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.
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