# Native Creationists and Chromosomal Fusion

Yawn. These kinds of a priori probability calculations are, for the hundredth time, meaningless. You can pick out any one mutation of those that occurred and eventually went on to become fixed and ask how likely it was that that mutation would have occurred and become fixed, and you’ll get some unimaginably small probability.

Take some particular substitution with a probability of 1 in 10 billion, then ask what it’s probability of fixation is, which if ~neutral is about 1 in 50.000 for the human population, which means the probability of that mutation occurring and becoming fixed for a population with an effective size of 10.000, is 1 in a quadrillion. 10^-15.

That’s a very low probability, and we seem to have calculated that the occurrence and fixation of neutral substitutions are impossible? But somewhere on the order of 50 to 100 of those are fixed every generation.
Of what use is it then, to calculate the prior probability of a particular of one of them? It doesn’t tell you that what occurred didn’t occur, or was implausible to occur, or couldn’t occur. It does not even weakly indicate it in any way. It is a useless and meaningless probability. Why can’t ID proponents fathom this elementary concept?

It’s like rolling a handful of 10 dice 50 times in a row, then picking out one particular throw of that handful of 10 dice, after having thrown it, and calculating the odds of that particular throw occurring. Does the number you derive somehow show you didn’t actually throw that result? Obviously not. It’s a meaningless calculation to do. It can’t possibly show you that what you just did, did not plausibly occur. Then why would you do that for some historical mutation occurring when the exact same principle applies?

How can this inane question keep coming up? It’s a pointless calculation that cannot possibly rationally inform your beliefs about whether history occurred.

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But don’t stop there, apply the same method to any ordinary event, like “The probability you are reading this comment at this moment”, look at the long series of event leading up to the present, and you will get a very small probability. This probability gets even smaller the more detail and length of series you consider. By this standard, everything is impossible.

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You have previously shown that fusion events happen 1 in every 1000 births. Why has only 1 been fixed in the human population? If Tompkins is right the one happens to be functional which is evidence of design.

The bottom line is that your claim that this is definitely a fusion event seems like a stretch at this point if special creation or guidance is considered. If common descent is the working hypothesis then I would agree with you.

I love this. First you argue that it is too hard to fix mutations in the population (above – “a bottle neck is a necessary condition but is it sufficient?”). Now you’re arguing that it should be easy. Which is it?

No, if Tompkins is right (which he is not) then function at the fusion site is evidence of change. In case you hadn’t noticed, genomic change is rather important to the entirety of biology.

This is a fusion. There is no question about it. Ordinary chromosomes have a centromere section in the middle and a telomere section at each end. Chromosome fusions result in a long chromosome with two centromere sections and at least one telomere section sandwiched between them. Human Chromosome 2 is an extra-long chromosome with two centromere sections and a telomere section sandwiched between them. It is the result of a fusion. Subsequent base pair mutation along this chromosome is not evidence of design. It is evidence that a lot of time has gone by.

No, even if there is function at the fusion site, that is not evidence of design. That is evidence of mutation. A thing that happens.

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If.

Also, the putative functionality of something spanning the fusion site isn’t evidence for design, as there is no model of design that predicts or requires there to be something functional there.

Something being evidence that would be very hard to explain on common descent isn’t automatically evidence for design. This is because, among other things, that design and common descent is not a dichotomy, and hence evidence that is unlikely on one isn’t automatically evidence that is likely on the other.

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No, there is zero reason to think it being a fusion site is a stretch even within a “special creation” or “guidance” framework, as there is nothing on a “special creation” or “guidance” framework that says chromosomal fusions don’t or can’t, or didn’t or couldn’t happen, in the human lineage.

Examples were even given up above of creationists saying that yes, this is evidence for a chromosomal fusion event, but that it merely happened in the human lineage after their special creation.

Bill all your objections are poorly thought-through and seemingly knee-jerk dismissals stated out of some apparent need you have to try to suppress or diminish something being evidence for evolution. It’s so obvious and therefore silly.

Bill, you have to pay attention. The people who are responding to you know things you don’t and are trying to communicate them to you. Help them by reading what they say.

Because, in neutral evolution, most mutations are lost and only a few become fixed.

No, the fusion doesn’t rely on common descent, since it happened in the human lineage. Whether we are related to chimps or other species is not relevant. The evidence of fusion is present regardless, showing that if humans were created, we were created with 48 chromosomes. Guidance is also irrelevant to whether fusion happened, only to why it happened. But in fact there is no evidence suggesting guidance. Tomkins is wrong in almost everything he says. You believe him and reject mainstream science only because it’s congenial to you. Your preferential bias prevents you from understanding much of what is said to you.

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Sure @David_MacMillan understands this issue much better than I do. His argument that this is definitely a random fusion event is not solid if you are to consider special creation or guidance.

If common descent is a working hypothesis then the fusion event is very likely as it explains the change from 48 to 46 chromosomes.

What evidence is this?

Where did you find this argument? He explicitly stated he’s NOT arguing about whether it was “random”, whatever you mean by that.

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You just need to adjust your meaning of “random” to “seems random to us, but results from an act of god”. And, if you understand “random” in that way, you won’t have any reason to disagree with @David_MacMillan .

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That’s word salad again. What you seem to be saying is that if you assume special creation or guided evolution, then you can conclude special creation or guided evolution. That’s not a very useful argument.

If special creation is a working hypothesis then the fusion event is very likely for the same reasons. Again, you don’t listen.

You continually amaze me with the questions you ask way too late in the discussion for them to be sensible. How can we be arguing about chromosomal fusion if you are that unacquainted with the subject? You insult your own intelligence and mine.

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You created the word salad by changing the word consider to assume.

If you make this claim you should support it.

Asserting the argument Jeff Tompkins has been making for 7 years is false is not very persuasive. He has provided evidence against the molecular claims that this appears to be a fusion event when you compare sequences. I don’t see any evidence that this claim has been seriously challenged.

Well, for one thing, no, it is not up to @John_Harshman or me or anyone else to “support” this. Tompkins has not actually provided evidence of function at the locus in question. It doesn’t matter how long he has been saying it. I can say for 7 years or 12 years or 30 years that the Jeff Bezos is secretly a lizard person, but if I provide no evidence of this, then no one has any reason to treat my claim seriously.

But that is all a red herring because even if there is function at the fusion site, that does not mean the thing Tompkins thinks it means. In fact, it actually makes it worse for him. If a novel gene evolved at a chromosomal fusion site, then that means a LONGER amount of time has gone by since the fusion. Because there is obviously, undeniably, unequivocally a fusion.

A functional gene at a chromosomal fusion site is not evidence that the chromosome was designed that way. It is evidence that a functional gene has evolved at a chromosomal fusion site.

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Don’t be silly. I know what you mean by “consider”.

I see no need if you are aware of the evidence. If you aren’t, this is a bad time to bring up the question, and you shouldn’t be posting on the subject at all. But surely the simple homology between two chimp chromosomes and one human chromosome is not open to question.

You haven’t looked, have you? Here’s the first Google hit I get that isn’t to Tomkins himself. Looks good and the box at right references other critiques. I realize that you believe Tomkins because he says what you want to hear and will disbelieve all criticisms of him because they don’t say that, and that you base your decisions on the conclusions without comprehending the evidence. Such is life.

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I don’t have a position at the moment but I am not going to dismiss Tomkins out of hand. Here is the Bio Logos discussion and it went for 4 posts with no real arguments against his technical claims.

That’s not relevant. Even if you were to dig out his eyeballs and surgically install that evidence wired to his visual cortex, I’m confident he still wouldn’t see any of it.

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I believe you.

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Definitely looks like one, but God could have just created it that way. I think that’s his point? If so that’s overly pedantic. The point is that it looks like a fusion site, though of course God could have done something surprising here, it would be surprising, not what it looks like in the data.

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So you won’t even look at the criticisms I linked to, right? Why, the very discussion you linked to mentions some of the problems with Tomkins’s claims. This is evidence for the hypothesis that you are incapable of seeing evidence when it’s right in front of you.

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@colewd I don’t think any one here dismissed him out of hand. Personally, I assessed his work with a close read and a look at the raw data myself.

I’m concerned that you’ve dismissed my analysis of his work out of hand, along with the analysis of others out of hand.

Why is he the recipient of your favoritism?

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