A Dialogue with Nathaniel Jeanson?

Do you remember what happened in the 1982 Arkansas court decision? The judge forbade teaching creationism in school when he did not think it could be falsified. The judge said creationism is therefore not scientific. In other words, because the judge thought that scientifically testable predictions could not be made on the basis of creationism (falsification criterion), he therefore forbade the teaching of creationism in science. It follows logically that legally in the US, science is defined by having testable predictions.

Along the same line, for example, is Douglas Futuyman’s comment on “the moust important feature of scientific hypotheses is that they are testable” (Evolution fourth edition). This requirement has also been considered by evolutionists for years as the most important criterion for a model to be considered scientific, and it is precisely for this reason that they have criticized creationists.

The point is that evolutionists themselves have drawn as the golden standard of science that hypotheses should make scientifically testable predictions. Now that creationist studies meet these criteria, evolutionists don’t like it.

180 kya would allow for Homo sapiens; but of course there’s no evidence of any large structures that old.

Yes I do. Seems that the judge was a bit confused about falsification, and this wasn’t the issue in later rulings.

This might be helpful in bringing you up to speed: Does Science Work by Falsifiability?

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Of course, bottlenecks eliminate variation. The point is whether it makes individuals too homozygous. If individuals are heterozygous enough then they can produce immense diversity through recombination processes. The point, then, is not what is lost, but whether the remaining individuals (e.g., in Noah’s Ark) are able to produce all that we now see. When we study how recombination processes produce new combinations, the answer is yes.

I included the word “seriously” for a reason. I am not saying that no YEC has acknowledged the potential problem and proposed solutions but what Jeanson does in the book is nothing like a serious solution. Its an untested hypothesis and greatly oversimplies the many complexities involved in genetic bottlenecks. There is no attempt to demonstrate how much diversity of living humans must have been present in Adam and Eve and with that run population genetic models to show how much of of that variation could have been contained in a few individuals 1650 years after creation and then estimate how much would have been lost in the first 20 generations after the Flood especially considering the fragmentation of populations and thus the maintenance of small breeding populations and thus inbreeding at higher rates than present. And this would just be the beginning of seriously showing that a bottleneck only 4500 years ago is realistic given the current amount of genetic diversity (and also make sure you model in thousands of extinct species formed since the Flood as well).


The book Replasin Darwin chapter 9 illustrates with examples how many different chromosome combinations would be possible in the 6,000 years from Adam and Eve until the present. Jeanson thoroughly describes the mechanism responsible for diversity. And he refers to the endnote (p228) of Rob Carter’s papers which describe exactly those things you wrote about. So Jeanson’s book will take them into account if you look closely.

That may be your point but it’s not mine. What recombination cannot create after a tight bottleneck is rare variants – and humans are full of rare variants, as are most other organisms. Human genetic variation is not consistent with a very recent tight bottleneck.


Sure, the McLean case. But the notion that this supplies “the legal definition of science” is entirely wrong. Several points:

–The law has no power to define science, except for the purposes of any particular legal proceeding over which some court has jurisdiction. A “legal definition” that was wrong would still be wrong, whether it had the force of law in some circumstance or not. I’m surprised to see anyone on the creationist side arguing the contrary, as this point is constantly being taken up by those who are disappointed in the Kitzmiller ruling.

–The McLean case is a decision of a United States District Court, concerning one specific enactment of a creationism law. A US District Court’s decisions are not the last word as to what the law is in our legal system; as precedent, the ruling has advisory value only.

–The role of the court in such a case is not to decide generically “what the definition of science is,” but to decide the issue at bar, which, here, was whether “creation science” was science. Accordingly, the court will focus on those particular points which the parties placed in dispute rather than upon a more general definition.

–Even as laid out by the court, this isn’t a “definition of science.” The court did identify, as a matter of a factual finding rather than a legal ruling, five things which it deemed to be “essential characteristics” of science. Such a statement doesn’t purport to be a 360-degree description of the whole corpus of science; it focuses, rather, as I have pointed out above, upon specific points which the parties placed in issue and upon which expert witnesses testified.

To understand a legal ruling properly and fully, you really have to understand the conventions of the common law; you have to understand the distinction between issues of fact and issues of law. And to understand what the real meaning – the forward-looking meaning – of a case is with regard to other applications of the same principles, these distinctions are very important. The manner in which a judicial decision binds issues of fact is very, very different in scope from the manner in which it binds issues of law.

Courts don’t have the power to change underlying realities. A court cannot make an innocent man guilty, but it can find him guilty and execute him on account of that finding. If the Kitzmiller court had ruled that ID was science, that wouldn’t make ID into science any more than its ruling that ID isn’t science operates to make ID not-science. The role of a court is not to render decisions about facts which we must all, thereafter, accept and abide by, but to render decisions about some underlying dispute (e.g., “may a school district teach ID consistent with the Establishment clause?”) by evaluating and attempting to arrive at correct decisions about facts.

So, if you want to argue that Jeanson’s work is scientific because it’s falsifiable, by all means do. But a useful resolution of that argument does not lie in the wheelhouse of a US District Court, even though in some circumstances a US District Court may be called upon to evaluate it.


Where does he deal with TMR4A? (Hint: he doesn’t)

Since the flood we have around 4000 years which is around 200 generations. Can you model that it is true that the current variation is way more than population genetics would predict?

If we include all the variation that is not fixed in isolated populations I would think it would be quite a bit going from 8 people to 7 billion in 200 generations.

It takes about 500,000 years to generate the spectrum of observed variant frequencies.


Well that’s a bit of a gap. :slight_smile: I am interested in Nathaniel’s reconciliation of a 100x different estimate with mainstream population genetics.


Well that’s why he hasn’t responded to us yet, and likely won’t. He has far to much to lose here, and not much gain in sight. I am sure he will ask us again to “read his book”, even though he should know by now that’s exposing that refrain as empty rhetoric.


4 posts were split to a new topic: Toni Torppa and Genetics

The Facebook video is now on YouTube:


I have now responded to Jeanson’s concerns. Enjoy.


Ok, so Jeanson is complaining that evolution advocates are still arguing against the creationist views of the 1860s, yet not only fails to mention the ubiquitous references to “Darwin”, “Darwinism” and “Origin” across creationism, but then cites Linnaeus’s classification of canids.

He proceeds to treat us to a round of creationist ark-fitting bingo - ignoring or lying about their number, space requirements, food and water requirements, extinct species, packing the animals in like cuboid sardines, and inflating the ark’s dimensions.

He treats us to a punnet square for stripes in equids, completely ignoring the fact that if there were only two equids on the ark, a zebra-like one and a wild-ass-like one that interbred, then we’d have herds of mixed coat types, not the existing separation of zebras and wild asses etc that exists today and has existed for as long as we have records, as well as probably the occasional brown zebra or striped ass.

It’s laughable.


I want someone to work this one out for me. Is this true? Is there an article on this somewhere @Joel_Duff?

This raises all sorts of questions. How does this supposed existing variation get sorted so neatly into separate species? How does such great genetic divergence arise from sorting and recombination? How does reproductive isolation arise within these original populations? How, incidentally, do changes in chromosome number arise through recombination?

And if all this is just sorting of ancestral heterozygosity, how can that result in a well-supported phylogenetic tree with changes happening on particular branches? Shouldn’t we see a star tree at best?


I was struck by the way he went through slide after slide of (mostly) mammalian species to illustrate the vast breadth of variation, then said “but remember fish aren’t on the Ark” well duh no one said they were.