Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

“Adam and Eve” researchers say their work does NOT disprove Darwin


File:DNA simple.svg Remember the recent study in which Adam and Eve practically reappeared and extant species turned out to be only about 100,000 years old? The researchers, who found their own conclusion “very surprising” and “fought against it” are anxious that the world know that none of it disproves Darwin:

Shortly after the Daily Mail published its article under the headline “All humans may be descended from just TWO people and a catastrophic event almost wiped out ALL species 100,000 years ago, study suggests,” Thaler and Stoeckle sent out this clarification: “Our study is grounded in and strongly supports Darwinian evolution, including the understanding all life has evolved from a common biological origin over several billion years. Our study follows mainstream views of human evolution. We do not propose there was a single ‘Adam’ or ‘Eve.’ We do not propose any catastrophic events.”

On Dec. 4, the authors added the same statement to the top of the published study on the website of The Rockefeller University, where Stoeckle is a senior research associate. I attempted to contact Stoeckle through the university to ask how, exactly, the study supports Darwinian evolution. A university representative sent a copy of the statement published by the Daily Mail and did not respond to further requests for an explanation.Julie Borg, “Researchers deny their work disproves Darwin” at World

Well, if their findings support orthodox Darwinian evolution, why did they find them “very surprising” and why did they fight against them? Isn’t that rather unscientific of them?

Follow UD News at Twitter!

See also: Adam and Eve reappear in a recent study Or someone does. We haven’t quite figured this out yet.

Study: Species are “compact clusters in the vastness of empty sequence space.”


Startling Result–90% of Animals Less than 200 kya

hey guys i managed to get in touch with one of the researchers, with David Thaler, he is located in Europe, Switzerland. He is a nice guy, i hope i won't do any harm when i publish this. In my personal email communication with David, he sent me the following explanation of what he meant by his paper. He also told me, he did not expect such an interest from creationists, he is upset, quote "It's spooky to be the subject of "fake news". So, here is what he sent me - the more detailed explanation of his paper: David Thaler: One must be careful about the word "species". These definition(s) become important. Many people use the word "species" being completely sure what they are talking about but being different enough that even well meaning people can talk past one another. In our paper there is a section on different definitions of the word species. What experts call a species in the currently-living world coincides most of the time (ca 90% or more in most groups, we review this extensively in the paper) with a low variance cluster of mitochondrial sequence. This is best documented in birds where there are a lot of data and also alot of expertise independent of DNA sequence. Please look at Fig 4 in our paper where there are 15 species of robins and each one shows up as a sequence cluster. Suppose now that you are a paleontologist or a physical anthropologist and only have the skeletons to work with. I don't think you could tell the difference among them and many others as well (unless you can get DNA from the bones, then there's a chance we can return to a realm where we are talking about the same thing). When paleontologists and molecular barcoders try to talk with each other about "species" there is a very high likelihood of misunderstanding. Misunderstanding has in my experience led also to cheap-shot rhetoric neither of which helps get at shared meaning. With creationists and alien engineer advocates it gets even stranger (I have a lot of email correspondence). Discussions among paleontologists, molecular barcoders, population and evolutionary biologists occur within the media context of Christian creationists who seem especially influential in the US political scene. Back to our paper. The case for humans is well made by others: Modern humans underwent conditions that led to uniformity of their mitochondrial sequence sometime in the range of 100,000-200,000 years ago. The population since then has expanded. The current diversity in mitochondrial sequences among modern humans is generally accepted as the consequence of accumulated mutation since a clonal- i.e. a single sequence- origin. Mark and I review and synthesize data showing that the amount of variance in the mitochondrial sequences among modern humans is about average for an animal species. An economical Occum's razor explanation is that a similar outcome could follow from a similar cause. Namely conditions that led to a clonal uniformity of mitochondrial sequence from which the currently-alive population has grown. This kind of idea- clonal origins and outgrowth. As you point out Mayr or Elderedge and Gould discuss related ideas. What's new in our analysis is showing that via a "big data" approach with mitochondrial DNA barcodes this kind of origin applies to ~90% of currently living animal species as defined by experts in each group (bird experts, beetle experts, etc). There are alternative explanations and we discuss them. One powerful alternative is the possibility that the optimum sequence for each species is subject to purifying selection so that deviants die out. We consider this and lean toward the idea that a lot of variation is neutral to selection. However, we could be wrong. There will have to be new technologies that allow preciese manipulation of mitochondrial sequences in order to test this definitively. Two more qualitifications to the idea of the same timing for all species. One is that although humans are ~ average the amount of variance within species that amount of variance goes from 0.0% - 0.5% with humans at 0.1%. This is a range not an identity. Further the entire concept of a molecular clock is imprecise and much argued over in the literature. There is controversy whether mutation rate a function of chronological time, the number of generations, or some hybrid. It is not the same for different genes, or organelles. To say that our paper is evidence for Noah's ark is like saying it is evidence for the moon being made of cheese or the earth being flat since we do not provide evidence against these ideas. Scientific discourse is not free of rhetoric but we hold out the hope that it can be at a higher level. martin_r
But Darwinism is dead. Mung
And yet they don't have any idea how many mutations it took nor if any amount of genetic change will do the job. Scientists who lend themselves to promissory notes and wishful thinking are perhaps the worst type of scientist there is. ET
"'Adam and Eve' researchers say their work does NOT disprove Darwin." Of course it doesn't. Nothing can. Darwinism (or something very like it) does not depend on "proof" based on evidence. It is a logical deduction that is absolutely compelled by materialist metaphysical premises. As Dawkins famously said, he would believe Darwinism even if there were no evidence for it. Barry Arrington

Leave a Reply