mercredi 26 juin 2013

When Should a Story be Believed?

When you consider a certain story or other « set of facts » as true, why not also consider « how do we know it is true ? » not as in « I know it because teacher told me » but in « how did the people who taught the teacher come to know about these truths being true ».*

When you consider it as false, but know that other men consider it as true, why not ask yourself also « how did this mistake come about », like not just « how did Christians / Darwinists / Muslims etc. » (whoever it is you consider wrong) « that I personally know come to be raised as C. / D. /M. » but primarily, whichever two of the three you consider wrong, how did they come about in the first place ? (Or if you are something totally other, how did the three get it wrong in the first place?) Preferrably not by simply saying « they are more stupid than we » of course.*

Let us make such an exercise about Genesis Creation story, assuming for the moment Darwinism were right and Creation story false.

There may have been once upon a time when people who made stories up came to think these stories were true if accepted by everyone else in the tribe. Even if they knew they had made them up, they forgot that or counted themselves as inspired prophets as soon as their story was accepted by everyone else they knew.

I do not know of any such culture or of men with such a conscience (I suppose if you got one now, he would be classified as mentally deranged – once you were sure that was his game). But this need not stop us. We do not have written records of Cro-Magnon man, and some are not sure that same skull shape means exactly same quality of brain. And even if Cro-Magnon were ruled out, there is also Homo Erectus, whose skull shape seems to be at least somewhat different.

So, one of these guys presumably made up the creation story when someone asked the kind of questions that very developed brains such as Dawkins’ would consider malformed questions. He did not know the answer, he did not remember he only made it up once the others who did not know the answer either protested not one bit against it, so it stuck. Precisely as much later – i e in most of mankind as we know it - stories stick when honestly and accurately observed, honestly misunderstood or honestly believed on the word of some liar who knew he was a liar.

It was inherited by people who would not have acted that way. One of these was some Hebrew, so he took away polytheistic or animistic traits, leaving at the end only one creator God. Herein he did not think he was making up, only that he was correcting someone else’s mistake. And this stuck with the Hebrews, and it stuck with the early Christians, and with the Christians of the Middle Ages as well, not forgetting the Renaissance or the Seventeenth C. Nobody of all these thought even once they were repeating a lie come true to the liar by the consensus it met by very, very, very ignorant people who could not distinguish truth from falsehood or guess from knowledge. And yet all of these – we knew sufficiently of their lives for that claim – would have been incapable of making such a gross mistake on their own.

That is not all to how the mistake – if such it was – was made. You see, if you believe that God spoke to Moses, and if you believe Christ that Moses spoke truly (thus prophetically) of Himself, you must somehow explain why this God who in Moses’ time foreknew the coming of Christ did not realise how this « primitive myth » would be a liability for Christ’s Church some 1800 and more years from its founding, when scientists found the truth out. The God who took Israel out of Egypt somehow would have forgotten to take Hebrew imagination out of Paleolithic Stone Age originating mistakes. And Christ who said He came « for one thing : to testify to the truth » would have failed that mission.**

The kind of background modern specialists would like to give the Creation Myth turns out to make perfect sense to an Atheist, but not very much sense at all to a Christian.

Now, let us make the opposite assumption about Genesis 1 and 2 : it is true. Adam and Eve existed. God created the world in six days, in 144 hours. If that is true, how do we know it ?

Adam’s and Eve’s existence would have been known to their children who handed down the knowledge to their grandchildren, or whichever was the first generation not to see them because they were dead. Birth, age when giving birth to male heir, age of death was duly noted in an oral version of Civil Register. Important events, such as Adam naming beasts, getting sleepy, finding Eve (and God telling them what to do), or such as God’s command and their disobedience, or such as Kain’s kinsmurder were duly added to this sketchy outline of history as they happened. And so on for events just before or after Flood, and so on for the generations of Abraham, Isaak, Jakob and his sons – but with lots of more events noted in those generations.

Moses was heir to this knowledge, and as he set out to redact it, God gave him a vision of the very beginning and of the six days.

Since Moses made or duly announced sufficient miracles to qualify as sent by God all of this was believed, and rightly believed, by the Hebrew nation that was heir to Moses’ Pentateuch.

Since Jesus Christ was born into the Hebrew nation which had the right and correct idea about the Creation, there was never in Him any kind of conflict between what He could humanly know of it and what He knew and eternally, from eternity to eternity knows as God the Son. And hence the Church in His earliest followers, in the Church Fathers, in the Middle Ages and so on, made no mistake either when accepting the Creation story as literally true.

Now, that is why as a Christian I accept it.

If you want to know not why I am a Christian but why you should be, I suggest you make a similar exercise about the story of the Resurrection. If it was false, how could it be accepted as true ?

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Bibliothèque Audoux
Sts John and Paul Martyrs: brothers,
in Rome, under Julian the Apostate

* I was going to ask you to make for yourself this exercise between discrepant views of Jesus in Gospels, Talmudic literature (unless you avoid it as the calumny it is) and the Fifth Surah. Both (or all three) cannot be right. Which accounts are likeliest to be wrong and still accepted without the stance of those accepting it involving a miracle of stupidity?

** And yes, before paleontology, as was the case in Moses' day and in Jesus' day, only a revelation from God could have given the Hebrew and Christian traditions any correct idea of evolution and deep time - if that idea had been correct. It would have been God's responsibility, if Genesis 1 and 2 were factually wrong, to not have them included into His Word or to have made a totally and exclusively non-literal reading (historically wrong but theologically right as it were) at least a clear and clearly licit option from at least the start of Christianity. Either God is a liar, or does not exist, or Christianity is not His thing and Judaism is not His thing either, or, the true alternative, God told Genesis 1 because it is in every way, historically (that is factually) as well as allegorically (prophetically, christologically, morally) totally true.

samedi 22 juin 2013

Question of the Endogenous Retro-Viral sequences in Human and Chimpanzee genomes

Article 1: whether all ERV classed sequences are derived from retrovirus?

It would seem ERV:s are virus derived:*

1) since they look exactly like genomes of retrovirus.*

2) since we can see ERV:s form after retroviral infection.*

3) since saying virus are ERV derived rather than ERV:s virus derived is like saying ships are wreck derived rather than wrecks ship derived.*

4) since ERV:s cannot make virus, due to mutations and deletions in the sequence.*

5) since it is non-functional DNA.*

Sed contra est: Et fecit Deus bestias terrae juxta species suas, et jumenta, et omne reptile terrae in genere suo. Et vidit Deus quod esset bonum ...**

I answer that it must be said that ERV:s (or so-called such) were created with purposes*** and that - perhaps - helping in transcribing the genome*** is part of it. Of other parts we may be ignorant. I could also guess, they help to define the right place for more actively useful parts of the genome.

Originally these places did exist in the genome of man and chimp - 16 common places for the genomes referring to what are called K class ERV:s.*

Usually they are not able to reproduce on their own as virus. They do keep if not all at least most of their original purpose.

When an accident after the Fall of Man makes such a so called ERV sequence able to reproduce on its own, a retrovirus is created. It was not a part of original creation, unless perhaps God wanted harmless virus, producing no sicknesses, to help transfer useful genome sequences.

Between RNA and DNA there are two transscriptions, both occurring outside the ocntext of virus: the so called transscription, by which DNA is copied as RNA, and the so called reverse transscription by which RNA is copied as a sequence of DNA. Both are involved in the ordinary reproduction of manycelled eucaryotic species.

Deriving virus from ERV sequences would require transscription. Deriving ERV sequences from virus requires reverse transscription.*

To the answering of objections:

1) If retrovirus are derived from the so called ERV sequences, it means same kind of likeness as if ERV sequences are derived from virus, supposing both transitions between them to be possible.

2) The ERV:s forming after retroviral infection are different from the K class ERV:s, since otherwise herpes, HIV and the 16 K class would all have same sequence and all cause at once AIDS and herpes and also be harmless. Which is obviously impossible. Hence there is no sufficiently prove likeness to support identity of process.

3) If from the viral point of view a virus is like a ship and an ERV like a shipwreck, from a human point of view it is rather an ERV which is part of a ship and a virus that is a shipwreck.

4) If the 16 K class ERV:s cannot make virus, we cannot claim an identity with any virus, and this is a clear difference from the ERV:s that form in some individual genomes of some individual cells after virus infections - since those ERV:s threaten to perpetuate or repeat the virus infection, as is seen from AIDS and herpes.

5) Answered in my over all explanation, in what St Thomas would have called the corpus of the article.

Article 2: whether ERV placings are consistent with independent ancestry or not.

It would seem that ERV:s cannot have been put into genomes in exactly the same places in different species:*

1) since by mimicking evolution it would make the creator a liar.*

2) since the ERV:s being virus derived (remember!) they cannot have been there since before the fall, when there were no virus.*

But against this is that God is truth. And that some love darkness more than truth.°

I answer that it has already been answered that the 16 K class ERV loci in man and chimp are not derived from virus.

Neither do they absolutely seem as if so derived, but only to those who wish to distort the evidence that way or perhaps also to people easily perplexed.

God is no liar, but this does not mean he only does things which everyone will understand correctly. There are misunderstandings, deliberate or clumsy, which God knows and only tolerates, but does not remove by creating otherwise, but rather lets more honest and clever (at least on this matter) men answer, so that the misunderstanding ceases to be fully excusable.

From which also the solutions to both objections are seen.

Article 3: whether ERV:s prove evolution or not?

It would seem that ERV:s prove evolution:*

1 and only) since ERV:s, neither being original parts of genomes, nor the source of virus, but virus derived, either must be due to very many different virus infections contaminating human and chimp genomes in same places by an incredibly small, virtually impossible, chance, or be derived from virus infections of common ancestors. Which means there are such.*

But against this is that errors are not proof as if they were factually correct, only proof about our possibility of erring.

I answer that the one and only argument (to which other arguments were only support), has insufficient support, since alternative explanations are possible.

A theist will agree and an evolutionist have to admit the possibility that for the theist it is so, that the alternative explanations are more likely to be correct and that the virus explanation of 16 K class ERV:s is an error. Hence it is no proof for evolution.

And objection 1 and only has been answered.

One would add that if the 16 K class ERV:s were really heritage of one common ancestor before the split between man and chimp, and that one inheriting 16 retroviral infections, as evolutionists claim, then some of those would also in some probability have been there before that common ancestor's own ancestors split off from those of gorilla, and some of them before apes split off from other closest related monkeys. Neither video has dealt with this. Even if there were demonstrably such a distribution of K class ERV:s, it could also square with common creator theory, since these could equally have non-viral origin and be part of original hierarchic plan of close and far similarities between creatures. St Thomas might well have made this a fourth article. But scholasticism is not in its essence his disposal of the Summa Articles.


**Genesis 1:25


°See Prologue of St John.

mardi 18 juin 2013

... on Arc of Noah and Lineage of Our Lord

After Commenting on this one, I got tracked in these side issues. Here is the video:

scishow : Facts about Human Evolution

Hans-Georg Lundahl
1) pretty sure some Church Father said sth about angels helping in the process

2) the five species [that I gave as examples of speciation of pseudospeciation by microevolution after Flood] are examples.

Insects, trees, plants, fish needed no place in the ark to survive.

3) We say the Flood happened, we do not say it happened purely by natural processes without any miracle, and we do not say the survival was all non-miraculous either.

But miracle does not imply contradiction in terms.

As to food, look at Jesus' food miracles, twice over.
Sophie Doon
1)...and where did this ‘Church Father’ read that angels helped Noah.

2)Maybe Noah only took one species on his arc; LUCA

3)What about mucking out....miracle?

As for Jesus’ miracles, i doubt they ever happened. Seeing as Jesus’ birth and death break Laws created by God (himself), Laws which Jesus (supposedly) said he was here to fulfil; I think you have to question if he even existed. Most likely a character in a story written by people who didn’t understand Judaism.
Hans-Georg Lundahl
If you doubt that Jesus' Miracles happened, check out when and by whom Gospels were written.

Would you care to explicitate which laws of God Christ's birth and death are supposed to have broken instead of fulfilled?

Being innocently condemned is not breaking a law of God. Nor is being a miracle.

No bone was broken, as was prophecied. His flesh counted his bones, as was prophecied in a psalm he quoted. And believe me, St Matthew understood Judaity. (Judaism not around yet).
Sophie Doon
By who they were written? Well, two were supposedly written by people who never met him. The other two have too many errors to have been written by Palestinian Jews.

Well, the Laws Jesus breaks are far to numerous to fit in 500 characters.

However, to start you off; the prophesied messiah had to be a direct descendant of King David, through his son Solomon. If you read Numbers 36, you can only trace your line through your father. Jesus's father was God, so he wasn't a descendant of David.
Hans-Georg Lundahl
The Mosaic law recognises adoption. The genealogy of St Matthew is directly the one for St Joseph, God's Stepfather.
Sophie Doon
Yes, Mosaic Law recognises adoption. However, you only ever trace your family line through your natural father; not your adoptive father.

Jesus had no natural father, therefore he was not, and never could be, a direct descendent of King David.

This simple fact rules Jesus out as the prophesised Messiah, assuming he existed.
Hans-Georg Lundahl
You are making the Old Testament contradict itself.

It said God, the LORD, is eternal king of Qahâl Israêl, it also said that the throne eternally is King David's.

If one cannot imagine God becoming descendant of King David, OT would be self-contradictory.

It happened because His Mother is also fully a descendant of King David. Someone who has a mother but no human father physically - there is only one - would trace his physical lineage through his mother. Both physical and adoptive count.
Sophie Doon
Wouldn’t any King of Israel contradict this statement then? God is only described as being ‘eternal’ to emphasise that he is God.

How do you know Mary was directly descended from David? There are 2 lines in the NT and both are Josephs.

You can’t trace the family line through the mother, that’s Gods Law. I’ll assume you incorrectly mean the line in Luke, this one passes through Nathan and so is void anyway. The line must pass through Solomon.
Hans-Georg Lundahl
As said below, I looked up Numbers 36, and there was no rule I saw that barred tracing lineage through mother.

There were rules from which it appears that this was not usually done if there was a father who was both human and lawfully wedded to the mother.

I just looked up Numbers 36. Verse 8 has a comment in Haydock to our purpose:

Ver. 8. Women. Hebrew, "every daughter that possesseth an inheritance....shall be wife to one of the family of the tribe of her father." Commonly the females were debarred from inheriting land, when they had any brothers. The Levites were not concerned in these regulations, as they had no inheritance; and hence, we need not be surprised to find that St. Elizabeth, of the daughters of Aaron, (Luke i. 36,) was related to the blessed Virgin, who was of the family of David. The mother of St. Elizabeth might be of the tribe of Juda; or a maternal ancestor of the blessed Virgin might spring from the tribe of Levi. (Calmet) --- Tradition determined the lawfulness of such marriages, and in this case, St. Augustine (Consens. Ev. ii. 2,) admires the providence of God, in causing his beloved Son, the great anointed, to be born both of the regal and priestly tribes, in which an unction was required, before the priests and kings were put in possession of their respective offices. Thus Christ was both priest and king, and such were anointed in the law of Moses. (Worthington)

The Luke line of St Joseph is via one stepfatherhood and is also physical line of St Mary.

St Mary was also descended from Solomon, the one in Luke was one of the lines.

Descending from Swedish tyrant Gustav Wasa is not really a glory, but a legitimate claim to our throne, and our King does so through four different lines.

The two offered in the Gospels were convenient selections.

For updates since these words, few as they are so far, see the double posted message on the other blog:

Assortedretorts : ... on Arc of Noah and Lineage of Our Lord

vendredi 14 juin 2013

Animal Death could be Consequence of the Fall (Patristic support and scientific consideration)


Did animals die before the Fall? If yes, can dinos be very, very old?
Animal Death could be Consequence of the Fall (Patristic support and scientific consideration)
Carnivores in Eden?

I previously wrote an article without supporting vegetarian lions before the fall. This is because St Thomas and St Augustine seemed not to support this and St Basil was not clear about it in Hexaëmeron, it depends on whether he used "creation of fifth day" and "creation of sixth day" as moral examples in their state now after the fall or in their state previous to the fall. Now I have however written a question to one better patrologist than I, one Professor Benno Zuiddam.* I will quote his answer:

My pleasure, although many fathers don’t deal with this issue specifically, but rather implicitly, St Irenaeus is you best bet as a Western father: Against Heresies, Book V, Chapter 33.4.

Also have a look at St. John Damascene, St. Gregory the Sinaite, St Simeon, etc. Even St. John Chrysostom teaches that: “Just as the creature became corruptible when your body became corruptible, so also when your body will be incorrupt, the creature also will follow after it and become corresponding to it.” (Homilies on Romans, XIV, 5), similarly Macarius Magnes (Homily 11).

Thus, there is Patristic support for animals not being eaten before the fall.

Now, here is the scientific consideration: if there is observed scientific truth in microevolution, and if species with degraded eyes are supposed to have had originally functional eyes, before they came to live in caves with complete darkness, then the original capacity of wolves or lions to eat grass may have degraded as well.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
St Basil the Great
and St Elisaeus the Prophet

* (Not advised for the not well grounded Catholics, since it contains Protestant material, but if you are a priest or have a priest's permission, you will find a courteous man with knowledge of Church Fathers and not just Reformers - though one obvious problem is that he is prepared to compare the cultus dulie of saints with the cultus latrie of dead emperors, heros or pagan gods that never lived or [as with sun and stars, angels serving God] never wanted such cultus - He gives following correction to this caveat: "Gezonde heiligenvereering brengt nader aan God is on my website, as are Newman, a Kempis and More, so Protestants should start publishing caveats for my website as well!").

mardi 11 juin 2013

Church Father's on Cosmological and Genesis Matters - a short review of my limited knowledge

 St AugustineSt BasilSt Cyril of JerusalemOrigen
Flat Earth?No, round, but without antipodesNeutralFlat, ignore the philosophers!I do not know
Crystalline spheres?YesYesProbably noI do not know
Earth immobile?YesYesProbably yesYes
If St Cyril was pro-Bible and anti-philosophy to the extent of denying roundness of earth, because he thought it contradicted the Bible (even if St Basil in his cautious neutral stance claimed that the Bible did not tell), he may well have been rooted in Hebrew-Babylonian cosmological tradition, where a flat and possibly square earth is one storey of a cosmos where upper storeys do not include planetary spheres but both planets and "fixed stars" are freely moving within a higher dome, one above the stars. If so, there is no patristic consensus for crystalline spheres within the fixed stars, between the planets, and so one is not as per Council of Trent obliged to believe them.
Six literal days?WaveredYes Probably yesWavered/no
Young Earth?Yes Yes Probably yesYes !
When Origen said he did not believe the six days literally took place, he clearly meant that God did it all in one moment. I have also read in his on Genesis that he exposes the days literally anyway, which is why I am not sure if he wavered or denied the six days. He did NOT deny the literal truth of the 72 ancestors reaching back from Christ to Adam. He did NOT even respect Egyptian Paganism which pretended to have tradition and documents from 40 millennia of human life on earth. At least as he was read by St Augustine who cites him in De Civitate.
Flood of Noah took place?YesProbably yesProbably yesPossibly no
St Augustine thought it was both heretical to deny "as Origen" that the flood took place, in order to only affirm its symbolic meaning on "outside the Church no salvation", and to deny - I have forgotten as which other theologian - that it has such a symbolic meaning in order to only affirm its literal meaning. One had to affirm both meanings, the literal and the prophetic. Noah's Arc as Noah's Arc, and Noah's Arc as St Peter's Bark.

lundi 10 juin 2013

Was Dr Carl Sagan a Jungian?

At least if we trust the résumé given of his thoughts in an essay by Carl Wieland:

The late evolutionist, Dr Carl Sagan, famous host of the Cosmos TV series, squarely faced this conundrum that dragon stories pose for evolutionists and other long-agers. Namely, that such stories are found in cultures right across the globe, and that they are amazingly like several types of dinosaurs—which no-one is supposed to have seen! Recognizing it quite properly as a puzzle to be solved for long-agers, he wrote a book about it, The Dragons of Eden. In this he proposed that somehow one part of our brain (the one that was inherited from whichever of our alleged reptile ancestors, in the evolutionist scenario, were living at the same time as dinosaurs) had retained its memories of what those ancestors had seen.

Imagine if someone were to seriously suggest that deep down, our brain remembers (without being told) what our ancestors living 500 years ago saw around them. With what is known about the principles of heredity, which is quite a bit these days, that would be incredibly farfetched. So much so that one could not imagine a serious scientist giving it other than a bemused smile.

Now imagine that this idea is extended back so that our alleged ancestor tens of millions of years ago is supposed to have somehow transmitted the visual information his brain processed ‘back then’—through all of the intervening generations, to people alive today. It is not hard to understand why most of Sagan’s scientific colleagues maintained a somewhat embarrassed silence, and probably wished he had stuck to astrophysics.

The funny thing is that I have come across another Jungian explanation* of another archetype on similar lines: the vampires would be "to us" as sabre toothed tigers to earlier primates supposedly our ancestors or as T Rex to the reptilian ancestors of the earliest mammals (that also on evolutionary lines).

So would this Jungian archetype originating in what our supposedly reptilian ancestors saw give rise to stories of dragons or of vampires? Or would what an ancestor still reptilian saw in T Rex leave us with vampires and but what a mammal saw later in T Rex before the last vanished leave us with stories of dragons? And under which circumstances would not just one man but a whole community be ready to believe something happened which did not come from their experience of it, but from an archetype inherited within them?

It's pretty silly, actually.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Mairie du III, Paris
St Margaret of Scotland

The Year the Water Dragon Roared, Carl Wieland (on CMI)

*By Buican, in his explanation of the Dracula myth.