Latest Critique of Venema's Claims About Past Human Population Sizes


(Peaceful Science) #61

Every YEC I have talked to recognizes this for what it is. It is a genuine olive branch, that was costly to offer. Even if they cannot come this far, there is real appreciation. There is value

I am lucky. @TedDavis is awesome =).

I will now fully admit that this is a very complicated topic, and retract my simplistic historical analysis.


I still do emphasize that even if it is not ultimately acceptable, it is received for what it is. A genuine olive branch. Also it is a rare admission of error from those of us in science. That builds bridges.


(Jay Johnson) #62

You used the term in the following post on another thread:

It doesn’t really matter whether you call them Adamic/non-Adamic, H. sapiens/theological humans, unFallen/Fallen, or some other pair of terms that the general public will find more acceptable. (I assume they will not swallow human/not-quite-human, so something less problematic must be found from a PR standpoint.) The distinction is still there. (Did I answer your question, too, @Jonathan_Burke?)

That’s exactly what I said, the process must have been completed by the first century:

So, again, if the process must have been completed by the first century, then you are making a historical claim. Show me some historical evidence that at least makes the idea plausible. Math won’t get someone across the ocean. [quote=“Swamidass, post:56, topic:37034”]
This is all dealt with in the paper @Jay313. It passed peer review with people more skeptical than you, without any scientific objections. There is just evidence and information you are ignorant of. Take a look at the paper. It is on my website.
[/quote]

I took a look. I disagree with your evaluation of the isolation of South America. There is zero evidence that anyone from the “Old World” visited South America at a time when ocean-going vessels didn’t exist. You tried to explain the lack of evidence of any contact, but I think your explanation failed. It’s as simple as that. Others are free to read it and make up their own minds.


(George Brooks) #63

@Jay313,

I was hoping that you would get to this question!

In @Swamidass’s prior postings… readers have gleaned the following:

  1. Most special creation timelines put Adam & Eve and 4000 BCE.

  2. That’s 4000 years to the approximate year of the arrival of Jesus.

  3. Virtually all the studies on the exponential growth of a mated pair’s offspring describe a time frame at or less than 2,000 years for one pair to become the universal ancestors (but not the only universal ancestors) of everyone alive on the Earth today!

The most influential factor is the assumptions involved with human migratory patterns, intentional and accidental.
Isolated areas, like the rooftop nation of Nepal, or more importantly, Australia and New Zealand. Rather than assume any consistent flow of human traffic to-and-from these isolated regions, I think the researchers just assume a single trader or lost vessels, once every centurty, or some such minimum factor.

This is the sentence you write, @Jay313, that gives me some pause:

“So, again, if the process must have been completed by the first century, then you are making a historical claim. Show me some historical evidence that at least makes the idea plausible. Math won’t get someone across the ocean.”

Two factors should be considered here …

A) If a Christian believes God can make humans out of dust, I think a Christian could accept the idea that God led someone to travel (intentionally or not) to a new land and procreate!

B) Australia was already populated once! I don’t believe we need special evidence to show that it could be reached at least once more time between 4000 BCE and 800 CE.

I’ve read some estimates of 50,000 years ago. All we would need is one lost boat in the waters of Indonesia, captained by an offpsring of Adam’s lineage (say 1000 years after Adam’s creation or the year 3,000 BCE), to be delivered by a storm to the coast of Australia.


(George Brooks) #64

@Jay313,

Again, to repeat the theme introduced in my prior post, you need to have proof that someone could have been lost at sea and survived a landing on the shore of South Africa? You wouldn’t ask for proof that Adam was made from dust would you?

Here is a bucket of scenarios… most of them are more ingenious than plausible. But again, your insistence on scientific evidence for the “super-natural side” of the @Swamidas scenario seems a little hard to justify … since compared to resurrection from death, God’s providence including a lost sailor or even a lost fleet, seems rather inconsequential!


(Jon) #65

Er, not really. I am still not sure what you mean by fallen/not-fallen. Do you mean “descended from Adam after the fall/not descended from Adam after the fall”, or something else?


(Jay Johnson) #66

On A), Mormons believe that Jesus visited the Americas and preached to the Native Americans after the Resurrection. Are we stepping into that territory?

On B), I’m talking about South America, not Australia. [quote=“gbrooks9, post:64, topic:37034”]
Again, to repeat the theme introduced in my prior post, you need to have proof that someone could have been lost at sea and survived a landing on the shore of South Africa? You wouldn’t ask for proof that Adam was made from dust would you?
[/quote]

I need to have proof that someone lost at sea would not survive a trans-Pacific journey? You must be joking. This is not Life of Pi we’re talking about here.[quote=“gbrooks9, post:64, topic:37034”]
But again, your insistence on scientific evidence for the “super-natural side” of the @Swamidas scenario
[/quote]
He is not claiming that God supernaturally transported someone to South America, is he? I must have missed that.

Sorry. I’ll try again. As I understand the recent Adam theory, after being expelled from the garden, Adam and his family could be described as “Fallen,” while all other H. sapiens would not be Fallen (hence, “unFallen”) until they became part of that family, too. If this still isn’t an adequate explanation, I’ll have to let one of the theory’s proponents explain.


#67

Worst pick-up line ever! White men have had a long history of sailing to foreign shores and having their way with foreign women. But even then, you can’t be sure you’ve bred every one.


#68

I wouldn’t say that science is completely silent since science argues for parsiomy so it would argue against the scenario you are putting forward. If we took your same approach for other topics it would be pretty messy. For example, we could argue that a police officer erased all of the evidence at a crime scene and then replaced it with evidence that was indistinguishable from the evidence that was previously there.

On the spectrum of claims, your A&E scenario does have the benefit of not being contradicted by the evidence which separates it from scenarios put forth by YEC organizations like AiG. However, calling your scenario “consistent with the evidence” probably takes it one step too far because it implies the usual use of hypothesis testing which includes parsimony.


(Jay Johnson) #69

Love that word. In the meantime, you guys please carry on without me. I’ve seriously exhausted my interest in it for now.


(Steve Schaffner) #70

As long as South America wasn’t isolated from North America for any extended period of time, and North America wasn’t isolated from Asia, there is no reason to invoke a visit directly to South America.

ETA: The population most likely to have been isolated for a long time at the time of Jesus was the Tasmanians.


(George Brooks) #71

@Jay313

You can’t dismiss this away with a funny one-liner!

If you believe God can make humans from a pile of dust, you can also believe that God sent genealogical representatives of Adam’s family all around the world, making Adam the universal ancestor of all humanity.

Why would you even doubt this?

It’s like saying “Special Creation is ridiculous.” - - when you have already admitted to Samson with magical hair, the Prophet with the talking donkey, Jonah spending 3 days in a fish… and a crucified body getting up and walking around after 3 days.


(George Brooks) #72

@T_aquaticus

It is science that shows how generations can be co-opted by a mating pair (genealogically speaking, rather than genetically speaking).

Whether we say it is “consistent with evidence” or “isn’t inconsistent with the evidence” … isn’t really the point, right? As long as we explain how exactly this is meant.

I hope you aren’t going to get all Athiestic Twitchy on this theme…


(George Brooks) #73

@Jonathan_Burke

I suppose @Swamidass is going to have to prepare some kind of narrative for the inevitable questions about whether or not the population into which Cain marries is or isn’t fallen.

Theoretically, without Moral Agency, they are just Homo sapiens sapiens… a biological endpoint of a particular branch of primates.

Adam & Eve, having been provided the “event” that either confirms or gives them Moral Agency, either establish God’s practice of putting a “soul that needs redemption” in all new humans born of Adam & Eve’s kindred group… or

the human soul is the same (no change from pre-Fall to post-FAll), and that redemption is a status or condition that extends to all humanity through psychological contact.

Either way, it’s the same conundrum that the normal YEC scenario creates - - and is resolved almost as a matter of personal preference ! My point being: whatever extends “Original Sin” or “Sinfulness” to all human generations is the same machinery that does so in this “Mixed Scenario” promoted by @Swamidass.


#74

“Can be” is a bit different than “did”.[quote=“gbrooks9, post:72, topic:37034”]
Whether we say it is “consistent with evidence” or “isn’t inconsistent with the evidence” … isn’t really the point, right? As long as we explain how exactly this is meant.

I hope you aren’t going to get all Athiestic Twitchy on this theme…
[/quote]

I am getting Scientific Twitchy. Scientists are touchy when it comes to describing conclusions. The key is that your stated conclusion should be easily understood if it is pulled out of context with the explanations that follow it. When scientists here that a conclusion is “consistent with evidence” that means the conclusion is positively supported to the exclusion of other explanations, at least that is what I hear.


(Phil) #75

My more cynical attitude is that the glue that holds AIG together is the 6000 year old creation. If you read their website, they even criticize other young earthers who figure a 10,000 year creation date. To some extent, they actually accommodate evolution by accepting “microevolution” with the exception that they do not accept it happening over prolonged periods, and also with their super-evolution model after the flood.
However, without a 6000 year old earth, and a 4000 year old global flood, their reason for being is toast, which is why they do not compromise on those points.


(Jay Johnson) #76

Oh, I understand the dynamics of how it works. South America is just a good example for people to wrap their minds around. It is theoretically possible, but only after appending a long list of “maybe” and “possibly” and “can’t rule it out” qualifying statements. Not something I want to hang my hat on, but your mileage may vary.

Homo sapiens sapiens without moral agency? Really? What sort of folks do you hang around?

On second thought, don’t answer that. haha.


(Steve Schaffner) #77

No, that’s not right. In the absence of some mechanism that we’re unaware of, South America is nearly certain to have not been isolated. Australia is a different story.


(George Brooks) #78

@T_aquaticus,

The scenario is designed for YEC-minded Christians, not for scientists who don’t require the concessions at all. So, stop being so twitchy. You are reacting to something that is not really intended for your nod of approval.


#79

I was offering constructive criticism, not demanding that my approval be required.


(George Brooks) #80

@Jay313,

The issue of South America? - You do understand we are addressing the narratives to YEC’s who really really want all of mankind to be eligible for redemption. They already accept all sorts of bizarre exceptions: humans that die as infants, people who are born in a vegative state, and live for 70 years, people who’ve never heard of Jesus because they live in the Amazon Jungle… and so on.

All it would take is one offspring of Adam, to land on a delta in Brazil … and South America is taken care of in terms of the gnealogical possibilities…

As for Moral Agency … okay, you tell me, Jay - - what would be the difference between Adam’s offspring, children of the Transgression, and the offspring of the humans that never experienced Eden, who never touched the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge … what are they?

Are they innocents? If so, are they innocents because of how pure they are, or innocents because they haven’t been given the “trial” that Yahweh gave Adam and Eve?

However you categorize them, the headship of the Adam offspring is what becomes the foundation of their future redemption.