs
I have seen this interview clip several times, but had never seen Dawkins’ explanation. Wow! Black is white and up is down, isn’t it?

Dawkins: “A real biologist finds it an easy question to answer (the answer is that natural selection increases the information content of the genome all the time – that is precisely what natural selection means)”

Maybe he means like those endangered and extinct finches and honey creepers on Hawaii and other islands. They have, or are about to, “natural selection” themselves right out of existence. Darwin’s exhibit one only implies the LOSS of genetic information. Oops.