in Genesis 1–11
I found Alistair McKitterick’s paper,
Reading ‘places’ in Genesis 1–11, 1
very interesting and informative, and
generally agree with his explanation.
However, another explanation came to
my mind. Is it possible that the reason
“why the author gave such attention
to the places and features of the
four headwaters if they are nowhere
relevant to the geography of the rest of
the text”, is that the author (or authors)
of the toledot of the heavens and the
earth (Genesis 2:4–4: 26) and of the
toledot of Adam (Genesis 5:1–6: 8)
actually wrote prior to Noah’s Flood?
Is it not possible that the records
of these histories were preserved
by taking them onto the Ark and
handed down through the subsequent
generations by the patriarchs, so they
would later serve as a source or sources
for Moses in his compiling of the pre-Flood history in Genesis? All of this, of
course, would have taken place under
the providential care and control of the
Holy Spirit of God.
UNITED STATED of AMERICA
1. McKetterick, A., Reading ‘places’ in Genesis 1–11,
J. Creation 31( 1): 99–103, 2017.
» Alistair McKitterick replies:
Thank you for your comments
regarding my article, and I’m glad
you found it helpful. I’m aware of the
argument you mention stemming from
P.J. Wiseman (1888–1948) of viewing
the toledot in Genesis (and elsewhere)
as discrete historical sources. 1
Wiseman argues that toledot should be
understood as a kind of signature at the
conclusion of physical tablets which
and plastic trees
I enjoyed reading Rob Carter’s
book review on Adam and the
Genome in issue 31( 2). I’d like to
comment on Rob’s statement:
“I do not have a ready answer for
why this gene family would fall
into a nested hierarchy, but, from
experience, I am deeply suspicious
of the evolutionary claims (p. 43).”
It appears this claim is the one posted
on the BioLogos website on May 17,
2010, which I addressed in Creation
Matters. 1 Essentially all one needs to
do is read the open access article by
Gilad et al., 2 where they clearly state
their methodology and the inferences
Gilad et al., first assumed the pop-
ular phylogeny where chimps are most
closely related to humans, followed
by gorillas, orangutans, and rhesus
monkeys. Then they interpreted the
data according to the tree:
“We inferred on which lineage each
gene silencing event occurred by
estimating the ancestral sequences
of each node in a tree representing
the phylogenetic relationships of
the species (p. 3326).”
As Carter pointed out, olfactory
receptor genes are believed to be
among the most mutated genes known.
When it appears that mutation has
changed them to a pseudogene, often
multiple frame-closing mutations
are inferred. So how did Gilad et al.
determine which one happened first?
“When more than one coding
region disruption was identified
in the same species, we inferred
which occurred first by identifying
disruptions shared between species.
We considered only one disrup-
tion per gene to determine the
gene silencing rate in each lineage
Could the data have fit as well or
better in a different tree? Quite pos-
sibly, but that was not considered.
It is known that many genes in the
gorilla are actually more similar to
humans than those of the chimpanzee
(Scally et al.). 3 So, some gene trees fit
one phylogeny, and other gene trees
fit a different phylogeny. It has been
claimed that pseudogenes are better
to use than ordinary genes because
they have no function and only change
by random mutation (i.e. no selection
occurs). However, in the same issue
of J. Creation where Carter’s book
review appears, there is an article
discussing pseudogenes that are not
really pseudogenes at all (pp. 10–12).
Nice book review!
1. Lightner, J.K., Similarity and shared mistakes,
Creation Matters 16( 1): 5–6, 2011.
2. Gilad, Y., Man, O., Pääbo, S., and Lancet, D.,
Human specific loss of olfactory receptor genes,
PNAS 100( 6):3324–3327, 2003.
3. Scally, A., Dutheil, J.Y., Hillier, L.W. et al.,
Insights into hominid evolution from the gorilla
genome sequence, Nature 483:169–174, 2012.
Jean K. Lightner
UNITED STATES of AMERICA