YEC Worldview on Current Science News

I’ve been thinking about making this post for a few days. I was wondering if there would be any interest in me sharing bits and pieces of science news articles for discussion about data interpretation on occasion. I regularly read whatever my Google and Facebook news feed give me. I often come across a bit of information or a scientist’s quote that, based on my worldview, is interesting from a YEC perspective. Usually though, I don’t know think there’s enough there to make a post about. But sharing a bunch at once might the conversation keep going.

Based on the responses to this post A request for perspective - #11 by thoughtful especially the last sentence, I decided to go for it and create this post. In the replies to that post, I was accused of relativism, but when I mentioned “worldview” of course I did not mean that the truth of the facts or data are in question. What I meant is that perhaps the decision that certain data do not affect the current consensus models may be because scientists are not aware of any alternative models or hypotheses. But since many here are experts at debunking such alternatives, I thought it might be interesting for you to see things from my perspective and then, as typically happens, for many of you to discuss why it’s wrong. :blush:

First up, a gene affecting body size in dogs, wolves and related species.

Originally designed alleles?

The new mutation is located in a section of DNA near the IGF1 gene and regulates its expression, which in turn influences the body size of the dog. There are two versions, or alleles, of this snippet of DNA: One allele has an extra cytosine base (C) that causes smaller body size, and the other allele has an extra thymine base (T) that causes larger body size, Ostrander told Live Science.

“It’s as though nature had kept it tucked in her back pocket for tens of thousands of years until it was needed,” senior author Elaine Ostrander, a geneticist at the NIH who specializes in dogs, said in a statement.

Second, rapid diversification in Caribbean reef fishes.

Originally designed alleles and an evolutionary timeline that doesn’t fit?

Here, we show that the hamlets, a group of Caribbean reef fishes, radiated within the last 10,000 generations in a burst of diversification that ranks among the fastest in fishes. Genomic analysis suggests that color pattern diversity is generated by different combinations of alleles at a few genes with large effect. Such a modular genomic architecture of diversification is emerging as a common denominator to a variety of radiations.

Although the hamlet lineage is ∼26 My old, the radiation appears to have occurred within the last 10,000 generations in a burst of diversification that ranks among the fastest in fishes.

(I briefly tried to look up the reproduction age of these types of fishes to find out the timeline for 10K generations, but I couldn’t find it and gave up.)

Thirdly, brush huts in Israel and related garbage preserved for…23,000 years?

Seems to fit post-flood to Abrahamic culture and YEC ice age timelines pretty well to me…

How could traces of the huts, and much else, survive for 23,000 years until Steiner et al. arrived on the scene? The answer is rapid inundation, which deposited fine silt on the campsite.

So, 23,000 years ago, much of Europe was a howling frozen wasteland, Israel was a paradise, the lake level was low and the campsite arose. The largest of the six huts is called Brush Hut 1, and was 4.5 by 3 meters large. The preservation even enabled the archaeologists to identify three layers of floor in that hut, indicating three periods of occupation. Very short occupation, to be sure.

“Nobody was sedentary at the time,” Nadel notes – people roamed. This was not a village, characterized by sedentarism. This was a temporary domicile.


None of the creationist conclusions you draw from these stories is supported by the stories, much less the original publications. You have presented a perfect case of the worldview bias you have previously mentioned. This is also a fine case of a particular creationist tactic: bring up some (supposed) anomaly while ignoring the vast bulk of evidence. Those are not “originally designed alleles”, and that’s clear from the stories. There is no “evolutionary timeline that doesn’t fit”. And there was no “post-flood” or “YEC ice age”. You are force-fitting little snippets, while the great ocean of truth lies all undiscovered around you.


Well, I had hoped for a better response. You provided no explanation of why not.

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Some alleles being old and having existed in a population before humans started artificial selection does not mean they were “originally designed”. How is this evidence for creationism or incompatible with evolution?

How does 50 000 years fit with YEC again?

But it’s not true that it doesn’t fit. That a radiation occurred within the last 10k years does not contradict the inference that the lineage is even older. Evolution is not a theory that says that nothing evolved within the last 10K years, just that there’s also much more that happened even longer ago.

That’s four times older than you think the universe is?


Could you please explain how this research shows these alleles were “originally designed”?

Same question. Also, please show exactly how this does not fit the evolutionary timeline.

How does something surviving on earth for 23,000 years fit with a timeline in which the earth itself has only existed for 6000 years? I’m having trouble following that, please clarify what I am misunderstanding.


Yes, because you aren’t interested in explanation and would view any explanation through your creationism glasses. What the dog thing shows is that some genetic variation is ancient. In fact those two alleles are millions of years old, apparently pre-dating the genus Canis. That’s inconsistent with YEC and ignores all the unique variants found within species as well as the mutations arising in every generation, including other size-related mutations in domestic dog populations.

Rapid radiations in fish are unusual but not unknown. Consider the cichlids of the African rift lakes. Nothing here contradicts any “evolutionary time line”. Much evolution does in fact happen by changes in frequency of alleles long present in a population. No surprises here, and no support for YEC.

23,000 years ago precedes the YEC creation date, so it’s hard to see how the huts fit your scenario. Also, you seem to be attributing preservation to a flood but not the Flood, so what does that have to do with YEC?

I just don’t think you realize the extent of your bias. My goal is to encourage you to see your own blind spot, the result of that beam in your eye.


For the purposes of this discussion, I suggest that we should accept that some people adhere to the YEC worldview and proceed from there. This should not become an argument against that worldview, though obviously there will be contradictory evidence (some already mentioned).

Just trying to lay down some ground rules before a game of Brockian Ultracricket breaks out. :slight_smile:


How does one proceed from there without arguing against it? Anything else is to accept intellectual nihilism. “Oh, it’s just a differen way of understanding the same data”?


You persist with representing science as retrospective interpretation, ignoring prediction. You are rejecting the very foundation of the scientific method.

You were dramatically misrepresenting the scientific worldview, ignoring the importance of empirical predictions. You also substituted your interpretations for facts.

It was a very accurate response.

He provided a detailed explanation. I hope that my supplementation helps. If you’re going to refer to worldviews, please stop misrepresenting the scientific one as not involving testing hypotheses.

This may help, as it presents these points in contexts other than evolution:

Well, we could focus on the important aspects of our own scientific worldview that @thoughtful seems to be missing.

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Anything can be overdone, but I do not think you are anywhere near that; and your topic postings in the past have been of interest and often come from general science sites. IMHO, It wouldn’t hurt to have a few more.

My own thought is that targeted discussions are preferable and archive better. Discussions become unfocused quickly enough without them starting that way.

Well, not according to the genealogy counters at AiG et al. Cosmology, geology, paleontology and radiometric dating puts the earth at billions of years old, but putting that to the side, the ponderous evidence for the continuity of roughly modern terrestrial conditions and human existence over the twelve thousand years or so is diverse and incontrovertible.


How does one test the hypothesis that an allele was put in a genome by a supernatural creator? We would expect to see mutations shared by many ancestors if the mutation occurred in a distant ancestor. So what evidence are you putting forward for this mutation being put there by a creator?


I didn’t say it would be easy … :wink:

Pointing out contradictions implies problems with a worldview, and I don’t think that can be avoided. That’s different from directly telling someone their worldview is wrong.

@Thoughtful, is this acceptable for the discussion?

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Well the good news is I don’t think anyone here are under any illusions about what we each think.


I appreciate the discussion leaning towards contradictions specific to the topic.

You all know I’m already aware of why the consensus is what it is. And I already know most here think my worldview is wrong as well. So that being said, if people desire to spend their time writing things I already know @Dan_Eastwood you don’t have to police that. :slightly_smiling_face:


Ah, I was scrolling through the posts and was disappointed at more responses because they missed what I was getting at. I’ll respond to those later. But I specifically thought the dog/wolf mutation as two alleles with one letter difference was interesting because it was found in ancient DNA as well and affected 15% of size. So only one letter difference in the genome creates amazing diversity.

What I was trying to describe is that fits a test of diverse alleles being put there by the creator (and two carried on the ark). What I am NOT saying is that it disproves evolution. So that particular data depends on a worldview to interpret it.

What I was trying to say is that particular data fits creationism possibly a little better, unless someone found something there that I am missing. That’s what I wanted to discuss.

Re: dogs. Here is the real publication:
Notice that the small allele is ancestral and the large allele is derived, but small dogs return to the small allele. The authors interpret this as the small allele being retained at low frequency in large species ancestral to domestic dogs. But there’s another plausible explanation. The difference between alleles is just a single C-T transition. Such transitions are the most common of all mutations. Maybe that mutation just keeps recurring, often enough to keep it regularly present at low frequency, enough to be detected, in large-canid populations despite selection against it. And perhaps the occurrence in small dogs is due to a recent mutation, and its presence in an ancient wolf genome is due to an older and independent one.


Diplomatic Dan to the rescue!

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I’m not sure what you mean by “the YEC worldview.” YEC consists mainly of specific propositions regarding physical reality, the likes of which can be confirmed or refuted by empirical evidence. It is no more a “worldview” than is the statement “The earth is larger than the sun” , and similarly lacking in the empirical evidence needed to support it.


This would mean that you would have 4 alleles at most for all genes in dogs, is that correct?

If we found genes that have more than 4 alleles, would this falsify your hypothesis?

Does the observation of new mutations emerging in living populations falsify your hypothesis?

What makes the creationist explanation better in this case?

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Being the one who pointed out that this was relativism, I didn’t think it was an “accusation” in any sense. I’d have thought that you would readily acknowledge that this is relativism. It is, you know. Suggesting that scientists are drawing the conclusions they draw because of their “worldview” (gawd, I hate that word!) is classic cultural relativism and it’s an attempt to drag science down into the zone of “just another opinion,” “just another mode of story-telling,” or “just another way of interpreting things in accord with pre-existing prejudices.”

If that is what you meant, it’s not what you said. Here, instead, you’re suggesting that scientists are ignorant of the option of declaring that their findings are consistent with a young earth. I am quite sure they’re not ignorant of that option; I suspect that they don’t spend a heck of a lot of time considering it, as it’s at odds with all of the relevant facts, but no scientist who grew up in America can possibly be unaware that there are people who somehow manage to believe such things.

I think relativism, within its proper domain, is a perfectly respectable thing, and it seems to me that it’s clear that when you bring “worldview” into it, you mean relativism, not ignorance as you’re now claiming. I think the trick is that you’ve got to be consistent. Either you really do go to the “these are just stories we tell ourselves, generated as much by our preconceptions as by the data” level, in which case you need to buy a beret, learn to drink your espresso straight from the demitasse without milk, and hang around Parisian cafes reading Derrida, or you recognize that relativism can’t shed any light on the biology itself, in which case you can invest that beret and travel budget in a library of science books. But what so often happens is that people who have it in mind that there is one overarching Truth, transcendent and wonderful and beyond full human reckoning, who should be the LAST people EVER to invoke relativism, invoke it all the damned time when in a rearguard action. The problem, of course, is that used in this reckless fashion, relativism is a universal solvent: if science is only story-telling, so is religion, and that’s not a conclusion the user wishes to reach.

I don’t think you will ever see a scientist claim, when he is confronted with what you think is inconvenient evidence, that, y’know, it all depends on your “worldview.” That’s an intellectual copout, unless the topic under discussion is explaining how people come to arrive at their opinions rather than explaining whether those opinions do or do not reflect underlying reality.

Regarding your three article citations, I fail to see anything in them that is remotely suggestive of the truth of creationism. You make reference to “originally designed alleles” on the first two, but there’s no hint as to why or how you would draw any such supposition. Genetic diversity arises routinely from natural processes and there’s nothing here suggesting that design would somehow be a better explanation. On the third, I cannot imagine what you have in mind. I am familiar with similar, though later, cases of good preservation due to inundation. What does that have to do with creationism?