SFT: Is Genetic Diversity a Problem for a Literal Adam and Eve? Joshua Swamidass and Biologos Debunked

This two minute clip from @Otangelo is a sight to see. Can anyone help me untangle this?

It seems he has associated me with Dennis Venema’s arguments against a bottleneck, somehow missing that I’m the one who argued against Venema. I’ve agreed from the outset that it doesn’t make sense to think of Adam and Eve are not homozygous clones, and defended YECs from that strawman.

Is he really that confused?

What exactly does he think my relationship with BioLogos is?

I can’t tell for sure because his sentences referring to me are hard to follow precisely…

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They added this:

DISCLAIMER: Dr. Swamidass does not work for Biologos as far as I know. They just have similar arguments. William Lane Craig also uses this same argument when attempting to discredit a literal Adam and Eve who lived just thousands of years ago. Created heterozygosity makes sense both theologically AND scientifically.

To which was responded:

So this is @peaceful science. Dr. Swamidass does not make similar arguments as BioLogos. Dr. Swamidass argued against the strawman of saying Adam and Eve are homozygous clones. This is well known too. Your disclaimer needs to be corrected. https://peacefulscience.org/wlc-genetic-challenge/

This article egregiously misrepresents Dr. Swamidass, his relationship to BioLogos and their arguments against Adam and Eve. Dr. Swamidass argued AGAINST Venema’s strawman of assuming Adam and Eve are homozygous clones, not for it. He is a public critique of BioLogos’s science here, and does not make the arguments he makes. The video description should be modified to link to this note from him, and to include an apology for such an egregious falsehood: https://discourse.peacefulscience.org/t/is-genetic-diversity-a-problem-for-a-literal-adam-and-eve-joshua-swamidass-and-biologos-debunked/11634

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@swamidass

He honestly thinks Adam and Eve have been front-loaded with maximum diversity in their genomes… and he thinks that answers the diversity question.

The home section for him is found at:

Move my post to where you move the original posting to.

I wouldn’t have posted this on the forum, and certainly not in the Conversation topic.

That’s pretty typical of this person, no?

Who cares? It’s spam.

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Fair enough. It is typical, but also surprisingly brazen. This topic is now in #conversation:side where it might be out of sight.

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To their credit, the channel responds:

I am actually thrilled to hear this from you. This is not a bad thing by any means. The more people (especially very intelligent people like yourself) who come out against such bad arguments the better. I understand we disagree on things. But I am glad to hear you have so adamently come out against this argument made by Venema. Give me 30 minutes to update the title and description and then tell me what you think. I’d love to have you on one day to discuss these issues. God bless.

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They’re just excited that you are against Venema. That site is toxic trash.

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Otangello is completely unhinged. I think he got tired of being banned from Facebook groups and decided to strike out on his own.

Edit: AND Jungle Jargon in the comments! I recall him as a notable troll back on G+.

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That was not ME making any claims, but SFT at my channel… just to clarify that.

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I have had well over 50 formal debates and this argument is frequently employed by my interlocutors as a way to discredit Adam and Eve. I am thrilled to hear Dr. Joshua Swamidass is not an advocate of this argument. I have now updated the description of the video:

"Many prominent scientists from Biologos such as Dr. Dennis Venema and Dr. Francis Collins have put forth an argument assuming Adam and Eve were created as homogeneous clones. Is this a valid argument? Watch the video and find out!

When I first attempted to post it notified me new users can only post 2 links and so I had to remove Dr. Swamidass’ links but they are there in the original description

DISCLAIMER/RETRACTION: It is with great pleasure that I can say Dr. Joshua Swamidass is NOT in agreement with this argument put forth by Venema and Collins (and others). He has adamantly come out against this argument. If Dr. Swamidass, who is definitely not YEC, has so adamantly opposed this argument, why are many experts still using this objection? Thank you to Dr. Swamidass for making it clear that he has argued against the idea that Adam and Eve would have been created as homogeneous clones with no DNA diversity. His work on this can be found here:

(NOTE - Found in original description of video)

New must-read and must-have refuting the critics book (WARNING: IRREFUTABLE):


Pages 7-9 from my new book “The First Couple: Adam and Eve - Independent Origins”:

"Did God command Adam and Eve to be fruitful and clone themselves? Of course not. God wants us to be fruitful and multiply. Therefore, it makes theological sense to invoke created heterozygosity (a state of DNA differences/DNA diversity). Not only have I addressed this numerous times, but so have many prominent creation scientists. This so-called objection has been thoroughly refuted. For example, Dr. John Sanford and Dr. Robert Carter deal with this same objection made by Dr. Francis Collins here in their article titled “In Light of Genetics… Adam, Eve, and the Creation/Fall”.

“Several well-known evangelicals have stated both in public and in print that Adam and Eve are genetically impossible. For example, Francis Collins has claimed, “There is no way you can develop this level of variation between us from one or two ancestors.” 62 His colleague, Dennis Venema, has said, “You would have to postulate that there’s been this absolutely astronomical mutation rate that has produced all these new variants in an incredibly short period of time. Those types of mutation rates are just not possible. It would mutate us out of existence.”63 These statements, while sounding authoritative, reflect a remarkably superficial consideration of the problem. It is ironic that, on one hand, evolutionists resort to a recent and extreme genetic bottleneck to explain why there is so little diversity among humans, while on the other hand they claim there is too much diversity to allow for a biblical Adam and Eve. If Adam’s genome was intelligently designed, it would obviously have had a great number of designed genetic variants (Figures 10a and 10b). Otherwise all people would essentially be clones of Adam and Eve, which would be bad design, for many obvious reasons. How much genetic variation could be designed into the genomes of Adam and Eve? The answer might seem surprising; essentially all known single-letter variants (SNPs) within the current human population could have been programmed into two diploid individuals such as Adam and Eve. Together, Adam and Eve had four sets of chromosomes. Since there are only four genetic letters (A, T, C, G), Adam and Eve could have had any possible combination of SNP variants. They could easily have been heterozygous at 100 million nucleotide sites, but we do not need anything like this to explain modern human diversity. Even now a single person is heterozygous at roughly four million sites and carries a large part of all human variation. There are less than 15 million common SNPs found in all of humanity.64 Even now, a single modern couple could account for a very large part of all human variation. Since most common variations are not associated with disease, most variation could very reasonably be attributed to designed variation. What would prevent God from engineering 10-15 million variants (heterozygous sites) into Adam from the very beginning? If we assume Eve was assigned her own unique genome, it would double the amount of potential designed diversity. If that was not enough diversity, God could have created different genomes in each of Adam and Eve’s reproductive cells. There really is no limit to how much diversity God could have designed into Adam and Eve, but we do not need to invoke anything more than simple heterozygosity. Adam’s potential heterozygosity alone is sufficient to explain almost all human diversity. 65”"

Thanks and God bless.

SFT

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Otangelo is correct. I was on his channel answering questions and objections from a theistic evolutionist. Full video clip was taken from found here:

Topics discussed: Thousands of species in just 4500 years, ERVs, genetic diversity, chromosome 2 fusion.

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Yes they are excited about that. I also pointed out they have other problems with the genetic data that have not been addressed, so I’m not giving the false impression they resolved the genetic challenge to their position.

There are enough serious problems with the YEC position that no one should be using strawman arguments against them. Bring the best arguments against their best models. There should not be need to misrepresent them.

Thank you.

Thank you.

As should be clear think the evidence presents you with some real challenges. I will certainly defend you from bad arguments, but I also think you need to engage the strongest data against you. I pointed to TMR4A specifically. I’d like to know how and when YEC scientists intend to engage that data.

Do they understand that you discuss a genealogical A&E that can only work in a YEC framework by having lots of humans extant with A&E?

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I don’t think they were discussing a GAE. TMR4A data pushes them back at least 500 kya with their current models, which don’t have people outside the Garden explicitly modeled. Something has to change in those models, depending on what changes, the analysis could also change.

I know of two possible changes.

  1. They go to a full GAE, which lands them at my book.

  2. They take the AE as germline mosaics, which lands them at about 180 kya, at the RTB model.

I’m not sure which path they will take, but they first need to deal with the TMR4A data. Leading YEC scientists are aware of it, I know. However they have been totally silent about it.

There might be some other fantastical options to consider too, like genetic diversity from Nephilim, but then we are basically at a GAE too.

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Adam would only have two copies of each gene which means Adam could only carry one variant for each gene. There would be the sequence of one allele and the sequence of the other allele. That’s it.

So do we see just two alleles for each gene? No. We see many, many more alleles than just 2.

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One claim, and I’m not sure this is what @SFT is claiming, is that Adam’s germ line cells were created with all sorts of different genotypes, so he was able to produce sperm with variation greatly exceeding that of his diploid soma. Similarly, Eve would have been created with all manner of different genotypes in her eggs. Give them a few hundred children, and the full diversity of human genomes would be reflected in their diploid offspring. It’s only one extra miracle, but it explains everything. Parsimony!

Then issue then becomes the 5 person genome bottleneck it’s Noah’s Ark.

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[You know this stuff . . . the following post is focused more at the general audience]

Over and over I see creationists use the term “heterozygous” as if it cures everything. I have the sneaking suspicion they don’t understand what it means, or the concept of a diploid genome. I have spoken about loci that have thousands of alleles, such as the MHC complex, and they confidently state, “Well, Adam could have been heterozygous!” as if that solved the problem. Most humans are heterozygous for different HLA genes, but it still takes many different people to hold all of the possible genetic diversity. As @swamidass mentions, we still have the bottleneck at Noah’s Ark which only leaves us with maximum of 6 or so alleles.

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Just one more miracle. Problem solved.

From Islamic view:

The scholars hold different opinions on the number of those who were with Noah on the ship. IbnAbbas stated that there were 80 believers while Ka ab al Ahbar held that there were 72 believers. Others claimed that there were 10 believers with Noah.

:grin: