This article is from
Creation 13(1):22–23, December 1990

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Shades of Babel


In a brief commentary article on human Y chromosome studies, renowned evolutionist John Maynard Smith shows that ‘the Y chromosome data agree with those on mitochondria1 in showing that most variation is present within racial groups’.2 By this he means there is more variation within an individual group than between the average of any two groups. This of course means that there is a substantial overlap between the human races, a fact far more consistent with a recent origin for such races than with the idea of great ages of separate development.

It also means that most of the variation (the many different characteristics in the human race) was present before the races separated across the world. The evolutionist of course believes that this variation arose prior to that time by accidental mutations; creationists believe that the information was created.

In the sentence after the above quote, Maynard Smith makes this very telling point:

‘From this it would seem that most of the present variation was already present in an ancestral human population, before descendants of that population migrated world-wide.’

Note that this has to be the case if the biblical model is true, but from an evolutionary viewpoint, there was no reason to necessarily expect this. If evolution were true, the genetic data could just as easily have shown that the races obtained many of their differences after their separation.

This, in fact, has been the traditional evolutionary belief. This belief, now shown to be genetically unsound, is usually the background to questions sceptical of how separate races could have arisen from Noah’s family. The questioners reason that such characteristics could only have come from long periods of separate development within each race. If all these genetic factors were mostly present before the races spread across the earth (which is what evolutionist Maynard Smith is admitting in the above quote), a long timespan is no longer necessary.


  1. Mitochondria are tiny energy factories within each cell which carry DNA inherited only from the mother. See ‘Eve in Genes’, Creation magazine, Vol. 12 No. 2, p. 51.
  2. John Maynard Smith, ‘The Y of Human Relationships’, Nature Vol. 344, April 12, 1990, pp. 591-592.