Dreaming of Cells
Last night I had a dream.
In my dream, I was engaged in a conversation with a young friend. When I say ‘young friend’, I mean that I am old enough to be her mother. During our conversation, I let it ‘slip’ that I accept evolution as the means by which we see all the complexity today.
She was surprised since I had never vocalised this to her before and asked me what it was that made me believe in evolution.
‘I think the most compelling piece of information that tipped me over was the fact that our cells tell our evolutionary history. We have trillions and trillions of cells and every single cell in our body tells our history. We can use the information in cells to work out who is related to whom and how distantly related they are to each other.
‘For example, if we take a cell from her [I gestured to my daughter], and take a cell from me, they can work out that I am related to her and that I am her mother.
‘If we take a cell from you and take a cell from me, they can work out that we have a common ancestor that lived, say…’ and here I struggled to come up with a number that was realistic but that wouldn’t turn off my young-earth Creationist friend.
‘Nine thousand years ago?’ she suggested.
This surprised me because that number is outside the Creationist mindset. We are all supposedly descended from Noah and his sons, who survived the Great Flood ca four thousand years ago. But then, this is a dream and funny things happen in dreams. Well, my dreams at least.
On the other hand, nine thousand years is possibly too conservative given that my friend and I have different ethnic backgrounds. Nevertheless, I don’t argue with her. After all, she is listening to what I have to say.
‘Okay. So, by looking at cells, scientists can work out, and have worked out, that all organisms have a common ancestor. I know the Creationists argue that it doesn’t point to a common ancestor, but rather, a Common Creator. But my question to them is: Where do you draw the line?’
I never got to hear her response, because it was then that I woke up. I tried to go back to sleep and continue my dream so I could chase up her answer, but it didn’t happen. Maybe next time.
Where do YECs draw the line?