Saturday, March 10, 2012

More Creationist Dishonesty

Many of my friends listen tolerantly to my comments on the evidence for evolution. They're interested, and they're fascinated by things I point out, but they don't have time for any real research on their own.

I expect those friends to be significantly confused about some aspects of evolution. Did humans descend from apes? Monkeys? Chimpanzees or gorillas?

The basic answer is simple. None of the above. Humans and apes—which include chimps, gorillas, orangutans, and gibbons—descended from a common ancestor, not from one another. We've not yet found that common ancestor, but we get closer to finding that ancestor or a near relative every year.

I don't expect my friends to remember that. They soon fall back to "humans descended from apes or monkeys."

But that's my friends.

When, however, a Ph. D. writes an article against evolution on behalf of the Institute for Creation Research, I expect him to know everything I wrote above, only to know it even better than me because I'm just a layman.

In fact, I'm convinced that Jeffrey Tomkins, the said Ph.D., does know.

He's just not going to tell you.

Dr. Tomkins article discusses the fact that there are places where the genome of the gorilla (the genes that make a gorilla what it is) are closer to human than the genome of a chimpanzee. Since scientists believe that humans are more closely related to chimps than gorillas, Dr. Tomkins claims that this creates a problem in the evolutionary lineage of man.

Of course, it has nothing to do with the evolutionary lineage of man. Here's what's really happening.

Scientists believe that about 7 million years ago, the lineage that includes all the great apes except man branched off from man's lineage. Chimpanzees, they believe, are the closest related to that common ancestor on the great ape lineage. Gorillas, orangutans, and gibbons came later.

With a lineage like that, it is no surprise that there are certain genes that gorillas, orangutans, and gibbons may have that are closer to human than the same genes in chimpanzees. A lot can happen in 7 million years.

There is no way that a Ph.D. like Dr. Tomkins doesn't know this, but he's not going to tell you. Instead, he's simply going to wave a flag and shout, "in 30% of the genome, gorilla is closer to human or chimpanzee than the latter are to each other." He's not going to tell, at least not honestly, what that means ... which, to evolution, is nothing at all. It's simply an interesting fact, not at all surprising in light of what we know about the evolution of apes and humans.


  1. Actually in comparing data strings,
    it does matter whether the comparison is complete,
    and if 'mixture' is allowed across lines of descent.
    For instance 'mixture' of DNA is possible intra-species,
    but not generally possible inter-species.

    The fact that 'mixture' is forbidden gives
    significance to matches between species,
    or else lines of descent could not even be constructed.

    By the same reasoning and evidence,
    the presence of 'mixture' in one pair of species
    precludes direct descent from a species
    not possessing that same DNA information,
    because that shared DNA must have been inherited,
    not transferred across species.

    This is known in the study of textual transmission
    as the Rule of 2/3, or Triplet Comparison analysis.
    It is used to test for 'mixture', cross-pollenation,
    or corruption of lines of transmission.

    The presence of 'mixture' across all lines in the triplet, Man / Chimp / Gorilla, proves that
    neither can be direct descendents of one another.

    Any DNA they share must have been either common to
    all life or inherited from a common ancestor.
    DNA differences must by the same token indicate
    separation of lines of descent and speciation.

    The Triplet Rule can eliminate direct lines of descent,
    but can never prove hypothetical lines of descent
    that don't violate the rule.

    Its a falsification test, not a 'proof' test.

  2. I follow what you're saying here, but no one is claiming that man, chimps, or gorillas are direct descendants of one another. Thus, your comment is interesting--at least to me--but it's not relevant to my post.


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