Extraordinary Claims, Abiogenesis, and the Ressurection

And this by an agnostic:

“The claim that ocean water [or pick your favorite flavor of prebiotic soup] will in time produce Manhattan seems to me sufficiently extraordinary to require extraordinary evidence.”


I agree.

…and believe in lots of just-so stories.

Point one out.

Tell me a story of how consciousness arose, or reason and logic.

I don’t know and I don’t claim to.

or reason and logic.

What does it mean to say that “logic arose”?

4 posts were split to a new topic: Keeping Things On Topic

Good point. The laws of logic are presumably independent of its users. Okay, just reason, then. Reason is supernatural – it is that by which we analyze and evaluate nature – it is over and above, ‘super- to’, nature.

I feel that your perfectly reasonable point could have been made a lot better by not linking to somebody as odious as vox day.


What’s the theistic explanation for how conciousness arose?

Also, the guy vox day is talking about, Reed, isn’t the brightest tool in the box either.

Take this for example:

Consider evolution and male homosexuality. This condition would seem to have very strong selective pressures against it. You do not increase your rate of reproduction by not reproducing. While some homosexuals have children, they do so at a rate far, far below that of normal men. The condition should have long since gone out of existence. Yet homosexuals are still with us, apparently no less commonly than in Greek and Roman times.

This is not a trivial matter.for evolutionism. If no reason can be found, then there exists a clear case of anti-Darwinian descent. To avoid this, evolutionists say that a virus causes homosexuality. There is no evidence for this. People do not have a slight fever and turn into homosexuals. Such a virus has not been found. Evolutionists just know that it exists because if it didn’t, homosexuals could not exist. Here again, the theory is taken for granted and the existence of supporting causes imagined.

I don’t know about any scientist who claims this. Although I did hear those Gamergate wackos quoting Dawkins’s ‘Selfish Gene’ to justify homophobia.

Note: not making any political statement.

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Holy cow. Lololololol


An argument from Vox Day. @T_aquaticus @evograd @davecarlson @John_Harshman @swamidass maybe you’d like a crack at it

There are 40 million base DNA pair differences between humans and Chimpanzees.

The average evolutionary time frame for the divergence between humans and chimps is 9,000,000 years ago.

Ok so a human and a chimp generation are both considered 20 years.

If for the sake of simplicity we split the differences equally, 20 Million between each.

Then 9,000,000 years divided by 20 is 450,000 thousand generations. For which those 20,000,000 base pairs had to evolve for each species.

20,0000,000 ÷ 450,000 is 44.

That means there are on average 44 fixed mutations in each generation. Putting aside how unlikely 44 fixed mutations per generation is, we have a model to falsify evolution.

This is because at this rate it is happening it is fast enough for us to measure it. All you need to do is get the DNA from a Mummy from 5000 years ago, the DNA from Roman 2000 thousand years ago and compare it to the DNA of a modern person and see if the genetic mutations and differences in the base pairs match this average rate of 44 per generation. With the gene sequencing tech that we have today. You can actually measure the genetics to see if the evolutionary model is correct in it’s time frames and that these changes are happening.

This means evolution, as an encompassing theory explaining the common descent of all creatures is now falsifiable, all you need is to to the sequencing.

Of course, 44 fixed mutations per generation is highly likely. As Kimura showed, in neutral evolution the number of fixations per generation is equal to the mutation rate, and there are in the neighborhood of 100 mutations per human per generation. 44 is actually too few.

Sadly, no. This is confusion over what “fixed” means. You can’t tell if a difference is fixed based a sample of one. You’re going to need what is technically referred to as a shitload of samples.


Exactly. What saves this is that coalescence is farther back in time, about 10 million years ago. Then that comes to be about 100 mutations per generation, almost exactly what we observe.

@glipsnort’s exposition of this is important (even though @Peter_Berean just blew by it). If you use different types of mutation as a control, then the evidence just comes into nearly perfect alignment. There is no reason it had to be this way, but it is. See the inappropriately named thread (Mutations Are Consistent With Biochemistry - #4 by T_aquaticus), and here @glipsnort’s article (Testing Common Ancestry: It’s All About the Mutations - BioLogos).

Still no response from YEC, RTB (@AJRoberts), or ID (@pnelson, @Agauger) on this. I don’t suspect there is a good response.

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As @John_Harshman said, 44 fixed mutations is very possible. We have on the order of 100 mutations per generation, and since most of these are neutral we can approximate that almost 100 mutations are likely to be fixed per generation due to random drift.

We can use ancient DNA samples to estimate mutation rates, a well-known example is Fu et al. (2014):

To quote from the abstract:

We present a high-quality genome sequence of a ~45,000-year-old modern human male from Siberia.

We estimate an autosomal mutation rate of 0.4–0.6×10−9/site/year and a Y chromosomal mutation rate of 0.7–0.9×10−9/site/year based on the additional substitutions that have occurred in present-day non-Africans compared to this genome…

0.4-0.6x10-9/site/year works out to about 1.2-1.8 mutations per year, or about 30-45 mutations per generation, assuming a generation time of 25 years. I’d say that’s a match.


Great post, but one issue.

You have to be careful here, because the denominator (number of sites) is poorly defined. We are likely underestimating the rate by overestimating the denominator. (@AJRoberts, this is a great paper for you to understand and read).

What do you mean? We know the size of the human and chimp genomes, and how much can be compared.

Actually we don’t have a good bead on what amount of the genome has high enough coverage to pick up a de novo mutation. About 10% of the genome is not always included because it doesn’t align to the reference genome. If you read the methods sections on those papers they often note this. Moreover, a bare number of mutations per generation (e.g. 44) leave open the size of the genome we are measuring. This creates some real ambiguity.

The conversation here is still correct. We just have to be cautious about giving a false illusion of more precision than we have. We already have a lot of precision. So just be a little cautious in how we state things and we’ll be fine.

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This question is exactly why the simulation example I spoke about in another thread would be instructive. People have a hard time picturing the continued fixation of neutral mutations, or how it can be the case that the rate of fixation of neutral mutations is actaully equal to the rate of mutation.