Dr. Joshua Swamidass and TMR4A: Some Major Modeling Problems for Young Earth Creationism

My interview on YEC genetics just came out with @GutsickGibbon. It was part of a 3 hour response she had to @SFT, but this cuts it down to just one hour. :slight_smile: I love the shades and the gold chain too.

She made some great graphics for this, and we also discussed RTB’s model too.

Here are some of the excellent images from the video:


Had to hit the like button just for the bling - and the “that’s rough buddy” cracked me up. :smile:

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so what’s the new gangsta name?..JSwami? Dr. J? (oh that’s taken)…She’s hilarious.


Well @SFT fans have taken to calling me names by mangling my last name (kinda racist!) in YouTube comments, so maybe let’s not go there.


Interesting that @GutsickGibbon differentiates between the model being empirical and the initial conditions being empirical. The third model (similar to RTB) is consistent with the data, but it assumes some special initial conditions (four specially created heterozygous individuals with just the right genetic characteristics to make the model work) which we would probably never posit based on the data alone.

Is GG’s analysis fair? For one’s views to be “scientifically acceptable”, is it required to not only believe a model that evolves consistently with the data, but also reject initial conditions which are not “supported” by empirical evidence? I sense that this is at the heart of disagreements between certain types of theistic evolutionists and Christians who are OEC and may favor RTB or GAE-type models. It is linked to this question of “Scriptural vs. science realism” (which I wrote about before here). Is it OK to posit a few miracles or a set of special initial conditions in order to harmonize science and a particular preferred reading of Scripture?


Does the mutation rate increase in less diverse populations or remain the same?

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See in the comments of @GutsickGibbon’s video. I’m not going to reproduce what was written on the forum.

Thanks. I just looked. I see what you are referring to–and that wasn’t me. I would agree with you that the comment you are referring to is uncalled for and not necessary.

You tend to do it in the videos directly.


Will you engage in a dialogue about your counters with Swamidass here? I know you love to just stick to your channel, but come on, if he’s easy to take down then why not summarize your points and discuss them? Think of how many videos you could make about the discussion once it’s over :smirk:


61 posts were split to a new topic: Valerie: Questions about TMR4A

I think a major failure of GAE regarding bottlenecks is the hypocritical approach it takes toward the global Noahic Flood. Under the pretense of staying biblically true to a 6000 year old progenitor couple, it then ignores the clear biblical indicators of a global Flood just 1600 years after Creation. Biblical indicators of a global Flood include

-The mountains were covered. How is that produced by a local flood?
-Why the command to build a huge boat to rescue animals if only a local flood? The replenishment of animal populations after a local loss of life would have been no problem
-Why take birds on the Ark if only a local flood? Birds can take flight to escape a local flood
-Large numbers of animals on the fringes of a local flood could have escaped with their lives. Again, why the big boat?

Why would the GAE hypocritically accept the traditional biblical view of A&E just 6000 years ago, while completely ignoring the traditional biblical view of a global Noahic Flood? Presumably because 1600 years would not be enough time for a thorough genealogical mixing of A&E and worldwide populations outside the Garden.

Have you actually read GAE? I don’t think so.

Also covered many times, so I will be brief—and only for the benefit of new readers while I’m waiting for my mid-week Zoom Bible study to begin. (You’ve already been schooled on these topics multiple times so covering this ground again is frustrating.)

(1) The underlying Hebrew word covers everything from small hills to what English-speakers would call mountains. Indeed, there is no compelling reason from the Hebrew text to think the elevations were particularly high.

(2) Hills and mountains covered by flood waters are quite ubiquitous throughout the world. For example, in Glen Morton’s final book he discussed in great detail the mountains flooded by what today we know as the Mediterranean Sea. Even river captains can tell you about their experiences navigating around flooded elevations of various magnitudes. Flooded basins of inundated mountains and hills are not at all rare.

(1) Why the command to march around Jericho for days (and then seven times on the final day) if God was going to simply knock down the walls of the city? If you have even the most basic knowledge of the Bible, you should know that pragmatics (and minimizing the labor of those involved) is not a priority with God.

(2) The Bible describes Noah’s Ark as a type of Christ meant to illustrate how he is the ark of our salvation. This is all basic Biblical theology. We’ve described this to you on multiple occasions so I’m getting the impression that you reject this doctrine. Is that the case? Why?

Same with a global flood or with the incineration of the entire earth. God, if he so willed, could simply recreate a new planet and biosphere of organisms in an instant. So your pragmatism “logic” is moot.

See above.

Sure. And a serpent was created on demand when Moses and Aaron appeared before Pharaoh, God could just as easily have told Noah to throw some leaves into the air after the flood and they could have been transformed into flocks of birds. That would save stocking birds on the ark at all. (You see, if you are going to play a pragmatics game, so can I.)

And God could simply have given all the sinners outside of Noah’s family a fatal cerebral hemorrhages. That would bypass any need for an ark or any sort flood, whether local or global.

Why take ANY animals on an ark when God could have performed a more pragmatic miracle? For that matter, why kill any animals at all when they were not the sinners being judged?

@r_speir, your “logic” keeps taking us in circles with the replaying of PRATTs (points raised a thousand times) which do not at all strengthen your case.

Of course, the biggest problem with your global flood obsession is that the Bible itself simply describes the flood as a deluge on the ERETZ, the land. There is no concept of a “planet earth” or “entire globe”. You are trying to force anachronisms into the Biblical text based upon your favorite man-made traditions.

I prefer to read and observe what the Word of God actually states. That’s why I reject your favorite traditions.

Jesus had a lot to say about those who were hung up on traditions—especially when they obsessed on imposing their favorite traditions upon others. You will find those people mentioned often in the four Gospels.

Of course, another huge problem with your global flood claims are that they totally defy what God has so clearly revealed to us in his creation. There is zero geologic evidence for such a recent global flood. None. Indeed, that is why the Christian pioneers of modern geology searched in vain for that evidence of Noah’s and eventually realized that the global flood tradition was contrary to the historical record God provided in the earth’s crust.


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13 posts were split to a new topic: Christianity and the Two Books

Just added in the images from @GutsickGibbon’s video to the OP. Enjoy.

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Seems like this one is not quite right. :slight_smile:

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Definitely after seeing this again, I’d say Sanford, Jeanson, Carter, etc view is for sure #4 with uniquely created gametes for Adam and Eve with unique alleles or #2 and I couldn’t explain yet how they defend that position. :slightly_smiling_face:

And that’s exactly what I said too! So what exactly was the strawman?

The problem isn’t the strawman. The problem is your mischaracterization of their position and I have a good memory :grinning:

@swamidass 28:16 “The fourth way to handle it which no one has gone to yet, and they’ve just maybe kind of hinted and alluded at it, is that there is something seriously strange and funky going on with the early human population’s DNA. It’s something we don’t observe in any other populations right now Much, much, much higher rates of recombination… mechanisms at play 6000 years ago that we don’t really even see anymore among current population and potentially even miracles… No one has gone to that position… If they’re saying there is a natural mechanism to do that, then we should see evidence of some of the things they’re proposing…no leading creationists I know about has actually taken hold of that and say that’s the way things work; they’ve gestured at it maybe…they’re actually more in the 2nd model we discussed”

30:15 graphic shows: “magic” hyper-diverse alleles (never seen before in nature) @gutsickgibbon "you essentially need a biology in the progenitor couple that has never been seen in nature before."

From the paper:

Our analyses highlight several genetic mechanisms that can help reconcile a literal Adam and Eve with the human allele frequency distributions seen today.

At first glance, I wonder if your TMR4A ignores what is presented on page 4 [page 201] which they give in support of position #2


In this paper we will use logic and numerical simulation to show that the claim that “there is no possible way…” is overreaching. There are multiple genetic mechanisms that can reconcile the biblical Adam and Eve with the observed human allele distribution data.

Is there no empirical support if they are doing simulation? It’s already been agreed it could be a valid model. So now doesn’t this hypothesis need to be proven wrong?

We examined the logical outcome that would arise if God individually designed each of the gametes (more accurately the gametogonia) within Eden, with each gamete (or gametogonium) potentially having its own unique genotype. We tested to see if this could possibly generate the allele frequencies observed today. The logic of this analysis is described in the Results section. We first explain that two designed people could have millions of individually designed gametogonia, and that these diverse gametogonia could represent a gene pool essentially equivalent to the gene pool of a large human population. We then illustrate this using numerical simulations.

If we start with the premise of a miraculously created Adam and Eve, the idea of “designed diversity” is a logical deduction.

Although the issues are complex, it is now very clear that the theistic evolutionist’s claim that “there is no way…” (that a literal Adam and Eve could ever give rise to our current allele distribution) was seriously over-reaching. In light of the current study, that claim appears to be incorrect. Given what is at stake–the authority of Scripture and the faith of millions of people–this militant attack on the historical Adam and Eve that is coming from within the church appears to be reckless and destructive. We exhort our Christian brethren who have been so vigorously arguing against a literal Adam and Eve to very carefully consider the possibility that they may be mistaken, and to prayerfully consider the possibility that they are undermining the faith of millions of souls.

In this paper we have used logic and numerical simulation to show that there are several Designed Diversity mechanisms that can reconcile a literal Adam and Eve with the allele frequency distribution now seen in the human population. These genetic mechanisms include: [#2] 1) designed diversity within Adam and Eve’s four sets of chromosomes followed by accelerated genetic drift associated with multiple population constrictions; 2) as above, combined with more powerful demographic forces such as selective sweeps, lineage extinctions, and differential subpopulation expansions; and [#4] 3) designed diversity within Adam and Eve’s originally created gametogonia. Together, these various genetic mechanisms seem to falsify the claim that there is “no way” that two people could give rise to the human allele distribution that we see today. The designed gametes model appears to be especially robust, and in our opinion is even elegant. It seems to be the best explanation for how Adam and Eve might have simultaneously given rise to our current human allele patterns and our current linkage patterns.

What am I missing? You did not present all of the mechanisms they presented and you haven’t falsified the designed gametes model that I can tell.