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Comment on The Basis of Biblical Credibility by Gene Fortner.

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The Basis of Biblical Credibility

The church will not “self destruct”. The “progressive” wing of the SDA is very vocal but the majority of members are not buying their message,

The Basis of Biblical Credibility
Humans and Chimpanzee?

I don’t think so.

A useful lie

10-10-2008 17:12 | Dr Richard Buggs
From 1964 to 2004, it was believed that humans are almost identical to apes at the genetic level. Ten years ago, we thought that the information coded in our DNA is 98.5% the same as that coded in chimpanzee DNA. This led some scientists to claim that humans are simply another species of chimpanzee. They argued that humans did not have a special place in the world, and that chimpanzees should have the same ’rights’ as humans.

Other scientists took a different view. They said that it is obvious that we are very different from chimpanzees in our appearance and way of life: if we are almost the same as chimpanzees in our DNA sequence, this simply means that DNA sequence is the wrong place to look in trying to understand what makes humans different. By this view, the 98.5% figure does not undermine the special place of humans. Instead it undermines the importance of genetics in thinking about what it means to be a human.
Fortunately (for both the status of human beings and the status of genetics) we now know that the 98.5% figure is very misleading. In 2005 scientists published a draft reading of the complete DNA sequence (genome) of a chimpanzee. When this is compared with the genome of a human, we find major differences.

To compare the two genomes, the first thing we must do is to line up the parts of each genome that are similar. When we do this alignment, we discover that only 2400 million of the human genome’s 3164.7 million ’letters’ align with the chimpanzee genome – that is, 76% of the human genome. Some scientists have argued that the 24% of the human genome that does not line up with the chimpanzee genome is useless ”junk DNA”. However, it now seems that this DNA could contain over 600 protein-coding genes, and also code for functional RNA molecules.

Looking closely at the chimpanzee-like 76% of the human genome, we find that to make an exact alignment, we often have to introduce artificial gaps in either the human or the chimp genome. These gaps give another 3% difference. So now we have a 73% similarity between the two genomes.

In the neatly aligned sequences we now find another form of difference, where a single ’letter’ is different between the human and chimp genomes. These provide another 1.23% difference between the two genomes. Thus, the percentage difference is now at around 72%.

We also find places where two pieces of human genome align with only one piece of chimp genome, or two pieces of chimp genome align with one piece of human genome. This ”copy number variation” causes another 2.7% difference between the two species. Therefore the total similarity of the genomes could be below 70%.

This figure does not take include differences in the organization of the two genomes. At present we cannot fully assess the difference in structure of the two genomes, because the human genome was used as a template (or ”scaffold”) when the chimpanzee draft genome was assembled.

Our new knowledge of the human and chimpanzee genomes contradicts the idea that humans are 98% chimpanzee, and undermines the implications that have been drawn from this figure. It suggests that there is a huge amount exciting research still to be done in human genetics.

The author is a research geneticist at the University of Florida.

The Basis of Biblical Credibility

Austin and others based their analysis on data.

> Geology is totally preoccupied with time. Time’s passage is recorded by the presence of rock units, but not every geological event is preserved in stone. The absence of a record is of equal importance. Missing time results from rock units that have either eroded away or from periods of time in which no sediment was deposited. Such a gap in the temporal record is called an unconformity, and it’s the geologist’s business (and passion) to decipher what happened during it.
> The global rock record contains countless unconformities, most of which are comparatively minor. There are fourteen major unconformities exposed within the Grand Canyon and unenumerable minor ones. In fact, the Canyon’s rock layers are so full of temporal stratigraphic gaps that far more time is absent than is represented. In Annals of the Former World, John McPhee states, “If a gap of five hundred million years were the right five hundred million years, it could erase the Grand Canyon.”
> Near the bottom of the Grand Canyon, a sandstone formation from the Cambrian called the Tapeats rests upon metamorphosed schist from the Precambrian called the Vishnu. Mysteriously, the rock layers that once existed between the two formations are missing. Perhaps they never even formed. Regardless of the cause, the space of that paper-thin contact represents an enormous amount of time unaccounted for, far greater than all the others, on the order of a billion years. That’s a quarter of the age of the Earth. Missing!
> The immensity of this particular time gap has been recognized by geologists that have singled it out as the Great Unconformity written with capital letters. John Wesley Powell, the intrepid explorer, scientist and geologist of the American Southwest, first recognized the time gap in 1869, but failed to appreciate its enormity. The Great Unconformity is not just found within the Grand Canyon but occurs in various locations within the Southwest. In fact, it can be found where ancient Laurentia’s Cambrian shelf is exposed and even globally where continental shores received deposition during the Cambrian. Back in New York State where I’m from, we have a Great Unconformity in the Adirondack lowlands in which the Middle Cambrian Potsdam Sandstone overlies a Middle Proterozoic Grenville gneissic-basement on Laurentia’s eastern shore.

Recent Comments by Gene Fortner

GC Delegates Vote to Tighten Language of Fundamental #6 on Creation

GC Delegates Vote to Tighten Language of Fundamental #6 on Creation
Bill “How inane would it be to claim an apple tree is not an apple tree unless and until it has apples on it?”


Comparing babies and apple trees is a bit more inane than comparing apples and oranges.


“The ONLY DEFINITION FOR SIN that we have in the Bible is that it is the transgression of the law… IT CONDEMNS EVERY SIN, AND REQUIRES EVERY VIRTUE.” E.G. White, ST, March 3, 1890 par. 3.

If it is a sin to possess a fallen nature then there must be a law against it. Has God given a law forbidding anyone from being conceived with a fallen human nature? If there ever was a law that was impossible to keep, this would be it, for how could one choose not to violate it before one existed?!

Summary of 60th General Conference Session (2015)
Thanks Sean

GC Delegates Vote to Tighten Language of Fundamental #6 on Creation


No statement was necessary.

In fact I consider it thoughtless.

FB#6 should have absolutely no effect on their ability to support the world church and perform work faithfully and with integrity.

GC Delegates Vote to Tighten Language of Fundamental #6 on Creation
@Bill Sorensen:


Sin is transgression of the law.

Where does it say being born is a sin?