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Creation 40(4):47, October 2018

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Recent origin of species

New DNA study challenges evolution’s story



A major study of 5 million ‘DNA barcodes’ on mitochondria has given some controversial results that fit well with the Bible’s history in Genesis.

All complex1 organisms have mitochondria, which are the power-generating factories inside cells. In addition to the regular DNA which makes up the chromosomes in the cell’s nucleus, each mitochondrion has its own loop of DNA. The ‘barcode’ is the sequence of one particular gene on this mitochondrial DNA. The barcodes were compared across the spectrum of life.

It’s an interesting piece of research, and the authors are clearly aware of the controversial nature of their findings for the evolutionary big picture; they provide extensive discussion of the implications.2

The researchers concluded that, no matter what the organism, human or animal, almost all the current populations have “…expanded from mitochondrial uniformity within the past 200,000 years.”

In other words, each organism began with only one form of the barcode gene, and all the diversity has developed within that period. They write as evolutionists and make evolutionary assumptions to get this extended timeframe, which is, however, still a long way short of evolution’s ‘millions of years’. Why would all organisms converge on the same timeframe? It just does not add up for the evolutionary story. They tentatively suggest that the last ice age might explain this pervasive pattern, but that would not affect all creatures. For one thing, large parts of the world, including the tropical rainforests and oceanic coral reefs that thrived during this time, remained free of ice.

With some slightly different assumptions about mutation rates, the data would fit neatly with the creation of all organisms about 6,000 years ago.3

The authors also acknowledge that, regarding modern humans:

More approaches have been brought to bear on the emergence and outgrowth of Homo sapiens sapiens (i.e., modern humans) than any other species including full genome sequence analysis of thousands of individuals and tens of thousands of mitochondria, paleontology, anthropology, history and linguistics.

The congruence of these fields supports the view that modern human mitochondria and Y chromosome originated from conditions that imposed a single sequence on these genetic elements between 100,000 and 200,000 years ago. Contemporary sequence data cannot tell whether mitochondrial and Y chromosomes clonality occurred at the same time, i.e., consistent with the extreme bottleneck of a founding pair, or via sorting within a founding population of thousands that was stable for tens of thousands of years. As [science philosopher Thomas] Kuhn points out unresolvable arguments tend toward rhetoric.4

So much for those who claim that modern genetics does not support the existence of Adam and Eve—the data are “consistent with the extreme bottleneck of a founding pair”.

References and notes

  1. I.e. virtually all those which have a cell nucleus (called eukaryotes)—unlike bacteria (prokaryotes) which don’t. Return to text.
  2. Stoeckle M.Y. and Thaler, D.S., Why should mitochondria define species? Human Evolution 33(1–2):1–30, 2018; DOI: 10.14673/HE2018121037. Return to text.
  3. Wieland, C., Mitochondrial Eve and biblical Eve are looking good: criticism of young age is premature, J. Creation 19(1):57–59, 2005; creation.com/eve3.
  4. Stoeckle and Thaler, ref. 2, p.22. Return to text.

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Readers’ comments

Brien D.
''In summary: Do Stoeckle and Thaler’s findings undermine evolutionary theory and prove that most animals were created recently? Definitely not. ''
This article is a blatant lie as written...
Don Batten
I suggest that you read things a little more carefully before accusing me of lying (blatant ad hominem fallacy). Nowhere did I say anything that looks like your summary that the results prove that most animals were created recently. Not only did you not read carefully what I wrote, but it appears that you did not read the original paper either, otherwise you would realize that the results are indeed unexpected from an evolutionary perspective, which is why the authors of the paper went to such lengths to try to explain their results within an evolutionary perpective (of course!); but not at all successfully, as I indicated. In other words, 'evolution' would predict something quite different to the results found by Stoeckle and Thaler, so the results are yet another example of a failed evolutionary prediction. Of course nothing will undermine evolutionary theory in the minds of believers; history shows that, because there have already been sufficient failed predictions that it should have been long since dead and buried (try the failed junk DNA paradigm, for one example of many). Failed predictions should bury a scientific hypothesis, but failed predictions don't bury evolution because it is primarily a metaphysical belief system—as CS Lewis said, designed not to get in facts but to keep out God.
Neal M.
I am trying to get the word out. Evolution is scientifically impossible. Science and biology and archaeology all support the Bible. See [link deleted as per commenting rules] for much much more.
Ben N.
I've been witnessing to my non-Christian father for years. For the longest time I would have pegged him as a long-age deist. Possibly a pantheist. But after I shared the results of this study with him earlier this year; all maternal lines trace back to a common bottleneck, that was the straw that broke the camel's back. After I explained the assumptions that went into the 200kyr figure it all made sense to him.

He hasn't accepted Christ yet, but now he openly acknowledges a recent Creator. Now it's just a matter of the Creator revealing Himself. Pray for my father for me. God bless you folks for your work.
Jon S.
Do all kinds share the same original mitochondria? If no, this could help identify the original kinds. It could also show how quickly all specification occurred. If yes, I can't imagine how this would not falsify evolution then.
Don Batten
The point about the pattern found was that it doesn't fit a common ancestor of all. The evo view (the authors) is that there was a common ancestor 'way back' (over a billion years) but the living organisms of today only show a pattern running back a hundred thousand years or so (using evolutionary assumptions about mutation rates, which of course assume evolutionary ages, which then give an inflated time scale!).
Ray R.
I gotta say, I love this ministry, but you took a qoute of context when you said "So much for those who claim that modern genetics does not support the existence of Adam and Eve—the data are “consistent with the extreme bottleneck of a founding pair" when the fuller article you reference (and thankfully provide the full context at least, unlike some other people) specifically says "Contemporary sequence data cannot tell whether mitochondrial and Y chromosomes clonality occurred at the same time, i.e., consistent with the extreme bottleneck of a founding pair," I don't mean to nitpick, but as Christians even the appearance of misquoting gets ripped apart by naturalists and theistic evolutionists
Thanks for all the hard work!
Don Batten
Thanks for your encouragement in what we do.
However, I will argue with you that I have not taken a quote out of context, because I provided the context! :-)
Tammy S.
Oh how I love science! Every new report just takes us further away from the evolutionary lies & closer to our amazing Creator! It's not all about gloating that the truth is true, but I can't help but emphatically say it anyway - "IN YOUR FACE, EVOLUTIONISTS!" (In the most loving possible way). I do want your eyes to be opened and for you all to be saved. :)
Edmond C.
I'm glad that this study has finally been referenced here. Oddly enough, even the folks over at the Discovery Institute (Intelligent Design) have been doing what they can to damage control this article because despite many of them being Christians and their belief that life was intelligently designed, they still believe in long ages of the earth. In an article by Ann Gauger on December 5th titled "Does Barcoding DNA Reveal a Single Human Ancestral Pair?" she suggests that coalescence can possibly explain why we can only go back so far. My immediate problem with what she is suggesting is that the study shows that all animals diversified about the same time. Since reproduction cycles are vastly different in these creatures the number of generations would be vastly different in humans than it would be in say birds or mice. If her explanation were true it seems to me that creatures with faster cycles would appear to be much younger than humans because coalescence would have occurred much more recently. I read a lot of articles from the ID community because I think they have some really good articles on the complexity of DNA and irreducibly complex biological functions. But they have compromised on the Word of God and so, even when presented with evidence that agrees with a literal interpretation of scripture, they have a tendency to write it off. Ann did not completely dismiss the findings to her credit, but her explanation I think is unsatisfactory because it cannot explain why all creatures seem to originate around the same time.
Abe M.
As of the inception of this study and results, have their been any evidence-based rebuttals from the secular scientific camp? =).

Excellent piece of information for everyone! =).

Thank you! =).
Don Batten
The authors of the work cited added a note to the top of their paper on December 4 (well after my comment was published in the October Creation magazine), saying,
"Note added by authors December 4, 2018: This study is grounded in and strongly supports Darwinian evolution, including the understanding that all life has evolved from a common biological origin over several billion years. This work follows mainstream views of human evolution. We do not propose there was a single "Adam" or "Eve". We do not propose any catastrophic events."
It seems that the authors have been stung by creationists using their results, and found it necessary to 'fly the flag' to assure the evolutionary establishment that they have not left the fold (future careers are at stake!). My article acknowledges that the authors are evolutionists and are operating from an evolutionary perspective. However, anyone reading their article can see their consternation over their results, which do not fit their evolutionary expectations!
I find their caveat that "We do not propose there was a single 'Adam' or 'Eve'." to be a bit duplicitous. Note what they said, which I quoted, in the original paper: "Contemporary sequence data cannot tell whether mitochondrial and Y chromosomes clonality occurred at the same time, i.e., consistent with the extreme bottleneck of a founding pair, or via sorting within a founding population of thousands that was stable for tens of thousands of years." [emphasis added]. As I said in my commentary, their data is consistent with an Adam and Eve, so while they did not mention Adam and Eve, propose a single Adam and Eve, they admitted that their data were consistent with such.
Also, of course they don't propose any "catastrophic events" (such as the global Flood of Noah); including such a thing would be sure to get the paper rejected, even if they were inclinded to consider the notion. However, they do identify an extreme genetic bottleneck, which is again consistent with what would have happened as a result of the Flood.
Bill P.
All of their research leans towards the conclusion that this earth in NOT as old as they believe and teach and yet they still refuse to acknowledge The Truth of God and His Word. Just like when they found soft tissue in fossils they still said "we have to study how this soft tissue can be kept intact in the fossil" instead of accepting that these fossils came to be as a result of a global flood in very recent history.
I swear I think even if they saw w/their own eye's Jesus Christ walking out of His own tomb after He was CONFIRMED dead by Rome they would still try to come up w/an excuse as to how this would happen. Come to think of it they have already come up w/many excuses about how that event took place.
It is unwise to limit The Power and Glory of The True and Living God Creator of Heaven and Earth and everything in it. He even had the power to enter into humanity to pay the price for our sins.
"Who is like The Lord, from everlasting to everlasting He is God, and there is no other".AMEN.
John P.
The truth comes out the ground- all fossils evidence of Noah's global flood as are the land forms,and this just further debunks evolution myths. Biologos and Reasons to Believe would tend to ignore anything which might interfere with their myths as well. Evidence keeps on coming and it is always squeezed into the evolutionary mythology, but truth God's Word= will win in the end, even if it takes the Tribulation to wake people up.
Adam and Eve are obviously the "founding pair" and God created everything 6000 years ago.
Wayne O.
So ...... Where does this research leave Biologos and Reasons to Believe?
Don Batten
This is just one of many pieces of research that just does not fit with long ages and evolution (Biologos) or long ages (Reasons to Believe). Biologos ignores the research, as the documentary DNA Battles clearly demonstrates. I don't know if the folk at Biologos are just so confident in their evolutionary perspective that they don't think that there could possibly be any evidence against it, so they don't look for it, or that they are wilfully ignorant ('don't confuse me with facts, my mind is made up').

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