Darwinists perplexed by DNA found in Spain
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (BP) -- The discovery of DNA evidence in a cave in Spain is incongruent with current theories of human evolution, according to a report based on interviews with believers in Darwinian evolution in The New York Times.
The Times reported the retrieval of ancient human DNA from a fossil that evolutionists date from 400,000 years ago. The fossil came from a cave in Spain where 28 nearly complete skeletons have been found. Since researchers believed all of the skeletons were from the Neanderthal species, they expected the new fossil also would be a Neanderthal. To their surprise, DNA analysis suggests the fossil is of Denisovan origin, a species previously regarded as limited to East Asia, nearly 4,000 miles from the cave in Spain.
Since it is doubtful that a Denisovan could have traveled that far, evolutionists have no explanation for the presence of a Denisovan fossil among the Neanderthals of Western Europe and Asia, according to The Times' Dec. 4 report.
Creation scientists from a diversity of viewpoints, meanwhile, are weighing in on the matter.
Georgia Purdom, a molecular geneticist and associate of Answers in Genesis, believes the fossils found in Spain represent human descendants of Noah's family who migrated out from the Tower of Babel approximately 4,250 years ago and likely became isolated from other human populations. Purdom holds the "young earth" view of creation that the earth was created in six days 6,000 years ago.
Purdom described the mitochondrial DNA of all these species as similar to modern humans with only minor differences, likely due to their isolation from humans outside their group. Based on genetic data alone, it is unlikely that scientists will be able to determine exactly how the two groups, though geographically far apart, are closely related. But both groups have to be descendants of Noah's family since they were the only humans who survived the flood, Purdom said.
Casey Luskin, research coordinator for the Center for Science and Culture at Discovery Institute, believes the Neanderthals and Denisovans were human. The Discovery Institute is a proponent of Intelligent Design, which holds that no evolutionary process could not have led to life on earth. Luskin said evolutionists are trying to create an evolutionary tree to link modern humans with pre-human groups, but the DNA they are finding does not indicate that modern man evolved from non-human forms.
All of these species look very similar to modern man and do not show any evidence of being non-human, Luskin said, noting, "Sure, the DNA is a little different, but not enough that it indicates a different species." These ancient creatures are so similar to modern man, Luskin said, that if a Neanderthal was walking down the street today, he would not be noticed. "The latest find confirms only that they found another human bone," Luskin said.
Fazale Rana, a biochemist and executive vice president of research and apologetics for Reasons to Believe, offers an "old earth" perspective, a creationism viewpoint that accepts the scientific community's assessment of the Earth's age. Rana said he does not believe the Neanderthal and Denisovan creatures were human. "It is important to understand," he said, "when evolutionary scientists use the term 'human' they mean something very different from what you and I are talking about when we use the term."
When evolutionists talk about humans, they mean any primate that walked around on two legs, Rana said. The fossil the researchers in Spain have discovered is a hominid. Rana said these creatures were impressive beings made by God, but they were not human because they lacked the image of God. They existed for a time and then went extinct. Rana said their behavior was remarkable in many respects but not consistent with human behaviors seen when modern man showed up.
Julie Borg writes for WORLD News Service, a division of WORLD Magazine (www.worldmag.com) based in Asheville, N.C.