Origins

Discussion in 'Creation vs. Evolution' started by Administrator2, Jan 22, 2002.

  1. Administrator2

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    HANKD
    In 1953, Dr. Stanley Miller did research and experimentation concerning what is presently called the Primordial Soup or Ooze:

    "The research provides evidence for the presence of an important ingredient in the original soup of life. It has been demonstrated that amino acids can form abiotically in a number of ways and are used by modern organisms for the manufacture of proteins. Sugars, however, which are components of modern genetic materials such as DNA or RNA are thought to be too unstable to have been widespread on Earth before life arose. Another of the remaining "big questions" is how and when did non-living molecules turn into life forms and begin to make copies of themselves"
    From the Feb. 23 issue of the journal Nature (v.373, Miller et al.).

    The world asks the question in the bold print, of course the phrase "without a God" is omitted.
    The question is always "how and when" never WHY?

    The Primordial Soup process is the world's current answer to the Life Origins problem. As far as I know they have no other with any kind of a following.

    Questions:

    What is the view of Christians who adopt the theory of theistic evolution and the Primordial Soup?

    Was God behind the scenes teaching/guiding the "non-living molecules" to turn into life forms and to "make copies of themselves"?

    Since the world can "prove" that this process is still happening, is God behind this on-going process and where are we going with this process?

    How do such Christians who adopt this view reconcile the fact that this theory calls for millions of years of the life-death cycle of "evolving" and the following passage?

    KJV Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

    Scripture declares that death followed the creation of man. The Primordial Soup Evolutionary process theory says that death preceded man.


    THE BARBARIAN
    The Primordial Soup process is the world's current answer to the Life Origins problem. As far as I know they have no other with any kind of a following.

    Actually, now that the basic materials of life have been shown to exist in space, panspermia has more followers than it used to have. But the fact is, we don't really know if God created the first living things by abiogenesis, panspermia, or by magic.

    Since the origin of life is not part of evolutionary theory, it is indifferent to this question. No one knows for sure, but if God simply created the first bacteria, that would be O.K. with evolutionary theory.


    What is the view of Christians who adopt the theory of theistic evolution and the Primordial Soup?

    Hard to say, very few scientists would say that there's enough evidence to make any judgement about the origin of life. Darwinism offers the best explanation for the way life evolves, but it's silent on how life began.


    God behind the scenes teaching/guiding the "non-living molecules" to turn into life forms and to "make copies of themselves"?

    Some think so. Personally, I think He did it right the first time, and created a universe that would do His will without tinkering from time to time.


    Since the world can "prove" that this process is still happening, is God behind this on-going process and where are we going with this process?

    For a Christian, God is intimately aware and involved with every aspect of creation. Not even a bird falls without His notice. Who wants to guess where creation is evolving? God is in charge, and that's good enough for me. If I can get a glimpse of the way His creation works from time to time, great.


    How do such Christians who adopt this view reconcile the fact that this theory calls for millions of years of the life-death cycle of "evolving" and the following passage?
    KJV Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:


    The orthodox understanding is that the death spoken here is about a spiritual death. We know this, because God told Adam that he would die the day he ate from the tree (the first sin) and Adam did this without dying physically.


    Scripture declares that death followed the creation of man. The Primordial Soup Evolutionary process theory says that death preceded man.

    Two different deaths. Even a literal reading of Genesis has death preceding the fall, since plants were being killed and eaten.


    HANKD
    Dear Barbarian,
    Thanks for the thoughtful response.
    Though I respectfully disagree with your view (if it is indeed your view) that there is a distinction made between the "deaths" spoken of in Genesis 1.
    From my point of view, the death of Genesis 1 is all encompassing and entered the entire universe of matter and life.
    Adam became mortal and began to die the day he ate the fruit. "thou shalt surely die"
    "die" is the Hebrew imperfect which indicates a future happening or a process and could and probably does mean "you shall begin to die".
    This condition passed (apparently) into the entire creation.
    Entropy:
    Romans 8:22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
    The universe itself is in the process of dying.
    In fact if "die" were in the perfect tense then God's sentence would/could mean "in that very moment you shall die" then the universe itself would have entropized and come to a crashing halt and we wouldn't be having this discussion.

    Also, a case could be made from Genesis 1:28-30 that nothing died from the sort of consumption that happened pre-fall.
    When I lived on a farm in Maine and we wanted to "refresh" a meadow we would borrow a few goats or cows from a neighbor and let them munch away. The roots of the plants stayed alive and were invigorated by the grazing and the droppings from the animals. Also eating nuts and fruit (apples, pears) from trees not only does not harm the tree but assists the tree to reproduce through the natural elimination and organic fertilization of the consumed fruit and seeds.


    THE BARBARIAN
    However, God told Adam he would die the day in which he ate from the tree. Adam's death was figurative, a much more serious spiritural death.

    Remember, Jesus came to save us from that death, something God promised to Adam and Eve. If He came to save us from a physical death, He failed; we will all die, barring miraculous intervention. But we will not, if we accept Him and his Sacrifice, die a spiritual death, and with a perfect body, we will live forever.

    All vegetable material is composed of living cells. Heterotrophs like animals can live only by the death of other living things.


    HANKD
    All vegetable material is composed of living cells. Heterotrophs like animals can live only by the death of other living things.

    True, my point is that if I eat an apple, the source, the apple tree remains unharmed.
    Milk from a nursing mother contains living cells. Rather than call the consumption of these cells the "death" of the milk, I would give it a name such as a "transfer of energy" of the milk because no living self-sustaining entity has actually died.

    Your points are well taken.
    The root of this difference of opinion (imo) is concerning the definition of the term "death". It may be that the scriptural term "death" relates only to self-sustaining entities with blood as the life source.

    KJV Leviticus 17:11 For the life of the flesh is in the blood...


    THE BARBARIAN
    Milk from a nursing mother contains living cells.

    Not if she's healthy. Happens sometimes in infections, though.


    Rather than call the consumption of these cells the "death" of the milk, I would give it a name such as a "transfer of energy" of the milk because no living self-sustaining entity has actually died.

    Every cell is a living entity. And if it is destroyed, it dies.


    KJV Leviticus 17:11 For the life of the flesh is in the blood...

    By that reasoning, then many animals would not be alive, since many of them don't have blood. Seems too artificial to be right.
    One would have to conclude that it was talking about vertebrates.


    HANKD
    "not be alive" is the wrong terminology, not having a "nephesh" (soul) would be proper.
    Animals with blood and need to breath are said to have a "NEPHESH" in the scripture.
    A true self identity with an animal soul.

    KJV Genesis 1:30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.

    The word "life" here in vs. 30 is NEPHESH the same word used of the "soul" of Adam.

    The Septuigint version of this verse is interesting:

    LXE Genesis 1:30 And to all the wild beasts of the earth, and to all the flying creatures of heaven, and to every reptile creeping on the earth, which has in itself the breath of life, even every green plant for food; and it was so.


    THE BARBARIAN
    That would make more sense; it supports the fact that God was speaking of a spiritual, rather than a physical death.


    Animals with blood and need to breath are said to have a "NEPHESH" in the scripture.
    A true self identity with an animal soul.


    Of course that has nothing to do with death in the physical sense. So physical death was in the world before Adam, but not spiritual death. That is simply orthodox Christian belief.


    HANKD
    So physical death was in the world before Adam, but not spiritual death. That is simply orthodox Christian belief.

    As I previously stated, the difference of opinions is in the defintion of "death".
    I feel as if I have to further define my position to qualify your statement above.

    1) "death" in its scriptural definition means the destruction of the "nephesh" which depends on breathing and oxygenated blood for its self-identity.

    2) Even the consumption of some of the plant cells of the individual plants which the nepheshim self-conscious creation ate did not destroy the core entity (soma) of the plant itself. (I don't see consumption of tree leaves or fruit or the eating of grass blades (all of which will regenerate) which do not destroy the core plant entity as scriptural "death" , so you are correct concerning at least my orthodoxy).
    Whether these individual core plant entities were potentially immortal before the fall, I don't know. I suppose they would have to be to retain my view, perhaps not. I'll think on it.

    3)The bodies (soma) of all nepheshim were potentially immortal before the fall of Adam and Eve.

    Given these points, I suppose then a case could be made for some sort of nephesh-less evolution up until the day that Elohim selected a nephesh-less entity and breathed a soul into it, but, personally, I am not able to adopt that view over the sixth day view of the creation of Adam directly from the dust of the earth on the sixth 24 hour period.
    As far as I'm concerned any evolutionary view is too great a leap from the more literal 6 day view.


    HELEN
    I’m snipping sections of the following thread in order to respond to them.

    Barbarian wrote: “…now that the basic materials of life have been shown to exist in space, panspermia has more followers than it used to have. But the fact is, we don’t really know if God created the first living things by abiogenesis, panspermia, or by magic.”

    First of all, the ‘basic materials of life’ means what? Elements? Some amino acids? That is not nearly enough. You can throw amino acids together all day long and get nothing but gunk. The basic materials of life, at least as we know it, are proteins. And there is NO WAY KNOWN for any protein to either self-assemble outside a cell or for a cell to create a new protein which is not a copy of what it already has and has coded for.

    Secondly, if you want to know how God created something, check His Word. The account in Genesis 1 states that He issued the imperative command, “Let it be that….” Which was immediately fulfilled, as indicated by the phrase “and it was so.” This command and response combination is used only with royalty in the Bible and ALWAYS indicates immediate fulfillment, not something indicating any kind of time lapse. He spoke the creation into being.
    If one wishes to call it magic, one does not understand that magic is only deception being practiced upon the viewer. God states He created ex nihilo (from nothing, indicated by the verb bara), and by the power of His Word.


    Barbarian continues: “Since the origin of life is not part of evolutionary theory, it is indifferent to this question.”

    This is a cop-out. Of course the origin of life is part of evolution. Evolution states that everything happened by materialistic naturalistic causes. That includes the beginning. By ‘allowing’ God into some kind of first creative act, the fact is that a sop is being used which means nothing, for that deity is not allowed to act afterwards! He is certainly not allowed to communicate with men to tell them what he has done! In the meantime, there are hundreds of scientists attempting to cause ‘spontaneous’ life in the laboratories around the world. If this were not an essential part of the paradigm, they would not waste their time with it, as all experiments up until now have yielded essentially nothing. The Miller-Urey experiment, by the way, has been long since abandon as leading anywhere useful in this attempt.


    Barbarian adds: “For a Christian, God is intimately aware and involved with every aspect of creation. Not even a bird falls without His notice. Who wants to guess where creation is evolving? God is in charge, and that's good enough for me. If I can get a glimpse of the way His creation works from time to time, great.”

    God is in charge, but you won’t believe what He tells you about His creation? That is a strange kind of belief in God. He has explicitly stated that He created by kind, and that all things have been instructed to reproduce by kind. In fact, ‘kind’ or ‘min’ is used in the plural in Genesis 1. Are you saying God just could not get it straight? In the meantime, things still reproduce by kind – which is probably, for most plants and animals, somewhere around the family or sub-family level, including such designations as equine, canine, feline, bovine, etc.


    Regarding the fall of man, Barbarian writes: “The orthodox understanding is that the death spoken here is about a spiritual death. We know this, because God told Adam that he would die the day he ate from the tree (the first sin) and Adam did this without dying physically.”

    Orthodox or not, this view flies in the face of the rest of Scripture as well as historic Christian faith. A simple spiritual death would not require physical animal sacrifices or the physical death of our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross. The spiritual death, or separation from God, was immediate for Adam and Eve.
    What was also immediate was the process of cellular death within them which would lead to their physical deaths later. This is echoed in the famous New Testament victory cry “O grave, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting?” It is quite obvious Paul was not talking about spiritual death there!


    Barbarian also says: “Even a literal reading of Genesis has death preceding the fall, since plants were being killed and eaten.”

    There is no time in the Bible when plants are considered alive. The breath of life belongs to humans and animals alone and is referred to as ‘nephesh’. A look at the Bible will show even the casual reader that although animals can be killed, plants are never referred to in that way. God’s definition of life, in other words, is different from ours. Plants cannot be killed, although they most certainly were eaten.

    Barbarian: “Remember, Jesus came to save us from that death, something God promised to Adam and Eve. If He came to save us from a physical death, He failed; we will all die, barring miraculous intervention. But we will not, if we accept Him and his Sacrifice, die a spiritual death, and with a perfect body, we will live forever.”[‘I]

    What is not understood here is that physical death becomes a mercy. Our bodies, like the rest of creation, are subject to decay due to our sin of rebellion against God. Who wants what they have now for eternity? I certainly do not! The fact is that the Bible tells us we get our new spiritual lives now (that is what being born again is), which requires the death of the original spiritual life (Romans 6), and our new physical lives later. Both are the results of Jesus’ work, just as both types of death are the result of our sin.

    [ January 22, 2002: Message edited by: Administrator ]
     
  2. Administrator2

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    Barbarian: “Every cell is a living entity. And if it is destroyed, it dies.”

    Don’t impose our current definitions of life on God. He has a different definition. Read the Bible.
    It is quite clear that plants are not considered alive in the Bible. Replicating, yes. Alive, no.


    Barbarian: “So physical death was in the world before Adam, but not spiritual death. That is simply orthodox Christian belief.”

    No, this is not orthodox Christian belief, at least not historically. However it is Roman Catholic doctrine, and that is an entirely different matter. If physical death was in the world before Adam, then death did not enter the world because of sin and it was a total waste for Christ to die on the cross to pay for our sins with His bodily death. He certainly could have taken care of it spiritually only if physical death was not part of it.

    THE BARBARIAN
    First of all, the ‘basic materials of life’ means what? Elements? Some amino acids? That is not nearly enough. You can throw amino acids together all day long and get nothing but gunk. The basic materials of life, at least as we know it, are proteins. And there is NO WAY KNOWN for any protein to either self-assemble outside a cell or for a cell to create a new protein which is not a copy of what it already has and has coded for.

    Actually, it's a bit more complex that that. And there are organic materials that do spontaneously form spheres. The discovery that complex organic matter exists in space has made Crick's hypothesis a bit more believable, but no one really can say scientifically how life arose.


    The account in Genesis 1 states that He issued the imperative command, “Let it be that….” Which was immediately fulfilled, as indicated by the phrase “and it was so.” This command and response combination is used only with royalty in the Bible and ALWAYS indicates immediate fulfillment, not something indicating any kind of time lapse.

    I don't see any indication one way or the other. Doesn't say it happened instantly, either.


    He spoke the creation into being. If one wishes to call it magic, one does not understand that magic is only deception being practiced upon the viewer. God states He created ex nihilo (from nothing, indicated by the verb ‘bara’ , and by the power of His Word.

    Sounds like a Big Bang to me. "Let there be light."


    Barbarian, earlier:
    “Since the origin of life is not part of evolutionary theory, it is indifferent to this question.”

    Helen: This is a cop-out.


    Nope. It's just that evolutionary theory makes no claims about the origin of life. If God created the first living things by supernatural means, that would be fine with evolutionary theory.


    Of course the origin of life is part of evolution. Evolution states that everything happened by materialistic naturalistic causes.

    Nope.


    That includes the beginning.

    Nope. How could Baptists and Jews, and Catholics, and Muslims be scientists if that were so? Science is methodologically naturalistic. It limits the scope of it's investigation to the physical univese. But it is not ontologically naturalistic. It does not deny that there is more than it can understand. That's why science can't talk about God, but scientists can.


    By ‘allowing’ God into some kind of first creative act, the fact is that a sop is being used which means nothing, for that deity is not allowed to act afterwards!

    Nope. That's deism. Christians think God continues to be active in the world. Without him we wouldn't even exist. But He uses nature for almost everything in this world.


    He is certainly not allowed to communicate with men to tell them what he has done!

    Nope. Science can't even comment on such a thing, much less deny it.


    In the meantime, there are hundreds of scientists attempting to cause ‘spontaneous’ life in the laboratories around the world. If this were not an essential part of the paradigm, they would not waste their time with it, as all experiments up until now have yielded essentially nothing. The Miller-Urey experiment, by the way, has been long since abandon as leading anywhere useful in this attempt.

    Maybe it will lead nowhere. Maybe not. Doesn't matter to evolutionary theory. A miraculous origin of life would be fine.


    God is in charge, but you won’t believe what He tells you about His creation?

    I don't believe what you seem to think He says. But that's not the same thing.


    He has explicitly stated that He created by kind, and that all things have been instructed to reproduce by kind. In fact, ‘kind’ or ‘min’ is used in the plural in Genesis 1. Are you saying God just could not get it straight?

    Let's see, the list of kinds... there aren't very many of them. And God says the Earth and the waters brought them forth. This is an allegory for creation, isn't it?


    In the meantime, things still reproduce by kind – which is probably, for most plants and animals, somewhere around the family or sub-family level, including such designations as equine, canine, feline, bovine, etc.

    When I started learning about evolution, creationists denied that species evolve. Then they accepted new species, but denied new genera evolved. Then they denied families evolved. We're making progress.


    Regarding the fall of man, Barbarian writes: “The orthodox understanding is that the death spoken here is about a spiritual death. We know this, because God told Adam that he would die the day he ate from the tree (the first sin) and Adam did this without dying physically.”
    Orthodox or not, this view flies in the face of the rest of Scripture as well as historic Christian faith. A simple spiritual death would not require physical animal sacrifices or the physical death of our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross. The spiritual death, or separation from God, was immediate for Adam and Eve. What was also immediate was the process of cellular death within them which would lead to their physical deaths later. This is echoed in the famous New Testament victory cry “O grave, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting?” It is quite obvious Paul was not talking about spiritual death there!


    Paul was acknowledging that the death Jesus defeated was not a physical death. We will all die. If that "death" in Genesis was literal, Jesus failed. We will all die.
    But if He came to save us from a spiritual death, He is triumphant.


    Barbarian also says: “Even a literal reading of Genesis has death preceding the fall, since plants were being killed and eaten.”
    There is no time in the Bible when plants are considered alive. The breath of life belongs to humans and animals alone and is referred to as ‘nephesh’. A look at the Bible will show even the casual reader that although animals can be killed, plants are never referred to in that way. God’s definition of life, in other words, is different from ours. Plants cannot be killed, although they most certainly were eaten.


    I have no problem with private definitions, as long as they are made clear. The death you are assuming is different than the usual one. Moreover, the death God promised Adam the day he ate from the tree was also different, since Adam ate from the tree, and lived on for many years after.


    What is not understood here is that physical death becomes a mercy.

    I think all Christians understand that. It doesn't matter that we die physically. It is not physical death from which we are saved. And our new bodies will indeed be perfect.


    Don’t impose our current definitions of life on God. He has a different definition.

    We are merely observing a fact. Cells die. God has several definition of "death" in scripture. Which is also good.


    Read the Bible. It is quite clear that plants are not considered alive in the Bible. Replicating, yes.
    Alive, no.


    But they are alive in every sense. They even respire as we do.

    Actually, Christians at least as far back as St. Augustine acknowledge evolution. Most Christians accept that evolution is consistant with God's creation.


    However it is Roman Catholic doctrine, and that is an entirely different matter.

    Well, for a long time, that's all there was in Christianity. Very conservative Church; no wonder they retain some very old ideas.


    If physical death was in the world before Adam, then death did not enter the world because of sin and it was a total waste for Christ to die on the cross to pay for our sins with His bodily death.

    Death certainly entered the world by sin. But the death of which God speaks is a spiritual one.


    He certainly could have taken care of it spiritually only if physical death was not part of it.

    If God is all-powerful, he could have taken care of it spiritually no matter what it was.
    The physical world was produced miraculously, after all. God can do as He wishes. And does. That's why there are miracles.


    HELEN
    Yes, Barbarian, life is a WHOLE lot more complex than proteins, but it is based on proteins and that is exactly why cannot happen by chance. You might also be interested to know that the molecular paths taken by various organisms in producing RNA are wildly different, again flying in the face of evolutionary presumptions/claims/predictions.

    As far as spheres forming spontaneously, big deal. A little round thing is simply a little round thing, not a pre-cell. The fact that little round blobs have been seen to form says nothing about a double lipid layer with protein gates which is what the outer cellular membranes are made up of.

    Regarding the 'let there be' followed by 'and it was so' repetitions in Genesis, I strongly urge you to actually read your Bible and notice the other times that combination is used. Haman found out. Find out who Haman is, and what happened to him. Look at the king's words in connection to that. If you pay any attention at all to the Bible as a whole, you will not be able to miss the clear meaning of the phrasing of Genesis 1.

    As far as the Big Bang goes, the closest it gets to fact is in acknowledging that the universe expanded from an initial hot and dense state. But there was no initial 'singularity' and matter did not spontaneously self-organize. Nor is the universe still expanding. Check Tifft's work. Note the discrepancies found in the recent red and blue shifts of the latest Hubble material. The expanding universe guys just can't figure out what is happening....

    When you say evolutionary theory does not take into account origins, you are confining the evolutionary theory you are talking about to the diversity of life once it had started. That is only one aspect of evolutionary theory. Evolutionary explanations are based on the presumption that only naturalistic materialism is responsible for the entire physical universe. That definitely includes the origins of life.

    Most of the rest of your response is simply assertions you have made with no referencing. But for the other readers, I would urge a look here for a well-researched paper on what the early church did, in fact, believe: http://www.robibrad.demon.co.uk/Contents.htm


    THE BARBARIAN
    Yes, Barbarian, life is a WHOLE lot more complex than proteins, but it is based on proteins and that is exactly what cannot happen by chance.

    Actually, life is somewhat more dependent on nucleic acids. I'm not quite an expert on abiogenesis, but I haven't yet heard of a theory of abiogenesis that depended on chance.

    There are lots of variations in RNA repication. Some of it even works backwards. None of it is impossible to have happened by evolution.


    As far as spheres forming spontaneously, big deal.

    It is a big deal. Because such spheres, like the spontaneously forming bilayered cell membranes, may be what made cellular life possible.


    A little round thing is simply a little round thing, not a pre-cell. The fact that little round blobs have been seen to form says nothing about a double lipid layer with protein gates which is what the outer cellular membranes are made up of.

    Protein gates would come much later. But it' pointless to argue about abiogenesis on an evolution board.


    Regarding the 'let there be' followed by 'and it was so' repetitions in Genesis, I strongly urge you to actually read your Bible and notice the other times that combination is used. Haman found out. … If you pay any attention at all to the Bible as a whole, you will not be able to miss the clear meaning of the phrasing of Genesis 1.

    I've been through it several times, and I just don't get that particular interpretation.


    When you say evolutionary theory does not take into account origins, you are confining the evolutionary theory you are talking about to the diversity of life once it had started.

    Yes, that's because it only makes claims about how living things evolve, not how they origionated. That is a different theory.


    That is only one aspect of evolutionary theory.

    We should be specific and say that it refers to biological evolution only. Physicists and astronomers have borrowed the word to refer to the way stars begin and grow and end. But that is not what we are talking about here. Stellar evolution is another subject entirely. The Modern Synthesis of Darwinian theory has nothing to do with any of that.


    Evolutionary explanations are based on the presumption that only naturalistic materialism is responsible for the entire physical universe.

    No. It certainly leaves open the possibility of the miraculous or of a supernatural beginning.


    That definitely includes the origins of life.

    Turns out that nothing in modern evolutionary theory makes any claims at all about the origin of life.
     

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