Recent AIG video Attacking BioLogos' positions on evolutionary genetics and Common Descent


Has there been a formal response to this video yet?:

In it, statements are made challenging (on scientific grounds), the 98% - 99% similarities in the human/chimpanzee genome…among other things.

The video is titled: “Confirming evidence of a literal Adam & Eve with Dr. Georgia Purdom”

(Peaceful Science) #2

I’m considering a response on the 98% point…as an expert in Genomic Medicine, I’m uniquely qualified here. Not sure what venue or if anyone would want to hear from me on that.


Go for it!

(Casper Hesp) #4

I must confess I didn’t watch the video… But just the title is already off from a scientific point of view. Usually scientists should also be looking for possibilities to falsify their own pet theories, instead of only digging for “confirming evidence”. Didn’t they study Karl Popper? Although pure falsificationism is lacking in some respects, the principle of falsification is still crucial for the scientific method.

@Swamidass Count me in so you’ll have at least one reader :grin:. In general I think many people would love to read intelligible, respectful rebuttals of such statements written by other Christians.

(Peaceful Science) #5

Let’s see if @BradKramer agrees =).

(Brad Kramer) #6

Let me send this around and we’ll think about it. Thanks for bringing it to our attention, @pmorris. I don’t think any of us have seen this yet. We have to be strategic about what AiG stuff we directly respond to, especially if the claims have already been answered elsewhere by us.

I will say that this screenshot at 51:59 is pretty much AiG in a single image.

Especially since they are misrepresenting what Rev. Vander Zee actually meant.

(Mervin Bitikofer) #7

I watched enough of the video to see where she goes on the scientific side of things. Here is some summary (based on my memory from a partial once-through).

She attacks the human-chimp 98% similarity between DNA by calling attention to the fact that only bits and pieces of the DNA are counted. Large swathes of it that don’t match up are simply left out of the calculation because of non-alignment issues or because one has DNA that the other doesn’t have. So she said the actual figure is much smaller depending on how you count it – she gave various figures from 70+% to 88%.

Regarding the fusion of two ape chromosomes to form human chromosome 2, she said geneticists are having trouble finding tell-tale signs of residual telemeres where there should be between the formerly separated chromosomes. Apparently (according to her) there is also some trouble locating a former centromere where there should be the residual extra from when the chromosome wasn’t yet divided.

For mitochondrial Eve (evolutionary point of view around 100kya --though she made much of the fact that this date has shifted quite a bit over the years), she referred to a 1997 paper (buried and ignored by a liberal media) in which a scientist just used human comparisons (not trying to incorporate in the chimp DNA). This scientist came up with a mitochondrial Eve of … you guessed it! around 6500 years ago. Only by starting with the presupposition of common ancestry with the chimp does the date suddenly explode to out to the larger magnitudes.

Regarding the smallest population at 10000, she calls attention to all the assumptions in play (about 37 min. in): 1. mutation rates always constant, 2. presuming common ancestry (with divergence happening 4.5mya) 3. generation times assumed to always = about 20 years, 4. what past population sizes were (100,000 at time of chimp/human divergence). There is a visual citation in the video of a 1997 evolutionary paper that apparently “conceded” all these presuppositions.

Now … I’m not a geneticist, but I think even I can answer one or two of these, and I’m sure Dennis Venema has probably dealt with all of this in his many excellent posts. Nevertheless, if any of you want to recap/summarize appropriate responses to these points here again, have at it! Hopefully I’ve not misrepresented any of her claims.

(Peaceful Science) #8

This is totally false. The fact that they are continually repeating this absurdity is a grave strategic error. I’m hoping to write a tutorial so anyone can download the full genomes and do the test themselves.

From Uncommon Descent (yes, the pro-ID site):

(Mervin Bitikofer) #9

Yes, that was one of the ones that I think I remember Venema addressing as well. Something like … if we were comparing two long sequences but they had occasional offsets because of insertions or deletions, we wouldn’t just set them side-by-side with no adjustments because then you would come up with nearly zero similarities, when in reality large sections might be exact copies but just offset in the comparison! Is that basically right?

(Peaceful Science) #10

More absurdly, the human to human comparison by their method (which should be 100%) comes out to be 89%. They do not even do the basic controls to ensure that their pipeline is correct. This has also been reported to them, and they choose not to correct this.

At this point, we can all draw our conclusions.

(George Brooks) #11

It’s endless discussions like this that reinforces my conclusion that GEOLOGY and PHYSICS are the best evidences of an ANCIENT EARTH … millions of years old.

Trying to get YEC’s anywhere near evolutionary biology is like herding kittens… kittens on crack.

(Mervin Bitikofer) #12

Actually, I was kind of hoping somebody (okay … you) might still comment on the weaknesses or any outright fallacies in her other claims. What is painfully obvious to you may still be opaque to a physical sciences person like me.

(Peaceful Science) #13

More than data, evidence, logic, experiments, and publications, science’s foundation is trust. Reputation counts more than anything else.

I focus on the 98% figure because it is easy for non-biologists to understand, and it clearly calibrates for them (including you) who is to be trusted about the science of biology.

Maybe, another day, we can get into other details. However, I’m caught up with a very length private interaction with a Discovery Institute Fellow. AiG will have to wait.

(Mervin Bitikofer) #14

No worries. This is just me being lazy … or knowing, rather that I too have other things I need to be attending. There is always Dennis’ posts here that I can go back and reread. So I don’t need to distract you from important things on your plate.


It’s not about science or scientific reputation with the AiG. It has never been about that. It’s all apologetics and sounding scientific; not sound science.

(Christy Hemphill) #16

A post was merged into an existing topic: Important Clarification: Science of “TOE” vs. Metaphysics of the Eucharist?

(system) #22

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