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Posted by on Nov 8, 2012 in Biology, Creationism, Science, Skepticism | 11 comments

Creationists Need Faster Evolution than Evolution

There’s a really funny story that not many people realize.  Young Earth Creationists need evolution to act faster than any biologist thinks is possible.  Let me explain.

AIG (Answers in Genesis) recently published this article on baraminology. Baraminology is the “scientific study” of the “kinds” on Noah’s Ark.  Yes, eyes roll, but they are quite serious about it.  BTW: I don’t encourage you to visit the website as AIG is known for inserting tracking cookies onto your computer.  So, be careful.

In their ‘paper’, they describe the 137 kinds of mammals that were on the Ark.  Let’s leave off the discussion of what about the non-mammals, the feeding, the waste elimination, etc.  This post is about what happens AFTER the flood.

Answers in Genesis believes that Noah’s Flood happened.  Since, to a Young Earth Creationist, the Earth is only 6000 and change years old, the Flood must have happened after the formation of he Earth.  However, I will be exceedingly generous and say that the Flood happened 500 years after the formation of the Earth.  So 5,500 years from the end of the Flood to present (more or less).

One hundred and thirty seven generic mammal kinds that will reproduce, CHANGE, and become all 5,488 currently extant mammal species. That’s a 40 times increase in the number of species.  In less than 6,000 years.  Let’s think about this a second.

According to this blog and the paper reviewed in it, the domestication of dogs began about 30,000 years ago (5 times the age of the YEC’s Earth) and they are still dogs.  All the breeds of dogs can still interbreed.  To quote the creationists, “they are still dogs”.  This implies something that the creationists can’t think about.

If, after 30,000 years, dogs are still dogs, then how can we possible divide from one “canid kind” to 35 species in 13 genera that are extant.  That means that the two first ‘dog kind’ animals had to diverge into new species on the average of once every 150 years (on average), not including the time when we started observing and have really found no new canid species.  Also not including the first few generations that were too busy repopulating the entire planet with canids and couldn’t evolve too much or they wouldn’t be able to breed.

Bats are another story.  There are over 1200 species of bat, which is about 20% of all known mammal species.  Fortunately, AIG conveniently divides them up into 18 kinds.  How interesting.  More mammals now, more kinds 5,500 years ago.  What’s even more interesting is that there are 19 families of bats in modern taxonomy.  What’s even more curious is that bats are divided exactly into kinds and the exact same families by modern taxonomy.  Isn’t that interesting.

Hey AIG, got news for you, you’re using evolutionary theory to support Noah’s Ark.  Sad.

I would now like to tell you about something that will blow AIGs mind.  There are 2,798 HLA-B alleles in the human population.  These are Human Leukocyte Antigens and are a part of our immune system.  Each human being has exactly two alleles for HLA-B.  One allele from mom, one allele from dad.

Noah’s Ark had a maximum of 10 HLA-B alleles (giving them the benefit of the doubt and assuming that all 5 important people were heterozygous).  I just said the five important people.  There was the three wives and Noah and his wife.  The sons of Noah almost surely had the same alleles as mom and dad, but in different combinations.  But hey, let’s just say that all three sons had major mutations in their genome and there was a total of 16 unique HLA-B alleles in that boat.

So, over the course of 5,500 years, the mutation rate for the HLA-B gene must have been 1 every 2 years.  Yes, a new HLA-B allele must have appeared every 2 years from the day Noah and his family stepped off the ark until present.

It get worse.  There are 2132 HLA-A alleles and 1672 HLA-C alleles.  Again, we’re looking a new allele for each of these immune system genes every 2-4 years.  Now, how did this massive mutation rate occur?  This is way, way faster than biologists understand human mutation rates happen.  Plus, it’s very, very targeted in the HLA genes.  Why don’t we have 2,000 alleles for eye color or 2,000 alleles for blood type or any of the other 30,000 genes in the human body… some of which have exactly two alleles.  Some of which have 10 or 11 alleles.

One of the most recent estimates for the average human mutation rate is 0.000000012 mutations per base pair per generation.  At the point we’re talking about with Noah, if we assume a 10 year generation time, then we’re looking at about 13 mutations in the 3 HLA genes per generation.  But mutations aren’t guided, even the creationists admit that mutations are random.  In fact, that’s one of the corner stones of their notions, random mutation.

The human genome is 3,200,000,000 base pairs in length.  The average person will have about 3 mutations in their entire body.  These mutations are random… mostly.  Obviously a mutation in a critical protein that drastically alters that protein will kill the offspring.  So, the mutations are actually concentrated in the non-coding region of the genome.

Now, the creationists can get around all this, every single bit of it, with “a miracle occurred”.  If they do that though, which is the only way they can make sense of this with what is known about genetics, what’s the point in trying to find a scientific solution?  It’s only because they all know that religion will never be allowed in public schools and they have to figure out a way to get religion back into public schools.

I could go on and on about the impossibility of the Ark scenario, but this was a recent paper by AIG and I thought everyone might enjoy their latest research… which shockingly matches modern taxonomy almost exactly.

 

 

  • http://www.skepticblogs.com/tippling/ Jonathan MS Pearce

    Dude,

    great stuff – this is what i made a video of 2 years ago!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TNy9UVtkNRI

    • SmilodonsRetreat

      Sigh… I feel like I’m just copying you.

      • http://www.skepticblogs.com/tippling/ Jonathan MS Pearce

        Dude, your science speak far outstrips mine! Slam dunk!

  • Clare45

    In arguments I have had with creationists, they try to get around the problem of numbers by using the word “kinds” or “types” of animals instead of species. By this logic, for example, all species of monkeys,apes,hominids etc. would be one “kind” of animal. By using unscientific terminology, they can wriggle out of any type of scientific logic.

    • SmilodonsRetreat

      Yep. That’s why I really like this new ‘paper’ from AIG, it specifies the kinds. There’s reason behind each ‘kind’ designation and it really appears that they are using families as the basis for ‘kinds’.

      There are several primate kinds. I’ll take a look at the article again tonight and see what the primate kinds are.

  • Peter

    I can’t remember the details but Morris from ICR claimed the population increased by something like 0.5% a year. Someone then calculated that something like 248 people, men, women and children, built the Pyramids. Who knew?

  • Zardoz

    You really are being generous saying the flood only happened 500 years after the flood. According to Answers in Genesis, the flood is 1656 years after creation of the earth. Having the earth flooded after 500 years either kills Adam early (he was meant to die at 930 years old) or he was on the ark. There seems to be some implication that the death of Methuselah dictated the timing of the flood ( or a remarkable coincidence).

    http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2010/07/30/feedback-when-did-methuselah-die

    • SmilodonsRetreat

      Thanks for the link. I couldn’t find it, so I made up a generous number.

  • http://www.facebook.com/evan.witt Evan Witt

    Gah! Facts! I’ve often wondered about this, since young earth Creationists need to posit a form of Superevolution in order to get enough diversity out of only a few ‘kinds’ on the ark. It’s refreshing to see the actual numbers going through allele frequencies.

    The one that always gets my head scratching is that if Creationists don’t feel bad about squishing all those bat species into a single ‘kind’ based on family… wouldn’t that mean that humans and chimpanzees are clearly and by a wide margin in the same ‘kind’ together?

    • SmilodonsRetreat

      All the creationists I’ve ever dealt with, especially the YECs, have always said that humans are a separate kind and not an ‘animal’ at all.

      That leads one to wonder why humans are special in that we have had massive amounts of evolution, but no massive speciation events (like canids, the bats, etc, etc, etc)

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