Discoveroids Defend Their ‘Adam & Eve’ Model

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.

The critical BioLogos comments appear in forum discussions. The one from Dennis Venema is here, and the comment from Stephen Schaffner is here. The Discoveroids summarize those comments:

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.

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

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12 responses to “Discoveroids Defend Their ‘Adam & Eve’ Model

  1. So how does the Discoverhhoid “model” explain fused chromosomes?

  2. Unspecified Intelligent designers are not restricted from designing fused chromosomes.

  3. I think they need to test their model on other species – one can always fit a model to the human data, but can the model apply to other systems?

  4. It’s not just the fused chromosome, #2, but all the introns that match in other primate species. So, the designer has to produce a fused chromosome, why is a mystery, and put in all the introns that match other species, again why is a mystery.

    Oh, there it is right under my nose: the Designer works in mysterious ways.

    Silly me!

  5. Discoveroids always complain that scientists never engage with them. When they do, the DI complains that they are unfair.

    Soon, the DI will begin sending tweets in the middle of the night.

  6. The oldest hominid fossils are in Africa. Not in the Middle East, not in Europe, not in Asia, not in America, not in Australia. Hypothesis falsified. Next.

  7. michaelfugate

    Y-chromosomal and mitochondrial evidence also suggest sub-saharan African origins.

  8. Rikki_Tikki_Taalik

    Being a recent Mormon convert (hat tip to William Lane Craig for hooking me up with the whole “holy spirit/burning in the bosom leads me to know the truth” method) I believe it’s my duty to point out that the Garden of Eden was in Missouri. As usual, the Dishonesty Institute is barking up the wrong tree.

  9. How the hell is “diversity present from the beginning” with only two individuals? What diversity? Each individual would have only the same 46 chromosomes we do now, so the maximum “diversity” possible would be that of two unrelated individuals of different races, a point I’m sure wouldn’t sit well with those creationists who think Adam and Eve were white, blacks are the product of the curse of Ham and the other races–including Jews, whom these people, like anti-Semites everywhere, class as a race–are descended from others of Noah’s progeny.

  10. MichaelF tries to think like an IDiot: “I think they need to test their model on other species.”
    Human exceptionalism is part of IDiocy.

  11. Although I haven’t looked in a holey bubble in 30 or 40 years, I seem to recall something about the sky fairy making Eve out of a rib from Adam. A cloned Adam should have the same genes as the original. (Hmm, how did she get that extra X chromosome and drop the Y?) Somehow, I don’t think ID Green Screen Annie has thought much about genetics.

  12. abeastwood:
    “Somehow, I don’t think ID Green Screen Annie has thought much about genetics.”

    Or The Bible, for that matter. But then, that entire concept in Genesis is preposterous anyway, so debating the finer points of biblical genetics is like a bunch of middle school boys arguing over Dungeons & Dragons.