What is the genetic evidence for human evolution? | The BioLogos Forum

The fossil is the finding, John. The meat of a scientific paper is the figures and tables, not the words. You can easily spot someone who is engaging in pseudoscience by a preference for rhetoric over data.

At least we’ve resolved that you don’t understand the concept of nested hierarchies and how evolution constricts them while design loosens them.


And the other problem is that by the theory, almost every other animal becomes an intermediate in some type of hierarchy.

And in contrast, by opposition to the theory, almost every intermediate becomes a new animal.

Yes, sort of. Except that they don’t “become”, but they “are”. Nevertheless not all intermediates. YEC believe that there are many derivatives of various “kinds”, even though we may have not figured out all of it in detail… therefore they say that about 8000 “kinds” were on the ark, which diverged into similar types, lines or species due to selection towards adaptation. ie. Siberian tiger, Asian tiger. Black bear, brown bear, grizzly. etc. But these forms are a narrowing of diversity, just like all the types of dogs are a narrowing of diversity of an original dog species. Yet, dogs have not changed into… cats, or horses, or beaver. They are still dogs.

I don’t get it. As animals become more diverse it’s a narrowing of diversity? I volunteer at AKC Meet the Breeds in Manhattan every year and get to see scores of breeds. The diversity is astonishing. There are SO many breeds in the AKC alone. Take a look! AKC dog breeds Do they look more diverse than any wild canid?

There are many breeds, so the diversity of breeds is astonishing, yes. But within each of those breeds, there is less diversity than before. For example, if you have non-purebred labrador dogs, then a pair of dogs could produce puppies that are black, chocolate, yellow, red, white. So this pair of dogs has diverse genetics, allowing various colors of puppies to be born. But if you have purebred labradors, then often they will breed true to color, meaning there is only one color, such as white labs producing only white pups and no other color. Thus less diversity within the genetics of that specific line, which is a narrowing of diversity. If you were to breed labrador dogs with collie dogs, then you will find a greater diversity in the pups. You need to distinguish between the overall diversity, and the genetic diversity within one particular group or line or species. With more breeds the gene pool has not become more diverse, but merely more specialized, with each breed only having a very specific, less diverse set of genes.

But you said that all the types of dogs are a narrowing of diversity of an original dog species. It isn’t nice to move the goal posts.

Of course it isn’t nice to move goal posts. And yes, I agree that various types of dogs are a narrowing of diversity. Each type is a narrowing. But you are right that the diversity might remain as long as all the various narrower types survive. As long as you can still breed them together, then you can get back to a diverse genetics within a pair of dogs. However, this is just an example. Dogs have not really changed into a bunch of different species… only into breeds or types or varieties.

However, if you have a bunch of breeds, such as chihauhau, poodle, shitzu, husky, border collie, greatdane, and bulldogs, and bring them up north, and they do not interbreed, then only some will survive the -60C weather on Baffin Island. Those are likely to be the husky, because they have the type of hair, hunting ability, and pack ability to survive in the snow and bring down some prey if it can be found. The other types are too small, have too little hair, or cannot run fast enough, etc. If only the husky survives, then the rest of the diversity of the other types will likely have been lost. This is an example of how an original type of diversity that might be found in wolves or coyotes or wild dogs will be reduced as a more specific speciation takes place. This explains how speciation reduces genetic information rather than increasing it, because now the genes for short hair or smaller size and the bulldog jaw have been lost. However, in the wild, there is still a large amount of genetic diversity in most species… thus there is lots of diversity in wild dogs, in finches, in salamanders, wheat, etc.

How can anything diverge into similar types? Isn’t that an oxymoron?

That makes absolutely no sense, as collectively they are more diverse than the ancestral wolf population.

Evolutionary biology doesn’t predict anything of the sort, John. Have you considered trying to learn real evolutionary biology instead of creationists’ laughable misrepresentations of it? After all, if you find evolution so threatening, wouldn’t it be better if you argued against the real thing instead of a straw man?

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Yes, how could you make a claim that there is a lack of things in category X when you are unaware? Wouldn’t one have to search before making such a claim?

johnZ, I’m afraid you aren’t making sense.

I do make sense, but apparently have not yet explained it in a way that you understand. Sorry about that. Let me try again.

If you have a species that has within it a large genetic diversity, let’s use cows, so that when you breed any two cows together, you don’t know whether you will get black cows, red cows, horned cows or no-horns, long-haired cows or short-haired cows, tall or short cows, then you know that your genetic diversity is quite large. If you were to select only a certain type from that population, such as black and white, short-haired, horned calves and then keep breeding them with each other, and discarding all off-types from that population, you would eventually end up with something like Holstein cows. When you breed two Holsteins together, you do not get long haired red calves, but only black and white short-haired horned calves. So there is less variety, less diversity within the Holstein population than there was in the general “cow” population. If you can imagine natural selection doing something like this, giving preference to a certain type of animal, and discarding the off-types (because this is what natural selection does), then you can see that the selected type has less diversity than the original animal population from which it came.

Today we have domestic cows (Angus, Holstein, Galloway, Simmental), we have bison, brahmas and other types of cattle which can often be bred together, if people bring them together. But each of those breeds and types breed more or less true to type, if they breed within the breed, and that is because each breed has less diversity than all of the breeds do together.

Hopefully you understand this. If you don’t, I’m not sure I can help you any more in this, but if you search for genetic diversity in breeds, types and kinds, perhaps someone else will provide an explanation that is more clear to you.

I think I have bovine traumatic reticuloperitonitis from swallowing that.

Good one! :smile:

I should have used beagles in my illustration… that would have been easier to swallow…

No, it doesn’t, because you haven’t bothered to offer an example of speciation. Speciation would only reduce polymorphism (this is the word that refers to the concept you are misrepresenting, not “genetic information”) if a bottleneck is present. Artificial inbreeding is a bottleneck by definition, while the vast majority of natural speciation events do not involve bottlenecks.


Does the argument of “kinds” stem from the Bible or from science? When people say that animals change into different variations, but still are the same “kind” of animal, I’m not sure what they mean by that. And I don’t think that the Bible has any clear biological definition on the word “kind”.


The above is an interesting articles that delves into the word “kind” and how it’s used in the Bible.

My trouble is this: are dogs and wolves the same “kind” of animal…? What about lions and common house cats, which are both considered feline, did they both originate from the same generic “cat kind” that got off the ark? Or were there “multiple cat kinds” that got off the ark, as some have suggested? And if there were multiple cat kinds on the ark, then how does one properly define what a “kind” is? Ken Ham calls the camel and llama as belonging to the same “kind” … So what does that mean when the Bible talks about camels? Are they talking about creatures with humps or the llama variety?


Yes, I agree with you on this. The argument of kinds does stem from the bible, but it is of course similar to the argument for species. It is interesting that there are different definitions of species. Sometimes species is defined as an observable interbreeding population. Other times it is defined as plants or organisms which could interbreed if brought together, even if they don’t normally do so.

The typical example is one we are most familiar with: dogs. There are many breeds of dogs, and those breeds can be vastly different. If we didn’t know they were all dogs, we would be inclined to call them different species. We would not think shitzu and Great Dane are the same species. Yet we believe they all came from the same type of animal, and the usual speculation is that they are all descendants of some type of wild dog or wolf, since wolves can interbreed with dogs. For those who want to interpret “kinds”, they say that for all these variations and breeds, only one pair with a great deal of genetic diversity (a wild dog or wolf or coyote type) was necessary to provide enough genetics for all the breeds of dogs.

So a similar principle would apply to many other kinds, ie., a type of bovine that could have led to domestic cows as well as buffalo, brahmas, etc. If lions and tigers and cheetahs and jaquars and cougars can interbreed, perhaps they too originated from a common kind or pair. I don’t know about house cats, lynx, bobcat, etc. but maybe they also could be included, just as a chihauhau is a dog. I don’t know where all the limits might be, so I can’t explain more about this. I would suggest however, that since the flood, camels would be camels… remember we give the same common name to the one-humped vs two-humped camel.

[quote=“johnZ, post:41, topic:455”]
The argument of kinds does stem from the bible, but it is of course similar to the argument for species.[/quote]
I’ve never heard of anything like an “argument for species.” Perhaps you could explain?

[quote]It is interesting that there are different definitions of species. Sometimes species is defined as an observable interbreeding population. Other times it is defined as plants or organisms which could interbreed if brought together, even if they don’t normally do so.
[/quote]What’s even more interesting is that evolutionary theory predicts such fuzziness, so the “arguments” are not similar at all. Kinds are distinct, but petabytes of DNA evidence contradict that–it’s all one nested hierarchy.

IMO, this is why you avoid evidence (God’s Word) in favor of hearsay (man’s word).


The reason I ask is because the definition of “kind” is very fuzzy in the Bible, even though it’s presented as being very clear, by YEC speakers.

If you read the book of Leviticus, and Deuteronomy, and the very specific instructions for “what not to eat, concerning animals” it defines a hawk and a night hawk as two separate “kinds” even though someone like Ken Ham would define it as belonging to the same “kind”. It also mentions three separate insects that are both jumping insects and capable of flight… But even they are three different “kinds”.

So I have difficulty understanding where it is “kinds” come from…? Humans and Apes are both considered mammals… Are they the same kind? Koalas and Kangaroos are considered marsupials… Are they same kind? The same goes for horses, zebras, donkeys, etc.,

This sorta “fuzziness” doesn’t look good for the idea that organisms have strict boundaries … Kinds are defined in the Bible by either physical appearance (when Adam named the animals) or by ability to reproduce (when Noah selected the animals for the ark). Not necessarily for “animal families”…


Sorry Tim, it’s not presented as very clear by YEC, as they admit themselves. However, they point out that the definition of species is also very fluid, and has changed, and can mean different things. “Kind” is not a scientific term, merely an indication that animals reproduce something similar to themselves. So in some cases, “kinds” are species, but in other cases, genera. “Kinds” is also somewhat fluid… I have not got into the details of where they get the 8000 species from. But as a starting point, bison and angus and brahmas would likely be considered as one “kind”, just as wolves, coyotes, and wild dogs.

Don’t all animals reproduce something similar to themselves?