John Harshman: Bottlenecks and Trans-Species Variation

That is not really a valid way to put it. Rather, there is claims made in their theory of origins, and they are positing additional facts not attested to in Scripture, to see if that could render these claims consistent with the evidence. That is a valid reason to adjust a model.

Of course, even with that adjustment, because of the global flood no amount of adjusting is going to make the genetic data fit their model. They are going to have to give that part of the story up, it seems to me, or posit ongoing miracles (which even YECs do not want to do).

I was just giving you a view of a YECs reasoning for rejecting a global Eve.

A thoughtful reason is that they are willing to let evidence reshape the narrative on non-essential details.

Presuming they were homozygote clones would be inconsistent with the data. Moreover, if Adam was a mosaic, with different DNA in each his cells, Eve would be too. So this a theory that preserves what they think is important in the passage, and might be less inconsistent with the data.

This is a thoughtful reason for rejecting a clonal Eve.

And the data is already there. Over 4000 ancient genomes have been sequenced going back hundreds of thousands of years. If there is huge diversity hundred of thousands of years back, there isn’t convergence to any kind of bottleneck.

Another reason for rejecting a clonal Eve was that the technology for cloning a person from a rib of a living person was not at the level needed to accomplish this 6000 years ago in the Middle East. :sunglasses:

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I’d say that a more valid way to put it is that they are positing additional miracles (a great many of them) not attested to in scripture, to see if that could render these claims slightly less inconsistent with the evidence. But tomato/tomahto.

Anyway, go far enough in that direction and you run into God, the Deceiver.


True, in general that is exactly what is going on.

However, the special creation of Adam and Eve is attested in Scripture. Unlike many of the epicycles of flood geology, positing Adam and Eve as genetic mosaics is not positing a new miracle. Rather it is proposing scientific detail to this miracle that might make sense of evidence we see in nature. That seems to put it in a different category than the miracles of flood geology, even if it is ultimately false.


Without giving up the global flood, I do not think the AIG YEC approach can be rescued. Even the appearance of age approach cannot be extended to the appearance of no flood or the appearance of the common descent of man. I’m most confident about this because I can envision solutions just about every problem in their model with adjustment, except the global flood and the common descent of man.

However, I can reconcile their theology and reading of Scripture with evolutionary science and with an old earth. It really comes down to whether or not they want to oppose science or not. We are no longer facing an issue of Biblical authority or theology. The real question is whether science should be opposed. This, I suspect, will be the ultimate dividing line.

Yup, but not the analysis. The analysis is hard. At some point it needs to be done.

A bottleneck of 10 might bring the “wall of noise” from 500,000 ya to 100,000 to 200,000 ya…maybe.

The 2 results together certainly dont do anything for Creationism.

180 thousand years. We already looked at the data.

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The analysis will be done and the results will be surprising and unexpected.

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I agree. Maybe the team will even include @John_Harshman, @glipsnort, or myself. Real scientists stalk these forums.


I’d say it is, especially the massive mosaic being discussed (all human diversity). Of course the genetic mosaic idea does dispose of any problems with Eve being a clone; that would no longer matter. Still, a massive genetic mosaic is still a pile of extra miracles.

It does remind me of the early notion of preformation, in which the homunculi of all Eve’s descendants are present, like nested Russian dolls, within her body.


It is fantastic, and I’m not personally comfortable with it.

How can genealogical sole-progenitorship be supported? It’s even more impossible than genetic sole-progenitorship, which is at least theoretically possible given a miracle of coalescence. And in fact genealogical sole-progenitorship would entail genetic sole-progenitorship, though the reverse is not true. You have lots of genealogical ancestors at any time-period, lots more than you have genetic ancestors, as you yourself have demonstrated. Unless you mean something by “sole” other than sole, this doesn’t work at all.

Have you forgotten the MHC alleles already?

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Not definitive.

And I had such hopes for you. Why not? If one sums the alleles shared between humans and chimps, humans and gorillas, humans and orangutans, etc., it comes to more than 4.

But my more urgent question is on the meaning of genetic and genealogical sole-progenitorship, particularly the latter. Either they don’t really mean “sole” or you have a scenario I haven’t seen yet.


We discussed this at length. One extra allele could be convergent. We need to do intron study. Until we do it is not clear.

I’m really disappointed. This is not how the discussion ended. And what is “intrinsic study”?

I’m also disappointed that you have twice ignored appeals to explain “sole-genealogical progenitor”.

Was gonna start a thread just for that. Just give me a moment. Not ignoring you. relax.

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I want to settle this HLA issue first here, then I’ll start a thread on genealogical progenitorship.

I meant the “intro study” we discussed here:

First, off it does appear I ow you a bear…

I need to settle precisely how many trans-species alleles there are in this studies. I haven’t had a chance yet, and will do so soon. I’m expecting you are going to be right @John_Harshman, though I haven’t settled it firsthand yet.