The last two installments of this series described the purpose and strategy of the Institute for Creation Research’s life sciences research and highlighted the key questions on origins we’re trying to answer—the how, where, why, when, and from whom different species originated, as well as why species go extinct.1 This month’s article reports our progress on answering these questions for just a single species: humans.
The key scientific tool on this front is genetics. This may come as a surprise since most of creation/evolution debates during the last 150 years have been preoccupied with fossils, radiometric dating, and anatomical similarities. However, the question of human ancestry is deeply genetic. Since the physical traits that define humans and apes are inherited, any attempt to describe human origins must invoke the only direct record of inheritance—genetics.
The field of genetics is doubly important due to recent evolutionary attacks on the biblical record of human origins. In the last several decades, the unified chorus from evolutionary camps has been the supposed overwhelming genetic similarity between humans and chimpanzees—claimed to be 98 to 99% genetically identical. From the recent explosion of human genetic data, evolutionists have grown increasing bold and claimed that Homo sapiens cannot trace their genetic ancestry back to a single primal couple. Instead, evolutionists say that humans originated from a population of proto-humans that lived in Africa hundreds of thousands to millions of years ago.
Hence, the purpose of ICR’s investigation into the human origins question is clear. We seek to demonstrate the scientific validity of the Genesis model (chapters 1 to 11). Practically, this means that we’d expect to trace human ancestry back to a single couple—Adam and Eve—not to a group of ape-like creatures. We’d also expect to find evidence that mankind “re-started” from four couples (Noah, his wife, his three sons, and their wives) near Mt. Ararat about 4,350 years ago.
The results of our studies have been striking. Dr. Jeff Tomkins reanalyzed the raw data from the chimpanzee DNA sequencing project and found that the actual overall identity between humans and chimpanzees is only about 70%.2 In terms of actual DNA letter differences, this computes to a 900 million-letter gap. Generating this level of genetic divergence in just six million years by random mutation, natural selection, and fixation (i.e., spreading mutations throughout the entire population of each species) seems impossible.
Dr. Tomkins also reanalyzed some of the DNA organizational differences between humans and chimps. The billions of DNA letters in the human genome (the entire set of DNA letters) are broken down into two sets of 23 chromosomes. In contrast, apes have two sets of 24 chromosomes. Evolutionists postulate that the common ancestor of apes and humans also had two sets of 24 chromosomes but that a genetic error occurred and “fused” two of the chromosomes, causing it to become 23. Furthermore, evolutionists have asserted that human chromosome 2 bears the mark of such an event.
But no such mark exists. First, the supposed fusion site is highly corrupted and tiny in size—very different from the expectations of evolution.3,4 Second, the fusion site is a key functional part of an active gene (a sequence of DNA that codes for proteins), further straining the credulity of the evolutionary claim.5 How could a random error just happen to end up as an important part of the intracellular information processing system?
Our research is growing more exciting by the day. Look for the next installment!
Click here to read “Purpose, Progress, and Promise, Part 1.”
Click here to read “Purpose, Progress, and Promise, Part 2.”
Click here to read “Purpose, Progress, and Promise, Part 4.”
- Jeanson, N. T. 2014. Purpose, Progress, and Promise, Part 1. Acts & Facts. 43 (10): 13; Jeanson, N. T. 2014. Purpose, Progress, and Promise, Part 2. Acts & Facts. 43 (11): 9.
- Tomkins, J. 2013. Comprehensive Analysis of Chimpanzee and Human Chromosomes Reveals Average DNA Similarity of 70%. Answers Research Journal. 6: 63-69.
- Bergman, J. and J. Tomkins. 2011. The chromosome 2 fusion model of human evolution—part 1: re-evaluating the evidence. Journal of Creation. 25 (2): 106-110.
- Tomkins, J. and J. Bergman. 2011. The chromosome 2 fusion model of human evolution— part 2: re-analysis of the genomic data. Journal of Creation. 25 (2): 111-117.
- Tomkins, J. 2013. Alleged Human Chromosome 2 “Fusion Site” Encodes an Active DNA Binding Domain Inside a Complex and Highly Expressed Gene—Negating Fusion. Answers Research Journal. 6: 367-375.
* Dr. Jeanson is Deputy Director for Life Sciences Research and received his Ph.D. in cell and developmental biology from Harvard University.