Tuesday, September 27, 2011

So what if my science is wrong? The bible is wrong – part 1:

I remember back in the 1980s when a story was circulating around within the religious community, that “genetic science,” had finally proven that the description given in the bible of “human creation,” was in fact true. That science had proven that the ancestry of every human alive on the earth today, had all been traced back to one single woman – that science had proven the story of Adam and Eve in the bible, was in fact true. The only problem was that the “proof” which they were offering, was not based on real science – in fact, in the 1980s; we simply hadn’t yet developed the technology to base such a conclusion on. So just what was the big deal about proving that the story of Adam and Eve in the bible was in fact true, and why were the religious (mainly the Christians) even willing to manufacture stories, and even tell outright lies? Because the theory of evolution was fast gaining acceptance as a fact, and without dirt man and rib woman, and the talking-snake and the original “sin” (sex) that opened up the door for every other type of “evil,” then there was also no need for a savor – the whole story about Christ dying for our sins, then all falls apart like a house of cards in the wind.

So fast forward to the twenty first century; there are mountains of evidence, which all support evolution as a fact, and with 99.999% certainty; we now know that there was never any less than 5,000 pairs of genes (10,000 almost human and human beings) involved on the road to becoming the human beings that we are today; and we now know with 99.999% certainty, that both humans and all of the great apes, all evolved from a common ancestor – so where does this leave both the stories of Adam and Eve, and the story of “our” “savor” “Jesus Christ”? It leaves them all in the dirt, where they all belonged in the first place.

You really wouldn’t think that there would be much more here to debate on this subject? But there are current debates going on among the Christian scholars:

From NPR:

According to the Bible (Genesis 2:7), this is how humanity began: "The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." God then called the man Adam, and later created Eve from Adam's rib.

Polls by Gallup and the Pew Research Center find that four out of 10 Americans believe this account. It's a central tenet for much of conservative Christianity, from evangelicals to confessional churches such as the Christian Reformed Church.

But now some conservative scholars are saying publicly that they can no longer believe the Genesis account. Asked how likely it is that we all descended from Adam and Eve, Dennis Venema, a biologist at Trinity Western University, replies: "That would be against all the genomic evidence that we've assembled over the last 20 years, so not likely at all."

Researching The Human Genome

Venema says there is no way we can be traced back to a single couple. He says with the mapping of the human genome, it's clear that modern humans emerged from other primates as a large population — long before the Genesis time frame of a few thousand years ago. And given the genetic variation of people today, he says scientists can't get that population size below 10,000 people at any time in our evolutionary history.

To get down to just two ancestors, Venema says, "You would have to postulate that there's been this absolutely astronomical mutation rate that has produced all these new variants in an incredibly short period of time. Those types of mutation rates are just not possible. It would mutate us out of existence."

You can click (here) or anywhere in the above text and the link will take you to NPR and the whole story – it is well worth the read.

In the video below Ken Miller (a catholic) does an excellent job of explaining of how we now know that both humans and the great apes, both evolved from a common ancestor.

I’m going to explain what all of this really means to me in part 2 of this story – but I forewarn you, it will be done in the foul mouth style of The Dyslectic Atheist! But what does this all mean to you as an atheist?