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Adam and Eve and Ann Gauger

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Ann Gauger, senior scientist at the Biologic Institute (molecular genetics and genomic engineering) did a radio broadcast in the summer of 2013 on Adam and Eve and science.

One stream of the movement among theologians and scientists to naturalize Christianity* has been to deny the possible historical existence of Adam and Eve. The claim is not that they did not exist but that they could not possibly have existed, a claim eagerly seized upon by the vanguard.

NPR journalist Barbara Bradley Hagerty has put their objection in lay-friendly terms:

They say now that we’ve mapped the human genome, it is clear that modern humans emerged from other primates way before the timeframe of Genesis, you know, like 100,000 years ago. And they say given the genetic variation, we can’t possibly get the original population to below about 10,000 people at any time in our evolutionary history.

And one scientist put it to me this way. He said there would have had to have been an astronomical mutation rate that produced all these new variants in this short amount of time, and those mutation rates simply are not possible. We’d have to—we would have mutated out of existence, he said. So it’s not possible.

Gauger took issue with the claim that Adam and Eve could not have existed in a chapter of a book, Science & Human Origins, noting among other things that, predictably, the Darwinians built in assumptions that favour their thesis:

It turns out that the particular DNA sequence from HLA-DRB1 that Ayala used in his analysis was guaranteed to give an overestimate, because he inadequately controlled for two of the above assumptions—the assumption that there is a lack of selection for genetic change on the DNA sequence being studied, and the assumption of a constant background mutation rate over time. (pp. 111–12)

So she doesn;t think it’s that implausible. Read, listen, and see what you think.

Listen.

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Here’s a vid of Gauger arguing a similar point in a different venue:

Hat tip: Daniel Quinones

* Treat it as an outcome of unguided evolution. We randomly evolved so as to believe it but somehow God maybe guided that.

10 Replies to “Adam and Eve and Ann Gauger

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    Of interest: Radio Maria did a whole series on ‘Understanding Intelligent Design’ this last summer:

    Discovering Intelligent Design with Tim Murnane
    http://radiomaria.us/discoveringintelligentdesign/

    Some of the interviews listed on that page are:

    Intelligent Design and the Edge of Evolution – Dr. Michael Behe – audio
    http://radiomaria.us/discoveri.....hael-behe/

    Can Even One Polymer Become a Protein in 13 billion Years? – Dr. Douglas Axe, Biologic Institute – audio
    http://radiomaria.us/discoveri.....institute/

    Darwin’s Doubt and the Plea for more time! – Dr. Stephen Meyer – audio
    http://radiomaria.us/discoveri.....t-29-2013/

    There are also other interesting interviews on ‘Adam and Eve’, such as this one with Casey Luskin on the fossil record:

    Human Origins, Theistic Evolution and the Fossil Record – Casey Luskin – audio
    http://radiomaria.us/discoveri.....ey-luskin/

  2. 2
    Axel says:

    If only the materialists didn’t come across as such charlatans in the discussions here on UD.

    Not only do they repeatedly cite what turn out to be spurious, empirical findings, but they evince zero interest in valid, rigorously-tested findings of their theist and/or ID opponents.

  3. 3
    Barb says:

    With respect to the account of Adam and Eve in Genesis, there usually are several questions that arise.

    1. Is it unreasonable to believe that all of us descended from the same original parents?
    The answer comes from scientists themselves: “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), Amram Scheinfeld, p. 238.
    Also: “The Bible story of Adam and Eve, father and mother of the whole human race, told centuries ago the same truth that science has shown today: that all the peoples of the earth are a single family and have a common origin.”—The Races of Mankind (New York, 1978), Ruth Benedict and Gene Weltfish, p. 3.

    Also consider the research into human genetics and cloning. By comparing human genetic patterns around the earth, they found clear evidence that all humans have a common ancestor, a source of the DNA of all people who have ever lived, including each of us. In 1988, Newsweek magazine presented those findings in a report entitled “The Search for Adam and Eve.” Those studies were based on a type of mitochondrial DNA, genetic material passed on only by the female. Reports in 1995 about research on male DNA point to the same conclusion—that “there was an ancestral ‘Adam,’ whose genetic material on the [Y] chromosome is common to every man now on earth,” as Time magazine put it. Whether those findings are accurate in every detail or not, they illustrate that the history we find in Genesis is highly credible, being authored by One who was on the scene at the time.

    The questions can get philosophical as well.
    2. Does it really matter whether I believe in this account or not?
    Notice what is stated here at Romans 5:19: “Just as through the disobedience of the one man [Adam] many were constituted sinners, likewise also through the obedience of the one person [Jesus Christ] many will be constituted righteous.” Similarly, 1 Corinthians 15:22 says: “Just as in Adam all are dying, so also in the Christ all will be made alive.”

    But if there really was no “one man” named Adam, then such a man never sinned. If he did not sin and pass an inheritance of sin on to his offspring, then there was no need for Christ to give his life on behalf of mankind. If Christ really did not give his life on our behalf, then there is no prospect for life beyond our present few years. That would mean that there actually is nothing left to Christianity.

    Yet, embodied in Christianity are the highest moral principles that can be found anywhere. Is it possible that the finest teachings as to truth and honesty could originate with something that is basically false?

  4. 4
    Eric Anderson says:

    I am going to make a confession of ignorance.

    And they say given the genetic variation, we can’t possibly get the original population to below about 10,000 people at any time in our evolutionary history.

    What does this mean?

    I understand the English words. What I want to know is what is being proposed? How does this evolutionary process work?

    Let’s take a conservative assumption and say there are 500K changes needed in the genome to get from some primate to human. So there is a population, say the 10K individuals proposed above, going on its merry way.

    At some point a change comes along in one of the organisms. Let’s say it happens to be the kind of change that would get passed on to the next generation.

    What are the odds of that change getting fixed in the population? Absent directional selection, population genetics tell us that the odds of a change fixing in the population are equal to the odds of the change arising in the first place; in essence this means that the odds are independent of the population size. So from that standpoint, it doesn’t make any difference what the size of the population is.

    I think what they are driving at is that the “genetic variation” between different humans (rather than variation between humans and other primates), is such that over the course of 100,000 years not as much variation would have shown up if the population started with less than about 10,000 individuals? (Assuming most of the variation is neutral.)

    Anyway, I’m just trying to pin down the basis for saying that a population must have always exceeded X, based on variation that exists today.

    This is particularly tough to pin down, because the stated 100,000 year timeframe is itself nothing but an arbitrary number thrown across what is — allegedly — a continuum of slow, miniscule change. In other words, if the population always had to be at least 10,000, then there never was a time when humans “split” from some other line. There was just a whole population that (somehow) accumulated many, many changes that happened to, time and time again, get fixed in the population, and not in a linear way, but presumably as a haphazard jumble of numerous changes, some potentially even competing with each other.

    —–

    Ultimately, of course, there must have been a parent male and female. Indeed, if we go farther back, a LUCA. So presumably that isn’t being argued; just that the 100,000 assumed timeframe doesn’t work well with the amount of variation seen today?

  5. 5
    ppolish says:

    Adam & Eve were the Big Bang. The “10,000 people” is the “CMB” that Geneticists cannot see beyond/before:)

  6. 6
    wd400 says:

    EA,

    Yes, the argument (which Gauger’s piece doesn’t deal with in any meanigful way), is about variation in modern human populations. Large populations hold on to diversity and small ones do not. What’s more, growing populations don’t create as much diversity as those that reach a stable equilibrium.

    THe mathmatical treatment of that observations is of course muhc more detailed. But when you look at diversity in human populations (or even human individuals, since we each get two ‘random’-ish draws from the gene pool) we can reconstruct ancestral population sizes. When we do that we find no evidence for a severe bottleneck in our species origin.

    Speciation doesn’t require a bottlneck, so I’m not sure what you later point is.

  7. 7
    wd400 says:

    I find this:

    “There was just a whole population that (somehow) accumulated many, many changes that happened to, time and time again, get fixed in the population, and not in a linear way, but presumably as a haphazard jumble of numerous changes, some potentially even competing with each other.”

    Very strange, following as it does from this:

    What are the odds of that change getting fixed in the population? Absent directional selection, population genetics tell us that the odds of a change fixing in the population are equal to the odds of the change arising in the first place;.

    So it’s not “somehow” fixed, it’s fixed following the neutral expectation where fixatoin rate is equal to the per-individual mutation rate.

  8. 8
    Joe says:

    Has anyone ever observed a neutral mutation becoming fixed at the alleged rate? Has anyone ever verified that the equation actually meets reality? Haldane had a beneficial mutation reaching fixation within 300 generations. And that hasn’t been observed There was a fruit fly experiment in which after 600 generations a beneficial mutation didn’t become fixed.

    Blind watchmaker evolution requires severe bottle-necks to get a new mutation to fixation. Well sheer dumb luck would do it but too much luck spoils the science.

    Also if it were a prescribed evolution starting with 2, ie Adam & Eve, then we would expect a rapid radiation and then it would slow down as the original design gets degraded by Darwinian mechanisms and the correction system can’t keep up. That would mean a severe bottle-neck would be not be detected.

  9. 9
    bornagain77 says:

    wd400 claims:

    Yes, the argument (which Gauger’s piece doesn’t deal with in any meanigful way), is about variation in modern human populations. Large populations hold on to diversity and small ones do not. What’s more, growing populations don’t create as much diversity as those that reach a stable equilibrium.

    Yet, the following paper and video by Dr. Robert Carter totally dismantles wd400’s argument. Moreover, the evidence it presents from the some of the latest genetic research is completely inexplicable to neo-Darwinism, i.e. neo-Darwinism, once again, completely falls apart upon rigid scrutiny;

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

    (Of note: although I don’t agree with the extreme 6000 year Young Earth model used as a starting presumption in the paper for deriving the graphs, the model, none-the-less, can be amended quite comfortably to a longer time period. Which I, personally, think provides a much more ‘comfortable’ fit to the overall body of genetic evidence)

    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 large genetic diversity being harbored in two founding members of a species:

    Single male and female sheep maintain genetic diversity.
    A mouflon population (considered an ancient “parent” lineage of sheep), bred over dozens of generations from a single male and female pair transplanted to Haute Island from a Parisian zoo, has maintained the genetic diversity of its founding parents.This finding challenges the widely accepted theory of genetic drift, which states the genetic diversity of an inbred population will decrease over time. “What is amazing is that models of genetic drift predict the genetic diversity of these animals should have been lost over time, but we’ve found that it has been maintained,”
    Dr. David Coltman, an evolutionary geneticist at the University of Alberta

    Genome sequencing highlights the dynamic early history of Dogs – January 2014
    Excerpt Discussion: We provide several lines of evidence supporting a single origin for dogs, and disfavoring alternative models in which dog lineages arise separately from geographically distinct wolf populations (Figures 4–5, Table S10),,
    Our analysis suggests that none of the sampled wolf populations is more closely related to dogs than any of the others, and that dogs diverged from wolves at about the same time that the sampled wolf populations diverged from each other (Figures 5A, 5C).
    http://www.plosgenetics.org/ar.....en.1004016

    Allozyme evidence for crane systematics and polymorphisms within populations of sandhill, sarus, Siberian and whooping cranes.
    “This is contrary to expectations of genetic loss due to a population bottleneck of some 15 individuals in the 1940s. The possibility should be explored that some mechanism exists for rapidly restoring genetic variability after population bottlenecks.”
    Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 1:279-288- Dessauer, H. C., G. F. Gee, and J. S. Rogers. 1992.

    and if wd400 were ever to get honest with us as to what population genetics really tells us (hey I believe in miracles 🙂 ), wd400 would inform us of the ‘fatal flaws within population genetics that leaves Darwinism ‘effectively falsified’:,,,

    Using Numerical Simulation to Test the Validity of Neo-Darwinian Theory – 2008
    Abstract: Evolutionary genetic theory has a series of apparent “fatal flaws” which are well known to population geneticists, but which have not been effectively communicated to other scientists or the public. These fatal flaws have been recognized by leaders in the field for many decades—based upon logic and mathematical formulations. However population geneticists have generally been very reluctant to openly acknowledge these theoretical problems, and a cloud of confusion has come to surround each issue.
    Numerical simulation provides a definitive tool for empirically testing the reality of these fatal flaws and can resolve the confusion. The program Mendel’s Accountant (Mendel) was developed for this purpose, and it is the first biologically-realistic forward-time population genetics numerical simulation program. This new program is a powerful research and teaching tool. When any reasonable set of biological parameters are used, Mendel provides overwhelming empirical evidence that all of the “fatal flaws” inherent in evolutionary genetic theory are real. This leaves evolutionary genetic theory effectively falsified—with a degree of certainty which should satisfy any reasonable and open-minded person.
    http://www.icr.org/i/pdf/techn.....Theory.pdf

  10. 10
    Robert Byers says:

    there is no scientific genetic evidence for conclusions about dna relationships in the past. All there is IS extrapolation backwards from the present. Line of reasoning. nO evidence otherwise. its guessing based on likeness of dna.
    No evolutionists has ever shown my logic wrong to me and heaps aplenty have tried.

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