“Naturalism or Christian Theism: Where Does the Evidence Point?” TreeSearch Founder Blake Giunta Debates Justin Schieber

I want to draw readers’ attention to a great debate that recently took place at the University of Texas at Dallas, between Blake Giunta, the founder of a recently-developed online apologetics resource called “Belief Map“, and Justin Schieber, the host of the Reasonable Doubts radio show and podcast. Blake posted a postmortem review of the debate at his website. That, along with a video of the debate itself, can be found here. I highly recommend watching this debate for yourself and reading the summary over at the TreeSearch website. Blake is an up-and-coming apologist and has shown himself to be widely read, thoughtful and reflective, and winsome in his approach. I am sure we will be hearing a lot more of him in the future.

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6 replies
  1. Stephen B says:

    Would any of the Cross Examined team debate Justin Schieber? He’s told me he would like to debate Frank, which I would very much like to see happen.

  2. gil says:

    dear jonathan.i read your (great)article here about ervs:


    i have 2 important questions:

    1)the article you answerd claim that chimp and people share allmost all of the ervs in the same location. you gave the talkorigin claim that only 7 from the 98000 ervs are in the same location. so what is the true number?

    2)do is it true that ervs infaction seen in real time like this?:



    thanks a lot.


    • Steve says:

      Hi Gil

      It’s hilarious that Cell biologist wouldn’t understand this, but those 7 shared ERVs are special because they are only common to humans chimps and bonobos (in other words, they aren’t also found in gorillas, orangutan, Gibbons, macaques, baboons, etc.)

      Those 7 inserted themselves relatively recently in our evolution and so are only found in the Hominini.

      The remaining tens of thousands of them are found in identical locations in humans, chimps, bonobos, gorillas, orangutan, etc.

      So the vast majority of shared ERVs in identical locations in humans and chimps are much older and so can also be found in other primates in identical locations.

      That article in evolutionnews.org is a joke and illustrates a critical lack in understanding of the evidence from shared ERVs.

      • Jonathan McLatchie says:

        Steve, it would be surprising if a cell biologist failed to understand that. Not so much if it was written by an undergraduate (which I was at the time). I have had private debates with other scientists in the ID community concerning ERVs — I consider the best interpretation of that particular data to be common ancestry, and I have been saying this for a fairly long time now. Since the time of writing that piece I have obtained two Master’s degrees, one in evolutionary biology and one in molecular biology. So what makes you think that citing something I wrote four years ago has any relevance to my current scientific competence? Do you really not think I can have intellectually matured since then?


        • gil says:

          hi again jonathan. first- even if most of the ervs are junk (and we have evidence that its not true, so it can be a result of design and not virus infactions), it is not evidence for commondescent because we know that independent insertion can happan in the same luci. for example: we have seen 14 share mutations between dolphin and bat in the same gene:


          so if we can get 14 mutations in the same site from a 10^9 bp genome, then we can get thousant of share insertion without a commondescent.

          another important point is that we acctually find contradict data to the primate phylogeny:


          “Several lines of evidence indicate that chimpanzee and gorilla PTERV1 copies arose from an exogenous source. First, there is virtually no overlap (less than 4%) between the location of insertions among chimpanzee, gorilla, macaque, and baboon, making it unlikely that endogenous copies existed in a common ancestor and then became subsequently deleted in the human lineage and orangutan lineage. Second, the PTERV1 phylogenetic tree is inconsistent with the generally accepted species tree for primates, suggesting a horizontal transmission as opposed to a vertical transmission from a common ape ancestor. An alternative explanation may be that the primate phylogeny is grossly incorrect, as has been proposed by a minority of anthropologists”.

          so if its true- then a lots the share erv between chimp and human may be a result of independent insertions.


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