Jesus ‘n’ Mo ‘n’ Adam ‘n’ Eve

Before you’re allowed to read this post, you have to go back and read about seahorses.

As for the latest Jesus and Mo, they’re not proving what they think. . .

2013-01-23

Just FYI, a recent paper by Li and Durbin (reference below) shows that Adam and Eve could not have existed: the smallest bottleneck in human population size, one associated with the “out of Africa” migration event, was around 1200 individuals. That’s estimated from the amount of genetic variation present in living humans. There’s no way all modern humans could have descended from only two ancestors. Ergo, no Adam and Eve. This is why BioLogos is all in a kerfuffle about figuring out in what way these two progenitors could have been a metaphor. But that, of course, means that Jesus died for a metaphor.

By the way, the Jesus and Mo artist has added another comment (along with Giberson’s) to his list of “blurbs”:

Blaspheming, heretical, filthy Hell fodder.  Council of Ex-Muslims

…humor is humor and this cartoonist doesn’t have it. Karl Giberson

___________________

Li, H., and R. Durbin. 2011. Inference of human population history from individual whole-genome sequences. Nature 475:493-497.

34 Comments

  1. eric
    Posted January 23, 2013 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    I wasn’t aware of the bar’s name (or even that it had a name – the bartender doesn’t). Very nice.

    • Uncle Ebeneezer
      Posted January 23, 2013 at 9:23 am | Permalink

      And you can go there. I once lost my car keys there on a first date. Ironically, I think the topic of religion came up and my atheist perspectives were perceived as too “militant” for her (a pretty common occurrence in my single days.) Don’t remember seeing Jesus or Mo.

      • Dominic
        Posted January 23, 2013 at 10:31 am | Permalink

        Sorry Uncle – when I see ‘British pub’ or ‘Irish pub’ after a bar name, I avoid it when abroad! I prefer to go native :)

    • bric
      Posted January 23, 2013 at 10:21 am | Permalink

      L..d! said my mother, what is all this story about?–

      A Cock and a Bull, said Yorick – And one of the best of its kind, I ever heard.

      Reverend Laurence Sterne, Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted January 23, 2013 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

      The author is a Brit using the name “Mohammed Jones” & The Invisible One is therefore referred to as “Barmaid” :)

      I have five of the six books of MJs cartoons & they are available on Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk & MJ’s site HERE [which is worth a visit because one can also buy greetings cards & other paraphernalia there & thus support the most excellent & necessary work of ridiculing organised religion]

  2. Sastra
    Posted January 23, 2013 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    I think this is one reason why critics keep whining that the gnu atheists are “simply another form of fundamentalist.” We are not doing our very, very best to come up with ways of interpreting Holy Scripture so that it might still be true even in light of modern science.

    Worse, we do not approve of doing that.

    • yngveb
      Posted January 24, 2013 at 4:18 am | Permalink

      This. +1. Here Here.

  3. Mattapult
    Posted January 23, 2013 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    So when God created labor pains as a punishment to all woman (Genesis 3:16), that too was based on a metaphor. God punishes people for imaginary people’s sins!

    • Linda Grilli Calhoun
      Posted January 23, 2013 at 10:05 am | Permalink

      And, God punishes ANIMALS for imaginary people’s sins. L

      • Mark Joseph
        Posted January 23, 2013 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

        And he punishes other people for the sins of Adam and Eve, in direct contradiction to his own moral commands in, say, Ezekiel 18.

  4. Posted January 23, 2013 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    Also, another argument against the flood of noah, as, at best, you’d have a bottleneck of eight people.

    • Reginald Selkirk
      Posted January 23, 2013 at 10:09 am | Permalink

      It will be less though, because at least half of those eight were closely related.

      • Posted January 23, 2013 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

        Only if everyone was telling the truth.

  5. godsbelow
    Posted January 23, 2013 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    I’m curious, does the estimate of 1200 ancestors apply only to the populations descended from those who migrated from Africa, or does it equally apply to those whose ancestors (generally speaking) ‘stayed at home’?

    I’ve been led to understand that the native African population is far more genetically diverse than the non-African population; presumably this is the consequence of Africans’ being descended from a larger number of ancestors than non-Africans?

    • godsbelow
      Posted January 23, 2013 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      Ah. Perhaps I should read the paper. Didn’t see the link.

  6. @eightyc
    Posted January 23, 2013 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    lol.

    Well actually it’s possible to bottleneck it to Adam and Eve.

    It’s simply Magic-based evidence.

  7. chriskg
    Posted January 23, 2013 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    So, if the population drops below 1,200–like to two–then the creationist is creating genetic information out of nothing to account for the additional variations within the genome; something they often claim is impossible. Irony meter just pegged.

  8. jmquinnn
    Posted January 23, 2013 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    As the narrative goes, a rib was taken from Adam which would have created his clone – a male. Eve would have been “Steve.” But, it’s moot since god killed off all his mistakes with the flood. From that point on, everyone would be a descendent of Noah.

  9. Posted January 23, 2013 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    Adam and Eve metaphor, original sin metaphor, Noah’s flood metaphor, migration into Egypt metaphor by the time we are done with this metaphors, there will be no bible left :)

  10. Posted January 23, 2013 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    Technically wrong – e.g. Eastern Orthodox does not consider Original Sin started with Adam and Eve.

  11. Posted January 23, 2013 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    This is post about Adam and Eve is timely as last weekend I managed to catch 15 minutes in conversation with a prominent Christian UK scientist and an F.R.S. no less.
    I had read the book of genesis the previous night as I had hoped to be able to catch him in conversation and I wanted his opinion on the creation story.
    His take on A&E was this.
    He believes the Adam and Eve story is an allegory like Animal Farm. Yes, he believes in evolution and the mitochondrial evidence pointing to a single African tribe. But here’s the new bit to me. He said he believed God chose a single couple from this tribe and the remainder didn’t reproduce as part of God’s plan. And we are all descended from this ONE couple of that original tribe. This was Adam and Eve. He couldn’t provide the criteria by which God chose them though and I ran out of time to pursue this further. I hope to do that sometime.

    I had a hard time keeping it together as he was telling me this.

    I hadn’t heard this before – has anyone else?

    • Neil Schipper
      Posted January 23, 2013 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

      Regardless of his god’s criteria — gods have their reasons — this “prominent Christian UK scientist”, by claiming a single couple, denies the entire basis for the “single African tribe” theory, namely minimal genetic diversity.

      Assuming you’ve relayed the story correctly, it would be good for it to appear in an FRS publication.

    • gravelinspector
      Posted January 23, 2013 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

      (I’m thumb-twiddling while at a client’s office, with an extremely agrerssive web-filter ; so I’m not going to go reference-hunting).
      ISTR that “Mitochondrial Eve” and “Y-chromosome Adam” are (for values of “are” that include statistical entities of uncertain physical existence) at considerably different depths in human generational history. I.e. if they lived, they lived at different times.
      So, Prof.X (FRS) is constructing a fairy story with similar plausibility to the last common ancestor of humans and chimpanzees “knowing” (in a Biblical sense) tha last common ancestor of mice and platypuses (platypii ? ). Not terribly plausible.

      • Posted January 23, 2013 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

        To give him his due, Simon didn’t say Prof X conflated the mitochondrial evidence pointing to a single African tribe with “mitochondrial Eve” or mention Y-Chromosome Adam.

    • Posted January 23, 2013 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

      He said he believed…
      In other words, he was Just Making Stuff Up. Another expression for this is “saving the appearances”.

  12. Neil Schipper
    Posted January 23, 2013 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    the smallest bottleneck in human population size [..] was around 1200 individuals. That’s estimated from the amount of genetic variation present in living humans.

    All of the 1200 or so were successful reproducers. (The error bars on the 1200, and the 1200 itself, are not in the abstract.) They would have likely been embedded in a group that included non-reproducers — elderly, infertile, young who die early, individuals that don’t get to shtup, individuals whose shtupping doesn’t happen to lead to birth. So the living group may have been quite a bit larger.

    OTOH, if the bottleneck cause — some extreme environmental, ecological, infection, etc event — directly impacted the group’s immediate precursors (as opposed to the precursor group luckily being far from the maelstrom), perhaps nearly every survivor would have been a reproducer.

    It’s hard to imagine how this could ever be resolved.

    • whyevolutionistrue
      Posted January 23, 2013 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

      I haven’t looked at the paper in a while, but I am sure the error bars are so small that they don’t come anywhere close to 2! But you’re right, of course: this is an estimate of the minimum number of people who left descendants, not the minimal group size.

    • Neil Schipper
      Posted January 23, 2013 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

      as opposed to the precursor group luckily being far from the maelstrom

      At this early point in our development, groups numbering in the thousands may have been very unlikely, for “soft” reasons of culture, or, an untenable mismatch between population density and food.

      This suggests the bottleneck was not anywhere near a “single African tribe” say five or twenty tribes each with population 50 – 150.

      Of course they may have all been geographically proximate, but intriguingly, if some were not, and had been separated for millenia, there would be intergroup genomic and phenotypic differences of some significance.

    • Neil Schipper
      Posted January 23, 2013 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

      (This should be more readable. Delete prior?)

      as opposed to the precursor group luckily being far from the maelstrom

      At this early point in our development, groups numbering in the thousands may have been very unlikely, for “soft” reasons of culture, or, an untenable mismatch between population density and food.

      This suggests the bottleneck was not anywhere near a “single African tribe” say five or twenty tribes each with population 50 – 150.

      Of course they may have all been geographically proximate, but intriguingly, if some were not, and had been separated for millenia, there would be intergroup genomic and phenotypic differences of some significance.

  13. Adam M.
    Posted January 23, 2013 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    I’ve mentioned this before, but us never having a population of two doesn’t imply that we didn’t all descend from a single couple. This is due to the surprising theoretical finding that a sexually reproducing individual has an approximately 80% chance of eventually (and quite rapidly) becoming an ancestor of the entire population[1] and that it holds even in reproductively isolated populations with only occasional gene transfer[2], like humans have been living in since our dispersal from Africa.

    So if there was a historical couple (or individual) selected by God to receive the curse of original sin for having evil thoughts over coffee, we could all be sharing the curse. Of course there’d be no guarantee we’d actually have inherited any genes from them, but presumably original sin is a supernatural taint and doesn’t get diluted by half each generation.

    [1] Joseph T. Chang “Recent Common Ancestors of all Present-Day
    Individuals.” Advances in Applied Probability, 31: 1002-1026, 1999

    [2] http://www.ldc.upenn.edu/myl/descent/Random_descent_networks.html

    • John Scanlon, FCD
      Posted January 27, 2013 at 2:41 am | Permalink

      Quite right: if the statistical model and its assumptions are correct, it still does not exclude the possibility of a single couple receiving a curse (or invisible paint-mark only detectable by alien anthropologists, or whatever) and passing it on, by direct parent-to-child inheritance, to all extant humans in a relatively short time.

      I don’t think I’ve seen Jerry respond to this point when it’s been made before, though perhaps it’s implicitly acknowledged in “There’s no way all modern humans could have descended from only two ancestors” [emphasis added]. “Ergo, no Adam and Eve” just doesn’t follow.

  14. Diane G.
    Posted January 23, 2013 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    sub

  15. barael
    Posted January 24, 2013 at 1:45 am | Permalink

    I don’t understand the blurp by the Council of Ex-Muslims. It would make sense as humour (since the CoeM seems to have shed islamic sensitivities as a general rule; just follow to link) but then lumping it with Giberson non-humorous (or an awful attempt at it) comment makes no sense. I think someone somewhere has jumped to a hasty conclusion…

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted January 24, 2013 at 5:09 am | Permalink

      I took the blurb to be jestful & supportive on the CEMB part. Upon looking it up I find that to be true. It originates from a Twitter Exchange as follows [note the emoticons]:-

      Tweet from @CEMB_forum
      + Get ready folks! Blaspheming heretical filthy Hell fodder @JandMo has a new obscenity up :)
      http://www.jesusandmo.net/2013/01/09/minds/

      Tweet from @JandMo
      @CEMB_forum Ha! Can I quote you on that?

      Tweet from @CEMB_forum
      @JandMo + We’re going to hell with you anyway, so yes :)

      Tweet from @JandMo
      @CEMB_forum Done it. Ta :)


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