May 31, 2011

Scientific Evidence for Day Four of Creation

In the old-earth interpretation of the Bible, the sun, moon, and stars are not created on Day Four but simply become clearly visible from earth in that epoch of time. Unfortunately, there is little scientific evidence to support the precise time when this happened. The little bit of evidence is only enough to allow for some speculation. Here are the basic scientific facts, as I see them:
  1. The earth at one point in time was covered with massive cloud cover that caused darkness from the perspective of the surface
  2. The atmosphere contained very high levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) earlier in its history
  3. The CO2 dissipated over time, and oxygen filled the atmosphere in its place
  4. The thick cloud cover dissipated over time
  5. Plants 'breath' CO2 and expel oxygen.
It is generally believed that the carbon dioxide was removed from the atmosphere and replaced by oxygen by early photosynthesizing life[1]. Early life would have been initially cyanobacteria, otherwise known as blue-green algae. This would obviously be plausible if there was enough vegetation early enough. My personal hypothesis based on evidence is that algae and other vegetation proliferated from around 600 to 350 Ma, which was a major cause of CO2 being removed from the atmosphere.

Why do I care about carbon dioxide, when the topic is cloud cover? Carbon dioxide is transparent most of the time, obviously. However, carbon dioxide is considered to be a greenhouse gas, which means that it causes the sun's energy to be trapped more in the atmosphere. This greenhouse effect is believed to cause global warming. Global warming, in turn, causes more evaporation, which increases cloud cover. Unrelated to Genesis 1, some scientists are quite sure that increased carbon dioxide levels would result in more cloud cover[2]. In fact, some scientists believe that today's rising carbon dioxide levels, which are relatively little compared to the ancient past, may be already increasing cloud cover, though tests to prove that have been inconclusive so far. So, indirectly, carbon dioxide can have an impact on the amount of cloud cover. (As a side note, cloud cover could possibly help counteract the increases in temperatures by reflecting back into space more of the sun's energy.) Therefore, it is reasonable that in the past, when there was 15 to 20 times as much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the cloud cover would have been dramatically increased. Yes, it's speculative, for sure. I'll tell you in a minute why naturalistic evolutionists will never agree with this conclusion about cloud cover, even if it's logical.

(As an interesting aside, carbon dioxide clouds have been observed on Mars. So, carbon dioxide is not always transparent. Also, on Venus where there has been a massive runaway greenhouse, apparently the sun is not visible from the surface because of the murkiness of the atmosphere caused partly by the sulfur. Earth's early atmosphere could have been somewhat similar in that the sun was not visible.)

Sometime around 500 Ma, the carbon dioxide levels were perhaps 20 times as high as today's levels[3]. From about 450 to 350 Ma, the carbon dioxide levels dropped dramatically. Coincidentally (or not so coincidentally), the plant life on the land was proliferating during this time. It is my belief that it was during this period of time that the cloud cover was diminishing enough for the sun, moon, and stars to become visible.

That presents a problem. How did plants survive with so much shade before 450 Ma? The answer to this problem helps support the above hypothesis concerning cloud cover. The earliest vegetation apparently was shade-loving vegetation. First you had algae, which hates direct sunlight, then you had simple vegetation like liverworts that love shade, and then you had ferns and moss and other simple vegetation that also like shade. The earliest vegetation is as follows:
  1. Algae [<500 Ma]
  2. Liverworts [<470 Ma]
  3. Ferns [~400 Ma]
  4. Moss [~320 Ma]
  5. Cycads (type of tree) [~310 Ma]
  6. Conifers [~300 Ma]
The important thing to note here is that this order also approximately reflects how much the vegetation dislikes direct sunlight. Vegetation is generally well suited for its environment. The early vegetation did not prefer strong sunlight, thus strongly suggesting that there wasn't strong sunlight. Ferns and liverworts now live often in shady environments where there are lots of trees that block out a certain percentage of the sunlight. Early on before 400 Ma, there seem to have been no trees, which means the vegetation was likely out in the open. It is reasonable that the sunlight was weaker before 400 Ma based on the types of vegetation that were thriving.

The naturalistic evolutionists dislike this idea because they believe that strong sunlight was needed to drive the evolution of photosynthesizing organisms early on. They believe that radiation helps drive evolution. More sunlight means more radiation. More sunlight supposedly means life would be more likely to evolve mechanisms to utilize light as an energy source by using photosynthesis. So, don't expect typical evolutionists to easily accept the idea proposed in this post. Massive cloud cover is the enemy of naturalistic evolution.

To conclude with, for those who appreciate graphs and charts and visual aids as I do, here is a sketch of what may have been happening to the earth's atmosphere over the last 550 million years. (The basic information about carbon dioxide and temperatures comes from Wikipedia.) The numbers in parentheses are values from 0-9 that represent the approximate amount of shade that the 'plant' life prefers, with a 9 being semi-darkness and a 0 being plenty of direct sunlight.

May 28, 2011

NEWS: At Least Half of Human Genes are Complex and Finely-Tuned

More than half of your DNA is devoted to regulating how the genes that make proteins -- the workhorses of the cells -- carry out their tasks, said Dr. Bert O'Malley . . . These coregulators -- coactivators and corepressors -- control how and to what degree genes are turned on or off as well as when they are active and for how long. The more than 11,000 coregulators identified . . . form and act in approximately 3,000 multi-protein complexes that function in the human cell. . . .

They expected to find about 500 genes for directing the synthesis of coregulators and, instead, identified more than 11,000.

"The regulation of gene expression is complex," O'Malley said. "It is critical that genes turn on at the right time, in the exact right amount and under the right condition. If a gene makes 10 percent too much or too little of a protein, then the person develops a disease or functions poorly."

"It's all about accurate regulation and combinatorial regulation," he said. "Many hundreds of genes must be regulated together at precisely the same time. The cell is a master at that. Every gene has to function perfectly for a cell to work correctly -- and the coregulators make it happen. It is one of the most amazing events biologists have discovered -- beautifully complex and fine-tuned."
(emphasis mine)

If you read the article, you'll not see how this complexity evolved or even speculation about how it could have happened accidently. The bolded portions above which I've marked  are most enlightening. "Complex", "fine-tuned", "critical", and "surprise" which is in the main article are not words that are readily embraced by naturalistic evolutionists who want to proclaim "chance", "random", "accident", and "predictable" all in one breath. The fact that half of the genetic code is clearly complex and finely-tuned shouts out that there was an intelligent Designer and we're talking a Supreme Intelligence that is far beyond our intellect.

Now, naturalistic evolutionists claim that evolution does not I repeat, does not tend towards complexity. Thus, logically, naturalistic evolution can not explain how this complexity came to be. It was an accident? Try to say that with a straight face. Read the whole article and try to see how an "accident" can fit in there at all. True, I'm asking you to follow intuition here, and intuition isn't always accurate, but also think about it and how improbable it would be for it to all happen by random mutations and natural selection, etc.

Finally, I want to make a prediction. I predict that most animals (if not all) have similar genetic codes, comprising nearly 50% of their genes, that produce similar coregulators and that are equally complex and finely tuned. If all life is bursting with such complexity and fine-tuning, then Darwinian evolution is toast.

May 27, 2011

Evolutionary Tree of Life - In Light of Genesis 1

This tree was created relatively quickly, so don’t expect all of it to be precise and accurate according to paleontologists’ understanding. I validated the basic dates, like when mammals, birds, reptiles, and sharks began being formed. But, some parts of the tree are the result of mere speculation on my part.

The solid lines represent extant (living) kinds/families of animals. The dotted lines represent extinct species or families. I've color coded the tree based on the animal/plant kinds that I believe fall within the categories listed in Genesis 1: (1) any kind of "vegetation" (green),(2) soulful/emotional sea creatures (blue), (3) birds (cyan), and (4) soulful/emotional land animals with the breath of life that move upon the ground (brown). 

Possible Timeline of Days of Creation

Note: Most of this should be self-explanatory. Day Six could have begun anywhere from 140 to 65 Ma. It is open to interpretation. Day Four is the most speculative, since there is little reliable information about cloud cover going back hundreds of millions of years; though, I plan to show evidence at some point that supports my suggested timeframe for Day Four. For a few events (e.g. when angiosperms first appeared) I have taken the liberty to go with the less widely accepted dates.

May 19, 2011

NEWS: Sodium Channels Critical to Nervous Systems Existed Before Nervous Systems

An essential component of animal nervous systems — sodium channels — evolved prior to the evolution of those systems, researchers from The University of Texas at Austin have discovered. ...

Zakon, Hillis and Liebeskind discovered the genes for such sodium channels hiding within an organism that isn’t even made of multiple cells, much less any neurons. The single-celled organism is a choanoflagellate, and it is distantly related to multi-cellular animals such as jellyfish and humans. ...

Because the sodium channel genes were found in choanoflagellates, the scientists propose that the genes originated not only before the advent of the nervous system, but even before the evolution of multicellularity itself.
(I have been predicting findings like the one above, and the prediction has been overwhelmingly fulfilled, beyond my own expectations. Such findings fit perfectly with evolutionary creationism. If a theory is consistently verified by evidence, then it is a worthwhile theory.)

So, a critical channel for nervous systems existed before nervous systems. Huh. This channel isn't extremely simple, either. Just to be clear, in this article the evolutionists had to say that they believe that things "do not spring up from nowhere". Maybe they're afraid that the evidence is pointing that way? The complex genetic codes in animals did spring up from nowhere (on earth). God created information necessary for complex life. That is the thesis of this blog, and almost weekly new information is surfacing that shows that all life shares complex genetic information.

This particular finding referenced above is a perfect example of how this thesis is superior to naturalistic, Darwinian evolution. The article says that these sodium channels critical for nervous systems "were likely" doing something else before nervous systems came into existence. Well, they are forced to assume that, even if there is absolutely no evidence for that idea. I have a better proposal: the information was not being used for anything else before complex life, but it was there all along waiting for complex life to evolve. Problem solved.

May 17, 2011

Genesis 1 - A Closer Look

Note: You will need to click on the images to read them. Special thanks to for the main Hebrew content of this analysis.

The potions in blue lettering to the left are my own translations of the Hebrew words. I attempted to use perfectly valid meanings for the words, though I am not a Hebrew scholar and had to rely on lexicons. Please let me know if something appears incorrect. The red notes in the second column are my attempts at explaining in greater detail the meaning of various words and phrases in the Hebrew in the context.

May 14, 2011

Brief Analysis of the Fossil Record

Many evolutionists claim that the order of events in Genesis 1 is incompatible with the fossil record and the order in which life came about on earth. They accuse the Bible of stating that insects came after birds, plants came before marine life, and so forth. The problem with these evolutionists is that they don't have the patience to carefully inspect the fossil record or the details of the Genesis account and the actual meaning of the words there. They presuppose the inaccuracy of the Bible and don't take it seriously. For instance, if they actually took the time to examine the Hebrew, they'd understand that "creeping things" is not referring to insects. It's no wonder that evolutionists don't have a clue about the accuracy of the Bible! When Genesis 1 is carefully inspected and interpreted, it is beautifully in line with the fossil record.

You'll see me make a big deal about modern kinds of life. The reason for that is because the Bible makes no less than ten references to animals and plants producing "according to its kind" in Genesis 1. It is my interpretation that "according to its kind" is referring to modern kinds of animals that are no longer evolving significantly (macroevolution has almost ended and species are relatively locked). So, I believe the focus of Genesis 1 is on modern, final kinds of animals and plants that are still around with us today.

Vegetation (Day 3)

The Bible uses the word 'vegetation' to describe the first form of life on earth that would be recognizable to early man. Vegetation as used in the Hebrew Bible is probably talking about fungi, bacteria, and all kinds of simple organisms visible on the macroscopic scale. This could include algae, plankton, xenophyophores (giant amoeba growing on the seafloor), and other simple life without nervous systems living in the water or on the land. For the sake of simplicity, I'll use 'vegetation' in this broad sense.

The first modern life form found in the fossil record is vegetation in water. Cyanobacteria was likely some of the first life at about 3.5 Ba. According to the Journal of Science plankton fossils were found at 3.7 Ba in Greenland (though there is now evidence suggesting that these fossils could be improperly dated). Seaweed fossils have been found dating to 1.25 Ba. Xenophyophores are a kind of giant amoeba (~10 cm) that look like a sort of plant that grows deep in the sea and could date easily to 1000-700 Ma. Complex seaweed 'plants' were found at c. 600-635 Ma. Frond-like vegetation apparently was growing underwater on the seafloor around 580 Ma. Complex tulip-like life forms have been found at ~500 Ma. So, it is clear that 'vegetation' was around before any kind of complex, emotional, thinking animals.

Vegetation on land probably began with bacterial life c. 2.75 Ba,[1] followed by fungal growths c. 2.4 Ba, and algae scum c. 1.2 Ba. One fossil of plantlike fungi growing in the ground on land was found dating to 2.2 Ba. There are some indications that complex vegetation of various kinds may have been on the land as early as a billion years ago. (Other scientists argue that fungi, based on molecular evidence, invaded the land around 1.2 Ba.)

So, looking at modern kinds of vegetation, algae and seaweed were growing around 1.25 Ba, if not earlier.

Diversity of plant life exploded from 500 - 250 Ma. Including angiosperms (flowering plants), most basic kinds of plants were already growing by 250 Ma. By 200 Ma, probably 50% of modern kinds of plants were formed. 

Complex Marine Life and Birds (Day 5)

The Bible next talks about sea creatures proliferating in the waters on creation Day 5. It repeatedly uses the phrase 'living souls' to describe the kinds of marine life created on this creation Day. The word 'soul' indicates cognition and awareness and probably emotions. So, the types of marine life being referred to are thinking/emotional sea creatures. Also, it talks specifically about swarming sea creatures, which would probably exclude such sea creatures as octopi and eels.

Soft-bodied animals started forming first (<600 Ma), and almost certainly didn’t have brains of any kind. Around 560 Ma, mollusks and other simple sea creatures started forming, probably without brains. Simple sea squirts apparently were in existence as early as 550 Ma. There were probably thinking animals forming during around 530 - 500 Ma, including trilobites (526 Ma) and jawless invertebrate fish (c. 530 Ma). These animals were all clearly after 'vegetation' started forming sometime from 3.7 - 1.2 Ba.

Diversity of sea life exploded several times during the last half billion years. Speaking about modern kinds of sea creatures, the first modern marine animal with cognition would probably be the common fish, which originates very early at about 530 Ma. Yet, the primary starting point of most modern forms of sea creatures begins about 252 Ma, when there was a massive extinction event that killed roughly 96% of the sea creatures existing during that time. From about 250 - 100 Ma, sea life diversified greatly and most of the modern families of sea creatures formed by the end of that time-frame.

The fossil record for birds seems to be quite incomplete so far. Some people believe birds began as early as 220 Ma, though a more likely date is about 190 Ma. By 150 Ma, birds had definitely come on the scene. Many experts now believe that some kinds of modern birds were in existence by 100 Ma. From about 100 - 65 Ma, most basic bird families seem to have appeared. In any event, the vast majority of bird kinds clearly came after the majority of sea creature kinds.

Terrestrial Animals (Day 6)

The Bible lastly mentions land animals that have ‘souls,’ that produce after their kinds and have the breath of life. This would include mammals, and possibly some reptiles and amphibians. The Bible specifically mentions ‘cattle’ (herd animals, herbivores, or easily-tamed animals), ‘beasts’ (non-herd animals, carnivores, or wild and untamable animals), and ‘creeping animals’ (quickly-moving animals or smaller, ground-based animals).

The first animals on land were possibly as early as 450 Ma, though good evidence doesn't start until about 400 Ma. Either way, it is clearly after marine life had begun. The majority of these ancient land animals went extinct or evolved into different species. Dinosaurs started c. 250 Ma and started going extinct around 65 Ma.

Modern kinds of land animals, like mammals, didn't begin until roughly 180 Ma, which is likely after the first prehistoric birds had taken flight. The majority of modern land animal families, however, probably didn't form until after 50 Ma, which was after the majority of modern bird kinds had formed. The last common ancestor of mammals is believed to have lived only at 65 Ma.

The Bible account ends with the formation of modern man. This would have been somewhere between 300 - 60 Ka. That places the formation of man clearly at the end of land animal speciation.


So, regardless of how one looks at the Days in Genesis 1, the basic starting points of the days are in the correct order: (a) vegetation, (b) complex marine life (emotional/thinking), and (c) terrestrial animals. Here are the different ways you could look at the starting points:

1.) First appearance of life forms (modern or extinct)
            a) vegetation (3700-2200 Ma)
            b) complex marine life (550-500 Ma)
            c) terrestrial animals (450-400 Ma)

2.) First appearance of modern life forms (non-extinct)
            a) vegetation (3700-1000 Ma)
            b) complex marine life (530-400 Ma)
            c) terrestrial animals (180-150 Ma)

3.) Appearance of majority (50%+) of modern forms (non-extinct)
            a) vegetation (250-180 Ma)
            b) complex marine life and birds (100-70 Ma)
            c) terrestrial animals and man (40-10 Ma)

4.) Appearance or proliferation of modern forms
            a) vegetation appearance (3700-1000 Ma)
            b) complex marine life proliferation (250-125 Ma)
            c) terrestrial animals appearance/proliferation (125-0 Ma)

Clearly, all of these perspectives produce orders that are chronological. Looking at the text of the Bible, I believe (4) is the best interpretation of the starting points of the days (periods) of creation. The end points of the days are much harder to determine, and it is possible that the days overlapped, though I personally don't believe the periods are intended to be taken as overlapping ages. At some later date, I will post explanations of my personal interpretation of Genesis 1, and why I believe it takes the Bible's actual words most seriously and makes sense of the whole of the creation account.

Disclaimer: Evolutionary timelines are constantly being revised. I am not responsible if this timeline becomes outdated within the next 5 years. New fossil finds are continually calling for revisions in the evolutionary tree of life, and I suspect this info will be shown to be inaccurate in 5 years.

May 11, 2011

Problem #6: Even Simpler Creatures Are Complex

At the risk of being repetitive, I wanted to briefly focus on the complexity of "simple" creatures.

As mentioned previously, all organisms use one of two basic types of cells (or three, if you subscribe to the three-domains system). These cells are incredibly well designed and complex. All animals use the eukaryote cells that are perfectly well designed. My belief is that no one could think of a more efficient design for eukaryote cells to do what they do--i.e. be used to create all tissue types and every cell of every animal. If some genius out there can model a better universal cell that can be used for all animals, then my theory of evolution being created can be thrown out. (Currently, however, we don't even know the half of how cells work.)

We would think naturally that simple life forms, like corals, sponges, fruit flies, tiny water fleas, and brainless jellyfish would be genetically simple and definitely simpler than humans. Well, as it turns out, we humans share about 70% of our genes with sponges[1]. Some fruit flies are genetically as closely related to humans as primates[2]! The tiny water flea has a genome that is the largest yet found (as of May 2011), though much of its genome is thought to be the result of duplications of DNA sequences. Brainless jellyfish with eyes can respond to changes in light, 'intelligently' detect which way is up, and navigate using trees as landmarks[3]. Did we mention they have no brain? Corals also share many genes with humans and may actually have a larger genome than humans[4]. Simple life forms aren't so simple, genetically.

Even plants have amazing tricks up their sleeves--or leaves. Plant leaves have a kind of sunscreen built into them[5]. Life is bursting with complexity, even among the lowly creatures and plants. Did a random process of evolution do it? The real problem is that if naturalistic evolution works, this high degree of complexity in designs should have evolved through hundreds of millions of years. We should find countless examples of genetically primitive life forms that share little in common with humans. Instead, all life seems connected at the root of where animals came into existence, during or before the Cambrian explosion some 550 million years ago. I think the evidence shows that genetic complexity and information was there at the very beginning. The fact that all of life shares so many similarities speaks to the fact that at the beginning there was already information for complex designs. Simple insects and animals are far too complex to be explained by a step-by-step, incremental process of evolution.

May 10, 2011

Problem #5: Too Complex and Efficient to Be Chance

The complexity within life is overwhelming.  Anecdotal evidence is voluminous.  There are countless examples of highly efficient designs.  Yet, evolution isn't pushing for perfection.  There's nothing within the naturalistic theory of evolution to say that higher and higher efficiency is the goal or the end result.  Better survival is the product of evolution, according to the traditional view, which isn't the entirely same thing as better efficiency. Yet, as mentioned in other posts, evolution slows down when the ecosystem reaches equilibrium and the niches are filled.  Evolution clearly isn't constantly pushing for better and better efficiency.  The primary goal of evolution seems to be to fill the niches within ecosystems.  So, the fact that there are highly efficient designs in nature is astonishing if it all happened by accident, and you will often see evolutionists shocked at the complexity of various designs in nature.

Let's start at the very beginning, since that's a good place to begin.  In Darwin's days, living cells were considered little more than lumps that could reproduce.  Thus to believe that some primordial soup could have produced cells was not too much of an intellectual stretch.  That was then.  Now we know that most cells are incredibly complex (beyond current understanding) and contain the equivalent of factories with assembly lines, postal services, gatekeepers, powerhouses, libraries of data, finely crafted tools (proteins), quality assurance and control teams, and who knows what else.  We're only beginning to understand the full complexity of cells.  The idea of a primordial soup producing cells is now considered overly optimistic, as one can imagine.  Now scientists believe there must have been intermediate life forms.  (There are only two basic types of cells: eukaryote and prokaryote.  Most of life is composed of the more complex eukaryote cells.)  Currently, there is no known candidate for an intermediate type of cell that could have made the leap to modern, complex cells more likely.  Scientists are stumped. 

One has to wonder what happened to the intermediate types of cells . . . if they ever existed.  Consider that there is always a food chain and less complex animals are always welcome in ecosystems.  Viruses and bacteria, for instance, are thriving, even though they are relatively simple compared to animals.  There is no known good reason why simpler reproducing life would need to have gone extinct.  So, where is it?

So, on the basis of that alone, traditional evolution is in serious trouble.  The leap from inorganic material to reproducing 'life' is monumental.  For evolution to work as proposed by Darwin, reproducing components had to form without the aid of evolution.  Just two types of cells are perfect for making all life forms, but those types of cells are incredibly complex and beautifully efficient.  Many cells (both eukaryote and prokaryote) have what is called flagellum, which act much like motors that gives the cells the ability to move around.  ATP synthase is an essential component within many cells that is key to energy creation.  ATP synthase has great efficiency, using a ratchet-like mechanism and uses trapped water to increase its efficiency[1].  It's finely tuned to be as efficient as possible, it would appear.

But all of that is the lowest level of life.  Amazing efficiency also exists on the macroscopic scale as well.  For instance, flying fish are found to have wings just as aerodynamic as some birds and they fly out of the water at just the right angle to maximize their flight times[2].  The survival need for such efficiency is not apparent, so why would evolution produce it?  Another example is the hummingbird’s tongue, which is surprisingly complex.  Humpback whales have the ability to navigate for hundreds, if not thousands, of miles in a straight line without deviating more than 1 degree[3], and scientists don't even know how they do it.  Many other examples could be used to show that animals have complex designs that are often highly efficient, far beyond what is necessary for survival.  Naturalistic evolution doesn't provide a good answer to explain the emergence of these features.  Only created evolution can explain it well.

We could also mention how that evolution throughout history seems to have acted intelligently and how built-in mechanisms seem to aid basic evolution.  Something recently discovered called the epigenome could also have huge implications potentially for evolution and the complexity of the mechanisms behind it.  Logically, a random process of evolution shouldn't become refined and more and more efficient.  Evolution has no ability or reason to upgrade itself.  The efficiency of adaptations is astounding.  How did it get so good?  Randomly?  If you can believe that, then you have a lot of faith.

Finally, evolution produces nice-but-not-necessary features, like eyebrows, eyelashes, fingerprints (on humans and koalas), animal whiskers, tails, and the appendix (not a vestigial organ like some textbooks falsely claim[4]), to name a few of many.  Evolution is finely tuned to keep minorly beneficial features and to eventually remove useless ones.  It seems highly unlikely that a random process could pick and choose features so well.  Notice, though, that existing animals rarely have perfectly useless body parts.  If evolution is doing an endless experiment in improving the survivability of animals, then there should be countless examples of useless body parts that are evolving to become highly useful.  Fingerprints and eyebrows aren't evolving to become highly useful; they do their job well, and we know precisely what they are and why they are there.  Does any of this fit the picture of random evolutionary processes?  To me, personally, it shouts design by an intelligent Mind.  The evidence is not there to suggest a haphazard process of clumsy evolution.  Evolution is smart, efficient, and designed. 

Problem #4: Evolution in Neutral or Reverse

One of the things I am struck by when looking at the fossil record is that some creatures have not changed significantly.  Dragonflies, for instance, have been found in the fossil record dating back to 325 Ma.  They look almost identical to modern dragonflies but just much bigger (up to 30-inch wingspan).  More and more examples of "living fossils" are uncovered by the year, it seems.  Here are some of the animals and insects and plants that have remained relatively "unevolved" from hundreds of millions of years ago: sponges, liverworts (470 Ma), cockroaches (350 Ma), horsetails (~200 Ma), hagfish (550 Ma), and nautilus (~200 Ma).  There are other examples.  How can standard evolution explain this stasis of certain kinds of organisms?  They seem to be random flukes, but the problem is that there are numerous examples of organisms that have remained mostly unchanged for many million years during periods of time when other animals were apparently greatly evolving.  There's no solid answer for why these animals and plants should have remained unevolved for so long in the standard view of evolution.

Those are examples of evolution going nowhere, but there are also examples of evolution working backwards, removing useful information.  Here are some possible examples: birds lost their teeth, some kind of frog lost its teeth (then regained them later), dolphins lost rear fins, and snakes lost functional legs.  There are countless examples, actually.  Based on the evidence, evolution seems to rather quickly remove unused body parts.  This does not mean, however, that the information doesn't remain within the genomes.

Mutation, which is considered one of the drivers of evolution, is almost always deleterious to organisms—especially more complex organisms.  Bacteria and simple life forms can sometimes stumble upon mutations that help them survive better, but larger organisms usually find mutations to be harmful.  Mutations cannot easily account for complex designs, and small genetic changes cannot account for typical evolution according to some scientists[1].

Humanistic evolution should work for all animals, not selectively.  The cockroaches should have evolved further by now.  Why do they and many other organisms seem perpetually stuck with their particular body design.  They have somehow managed to largely opt-out of the evolutionary game.  The reason behind these unevolved creatures is simple for me: they more quickly ditched the unused genetic information that was latent within their genomes, thus preventing them from ever changing to new complex designs.  Once they lost genetic information, they couldn't get it back, and so they've been unable to manifest new concepts.  Naturalistic evolution can't so easily explain these unevolved creatures.

Designed evolution intentionally allowed good genetic code to normally be preserved in case it was needed later—like in the case of the frog that lost its teeth and then about 200 million years later re-grew them[2].  That was a design feature of evolution.


May 09, 2011

Problem #3: Nature Running Out of Ideas

Enough with personification.  Nature isn't a person, so it never had thoughts or ideas.  But, to get to the point, macroevolution has fizzled, apparently.  There was only one Cambrian explosion event.  Nature never again had a period where so much diversity and complexity in life came about so rapidly.  Not only that, but life seems to have gotten stuck in ruts.  There are only about 52 phyla (major body types of life forms) of plants and animals and that number hasn't been growing for millions of years, as best I can tell.  Some people believe these body plans are fixed and no amount of evolution can change these body plans.

One could argue that evolution is taking a temporary "break" and will accelerate at some future point. However, the slow down in macroevolution started hundreds of millions of years ago.  Evolutionists believe that for some 2.5 billion years evolution was moving extremely slowly.  Then, at around 580 to 530 Ma, evolution accelerated rapidly.  From about 400 Ma till today, macroevolution has been slower, and I argue that it has been slowing down.  (Microevolution seems just as quick as ever[1].)  So, what's the deal?  Why should this be happening?

Evolution now seems to consist almost exclusively of rapid microevolution (changes within a species).  There are few examples of new species forming.  In fact, the rate of speciation is so low that species are going extinct much faster than they are being formed by evolution.  At the current rate, life would go extinct relatively quickly, with or without a new asteroid striking the earth.  How can naturalistic evolution explain these things?  The fact that microevolution is so fast and microevolution is thought to lead to macroevolution, should mean that speciation can happen rapidly, but we don't see that taking place.  (It is doubtful that humans are causing all these extinctions, since the slow down in evolution seems to date to much earlier periods before Homo sapiens rose to prominence in the world.)  It seems that nature has had only a finite set of designs to work with.  Eyes, ears, legs, mouths, gills, feathers . . .  As time has gone by, original designs have become more and more rare.

From the pure evidence, one could argue that species have become more fixed and less capable of major changes.  If evolutionary creationism is true as explained on this blog, then it is quite reasonable that macroevolution has come to a stand still, and animals now produce each "after their kind" as the Bible says.  There is little to no new genetic information left to allow for major new body part designs to develop.  Sure, nature can still rearrange current information and change the size, shape, and color of body parts, in some cases, but you will never see a new type of advanced eye growing on an animal or any other design that requires new genetic information.  Over time, unused genetic information within animals and plants was discarded, with some animals or plants more quickly trashing unused sequences and others holding onto the unused sequences for possibly hundreds of millions of years.

During times when there were fewer species and competition was less fierce, according to this theory, evolution could progress much quicker.  Most minor changes are problematic, so intensified competition tends to weed out most changes.  Competition has not been the driving force behind evolutionary changes.  Evolution is smart and designed and efficient.  Therefore, during times when competition was not as fierce and genetic reorganization and new expression could occur more freely without the need for great efficiency initially, evolution was able to occur more rapidly and march towards new designs (though not necessarily better designs).  This fits the evidence found in the fossil record[2].  After extinction events, there was often rapid speciation.  New designs proliferated during such periods of time.  "Survival of the fittest" can't completely account for these changes in rates of speciation, in my opinion.


Problem #2: Convergent Evolution (Homoplasy)

Evolutionists use convergent evolution (homoplasy) to support evolution, but they ignore the fact that convergent evolution is better evidence for design by a common Creator. In reality, many evolutionists are uncomfortable with convergent evolution, since it is hard to explain with naturalistic evolution.

The recent wide use of genetic and/or phylogenetic approaches has uncovered diverse examples of repeated evolution of adaptive traits including the multiple appearances of eyes, echolocation in bats and dolphins, pigmentation modifications in vertebrates, mimicry in butterflies for mutualistic interactions, convergence of some flower traits in plants, and multiple independent evolution of particular protein properties. -Pascal-Antoine Christin, et al; "Causes and evolutionary significance of genetic convergence," Trends in Genetics; Vol.26(9), pp. 400-405, 2010 
Convergence is a deeply intriguing mystery, given how complex some of the structures are. Some scientists are skeptical that an undirected process like natural selection and mutation would have stumbled upon the same complex structure many different times. Advocates of neo-Darwinism, on the other hand, think convergent structures simply show that natural selection can produce functional innovations more than once. For other scientists, the phenomenon of convergence raises doubts about how significant homology really is as evidence for Common Descent. Convergence, by definition, affirms that similar structures do not necessarily point to common ancestry. Even neo-Darwinists acknowledge this. But if similar features can point to having a common ancestor--and to not having a common ancestor--how much does "homology" really tell us about the history of life? -Explore Evolution, p. 48

One beautiful example of convergent evolution is the octopus that has camera eyes very similar to human eyes. There appear to be many similar genes responsible for the similarities between human and octopus eye structures. Granted, the genetic similarities are not as extensive as one might think, but there do appear to be many identical genes, nonetheless. Humans and octopi are very unrelated in evolutionary terms. How did similar eyes evolve in both? It is almost as if eyes were designed to develop and form specific configurations.

In some cases, like with corals and humans, there are many genes that are the same between species, even though they are not considered to be closely related. In the case of "simple" corals, not only do they have as many genes as humans, they even have genes similar to humans for immunity[1]. Supposedly simple sponges have genes similar to humans for making proteins that nerve cells use to communicate, even though they don't have nerves. Researchers currently don't know why sponges should need so many proteins[2]. Now, what appear to be sponge embryos have been found as early as 600 Ma[3], which is around the same time as complex animals just barely started forming. The point of all this is that all animals are complex and share common, complex genes. This presents a problem for naturalistic evolution.

All of this clearly supports the thesis that complex genetic information was present originally in the earliest life, whether that was algae or something else. The information needed for complex features was created from the beginning by God. The evidence points that way, from the best I can tell. The fact that so many unrelated animals share so much genetic code and that convergent evolution is so common is excellent evidence in favor of this thesis. Naturalistic evolution doesn't easily explain the ubiquity of convergent evolution--or even how it should happen at all.

To top it all off, there are a good number of examples of features shared between all living animals, like the circadian rhythms related to the night-day cycle[4], DNA repair systems[5], and systemic immunity[6].  In naturalistic evolution, why would this circadian rhythm become an essential feature of all living things?  It doesn't seem to be a critical feature for algae or other "simple" living things.  Also, the innate immune system, which has recently been shown to be highly complex and efficient, is shared by many kinds of animals, including simple life, like sponges and insects[7].  Such complexity and conservation of genes shouldn't be found in nature if it was all just incidental.  (If you don't believe me about these specific things, please go do some research, and I assure you these facts are true.)

Specific Example Supporting Thesis

A team led by UC Santa Cruz postdoctoral researcher Gill Bejerano used high-speed computers to compare the gene sequences of humans and animals...
They found that the chemical sequence of certain segments of DNA in specific vertebrates precisely matches some DNA segments in humans. In all, they identified almost 500 segments that were "completely unchanged" despite tens or hundreds of millions of years of evolution in animals as seemingly unrelated as mice and men. ... 
It's hard to understand how the oldest of these DNA fragments -- some more than 400 million years old -- could have endured unchanged over such an incredible length of time, the scientists said. By comparison, the dinosaurs went extinct relatively recently, a mere 65 million years ago. 
These DNA fragments "are now evolutionarily frozen. We don't know of a biomolecular mechanism that would explain them," said Professor David Haussler of UC Santa Cruz, a computational biologist who runs the lab where his postdoctoral colleague, Bejerano, did most of the work. ...
- (emphasis mine)
The above quote is pretty telling. The reason they don't know a biomolecular mechanism that can explain all the identical DNA fragments among vertebrates is because they misunderstand how evolution works! The only way these fragments could remain unchanged is if evolution is more intelligent and isn't randomly changing genes. The evolutionary process obviously must be more precise and nonrandom and organized by design.


Problem #1: Rapid Increases In Complexity

I'm going to start a series on some problem areas with naturalistic evolution.  By problem areas, I'm referring to evidence that does not easily fit the evolutionary model and that evolutionists have had a difficult time explaining.  There are many problems I'll point out, so stay tuned.

Rapid Increases In Complexity

The most widely received model of evolution is punctuated equilibrium (PE).  This theory rightly says that there have been periods of evolutionary stasis followed by bursts of speciation throughout time.  Evolution has occurred relatively quickly during key periods in history.  For the majority of history, rapid macroevolution has not occurred.  Microevolution, however, has been observed to occur today at lightning speed.

Naturalistic evolution cannot easily explain the ability of organisms to rapidly evolve new complex body parts or plans.  How did trilobites, for instance, develop complex eyes so quickly?  From the current fossil record, it looks as if they evolved eyes with corneas almost overnight, since many of the earliest trilobites found had developed eyes already.  Trilobites go back to c. 526 Ma and are some of the earliest animals, yet many of them had legs, eyes, digestive tracts, exoskeletons, mouths, gills, and so on.  There is no indication that there was a smooth transition from less complex to complex.  At best, there were large jumps in complexity.  How does random and unguided evolution explain these bursts of increased complexity?  It doesn't adequately do so.  The record of life shows examples of animals permanently losing complex features, so the idea that things tend towards greater complexity is a fallacy that some people may embrace.  (Naturalistic evolution doesn't actually teach this idea of increasing complexity[1].)  There is no logical basis for the concept that things can quickly grow more complex through random mutation and other random mechanisms.  The idea is logically absurd.

The Cambrian explosion (c. 570 - 530 Ma) marks a period where almost all basic body plans (phyla) rapidly came into existence.  Complexity sprang up overnight, relative to all of earth's history.  Actually, looking at complexity, there apparently has been little overall increase in complexity since the Cambrian explosion.  New designs have come into existence, like feathers and wings and flowers, but it's hard to say that trees or mice or other animals are more complex than Cambrian animals.  Information for complex designs seems to have sprung from nowhere.
"The gaps in the fossil record are real, however. The absence of a record of any important branching is quite phenomenal. Species are usually static, or nearly so, for long periods, species seldom and genera never show evolution into new species or genera but replacement of one by another, and change is more or less abrupt."  -Wesson, R., 1991; Beyond Natural Selection; MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, p. 45
 "The fossil record had caused Darwin more grief than joy. Nothing distressed him more than the Cambrian explosion, the coincident appearance of almost all complex organic designs..." -Gould, Stephen J.; The Panda's Thumb, 1980, p. 238-239

So, how can evolutionary creationism (evolution by design) explain periods of rapid evolution of complex features?  The information for complex features has been hidden within the genomes of ancient organisms, according to my belief.  Environmental pressures, along with genetic mechanisms, caused information for complex features to become expressed rapidly, and in some cases instantaneously.  There may have been steps leading to new body parts, like eyes, but those steps represent bursts of new information becoming expressed.  Some of these successive steps may have even been preprogrammed genetically.  Scientists underestimate the complexity and incredible potential of genetic codes.

So, punctuated equilibrium says that these bursts of evolution happened, but only creation of information can adequately explain how it happened.  The sudden appearance of complexity within organisms is strong evidence for evolution being a designed process.  And, we'll see that this kind of designed evolution explains periods of evolutionary stasis, the slow down in macroevolution in modern times, and many other things.


May 06, 2011

NEWS: Insect Has Third Pair of 'Wings'

I found this recent news article quite funny and interesting:
In 250 million years of insect evolution, the appearance of new wings is unprecedented. Transformations and losses of wings, yes, but additions, never. A team from the Institut de Biologie du Développement de Marseille-Luminy (CNRS/Université Aix-Marseille 2) has shattered this belief by providing proof that the exuberant helmet of Membracidae, a group of insects related to cicadas, is in fact a third pair of profoundly modified wings. . . .

How could a new pair of wings appear in Membracidae? "In insects, wing formation is normally repressed on all segments by Hox genes, except on the second and third thoracic segment," explains Gompel.
So, strange stuff. 

There are several peculiarities about these insects.  They supposedly originated 40 million years ago, but the primary thing that changed was this “helmet”?  The main thing that changed was: shape, color, and size.  The purpose seems to have remained unchanged for 40 million years.  It was probably used for camouflage.  I’m presuming without further info that different camouflage features were used for different environments, each helmet custom tailored for particular needs.  That shows surprisingly efficient adaptation.  One might even think it was designed adaptation (sarcasm).

The article implies that major additions to insect designs are rare.  Why?  It seems that the insect designs have become mostly “locked” in place and immune to evolution.  For some reason, these particular insects allowed for major changes in the helmets, but little else.  How does Darwinian evolution explain this?  I explain it by saying that macro-evolution has virtually ended, since all the new genetic information has become expressed and unused information has been mostly obliterated in genomes.

Let’s talk information and complexity for a second.  The helmets were apparently derived from the genetic information for wings, but retooled for a different purpose.  Now, wings are much more complex than these strange helmet outgrowths.  So, the helmet features are actually nothing more than a recycled wing design but turned into something with a different purpose—in this case something less impressive and less useful.  In my view, created evolution works that way: it takes existing designs (whether latent, unexpressed codes or expressed codes) and tweaks them without adding new information.

Modern adaptation consists mostly of changing body parts’ size, shape, or color.  This is precisely what happened to these helmets on these insects.  No new information came into being, but only a reuse of a body part blueprint, and size, shape, and color changes.  Keep in mind that size, shape and color changes can’t explain much of the history of evolution.  Totally new designs had to come into existence, which could not form from such simple modification of existing parts.

[Edit: Recent information has come to light that throws the whole study sited above into suspicion and shows some of the study contained incorrect information. See for more info.]

Personal Testimony

My journey to old-earth, evolutionary creationism began sometime in early 2010.  A friend of mine became an old-earth creationist and shared with me what he was learning, even though I was extremely skeptical and thought he was too easily swayed by other people.  The thought of an old earth was unpleasant to me, and I couldn't imagine it being consistent with the Scriptures.  Frankly, early on, I basically rejected old-earth creationism a priori as being foolish and filled with huge hermeneutical questions.

Had it not been for hard-hitting questions concerning science and the fossil record from unbelievers at work, I probably would never have taken the idea of an old earth seriously.  I had grown up in a home where young-earth creationism was reaffirmed almost monthly, so a young earth was a part of my fundamental, core beliefs.  Initially, I regurgitated my simple answers to the questions I was posed about how the earth could look old but still be young.  "It is an appearance of age, but not a reality."  "The fossil record was caused by Noah's Flood, and the dating methods for the rock layers are based on numerous faulty assumptions," etc.  However, I was challenged by an intelligent and knowledgeable person who did his research, and I was therefore forced to do my research as well.  My primary area of research was the fossil record and the dating methods that were used.  I resisted the idea of an old earth the whole time, since it wasn't the answer I wanted.  Unfortunately, as hard as I searched for answers, I was unable to find good satisfying answers to some fundamental questions about the age of the earth and universe.  My faith was shaken, I am ashamed to say, though God was faithful to sustain me and keep me from turning from His Word.

Perhaps the most persistent and challenging question I had was how could Noah's chaotic Flood create rock strata that could be dated consistently by many radiometric dating methods?  Or, put another way, how could a scientist take a rock formed in the Flood and obtain a consistent age for it using a number of different dating methods?  The decay rates are different for different elements, and the ratios of parent and child isotopes would need to be different to show a consistent date when testing using the different elements.  Basically, the ability for a chaotic Flood to result in different ratios for different element isotopes in such a way to produce consistent dates has -- to the best of my knowledge -- never been answered remotely by young earth creationists.  The old earth creationists, however, answer it in the most natural and obvious way: the rocks really are old.  The proponents of a young earth have only partially attempted to answer these questions by bringing up what-if's and maybe's.  They also skirt around these questions by bringing up the assumptions that are used in dating methods, which really just ignores the questions.  If the assumptions are completely wrong, then one would expect that the dating methods would be producing highly inconsistent results.  The young earth creationists are quick to point out a minority of cases where inconsistent results have been produced by the dating methods, but they fail to address how the vast majority of cases result in consistent, cross-checked, and verified dates.

Starlight coming from stars millions and billions of light-years away is also problematic for young-earth creationists.  The obvious conclusion drawn by scientists is that the universe must be billions of years old.  A child would likely come to the same conclusion.  The young earth creationists propose two solutions: (1) the starlight was created instantly stretching from the stars to the earth so that it did not need to travel the distance, and (2) the Star Light in Time (by Russell Humphry) proposal that time dilation caused an effect where the light far from earth travelled for many millions of years for each day on earth.  The former idea makes God into a deceiver, in my opinion, since scientists draw the most reasonable conclusion that the universe is old from the evidence.  The Bible suggests that the revelation of nature is truthful and can be trusted even in telling us about the nature of God.  The latter proposal is not scientifically received as a valid possibility by physicists who are intimately acquainted with Einstein's General Theory of Relativity.  (Russell Humphry lacks the scientific and mathematical credentials to adequately support his theory.)  Either way, it was disturbing for me to believe that God would make a universe and earth that appear in many ways to be old when they are really young.  The universe's appearance of age includes an appearance of a detailed history of time, which goes beyond a simple look of maturity and crosses into a fabricated history that never was, under the young earth proposal.  It would be almost like saying that the rock layers were created with the appearance of fossils of animals that never really existed.  It would seem to make God into a liar.

Many other questions hounded me, until I saw that the evidence for an old earth was overwhelming, in comparison to the flimsy evidence for a young earth.  At the same time, I was studying Genesis 1 and other creation passages in detail and with rigor.  Could the Bible support an old earth, or would that be stretching the Word?  I studied the Bible for months, until I could practically quote Genesis 1 from memory from seeing it so much.  I learned Hebrew words and compared Scripture with Scripture until the creation accounts were etched in my mind.  The more I studied the Bible the more I saw that the Genesis 1 account was anything but obviously talking about 24-hour days.  The other creation passages (which few people are aware of) also were instrumental in me seeing the truth concerning the age of the earth and how it was formed.  To my surprise, every biblical obstacle and every objection to an old earth melted away when I studied the Hebrew words and the grammar and the other Bible passages and how they fit together to form a fuller picture of the history of creation.  With greater biblical knowledge came fewer objections to an old earth, rather than more objections as I would have expected.  The Bible's complete picture presented was of a universe and earth that formed through processes rather than instantaneous creation from nothing -- processes that normally would take vast amounts of time.

After all my intensive research, I see that the Bible strongly supports the old earth position and fits the scientific evidence like a hand fits in a glove.  The Bible, when properly interpreted, is validated overwhelmingly by science.  I can now say like never before that science proves the inspiration of the Scriptures.  Yes, I said proves it.  Young earth creationists, sadly, look foolish to mainstream scientists, and they are unfortunately making a mockery of the Bible to them.  Before modern scientists came along, the Bible had everything correct.  Let me name a few creation events in the biblical order that are in accordance with mainstream science and the order obtained thereby:
  1. The expansion of the universe like a tent (Is. 40:22)
  2. The compaction and successive growth of the primitive Earth (Is. 44:24)
  3. The initial ocean-less state of the Earth (Prov. 8:24; Job 38:8)
  4. The formation of a global ocean via out-gassing (Ps. 104:6; Job 38:8)
  5. The following state of a land-less planet (Gen. 1:2)
  6. The dark clouds that covered the early earth causing darkness (Gen. 1:2-4; 2 Cor. 4:6; Job 38:9)
  7. The following formation of the night and day cycle (Gen. 1:3-5; Job 26:10)
  8. The formation of the atmosphere and the water cycle (Gen. 1:6-8; Prov. 8:28)
  9. The formation of a super-continent through a process (Gen. 1:9-10; Ps. 104:8-9)
  10. The appearance of simple vegetation on land, followed by seed-bearing plants, and eventually fruitful trees, known as angiosperms (Gen. 1:11-12)
  11. The proliferation of modern marine animals (Gen. 1:20-22)
  12. The appearance of birds (Gen. 1:20-22)
  13. The appearance of modern terrestrial animals with souls (Gen. 1:24-25)
  14. The existence of mankind (Gen. 1:26-30). 
The order of all these events is significant in the Bible and can be verified by cross-referencing passages.  The surprising thing is that this order fits well with scientific knowledge today.  The odds of the order just happening to be consistent with mainstream science is -- according to my calculations -- about 1 in 3000, conservatively.  I highly doubt that this is coincidence, but only an old-earth position can conclude that it is not coincidence.

Finally, I want to say that if you are feeling as if science contradicts the Bible, and your faith is shaken, don't let the Devil deceive you!  Even though traditional interpretations of the Bible aren't compatible with mainstream science and even though modern translations of Genesis presuppose a young earth, a careful, unbiased analysis of the Bible and the scientific evidence reveals a striking parallel between the witness of creation and the witness of God's Word.  The Bible is entirely correct and consistent with the natural revelation.  The appearance of age really is old age.  My journey was rough and unsettling to my soul, but I faced my fears of doubt, and by God's grace I believe I've come out on the other side as a stronger Christian with a greater ability to defend my faith.  For me, the bottom line isn't that science is right, but that the Bible can be completely trusted, but we need to take the Word seriously and dig hard for the answers.  When it's all said and done, the truth is well worth it.  There are answers out there for the old-earth position, and I'd encourage you to look for them if you are on a similar path as I have taken.

History from Adam to Abraham

A few pre-humans migrated from East or South Africa to Mesopotamia.  This was debatably anywhere from 90 – 60 Ka (thousand years ago).  Many of the migrants died during the journey.  God was moving them to the Garden of Eden that He’d prepared in Mesopotamia, likely somewhere in modern East Turkey or West Iran.  I believe only one male came to the Garden of Eden (Gen. 2:8,15) by the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.  He may have died and have been made alive by God.  In any case, God supernaturally breathed spiritual life into Adam and he became a “living being”—specifically a spiritual being that could commune with God (Gen. 2:7).  He was made alive in the similar sense as he died the day he sinned.  He was called Adam.  (It is also likely, though not necessary to this theory, that Adam was the first ‘animal’ to be able to speak, think highly abstractly, daydream, understand  music, and etc.)

From Adam God formed a comparable woman with a spirit whom Adam named Eve (Gen. 2:18-22; 3:20).  Adam and Eve probably ate of the Tree of Life, which caused their bodies to be continually renewed and regenerated.  This effect eventually wore off after many generations.  Adam and Eve ate of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil and were driven out of the Garden of Eden to the East (Gen. 3:22-24) by the Caspian Sea or by the Persian Gulf.  Myths in several cultures talk about people who used to live hundreds of years (e.g. Sumerians), which further confirms the Bible’s account.

Adam and Eve understood that the other pre-humans that continued to live were still animals and not to be intermarried with.  However, sometime during this pre-Flood world, fallen angels likely possessed the spiritless pre-humans and/or Neanderthals and intermarried with many of Adam and Eve’s descendents (Gen. 6:1-2).  Mighty men were produced from these hybrids (Gen. 6:4).  These mighty men were likely ones who started legends of half-god and half-human beings (demigods).

(From the evidence, it looks like there were pre-humans still existing in Africa—and perhaps elsewhere—that had high intelligence for animals.  These pre-humans could likely think semi-abstractly, such that they could draw designs that appear semi-symbolic.  It is my guess that these animals would have been smarter than dogs or elephants or dolphins, but still unable to speak, understand music, or truly think abstractly like humans.)

Humans multiplied within the Mesopotamian area.  Likely, they didn’t spread out.  Violence became widespread and horrible (Gen. 6:5-6, 11-12).  It’s likely that the “mighty men” wanted to kill off regular humans.  God found a man who was blameless and undefiled in his generations—that is, who wasn’t contaminated by pre-humans and the fallen angels (Gen. 6:9).  Noah was chosen to survive a Great Flood.  However, at least one of Noah’s daughters-in-law was contaminated apparently directly by Neanderthals or indirectly via pre-humans who’d interbred with Neanderthals; it seems likely that this was Japheth’s wife.

The Flood probably occurred because of the Caspian Sea and/or the Black Sea and/or Persian Gulf overflowing as ice melted and a super-hurricane came and dumped water over the Mesopotamia area.  This could have been anywhere from 60 – 50 Ka.  Because humans seemed to have spread all over the earth c. 55 – 50 Ka, which would correspond with the Tower of Babel incident, I suspect an early date for the Flood of c. 58 Ka.  I suspect that the flooding was massive and covered much of Mesopotamia and some of the surrounding areas, even going into some of Asia.

Every living human died (1 Peter 3:20).  That does not mean that pre-humans (other so-called Homo sapiens) didn’t survive in other places.  To a secular world, it is likely that the Great Flood might look like nothing more than a typical, large flood.  Secularists won’t distinguish between pre-humans and humans—between spiritless beings and spiritual beings.  These pre-humans could have interbred with humans later, or they could have remained separate.  Minor interbreeding may have resulted in human spirits being passed to them after the Flood.

After the Flood, Noah and his sons left the Ark and repopulated the Mesopotamia area, likely.  There could have been some dispersal of the people before the Tower of Babel, but a large majority of them remained there (Gen. 8:4; 10:10; 11:1-2; cf. Josh. 7:21; Is. 11:11; Dan. 1:2; Zech. 5:11).  They all had one language and built the Tower of Babel, probably in modern day Iraq.  God came down and disrupted their building and confused their language and scattered the people (Gen. 11:6-9).  My suggested time for this scattering is c. 55 Ka.  Then, all the people spread across the globe over a short period of time.  Ice bridges allowed them to cross over into the Americas.

It appears to me that some of Ham’s descendents moved into Africa, and thus Ham and his wife were uncontaminated by the Neanderthals, since African people have no Neanderthal DNA.  Also, some pre-humans remained in Africa and Ham’s descendents interbred with them.  Ham’s descendents kept migrating all the way to the southern-most parts of Africa.  This explains why the Southern Africans appear to genetically represent the earliest humans the best.

It is possible that humans again intermarried with some of the pre-humans possessed by fallen angels, since Genesis indicates that “might men” were in the land after the Flood as well as before (Gen. 6:4).

Eventually, the pre-humans died out, or became humans through intermarriage and obtained human spirits through Adam and Eve’s descendents.

Abraham dwelt in Ur (dated at c. 3000 BC), which was in the Mesopotamia area (Gen. 11:28).  This was probably a part of the Sumerian culture.

Finally, in the fullness of time, God sent forth His Son.  It is possible that God was waiting until the pre-human kind became extinct.  When the Gentile Age began during Jesus’ ministry or at His death, it was important that all Homo sapiens have spirits and be savable people.