According to creationists there were two separate occasions — not one, but two — when all of humanity descended from one human male. The first time, of course, was in the Beginning, when Adam — that despicable sinner! — was the first and only human male in the world, and all of humanity were his descendants.
The second time was after the Flood, when once again there was only one male progenitor for all of humanity. That one, of course, was Noah. Well, there was a wee bit of diversity after the Flood, because the wives of Noah’s sons weren’t his descendants. Nevertheless, Noah and his three sons were the only males in the world, so a similar situation existed.
What “situation” are we talking about? A genetic bottleneck, of course. This came to our attention because of a news article at the Fox website: Royal dynasty facial deformity known as ‘Habsburg jaw’ was caused by inbreeding, scientists say. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:
A facial deformity known as “Habsburg jaw,” famously noted in the Habsburg dynasty of Spanish and Austrian royals, can be attributed to inbreeding. According to a new study published in the Annals of Human Biology that looked at facial deformities and investigated the possibility of a genetic basis for them, the unique chin is a result of generations of intermarriage.
Here’s the published paper they’re talking about: Is the “Habsburg jaw” related to inbreeding?, which you can read on-line without a subscription. Getting back to Fox, they quote from an author of the paper:
“The Habsburg dynasty was one of the most influential in Europe, but became renowned for inbreeding, which was its eventual downfall. We show for the first time that there is a clear positive relationship between inbreeding and appearance of the Habsburg jaw,” said lead researcher Professor Roman Vilas from the University of Santiago de Compostela in a statement.
“While our study is based on historical figures, inbreeding is still common in some geographical regions and among some religious and ethnic groups, so it’s important today to investigate the effects,” says Vilas. “The Habsburg dynasty serves as a kind of human laboratory for researchers to do so, because the range of inbreeding is so high.”
The problem isn’t just a deformity of the jaw. We found this article at PhysOrg from ten years ago: The role of inbreeding in the extinction of the Spanish Habsburg dynasty. You read their title correctly. It says “extinction.” One excerpt should be sufficient:
The powerful Habsburg dynasty ruled Spain and its empire from 1516 to 1700 but when King Charles II died in 1700 without any children from his two marriages, the male line died out and the French Bourbon dynasty came to power in Spain. Reporting in the open-access, peer-reviewed journal PLoS ONE, April 15 [The Role of Inbreeding in the Extinction of a European Royal Dynasty], Gonzalo Alvarez and colleagues at the University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain, provide genetic evidence to support the historical evidence that the high frequency of inbreeding (mating between closely related individuals) within the dynasty was a major cause for the extinction of its male line.
The reason we mention the foregoing is so that we can ask this question: Why don’t creationists ever consider the obvious problems associated with their version of history? There are some people running around who are undoubtedly inbred idiots — but we’re not all like that. So what’s the creationist explanation? Is there one?
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