Agreement in Error and Common Origin

Readers of the Evangelical Textual Criticism blog will have seen the post about how shared transcriptional errors are evidence of two texts having a common ancestor.

Given that there is still resistance to the acceptance of mainstream science among some Evangelicals, I thought it appropriate to mention that the exact same reasoning is used in biology to make the case for evolution. Where there is a matching transcription error in organisms’ DNA – such as that which results in human beings and some other primates not producing Vitamin C and thus being prone to scurvy – this is evidence of the error being due to shared dependence on a common “source” of this shared genetic material.

I hope that more Evangelicals will understand textual criticism and how it relates to Biblical studies. I hope that more Evangelicals will also understand the similar reasoning in the natural sciences and how it relates to our scientific understanding of life on this planet.

  • Susan Burns

    What is the common origin of Grondin typo and GJW?

  • Gamgokt

    It is also evidence that the sin and corruption that entered into the world at Adam’s sin affected primates and humans in a similar fashion. It does NOT provde any evidence for an error in genetic make-up due to a common ancestor.

    To produce such evidence the evolutionist would have to produce the common ancestor and through evolutionary claims of process and developement show beyond a shadow of a doubt that that common ancestor did indeed spawn both primates and humans and that indeed the error came from its own inability to be immune to such a disease.

    Until then evolutionists are merely making it all up to justify their rejection of  the truth of creation and the fall of man, the real source for disease an suffering in the world.

    • rmwilliamsjr

      re:
      show beyond a shadow of a doubt

      science does something like the legal standard of beyond reasonable doubt. science generally does not “prove” anything, not like maths or logic proves deductively. but rather science demonstrates to it’s various communities evidence to convince the vast majority of those in that field. sometimes the holdouts are right, priors and ulcers as infections being good modern examples.

      the GLO pseudogene is a good example of evidence that points to a common ancestor as is the retroviral insertions creating very similar clades as did protein homology 40 years ago and now dna homology as we sequence more organisms.

      re:
      Until then evolutionists are merely making it all up to justify their rejection of  the truth of creation and the fall of man, the real source for disease an suffering in the world.

      lots of working biologists are Christians, it’s a shame you can’t see that they believe the truth of creation just as strongly as do you. only they see God’s hand in modern science not against it.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

      i think that beyond reasonable doubt would more than suffice. Do you reject the conclusions of the judicial system because one cannot see the crime but only has evidence left behind when it was committed? Or more directly to the point, should we stop using the same DNA evidence to settle paternity cases, and require that someone have witnessed the conception, including seeing the individual in question’s sperm fertilize the woman’s egg?

      I suspect that you do not adopt this stance about matters other than evolution, and that you do so in this case only because you have been sold a pack of lies by some people who claim to be Christians and so flew under your radar which would normally protect you from charlatans.

  • Susan Burns

    Pathogens affect all organisms according to their environmental niche.  Primates (humans, apes and monkeys) are subject to same environmental factors as all other organisms. They are not special.

  • Gamgokt

    Sorry, I meant to get back to this yesterday but had paperwork to compile which took a lot of time. This responses is addressing both Mr. Williams’ and Mr. McGrath’s comments

    First, does not prove anything– Then it should not be used as an authority or final arbitrator on origins or anything else. If it cannot prove its claims then it is just saying ‘take our word for it’ and that is not what science is about.

    If it is going to say the Bible is in error then it needs to prove what it is saying is actually true and show exactly how their alternative is correct. As it stands, it cannot do that.

    Second, do you reject the conclusions of the judicial system– Sometimes yes but first we must state that the juducial system is not science and is not making the extrodinary claims that science is making. Second, the law is not saying that another belief system or field of study is wrong and presenting an alternative to it. It is merely finding out who committed a crime and then pass judgment upon the guilty. In other words, comparing science to the law is a strawman and doesn’t work.

    Next, if the judicial system actually worked then we would not have so many innocent people behind bars and organizations like Project Innocent would not need to exist. The fact that the judicial system can be manipulated very easily renders it moot and a very poor example to follow.

    Third, paternity cases– Another strawman argument as paternity cases have DNA examples of both the mother and father readily at hand. Since evolutionary science does not know the original species that started it all, nor the common ancestor which spawned both primates and humans DNA is useless.

    We also do not have the DNA of Noah and his family so we cannot compare either side of the argument. Just because science may work in one area of life doesn’t mean that it has a universal application.

    Fourth, the GLO psuedogene– The problem with that gene is that there is no way to verify the claims attributed to its presence. You have no observed or repeatable scientific studies that show that the situation seen today is actually from a common ancestor or was the result of  an evolutionary process. By that I mean you have nothing to show the common ancestor producing the gene in both primates and humans.

    All ou are doing is seeing a situation and attributing it backwards without the scientific research to support such action..

    Fifth, lots of working biologists are Christian– So they claim BUT how can one say they love and believe God when they do not believe Him and call Him a liar or a deceiver? God said He spoke and it was and He did it all in 6 24 hour days (Genesis 1, Hebrews 11, and so on) so if you say He didn’t then you do not believe him and 1 Cor. 13 states that love believes all things so you do not love God nor are you Christ-like as the word Christian implies. To say that God just told the ancient world a story because they couldn’t handle the truth means you are saying God deceives and lies and that is the work of the devil not the God who created all things.

    Sixth, sold a pack of lies–Since Darwin was not a believer, rejected God and even said salvation did not take with him, who would be the liar? Him or people who believe God and what He wrote? Who would have better access to the truth? Darwin or people who believe God? Who woul dbe decieved easier? Darwin an unbeliever or those who believe God?

    You do not have a case for your comment as it reverses the truth to comfort you in your decision to follow a version of Darwin’s thinking.  2 Timothy talks about evil people getting worse and being deceived since those who believe God are not evil people are not decieved but are the light unto the world.

    It is easy to see both of you will distort the truth because you love science and alternatives over God. You both sin and need to get right with Him because you place science above God and think it gets to correct Him.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

      This is not about Darwin. His contribution to the already-existing idea that organisms evolve was to offer a plausible mechanism whereby change occurred.  The question of who contributed what is, however, moot. Christians have investigated the evidence for themselves and found it to point clearly towards evolution having occurred. The question is whether you will accept the testimony of godly Christian people like Francis Collins who also have expertise in the relevant area(s), or charlatans without the relevant expertise about either the Bible or science, such as Ken Ham and his ilk.

      And your view of the Bible is heretical distortion. You are taking what ancient authors wrote – authors whose description of the physical cosmos matches what other ancients believed, such as the author of the Enuma Elish, differing in its theology but not its scientific knowledge – and treating those authors as though they were God. That is idolatry and it is incompatible with Christian faith to divinize human beings in this way.

    • rmwilliamsjr

      re:
      It is easy to see both of you will distort the truth because you love science and alternatives over God. You both sin and need to get right with Him because you place science above God and think it gets to correct Him.

      more of the “you’re not my kind of Christian” therefore you are a sinner in need of God. why does every discussion with YECists end up with a demand to have their kind of faith? i’m here to discuss the GLO pseudogene not whether yours is the only TRUE CHRISTIAN faith.

      just to be clear, you interpret the word of God when you read the Bible, science modifies our interpretations of the Bible. why can’t YECists ever see the distance between their interpretation and the mind of God?

    • rmwilliamsjr

      re:
      Third, paternity cases– Another strawman argument as paternity cases have DNA examples of both the mother and father readily at hand. Since evolutionary science does not know the original species that started it all, nor the common ancestor which spawned both primates and humans DNA is useless.

      i’m a little familiar with the use of dna in genealogical research. seldom does a researcher have maternal and paternal dna available, often it’s a 4th maternal side cousin and a 2nd and 4th paternal side cousins. yet NPE’s are solved everyday, thus showing the usefulness of dna in creating family trees.  simple paternity tests are just the tip of a huge field.

      it is the same with clades created by retroviral insertions or those created with mutations in pseudogenes like the OP, they do work creating very useful clades that lead to more research.

  • Gamgokt

    Accusing innocent people of your sins is very wrong. Your attempt to turn this around and blame others for your failure to accept God’s word as God’s word is inexcusable. Those who say God lied and lies are not of God and can hardly be called Christian.

    It is astounding to see people think and say that science over-rules God, that is idolatry and worshiping a false god. No part of evolution exists or has taken place, not even micro. 

    Your side-stepping the points made shows you are unwilling to deal with the truth as deception has a great hold upon you two. Collins is NOT godly nor a christian he, like you two, are leading people to sin and destruction and that is not something to be proud of.

    God willdeal with you as you refuse to repent and change.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

      Your treatment of the writings of human beings as though it were the Word of God, your slander that a Christian individual is not a Christian, your lies about science, all of the above a incompatible with your claim to be a Christian, to say nothing of your arrogant setting of yourself up as God’s appointed ajudicator with respect to others who serve him. I hope one day you search the Scriptures and are led to repent of your ungodly behavior and rebellion against the Creator!

    • rmwilliamsjr

      re:
      Your side-stepping the points made shows you are unwilling to deal with the truth as deception has a great hold upon you two. Collins is NOT godly nor a christian he, like you two, are leading people to sin and destruction and that is not something to be proud of.

      why do discussions with YECists end up in this place where they call anyone who disagrees with them-evil. how do you know Collins is not a godly Christian? simply because he sees the TofE as a valid scientific theory? doesn’t this essentially elevated the doctrine of a young earth and no evolution above all the classic creeds of Christendom? doesn’t this make YEC the most important doctrine a Christian must hold to to be a Christian? 

      this moralization of scientific knowledge, it starts with a simple question, does the GLU pseudogene show evidence that humans and primates share a common ancestor. and it becomes a question of good and evil, whether one is or is not a Christian, is essentially pushes to the big questions of salvation. why does this happen, every time a YECist comes here supposedly to discuss the science and it leads to our host being called lots of nasty things.

      i find it both sad and a commentary on young earth creationists that they do this so readily. 

  • SkipF

    Evolution is not a shibboleth to me. Personally, I consider Frances Collins and Ken Ham respectable men of faith.

    My sense is that on this blog, being Unconvinced By Darwin (UBD) is disqualifying. This blog represents itself as impartial, but it appears to me to proselytize for a vaguely defined religion whose raison d’être is a reaction to evangelicalism, a desire to liberate evangelicals so to speak.

    I suppose there is some merit to that, but that agenda is not terribly explicitly presented.

    The shibboleth of faith for me, pretty much, is the literal resurrection. I remember being angry at Hans Kung that he waited until page 300 and something of some ponderous book to finally tell me that he thought it did not matter whether Jesus rose. Well, Dr., you may be right, but still, it’s unfulfilling to find out after some time in a bar that “Beer” on the sign outside meant “Root Beer”.

    So this blog sort of pretends to be a Christian blog. But the subtext perhaps should read, “Many may not consider this to be real Christianity.”

    Near Beer Christianity has its appeal, and there are good thoughts here: a passion for reason, a righteous anger at intellectually immature expressions of faith and fundamentalist denialism. Maybe even a sense of fun. All healthy dynamics!

    Is the product on the bar worth drinking, really? Probably, occasionally. But is it the real stuff?

  • SkipF

    Evolution is not a shibboleth to me. Personally, I consider Frances Collins (for example) and most creationists to be respectable people of faith.

    My sense is that on this blog, though, being Unconvinced By Darwin (UBD) is disqualifying.

    Which leads to this thought.

    This blog represents itself as impartial, but it appears to me to proselytize for a vaguely defined religion whose raison d’être is a reaction to evangelicalism, a desire to liberate evangelicals so to speak.

    I suppose there is some merit to that, but that agenda is not terribly explicitly presented.

    A shibboleth of faith for me, pretty much, is the literal resurrection. I remember being angry at Hans Kung that he waited until page 300 and something of some ponderous book to finally tell me that he thought it did not matter whether Jesus rose. Well, Dr., you may be right, but still, it’s unfulfilling to find out after some time in a bar that “Beer” on the sign outside meant “Root Beer”.

    So this blog sort of pretends to be a Christian blog. But the subtext perhaps should read, “Many may not consider this to be real Christianity.”

    Near Beer Christianity has its appeal, and there are good thoughts here: a passion for reason, a righteous anger at intellectually immature expressions of faith and fundamentalist denialism. Maybe even a sense of fun. All healthy dynamics!

    Is the product on the bar worth drinking, really? Probably, occasionally. But is it the real stuff?

    • SkipF

      Sorry for the double post! Not sure my thoughts were worth posting once, definitely not worth posting twice. Would rather keep the second post, not the first, if I have a choice. Thanks!

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

        You should be able to edit your posts, assuming you logged in.

        I suppose I have trouble following your reasoning, as I enjoy both root beer and other beers. I enjoy a good stout or porter, but I would probably pick a good root beer over your average pilsner. :-)


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