“#11 This population bottleneck is a matter of genuine science and the excuse for it not being true is probably just as valid as any second rate blogger’s posts can be against the science magazines that published it. Yes, scientists have proven we all come from one female.”
We start right off with the usual creationist tactic of making a claim and offering no support for it. Many Christians want to claim that “genuine science” (and I can only say that with a broad southern US drawl “gen-u-wine science!”) supports them. As we have seen, that is not the case and has never yet been the case. For all of the claims of how science supports creationists, they never come up with scientific discoveries on their own that demonstrate how their god exists. No, they take legitimate scientific discoveries and misrepresent them through their personal ignorance as something they can glom onto when their faith flags. From what we know about creationists throughout the ages, the ones now would be heretics to their brethren who were sure that genetics weren’t true, geology wasn’t true, etc. Many creationists have indeed evolved, disbelieving what their forefathers claimed and now grudgingly accept at least some of the science that they continue to decry when it shows their myths are pure nonsense. The myths pick up more claims of scientific truth in a vain attempt to keep them appearing valid in the fact based reality of the 20th and 21st centuries.
Population bottlenecks are indeed known facts thanks to the scientific method. We know them because of work with cell biology and genetics, all sciences that creationists hate until they want to run to them for “evidence” for their god. Essentially, a population bottleneck is when a population’s gene pool is severely diminished by the widespread and relatively sudden death of much of the population. This website has a very nice illustration of how this occurs.
If there is a limit to the gene pool, there isn’t as many possible combinations to appear in the population and the population is limited in the attributes it displays, attributes that are selected for and against by environmental pressures. For example, if one of Darwin’s finches, let’s say the heavy beaked seed eater, had a major population decline and the environment changed so that there were few of the seeds it eats around (but there were more bugs deep in tree back) The population would not have the genetic grab bag that a larger population would to have. They would not be able to adapt as easily to the environment with fewer of those individuals who had those slightly different attributes that favored getting the bugs to survive and pass on their genetics to another generation. Continue reading “Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – The Illegible Post, Part 4 – On population bottlenecks and honesty”