Thoughtful’s Questions on TMR4A

I had skimmed through TMR4A thread to see if it made any more sense to me than a year ago. Still way over my head :blush: No idea where the numbers come from and why - that’s OK it’s out of my league. But after I re-read this post, I went back and checked if it referenced TMR10A - I didn’t see it. I did a search in the forum, and just found you referencing it, but I didn’t really see any reference to how you got to 180 kya. Please correct me if I’m missing it.

Also I thought it’d make more sense to respond to the statements quoted below from another thread here as my response/questions relate to TMR4A or TMR10A more, but moderators please move my response if you prefer it to be something separate.

So your comments and @mercer’s motivated me to finish this article. I had started it a couple of months ago, it made me think of TMR4A and then I got distracted and didn’t finish it.

Is the quote below from the article/chapter by Jeanson and Tomkins relevant when considering TMR10A or ArgWeaver or whatever :slight_smile: ?

The second claim56 deals with the rate at which sections of DNA are swapped during sperm and egg cell production (the technical terms of two swapping processes are genetic recombination and gene conversion ), but the conclusions that the BioLogos writers reach is based on erroneous assumptions and outdated science. With respect to the latter, in making their claim, the evolutionists assume only a single process of reshuffling DNA sequences (e.g., recombination) when, in fact, there are at least two (the second and, apparently, much faster process of reshuffling is gene conversion).57 Had they included this faster process in their calculations, they would have discovered that mankind’s genetic history is much shorter than they claimed.58

Does this quote below have validity? Besides the above, are we missing any possible means of change or starting points?

As we’ve observed in the preceding section, using DNA sequences to function as a clock is not straightforward. In theory, just like the ticks of a clock mark off the passage of time, the transmission of another 60 DNA mutations from parent to offspring should be able to mark the passage of another generation. However, knowing how much time has passed requires knowing when the clock — whether mechanical or biological — actually started ticking. As we observed above, some (probably most) DNA differences may not represent mutations at all; they may have been supernaturally created in Adam and Eve from the start — e.g., Adam and Eve would have been created with genetic differences. Thus, when we’re evaluating the billions of DNA letters in our cells and trying to determine when the differences began arising, it’s as if we were asked how long a clock has been ticking — but then were told that the clock has at least four hands instead of two.60

Therefore, to use DNA as a clock to measure when humanity began requires a very careful accounting of all potential means of genetic change and all potential genetic starting points. In other words, the only relevant DNA clock to the human origins debate is one in which evolutionists and creationists agree on the mechanism by which DNA differences arise as well as on the number of starting points from which DNA differences can arise.

Footnote 60:

  1. Since Adam and Eve each would have been created with two versions of their 3 billion letter DNA sequence, and since Eve’s versions may have been slightly different than Adam’s, humanity may trace its genetic origins to 4 different starting points.

Footnote 60 is referencing the idea of TMR4A?

Back-and-forth on this topic leaves me curious, but frustrated because most of the details are above me. Still had to ask what you think, as I might learn something. :slight_smile:

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@dga471 did it make sense to move @thoughtful ’s comment off the main thread?

It isn’t a ref to TMR4A itself, but it is a ref that indicates that Carter’s model is tested by TMR4A.

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Let’s test this hypothesis against the evidence for a single, well-studied gene, assuming special creation of A&E 6000-7000 years ago.

Are you up for it? We can work through a simple calculation line-by-line–there are only 5.

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And also assuming no people outside the garden. That’s a critical part of their model.


Agreed, absolutely. I’m assuming classic YEC.

I assure you that my proposed test is not beyond high-school (maybe junior high) math. We can do it with the numbers in conventional or scientific notation, your choice.


Many YECs have classically considered people outside the garden though. So it’s best to just make that auxiliary hypothesis explicit rather than assumed, without granting it status as “classic” or “traditional.”

I’d say also you have to specify if Adam and Eve have biology like ours, or if they are genetic mosaics.

Don’t forget the significant bottleneck after ~2000 years.

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Genetic wouldn’t be enough. They’d have to be germline mosaics, for starters. Wouldn’t their children and grandchildren et al. also have to be different from us to make the math work?

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I think it’s easiest to just punt if AE don’t have normal genetics, and instead focus on the Noahic bottleneck to 10 haploid genomes.

The issue is that no one in the YEC world has specified details on such a model (eg how many kids did AE have?). Until they choose to work out a genetic mosaic model, anything we do on their behalf will be seen as a strawman. Frankly I don’t have have a good handle of what would be received as reasonable speculation vs jumping the shark by them.

In contrast, RTB has specified these parameters. But that’s another story.

Regardless, it all becomes moot if we turn to focus on the Noahic bottleneck instead. Notably, that one would also come with a 2 per individual bottleneck for most families (not species) of animals. A TMR4A analysis of co-descended animals should give an alternate test of AIG’s flood.

First, under their model, TMR4A for codescended families should be less than the TMR4A for humans (and that’s not going to be the case.)

Second, TMR4A for codescended families should be at about 4,000 years ago (and that’s not the case).

I digress…


Except the tasty ones, they should have substantially more diversity.

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That’s right (sort of). For example, there were a lot of extra cows that tagged along beyond just 2.

Were those cows, or were they the ancestral bovid kind that eventually turned into cows, bison, kudus, gerenuks, gnus, nilgai, and so on?

Good question. I don’t know.

That’s more than a little odd to advise punting instead of considering a different approach for explaining this to someone who says that she is curious.

That’s not an issue because we can work backwards to find the minimum that would be necessary.

You do. Why?


Punting probably is not the right word for it. Rather, as I explained, the weak point becomes Noah in that case.

Just requires an extra miracle or three to make Noah’s sons and perhaps their wives all mosaics too.

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That is a direction I’m pretty sure no one is willing to go.

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Go along with the exercise regardless of whether she consents or not. I believe a lot of people will learn something from it.


So there’s such a thing as too far even for a YEC?

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