A Dialogue with Nathaniel Jeanson?

You should ask, btw, why they didn’t reference me, as I was the first to publish that finding two years before them :slight_smile:

Maybe they didn’t consider you a reliable source? :wink:

Actually they do. The next week, outside her article, @Agauger cited me on this. In the past she has too.


From what I can tell, the paper merely does what @evograd reports the book as doing: any time there’s more variation than can be accounted for in 6000 years, all the excess variation is assumed to be created heterozygosity. That’s hardly a model, and it’s hardly scientific.


Nathaniel Jeanson has developed his model to support the notion of rapid speciation. For instance using the example of the cat family, start with a pair of proto-cats descending the gang plank of Noah’s ark to begin a new life.

Answers in Genesis, which promotes his work, holds the flood to have occured about 2843 BC, which is later than the most accepted date of the pharaoh Djoser’s step pyramid by a couple of hundred years. Let’s say Egyptology is way wrong and Djoser began building his pyramid the day Noah landed - well I guess that doesn’t make sense either. OK then, lets forget about historical facts altogether and pretend that the pyramids came a couple of hundred years later yet. How does all this relate to Jeanson? Well, the ancient Egyptians were fond of cats, and featured house cats, leopards, lions, and cheetahs in their art, which of course means these existed immediately following the flood. So where did these come from?

According to Jeanson, when Noah took two of every kind on board the Ark, he likely took just two members of each group of creatures that we would today label as part of the same family…For example, all cats large and small—from house cats to lions and tigers—belong to the same family…The cat kind represented on board the Ark probably didn’t look like a mix of every one of these features. Instead, if we identify which features all cats have in common, we begin to form an idea of what the cats on the Ark might have looked like.
Jeanson - Which Animals Were on the Ark with Noah?

Jeanson is seriously suggesting that within a handful of litters, a pair of bland proto-cats gave rise to the various animals depicted in Egyptian art, not to mention the many species of saber-toothed cats, dozens of other extinct cats, and the other existing species. You do not need to be a specialist to recognize this makes N O sense, not to mention that the Bible does not suggest lions and house cats are the same kind. Survey any random group of carpenters, mechanics, stock traders, whatever, and ask if a given pair of cats can yield lions and bob cats within a few generations. You do not need a degree from Harvard or be a graduate biology student to realize this is patent nonsense. Go ahead, try to actually visualize this happening. Similarly, we could add marsupials and lemurs to the discussion.

So when Jeanson wades into the technical weeds of mtDNA, he would have to build a powerful case to sell it as evidence of saber-tooth and house cat siblings. Not surprisingly, as detailed by evograd and others, it falls well short. In this case, common sense and science align. Now if it suits you to find Jeanson’s model convincing, that is fine by me. Just do not be suprised or offended if the academic world has better things to do than to take Jeanson’s model seriously.


I would like to point out in this regard that this statement by Duff is contrary to the nature of science. It is against the golden standard of science. Legally in the US, science is defined by having testable predictions. Science is not defined by acceptance from peers.

So when judging whether a Jeanson book is in line with the standards of science and should therefore be taken seriously, it is first and foremost a question of whether or not it meets the golden standard of science. Does the book make experimentally testable predictions that future research can either confirm or refute? This is the point.

I remind that in the book Replacing Darwin, Jeanson walked the Reader through very detailed calculations on what the rates of speciation might be. Shortly after the publication of Jeanson’s book, a study of the famous Darwin’s Finches was published. These research findings were a scientific confirmation of the predictions made by Jeanson in the book. So Jeanson’s book meets the golden standard of science, it produces testable predictions that are now ironically confirmed by the famous evolutionary icon (Darwin’s Finches.) In these links, more of the findings that confirm Jeanson’s predictions in the book.

In this light of the golden standard of science, Jeanson’s book not only hits right, but is a rare exception in the world of science because it dares to put its content directly into a test that is truly scientific.

Totally false on both points! @Puck_Mendelssohn

No, it does not meet the standards of good science I hold myself and my colleagues to.

Yes. How many errors did you catch? I caught several.


Science can only function because of the community of scientists evaluating and cross-checking the tons of ideas out there to make sure they are not only coherent, testable, and consistent with prior evidence, but also likely to be correct and fruitful. Scientists have limited resources and time and must therefore prioritize theories which are likely to be true, based on prior verified evidence. There are tons of testable theories out there by legitimate scientists which are never given widespread attention because they’re not very interesting or promising.


And here is the referenced finch study:

Certainly an interesting case study, but not some sort of bombshell. As mentioned in the study itself, there is antecedent examples of hybrid speciation, and the findings are completely consistent with the mainstream understanding of evolution. This is just one path to speciation. Jeanson predicts not one species, but dozens of species could abruptly arise from a given breeding pair, so the finches paper does not in fact constitute any sort of confirmation, and that credit is falsely claimed.


Point of English terminology: that should be “gold standard”, not “golden standard”. Are you sure there’s a legal definition of science? I for one would require more than testable predictions, and I wouldn’t require predictions at all. I’d say that Jeanson’s work isn’t science because he forces himself to wear blinders. All data must conform to his prior hypothesis. If it doesn’t he either explains it away with an auxiliary hypothesis (e.g. created heterozygosity) or ignores it all together (geology, radiometric dating, etc.). There’s no way either of those things would get through competent peer review.


Correct. There’s no unitary “legal definition of science,” nor will there ever be one. When the question arises as to what is or is not science, the court as likely as not hears evidence about the philosophical and scientific issues as they bear on the case at hand. So, in Kitzmiller, for example, experts testified on both sides on that, leading to Behe’s famous admission that by the application of his proposed criteria, astrology would be a science.

That morning, the stock in companies which manufacture computer keyboards rose spectacularly, as coffee was sprayed into thousands of them.

Actually, that’s quite similar to the standard Behe offered, and with respect to which he had to admit that astrology would be a science. And now I need a new keyboard, again.


Wow. I missed that the first time. That is just…stunning. I’m just about speechless.

@Toni_Torppa, why not pause a bit, and learn something. Several of us are practicing scientists. We don’t even have to discuss origins if that is too loaded. I’d love to help you learn some about how science works.


To be clear, created heterozygosity does not succeed in explaining the genetic data away, because he is neglecting recombination and linkage. He would need people outside the Garden (why not?) or genetic mosaicism + hundreds of children in Adam and Eve’s family to make it work. Even then, I’m not sure if genetic mosaicism could work, so he may be boxed into people outside the Garden if he truly cared to engage the data.

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This isn’t about just people. He uses it to explain “excess” variation in all species, and in fact all “kinds”, which he thinks are mostly families. So he needs a recombination rate vastly greater than is observed, and yet one that somehow preserves the appearance of linkage groups.

However, he can’t accept people outside the garden, since that’s just another word for evolved humanity and an evolutionary time scale. It would require abandoning literally everything in his book.


Even if Adam,and possibly Eve has as many alleles as possible Noah’s family creates a big problem for maintain that variation. Between creation and flood Adam’s variation would be expected to have been sorted to a great degree such that any man 1500 years later would only have a fraction of Adam’s variation. And yet, all variation in living humans, neanderthals and denisovans is said to have been derived from Noah’s family. It is more extreme for other animals for which there were only two on the ark which then become the progenitors of all species of there kind. The YEC would have us believe that the variation to produce hundreds of species of ungulates was created at the beginning but then was preserved in only two animals on the ark. I haven’t seen any YECs seriously tackle the population genetics of this great bottleneck.


What species have you in mind? I’m partial to wolverines, ratels and sea otters myself.

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Maybe they thought you were too explicit about Adam.Eve for them to maintain their pretence of non-creationism. Though that pretence is extremely flimsy in this case since if “Intelligent Design” wasn’t creationism it’d have no requirement for a single-couple origin of humanity.

Hey, @David_MacMillan: that paper of yours was masterful, and in this case that does not include any caveat about its being utter bollocks. I read it a few weeks ago, and doggoned near fell off my chair when I got to the illustration (Fig. 5) that the last common ancestors of the various “baramin” within Carnivora were more similar to one another than any of the collections of creatures in those groups. Made my day.

I have often pointed out to people the absurdity of YECs telling us, on one hand, that evolution doesn’t do a doggoned thing, and then telling us that all speciation from a handful of “kinds” happened at super-speed in the last few thousand years. But I’d never actually thought through what happens when you track those “kinds” back each to their common ancestors. Masterful indeed, and without the slightest bit of bollocks, except in the sense that some bits of literal bollocks are sometimes required in order to push descent with modification along.


True. Work we’ve done on autosomal DNA shows that the most recent 10 alleles are at about 180 kya. So that is enough for the RTB model to squeak through, but it seems Jeanson misses the boat. Unless there were people outside the Ark.


Thank you for the compliment.

One thing we did not point out in the paper is that Jeanson’s new hyperevolution would in some cases require new species to emerge every generation. Ironic that this is precisely the objection they often make to biological evolution. Creationists often poke at a caricature of common descent with statements like “You’ve never seen a crocodile give birth to a duck, have you?” And of course we haven’t, because that is not what the evolutionary synthesis predicts. But now they themselves are advancing a model which has a parent and child be completely, wildly different species.