Did humans evolve as a population?

Actually, that is what makes space for some conceptions of the GAE. It is one of the key points of the book :).

GAE must be placed in a world of agriculture, metallurgy, and cities to be consistent with the Genesis story. @Alice_Linsley can place GAE in place and time with artifacts of the region. And Reich can place the DNA of their contemporaries to a location and time period.

God doesn’t have much freedom in time period, location, nor GAE’s genome composition as recent scientific discoveries continues to box in God pretty tightly in the specially created GAE. Science will continue to tell God where, when, and GAE’s genome has to be with tighter and tighter precision.

So much confusion in that paragraph. Was that parody? You know otherwise I’m sure.

GAE is the parody. :sunglasses:

In the context of what the scientific consensus says, is there any answer to that question that changes the answers to @Jonathan_Burke’s questions?

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Some of those questions it matters and some of them it does not.

The scientific consensus says that we evolved as a population, but there is complexity about whether or not all humans descend from a single couple.

Clearly, there is no concept of de novo creation in the scientific consensus.

If we cannot define “human”, then GAE is meaningless.

Thank you.

Do you agree with the scientific consensus or not?

This is very vague. Does the scientific consensus say all humans descend from a single couple?

The scientific consensus would say there is no scientific evidence for a de novo creation. I would agree.

I agree with the consensus, except when I can show it is wrong, and then change the consensus. Science doesn’t work as an appeal to authority.

All depends what you mean by “human.” It also depends what you mean by “all descend from a single couple.”

That sounds fine. So back to the question, do you agree with the consensus that we evolved as a population, or can you show it is wrong?

No one here is appealing to science as an authority.

It sounds like you don’t want to answer the question.

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I think my position is nuanced, and has been explained in detail over the last couple years. Perhaps you’d like to review by reading this: Heliocentric Certainty Against a Bottleneck of Two?, and also, of course my new book: The Genealogical Adam and Eve, or my PSCF article, https://asa3.org/ASA/PSCF/2018/PSCF3-18Swamidass.pdf.

At this time, I do not have more to add.

No. I did answer the question. Many many times.

To answer this question, I’ve published a peer reviewed article on this, explained it precisely in public at professional risk, and have a book coming out next week. Much of this is on the PS and BL forums, though certainly not all of it.

I have made a strong enough case for well-defined (and limited) clams to convince scientists that have reviewed my work, and also philosophers of biology. With so much peer-reviewed and published work out there now, I don’t have anything more to add on an ad hoc basis. If you have any questions about what I’ve written in this body of work, I’ll consider clarifying.

You sound like you don’t agree with the scientific consensus.

Your answer is “It all depends on what you mean by “human””, and “It depends on what you mean by “all descend from a single couple””. So you don’t give the same answers I see in the scientific literature.

But you disavowed that paper and said it was wrong. You said you regretted it, and wished you had corrected it but could not think of a way of declaring you had changed your mind.

This relates to GAE though, a different question. So I will go with the scientific consensus on the actual question under discussion, instead of what you say.

That is false. I said that a couple sentences and references were wrong. I did not disavow the paper.

As I have said before, I have a book coming out in one month. For now, I have nothing more to add to it. I am now writing another book with WLC. That may be out next year. Looking forward to hearing your response once you get a chance to read both books!

I don’t think you said it was just a couple of sentences and references. You said " The GAE paper is published, obviously, not mentioning the Bugg’s exchange, but still in error". You said “If I were to write it now, I would write it very differently”, not “It’s a great paper, there are just a couple of sentences and references which are wrong”. You said that in contrast to the PSCF article, “My Dabar paper and the GAE book handle it rightly”.

I am content for you to say “I don’t disavow the GAE stuff in the paper”, that makes sense, but the language you used about the paper in general was to say it was “in error”, that you would “write it very differently” if you were to write it now, and that your later writings handle the subject “rightly”.

I have ordered your book for the GAE information. I don’t think it will have any convincing evidence to overturn the current scientific consensus on the evolution of humans as a population, or about population bottlenecks (if you had that you would have published it in the peer reviewed literature by now), but that’s ok I won’t be reading it for information on that subject. I’ll go to the relevant scientific literature for that.


Well now you know what I meant. There were a couple of sentence and references in the PSCF that were in error, and I would write them very differently now. The GAE book handles this very differently.

Sorry that wasn’t clear the first time. Thanks for clarifying it now!

Hmm. Seems like you don’t understand the point of the book yet. Surprising.

Yes; you disagree with the scientific consensus. That is now clear.

I understand the point of the book.


Please don’t make things like this up. It is not a wise or kind thing to do.

Not based on the paragraph I quoted. That’s okay though. I hope it will make more sense soon.


I can only go on what you are telling me. I ask you repeatedly if you agree with the scientific consensus, and you steadfastly avoid saying “Yes”. You also say that previous statements you made which agree with the scientific consensus, are wrong. If you agree with the scientific consensus, it’s really easy to say so; just say “*I agree with the scientific consensus”. Right now you just look incredibly evasive.

You mean not based on your reading of the paragraph you quoted.

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If we are looking at a lineage evolving temporally we are always going to have to draw an arbitrary line between human and not human. There is no real hard line between language and no language. For all we know, Australopithecines had some form of rudimentary language and tool making along with elevated cognitive skills.

I think the best we can do is determine what the evidence can tell us about the lineage leading to us. From what I have seen, the genetic data can support the idea of humans evolving from a population over the last 500k years or so. Beyond that, I don’t know if we have the tools or data to inform us of what those populations looked like.

if you want to draw a line based on what our knowledge is right now, humanity begins with Homo Erectus a million years ago. Homo Erectus was the most cognitively advanced Hominid the world had ever seen spanning Africa and EurAsia for hundreds of thousands of years. All species (as many as 10 human species) of Hominids after Homo Erectus were ever more cognitively advanced. Either way - 1 million years or 500,000 years ago humanity was several different species of ever advancing humans.

Which is precisely the position that Venema is not taking.