I had previously written an answer to their specialist - which by now seems to be John Sanford, though my shortsighted eyes wrongly identified him previously on the video (on a computer without sound). That answer is on the Creationist blog. Now I have gotten no answer on that one, but I did see one new article on their site on the topic.
Feedback archive → Feedback 2014
Is ‘devolution’ offensive to God?
Published: 31 May 2014 (GMT+10)
Be it noted, I am not against saying some creatures have devolved, notably not when it comes to blind fish or featherless chickens or hairless dogs. It seems us whites have devolved skin melanine, if I went down to hot countries I would have to stay inside or get sunburns all the time, and it seems blacks have devolved the capacity of making vitamin D through exposure to sun. But it is one thing to say it happens and quite another one to say it threatens our survival.
Here is first my original comment on article, which was published, and then Carl Wielands, Medicianae Doctoris, response. After that come two non-published comments. I conflate them into one.
- Ioannes Georgius L., France, 31 May 2014
- Not linking, but search: Creation vs. Evolution Number of Alleles Question (on Junior High Genetics Level)
What I wrote:
In cancer victims we are dealing with 100 mutations per locus within the scope of one person. In the cells affected. With deleterious ones remaining until the victim of the cancer dies of these mutations.
In the human population we are dealing with a far less drastic mutation rate, since it is the mutation rate within humanity as a whole. We are also dealing with the fact that most mutations are either tolerable or weeded out, naturally. Without any human acts of eugenicism, thank you! Either by early death or by non-mating and non-reproduction.
I find it pretty faulty of the Creationist Geneticist to have said that genetics are dooming us. No, since most mutations are neutral and since those who aren't but are fatal are very easily weeded out by their own fatality. What he is indirectly doing is encouraging a kind of eugenic hysteria. Sorry, but that is about the upshot.
- Carl Wieland responds
- Goodness me, this is embarrassing to see you try to take on Dr John Sanford, a pioneer of gene engineering (inventor of the gene gun process while a professor at Cornell). Have you actually read the articles on our site about him and his genetic entropy work (supported by some secular geneticists, albeit unwittingly/unwillingly), let alone his actual book? If so you might have realised your many blunders. So a mutation rate of some 60-300 new mutations in every newborn is 'not drastic'? And about selection 'weeding them out'; the whole problem is that these mutations are overwhelmingly near neutral so are transparent to selection (not neutral as you say). Let me use a simplistic analogy to try to make the problem clearer; it is like a rust spot on a car; not bad at all when it's just that tiny spot, but have lots of them accumulating and suddenly it's a big problem. Check out 'Mendel's accountant' through googling so you can actually do your own modelling and hopefully the penny will drop.
- My two unpublished comments, June 1:st 2014:
- "Have you actually read the articles on our site about him and his genetic entropy work"
I have not found it so far.
8000 + articles is great but where do I find that or those specific ones?
Not having read them, I do not know the book either in advance.
Is there a preview on Amazon?
I bet Ken Miller thought it embarrassing when I took on him too.
Giving due credits to your article through which I found him out.
If you have sent links in the answer, or if you publish links, I will be glad to look at them.
[After looking at one of his articles:]
"6.* Genetic entropy is not obvious in lab experiments or in nature:
It is true that most lab experiments do not show clear degeneration. But Scott should realize that anything alive today must have been degenerating slowly enough to still be here, even in a young earth scenario. All three of the downward decay curves I show in my book indicate that degeneration slows dramatically as it becomes more advanced. If a species is alive today and has been around for thousands of years, the rate of degeneration must be very slow (too subtle to measure in most cases). Obviously, genetic degeneration is not going to be clearly visible in most lab experiments."
OK. Dawkins sees what some have called and some no longer call microevolution. He extrapolates and makes that mean macroevolution must also be possible.
Sanford does not even see genetic entropy happen in labs, extrapolates from that and makes that mean genetic entropy is a dooming fact.
That it is a fact explaining our inferiority to pre-flood man is one thing.
But I would find it hard to mean Harmageddon has to happen before man becomes too unfit to live. Harmageddon will happen, but not because of any fact God put into our nature, but because of ill-will of men.
*Critic ignores reality of Genetic Entropy
The author of a landmark book on genomic decay responds to unsustainable criticisms.
by Dr John Sanford
Published: 7 March 2013 (GMT+10)
- Any answers?
- Any more from me?
- As to the computerised model "Mendel's Accountant", it is, like any other computerised model, about worth as much as the foundational assumptions of the one programming it or having it programmed.
As to the reference to Romans 8, here are links to Douay Rheims Bible Online, both with less comment by Challoner only and with more from the Haydock Bible Commentary, 1859:
Douay-Rheims Bible + Challoner Notes
Epistle Of Saint Paul To The Romans
Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary, 1859 edition.
ROMANS - Chapter 8
Nothing there indicates that genomes are dissolving. Even a Teilhardist reading, that we are evolving, by natural and supernatural selection towards "Point Omega", though gravely erroneous, even heretical, is less inappropriate than genetic entropy as a reading of the words of verse 22: For we know that every creature groaneth, and is in labour even till now. For the previous verse, the reverse is true: 21. Because the creature also itself shall be delivered from the servitude of corruption, into the liberty of the glory of the children of God. Between them, they leave both "Genetic-Entropism" and Teilhardism insufficiently supported in loco and possibly already there both falsified, or at least leaving the possibility for either or both to be falsified from other parts of Scripture, or even for one of them (they are mutually exclusive) to be confirmed. But there is no traditional reading either of this passage or of any other that supports a general genetic entropy dooming us to extinction.
- Further consideration:
- making the close reading of Carl Wieland's unanswered argument appear as a dialogue.
- So a mutation rate of some 60-300 new mutations in every newborn is 'not drastic'?
- I did not accept that as an accurate count.
It is based on illogical application of mathematics.
On the one hand one counts the total number of mutations over the human population as a whole (calculated through extant alleles for instance), and would probably land somewhere near 60 - 300 new mutations per generation - but these diluted over the billions now and millions at least previously that have made up the new generations.
On the other hand one counts these together as if the generations bearing "all these mutations" consisted each of one person. THAT would, taken together, in a most illogical fashion, even ignoring that physical minimum for generations continuing at all is two persons, one of each sex, per generation, do spell out "60 - 300 new mutations in every newborn".
If that error is not how he reached the conclusion, I would like to know the exact method he did use for it.
- And about selection 'weeding them out'; the whole problem is that these mutations are overwhelmingly near neutral so are transparent to selection (not neutral as you say).
- I would take it that any very grave dysfunction, like tetraploidy or trisomy of chromosomes 1 or 3, is weeded out in pregnancy by spontaneous abortion, or somewhat less grave ones, like trisomy of sex chromosomes or of pair 21, through lack of reproduction, either by infertility or by lack of social compatibility.
What is accumulating are either small diseases, like myopia, sickle cell anemia, bleeders' disease or haemophilia, or really neutral mutations, at least in environment. Like white men's white skin in the North or South or black men's lack of vitamin D production near the equator. Which would be problematic - and occasionally is now problematic - when getting under foreign skies. Or sometimes really neutral ones. Like the exact shade of brown or the exact angle of the eyelids, making for a variation with no medical significance.
- Let me use a simplistic analogy to try to make the problem clearer; it is like a rust spot on a car; not bad at all when it's just that tiny spot, but have lots of them accumulating and suddenly it's a big problem.
- If a man has myopia, sickle cell anemia, and bleeders' disease, plus lacks both melanine and vitamin D production by being a black albino, plus has a weak heart due to some other genetic defect, it is either likely he will marry a woman healthier than himself and pass on his ailments in diluted form (and not directly pass on the bleeder's disease to any child, if you known Mendel's laws, haemophilia being recessive) and that his accumulation of diseases will spread out in dilution and revert to a harmless level, or that he will not marry at all, and thus the accumulation of mutations ends there.
If a man has one mutation making him slit eyed, one mutation making him blue eyed, one mutation making him fond of pepper and another making him fond of sugar ... will that hurt him? No, of course!
Think out the facts in some detail, at least by theoretical examples, not just by analogies like rust spots!
And after all, unlike the mutation for slit eyes, one rust spot is not neutral, but a very tiny minus. Which does add up with other very tiny minuses.
So much for this exchange ... which I now made available, adding further considerations.
Hans Georg Lundahl
Nanterre University Library
Queen St Clotildis
3 / VI / 2014