Human evolution Intelligent Design

Adam and Eve reappear in a recent study

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File:DNA simple.svg Or someone does. We haven’t quite figured this out yet:

All modern humans descended from a solitary pair who lived 100,000 to 200,000 years ago, scientists say.

Scientists surveyed the genetic ‘bar codes’ of five million animals – including humans – from 100,000 different species and deduced that we sprang from a single pair of adults after a catastrophic event almost wiped out the human race.

These bar codes, or snippets of DNA that reside outside the nuclei of living cells, suggest that it’s not just people who came from a single pair of beings, but nine out of every 10 animal species, tooLeigh McManus, “All humans are descended from just TWO people and a catastrophic event almost wiped out ALL species 100,000 years ago, scientists claim” at Daily Mail, November 24, 2018

Animal species? [Noah! Wake up. Get sober. Put on a tie… Somebody give ‘im a washcloth… ]

Actually, this story originated last May:

Who would have suspected that a handheld genetic test used to unmask sushi bars pawning off tilapia for tuna could deliver deep insights into evolution, including how new species emerge?

And who would have thought to trawl through five million of these gene snapshots—called “DNA barcodes”—collected from 100,000 animal species by hundreds of researchers around the world and deposited in the US government-run GenBank database?

That would be Mark Stoeckle from The Rockefeller University in New York and David Thaler at the University of Basel in Switzerland, who together published findings last week sure to jostle, if not overturn, more than one settled idea about how evolution unfolds.

It is textbook biology, for example, that species with large, far-flung populations—think ants, rats, humans—will become more genetically diverse over time.

But is that true?

“The answer is no,” said Stoeckle, lead author of the study, published in the journal Human Evolution.

For the planet’s 7.6 billion people, 500 million house sparrows, or 100,000 sandpipers, genetic diversity “is about the same,” he told AFP. [Agence Presse France] Marlowe Hood, “Sweeping gene survey reveals new facets of evolution” at Phys.org

Story seems to have slept a bit. Then got picked up again by the Daily Mail the other day.

Here’s the paper. Here’s Evolution News’s take:

An exciting new paper in the journal Human Evolution has been published which you can read here. Popular science reports such as this have incautiously claimed, “They found out that 9 out of 10 animal species on the planet came to being at the same time as humans did some 100,000 to 200,000 years ago.”

But to be more precise, what they actually found is that the most recent common ancestor of those species seems to have lived during that time period.

This could indicate intelligent design, an event where species came into existence for the first time. But it could also indicate something else, such as a population crash (or crashes) that affected almost all life on Earth. Either way, if the paper is right, it would be a shock to established scientific expectations.

“This conclusion is very surprising,” co-author David Thaler of the University of Basel is quoted as saying, “and I fought against it as hard as I could.” His co-author is fellow geneticist Mark Stoeckle of Rockefeller University in New York. Andrew Jones, “New Paper in Evolution Journal: Humans and Animals Are (Mostly) the Same Age?” at Evolution News and Science Today

The recent Daily Mail retread of this story offers a valuable take-home point: Much on offer from science today is very provisional knowledge at best and flimflam at worst, bolstered by research on what’s wrong with the people who don’t trust it.

We just don’t know the history because we don’t know enough to fill it in reliably. Don’t trust anyone who tells you we do.

Follow UD News at Twitter!

See also: John Sanford on claims about brand new nylonase genes

Ann Gauger talks about Adam and Eve with World editor Marvin Olasky Gauger found two papers a few years later which suggested that the number of variants (allegedly disproving Adam and Eve) was much smaller. She is working on “an alternative population genetics model that doesn’t depend on evolutionary assumptions.”

and

Adam and Eve and Ann Gauger

24 Replies to “Adam and Eve reappear in a recent study

  1. 1
    daveS says:

    From the Daily Mail:

    All modern humans descended from a solitary pair who lived 100,000 to 200,000 years ago, scientists say.

    which leads one to wonder whether this pair was a couple that had children together, like the biblical Adam and Eve.

    The paper states:

    Contemporary sequence data cannot tell whether mitochondrial and Y chromosomes clonality occurred at the same time, i.e., consistent with the extreme bottleneck of a founding pair, or via sorting within a founding population of thousands that was stable for tens of thousands of years.

    I guess that means that the question cannot be answered yet?

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    Actually, what was most interesting about that paper was this finding,,, ” yet—another unexpected finding from the study—species have very clear genetic boundaries, and there’s nothing much in between.
    “If individuals are stars, then species are galaxies,” said Thaler. “They are compact clusters in the vastness of empty sequence space.”
    The absence of “in-between” species is something that also perplexed Darwin,”

    Sweeping gene survey reveals new facets of evolution – May 28, 2018
    Excerpt: Darwin perplexed,,,
    And yet—another unexpected finding from the study—species have very clear genetic boundaries, and there’s nothing much in between.
    “If individuals are stars, then species are galaxies,” said Thaler. “They are compact clusters in the vastness of empty sequence space.”
    The absence of “in-between” species is something that also perplexed Darwin, he said.
    https://phys.org/news/2018-05-gene-survey-reveals-facets-evolution.html

    Why should mitochondria define species? – 2018
    Excerpt: The particular mitochondrial sequence that has become the most widely used, the 648 base pair (bp) segment of the gene encoding mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI),,,,
    The pattern of life seen in barcodes is a commensurable whole made from thousands of individual studies that together yield a generalization. The clustering of barcodes has two equally important features: 1) the variance within clusters is low, and 2) the sequence gap among clusters is empty, i.e., intermediates are not found.,,,
    Excerpt conclusion: , ,The simple hypothesis is that the same explanation offered for the sequence variation found among modern humans applies equally to the modern populations of essentially all other animal species. Namely that the extant population, no matter what its current size or similarity to fossils of any age, has expanded from mitochondrial uniformity within the past 200,000 years.,,,
    https://phe.rockefeller.edu/news/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Stoeckle-Thaler-Final-reduced.pdf

    The preceding study, in over the top fashion, also confirms what Michael Denton had found over 30 years ago in his book “Evolution: A Theory in Crisis”. Specifically, “However, the most striking feature of the matrix is that every identifiable subclass is isolated and distinct. Every sequence can be unambiguously assigned to a particular subclass. No sequence or group of sequences can be designated as intermediate with respect to other groups. All the sequences of each subclass are equally isolated from the members of another group. Transitional or intermediate classes are completely absent from the matrix. 4”

    Cytochrome C
    Excerpt: If the existence of cytochrome C in “higher forms” of animals is the result of evolution from a common ancestor, then one would expect to see a logical progression. That is, the cytochrome C of an invertebrate (like a worm) would be slightly different from a bacteria. A “primitive” vertebrate (like a fish) would have those same differences, plus a few more. As you progress along the presumed evolutionary path to amphibians, reptiles, mammals, primates, ending with humans, you should see the changes in cytochrome C accumulate.
    On the other hand, if cytochrome C is a commonly used component employed by a designer, you will not see that logical progression. You will just see minor differences which optimize cytochrome C for that kind of creature.,,,
    There is a way to distinguish evolution from design at the molecular level. Molecular biologist Michael Denton examined the molecular evidence in detail. He said,,,
    “,,,Where the fossils had failed and morphological considerations were at best only ambiguous, perhaps this new field of comparative biochemistry might at last provide objective evidence of sequence and of the connecting links which had been so long sought by evolutionary biologists.
    However, as more protein sequences began to accumulate during the 1960s, it became increasingly apparent that the molecules were not going to provide any evidence of sequential arrangements in nature, but were rather going to reaffirm the traditional view that the system of nature conforms fundamentally to a highly ordered hierarchic scheme from which all direct evidence for evolution is emphatically absent.”,,
    Dr. Denton then produced several tables and diagrams that show this. He showed, for example, that the cytochrome C in bacteria is 64% different from horses and pigeons, 65% different from tuna and silkmoths, 66% different from wheat, and 69% different from yeast. 2 He left it to the reader to realize that, according to evolutionary theory, one would expect the cytochrome C of a bacterium to be closer to the cytochrome C of a tuna (fish) than a horse (mammal). Furthermore, the horse should have the same mutations as the tuna, plus a few more. This is not what the molecular data shows.,,,
    Dr. Denton’s Figure 12.1, “The Cytochromes Percent Sequence Difference Matrix” 3, is an abridged version of the 1972 Dayhoff Atlas of Protein Structure and Function Matrix of nearly 1089 entries showing the percent difference between 33 species. Denton’s abridged matrix shows that molecular biologists can easily recognize which cytochrome C sample came from a fish and which came from a mammal.
    “However, the most striking feature of the matrix is that every identifiable subclass is isolated and distinct. Every sequence can be unambiguously assigned to a particular subclass. No sequence or group of sequences can be designated as intermediate with respect to other groups. All the sequences of each subclass are equally isolated from the members of another group. Transitional or intermediate classes are completely absent from the matrix. 4”
    If evolution were true, and creatures gradually evolved from one to another, there should be intermediate forms. Intermediate forms should be found in living creatures, in the fossil record, and in proteins. It should, in at least some cases, be hard to classify things because the boundaries are blurred. (But the boundaries are distinct as would be expected under the Design presupposition)
    http://scienceagainstevolution.info/v7i10f.htm

  3. 3
    News says:

    What some of us found most interesting is that the conclusion was not something the authors wanted to find. That means a signal we ought not to ignore.

  4. 4
    OldAndrew says:

    Much on offer from science today is very provisional knowledge at best and flimflam at worst, bolstered by research on what’s wrong with the people who don’t trust it.

    Science is most reliable when linked to repeatable experiments.

    We can experiment a thousand times to verify how certain materials respond to various conditions or forces and use those results to produce reliable technology.

    We can observe the effects of diets, medication, and other behaviors on people, but experiments involving humans are necessarily limited. The results are more mixed. Progress is slower and when we pretend that we know something with the same level of certainty as in other areas of study, we end up being wrong half the time. A generation of people have their arteries clogged with hydrogenated vegetable oil because butter is bad for us.

    Then at the far end of the spectrum we get the folks who dig up a tooth and draw a picture of yet another ape-man, and it’s time to “re-think” human origins again, which implies that we were thinking the last time we invented ancestors from pieces of bone and crushed skulls.

    The farther we get from stuff we can actually observe and test the more likely we are to insert today’s popular ideology.

  5. 5
    Mimus says:

    All modern humans descended from a solitary pair who lived 100,000 to 200,000 years ago, scientists say.

    This is not true at all. The finding, which is man decades old, is that the last common ancestor of our mitochondria (and therefore the person we all descent from mother to grandmother to great-grandmother….) lived about 150,000 years ago. There is no suggestion that she was the only person on earth at the time. Indeed, we know from other data that she must have been part of a population.

    The paper these news pieces are based on doesn’t show any data to support the claim that everything on earth went through a bottleneck 200,000 years ago. (This claim seems to be based almost entirely on the authors misunderstanding of undergrad genetics)

  6. 6
    aarceng says:

    @OldAndrew, well put.

  7. 7
    Ed George says:

    Aarceng

    @OldAndrew, well put.

    Seconded.

  8. 8
    vmahuna says:

    And this single pair of 1 male and 1 female human lived in the same world that REQUIRED an INITIAL population of 10,000 humans?

    Am I missing something? Do these researchers ever TALK to each other?

    But my real question remains: who RAISED the first humans?

    It sure wasn’t gorillas or chimps.

    All Thoroughbred horses are descended from a SINGLE 19th century stallion. But of course that stallion was the same SPECIES as the mares who produced his foals. And those foals were born and matured like any other horse.

    But human “man cubs” are unique in their COMPLETE helplessness and LONG childhood. So only a VERY humanlike mother, and father, would have provided the EXHAUSTING amounts of constant and continuing attention the strange new babies required.

    That is, leopard cubs “hide in the tall grass” whilst mom goes hunting. Cubs who fail the “hide in the tall grass” class DIE. Most leopard cubs pass the class, otherwise leopards would have gone extinct a long time ago.

    But I think that almost ALL man-cubs would flunk the “hide in the tall grass” class. Human young REQUIRE attention from other humans, except when they’re sound asleep. If they wake up and there’s no sign of mom or dad (or grampa or auntie), the baby CRIES. That’s how babysitters know that Junior has finished his nap.

    So this remains a very “chicken and egg” kinda problem. The mother of the Very First Human Baby MUST have been from a species VERY close to modern humans. But of course not FULLY human. Otherwise Mom is the Very First Human, and we have to go looking for Mom’s mom.

  9. 9
    martin_r says:

    i am not native, please ignore my grammar.

    However, i have a question in regards to this research.

    This article speculates, that there must have been some catastrophic event 100,000 ago (in order to explain the results of this research)

    My question is,

    what catastrophic even could cause, that only 2 individuals from each kind survive? only two (2), everybody else from that kind died … and it happened on every place across the nature … not 100, not 10, not 5, only 2 individuals left from each kind … did i misunderstand something ?

  10. 10
    Mimus says:

    vmahuna, what creature do you think was the mother of the
    “first” chihuahua?

  11. 11
    ET says:

    Mimus:

    what creature do you think was the mother of the
    “first” chihuahua?

    A dog. And a dog that had the genetics to produce a chihuahua.

  12. 12
    News says:

    If it still takes seven generations to breed true, the mother of the first chihuahua who could be registered would be almost registrable at gen 6.

  13. 13
    Mimus says:

    Chihuahuas existed before kennel club rules about what constitutes a breed. But the arbitrariness of the 7 generation rule makes the point. Chihuahuas are related to other dogs via an unbroken line of descent. they ended up very different than german shepherds or great Danes, but at no stage was one animal was radically different than it’s parent.

    Something very similar applies to the origin of humans (and other species). There is no need for a new species to arise ready formed in one generation. That differentiates slowly over many generations, eventually becoming distinct. Just being able to get that concept would shortcut vmahuna’s odd posts.

  14. 14
    Ed George says:

    I don’t know the answer but if you killed all dogs but Great Danes and Chihuahuas, would they persist as separate breeds (species?) or would they gradually start interbreeding and result in a blended population? It seems to me that without any intermediates in size between the two breeds, genetic flow between the two groups would stop.

  15. 15
    ET says:

    Chihuahuas have the same body plan as all other dogs.

    Humans allegedly have ancestors with very different body plans. Unless of course Mimus is suggesting that we did not have such ancestors and modern humans have only upright bipeds for ancestors.

    @Ed George- artificial insemination and test tube puppies would keep the genetic flow going. (I had a pit-bull/ great dane mix once)

  16. 16
    Ed George says:

    ET, I understand that we could artificially keep the gene flow going. My question was whether it could continue naturally. If not, wouldn’t we classify them as separate species?

    Another question, and a far more important one, is whether either of them would survive without human intervention. Somehow, I doubt it. I was once told that if all humans died tomorrow, within a hundred generations, the remaining dogs would resemble wolves and/or coyotes. I have no idea if this would be true, but it is interesting to ponder.

  17. 17
    Mimus says:

    If those intermediates were wiped out tomorrow tehre would be no way for genes to flow from chihuahuas to great danes. They would be different species.

  18. 18
    ET says:

    Ed George- There wouldn’t be any dog breeds without us. Nature could never produce them. If we die out the dogs that survived would interbreed and mix. The result would be feral dogs and not wolves nor coyotes.

    To Mimus artificial insemination and test tube puppies would still be a possibility.

  19. 19
    OldAndrew says:

    tehre would be no way for genes to flow from chihuahuas to great danes.

    Can chihuahuas mate with great danes?

    It’s funny how people ascribe all sorts of profound creativity to evolution and shrug off the complexity like it’s no big deal.

    Pairs of monkeys crossing oceans on tree branches? Check. Big dogs mating with little dogs? That would never happen.

  20. 20
    Mimus says:

    I don’t you will find credible evidence of great-dane chihuahua crossbred. I certainly don’t think there is any chance of appreciable gene flow between those breeds without human intervention. If the intermediate breeds were removed the lineages would be reproductively isolated and thus become species.

  21. 21
    ET says:

    Mimus, OldAndrew just presented the very credible evidence for a great-dane chihuahua crossbreed.

    A male chihuahua could easily impregnate a sleeping/ prone great dane.

  22. 22
    Mimus says:

    I don’t really care whether chihuahuas can or cannot breed with great danes. The point was only to explain how speciation works.

    But I am amused by what passes for “very credible evidence” among people that are hyper-skeptical about the scientific evidence for evolution… a unsourced photo of a dog on a random quora post? Very credible?

  23. 23
    OldAndrew says:

    If an evolutionary tale depended on a chihuahua and a great dane breeding, I have no doubt that those who needed to believe it would suddenly find it plausible. The entire theory depends on countless implausible events, sometimes the same ones happening repeatedly, that it staggers the imagination.

    I can’t get my head around how someone can accept all of that while saying that big dogs and little dogs living wild would never produce offspring together.

  24. 24
    ET says:

    Mimus, You are confused as Intelligent Design is NOT anti-evolution.

    We are hyper skeptical of “the idea that all organisms have descended from common ancestors solely through an unguided, unintelligent, purposeless, material processes such as natural selection acting on random variations or mutations; that the mechanisms of natural selection, random variation and mutation, and perhaps other similarly naturalistic mechanisms, are completely sufficient to account for the appearance of design in living organisms.”

    We are very much OK with the idea that organisms were designed with the ability to evolve and adapt.

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