I’m not responding or making a defense for the article from the Chdn Magazine in question, as I’ve never read the article in question, but rather this answer is generic to the points in the letter to the editor attacking the article. In his letter, he lists five complaints, only one of which is somewhat relevant. He complains of emotive language. Emotive language is language intended to illicit an emotional response. Then he complains about "manipulative language." These two complaints are not substantive. They are more closely related to "politically correct speech," a methodology by which we try to stop discussion, rather than to encourage it. All I can say is that if I stopped to whine every time some member from the Adversarial Assembly called me a "hireling," I could never move anything forward.
His third complaint shows the author has lived a very sheltered life. He writes:
The article states, "It is worth noting that many "examples of evolution" in standard textbooks have been shown to be erroneous despite being taught as fact…" An example of this would be most useful,...".
I’m surprised that he apparently has not heard before, of the fraud rampant in the evolutionary movement. I would have guessed that everyone would know by now, that the history of evolution is filled with fraud. If this is not taught to modern scientists, how sheltered must that scientific community be? The most famous, of course, is Piltdown Man, which was a fraud perpetuated for over 40 years. And text books, including those from the most respected universities, taught Piltdown Man as a reality, past its exposure as a hoax. The numbers and examples of frauds, (that we know about) are virtually without end. I’m sure we will discover more as times goes on.
His fourth complaint concerns a poor understanding of the material. But really, by this he means that his critics misunderstand the meanings of grammatical terms as used in science. Only, they don’t. This centers mostly around the word "theory." He feels it is wrong to point out that evolution is merely a theory. His complaint is that a "theory" really isn’t a "theory," but can be considered a fact. This is false in every way, starting with grammatical.
Evolution is not proven, and in fact, can’t be proven. This is why it is called a theory. Still, many of its adherents speak of it as if it is a fact. The author defends this by pointing out that many of the things we believe cannot be strictly proven, and are therefore theories, though we regard them as facts. This is of course true. The greatest example of this is how God was manifested in sinful flesh. We accept as a fact that He was, in the person of Jesus, though the modus operandi is strictly theoretical. We accept this as a fact, though we cannot explain it, because there is an authoritative reason to do so. The Holy Spirit plainly declared it. (Just as the Holy Spirit declared the creation of man on the 6th day, some 6000 years ago.)
The theory of Evolution differs from this as a fact, because there is no authoritative reason to believe it in the first place. In fact, the arguments for evolution go directly against authoritative fact as recorded in the Scriptures. Prominent evolutionists have admitted that they accept the theory of evolution, simply because the alternative is too unpleasant for them.
Finally, we come to his only quasi valid complaint, and that is a discussion of genetics. The author sends us through some scientific papers, which in their simplest terms, are just a complicated rehash to the age old question. Is man’s existence the result of time and chance expressed through the term "evolution," or was it the result of creation accomplished by a God who loves order? This is what this discussion always boils down to.
From the beginning of my training, I was shown pictures of embryonic development, or comparison pictures between similar species, and asked, how can anyone not see evolution in this? I remember sitting in Mr. Hawthorne’s science class in the 8th grade, and him referencing a large picture of the face of a gorilla he had hung on the wall, and asking us how anyone could question that we evolved from apes. Even at that early age, I would ask, aren’t the similarities consistent with a creation based on order? And I remember him shaking his head at me in some combination of pity, disgust, and disbelief, incredulous at the even thought. I became very familiar with that response over the course of my schooling and beyond.
Particularly, in the second and third paper is the root of this argument apparent. The argument of the second paper is essentially that certain genetic material found in 24,000 year old bones, is still found in some modern populations. The third paper is similar, only this paper states that different genetic material from 45,000 year old bones, is still found in modern populations. Therefore, it is reasoned, the genetic material had to be genetically passed down from the ancient ancestor to the modern man. Therefore, it is concluded, man must be at least 45,000 years old.
For a minute (a brief minute) lets accept the "secure dates" of the bone samples. Would finding modern genetic material in creatures living 45,000 years ago prove evolution? The answer is, no. Now, most creationists have not denied the possibility of previous creations. Some speculate that the angels came through a creation with trials, not unlike our own. For myself, I only maintain what the Bible says: In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. I do not speculate on when the beginning was. What I do know from the Scriptures, is that our dispensation began with the creation of Adam, about 6000 years ago.
Now "if" there were previous creations on the earth which came and went, why would we find it impossible that a God who loves order would use the same or similar genetic material in all of His creations? Genetic material found in bones supposedly 24,000 years old, or 45,000 years old or you pick the age, and genetic material found in modern man could both have been identical, yet created independently during their various creations, according to the Divine requirements. There is no necessity of generational transmission required. So is this evolution, or is this creation by a God who loves order?
Just a note. I’m not suggesting that multiple creations is a correct answer. I’m only suggesting that it makes much more sense than anything offered by evolutionists, once we accept archeological dates. I have no issue with those who reject archeological dates, and who suggest that the earth was created with age. If this is the case, things that appear old were manipulated in creation 6000 years ago by God, for the specific purpose of "confounding the wise." That too, is a possibility. None of us know, or can know.
Now the arguments of the first paper is a bit different. It is simply another method to try and date imagined ancestors. If I might boil it down to something real simple, the new dating says that they have decided non Africn ancestry goes back 95,000 years. How have they decided that? Well:
Differences in DNA sequences correspond to nucleotide substitutions that have accumulated since their split from a most recent common ancestor (MRCA). When the average number of substitutions occurring per unit of time can be determined, the "molecular clock" rate can be estimated. Under the assumption of constant rates of change among lineages, molecular clocks have been used to estimate divergence times between closely related species or between populations.
Now, to make this more understandable, "DNA sequences" is the mapping of the nucleotides (the building blocks of the DNA molecule) which exist within a DNA molecule. "Nucleotide substitution" is the observance of where this mapping indicates a change in the DNA molecule.
What he is saying is that we have an ancestor of a known age. (Flaw number One: how can we know its truly an ancestor and not a different but similar creation? Flaw Two: we can’t possibly be sure of its "known age.") We then map the ancestor’s DNA. Then we map the DNA of a descendant of this ancestor. We count the changes from the older to the newer, and project that with all things being constant, X amount of changes will always occur in that time frame. (Flaw three: how do we know all things remained constant? Flaw Four: How do we know the same number of changes will always occur, even if all things remain constant?) From these estimates we project what would be the case for all related specie or populations.
But, as the article points out, there is a lack of necessary fossil data to establish these things. In fact, in many cases, there is no fossil evidence of common ancestors at all. Well, no problem. A new methodology was applied to our problem. By mapping the changes in parent-child-grand child nucleotide mapping from one generation to another, we found we could take this and project it backwards over thousands of years. By doing so, we came to realize that the changes come less frequently than the fossils led us to believe. (Wow! Scientists made a mistake in one of their projections. Imagine that!) This has led to doubling the age of our common ancestors, along with the age of fossil sites. So we throw fossil dating out the window, in favor of this new form of dating which, as the paper says, is arguably more accurate than fossil dating. (Wait a minute, there’s an argument?!? I thought this was all facts!!!) So now we know (I always love that expression coming from our scientific community) that fossil dating was too short.
Now, I’m for most anything which exposes fossil dating for the hoax it is, so nucleotide mapping is OK by me in that regard. Only it sets itself up as a standard, every bit as unreliable as fossil dating. They say that we have ancestors. That is not, and cannot be proven. They say that nucleotide substitution is constant. That is not, and cannot be proven. They say the genetic material is passed down through generations. That is not and cannot be proven.
The evolutionist wants us to argue his evidence with him. We can’t, because we reject his evidence as having any validity whatsoever. If a lawyer brought the kind of evidence an evolutionist uses to prove a case, he’d be thrown out of the court on the first day, as too circumstantial.
Rather, we want the evolutionist to argue our evidence with us. That is, explain Genesis 1, if the Bible is the wholly inspired word of God. Sadly, I think most will reject our evidence.
Consequently, our arguments with evolutionists are no different that the argument that the brethren of old had with Pagans. The Pagans told them, Sacrifice a few virgins, and it will rain in a month or so. They did, and it rained. Wow! It mut be true. What an evolutionist will call time and chance and environmental pressures, the Pagans would have called the whims of the gods. But it is all the same argument.
The ultimate question comes down to the same points. Do we worship the creator, or do we worship the creation? Are we the product of a Divine Being who has a plan He is working out with mankind, or are we simply the result of time and chance? Do we believe the things that the Holy Spirit said, or do we invent new thoughts after our own imaginations?