We recently wrote Discoveroids Will Test Adam & Eve Hypothesis, in which we discussed a post by Ann Gauger (a/k/a “Annie Green Screen”) about a “research project” she was involved in to test whether humanity could have come from a single first pair of humans. [Adam & Eve?]
Annie described the model she and Ola Hössjer were fiddling with:
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.
As we remarked at the time:
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?
It appears that the Discoveroids’ model has been the subject of some harsh criticism. The Discoveroids just posted this at their creationist blog: On New Model for Human Ancestry, Mathematician Ola Hössjer Responds to Critics. It has no author’s byline, so we assume Annie wrote it. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:
Over at the BioLogos Forum, a couple of scientists have taken on two new BIO-Complexity [the Discoveroids’ in-house vanity journal] papers by Ola Hössjer, Ann Gauger, and Colin Reeves. The critics are Dennis Venema, biologist at Trinity Western University and a BioLogos Fellow, and Stephen Schaffner, a computational biologist at the Broad Institute.
In a nutshell, Venema says of the first [BIO-Complexity] paper that it is “a (poor) attempt to argue for a predetermined conclusion that humans were specially created as a pair in the Middle East. It does not offer a mechanism to deal with the obvious problems of such an approach other than an appeal to ‘created diversity.'”
Schaffner complains of “many problems with the BIO-Complexity paper.” It “simply does not address the actual genetic evidence for a large ancestral population size,” he writes, adding that the “other strong piece of evidence that human genetic variation is the result of accumulated mutations is that it looks like accumulated mutations.” As for the second paper, it “strikes me as nuts.”
In defense of their creationist work, the Discoveroids say:
Invective aside, at least this is an attempt to engage the science. We asked Dr. Hössjer, Professor of Mathematical Statistics at Stockholm University, for his response, which he was kind enough to provide.
After some gigantic quotes from Discoveroid fellow-traveler Hössjer in defense of his Adam & Eve model, which we’ll ignore, the Discoveroids tell us:
To Dr. Hössjer’s fine response we might add a few thoughts. Remember, these papers are not intended to be the last word on human ancestry. Instead, they offer models being developed in order to be tested. What Venema pejoratively labels a “predetermined conclusion” is simply a hypothesis to be tested. His dismissive tone is unworthy. All scientific models test “predetermined conclusions.” That’s what a hypothesis is.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Yes, the hypothetical “two ancestor” model is a respectable scientific concept. Nothing about it even hints at a “predetermined conclusion. The Discoveroids continue:
Moreover, initial “created diversity” is a legitimate, testable mechanism. We know how genetics works and we can decide whether (within the bounds of genetics) initial high diversity could account for present-day observations.
Right. The creation tale in Genesis is “a legitimate, testable mechanism.” Let’s read on:
As for the Middle East origin hypothesis [Hee hee!], if you read the papers you will see that they have a justification for it — namely that African populations look artificially old due to different recombination rates. [Huh?] And given that their model allows for all kinds of normal mutations to occur, it’s hard to see how it’s fair for Dr. Schaffner to say they that they ignore mutations. Their model incorporates mutations!
No question about it — the Discoveroids’ model is great science. And now we come to the end:
Unfortunately, these critics seem to want to kill off the proposed model before it’s even been fully implemented. Yet Dr. Venema complains of “predetermined conclusions.” Look who’s talking.
Yeah! If the Discoveroids want to tinker with a model to test the Genesis tale, it’s unfair to criticize them. It’s a solid example of creation science in action. We say, let ’em proceed. Then they can model another legitimate hypothesis, according to which all land-dwelling organisms are descended from the passengers in the Ark. Who knows — they may come up with something. But somehow, we have our doubts.
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