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At Mental Floss, a new “Adam and Eve” project?

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Currently, the world family tree includes some 77 million people in all seven continents (including Antarctica). That’s 77 million people on a single tree, all connected by blood or marriage or (sometimes) both. Which makes for the longest branches in human history. Paltrow is 17 steps from me. Einstein is 21. President Obama is my aunt’s fifth great-aunt’s husband’s father’s wife’s seventh great-nephew. Practically my older brother!

Interesting idea. Good job all those people are thrilled to be related to us. Or ???

Okay, but get this, about their Global Family Reunion project:

It shouldn’t be surprising, though. Geneticists say that we are all descended from the same male and female. Their nicknames are Mitochondrial Eve and Y Chromosome Adam, and they lived 100,000 to 300,000 years ago. We all have a bit of their DNA. They are our great-great-great- (just keep repeating that about 5000 times) grandparents.

Some geneticists say our most recent common ancestor is far more contemporary than that. MIT computer scientist David Rohde argued in the journal Nature that a shared ancestor for all humans lived about 5000 years ago, thanks in part to increasing intermarriage. Which means that the vast majority of humans are probably, at most, 100th cousins by blood.

So they are trying to connect us all at Global Family Reunion, to benefit Alzheimer research.

Twenty years ago, we wouldn’t have been able to conceive of this megatree. Back then, in order to build your tree, you had to schlep to, say, a Cleveland courthouse or write oft-ignored letters to distant relatives. Then along came the Internet and the Wikipedia model. Several sites—including WikiTree and Geni (which is owned by MyHeritage)—have revolutionized the field with a collaborative, crowdsourced approach to family-tree planting.

So how does it work, exactly? You start small with a family sampling, entering the details you know. If the “A.J. Jacobs” on your tree matches the “A.J. Jacobs” on somebody else’s tree, then you are given the option to combine them. With a click, your tree can double. Repeat this a few times and you will eventually be linked to a worldwide family tree. (Geni’s Big Tree is 77 million, and WikiTree’s is 7 million).

Is this some kind of unintended-but-timely response to Nicholas Wade’s Troublesome Inheritance, reviving Darwinian racism (with lots of road kill along the way)?

We must have parted company with Francisco Ayala and the no-Adam-or-Eve folks at BioLogos three stations ago. How does all that “Christians, embrace Darwin!”, stuff mesh anyway with Darwin’s own belief (seemingly echoed by Wade) that the branches of the human family are evolving away from each other? Aw, story for when news comes in.

More:

“It’s much easier to collaborate instead of working on your own,” says Gilad Japhet, the CEO of MyHeritage and Geni. “Imagine a million people solving a single multibillion-piece jigsaw puzzle instead of everyone solving their own separate puzzles. In a decade or less, I believe we’ll have a single tree that will include most of the people living on earth.”

Eve? Come to the window for a minute. Look out, it is not as bad as you thought.

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23 Replies to “At Mental Floss, a new “Adam and Eve” project?

  1. 1
    wd400 says:

    What has this got to do with “Eve”?

  2. 2
    News says:

    “Geneticists say that we are all descended from the same male and female. Their nicknames are Mitochondrial Eve and Y Chromosome Adam, and they lived 100,000 to 300,000 years ago.”

  3. 3
    Mung says:

    I want to know how closely related I am to Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot, just to name a few.

  4. 4
    awstar says:

    Some geneticists say our most recent common ancestor is far more contemporary than that. MIT computer scientist David Rohde argued in the journal Nature that a shared ancestor for all humans lived about 5000 years ago, thanks in part to increasing intermarriage.

    just about the time Noah and his wife linked up. What a coincidence!

  5. 5
    wd400 says:

    “Geneticists say that we are all descended from the same male and female. Their nicknames are Mitochondrial Eve and Y Chromosome Adam, and they lived 100,000 to 300,000 years ago.”

    Of course, but this project underlines how different “mitochondrial eve” and “Y-chromosome adam” are then their biblical counterparts. The most recent common ancestor of all humanity likely lived a few thousands years ago, but no one claims they were the only humans alive at the time.

    The same applies to mtEve and Y-chromsome Adam, who we know were members of a species of thousands.

  6. 6
    mahuna says:

    Note that the DNA stuff attempts to identify the MOST RECENT common ancestor. Mitochondrial Eve and Y-Chromosome Adam lived MANY thousands of years apart, but that only reflects the accident of our MOST RECENT shared grandfather.

    There is every reason to believe that the 1st male homo sapiens and 1st female homo sapiens appeared 1 million years ago or so. This has to be true because homo sapiens have no predecessors and therefore Eve and Adam could only produce viable offspring with another homo sapiens. Makes ya kinda wonder who changed their diapers while they were growing up…

  7. 7
    Barb says:

    Amram Scheinfeld states: “Science now corroborates what most great religions have long been preaching: Human beings of all races are . . . descended from the same first man.”—Heredity in Humans (Philadelphia and New York, 1972). Whether those findings are accurate in every detail or not, they illustrate that the history we find in Genesis is highly credible.

  8. 8
    wd400 says:

    Except, science doesn’t corroborates the claim “Human beings of all races are . . . descended from the same first man”

  9. 9
    News says:

    wd400 at 5, that’s as may be, but this is Global Ancestry’s scheme, not ours or yours.

  10. 10
    wd400 says:

    I’m sorry, you’ve really lost me now.

    what’s all this “Eve? Come to the window for a minute. Look out, it is not as bad as you thought.” and “We must have parted company with Francisco Ayala and the no-Adam-or-Eve folks at BioLogos three stations ago.” stuff in aid of?

  11. 11
    Andre says:

    WD400

    I know science is not really your thing, materialism is….. But for once follow the science and not the materialism please……

    http://www.nature.com/nature/j.....11690.html

    “We estimate that approximately 73% of all protein-coding SNVs and approximately 86% of SNVs predicted to be deleterious arose in the past 5,000–10,000?years. The average age of deleterious SNVs varied significantly across molecular pathways, and disease genes contained a significantly higher proportion of recently arisen deleterious SNVs than other genes.”

    Wow what a coincidence that also about 5000 – 10 000 years ago there was not only some Adam and Eve but an acceleration in mutations….. I seem to recall a certain book putting a biological limit on age…….

  12. 12
    Andre says:

    WD400

    So let us recap……

    We have some Adam and Eve ancestor who 5000 – 10 0000 ago experienced a severe population bottleneck but something else happened, people’s DNA mutation rates started to increase drastically thus decreasing human lifespans……

    So here you have an example of science actually validating scripture, I know you don’t like that very much but you can’t argue with the facts now can you?

  13. 13
    bornagain77 says:

    wd400 makes this sweeping claim:

    “The most recent common ancestor of all humanity likely lived a few thousands years ago, but no one claims they were the only humans alive at the time.

    The same applies to mtEve and Y-chromsome Adam, who we know were members of a species of thousands.”

    Well, since I know a few well qualified geneticists right off the top of my head, (Sanford, Tomkins), who don’t believe that Adam and Eve were ‘members of a species of thousands’,,

    Genetic Entropy – Dr. John Sanford – Evolution vs. Reality – video
    https://vimeo.com/35088933

    The Myth of 98% Genetic Similarity between Humans and Chimps – Jeffrey Tomkins PhD. – video
    https://vimeo.com/95287522

    then since they clearly disagree with wd400 then why did wd400 claim ‘no one claims they were the only humans alive at the time’? Or course wd400 means that no one who believes in a evolution, as he does, or that no one who is a evolutionary biologists, as he is, doubts that Adam and Eve were ‘members of a species of thousands’. But when put like that his claim is about as impressive as claiming that all evolutionists believe in evolution. Well DUH!,,,

    But anyways, do we have sufficient reason to doubt the consensus party line of Darwinists? YES!

    For starters, researchers can’t even get a single celled organism to evolve into a different type of single celled organism, much less get one multicellular creature to evolve into another multicellular creature:!

    Scant search for the Maker
    Excerpt: But where is the experimental evidence? None exists in the literature claiming that one species has been shown to evolve into another. Bacteria, the simplest form of independent life, are ideal for this kind of study, with generation times of 20 to 30 minutes, and populations achieved after 18 hours. But throughout 150 years of the science of bacteriology, there is no evidence that one species of bacteria has changed into another, in spite of the fact that populations have been exposed to potent chemical and physical mutagens and that, uniquely, bacteria possess extrachromosomal, transmissible plasmids. Since there is no evidence for species changes between the simplest forms of unicellular life, it is not surprising that there is no evidence for evolution from prokaryotic to eukaryotic cells, let alone throughout the whole array of higher multicellular organisms. –
    Alan H. Linton – emeritus professor of bacteriology, University of Bristol.
    http://www.timeshighereducatio.....ode=159282

    A review of The Edge of Evolution: The Search for the Limits of Darwinism
    The numbers of Plasmodium and HIV in the last 50 years greatly exceeds the total number of mammals since their supposed evolutionary origin (several hundred million years ago), yet little has been achieved by evolution. This suggests that mammals could have “invented” little in their time frame. Behe: ‘Our experience with HIV gives good reason to think that Darwinism doesn’t do much—even with billions of years and all the cells in that world at its disposal’ (p. 155).
    http://creation.com/review-mic.....-evolution

    “The immediate, most important implication is that complexes with more than two different binding sites-ones that require three or more proteins-are beyond the edge of evolution, past what is biologically reasonable to expect Darwinian evolution to have accomplished in all of life in all of the billion-year history of the world. The reasoning is straightforward. The odds of getting two independent things right are the multiple of the odds of getting each right by itself. So, other things being equal, the likelihood of developing two binding sites in a protein complex would be the square of the probability for getting one: a double CCC, 10^20 times 10^20, which is 10^40. There have likely been fewer than 10^40 cells in the world in the last 4 billion years, so the odds are against a single event of this variety in the history of life. It is biologically unreasonable.”
    – Michael Behe – The Edge of Evolution – page 146

    Michael Behe, The Edge of Evolution, pg. 162 Swine Flu, Viruses, and the Edge of Evolution
    “Indeed, the work on malaria and AIDS demonstrates that after all possible unintelligent processes in the cell–both ones we’ve discovered so far and ones we haven’t–at best extremely limited benefit, since no such process was able to do much of anything. It’s critical to notice that no artificial limitations were placed on the kinds of mutations or processes the microorganisms could undergo in nature. Nothing–neither point mutation, deletion, insertion, gene duplication, transposition, genome duplication, self-organization nor any other process yet undiscovered–was of much use.”
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....20071.html

    Dr. Behe’s number, (1 in 10^20), has now been confirmed (vindicated) in the lab:

    An Open Letter to Kenneth Miller and PZ Myers – Michael Behe July 21, 2014
    Dear Professors Miller and Myers,
    Talk is cheap. Let’s see your numbers.
    In your recent post on and earlier reviews of my book The Edge of Evolution you toss out a lot of words, but no calculations. You downplay FRS Nicholas White’s straightforward estimate that — considering the number of cells per malaria patient (a trillion), times the number of ill people over the years (billions), divided by the number of independent events (fewer than ten) — the development of chloroquine-resistance in malaria is an event of probability about 1 in 10^20 malaria-cell replications. Okay, if you don’t like that, what’s your estimate? Let’s see your numbers.,,,
    ,,, If you folks think that direct, parsimonious, rather obvious route to 1 in 10^20 isn’t reasonable, go ahead, calculate a different one, then tell us how much it matters, quantitatively. Posit whatever favorable or neutral mutations you want. Just make sure they’re consistent with the evidence in the literature (especially the rarity of resistance, the total number of cells available, and the demonstration by Summers et al. that a minimum of two specific mutations in PfCRT is needed for chloroquine transport). Tell us about the effects of other genes, or population structures, if you think they matter much, or let us know if you disagree for some reason with a reported literature result.
    Or, Ken, tell us how that ARMD phenotype you like to mention affects the math. Just make sure it all works out to around 1 in 10^20, or let us know why not.
    Everyone is looking forward to seeing your calculations. Please keep the rhetoric to a minimum.,,,
    Mike Behe
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....88041.html

    In fact, we have no evidence whatsoever that radical plasticity of body plans from mutations, as is required by Darwinism, is even possible:

    Response to John Wise – October 2010
    Excerpt: A technique called “saturation mutagenesis”1,2 has been used to produce every possible developmental mutation in fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster),3,4,5 roundworms (Caenorhabditis elegans),6,7 and zebrafish (Danio rerio),8,9,10 and the same technique is now being applied to mice (Mus musculus).11,12 None of the evidence from these and numerous other studies of developmental mutations supports the neo-Darwinian dogma that DNA mutations can lead to new organs or body plans–because none of the observed developmental mutations benefit the organism.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....38811.html

    In fact, it is seriously questioned whether or not ‘form’ is even reducible to the reductive materialism (bottom up mechanism) of neo-Darwinism:

    HOW BIOLOGISTS LOST SIGHT OF THE MEANING OF LIFE — AND ARE NOW STARING IT IN THE FACE – Stephen L. Talbott – May 2012
    Excerpt: The question is indeed, then, “How does the organism meaningfully dispose of all its molecules, getting them to the right places and into the right interactions?”
    The same sort of question can be asked of cells, for example in the growing embryo, where literal streams of cells are flowing to their appointed places, differentiating themselves into different types as they go, and adjusting themselves to all sorts of unpredictable perturbations — even to the degree of responding appropriately when a lab technician excises a clump of them from one location in a young embryo and puts them in another, where they may proceed to adapt themselves in an entirely different and proper way to the new environment. It is hard to quibble with the immediate impression that form (which is more idea-like than thing-like) is primary, and the material particulars subsidiary.
    http://www.netfuture.org/2012/May1012_184.html#2

    There is much more evidence that could be brought against Neo-Darwinism, but, the main point I want to make clear, despite wd400s confidence in the Darwinian party line, the fact of the matter is that we have ample reasons, both empirically and theoretically, to doubt that the unguided processes of neo-Darwininian evolution are up to the task of creating even one species, much less are they up to the task of explaining the Origin of all species on earth.

  14. 14
    wd400 says:

    Andre,

    We have some Adam and Eve ancestor who 5000 – 10 0000 ago experienced a severe population bottleneck

    There is no evidence for a server bottleneck.


    but something else happened, people’s DNA mutation rates started to increase drastically thus decreasing human lifespans……

    No. The study you linked found that most deleterious mutations are new. That’s not the result in changes in the mutation rate, it results from rapid population expansion (which everyone knows has happened recently). As a populatin expands there are more targets for mutations, and more slightly deleterious mutations survive in an expanding population. This is pop. gen. 101, so it’s nice to see the prediction so well supported by empirical data.

  15. 15
    wd400 says:

    Further to there being no evidence for a severe bottleneck, there’s actually good evidence that there has been no severe bottleneck at all

    http://www.nature.com/nature/j.....10231.html

  16. 16
    Joe says:

    wd400- given a design scenario you don’t know what to look for to see a severe bottleneck.

  17. 17
    bornagain77 says:

    As to bottlenecks, Dr. Carter has this excellent paper

    Adam, Eve and Noah vs Modern Genetics by Dr Robert W. Carter – 11 May 2010
    Excerpt: It comes as a surprise to most people to hear that there is abundant evidence that the entire human race came from two people just a few thousand years ago (Adam and Eve), that there was a serious population crash (bottleneck) in the recent past (at the time of the Flood), and that there was a single dispersal of people across the world after that (the Tower of Babel).1 It surprises them even more to learn that much of this evidence comes from evolutionary scientists.
    http://creation.com/noah-and-genetics

    The Non-Mythical Adam and Eve! – Refuting errors by Francis Collins and BioLogos – August 2011
    http://creation.com/historical-adam-biologos

    CMI also has a excellent video of the preceding paper by Dr. Carter, that makes the technical aspects of the paper much easier to understand;

    The Non Mythical Adam and Eve (Dr Robert Carter) – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ftwf0owpzQ

    as to the ‘family tree’ in general, there is actually very strong archaeological evidence tracing all human races to the three sons of Noah:

    TABLE OF NATIONS (GENEALOGY OF MANKIND) by Tim Osterholm
    Excerpt: The fact is, that wherever its statements can be sufficiently tested, Genesis 10 of the Bible has been found completely accurate; resulting partly from linguistic studies, partly from archaeology, and, more recently still, from the findings of physical anthropologists, who are, to this day, recovering important clues to lines of migration in ancient historic times. As implied in verse 32 of Genesis 10, this Table includes everybody; meaning that so-called fossil man, primitive peoples (ancient and modern) and modern man are all derived from Noah’s three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
    http://www.soundchristian.com/man/

    In this following video lecture (which is based on the ‘table of nations’), at around the 6:00 minute mark, we find that the first ‘advanced’ human civilization, (with the oldest archeological evidence of metallurgy, agriculture, wine making, etc…), flourished near, or at, the Ankara area,,,(The Ankara area is called Anatolia in the video), which is close to where Noah’s Ark is said to have come to rest on a mountaintop:

    Tracing your Ancestors through History – Paul James-Griffiths
    http://edinburghcreationgroup.org/video/1

    Ankara
    Excerpt: Centrally located in Anatolia, Ankara is an important commercial and industrial city.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ankara

    Though, because of his Young Earth Biblical view, Paul James-Griffiths did not give the dating of the area, the dating of the first ‘advanced’ human civilization, around that area, is 12,000 years before the present:

    Stone Age Temple May Be Birthplace of Civilization
    Excerpt: The elaborate temple at Gobelki Tepe in southeastern Turkey, near the Syrian border, is staggeringly ancient: 11,500 years old, from a time just before humans learned to farm grains and domesticate animals. According to the German archaeologist in charge of excavations at the site, it might be the birthplace of agriculture, of organized religion — of civilization itself.
    http://www.freerepublic.com/tag/gobeklitepe/index

    Here is a very interesting geographical finding which corroborates the archeological finding for the first human civilization at Ankara:

    The Center of the Earth by Henry Morris, Ph.D.
    Excerpt: The problem is basically to determine that point on the earth’s surface, the average distance from which to all other points on the earth’s land surfaces is a minimum. This point is defined as the earth’s geographical center.

    (1) Divide all the earth’s land areas into small, equal, unit areas.

    (2) Select one of these unit areas as a possible location of the earth’s center.

    (3) Measure the distance along the earth’s surface from this reference area to each of the other unit areas, all over the earth.

    (4) Add up all these distances and divide the total by the number of individual distances measured. The result is the average distance from the reference area to all the other unit areas around the world.

    (5) Repeat the entire process in steps (1) through (4) above for each one of all the other unit areas around the world.

    (6) Compare the “average distances” so calculated for all the different unit areas. The one for which the average distance turns out to be the smallest is the earth’s geographical center.

    Actually, the calculation becomes feasible only if it can be programmed on a high speed computer. To accomplish the latter requires a knowledge of spherical trigonometry, geodesy, calculus, and computer science. In addition, there must be available accurate data on the earth’s land and water areas, arranged in a grid network tied to latitude and longitude. With these factors present, the computation then becomes quite feasible.

    RESULTS
    ,,, The exact center of the earth, insofar as Mr. Woods’ calculations could determine, was found to be near Ankara, the present capital of Turkey, at latitude 39° and longitude 34°, on the same latitude as Mount Ararat and essentially the same longitude as Jerusalem.,,,
    http://www.icr.org/article/50/

    Now this is very interesting!,,, That the first archeological evidence for a ‘advanced’ human civilization, with metallurgy, wine making, agriculture, would be very near, or even at, the ‘geographic center of the earth’ is a very ‘spooky’ thing for modern science to find! Pondering all the many places where the beginning of advanced human civilization ‘could have’ happened, instead of where it actually ‘did happen’, should make any reasonable person scratch their head in wonder!

    Moreover, besides the 12,000 years before present starting point for the beginning of ‘advanced’ human civilization at ‘the center of the world’, geographically speaking, there is now mounting evidence for global catastrophic flooding 13,000 years before the present:

    Humanpast.net
    Excerpt: Worldwide, we know that the period of 14,000 to 13,000 years ago, which coincides with the peak of abundant monsoonal rains over India, was marked by violent oceanic flooding – in fact, the first of the three great episodes of global superfloods that dominated the meltdown of the Ice Age. The flooding was fed not merely by rain but by the cataclysmic synchronous collapse of large ice-masses on several different continents and by gigantic inundations of meltwater pouring down river systems into the oceans. (124)
    What happened, at around 13,000 years ago, was that the long period of uninterrupted warming that the world had just passed through (and that had greatly intensified, according to some studies, between 15,000 years ago and 13,000 years ago) was instantly brought to a halt – all at once, everywhere – by a global cold event known to palaeo climatologists as the ‘Younger Dryas’ or ‘Dryas III’. In many ways mysterious and unexplained, this was an almost unbelievably fast climatic reversion – from conditions that are calculated to have been warmer and wetter than today’s 13,000 years ago, to conditions that were colder and drier than those at the Last Glacial Maximum, not much more than a thousand years later. From that moment, around 12,800 years ago, it was as though an enchantment of ice had gripped the earth. In many areas that had been approaching terminal meltdown full glacial conditions were restored with breathtaking rapidity and all the gains that had been made since the LGM were simply stripped away…(124)
    A great, sudden extinction took place on the planet, perhaps as recently as 11,500 years ago (usually attributed to the end of that last ice age), in which hundreds of mammal and plant species disappeared from the face of the earth, driven into deep caverns and charred muck piles the world over. Modern science, with all its powers and prejudices, has been unable to adequately explain this event. (83)
    http://humanpast.net/environme.....ent11k.htm

  18. 18
    goodusername says:

    How does all that “Christians, embrace Darwin!”, stuff mesh anyway with Darwin’s own belief (seemingly echoed by Wade) that the branches of the human family are evolving away from each other?

    Darwin didn’t believe that the branches of the human tree were evolving away from each other. That would only occur if there was little or no mixing between races. Darwin argued that such mixing was far more common than was generally thought, and becoming ever more common.

  19. 19
    wd400 says:

    given a design scenario you don’t know what to look for to see a severe bottleneck.

    So design makes adam and eve untestable then?

  20. 20
    Joe says:

    Adam and Eve are untestable using mechanisms designed to flesh-out blind watchmaker evolution.

  21. 21
    wd400 says:

    I won’t bother what “blind watchmaker evolution” has to do with demographic models (with no selection), but I am interested to hear how you’d test the historicity of Adam and Eve “given a design scenario”.

  22. 22
    Joe says:

    Mutation rates- it has to do with mutation rates, which, given a design scenario, would have been very rapid when compared to the observed rate.

    And to test for the size of the founding population you would have to know more about the design and how it unfolded. It’s like seeing a guy with millions of dollars. There is no way you would figure he started out with nothing and only 30 days ago started earning 1 cent a day. He just happened to work for a multi-billionaire who doubled his pay every day for a month.

  23. 23
    wd400 says:

    And how do you define a specific design hypothesis to test, then?

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