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


#122

Swamidass’ model has always been a mixture of science and faith. The science says that it is entirely possible that there are universal genealogical ancestors that existed in the not so distant pass relative to the MRCA’s for mitochondrial and y chromosomal DNA. However, none of the science demonstrates that the male and female MRUGA’s lived at the same time, in the same area, or even had children with each other. Swamidass’ has simply found an unknown in science, and inserted A&E. Needless to say, if A&E did not exist then we would see these same geneaological and genetic patterns.

I would classify Swadmiass’ model the same as I would classify the Resurrection. There is no scientific evidence demonstrating that a man named Jesus did not rise from the dead around 33 AD, but there is no evidence that such a thing did happen. A&E as MRUGA’s would seem to fit the same bill.


Questions about Universal Ancestry
#124

If we use Charlemagne or Genghis Kahn as our examples, then this doesn’t quite fit. They each had many wives (and non-wives) and many children from those wives, so the female UGA would be the common genealogical ancestor of those wives. But as you say, A&E are expected to be monogamous so this doesn’t apply in every case.

However, the MRCA for mitDNA and y-chrom are not expected to be a couple, so why wouldn’t the same apply to female and male MRUGA’s? I am not arguing against the idea, just that I don’t see any reason why this would be more likely.


Questions about Universal Ancestry
(Peaceful Science) #125

think we should do this in another thread…

See my answers here, and please put technical questions about UGA there: https://discourse.biologos.org/t/questions-about-universal-ancestry/


(Bill Wald) #127

One my our kids asked us to submit DNA for analysis. I pass the hits to him. We found a bunch of close relatives on my side of who we had photos but didn’t know who they were and my wife found one “lost” cousin. This was several years ago.

Every week I get a half dozen mtDNA hits that could go back to Noah’s Ark. My wife gets almost none.


#128

Are you referring to your idea that maybe God sent a man to have sex with women on distant continents or islands?


(George Brooks) #129

@beaglelady

Well, indeed I am, my dear doe-eyed Goddess of the Fleets! If we don’t know which vessel the man (or woman) got onto, and then stepped off of … well, how can we take this scenario seriously?


#130

Aren’t you the only person who has suggested this scenario?


(George Brooks) #131

@beaglelady

I’m the only one willing to couch the obvious as part of God’s providential plan? - - I would answer yes to that. But don’t you think it is odd that with all these believers around here, it is a Unitarian who suggests the obvious?

All the genealogical studies involve migrations, of a statistically small number of people, reaching the more distant or more isolated parts of the world. All these genealogical models depend upon the “migration assumptions” completely to achieve their end.

Critics then post in - - how do you prove those small migrations? All I can do is shake my head … why would we need to actually prove the un-provable? Can you prove who and when some small group arrived on the coast of Australia?

If a YEC is convinced that Adam & Eve are ancestors of all humanity, do we have to prove how God accomplished that through migration?


(Richard Wright) #132

There is no scientific evidence of the resurrection, but there is evidence. That is that unschooled and ordinary people gave up their lives to testify to the gospel that spread over and changed the world. That is historic evidence that something happened in Judea 2,000 years ago.


#133

Your idea gives me the creeps (a man sailing far and wide simply to become the ancestor of all future generations). But I think it would be a good idea for a dystopian novel–perhaps about some nut desiring to become a new universal ancestor. (The Handmaid’s Tale also gave me the creeps!)


(George Brooks) #134

@beaglelady

That would be a good novel!

But perhaps you are working too hard to be creeped out. What makes you think these God-selected wanderers have any idea that this is their fate? They are just minding their own business, on a commercial trip, and a storm takes them off course. Not only is this not hard to believe … I think it is hard to not believe it.

But unless you think the storm winds are whispering in his ears (Voice: “When you step on the beach, you should be wearing the blue bermudas!”), I would think there is zero creepy factor - - unless you meant God’s inscrutible ways …


#135

That is true for some cults which you probably don’t believe in. For example, the Heaven’s Gate cult all committed suicide to take a ride in a comet. I doubt you consider that evidence for a spaceship in the Hale-Bopp comet.


(Richard Wright) #136

That’s comparing apples to oranges. The Apostles (except for the, “abnormally born” Paul) were historically unlearned fishers and tax collectors who started a movement that changed the world and still changes individual lives today, like mine. But that’s hardly the only historical evidence. We have the written accounts 3 men who claimed to by eyewitnesses of the 3 years of Jesus’ public ministry (John, Mark and Matthew), we have someone who researched from witnesses and people who spoke to witnesses and wrote an account of what he discovered (Luke) and we have 3 references in the works of the 1st century Jewish historian Josephus that mention Jesus and John the Baptist, as well as other more contested historical evidence. IMHO, that is a lot weightier than the actions of a tiny suicidal cult.


#137

The same could be said for many other religions, with Islam as one example.[quote=“Richard_Wright1, post:136, topic:37034”]
We have the written accounts 3 men who claimed to by eyewitnesses of the 3 years of Jesus’ public ministry (John, Mark and Matthew), we have someone who researched from witnesses and people who spoke to witnesses and wrote an account of what he discovered (Luke) and we have 3 references in the works of the 1st century Jewish historian Josephus that mention Jesus and John the Baptist, as well as other more contested historical evidence. IMHO, that is a lot weightier than the actions of a tiny suicidal cult.
[/quote]

The same evidence exists for the Mormon faith, yet I doubt you find that evidence to be as compelling. In fact, there are multiple eyewitness accounts of people looking upon the Golden Tablets. There are many historians from the 1800’s who mention Joseph Smith.

I just find it interesting that the evidence Christians put forth is not considered evidence when the same exists for other religions.


(George Brooks) #138

@DennisVenema,

I was looking for information what multi-allele traits in the human genomes have the longest list of alleles.

So far, the clearest case I could find is the Rh blood factor, + or - . For the sake of convenience, I am using parentheses to indicate “raised” alpha characters:

Using the RH symbolism by Wiener, one page listed eight alleles for the human trait:

                       **R(z), R(1), R(2), R(0), r(Y), r('), r (''), r** 

Is there another trait, Dennis, that lots more? Naturally I would like the max. allele counts to include any and all of the Rarest of Alleles for any given trait.

What trait do you recommend?


#139

Dennis mentions genes from the MHC complex in part I of his response to Buggs:

“Humans, however, have a large number of alleles for many genes – famously, there are hundreds of alleles for some genes involved in immune system function.”

You can find a list of alleles for MHC genes here. For HLA-A there are nearly 4,000 alleles. However, I don’t know if these are the best examples because I remember hearing that there is a higher than average recombination rate in the MHC complex.


(Steve Schaffner) #140

Mark and Matthew do not claim to be written by eyewitnesses. John claims the authority of an eyewitness, although it also makes clear that others were involved in the writing of the gospel.


(George Brooks) #141

Ideally, I would think, [and please correct me if you have a moment to do so, @DennisVenema!], that an ideal approach to measuring human diversity would be to:

  1. Associate multi-allele traits for each of the 23 chromosomes.

  2. Identify the 23 multi-allele traits with the most alleles for each of the 23 chromosomes.

  3. And develop probability calculations for the net of the 23 chromosomes, rather than for just one trait, or for multiple traits that may or may not cluster onto the same chromosome or even the same section of the chromosome in question.

This, I would think, would give the most fulsome description of what is happening in the human Genome.

What do you think @T_aquaticus? Does that sound plausibly rigorous enough?


(Richard Wright) #142

Well TA, I believe that you’re holding back some salient information. Yes, there are 3, “witnesses” of the Golden Plates who were all leaders of the church, 2 of whom went in and out of retracting their testimony. The, “Eight Witnesses” were all family members of 2 of the, “3” (Smith and Whitmer). There also is evidence that Joseph Smith was convicted of scamming people with a, “seer stone” to find hidden treasures (he was also convicted of bank fraud after founding the Mormon church). There is even more evidence of massive contradictions between his book and the bible, including differences in the nature of Jesus Himself. There’s a lot more I could write but suffice it to say that I’ve seen enough, “evidence” to be convinced of the untruth of the Book of Mormon and of the Mormon faith.

Also, you seem to be confused about, “other religions”. Mormons claim to be Christians, so the historical evidence of the Christian faith is evidence for their faith as well. There just isn’t historical evidence backing up the claims of the Book of Mormon.

No, the same, “evidence” doesn’t exist for other faiths, this is a false equivalency like comparing the evidence for Christianity to that of a modern-day suicidal cult. Buddha left his family to mediate on a hill then declared himself, “enlightened”. Mohammed claimed to be in the line of the biblical prophets but there are massive contradictions between the Koran and the bible. Yes, we know they existed, but that doesn’t compare to the evidence backing up Christianity, with 1,500 years of prophecy and teachings underpinning the faith (none for Mohammed, at least not that I find credible).

That said, almost literally nobody comes to become a biblical Christian because of or even including historical evidence, at least not in my experience. Usually they are at a point in their lives when, for whatever their reasons, they long to be connected to their creator.


#143

Many of the same counter-evidence could be used against the Gospels. The three synoptic gospels appear to be retellings of a singular gospel, so they aren’t even eye witness accounts. The very reasons that you discount the evidence for other faiths is the same reason I discount the evidence given for Christianity.[quote=“Richard_Wright1, post:142, topic:37034”]
Mohammed claimed to be in the line of the biblical prophets but there are massive contradictions between the Koran and the bible. Yes, we know they existed, but that doesn’t compare to the evidence backing up Christianity, with 1,500 years of prophecy and teachings underpinning the faith (none for Mohammed, at least not that I find credible).
[/quote]

You only say that it doesn’t compare because you aren’t Muslim. There were even claims of people witnessing Mohammed being taken into heaven, but I would suspect that you would discount those as well.