JoeG's Case Against Common Descent

(George) #61


Unless you have recanted somewhere else in this or some other thread…

I clearly cannot hold your hand to get you over this cognitive blockage you have fixated upon.

Maybe you will enjoy having a futile discussion with someone who has more time on his or her hands.

(Bill Cole) #62

How do get a reasonable R if you include time for mutations getting fixed in the population especially beneficial mutations given Lynches predictions.

(Intelligent Design Deist) #63

Genetic similarity is only evidence for a common ancestry between humans and chimps if you ignore what Dr Denton said and common design, which you reject out-of-hand demonstrating an unawareness of engineering and design. A common design was the original thinking, that is before Darwin. And it doesn’t make sense to keep redesigning DNA sequences that will produce a protein that you have already coded for.

I am being prevented from responding so this discussion is useless. If you ever find a way to scientifically test the claim that chimps and humans share a common ancestor then please have it published and get ready to get a Nobel Prize for a truly amazing discovery.

Thank you for your time but this treatment is beyond the pale.

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #64

You didn’t read the post. I did not make an argument from similarity.

You get the R from direct measurement.

(Bill Cole) #65

What direct measurements? Mutation rate is measured at about 10^8 per gen but fixation rate is highly variable depending on the type of adaption.

If you measure it by the number of mutations observed and the approximate time your argument is based on common descent being assumed.

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #66

Turns out for most mutation mutation rate R is equal to the fixation rate. It is not highly variable for most mutations. The is the key insight of neutral theory.

For humans, by the way, it is about 1.25e-8, close to the number you quoted.

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #67

Nope that is not what I’m pointing to. You can measure R T and D independently.

(Bill Cole) #68

What evidence independent of the assumption of common descent supports the fixation rate?

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #69

That is like asking for evidence that 1+1=2.

Without assuming common descent, there are several mathematical proofs that this is the case in neutral theory. Moreover, you can demonstrate this in both simulations and experiments.

This is such a robust finding that it is largely agreed upon by experts across the spectrum. As far as I know, @Agauger (ID), John Sanford (YEC), Nathanial Jeanson (AIG), Dennis Venema (BioLogos) all agree this is the case. The recent work we’ve all done on Adam makes this 100% clear, as everyone is seeing this behavior arise in their simulations. You can too. Try using Sanford’s Mendel’s Accountant:

Or find another implementation:

This is just the basics of population genetics.

(Bill Cole) #70

Here is a paper with John Sanford and Bill Basener that discusses problems with the assumption of essentially neutral mutations. It was discussed extensively at TSZ.

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #71

That is a separate question. It remains widely agreed that fixation rate is approximately equal to mutation rate. As I’ve already noted, we can even directly verify this with experiments. Ancient DNA is giving a new way to verify it for humans too.

(Bill Cole) #72

Yes, and common descent is a working assumption according to UC Berkeley.

I just remain highly skeptical that you can get a split from a common ancestor and on one branch end up with a human and the other branch end up with a chimp solely through random neutral mutations.

I also think that Winston’s identified gene loss is another issue. How do deleted genes get fixed in a population?

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #73

Deleted genes get fixed the same way as other neutral mutations.

Not in that claim. It is independent of common descent. It is just a simple math problem.

No one asserts this was solely through random neutral mutations. That is just silly. Certainly, reject a cartoon version of evolution. Just don’t pretend it has anything to do with our current understanding of evolutionary science.

(Bill Cole) #74

Ok, so Sanford and Basener’s paper is relevant as positive selection has to be part of the story. Some common ground to end the night on :slight_smile:

(Ashwin S) #75

I did read that thread… it’s definitely a well built case for descent. @JoeG, it would be fair if you went through it and commented on it.

@swamidass - One thing that struck me is that neutral theory requires the majority of these genetic differences to be non functional (if they were functional, they would be selected for)… So if genetic engineers find function for most of these mutations, it would be a problem for this argument. Is that a fair understanding?

(George) #76


Your skepticism is perfectly consistent with the view of GOD-led evolution.

The question becomes: is it even possible to PROVE (scientifically) that your skepticism is correct?

I would say, No. I believe @swamidass would say No, as well.

(Intelligent Design Deist) #77

Dear Joshua- If Denton, Sermonti, Wells, et al., are correct and genomes do not determine form/ body plan, then your equation is meaningless to the question of common ancestry between chimps and humans.

If you like rats and mice, you will love voles:
Rodent’s bizarre traits deepen mystery of genetics, evolution

Blockquote > The study focuses on 60 species within the vole genus Microtus, which has evolved in the last 500,000 to 2 million years. This means voles are evolving 60-100 times faster than the average vertebrate in terms of creating different species. Within the genus (the level of taxonomic classification above species), the number of chromosomes in voles ranges from 17-64. DeWoody said that this is an unusual finding, since species within a single genus often have the same chromosome number.

Among the vole’s other bizarre genetic traits:

•In one species, the X chromosome, one of the two sex-determining chromosomes (the other being the Y), contains about 20 percent of the entire genome. Sex chromosomes normally contain much less genetic information.
•In another species, females possess large portions of the Y (male) chromosome.
•In yet another species, males and females have different chromosome numbers, which is uncommon in animals.

A final “counterintuitive oddity” is that despite genetic variation, all voles look alike, said DeWoody’s former graduate student and study co-author Deb Triant.

“All voles look very similar, and many species are completely indistinguishable,” DeWoody said.

In one particular instance, DeWoody was unable to differentiate between two species even after close examination and analysis of their cranial structure; only genetic tests could reveal the difference.

Nevertheless, voles are perfectly adept at recognizing those of their own species.

After all of that evolution the vole is still a vole. The evolutionary excuse is that those voles didn’t get the right mutations.

As to:

What design principle can explain why humans are 10 times less different from chimpanzees than mice are from rats?

1- The “10 times less different” is genetically and not anatomically and physiologically. Rats and mice are anatomically and physiologically more similar than chimps are to humans.

2- Designed recombination is a design principle that can explain genetic differences in anatomical and physiologically similar organism known to have a common ancestor.

Sadly I am being heavily moderated and have to wait to respond to George’s nonsense.

(George) #78


Completely inaccurate!

Common Descent and common ancestry were (and are) GENEALOGICAL notions long before they were genetic notions.

And because if that… all your criticisms of Common Descent fall short if the mark !

Geneticists use genetic scenarios to explain Common Descent. But even if genes meant nothing… Common Descent would still be provable.

(Curtis Henderson) #79

Here’s another fun vole fact, Joe.

Another species from the same genus, the meadow vole, has promiscuously mating males, and scientists have changed adult male meadow voles’ behavior to resemble that of prairie voles in experiments in which a single gene was introduced into the brain by a virus.


Certainly, environment does impact gene expression. I could accept an argument that “form” goes beyond genes. But the suggestion that form is independent of genes is just plain wrong.

(Intelligent Design Deist) #80

Yes, certainly the environment does impact gene expression. Yes, form/ body plan goes beyond genes- that is what the evidence says anyway. No one is suggesting that form is independent of genes. The quote from Denton says that genes can control and influence development. It’s just that control and influence do not equal determination of form.

Please read and respond to what I actually post. Thank you.