Adam and Ape-Men
How does a biblical Adam fit with ancient man? Was Adam a real person? If so, what does that mean for the fossil evidence? Adam was an historical person, but until recently, we had only the biblical evidence for him. As the science of genetics has progressed it has revealed exciting corroborating evidence for the biblical record.
By 1987, genetic researchers had developed a theory that all humans were descended from a single woman. This woman is referred to as Mitochondrial Eve. The mitochondria are the organelles of the cell that produce energy; they have their own DNA and are inherited only from the mother. By tracing the DNA of these organelles, a maternal family tree can be produced. When the scientists did this, they found that all women are descended from a single woman.
The scientists doing this work were evolutionists, and to them, this work showed evolution over a period of some 100,000 to 200,000 years. This was based on what is called the “molecular clock”. The molecular clock assumes a constant rate of mutation over time. Recent research has shown that actual mutation rates allow for only 6500 years. This is roughly in line with what we expect from the Bible.
It was further discovered that three major lines of mitochondrial inheritance existed. These three lines are thought by creationists to be the three women who married the sons of Noah.
The observed substitution rate reported here is very high compared to rates inferred from evolutionary studies. A wide range of CR substitution rates have been derived from phylogenetic studies, spanning roughly 0.025-0.26/site/Myr, including confidence intervals. A study yielding one of the faster estimates gave the substitution rate of the CR hypervariable regions as 0.118 +- 0.031/site/Myr. Assuming a generation time of 20 years, this corresponds to ~1/600 generations and an age for the mtDNA MRCA of 133,000 y.a. Thus, our observation of the substitution rate, 2.5/site/Myr, is roughly 20-fold higher than would be predicted from phylogenetic analyses. Using our empirical rate to calibrate the mtDNA molecular clock would result in an age of the mtDNA MRCA of only ~6,500 y.a., clearly incompatible with the known age of modern humans.
Parsons, Thomas J. A high observed substitution rate in the human mitochondrial DNA control region, Nature Genetics vol. 15, April 1997, pp. 363-367
quoted in http://www.detectingdesign.com/dnamutationrates.html#Mitochondrial
- Four Women, a Boat, and Lots of Kids | Answers in Genesis
Biologically speaking, humans went through a “bottleneck” at the Flood. As a result, most of the genetic diversity from before the Flood was lost.
It was not until 2008 that research on the Y chromosome (the genetic element unique to men) showed that all men were descended from a single male ancestor. This was another surprise for evolutionists. Historically, men were the ones to be soldiers and sailors, travelling far wide in their expeditions. It was thought that there would be a great deal of diversity in Y-chromosomes around the world, rather the opposite was discovered. The Y-chromosome was found to be largely homogenous with geographical differences. This is what would be expected if the Biblical account of the Tower of Babel was true, but not if evolution was true.
The Myth of 98%
It is commonly stated that Chimpanzees are genetically 98.5% similar to humans. According to some scientists so are mice! So which of the two are more similar? That depends on what it is you are comparing.
Similarity to Humans
Many evolutionists believe that better than 97% of human DNA is non-coding, or what they call “junk” DNA, that is, it serves no purpose. When making comparisons this DNA is usually ignored. That leaves only 3% of our DNA to compare (what is 97% of 3 %?). Comparing only genes gives a high percentage of similarity, but that similarity dips when comparing chromosomes.
When the Y-chromosome of the chimpanzee was being decoded, it was discovered that the difference between the human and chimp chromosome was 30%, which the researchers said was the difference expected between humans and chickens. It was suggested that the reason for the difference was that the Y-chromosome rapidly mutates. The problem with this suggestion is that human Y-chromosomes show little mutation over the evolutionary period of 200,000 years. At the least, this is evidence against a reliable molecular clock.
Further research on the two genomes has shown that the differences expand to the point where similarity is as little as 70%.
Genetic research supports Genesis 9:19 “These are the three sons of Noah: and of them was the whole earth overspread.” Mitochondrial DNA shows that three women (the three wives of Noah’s sons) of a single ancestry (Eve) were the ancestors of all women. Examination of the Y-chromosome shows that all men are descended from a single male (Noah).
- Greater than 98% Chimp human DNA similarity Not any more - creation.com
An examination of the claim that Chimp DNA is 98% similar to human DNA.
How then do we account for the fossil remains of humanity? (All fossils of humans and purported ancestors are found in recent strata, i.e. above flood level, therefore all these fossils are considered post-flood.)
There are five main types of fossil man:
1) Australopithecus, which are really apes
2) Homo habilis, a catch bag of anomalous fossils that don’t fit the paradigm because they appear in the wrong strata
3) Homo erectus, an ancient human
4) Homo Neanderthalensis, once thought to be in the human lineage, now considered by evolutionists to be a dead end branch of the tree. Considered by biblical creationists to be human.
5) Homo sapiens, us.
Evolutionists have more species than this, but these are the five into which the others can be included.
Australopithecines are ape-like. This is known from their bone structure. Apes have a different inner ear then humans and this can be seen in the skull, Australopithecines have the same skull structure as apes do, indicating that their inner ear was ape-like. The ratio of arm length to leg length differs between humans and apes, when the ratio for Australopithecines was measured, it was found to be ape-like. An analysis done by Charles Oxnard found that the skeleton of australopithecines was more divergent from both apes and humans than humans and apes were from each other. So while Australopithecines are ape-like, they were neither intermediate between apes and humans, nor were they modern apes. It would appear that Australopithecines are an extinct type of ape.
Homo habilis, or handy man, is generally composed of human fossils too old to fit in with “younger” fossils, or ape fossils too “young” to fit in with the paradigm of “older ancestral” fossils. Some creationists dismiss this species as simply being apes, while others include it as being fully human. So which is it?
A fossil find in Dmanisi, Georgia shows that at least three ancient species of humans were really one species. These are Homo habilis, homo rudolfensis (creationists tend to put this one with erectus), homo ergaster, and Homo erectus. The conclusion of the evolutionist researchers is that these four species were simply one, Homo erectus.
What the new fossil means, they say, is that the earliest members of our Homo genus— Homo habilis, Homo rudolfensis, Homo erectus and so forth — actually belonged to the same species and simply looked different from one another.
Firstly, the Dmanisi individuals all belong to a population of a single early Homo species. Secondly, the five Dmanisi individuals are conspicuously different from each other, but not more different than any five modern human individuals, or five chimpanzee individuals from a given population.
Homo erectus and Neanderthal
Homo erectus and Neanderthal fossils are identified by their skulls. The post-cranial skeleton is human, if somewhat more robust. A robust skeleton can be created simply by exertion, that is, a physically active person will have a more robust skeleton than an inactive person will. The greater the level of exertion, the more robust the skeleton will be. There are of course limits to how much exertion will affect the skeleton, and there appears to be more at work on the ancient skeletons than simply exertion.
The Bible makes it clear that from Adam to Noah people live over 900 years (Genesis 5), from Shem to Abraham life spans diminished to approximately 120 years (Genesis 11). There are physical consequences to a longer life span. Jack Cuozzo in his book Buried Alive indicates that the human skull continues to grow throughout our lives. This will involve thickening of the skull and a more robust jaw. It has also been realized that more than long-term growth is responsible for such features, as the skeletons of children with these features have also been discovered.
Creationist Peter Line has suggested that robusticity is a result of development and not simply life span. He posits that it may have been necessary to be robust in order to live a long life. There may have been a genetic reason for the long lives of early post-flood humans, and those genes may have caused different hormone levels and different growth patterns than we experience today. As those genes turned off and life spans reduced, robust development declined and disappeared until all humans are recognized as Homo sapiens sapien.
It has also been reported in ScienceDaily that humans and Neanderthals interbred. Such interbreeding suggests that Neanderthals were human.
The Bible states that all people are descended from a single couple, Adam and Eve (Genesis 1:27). A global flood approximately 1600 years later reduced the human population to eight people, Noah and his wife, their three sons and their wives. All of the current human population is descended from the sons of Noah and their wives (Genesis 9:19). Genetic evidence shows that all woman are descended from three women, and that these three women were descended from one woman (who was not their mother). All men on earth share a single male ancestor (Noah). The genetic evidence supports the historical statements of the Bible.
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