Cardinale Rejoiner on Jeanson's Traced

Nathaniel Jeanson has posted a AiG YouTube, Evolutionists Do NOT Want You to Know This, where he purports to answer the critics of his book purporting to account for the genetic history of mankind going back to Noah. Daniel Cardinal has in turn responded with Responding to Critics: Jeanson Answers the Critics of Traced…Sort Of on his Creation Myths channel.

Jeanson’s video is a pure double down that adds nothing in terms of evidence to his previous presentation. He starts with the criticism that he conflates genealogy with phylogeny, where he responds with two tactics YEC use to deflect. One, he states that the objection has already been addressed. This is common. Any ridiculously inept article, once posted, is subsequently referenced as some final answer, and without actually dealing with the original shortcomings, is held to anticipate and preempt all further discussion on that topic. Two, he mischaracterizes the basis of Cardinal’s argument with a silly discussion of a textbook illustration. This is a rhetorical calculation that fits with AiG’s actual objective.

When you have no grounds for your model, what you do is choose other, more advantageous ground for your fight, and this pervades all of AiG’s output. The discussion of the textbook is to frame the debate as opposing faith positions. Here is Jeanson at 26:30 of his AiG video:

This is the bombshell. What is his justification? It’s a textbook reference. He saying it’s wrong, what I’m doing is wrong, because it disagrees with the textbook. Apparently, evolutionists have a holy book that you can’t question. Apparently mainstream science has sacred ideas, perhaps not engraved on stone, but in ink, on paper, that define the rightness or wrongness, of a scientific idea. You would think the textbook itself, if it was scientific, would be open to testing, falsifiability, and everything else that defines science, but not according the Dr. Dan. Which again, these are the leading people responding to what I’m saying, and the big problem, his words, is that I’m conflating geneology and pylogeny, and the textbook says otherwise. Amazing, evolutionsts, by their own behavior, have a religion, and you can’t question that religion. You can’t do science in disagreement with that religion.

So here Jeanson entirely avoids dealing with his incompetent premise, and shifts the conversation to one that will resonate with his actual audience, that being the equivalence of YEC with mainstream science as dueling worldviews based on faith in holy books, where interpretation dominates over evidence, and proof texts count as evidence. And therein lies the mission.


And just to make it absolutely clear and unambiguous. Dan has at no point asserted, or implied, or meant, that Jeanson’s ideas are wrong merely because they disagree with the textbook, as if the words in the textbook are somehow magically and automatically true simply because they’re in a textbook. No, of course not. That’s insane.

Jeanson’s ideas are wrong because they don’t match the data, as in they give demonstrably wrong result when compared with observational reality.


The best part of this, and for my money the only part that matters, is that the textbook reference Jeanson harps on is the reference for the figure I used to illustrate the point. It’s just a nice picture that I found useful. And rather than use it without crediting the authors, I included it with attribution.

That’s what the textbook was for.

It wasn’t the source of my argument. I wasn’t using it as an authoritative source. It’s where I got a picture I liked.

So Jeanson is either being exceptionally dishonest here, even by YEC standards, or is hilariously off base, so much so that I wonder if he actually watched the review he’s supposedly responding to. I wonder which it is.


Maybe he is genuinely confused?

That’s certainly the case. A lot of people were confused about this, including biologists. It wouldn’t surprise me if he is still confused.

Given the number of times people have explained this distinction to him, in writing and verbally, it would be astonishing if he genuinely does not understand the difference.

Let’s be real. The guy is a grifter who is telling his audience what they want to hear, thinking (correctly, for the most part) that they’ll swallow it without checking his work.


In this video, Jeanson did not mention one of the principle criticisms of “Traced”, that being its general conflict with the catalog of ancient DNA, Neanderthal genomes in particular. He does discuss this in another AiG YouTube however, Neanderthal DNA Is Really Human DNA? Not adding anything to his prior responses, he essentially states that Neanderthal DNA does not fit with his ideas relating mutation rates and population growth, so ancient sequences must be unreliable. It reminds me of the old saw of a lawyer’s objection to evidence on the grounds that it is devastating to his client’s case.

Since that time, the credibility of his position has eroded further with the recent publication of genomes from Chagyrskaya Cave covering an entire family.

ABC News Australia Interview

Nature - Genetic insights into the social organization of Neanderthals

Here we present genetic data for 13 Neanderthals from two Middle Palaeolithic sites in the Altai Mountains of southern Siberia: 11 from Chagyrskaya Cave and 2 from Okladnikov Cave—making this one of the largest genetic studies of a Neanderthal population to date.

The authors were able to detect long segments of homozygosity between individuals, which indicated family relationships, but also serve to establish that the samples were reasonably well preserved.


Phylogeny ‘c’ is the “maximum-likelihood tree for mtDNA sequences from the Neanderthal individuals included in this study in the context of known hominin variation.” Phylogeny figure ‘d’ is the “maximum-likelihood tree based on consensus calling of 6.9 Mb of the Y chromosome of four Chagyrskaya individuals with coverage of more than onefold, along with previously published Y-chromosome data from three Neanderthals, two Denisovans and four present-day humans.” According to Jeanson, every post flood Y chromosome traces back to Noah, but he cannot fit Neanderthals into his scheme.

If he could have, he would have. Prior to “Traced”, YEC mainly laid low on the challenge haplogroup studies posed to their conception of human dispersal. Now Jeanson has a tiger by the tail. If he concedes the data from ancient DNA, his whole idea just blows up. He has already stretched phylogeny rate to mutation rate, and still he must stretch this further to account for the diversity of haplogroups in Africa by positing faster generation times and higher yet mutation rates. He is already well passed the limit of what one Y chromosome 4500 years ago can offer. There is no adding Neanderthals and Denisovans to Noah’s offspring. But, there they are.


This is, in my mind, the key thing Jeanson needs to grapple with if he wants to convince people his rejection of aDNA is valid. He says the sequences are degraded. Then why are they so similar, Nate? How can we know Neanderthals were highly inbred? Why do they form a nice neat clade, separate from extant H. sapiens sequences? If they were degraded to the point of unreliability, none of that would be the case.

When I asked him this, his answer was his population curves. So…yeah.


Well they are degraded, but not so degraded that they can’t be accounted for. Especially now.

They have reconstructed H. sapiens genomes from the same time period as the Neanderthal samples, and those ancient H. sap group with modern H. sap. If there is a bias inherent in ancient DNA, then it should show up in the ancient H. sap samples, but it isn’t there.


To be clear there is some key biases and evidence of degradation. However it is also possible to correct for these biases in the analysis.

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