Horsing Around with Genetic Sorting: Horse Series Part IV

Noah's flood represents a tremendous bottleneck on genetic variation. This isn't often recognized by creationists who claim that massive rapid diversification occurred after the flood. For that to occur they require massive genetic variation upon which natural selection can draw. Creationists genetics models have no source for this variation.

Noah’s flood represents a tremendous bottleneck on genetic variation. This isn’t often recognized by creationists who claim that massive rapid diversification occurred after the flood. For that to occur they require massive genetic variation upon which natural selection can draw. Creationist’ have no viable source for this variation.

Are modern horse species descendants of a small dog-sized common ancestor or do all fossil horse-like species represent unique creations? For many, this dichotomous choice may sound like a setup to test if a person is an atheist evolutionist or a bible believing Christian.  However, we previously noted that this is a question that literal six-day creations have been asking themselves in recent years.   They have debated among themselves about how they should interpret the fossil record or horses and many have found themselves increasingly embracing an evolutionary model of horse origins–albeit through some radical adjustments to the conventional model.

For example, among creationists, we observed that Dr. Wood and associates clearly see the horse fossil record differently than Drs. Sarfati and Molen.  So why do these young-earth creationists come to very different conclusions about the origin of horses?

It’s all about understanding where the fossils are found!  I have pointed this out over and over:  young earth creationists have a fossil problem.* There are some deep divisions within young earth creationism (YEC) over what fossils were formed during a global Flood and which were formed after the Flood.  Another way of putting this is that they can’t agree which rocks were formed during the global deluge year and which formed in post-flood local catastrophes and the timing of those events.

These disputes manifest themselves when YECs authors consider horse fossils.   Molen and Sarfati talk circles around the fossil record of horses, not appearing to want to commit to all the fossils being post-flood in origin.  Wood and other colleagues rightly recognizes that the fossil record of horses wholly contained in rocks that most YECs accept as post-Floodin origin. The logical conclusion that Wood comes to is that if all these fossils represent species variation within a single horse kind then the entirety of that “horse kind” variation must have been derived from a single pair that was on Noah’s ark.

Wood is committed to an interpretation of earth’s history wherein all life with breath was eliminated except a single pair of each kind (of unclean animals at least).  So because all fossil species of horses (equines more generally) are found in post-Flood deposits follows that they all then have “evolved” from that original pair.   This pair has been called the “ark kind” or as I call them the common ark ancestors.  YECs have been rapidly embracing a form of super-accelerated evolution after the flood (eg. all dogs species or all cats are from a single pair) and this is yet another dramatic example of just how creationism has changed over time.

A recreation of fossil (extinct) "horses" showing the various sizes and shapes. All of these would be smaller than the common horse today. Image Credit: Wikipedia

A reminder of the variation found in fossil horses that some creationists say are all the same kind and thus must have sprung from a single pair of ancestors preserved on Noahs’ Ark. Image Credit: Wikipedia

Sarfati also believes in rapid diversification following the departure from the Ark but does seem to believe that sequences that the fossils are found in can be interpreted as a progression of character evolution leading to the living equine species.  Rather he wants to have all the changes from the ark common ancestor 4500 years ago to present be the result of losses of information.  He implies that all the genetic programming to make 100 different species of horses was present in the first created horse and preserved from creation through the Flood.  After the flood hundreds of species “diversified” as a result of sorting and reshuffling of the original variation, genetic switches and mutations that cause losses of characteristics.

But Sarfati has a serious problem and it is one that creationists rarely acknowledge or attempt to accommodate.  We can see the problem more clearly if we lay out the assumptions that most creationists seem to share:

Premise 1:  Assuming special creation, God created the original horse kind with tremendous variation such that all the species of horses could have come from that ancestral kind
Premise 2:  All the fossils of horse species are found in deposits that creationists say occurred after the Flood
Premise 3:  No matter the number of species present prior to the Flood, only a single pair representing the horse “kind” was on the ark.
Unspoken premise 3B:  In a single pair of “horses” the amount of variation is much less than that found in the original created kind
Conclusion:  All of today’s “horses” and the fossils that look similar to horses are the result of species formed from the two horses on the ark.

The genetic bottleneck effect. For young earth creationists the bottom of the figure could represent the variation in creation but then the Flood is the ultimate bottleneck of that varation. Following the flood there would be no variation to sort but rather variation has to develop again through the accumulation of mutations. Most YECs abhor the idea of positive mutations but many are now being forced to consider that many of the variations we see today are the result of mutation rather than origin variation in the creation because of this bottleneck effect.

The genetic bottleneck effect. For young earth creationists the bottom of the figure could represent the variation in creation but then the Flood is the ultimate bottleneck of that variation. Following the flood there would be no variation to sort but rather variation has to develop again through the accumulation of mutations. Most YECs abhor the idea of positive mutations but many are now being forced to consider that many of the variations we see today are the result of mutation rather than origin variation in the creation because of this bottleneck effect.

I’ve included a premise 3B here that I believe is very important and is the one not often recognized.   You can go to nearly any young earth creationist article that mentions biological diversity and find something about how God created all the animals and even plants with great genetic diversity so they would be able to adapt to the sinful world in which we live.   But this diversity was created in the original version of each kind.  Even if it could be argued that God created hundreds of thousands of horses on day six of creation collectively these horses has massive amounts of variation, as horses reproduced from that starting point of creation to the Flood what would we expect to happen to that genetic variation?  Much of it would be eliminated from any individual horses even if much was maintained in the total population leaving any two horses selected to go on the ark with only a small subset of the original variation. As a result, after the Flood the gene pool (all the genetic variants) with which each “kind” had to work with to produce hundreds of new species would have been extremely limited (see figure to the right).  This is called the bottleneck effect in population genetics and in this case we have the most extreme form of genetic bottleneck possible: reduction of a species, or even more dramatically a kind, to just two individuals.  (See my post: The Great Genetic Bottleneck that Contradicts Ken Ham’s Radical Accelerated Diversification for more details)

There are species alive today that we are quite confident have undergone a severe bottleneck in the past such as cheetahs.  Geneticists have proposed that the cheetah population was once only a few hundred individuals or possibly less. As a result they exhibit extraordinarily low amounts of genetic variation today even though their populations are much greater today than they were in the past.   A cheetah could hardly be expected to evolve into all the other kinds of cats with virtually no genetic variation upon which natural selection can draw.   Without supernatural infusion of genetic variation into each of the two animals on the ark and their offspring, all of the animals stepping off the ark would have had very little genetic variation with which to work.   Creationists expect and predict that there was ultra-fast speciation after the flood which in itself would require amazing genetic mechanisms unknown to us today but on top of this they would be starting with material that could not have the variation present that we see in animals today.

Claims of Genetic Sorting of Ancestral Variation

One does not have to look too far to find statement in the creationist literature about rapid diversification from a pair of diverse progenitors.  For example, on creation.com (Creation Ministries International) there is an article by Russell Grigg entitled “Galapagos with David Attenborough: Evolution”  we find the following statement:

To set the record straight: no one knows how many tortoises reached the different Galápagos islands from South America in the four-and-a-half millennia since the Genesis Flood… But just suppose there was ‘a single founder’ (which would have had to have been a pregnant female), this one would have had all the genetic information for all the tortoises seen today. That is, the “11 types of giant tortoises left in the Galápagos, down from 15 when Darwin arrived.

And then later:

Rather, they all involve sorting and/or loss of existing gene information. Hence they do not support Darwinian (i.e. microbes-to-marine-iguana) evolution.

And then concluding with the following:

Changes of behavior, as a species learns to adapt to a new habitat, also is not Darwinian evolution. If such adaptation means an animal can no longer breed with its previous fellows, i.e. if speciation occurs, this too is not Darwinian evolution, because this involves a sorting of existing information, not the acquisition of new genetic information. In fact, such adaptation and speciation among the original created kinds is an integral part of the biblical Creation-Fall-Flood-migration worldview.

All of these quote show an emphasis of species creation by sorting of a pre-existing gene pool.   But this overly simplified view of evolution fails to consider the reality of genomes, observed genetic variation, and all that is known about population genetics.

Has the author considered that the individual founding tortoise of all the species (notice the authors avoids calling them species but used the term “types” instead) would have itself been the product of generations of genetic sorting after the original pair left the ark.  As we pointed out before with horses, without supernatural intervention, the tortoise pair on the ark would not have all of the genetic variation that presumably was in them when they were created much less the one  or two individuals that made it to the Galapagos Islands.  Rather than sorting and loss of genetic information in species formation there would have to have been an increase in genetic information on which selection could act to form species and this could only come from new mutations.  The genetics of these animals suggest exactly the opposite of what the author is proposing.

References:

The Non-evolution of the Horse.  by Jonathan Sarfation on the CME website.

 Baraminology: Creationists re-examine the horse series. by Tony Breeden on his blog “Defending Genesis”

Cavanaugh, D.P., Wood, T. and Wise, K.P., Fossil equidae: a monobaraminic, stratomorphic series; in: Walsh, R.E. (Ed.), Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Creationism, Creation Science Fellowship, Pittsburgh, PA, p. 143–149, 2003

The Evolution of the Horse by Mats Molen.  Journal of Creation 23(2):59–63  August 2009

*The other aspect of the fossil problem for YECs is that there are no equine fossils in Flood rocks.  If what most YECs believe about where the Flood and Post-Flood boundary is, no equine fossil has ever been found in rocks that YECs say were laid down during the Flood. If any equines lived before the Flood, and presumably they did because they had to have been created in the creation week, then how come none of these were preserved as fossils in the Flood?  And yet, thousands of sites on multiple continents contain equine fossils that were somehow preserved in post-flood rocks despite the fact that YECs often claim that it is the global flood that created ideal conditions for fossil preservation.

Cover Photo: “Wild” horses on Outer Banks of North Carolina. Photo by Joel Duff

Comments

  1. I thought that the creationists now claimed that, since all evolution is information loss from the perfect prototype, the genome of that prototype must have contained within it all the diversity necessary to give rise to all subsequent variants within the kind. Evolution is then possible within a kind by processes of gene loss or activation/deactivation. This would fit nicely with Behe’s views on evolution. Such a model avoids the bottleneck problem by incorporating all the diversity needed for all members of the kind within the original pair, provided all the complexity needed for the post-diluvial radiation (whereever that may be placed in the record) was still present in the pair on Noah’s Ark.

    Does this suggestion of a coherent model give hyperevolutionary creationism too much credit?

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    • But one has to wonder how the “perfect” genome was transmitted through 1500 years to a pair of animals on the ark. During those 1500 years that genome was subject to a world of decay, experienced genetic sorting and mutation. Consider how quickly the genetic variation sorted into hundreds of easily distinguished genetic packages (species) after the Flood in just a few hundred years, what kept that variation together before the Flood? This is the question that I am waiting to hear answered by YECs. I’ve heard a few hand-wavy explanations and one can always say that God just did it but I’m not hearing a coherent model for genetic preservation so far.

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      • Sally Hawksworth says:

        I was going to say the same thing as Paul, since this containment of any amount of genetic diversity in a single individual or pair is definitely what creationists like Peer commenting on earlier parts of this series were alleging. And yes there is the problem you mention that this would all have to be preserved unchanged in every individual BEFORE the Flood, only to dissipate incredibly quickly into diverging lines AFTER the Flood. ( Unmentioned ofcourse by Genesis itself, along with how the marsupial ancestors all decided to head for Australia and South America, leaving not a one in the Middle East, Europe, Africa and Asia, and how they managed to get there.) But surely the biggest problem is that this is simply at odds with an ything the geneticists now understand about genomes. Where was all this genetic diversity/ possibility STORED in these Ark animals? In junk/ inactivated DNA do they think? I’m no biologist, but it appears to to me that they simply don’t understand how genomes actually get transcribed and develop into actual bodies at all.

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      • Joel wrote, “I’ve heard a few hand-wavy explanations and one can always say that God just did it but I’m not hearing a coherent model for genetic preservation so far.” I agree, but the problem is not just how it would avoid being changed such, but how a single pair of organisms could even contain sufficient variation, either originally or after the Flood. In the former case, one could hypothesized that maybe lots of individual animals (and plants) were created in each kind (except humans). But that won’t fly for the pairs leaving the ark. We only have one pair for each kind of land animal, and at most 7 for others.
        Take the supposed cat kind. Among the many cat species (supposedly all the same kind, along with lots of fossil ones) are dozens or hundreds of alleles (variations of a gene) for any given traits, or even most traits. Even one species of cat can have many alleles for any given traits. But the pair coming off the Ark could have had at most two alleles for each trait (one from each parent). So where did all the others come from, if not by evolution? I call this the “allele problem.” None of what I’ve heard from Peer, Jeanson, answers that clearly, let alone explains how it could happen in a few hundred or even few thousand years. Indeed, from what I can see, all that is known about genetics, population biology, and the fossil record points in the exact opposite direction– that severe genetic bottlenecks result in long periods of low diversity and genetic stagnation, not hyperspeciation.

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        • peer terborg says:

          Glen says: I call this the “allele problem.”

          The allele problem was solved by geneticists Robert Carter and coworkers. What I see here dominating is ignorance wrt the publications of creation scientists. There is coherent and explanatory creation model suitable for a young earth interpretation. All you have to do is read.

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      • peer terborg says:

        “This is the question that I am waiting to hear answered by YECs.”

        … the activity of transposable and transposed elements (TE) is normally silenced by several elaborate genetic mechanism present in the genomes, including the PIWI pathway and epigenetic modifications. Genomic analyses show that only sporadic explosings of TE occured over evolutionary time, for most of the time they were silentlz present in the genome. Here you have your mechanism: before the flood TEs were silenced, after the flood they became activated (there are several naturalistic means to explain burst of TE activity, including radiation). You can read the details in my papers and books.

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    • Paul wrote of a “perfect prototype” model: ” Such a model avoids the bottleneck problem by incorporating all the diversity needed for all members of the kind within the original pair, provided all the complexity needed for the post-diluvial radiation (whereever that may be placed in the record) was still present in the pair on Noah’s Ark. Does this suggestion of a coherent model give hyperevolutionary creationism too much credit?”

      Yes, I think it gives it gives far too much credit, because I don’t think avoids the genetic bottleneck problem at all. There is simply no way for a single pair of animals, say of the “cat” kind, to contain even a fraction of the variation that dozens of cat species now have (even if created with such variation, and even disregarding all the fossil species), nor any plausible way for such massive variation and speciation to come about in a few hundred or even few thousand years after the Flood, with or without natural selection (which YECs can’t seem to make their mind up about either). That’s the very crux of the matter.

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  2. Peer wrote: “… the activity of transposable and transposed elements (TE) is normally silenced by several elaborate genetic mechanism present in the genomes, including the PIWI pathway and epigenetic modifications.”

    These are broad assertions, not evidence.

    “Genomic analyses show that only sporadic explosings of TE occured over evolutionary time,

    What specific genetic analysis, and what do you mean by “evolutionary time.” In your paradigm, you have very little time to work with. Besides, we’ve pointed out several major ways the fossil record conflicts with YEC/FG claims and expectations in general, and your claims about “kinds” and such, most of which you’ve ignored.

    “..for most of the time they were silentlz present in the genome. Here you have your mechanism: before the flood TEs were silenced, after the flood they became activated (there are several naturalistic means to explain burst of TE activity, including radiation).

    These strike me as more assertions and speculations, not “mechanisms.” They don’t even seem logical. Why should radiation have such major and positive effects after the Flood, but not before the Flood? Even if you subscribe to the long discredited canopy theory (do you)? radiation is largely random and destructive except when nat sel acts on an occasionally adaptive one, but you’ve dismissed natural selection in that regard. So what directs radiation to induce any genetic changes (TEs or otherwise) that produce useful adaptations or speciation, let alone massive and rapid speciation?

    I’ve read some of your papers, and found major parts of them confusing and hard to slog through. Perhaps I and others would be more inclined to read yoru book if you were better at explaining and supporting your theories in them or here, or would answer the questions we’ve asked about conflicting evidence (especially from the fossil record), and didn’t make so many outlandish claims, such as suggesting that taxa as broad as orders constituting the same “kind.” But again, if one of your papers clearly and rigorously demonstrates the specific claims you’ve just made here, please cite it.

    Last, do you believe your book has convinced even most YEC of your genetic ideas? Are any major YEC groups selling and endorsing your book? I assume you are referring to Darwin Revisited–there I gave you a little plug :)) If so, could you point me to the web page(s)? If not, why do you think that is? By the way, the only place I saw it for sale was Amazon (at $33), but I was surprised to see no reviews of it.

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    • Sally Hawksworth says:

      I on the other hand find it very UNsurprising that a book by a writer whose other (free) writings on similar subjects a person as intelligent, interested and well informed scientifically speaking as Glen evidently is finds confusing and hard to slog through has found few if any potential readers willing to fork out $33 for it. And while Oscar Wilde reputedly quipped that he never read a book before reviewing it – it prejudices one so, 😁 most people nowadays feel obligated to at least PRETEND to have read something before praising or slamming it. Though I suppose authors and publishers usually think it worth while to send free review copies to selected people whose opinions might influence punters in the book’s favour and which could then be utilised in publicity. Didn’t you do this, Peer?

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      • peer terborg says:

        If Glen sends me a personal email, I will send him a free electonic copy…you can have one too…
        My personal email address can be obtained via NatHis. Ask him. As soon as I receive your mail, you will get a pdf of my book.

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    • peer terborg says:

      “These are broad assertions, not evidence.”

      Glen, this shows that you do not know what you are talking about. It is very well know that TEs are kept inactive through methylations and through the piwi-pathway. Read something on transposable and transposed elements, they make up almost half of the genome and are a matter of extensive research. They are required during the first couple of days after conception to properly develop the embryo. So, I recommend to read the literature on TEs before you post any further comments. My dutch book was published by De Oude Wereld and it is sold via the Logos Institute, both dutch YEC organizations. And indeed, more and more YEC papers refer to my papers. So, agaiin try to keep up with current literature. What I read on th blog is as outdated and falsified as Darwinism. In fact it is darwinism, so it cannot be right. Biology is completely different from what we thought it is.

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    • peer terborg says:

      “These strike me as more assertions and speculations, not “mechanisms.” They don’t even seem logical. Why should radiation have such major and positive effects after the Flood, but not before the Flood?”

      It is all proven fact, that even UV radiation releaves the breaks to control TEs. An interesting example is the release of the HERPES virus from the genome by UV radiation. This virus is nothing but a modified transposable elements. Yes, viruses have their origin in TEs. How? Read my book.

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      • peer terborg says:

        “Why should radiation have such major and positive effects after the Flood, but not before the Flood?

        The may have been active all the time, but the activity of TEs my be increased after the flood as a response to the environment. It may have even been directed by God, who also orchestrated the flood. (It would not be more miraculous than the arrival of one new gene by chance.) We know that epigenetic control over genetic expression is affected by environmental queus.

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      • Peer: “It is all proven fact, that even UV radiation releaves the breaks to control TEs.”

        How is a random thing like radiation going to “control” anything let alone lead to specific adaptations?

        “An interesting example is the release of the HERPES virus from the genome by UV radiation. This virus is nothing but a modified transposable elements. Yes, viruses have their origin in TEs. How? Read my book.”

        As I understand you go beyond the above idea, and believe that all viruses came from animal genomes, rather than invaded them, even though there seems to be lots of evidence for the latter. Or am I mistaken that you believe this?

        At any rate, please explain at least briefly (for the sake of others reading here too) how random radiation can produce specific adaptations. Even they somehow release TE, how are they going to “control” what specific ones occur and thus lead to useful adaptations, especially without natural selection? There must be some mechanism or trigger to cause a match between a TE and needed or useful environmental adaptations. If we are to have a constructive dialog, please try to at least briefly answer our “why” and “how” questions rather than repeatedly referring us to your book.

        One past question I’d especially enjoy an answer to, and which I doubt you cover in your book, is why you regard animals as different as Koalas and Kangaroos as the same kind, and T. rex, owls, and hummingbirds as the same kind, not to mention rhinos and horses, but evidently don’t regard chimps, gorillas, orangs and humans as the same kind, even though they are much more alike, both genetically and morphologically.

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  3. Peer wrote: “The allele problem was solved by geneticists Robert Carter and coworkers. What I see here dominating is ignorance wrt the publications of creation scientists. There is coherent and explanatory creation model suitable for a young earth interpretation. All you have to do is read.”

    How about a specific reference? I do try to generally keep up with YEC publication, especially any that have to do with dinosaur tracks and other trace fossils (my specialty). However, many YEC articles are tedious and confusing–often severely contradicting each and lots well-established evidence from multiple fields. So it’s not worth my time (or probably that of most mainstream workers) to read most of them, especially ones given little attention even among YECs. While you’re slamming conventional scientist for not always keeping up with YEC writings, let me ask, 1. how much serious reading or research have you done in paleontology, taxonomy, population biology, or other fields relevant to your claims? From your past comments, it sounds like you haven’t done much, or else unfairly reject virtually all other workers accept (even many fellow YECs), and 2. Do any major creationist groups specifically endorse your genetic claims?

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    • I feel like I’ve read all of Carter’s papers unless there is a recent on in CSRQ which I can’t access. Yes, he talks about genetic variation but I would remember if he suggested a solution to this problem that anymore than a very general solution.
      Peer, I have been following the discussion here but haven’t had much time to engage but I also am not inclined to spend much time on some of this partly for the reasons that Glen has highlighted. If you are really on to something let’s see some other YECs pick your ideas up and run with them and then others will have to take a closer look. So far I just don’t see your ideas getting much traction. I also don’t see Jeanson’s ideas getting a lot of traction either but he does have the support of AIG and so one has to engage to some extent because of that. I’m not saying that an individual can’t have an idea that shows everyone else is wrong but more often than not this is not the case and so there is only so much effort one can put into critiquing and idea of one.

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      • peer terborg says:

        We, Creation scientists, work with frontloaded genetic theories. Carter inclusive. Creation as in Genesis requires frontloaded theories and not addative theories (the do not work anyway). I discovered them after I discovered the work of prof John A Davison, an stauch antiDarwinian, later Old Earth Creationist. If you read his evolutionary manifesto and the references therein, you will become to understand frontloading. “I can lead you to the literature, I cannot let you read”, was one of Davisons sayings. I followed his recommendation.

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    • peer terborg says:

      Glen “how much serious reading or research have you done in paleontology, taxonomy, population biology, or other fields relevant to your claims?”

      Enough to know that the Darwinian framework is false. I graduated in population genetics… It is dealing with existing genes, with fluctuation in allele frequences. It was presented as Evolution but in fact it nothing in common with Evolution. Think about it…what do we need for Evolution? Evolution requires DNA sequences not related to previous sequences. So, population genetics has nothing to do with Evolution. What we need is a mechanism that generates novel information. Popoulations genetics does not do that. A nice example of population genetics is the melanism in the peppered moth. Interestinly, it was recently demonstrated this “evolution” is caused by a transposable element. So, it simply demonstrates my case of adaptations driven by a frontloaded genetic mechanism. An Example of Evolution is the 2555 novel miRNA genes in humans not found in other primates. That is novel information. Do you notice the difference?

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      • Peer did not graduate in population genentics. He is a molecular biologist with a in medicine. Peer Terborg is an internet name for Pete Borger. Peter Borger’s PhD thesis (1998) has the title: Regulation of T cell cytokine gene expression : studies in healthy and asthmatic subjects
        All scientific research is on asthma.

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  4. I did not mean to pan Peer’s book before reading it, just to explain why I did not rush to read it, based based on the way he has answered or not answered various questions here, and my impressions from his papers and blog postings that I have read. Speaking of unanswered questions, Peer, if could you please cite the specific paper(s) by R Carter that you believe solves the allele problem, and mention any YEC groups who have endorsed your book, it might prompt my further interest. Thank you.

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  5. peer terborg says:

    Glen, first of all, most alleles are of recent origin, a few thousand years old. Carters papers can simply be found on the CMI website, in the Journal of Creation archive, 2011 and 2016, if I remember correctly. My book was published and sold by De Oude Wereld and the Logos Institute, both dutch YEC organizations. It is sold out, currently, but the englisch version is available via Amazon.

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  6. Peer, you wrote: “If Glen sends me a personal email, I will send him a free electonic copy…you can have one too…My personal email address can be obtained via NatHis. Ask him. As soon as I receive your mail, you will get a pdf of my book.”

    That’s nice of you Peer. I can’t promise that I’ll read the whole thing immediately (since I have limited time and many other things on my plate) but I’ll get to it when I can. I’ll also give my address for you and anyone else who wants it, since it’s no secret. It’s already listed with on a number of my articles and web sites. gkpaleo@yahoo.com

    When I wrote: “These are broad assertions, not evidence.”
    You wrote, “Glen, this shows that you do not know what you are talking about. It is very well know that TEs are kept inactive through methylations and through the piwi-pathway.”
    First, TEs being inactive doesn’t answer the bottleneck/allele problem, which was the main thing I was asking about. Second, I did know what I was talking about in terms of the specific statements you made being assertions rather than evidence. You may have some rigorous evidence elsewhere, but did not demonstrate it in the statements in question, nor other posts here. In fact, a number of times when I asked for specific references for specific claims, you did not reply. It’s also rich for you to make the broad comment that I don’t know what I am talking about, when you also have demonstrated virtually no knowledge of the fossil record (even for aspects directly relevant you claim about speciatin), or basic anatomy and physiology of various groups, in regard to your claims that groups as diverse as all marsupials, or horses and rhinos, can be the same kind. Again, I’d be more inclined to make reading your book a priority if some of your statements here were not so outlandish, and indicated that you had adequately studied or considered relevant aspects of the fossil record, general anatomy and physiology, and population biology while developing your ideas, and if some YEC groups supported your claim (that some reference your book doesn’t establish than any do.
    You say you can lead me to literature but “can’t let you read.” I think you meant “can’t make you read.” Well, some of your leading hasn’t been very specific. When I asked if you could give a specific reference to support your claim that Carter solved the allele problem, which didn’t seem like a lot to ask, since it’s very relevant to your claims, all you did was to advise me to hunt it down on the J of Creation website. I should not have to do that (since it was your assertion). However, when I went when I went ahead and did that (searching on “Carter” there), a long list of articles and references came up, none of which clearly address the allele problem. Why should I take my time valuable time to sift through them all, just to find evidence for one of your assertions? Again, if one or more of his articles clearly solves the allele problem, please cite the specific one(s). Thank you.

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  7. Peer wrote, “Glen, first of all, most alleles are of recent origin, a few thousand years old”

    Of course, by YEC assumptions all organisms are “recent”, but even most YECs say the earth is about 6,000 years old (which is more than what most would call “a few” thousand). So what are you suggesting, that the originally created kinds did not have lots of alleles? That seems to starkly contradict your claim that the originally created kinds were heavily “frontloaded” with lots of variation.
    And if you’re implying that lots of new alleles were generated very quickly after Creation, can you summarize why and how this happened, rather than just telling us to go read your book?

    “Carters papers can simply be found on the CMI website, in the Journal of Creation archive, 2011 and 2016, if I remember correctly.”

    So you can’t remember or be bothered to look up and cite the specific papers for us, even tho they are important to your claims?

    Peer: “My book was published and sold by De Oude Wereld and the Logos Institute, both dutch YEC organizations. It is sold out, currently, but the englisch version is available via Amazon.”

    That’s where I found it listed. How long has it been available there? No offense, but it unless it was put up only days ago, if it has been a hit even among YECs, I’m surprised we don’t find reviews yet. Again, can you tell which if any major YEC groups have endorsed it?

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  8. Glen “how much serious reading or research have you done in paleontology, taxonomy, population biology, or other fields relevant to your claims?”

    Peer: Enough to know that the Darwinian framework is false. I graduated in population genetics… It is dealing with existing genes, with fluctuation in allele frequences. It was presented as Evolution but in fact it nothing in common with Evolution.

    I’m sorry, but if think the fossil record doesn’t support evolution, and instead suggests a fiat creation 6,000 years ago, then apparently you’ve either done virtually no reading about the fossil record (at least outside of YEC sources), or maybe are failing to grasp or accept much of it due to YE assumptions (or YE glasses, to use your analogy). We’ve already explained several major aspects of the fossil record that thoroughly refute your claims and YEC/Flood geology in general, yet you seem to largely ignore them. Even when Christian Janis, a world-class expert on fossil ungulates, explained clear evidence against your assertions about horses and rhinos, you seemed largely oblivious to it.
    As far as population biology goes, doesn’t evidence from known examples of bottlenecks such as the cheetah, clearly contradict the idea that severely bottlenecked pairs coming off the ark somehow exploded into lots of new and very different species, genera, and even families, without any help from natural selection?
    As far as taxonomy and basic anatomy of various groups goes, your claims about marsupials, rhinos, horses, birds, theropods, and other groups suggests to me that you’ve done relatively little reading in those areas either. Indeed, you yourself often put out ideas based on what you vaguely remembered or thought someone said, usually followed by one or more mistaken ideas. Even if you have some potentially valid genetic ideas, you have to look at the whole picture, gathering and studying as much evidence from all relevant fields as possible, especially when trying to overturn the entire world of biology and Earth science. From what I’ve seen so far, it seems like you’ve not only done little of that, but actively resisted accepting input and evidence from experts outside your field.

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  9. Peer, since I have read some of your writings and am willing to read your book (thanks very much for sending it), will you in turn read at least two of my articles, linked below? The first explains why fossil tracks and other trace fossils thoroughly refute YECism and Flood Geology. It shows that the calm-deposition requirements of many such fossils and their widespread distribution (geographically and geologically), mean that there is simply no place in the geologic record to put the Flood. Indeed, many of them (including immensely problematic ones like vast dinosaur nesting sites) occur in the Mesozoic and Eras, which almost all YECs consider Flood-deposited. Moreover, they consistently occur in expected evolutionary orders, and are often correlated with body fossil showing the same expected orders, which fly in the face of Flood geology expectations.
    The second one summarizes evidence regarding host-specific diseases, and how they too strongly refute the idea of a recent global Flood. This one touches on some genetic concepts, so I’d be very interested in your reaction to it.

    http://paleo.cc/ce/tracefos.htm
    http://paleo.cc/ce/ark-disease.htm

    The upshot of these articles (and countless others I could cite) is that there was no recent global Flood. Instead see extensive and compelling of evidence of evolutionary changes in many groups over many millions of years. Even without the latter, if there was no recent global Flood, there could be no hyper-rapid post-Flood speciation, even if your genetic ideas were correct. But so far you don’t seem to have even convinced many YECs, let alone mainstream workers.

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  10. I apologize to Christine Janis for accidentally typing “Christian Janis” in one of my recent posts.

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  11. Peer: Creation scientists, work with frontloaded genetic theories. Carter inclusive. Creation as in Genesis requires frontloaded theories and not addative theories (the do not work anyway).

    Which reveals your inherent bias, and how you like other YECs start out with unnecessary, committed assumptions (that Genesis is all literal, and the Earth is young). So you go out looking for evidence to support your preconceived views, rather than allowing or other possible interpretations, and letting the evidence lead you or at least help you understand the best interpretation, which would be far more objective and scientific.

    Peer: I discovered them after I discovered the work of prof John A Davison, an stauch antiDarwinian, later Old Earth Creationist.

    And yet you seem to discard the evidence that convinces him and the vast majority of other scientists that the Earth is old.

    If you read his evolutionary manifesto and the references therein, you will become to understand frontloading. “I can lead you to the literature, I cannot let you read”, was one of Davisons sayings. I followed his recommendation.

    Truth-seeking scientists don’t have “manifestos.” But for kicks, I checked it out. He ends with the following statements, “Once again, I insist that the only alternative to chance is design, which in turn implies purpose. Let me also add that I fail to see how this perspective can in any way interfere with the search for ultimate truth.”

    So he is advancing the false dichotomy of “chance or design.” He like you seems to unfairly dismiss the extensive evidence that natural selection, though often acting on random variations, is not entirely random, but is based on random variations plus environmental pressures, and thus often produces results with the appearance of design. Nor does it rule out the possibility of God working in a transcendent way through the process.
    You and Davison also seem to ignore that even if TEs and epigenetics could do all you say, such mechanisms and systems could themselves have evolved over time, with natural selection playing a major role. His last statement seems to be “protesting too much,” since the assumption of design (at least direct Creation of it) can indeed undermine a sincere search for truth, since it can become a filter or lens through which all evidence is viewed. One could say many secular scientists have the opposite filter, but you can’t say that for countless fellow Christians who were open to the idea of YECism or even wanted it to be true, (as I did years ago), but found that the vast bulk of evidence not only did not support it, but flew directly in its face.

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  12. Glen: “Why should radiation have such major and positive effects after the Flood, but not before the Flood?

    Peer: They may have been active all the time, but the activity of TEs my be increased after the flood as a response to the environment.”

    You’re talking in circles. Radiation is part of the earth’s environment. What would cause a major change in the amount or nature of radiation after the Flood, let alone one that would foster specific adaptations and massive, rapid speciation?

    “It may have even been directed by God, who also orchestrated the flood. (It would not be more miraculous than the arrival of one new gene by chance.)

    Well here we have it. As often happens when YECs are faced with tough questions or strong contrary evidence, ad hoc miracles are proposed. Besides the question of why you’d even be attempted to do that if the evidence was as clearly on your side as you imply, that approach will hardly fly with most scientists, or even some YECs. Walt Brown, for example, condemns it, even tho he sometimes slips into it himself. Indeed, if you feel free to invent miracles at will, any amount and weight of contrary evidence can be dismissed, which removes any pretense of science from “scientific creationism.” Indeed, when faced with fossil problems, why not just say God may have placed the fossils in the rocks (a popular idea centuries ago, but one hunted at even by some modern YECs like Robert Gentry).

    “We know that epigenetic control over genetic expression is affected by environmental queus.

    From all I’ve read, it is far from settled whether epigenetic changes can be passed along more than a few generations, and if they can’t, they can’t drive evolution, , Even if some could be, it would not mean they are the main drivers, or invalidate natural selecction. You keep talking about what is well known or “proven” about epigentics, but so far I haven’t found any conventional workers, even among those who believe it has a role in evolution, claiming that it is the main driver of it, or that natural selection has no role. Can you point to any references to the contrary, outside of YEC sources? See for example: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0012160616302974

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    • IIRC, ohn Baumgardner of the RATE school of YEC postulates massive radiation flux some time around the time of the flood. This is supposed to explain the apparent 14C ages in excess of 6,000 years for so many materials; it’s not a matter of the 14C having decayed, but rather of it not having been there in the first place.

      All that wasted ingenuity …

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  13. I also meant to add, in regard to the link I left in my last post, which was:
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0012160616302974

    The authors explain not only why epigenetics (which is something of a catch-all turn meaning different things to different workers), does not support Lamarckian evolution, despite Peer’s claims that it does, and even that biology is entirely Lamarckian. To quote one pithy passage:

    “Phenomena of inherited variation related to epigenetic marks are supported by very few data (Bird, 2007). But even if there was clear evidence, these phenomena would not be Lamarckian, because: a) They are not actively acquired; b) they are not adaptive (except by chance) and in many cases are even detrimental to the organisms, such as alleged long term detrimental effects of starvation; c) histone modifications are not stable over many generations, DNA methylation patterns are not as faithfully replicated as the DNA sequence; both modifications thus do not have a long-lasting impact on evolution.”

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  14. I just noticed that most of the Comments under Davison’s “manifesto” were similar to mine. For example, a StuartCampbell wrote:
    “You must be careful not to create false dichotomies – it is not “Darwinism” vs. “Epigenetics”!… “This is hardly a stunning rejection of natural selection and Darwinian processes; it is simply asking that we better integrate what we now know. So perhaps your reading of this work has been biased by your desire to get rid of natural section for non-scientific (religious?) reasons. If you have such an agenda, speak up now.”

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  15. Robert Byers says:

    AMEN. There would be no horses in rock strata before the flood because horses are of a kind. Just a variety of a kind. They are the way they are now because post flood adaption needs. before the flood you would not recognize them.
    Indeed they might be some fossil types of “dinos” that are found.
    Just look at the variety of kangaroo types in australia. Big/small/tree ones. Yet this spectrum would hide the original one. Probably mouse like or something.
    YEC is expanding what a KIND includes. i think I read that even on this blog.
    The horse will simply be squeezed into a KIND that could include many types. i suggested rhinos and many extinct types only found in fossils now.
    the diversity of horse fossils found has helped creationists show that evolution in horses was not in a straight line as backward researchers used to say. They all now must admit to a bush as opposed to branches on a tree.
    This series on the horse i think shows how creationism is galloping forward in better ideas on horse origins while evolutionist ideas are being put to stud and that done well.

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    • Christine Janis says:

      “Indeed they [fossil horses] might be some fossil types of “dinos” that are found.”

      Robert; the difference in the bones of a large mammal and a dinosaur may be elusive to you, but I can assure you that it is not to anatomists and paleontologists. There is no way that any bone belonging to a horse would be mistaken for that of a dinosaur.

      The notion that it was creationists and not evolutionary biologists who pointed out that horse evolution was “bushy” rather than a straight line is most certainly invoking of horse laughter.

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  16. Robert B wrote” “AMEN. There would be no horses in rock strata before the flood because horses are of a kind. Just a variety of a kind. They are the way they are now because post flood adaption needs. before the flood you would not recognize them. Indeed they might be some fossil types of “dinos” that are found.”

    Nonsense. Whatever constitutes the horse kind, by your own YE paradigm, they existed (and presumably in good numbers (since God commanded them and all creatures to be fruitful and multiply. So to find ZERO fossils of horse or horse-like animals, nor any large modern mammals, before the Cenozoic makes no sense. As far as dinosaurs go, we have millions of fossils of them and their tracks, including scores of partial to nearly complete skeletons of many different species. So why don’t we have even one confirmed fossil or track of ANY horse, rhino, hippo, elephant, whale, manitee, pinneped, bovine, bear, deer, sloth, dog, cat, goat, pig, etc. anywhere before the Cenozoic? Again, by your own model ALL of them were supposedly living and thriving before the Flood.

    Robert: Just look at the variety of kangaroo types in australia. Big/small/tree ones. Yet this spectrum would hide the original one. Probably mouse like or something.

    Why would marsupials explode into massive diversity right after the Flood (despite the Earth becoming a largely barren and hostile wasteland after such a catastrophe), but not multiply or diversify much before the Food? The same can be asked about all the above named mammal groups for which we find no pre-Cenozoic fossils.

    Robert: YEC is expanding what a KIND includes. i think I read that even on this blog.

    Yes, and to ridiculous levels, with no consistency. Peer has suggested (with you often seeming to agree) that horses and rhinos are the same kind, that all marsupials are the same kind, and even that all birds and theropods are the same kind (which would include forms as different as T.rex and hummingbirds), but that doves and ravens are different kinds. How does that make any sense? Likewise, neither you nor Peer have explained why chimps, gorillas and orangs are not the same kind as humans, despite differences among them being far smaller than among other animals you consider the same kind. Can you at least try to answer that?

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  17. Robert: The horse will simply be squeezed into a KIND that could include many types. i suggested rhinos and many extinct types only found in fossils now.

    There are many fossilized horses and rhinos, but they present immense problems for your view. First, none appear in any pre-Cenozoic strata, for which you have no plausible explanation. After all, the scores of modern mammal families can’t all be reduced to a single or even a few kinds, and if they were fruitful and multiplied before the flood, where are their Flood deposited fossils?

    Robert: …the diversity of horse fossils found has helped creationists show that evolution in horses was not in a straight line as backward researchers used to say. They all now must admit to a bush as opposed to branches on a tree.

    Bushes and trees are both branching structures, and mainstream scientists have advocated this concept for many decades, so there is nothing new to “admit.” It’s YECs who are now admitting that the many species of modern and fossil horses are related, after decades of arguing otherwise, and sometimes (as Gish often did) mocking the idea that fossil horses evolved into modern ones. Now YECs are suggesting they did share a common ancestor, but evolved at breakneck speeds after the Flood, and without (according to Peer and many other YECs) any help from natural selection. On top of that, you and Peer are lumping forms as different as rhinos into the horse kind (which would make Gish roll in his grave).

    Robert: “This series on the horse i think shows how creationism is galloping forward in better ideas on horse origins while evolutionist ideas are being put to stud and that done well.”

    On the contrary, it looks like YECs are stumbling badly, as they try defend their new and radical post-Flood hyperspeciation ideas. They are proposing ideas about kinds that have no respect for basic biology and taxonomy, while advocating rates and extents of evolution (while reluctant to call it that) far more dramatic than anything any “evolutionist” ever entertained, with nothing but conflicting and implausible mechanisms to drive it, and lots of contrary evidence from the fossil record, genetics, and other fields. Evidently they are doing this to try to minimize the number of animals that would have been on the Ark, but instead of galloping forward, I seems like a major step backward. Indeed, since you seem to like equine references, I’d call it a lot of horse hockey.

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  18. I wrote in response to Robert B’s last post: “There are many fossilized horses and rhinos, but they present immense problems for your view. First, none appear in any pre-Cenozoic strata, for which you have no plausible explanation. After all, the scores of modern mammal families can’t all be reduced to a single or even a few kinds, and if they were fruitful and multiplied before the flood, where are their Flood deposited fossils?”

    I forgot to add: Second, the fossils are not all mixed up as YECs often imply, but appear in consistent orders. Yes, they show a branching succession over time, where the various species of horse-like forms generally look more like modern horses as one goes stratigraphically higher (indicating younger deposits). This pattern, along with the absence of preCenozoic horses (as well as all the other mammal groups mentioned above) has no plausible explanation in YEC/FG models.
    This applies to human evolution as well. Not only are their lots of homind fossils showing intermediate features between modern human and earlier primates, but in general, the older the fossils are (the farther down you go stratigraphically), the less like modern humans the most human-like ones appear. Nothing in the YEC paradigm begins to explain this

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  19. Paul wrote: John Baumgardner of the RATE school of YEC postulates massive radiation flux some time around the time of the flood. This is supposed to explain the apparent 14C ages in excess of 6,000 years for so many materials; it’s not a matter of the 14C having decayed, but rather of it not having been there in the first place.

    The RATE project authors (most from ICR) also propose that massively accelerated decay rates occurred at the time of the Flood, in order to explain other radiometric dating method results, and avoid facing the logical conclusion that the Earth is old after all. However, their proposal creates more problems than it solves. Even if they had a mechanism for vastly accelerate decay (other than the miracles they allude to), it would create so much heat it would vaporize the oceans and kill every living thing on earth. Realizing this, they propose yet more miracles to somehow protect all life from the heat. But why would God even accelerate decay rates in the first place, since the main effects would be to make the earth look old and create more than lethal heat? Nor do these illogical, ad-hoc miracles even solve the problem, because if decay rates were accelerated during the Flood, one would see a sharp spike in the dating data reflecting it, not the gradually sloping patterns we see in several independent radiometric methods, plus non-radiometric methods. Despite all this, the RATE authors declared the project a success, and supportive of YECism. For more on the RATE project and their misleading report see: http://paleo.cc/ce/RATE-project.htm

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    • You are much too kind to RATE. Baumgardner is a physicist, and as such would be well aware that, as Gamow showed in 1928, radioactive decay rates are determined by the time-dependent Schroedinger equation, the strengths of fundamental forces, and the masses of fundamental particles, none of which could have changed since the formation of the rocks, otherwise they would not have formed as they did.

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      • Paul wrote: “You are much too kind to RATE. Baumgardner is a physicist, and as such would be well aware that, as Gamow showed in 1928, radioactive decay rates are determined by the time-dependent Schroedinger equation, the strengths of fundamental forces, and the masses of fundamental particles, none of which could have changed since the formation of the rocks, otherwise they would not have formed as they did.”

        Yes, they essentially acknowledged this. They also admitted that there was far much too much radioactivity recorded in the geologic record to fit a YEC framework, or anything close to it. That’s why, being unable or unwilling to face the plain implications of the data, they proposed ad-hoc miracles to accelerate decay, then more miracles to undo the massive damage that would do, without even explaining the logic of the former, if all it would do is make the earth look old and require the latter. If pointing these highly unscientific and illogical aspects of their work was not critical enough, let me add that I think their declaration that the project was a glowing success was one of the most dishonest and misleading things I’ve YECs do, and I’ve seen a lot. There were other questionable and shady things that went on during the project as well, many of which were detailed in a series of critiques by the ASA, linked below but from these core problems alone, I think the RATE team should be ashamed of themselves. https://www.asa3.org/ASA/education/origins/rate.htm

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