Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Mendel’s Accountant and Joe Felsenstein’s freely downloadable book on Theoretical Population Genetics


Joe Felsenstein is a world class geneticist. Joe is credited with coining the phrase “Muller’s Ratchet” after Nobel Prize winner Hermann Muller. Even though Joe is an evolutionist, Joe holds a unique position of being highly regarded by creationists for his work on population genetics. His work on Muller’s ratchet became a pillar of creationist population genetics.

Most certainly creationists reject the bulk of his claims on one of his favorite topics, phylogeny, but they have high regard for his works on population genetics. Joe is incredibly generous in making the compilation of his research of 34 years into a freely downloadable textbook for students of population genetics. I can attest to the great effort Joe put into the book to make his book accessible. Much of the math and concepts in theoretical population genetics is almost impenetrable (just read some Kimura, and you’ll get my drift). However, Joe makes a difficult topic accessible. He is a master Jedi of population genetics.

Here is Joe’s book:
http://evolution.genetics.washington.edu/pgbook/pgbook.html. Grab your copy while supplies last.

I want to publicly thank Joe for his generosity. His book gives the public the chance to sit under the tutelage of an expert in the discipline. This book encapsulates many of the ideas expressed in Mendel’s Accountant, such as Mendelian Segregation, the Multiplicative Fitness Model, the Additive Fitness Model, linkage, recombination, migration and stirring, Hardy-Weinberg, recombination, selection coefficients, etc.

Speaking of which, Mendel’s Accountant is publicly available as well at:

MENDEL is a genetic accounting program that allows realistic numerical simulation of the mutation/selection process over time. MENDEL is applicable to either haploid or diploid organisms, having either sexual or clonal reproduction. Each mutation that enters the simulated population is tracked from generation to generation to the end of the experiment – or until that mutation is lost either as a result of selection or random drift. Using a standard personal computer, the MENDEL program can be used to generate and track millions of mutations within a single population.

MENDEL’s input variables include such things as mutation rate, distribution specifications for mutation effects, extent of dominance, mating characteristics, selection method, average fertility, heritability, non-scaling noise, linkage block properties, chromosome number, genome size, population size, population sub-structure, and number of generations.

The MENDEL program outputs, both in tabular and graphic form, provide several types of data including: deleterious and beneficial mutation counts per individual, mean individual fitness as a function of generation count, distribution of mutation effects, and allele frequencies.

MENDEL provides biologists with a new tool for research and teaching, and allows for the modeling of complex biological scenarios that would have previously been impossible.

I was asked not to advertise Mendel’s Accountant until various papers had been published. But now that they have been published, I feel free to promote the work of the creationist population genetics dream team.

Photo credits: Deviant Art and Sports Illustrated

From a bystanders perspective, I have to say all this talk about the validates of various computer simulations to mimic reality is kind of an irrelevant distraction to the whole topic of whether life is intended (as all creationists believe) or whether it is accidental, which is essentially what all evolutionists cling to. I don't think any of these programs address this in the slightness, because the programs just give you back what you tell it to-not much else. The crux of modern knowledge of genetics to me is genetics, and the story of how everyday we are seeing news about how environmental factors shape our genome for the next generations. Evolutionists have been able to skate past the whole concept of the epigenome like an elephant in the room they can ignore without being asked about it. If the essential question is, is life intended or accidental, how in the world can evolutionists cling to their 100 year old idea of accidental, when we know know NOT ONLY is DNA too complicated to likely have occurred randomly, but now we have to explain how epigenetics also occurs randomly. You don't need one miracle anymore, you need at least two. How much longer can they hide from this obvious fact? Simulations do nothing but provide false cover in my opinion. phoodoo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hQr3qBOHWc tragic mishap
Spock...lightsaber...my head...asplode. tragic mishap

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