Population Bottleneck


He is no longer human?


Letter addressing Coyne’s complaint. Notice the peer-review acceptance part.

Here is the paper


And if you read the review and comments, you’ll see exactly how much that was worth: 0.


And here all along I thought you would only accept peer reviewed articles. Perhaps only when they agree with the reigning paradigm.


That’s nonsense. Science does not recognize the soul as being real. The conflict is very real.


I don’t see how you can think that. Is there any reason that an scientist who deals with evolution can’t believe privately that a soul is a real thing? No. Can he use the concept of “soul” in his scientific work? No–that would make it theology. Is that a conflict? No.

If I were an architect designing a house, but I believed in ghosts, would that be a conflict? Only if I let my belief in ghosts interfere with my design of a new house.

I believe in the soul. I believe in the theory of evolution. No conflict.


I am not a mind reader. You said “significant difference” and I gave you an example of a single mutations causing a significant difference. You said nothing about being human or not. AIUI being “human” requires having a human soul, which is not something either science or evolution can talk about. Perhaps you can ask a priest?

If you meant something different then you should have said so.

Would you consider the marbled crayfish (which we have discussed before) to have a “significant difference” from its ancestors. That is an example of macro-evolution caused by a single mutation. Is forming a new species a “significant difference” in your terms?



The theory of evolution can’t be proven. Pope Benedict:

"In the book, Benedict reflected on a 1996 comment of his predecessor, John Paul II, who said that Charles Darwin’s theories on evolution were sound, as long as they took into account that creation was the work of God, and that Darwin’s theory of evolution was “more than a hypothesis.”

“The pope (John Paul) had his reasons for saying this,” Benedict said. “But it is also true that the theory of evolution is not a complete, scientifically proven theory.”

Benedict added that the immense time span that evolution covers made it impossible to conduct experiments in a controlled environment to finally verify or disprove the theory.

“We cannot haul 10,000 generations into the laboratory,” he said.


As much as I love Ratzinger, his education was in philosophy and theology, not science. So his opinions about science carry as much weight as any other person who has never studied science. In other words, not much.

“… impossible to conduct experiments in a controlled environment”? Sure you can. With fruit flies, mice, all sorts of things. You can play with their genes and see what happens. And of course with longer-living creatures, you have fossil evidence, quite often in abundance. As for creating new species in the lab, there is disagreement revolving around the definition of “species.” But many experts say it’s already been done: https://www.eenews.net/stories/1059968888

Finally, the use of the word “prove” and “proof.” Critics of the theory of evolution misuse those words constantly–and they use them constantly. Science does not ‘prove’ things in a mathematical sense. It explains things with a theory that matches known facts. If a fact turns up that doesn’t fit the theory, they have to come up with a new theory. So if you have a fact that doesn’t fit the theory of evolution, let us know. So far creationists haven’t done it.

And as much as you would love to introduce religion into science, that would change “science” into “theology” immediately. Science deals with the material world, not the supernatural.


Here the Pope is correct. No scientific theory, including evolution, is ever proven. All a scientific theory can ever be is the best explanation we have so far.

Here the Pope is incorrect. Lenski’s LTEE experiment has reached over 50,000 generations.

I have told you this before, ed. Why do you continue with this quote? Do you want to emphasise the Pope’s error?



So why do people who are “science only” even bother to post here? For Catholics, miraculous events actually happened. Science, as presented here, has no business commenting on the supernatural. The Church has and does introduce religion into science, so it’s not isolated to just me.
I’ve read about the fruit fly experiment. All it did was mix up existing genetic information and proving only that. Those fruit flies could not survive in the wild.
As you may, or may not know, threads like this have been appearing for years. There is a lot of evidence that they will continue long into the future.


Because people like you keep insisting there is a conflict between science and religion regarding evolution. Despite several popes saying there is no conflict, you keep insisting on it. I for one am bemused. And I am NOT science only, as I keep saying. I believe in the teachings of the Church and I believe in evolution. There is absolutely no conflict.

But yes, I know there are a lot of threads, most of which I’ve carefully avoided. But this one had a specific question: Could science justify the belief that one man (“Adam” if you will) is the literal father of all men on earth. And the answer is yes. No problem.

And now it’s Christmas break! Merry Christmas to all men of good will!



When Pope John Paul II has something positive to say about evolution, he is quoted and praised.
When Pope Benedict XVI has something negative to say about evolution, he is in error. Why, because like Pope John Paul II, his education was not in science.
Pope Pius XII laid out the requirements quite clearly in Humani Generis:

"36. For these reasons the Teaching Authority of the Church does not forbid that, in conformity with the present state of human sciences and sacred theology, research and discussions, on the part of men experienced in both fields, take place with regard to the doctrine of evolution, in as far as it inquires into the origin of the human body as coming from pre-existent and living matter - for the Catholic faith obliges us to hold that souls are immediately created by God. However, this must be done in such a way that the reasons for both opinions, that is, those favorable and those unfavorable to evolution, be weighed and judged with the necessary seriousness, moderation and measure, and provided that all are prepared to submit to the judgment of the Church, to whom Christ has given the mission of interpreting authentically the Sacred Scriptures and of defending the dogmas of faith.[11] "

“…provided that all are prepared to submit to the judgment of the Church…”

This cooperative approach has not been considered possible as far as I know. The Church is waiting.


Science has nothing whatsoever to say about the “soul.” Conflict? Impossible. Science and religion are asking totally different questions. (how vs. why.)

Design vs. randomness? Go back to my previous posts: “seemingly random.” Are they random? Impossible to say, since we are constantly discovering things that were seemingly random before are now clearly NOT random. I see no problem in saying that what we now see as “random” mutations may, in fact, not be random at all. We just don’t know scientifically. If you want to assert that on a religious level, fine. No conflict.


How many (just the right) mutations it took to go from the first microbe bacteria, to the millions of plant and animal species we have today?


I don’t know. But we had 4.5 billion years, during most of which life existed. Read “How Life Began” by Alexandre Meinzesz. At one point bacteria were many feet deep (on average) all over the planet. Given the size of bacteria, how many quadrillions of bacteria were there? Far more than enough to “beat the odds.” People don’t appreciate the numbers involved.


If there’s any problems with Darwinism just add more 000.000.


I was replying to another poster who made the claim. Follow along please.


And I have told you the Pope is referring to the past generations. They are long gone.

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