Svante Pääbo on creationist reactions to Neanderthal interbreeding

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Paabo_2014_Neanderthal_Man_cover.jpgPeople have been sending me this, so I might as well blog it. In February 2014, Svante Pääbo, who led the Neanderthal genome project, published a popular book on the sequencing of the Neanderthal genome, and reactions to it.

I haven’t yet read the book, although I’m sure it’s great, based on talks I have seen by Pääbo. However, there is one passage that PT readers may find particularly interesting:

Svante Pääbo (2014). Neanderthal Man: In Search of Lost Genomes. Basic Books; First Edition (February 11, 2014), 288 pages http://www.amazon.com/Svante-P%C3%A[…]e/B00GJ9XR7O

p. 221:

There were many others who were interested in the Neanderthal genome – perhaps most surprisingly, some fundamentalist Christians in the United States. A few months after our paper appeared, I met Nicholas J. Matzke, a doctoral candidate at the Center for Theoretical Evolutionary Genomics at UC Berkeley. Unbeknownst to me and the other authors, our paper had apparently caused quite a flurry of discussion in the creationist community. Nick explained to me that creationists come in two varieties. First, there are “young-earth creationists,” who believe that the earth, the heavens, and all life were created by direct acts of God sometime between 5,700 and 10,000 years ago. They tend to consider Neanderthals as “fully human,” sometimes saying they were another, now extinct “race” that was scattered after the fall of the Tower of Babel. As a consequence, young-earth creationists had no problem with our finding that Neanderthals and modern humans had mixed. Then there are “old-earth creationists,” who accept that the earth is old but reject evolution by natural, nondivine means. One major old-earth ministry is “Reasons to Believe,” headed by a Hugh Ross. He believes that modern humans were specially created around 50,000 years ago and that Neanderthals weren’t humans, but animals. Ross and other old-earth creationists didn’t like the finding that Neanderthals and modern humans had mixed. Nick sent me a transcript from a radio show in which he [meaning Hugh Ross] commented on our work, saying interbreeding was predictable “because the story of Genesis is early humanity getting into exceptionally wicked behavior practices,” and that God may have had to “forcibly scatter humanity over the face of the Earth” to stop this kind of interbreeding, which he compared to “animal bestiality.”

Clearly our paper was reaching a broader audience than we had ever imagined.

For readers who don’t remember this episode, the blog post of YEC Todd Wood provides a good overview of the OEC vs. YEC split on the Neanderthal issue:

Below, for posterity and future researchers, is the quote from Hugh Ross’s radio show. I transcribed this in 2010, so I don’t know if the links still work, but those were the original source.

Ancient DNA shows interbreeding between Homo sapiens and Neanderthal

Author: Dr. Hugh Ross, Dr. Fazale “Fuz” Rana and Kenneth R. Samples
Mon, 10 May 2010 4:50 PM
Duration: 01:00:51

Listed at: http://www.reasons.org/resources/ra[…]podcasts/snf

Download link: http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect[…]0-HRFRKS.mp3

The voices are my best guess:

JA: Joe Aguirrea (sp?), show host
FR: Fuz Rana, Reasons to Believe scientist (Chemistry PhD)
KS: Kenneth Samples, theologian
HR: Hugh Ross (Director of Reasons to Believe, astrophysicist by background)

Here’s my transcript of the key bit of the Reasons to Believe radio show.

[…]

29:29

HR: And from a Biblical perspective, you’d actually expect there to be some interbreeding evidence, because the story of Genesis is early humanity getting into exceptionally wicked behavior practices. This evidence indeed is indicative of interbreeding, it would be at the time before the great human migrations that are described in Genesis 10. And notice in Genesis 11, verses 1-9, we have God intervening to forcibly scatter humanity over the face of the Earth. And perhaps one reason God may have done that, is because this kind of interbreeding was going on, and he wanted to put a stop to it, and forcibly scattered humanity at that point. But we have plenty of evidence in Genesis 6 that early humans, just before the Flood and right after the Flood, were exceptionally wicked, and therefore this kind of behavior was not at all unexpected.

30:25

And just to be bluntly honest, animal beastiality goes on even today. And so, again, as the researchers pointed out, they’re shocked that the level is so low as it is, their expectation is that it would have been higher, given the way these animals behave and the way humans behave.

Of course, some have point out, you know, the Neanderthals were a lot stronger than us. And so the idea that a powerful male Neanderthal would have raped a human women, given that they were sharing the same cave,

V2: You could see that happening

HR: You could actually see that happening, right.

V2: Wow.

V2: You know, and again, it’s interesting you have these probititions against beastiality that are found in Levitical law. And, you know, that’s obviously there for a reason. The idea that there would be this interbreeding isn’t, you know, isn’t surprising, even from a Biblical standpoint.

31:19

You know, and as Hugh and I were talking, over the course of the weekend, you were mentioning too, Hugh, another instance that you do see hybrids of a sort, that are described in Scripture, and that’s the Nephilim.

HR: Well I’ve got Genesis 6:4 right here, it says, “the Nephilim were on the Earth in those days, and also afterwards, when the sons of God went to the daughters of men, and had children by them.”

Now there’s been a lot of speculation who these sons of God are, but there’s no doubt that these Nephilim were a different kind of creature. Goliath was at least 9 foot 9, carried at least 250 pounds of armor into battle. That’s something a human can’t do. Yet they were doing this, and God saw fit to wipe the Nephilim off the face of the Earth.

And as a supporting text, you’ve got Jude 6, which says, quote, “angels who did not keep their positions of authority, but abandoned their own home, these he has kept in darkness, bound by everlasting chains.”

Now when you read this in the original Greek, it’s actually accusing these fallen angels, of some kind of beastiality. And so the fact is, that there is interbreeding evidently going on between angels and humans, wicked angels and wicked humans. Therefore, we shouldn’t be surprised that that could be happening with two Earth-bound species. And the fact is, that verse in Leviticus is there for a reason, that strong prohibition to, you know, avoid sexual intercourse with animals.

FR: And so now God destroys the angel-human hybrids, but apparently he’s not destroyed the hybrids that were produced by humans and Neanderthals.

HR: Yeah.

33:05

V3: And that’s where I’d like to bring Ken in. Ken, there are lots of theological implications, other than the ones already being discussed here. What comes to peoples’ minds, in this kind of thing, is why would God allow this kind of thing to happen, in that this doctrine of the image of God seems to be a recurring theme. You write about it, talk about it, the guys here talk about it a lot. And also, Jesus was the God-Man, wasn’t he. So did he have some Neanderthal, how do we think about these things?

KS: Yeah, those are really important topics.

Before I touch on the image of God, I do want to point out, I think Hugh has been careful in how he has approached this, I do want to point out, that Genesis 6:4 is quite a controversial topic for how it’s best understood. […]

[discussion of how the Nephilim may have been “demon-possessed men”, or e.g. kings, instead of angels]

34:50

HR: …I’ve seen blogs to the effect that the Sons of God having intercourse with the Daughters of Men are Neanderthals, so I mean, a whole new a

JA: …a whole new set of commentaries…

FR: Although that doesn’t fit in the sense that the Bible clearly describes the Nephilim as being destroyed by God. So if that was the case, then there should be no evidence for…for the gen-, for the Neanderthal [interbreeding]…

HR: There should be no evidence, I’m just saying, this is actually generating that kind of speculation.

JA: Go ahead Ken.

KS: Let me just touch on first of all the image of God. Obviously, a very critical Christian doctrine, a very critical Biblical doctrine, taking us all the way back to Genesis 1:26 and 27 […]

(note, these guys don’t believe that the Neanderthals are the Sons of God, they are just commenting on what they see as a silly idea)

36:00

[KS discusses the “natural image of God” vs. the “moral image of God”]

[…]

56:45:

KR: But in the sense of, did the hybrids have the image of God, or not, if they were a 50-50 blending of human and Neanderthals. In a sense it’s hard to know whether that’s the case. But I think it’s critical to realize, those hybrids, as they interact with other humans, very quickly that impact…

HR: …that impact was highly diluted…

KR: …that impact was diluted out, so that eventually you’re gonna have a human being having intercourse with another human being.

HR: Kind of like the Nephilim, Joe, those hybrids didn’t last. So whether they had the image of god or not, it doesn’t really matter in terms of the present status of human beings. They died, just like the Nephilim died, so that effect doesn’t remain.

JA: [attempting to wrap up, the show is going long] OK, very good, fascinating stuff. Thank you gentlemen. On the one hand, you know, talking about something repugnant in human history, but here for us to explore all the implicati–

HR: Well, that’s a Biblical doctrine too, that we humans are repugnant. I mean, we’re defiled, that there is reprobate behavior going on. And the OId Testament makes it clear that reprobate behavior was much more prevalent in Old Testament times than New Testament times. So in that sense, none of that should really shock us.

FR: Well, you know, in a sense, I look at a study like this as actually a positive thing. You know, initially the reaction to this is that it does create discomfort for the RTB model, but as you begin to think through these issues, it actually helps us to flesh out a more detailed Biblical model for human origins, as opposed to, you know, essentially the discovery causing us to abandon our model. So this is forcing fine-tuning of the model, but I don’t think it’s causing us to abandon the model. And again, it’s not fatal for the model, but rather healthy for a model. To me again, the encouraging thing is that a lot of this that’s being discovered here, supports our model, and is consistent with our model.

HR: Paul, I’m excited because…[talks about how this confirms some of the stuff in RTB books]

54 Comments

This is hysterical! At least we know now what happened to the Neanderthals: God murdered them!

Wait, what? What happened to “variation within a kind”!? Aren’t humans a single Biblical kinds, a “monobaramin” or whatever the creationists call it? Aren’t humans a different Biblical kind than all animal kinds?

And if humans could breed with animals and produce fertile offspring, then why can’t they do it today?

So the Neanderthals were bigger and stronger. Why do these RTB people not consider that Neanderthals were superior and that “genetic entropy” set in when the interbreeding with the weaker humans commenced?

Didn’t their deity command his people to go forth and obliterate all the surrounding tribes? Why not send a Neanderthal to do it? Why did the deity dilute all the Neanderthal genes and keep a bunch of wimpy humans around instead?

Uh; does any of this make any sense? Inquiring minds want to know.

(Oh, wait; minds are not supposed to inquire. Sorry.)

Part of Reasons to Believe’s schtick was to have a “testable creation model”, unlike the Young-Earth Creationists who they criticize. Somewhere along the line they started to criticize the YECs for allowing ridiculous amounts of “within the kind” evolution, especially for humans – which is actually a good point, any creationist model which allows Homo habilis and Homo sapiens to the “the same kind” has already basically admitted that Evolution can do a ton. Not RTB, they claimed they were even more antievolutionary than the YECs, and back in the 2000s put their foot down and said the human kind was only H. sapiens sapiens. This was fine until the interbreeding study was published…this ends the lesson in creationist psychology for the day…

If people would just keep breeding within the family these things wouldn’t happen.

Glen Davidson

Would love to get some DNA from RTB leadership and have it sequenced. If they are all white, they would have Neanderthal and Denisovan DNA, right?

Do white people have Denisovan DNA? I know they’re part Neanderthal… I’ve seen Fox News.

diogeneslamp0 said:

Do white people have Denisovan DNA? I know they’re part Neanderthal… I’ve seen Fox News.

I must defend my Neanderthal ancestors (of at least some of my allels)!

Authoritarians with a crazed ideology, pushing mindless slogans, can be found all over the world, for example, North Korea and Uganda. No Neanderthal alleles are needed (granted, they don’t seem to be protective either).

OK, as I understand it, the DNA sequences of the genome of modern humans and Neanderthals provides evidence for enough genetic separation to call them different species, although not everyone agrees on that.

So what I last heard called H. sapiens neanderthalis and H. sapiens sapiens, meaning two subspecies populations, are now usually considered H. neanderthalis and H. sapiens, respectively. (Is that right? I don’t know.)

But that’s purely nomenclature, and creationists are not going to slavishly adopt materialistic ungodly descriptions by atheist scientists (ptui!), are they?

But if we accept that, it makes neanderthals non-human, does it? Just beasts. And sexual relations with them becomes bestiality, does it? Ummm.…

And didn’t you love the reflection that neanderthal males, being big and strong, would rape women? Did anyone else hear in that the distant bay of the lynch mob? ‘Cause I sure did.

Flintstones, meet the Flintstones, they’re a modern stone-age family…

Hmmm. Perhaps I am missing something, but I see it as an utter waste of media resources - three cranks patting one another on the back. I guess it’s their resources to waste if they wish, though.

YEC is dominant in numbers and scholarship. RTB represents very few people but i wish them and helped them give a conference at my church once. I was honoured to meet Mr Ross. There were no neanders! its a misunderstanding of how people, soon after babel, could change in their bodies to adapt to a new world and reproduce quickly. All our colours and shapes came within a few centuries after Babel and were finished by say 1900BC or so. Nothing new since. The bible mentions about giant tribes met on the exodus and the rumour of them. We simply easily changed for some need after migrating to some area.

Its only a presumption and a extrapolation concept to see these neanders DNA as a sign of not just being local Celts in the backwoods. There is no genetic evidence neanders are not just people living a few thousand years ago speaking languages that we live with still. One day they will find a neander campsite with Egyptian merchandise. That will end it all.

Robert Byers said:

YEC is dominant in numbers and scholarship. RTB represents very few people but i wish them and helped them give a conference at my church once. I was honoured to meet Mr Ross. There were no neanders! its a misunderstanding of how people, soon after babel, could change in their bodies to adapt to a new world and reproduce quickly. All our colours and shapes came within a few centuries after Babel and were finished by say 1900BC or so. Nothing new since. The bible mentions about giant tribes met on the exodus and the rumour of them. We simply easily changed for some need after migrating to some area.

Its only a presumption and a extrapolation concept to see these neanders DNA as a sign of not just being local Celts in the backwoods. There is no genetic evidence neanders are not just people living a few thousand years ago speaking languages that we live with still. One day they will find a neander campsite with Egyptian merchandise. That will end it all.

Gods you’re dumb, Byers.

Robert Byers said: YEC is dominant in numbers and scholarship.

All right Robert, I call your bluff. What is your estimate for the ratio of YEC scientists to total number of scientists? In the world, any country or whatever? I expect scholarship to mean real scientists, not people like you and common YEC’s, i.e. 99.9…9% of all YEC’s.

Rolf said:

Robert Byers said: YEC is dominant in numbers and scholarship.

All right Robert, I call your bluff. What is your estimate for the ratio of YEC scientists to total number of scientists? In the world, any country or whatever? I expect scholarship to mean real scientists, not people like you and common YEC’s, i.e. 99.9…9% of all YEC’s.

I think that RB was claiming that dominance as related to Old Earth Creationism (including those ID creationists who remain silent on age).

Robert Byers said:

There were no neanders! its a misunderstanding of how people, soon after babel, could change in their bodies to adapt to a new world and reproduce quickly. All our colours and shapes came within a few centuries after Babel and were finished by say 1900BC or so. Nothing new since. The bible mentions about giant tribes…

…There is no genetic evidence neanders are not just people living a few thousand years ago speaking languages that we live with still. One day they will find a neander campsite with Egyptian merchandise. That will end it all.

Byers is conceding that evolution happens, but he can’t admit it happens by Darwinian mechanisms, and slowly, so instead he insists it happened by unknown mechanisms at hyper-speed, then abruptly stopped for no reason. No part of this is supported by evidence. It’s just a line of reasoning.

1900 BC is well into the Middle Kingdom of Egypt. We know that well before that time, racial differences were as they are now because of highly realistic artwork by Egyptians and Cretans. We know Neanderthals disappeared long ago via Carbon 14 dating. Creationists have fairy tales about human women being raped by animals and making half-human, half-animal babies. Creepy and dumb.

diogeneslamp0 said: Byers is conceding that evolution happens, but he can’t admit it happens by Darwinian mechanisms, and slowly, so instead he insists it happened by unknown mechanisms at hyper-speed, then abruptly stopped for no reason. No part of this is supported by evidence. It’s just a line of reasoning.

Not only is none of this supported by evidence. None of this is supported by the Bible.

well at least booby is a convincing example of Neanderthal THINKING in modern humans some more than others

DS said:

well at least booby is a convincing example of Neanderthal THINKING in modern humans some more than others

Hey, you can’t insult my great, great+++ grandma like that! Meet me in the parking lot, smart guy!

Dave Luckett said: OK, as I understand it, the DNA sequences of the genome of modern humans and Neanderthals provides evidence for enough genetic separation to call them different species, although not everyone agrees on that.

I have not heard of differences in opinion from experts on that. What I have heard is that given the evidence for interbreeding we should consider ourselves to be subspecies of one species. Of course even if that is the consensus now, one may still encounter sources that use separate species names b/c there is always some inertia against revision.

Mark Sturtevant said: I have not heard of differences in opinion from experts on that. What I have heard is that given the evidence for interbreeding we should consider ourselves to be subspecies of one species. Of course even if that is the consensus now, one may still encounter sources that use separate species names b/c there is always some inertia against revision.

A little interbreeding is no grounds for rejecting separate species status. If we did that, we would have to agree that there is only one species of duck, rather than over a hundred. If the gene exchange is slight, and populations in sympatry don’t merge, they’re still separate species. That isn’t inertia; it’s an argument about whether the degree of gene exchange was enough to make us all ones species.

Nick Matzke said:

Part of Reasons to Believe’s schtick was to have a “testable creation model”, unlike the Young-Earth Creationists who they criticize. Somewhere along the line they started to criticize the YECs for allowing ridiculous amounts of “within the kind” evolution, especially for humans – which is actually a good point, any creationist model which allows Homo habilis and Homo sapiens to the “the same kind” has already basically admitted that Evolution can do a ton. Not RTB, they claimed they were even more antievolutionary than the YECs, and back in the 2000s put their foot down and said the human kind was only H. sapiens sapiens. This was fine until the interbreeding study was published…this ends the lesson in creationist psychology for the day…

To RtB’s credit, they formulated a testable hypothesis. They dared to make a quantitative prediction. Svante Pääbo and co-authors showed that the test fails, and the prediction is wrong. Time to revise or abandon the hypothesis. That’s called “science.”

I’ll admit that I get annoyed when my hypotheses fail; when I “fix” something with my ocean model and still get a blowup error on the next run. We get over it and keep trying. Every experiment gets me closer to an accepted scientific publication, even the rejected ideas.

diogeneslamp0 said:

Robert Byers said:

There were no neanders! its a misunderstanding of how people, soon after babel, could change in their bodies to adapt to a new world and reproduce quickly. All our colours and shapes came within a few centuries after Babel and were finished by say 1900BC or so. Nothing new since. The bible mentions about giant tribes…

…There is no genetic evidence neanders are not just people living a few thousand years ago speaking languages that we live with still. One day they will find a neander campsite with Egyptian merchandise. That will end it all.

Byers is conceding that evolution happens, but he can’t admit it happens by Darwinian mechanisms, and slowly, so instead he insists it happened by unknown mechanisms at hyper-speed, then abruptly stopped for no reason. No part of this is supported by evidence. It’s just a line of reasoning.

1900 BC is well into the Middle Kingdom of Egypt. We know that well before that time, racial differences were as they are now because of highly realistic artwork by Egyptians and Cretans. We know Neanderthals disappeared long ago via Carbon 14 dating. Creationists have fairy tales about human women being raped by animals and making half-human, half-animal babies. Creepy and dumb.

egyptian Chronology is not known. Its presumed from raw minor data about those days. Carbon 14 is unsupported by actual evidence for the old days. Yes YEC believes in mechanisms without gods help. Thats shown by the looks of human beings and these surely done and finished not long after the flood as we see it. YEC does need to expand this principal to include more options for mechanisms to bring quick change.

My example is creatures that change colour for winter and sea creatures who change in a instant too blend into the area they just moved into. I forget their names. They show that upon passing threshold, unrelated to will, they change their looks. Therefore all one need do is suggest thresholds are there for all biology and upon crossing them biology can change instantly. Then stay in the gear until/unless threshold is crossed again. Its innate triggers that are hidden until revealed. I see human colour and shape as from this. Likewise neanders just an example of rough early migrants to some area. Biblical boundaries plus knowledge plus imagination can lead to more accurate conclusions.

Robert Byers said:

egyptian Chronology is not known. Its presumed from raw minor data about those days. Carbon 14 is unsupported by actual evidence for the old days. Yes YEC believes in mechanisms without gods help. Thats shown by the looks of human beings and these surely done and finished not long after the flood as we see it. YEC does need to expand this principal to include more options for mechanisms to bring quick change.

My example is creatures that change colour for winter and sea creatures who change in a instant too blend into the area they just moved into. I forget their names. They show that upon passing threshold, unrelated to will, they change their looks. Therefore all one need do is suggest thresholds are there for all biology and upon crossing them biology can change instantly. Then stay in the gear until/unless threshold is crossed again. Its innate triggers that are hidden until revealed. I see human colour and shape as from this. Likewise neanders just an example of rough early migrants to some area. Biblical boundaries plus knowledge plus imagination can lead to more accurate conclusions.

Egyptian Chronology is quite well known. Or do you feel you’re in a position to refute the papers, for Examples, in Erik Hornung’s Ancient Egyptian Chronology (2206), or all the good work done recently on Charemon? Surely you’re closely familiar with it all?

In the latter part of your note. are you talking about squids and octopuses? If so, what possible relevance do you think they could have to human races? It depends on sheep having offspring the same color as a picture they are looking at while mating, doesn’t it?

Byers is truly hilarious. He’s one of the best advertisements for rationalism we’ve got. And he’s self-filtering: anyone who has the high levels of literacy necessary to extract meaning from his inchoate prose will be appalled by its internal contradictions as much as by its flatulent ignorant bravado; but to anyone who hasn’t those skills, he can do no further harm. They won’t even understand what he’s going on about.

In his last despatch from the creationist trenches, Byers tells us that there must have been more mechanisms that caused faster change in species. But evolution didn’t happen, oh no.

The McGonagall of creationism, that’s our Byers.

Helena Constantine said:

Robert Byers said:

egyptian Chronology is not known. Its presumed from raw minor data about those days. Carbon 14 is unsupported by actual evidence for the old days. Yes YEC believes in mechanisms without gods help. Thats shown by the looks of human beings and these surely done and finished not long after the flood as we see it. YEC does need to expand this principal to include more options for mechanisms to bring quick change.

My example is creatures that change colour for winter and sea creatures who change in a instant too blend into the area they just moved into. I forget their names. They show that upon passing threshold, unrelated to will, they change their looks. Therefore all one need do is suggest thresholds are there for all biology and upon crossing them biology can change instantly. Then stay in the gear until/unless threshold is crossed again. Its innate triggers that are hidden until revealed. I see human colour and shape as from this. Likewise neanders just an example of rough early migrants to some area. Biblical boundaries plus knowledge plus imagination can lead to more accurate conclusions.

Egyptian Chronology is quite well known. Or do you feel you’re in a position to refute the papers, for Example, in Erik Hornung’s Ancient Egyptian Chronology (2206), or all the good work done recently on Charemon? Surely you’re closely familiar with it all?

In the latter part of your note. are you talking about squids and octopuses? If so, what possible relevance do you think they could have to human races? It depends on sheep having offspring the same color as a picture they are looking at while mating, doesn’t it?

Heh.

diogeneslamp0 said:

1900 BC is well into the Middle Kingdom of Egypt. We know that well before that time, racial differences were as they are now because of highly realistic artwork by Egyptians and Cretans. We know Neanderthals disappeared long ago via Carbon 14 dating. Creationists have fairy tales about human women being raped by animals and making half-human, half-animal babies. Creepy and dumb.

Hmm… So, Neanderthals disappeared long ago via Carbon 14 dating? Is that something like the pre-stone-age version of speed dating? Or, is it just that going on a date with radioactive isotopes is really bad for ones’ health.

Helena Constantine said:

Egyptian Chronology is quite well known. Or do you feel you’re in a position to refute the papers, for Examples, in Erik Hornung’s Ancient Egyptian Chronology (2206), or all the good work done recently on Charemon? Surely you’re closely familiar with it all?

Actually, I have no idea how one determines Egyptian Chronology, but surprisingly there’s a Wiki page for that:

The creation of a reliable chronology of Ancient Egypt is a task fraught with problems. While the overwhelming majority of Egyptologists agree on the outline and many of the details of a common chronology, disagreements either individually or in groups have resulted in a variety of dates offered for rulers and events. This variation begins with only a few years in the Late Period, gradually growing to three decades at the beginning of the New Kingdom, and eventually to as much as a three centuries by the start of the Old Kingdom.

(I know, I know. Wiki is a poor substitute for real scholarship, but it’s readily available and it’s what I have tonight.)

So, I’m not too surprised that it is not an exact science. Though, it turns out that 300 years is an error range of about +/-5%. Given what scholars must have to work with, that doesn’t sound too bad, actually. Even at it’s worst, it places the Great Pyramids well before any possible date for Noah’s flood.

Dave Luckett said:

Byers is truly hilarious. He’s one of the best advertisements for rationalism we’ve got. And he’s self-filtering: anyone who has the high levels of literacy necessary to extract meaning from his inchoate prose will be appalled by its internal contradictions as much as by its flatulent ignorant bravado; but to anyone who hasn’t those skills, he can do no further harm. They won’t even understand what he’s going on about.

In his last despatch from the creationist trenches, Byers tells us that there must have been more mechanisms that caused faster change in species. But evolution didn’t happen, oh no.

————————————————————————

The McGonagall of creationism, that’s our Byers.

LOL!!!!! There you are, Byers! That has to be the best compliment you will ever receive! LOL!!!!

phhht said:

Helena Constantine said:

Robert Byers said:

egyptian Chronology is not known. Its presumed from raw minor data about those days. Carbon 14 is unsupported by actual evidence for the old days. Yes YEC believes in mechanisms without gods help. Thats shown by the looks of human beings and these surely done and finished not long after the flood as we see it. YEC does need to expand this principal to include more options for mechanisms to bring quick change.

My example is creatures that change colour for winter and sea creatures who change in a instant too blend into the area they just moved into. I forget their names. They show that upon passing threshold, unrelated to will, they change their looks. Therefore all one need do is suggest thresholds are there for all biology and upon crossing them biology can change instantly. Then stay in the gear until/unless threshold is crossed again. Its innate triggers that are hidden until revealed. I see human colour and shape as from this. Likewise neanders just an example of rough early migrants to some area. Biblical boundaries plus knowledge plus imagination can lead to more accurate conclusions.

Egyptian Chronology is quite well known. Or do you feel you’re in a position to refute the papers, for Example, in Erik Hornung’s Ancient Egyptian Chronology (2206), or all the good work done recently on Charemon? Surely you’re closely familiar with it all?

In the latter part of your note. are you talking about squids and octopuses? If so, what possible relevance do you think they could have to human races? It depends on sheep having offspring the same color as a picture they are looking at while mating, doesn’t it?

Heh.

That should be 2006, sorry. I see the joke in the context however.

John Harshman said: A little interbreeding is no grounds for rejecting separate species status. If we did that, we would have to agree that there is only one species of duck, rather than over a hundred…

That is interesting about the ducks! I will have to look into that. Possible ammo for teaching. In any case, I am inclined to think that human/neanderthal inbreeding was not a ‘little inbreeding’ like the occasional interspecies duck hybrid, since it would be improbable to find European and Asian genetic markers in multiple neanderthal specimens. Are there samples of neanderthal DNA without evidence of interbreeding?

Mark Sturtevant said:

John Harshman said: A little interbreeding is no grounds for rejecting separate species status. If we did that, we would have to agree that there is only one species of duck, rather than over a hundred…

That is interesting about the ducks! I will have to look into that. Possible ammo for teaching. In any case, I am inclined to think that human/neanderthal inbreeding was not a ‘little inbreeding’ like the occasional interspecies duck hybrid, since it would be improbable to find European and Asian genetic markers in multiple neanderthal specimens. Are there samples of neanderthal DNA without evidence of interbreeding?

Uh, wouldn’t “Neanderthal DNA without evidence of interbreeding” be, by definition, a pure Neanderthal?

I am content to know we got Neandertal genes, up to several %, I believe? Presume they might be good for us, being conserved?

Rolf said:

I am content to know we got Neandertal genes, up to several %, I believe? Presume they might be good for us, being conserved?

IIRC, they are mostly good for us. A couple of ones that can be tricky/unplesant.

Neanderthal enigma solved at last? Free report at http://www.creationfoundation.co.uk Two mysteries solved for the price of one? Can it be that simple?

Helena Constantine said:

Robert Byers said:

egyptian Chronology is not known. Its presumed from raw minor data about those days. Carbon 14 is unsupported by actual evidence for the old days. Yes YEC believes in mechanisms without gods help. Thats shown by the looks of human beings and these surely done and finished not long after the flood as we see it. YEC does need to expand this principal to include more options for mechanisms to bring quick change.

My example is creatures that change colour for winter and sea creatures who change in a instant too blend into the area they just moved into. I forget their names. They show that upon passing threshold, unrelated to will, they change their looks. Therefore all one need do is suggest thresholds are there for all biology and upon crossing them biology can change instantly. Then stay in the gear until/unless threshold is crossed again. Its innate triggers that are hidden until revealed. I see human colour and shape as from this. Likewise neanders just an example of rough early migrants to some area. Biblical boundaries plus knowledge plus imagination can lead to more accurate conclusions.

Egyptian Chronology is quite well known. Or do you feel you’re in a position to refute the papers, for Examples, in Erik Hornung’s Ancient Egyptian Chronology (2206), or all the good work done recently on Charemon? Surely you’re closely familiar with it all?

In the latter part of your note. are you talking about squids and octopuses? If so, what possible relevance do you think they could have to human races? It depends on sheep having offspring the same color as a picture they are looking at while mating, doesn’t it?

Its getting off thread. Yet I mean the ideas about Egypt are wrong and based on trivial info that is around.

I mean the famous creatures in the seas that change colour on a instant to blend in the area. I mean by this example how a threshold being crossed triggers the body to change colours or looks. Its obvious in these creatures and known in creatures who change white for winter. A equation in nature here is a option for all biology having this ability.

Notice how Byers thinks that colour is really important? Now what would that have to do with human beings, do you reckon?

Robert Byers said:

Helena Constantine said:

Robert Byers said:

egyptian Chronology is not known. Its presumed from raw minor data about those days. Carbon 14 is unsupported by actual evidence for the old days. Yes YEC believes in mechanisms without gods help. Thats shown by the looks of human beings and these surely done and finished not long after the flood as we see it. YEC does need to expand this principal to include more options for mechanisms to bring quick change.

My example is creatures that change colour for winter and sea creatures who change in a instant too blend into the area they just moved into. I forget their names. They show that upon passing threshold, unrelated to will, they change their looks. Therefore all one need do is suggest thresholds are there for all biology and upon crossing them biology can change instantly. Then stay in the gear until/unless threshold is crossed again. Its innate triggers that are hidden until revealed. I see human colour and shape as from this. Likewise neanders just an example of rough early migrants to some area. Biblical boundaries plus knowledge plus imagination can lead to more accurate conclusions.

Egyptian Chronology is quite well known. Or do you feel you’re in a position to refute the papers, for Examples, in Erik Hornung’s Ancient Egyptian Chronology (2206), or all the good work done recently on Charemon? Surely you’re closely familiar with it all?

In the latter part of your note. are you talking about squids and octopuses? If so, what possible relevance do you think they could have to human races? It depends on sheep having offspring the same color as a picture they are looking at while mating, doesn’t it?

Its getting off thread. Yet I mean the ideas about Egypt are wrong and based on trivial info that is around.

I mean the famous creatures in the seas that change colour on a instant to blend in the area. I mean by this example how a threshold being crossed triggers the body to change colours or looks. Its obvious in these creatures and known in creatures who change white for winter. A equation in nature here is a option for all biology having this ability.

And the McGonagall of creationism takes another mighty swipe at thin air – and misses even that.

What is the significance of the “the McGonagall of creationism” title? I don’t know what it means but I suspect that I will like it.

david.starling.macmillan said:

What is the significance of the “the McGonagall of creationism” title? I don’t know what it means but I suspect that I will like it.

Do a search for poet William McGonagall and you’ll see how apt Dave Luckett is … as usual.

SWT said:

david.starling.macmillan said:

What is the significance of the “the McGonagall of creationism” title? I don’t know what it means but I suspect that I will like it.

Do a search for poet William McGonagall and you’ll see how apt Dave Luckett is … as usual.

I would be inclined to dissent on the grounds that McGonagall was sufficiently well-known to be notorious.….

On a not-entirely unrelated train-of-thought: any suggestions for the Thomas Bouch of Intelligent Design? (See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Bouch )

Kevin B said:

SWT said:

david.starling.macmillan said:

What is the significance of the “the McGonagall of creationism” title? I don’t know what it means but I suspect that I will like it.

Do a search for poet William McGonagall and you’ll see how apt Dave Luckett is … as usual.

I would be inclined to dissent on the grounds that McGonagall was sufficiently well-known to be notorious.….

On a not-entirely unrelated train-of-thought: any suggestions for the Thomas Bouch of Intelligent Design? (See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Bouch )

Oh, I was thinking of the fastidious wizardess and Animagus Minerva McGonagall, which didn’t make much sense.

Robert Byers said:

Helena Constantine said:

Robert Byers said:

egyptian Chronology is not known. Its presumed from raw minor data about those days. Carbon 14 is unsupported by actual evidence for the old days. Yes YEC believes in mechanisms without gods help. Thats shown by the looks of human beings and these surely done and finished not long after the flood as we see it. YEC does need to expand this principal to include more options for mechanisms to bring quick change.

My example is creatures that change colour for winter and sea creatures who change in a instant too blend into the area they just moved into. I forget their names. They show that upon passing threshold, unrelated to will, they change their looks. Therefore all one need do is suggest thresholds are there for all biology and upon crossing them biology can change instantly. Then stay in the gear until/unless threshold is crossed again. Its innate triggers that are hidden until revealed. I see human colour and shape as from this. Likewise neanders just an example of rough early migrants to some area. Biblical boundaries plus knowledge plus imagination can lead to more accurate conclusions.

Egyptian Chronology is quite well known. Or do you feel you’re in a position to refute the papers, for Examples, in Erik Hornung’s Ancient Egyptian Chronology (2206), or all the good work done recently on Charemon? Surely you’re closely familiar with it all?

In the latter part of your note. are you talking about squids and octopuses? If so, what possible relevance do you think they could have to human races? It depends on sheep having offspring the same color as a picture they are looking at while mating, doesn’t it?

Its getting off thread. Yet I mean the ideas about Egypt are wrong and based on trivial info that is around.

I mean the famous creatures in the seas that change colour on a instant to blend in the area. I mean by this example how a threshold being crossed triggers the body to change colours or looks. Its obvious in these creatures and known in creatures who change white for winter. A equation in nature here is a option for all biology having this ability.

“trivial info that is around” which no Egyptologist ever noticed. Ok.

Why don’t you read read the Hornung edited vol. I cited, and present a detailed refutation of each chapter, if its so simple for you.

Snidness aside, You don’t even know the names of the pharoahs of the Second Dynasty, but you know more about Egyptology than all of the Professional Egyptology who can actually read Hieroglyphics, you claim. How does that make sense even to you?

Isn’t there anyone in the world who knows more than you about anything?

Helena Constantine said:

Robert Byers said:

Helena Constantine said:

Robert Byers said:

egyptian Chronology is not known. Its presumed from raw minor data about those days. Carbon 14 is unsupported by actual evidence for the old days. Yes YEC believes in mechanisms without gods help. Thats shown by the looks of human beings and these surely done and finished not long after the flood as we see it. YEC does need to expand this principal to include more options for mechanisms to bring quick change.

My example is creatures that change colour for winter and sea creatures who change in a instant too blend into the area they just moved into. I forget their names. They show that upon passing threshold, unrelated to will, they change their looks. Therefore all one need do is suggest thresholds are there for all biology and upon crossing them biology can change instantly. Then stay in the gear until/unless threshold is crossed again. Its innate triggers that are hidden until revealed. I see human colour and shape as from this. Likewise neanders just an example of rough early migrants to some area. Biblical boundaries plus knowledge plus imagination can lead to more accurate conclusions.

Egyptian Chronology is quite well known. Or do you feel you’re in a position to refute the papers, for Examples, in Erik Hornung’s Ancient Egyptian Chronology (2206), or all the good work done recently on Charemon? Surely you’re closely familiar with it all?

In the latter part of your note. are you talking about squids and octopuses? If so, what possible relevance do you think they could have to human races? It depends on sheep having offspring the same color as a picture they are looking at while mating, doesn’t it?

Its getting off thread. Yet I mean the ideas about Egypt are wrong and based on trivial info that is around.

I mean the famous creatures in the seas that change colour on a instant to blend in the area. I mean by this example how a threshold being crossed triggers the body to change colours or looks. Its obvious in these creatures and known in creatures who change white for winter. A equation in nature here is a option for all biology having this ability.

“trivial info that is around” which no Egyptologist ever noticed. Ok.

Why don’t you read read the Hornung edited vol. I cited, and present a detailed refutation of each chapter, if its so simple for you.

Snidness aside, You don’t even know the names of the pharoahs of the Second Dynasty, but you know more about Egyptology than all of the Professional Egyptology who can actually read Hieroglyphics, you claim. How does that make sense even to you?

Isn’t there anyone in the world who knows more than you about anything?

As a YEC, I thought AiG’s revised egyptology was a great idea. But it bugged me that they weren’t actually fitting the periods to anything solid…they were just squeezing them together with no apparent rhyme or reason or basis. I kept waiting for them to say “and here’s what we should expect from this period” or ANYTHING like that…but no. It was just completely ad hoc.

Completely made up.

Helena Constantine said:

Isn’t there anyone in the world who knows more than you [Byers] about anything?

That’s an excellent question.

I’m no expert in any of this, but the more I’m reading because of these discussions, what seems to resonate most is the Protestant notion that you don’t need to be an expert to read and understand the Bible; that everyone is supposed to be able interpret the Bible for themselves. Combine this with the mythos of the rugged pioneering individualist, and it leads to the conservative, political-right assumption that anyone can interpret anything for themselves. Further, that you can’t trust “experts” in any field, because they always have a self-serving bias (ie “presupposition”) that Joe Sixpack doesn’t suffer from.

Of course, Joe Sixpack has the self-serving bias of total ignorance, but that appears to actually be a source of pride, rather than something that can and should be corrected.

Scott F said:

Helena Constantine said:

Isn’t there anyone in the world who knows more than you [Byers] about anything?

That’s an excellent question.

I’m no expert in any of this, but the more I’m reading because of these discussions, what seems to resonate most is the Protestant notion that you don’t need to be an expert to read and understand the Bible; that everyone is supposed to be able interpret the Bible for themselves. Combine this with the mythos of the rugged pioneering individualist, and it leads to the conservative, political-right assumption that anyone can interpret anything for themselves. Further, that you can’t trust “experts” in any field, because they always have a self-serving bias (ie “presupposition”) that Joe Sixpack doesn’t suffer from.

Absolutely. The heresy of biblical docetism and the Second Great Awakening combined with patriotic American Exceptionalism has produced a positively staggering level of individualistic pride and unwillingness to accept expert opinion that’s unparalleled anywhere else in the world.

david.starling.macmillan said:

Scott F said:

Helena Constantine said:

Isn’t there anyone in the world who knows more than you [Byers] about anything?

That’s an excellent question.

I’m no expert in any of this, but the more I’m reading because of these discussions, what seems to resonate most is the Protestant notion that you don’t need to be an expert to read and understand the Bible; that everyone is supposed to be able interpret the Bible for themselves. Combine this with the mythos of the rugged pioneering individualist, and it leads to the conservative, political-right assumption that anyone can interpret anything for themselves. Further, that you can’t trust “experts” in any field, because they always have a self-serving bias (ie “presupposition”) that Joe Sixpack doesn’t suffer from.

Absolutely. The heresy of biblical docetism and the Second Great Awakening combined with patriotic American Exceptionalism has produced a positively staggering level of individualistic pride and unwillingness to accept expert opinion that’s unparalleled anywhere else in the world.

A strong case can be (and has been) made for the influence of Scottish Common Sense Realism in the rise of American fundamentalism (along with other aspects of the American psyche).

ksplawn said:

david.starling.macmillan said:

Scott F said:

Helena Constantine said:

Isn’t there anyone in the world who knows more than you [Byers] about anything?

That’s an excellent question.

I’m no expert in any of this, but the more I’m reading because of these discussions, what seems to resonate most is the Protestant notion that you don’t need to be an expert to read and understand the Bible; that everyone is supposed to be able interpret the Bible for themselves. Combine this with the mythos of the rugged pioneering individualist, and it leads to the conservative, political-right assumption that anyone can interpret anything for themselves. Further, that you can’t trust “experts” in any field, because they always have a self-serving bias (ie “presupposition”) that Joe Sixpack doesn’t suffer from.

Absolutely. The heresy of biblical docetism and the Second Great Awakening combined with patriotic American Exceptionalism has produced a positively staggering level of individualistic pride and unwillingness to accept expert opinion that’s unparalleled anywhere else in the world.

A strong case can be (and has been) made for the influence of Scottish Common Sense Realism in the rise of American fundamentalism (along with other aspects of the American psyche).

Fascinating.

david.starling.macmillan said:

Scott F said:

Helena Constantine said:

Isn’t there anyone in the world who knows more than you [Byers] about anything?

That’s an excellent question. m no expert in any of this, but the more I’m reading because of these discussions, what seems to resonate most is the Protestant notion that you don’t need to be an expert to read and understand the Bible; that everyone is supposed to be able interpret the Bible for themselves. Combine this with the mythos of the rugged pioneering individualist, and it leads to the conservative, political-right assumption that anyone can interpret anything for themselves. Further, that you can’t trust “experts” in any field, because they always have a self-serving bias (ie “presupposition”) that Joe Sixpack doesn’t suffer from.

Absolutely. The heresy of biblical docetism and the Second Great Awakening combined with patriotic American Exceptionalism has produced a positively staggering level of individualistic pride and unwillingness to accept expert opinion that’s unparalleled anywhere else in the world.

It’s not so much an American egotism as it is a Confederate egotism. Recall that Mark Twain said the cause of the Civil War was the novels of Sir Walter Scott. Every Confederate slave-driver thought he was a knight like Rob Roy gallantly fighting for freedom against the evil Pharaoh of the Unitarian statist egalitarian aggressors.

The Confederate worldview has now been franchised far beyond the Mason-Dixon line. Fox News tells every white glocksucker and tax-cutter that he is like Ronald Reagan shouting, “Mr. Obamachev, tear down this capital gains tax, Department of Education and all environmental regulations!” Now Sarah Palin sits on her porch in Alaska and parrots a Confederate-Reaganesque rewrite of history in which all public schools used to have Protestant Bible reading and no teen sex or pregnancy. The only thing saving this country is that the Right is so transparently racist, xenophobic, dishonest, anti-science and anti-gay that they’ve totally lost the younger generation.

diogeneslamp0 said:

The Confederate worldview has now been franchised far beyond the Mason-Dixon line. Fox News tells every white glocksucker and tax-cutter that he is like Ronald Reagan shouting, “Mr. Obamachev, tear down this capital gains tax, Department of Education and all environmental regulations!” Now Sarah Palin sits on her porch in Alaska and parrots a Confederate-Reaganesque rewrite of history in which all public schools used to have Protestant Bible reading and no teen sex or pregnancy. The only thing saving this country is that the Right is so transparently racist, xenophobic, dishonest, anti-science and anti-gay that they’ve totally lost the younger generation.

Come on, tell us what you REALLY think ;)

Just Bob said:

diogeneslamp0 said:

The Confederate worldview has now been franchised far beyond the Mason-Dixon line. Fox News tells every white glocksucker and tax-cutter that he is like Ronald Reagan shouting, “Mr. Obamachev, tear down this capital gains tax, Department of Education and all environmental regulations!” Now Sarah Palin sits on her porch in Alaska and parrots a Confederate-Reaganesque rewrite of history in which all public schools used to have Protestant Bible reading and no teen sex or pregnancy. The only thing saving this country is that the Right is so transparently racist, xenophobic, dishonest, anti-science and anti-gay that they’ve totally lost the younger generation.

Come on, tell us what you REALLY think ;)

Someday, I’m going to stop holding back.

diogeneslamp0 said:

Just Bob said:

diogeneslamp0 said:

The Confederate worldview has now been franchised far beyond the Mason-Dixon line. Fox News tells every white glocksucker and tax-cutter that he is like Ronald Reagan shouting, “Mr. Obamachev, tear down this capital gains tax, Department of Education and all environmental regulations!” Now Sarah Palin sits on her porch in Alaska and parrots a Confederate-Reaganesque rewrite of history in which all public schools used to have Protestant Bible reading and no teen sex or pregnancy. The only thing saving this country is that the Right is so transparently racist, xenophobic, dishonest, anti-science and anti-gay that they’ve totally lost the younger generation.

Come on, tell us what you REALLY think ;)

Someday, I’m going to stop holding back.

Procrastination is such a terrible waste, diogeneslamp0. I mean, if you are just going to offend someone eventually anyway, why not just do it and get it over with? :)

Scott F said:

Helena Constantine said:

Isn’t there anyone in the world who knows more than you [Byers] about anything?

That’s an excellent question.

I’m no expert in any of this, but the more I’m reading because of these discussions, what seems to resonate most is the Protestant notion that you don’t need to be an expert to read and understand the Bible; that everyone is supposed to be able interpret the Bible for themselves. Combine this with the mythos of the rugged pioneering individualist, and it leads to the conservative, political-right assumption that anyone can interpret anything for themselves. Further, that you can’t trust “experts” in any field, because they always have a self-serving bias (ie “presupposition”) that Joe Sixpack doesn’t suffer from.

Of course, Joe Sixpack has the self-serving bias of total ignorance, but that appears to actually be a source of pride, rather than something that can and should be corrected.

Scott F said:

Helena Constantine said:

Isn’t there anyone in the world who knows more than you [Byers] about anything?

That’s an excellent question.

I’m no expert in any of this, but the more I’m reading because of these discussions, what seems to resonate most is the Protestant notion that you don’t need to be an expert to read and understand the Bible; that everyone is supposed to be able interpret the Bible for themselves.

Try to read the Bible so it says “Noah’s Flood had not covered the whole Earth” in a Southern Baptist Seminary and you will learn a thing or two about that.

Mark Sturtevant said:

John Harshman said: A little interbreeding is no grounds for rejecting separate species status. If we did that, we would have to agree that there is only one species of duck, rather than over a hundred…

That is interesting about the ducks! I will have to look into that. Possible ammo for teaching. In any case, I am inclined to think that human/neanderthal inbreeding was not a ‘little inbreeding’ like the occasional interspecies duck hybrid, since it would be improbable to find European and Asian genetic markers in multiple neanderthal specimens. Are there samples of neanderthal DNA without evidence of interbreeding?

In what paper did they claim to find modern human DNA mixed in the Neandertal genomes?

I do not recall any mention of this. It is the extant modern human genomes that have been found to have varying amounts of Neandertal DNA. Just a few percent and they are currently talking about only a couple of mixing events. Such rare hybridization events considering the long period of time that Neandertals coexisted with Modern humans out of Africa would tend to suggest that the duck paradigm applies. If our modern human ancestors left Africa around 70,000 years ago, they were sharing space with Neandertals until around 25,000 to 30,000 years ago.

Currently they are thinking that there was a hybridization event early in the migration out of Africa so the modern human groups that moved out into Europe and Asia share that hybridization genetics and then a possible second hybridization event somewhere in Europe giving some Europeans a little more Neandertal DNA than Asians have. We don’t know how many individuals were involved in the hybridization events

It looks like modern humans mixed at least twice with Denisovans, once in Indonesia and possibly a second time in Asia. Neandertal and Denisovan hybridization doesn’t seem to be anything like the modern human hybridization that occurred with the discovery of the Americas.

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This page contains a single entry by Nick Matzke published on March 13, 2014 11:29 AM.

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