Human and Chimp Similarity

Wait who is Craig?

William Lane Craig, Christian philosopher who isn’t very shy about discussing science without having a science background.

Just to be clear, is this the paper the one that RTB and others site about more diversity than expected?

If so that, is a surprising equivocation.

@DennisVenema points to the linkage disequilibrium, which is connected to the number of alleles of different scales in the genome. This article, on the other hand, is about the number of heterozygotes, without reference to the number of alleles. Moreover, this is explained easily by negative selection, where homozygous for specific alleles are deleted from the population. The authors of the study themselves point this out.

In sum, this has just about nothing to do with the population size estimates of early humans.

Can anyone produce some text about what conclusions are drawn from this study?

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Here is a transcript of William Lane Craig’s podcast where he talked about this issue. He discussed Fuz Rana’s analysis of the paper.

I should have guessed, but Dennis Venema has already addressed this in two blog posts:

The point both Fuz and Craig attempt to make is that this evidence clearly suggests that Adam and Eve could have been the only 2 breeding humans on earth at the time of creation. Interestingly, Fuz is quoted in this transcript and says “What the researchers discovered, however, when they measured this quantity directly for the sheep on Haute Island was that it exceeded the predictions made by the models by up to a factor of 4.” Craig follows this up in the VERY NEXT SENTENCE with “So the genetic diversity was four times what the model had predicted.” So the “telephone game” dropped the very important “by up to” part of Fuz’s comment.


Is that a serious question? He believes in a young earth based on his interpretation of Genesis. I’m pretty sure that makes him a YEC. Is there any other kind?

This is not really a fair critique.

ReMine published the Biotic Message in 1993, well before google existed. The internet was nothing like what we see now, and most of those hits would not be accessible then. Most importantly, DNA sequencing was still in its infancy, we are well before 2000 when the human genome is published, and 2005 with the chimp genome is published. He did not know what we know now.

At the time, “phylogeny” was determined by investigator selected phenotypes (which are subject to selection bias) and short DNA stretches (which are also subject to selection bias). This data was not nearly as convincing as the corresponding and quantitative (and without selection bias) story we read from unbased genome studies. ReMine just did not have that information in 1993.

Since then too he appears to continue to hold to his YEC beliefs, but he has not been terribly active in the conversation. It seems to be a tacit sign he knows his argument did not pan out.

Yes, my question was asked out of ignorance. I know he has been a DI fellow.

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Tomkins’ argument hasn’t panned out, either. He assumes that gaps in the published human genome sequence have 0% homology to the chimp genome, and vice versa. This is false. This is why his work would never pass peer review.

Lack of internet is no excuse for not citing the relevant literature.

There was plenty of sequence information, organized into phylogenies, published in the scientific literature before 1993, to demonstrate that ReMine was wrong. While it is dwarfed by the amount of sequence data available today, that’s not a valid excuse.

Look, it does not make his argument right, but there is no value in piling on.

Thanks for explaining!

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