Jeanson writes "Ultimate Scientific Rebuttal to Darwin’s Descent of Man?"

Indeed. I get excited when someone cites a paper I published five years ago, even if it is to say I was wrong. :slightly_smiling_face:


How well do they correlate with autosomal data?

This is just factually wrong. There have been numerous Y-Chromosome mutation rate studies posted on pertinent discussions on this forum, for which the expected count matches up with historical timelines and pedigrees.


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Is Jeanson going to, I don’t know, test any of the myriad predictions he’s said he’s made? He’s hypothesized some pretty out there stuff (like a mitochondrial mutation rate that’s 2-3 times higher in African lineages compared to non-African), it’d be great if he would test…any…of that stuff before churning out another for-general-audiences book.


I think the decision was strategic rather than complimentary. It is far easier to attack the work of a single man, working at the dawn of Evolutionary Biology (with the implicit pretense that the subject stopped there), than the combined work of the thousands of scientists who have expanded and matured the field since.

This is perhaps why “Darwin”, and its cognates, turn up so frequently in the vocabulary and book titles of Creationists.

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Well, it seems AIG has finally decided it has moved on from Darwin. That isn’t bad news really. I wonder when they will deal with Kimura? And all the other evolutionary biologists that have done such interesting work?

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Doesn’t really matter what AiG has decided. Scenarios driven by neutral evolution are closer to Darwin’s original vision than the Modern Synthesis. Darwin originally viewed variation phenotypically while the Modern Synthesis views variation genotypically. For Darwin natural selection acts only on variation once it presents in a phenotype. Neutral evolution only means that changes in genotype don’t necessarily affect phenotype. But as soon as the genotypic variation affects the phenotype enough to result in a strong selection coefficient, then natural selection kicks in. Again, that is closer to Darwin’s view than the Modern Synthesis because it emphasizes phenotype rather than genotype.

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You are saying that Darwin’s ideas dealth with phenotypes under selective pressures.

Neutral evolution deals with genotypes that are not under selective pressures.

Those aren’t the same thing. The Modern Synthesis includes neutral evolution which Darwin did not include, for obvious reasons. On top of that, Jeanson is modeling genotype, not phenotype.


Perhaps a technicality but neutral evolution deals with genotypes that have nearly identical fitness and hence change between them is effectively neutral. Yet they might under purifying selection against other genotypes that are deleterious (and thus have been initially fixed by positive selection against these deleterious variants).

Okay, but once a certain selection coefficient is reached, selection takes over, and this is part of neutral theory. It has to be, otherwise it could not show the values under which drift predominates.

Try getting @swamidass to admit that.

Neutral theory covers the neutral mutations. Natural selection covers the deleterious and beneficial mutations.

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Well since you won’t ask, I will.


Do you agree or disagree with @T_aquaticus statement that neutral theory is part of the Modern Synthesis?

Only above a certain selection coefficient. Weakly deleterious and beneficial mutations are swamped by drift.

They are effectively neutral which makes them a part of neutral theory.

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