Hypothesis: A Deceptive Being Makes Many Genealogical Adams

(Faizal Ali) #1

I suggest that the hypothesized “Geneological Adam” does not represent a unique event in the evolution of the human species.

Rather, at any given time, approximately 18% of the human population consists of individuals who have been created de novo by a powerful supernatural being. Their genomes are such that they blend into and interbreed with the existing population without any genomic evidence that they did not originate from the same common ancestor as humans who were not created de novo.

The being responsible for their creation does not wish their existence to be known, so is very careful to ensure that no one is able to discern that these humans have been created.

One important consequence of this hypothesis is not scientific, but theological: 18% of the human population were not descended from Adam and Eve and so are not subject to “Original Sin.” This finding, if confirmed, would therefore provide scientific falsification for the Christian religion.

Can anyone provide scientific evidence that falsifies this hypothesis?

Comments on Genealogical Adam was Not Unique
(S. Joshua Swamidass) split this topic #2

17 posts were merged into an existing topic: Comments on Genealogical Adam was Not Unique

(Faizal Ali) #9

I will also add that this discussion assumes familiarity with @swamidass’s claims regarding his proposals regarding “Geneological Adam.” If you are not familiar with this, then this discussion might seem rather odd and pointless to you. In which case, I offer my apologies.

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #11

@Faizal_Ali this a fun story! Thanks.

If 18% of population was de Novo created we would expect to find evidence of this. We do not find evidence of this. So absence of evidence, in this case, is evidence of absence.

In contrast, the GAE is not expected to leave evidence. Absence of evidence, in this case, is not evidence of absence.

Finally, even if a person does not descend from Adam, this does not imply Jesus is not relevant. That gets into theology beyond our scope, but your reasoning there is flawed.

(Faizal Ali) #12

No, there would be no evidence of this, as I explicitly stated in my initial comment.

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #13

Show me why there wouldn’t be evidence. I expect there would be a lot of evidence. Until you rigourously demonstrate this, my objection still stands. You cannot merely assert it, but you have to demonstrate this, because this is the key place you argument fails.

Good luck!

(Faizal Ali) #14

@swamidass Let’s presume, for the sake of argument, that my hypothesis is false and all humans on earth were descended from common ancestors thru the usual evolutionary processes, with the single exceptioni of Geneological Adam and Eve. According to my hypothesis, 18% of the population was created de novo, but with the same genomes that they now have, which leads you to conclude they were not created de novo. Your conclusion is not based on any scientific evidence but is purely based on your theological preconceptions.

(Faizal Ali) #15

BTW, saying “There would be lots of evidence” is not how a scientific hypothesis is typically refuted. You are denying the hypothesis, so the onus is on you to provide the evidence that falsifies it. So please provide it, if you can.

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #16

Sorry @Faizal_Ali that is not now science works. You proposed the hypothesis so the onus is on you to demonstrate it should be undetectable if you wish for it to be taken seriously. In fact it seems trivially disproven by evidence.

I note also another distinction about yout hypothesis and the GAE. My hypothesis does not presume a deceptive God. Yours does. That makes them very different. Yours is a disprovable version of last Thursday-ism (distinct for having evidence against it), but the GAE is more like the Virgin Birth of Jesus.

  1. No scientific evidence for or against.
  2. Attested.
  3. No appeal to deception.

Your example, in contrast, is:

  1. Evidence against.
  2. Unattested.
  3. Appeals to deception.

That is why your proposal is a helpful addition to the conversation. It demonstrates why the GAE does not reduce to the absurd.

(Faizal Ali) #20

Wrong. There is no evidence against it. At least, none that has been brought to my attention. Have any?

Irrevelant. No one “attested” to the theory of evolution until it was demonstrated to be true.

There is no more “deception” involved in my hypothesis than there is in your version of “Geneological Adam.” Anyway, why can a supernatural creator not be deceptive? You are begging several questions in your attempted rebuttal.

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #27

Let us take this one first. You hypothesis appeals to deception. The GAE does not. In fact I have rebutted every objection offered that it depends on God’s deception.

This is a clear distinction between your hypothesis and the GAE. Do you agree?

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(Faizal Ali) #28

Then my hypothesis demonstrates that God is deceptive. That’s good for us to know.

(Faizal Ali) #29

Anyway, I am not so much interested in the theological implications of this hypothesis. What is the scientific evidence that demonstrates it to be false, if there is any? You keep saying there is, but do not provide any. Why is that?

(John Harshman) #30

Absence of birth certificates?

(Faizal Ali) #31

I think the supernatural creator would be quite able to deal with that. Anyway, there are lots of people on the planet without valid birth certificates. Maybe even 18% of them. Has anyone counted?

(Faizal Ali) #32


(Faizal Ali) #33


(John Harshman) #34

I think we may be getting into Last Thursdayism territory here. You also need to refine your ideas: is God procuring these fake IDs, or do the created people know they’re created?

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(Faizal Ali) #35

That’s for future research. AFAIK, @swamidass has not provided anything near that level of detail for his version of Geneological Adam, so I don’t see why need to do so.

OTOH, your reference to Last Thursdayism is on point, with regards to both versions of Geneological Adam.

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(John Harshman) #36

What is your point? Genealogical Adam requires no deception, but 18% of the current population would, hence the question about God’s fake IDs. Adam presumably knew he was created and made no secret of the fact. He had no false memories of a prior life (though somehow he was created knowing how to walk, talk, and such). If God had kept on creating people every so often, presumably those people would have noticed, would not have kept their origins secret, and other people who saw them pop into existence would notice too. Again, what is your point?