12/24 - Christmas Eve - Numbers - Words - Scripture - Science
Are you up for some deeper thoughts into these matters on this day?
Religions have given us our reason for the season, but is it more than that?
Evolution has brought us full circle, back to the eternal question of our origins. Physician, Psychiatrist, Teacher and Author Ray Miranda, owner of the website Bible Quotes Science Info has written of some interesting convergences between numbers and symbolism in the Bible and current scientific discoveries. I'd like to share some of those with you all today, and open a truly worthy holy day discussion.
Timeline: Revelations in Bible Quotes
The human evolution timeline is found recorded in Bible verses. Adam's rib symbolizes the chromosome and is the key to the man-ape evolution. In discussing evolution vs. creationism, we find many convergences like this one.
(...continued) Someone who holds to the theory of evolution and denies creationism might ask why such an important matter as the creation of human beings would be in a symbolic message rather than in explicit language. After all, don't the Holy Scriptures talk about chromosomes? That is a valid question, which we shall pursue below. First off, my own interest is to see the points of confluence between evolution and creationism regarding the appearance of the human being. We will go straight to the issue and leave the discussions for later on.
Parallelism between Adam's rib and science - There is an amazing coincidence between the numbers in the Bible involving creationism and numbers in science regarding man's evolution from the ape. Let us dwell on the Bible verses according to which God took out one of Adam's ribs and made the woman, Eve, with it.
"And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man."
Let us start by analyzing the number of ribs. Men have 24 ribs—12 on each thoracic side. The same number is found in women. The text says that God removed one rib and not one pair of ribs. Had He indeed removed only one rib, man would have different numbers of this bone on each side of his chest. Not only that, but there would also remain a doubt about the number of ribs in a female.
These contradictions disappear if the text is examined from the standpoint of information conveyed by Jesus Christ to His disciples: "To God nothing is impossible." God may have removed one of Adam's ribs but He did it in such a way that the woman and all her descendants would have the same number of ribs. However, we will assume that the rib's removal is symbolic language, and then I will explain why it cannot be regarded as direct language.
Let us look at it now from the standpoint of science. The chimpanzee, from which science now admits that man has evolved, has 24 chromosomes in its sexual cells, i. e., 24 chromosomes in each spermatozoon and 24 chromosomes in each ovulum. I am referring to gametes, those sex cells capable of reproducing the species. Therefore, the number of ribs in a man and of chromosomes in a chimpanzee are identical. The other cells in a chimp, as in a human, are diployd, that is, they have the chromosomes in pairs—therefore, they have 48 chromosomes.
Confluence of Bible Quotes and Human Evolution Time Line - Were we to admit that the rib symbolizes the chromosome, the implicit and explicit Bible numbers say that God removed a chromosome from a chimpanzee and made a woman out of it. In other words, the "man," a chimp, lost a chromosome and thus a woman was formed.
Indeed, the woman, just like the man, has one chromosome less than a chimp in the sex cells. The human spermatozoon has 23 chromosomes and the human ovulum also has 23 chromosomes. It makes sense, does it not ? The other cells in the human being are diployd, i. e., they have 46 chromosomes. But inasmuch as we are talking about creationism versus evolution in a friendly fashion, we should see what science says regarding the man-ape evolution, that is, man's evolution from the chimpanzee.
Man's evolution from the ape - It is admitted that, in the evolution of the species, through some unknown phenomenon, two chimp chromosomes were fused, and thus, primitive man, a hominid, came about. Some theories claim that the female came first, which, if true, would give further consistency to the symbolic version of Adam and Eve's story.
In a nutshell, this is what we have:
*Number of ribs in the human being: 24
*Number of chromosomes in the chimp's gametes: 24
*Creation: removal of one rib.
*Evolution: fusion of two chromosomes.
*Rib symbolizes chromosome.
*Removal of one rib = fusion of two chromosomes.
*Number of chromosomes resulting in the gametes: 23 - New species: man, hominid, possibly represented by the female.
Without wandering too far from these basic issues, it should be asked why there are so many differences between human and chimp, given the "simple" fusion of two chromosomes. Furthermore, those in favor of creationism would argue that, since the similarity between a chimp's DNA and that of a human being is above 98%, humans and chimpanzees ought to be more alike. These are pertinent questions that must be carefully examined.
Starting with the numbers: The difference between human and chimp DNA is less than 2%. For three reasons, this percentage can be very meaningful:
*We are just barely beginning to understand the human genome, that is, the DNA map, that of the genes and each one's role. On the other hand, we know little about the chimp genome. Thus, it is perfectly acceptable that this percentage, though small, means much in terms of anatomical and physiological differences between the species.
*The differences may be situated in fundamental parts of the DNA, enough to cause the differences between the species.
*The amount of DNA in the cells is not always proportional to their complexity. Therefore, the arrangement of DNA components in humans may be more important than the quantity.
Thus, the slightly less than 2% difference between chimps and humans may become more meaningful. The "simple" fusion of one species' two chromosomes may cause many differences in the resulting species.
Why is the Bible not explicit? - In other words, why, as the issue was raised in the beginning of this article, does the biblical message not speak directly about chromosomes? At least two answers are possible.
The first has to do with Christian and Jewish dogma: this is a sacred text, dictated or inspired by God, and there is no questioning how God speaks.
The second has to do with the biblical writers: they would be human beings possessing a deep knowledge of evolution timeline and humans nature. They knew that it would not be possible to write what men would not understand at that time (existence of chromosomes, genes, DNA). They further knew that, in a patriarchal society such as the one they lived in, women should remain in a secondary role, in the written version, to make the acceptance of God's word easier.
The faithful cling to the first answer, the dogma.
But those who are not faithful may properly ask how those writers, barely out of a semi-nomadic life, could possess such knowledge about the evolution of the species.
Examined as literature without any preconceived position, the Bible is a singular book, and its writers differed from common mortals. However, as intelligent as they might have been, there was no way they could have held such knowledge. Thus the answer is that this is a mystery.
In the fascinating study of biblical numbers involving Creationism vs. Evolutionism, there are other convergent points. Example: part of the sacred text reproduced at the beginning of this article and science's version of the differences in man/ape. The biblical expression "closed up the flesh in its place" conveys a special meaning and suggests more parallelisms between religion and science. We could read it as "closed up the frontal lobe in its place."
Subsequent procreation - The appearance of the human being raises the issue of procreation. In the history of creation, this problem does not exist: once created, Adam and Eve started to reproduce. However, in evolution, ONE individual, from the fusion of the two chromosomes, would not give origin to the human species.
To illustrate, let us say that the fusion of the two chromosomes took place in a female, resulting in 23 chromosomes in the gametes, living with males bearing 24 chromosomes in the gametes. Procreation would be impossible. Even if they copulated, no ovulum would be formed due to the lack of symmetry in the DNA. How, then, would the human being have procreated in evolution?
More likely the phenomenon—physical, chemical or physical-chemical—had by then reached several individual chimps, causing chromosome fusion in many of them, both males and females. In the history of evolution, there is still another peculiarity: the bonobos have more elements than the chimpanzees, making them more likely to be man's ancestors.