Neanderthal DNA Muddles Evolutionary Story | The Institute for Creation Research

Neanderthal DNA Muddles Evolutionary Story
Neanderthals are classified by evolutionists as archaic humans given that both their DNA and bones are essentially human. Yet, new stories constantly hit the headlines with the supposedly shocking news that anatomically modern humans and Neanderthals were found to have interbred once again. Recently, another such story appeared in the journal Genetics.1 Why is this type of news so exciting, yet also so confusing to evolutionists?

In the human evolution story, many scientists claim that anatomically modern humans did not evolve and migrate out of Africa until about 100,000 to 200,000 years. The problem with this idea is that humans with so-called “archaic features” have left their fossil remains all over the world with supposed evolutionary age dates well over 200,000 years.2 To get around this problem of ancient humans being found all over the world, evolutionists will claim that these so-called “archaic humans” (Neanderthals and Homo erectus) evolved from ancestors that migrated out of Africa well before anatomically modern humans evolved. Then, as the story goes, modern looking humans interbred with the archaic humans.

In a current study making headlines, researchers found that modern human Eurasian populations (which have had their DNA analyzed) can trace some of their genetic material back to two different Neanderthal individuals whose DNA was extracted from fossils and sequenced.1 One Neanderthal was discovered in a cave in Croatia and the other was discovered in the Altai mountains in Russia. The lead researcher was interviewed and said, "It's not a single introgression of genetic material from Neanderthals," and "It's just this spider web of interactions that happen over and over again.”3 The fact that so-called “archaic humans” and modern humans were constantly interbreeding doesn’t help develop a coherent and tidy evolutionary story that already has lots of other problems.

This type of news is nothing new or startling to biblical creationists who recognize Neanderthals as part of the human family and would naturally expect past human populations to have interbred just as they do today. In fact, empirical research in genetic clocks, performed without calibrating the equations with deep evolutionary time, consistently indicates that humans have not been around on this earth for more than 5,000 to 10,000 years.4 The Bible’s timeline of genealogies and chronologies gives an age for the human race of around 6,000 years with a genetic bottleneck occurring about 4,500 years ago when the earth was repopulated by Noah’s three sons and their wives after the global Flood.5 Several recent studies in both genetics and population growth confirm this Genesis Flood-based narrative.6-7 Neanderthals easily fit within this empirical (non-theoretical) data as being a post-Flood people group that interbred with other groups. And this idea of so-called “archaic traits” only being found in Neanderthals and Homo erectus is an evolutionary myth, because these same anatomical variations can still be observed among people living today.8

Data from both genetics and anthropology consistently vindicates and matches the Bible’s narrative while at the same time confusing the evolutionary picture—which is always evolving. The apostle Paul had some choice words that describe this scenario well, “Professing to be wise, they became fools,” and “Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar.”9

1. Taskent, O. et al. 2020. Analysis of Haplotypic Variation and Deletion Polymorphisms Point to Multiple Archaic Introgression Events, Including from Altai Neanderthal Lineage. Genetics. DOI: 10.1534/genetics.120.303167.
2. Tomkins, Ph.D. 2019. Homo erectus: The Ape Man That Wasn't. Acts & Facts. 48 (10)
3. Hsu, C. 2020. Modern humans, Neanderthals share a tangled genetic history, study affirms. Posted on April 1, 2019, accessed April 3, 2020.
4. Tomkins, J. P. 2015. Genetic Clocks Verify Recent Creation. Acts & Facts. 44 (12): 9-11.
5. Hardy, C. and R. Carter. 2014. The biblical minimum and maximum age of the earth. Journal of Creation. 28 (2): 89-96.
6. Tomkins, J. P. Y-Chromosome Study Confirms Genesis Flood. Creation Science Update. Posted on December 17, 2019, accessed April 3, 2020.
7. Tomkins, J. P. Population Growth Matches Bible and DNA Clock. Creation Science Update. Posted on January 28, 2019, accessed April 3, 2020.
8. Tomkins, J. P. 2019. Recent Humans with Archaic Features Upend Evolution. Acts & Facts. 48 (4)
9. Romans 1:22, 3:4.

*Dr. Tomkins is Life Sciences Director at the Institute for Creation Research and earned his doctorate in genetics from Clemson University.
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