A recent genetic study published in the journal Human Evolution is rocking the evolutionary edifice, leaving Darwin’s faithful scurrying desperately to shore up the fractured foundation lest the whole house collapse around them. To understand why you’ll need to endure a couple paragraphs of technical explanation, which we’ll make as simple and brief as possible!
You’re familiar with DNA (the genetic instructional code inside the cell) and you know that all animals have it. What you might not know, however, is that animals have DNA in two locations. Nuclear DNA contains the aforementioned genetic code or blueprint for organisms. Last month we marveled at the genetic code that directed the production of proteins, which form the basic building blocks of life.
DNA is also located in an organism’s mitochondria. These tiny structures are like the electric and light companies providing energy for the city of the cell. Their job is to convert energy from food into a form useable by the cell. One of the mitochondrial genes is known as COI (Cytochrome c Oxidase subunit 1) and is has proved useful in something called DNA Barcoding, which is basically a tool for identifying animal species.
This particular snippet of DNA has proved useful because it is simultaneously similar across all animals (nearly all of them have it), which makes comparing it easy, and different enough to enable scientists to quickly distinguish between species. Because of this sufficiently similar yet discernibly different characteristic, scientists are able to determine how (or if) species are related. Further, a single mitochondrial genome is transmitted to offspring by breeding females. In other words, each breeding female passes on a unique genome (like a unique barcode) to her offspring. This allows scientists to trace animal populations back to a single, original breeding female!
In Darwinian terms, DNA barcoding should allow researchers to trace the process of evolution in a sort of bread crumb trail through species. In other words, DNA barcoding has the potential to reveal the genetic lineage of every living animal, the progression from one species into the next, thereby demonstrating the veracity of Darwin’s theory.
This is why the findings have proven to be so disconcerting for committed Darwinists. When they compared the aforementioned snippet of mitochondrial DNA, there was no genetic lineage. The evidence doesn’t show a gradual slide from one species into the next (as Darwinism predicts and requires). Instead, the research definitively shows that species are distinct from each other with surprisingly little genetic variance within the species.
Translation: species demonstrate limited variation within their kind, with no evidence that they evolve into new kinds.
To quote the study: “intermediates are not found.” Process that phrase: intermediates are not found. And this isn’t a situation parallel to the fossil record in which Darwin’s faithful could hold out for more discoveries. To date over 6 million specimens from over 280,000 species have been barcoded. The intermediates required for Darwin’s theory to be true aren’t there.
To put it kindly, this is a devastating blow to proponents of Darwinian evolution. To put it less kindly, the standard evolutionary “just so” illustrations littering children’s textbooks across America are not supported by the evidence. They’re outright falsehoods.
For those who confess creation as revealed in Scripture, the study corroborates what the Word teaches: animals have been created according to distinct kinds (the horse kind, dog kind, cat kind, etc.). Scripture teaches:
And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good (Genesis 1:25).
These kinds have firmly established boundaries. Variation within these kinds is possible (different expressions of dogness, for example); transition into new kinds is not (dogs cannot evolve into a horse – ever). And the evidence bears this out.
In addition to demonstrating fixed boundaries between kinds, this mitochondrial study revealed another startling surprise: nearly all animals emerged about the same time as humans.
Read that again. Darwinian evolution insists that humans showed up millions and millions of years down the evolutionary line, but this study demonstrates otherwise. Based on certain assumptions related to the accretion (accumulation) of genetic variation, the researchers postulate an upper limit for the originating of all living animals today to be no greater than 200,000 years.
That is a large number, but compared to the millions and billions of years required by Darwinian evolution, it’s a blip (and remember, it’s built on outer-limit assumptions, so it may prove to be much smaller yet). But process what the study is saying: all living varieties of animals and humans appeared on the scene together.
Translation: humans didn’t evolve from lower animal species. They appeared on earth simultaneously with animals.
Sound familiar? Once again the Genesis account is corroborated. You can see why the evidence is giving evolutionists fits. It destroys their theory. Committed believers are scrambling to save their theory through creative explanations. One is particularly fascinating. As mentioned, the evidence shows that all living varieties of animals and humans emerged simultaneously. Perhaps, evolutionists suggest, a mass reduction in the population size occurred about 200,000 years ago to reduce all living animals on earth down to roughly one mating pair per species and then expanded rapidly from there.
They call this a “bottleneck event.”
In other words, Darwinian evolution went along swimmingly for millions of years only to be abruptly interrupted (bottlenecked) some guesstimated 200,000 years ago by a global event that suddenly reduced all living species down to one mating pair per species that then expanded in number again.
Putting the 200,000 year number aside for the moment (remembering that it is built on weak outer-limit assumptions for mutation accretion that may prove to be much smaller), think about what they’re suggesting: a global event reduced living animals down to one reproducing pair per species. Does anything from Scripture come to mind? Perhaps a global flood?
Unsurprisingly, this is one suggestion committed Darwinists have been unwilling to entertain. They have proposed viruses, ice ages, new competitors, and the loss of prey to account for the sudden drop in species populations. These would be fine proposals if we were only trying to account for a few species. Such, however, is not the case. We’re trying to account for the reduction of nearly ALL species to one reproductive pair, which is precisely the scenario presented by Scripture in the great flood of Noah’s day.
As with last month’s article detailing the specified, complex information required to produce even one protein that pointed to the need for a super-intelligence (i.e. God), this month’s article again shows us how scientific discovery continues to reveal both the veracity of Scripture and the glory of God.
If you want to visit more on this or if you have questions, you are always welcome to call/email/stop in to visit. I welcome the conversation! - Pastor Conner
 See also Gen. 1:11, 12, 21; 6:20; 7:14
 Researchers determined this by comparing something called “neutral mutations,” (slight changes in DNA across generations that neither help nor hurt an organism’s survival). They then compared these neutral mutations across species to determine similarity/differences and then made outer-limit guesses as to how long species had been in existence.
 This “molecular clock theory” is based on a flimsy assumption that 1% of DNA mutates every 1 million years, but there are countless examples of a much higher mutation rate which greatly reduces the 200,000 year number.
 The evidence from the mitochondrial DNA dictates that the population must be reduced back to one mating pair due to the revealing of the shared genome in species’ populations. In other words, scientists are able to trace the mitochondrial barcode from the species’ original breeding mother.