Re: [asa] Dawkins on the fossil record

From: Gregory Arago <gregoryarago@yahoo.ca>
Date: Tue Dec 15 2009 - 16:01:57 EST

This is great! David is a much elder biologist than is Dennis. It should be fun to watch!   John writes: "but how could we reconcile his [Dick's] historical Adam theory with all humanity tracing back to a single couple amid a larger population if that was the case? Does that mean we can detect a "humanity" or an "imago dei" gene and assess who has it and who doesn't and in what concentrations? Due to my theological filter that has been quite exercised lately, the implications of that scenario make it very hard for me to believe that it could be true." Maybe (I would say definitely) Dennis' problem is not with his biology, but with his philosophy. How does one refute Aristotle (and countless others, including the Church Fathers, since): "there must have been a first"? Are John and Dennis trying to deny this!!!!!!!   With a 'science' less that 30 years old?! With a logic that says "there didn't have to be a first"?!!!! It sounds illogical on the surface.   Not only that, the 'imago dei gene' (!) suggestion of John Walley's seems (even heretically) misplaced.   "Now, if you go back far enough, you will come to a single pair that is ancestral to all modern humans." - David Campbell Makes complete logical (not bio- or philo- or anthro- only) sense to me. Shall we take a poll? I'd wager *most* people here accept this view of David's. 'Adam' and 'Eve' are living! Yet David seems to hesitate... "Thus, it seems that having an Adam and Eve of some sort within the past 10,000 years or so requires them to not be the sole physical direct ancestors of all modern humans." - David This is what I asked Dennis before, though he didn't respond, preferring instead ad hominems on my person. If I understand David properly (due to the lack of agreement of verb tense, i.e. unclear language), he is saying that there *could* have been an 'Adam' and 'Eve' who were the ancestors of/"ancestral to *all modern humans.*" Otherwise, shouldn't the mathematics of the converse (impossibility of single pair human ancestry) have been obvious long ago (i.e. well before the invent of 'genetics' and 'genomics'? Gregory       I’m not sure where David is getting his information from. I have seen no evidence to suggest a population bottleneck all the way back to the human – chimp – gorilla common ancestor (population). Dennis On 15/12/09 12:04 PM, "John Walley" <john_walley@yahoo.com> wrote: > > >I agree that this response is somewhat surprising. I thought from Dennis and several other sources, it was confirmed that we could NOT trace humanity back to a single couple like some groups like RTB say, but only to a small population. > >And I think Bernie is astute to point out that the differences between any particular couple and their parents would seemingly be too minute to differentiate them specifically from their overall population. Please clear this up for us. > >Also, I haven't heard from Dick on this list in a while but how could we reconcile his historical Adam theory with all humanity tracing back to a single couple amid a larger population if that was the case? Does that mean we can detect a "humanity" or an "imago dei" gene and assess who has it and who doesn't and in what concentrations?  > >Due to my theological filter that has been quite exercised lately, the implications of that scenario make it very hard for me to believe that it could be true. > >Thanks > >John > > > >----- Original Message ---- >From: "Dehler, Bernie" <bernie.dehler@intel.com> >To: "asa@calvin.edu" <asa@calvin.edu> >Sent: Tue, December 15, 2009 2:49:00 PM >Subject: RE: [asa] Dawkins on the fossil record > >David said: >" Now, if you go back far enough, you will come to a single pair that is ancestral to all modern humans." > >I don't see how you could say that, as if this "single pair" didn't also have parents that were nearly identical.  What's the biological big deal between them and their parents??? > >...Bernie > >-----Original Message----- >From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On Behalf Of David Campbell >Sent: Tuesday, December 15, 2009 10:26 AM >To: asa@calvin.edu >Subject: Re: [asa] Dawkins on the fossil record > >Quick review on mitochondrial Eve, Y Adam, etc.: > >Mitochondrial DNA is, with rare exceptions (e.g., most bivalves) >inherited entirely from the mother.  Likewise, the Y chromosome is >inherited paternally.  The rest of our DNA generally undergoes >crossing over, in which the DNA we inherit from each of our parents >gets mixed before it is transmitted to our offspring.  Thus, the >ancestry of the mitochondrial DNA and of the Y chromosome is a simple >pattern of branching and mutation.  If you come up with an estimated >mutation rate (very popular, usually statistically indefensible), you >can estimate how long ago two sequences diverged.  Other DNA, however, >gets inherited as a mosaic, and so is much trickier to trace, >especially as crossing over in various forms can take place within a >DNA region. > >The most recent person to be _an_ ancestor of every living human was >estimated to be only a few thousand years ago, but I am suspicious >that the modeling did not adequately take into account geographic and >ethnic isolation.  The error bars on the estimated date for the >genetic "Adam" and "Eve" are large, but they seem not to be at the >same time.  Both would be likely to reflect a time of relatively small >population, but nothing about them indicates that they were the sole >individual of their time-just that, in the course of things, no one >else living at the time has a continuous sequence of descendants of >that same gender.  Surnames are a handy analogue.  If children always >receive their father's surname, then surnames in families that have no >sons will be lost.  If these strictly-inherited surnames never >changed, eventually everyone would have the same surname, given enough >time and random variation in whether someone has sons or daughters. >This would happen faster if the population was relatively small, or if >some males tended to have a lot more sons than did others, or if there >was some sort of pressure favoring certain names. > >Now, if you go back far enough, you will come to a single pair that is >ancestral to all modern humans.  However, "far enough" is almost >certainly rather more than 100,000 years, and quite possibly at an ape >grade of evolution.  Again there is nothing to indicate that there >weren't co-existing individuals who were practically the same who >merely ended up as cousins rather than direct ancestors. > >Thus, it seems that having an Adam and Eve of some sort within the >past 10,000 years or so requires them to not be the sole physical >direct ancestors of all modern humans. > >-- >Dr. David Campbell >425 Scientific Collections >University of Alabama >"I think of my happy condition, surrounded by acres of clams" > >To unsubscribe, send a message to majordomo@calvin.edu with >"unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message. > > >To unsubscribe, send a message to majordomo@calvin.edu with >"unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message. > > > >      > > >To unsubscribe, send a message to majordomo@calvin.edu with >"unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message. > > ________________________________ From: Dennis Venema <Dennis.Venema@twu.ca> To: John Walley <john_walley@yahoo.com>; "Dehler, Bernie" <bernie.dehler@intel.com>; "asa@calvin.edu" <asa@calvin.edu> Sent: Tue, December 15, 2009 11:12:19 PM Subject: Re: [asa] Dawkins on the fossil record __________________________________________________________________ Yahoo! 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Received on Tue Dec 15 16:02:24 2009

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