Darwin didn’t know genetics
In this section Jeanson states that I object to his claim, that “Darwin took a risk when he penned a strong answer to a deeply genetic question - long before genetic data were available to test it.”
I actually do not. I point to a number of possible situations, where knowledge of genetics potentially could, but in practice don’t, refute evolution. It is spelled out quite clear. I do not ‘seem to agree’ that genetics is important,
as Jeanson will have it.
Jeanson wants references to my claim that for evolution to work, variation has to be endless, and new traits has to be able to occur. I think Jeanson misunderstand this. It seems as if he reads it as if I state that this actually
is an observed fact. But what I state is that for evolution to work, genetics has to have these qualities. I hope we can agree that this is uncontroversial.
On ‘Strange quotes’
First, on the neck of the Giraffe: Jeanson misread
my text. What I clearly state is that I doubt that major changes are needed (in the developmental pathway for vertebrae in the neck of the Giraffe - my highlighting). In Jeanson’s head, this amounts to stating that no change is needed at all.
Next on the “Could jellyfish become jaguars” quotation: This is not a question of biology in general. It is a specific evolutionary question! To what other field of biology could it refer?
Next on Michael Behe:
What Behe has to say to his critics is irrelevant. From the context in Jeanson’s book, it is crystal clear that the relevant topic is whether Behe’s ideas are accepted by mainstream science. They are not!
Next on senses: In short my argument
goes: Natural selection increases survival; how can a change in an eye help survival; only by giving a more accurate picture of the world. Therefor Natural selection can explain that we can trust our senses. Jeanson thinks that this is a circular argument,
because the only way I can know that natural selection increases survival is by inspection using my senses. But actually, No! In fact, the argument for natural selection to increase survival is purely logical. (see my account of evolution in the section ‘Darwin
didn’t know genetics’ in Frello 2018).
Actually, it is Jeanson who has the problem. He trusts his senses because he believe he was created by a God, who cannot be deceitful. How does he know, God cannot be deceitful? By reading the Bible,
using his eyes. Therefore, he trust his eyes because he trust his eyes!
Next on my concluding remark: “Would you trust an Atheist to teach your children about Christianity? If not - don’t trust a creationist to tell them about evolution!”
It seems as if Jeanson thinks this implies that a scientist is not entitled to criticize a work on science, just because it is written by a creationist. How he reaches this conclusion is beyond me (of course except if he does not think his book is about science!).
Summary and Conclusion
Despite writing a 17000+ word defense of his book, Jeanson still fails to argue in favor of YEC and against evolution.
How Jeanson can call my lengthy
comments on all three central theses in his book (points 1 to 3 in the ‘General claims’ section) a side-step, I still don’t understand.
By not meeting my critique, Jeanson (inadvertently) strengthen the evidence for evolution.
All in all Jeanson’s book fully deserves the fate it has got in the scientific community - silence.
(Except for one retired, largely unknown, molecular biologist and creationism-nerd - me).
If the Jeanson/Frello word ratio will be the same
in Jeanson’s next response, we can look forward to a 20,000-word response. I cannot wait.
1: Code and codons:
The ‘genetic code’ directs the translation from DNA to Protein. This process is guided by ‘codons’. A ‘codon’ refers to a short sequence of three nucleotides in a protein-coding gene, which corresponds to an amino acid in
a protein. The sequence of codons in the gene, thus translates into the sequence of amino acids in the protein.
2: https://www.nature.com/scitable/glossary This glossary is edited
by the same company that publishes ‘Nature’ one of the highest-ranking scientific journals in the world. That should vouch for the quality.
3: The only relevant optimization I am aware of having been investigated, is the
optimization of cooperation between mtDNA-genes and nuclear genes. This is due to the fact that some of the functions of the mtDNA genes depend on cooperation with nuclear genes.
4: Such a test can be performed by making a collection
of complete mitochondrial genomes of various organisms, covering the groups in question, and work out the homology between the sequences. This can be done at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/ searching for ‘nucleotides’
(that is DNA-sequences), and then using ‘BLAST’ (on the same webpage) to work out the homology.
4b: The test was done at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/, using BLAST and the ‘MSA
viewer’ to see the alignment.
5: A synonymous substitution/mutation is a change in the DNA sequence of a protein-coding gene that doesn’t change the amino acid sequence of the corresponding protein
Here I use the term ‘substitution’ (as opposed to mutation) as the visible differences between two individuals several generations apart. A mutation is an error in the replication of DNA.
If you count the number of differences in the mtDNA
from a parent/offspring pair, you get the actual mutations rate. This could be 1 on average, measured over many pairs. If you then compare two related individuals, ten generations apart (one being the great-great … grandson of the other) you might find
an average of 5 differences. This result in an average of 0.5 differences pr. generation. This is referred to as 0.5 substitutions per generation. Half the mutations has been lost at random, or due to selection.
7: All taxonomical
levels are according to the National Center for Biotechnological Information: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/
The relevant taxonomical levels are in the order from less inclusive to more inclusive:
Genus, Subfamily, Family, Superfamily, Parvorder,
Infraorder, Suborder, Order, Superorder.
8: Calculation of the probability of finding the results in Figure 2, assuming YEC, can be done in the following way:
In two copies of the Human genome there are 6.2 billion nt. The average
number of mutations per generation is 78 (Replacing Darwin, Chapter 8). This result in an approximate average mutation rate of 1:80 million nt per generation. In 2200 generations (4400 years since the flood, no Cat having a generation time of less than 2 years)
this will accumulate to 1:36,700 nt. Using this mutation rate, the probability of finding two or more mutations in a sequence of 371 nt. can be found as the binomial with n = 371, p = 1:36,700 and r ≥ 2 (two or more successes). This probability is less
than 0.01%. In six cases (represented in Figure 2 by F. nigripes, P. bengalensis, L.serval, P.aurata, P marmorata and P. onca), two or more mutations has accumulated. The probability of that is so small that Excel cannot calculate it. It is, however, much
less than one in a billion.
Frello, S. 2017a. “On the Creationist View on mtDNA.”
Answers Research Journal 10: 181–182.
Frello, S. 2017b. “Reply to ‘Response to “On the Creationist View on mtDNA”’.” Answers Research Journal 10: 237.
No Replacement of Darwin A Review of Replacing Darwin—The New Origin of Species. Answers Research Journal 11: 57-62
Jeanson, N. T. 2013. “Recent, Functionally Diverse Origin for Mitochondrial Genes From ~2700 Metazoan
Species.” Answers Research Journal 6: 467–501.
Jeanson, N. T. 2017a. “Response to ‘On the Creationist View on mtDNA’.” Answers Research Journal 10: 183–186.
N. T. 2017b. “Response to ‘Reply to “Response to ‘On the Creationist View on mtDNA’”’.” Answers Research Journal 10: 239–240.
Jeanson, N. T. 2017c. Replacing Darwin: The New Origin
of Species. Green Forest, Arkansas: Master Books.
Jeanson, N. T. 2018. Response to “No Replacement of Darwin A Review of Replacing Darwin—The New Origin of Species”. Answers Research Journal 11: 63–83
Johnson, W. E., E. Eizirik, J. Pecon-Slattery, W. J. Murphy, A. Antunes, E. Teeling, and S. J. O’Brien. 2006. “The Late Miocene Radiation of Modern Felidae: A Genetic Assessment.” Science 311 (5757): 73–77.