Comments on Jeanson Accuses Duff Again


That is like showing a video of a backhoe digging the foundation of a building, then asking, “How could such a process that removes dirt be responsible for building an entire skyscraper?”


Your example does not match what I gave. Besides, the event I describe has proven to have happened. In 200 years, man has bred such specialized forms of mixed-breed dogs, which, due to their large size difference, are no longer able to interbreed with each other. (Great Dane and Chihuahua). All through selection, without the formation of a single new gene whose information would not come from the original dogs.

I’ll remember to cite that next time I bring up this criticism. I should’ve known it’s something you already covered!

The idea that Jeanson presents himself as an expert on this stuff but yet fails to grasp something so basic is absolutely mind boggling.

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It’s not difficult Toni. The population changed over time such that alleles and phenotypes became fixed. That’s evolution.

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Your answer is arbitrary, there are no steaks at all. And you avoided my question.

I answered the question. This is evolution 101 stuff Toni. An allele becoming fixed in the population because of selection is evolution by definition.


In fact, the event I described has also “proven to have happened”! I have seen a backhoe digging a foundation with my own eyes, and I have it on good authority that many other people have seen it as well.

If you want an example more on the nose – I have seen bricks being hauled away from construction sites when they are no longer needed. How could such a process that removes bricks be responsible for building the brick wall?

As @Herman_Mays says, processes that fix allelles in a population to the exclusion of others are just as important as the processes that add variation to a population’s genome. It’s all part of evolution.

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It couldn’t.

Now: In your drawing, it could be that the large-sized dogs resulted from novel mutations that were not present in the original population. You’d just have to add other alleles besides S and s.

Any problems with that?

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So this is exactly the process on which the Jeanson model is based. But note that it requires a heterozygous population from which to move towards homozygosity. Such can only be explained through the created heterozygosity, not evolutionary theory, because, new genes do not evolve through the mutation / selection process.

This is the extent of Jeanson’s description, in his “technical paper”, of his phylogenetic methods: “Curated and stripped of its gaps, the CLUSTAL-MTV alignment file from above was imported into CLUSTALX 2.1 (Clustal W and Clustal X Multiple Sequence Alignment) where the ‘Draw Tree’ option was used”. I’m guessing this is neighbor joining with simple matching distances. What a joke.

As @evograd has noted, it’s impossible to root this tree, regardless of any ad hoc assumptions about evolutionary rates or root location, so as to give three groups.


Umm, you think?

It doesn’t matter where the variation comes from Toni only that it is there for selection to act on. That’s not exactly Jeanson’s model however as he downplays any role for selection.

The point remains. Fixing any heritable phenotype or the alleles affecting that phenotype in the population either by virtue of their fitness effects or by random drift IS evolution. So either you or Jeanson claiming this is not evolution may only be done out of ignorance of what evolution actually is.


Jeanson is seldom up front about the algorithms he uses to build trees I’ve noticed. I’ve seen papers where he mentions using CLUSTAL to align sequences but never mentions how he builds them. I always suspected they were just simple distance based trees.

Of course, it matters crucially where the variation comes from. For it determines whether it is the result of creation or evolution. How do you not understand the basics? Evolution is based on random mutations and their selection. That is the basic mechanism for evolution. However, speciation can be produced without such evolution when the population is heterostygotic, such as in mixed-breed dogs.

Can you imagine submitting a real paper for review and having that as your methods?


It looks as if he just did “draw tree” in CLUSTAL with the default settings. I’m pretty sure that’s neighbor joining. That he doesn’t know more description is required is another signal of his ignorance.


I think if he had to construct a Bayesian or ML tree his head would explode.


Evolution is ultimately heritable change in biological populations over generations. The scenario you described is by definition evolution regardless of where the initial allele came from.

That said your issue is more with mutation than evolution per se. Mutation alone is by far the weakest influence on changes in populations. It’s selection that results in adaptive change in populations.

Besides Toni we know that mutations occur, we know they influence phenotypic variation, we know they may be selected for and against as a result of those influences and starting with the Lederberg replica playing experiments dating back nearly 70-80 years now we know that mutations arise independent of any future selection. That’s what we mean when we say they are “random”.

The point is now precisely the origin of the variations, it is a crucial question because both creationists and evolutionists believe in the choice of variations! So the fact that you say it doesn’t matter by definition where it comes from is a complete avoidance of the main question.

OK so just say you believe evolution occurs but you think God creates the variation. You can’t say however selection or drift or speciation isn’t evolution.

No one is avoiding any questions Toni.

Also I will add no one said anything about any “choice” of variation. Evolution is an emergent process in a population not one that is directed by any agency making deliberate choices.

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