CRSQ Abstracts, 2017, Volume 54, Number 1 (Summer)


A Critical Evaluation of the Tablet Model: Considerations on the Origin of the Book of Genesis

Lee Anderson, Jr.

Subsequent to its adoption by many creationists as a feasible understanding of the compositional origin of the book of Genesis, the tablet model has been repeatedly advanced as the most likely explanation for how Moses could have written about historical events that occurred long before his time. This model maintains that Moses relied upon preexistent sources, clay tablets documenting the lives of Adam, Noah, and the Patriarchs. The boundaries between these sources are purportedly reflected in the book of Genesis by the presence of the Hebrew word . תּוֹלדוֹתֵ This paper investigates whether the tablet model is a viable understanding of the composition of Genesis and whether it warrants continued promotion. It concludes that the tablet model is sufficiently problematic that its continued promotion may actually prove detrimental to the creationist cause. If advocated at all, it should be as one of many possible biblical theories of the composition of Genesis, with a tentativeness that befits it.

Baraminology Classification Based on Gene Content Similarity Measurement

Jean O’Micks

A recent genomics-based baraminology method has been developed that measures the gene content similarity (the Jaccard Coefficient Value, or JCV) between species and assigns them to individual baramins. The method is based on the creationist assumption that genes are conserved across genomes within a baramin and represent orthological functional units. Species from the same baramin should contain many common genes and thus have a high JCV, whereas species from different baramins should have a low JCV. This method has been further developed and estimates baramins based also on k-means clustering. The method also calculates two parameters, the pan-genome quotient (PGQ) and the completeness index (CI), both of which describe how much genome erosion via gene loss has occurred in the pan-genome of the archebaramin since the Fall. The PGQ measures the intersect/union of all genes in all species in a given baramin, while the CI measures the number of genes in all species in the baramin divided by the number of species in the baramin times the size of the union of orthologous genes.  This method has been heretofore used in the analysis of Nucleocytoplasmic large DNA viruses (NCLDVs, which bear remarkable similarities to bacteria), Archaea, and insects. The method is applied to a data set of 26 fungal species in the present paper. The algorithm predicted three putative baramins, with seven species from Pezizomycotina, three from Agaro/Ustilagomycotina, and 15 from Saccharomycotina. Based on previous experience, there is no single JCV cutoff by which species can be assigned into the same or different baramins. For example, bacterial baramins may have a rather low mean JCV due to horizontal gene transfer (HGT). In general, gene content baraminology studies depend on the biology of the organisms under study. With more and more protein data becoming available, the JCV method appears to be a promising tool for many future baraminology studies.

Post-Flood Migration of Ectothermic Tortoises to the Americas: A Terrestrial Route

Timothy Lee McCollister

Michael Oard presents a global flood Ice-Age model that not only highlights how the Ice Age initiated and was sustained but also inadvertently provides a migratory route for ectothermic species within its coastal isotherms. By incorporating Oard’s calculations and what is known about the thermal requirements of extant ectothermic tortoises, a window of opportunity of approximately 87.5 years presents itself to allow intercontinental migration to the Americas. This assumes that the present elevation of the Bering Strait land bridge is not consistent with what existed in the immediate post-Flood environment but has undergone erosion. The fossil record does appear to display a terrestrial expansion if the Flood/post-Flood boundary exists at, or near, the Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary. But there are a few fossils that seem problematic to this placement, which may open the door to other interpretations in regard to the boundary’s location. The placement of the boundary, however, doesn’t negate the possibility of a terrestrial intercontinental migration of tortoises to the Americas.  

Intelligent Design and Its Place in the Creation Model

Jonathan Bartlett

Many critiques of intelligent design stem from a misunderstanding and misconception of what it is, what it is for, and its role in a young-earth creation framework. The present paper presents intelligent design as an independent subject matter (similar to chemistry, physics, biology, and mathematics), which, as such, is both orthogonal to questions of creation as well as usable in determining answers to them.