There was a new round of deletions and edits at BioLogos. No retractions. That’s how they roll it seems. So be it.
The good news it that this quietly vindicates a lot of people, including William Lane Craig, Fazale Rana, and Vern Poythress.
The bad news is that BioLogos also is claiming vindication, with what seems to be a rewrite of history. According to them, though they overstated they evidence, their conclusions are entirely unchanged. Quite a magic trick.
In one of the original articles from 2014, the conclusion is clearly stated:
The smallest population our lineage was reduced to in the last 15 million years or more, then, was to the bottleneck of 10,000 individuals once our lineage parted ways with the chimpanzee lineage.
The next article in the series states the conclusion a different way:
In the previous article in this series, we’ve examined several of the converging lines of evidence that support the conclusion that our lineage became human as a population – one that has not numbered below about 10,000 individuals over the last 18 million years or more.
Perhaps the 15 million was a typo, because the 18 million comes up in several other places. Fair enough. Either way, these are totally indefensible conclusions that you will not find any where in the peer-reviewed literature.
Now look at what the note on the edited article (at a different web address) states:
The conclusion of the article is unchanged: all the genetic evidence to date says that the average breeding population of our ancestors has been larger than a single couple for at least the last 200,000 years, and there is no plausible model affirming a single, unique pair of progenitors less than 500,000 years ago that also accounts for the data we see in the genes of people alive today.
This set of conclusions is still wrong. There certainly are models consistent with the evidence that affirm a single, unique pair of progenitors less than 500,000 years ago (see for example the GAE and RTB’s revised model). Perhaps BioLogos thinks the GAE and RTB’s model are theologically/hermeneutically implausible. Perhaps they want to define sole-genetic progenitorship differently than RTB, and progenitors differently than the GAE. Whatever the case, any sense of “implausibility” has nothing to do with the scientific evidence.
Moving beyond that point of fact, I cannot find any text in the conclusions of the original article that remotely resembles these conclusions.
Of course the text I quoted from the original article is now deleted.
And some how this is supposed to be true…
The conclusion of the article is unchanged
This seems to be a claim that 18 million years = 500,000 years. What am I missing? Is their any legitimate explanation for this?
This honestly makes no sense to me. Why hide the original conclusion like this? Why not just transparently admit that they were wrong here and explain why they were wrong? It seems like so much more effort to play a shell game like this.