Discoveroids Will Test Adam & Eve Hypothesis

Creationists often claim that they are just as logical and scientific as we are, but their starting presuppositions are different. The creation scientists at Answers in Genesis (AIG) write about this often. They call it presuppositional apologetics. AIG says:

If we start off believing the Bible is the Word of God [scripture omitted], then we use it as our axiom. An axiom (often used in logic) is a proposition that is not susceptible to proof or disproof; its truth is assumed. … The battle is not over evidence but over philosophical starting points: presuppositions.

The Discovery Institute plays the same game. We wrote about it in Discoveroids: Scientists, Cast Off Your Chains! They’re doing it again in a new post by Ann Gauger (a/k/a “Annie Green Screen”). Before Annie became Casey’s replacement in the blogging department, she had been toiling in obscurity at the Discoveroids’ clandestine creationist research facility, Biologic Institute.

The work done there sometimes appears in the Discoveroids’ captive “peer reviewed” journal, BIO-Complexity. Annie’s work was so sensitive that the interior of her lab could never be seen by outsiders. You can read all about that in Klinghoffer Defends Photo Trickery.

That lab, the journal, and the Discoveroids’ own “peer reviewed” vanity press operation (Discovery Institute Press) constitute their imitation of the accouterments of science, and have caused intelligent design to be described as a cargo cult.

But that’s enough background. Annie’s new post is In BIO-Complexity, a New Model for Human Ancestry. Here are some excerpts from her post, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

In 2012 at a scientific conference I met a Swedish population geneticist named Ola Hössjer. He and I sat down in the lobby of the hotel where we were staying to discuss what kind of population genetics model might be possible to test whether humanity could have come from a single first pair of humans.

This is Ola Hössjer’s page at Stockholm University. Back to Annie’s post:

The motivation for doing so was the repeated challenge from other population geneticists claiming that we humans had to come from a population of thousands, not just two. He and I both knew the assumptions that had to go into the models such population geneticists constructed, and wondered if different starting assumptions would yield different results.

We’ll leave it to your imagination, dear reader, to figure out why Annie was motivated to explore the possibility that we are descended from only two ancestors. [Hint: Adam & Eve.] Then she says:

Back in that hotel lobby, Ola and I quickly came up with a list of variables that would need to be accounted for in any model, things that are unknown aspects of the history of our origin, and we talked about the computational problems of any forward-looking model, one that goes from two individuals at the start to something like the present population. To keep track of all the variables and to trace the possible genetic changes quickly becomes computationally too intense to go very far. I personally thought such a model was intractable and beyond anyone’s ability to build. Was I wrong!

[*Begin Drool Mode*] Ooooooooooooh! [*End Drool Mode*] This is exciting! After that she tells us:

A little over a year ago Ola presented a model to our now co-author Colin Reeves and me that took all those variables we had discussed in Copenhagen into account. It is the most comprehensive population genetics model I have seen anywhere — it’s a brilliant piece of work.

[…]

The key assumption that distinguishes our model from the standard ones is that we assume that the first pair started out with heterogeneous chromosomes — four distinct sets, two sets for each individual. The standard population genetics models work backward assuming everything starts from a single point. We are proposing that things started out different, not the same, with diversity present from the beginning in the genomes of the starting first pair.

They assumed a starting population of only two individuals and four completely different sets of chromosomes? How could two such individuals have evolved? Or maybe — gasp! — they were created that way? No, that’s not it. If Eve were made from the rib of Adam, her DNA would be identical to his. But Eve wasn’t a clone of Adam. She was female! We shouldn’t place naturalistic limits on the work of the intelligent designer — blessed be he! Annie continues:

We still need to code this model, which is a work in progress being done by Colin Reeves, and we hope others as well, as it is a massive project, and will require time and resources. But when it’s completed, we will be able to test the hypothesis that we can recreate modern genetic diversity starting from an original pair with original genetic diversity. Should we be able to demonstrate this, there will be two competing models for human origins, one that says we came from a population of thousands, and ours that says we came from a population of two. We will see which best fits the available data and yields the most insight.

Brilliant! If you start with loaded dice, then you can run a computer model of a night at a casino, and test whether the results match those of using standard dice. And now we come to the end:

The model has now been published in the journal BIO-Complexity [links omitted]. My hope is that this model will be the catalyst for much research and discussion, on both sides.

Good work, Annie! The creationist community is proud of you.

Copyright © 2016. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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21 responses to “Discoveroids Will Test Adam & Eve Hypothesis

  1. michaelfugate

    The question posed [Should Christians Embrace Evolution?] has caused much recent debate. The answer given by these authors is an emphatic “No!” Firstly, they demonstrate with compelling logic that theistic evolution has serious theological consequences for the gospel. Secondly (and this should make us weep), the theistic evolutionary project is so unnecessary. As the second part of this first-class survey makes clear, there is actually no compelling reason to accept Darwinism anyway. Homological arguments have bitten the dust, junk DNA turns out to be anything but junk, and as for the origin of life itself, biologists haven’t got a clue. In terms of recent discoveries in molecular biology, Darwinism is not only wrong but irrelevant, a Victorian relic.

    Dr Colin Reeves, Professor of Operational Research in the School of Mathematical and Information Sciences (MIS) at Coventry University

    Ha ha!

  2. Unfortunately, no one reads BIO-Complexity. Call in the green screen crew!

    On the other pair of dice:
    On the origin of life: Studying how the first biomolecule self-replicated

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/11/161102085329.htm

  3. Derek Freyberg

    Colin Reeves is one of five trustees of Biblical Creation Ministries, which sounds like the British equivalent of AIG.

    Their statement of belief includes:
    Creation, Fall, and Flood – and implications for scientific and historical study
    Our belief in Creation is grounded in the Bible, the written Word of God. The assertions of Holy Scripture are factually true in the original autographs and free from error, not only in spiritual matters but also in references to, or accounts of, nature and history.
    The Bible presents a simple but historical account of actual events and therefore provides a reliable framework for scientific research into the origin and history of life, mankind, the earth, and the universe.
    We believe God is revealed in nature as well as in Holy Scripture, but God’s revelation in nature cannot be approached independently from God’s revelation in Scripture. We reject the idea that knowledge can be divided into ‘secular’ and ‘religious’ truth.
    All basic types of living things, including human beings, were made by direct creative acts of God. The biological changes that have occurred since Creation have taken place only within the original created basic types.
    The special creation of Adam (as one man) and Eve (as one woman), and their subsequent fall into sin, is the basis for the necessity of salvation for mankind.
    Death, both physical and spiritual, entered the world subsequent to – and as a direct consequence of – man’s sin.
    The biblical Flood was an actual historical event, worldwide (global) in its extent and effects.”

    With that going for them, why would they care what ‘secular’ (their quotes) science shows? – and why would they bother with ‘secular’ science at all?

  4. I’ve got one word for those who claim humanity started from just two individuals: inbreeding.

    Even if we assume that Adam and Eve started out with absolutely perfect genomes and bred like rabbits, it wouldn’t be too many generations before harmful mutations (and remember, to creationists, all mutations are harmful) crept in, given that everyone would be related to everyone else far more closely than is the case today. Indeed, in earliest times, brother would be marrying sister routinely–who else would there be? By the time of the Flood, humanity should have been reduced to disease-riddled idiocy. But sinful as Genesis says they were, pre-Flood people couldn’t have been idiots if they had produced the magical technologies Noah supposedly used to build the Ark.

  5. michaelfugate

    Somebody’s been reading too much Stephen Meyer….
    Ola Hössjer on methodological naturalism:
    in Swedish: http://www.dagen.se/debatt/sekulariseringens-huvudverktyg-1.292425

  6. “Was I wrong!” – Ann.G

    There may still be some hope for Ann’s sense of intellectual ethics.

    Unfortunately for Ann I will most certainly and ruthlessly quote mine that single statement at every opportunity.

  7. Derek Freyberg

    Apologies for the double post above – the first one seemed to vanish, which is why I rewrote. SC – please delete the first one. Thanks.

  8. Derek Freyberg, the problem is that your recent comments have been showing up in the spam filter. I approve them as soon as I can, but I don’t know what’s causing it.

  9. In fairness, if they can create an efficient forward genetic simulator for large populations then this might be the first actually useful contribution. Since they didn’t cite of the recent work except that mendel’s accountant garbage, I’m not holding my breath.

  10. If the alleged first pair of humans had two complete sets of chromosomes each (that would be 46 pairs of chromosomes each, I guess) when did the reduction that gives us 23 pairs happen? And where did the other set go?

  11. abeastwood, I’m pretty sure that she means simply that Adam’s two sets of chromosomes didn’t match — e.g. he had, perhaps, the A blood type allele on one copy of a locus, and the B type on the other, and so forth for every locus where humans have variant alleles. So rather than having only one allele for each locus, Adam and Eve could have had up to four, between them (though, obviously, only a maximum of three variants for each gene on the X chromosome, and only a maximum of one for each locus on the Y chromosome).

    Side note: I don’t see why Eve would have to be a cross-sex clone of Adam. Was Adam a clone of dirt? Now, if I wanted to turn a rib (pork, say) into a woman, I’d barbecue it, add it to a bunch of others, and feed them (over several years) to a little girl; the resulting woman would have human rather than pig genes. Presumably an omnipotent Creator could do the same thing, without needing the extra ribs or the little girl.

  12. I can’t wait to see the results of a “computer model” designed and tweaked specifically to obtain a pre-determined result.

  13. Surely genetic modeling has all been done long ago? Besides Steven Thompson is right, their “model” clearly predicts that all genes should have 4 alleles, except for the X chromosome which should have 3 and the Y chromosome, one. What the creationists, excuse me, IDists need to test their prediction is data, not a computer model.

    I suspect that what is happening is they already know the data doesn’t confirm their predictions, after all if there were such a clear pattern, somebody would have noticed it by now. So the point of the model is to show that 6,000 years of random mutation and allele loss could scramble their initial allele pattern to the point that it matches reality. But that would mean only that their Adam and Eve model has no predictive power, you can’t distinguish it from the mainstream model.

    So the best the IDers could hope for is that they might be able to show that mainstream genetics can’t rule out Adam and Eve. That would be better for them than the present situation, but not much.

  14. It just keeps getting better and better! Check out the DI paper here: Genetic Modeling of Human History Part 1. It has many references but 4 of there are to a journal called “Answ Res” with no explanation of the abbreviation or doi. (The other references have links). Guess what, “Answ Res” is Answers in Genesis’s Answers Research Journal. I haven’t read the references in detail, but it seems as if “green screen” Gauger borrowed the whole idea for the “Adam and Eve” from the “research” of Answers in Genesis. Talk about scraping the bottom of the barrel!

  15. Sorry broken ref.

    [*Voice from above*] All fixed.

  16. Another reference of interest in you link Ted is this one;
    71. Sanford JC, Carter R (2008) In light of genetics … Adam, Eve
    and the Creation/Fall. Christ Apol J 12(2):51–98.
    I’ve actually been fed this link before, this is the actual complete reference Sanford, J. C. and R. W. Carter. 2014. In Light of Genetics…Adam, Eve, and the Creation/Fall. Christian Apologetics Journal. 12 (2): 51-98.
    That’s right they’re cribbing from an apologetics journal too. Be sure to bring it up the next time the IDiots tell us their “all about science.”

  17. Their problem isn’t genetic diversity from two individuals over 6000 years, but demonstrating that diversity from eight individuals over 4000 years.

    Remember, remember the Flood of November, with gunpowder, lite beer and pot. Or something like that.

    You’ve got Noah and three sons sharing half of Noah’s genetic coil, and half of Noah’s wife’s genetic coil, and four women, presumably from different families, with their children being half Noah son – half wife.

    I think the “diversity” breaks down pretty quickly. Additionally, based on the chronology, Noah’s generations were documented. Not a lot of people and mostly (all?) sons.

    Finally, it is written, oops, sorry – It Is Written – that Noah’s sons went out to rule this or that kingdom. Where did those come from? Annie Green Screen is a Flood Advocate, so she has some real splainin’ to do.

  18. Barbara Forrest

    And look at the first hit you get when you Google “Ola Hössjer intelligent design”: https://www.c4id.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=266:2016-beyond-materialism-conference&catid=55:events.
    What a coincidence!

  19. He attends Discoveroid conferences! Great link, Barbara!

  20. docbill:
    “Finally, it is written, oops, sorry – It Is Written – that Noah’s sons went out to rule this or that kingdom. Where did those come from?”

    They were licensed by King Neptune to take over the various kingdoms that emerged when the waters receded. They paid royalties.

    (Okay — I realize this explanation doesn’t hold water.)

  21. Christine Janis

    Re the Discoveroid conference —– almost all of this cast of characters was/is (3rd day today, I went home before the day on cultural evolution) at the Royal Society conference on Evolution in the 21st century.
    I wonder if they’ll learn anything.