Comments from Fox News article:
In one of the most provocative and misunderstood studies of the year, scientists in the U.S. and Switzerland have made an astonishing discovery: All humans alive today are the offspring of a common father and mother – an Adam and Eve – who walked the planet 100,000 to 200,000 years ago, which by evolutionary standards is like yesterday. Moreover, the same is true of nine out of every 10 animal species, meaning that nearly all of Earth’s creatures living today sprang into being recently from some seminal, Big Bang-like event.
Mark Stoeckle at Rockefeller University and David Thaler at the University of Basel reached this striking conclusion after analyzing the DNA “bar codes” of five million animals from 100,000 different species. The bar codes are snippets of DNA that reside outside the nuclei of living cells – so-called mitochondrial DNA, which mothers pass down from generation to generation.
Many religious commentators misunderstand this study to mean that species abruptly came into being only recently. To be clear: according to evolutionary biologists, species developed gradually over many millions of years. Stoeckle and Thaler’s discovery is that something happened roughly 100,000 years ago that created entirely new populations from long-existing species.
That said, Stoeckle and Thaler’s study does line up with the Bible in at least two notable ways.
- First, it affirms that we and our fellow creatures on Earth arose from a recent and profound creation event, orchestrated by some unknown mechanism.
- And second, the DNA bar codes reveal that species are quantized. Instead of there being a continuum of animal varieties, as one might expect from millions of years of gradual evolution, creatures fall into very distinct, widely separated populations – what the Bible describes as “kinds,” from the Hebrew word min.
“Darwin struggled to understand the absence of intermediates and his questions remain fruitful [to this day],” says Thaler. What the new study discovered, he explains, is that “If individuals are stars, then species are galaxies. They are compact clusters in the vastness of empty sequence space.”
Above all, Stoeckle and Thaler’s intriguing study serves up hard evidence for the astonishing fragility of life and a humbling lesson for the high-and-mighty among us. It proves we are at the mercy of forces we do not see nor understand; forces that made our existence possible a few hundred thousand years ago and that just as quickly – in the twinkling of an eye – can and will one day take us out.
Read the full article: https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/did-a-mysterious-extinction-event-precede-adam-and-eve