First Draft of the Neandertal Genome Sequence Released | The Institute for Creation Research

First Draft of the Neandertal Genome Sequence Released

The highly anticipated initial draft assembly of the Neandertal genome was announced at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in the United States and at a European press conference.1 This genomic milestone involves approximately 3 billion bases of ancient human (Neandertal) DNA sequenced so far, which is the same amount of DNA contained in one set of human chromosomes or a single genome coverage. This is a major event in the booming scientific field referred to as “paleogenomics,” a discipline that studies ancient DNA and is providing exciting new evidence in support of the recent creation model.

The Neandertal DNA was obtained from bone fragments using advanced isolation techniques developed specifically to remove contamination and alleviate DNA damage associated with ancient DNA. In addition, “next generation” sequencing technology involving new chemistry and instrumentation was used to rapidly produce considerably more DNA sequence data per laboratory run than previous technologies.

The effort to produce an initial 3 billion bases of DNA for the Neandertal genome was led by Dr. Svaante Paabo of the Institute for Anthropology at the Max Planck Research Institute in Germany. It should be noted that future Neandertal sequencing promises to increase the accuracy of the overall DNA sequence, as well as fill in gaps found in the current “rough draft” sequence. All of the DNA sequence will be placed in the public domain (web-based databases) for researchers around the world to freely query, download, and analyze. In fact, researchers at ICR will be using the Neandertal DNA sequence in a variety of research projects investigating the role of the human genome in the creation model.

Evolutionists consider modern humans and Neandertals to be two distinct human species that separated from each other 35,000 to 800,000 years ago. However, within the recent creation perspective, Neandertals and modern humans are not really separate “species,” but represent different human gene pools in time and location.

Consistent with this idea, the genomes are proving to be quite similar. In fact, preliminary findings over the past couple of years support this interpretation, as a variety of genes have been characterized in the Neandertal genome with high similarity to modern human genes. These genes are associated with such traits as pale skin and red hair, type O blood, and high levels of linguistic and mental ability.2, 3, 4 Since evolutionary scientists considered these gene variants to be strictly associated with modern humans, it comes as no surprise that the evidence will once again force “re-explanations.”

The Neandertals essentially represented a unique ethnic group that is now gone due to the same factors that affect modern human populations—factors such as migration, mutation, and interbreeding. Neandertals represent a variant genome from within the created human kind. We predict that future analysis of Neandertal DNA sequence data will add confirmation to creation, but consternation to other origins models.

References

  1. Pennisi, E. 2009. Neandertal Genomics: Tales of a Prehistoric Human Genome. Science. 323 (5916): 866-871.
  2. Culotta, E. 2007. Ancient DNA Reveals Neandertals With Red Hair, Fair Complexions. Science. 318 (5850): 546-547.
  3. Lalueza-Fox, C. et al. 2008. Genetic characterization of the ABO blood group in Neandertals. BMC Evolutionary Biology. 8: 342.
  4. Krause, J. et al. 2007. The Derived FOXP2 Variant of Modern Humans Was Shared with Neandertals. Current Biology. 17 (21): 1908-1912.

* Dr. Tomkins is Research Associate.

Article posted on March 4, 2009.

The Latest
CREATION PODCAST
Dinosaurs with Bird Brains??? | The Creation Podcast: Episode...
Evolutionists claim that birds are descended from dinosaurs. A feature that is often cited as linking these two types of creatures is the brain....

CREATION.LIVE PODCAST
From Ruins to Revelation: Truths Revealed Through Biblical Archaeology...
The Bible is full of people and places that are seemingly lost to time, but through the field of archaeology, new finds are shedding light on the incredible...

NEWS
Bergmann’s Rule Falsely Refuted
A recent study of dinosaur sizes claims to break Bergmann’s rule.1 Bergmann’s rule was named after biologist Carl Bergmann, who...

NEWS
New Shark Fossil from Arkansas
The fossil record contains a plethora of shark teeth, but fossilized shark skeletons are exceptionally rare. When they are found, though, they are always...

NEWS
Photosynthetic Proteins Power Plants
Some scientists think the photosynthetic process is all but figured out since the discovery of more details regarding the place, assembly, and function...

DAYS OF PRAISE DEVOTIONALS
Summer 2024
...

CREATION PODCAST
Uncovering the Secrets of Earth's Oceans | The Creation Podcast:...
The oceans cover most of our planet's surface. Uniformitarians claim the oceans are nearly 4 billion years old, but the evidence says otherwise.   Host...

NEWS
A Giant Ichthyosaur: Largest Ever Marine Reptile?
Paleontologists have discovered portions of a giant ichthyosaur’s lower jawbone on Blue Anchor Beach at the southern entrance to the United Kingdom’s...

NEWS
New Titanosaur Species Discovered in Uruguay and Argentina
The pre-Flood world had some truly massive dinosaurs, and the largest of them were in the group Sauropodomorpha.1 Within this group were...

NEWS
May 2024 ICR Wallpaper
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you...